Movie Review: The Summer of Soul

The full title of the new documentary “The Summer of Soul” is “Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised)” – easily one of the strangest titles in movie history.

In 1969 at the same time the very famous Woodstock festival took place, 300 thousand people attended the Harlem Culture Festival and for reasons that most likely included that just about everybody at this festival was black, this major event went mostly unnoticed until some film was found in a basement some 50 years later. There is some important history here but mostly gospel singing and a few popular acts including Stevie Wonder playing the drums and the Fifth Dimension. This movie is not for an ordinary movie goer, because this is a documentary about a musical event and I found it boring and too long. The Summer of Soul has won two major awards at the Sundance Film festival and for me it was interesting to see video that was so well preserved that it looked at times it was created weeks ago, rather than 52 years.

See this documentary if you are big fan of music and cultural history, otherwise this documentary might be too boring for most people.

Amazon Prime Movie Review: The Tomorrow War

There have been probably too many movies that involve time Travel over the years, and as a screenwriter it may be impossible to make sense over something that is not possible now and most likely will never be possible. How is it possible to travel into the future, when the future has not even happened yet?

The first problem with the new movie on Amazon Prime “The Tomorrow War” is that because the movie is set in 2021 and the main part of the film involves travelling from 2021 to 2051, the whole idea falls apart from the beginning. In 2021, time travel is not possible and it is just that simple. The other reason why this story falls apart is that through a wormhole porthole military and then ordinary citizens are sent into the future to fight horrendous and horrible alien creatures because they are killing everyone in 2051. If they are killing everyone in 2051, then why would anyone think that new people from the past would fair any better? Why would anyone voluntarily travel into the future and certain death?

Later in this story there are attempts at looping around back into some semblance of common sense, but not nearly enough to save this story. The good parts here are the great CGI special effects and even the aliens that seem to be clones from so many other movies with horrible creatures. This movie stars Chris Pratt as Dan Forester a high school chemistry teacher who gets drafted into this war in the future, and J.K Simmons who is Dan’s estranged father. When the film changes direction at the 80% point, some of this convoluted logic does get better until the every end when the science and technology that tries to explain all of this just falls off the rails.

The critics and Rotten Tomatoes are mostly trashing this film at 51% and I agree with that number because the entire story when fully understood just does not hold water. I do not recommend The Tomorrow War.