Movie Review: Julia

There is probably no better example that I have ever seen in a movie that so very often the people in charge, those who make the most important decisions, have no idea what they are doing. After spending 12 years with her partner Simone Beck, putting together hundreds of the best food recipes of all time, Julia Child’s first book Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume I: 50th Anniversary Edition: A Cookbook – was rejected by a publisher. The reasons of course were idiotic and after that first rejection this book went on to be the #1 recipe book of all time – ultimately the inspiration for hundreds of recipe books that followed.

After Julia Child’s first book was a huge success, she went to PBS in Boston Massachusetts and was the star of her own cooking show for many years. The new movie “Julia” is an excellent documentary of the life of a woman who made cooking interesting to the world for the first time – with the obvious exception of France, where food is everything.

Julia Child was married to her husband Paul child for almost 50 years, they never had children. She went on to write almost 20 books in her career, all best sellers. As far as this documentary, I agree with the 98% ratings on Rotten Tomatoes and do recommend it.

Netflix Movie Review: Bruised

Like many people who are fans of normal boxing, that has rules, 16 ounce gloves, a referee and long standing history and traditions – it will always be hard to understand why so many people seem to like MMA (Mixed Martial Arts). Athletes can kick each other in the head. When a person is knocked down, the other fighter and leap on top of them, and continuously punch them in the head. In other scenario’s one fighter can almost strangle the other fighter into either submission or unconsciousness. One can only wonder how many fighters have died in the ring or are permanently brain damaged. So did boxing all of the sudden become either too boring or not violent enough? Women seem as prevalent in this sport as men and again for most of us, nobody really wants to see two women in a ring almost killing each other.

Recently on a talk show, Halle Berry who directs the new Netflix movie “Bruised” admitted she has always Recently on a talk show, Halle Berry who directs the new Netflix movie “Bruised” admitted she has always been a fan of MMA – for reasons unknown, and this is the reason why she decided to both act and direct this pretty bad movie. Every scene is dark and depressing with the main character (a former women MMA champion, Jackie Justice played by Berry) mired in an abusive relationship with her former manager. Jackie is reunited with her young son from a previous relationship, who refuses to talk(perhaps because the young actor was embarrassed be in this film). The payoff is Jackie’s comeback after years of inactivity, with the rest of this movie just filler until the final championship fight. Who really cares about yet another Rocky-like-clone-payoff-in-the-end ripoff?

The Rotten Tomatoes average reviews for this bad MMA movie is a correctly low 57%. Miss this mess and see any other boxing movie.

Movie Review: House of Gucci

While watching this too long 2 hour and 37 minute movie – I kept thinking about better titles other than “House of Gucci”. How about “House of Chain Smokers”, “House Full of Matches”, “How To Get Lung Cancer”. In all my years of going to the movies as a hobby, I have never seen more smoking in a film than this one. Not even close. Either a character was constantly smoking, or lighting up a cigarette, or grabbing for a cigarette – non stop in about 95% of every scene. My only explanation is that the producers realized that getting funding for this soap opera about the Gucci family was going to be difficult – mainly because the script was not any good. So, they lobbied every cigarette company in the world and begged them to send them money, promising non stop smoking in almost every scene in return. Smoking can kill you, in about 100 different ways, so why is the movie industry allowing this level of money over not promoting a huge human health hazard?

What is most hard to understand about this mostly bad movie is how they got Al Pacino, Lady Gaga, Jared Leto (unrecognizable in his role Paolo Gucci – with some pretty bad acting), Jeremy Irons and Adam Driver to agree to make this film, after they read the script? Then add the extremely respected Ridley Scott who directed this film. This story also commits the ultimate cardinal sin – its way too boring to keep anyone’s attention for any length of time. There are good signs that Lady Gaga can be a very good actress and some of her scenes with Adam Driver were good – but unfortunately the screenplay is just not good enough for anyone to care about the acting.

As far as I could tell, the only message within this story is that even if you are super rich and super lucky, you will still have problems. Just problems of a different proportion and different level of importance. One of the problems of being rich is that other people will be gunning for you – trying to your steal money in so many different ways. Being rich and famous can involve constantly looking over your shoulder to see who is coming around the corner.

The Rotten Tomatoes ratings for House of Gucci is a very low 61% for many reasons. I agree with this rating and do not recommend this film.