Movie Review: It Ain’t Over

Considering the incredibly impressive accomplishments of the athletic career of Yogi Bera, it is hard to believe how many times he was disrespected during his career with the Yankees and then the Mets. He was the baseball American League MVP 3 times in his career and won an incredible 10 World Series as a catcher with the New York Yankees. He is considered one of the greatest catchers in the history of Major League Baseball. Yogi hit 358 home runs with 2150 hits and 1430 runs batted in. Yogi was also the manager of both the Mets and The Yankees and almost won a world series with the Yankees in 1964, only losing in a game 7 heartbreaker to the Cardinals.

In addition to Bera’s hall-of-fame baseball career, Yogi also served in the Navy and was one of the thousands who landed on the beaches of Normandy during the invasion on June 6, 1944, and was posthumously honored for his military service by President Barack Obama. In order to get Bera honored, his grandaughter conducted an extensive social media campaign after the Federal Government suggested they had to find witnesses of Bera’s service during the Normandy invasion.

In 1984 Bera was named the manager of the Yankees along with a commitment of 2 years. Unfortunately, lowlife George Steinbrenner was still in charge of the Yankees, and after a slow start in the first 16 games, Steinbrenner fired Bera, once again putting Billy Martin back in charge of the team. It seemed back in those dark days of the Yankees, Steinbrenner, and his sick ego enjoyed firing people, just for the pleasure of showing that he was the boss. Due to his cruel dismissal in 1984, Bera refused to ever go to Yankee Stadium again, a boycott that lasted for 14 years until Steinbrenner finally apologized to him at a dinner attended by Bera’s wife.

This excellent documentary about one of the most beloved sports figures of all time included broadcaster Bob Costas, comedian Billy Crystal, all of Yogi Bera’s sons, and his granddaughter. Yogi’s son Dale, also made it to the major leagues and played for 10 years, including for the Yankees, before leaving the game due to drug and alcohol problems. One of the most memorable parts of this film was when Dale described his family’s intervention that saved his life from drugs and put him on the right path and he has been clean and sober ever since.

There are many references to Yogi’s many famous sayings throughout this movie and so many are now a permanent part of the American lexicon. His most famous saying of all time is “It Ain’t Over Until It’s Over”.

The Rotten Tomatoes rating for this excellent documentary is a very high 96% and I agree and rate this film a must-see.

Netflix Movie Review: The Mother

The new Netflix movie “The Mother” is about a spy/character whose name is “The Mother”, played by Jennifer Lopez who is stabbed while pregnant during a violent gunfight at the very start of this film. The child survives but because The Mother is a spy (her job is never fully defined in this movie) the child is taken away from her to protect her from dangerous enemies. The Mother saves an agent named Cruise, played by Omari Hardwick, during the gunfight and they become friends. Cruise promises to keep in touch with the daughter to make sure she is never in any danger. This is the entire premise of this film, as the obvious happens some 12 years later when The Mother is called out of her secret life to rescue her daughter from being kidnapped by enemies that are never fully defined once again.

What follows is the relationship between The Mother and Zoe, played by Lucy Paez, and Zoe being trained in remote woods to shoot high-powered rifles and even how to hunt for food. Once again the obvious happens and The Mother and her daughter are located by her enemies resulting in a very predictable final conflict mixed with completely illogical decisions that put Zoe in unnecessary danger.

There is nothing new with this film, nothing we have not seen many times before. The entire story is too predictable and at times has moments that are way too slow. The title of this movie “The Mother” is also misplaced as well as having the main character called The Mother.

I agree with the low 45% ratings on Rotten Tomatoes and do not recommend this movie.

Movie Review: Book Club: The Next Chapter

The new movie “Book Club: The Next Chapter” is one of the few sequels of a below-average original movie ever released. The original “Book Club”, released in 2018, was mostly about the embarrassment of a group of older women over reading “50 Shades of Grey”, arguably the worst book in the history of publishing – to generate an enormous amount of money. This new version of Book Club starts as a book club meeting with all of the original cast members, Jane Fonda, Diane Keaton, Mary Steenburgen, and Candice Bergen for the first few minutes, and then the story mutates into a travelogue for a trip the 4 women make to Italy for the wedding of Jane Fonda’s character Vivian.

I remember thinking while watching this mostly boring and unnecessary film, that the real upside of this story is that for the millions of us who never have the desire or money to travel to Italy and see all of the major cities of Rome, Tuscany, and Venice – this is your opportunity to visit Italy without actually going there. Other than this positive point, this is not really a movie, but a series of vignettes and some attempts of humor that mostly do not work. The idea of the producers is to draw the audience from the original movie released in 2018 by calling this movie Book Club and then changing the story into a wedding in Italy and a series of mostly boring events.

Just about all of the male counterparts in this production are miscast, starting with Don Johnson, who plays Arthur about to marry Jane Fonda’s character. The problem is that Jane Fonda is 85 years old and Johnson is 73 and they have no chemistry, mainly because of the age difference. The same problem with Diane Keaton’s character Diane who is 76 and her boyfriend played by Andy Garcia is 66. Both of these relationships, central to the story, are not believable.

Odds are high that this new installment will be out of theaters in less than 3 weeks.

I agree with the low Rotten Tomatoes ratings of 49% and I do not recommend this film.