Movie Review: The Tragedy Of Macbeth

There is an old saying about, “You are not really an actor until you make it to Broadway, you are not really a great actor until you can act in a Shakespeare play”. For those of us who think that acting is easy, or if you think you can act, try and memorize or even understand any Shakespeare play. The new movie “The Tragedy of Macbeth” is all about admiring the acting skill of Denzel Washington and Francis McDormand, who are two multiple Academy Award winning actors. This film is not about enjoying the actual story, or understanding the scenes, or most of what the actors or saying and is in fact rather agonizing to sit through, because I for one had to leave before the end. This is a film that should be shown at an acting school within an Ivy League college, and not shown in theaters.

One has to admire Joel Cohen for adapting a very challenging Shakespeare play into a screenplay and shortening the story to try and fit it into almost 2 hours, but for me this is not enough to recommend as I would any normal movie.

The Rotten Tomatoes for this movie are a very high 93%, a rating I would agree with if it were an education class on acting, not a movie that is supposed to entertain an audience. This movie should be seen by big fans of Shakespeare, Denzel Washington or Francis McDormand – not for anyone who is looking for 2 hours of escape. Therefore I cannot recommend this movie, despite the fact that some Academy Award nominations might come from this film.

Movie Review: A Journal For Jordan

For the far too few of us who include empathy as one of their most valued traits – this review is for you.

I have often wondered how any actor, director and especially a screenwriter must feel when they toil for weeks, months or even years on a project – then complete it – then wait for the day when the movie is released so desperate with hope that the movie they spent years of their lives working on gets reviewed positively. Then their hard work gets trashed by a few critics who have no clue what they are writing about. How must that feel? How hard is something like that to recover from?

For the new movie “A Journal For Jordan”, directed by none other than Denzel Washington and starring Michael B. Jordan and relative newcomer Chanté Adams, the Rotten Tomatoes ratings are a downright stupid 40%. This rating ranks as one of the worst out of proportion opinions I have ever even heard about.

Obviously, this is one of those films that going on you already know will be a tear-jerker from the start. This is a true a story about a young couple’s early relationship told mostly with flashbacks. Dana, played by Adams and is a writer for the NY Times, Charles, played by Jordan, is a soldier who winds up going to Iraq soon after the 2001 Terrorist attacks. We all see tragedy coming a mile down the road, but this does not take away from this very well produced and acted real life story. This story is based on a Novel by Dana Canedy A Journal for Jordan (Movie Tie-In): A Story of Love and Honor that some years ago was a best seller and important enough to catch the eye of Denzel Washington to produce and create this movie.

I thought this story was very well told with a very emotional ending that worked extremely well. What the hell the critics are thinking this time around, I have no idea. 94% for a bad recent Spiderman movie with an idiotic premise and this real life story about true love, life and death gets 40%. None of this makes any sense. Making movies is in fact a brutal field to choose as a career. This movie definitely proves that.

My rating is a solid 80% and I highly recommend this movie.

Past Movie Review: Flight

In all my years as an avid movie-goer, I dont think I have ever seen a movie with better airplane special effects than the movie “Flight”, starring Denzel Washington, released in 2012. This movie, and specifically this one scene when the pilot Whip Whitaker, played by Washington – is not for those who fear flying. After a major part failure on the plane, Whitaker had to make the airplane turn completely over on its back, to prevent a straight into the ground crash. This scene was amazing with both the special effects, and Washington’s expert-calm-acting where he prevented the crash, but not without 6 people dying out of the 106 onboard.

The real story of Flight is about alcoholism and drug abuse. It turns out that Whitaker is a very serious drug addict, who is very good at hiding his problem, for many years. Despite his brilliant flying to prevent a horrendous tragedy, the toxicology report showed that he had cocaine and a very high alcohol level in his system after the accident. After the accident this story is all about a massive coverup to kill the toxicology report and save Whitaker from a very long prison term that may even include life in prison. The point here is, it doesn’t matter that the pilot saved 100 lives, all that matters is that he was operating an Airline Jet while drunk. This movie might have been based on recent true stories about pilots who were flying under the influence that came out within a few years of the release of this film.

Flight is one of Denzel Washington’s best movie roles and performances, along with Don Cheadle who is Whitaker’s lawyer who will do anything to keep him out of prison, John Goodman who almost steals the movie as Whitaker’s drug hookup and Bruce Greenwood as Whitaker’s friend. All of the performances were outstanding in this very memorable film. The direction of Robert Zemeckis was also great.

There are many messages in this story, but for me the most important one is, when you are addict you never think you are addicted and you will continue to use, even if it might mean that as a result of your drinking and drug abuse you might kill many people even if you are an airline pilot.

Once again, the critics back in 2012 were wrong, this is not a 77% movie, its more in the 90% range and I highly recommend it.