Movie Review: God’s Country

The new movie “Gods Country”, starring Thandiwe Newton, opens with Sandra, played by Newton watching the wooden coffin containing her mother enter a crematorium. We later find out that her mother died of lung cancer. One major premise behind this story seems to suggest that people can sometimes get very reckless or even empowered after dealing with the death of a loved one. However, the recklessness depicted in this story seems to be at times out of place and one of those cases within a screenplay where someone could easily question – “no way anyone would do something like this”.

Sandra is a small college professor who lives in the middle of nowhere, somewhere in Montana. From the bleak depressing surroundings, anyone watching this movie will wonder why anyone would want to live in a place like this, where there is so much of absolutely nothing, for many miles. Her home is small and modest as is her life – unmarried, no children, all alone. Then a minor incident involving hunters parking their big red truck on property leads to a series of events where any normal person would just call the police and say something like, “there are hunters parking their truck on my property, can you please come and talk to them and get them to park their truck somewhere else”? Instead, Sandra confronts two very dangerous men with guns and we cannot help but wonder, would any woman do this? Why risk your life over someone parking their truck on your property? This is a matter for the police to handle, I will just call them and this matter will be over. If they continue to park their truck on my property, then it will eventually become a problem that is not worth confronting, considering the people involved who are very dangerous. Instead, this story becomes far-fetched and not believable very quickly leading to a series of events that at times are so off the wall, that they become too unbelievable for any viewer to accept.

The acting throughout these two hours is very good, especially with Thandiwe Newton who provides a mostly subdued and depressed personality with some scenes of extreme anger that show her acting ability. There are some additional side stories and twists and turns within this above-average screenplay, but not enough to offset what is an unbelievable story from the start, because fundamentally, no woman on her own would ever do what Sandra does in this story.

The Rotten Tomatoes ratings for God’s Country are a too high 86%, with my rating a solid 75% mainly due to the acting of Newton, with a very mild recommendation.

Movie Review: Reminiscence

The new movie “Reminiscence”, starring Hugh Jackman is one of those rare bad movies that it is extremely hard to review, because it is so bad. I have often wondered, how many bad movies can a very famous actor can make before their career goes south? Without a doubt, this is the worst movie Hugh Jackman has ever made, so bad that its impossible to understand how he could have read the script and agreed to act in this film. I have always known that there are actor/studio contracts that are signed and favors that are agreed to in Hollywood. I have seen way too many movies like this one, where a named actor has made a movie that they should have known from the script, was too bad to make.

The plot is absurd, the story starting sometime in the future, with the city of Miami completely flooded because of Global Warming. In the future, there is a machine that can read peoples brain waves displaying their thoughts on a computer screen. This idea reminded me of the 1983 movie “Brainstorm”, the last movie for Natalie Wood. In that movie, they were able to record brain images for people at the moment they died, resulting in some memorable scenes and a pretty good film. In this movie, the main character Nick Bannister played by Jackman is trying to find out what has happened to his girlfriend Mae, played by Rebecca Ferguson, by using this brain wave machine. Actress Thandiwe Newton plays Emily, Nick’s friend who throughout this film, tries to talk him out of everything he is doing. Admittedly while watching this film on HBO Max, I fast-forwarded the movie too many times, at 15 second intervals, because this movie was so hard to sit through.

By the time you are 85% through this very bad movie, you are more interested in it ending, than ever caring enough to fully understand what is happening in this very poorly told story.

The Rotten Tomatoes rating for this film is an extremely low 37%, and I agree with this assessment, suggesting that this movie should just die in a DVD graveyard.