Vice

Not on my original “Watch List”, “Vice” became a late entrant.

“Vice” is a depiction of Vice President Dick Cheney’s life starting from college up to and including his time as the Vice President of the United States.

The movie starts in 1963 in Casper, WY where Dick Cheney (Christian Bale) is having a rough time in college. He then ends up working as a Telephone Pole climber who repairs phone lines. In 1968 Dick Cheney gets his act together and enters into Political Life as an intern. During his internship this is where he meets Donald Rumsfeld (Steve Carell). Cheney’s connection with Donald Rumsfeld wets his appetite for Politics. Moving along the movie touches on the following Presidents Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan and then in 2001 with President Bush and Obama’s election in 2008.

The main focus is the events and administration’s decisions that occurred after 9/11. The story unfolds from there…

The movie is not bad, but it does not focus in one area too long and that can cause confusion with the viewer. There is a lot of skipping around so you have to pay attention and sort of put the pieces together yourself.

I like Political-based movies when they are done well. “Vice” is just ok. I wanted to view it mainly because of the cast playing the roles. I wanted to see what they would do with what they were given. Needless to say it was interesting and also a bit dry.

This is a 2 1/2 Star Movie!!

If Beale Street Could Talk

“If Beale Street Could Talk” is set in the early 1970’s in Harlem. The story is about a young couple in love, the family bond that is unshakable in times of strife and how they cope when the young man is falsely accused of rape. The family and the young woman do everything they can to prove the young man’s innocents. The story unfolds from there…

The movie is very well executed and acted even though the subject matter is hard to swallow. The movie shows the social injustice and racial bigotry that was often dealt back in the 70’s.

“If Beale Street Could Talk” is open in Limited-Release.

This is a 4 ½ Star Movie!!

On The Basis of Sex

“On The Basis of Sex” is based on a true story about how Justice Ruth Ginsburg came to be in the Justice System and on the Supreme Court. The story is inspiring and well executed. It’s the 25th Anniversary of Judge Ginsburg’s appointment to the Supreme Court, so the recount of her journey is very timely.

The movie recounts the trials and tribulations that then Attorney Ginsburg dealt with to bring a ground-breaking case before the US Supreme Court to overturn a century of gender discrimination. The story unfolds from there…

This is the second of 3 Political themed movies that opened during the 2018 Holiday Season. “On The Basis of Sex” is open in Limited-Release. Try to catch it if you can.

This is a 4 Star Movie!!

Second Act

“Second Act” is “Working Girl” meets “Maid in Manhattan”. Maya (Jennifer Lopez) works in a Mass Merchandise type of store. She has big marketing ideas that she shares with the stores Executive. The Executives love Maya’s ideas, but because Maya does not have a college education she is not taken seriously.
Unbeknownst to Maya a professional profile is created for her that is befitting of her marketing ideas. A big Manhattan Marketing firm comes calling. The story unfolds from there…

“Second Act” is entertaining and light-hearted. The story is a bit sketchy, disjointed and underdeveloped. There are several BIG surprises that occur and you have to wonder why the stage was not set appropriately. This is what keeps “Second Act” from being a 4 or 5 Star movie. Jennifer Lopez works with what she was given. I loved the business wardrobe she wore in the movie. Additionally the sound track is very good.

Alas…”Second Act” is best viewed on Cable.

This is a 2 ½ Star Movie!!

Bumblebee in Real 3D

It’s 1987 and Bumblebee was sent to Earth to protect it, but he is on the run from the Decepticons. He finds refuge in an old junkyard as a VW Beetle. Along comes Charlie (Hailee Steinfeld) who works part time in the junkyard. Charlie barters with the owner to purchase the VW Beetle thinking she is getting her own prized vehicle, but soon finds out she has acquired so much more. The story unfolds from there…

“Bumblebee” is fun and entertaining. The cinematography and action are on point. This story of a lone transformer comes across as heartwarming and the story was executed very well.

This is a 4 Star Movie!!

Aquaman in Real 3D

DC Comics got this right. Aquaman has a very good back story! It ties in nicely to the over-all story and plot.

“Aquaman” tells the original story of the famed DC Comic’s Undersea Super-hero half-human and half-Atlantean Arthur Curry. The saga takes you on an action packed adventure showing off the breathtaking underwater world of the seven seas. During this adventure Arthur is taken on a journey that forces him to face who he really is and where his place among Atlantis is and if he is worthy of who he was born to be…a king.

“Aquaman” is very entertaining and a visual feast! The movie shows off breathtaking panoramic views of the undersea world. There is tons of action, special effects and intrigue.

This first installment sets the tone. I hope the next installment will be just as visually appealing and entertaining.

This is a 3 ½ Star Movie!!

The Mule

Set in Peoria, IL, an 80 year old Day Lily Grower, Earl Jones (Clint Eastwood) with a thriving award winning business soon finds himself down on his luck and in foreclosure. He packs up his possessions and goes to visit his youngest daughter, Ginny (Taissa Farmiga). While visiting Ginny Earl has a confrontation with his estranged wife, Mary (Diane Wiest) and his oldest daughter, Iris (Alison Eastwood) who will have nothing to do with him. When Earl is leaving Ginny’s home, one of her guest approaches Earl and gives him a card and tells him to contact the name on the card because he can get some work through this person. Upon contacting the mysterious person Earl soon becomes a “Mule” for a Drug Cartel. The story unfolds from there…

The story is entertaining and moving. This is Clint Eastwood’s 38th film as a Director. The story tackles real life issues such as aging, family illness and working as a true Senior Citizen really late in life. There is even some comedy relief.

Clint Eastwood still has the ability to make an excellent vehicle and “The Mule” is definitely worth seeing.

This is a 3 ½ Star Movie!!

Mortal Engines in Real 3D

If you just sit back and relax you will enjoy “Mortal Engines”. If you start to wonder, ask questions or think too hard, you won’t enjoy “Mortal Engines” because it doesn’t quite make any sense and the back story is very piece mill at best.

The story is set hundreds of years after civilization was destroyed by a cataclysmic event, a young woman Hester Shaw (Hera Hilmar) holds the key to stopping London who has grown into a giant predator city on wheels. London devours other towns on wheels that come into its path. Hester soon teams up with Tom Nathsworthy (Robert Sheehan) who is an outcast from London and Anna Fang (Jihae) who is a dangerous outlaw. Together they try to stop London from destroying everything in its path. The story unfolds from there…

“Mortal Engines” is very entertaining if you don’t think too hard. There is lots of action, special effects and interesting cinematography. The problem is the back story is weak, some events don’t make sense and there is too much CGI.

“Mortal Engines” will be great on DVD or Cable.

This is a 2 Star Movie!!

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

I finally had an open weekend so I could see this 2nd installment of the Fantastic Beasts series. Here is my take…

At the end of the first installment Grindelwald (Johnny Depp) is captured by the Magic Congress of the USA. Grindelwald escapes during a transfer. Once this is discovered many people put together plans to try and recapture the evil Wizard. The story unfolds from there…

The first half of the movie was hollow and confusing. The continuation from the first installment was almost non-existent. There should have been more back story tied in. There is a lot more star power in this installment and that alone makes the movie worth seeing. The last half or should I say the last 35 minutes of the movie is where everything happens and everything comes together. What you see in that 35 minutes makes it almost worth what you went through to get to that point.

The best aspects of the movie are the cool special effects, the cinematography and the costumes, especially what the women are wearing. The movie is long, but it does move quite quickly once things pick up. The door is left open for a 3rd installment. If you are following this J.K. Rowling series, then don’t miss this 2nd installment.

This is a 2 Star Movie!!