The Way Back

FINALLY…A decent movie!! I haven’t written a post in three weeks!!

Ben Affleck is Jack Cunningham who back in high school was a basketball superstar who could have been the next big thing in the Pros, but he walked away from it all.
Years later Jack has a chance to come back to basketball when his old Alma Mater reaches out to him asking him to come coach the struggling team. Jack is very reluctant, but his old principal is very persistent. The story unfolds from there…

“The Way Back” is a great story about life and its struggles. There isn’t much of a plot, but you get the gist of what’s going on. The story is moving and some parts are relate-able. Ben Affleck gives an excellent performance. His seriousness and sincerity are on point.

“The Way Back” is definitely a surprise to me. I did not know what to expect going in. The movie is definitely worth a look.

This is a 4 ½ Star Movie!!

The Photograph

“The Photograph” is a story about a famed photographer Christina Eames who unexpectedly dies and leaves letters to her estranged daughter Mae Morton (Issa Rae) and the man she loved, but never married.

After retrieving the letters and instructions from a safe deposit box, Mae finds herself on a journey that leads her to delve into her Mother’s early life and it sets up an unexpected romance between Mae and a star journalist Michael Block (LaKeith Standfield). The story unfolds from there…

You know they say “Love is Complicated” that rings true in “The Photograph”. The story is a back and forth novel unraveling piece by piece. As the pieces come together the story becomes more intriguing and includes a few surprises along the way. The movie has a good cast and will keep you entertained. Opening on Valentine’s Day was a good move for the “The Photograph”.

This is a 3 ½ Star Movie!!

The Gentlemen

Matthew McConaughey plays an American expat by the name of Mickey Pearson. Mickey built a highly profitable marijuana empire in London. Word gets out that Mickey is looking to cash out of the business forever. This triggers plots, schemes, bribery and blackmail in an attempt to steal Mickey’s empire out from under him and his lovely wife. The story unfolds from there…

Plain and simple I think the movie is awesome! I was thoroughly entertained! My favorite character was Ray (Charlie Hunnam), who was Mickey’s right-hand man. He appeared quiet and unassuming, but was a “Bad Ass” when necessary.

“The Gentlemen” was never short on intrigue. The story continued to roll right up to the end. At times the movie was a bit bloody, but that is to be expected given the story and plot.

This is a Guy Ritchie production, you must pay attention so you do not miss anything because the story goes back and forth.

If you like your Crime Dramas with a small side of Comedy, I highly recommend “The Gentlemen”.

This is a 4 Star Movie!

Just Mercy

“Just Mercy” is a painful reminder that our Legal and Judicial Systems continues to have flaws although some progress has been made. Based on a true story “Just Mercy” takes you through the intensity of Walter McMillan (Jamie Foxx) being in prison and on death row for a crime he did not commit.

Lawyer Brian Stevens (Michael B. Jordan) who works for an organization that fights for citizens who can’t afford legal representation takes on Walter’s case and eventually goes all the way to the Supreme Court to seek justice. The story unfolds from there…

“Just Mercy” is executed brilliantly. The movie is understated while getting to the point. Things do get a bit emotional but that is expected given the subject matter.

Jamie Foxx and Michael B. Jordan are excellent together. Will “Just Mercy” get an Oscar nod? Only the Academy knows. I think the performances of Michael B. Jordan and Jamie Foxx definitely deserve some consideration.

If you can stand to feel anger, sadness, fear and jubilation all in two hours and 16 minutes, I recommend “Just Mercy”.

This is a 4 Star Movie!!

1917

“1917” takes you on a journey starting at the height of the first World War. The focus is on two soldiers, Scofield and Blake and the impossible mission they are assigned. They race against time and across the enemy’s line to deliver a message to stop the possibility of an attack on hundreds of Soldiers, Blake’s brother is among them. The story unfolds from there…

Watching “1917” you will feel like you are on the battle field, crawling across enemy lines and trying to avoid getting shot. The camera angles and cinematography are just that good.
You can’t help but to have empathy for the soldiers. The story is moving and suspenseful. The film is tastefully executed. You will definitely see war through the eyes of these soldiers. All of the Golden Globe awards that were won were definitely earned.

If you like war movies then you should definitely check out “1917”.

This is a 4 ½ Star Movie!!

Uncut Gems

If you go see “Uncut Gems”, you will see actor/comedian Adam Sandler in a new light!

“Uncut Gems” is about a New York City Jeweler, Howard (Sandler) who is always looking for the next big thing. He hustles from his place of business to various other jewelers around the city. His clientele varies from the NBA Super Star Kevin Garnett (He does make an appearance) to other NYC business owners to Bookies and people on the wrong side of the law.

Howard performs what appears to be a “High-Wire” Act balancing business, family, and encroaching adversaries all around him while making a variety of high-stake bets that could land him that big windfall for life.

The movie is in your face. The execution of the movie is on point, but the subject matters that are illustrated are not fun or entertaining. This movie contains “Strong Violence, Nudity, Sexual Material/Situations, Drug Use and Strong Language”.

I personally did not like the movie, not because of what the movie contained, but because of the illustrations of some of the scenes and the boldness of it all.

Several theater patrons left before the movie was over. With a 2 hour 15 minute running time it seemed like the movie would never end.

The paid critics found “Uncut Gems” to be “Fresh”. It received a 93% Score on Rotten Tomatoes. I disagree…I would have to give “Uncut Gems” a 60% Score.

See “Uncut Gems” for yourself, if you dare.

This is a 2 ½ Star Movie!!

Little Women

“Little Women” draws from the classic novel and also the writings of Louisa May Alcott. The movie unfolds as Louisa’s alter ego Jo March and goes back and forth on her fictional life.

The Timeless story of the four March Sisters takes center stage showing how each one is determined to live her life on her terms. Love, Loss, Tragedy, Death and Triumph each play a role in this movie.

“Little Women” is very entertaining, heart-warming, comical and a bit sad. This is definitely a great movie to see during this Holiday time. The cast is great. The cinematography and costumes are awesome!!

I highly recommend “Little Women” as a Holiday Treat.

This is a 5 Star Movie!!

CATS

The Broadway Musical Hit “Cats” comes to the big screen. If you ignore the fact that there was no story, no plot and no suspense, you could say that the big screen version of “Cats” is just OK.

I expected there to be something, but was highly disappointed that there was nothing. Don’t get me wrong, the costumes, makeup, singing and dancing is fantastic. That is the entertainment factor of the movie. Unfortunately the dialog was difficult to decipher. You do figure out that there is a villain of sorts, but it’s not clear what he’s after or why he does what he does. If that is not enough the movie ends with a question mark. I hate when that happens.

There is a strong cast and that is probably the only element that is saving “Cats”. The cast is the reason I wanted to see the movie. I did see the Broadway Musical many years ago and it was fantastic.

“Cats” should stay on Broadway and that is where you should see it.

This is a 2 Star Movie!!

Bombshell

“BOMBSHELL” provides a very revealing look into the real-life scandal surrounding the media powerhouse Fox News. The Megan Kelly/Roger Ailes story unfolds before your eyes.

Surprisingly, “Bombshell” is entertaining. The story unfolds calmly and keeps things moving so you are not bored. There is a lot of Star power in this movie and the cast does an excellent job. There is even a tiny bit of comic relief.

There are quite a few movies opening during the Christmas Holiday. Check out “Bombshell”.

This is a 3 ½ Star Movie!!

Richard Jewell

The 1996 Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta will always be fore-shadowed by the Olympic Park Bombing. A call made to the authorities stating “There is a Bomb in Centennial Park, You have 30 Minutes” thrust Security Guard Richard Jewell into the lime light. He was first pegged as a hero as his actions saved thousands of lives, but within a few days the information that was gathered by law enforcement and rumors soon made Richard Jewell look like a prime suspect. This movie is about the story that unfolds leading up to and after the bombing takes place.

“Richard Jewell” is a Clint Eastwood production and is based on true events so you know it was executed very well. The story is compelling. The visuals are very good and the cast is excellent.

“Richard Jewell” is definitely worth a look.

This is a 4 Star Movie!!