The Upside

Based on a true story, “The Upside” is about a paroled ex-con, Dell (Kevin Hart) who must find a job. After several failed attempts to become gainfully employed, Dell applies for what he believes is a janitor position for a billionaire. As it turns out the position isn’t a Janitorial position it’s a position to help the paralyzed billionaire, Phil (Bryan Cranston) with everyday chores like dressing, bathing, eating etc…It does not appear to be a good fit, but the billionaire sees something in Dell and hires him anyway. The story unfolds from there…

“The Upside” is a mirror of another movie called the “Intouchables” that came out in the 2011-2012 time frame. There is an English version and a French version.

Bryan Cranston and Kevin Hart play well together on the big screen. The movie was surprisingly entertaining and at times funny. There are several subplots/agendas that don’t quite play out, so you are forced to use your own imagination to figure them out.
When I go to the movies I don’t want to have to figure anything out. It should be all nicely laid out for me. This is the reason “The Upside” is not a 5 star movie, but it is still worth a look.

This is a 3 Star Movie!!

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!!