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!!

Justice League in Real 3D

Out of the gate this is NOT one of the DC Universe’s best outings.

There is a new rising threat to humanity. Batman (Bruce Wayne) works with Wonder Woman (Diana Prince) so that they can find and assemble a team of meta-humans to stand and protect against this new rising threat.
Unfortunately the task is not easy. Even though a league of superheroes (Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg and The Flash) has formed, it may not be enough to battle the new threat. The story unfolds from there…

Superhero Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) is the best element of the film. In this first outing I find the movie a bit lacking. The Justice League members are a bit disassembled in this first installment. The director (Patty Jenkins) for Wonder Woman was definitely missed. The story drags and is missing some foundation and there is too much CGI.

However I did find the cinematography and 3D aspects to be good. There was lots of action, but that too was sort of chaotic.

Hopefully the DC Universe will go back to the drawing board and clean this up before the next installment. I still prefer Christian Bale as Batman, but alas I found out that he does not want to play that role anymore. Earlier this year Wonder Woman set the bar high and it’s still the best film that came from the DC Universe in 2017.

This is a 2½ Star Movie!

Live by Night

“Live by Night” is a slow burning gangster movie that has no sizzle. The movie is loosely based on Dennis Lehane’s Crime Novel about a prodigal son of a prominent police chief and his gradual descent into the crime world.

The cinematography is very good, there was lots of action and some of the camera angles were awesome, but the movie just doesn’t grab you. There is a HUGH cast, but even they couldn’t make an already hollow story whole. The story appears to have started in the middle instead of at the beginning.

Ben Affleck directs and stars in the movie. This could be part of the problem. Ben Affleck is brilliant behind the camera, but not in front of the camera.

Several people got up and left the theater long before the movie was over, that’s how boring the movie was.

The previews and trailers for “Live by Night” looked really good. Too bad the actual movie did not live up to its billing.

This is a 2 Star Movie!

The Accountant

If I have said this once, I’ve said it a thousand times…Ben Affleck is brilliant behind the camera, but not in front of it.

“The Accountant” is about a boy, Christian Wolff (Affleck) with autism who grows up to be a genius accountant, who also serves as an assassin for his clients. Wolff works as a free-lance accountant for some of the most dangerous people. As the Justice Department starts to close in, Wolff takes on a legitimate client, where there is an accounting discrepancy that has been uncovered by an in-house accounting clerk (Kendrick). Mysteriously as the accounting discrepancy comes to full light, the body count starts to rise. The story unfolds from there…

The movie has so many twists, turns and subplots that the main plot gets lost. This makes it difficult to tie all the pieces together, but at the end it’s all cleaned up.

There is so much going on in “The Accountant” that you will not be bored. This is truly a Drama, Suspense Thriller of epic proportion. The movie is better than Ben Affleck acting in it.

This is a 3 ½ Star Movie!

Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice in 3D

“Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice” would have been a great story had it not had so much confusion and sub-plots that were not complete.

A young Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) continues to be haunted by the death of his parents. He has continued nightmares even as an adult.

Superman (Henry Cavill) saves the metropolis from a space invader, but because there are some unforeseen casualties and injuries to some citizens, Superman is perceived by some as a bad super hero.

Lois Lane (Amy Adams) is forever chasing a story. She has to be saved by Superman from the middle-east when a village she is in is raided and most of its people are killed. This incident turns out to be staged, but it will be some time before this comes to light.

Lex Luther (Jesse Eisenberg) is an insane, crazy entrepreneur who will stop at nothing to take over the Metropolis. Lex tries to lobby with the Senator to get an export license to import an unknown substance into the Metropolis, but the Senator won’t bite. Lex Luther plots his revenge on the Senator and others including Superman and Batman. The story unfolds from there…
Overpowering mini stories destroy the bigger story in “Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice”. It’s a scenario of “You can’t see the Forest for the Trees.” The movie is just plain incoherent, over the top and way to long for what was presented.

Ben Affleck makes a horrible Batman. Ben Affleck is brilliant BEHIND the camera and that is where he should stay. The villain (Lex Luther) in this story is not very convincing. Other aspects of the movie are passable, but a bad Batman and not convincing villain destroys the credibility of the movie.
The one and only bright spot in the movie is that you get a glimpse of the “Justice League” who will be appearing in their own story soon.

This movie should have never come to pass. Christopher Nolan’s Batman Trilogy was the best and nothing can diminish that.

This is a 1 Star Movie!!

Gone Girl

“Oh My Gosh!!”, “Gone Girl” is jaw dropping good!! The mystery of it all is insane!! The plot and story are out of this world crazy!! The movie is based on the best-selling novel by Gillian Flynn.

“Gone Girl” is about the ups and downs of a modern marriage. On their fifth wedding anniversary Nick Dunne (Affleck) finds himself contacting the police because he comes home and finds what appears to look like a struggle of some kind took place in his home and his wife is missing…The story unfolds from there…

Straight away it looks like “Been there done that”, but WAIT!! It’s like a made bed that you decide to unmake. As you remove pieces of the bedding the picture starts to come together and oh what a picture it makes.

“Gone Girl” is excellently executed, a slow churning suspense mystery with plenty of intrigue. You will be on the edge of your seat. The performances of the actors are superb.

This has to be the best Suspense/Mystery/Thriller I have seen in a while…

If you like Suspense/Mystery/Thrillers, “Gone Girl” is your movie.

“Gone Girl” is definitely a must see!!

This is a 4 1/2 Star Movie!!

Runner Runner

Sometimes the paid critics do get it right! This is the case with “Runner Runner”. It’s not good!!

Believing that he had been swindled by an online gambling site, a Princeton grad student Richie (Justin Timberlake) makes his way to Costa Rica to confront the owner of the gambling site a multi-millionaire by the name of Ivan Block (Ben Affleck). Ivan thanks Richie for bring the error to his attention. Ivan of course checks Richie out and uncovers that he is a grad student in need of money.
Ivan dangles the idea of making millions in front of Richie. Richie decides to take Ivan up on his offer, but quickly finds out that he could be in over his head and the FBI (Anthony Mackie) have been closely watching Ivan Block and are hoping to use Richie to get him. The story unfolds from there…

Yawn…I was bored out of my mind. Been there done that!! There are some similarities between “Runner Runner” and another movie centered on gambling and casinos that opened in 2010 call “21”. “21” was a lot better movie. It was more exciting and had more intrigue.
I found “Runner Runner” to be flat and uneventful. Ivan Block (Ben Affleck) is boring. The movie is a fast-paced thriller that has no real direction and it doesn’t appear to be going anywhere. There is no reason to hurry to see “Runner Runner”.

“Runner Runner” is from the director of “The Lincoln Lawyer”. “The Lincoln Lawyer” was an excellent movie. Too bad I can’t say the same of “Runner Runner”.

Argo

Remember when Iranian Revolutionaries stormed the American Embassy in November 1979? “Argo” is about the situations that led up to, during and after this awful event.

During the rioting and chaos 6 Americans were able to escape and find refuge with the Canadian Ambassador. However it was discovered by the revolutionaries that some of the Embassy staff was unaccounted for. Worried that they may be found and executed, the US Government calls extractor Tony Mendez (Ben Affleck) to get the refugees out.

Tony’s plan is to pose as a Hollywood producer who is scouting the location to film a movie and plans to use the refugees as his crew. The story unfolds from there…

“Argo” is based on a true story. The movie is executed brilliantly!! The attention to detail is astounding. It’s “Dark, Intense and Sometimes Comical”.

For those of you who do not like a lot of profanity in your movies, BEWARE, the “F” word is used constantly. Sometimes it’s funny, but most of the time not so much.