Friday, April 21, 2017

Free Fire

My View:  Free Fire  (2016)  R  Set in Boston in 1978, a meeting between two gangs in a deserted warehouse turns into a gunfight that few will survive. I loved this film! It’s 20 minutes of setup, where we get to know each character and why they are at the meeting, then it’s 70 minutes of one crazy firefight.  This is a funny film that has some of the quickest dialogue I’ve ever heard. The action sequences are fun to watch, even though there are times you don’t know who the characters are shooting at, but that’s the point because the action is so nutty. There are a few surprises that will keep you guessing who is conning who, and I think you will be shocked by the ending. The film is a blast to watch, and while I saw it at SXSW, I went again to a recent Atlanta screening. That’s how much I love this film.   My Rating: I Would Pay to See it Again   Free Fire Website
Indiefest:  The Promise  (2016)  PG-13  Set during the last days of the Ottoman Empire, Chris (Christian Bale) is a hard-drinking newspaperman who is in love with Ana (Charlotte Le Bon). Michael (Oscar Isaac) is a brilliant medical student who, even though he is promised to a woman in his small hometown, falls in love with Ana as he goes to school in the big city. This is a film that is overburdened by its attempt to bring to light a little-explored piece of history. The film feels every bit of its 134-minute length, taking way too long to get the story going and then seems to endlessly go on and on. There isn’t much spark to the love triangle, with almost no chemistry between Bale and Le Bon. I never got the emotional impact of the atrocities that this film so wants to show, which makes it feel almost lifeless.   My Rating: Cable   The Promise Website
Indiefest:  The Lost City of Z  (2016) PG-13  Based on a true story, the film centers on British explorer Col. Percival Fawcett (Charlie Hunnam), who disappeared while searching for a mysterious city in the Amazon. This is a beautiful-looking film whose storyline never matches the remarkable true story of Col. Fawcett. The film is dragged down by its clumsy dialogue that, at times, feels out of place - the characters speak as though they are in the present day rather than in the early twentieth century.  I found the film vastly slowed down when Fawcett returns to his home and only picked up again when he was out exploring.   My Rating: Bargain Matinee   The Lost City of Z Website
In Case You Missed It (A Film Just Released on DVD/Blu-ray):  The Founder  (2016)  PG-13  The story of Ray Kroc (Michael Keaton), who turned a small hamburger shop into Mc Donald’s, the biggest restaurant business in the world.  Ray Kroc wasn’t a nice guy, as he would do just about anything to get his way. Michael Keaton gives a scintillating performance of a ruthless, unlikeable man. The film is highly enjoyable in the first half, but it loses its way when the most interesting characters in the movie, the McDonald brothers (Nick Offerman, John Carroll Lynch), are forgotten during most of the second half. It’s a hard look at a man who hid behind the American flag and family values to steal a company from two honest-to-a-fault brothers.   My Rating: Bargain Matinee    The Founder Website

Forgotten Film:  The Battle Over Citizen Kane  (1996)  Documentary over the battle to release the Orson Welles film Citizen Kane that newspaper owner William Randolph Hearst tried to have killed.  The film was nominated for an Academy Award and brings to light how much influence Hearst had. Welles career would never recover from the box office failure of the film. It's a fascinating documentary about one of the greatest films of all time.    My Rating:  Full Price    The Battle Over Citizen Kane Info

Weird Credits:  Credit from The Promise:  Drapes Breakdown Artist

Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You:   Alien: Covenant  (2017)  I am ready to board the Ridley Scott directed ship once again. I still consider Alien (1979) as one of the scariest films of all time.   Alien: Covenant Website
Until Next Time!

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