Friday, October 25, 2019


My View: Countdown (2019) PG-13 When a nurse (Elizabeth Lail) downloads an app that claims to predict the moment a person will die, she discovers that she has only three days to live. Now she must figure out a way to save her life before the countdown strikes zero. This is your typical, run of the mill, jump out of the dark movie where our heroine is racing against time to figure out how to defeat an app that counts down when you are going to die. The ‘scary’ moments in the film were very predictable, never creating any tension that the movie sorely needed. P.J. Byrne does a horrible job as the comic relief priest that is sought after to find a solution to defeat the app.   My Rating: Cable   Countdown Website
My View: Black and Blue (2019) R   A rookie police officer, Alice West (Naomie Harris), witnesses dirty cops, including her partner, kill a man. West now is on the run from both her fellow officers and her community that she has sworn to protect and serve. Despite the acting chops of Naomie Harris, this film feels very long with endless chase sequences where our hero, the plucky army vet, Officer West, is able to elude police officers on both foot and in cars, time and time again by just hiding in various spots in the neighborhood. The film tries to add in commentary on the Katrina aftermath, police brutality, and several other issues that it tries to quickly wrap up at the end of the film. I love that Hollywood gave Harris a starring role in a movie, but can we provide her with something more than this full of holes plotline and a supporting cast that feels like it was in a bad 90s cop TV show.   My Rating: Cable   Black and Blue Website
MyView: The Current War: Director’s Cut (2017) PG-13    The story of the race between Thomas Edison (Benedict Cumberbatch), Nikola Tesla (Nichoas Hoult), and George Westinghouse (Michael Shannon) to determine whose electrical system will be adopted by the modern world. I would first like to mention the cinematography in this film, which is beautiful and amazing. The film does a great job of making it look like it is in the late 1800s. I love the fact that we see both sides of the story. The film goes back and forth, telling equally the stories of two gigantic figures of the time, Westinghouse, who knew his system was the correct one and Edison, who had the advantage over Westinghouse in the fact that he was already a household name, signing autographs right and left. My favorite character in the film was the eccentric Nikola Telsa, who worked at different times for both men. Hoult gives a multilayered performance of Telsa, a man who knew he was the smartest man in the room and would let you know it. The harnessing of electricity was one of the greatest achievements that man has ever had, and this film lives up to those lofty ideals.   My Rating: Full Price    The Current War Facebook Page
Indiefest: The Lighthouse (2019) R   Two lighthouse keepers (Willem Dafoe, Robert Pattinson) work together, and the isolation takes a toll on the two men’s minds. This film reminded me of the European avant-garde movies that my college professors made me watch in my History of Cinema classes, an experience that I did not enjoy. This is the story of two men: Pattinson’s character, Winslow, is a wet behind the ears teetotaler of a man who is just there to make a buck and Dafoe’s character, Wake, is a hard-drinking former seaman who lost his leg and now takes his job as custodian of the lighthouse as serious as if he was piloting a ship. The two men barely make it to the end of the two weeks' stay when due to weather, their relief does not show up and may not for several months. The film early on hints that both men are troubled. Pattinson’s character has dreams/nightmares about a mermaid based on a small carving he finds hidden in his bed, and Dafoe’s character is ultra-protective of the light in the lighthouse, to the point of threatening violence if Winslow ever goes to the top. The second half of the film delves into how the two men are taking their continued isolation, and many of the remaining scenes of the film are hard to distinguish if they are real or just figments of the men’s minds. This is a film from Robert Eggers, the writer/director of The Witch (2015), another film that never was clear what was an actual event and what was only in the minds of its characters. I am just not a fan of this style of film and did not enjoy the movie, though I thought both actors were brilliant in their roles. This is a film that I will never re-watch and kind of wish that I hadn’t seen it to begin with.   My Rating: Bargain Matinee   The Lighthouse Website
Indiefest: Parasite (2019) R A down on their luck family’s fortune changes when their out of work son, Kim Ki-woo (Woo-sik Choi), poses as an English tutor for a wealthy teenage daughter of a very affluent family. I loved this film right from the start! A family, who when we first meet them, is more concerned with their free wi-fi going way than their living conditions, slowly but surely weasel their way into the lives of a well-to-do family. This is a masterpiece of filmmaking that moves back and forth from comedy to drama with a heavy hand on the implications of a society that is deeply divided between the haves and have nots. Do not read any detailed reviews of the film until you see the movie due to the incredible plot devices that are used. If this film is not nominated for not just Best Foreign Film but Best Picture at the next Academy Awards, it will be a failure of the highest magnitude. Perfectly shot with an impeccable cast make this film an incredible piece of cinema to watch. This is a film that I will probably go see again during its opening week because I want to experience it in all its glory.   My Rating: I Would Pay to See it Again   Parasite Website
Forgotten Film: Cop Land (1997) R   Sheriff Freddy Heflin (Sylvester Stallone) comes to realize that though his New Jersey community is populated by New York City police officers, it has become a front for the mob and the police officers he thought he could trust are in on the corruption. Written and directed by James Mangold (Walk the Line (2005), Logan (2017)), the film gives Stallone a chance to against his normal ‘superhero’ type, playing a slow to act Sheriff who learns too late that he may have bitten off more than he can handle. The cast is impressive with Robert De Niro, Harvey Keitel, Annabella Sciorra, Cathy Moriarty, Edie Falco, and Peter Berg, but it’s the performance of Ray Liotta, playing the town’s coke head that becomes the only man that the Sheriff can trust. Liotta jumps off the screen and dominates every scene he is in, which is hard to do with this cast. Saddled with a horrible title and a slumping star, the film didn’t do great at the box office, but it is such a great film to discover.   My Rating: Full Price   Cop Land Info

Weird Credits: From the credits of The Current War: Horse Masters

Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You: Ford v Ferrari (2019) PG-13 Tired of being dominated by the car-maker Ferrari, Ford gives the American car designer Carroll Shelby (Matt Damon) six months to build a car that takes on the world at the famous 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1966. Shelby believes that only one car driver can man his race car, the hot-headed, brash Ken Miles (Christian Bale). I can’t wait to see this film, it looks like so much fun to watch.     Ford v Ferrari Website 
Until Next Time!

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