Friday, March 20, 2020

Blow the Man Down

Indiefest: Blow the Man Down (2019) R   In a fishing village on Maine’s coast, two sisters (Sophie Lowe, Morgan Saylor), grieving the loss of their mother, cover up a gruesome run-in with a dangerous man. To keep their crime a secret, the sisters must go into the criminal underbelly of their hometown and uncover some of the town’s darkest secrets. I really loved this quirky film that has some great twists and turns to make the plot keep moving along. The two sisters cover up a crime, but little do they know that their small town has a lot of secrets, secrets that have been kept for a long time. The film’s atmosphere is aided by an incredible supporting cast including Margo Martindale, a whorehouse madam operating under the disguise of a B&B, and Annette O’Toole, the wonderful June Squibb and Marceline Hugot as the three old ladies who control the town. Can the sisters get away with murder? Only in a town that is used to covering up a crime or two.    My Rating: Full Price      Blow the Man Down Website
In Case You Missed It (A Film Just Released on DVD / Blu-ray): Uncut Gems (2019) R   Howard (Adam Sandler) thinks his life is about to change due to the delivery of an uncut gem that could be worth millions. Howard is all about taking chances, and he starts a series of high-stakes bets that he could win big on or also lose everything. Adam Sandler is an actor that, most of the time, pisses me off. My problem with Sandler is not because of his continual compulsion to make incredibly crappy films with his friends, like Grown Ups (2010), That’s My Boy (2012) and one of the worst movies I have ever seen, Jack and Jill (2011). No, it’s not that, it’s that Sandler can be an excellent, even great actor when he chooses the right material. The list is small but notable with outstanding work in films such as Punch-Drunk Love (2002), Reign Over Me (2007) and Spanglish (2004), where Sandler brings a quiet force to make an ordinary film worthy of watching. Add to the list Uncut Gems, where Sandler plays a man you probably won’t like or maybe even not root for, going so far as to hope that he fails. Still, you can’t deny that Sandler fills the screen with a magical, almost hypnotic performance as a man who is desperate to keep pushing his luck, even if it means he has to beat impossible odds. Uncut Gems is not a film that you will be able to sit back and enjoy, as Sandler and the directors of the film, Benny and Josh Safdie, take you on a journey of the high’s and low’s of a gambler. It’s like taking a ride on a roller coaster but one that rarely takes an uphill break, as Howard’s life quickly moves down from one get rich scheme to another. I loved the cast, including Kevin Garnett, the NBA all-star who plays himself, Julia Fox, who plays Howard’s combative girlfriend and Idina Menzel as Howard’s long-suffering ex-wife, who has seen Howard’s life on the edge in close-up. After seeing this film, you may need to take a few minutes to gather your thoughts and your senses before exiting the theatre.   My Rating: I Would Pay to See it Again    Uncut Gems Website
In Memory of Ed Wood (A Movie I've Only Seen in Trailers But Just Looks Like a Bad Idea): 2099: The Soldier Protocol (2019)   A former soldier (Jackson Gallagher) volunteers for an experiment that will return full function to his legs, but at what price? Not a good sign when the only actor you recognize in the cast is David Arquette.   2099: The Soldier Protocol Website
Forgotten Film: Mr. Jones (1993) R   A man (Richard Gere) is arrested during a manic episode and is put into a hospital to treat him for bipolar disorder. He slowly starts to fall for his psychiatrist (Lena Olin), who also develops feelings for him. I have not always been a fan of Richard Gere, but this in this challenging role, he shines giving us insight on what it is like to experience the incredible highs and the depths of the lows of his mental illness. Gere and Olin have great chemistry together, and both overcome a script that, at times, is a little weak.   My Rating: Bargain Matinee    Mr. Jones Info

Weird Credits: From the credits of Uncut Gems: Dental Prosthetics for Adam Sandler

Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You: Black Widow  (2020)   The Black Widow, Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson), goes back home to settle a few scores from the past. You had me with a cast that includes Florence Pugh, Rachel Weisz, and David Harbour.    Black Widow Website
Until Next Time!

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