My View: Extraction (2020) R Tyler Rake (Chris Hemsworth) is a black market mercenary known for his success rate. He is sent on an impossible mission to rescue the kidnapped son of an imprisoned international crime lord. I had fun watching this action film and man, does it have action. The film is one bloody ride with Hemsworth’s character putting up a kill every few seconds, sometimes in very creative and gross ways. Things blow up a lot, and there are plenty of close hand to hand fighting scenes, with Hemsworth kicking butt while taking in quite a beating himself. The fighting sequences are so well done. I wish I had seen the film on the big screen, where I think the action would have stood out better than it does on the smaller scale. The film is aided by its location work being shot in India and is also helped by Indian action star Randeep Hooda and actress Golshifteh Farahani (Paterson, About Elly), who plays Rake’s handler. Stranger Things fans of David Harbour are going to be disappointed in his role, as other than getting drunk with Tyler’s character, he doesn’t have much to do. While the plot has a few holes and the dialogue is a little rough, it’s still a fun popcorn film that will satisfy any action fan. My Rating: Bargain Matinee Extraction Website Currently available on Netflix.
Indiefest: The Roads Not Taken (2020) R Leo (Javier Bardem) is living in New York City and is suffering from dementia. His daughter, Molly (Elle Fanning), is struggling on this day to help her dad keep his health appointments, while in Leo’s mind, he is reliving two versions of his past, one in Mexico and one in Greece. The film feels much longer than its 85-minute run time. Bardem is wasted in the present-day scenes that take place in NYC. The film does find some emotional stability in the flashback sequences, especially the scenes that Bardem shares on-screen with Salma Hayek, as a couple that is grieving over the loss of their son. The problem is the film never finds any tug at the heart-strings pull in those father/daughter scenes in the present, and the sections where Leo is in Greece seem lost and almost worthless. The Roads Not Taken is one of those films that after you see it, you wonder if it was worth the time watching. My Rating: Cable The Roads Not Taken Website Available for rent on participating on-demand services.
Familyfare: The Willoughbys (2020) PG The Willoughby children are often neglected by their selfish parents, so the kids decide to send their parents on a vacation. Nanny (Maya Rudolph) shows up to take care of the kids, but the siblings decide to embark on their own high-flying adventure to find the true meaning of family. Kids are going to love this loud, vibrantly colored animated film about a bunch of kids who desperately want to get rid of their parents and find a way to stay together as a family. The characters are fun to watch, especially the strange twins, both of who are named Barnaby, and Ricky Gervais, as ‘The Cat’ who narrates the story is hilarious. I got a little bored with the film towards the end, but I think this fun and funny film will be one that children will enjoy. My Rating: Bargain Matinee The Willoughbys Website Currently available on Netflix.
Forgotten Film: Frida (2002) Artist Frida Kahlo (Salma Hayek) overcame the pain of a crippling injury and a marriage to an egomaniacal husband (Alfred Molina) to become one of Mexico’s iconic painters. Salma Hayek gives a moving and brilliant performance, I would have loved that the screenplay was better. The chemistry that is needed between Hayek and Molina never develops and, at times, treats their relationship a little too superficially. The film just can’t find its footing with a clunky storyline, but Hayek is a wonder to watch on the screen. My Rating: Bargain Matinee Frida Info
Weird Credits: From the credits of The Roads Not Taken: Drum Choreography
Coming Soon to a Screen Near You: Bull (2019) In a rundown subdivision near Houston, a troubled teen, Kris (Amber Havard) breaks into a neighbor’s house, an aging bullfighter, Abe (Rob Morgan), who has seen his better days in the rodeo. Abe decides to take Kris under his wing and their relationship changes both their lives forever. The film was a big hit on the film festival circuit, including winning the Lone Star Award at the 2020 SXSW Film Festival. Bull Info
Until Next Time!