Friday, June 7, 2024

The Watchers

My View: The Watchers  (2024)  PG-13  Mina’s (Dakota Fanning) car breaks down while she is traveling on a forest road in Ireland. Taking off on foot, she suddenly sees a woman yelling at her to run to a concrete bunker. Mina makes it before the bunker’s door closes, and she finds herself in another world where creatures observe their captive humans and terrible things happen when people don’t reach the bunker in time. The Watchers is Ishana Shyamalan’s directorial debut. The daughter of M. Night Shyamalan (The Sixth Sense, Signs) shows that she has an eye for creating some cool horror scenes, but like her father, her film falters as it writes itself into corners it can’t get out of. The movie starts out with great promise, with a lead character, Mina, who isn’t going to go down without a fight. The problem (among many with this film) is that it sets up a series of rules that the humans are not supposed to break and then go about breaking them at every turn. Not giving anything away, but I figured out just about everything that was supposed to be a mystery about ten minutes into the film, with the rest of the mysteries hitting me over the head as the story went along. The Watchers ends with a whimper and never answers a ton of questions that would typically come up. It looks like the daughter is following right in her father’s footsteps.    My Rating: Cable  The Watchers Website  Now playing in theaters.

My ViewBad Boys: Ride or Die  (2024)  R  In Bad Boys: Ride or Die, the bad boys (Will Smith and Martin Lawrence) are back and in trouble. The late Captain Conrad Howard is being accused of being on the take with the Romanian Mafia. The guys set out to exonerate the late captain but get set up themselves, and now, as fugitives, they will have to work outside the law to solve the case. I am not a huge fan of this series. I like the first film and somewhat enjoy the relationship between Mike and Marcus, with Marcus, played by Martin Lawrence, being the comic relief of the two. The two stars work well together on screen, and there are some funny moments (and one great one which I won’t give away), but I tired of Lawrence’s performance rather quickly, as Marcus has a near-death experience and feels that he can’t die, all the while pushing that fact to no end. The storyline is weak (no reason is given why the mean, big bad guy starts the whole mess into action), but the action sequences are imaginative, and there are some great set pieces that are both funny and thrilling. Directors Arbi and Fallah do some brilliant things with the camera during the shootouts that put you right into the action. Overall, I had more fun than I thought I would. I wish Lawrence would dial it down to about an 8 instead of a 15.  My Rating: Bargain Matinee  Bad Boys: Ride or Die Website  Now playing in theaters. 

My View Am I OK?  (2022)  R  Lucy (Dakota Johnson) and Jane (Sonoya Mizuno) are lifelong friends, even though Lucy is a mess. Jane is in a stable relationship with her boyfriend, and the dates with the guy Lucy is interested in always end with a hearty handshake. Things change when Jane announces she is moving to London, leading Lucy to reveal a secret about herself. Lucy just might be gay. I loved this film and Dakota Johnson’s performance. Am I OK? is a sweet, funny, and at times moving look at someone, realizing that they may haven’t been true to themselves. This is a film about friendship and how we need friends to help us find our path. The chemistry between Johnson and Mizuno is better than some of the recent rom-coms out there, making their friendship enjoyable to watch and all that more believable. Lucy is a person who needs someone to push her past her comfort zone, and Jane is that person who does it out of love. Am I OK? is a rom-com, not about two people falling in love but about two people whose friendship will get them through anything, even if it’s life-changing. My Rating: Full Price  Am I OK? Website   Now on the Max platform. 

My ViewHow to Rob a Bank  (2024)  In the documentary How to Rob a Bank, a bank robber, Scott Scurlock, nicknamed Hollywood, was the most prolific bank robber in the 1990s. His robberies were straight out of the movies, and he was taking a ton of money out of the banks with the FBI not having a clue who he was or how he was doing it. However, everything must end, and it all comes crashing down in one spectacular final heist. Ever wonder what makes a person become a bank robber? Right out of a Hollywood film (Scurlock was inspired by the 1991 film Point Break), this documentary has all the thrills of some of the best that movies have put out. With interviews with the people who helped Scott rob banks and the FBI agents who were trying (for years) to catch him, you get an inside look at how Scott was so successful in doing something that most people who attempt it fail. Scott was a person who was probably too smart for his own good, and combined that with someone who was an adrenaline junky; it made a perfect combination for a person who outsmarted the FBI and might have gotten away with it if he hadn’t tried for too big of a haul that caused his downfall. The documentary tells a story about a man who, if you saw it in a fictional film, you would think, this isn’t possible, but it was. How to Rob a Bank does a fantastic job of telling the story of a man who lived a life his way, for a while.  My Rating: Full Price  How to Rob a Bank Website  Now playing on the Netflix platform.

Forgotten FilmGirl 27  (2007)  Documentary about a chorus girl named Patricia Douglas, who in 1937 was raped at an MGM promotional event. The studio had tricked her and 100 other women (many underage) into attending a party on an isolated Hollywood studio ranch. Although the attack and trial received newspaper headlines in the day, the case was covered up by MGM, the police, and the LA D.A.. 70 years later, filmmaker David Stenn came across the story while researching a book on Jean Harlow. Girl 27 is a fascinating look at how much power the studios had in Hollywood and how they could make almost anything disappear, all to protect their product. The film uses interviews, archival footage (including footage of the man who attacked Patricia), and newspaper clippings to piece together what happened and why. Girl 27 is a ‘Me Too’ story before the movement started, but it shows that not a lot has changed in 70 years.   My Rating: Full Price  Girl 27 film website  Now available on YouTube. 

Weird Credits:  From the credits of Bad Boys: Ride or Die:  Helicopter Mockup Provided By

Coming Soon to a Screen Near You: MaXXXine  (2024)  R  In 1980s Hollywood, adult film star and aspiring actress Maxine Minx (Mia Goth) is about to get the big break she has been dreaming about. However, there is a mysterious killer stalking the streets of Tinseltown, and Maxine’s bloody past may be catching up to her. This is the third of filmmaker Ti West’s X trilogy, after X (2022) and Pearl (2023), all starring Mia Goth.  Maxxxine Website  The film will be released on Friday, July 5th.

Until Next Time!

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