Tag: movie

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What is disheartening is that this movie has become controversial.  It shouldn’t be.  This review is going to avoid all of the political wrangling it has drawn.  The subject of the movie is the growing social ill of human sex trafficking, especially child trafficking, and the movie does a wonderful job of engaging the viewer […]

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Film Review: Jackie Brown


Pam Grier is the best reason to see Jackie Brown. To my shame, I’ve only seen two or three of her other films prior to watching this. Even with this limited data set, I conclude this is not a rarity nor a trend, but a law: Pam Grier is the best reason to see any movie she is in. As her prime acting years were in the ’70s, she starred in the only lead action roles available to black women: exploitation movies. Were she born a decade or two later, she’d have been a star, her name as recognizable as Sigourney Weaver’s.

In Jackie Brown, she plays the titular character, a stewardess caught by the ATF for smuggling money. Agent Ray Nicolette (Michael Keaton) is on the trail of gun runner Ordell Robbie (Samuel L. Jackson) who was to be the recipient of that smuggled cash. Ray has Jackie in a tight spot. She has a criminal record which is why she works at the lowest rent airport out there for $16,000/year (even in 1997, not much). Cooperate in busting Ordell and the ATF won’t bring the hammer down on her. On the other side, Robbie is on her case to keep quiet. He’s not above killing potential rats.

Jackie could give in to one side or the other and probably come out intact. She refuses to just skate by. She instead plays both sides, machinating to get her hands on a half million dollars Ordell has sitting in Mexico. I won’t go into the details of her plan as not to spoil the plot, but also because the mechanics of the plot aren’t ultimately what’s intriguing about the movie. Strangely for a crime thriller, the characters take precedence. You can imagine a movie about these people that is just as fascinating as this one that doesn’t involve any illicit activity.

Movie Review: Dune


I got dragged to see the new adaptation of Dune, and it sucked. The movie takes place a million years in the future when everyone is a brooding bore who can’t speak above a whisper. It has less color than if it were shot in black and white.

I get it. Twenty minutes in, I wanted to scream, “I get it!” This is capital-S Serious cinema. Director Denis Villeneuve worked with a $165 million budget to make a blockbuster action movie based on a popular IP, but he wants you to know at heart he’s an impoverished artist who will bring his vision to the screen no matter what. He’s part of the 1% (you could place him in an even more impressive fraction of that percent if you want to do the math) and the payout from Dune will afford him another mansion, but fear not he’s as much an artist as the director who lives off ramen and sells his belongings to fund his weird arthouse project. Hence the entire cast speaks in hushed tones with the solemnity of a child’s funeral. I wanted every character to die, but even had they, how would that change their performances?

‘A Day in the Life’ Movies


Group Writing themes help generate conversations that are not necessarily about politics or current events. For Augustour theme is “A day in the life.Movies that reflect this theme could be a straightforward telling of a tale in 24 hours, a slice of life. Here, however, are three movies in which a day is lived over and over: Groundhog Day, Run Lola Run, and Memento.

Groundhog Day. The 1993 movie with Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell became a part of American culture, shifting the meaning of “Groundhog Day” from a day predicting the weather to an experiential loop, living the same day over and over. Bill Murray is in a sort of purgatory, working off his cynical, selfish disposition. The plot moves along because Murray wakes up remembering each past day, so is able to treat each 24 hours as an experiment. Groundhog Day is hard to dislike and safe for almost any audience.

Rob discovers he got COVID for Christmas, and finds himself living in a Hitchcock film — in his head.


‘Ford v Ferrari’: High-Octane Awesome!


Go see it! You won’t be disappointed. Just watch your speed departing the theater parking lot.

My only complaint: while at a Thanksgiving get-together, I mentioned that I loved this movie, some car snob, know-it-all kept talking about how it wasn’t the “real” story. Then we all had to hear the real story. Jerk.

But the movie is awesome. Normally I’m not a fan of Matt Damon because of his liberal politics but for this movie, I overlooked it and, boy, I was not disappointed. Christian Bale is damn good and really steals the show. And, overall, there wasn’t a weak performance to be found.

Memorial Day Weekend “To Do” List


You have been bombarded with messages about sales, specials, and entertainment opportunities for this weekend. Please add the following items at the top of your list for the weekend, slipping the big sale a little ways down the page.

If you have not seen the HBO movie Taking Chance (included in Amazon Prime, available elsewhere), watch it. Have a box of tissues or a couple hankies handy. If you had other entertainment plans, watch this trailer, and reassess your priorities for the weekend:

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 Direction by Luca GuadagninoScreenplay by David KajganichBased on Characters by Dario Argento & Daria Nicolodi“This isn’t vanity! This is art!”– Helena Markos No man can ever truly understand woman. They’re just too… there’s just something… it’s impossible. They can give life, they can command absolute obedience with the snap of a finger… Hell hath no […]

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Gosnell Red Carpet Premiere (VIDEO)


Our latest episode of Whiskey Politics (video below) joins the stars on the red carpet premiere of the movie Gosnell, The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer. The script was written by our good friend @AndrewKlavan and stars Dean Cain and Nick Searcy, who also directs. This movie shouldn’t have happened as Hollywood blacklisted any investment, all distribution channels and social media banned any advertising (such as the trailer below). But with crowdfunding and years of dedication, the movie will be released tomorrow across the country. The movie was very good and compelling. It’s handling sensitive issues in a way that makes the audience think, while not gratuitously showing scenes none of us would want to see. It’s appropriate for kids, although that will be a tough discussion on the ride home. If you enjoy Law and Order, you will sink right into this. 

First Trailer Out for Gosnell Movie


After interference by Hollywood, tech companies, and the courts, the creators of a movie based on Kermit Gosnell have finally released the first trailer.

A 2014 grand jury report accused Gosnell of killing hundreds of newborns over the course of decades in Philadelphia. He was ultimately convicted of three counts of first-degree murder and one count of involuntary manslaughter.

The Last Jedi: Lightning Doesn’t Strike Twice


Two years ago, the world was set alight when The Force Awakens was released. The movie was a mega-hit, in no small part because it stood astride two worlds, the old and the new. It gave us new characters, new worlds, new adventures, but it was grounded in and was respectful, even reverent, of the original trilogy. And, as the first of three movies in a new trilogy, it set up larger questions to be paid off later.

The movie still holds up two years later and I stand by what I wrote about it then.

Security: A Movie Review


I’m not a film aficionado. The fact that John Wick didn’t win an Oscar was scandalous. But last night, tired, sore, and frustrated (reasons for which will be in my next Group Writing submission, I think on November 5), I needed an excuse to drink as much as I required to be able to get some sleep. I fired up Netflix and hit whatever came up first in the “we recommend for you” category.

The movie was Security, it was outstanding. Classic scrappy, outgunned underdogs fight to keep the MacGuffin away from totally well-trained, well-equipped, thoroughly evil antagonists. A great set up for any storyline. As I’ve read and believed repeatedly, all good stories are basically conservative. So I got ready to watch a rote, pro forma guns ‘n’ explosive fireballs movie. Security was that, and much, much more.

“C’mon, it’s a shoot ’em up, how great could it be?” asks the philistine who thinks it fitting that John Wick didn’t win an Academy Award. They did three things making this movie that put it over the top.

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If you were single and male about fifteen years ago, there’s a good chance you were watching Cartoon Network’s “Adult Swim” shows. One of the things they offered during that block was different anime, and a particularly interesting one was Death Note. Death Note followed the story of Light Yagami, and brilliant young man of […]

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The 15:17 to Paris


Clint Eastwood is making a movie about the terrorist train attack that was thwarted by three Americans, two service members and all proficient in martial arts, when the terrorist’s AK-47 incredibly seized up giving them time to rush him and eventually subdue and hogtie him. According to news accounts, the three Americans will be played by themselves. Whoa! I can’t wait!

Here’s a video from Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioners the Gracie brothers explaining how the men were able to go from zero to 60 to respond to the terrorist effectively. Also how to tie up a bad guy:

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A new trailer for the upcoming motion picture Suburbicon dropped, causing much excitement among the writers on a couple of geek movie sites I visited. I think this is mainly due to the talent behind it. It’s directed by George Clooney from a script by the Coen Brothers and starring Matt Damon. Now, while Clooney and Damon […]

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