Movies in Review: “Crown Heights”

crownheights2017Crown Heights was brought to my attention by a friend of mine. Besides the trailer I watched on you tube, there wasn’t really much marketing for this film, although it did premiere and was praised at the Sundance Film Festival. It’s based on the true story of Colin Warner. You guys know I have a thing for true stories, but I also have a thing for Keith Stanfield, the actor who plays Warner. I am a huge fan of Stanfield’s performances, and it was great to see him in a lead role. I had to be there to support. I had no doubts he would knock this role out of the box.

As expected, Stanfield was amazing. This man really takes on a role. I don’t know Colin Warner personally, but it felt like I was watching Colin Warner. Stanfield’s performance was as powerful as this film was. This movie will definitely jolt some emotion for the time that was taken away from Warner and the flaws of our justice system. A very well written and directed film. The line that was the most powerful to me hearing worth say “Please don’t let this be a cell” as he’s opening his eyes every morning…heartbreaking.

Warner’s story represents so many people unjustly locked up in America’s prison system, where you are guilty unless you have enough money to pay for a lawyer to “prove” your innocence. What a messed up world we live in right? To all the innocent incarcerated people in Warner’s position I pray that the system changes sooner than later. I cannot say enough about this movie. It is a story that needed to be told and definitely a film you need to see…A!

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Movies in Review: “Ingrid Goes West”

Ingrid_Goes_WestMany of you probably haven’t heard of this film. There wasn’t much promotion for it, although it was a hit at the Sundance film festival. I’ve seen the theatrical poster around, but it sparked no interest in me seeing the film. It wasn’t until I finally watched the trailer and my level of interest peaked. Honestly I probably would have let this movie pass me by even after seeing the trailer because I’m not the biggest fan of Elizabeth Olsen. She’s not the worst actress and I do have some respect for her work, but sometimes she really misses the mark and can be too dramatic ~shrugs. However O’shea Jackson Jr. was in this flick, and I’ve been waiting to catch him in something since his successful performance playing his father in Straight Outta Compton. I thought he showed a great deal of talent in that film, but then again, how hard is it to play the man who raised you…lol. I had little expectations for this movie, I was just hoping to see another great performance from O’shea.

 

You will definitely walk out of the theater thinking how crazy social media makes people. This movie is a comedic reality check. I absolutely loved this film. So much so, I would definitely watch it more than once. The cast was excellent, even Elizabeth Olsen, who was definitely one of my favorite characters in this film. Well, to be quite honest, I enjoyed all the performances equally as much. Everyone worked off each other so well. No one stole the show, but each shined as equally in each scene. I shuddered at the social media references and laughed heartedly throughout. Kudos to O’shea, because he was spot on. I would definitely love to see him in future roles. His talent was a pleasure to watch.

 

This movie was right up my alley. Great story and performances that were all quirky and off the beaten path. Movies like these are always a breath of fresh air. This movie feels like more of a chick flick, but there is definitely some enjoyment to be had for my male counterparts…A-

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Movies in Review: “The Dark Tower”

Dark_Tower_teaser_posterI had high hopes for this film, mainly because of Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey cast in the lead roles. I am a huge fan of both these actors. Although the trailer didn’t really give me an idea of what the film was supposed to be about, and critics panned it, I was still willing to take my chances. This was the film I was looking most forward to seeing anyway. Critics have gotten their reviews wrong before in my opinion, and I was hoping this would be the case with this film.

 

The film wasn’t bad, but still not great either. It took a minute for the movie to really get going. A little too much talking at the beginning, I guess trying to build the story up. I felt the film focused too much on the kid and could have used a little more focus on the story development of the Gunslinger, played by Elba. McConaughey was so evil as Walter. He really fit this role well. Walter had no soul…I kind of loved and hated him at the same time…lol. It took a bit too long for any action scenes, and there was really only maybe 1 major gun scene, but I felt the movie could have used another. However the gun scene in the film was definitely off the chain…Wow. I enjoyed that action scene and felt it was well directed and executed by Elba. It was the best scene in the movie, but unfortunately one of the only scenes like it, and it came at the end…womp womp.

 

In my opinion the gunslinger should have had more action scenes. This would have brought up the pace and made the movie more exciting, which it lacked. The performances were great, but the story definitely needed a little work. I didn’t hate this movie, but I was definitely expecting more…C+

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Movies in Review: “Kidnap”

Kidnap2017PosterNothing about the trailer for this film screamed box office hit. However I can’t lie and not say that I was more excited to see Halle Berry back on the big screen. Not that Berry is a top rated actress for me, but there are some films where she kills the performance, and this looked like one of them. As a mother Kidnap’s story definitely captured my attention. I had very little expectations for this film, but went in still hoping for the best.

 

Just as I thought, Halle killed this performance. She was on 100. Her emotions could be felt throughout the film, which I enjoyed. The movie had a good pace going and a short running time, and enough thrills to keep your eyes on the screen. The action scenes and Berry’s performance were decent enough to keep me entertained even when the story would get corny at times. There were some parts about the story that had me rolling my eye. There’s nothing that would make me believe the kidnapping scene would have went down like that. What mother would have been turned in the position Halle’s character was when they were in the park??? They could have done better with that scene. The car chasing was great and had my heart racing throughout. But I’m a mother, so my emotions were all in tune with Halle…lol.

 

Again, not a box office hit, but still not a bad film. There is enough excitement to keep your tuned into what’s happening until the end. The story line was a bit corny at times, so the film loses major points in that areas for me. Not a film I think you need to pay for, but it’s worth a matinee ore Redbox rental…C+

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Movies in Review: “Detroit”

Detroit_teaser_posterI admit I am growing tired of seeing films like these. Films that tell stories of the past and are still far too relevant today. Stories of racism, and the racists acts against minorities and people of color in America, by “Americans” I often find myself angered when leaving the theater. I went to see this film because I love and wanted to support the cast. However, upon viewing and leaving the theater, something tells me I need to make this my last film like this.

 

Detroit is receiving critical acclaim for its direction and cast performances, and all are definitely well warranted. The film packs a punch and has major power performances from its cast. However the content just hit a sore spot with me, and I found myself rolling my eyes and sucking my teeth at what was being shown on screen. An event that took place in 1967 had me sitting there saying to myself “Shiiiiittttt, that happened to Sean, Rob and Richard (fake names) yesterday”. This movie was a disheartened reminder of how the treatment of non-whites have not changed. It angered me even more sitting in a theater of mostly whites as they sat there watching the film surprised, as if they couldn’t believe this happened ~rolling eyes. I wish I could stay calm and write this review properly, but I think it would be best if I step away from this keyboard now.

 

This film is great, and all that you would expect from a movie. It was very well written, performed and directed, and deserves all the praise critics are giving it. The content hit too close to home for me, and left me pissed and angered. Get your mind all the way right before going to see this film…fair warning…A+

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Movies in Review: “Atomic Blonde”

Atomic_Blonde_posterI love me some Charlize Theron. So you can just imagine my excitement when I watched the trailer for Atomic Blonde. That trailer is kickass. I was more than excited for the release of this film. Theron is an exceptional actress, and my interest was piqued even further when I found out she did her own action scenes…Wow! I’m all for #GirlPower. I seriously would have bet money that this movie was going to be great…but I would have lost…

Ok…we get it…Charlize is beautiful…This film was so dull. The film focused on shots of Theron’s eyes, blonde hair, and walking in that white or black trench coat…Oh Brother! Can someone tell me what the purpose of her putting her collar over her face in the one fight scene? It was so strange. The story was hard to follow, and got even harder to comprehend by the end…Wth! From what I watched in the trailer, I was definitely expecting some high powered action sequences, but this was not the case. It felt like the action scenes were filmed in slow motion, or that each movie was being calculated and counted so the Theron could hit her mark. The action scenes looked like a dance routine that only had about 4 moves…Knee, grunt, punch, and KICK…boring. It all felt contrived ~shrugs.

This was not at all what I was expecting from this film. Atomic Bomb was an atomic mess. If you are interested in just seeing Theron be sexy, then this movie is for you. However if you are looking for a real action flick with power, this one doesn’t hit the mark…D+

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Movies in Review: “The Emoji Movie”

Emoji_Movie_film_posterI love a good animated film, but I don’t think one has had me this excited in a while. A movie about Emoji’s!? I seriously thought this was the cutest idea ever, and wondered what took them so long to release it. I thought my kid would be less interested, but the Poop emoji got him on board (my kid has a thing for poop…smh), and our movie date was planned. Initially I was thinking this movie had to be good. Emoji’s are fun, who could mess this up? So I was surprised when I noticed critics were trashing it, like calling it a complete bomb. In my opinion critics are overrated, and I feel some get paid to trash or promote films…ijs. The reviews didn’t deter me. I know it wasn’t as bad as they were making it out to be…right!?

 

I was right…it wasn’t that bad, but unfortunately it wasn’t great either. I honestly though the script was a little dull, and thought the animation for Emoji’s would be more exciting, but it wasn’t…Meh. The colors were beautiful and bright, which kept my kid’s interest, but there was really nothing special about the animation. The story was a little empty and dry, and very disappointing. Emoji’s have great characters that got little shine in this film. Honestly if it wasn’t for James Corden as Hi-5, I might have walked out of the movie. It’s a good thing he was in most of the scenes because he saved this movie for me. I thought the writing was just blah. There were endless creative opportunities for this film and nothing seemed to be used except cute animation and James Corden…~shrugs.

 

I can’t say I loved it, but it’s not half as bad as critics are calling it. It doesn’t live up to expectations, but it still has some entertainment value. If my son is able to keep his eyes locked on the screen instead of getting up and asking if we can leave, then it’s not a bad movie in my book. I wouldn’t run out to see this one, but if you’re looking for something to do with the kids, I’d recommend paying matinee price, otherwise, catch it in Redbox…C+

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