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Category Archives: Drama Movie Reviews

Darkest Hour (2017)


Darkest Hour (2017)

I have to admit that prior to seeing this film, my history knowledge of Winston Churchill was a little fuzzy.

Gary Oldman is a wizard when it comes to his ability to become whoever he is supposed to be portraying on screen.  I became more interested in seeing Darkest Hour after I found out that Oldman was nominated for a Best Actor Oscar, even though I am fed up with the Academy Awards.

Darkest Hour is based on the true story of when British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill was forced to decide whether or not to negotiate with Adolf Hitler when all of Western Europe was being threatened by the Nazis in 1940.

The movie was directed by Joe Wright and the noteworthy cast includes Gary Oldman, Ben Mendelsohn, Lily James, Kristin Scott Thomas, Stephen Dillane, Nicholas Jones, and David Strathairn.

Gary Oldman successfully transformed into Winston Churchill.  He was a mumbling, bumbling, blabbering, grumpy old man.  It is hard to believe that anyone else could have done half as good a job as he did in his role.

The U.K. in the 1940s was duplicated convincingly and artistically in Darkest Hour.  Watching the movie, it was very easy to be pulled into that time and place.  It was as if you were there witnessing Winston Churchill make history.

It is always interesting to me how movies with similar subjects get made around the same time.  It is no accident that Dunkirk (2017) came out the same year as Darkest Hour.  Hollywood likes to capitalize on one concept by showcasing similar movies in the same year.  I guess that they assume that if one movie does well, everyone will be curious about the other movie of the same type and will go to see it while the idea is still fresh.

Darkest Hour is about what is going on behind the scenes while Dunkirk is happening.  In this case, the two movies do make good companion pieces to each other.

The problem with Darkest Hour is that everyone in the movie besides Gary Oldman felt like an afterthought.  His character development improved as the movie went on, but there was not much care placed on the other characters.

The other main thing that was wrong with the film is that it just felt like it took way too long to make its point.  It probably could have been 30 minutes shorter.  I think that this would have made it more enjoyable.

It felt historically accurate and Oldman’s performance was superb.  Without him, this movie would have really struggled.

The film felt a little bit like The King’s Speech (2010).  This is not one of those movies that you will want to watch over and over again.  It was tasteful and informative, but I will be OK with only seeing it once.

Darkest Hour is a well put together World War II period piece.  It is a good depiction of some historical events, however it is overly drawn out and therefore falls a little short.

I rate this movie an 8 on a scale of 1-10.

 

If you liked this film then you might also enjoy:

 

Dunkirk (2017)

The King’s Speech (2010)

Lincoln (2012)

Leon: The Professional (1994)

True Romance (1993)

Schindler’s List (1993)

The Pianist (2002)

The Imitation Game (2014)

The Aviator (2004)

Cinderella Man (2005)

J. Edgar (2011)

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Ready Player One (2018)


Ready Player One (2018)

Some aspects of this film intrigued me prior to seeing it, while other things about the movie worried me.

It interested me that a lot of characters and parts from famous films would be scattered throughout Ready Player One.  However, I was concerned that every aspect of the movie would be overdone.

Why would I worry that a big budget film might be overcooked and therefore tasteless?

Hollywood has become obsessed with gathering together big budget group movies.  It started with superhero movies and those superhero movies had to keep getting bigger and fuller.  It is no longer just Batman or Superman, or even just Spiderman anymore.  Batman vs. Superman also was not even good enough (of course, we knew it wouldn’t be).  It is now The Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, Justice League, Suicide Squad, and X-Men, to name a few.  Hollywood will take a concept that worked once and bleed it dry for everything that it is worth.  It will be purged of all entertainment value.  All that will be left behind is an overdone, and overblown metastasized mess that should be cut off because it is destroying the host that is the superhero genre.

What does this have to do with Ready Player One?

Because Hollywood has to keep trying to outdo itself, it keeps adding too many ingredients, and we no longer recognize what we are being fed.  The trailer for Ready Player One had me worried that the movie would just be too much.

Ready Player One is about a future where a virtual reality videogame world called “The Oasis” is better than the real world.  The creator of “The Oasis” has hidden secrets inside of his game.  The world has become obsessed with finding those secrets and taking control of “The Oasis” and the trillions of dollars that it is worth.

The movie was directed by Steven Spielberg and the noteworthy cast includes Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke, Ben Mendelsohn, Mark Rylance, Simon Pegg, Lena Waithe, Ralph Ineson, Susan Lynch, Clare Higgins, and Laurence Spellman.

I got to enjoy this film in 3D and I believe that greatly improved my movie watching experience.  The special effects are firing on all cylinders in this one.

To say that I was pleasantly surprised by this movie would be an understatement.  Were things overdone at times?  Yes.  But, let’s say they were tastefully overdone.

If you grew up playing videogames, then you will likely enjoy this movie more than someone who did not play video games, as a child.  In other words, if you are in your fifties or older, you might not get much out of this movie.

Some of the characters and places that were recreated from other films in this movie were nothing short of incredible.

Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke, and Ben Mendelsohn all did a great job in this movie.

I enjoyed how Spielberg walked the line of videogame and reality in Ready Player One.  The videogame world created inside of the film feels just like the real world inside of the movie.  In a lot of ways, Ready Player One is like nothing we have ever seen on screen.  However, you can bet that the concept in this film will return again soon to a theater near you.

Overall, Ready Player One was peppered with nostalgia.  Characters and icons from our childhoods were brought back to life with a vengeance.  It was an exciting and epic Steven Spielberg story of good vs. evil in a fight to save the fictional world.

I rate this movie a 9 on a scale of 1-10.

 

If you liked this film then you might also enjoy:

 

Back to the Future (1985)

The Shining (1980)

Mud (2012)

Thoroughbreds (2017)

The Place Beyond the Pines (2012)

The Book of Henry (2017)


The Book of Henry (2017)

With the popularity of the film Wonder (2017) and Room (2015), it seems like Jacob Tremblay is starting to pop up all over the place.  However, this time around in The Book of Henry, Tremblay is not the main young actor in the film.  It is Jaeden Lieberher in the starring role.  Lieberher got a lot more recognition in his boost to fame part in the movie It (2017).  Excluding the kids from the renowned Netflix Original TV Series, Stranger Things (2016), Tremblay and Lieberher are probably the most popular child actors right now.  With Naomi Watts playing their mother in The Book of Henry, this movie looked entertaining.

The Book of Henry is about a genius 11-year-old boy who works together with his mother to try to stop the child abuse of their next door neighbor girl.

The movie was directed by Colin Trevorrow and the noteworthy cast includes Jaeden Lieberher, Naomi Watts, Jacob Tremblay, Dean Norris, Sarah Silverman, Lee Pace, Maddie Ziegler, Bobby Moynihan, Geraldine Hughes, Joel Marsh Garland, and Wass Stevens.

After you get past the fact that the premise of this movie is super farfetched, it is enjoyable enough.  The story is all too convenient, but yet tastefully done.  Many complications in the storyline were solved all too easily and in a very formulaic fashion.

I fault the writing for everything that is wrong with The Book of Henry.  The filmmaking was good enough overall, but the story was just really lacking.

For their age, the young actors in this film are superb.  Lieberher is the standout in the movie.  I definitely expect to see these to young actors continuing to have successful careers.

I usually really like Watts as an actress, but did not care for her much in this film.  I am not sure if it was because I did not like her or her character.  She was dumbed-down so much for this movie that it almost seemed like she was miscast.

The irresponsibility and stupidity of Watt’s character is not believable when you see just how much of a mastermind her oldest son is supposed to be.  He is so beyond crazy smart at 11 years old that it seems impossible to fathom.  Get past that and The Book of Henry is average.  It is a drama with some unexpected twists and turns.  Some ideas about the story really worked, while others just did not.

I rate this movie a 5.5 on a scale of 1-10.

 

 

If you liked this film then you might also enjoy:

 

Wonder (2017)

Room (2015)

The Window (1949)

It (2017)

Stand By Me (1986)

St. Vincent (2014)

The Impossible (2012)

Stranger Things (2016)

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)

The Goonies (1985)

Thoroughbreds (2017)


Thoroughbreds (2017)

Initially, the main reason that I wanted to see this film was because of Anton Yelchin, may he rest in peace.  This is his last movie to be released in theaters.  He passed away in 2016.  This movie was completed in 2017 and finally released last weekend, almost 2 years after his death.

This is a limited release film that sort of fell through the cracks.

Thoroughbreds is about two upper-class teenage girls who find themselves plotting and scheming to get what they want in their troubled home-life.

The movie was written and directed by Cory Finley and the noteworthy cast includes Olivia Cooke, Anya Taylor-Joy, Anton Yelchin, and Paul Spark.

Thoroughbreds is a unique movie in a lot of ways.  It is a well-written, dialogue driven thriller.  There is a naturally chilling pace to the story.  Everything seems relevant.  It does not try too hard to impress and therefore, is impressive.  The story is just told with precise timing.  Even the cinematography was tactful and articulate in an almost, but not quite, Hitchcockian manner.  This movie did not just go through the motions.  It was premeditated and executed beautifully.

The soundtrack, although odd at times, matched the disturbing nature of the story.

Thoroughbreds was an opportunity for a couple of mostly small screen, lesser known actors to show their worth and carry a film themselves.  They all showed that they were up to that task.  I feel like they were quite successful in making the transition from small screen to big screen right before our very eyes.  Olivia Cooke, Anya Taylor-Joy, and Paul Sparks were all superb.  Olivia Cooke’s performance especially stood out.  I guarantee that all three of these actors will start popping up all over the place in the near future.

I think that it is an odd coincidence that Anton Yelchin plays a troubled character in each of his last three films before he died.  I also still think it was quite suspicious the way that he died.

I always enjoyed Anton as an actor and it seemed as if he had a very bright future ahead of him.  It is a shame to see such a nice personality lost to this world, far too soon at the young age of 27.  He had been acting for 16 years.  He successfully bridged the gap from kid actor to adult actor and had the potential for so much more.  He will be missed.

Thoroughbreds would probably have been more successful if it were released years ago.  Today’s audiences do not have the attention span for real filmmaking anymore, it seems.  This is the unfortunate truth.  The depth of this movie will likely not be appreciated by many for what it actually is, a diamond in the rough.

I rate this movie an 8 on a scale of 1-10.

 

If you liked this film then you might also enjoy:

Violet & Daisy (2011)

Heathers (1988)

A Perfect Murder (1998)

Dial M for Murder (1954)

Bully (2001)

All I See is You (2017)


All I See is You (2017)

I did not expect much from this movie.  I am not a big fan of Jason Clarke because I just feel that he is an overrated actor.  Blake Lively is really sort of hit or miss.  Marc Forster has proved to be decent director, so I thought I would give this movie a chance.

All I See is You is a story about a blind woman who gets an operation to regain her sight.  Life as she knows it changes when she can see again.  She and her husband begin to see negative changes in each other and it affects their marriage.

The movie was directed by Marc Forster and the noteworthy cast includes Blake Lively, Jason Clarke, Danny Huston, Ahna O’Reilly, Miquel Fernandez, Yvonne Strahovski, and Wes Chatham.

The first thing that I thought about this movie was that Blake Lively would definitely have to be blind to be married to a guy like Jason Clarke.  That casting was just poor and unrealistic.  Also, it seems like they dumb down Lively’s looks a bit for the movie.  Maybe that was because they realized that there was a definite mismatch in that relationship on film.  She is out of his league and they knew it.

Blake Lively was cast against type.  Her part in the movie was just not fitting to everything else that she has done up until this point.  It was just not believable.  Or, maybe she did not make it believable.  Either way, it just did not work.

There really is not much to this movie.  It felt long and drawn out.  It did not really seem to get entertaining until it was just about over.  There was just no follow-through to what they were trying to achieve in this film.

There were a bunch of unnecessary scenes that were just not pertinent to the story.  On top of that, there was some unnecessary nudity that was possibly trying to be artistic, but just came off as awkward.

Overall, All I See is You is a boring, and messed up movie.  The acting is bad, and the casting was worse.  It is not even worth a cheap rental.  Do not waste your time, like I did mine.

I rate this movie a 2 on a scale of 1-10.

 

Here is a list of movies with a somewhat similar theme that are much better than this one:

 

Blink (1993)

The Eye (2008)

At First Sight (1999)

Blood Work (2002)

Tell Tale (2009)

Jennifer 8 (1992)

Stronger (2017)

Roman J. Israel, Esq. (2017)


Roman J. Israel, Esq. (2017)

What is not to like about the thought of Denzel Washington being an attorney?  His track record speaks for itself.  He is a man who can become anyone.  I do not remember the last time I was disappointed in a Denzel Washington movie.  He is one of the most consistently extraordinary actors of our time.  So, of course I wanted to see Roman J. Israel, Esq.

The film is about a stubborn savant, Roman J. Israel, Esq.  He is a diligent and methodical defense attorney, who is hopelessly stuck in his ways.  When his career is flipped upside down, it sends his ritualistic life spiraling out of control.

The movie was written and directed by Dan Gilroy and the noteworthy cast includes Denzel Washington, Colin Farrell, Carmen Ejogo, and Tony Plana.

Great quote from the film:  “Every weapon is a tool if you hold it the right way.”

This is not a great movie.  This is a meticulous, one man freight train, and immersive performance by an iconic heavyweight, Denzel Washington.  This is eloquence in motion and an exercise in character.

In Roman J. Israel, Esq., Denzel becomes his character down to the gap in his front teeth, glasses, mini fro, headphones, precision in speech, mannerisms, and tendencies.  He is a diligent and unique man who sticks to his guns, and is still stubbornly listening to records and using paper files.  He is an eccentric-minded “Rain Man-like” attorney of sorts

The movie itself, is not anything special.  It is good until about halfway through and then it starts to lose its momentum.  Denzel keeps it afloat and it sort of redeems itself at the end.

Colin Farrell’s character wafts badass arrogance.  His role is a good one, but feels like an afterthought.

Overall this is a great performance in an about average movie.  Denzel takes a mediocre film and makes it watchable.  It is an Oscar caliber performance.  He is submerged in his character.  He has multiple performances that are better than this one, but his character dominance in this movie brings it up a notch and makes it worth seeing.

I rate this movie a 7 on a scale of 1-10.

 

If you liked this film then you might also enjoy:

 

Training Day (2001)

The Hurricane (1999)

Flight (2012)

Déjà vu (2006)

American Gangster (2007)

Inside Man (2006)

The Manchurian Candidate (2004)

Man on Fire (2004)

Antwone Fisher (2002)

John Q. (2002)

Remember the Titans (2000)

The Bone Collector (1999)

Philadelphia (1993)

Ricochet (1991)

Glory (1989)

2 Guns (2013)

The Equalizer (2014)

Out of Time (2003)

Red Sparrow (2018)


Red Sparrow (2018)

This movie appeared like it would be a cross between Atomic Blonde (2017) and Black Swan (2010).  I always find it interesting how after such a unique film like Atomic Blonde is released, shortly after we get a copycat movie (I will talk more about this concept in a post in the near future).

I have gotten fed up with actors and actresses feeling the need to be politicians.  As if their political opinions matter.  Please just do what you do best and stick to filmmaking.  It gets a little old when they stir up the negativity.

All politics aside, Jennifer Lawrence is a talented actress.  I feel that she proved her ability in her role in Silver Linings Playbook (2012).  She has a tendency to make insanely outrageous statements that are about as inappropriate as some of the things that come out of President Donald Trump’s mouth.  This has started to taint my view of Lawrence as an actress.  If she was a little more careful with her words publicly, I would respect her more.

Prior to seeing this movie, I went to the theater with an open mind.  Instead of having a biased and negative opinion before even seeing the film, I thought I would let Jennifer Lawrence’s acting do the talking and drown out the crazy things that she says publicly.

Red Sparrow is about a damaged Russian ballerina who finds herself training to be a “Sparrow”, a Special Agent of sorts for the Russian government.  She is tasked with getting information from the American C.I.A. and becomes entangled between both governments working against each other.

The movie was directed by Francis Lawrence and the noteworthy cast includes Jennifer Lawrence, Joel Edgerton, Matthias Shoenaerts, Jeremy Irons, Charlotte Rampling, Mary-Louise Parker, Ciaran Hinds, Joely Richardson, Douglas Hodge, Bill Camp, Sakina Jaffrey, and Thekla Reuten.

The film did in fact, feel like a cross between Atomic Blonde and Black Swan.  However, there was much less action than Atomic Blonde and far more drama.  It has the surprising sexual darkness of Black Swan, only much more magnified.  The graphic violence in the movie is a lot more twisted and vicious than Atomic Blonde.

I did not think that Jennifer Lawrence was going to be able to pull off a Russian accent.  I was worried that this would really take away from the movie.  For the most part, the accent was OK though.  Towards the end of the film, it started going in and out, but overall was believable.  Her performance was quite gritty.  There were some surprisingly twisted nude scenes.  It definitely has the shock value.

Edgerton’s character was likable, but he was a little underused.  His character was not quite developed enough.  That was acceptable, because it really is Jennifer Lawrence’s movie.  However, I feel like this did take away from the film.  The chemistry between the male lead and female lead was just not there.

I did feel like Red Sparrow was trying really hard to be like Atomic Blonde.  All the way down to platinum blonde hair and Stoli vodka.  Charlize Theron was a much bigger badass in Atomic Blonde than Jennifer Lawrence was Red Sparrow.  Atomic Blonde was a lot more fun and exciting.  The dark subject matter in Red Sparrow was not broken up with any humor or much fun.  I feel that took away from the overall quality of movie because it makes the 2 hours and 19 minutes runtime feel like that amount of time.  They did not cut the tension and therefore it felt like it was trying too hard to be too dark.

This is a shadowy spy thriller that pulls no punches.  It is intentionally and methodically puzzling.  The film is a little rough around the edges, but overall is well-made and well-acted.

I rate this movie a 7 on a scale of 1-10.

 

If you liked this film then you might also enjoy:

 

Atomic Blonde (2017)

Salt (2010)

Black Swan (2010)

Casino Royale (2006)

Skyfall (2012)

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011)

Mission: Impossible (1996)

Mission: Impossible III (2006)

Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol (2011)

Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation (2015)

All the Money in the World (2017)


All the Money in the World (2017)

When I think of All the Money in the World, it is hard not to think about everything that happened with Kevin Spacey and the bad publicity that surrounded this film because of him.  It is my understanding that the movie was just about completed when the news came out about his sexual allegations.

(This is my review of All the Money in the World, but I feel that it is important to talk first about the cloud of negativity that hovered over this movie before its release.  There is a certain amount of hypocrisy that has been a part of the Hollywood machine for many years.  It still is today).

I think that the producers of the movie agreed that All the Money in the World was guaranteed to bomb at the box office because of Spacey.  So how did they resolve this problem?  The same way that Netflix resolved their Spacey problem with the infamous House of Cards firing, they cut him out of the film completely.  They brought Christopher Plummer in to replace him.  Then they had to reshoot all of Spacey’s scenes with Plummer instead.  How that will pan out with the Netflix Original Series House of Cards is yet to be seen, but that is a topic for a different day.

Spacey was originally billed second.  His character was a big deal to the film.  They had to bring in the other actors and redo a good chunk of the whole movie so that they could replace him.  This all had to be done with only weeks remaining until the film was due to be released!

I read that it took about 9 days to completely reshoot the necessary scenes to cut Kevin Spacey completely out of All the Money in the World.  That is insane if you think about it.  Ridley Scott did what they thought would be impossible to try to salvage the film.

Now, if that was not enough, more controversy instantly surfaced about the reshoots.  Apparently, Walhberg negotiated that he would get paid somewhere in the millions of dollars if he had to film any extra scenes.  He has a good agent and he is one of the highest paid actors out there, so this comes as no surprise right?  Wrong.  To stir things up more, now all of a sudden, people were complaining because he got paid far more than Michelle Williams or any of the other actors for his reshoots.  They were paid thousands and he was paid millions.  The complaint was that there should be closer to equal pay for all involved.

I am all for women’s rights.  I am glad that they were able to erase Spacey from this film because of his sexual misconduct.  They should have cracked down on all of that years ago.  We all know, and they all know that people in power in Hollywood have been taking advantage of that power for far too long and nothing has really been done about it until recently.

However, I believe in the free market.  People should be able to negotiate their worth.  They get paid for what they contribute.  The superstars get paid more because they bring more to the table.  That is how it always has been and how it always should be.  If you want to look at equal pay between men and women in Hollywood, I think you need to look deeper into the fact that Hollywood treats women like objects.  Hollywood writers do not write many quality roles for women.  Instead women are seen as window dressing and men are made out to be the heroes.  That is not a problem with the actors or actresses.  That is a problem with the filmmakers, and ultimately the big production companies that have gotten big for a reason, because they know how to make money.

What does Mark Wahlberg do when he hears that many people believe that he got overpaid and he is looked at as being part of the problem?  Marky Mark turns around and donates all of the extra millions of dollars that he made for reshoots to “Time’s Up” in Michelle Williams name.

All of the Money in the World is based on true events.  It is about a teenage boy who is kidnapped and held for ransom because his grandfather is the richest man in the world.  The grandfather will not pay the ransom, and the boy’s mother is forced to do whatever is in her power to try to get her son back.

The movie was directed by Ridley Scott and the noteworthy cast includes Michelle Williams, Christopher Plummer, Mark Wahlberg, Timothy Hutton, Charlie Plummer, Romain Duris, Charlie Shotwell, Andrew Buchan, and Marco Leonardi.

Ridley Scott generally knows how to get a film done right.  He has got the process down.  Sometimes the expectation is higher than the outcome, however.  This is the case with this movie.  It is well made to a point.  It jumps around a lot.  Usually that is OK to tell a story, but it makes this film feel a little choppy.  It also seems to take away from how we feel about the characters in the story.  We are not given much of a chance to really like and care about the people in the movie.  If we do not care much about the characters, then we do not care much about what happens to them.

I think that this disconnect exists in the movie because it is in fact, based on true events.  They follow the story line of what happened in real life, but they do not give you much reason to like the characters.  This strongly takes away from how good the movie could be.  It is good up to a point, without the possibility of being better.

Christopher Plummer got nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for this movie.  He was part of the film for 9 days of reshoots.  With all of the chaos that surrounded All the Money in the World, it seems like Hollywood was just throwing the movie a bone when they nominated Plummer for an Oscar.  He is a solid actor and he was good in this film, but not Oscar good.  Not even close.  I think that this is a case of Hollywood trying to recoup their investment and show praise for Ridley Scott’s ability to get the job done that needed to get done.  If there is an Oscar nomination of any kind for a movie, it pretty much guarantees that people will see it.  It is sort of like the media.  They tell you what they want you to hear.  In this case, they tell you what they want you to watch.

I cannot help but wonder, what the other version of the film with Spacey was like.  With my tainted view of him as an actor at this point, I would have hated the movie.  It was definitely the right thing to do replacing him.  I used to be big fan of Spacey, but it is amazing how quickly your view of someone changes once their true colors bleed through.

Overall, the movie was good, but not that good.  It is an interesting true story that was certainly worth telling.  It felt rushed, because it actually was rushed.  I feel that with more thought placed on character development, the movie could have been a lot better.

I rate this movie a 6.5 on a scale of 1-10.

 

If you liked this film then you might also enjoy:

 

Captain Phillips (2013)

John Q. (2002)

Proof of Life (2000)

Hostage (2005)

Inside Man (2006)

The Negotiator (1998)

Ransom (1996)

Broken City (2013)

Lone Survivor (2013)

Death Wish (2018)


Death Wish (2018)

Why do we like vigilante justice?  I think that it is because someone does exactly what we are thinking should be done or we would like to do, ourselves.  Also, vigilante justice in the movies is often portrayed as sticking up for ones that cannot stick up for themselves.  If you are like me, then you enjoy rooting for the underdog.

Death Wish is about a doctor who decides to take matters into his own hands after an attack on his family.  He decides to find the men responsible and serve up his own form of vigilante justice.

The movie was directed by Eli Roth and the noteworthy cast includes Bruce Willlis, Vincent D’Onofrio, Elisabeth Shue, Dean Norris, Camila Morrone, Beau Knapp, Kimberly Elise, Len Cariou, Jack Kesy, and Ronnie Gene Blevins.

I am not usually one to be into remakes.  It seems like Hollywood remakes or reboots just about everything these days.  Often, I say leave well enough alone, but sometimes the right remake idea comes along and the right actor is cast in the lead role.

In this case, Willis was very fitting for the role in Death Wish.  It was his best performance since Looper (2012).  He has been making a lot of B-rated straight to DVD movies lately, so it is nice to see him return to his former glory.  I am glad to see that he has not gone the way of Nicolas Cage (spitting out one piece of trash after the next).  Death Wish is a one-man-show and Bruce was clearly up for the task.

This movie is a scary concept because of how realistic it is.  What I mean by that is that it shows just how worthless the police department and justice system can be sometimes.  Too often, it is the people that deserve to see justice be done, that are the ones stuck without any justice at all.  It also goes to show just how vulnerable we all are.

The likable Dean Norris has quickly been typecast as the police or detective type thanks to the success of the television series Breaking Bad.  His part in this movie is good, but it does quickly make you think of Breaking Bad.

There are a few noticeable gruesome scenes in this movie that had Roth’s signature all over it.  So far, I believe that this film is Roth’s best work as a director.  He did a terrific job setting the tone of Death Wish and sticking with it throughout.

It has been a very long time since I have seen the original Death Wish (1974), but watching this version has made me want to go back and watch the original sometime soon.  The new film is a quality remake done with today’s technology.  The original movie is now 44 years old and it shows its age.

This movie is a murky suspense/thriller with good old fashioned popcorn-popping action.  Willis as the protagonist doing bad for good reasons will keep you on the edge of your seat hoping that justice gets done.

I rate this movie an 8 on a scale of 1-10.

 

If you liked this film then you might also enjoy:

Death Wish (1974)

Death Sentence (2007)

The Brave One (2007)

The Boondock Saints (1999)

Man on Fire (2004)

The Equalizer (2014)

The Punisher (2004)

Sin City (2005)

Harry Brown (2009)

RED (2010)

RED 2 (2013)

John Wick (2014)

John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017)

Prisoners (2013)

Defendor (2009)

Wonder (2017)


Wonder (2017)

I think you have to be in the right mood to watch this kind of movie.  You know that you are going to feel bad for the main character.  In a way, you feel their pain, so to speak.  It’s the kind of story that makes you appreciate your life more because you realize that no matter how hard you may feel like you have it sometimes, there is always someone out there that has it way worse.  This I could grasp just from watching the trailer.

Wonder is about a previously homeschooled boy with a facial disfigurement who faces the challenge of going to a normal school for the first time.

You have to prepare yourself mentally to watch this movie, because you know it is not going to be fun, exciting entertainment.  It is going to be blunt and in your face honest.  It is going to evoke emotion and make you think.  It is not necessarily an escape from the outside world, like most films are.  Instead, it is more of a reminder of what things are really like.  That makes this a solid movie because it is more real.

The movie was directed by Stephen Chbosky and the noteworthy cast includes Jacob Tremblay, Owen Wilson, Julia Roberts, Izabela Vidovic, Mandy Patinkin, Noah Jupe, Bryce Gheisar, Elle Mckinnon, Daveed Diggs, Ty Consiglio, and Danielle Rose Russell.

The story of Wonder was told in chapters.  Each chapter is a different characters perspective.  I like that because it allows you to get into the mind of each character in a way that you otherwise might not be able to.  It makes the storytelling more interesting

For those of you who have ever been an outcast, this film is for you.  Childhood is hard.  School is harder.  Now, imagine that your face is deformed.  Kids are mean.

Owen Wilson and Julia Roberts played their parts well as loving parents.

Jacob Tremblay did a wonderful job as the boy with a disfigured face.  He is pretty talented for only being 10 years old when this movie was being made.  This kid is only 11 years old and has already been in 8 films and has 3 more on deck.

The movie is pretty predictable at times, but it does tug at the heartstrings.  The film is rated PG, so it is a pretty wholesome and clean movie.  A nice one to watch with the family.  It is a warm-hearted movie about how the struggles of life bring us closer together when we overcome adversity.

I rate this movie an 8 on a scale of 1-10.

 

If you liked this film then you might also enjoy:

The Cure (1995)

Rudy (1993)

Stand By Me (1986)

The Man Without a Face (1993)