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Lee Daniels’ The Butler (2013)


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Lee Daniels’ The Butler (2013)

The movie should have just been called The Butler, but director Lee Daniels somehow felt that he had to put his name in the title.  I’m not sure if there is a real reason for his name being in the title, but to me, it just seems a little narcissistic.

Lee Daniels’ The Butler is very, very lightly based on the life of Eugene Allen.  The film changed Allen’s name to Cecil Gaines (Forest Whitaker).  The film paints a pretty disturbing picture of the struggles and pain that Gaines and his family faced during his childhood and throughout his life as a butler at the White House for 34 years.  The movie showed how the Vietnam War and the Civil Rights Movement had a major impact on his life.

Lee Daniels' The Butler Whitaker serving Williams

The rest of the noteworthy cast includes Cuba Gooding Jr., David Oyelowo, Oprah Winfrey, Terrence Howard, John Cusack, James Marsden, Robin Williams, Liev Schreiber, Alan Rickman, Jane Fonda, Vanessa Redgrave, Lenny Kravitz, Mariah Carey, Clarence Williams III, John P. Fertitta, Colman Domingo, Yaya Alafia, Minka Kelly, and Nelsan Ellis.

The movie modifies many of the facts about Allen’s life in order to make it more entertaining and therefore less true.

I left the film wondering just how much of it was true.  After doing a little bit of research, I found out a number of things about the movie that are completely fiction.  It’s a little upsetting to me how this film tries to pass itself off as based on a true story.  I don’t want to spoil anything about the movie for anybody, but let me just say that a lot of it is pure fiction.

Lee Daniels' The Butler Whitaker Gooding Jr.

I really felt for the main characters after seeing what they went through, and thinking how terrible things were for them.  After finding out that a lot of the details in the movie are made up, I question just how honest the rest of the movie is.  I feel like I was a little duped.  I felt bad for Cecil Gaines, but that was not even his real name.  I felt bad for some of the things that Gaines went through, but found out that some of those things didn’t even happen.  Because the writers and director played so fast and loose with the facts and tried to pass it all off as truth, they succeeded in ruining the movie for me.

The film was very slow and dragged on at times.

There were so many big names in this movie that a few of them were underused.  A lot of the supporting characters do not get fully developed.  They are in the film in almost cameo-like roles, and then they are gone.

Forest Whitaker is superb in the lead role.  His performance alone is enough to make the film worth watching.  Even at the film’s slowest and almost boring parts when the movie seems like it is unraveling, Whitaker is enough to bring everything back together again.

AE16SCBUTLERKENNEDY

Oprah Winfrey was miscast.  Her character hardly seemed believable and this took away from my enjoyment of the film.  The rest of the supporting cast all did a fine job.

Overall, I felt like the movie was too slow at times.  If they had trimmed some of the fat and gotten rid of a few scenes, the film could have been better.  I am a little annoyed at how many facts were changed as they are trying to pass this movie off as inspired by a true story.  Most people read “true story” and think that it is true.  If they dressed this movie up to make it more entertaining, I cannot imagine how slow it would have been if they had stuck more to the facts.

The Butler (2013) Forest Whitaker (Screengrab)

Setting all of the things about this film that I did not like aside, Whitaker and most of the rest of the cast all do a great job.  It’s fun to see all of these big names in the same movie even if some of them are not in it long enough.  The film does an excellent job of showing people overcome hatred and violence and that is always a good shot to the arm for the human spirit.

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

Buy, rent, or run?  Rent.

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Top 13 Disappointing Current Redbox Movies


Top 13 Disappointing Current Redbox Movies

redbox box and posters

There are many terrible movies out there.  I have avoided renting movies at the Redbox just because they looked bad.  You know which ones that I’m talking about.  The ones that rip off movies that are actually popular by giving them similar titles and making the cover art look remarkably alike, but are actually knock offs that nobody should have to suffer through.  That being said, there are probably worse movies at the Redbox than what are on my list.  My list however, is a compilation of movies that actually looked like they could be good in one way or another.  Something about these movies made me go to the theatre and watch them, or go to the Redbox and rent them.  I made this list to save you time and money.  Don’t get duped like I did.  They might have a good cast.  They might look funny.  They might look scary.  They might look intense and full of good action.  They might look like they have a nice touching story.  They are none of those things (well, sometimes except for the cast).  They are poor excuses for movies.  Stay far away from these awful creations.

With my list I have included the cover art to the movies, so that you know exactly what to avoid.  I have not posted any trailers, because you don’t even want to waste your time with those.  They will trick you.  I have also listed my ratings of each movie.  My ratings are on a scale of 1-10.  My full review will be available for some of the movies.  If the title is highlighted, then you can click on it for my full review.

I do not claim to have seen all of the movies that are currently available to rent at the Redbox, but I have seen 76 of them.  Of those 76 movies, my Top 13 Disappointing Current Redbox Movies are:

VHS poster

1.  V/H/S (2012)                                                                      My rating: 1

Killing Them Softly cover

2.  Killing Them Softly (2012)

The Paperboy cover

3.  The Paperboy (2012)

Seeking a friend cover

4.  Seeking a Friend for the End of the World (2012)

fire with fire

5.  Fire with Fire (2012)

the man with the iron fists poster

6.  The Man with the Iron Fists (2012)                                   My rating: 3

silent hill revelation poster

7.  Silent Hill: Revelation (2012)                                             My rating: 3

Deadfall poster

8.  Deadfall (2012)                                                                  My rating: 4

The Possession cover pic

9.  The Possession (2012)

The Liability Poster

10.  The Liability (2012)                                                         My rating: 4.5

Lay the favorite poster

11.  Lay the Favorite (2012)                                                   My rating: 4.5

The Cold Light of Day poster

12.  The Cold Light of Day (2012)                                          My rating: 4.5

That's my boy poster

13.  That’s My Boy (2012)                                                      My rating: 5

Now that you know what movies to avoid, Check out my other Redbox related material.  Click on the links below:

Current Redbox Movie Reviews September 2013

Current Redbox Movie Reviews August 2013

Current Redbox Movie Reviews July 2013 

Top 13 Current Redbox Movies

Top 13 Current Redbox Movies Vol. 2

Top 13 Current Redbox Movies Vol. 3

Top 13 Current Redbox Movies Vol. 4

Netflix Clouds

Are you a fan of Netflix?  Click on the following links below for Netflix related material:

Netflix Watch Instantly Movie Reviews September 2013

20 Best Drama Movies Based on Real Life Available on Netflix Watch Instantly

20 Best Classics Movies Available on Netflix Watch Instantly

13 Best Mind-bending Movies Available on Netflix Watch Instantly

13 Best Comedy Movies Available on Netflix Watch Instantly

13 Best Romantic Comedy Movies Available on Netflix Watch Instantly

13 Best War/Military Movies Available on Netflix Watch Instantly

13 Best Gritty Action/Thriller Movies Available on Netflix Watch Instantly

Happy Movie Watching!