Monthly Archives: October 2022
IT WAS NOT MY FINEST MOMENT, but I also had not slept for two days. My only time in a hospital was filled with torturous nights on an awful hospital bed. The bed looked like a jigsaw puzzle, where the pieces were poorly cut, leaving small gaps between the sections. It was capable of folding and bending in multiple positions; none of them provided any relief for me, since the so-called mattress was as thick as the foam you would find around a dinner plate that had been packed for shipping. It was beyond uncomfortable. Add in the nightly wakeup visits from the nurses to take my vitals and I was more like a zombie than a human being. On the third night I had had enough. I told the night nurse that I was making a bed for myself on the floor using the cushions from the sofa in the room. She said she could not approve it, but I did not care. I told her I did not want to be woken in the middle of the night, just to have my temperature taken; I needed sleep if I was expected to get better. Seeing my determination, she thought better of disagreeing with me. Well, at least that is what I assumed. After she left the room, I got ready for bed. Placing the couch cushions on the floor up against the sofa; I grabbed my pillow and blanket and settled on top of the cushions, in a fetal position. Sleep enveloped me in a matter of seconds. I FELT A HAND ON MY arm that was rousing me up from a deep slumber. As my eyes slowly opened and adjusted to the darkness, I saw the silhouette of a nurse kneeling next to me. She said I could not sleep on the floor, to please get back in bad so she could take my vitals. I asked her what time it was and when she said 4 am, I unleashed a volley of swear words that were fueled by a well of anger that had been stored inside of me ever since I was admitted into the hospital. The look on her face told me I was scaring her, but I could not stop myself. She quickly got up and raced out of the room, forgetting her clipboard that was still on the floor. I immediately felt bad, but it only lasted seconds before I rolled over and sunk back into a deep sleep. Later that morning, the day nurse walked in, asking if the ogre was receiving guests. I sheepishly looked up at her. For the next several minutes, she explained the importance of me sleeping in the bed and the need to monitor my fever. She offered I place the sofa cushions on top of the bed, but only if I lift-up the rail guards on the sides to prevent me from rolling off. She was being so kind to me after my poor behavior; she reminds me of the nurse in this crime drama. WHEN A COUPLE OF HER PATIENTS die unexpectedly, a nurse takes it upon herself to find out if there is something going on within the hospital that is contributing to these deaths. With Eddie Redmayne (The Trial of the Chicago 7, The Danish Girl) as Charlie Cullen, Jessica Chastain (The Eyes of Tammy Faye, Molly’s Game) as Amy Loughren, Noah Emmerich (Little Children, The Americans-TV) as Tim Braun, Nnamdi Asomugha (Crown Heights, Sylvie’s Love) as Danny Baldwin and Devyn McDowell (Jerry and Margo Go Large, Annette) as Maya Loughren; this film based on a true story started out slow, but with the wonderful performances of Jessica and Eddie, kept picking up steam as the story unfolded. Having no recollection of the events that this story was based on only made this picture more gripping for me. However, there were several scenes that seemed awkward to me, deflating the building tension. Luckily, the actors worked well together to keep the story going. I only wished the writers would have injected more drama and depth for the actors to incorporate into their performances. Still, this was an incredible story to follow.
I WAS APPREHENSIVE GOING TO THE wedding, but I knew it was the right thing to do. My friend was getting married, and I wanted to be there to share in the festivities. It was not like he asked me to participate in the ceremony or keep an eye on and help an elderly relative; I was one of the wedding guests. The thing that I was concerned about was the fact that except for my friend and his fiancé, I did not know another soul who would be in attendance. I have gone to movies, plays, restaurants and even traveled by myself with no problems. The difference is I am not required to carry on a conversation except for asking someone for directions or a cursory comment or two with the theater patron sitting next to me before the curtain goes up. At a wedding reception, it is a different setting and environment. If it is a sit down, plated event then the guests would be seated at tables. I realize I cannot be the only stranger at the affair, but it is not easy for me to continue a conversation with a table full of strangers. Part of the reason is because there is a hint of high school dynamics involved that reminds me of finding a seat in the school’s cafeteria for lunch. You never know who you might be stuck sitting next to at the table. THE VENUE WHERE THE RECEPTION WAS being held was beautifully decorated. Place cards were set up on a table close to the entryway. With the table number listed on my card, I walked into the ballroom to find where I was going to sit. Table 11 was situated by the windows; I at least would be able to look out them during the meal for something to do if there was no conversation taking place. Sitting down, I made myself as comfortable as possible while wearing a suit and waited for other guests to join me. It was not too long before a married couple came and sat down across from me. We nodded to each other and said a few pleasantries before a couple of single people walked up to our table. As each person arrived and introduced themselves, I made a mental note to help me try and remember their name easier. Once all the guests had been seated at the table and after we exchanged stories of how each of us knew the wedding couple, I was the only one who did not know any of the invited guests. During the meal I did more observing than talking and I was fine with it. I felt the same way while watching this movie; I did not know any of the characters. HAVING BEEN ENTOMBED FOR NEARLY 5,000 years, a desperate mother releases him into a world that is no longer familiar to him. It would not take long for him to attract interest from various groups due to his unique abilities. With Dwayne Johnson (Jungle Cruise, Red Notice) as Black Adam, Aldis Hodge (One Night in Miani, Hidden Figures) as Hawkman, Pierce Brosnan (False Positive, The King’s Daughter) as Dr. Fate, Noah Centineo (The Perfect Date, Charlie’s Angels) as Atom Smasher and Sarah Shahi (Bed Therapy, Bullet to the Head) as Adrianna Tomaz; this action, adventure fantasy started out slow for me. Once Dwayne’s character appeared then things picked up for me. My issue with this film is because I have zero knowledge about these superheroes, I felt the writers did not provide enough back story and emotion for each character, so I could find a way to connect with them. They were lifeless except for the occasional joke or gag. The thing I found most annoying was the use of slow motion during the fight scenes. For me, it disrupts the scene and looks cheesy. For the most part, this film felt like an assortment of scenarios just to introduce each superhero. And because there is an important extra scene during the ending credits, the movie studio is hoping they can turn Black Adam into a film franchise.
2 ½ stars
WE WERE ALWAYS HANGING OUT TOGETHER. Back in the day we were able to eat lunch together despite not having the same classes. At parties if we were not sitting close to each other, we still were always within earshot. Our humor was similar, where we laughed at the same stupid things as someone tripping or having an embarrassing moment. Speaking for myself, I was immature and did not know better. For example, both of us kept our ears close to the gossip trail that went through our school. It sounds weird saying this, but we enjoyed hearing when there was a breakup in someone’s relationship. Our thinking was if we are not dating someone then no one else should either? I am doing a little psychoanalyzing as I am writing this review. It was not as if we thrived on bad news, but we certainly liked to be aware of the social stuff taking place at the school. Even when we were dating, we still found time to hang out and do stuff. I am sure what I am describing is not that unusual from anyone else. Since our school had definite cliques, the two of us could have been considered one. AS WE GREW OLDER, THINGS STARTED to change. The things we enjoyed doing back in school were holding less interest for me. We still spent time together with the same group of friends from time to time, but I was losing interest in the gossip and silly stuff we used to do back in school. I was not alone in this regard; I was thinking more about what direction I wanted my life to go towards, both in career and living space. As other interests filtered in, we did not see as much of each other. Looking back, I wished I had the skills then to express what I was feeling, but I did not. It was apparent we were having less and less in common, and I was drifting apart. There was still an affection for my friend, plus we had known each other for a long time. And I believe that was what kept us connected; it was our history together. We had both experienced so much together growing up that the emotions of that time kept a bond between us. However, as time was moving forward and the history was fading further back, I felt myself slipping away. There was no ill will and for those times we had seen each other later, there was a familiar comfortableness; but we also are not the same as we were when we were younger. Many of us, I believe, experience this same type of thing. It is part of growing up and you can see what it is like for some in this comedy. RECONNECTING WITH AN OLD FRIEND WAS supposed to be a good time for this stay-at-home dad. He was not prepared for it to turn into a wild weekend. With Kevin Hart (The Upside, Night School) as Sonny Fisher, Mark Wahlberg (Joe Bell, Instant Family) as Huck Dembo, Regina Hall (Girls Trip; Honk for Jesus, Save Your Soul) as Maya Fisher, Che Tafari (The Good Place-TV, Daredevil-TV) as Dashiell Fisher and newcomer Amentii Sledge as Ava Fisher; the story in this movie was a good idea. But I am here to tell you, what the writers did was a crime. Pretty much most of the film consisted of gags and low-level humor. There were jokes for almost every body part/action and because they were not particularly funny, became a distraction for me. Kevin’s character was no different than almost any of the other comedy roles he has done. There was nothing here that made the performance unique. I was disinterested for a majority of the time; there simply was nothing new or exciting here. What was the studio thinking when they made this picture?
1 ½ stars
UNLESS I HAVE BEEN A WITNESS, I take the comment, “they are a good person,” with a grain of salt. You see, I believe everyone comes into this world with the capacity for being both good and evil. It all depends on what the individual choses to act upon. This is why, one of my favorite sayings is, “Actions have consequences.” I know for myself I am a combination of the two; when I was younger, I relied more on evil than good. For example, when at a party and I felt someone had slighted me, I would make them uncomfortable by my actions until they would leave. Nothing I am proud of I have to say; but I was an angry individual then. These days, I feel I am more of a good person and am always amazed how much easier it is to act that way. Being bad took a lot of energy. I know this one person who makes a point of always telling people about the good things they do for others. I am not denying they do it, but I always find it weird when a person must announce it instead of just letting it be. It comes off as bragging to me. And though this person claims to be good, they are the first to talk and say negative things about someone behind their back. They make fun of a person’s looks and/or clothing; I do not find that being a good individual. IN PAST REVIEWS, I HAVE TALKED about those individuals who have done evil things; so, today I want to focus on a person I know who, for the circumstances they found themselves in, still chose to act in a decent, good way instead of being a mean vindictive being. When you meet this person the first thing you would notice is the lightness in their eyes and their smile. There is a warm inviting energy they exude that lets a person know they are in a safe environment. It is rare one must ask them for help because they are perceptive enough to understand and offer their help freely. Having been in this person’s presence, I can solidly state they are a good individual. There is zero trace of them acting in a competitive or sneaky way. To be honest with you, whenever I have been around them, I leave with the thought I wish there were more people like them in the world. I am so sure of it that I believe they could easily fill in for the head of the school for good in this fantasy comedic drama. TWO BEST FRIENDS, WHO HAVE DONE everything together, suddenly find themselves at opposite ends when one is accidently picked for a different school. The separation will have a lasting effect on them as well as the schools. With Kit Young (A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Origin) as Rafal, Sophie Anne Caruso (37, Crash & Burn-TV movie) as Sophie, Sofia Wylie (Back of the Net, High School Musical: The Musical-TV) as Agatha, Rob Delaney (Deadpool 2, Catastrophe-TV) as Stefan and Charlize Theron (Monster, Mad Max: Fury Road) as Lady Lesso; there were several aspects of this movie that I enjoyed. The visuals and special effects were stunning and fun. I always enjoy watching Charlize in character and I thought she was a great counterbalance to Kerry Washington’s character. The message regarding good and evil was something I especially enjoyed and thought the writers did a decent job conveying it. However, there were other storylines that cluttered the message and made this film longer than it needed to be. The other issue for me was what I perceived to be the similarity to the Harry Potter and Percy Jackson stories. With some editing and a little more character development, I think this could have been a better picture. It was obvious the studio is hoping for a sequel, but I am not sure that would be a good idea if they are going to stick with the same writing team.
2 ½ stars
IT WAS SO LONG AGO, WHEN I first saw her. Back then, I thought she had an odd voice. I think I was still in elementary school when I saw Marilyn Monroe for the first time. It was the movie “Some Like it Hot” with Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon and it was being shown on television. Liking both Tony and Jack, the movie easily kept my attention. When I first heard Marilyn speak, I thought that could not be her real voice; it sounded like a cartoon voice. Because I could not recall seeing any other woman that looked like her, I thought her voice added another layer to her cartoonish size physique. In my mind, she did not look real. The characters Tony and Jack played drew more of my attention than Marilyn’s character. I remember laughing at the two men when they were dressed up as women. After seeing this film, it was some years later before I saw another film that Marilyn starred in. And that movie was Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Though Marilyn’s character had a familiarity to it, I was older now and better able to understand the work that went in to create her character. Her timing was impeccable along with her line deliveries. Her character became a classic in filmdom. IN ALL HONESTY, I HAVE NOT seen any other of Marilyn’s films except one or two. I have seen news stories and articles, along with documentaries. In fact, there was a documentary series about her that aired earlier this year and it was the best one I had ever seen. The talk in Hollywood was Jayne Mansfield was highly intelligent. Well after seeing this latest docuseries, Marilyn was much smarter than what she let people see. For that time, as an actress, she yielded a lot of power. She knew exactly what she was doing to keep her name front and center. I was impressed with the things she achieved despite all the hardships she had to endure. The attribute of hers that I could relate to the most was her determination. She truly was a fighter and would not give up until she reached her goal. The perfect example is the film she did with the British actor who had no use for her and made her time during the filming of their picture a living hell, from what I understand. Now with my heightened awareness of her abilities, I have been working on watching anything that has to do with Marilyn. This is the reason I chose to sit through and watch this long movie based on Joyce Carol Oates’s novel. DESPITE THE HARD CHILDHOOD, YOUNG NORMA Jeane, played by Lily Fisher (General Hospital-TV, Station 19-TV), had a determination in her that would help her succeed in a man’s world. With Ana de Armas (No Time to Die, The Gray Man) as Norma Jeane, Julianne Nicholson (Black Maps, August: Osage County) as Gladys, Tygh Runyan (Dark Harvest, Road to Nowhere) as Norma Jeane’s father and Michael Drayer (Claws-TV, Mr. Robot-TV) as Deputy Will Bonnie; this biographical romance drama had one outstanding thing going for it. It was Ana; she was amazing in her role. Unfortunately, I found the rest of this film to be exploitive and shallow. Maybe because I had watched the docuseries, I found the script for this picture to be disjointed. There were times where it felt like little snippets of time were being shown without any depth to back them up. I was disappointed with this picture; it did not provide anything new or anything entertaining. I think Marilyn would have been insulted by this movie.
1 ¾ stars
THERE WAS NOTHING WORSE THEN TO have two parties scheduled on the same day when we were in eighth grade. The party with the fewer attendees would be deemed the lame party a/k/a uncool. We were the “top dogs” of the school, with it being our last year there, and felt nearly invincible. However, there was one thing that could depose your status faster than a lightning bolt; it was the loss of your “cool factor.” I was lucky I never had to worry about this because I was never considered cool. And from what I witnessed amongst the other students; I was glad about it. There were several girls who were part of a clique who felt it was their mission to tell the other students when they were out of fashion. Even if you did not have a decent haircut or style, they would make sure you knew, and do it when other students were around to hear it. As I have mentioned in previous reviews, if a student did not excel in sports, then they sure better be good at something else unless they wanted to get picked on. The students with the highest grades got a free pass for the most part; however, if you were not so smart, you needed to be a great musician, artist, debater, or something else that would make you stand out. Even being the president of the chess club could help you but honestly, not that much compared to an athlete on one of the sports teams. DURING THE SCHOOL YEAR THERE was a large amount of bar mitzvah parties. I remember my friend making me promise I would be coming to his party. It seemed odd to me since I had already sent back my RSVP card, but I figured there was some important number they needed for some reason. When I arrived at the temple for the services, I discovered there was another boy there from school for his bar mitzvah. He and my friend were going to share in the participation of the services. It then hit me; my friend was concerned more of the kids from our class might attend the other kid’s affair. I felt bad for my friend because the other boy was on the tennis team. Would that really make a difference I wondered. That evening at the party, I made a mental note to see if there were any empty seats around the dining tables when it was time to eat. As far as I could tell my friend came out okay; it looked like a full party. Looking back at those years, it seemed like such a rite of passage for us. Sort of like what was taking place in this musical, comedic family drama. EVERYTHING WAS FALLING INTO PLACE FOR Evan’s, played by Eli Golden (Hide and Seek, Trouble), upcoming bar mitzvah party. That is until his mother told him they were moving out of state. With Josh Peck (Red Dawn, Mean Creek) as Rabbi, Debra Messing (Searching, Will & Grace-TV) as Jessica, Peter Hermann (United 93, Philomena) as Joel and Rhea Perlman (Matilda, I’ll See You in My Dreams) as Ruth; this film was heavy on the musical numbers. They were fun and high energy, but there was an oddness to them. They were meant more to be done on a large stage. Maybe due to the directing, but there was a disconnect between them and the scenes that were more emotional. I do not know if it were due to my school experiences, but there was a familiarity to the story that made the characters more like stereotypes, to the point I could tell what was going to happen. And this is why I thought the acting was nothing special. In fact, pretty much bland. At least, there was an honesty to the script which I appreciated. It was funny, here I thought my school had its own unique issues; but with this film it looks like there were a lot of other kids who had to deal with such social status issues.
FORTY-FOUR YEARS AGO, SOME OF you might not have been born yet; for me, I was still in school and living in the same home I had been born in. Despite my schoolwork and working part time, I still found time to get together with my friends from time to time. A few of them had already finished their schooling and were living on their own. I was comfortable still being at home because it, especially throughout my earlier years, had always been my safe haven. There was a comfort and peacefulness that was nurturing compared to the issues I had had with the bullying and abuse that took place in the schools during my younger years. However, there was a moment in time where the comfort of my home took on a sinister bent. It happened after me and a couple of friends went to see a new horror suspense film at the neighborhood movie theater. I did not know anything about it except that the lead actress was the daughter of a famous Hollywood movie star. Even to this day, I still remember we went to a Saturday matinee to see this picture. We normally would have gone out to dinner afterwards; but after this movie ended, none of us had an appetite and just wanted to go home. WHEN I GOT HOME, I WALKED over to the closet to hang-up my jacket; but this time, I hesitated at the closet door. Normally, I would just swing the door open and hang my jacket on the clothes hook that was close to the front, past the light switch. This time, I opened the door just enough to slide my hand in and turn on the light switch first before pushing the door further away. There had been a scene in the horror film that involved a closet and it had freaked me out. I knew inside it was foolish to think someone was in my closet, but I was not 100% convinced suddenly. Later in the evening I was talking to one of the friends who was at the movie earlier and they told me when they had walked over to their car in the theater’s parking lot, they first glanced through the window into the back seat to make sure no one was hiding there. Now, you might be thinking my friends and I were crazy to have been acting in such a way; but I am telling you, this picture was truly frightening. And back then I would have never guessed forty-four years later I would still be seeing another installment in what became an exceptionally long movie franchise from that first film. MAKING CHANGES TO HER LIFE AND taking care of her granddaughter, the time was right for Laurie, played by Jamie Lee Curtis (Knives Out, Spare Parts), to stop being afraid of the past. However, her future might not go as planned when her granddaughter becomes interested in a local boy. With Andi Matichak (Foxfire, Miles) as Allyson, Rohan Campbell (The Valley Below, The Hardy Boys-TV) as Corey, Will Patton (Sweet Thing, The Devil Below) as Frank and Jesse C. Boyd (The Walking Dead-TV, One of These Days) as Officer Mulaney; this thriller went in a different direction than the past films in this franchise. The same eerie music associated with this movie was there which brought back memories from my viewings of the past films; I always enjoy watching Jamie Lee Curtis and she did not disappoint in this sequel. However, what did disappoint me was the script. The first half of the story had interesting ideas; but were not well executed, leading me to boredom. What one expects from this movie franchise did not really take place until the last half and by that point the bloody violent scenes seemed excessive. Also, it was easy to figure out who would not last until the end of the story. Based on this sequel, I hope this will be the last movie in the film franchise. As Jamie Lee’s character was trying to do, it is time to leave the past behind.
FOR THOSE WHO KNOW ME, THEY know how much I like to try a new product or be the first to experience something new. I cannot tell you how many world premieres I attended because I wanted to see what all the excitement was about. There is something about seeing, let us say, a new theater production that I especially enjoy because if it goes to Broadway and becomes a success, I can say I saw it first. When it comes to food products, if they fit into my daily dietary intake then I will always try them at least once. Recently there was introduced a flavored drink at the grocery store that had a mix of cola and coffee. I am not a coffee drinker; but I must tell you I enjoyed the drink so much, that I later bought more of them to serve at a dinner party. Friends of mine are never surprised when I bring out some new item that I picked up at the store, so we can all do a taste test. My classes were always appreciative when I would update and critique the latest food products. Maybe it is part of my nature, to offer my opinion/view on something, that motivates me to experience something before others spend their time and money on it. WITH TODAY’S MOVIE CHOICE, THERE HAS been plenty of “buzz” about this film. It is the first gay, romantic comedy that was made by a large, mainstream movie studio. I think that is great, but there is a part of me that wishes we, as a society, can get past having to use labels as adjectives. It is like when someone is talking about a friend and says “my gay friend” or “my straight friend;” what difference does it make? The same holds true for those who say my Asian or Black friend; I feel all one needs to say is, “friend.” There was a couple I knew who when they married caused controversy in their families because they were different faiths. My feelings boil down to this simple saying I try to live by: Love is love. If someone can, at some point in their life, express their love for someone, then I feel they have achieved one of the highest honors for being a human being. I do not care if the person you love is gay, straight, trans, Spanish, Muslim, atheist, native American and so on as long as there is love and respect then I am happy for you. With this in mind, I was curious to see what would take place in this film directed by Nicholas Stoller (Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Neighbors franchise). IT WAS TOUGH ENOUGH TO MEET people who had commitment issues; but what were the chances if they were out of your league? With Billy Eichner (Noelle, Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising) as Bobby, Luke Macfarlane (The Night Shift-TV, Brothers & Sisters-TV) as Aaron, Guy Branum (The Mindy Project-TV, Black Box-TV) as Henry, Miss Lawrence (The United States vs. Billie Holiday, Star-TV) as Wanda and Dot-Marie Jones (Glee-TV, Greener Grass) as Cherry; I appreciated the amount of effort that went into this production. The cultural references, the spot-on predicaments and the cameos were great; however, I thought the script lacked depth. The only character I found with any emotional depth was Aaron. The Billy character was bland and if he was not that then he was annoying. I have heard news that straight people are staying away from this film because the focus is about gay people. Maybe that is true; however, if a film is funny and relatable then I do not think it should make a difference. This picture had its moments, but I did not find it that funny or fresh.
2 ½ stars
HAVE YOU EVER HEARD A STORY, that if you had not known the person involved in it, you would have never believed it was true? I do not know about you, but it has happened to me many times. A man was telling me about his childhood, growing up in a country that was dealing with strife and conflict. He said whenever soldiers were spotted coming towards the town, many of the families would take their babies and hide them in the forest; so, they would not be taken and raised to become soldiers when they became grown. Or they could just as easily have been killed if the soldiers did not like something about them. What a horrifying way of life, I thought. He said one time the soldiers surprised the town by showing up at nighttime. Whoever was closest to the infant grabbed them and raced out the back to get them into the forest. The soldiers went through the town then left; everyone waited a long time before going out to retrieve their babies. Because of the mad rush to get the baby into the forest, this family member did not pay close attention to where he was placing them. This family member came back to get another family member to join in the search. After a long time, they did come back with a baby they thought was the right one. I stared at him in disbelief. He said it was not until he got older before family members were sure they had taken the right baby; he turned into the perfect likeness to his older brother. IF YOU ARE ANYTHING LIKE ME, you hear something on the news that is so far-fetched that you cannot believe it is a real news story. Not that I want to get into any political discussion, but there is a candidate who is from a state that verified the past presidential election results multiple times. This candidate does not agree with the results and their reason is because they have never talked to someone who said they voted for the current president. I had to sit there and process what this candidate was saying, “they have never talked to anyone who voted for the president. When told the number of votes that were counted, this candidate said anything is possible in a fantasy world. I could not make such a story up even if I had wanted to; it is so hard to believe. Their argument would be like me saying I have never talked to anyone who had visited the Artic, so it must not exist. I had never heard of the event that inspired this dramatic, comedy mystery story; and based on what I saw, I cannot discern what might have been real or fake. THREE FRIENDS FRAMED FOR A MURDER find something more sinister than the circumstances of the death they witnessed, while trying to clear their names. With Christian Bale (The Big Short, Out of the Furnace) as Burt Berendsen, Margot Robbie (Bombshell, Mary Queen of Scots) as Valerie Voze, John David Washington (Tenet, Malcolm & Marie) as Harold Woodman, Alessandro Nivola (American Hustle, The Many Saints of Newark) as Detective Hiltz and Anya Taylor-Joy (Last Night in Soho, The Northman) as Libby Voze; this film had a stellar cast of characters. Too bad, they were not given the tools to help create an engaging film. I did not find anything funny in the script which only added to the quickness of me becoming bored. There was a cartoonish style to the acting, due to the script, that never allowed the story to reach a healthy level of suspense and drama. I wondered if the writers intended to shine a spotlight on the parallels between the political environment in this story with the current times, we have been living in. When I left the theater, I had the feeling that I had wasted my time going to this viewing. If I had not gone and seen this, would that have meant that it had never been made?
1 ¾ stars
GRATEFULLY A RELATIVE OF MINE WAS okay after being at a public gathering where there was an active shooter. I never thought I would ever have to write about such a thing, but it has become part of our world. The gathering was a celebration for a national holiday; there were people who came from all areas around where the event was being staged. Horrifically there were fatalities and injuries. This tragic event was televised multiple times; the newspapers covered the story for many days. As one would expect, the news focused on the victims. All of it was so sad to see; the scenes showing the aftermath were especially hard to view. However, there was something out of this tragedy that struck me after hearing about it on a personal level, besides from the news. I was in awe of all the people who came together to help the survivors. Living at a time where there is so much divisiveness and polarization, where everything is turning into an extreme, it was heartwarming to see people from all levels of society coming together to help one another. The word that comes to mind is “hopeful.” Seeing such an act of kindness gives me hope that people can live a judgment free life together. I HAVE BEEN A WITNESS TO other acts of kindness like the fitness presenter I was assigned to drive around during our yearly convention. We were driving to a dinner event when we spotted a car crash. She had me pull over so she could run out and see if anyone needed any help. As it turned out, the driver was dazed and going into shock. She took her jacket off, wrapped it around him while checking his pulse as she had me dial #911 to report it. It was comforting to see how she dealt with the situation, unconcerned about getting her outfit dirty and bloody. Being in the fitness industry, I have seen other acts of kindness. For example, I had a friend who worked at a health center where he personally had saved five members because of his quick actions to start CPR on them. We used to joke about why members were only getting ill when he was on duty. I do not know what it is about my focus on finding/hearing about acts of kindness. Maybe because of all this anger and hatred I see on the news and that includes these political ads that mention nothing about policy, instead showing explosions and crime; it makes me sad. Having said this will help you understand why I found this dramatic, action adventure so inspiring. WHEN AN UNEXPECTED STORM TRAPS A boys soccer team inside of a cave, it would take more than a village to help keep the boys alive. With Viggo Mortensen (Green Book, A Dangerous Method) as Rick Stanton, Colin Farrell (The Batman, The Gentleman) as John Volanthen, Joel Edgerton (Boy Erased, The Gift) as Harry Harris, Tom Bateman (Death on the Nile, Cold Pursuit) as Chris Jewell and Paul Gleeson (The Thin Red Line, Home and Away) as Jason Mallinson; this film based on a true story was directed by Ron Howard, who created the perfect balance between tensions and emotions. I remember when this event happened and yet watching it play out in this movie felt like a new experience for me. The cast did a terrific job conveying the dangers, exhaustion, mental anguishes, and hopefulness from the script. Ron’s direction kept the story on a steady pace that allowed for the touching moments to shine in between the harrowing ones. I do not think it would make a difference whether you remember this event or not, that took place in Thailand; this was an exciting movie watching experience for me and I believe it could be for you as well.
3 ½ stars