Monthly Archives: May 2023
Flash Movie Review: A Thousand and One
WHEN YOU ARE A SMALL CHILD, all parents seem bigger and more powerful. So, when the mother showed up to confront the bullies who were picking on her son, I could tell those boys were scared. I tried to avoid those kids because I knew they picked on other students; it seemed to me it was whoever was in their sights when they were all together, which usually was before school started, gym class or recess time. If it was only one of them by himself, then they did not always start trouble. I guess they needed an audience of their friends around to make it worthwhile to tease or abuse someone. When the mother walked up to them, the bullies moved closer to each other. She yelled at them as she jabbed her finger close to each one’s face. I did not hear everything being said but did catch the phrase, “How would you like it if I did to you what you are doing to my son?” By this time, the bullies could only look down and stay silent, but she was not having it; she demanded they look at her when she was talking to them. After a few more words, which she ended by saying, “Next time I will bring the police with me,” she made her way to the open school entrance. All of us knew she was going to seek out the principal. I never saw them pick on her son again. ANOTHER MOTHER WHO STOOD OUT TO me was one I met in high school. She was a real character. The first time I saw her she was wearing hot pink colored short shorts, a white tank top and sparkling rings on both hands. The word that best describes her would be, “jolly.” She was always joking with her daughter’s friends, saying things that were on the verge of embarrassing; well, at least to her daughter who would just sit there and shake her head. But her mother volunteered for everything; it could be a field trip, a bake sale, a chaperone, whatever the school needed. I learned to respect and admire her because she was unapologetic. She was overweight and short, never letting it bother her. I was her daughter’s friend, so I probably had more interaction with her than other students. The thing I learned about her was though she had this fun cheerful side, she was very protective of her daughter. No one could even suggest something negative about the daughter without the mother confronting the person. She had no problem standing up for what she believed was best for her daughter and pity the person who was on the receiving end. Even having known these and many other mothers, I have to say I could not believe the perseverance and determination the mother displayed in this dramatic crime movie. REFUSING TO WATCH HER SON LANGUISH in the foster care system, a mother decides to kidnap him and find themselves a better life. With Teyana Taylor (White Men Can’t Jump, Miracles Across 125th Street) as Inez de la Paz, Aaron Kingsley Adetola (Rise, Superblocked) as Terry 6 years old, Aven Courtney (Strive, Aviva) as Terry 13 years old, Josiah Cross (King Richard) as Terry 17 years old and William Catlett (The Devil You Know, Charm City Kings) as Lucky; this story based in New York City was unbelievable. I was surprised how quickly I was captivated by Inez; the acting was close to perfection. I will say this was not an easy film to watch, simply because of the tough, emotionally intense scenes; but believe me, it is worth it to see such a well-done movie. The acting was superb by everyone because I had to keep reminding myself this was a made-up story not a documentary; that is how real it came across to me. I will say the ending was a bit of a letdown for me; it seemed to have lost some of its intensity. Despite that, I have a new appreciation for a mother’s strength.
3 ½ stars
Flash Movie Review: Love to Love You, Donna Summer
I COULD NOT BELIEVE WHAT WAS playing on the car’s radio. We were driving through the city, when the radio disc jockey made the comment to be prepared for the new hot song, he was going to play next. I was sitting in the backseat, but the car had a decent speaker, so all of us would be able to hear. When the song came on the air, I was not sure if I was hearing things correctly or someone was playing a joke. A woman was moaning. There was a strong beat behind her words, but I was still confused. Eventually the woman sang some lyrics, but the song repeated the moans over and over, extending the song out to an unheard-of amount of time. We were stunned and could not believe what we had just heard. The disc jockey came back on and gave a quick update on the artist’s name, record stats and how she was discovered. I still remember when we were driving back home after spending the day downtown, we heard the song again. Though this time, the evening disc jockey was talking about how fast the song was moving up the song charts, making big jumps towards number one. FOUR YEARS LATER, I HEARD A song that started out with the words, “toot toot, beep beep.” So odd, but it had a beat that was infectious. It turned out it was the same singer from that song I had heard on the radio with all that moaning. I do know, whenever this song came on you could see everyone doing something to the beat; whether it was toe tapping or dancing or air guitaring, it got people moving. By this point my curiosity was piqued enough to figure out who was this singer because I must tell you, I was hooked. The period of time in the music world was referred to as Disco, which referred to pop music created for dancing to it that had melodies and soulfulness, mixed in with a steady beat. You could never get away from it; it was being played at weddings, parties, clubs, television shows and movies. This singer was being referred to as the “Queen of Disco.” She was on the cover of Rolling Stone which was a first. And the best part of this is I got to see her live in concert in a concert hall that is considered to have the best acoustics in the world. With the stage dark, a background music track began to play. The lights came up to show a winter scene on stage with fake snow and crystal icicles hanging from fake trees. The singer slowly came out on a moving sidewalk, dressed in a full length feathered white coat. Her voice was crystal clear as she sang the beginning of one of her famous songs. I was so excited then as I am now, seeing her again in this musical documentary. A DAUGHTER’S CURIOUSITY ABOUT HER MOTHER’S life was the impetus for the creation of this movie about the singer, Donna Summer. Directed by Roger Ross Williams (The Apollo; Life, Animated) and Donna’s daughter Brooklyn Sudano (Taken-TV, With This Ring), I was all into this documentary since I was a big fan of Donna. With home and never seen before footage, I was fascinated seeing the behind-the-scenes tidbits of famous songs and events. Adding in the commentary from such celebrities as Elton John and Giorgio Moroder, I enjoyed reliving those times without having to dress up in Qiana shirts and platform shoes. There was though a sanitary feel to this film, which I understood since Brooklyn was behind it. I would have appreciated getting a deeper sense of Donna and the people in her life with more in-depth, unfiltered interviews. However, hearing the music again transported me back to those times and gave me such a fun feeling that I could easily forgive. If you choose to see this picture, do not be surprised if you get the urge to dance.
Flash Movie Review: Fast X
WHEN I WAS LITTLE, BIG FAMILY dinners were exciting for me. It was there where I had my first taste of coffee; granted, it was a couple of drops in a coffee cup with milk filling up the rest. However, I felt like such a grownup sitting there sipping on my coffee like the adults around me. The family dinner was also the setting where I tasted wine for the first time and made everyone laugh by the sour look on my face after tasting it. The food was always plentiful because relatives would always contribute a side dish or dessert. I along with my cousins would always sit together. We started out at the “kid’s table” which was a separate folding table, usually covered with some type of water-resistant tablecloth. One adult would oversee us, placing plates of food in front of us and periodically checking to see if we were goofing off. It was not until we reached the middle school years before we would be allowed to sit at the “big” table with the rest of the adults. It was there where the conversations would cover a variety of topics that could cause almost anything from laughter to arguments. It did not matter to me because it was a great learning ground to see how one tells a story, a joke, has a debate or disagreement. AS WE WERE GETTING OLDER, THERE came a time when family members were getting engaged and married. For me, it added a new element into the mix of these family dinners. Suddenly this stranger entered our domain, as the boy or girlfriend of one of my relatives. Having them enter the mix immediately changed the dynamics of the get together. Suddenly individuals were on their best behavior. The language was toned down; in other words, less salty shall we say. Sometimes the person would fit in easily, but other times they would be the only one not laughing at something the rest of us found funny. Of course, some of these boys and girlfriends never lasted; however, if one turned into a fiancée or fiancé then that meant our family dinner would expand to include the future in-laws. There were times where the kid’s table had to be used for adults because there were so many people invited. I found the experience odd. Here were strangers I had never met, sitting and eating with us; it was always a crapshoot. Some could handle our noise level, while others sat there quietly throughout the meal. The more in-laws joining us eventually caused our big family meals to break apart where one sibling and all her offspring would hold their own holiday meal. With all the family connections in this action-packed sequel, I do not know how they could still sit around a dining room table. A SON WHO LOST HIS DRUG LORD father during one of Dominic Toretto’s, played by Vin Diesel (Bloodshot, The Last Witch Hunter), jobs is hellbent on seeking revenge against Dom and his family. With Michelle Rodriguez (The Assignment, Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves) as Letty, Jason Statham (The Meg, Spy) as Shaw, Jordana Brewster (Hooking Up, Who Invited Charlie?) as Mia and Tyrese Gibson (Dangerous, Black and Blue) as Roman; this crime adventure film was a mixed bag for me. The movie had all the elements that go into this franchise: fast cars, unbelievable stunts, intense fighting, explosions, scantily dressed women, dancing and speeches. It was too much for me. I felt the script was designed to incorporate everything that had been used before in the previous sequels. This does not mean there were not times where it was exciting to watch the action; but I was starting to feel that this franchise had run its course. This picture was only the first half of the story; there will be another film coming out which explains the extra scene in the middle of the ending credits. If you like cars and car chases and are invested in the characters, then you will have an easier time watching this movie. There were many scenes with blood and violence.
2 ½ stars
Flash Movie Review: Don’t Worry Darling
I CRINGE WHEN I HEAR A statement such as, “I hate it when he eats in bed.” The back story to this comment; a friend of mine married a man who enjoyed eating in bed. Personally, it would be a deal breaker for me, so I get where she is coming from. The thing is, she knew going into the relationship that this was something he did. I remember her telling me stories about waking up in the morning with crumbs strewn across the whole bed sheet. So, by the time they got married, she had been dealing with this situation for three years. For the next couple of years, I would periodically listen to her complain about her husband’s eating habits. I finally had to ask her why she thought things would be different after they were married. My friend felt once they were married, she could convince him to change his eating habits. I had to call it as I saw it by telling her if she went into the marriage with the idea she could change him, she would set herself up for disappointment. Love does not come with conditions; you either love unconditionally or the basis of the marriage will have this open wound that will not heal. I suggested some options she could try to find a happy medium, but explained at our ages change is hard to come by. She cannot change him, but she can change her reaction; because let us face it, no one is perfect. MAYBE IT WILL NOT SURPRISE YOU those two filed for divorce after a couple of more years. Heaven knows, I have been in relationships where I wished I could change some aspect about the person, but I always concluded that if I am not perfect, why would I expect them to be perfect. Going into a relationship, where you totally accept the person for who they are, is so much easier than struggling to mold each other into what you imagine they could be. I remember being in a relationship where they constantly told me I was never available for them, despite keeping every weekend open for us to be together. What they were saying to me was they wanted me to quit teaching so I could be available for them during the weekdays. They knew from day one that I worked a full-time job and at night I taught fitness and yoga classes. Nothing changed on my part; but they came into the committed relationship expecting me to change for them. It was never discussed or questioned. Knowing my schedule, if they were not happy with it, they could have chosen not to move forward with our dating status. As I have said before, life is not perfect; except maybe for the people living in the experimental town in this dramatic thriller. A HOUSEWIFE BEGINS TO WONDER IF something is wrong with her perfect life after she begins to recall some disturbing dreams. With Florence Pugh (Black Widow, The Wonder) as Alice, Harry Styles (Dunkirk, Eternals) as Jack, Chris Pine (All the Old Knives, The Contractor) as Frank, Olivia Wilde (Richard Jewell, Life Itself) as Bunny and Kiki Layne (The Old Guard, If Beale Street Could Talk) as Margaret; this movie kept my interest because of Florence. She has such a magnetic screen presence that made me want to find out what was happening to her character. There were some interesting parts to the story; however, the longer the movie dragged on the less I cared what was happening to the cast. There was a familiarity to the script, as if I saw some scenes in previous films. And I disliked the twist and the last part of the story; it made no sense to me and by this time I did not care, feeling I wasted my time. Now I don’t expect every movie I see to be perfect, but I certainly want them to be entertaining. This one was not perfect nor was it entertaining.
1 ¾ stars
Flash Movie Review: Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves
THE TICKETS WERE MORE THAN I like to spend for live theater, but the recommendation I got was glowing for this production. A friend raved about this pre-Broadway production that was stopping here for a trial run before heading to New York; they said I had to see it. I get a kick out of seeing a play or musical before its Broadway run because the tickets are a whole lot cheaper, and I enjoy being first to discover something that becomes a major sensation afterwards. The night of the performance, a small group of us got dressed up and went out to dinner before curtain time. When we finally arrived at the theater, it looked like a mob scene. There were people everywhere, taking selfies in front of the theater posters and marquee. We bypassed all of it to make our way inside the theater lobby. By the time we settled into our seats, the theater lights flashed on and off to signal to all those standing it was time to get seated. And right on time the lights went off and the production began. It was staged beautifully, with elaborate sets and dramatic lighting. There were parts that were amusing, but to be honest, I was bored through parts of it. For everything my friend praised about this play; I had a different reaction. I did not get it at all, and I already was regretting the amount of money I spent to come see it. Just one big disappointment. IT IS BECAUSE OF THINGS LIKE that, I am hesitant to recommend anything. I am sure you have experienced going to a restaurant where someone told you to try and discover you did not care for the meal. Or try a new food item from the grocery store and your reaction differs from the person who told you about the product. Taste is such a personal thing; we all have different combinations of taste buds, where some people think an item is too salty and others feel it is too sweet. When I suggest a restaurant place to someone, I always preface it with my food issues, such as not liking spicy, or heat infused food. I also do not like gooey types of food. My pizza must be well done; if it comes to the table looking wet with oil and the cheese ready to slide off the crust, I will not eat it. So, you can see, this is why I tell people my taste preferences, to lessen the chance of disappointment. On a similar note, I found myself in this situation. Having heard so much about the Dungeons & Dragons game, I was all prepared to have a great time watching this action, adventure comedy. DESPARATE TO REVIVE HIS DECEASED WIFE, a thief plots to steal a lost relic to help in his quest. He soon discovers he cannot accomplish it on his own. With Chris Pine (Star Trek franchise, Don’t Worry Darling) as Edgin, Michelle Rodriguez (The Fast and the Furious franchise, Widows) as Holga, Rege-Jean Page (The Gray Man, Bridgerton-TV) as Xenk, Justice Smith (Paper Towns, Pokemon: Detective Pikachu) as Simon and Sophie Lillie (It franchise, Gretel & Hansel) as Doric; this fantasy film confused me. Keeping in mind I was not familiar with the game this film is based on, I felt lost many a time. For the first half, I was bored multiple times. On the plus side, the movie was visually stimulating as well as creative. I enjoyed the cast, especially the chemistry between Chris and Michelle. There were parts of the story I did not understand; maybe because I never played the game. Not until the last half of the story, did things pick up for me. The fight scenes were fun and well-choreographed. And the special effects were well done. I wished I would not have been as disappointed as I was with this picture. For me, it has potential for creating a better sequel. There was one brief extra scene during the ending credits.
2 ½ stars
Flash Movie Review: Fool’s Paradise
IF YOU HAVE NEVER SAT WITH someone who was constantly posting things on their social media sites, then consider yourself quite lucky. I myself have been lucky, but I did have someone sitting at the next table to me at a restaurant who was posting stuff. Besides being inconsiderate with all her narrations, she was taking photos of every dish that came to the table. I sat there trying to ignore it all, but it was like trying to ignore fireworks going off in your backyard. All her movements were overexaggerated as was her dialog. The baked potato was not just delicious with butter and sour cream, it was according to her a perfect blend of buttery dollops floating in a sea of smooth cream, with a touch of shaved cheddar cheese sprinkled on top like a brief spring shower. I could not imagine who would be following her on social media; what made her such an expert, I wondered. Not that I judge people by their appearances, but she barely looked of legal age and talked in a phony solicitous way. I did chuckle at the way she kept flicking her long hair back, to keep her face in the best lighting possible. What was the purpose of her doing these posts; did she expect everyone watching to go to the restaurant? Or did she hope to find a way to monetize her sites based on the number of people following her? I do not get it. THERE HAS NEVER BEEN A PRODUCT I purchased based on a celebrity endorsement. These days there are some bloggers that have become celebrities; no matter, I would not act on the advice of a blogger, actor, musician or anyone who was not an expert on the subject. Many celebrities have been spokespeople for products or services; though, it seems to me it has increased in number after the golden age of Hollywood. Nowadays, it only takes a person to do one thing that gets noticed and the press quickly blows it out of proportion. It reminds me of that documentary I reviewed where a homeless man saved a woman from an attack, after a traffic incident. He became this hot topic, being wooed by talk show hosts and news outlets. It turned out he might have staged the event and was later accused of murder. Go figure. I cannot describe it fully, but there seems to be this voracious appetite in the news/entertainment worlds to continually elevate people to these absurdly high levels of public recognition, no matter who or what they may have done or not done. This comedic satire can show you an example of what I have been talking about. HAVING BEEN RELEASED FROM A MENTAL health facility, a homeless man soon becomes the latest rage in Hollywood’s media mill. With Charlie Day (Fist Fight, I Want You Back) as Latte Pronto, Ken Jeong (Crazy Rich Asians, The Hangover franchise) as Lenny the Publicist, Kate Beckinsale (Underworld franchise, Love & Friendship) as Christiana Dior, Adrien Brody (Blonde, The French Dispatch) as Chad Luxt and Jason Sudeikis (Colossal, Ted Lasso-TV) as Lex Tanner; Charlie wrote and directed this film. I thought he did an admirable job with his character, which had no dialog; it was completely a physical role. He along with the celebrity cameo roles were the high points of this movie. The script lacked humor, depth and emotion. It kept reminding me of an old Peter Sellars film titled Being There. I knew something had to be up because I was the only one sitting in the theater. There really was nothing unique here except, as I said, for cameo appearances from such celebrities as Ray Liotta and Jason Bateman. With nothing funny or unique being offered, I was left bored through most of this film.
1 ½ star
Flash Movie Trailer: The Janes
SITTING ON THE BENCH FOR THE entire basketball game was not my version of fitness. Nor was it sitting on the sidelines of a football game. My gym classes prior to college were for the most part a series of competitions which I detested. If you were a mediocre or poor player, you suffered. Because football had the most physical contact, I did everything I could to hide instead of playing it. The gym classes for the school semester were made up of a series of sports games. Unless you were picked to play on a team, most of the class period was sitting on the bleachers. I never wanted to participate in any of the sports activities because they were essentially too violent. The gym teacher spent a good amount of time in his office during the class, after throwing out to us a couple of basketballs or footballs; he was never around when the aggressive students would take advantage of the weaker ones. An illegal block, a smack on the back of the head, a strong shove; they were just a few of the tactics used to intimidate the average or less players. There was nothing to gain by me staying in the gym; in fact, every minute I stayed offered a bigger opportunity for me to be attacked or abused. Gym class was detrimental to my health. IT WAS NOT UNTIL MY COLLEGE years before I began to understand how to achieve and maintain a healthy body. Granted back then, the dominant focus was on the outer physical part of the body. At least, it was a start and I started paying attention to the things around me in class. I noticed the students that solely worked with barbells and weights, could not do much aerobically. In other words, they would tire out quickly during a jog. In the swimming pool, they had little flexibility which caused them to be slow swimmers. My own health plan did not fully solidify during those years; it really took off several years after I graduated, and it was due to a relative’s medical heart scare. It was then that I took health and fitness seriously and started participating in aerobic classes. Seeing that most people attending class looked like they were fit already, an idea formed in my head based on my experiences. I wanted to create a class not only for those who were already fit, but for those who did not feel comfortable doing exercise in a group setting. It was part luck and part determination, but I found my niche and had people attending from all different fitness backgrounds. There was a need that I tapped into and discovered how good it felt to help people reach their health goals. It was that type of similar mindset which I saw in this amazing documentary that resonated with me. IN CHICAGO, A GROUP OF WOMEN formed a network made up of code names and secret drop off locations to work together and offer a healthier option for women in need. Directed by Tia Lessin (Trouble the Water, Citizen Koch) and first-time director Emma Pildes, I searched for this film due to having seen and reviewed Call Jane with Elizabeth Banks and Sigourney Weaver. Discovering Elizabeth’s film was based on a true event spurred me to investigate the topic further and this film was one of the things I found in it. The mix of old footage with the surviving women of the group doing the narrations was the perfect mix to entice viewers. When thinking about that period of time and what women had to go through, I found it more shocking on how the Janes did as much as they did. Also, it was not lost on me how this picture is just as relevant today as it was back then. This engrossing film was a true find that made me feel privileged to have seen it.
3 ½ stars
Flash Movie Review: The Mother
WAITING TO CHECK OUT MY SCHOOL supplies, I saw something that changed my opinion about motherhood. In the next line stood a mother holding a crying baby. I had no reason to assume she was not the mother. She tried calming the child by gently bouncing her up and down, while making soft cooing sounds. I was wondering why the mother did not give the baby bottle she had in her hand to her child just as she brought it closer to her other hand to unscrew the top. Placing the bottle on the edge of the conveyor belt, she contorted her arm back to grab something out of her large canvas bag that was slinged over her shoulder. I could not believe what she pulled out of that bag; it was a bottle of cola. She quickly took off the cap and poured the soft drink into the baby bottle. I had to look around to see if anyone else was seeing what I was watching; it was the most incredible thing I had ever seen. The mother closed the baby bottle and stuck the nipple into the baby’s mouth. I thought the baby would spit out the carbonated liquid, but I was wrong. The baby calmed down and sucked away on that bottle, like the way I imagined a sugar addict would do it. I wondered if Dr. Spock would have approved. FROM THAT EARLY SINGLE INCIDENT, I realized not every woman is cutout for motherhood. I have encountered many women who were outstanding mothers. There was the mother who surprised her music-loving child with tickets to their very first rock concert, because she wanted to further encourage her child’s interest in music. On the other hand, I heard about the mother, who was attending the parent/teacher conferences at her son’s school, when the teacher mentioned the child’s disappointing testing scores and the mother exclaimed, she was screwed (the actual comment is not printable here). The mother was more concerned about the optics of having a child who is struggling in certain areas instead of focusing on finding the proper resources to help her son succeed. Her actions as told to me simply reinforced my belief that just having a baby doesn’t qualify a woman to be a mother. It takes a special person with a special skill set. It does not even have to be as skilled as the mother in this action thriller, but it certainly could not hurt. HAVING BEEN FORCED TO GIVE UP her child at birth, a single mother had to resign herself to a quiet life of solitude. That life would rapidly change when she found out her daughter was being targeted by someone from her past. With Jennifer Lopez (Shotgun Wedding, Marry Me) as The Mother, Lucy Paez (The Exorcism of Carmen Farias, Silencio) as Zoe, Omari Hardwick (Army of the Dead, Sorry to Bother You) as Cruise, Joseph Fiennes (Risen, The Handmaid’s Tale) as Adrian and Gael Garcia Bernal (Old, The Motorcycle Diaries) as Hector; this drama had a decent premise and a committed lead star with Jennifer. Granted even in a fight scene her makeup and outfits looked fine, but I did appreciate her effort in making the fight scenes look believable. My issue with this picture was the script. It was a good idea but came across as a series of cliches; it was easy figuring out what was going to happen next. I felt there could have been more given to the characters, both emotionally and historically. And of course, there were a few scenes that came across as non-believable. It was not lost on me that this film debuted Mother’s Day weekend because it really showed an intense example of a mother’s love. There were several scenes filled with blood and violence.
2 ½ stars
Flash Movie Review: Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3
ALL I COULD DO WAS STARE at my dinner plate while everyone around me was yelling at each other. I was a dinner guest at a friend’s house, and I was familiar with the family’s outspokenness. What started out as a pleasant meal turned into a screaming match all because some of the family members started talking about politics. This is something I always avoid in mixed company for these exact reasons. I was enjoying the food and wanted to continue to eat during the arguments, but it felt weird to do so for some reason. The combatants were at the stage of their argument where they were calling each other names. Other family members were taking sides to defend their relative; it was either going to be a short evening or tension filled long night. By the time the arguing died down, with people storming out of the room then coming back in, the food was cold. It did not stop anyone from eating since we were all starving. When dessert finally came out, the conversation had shifted to a lighter mood as members talked about their children and/or trips they were planning. The rest of the evening was filled with jokes, laughter and teasing; you would never have known, only a couple of hours earlier, that family members were close to fisticuffs. I chalked it up to believing this was the way relatives related and expressed themselves to each other in this family. SEVERAL WEEKS LATER, I WAS OUT with a group of friends for dinner and a play. Seated around the table, I looked at them with the thought of how many years we had known each other. When one friend had a medical issue that required hospitalization, each friend found time to visit them in the hospital; some even snuck in food treats that were okay for them to eat. All the friends attended the funeral of a friend when their parents had passed away. Over our meal at the restaurant, we touched on a variety of topics, from the personal to absurd. There was laughter, comfort, advice and joy throughout our meal and into the evening. Each of us were so close to one another that it dawned on me, we were a family in many ways. Except for not sharing the same bloodline, we were no different than any other family. We would do anything for each other and knowing that was a comfort. Except for their superpowers, I can totally see similarities between what I have and what the main characters have in this action, adventure comedy. WHEN ONE OF THE GUARDIANS WAS fatally injured, the others would need to come together to find a way to save him while they were trying to save the universe. With Chris Pratt (The Tomorrow War, The Kid) as Peter Quill, Chukwudi Iwuji (John Wick: Chapter 2, The Split-TV) as The High Evolutionary, Bradley Cooper (A Star is Born, Nightmare Alley) voicing Rocket, Pom Klementieff (Oldboy, Uncut Gems) as Mantis and Dave Bautista (Knock at the Cabin, Glass Onion) as Drax; this sequel was jam packed with story lines and action. It was a little too much for me. I was touched by the personal story lines, but with so much going on, I felt some intensity and emotional connection was sacrificed. At times, it seemed as if part of the story was a retelling of the Wolverine origin story line. On the plus side, the soundtrack and the splashes of humor were great and added more punch to the fight scenes which were well choregraphed. I appreciated the emphasis on family and thought the writers correctly steered the script through to its conclusion. There were 2 extra scenes during the ending credits.
Flash Movie Review: Sisu
I KNEW NOTHING ABOUT REVENGE UNTIL I was in elementary school and saw it for myself. At the time, I did not know any details, only saw the results. We had come back from recess and were going to our seats. A boy sat down at his desk and let out a yelp as he sprung back up from the seat. He was one row over and a few seats ahead of me. I looked up as everyone else did to see him move his hands over his backside. He was pulling something away from his pants, but they were too small for me to see. After he brought it up to his face to inspect it, he looked around the room and demanded to know who did this to him. None of us knew what he was talking about, so we sat there in silence, staring at him. That was not good enough for him; he said he would find out who did it and smash them into little pieces. After that statement, if someone in class had done it, there was no way they would admit it now. As he was pulling out the others that were stuck to him, the teacher walked back into the classroom. She asked him what he was doing, and he replied, “Nothing.” For the rest of the day, I could not stop thinking about what happened to him. IT WAS A FEW DAYS LATER before I found out what happened to that boy in my class. A friend of mine said he had heard the boy was picking on someone from a different class or grade; the person telling him the story was not sure. That boy decided to get back at the boy in my class; so, when we were all outside for recess, he snuck into our room and placed a few colored thumbtacks on that boy’s seat. I asked what would have happened if the boy had sat down and started to bleed (I was naïve)? After this incident, I never heard anything else about it; but I continued to be curious about the actions that took place. The sneakiness of it intrigued me since I was reading a lot of detective stories. The other thing that interested me the most was the fact that the boy who sat on the thumbtacks was a bully in my opinion; I always tried to stay clear of him. The idea that someone would willingly provoke him was a foreign concept to me. As I went from grade to grade, I soon understood the motivation; but I never had the courage to do something so blatant. And believe me, from what I experienced through my school years, there were times I wished I had courage like the main character in this action war film. TOWARDS THE END OF THE WAR, A band of retreating Nazis come upon a prospector who had just struck gold. Seeing the gold as an opportunity for them to safely get out, they felt it would be simple to take the prospector’s gold. They had no idea what they were about to start. With Jorma Tommila (Priest of Evil, Big Game) as Aatami, Aksel Hennie (The Martian, The Cloverfield Paradox) as Bruno, Jack Doolan (The Hatton Garden Job, Marcella-TV) as Wolf, Mimosa Willamo (Finders of the Lost Yacht, Deadwind-TV) as Aino and Onni Tommila (Big Game, Rare Exports) as Schute; this film festival English speaking winner from Finland was a steely intense experience. There were brutal, bloody violent scenes throughout the movie. As some of you know, I am not one for brutal violence; however, the way the story unfolded kept me glued to the big screen. The script was no-nonsense and direct, letting the action do all the talking. There was a Quentin Tarantino vibe through the whole picture, particularly because there was a splash of humor mixed into the violence. Jorma was a solid force throughout the story, despite him barely speaking a word. This was an over-the-top script that had one objective, to get revenge and it does that multiple times.
3 ½ stars