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Flash Movie Review: Gotti

HER GRIEF-STRICKEN FACE APPEARED on the television screen after the commercial break. Huddled next to her was her husband, his head slowly dropping down to a certain point before being jerked back up by consciousness. They were freezing and had barely eaten anything for the past couple of days. Their car was stuck in a snow bank when it skidded off the road in a remote area; they were on their way to his mother’s house out of state. The snowstorm unexpectedly hit their area much harder than the weatherman had predicted. If they would have known they would not have taken the risk, especially since she was pregnant. I only knew about all these details from the news reporter that was interviewing the couple. The scenes in the snow were actually reenactments with 2 actors portraying the real couple. From everything I was watching and hearing, I honestly was amazed the couple survived that ordeal. They were just an average couple; they did not have any special skills or superpowers, only their wits. Being sensitive to the cold I know I would not have survived one night, yet these two lasted days before they were discovered.     AFTER WATCHING THAT TELEVISION SHOW, I was curious why the couple’s story was told via a newscast program instead of being turned into a movie for theatrical release. I have seen so many films based on true stories that have been unbelievable at times. Some were about famous people; but then there have been others who were nobody special, expect for the extraordinary occurrence that they were part of. For example, one of my recent reviews was for a movie about a couple who found themselves in the middle of a major storm while sailing across the ocean. Sure, the two had some sailing knowledge, but nothing could have prepared them for what they encountered. There was another film I just reviewed that was inspired by the true story of a group of friends who have been playing the same game of tag for decades. Both films were created to entertain an audience, so I am sure the writers took some liberties with the real story. The ones that get shown on TV are not in a movie format style; they usually have been a series of vignettes narrated by some type of reporter. Both productions have value, I understand it; however, today’s movie was not as clear for me.     HAVING WON MULTIPLE LAWSUITS BROUGHT AGAINST him John Gotti Sr., played by John Travolta (Hairspray, Life on the Line), received the moniker “Teflon Don.” Leading one of the largest crime families, the name suited him well. Based on true events this dramatic crime film also starred Kelly Preston (Battlefield Earth, What a Girl Wants) as Victoria Gotti, Stacy Keach (Nebraska, Escape from L.A.) as Neil Dellacroce, Spencer Rocco Lofranco (Unbroken, At Middleton) as John Gotti Jr. and Pruitt Taylor Vince (Mississippi Burning, Constantine) as Angelo Ruggiero. John did a wonderful job of acting in this film; I found his presence on screen remained strong throughout. Kelly was also good; however, the issue I had with this movie was the script or lack of one. Most of the scenes felt like they were just copies of news segments. I was somewhat entertained simply because I was curious about John Gotti, but I did not see anything I had not already known. For listing this picture a biography, I would have preferred getting more history about the characters. Instead, there were family scenes; the only difference being the father was a major crime boss. With the addition of scenes that jumped back and forth in the story, I had a difficult time staying engaged. Maybe this picture would have been better served if it had been released on television.

 

1 ¾ stars   

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Flash Movie Review: Hotel Artemis

OF ALL PLACES I WOULD NOT have thought an amusement park would have been the place where I felt I was now part of a group. Growing up I never was much associated with any one group. I was not into team sports nor did I belong to any type of organization. Some of my friends had been involved with the Boy Scouts or after school programs; I never felt comfortable to be a part of such things. My friends were an eclectic group I enjoyed being with; but I also liked having my alone time too. During the high school years is when I really shied away from being labeled part of any type of group. There were the jocks who always hung out together and as far as I could tell did most activities as one group. If one person was going to a party then they all would go to it; if one person picked on a student then the others would join in. Another group that did everything en masse were the cheerleaders. If one of them hated something then the rest of them immediately hated the same thing. I know these two examples are considered stereotypical, but this type of group mentality was prevalent throughout my school.      SO HERE I FIND MYSELF at this massive amusement park and we have special passes that allow us to bypass the lines of people waiting to get on the rides. I am not sure if I can describe how I felt as we walked up to the park employees managing the lines, showed them our pass and then directed into a separate line that was right next to the general line. As I walked by I looked at the faces of the attendees who had been standing there for 30-65 minutes; they looked tired, dehydrated and a bit annoyed by the long wait. So here I am walking at my usual fast pace and come up to other guests who have passes. I think we only had a 10-minute wait before we could get on the ride. As I am getting strapped into the compartment assigned to me I get this realization that all of us were being treated in a special way. Granted the tickets cost more, but I suddenly felt like I had something in common with this group of strangers; it was like we were a part of a secret club. It was a new feeling for me and helped me understand the group camaraderie that took place in this action crime thriller.      SITUATED IN PLAIN VIEW IN the heart of Los Angeles stood a hotel that was run by a nurse, played by Jodie Foster (The Accused, Elysium), who only allowed a certain type of individual in to be a guest—a criminal. There were rules that had to be followed if you wanted to stay. With Sterling K. Brown (Marshall, This is Us-TV) as Waikiki, Sofia Boutella (Atomic Blonde, Star Trek: Beyond) as Nice, Dave Bautista (Guardians of the Galaxy franchise, Blade Runner 2049) as Everest and Jeff Goldblum (Jurassic Park franchise, The Fly) as Niagara; the set-up to this story seemed promising, along with the capable cast. However once again the movie studio focused on the cast instead of the script. I enjoyed this cast of characters and the script’s campy vibe, but nothing stood out as exceptional for me. Everything I was watching seemed familiar despite the cool looking sets. It also seemed obvious the studio would not be opposed to doing a sequel. It would be a mistake if they chose to keep the same writers. I may not be part of the reviewers who enjoyed this picture and you know what? That would be okay because I am used to going my own way.

 

1 ¾ stars  

Flash Movie Review: Breaking In

YOU WILL KNOW WHEN YOU are experiencing an acute stress response. It is a physiological reaction that happens when you feel threatened; a real threat where you feel you may get attacked or seriously hurt. The reaction stimulates the pituitary and adrenal glands which releases hormones that have an immediate effect on your body’s systems. A few of the changes that takes place involve an increase in blood pressure, faster heart and lung activity, the constriction of blood vessels in parts of the body and tunnel vision or the loss of peripheral vision. All of this prepares your body to either fight or take flight; it is how animals survive in the wild. The amount of energy you will expend might surprise you. This is not something I hope you experience in your lifetime; trust me, it will take time to recover from such an episode. I remember when I was in a situation where I thought I was going to be severely beaten and my body immediately went on fight/flight mode. The tunnel vision thing happened to me as I ran faster than I had ever done before for at least 3-4 city blocks, trying to escape my attackers. Once I felt I was out of harm’s way my body slowed down and I realized I was drenched in sweat.      IN MY FITNESS CLASSES I always try to add a short period of time devoted to anaerobic activity. Anaerobic means occurring without free oxygen, pushing the body to function at a quicker pace; just like the body reacting during an acute stress response. High caliber athletes train in a similar way so they have a deeper reserve of energy to tap into when they need to kick it up a gear. The reason I do this is so a person is prepared or has a better chance if they ever find themselves in a situation that appears to be life threatening. I do not announce that in class, simply coax members gently to push a little harder. There was a news report some years ago that I may have mentioned before, but it is still as clear in my memory as when it was first on the news. A driving accident took place and a person was pinned underneath the car. The passengers wedged themselves out of the car and lifted it high enough to move the victim out. I believe one of the passengers was a mother who was the first to spring into action after the crash, that primal instinct bursting forth. You are not familiar with that force? Then feel free to watch the mother in this thriller.      WITH HER CHILDREN BEING HELD HOSTAGE by four burglars; would Shaun Russell’s, played by Gabrielle Union (Deliver Us from Eva, Think Like a Man franchise) primal instinct to protect her children be more than a match for these criminals? With Billy Burke (Fracture, The Twilight Saga franchise) as Eddie, Richard Cabral (End of Watch, Walk of Shame) as Duncan, Ajiona Alexus (Acrimony, Empire-TV) as Jasmine and Seth Carr (Black Panther, Terminator Genisys) as Glover; this film’s saving grace was Gabrielle. I was both impressed and surprised how good she was in the role. Her performance reminded me a little of Charlize Theron in Atomic Blonde. However, the script for this thriller failed to deliver anything new. I thought the character Eddie’s dialog was so unemotional that there was no sense of him being sinister, though the character Duncan did his best to be the ”crazy” one. And that was my issue about this picture; it was so basic and predictable that I was getting bored. It is sad for all the physical work Gabrielle put into this movie the rewards could not have been better. I wish some of that primal energy had been devoted to making the script more intense.

 

1 ¾ stars        

Flash Movie Review: Bad Samaritan

IT SEEMS THE WORD SAMARITAN dates all the way back to biblical times; I just knew the word meant kind or helpful. When a shopper asks for my help to reach for a product on a high shelf because they could not, I do not think I am a good Samaritan. I see it more as just being helpful. It is doubtful anyone would say, “Oh, look at the good Samaritan helping that shopper.” I would expect them to say I was sweet or nice. For me a good Samaritan is someone who helps an elderly person cross the street (I know, how stereotypical). I also think a person who rescues an animal from a crisis, such as a cat in a tree or a horse tangled in a wire fence, is a good Samaritan. Just the past week the news reported on a woman who was viciously attacked by 2 dogs, where they had her down on the ground ripping off clothing and skin. A man who was walking nearby heard then saw her, so he quickly ran over. I do not know the details on how but the man was able to get the dogs off her and essentially saved her life according to the doctors in the hospital who have been treating her. This guy was more than a good Samaritan, he was a hero.      IN THE PLACE WHERE I LIVE there is a law that requires drivers to yield to pedestrians when they step into the crosswalk. There is a spot near my house where a bike/walking trail crosses the middle of a busy street. A yield sign with a picture of a walking pedestrian is posted on both sides of the street and they each light up with yellow flashing lights when a pedestrian presses a button. Most drivers will come to a dead stop but I am amazed whenever a see a driver ignore the sign and drive right past the walker who is trying to cross the street. Technically they should get a ticket but rarely have I seen a police officer close enough to have witnessed the illegal act. What adds insult to injury is when these rude drivers refuse to stop even when it is raining or snowing outside. So, let us say one of the drivers does an act of kindness somewhere else; should they be considered a good Samaritan? I do not think one can define that person as one; it is only the helpful and kind act they perform that gets them to be thought of as a good Samaritan for that moment. The example I offer you of this can be found in this dramatic thriller.      BREAKING INTO A HOUSE TO rob it Sean Falco, played by Robert Sheehan (The Messenger, The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones), discovered more than jewelry. He found a woman beaten and tied up in a padded room. This horror film also starred Kerry Condon (Human Affairs, Better Call Saul-TV) as Katie, David Tennant (Doctor Who-TV, Jessica Jones-TV) as Cale Erendreich, Carlito Olivero (We the Party, East Los High-TV) as Derek Sandoval and Jacqueline Byers (Ordinary Days, Full Out) as Riley Seabrook. The idea for this story was truly creepy and it played out so at the beginning. I thought David did a serious job convincing me his character was crazy. His intensity played off well to Robert’s conflicted character. Unfortunately, the script fell apart as the story started to unfold. I felt the scenes lost steam as we went from one to another, never delving too much time in them to develop the characters further. The title to this picture made for brilliant marketing, but I did not realize the movie had to be bad also.

 

1 ¾ stars        

Flash Movie Review: Overboard

NEVER BEFORE HAD I HEARD someone ending a story with the word cancer and had a smile on their face. He was referring to the disease not the zodiac sign. I sat listening to this story and was not expecting such a reaction; I did not know how to respond to him. This is the story he told me: When he was in high school there was a student who took pleasure in torturing him. The bully would spit at him both in and outside of the classroom, besides hitting him at unexpected times with a book or his fist. It lasted the entire school year and not once did he ever do anything about it or at least tell someone about the torment he was receiving. After the school year was over he had a little over 2 months of relief since the bully did not live near him. The next school year continued his good fortune because he and his tormenter shared no classes together. It was a small price because the damage, as he referred to it, was already done. It was years later he heard his tormenter was diagnosed with cancer. When he said those words he had a smile on his face; then added these words, “Karma can be a real bitch.”      FROM MY LIMITED UNDERSTANDING I took karma to be the fate one gets based on their past and current actions. I guess it applied in this case but it seemed odd to find glee in such an outcome. But then again I remember people from my past who had done things that were unkind, unsavory or unethical and I felt they would be sorry for acting that way when karma came a calling. There was a company I worked at that had an employee who was vindictive and sneaky, among other things. She could hold a grudge better than most people. If someone in the company upset her she would purposely do something that would look bad on the person’s work record. She did not care, she was that revengeful. I used to sit there and imagine how life would turn out for her from all the nasty things she had done over the years I worked there. In some ways believing in karma has helped me deal with unpleasant situations. Meeting someone who winds up hurting me in some way still is painful; but when I feel their act will steer their life’s journey on a different course (a/k/a payback), it makes me in some weird way get over the pain quicker. There is a perfect example of it in this comedic romance remake.      WHEN WEALTHY PLAYBOY LEONARDO, played by Eugenio Derbez (Instructions not Included, How to be a Latin Lover), falls off his yacht and washes up on shore without any memory; single mom Kate, played by Anna Feris (The House Bunny, Just Friends), decides to get even with him for the things he had done to her. This movie also starred John Hannah (The Mummy franchise, Four Weddings and a Funeral) as Colin, Eva Longoria (The Sentinel, Harsh Times) as Theresa and Mel Rodriguez (The Watch, Little Miss Sunshine) as Bobby. Though I have a vague memory of the original film I felt this movie did not offer anything special, despite the gender switch in the main characters. Surprisingly I found Eugenio to be the bigger screen presence; Anna was not being utilized to full advantage. She was almost forgettable. The script was predictable and I even mean that for those who never saw the first movie. There were a couple of touching and humorous scenes but after the film was over I wondered what I had done in the past to make me wind up sitting and watching  this disappointing film.

 

1 3/4 stars

Flash Movie Review: Traffik

THE PRICE ADVERTISED WAS THE deciding factor for my friends to book their trip. Having gone to Mexico multiple times they did not need the add-on excursions or upgrades to their tour package. With the low price they chose to extend their stay; but once they booked the hotel and agreed upon the dates, there wound up being additional costs. All of a sudden they were being charged extra for their suitcases and seats; never before were they ever billed such a charge when they booked through the travel agency. What really galled them was an extra charge from the hotel due to the extended stay; it brought them into the travel season pricing, whatever that meant. When I talked to one of my friends she expressed her anger at the travel agency. She said if they would have included all the extra fees into their advertised price she would not have gotten a bad attitude about them. The way they listed a super low price to entice travelers then hit them with added fees felt dishonest to her.      I WOULD HAVE TO AGREE WITH her. The same thing has happened to me. Several years ago I saw an advertised price for a piece of furniture; it was something I had been waiting to go on sale. When I saw the item being advertised on sale I drove to the store to get it. Once there I sought out someone to help me which I have to tell you has become more of a challenge these days. Finally getting a salesperson, I went over the options of color and pattern. Would you believe the sale price was only for one specific color and wood finish?!?! For my color choices it would be more expensive. I was so ticked off I decided not to buy it and instead go look for something else. Things like this are irritating to me. Why can’t they just list the fine details (in large enough print) or state everything upfront? I feel the same way about passive aggressive behavior; just tell me what you want instead of hinting at it or trying to manipulate the conversation with me. It is annoying which is how I felt about this dramatic thriller inspired by true events.      WHAT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE A romantic weekend for Brea and John, played by Paula Patton (Precious, Déjà Vu) and Omar Epps (Love & Basketball, House-TV), turned into a nightmare as they were being stalked by what they thought were just some prejudiced people. Actually they weren’t, they were looking for something specific. With Dawn Olivieri (American Hustle, Den of Thieves) as Cara, Missi Pyle (The Artist, Galaxy Quest) as Deputy Sally Marnes and Laz Alonso (Detroit, Jumping the Broom) as Darren Cole; this story had an identity crisis. If the writers would have only focused on one of the 2 stories taking place this would have been a better movie in my opinion. Unfortunately they missed an important opportunity to shine light on a dark aspect taking place around the world. I was so disappointed not only by this but the rudimentary script. Paula gave it a good try but as I have said before, a film loses points when the script makes the characters do unrealistic things. I am talking about, as an example, knocking unconscious your attacker but you do not take their gun with you or at least hide it before you run away. Stuff like this drives me crazy. So the bottom line here is this movie should have focused on being either a thriller or a startling revelation about human trafficking.

 

1 ¾ stars

Flash Movie Review: I Feel Pretty

TOO MANY OF THE CLOTHES IN our closets have power over us. This unusual strength was not woven into the fabric or sprayed with a special enhancing elixir or studded with armor plating; it simply was chosen to hide our insecurities. I see it in my fitness classes all the time. Some members walk in with a sense of purpose, a directness that stands out from those who feel intimidated or uncomfortable about themselves. The reason I am even aware of it is because I am guilty of the same lack of confidence as they are; however, I hide it in different ways. When members enter the studio they have the option of where to place themselves. The ones who feel comfortable about themselves tend to wear more colorful clothing and pick places closer to the front of the class, while those with less confidence tend to don darker colors and drift into the back rows. What a member wears can say something about their attitude. For myself I wear workout clothing a size larger so I can shut down the critical side of my mind that has always judged how I look. This has been going on for years and is caused by a lack of confidence.     CONFIDENCE HAS ALWAYS BEEN AN elusive creature for me. I do not believe people are born with it; it is something that has to be nurtured and fed to grow inside of us, starting when we are very small. There also has to be the right amount of encouragement and positive reinforcement to avoid getting a swelled head. I have a tuxedo hanging in my closet and it is amazing how much influence it has over me. When I am wearing it I feel like I am a different person; I have confidence, feel good about myself and get a sense that I belong. Yes I am aware that sounds ridiculous but nonetheless that is how I feel. Intellectually I am aware it comes down to confidence; I feel more confident because I am dressed in a tuxedo. Part of the reason why I feel this way is because of marketing. Have any of you ever seen a person dressed in a tuxedo and assumed they were a geek? No, you probably think that person is suave and debonair just like James Bond or George Clooney, when they are wearing a tuxedo. The message in this comedy film will show you what I mean.      AFTER BEING KNOCKED UNCONSCIOUS IN her cycle class Renee Bennett, played by Amy Schemer (Snatched, Thank You for Your Service), came to and was stunned to see her transformation. She was ready to take on the world and reach her dreams. She needed to be careful for what she dreamed for. With Michelle Williams (All the Money in the World, Manchester by the Sea) as Avery LeClaire, Tom Hopper (Game of Thrones-TV, Merlin-TV) as Grant LeClair, Rory Scovel (The House, Dean) as Ethan and Adrian Martinez (Focus, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty) as Mason; I absolutely was on board with the message this film was trying to convey. However the script never dug below the surface, keeping everything on predictable levels with easy jokes. It really was a shame because the writers could have done so much more to make the story a better-rounded one. I actually did not find much humor in the scenes except for maybe a couple of them. Most things were done with a heavy hand as if the writers wanted to drive the point home because they felt the viewers would not get it. Almost in an ironic way I felt the script was written with too much confidence that took the strength away from the message.

 

1 ¾ stars          

Flash Movie Review: Midnight Sun

WHEN IS IT THE RIGHT time to share something personal with the person you are dating? I have seen and heard a variety of reactions from my friends’ experiences. Some of them, in my opinion, share too much information too soon. I do not think it is necessary to dispense intimate details about oneself on the first couple of dates. At least for me it takes a few times of being together to see if both parties are starting to get comfortable with each other. Let me add I have never gone into a dating situation with a preconceived notion about the person or any type of expectations. I think that is where a person gets tripped up, when they have expectations. There were a couple of times where I went on a date and realized the person had planned out everything they wanted in a relationship. All they needed was to find someone to plug into their scenario; they really did not care to learn about the person, only if they could fit into what they had laid out for themselves.     NOW I WILL SAY I do not have a problem revealing things about myself if a person asks me. I would think if you have been following my reviews you would notice they can be rather personal. When I meet someone new there is usually one thing I will mention early on because I have learned if I do not, the person tends to spend time trying to figure out what is wrong with me. I happen to be hypersensitive to the cold; pretty much anything from the weather to air conditioning to ice cubes. My body reacts to the cold by shunting the blood to the internal organs to protect them; everyone’s body does this by the way. Mine just does it more often because more things make me feel cold. So you see when I am on a date and I do not take my jacket off at the cinema or restaurant, it may look odd to everyone. The same thing happens to me grocery shopping, especially in the frozen food sections of the store. It is summertime and I am walking around in a jacket because of the store’s air conditioning. But do you know what I think? If someone is going to get turned off because of my sensitivity to the cold, do I really want to be with them anyway? It was a similar dilemma for the main character in this dramatic, romance movie.     SEVENTEEN YEARS LIVING IN THE same neighborhood and Charlie, played by Patrick Schwarzenegger (Stuck in Love, Grown Ups 2), could not understand how he had never seen Katie, played by Bella Thorne (Blended, Scream: The TV Series) before or at least in school at some point. There was a reason he never saw her. With Rob Riggle (Dumb and Dumber To, 21 Jump Street franchise) as Jack, Quinn Shepherd (Unaccompanied Minors, Hostages-TV) as Morgan and Nicholas Coombe (Imaginary Mary-TV, Cinema Town-TV) as Garver; this film quickly fell into a generic pattern that has played out before. It was too bad because I enjoyed watching the interactions between Katie and Jack. However the biggest distraction for me was Patrick’s performance; his acting was more like sleepwalking. I could not get over how one dimensional he was in this picture; his face barely showed emotion and his eyes were dead looking. Combine this with the melodramatic, heavy handed story and all this film produced for me was boredom.

 

1 ¾ stars           

Flash Movie Review: Sherlock Gnomes

NOT ONLY HAD I NEVER seen one, I never even heard about them. Walking into their house for the first time, I was introduced to a pleasant couple who were friends with my friend. They were hosting a get together and my friend brought me along. After the introductions they led us into their living room. It took me a moment to take it all in but across most of the flat surfaces in the room, such as shelves and tables, there were these ceramic gnomes everywhere. It was so utterly odd to me and there were so many of them; all different kinds from wizen elderly males to young teenagers to busy looking females. Evidently the expression on my face telegraphed my surprise for the hosts took the liberty of telling me the history of several of their gnomes. I found out the artist who created them always placed some type of object on the piece as a surprise. Oh and I almost forgot, each gnome had a name and a history about their life.     SEVERAL YEARS LATER I WAS killing time in a resale shop. As I made my way through the aisles I came to a section that held house wares. There was an entire shelving unit filled with the same type of gnomes I remembered from that dinner party back then. All of them were lined up into rows as if they were all sitting in a theater to watch a movie. I never knew how much were the original prices for these gnomes, but I could not resist checking what they were being priced at in this resale store. A majority of the larger ones were priced at $5.00 and the smaller ones at $3.00. I had to assume this was a major bargain. What is that saying, one person’s junk is another person’s treasure? Based on the traces of dust covering some of the gnomes I assumed they had been sitting there a long time; I guess there is not a need for people to have gnomes in their house or garden currently. It is funny because I wound up feeling the same regarding this animated, adventure comedy sequel.     AFTER SETTLING INTO THEIR NEW home Gnomeo and Juliet, voiced by James McAvoy (Split, The Last King of Scotland) and Emily Blunt (The Girl on the Train, Into the Woods), expected with a little work to have the perfect garden. However when their fellow gnomes went missing the only one who could hopefully solve the mystery was the top detective Sherlock Gnomes, voiced by Johnny Depp (Black Mass, The Long Ranger) and his companion Dr. Watson, voiced by Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave, 2012). The idea for this story was cute in this film. With decent animation and a soundtrack provided by Elton John’s songs I thought this would have been a fun film. Just as I was stunned seeing all those gnomes in that couple’s house, I was dumbfounded by how poorly written was the script. This picture was boring to me; there was nothing funny or cute about it. Maybe a narrow group of children would like this film; but where I expected a theater with children to be noisy, in my viewing there were barely any sounds coming from the audience. I had to fight to stay attentive to what was going on in the story. For the most part I felt myself wanting to doze off, but forced myself to stay awake. It was a late viewing for me, but that was not the reason. Like the fate of Beanie Babies and pet rocks, this movie will probably make it to the discount bin in quick time.

 

1 ¾ stars

Flash Movie Review: Pacific Rim: Uprising

I MIGHT BE THE ONLY one who thinks this way, but I would never name a child after their parent. There are some people who will say it is a blessing to name the baby with the same name as the parent; but I feel it is a crapshoot, especially when the males are given the same name with the addition of Jr. If I focus let us say on political figures in history, you could make the argument the same name worked for President John Adams and his son President John Quincy Adams; you would be correct in this case. But let me ask you, how do you think having the last name as their father affected the children of Joseph Stalin and Benito Mussolini? Maybe when their fathers were in power things were good, but I am guessing it did not last long. Now for Margaret Truman she led a successful life as a singer and author, where her last name did not hinder her career; if nothing else it probably helped since she wrote a number of works on United States’ First Ladies and Families.     THIS IS WHY I AM not a fan of naming children after their parents because they usually are never judged on their own merits. The same could be said for siblings who attend the same school. If the older of the 2 siblings was the perfect student, the younger one will have a lot to live up to if they wind up having the same teacher. I remember two brothers in school who suffered from that very thing; one was considered the sweet, kind one and the other was thought of as a troublemaker. Each of us is always getting judged one way or another; I do not think having the same name helps a person reach their true potential. Sure it can open some doors for the individual but it can also slam the door in their face. When I find out a successful person I admire is related to a famous person I have to give them credit for striking out on their own. Look at the actress Mariska Hargitay; how many of you know her mother was Jayne Mansfield? Mariska wanted to make it on her own; kudos to her. One of the main characters did not want to be compared to his father; you should see what he did instead in this action, adventure science fiction film.     JAKE PENTECOST, PLAYED BY JOHN Boyega (Star Wars franchise, Detroit), could never live up to his father’s achievement in helping to save Earth. So Jake chose a completely different life; however, his life took a turn when he met the homeless girl Namani, played by relative newcomer Cailee Spaeny. With Scott Eastwood (Suicide Squad, The Longest Ride) as Nate Lambert, Burn Gorman (Crimson Peak, The Dark Knight Rises) as Dr. Hermann Gottlieb and Charlie Day (Fist Fight, Horrible Bosses franchise) as Dr. Newton Geiszler; I suppose if you have not seen the 1st movie you may get something out of this one. However I have to tell you I enjoyed the first film and I did not find this current one entertaining. The script was basic with cheap lines of dialog. There was nothing exciting or tense in the story; by the end of the movie I almost wished things would have ended differently to put a stop to this film spawning a sequel. If pressed I guess I could say the special effects were decent in a Transformers type of way. One could say I am judging this picture to the 1st one but that is not the case. Standing on its own 2 feet this film did not capture my interest; in fact, it only stole some time away from me.

 

1 ¾ stars        

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