Flash Movie Review: Dionne Warwick: Don’t Make Me Over
I APPRECIATE LISTENING TO THE SOUND of a beautiful singing voice. Even some speaking voices are wonderful to listen to, in my opinion. I tend to gravitate to those singers who have powerful voices, who have a wide range and can belt out the notes of a song. It amazes me how a vocalist can maneuver through a musical composition with perfect diction and tone. When I attend concerts to see musical acts, I expect the performers to sing live. When choreography became just as important as the singing, artists started to rely more on recorded tracks and simply lip synch the songs. As some of you are aware of, I am not a fan of lip synching or auto tuning at a concert. Though the staging and choreography play a strong part in live shows, I would rather have live singing be the focus. If I am spending money to see a performer simply lip synch to recordings, I could save the money and listen to their album at home. There have been several music artists I have seen in concert who are on stage performing for close to 3 hours, all of it live. To me they are the standard when it comes to live shows. WHEN A MUSICAL ARTIST ACHIEVES A high level of success, I am highly impressed when they contribute to humanitarian causes, either financially, physically, or as spokesperson. There are singers and bands that are as well known for their charity work as for their performances. I admire the work they do and appreciate them more when they do not let their charitable work take centerstage. Then there are those artists who think just because they are successful in the musical world, they have the right to impart their opinions and thoughts on the general population. I frown on such actions because I do not equate musical success with world politics. An extreme example would be the musical artist who has been recently in the news for his antisemitic remarks. Just like I do not see certain actors’ movies due to their offensive actions, I do the same thing to musical artists. I never played in my fitness classes an artist’s music if they were racist, sexist or prejudiced, either the lyrics in their song or in their personal life. Feeling the way I do; I was taken by surprise while watching this musical documentary. Also, as a sidenote, I saw Dionne Warwick in concert in a small venue during the twilight of her singing career and she sounded as good as when she first started out professionally singing. COMING FROM A MUSICAL FAMILY, DIONNE WARWICK was a trailblazer in her own right. She also was the older cousin to Whitney Houston. You might be surprised to see what Dionne was able to accomplish in her life. Directed by David Heilbroner (Say Her Name: The Life and Death of Sandra Bland, The Newburgh Sting) and relative newcomer Dave Wooley, there were several times where I was taken completely surprised by the actions of Dionne. Granted, there has been a lot written about Dionne but there still were a few things I did not know about her. There was a segment in this film where a music rapper talks about the time early in his career when he met Dionne; it was priceless. There were other tidbits like this that Dionne shared throughout this movie. Where I said previously, I distrust artists who brag, I gained a new level of respect for Dionne as she shared some of her charitable work with the interviewer. Mixing in old footage with Dionne’s description of the time was a real treat. Hearing about the history of her songs and the things she fought for, I was left with a whole new appreciation for what she accomplished in the musical world.
3 ¼ stars
Flash Movie Review; Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical
AS SOME OF YOU KNOW, I hold teachers in high regard. What they provide is invaluable and they are not compensated enough for it. No disrespect to the professional sporting world, but the pay scale is quite lopsided when you compare a teacher’s salary to a pitcher or basketball player. A teacher is helping our children to become functioning, self-sufficient, independent adults. A sports figure is entertaining us. Despite what I just said, I know there are some teachers who graduate at the top of their class and there are some who graduate at the bottom of their class. The same with any profession; it can be anyone from a doctor to an accountant. I have had some remarkable teachers in my life; ones who pushed me harder to excel in the fields of my interest. However, I remember the instructors, who even back then, I knew were not very good. There was one teacher who taught by reading out of our textbook in a monotone voice. They did not elaborate on anything, nor did they encourage discussion of a topic. It was a boring class, with many of the students not paying attention to them. That class seemed to be the longest one of the day, though it was the same amount of time as all the other classes. COMPARED TO THE TIME I WENT to school; I think teachers have a harder time teaching these days. I spent an evening with a teacher who shared their experiences in the classroom. At their school, all teachers must go through an active shooter training class. Most if not all teachers use their own money to buy supplies for the students because there is never enough money in the school budget to get supplies. Class sizes are larger, where children with learning disabilities are placed in the classroom with no consideration to getting help for the child; it is up to the teacher to try to teach the general student body at the same time as those with some type of disability. The teacher I was talking to told me about a student in their class who they believe is a genius. Being a 2nd grade student, the child’s test scores show they are performing at the level of a sophomore in high school. I asked if the school district is aware of the child’s abilities, and they said yes; but they have not provided any help or tools to help the child excel and adapt to their environment. Learning falls on the teacher, but how can they incorporate a super advanced student into the general mix of the classroom.? If interested, this comedic family drama will show you what I have been talking about to the extreme. HAVING THE WORST PARENTS IN the world, a little girl is hopeful she will finally get an education when her parents decide to enroll her in a school. Her parents would start to look good right after the little girl met the headmistress. With Alisha Weir (Don’t Leave Home, Darklands-TV) as Matilda Wormwood, Emma Thompson (Cruella; Good Luck to You, Leo Grande) as Agatha Trunchbull, Lashana Lynch (Captain Marvel, The Woman King) as Miss Honey, Stephen Graham (Venom: Let There Be Carnage, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) as Mr. Wormwood and Andrea Riseborough (The Electrical Life of Louis Wan, W.E.) as Mrs. Wormwood; this adaptation of the staged musical production took the essence of the characters and accentuated them to become standout performers. Alisha and Emma were incredible; I could not take my eyes off them. The rest of the cast was equally as good. The direction was precise and magical at times as it worked to create the ideal version of Roald Dahl’s story. The music and songs provided comic relief at times, as well as the sharp passages of dialog. This was such a fun movie watching experience, that brought me back to a less complicated time, where I was rooting all the way for Matilda.
3 1/4 stars
Flash Movie Review: Devotion
WHEN IT COMES TO BEING JUDGED based on a person’s looks, actions speak louder than words. I learned this early on in my teaching career. Because I did not look like the typical fitness instructor, I was not always taken seriously. I did not have a rock hard, or at least, a solid physique that was muscled or chiseled. The way I would describe myself back then was soft and fluid. Prior to my first teaching position, I had not done any weight bearing exercises; so, I was essentially working out with my classes. I was not the type of person who would spend most of the class time walking around checking on members. My style of teaching was different than the other instructors; it incorporated dance moves where every step was choreographed. It was easier and quicker for me to spot a member who needed assistance when everyone was supposed to be doing the same movement. Trust me, I had new members enter class who left after 5-10 minutes, thinking they would not sweat. I could not say anything to them; however, the people in my class were my best advertisers. Though I did not incorporate moves that looked big and powerful, I had members moving non-stop for one hour. By the end of class, you could look around and see a glow coming off people from their sweat, besides feeling that tingling sensation from muscles that had been working hard. It was may way of showing non-believers I belonged there. THE DISCRIMINATION I EXPERIENCED IN THAT industry, I am aware, is mild compared to the kind I saw at various companies and heard from my friends/relatives. I had a friend who worked at a job he loved; but he could never get a promotion. He knew he worked as hard as everyone else in the department; but whenever there was an opening in the department, he was always overlooked. If he had not accidentally overheard his boss’ comments one day that were derogatory towards a religion, his religion, he would never have found out his boss was prejudiced. It explained all the times my friend was never picked for a higher position. He immediately began searching for another job and I am happy to report he is working at a different company, getting promotions and raises in recognition of all the good work he is doing. Discrimination is ugly and I am always stunned when a person in a high position displays such ugliness. I wonder how the company could allow such behavior and how they can be successful. How many good employees does a company lose in such an environment? In this dramatic film, imagine what opportunities would have been missed if the main character had decided to give up. BEING A US NAVY FIGHTER PILOT was already a tough job. It was even harder when all eyes were watching you. With Jonathan Majors (The Harder They Fall, Lovecraft Country-TV) as Jesse Brown, Glen Powell (Hidden Figures, Everybody Wants Some!!) as Tom Hudner, Christina Jackson (The Night House, Boardwalk Empire-TV) as Daisy Brown, Thomas Sadoski (Wild, Killing Eleanor) as Dick Cevoli and Daren Kagosoff (Ouija, The Secret Life of the American Teenager-TV) as Bill Koenig; this action war drama was based on a true story and what a story. Jonathan was the standout for me; he came across as totally believable with his character. I would have liked to have gotten more back story to his character as well as the others; however, this was a minor complaint compared to watching this well-balanced movie. The directing was straight forward as well as the script. Everything had its place and intension; there was nothing frivolous in the film. Set during the start of the Korean War, this movie shows what can happen when friendships are formed.
3 ¼ stars
Flash Movie Review: God Forbid: The Sex Scandal That Brought Down a Dynasty
RECENTLY, I ATTENDED A RELIGIOUS CONCERT where members of that church were performing Christmas songs. They were being performed by a choir, band and hand bells; some of the songs had audience participation. I knew some of the songs because I remembered being taught them in elementary school, besides hearing them being performed by a multitude of individuals throughout my life. Looking around the auditorium, I saw how the music was moving people. It brought them a sense of comfort, a sense of joy; I daresay, a peaceful contentment. As a lover of music, I understood what they were feeling, despite the fact the songs had no significance to me except a school memory. I was not raised with the same religion that the people around me were raised in. And you know what, it is okay. I would not expect them to know any of the religious songs I was taught when I was a child. It is the same when I am talking to a stranger; I do not know their religious background, so during this time I say, “Happy Holidays.” More times than not, I am wished a “Merry Christmas.” Out in the world, people practice the faith they believe in and yes, some assume their faith is the true faith, whatever that means. I appreciate the fact that I live in a place that allows freedom of religion. However, I do not feel religion has a place in government. MAYBE IF A COUNTRY’S CITIZENS ALL practice the same faith, then possibly it would work to incorporate religious beliefs into law, but what if someone who is not of the same faith moved to the country? Would they be allowed to live there? Interestingly, I attended a wedding in another country and there the legal ceremony could not have a religious aspect to it; the country was strict keeping “church and state” separate from each other. I agree with that because I do not feel religious beliefs should be incorporated into a country’s government. In fact, I feel religious figures should not be allowed to make any comments about a government’s laws. I think the term is “tending to one’s flock” and that should be the main objective for religious figures. Teach, study the doctrine within your religious organization and help and support the members. My feelings about the separation of church and state, besides studying history in school, were sparked when there was a knock on my front door from a missionary. They wanted to save me, not taking into account that my religion was just as valid as theirs. It angered me in a similar way to what I saw in this startling documentary. LITTLE DID A YOUNG POOL ATTENDANT realize that his partying with an older couple would expose him to the heights of religious and political power. With Landon Price (Critical Thinking Hymns of You) as Jerry Falwell Jr., newcomer Betty Monroe as Becki Falwell and Sam Myerson (Find Me, Mary Loss of Soul) as Giancarlo Granda; the actors were used periodically to reenact events that were being mentioned in this film. Director Billy Corben (Magic City Hustle, 537 Votes) also used archival footage and interviews to complete the story’s trajectory. I was appalled at the things that were revealed; and I am not talking about the intimate relationship Giancarlo had with the Falwell’s. What people do behind closed doors is none of my business. Their story could have filled the entire length of this movie as well as the other story line concerning the political aspects being able to do the same thing. I felt like there was more to say and delve into with each story line. No matter what your religious beliefs, I am sure you would find this film as startling as I did.
3 ¼ stars
Flash Movie Trailer: The Outfit
THANKS TO MY OCD TENDENCIES, I had no idea I had a knack for making merchandise displays. I was working part time at an importer of Asian furnishings, doing deliveries and various other odd jobs. When an employee was going on vacation, the manager asked me to set up some type of display with the shipment of urns we had just received. I had no experience doing anything like this but told him I would take care of it. Well long story short, I created this stepped floor display down the middle of a wide aisle that perfectly displayed the urns. The first day after I finished it, we nearly sold out of the urns by the end of the day. The manager was stunned as well as me. That same week after the urns sold, the manager asked me to handle the uncrating and displaying of a shipment of ornamental hand fans. With newfound confidence, I thought it would be best to open a group of fans and place them around the other displays, such as having them stick out of a few potted plants around the store and displaying fans in several cabinets. The rest of them I placed on a rosewood dining table in a fan shape with each row a different color. It turned out the fans were a big hit at the cash registers. WHEN THE EMPLOYEE CAME BACK FROM vacation, she took over doing the displays; however, the manager told her I would help her with them. I was excited by this discovered talent of mine and was eager to help her out whenever a shipment came in. I never considered how she felt about having someone suddenly working with her. However, it was made quite clear to me, that she wanted to handle everything by herself. I tried helping, but she felt her ideas were better than mine. My issue was the fact her displays did not always have a symmetrical look to them, which caused by OCD pulses to pick up. I tried showing her how the item looked if it was displayed in a different way, but I could see my advice was not being well received. I had to figure out a different way of expressing my opinions. Unfortunately, nothing seemed to work with her; so, I started to do a little rearranging after she was gone for the day. Nothing too dramatic, but just enough to make the display pop out a bit. Surprisingly she only asked me a couple of times about the changes she saw in her displays. I would tell her either I had to make room for an order to go out on delivery or customers had moved things around while trying to match up items with their orders. I had to make this work because I enjoyed what I was doing there. It is quite like what the main character was doing in this crime thriller, except he had to worry about being killed. AFTER OPENING HIS SHOP IN CHICAGO, a tailor had to figure out how to stay on the gangsters’ good side after they came calling. With Mark Rylance (Bridge of Spies, The Trial of the Chicago 7) as Leonard, Zoey Deutch (Before I Fall, The Professor) as Mable, Dylan O’Brien (The Maze Runner franchise, American Assassin) as Richie, Johnny Flynn (Emma, Clouds of Sils Maria) as Francis and Nikki Amuka-Bird (Jupiter Ascending, The Omen) as Violet; this drama captured me quickly. Mark was the reason for me to remain focused on the story as it unfolded. I enjoyed the way the script snaked its way through the story, adding these unexpected twists and turns; it was exciting. I thought the entire look of this film was perfect as it brought back to life a period from the 1950s. This picture was a great start to the new Oscar season. My hope is that the future movies coming out this year will be just as exciting and engaging as this one.
3 ¼ stars
Flash Movie Review: tick, tick…BOOM!
THERE IS A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THOSE who sacrifice to make their dreams succeed and those who get it handed to them. From my work and life experiences, I have seen the results from both ways. There was the job I had where the owner was the son, who inherited the business after his father passed away. The son was not a pleasant man to work for because he never really had to work to make the business succeed. He had big ideas, but because he did not understand the amount of work needed to succeed, he lost everything when he opened a retail store in a large shopping center. The new store lasted a little over one year before he had to close it down, since it never turned a profit. I remember when I first started to teach fitness, I thought about making it a full-time job/career. For three solid years I worked at making a name for myself as I studied the presenters at fitness conventions, wondering if I could get to that level in the fitness world. At one point I was working at 5 different locations, doing a multitude of classes; I never turned down an offer to sub for an instructor who could not teach their class that day. It was a hectic pace that did not allow me to socialize much. Now, I knew that would be the case and I was willing to focus all my energy on teaching classes while taking classes to increase my knowledge in the fitness world. WHEN I DECIDED TO START WRITING movie reviews here, I made a promise to myself that I would write a review every day for one entire year, and I did it. My life was basically filled with either sitting in movie theaters or sitting at home writing reviews. After the first year, I did not want to stop but understood I could not keep up such a pace and now it has been over 10 years of me writing reviews at a slower pace. In the scheme of things, my sacrifices were not life and death decisions unlike a friend of mine who had to become the main wage earner in her household. After her husband lost his job, she took on extra shifts at work to make up the loss of household income. She realized she would not be able to keep up the pace for the long term; so, she enrolled back in school to complete her master’s degree. With the added degree her wages and job opportunities would increase quickly. This meant she would be working at her job and with schoolwork for 1 solid year with no breaks, and she did it. It was a major sacrifice for their relationship but once it was done, they both had a deeper appreciation of each other and their life together. This biographical musical drama can show you what can happen when one makes a sacrifice. HIS DREAM WAS TO WRITE THE next great musical; but with the clock ticking Jonathan Larson, played by Andrew Garfield (The Eyes of Tammy Faye, 99 Homes), felt the pressure on what he would do with his life if he failed. With Alexandra Shipp (X-Men franchise; Love, Simon) as Susan, Robin de Jesus (The Boys in the Band, Hair Brained) as Michael, Vanessa Hudgens (Beastly, Spring Breakers) as Karessa and Joshua Henry (American Renegades, Sex and the City) as Roger; this Oscar nominated movie is something that musical theater fans would love. The big surprise for me was how good Andrew was with his performance; he held his own with the other wonderful performers in the cast. Overall, I thought the directing was crisp and precise, though at times it almost felt frenetic. I do not know how much of the story was true; but for those of you who do not know, this story is about the creation of the musical Rent. Knowing that made my film watching experience more enjoyable. As I mentioned before, if one is not a fan of musicals, they may not enjoy this picture as much.
3 ¼ stars
Flash Movie Review: Being the Ricardos
I REMEMBER WATCHING IT BUT DID not actively seek it out. After school I would walk home and usually grab something for a snack before dinner. Since I was sitting and eating, I would turn on the television and channel surf the stations. What caught my eye was the fact there was a TV show filmed in black and white. As I sat there watching it, I was struck by the female lead’s physicality; she had an expressive face and she knew how to use it, besides the physical exertion she would put out in her movements. It fascinated me because I could not recall seeing a female on television who did this same type of comedy. I became enthralled by the show and began to make it a point that I got home in time to catch this show. The funny thing is, I thought I was watching a new show each week. It turned out they were repeats, that the original airing of the show was some years earlier. No matter to me, I got swept up into the lives of this couple with their neighbors and friends. I do not easily laugh out loud, but I found myself more times than not, laughing at the antics the female lead was getting herself in to every day. IT WAS MANY YEARS LATER THAT I discovered this woman who played that lead was a very shrewd businesswoman. I had seen her for many years on her various television shows and movies, besides guest starring on other TV shows. The things I knew about her were more in line with the fodder that gossip magazines put out; however, after doing some research I discovered not only was she a smart individual, but her husband was as well. After all this time I still can see one snippet of a scene from her classic television show and immediately recall the entire episode; it is as if I was there as part of the set, the memories are so crystal clear. What a remarkable life this woman led. At one time, approximately 60 million households tuned in to watch her on television. Can you imagine that? She commanded such an audience that evidently the retail establishment made changes simply to accommodate those shoppers that were fans of the show. These facts are historic and just think, I accidently stumbled on the show when I was a little kid, who wanted to watch something while eating my afternoon snack. Because of these memories, I felt I was transported back in time as I began watching this wonderful biographical drama based on true events. WITH ONLY ONE WEEK TO WRITE, rehearse and put on a weekly television show; there were so many things taking place that the viewing audience had no idea were happening. How the female lead not only survived each challenge but went on to become a legend in the process. With Nicole Kidman (The Goldfinch, Boy Erased) as Lucille Ball, Javier Bardem (Skyfall, The Sea Inside) as Desi Arnaz, J.K. Simmons (The Tomorrow War, Palm Springs) as William Frawley, Nina Arlanda (Richard Jewell, Stan & Ollie) as Vivian Vance and Tony Hale (Clifford the Big Red Dog, Arrested Development-TV) as Jess Oppenheimer; this historical piece of Americana was brilliant in who was cast it turns out. When I heard Nicole was playing Lucy, I thought for sure she would not be able to handle such a larger-than-life character. I was wrong; I actually forgot it was her because she was so deep into character. Javier was a major surprise because he was incredible as Desi. Honestly, everyone was terrific in this film and though the dialog was tight and smart, I wished there had been a deeper delving into Lucy and Desi. At times, I felt as if the story was getting confused in what it was trying to say. Despite this I still am a fan of this film; it may partly be due to my fond memories of the show.
3 ¼ stars
Flash Movie Review: Four Hours at the Capitol
WHILE WE WERE LINING UP INTO groups, the line monitors kept reminding us not to engage with any protesters. I thought it was ironic since we were about to stage a protest march. There were thousands of people maneuvering into place; I had two friends with me in my group. The volunteers who were chosen to be the line monitors were handing out a list of safety tips to everyone who walked into the staging area, along with reminding us to stay hydrated. Every group I could see from my location had people in them holding banners and signs. While we waited for our start time, volunteers dressed in those yellow hazard vests kept walking by to remind us that this was a peaceful march. Since I was curious about what kind of protesters are we supposed to not engage with, I stopped one of the volunteers to ask him. He told me there was a group of protesters who were known to instigate physical encounters so they could then file legal suits against individuals, protest organizers and city officials in the hopes of getting money either by winning the lawsuit or agreeing to a settlement. I was appalled by this and had to ask how these protesters incite reactions. He said they shout out a variety of vulgarities to rile up a person, besides spitting at them. I was not looking forward to crossing their path. WE WERE ALL IN PLACE BY our start time. There was a certain energy in the air that felt exhilarating to me. Being in the middle of a mass of people with like minds was heady; each of us were there to focus on a common issue we all shared. The beginning of our walk was easy to navigate as we had quickly moved from a park to a main thoroughfare. There were photographers and news reporters scurrying back and forth as they were trying to document and catch a perfect moment. It was not long before I heard a different tone of sound coming up ahead. I was used to the different chants and sayings being uttered around me; however, this sound had an ominous note. A line monitor was shouting reminders to not engage. There up ahead was the group of protesters we were warned about. They were pointing at individuals in the march, yelling obscenities at us. The homemade signs they held in the air depicted vile images. The level of hatred being displayed was unsettling to me. We were protesting for better rights and these people were wishing us dead; it made no sense to me. It was so extreme that I could not wait to pass them by. I did not think I would see such extreme behavior on display ever again, but that was not the case since I watched this eye-opening documentary. WHILE ELECTED OFFICIALS WERE INSIDE THE capitol to certify the presidential election, a mob of people were outside trying to get in. Directed by Jamie Roberts (The Fires That Foretold Grenfell, War Child), this film used a variety of footage and recordings from both the individuals inside and outside the capitol building. I am sure most of us have seen footage shot on January 6th; but I must tell you, the scenes and conversations I saw in this movie were a different level of disturbing for me. It did not appear as if the movie studio tried to sway the story favorably to one side or the other; it just came across as a series of live events that got captured on camera. While I try to avoid any political debate, I just want to say I still cannot get over the level of extreme emotions I saw in this picture. It left me sad that there seems to be absolutely no middle ground in this country. I will keep my personal feelings to myself and simply say I am not comfortable seeing hatred at such an extreme level.
3 ¼ stars
Flash Movie Review: Together Together
BEFORE I WAS INTRODUCED TO ONE of my new co-workers, I was told her husband was something like 20 years older than her. It was the oddest thing to hear as part of an introduction to meeting someone. It was my first week at a new job and an employee in my department was taking me around the company to introduce me. As we were walking into another office, she said the name of the first person I would meet, then mentioned the thing about the age difference. The woman with the older husband was friendly as she explained what she did and how her department would be working with mine. After meeting her, I was directed towards several other employees before going back to my desk. However, that comment about the older husband still lingered in my mind. I wanted to ask my co-worker why she thought to tell me about the age difference between that woman and her husband, but I did not know how to approach it. Back at my office, I settled down at my desk and before my “tour guide” left me, I suddenly had a thought. I asked her if the older husband of the employee she introduced me to was ill. She said no and asked me why I was asking. I explained that because she mentioned the age, I was assuming something was wrong with him. She said not at all; she just thought it was bizarre that the employee would marry someone so much older than herself. That was all I needed to hear, and I decided to drop any further conversation about the married couple. LISTENING TO MY CO-WORKER SAY SUCH a thing, told me she had pre-conceived notions about love. In her mind, love was only meant for two people who were close in age. I would have liked to ask her what the cutoff age was to love and marry another person. In addition, their age difference was none of her business. I wondered what she would have thought if I told her I used to be with someone who was 14 years younger than me. As far as I was concerned love has no age restriction. Putting one’s perceptions or beliefs onto another person makes me uncomfortable. I think it is a major achievement when a person can connect with someone and get to a place where they love them unconditionally. What does it matter to someone else if there is a difference in age, race, gender or religion between two people? I like to confront such a person and ask them who decided what were the requirements to love someone. In my opinion, love comes in many forms which is why I so enjoyed watching this dramatic comedy. AFTER DECIDING HE WANTED A CHILD, a software developer searches for the perfect surrogate to carry his child, but what exactly is perfect? With Patti Harrison (A Simple Plan, Shrill-TV) as Anna, Ed Helms (Father Figures, Love the Coopers) as Matt, Rosalind Chao (The Joy Luck Club, The Laundromat) as Dr. Andrews, Timm Sharp (Friends with Money, Fun with Dick and Jane) as Jacob and Nora Dunn (Southland Tales, Three Kings) as Adele; I thought the story offered a charming discussion about relationships. Patti and Ed had an interesting bond on screen that accentuated their acting skills. The script posed some interesting questions which I thought the two of them handled in an authentic way, even down to non-verbal cues. There were a few scenes that seemed to have been created to manipulate the viewer’s emotions, but it was a minor distraction for me. I simply enjoyed the story telling aspect of the movie; it was comfortable to sit and watch the story unfold without any additional bells and whistles placed into the script. I may not have loved this film enough to give it my top rating; but I sure was quite enamored with it.
3 ¼ stars
Flash Movie Review: The Courier
I FELT SAD FOR HER PATIENTS, wondering what it must be like to have her as their therapist. She was a neighbor of mine and granted I did not know much about her, but I heard a lot of talk about her. From the few times I had interactions with her, I felt she had an edge. You know that energy that comes off a person that is stark and harsh, sensing it might shock you like static electricity? Well, she had it in spades. I never saw her smile; only having seen a sour look on her face. She had piercing eyes, but they did not look happy to me. They didn’t have that spark of life in them, only a brown dullness. When she said she was a therapist I was stunned because never had I felt a warm fuzziness from her. At least a sense of empathy; I could not imagine what time of “bedside manner” she must have had with her patients. I mean seriously, even her dog was not friendly. It was always barking at anyone who came near it and I knew it was not a friendly bark because the tail was not wagging. I had heard several things about her from other neighbors who had a run in with her. Some of the complaints were: she didn’t pickup after her dog, she never acknowledged any of them with a hello when their paths crossed on the street or at the grocery store and she took up two spaces when she parked her car. Seriously, I had no idea how she psychoanalyzed someone. MAYBE I AM GUILTY AS OTHERS by stereotyping what a therapist should look like; I am not sure. I do not believe I am alone in assuming certain people gravitate to certain professions. I remember riding the train into the city and having a conversation with the individual next to me. When I mentioned I was a fitness instructor, they looked at me and said right to my face, “You do not look like an instructor. Don’t they usually have muscles and are more on the slim side?” I was dumbfounded. All I did was give a slight chuckle and tell him there were no body requirements to teach fitness because we deal with the entire body, not just making muscles. I am not sure he got it, but it did not matter to me. It is funny because I make a point of telling a new class that I am not a typical fitness instructor; I do not just eat broccoli and tofu and live at the gym. I tell them I would like to sit at home, eating a pizza; but know I must balance out that desire by helping my body maintain all its functions. Then I add by doing this work now I hope I delay having to depend on someone or something to help me function in my daily life. If nothing else, I pride myself on being different and that is one of the reasons I especially enjoyed watching this dramatic thriller because that was the reason the main character was asked to help his country. DURING THE HEIGHT OF THE COLD war, a British salesman was asked to go on a sales call to the Soviet Union. Hopefully he would be able to make a contact. With Benedict Cumberbatch (The Imitation Game, Doctor Strange) as Greville Wynne, Merab Ninidze (My Happy Family, Jupiter’s Moon) as Oleg Penkovsky, Rachel Brosnahan (I’m Your Woman, Patriot’s Day) as Emily, relative newcomer James Schofield as Cox and Anton Lesser (Miss Potter, Game of Thrones-TV) as Bertrand; this historical film based on a true story was a good old fashioned suspense picture. I was attracted to the methodical pacing of the story as well as to the whole look of the film. The acting was excellent as I felt like an insider to that era’s crisis. Another reason why I enjoyed this film was specifically due to not having any special effects or product placements from a marketing department; I simply enjoyed hearing and watching a story, albeit an important story.
3 ¼ stars