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: Champions
YOGA TAUGHT ME LIFE IS ABOUT balance. For every challenge one encounters, a moment is needed to compensate for it. When I was working three jobs, I felt I was losing myself until I set up specific times for me to experience enjoyment/good feelings. My full-time job was demanding during the work week; by the time Friday night came around, I was physically and mentally exhausted. I found enjoyment curling into the corner of the couch and watching one of my favorite television series. Being an observer of the characters’ dilemmas and me not feeling responsible to fix things for them was in a weird way relaxing for me. I was able to shut down parts of my brain which helped me let go of the weeks’ worth of tension that had built up in my body. Also, stating the obvious here; another way for me to quickly relax is to watch a movie. As long as I had these “rest stops” squeezed in through the week, I felt like I was staying level. Luckily, one of my jobs was teaching fitness and yoga; so, I would always have a good feeling after class due to the endorphins getting produced or the visualization process and poses in class. FROM THE PEOPLE IN MY LIFE, I have seen other forms used for creating balance in one’s life. A friend of mine enjoys an alcoholic beverage in the evening, which they slowly sip while looking at historical images on their phone. Another friend I know dances to let go of their daily responsibilities and allow their body to release that day’s tension/anxieties. The things we use to create balance are not always static; they can evolve as we go through the growing process. Recently, I have discovered cooking and baking allow me to forget whatever is troubling to me and focus on the art of creating meals. It is funny because if you saw me, I can easily get stressed in the process since it is relatively new to me. But putting together a meal and sharing it with loved ones is something I have found to be a peaceful, loving relaxed experience. I do not remember where I heard this but to paraphrase, there is much to be gained when “breaking bread” with others. It is true and definitely contributes to keeping balance and good feelings in my life. I felt the same way watching this comedic sports drama because it was such a feel-good movie to me. DUE TO ANGER ISSUES, A BASKETBALL coach was transferred to a small town, where he was ordered to coach a group of players with intellectual disabilities in the art of basketball. There was a big learning curve for both, player and coach. With Woody Harrelson (Triangle of Sadness, The Highwaymen) as Marcus, Kaitlin Olson (The Heat, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia-TV) as Alex, Matt Cook (Film Fest, Man with a Plan-TV) as Sonny, Ernie Hudson (Ghostbusters franchise, The Crow) as Coach Phil Perretti and Cheech Marin (Shotgun Wedding, The War with Grandpa) as Julio; this film’s story was predictable and basic. However, I still found it heartwarming and funny. Woody played one of his typical characters and I thought Kaitlin was a perfect match for him. It never seemed to me the writers were using the disadvantaged characters to get a laugh, making fun of them. They were respectful and shined a light on issues they experience on a daily basis with a touch of humor and compassion. This picture kept my interest throughout the story and as I mentioned before, it left me with such a feel-good moment that stayed for the rest of the day.
Flash Movie Review: Call Jane
I QUICKLY REALIZED I DID NOT belong in the class. It happened before I went forward with trying to get certified as a group exercise instructor. The fitness center, where I took the class, was a popular place. Walking into the aerobic studio, I was surprised by the large number of people standing around. I stayed close to the back of the room, hoping to go unnoticed. Everyone was dressed up as if they were about to do a photo shoot for a fitness magazine or television show. Everyone’s outfit was brightly colored, their hair was perfectly coiffed and most prevalent was the smell of cologne in the air. I was used to being in a class where people wore baggy sweats or shorts with T-shirts or tank tops; no one was “dressed up” just to sweat in a hot classroom. The instructor walked into the room and made their way to the front of the class. They read some announcements off a sheet of paper before turning on music to begin exercising. Everyone stopped talking and spaced themselves out in rows. I had no idea what was going to happen; I only hoped I would not either bump into someone or step on someone’s toes. THROUGHOUT THE HOUR, I TRIED MY best to keep up; but was getting dirty looks from the people around me. It had to be obvious that I was new to the class, and I would have thought those around me would understand. Their attitude interestingly mimicked the instructors, in my opinion, aloof and uninterested. I had wished the instructor would have come up to me before class or at least ask if anyone was new, because I think that might have helped. As a result, I never went back to that fitness center. The following week a friend asked me to join them at their fitness club. I went and was completely taken aback by the atmosphere in the room, totally opposite from the week before. People were friendly and patient with me as we followed the instructor’s directions. The class was awesome and became the catalyst for setting me off on becoming a fitness instructor. From my experiences at various clubs and centers, I created an aerobic class that was open and accepting of everyone, no matter their fitness level or capability. I always made it a point to go up to all the new people before class started, to get them comfortable with what they were about to experience. I believe no one ever left feeling as if they were unsuccessful or alone. It is the essence of those feelings that I found myself attracted to in this film’s fascinating story inspired by true events. AFTER BEING TOLD SHE COULD NOT have a lifesaving procedure, a pregnant housewife discovered a clandestine women’s group that could offer her the chance for a healthy life. What she would get would be much more. With Elizebeth Banks (Pitch Perfect franchise, Brightburn) as Joy, Sigourney Weaver (The Good House, Gorillas in the Mist) as Virginia, Chris Messina (Air, Birds of Prey) as Will, Kate Mara (The Martian, Fantastic Five) as Lana and Wunmi Mosaku (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice) as Gwen; this history drama kept my attention with its story. I thought the acting was excellent and especially enjoyed the chemistry between Elizabeth and Sigourney. There were a few places where I thought the scenes were predictable, but they were not so glaring to become a disruption. The story amazed me and now I am curious to find out more about the brave group of women known as the Janes.
Flash Movie Review: Renfield
I DO BELIEVE IT WAS BECAUSE he agreed to marry her. When she introduced me to him, I got an odd vibe from him, like a tightly wound spring that was about to pop. She was in love with him; I could see it in the way she was acting around him. I had seen it a few times before. They had only known each other for 3-4 months, which for me would be too soon to consider marriage, but that is me. She was certain he was the right one, so who was I to tell her no. When she told me they were getting married, I had been around them a few times, so had a better sense about him. I had some misgivings, but my bottom line was as long as he treated her right, I was happy for them. The wedding was a small affair; they had both been married before. It was not long after they were able to sell her house and move into a larger one that would accommodate their newly combined households. I remember visiting them some time after they moved, and it looked like they had everything in its place, and I mean everything. It almost appeared as if no one lived there, it was so pristine. THE FIRST TIME I HAD AN INKLING that something was not exactly right was when she and I were talking on the phone. She mentioned how every Saturday he wakes her up at 4 am to clean house. At first, I thought she meant he was making her clean the whole house; but she corrected me, he participated. The issue for her was the time. Her weekends were the only time she could sleep in and not be bombarded with work from her job. As the months went by, she was opening up more about their relationship. He was a rule follower as long as they were his rules. He also had a bad temper which sent a red flag up for me. I detected less joy in her voice and more unease. It appeared to me he was more interested in having a housekeeper than an equal partner. I finally had to say something about it. From our talks, I pushed her to tell me what made her happy in her marriage. Her answers ranged from her physical attraction to him, to him throwing out the garbage once a week. It was an odd mix, but through it I could see she was co-dependent. She tried talking to him, suggesting marriage counseling; however, he was not interested. At some point she would have to decide for herself, just like the manservant needed to do in this comedic, fantasy horror. HAVING BEEN AT HIS MASTER’S BECK and call throughout the years, the manservant Renfield, played by Nicholas Hoult (Warm Bodies, The Menu) took the first step for healing himself by joining a codependency support group. With Nicolas Cage (Pig, Running with the Devil) as Dracula, Awkwafina (Ocean’s Eight, The Farewell) as Rebecca, Ben Schwartz (Parks and Recreation-TV, Space Force-TV) as Tedward Lobo and Shohreh Aghdashloo (Star Trek Beyond, House of Sand and Fog) as Bellafrancesca Lobo; this film was a campy blood fest filled with over-the-top performances from the actors. The role was perfect for Nicholas Cage; in fact, I would have liked to have seen more scenes with Dracula. However, Awkwafina was wonderful and entertaining which made up for the lack of Dracula. The story’s idea was novel and fun; the execution was a bit standard, while it remembered to keep the humor going. I think the best way to describe this movie is to say it is silly fun. And be prepared for the volume of violence and blood gushing across the screen.
Flash Movie Review: I Used to be Famous
I KNOW THIS MIGHT NOT BE the right thing to say, but I felt his downfall was karma. He was not a nice person, only when he had to be. Part of the blame belonged to his parents, I believed; but I had never met them. He came from a family that was “well off.” Based on his actions, I had to believe he had a relatively easy life growing up. He was in upper management at a company where I was employed. To one’s face he was polite and jovial; but once you were out of sight, he would say awful things about you. I quickly learned not to trust whatever he said because I caught him lying right to my face. His motivation was money, and he was willing to do whatever he had to, to get the most out of the company. One of his big tricks was to take off early or come in late without telling anyone. He must have become emboldened by no one questioning him because he started taking full days off. It was such an abuse of power that was a drain on the company, in my opinion. Every year he had a new car; I used to joke to my fellow employees that he could afford it because of all the money he saved by always eating some food the company or employees brought in. WHEN THERE WAS A DOWNTURN IN our sales, the owner decided to make some changes. One of them was to eliminate his position. It was a surprise to the office workers, though most of them were glad to hear the news. I do not know if he was telling the truth or not, but he certainly was trying to save face by telling everyone he was leaving because he was setting up his own company. The joke around my department was we could not wait to see if he would finally put in a full day of work. Whatever he planned, I heard later, did not pan out. He did try to start a similar business; but instead of working to get sales, his focus was getting a fancy car that the company would make the payments on. When everything fell through, we stopped hearing about him. It was a good time later when word went around that his wife divorced him, and he wound up living in a halfway house. The news came in piecemeal, and I am not sure how reliable it was, but we were told he got addicted to drugs and lost everything. It was a stunning downfall. I think those who achieve wealth or status at a young age have a harder time adjusting when things change; you can see for yourself in this comedic, musical drama. A POPSTAR WHO FELL ON HARD times, finds himself singing on street corners for money. With dreams of returning to the “big stage,” he places his hopes on a young autistic man who started playing drumsticks during one of his songs. With Ed Skrein (The Model, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil) as Vince, Eleanor Matsuura (Wonder Woman, The Walking Dead-TV) as Amber, newcomer Leo Long as Stevie, Eoin Macken (Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, La Brea-TV) as Austin and Lorraine Ashbourne (King Kong, Bridgerton-TV) as Cheryl; this film had a built-in predictability. However, the cast were able to overcome it and provide substance to the story. I enjoyed the music and appreciated how the script respected autism by the way the writers interwove it with the main theme. There were times throughout the film when I found myself rooting the main characters on. I feel this movie is an example of the participants putting in the work to make an enjoyable movie viewing experience for all.
Flash Movie Review: Boston Strangler
IT WAS EARLY IN THE MORNING on a Sunday, before the city came to life. We were eating breakfast; or I should say, I was eating breakfast. My friend was too busy fielding all the work texts and emails that were blowing up on his phone. I sat there, thinking to myself, what kind of environment must his company have where so many people were up and working before the sun came out. I mean, it was not an international company with offices all over the world. It crossed my mind that maybe my friend was a “workaholic.” The other option could be he was just a devoted employee; however, that did not explain the senders necessarily. Could they all be true company employees? I have had jobs where I had to put in overtime once in a while, but it never was a consistent requirement. Now that does not mean I have not thought about work over the weekend. I have written memos, reviews and such on my own time, to help me handle an extra busy workload. However, my company encourages its employees to unplug and take time to relax and re-energize themselves. To me, this is a healthy attitude to have in the work world. AMONG THE VARIOUS COMPANIES WHERE I have been employed, there has always been at least one individual I knew who was “married” to their work. I use the word “married” because it was a strong relationship, where the person had elevated their position into a pseudo relationship. Think about it; they spend more time with their company than any individual outside of the workplace. The reasons are not all the same, but I have seen where the employee’s actions could almost be considered loving. Whether it is for recognition or prestige or power or for the greater good, their job is their number one priority/relationship. This reminds me of a person I met who was a doctor from New York City. It was during the AIDS crisis, where he explained the demands put on him that caused him many times to sleep at the hospital instead of taking time to drive home to go to sleep. He said he was barely able to keep up between the treatment of patients, press conferences and the consultations between medical staff and outside resources. I had to admire his willingness and dedication; it sounded like a brutal and draining routine. I knew it took a certain kind of person to be willing to make such a sacrifice for the “greater good.” In my work situations I have seen a few individuals who came close but nothing on that type of scale. Though, the female reporters in this historical crime drama certainly give their all to make their world a better place. NOTICING A CONNECTION, A BOSTON REPORTER starts to piece together random killings of women in the Boston area. Her work spawns the name that would captivate a city in fear, the Boston Strangler. With Keira Knightley (The Aftermath, Silent Night) as Loretta McLaughlin, Carrie Coon (The Post, The Gilded Age) as Jean Cole, Chris Cooper (Little Women, August: Osage County) as Jack Maclaine, Alessandra Nivola (American Hustle, The Many Saints of Newark) as Detective Conley and Rory Cochrane (Antlers, White Boy Rick) as Detective DeLine; this movie based on a true story succeeded because of the work and chemistry between Keira and Carrie. I thought they did an outstanding job of acting that overcame the deficiencies in the script. There were places in the script that needed more emotional heft and intensity, which would have turned this story into a gripping tale. For example, Loretta’s home life needed more drama in my opinion. I still enjoyed watching this picture because of the acting and the look of it. I can only imagine what life must have been like for women back in 1960s Boston during the time of this tragic killing spree.
Flash Movie Review: Scream VI
WHERE THE OTHER STUDENTS LOOKED FORWARD to the end of class at the afterschool program, I dreaded it. During the winter quarter, there were 3 boys who made a point of teasing and picking on me. To this day, I have no idea what set them off because in class I was one of the quiet students. The only thing I could come up with was the fact that I was overweight, which I guess in their minds made me an easy target. I could handle the name calling and shoving, but outside of the school, I had to deal with snowballs pelting me or being pushed down into the snow. On days where we had substantial wet snowfall, I would linger back in the classroom, helping the instructor clean up the room. I knew they were waiting outside for me, hiding behind trees or around the corner of the school building. My hope was to be able to walk out at the same time as the teacher, but it never happened; I could only linger for so long before she would tell me to “run along.” Though I was unfamiliar with the concept and word, later on I realized that was my first experience of being stalked. IT WAS NOT UNTIL MANY YEARS later that I experienced my second stalker. She appeared one day in my evening fitness class. It was in the middle of the session, so I was familiar with everyone who attended the class. When she walked in, I did what I always do, went up before class to welcome her. I remembered asking her if she had any health issues I should be aware of and she said no. She told me she enjoyed swimming but the pool was closed for cleaning; so, that is why she came to class. I figured she would not be back once the pool reopened. After class was done, she came up to tell me how much fun she had working out with me. I thanked her just as she surprised me by asking if I would like to go swimming with her sometime. I was taken aback by the unusual request, while keeping a pleasant look on my face. Again, I thanked her before declining. She asked, “Why not?” Thinking fast, I said I did not swim. That seemed to appease her, but it did not last long. She kept coming back to class and would hang back to talk to me afterwards. Her requests were getting weirder and weirder, to the point I had to tell management. It did not stop her until she grabbed me one time and a member in class ran and got security. The woman’s membership was cancelled, and the club’s lawyer sent her a letter to stay away. Because of that situation, I felt I understood what the sisters were going through in this horror, mystery thriller. WANTING TO LEAVE THEIR PAST BEHIND them, the survivors of the Ghostface killings settle down in New York City to begin a new life. Sadly, their new home soon experiences the same horrors they experienced back in Woodsboro. With Courteney Cox (Mothers and Daughters, Cougar Town-TV) as Gale Weathers, Melissa Barrera (In the Heights, All the World is Sleeping) as Sam Carpenter, Jenna Ortega (The Fallout, American Carnage) as Tara Carpenter, Jasmin Savoy Brown (Sound of Violence, Yellowjackets-TV) as Mindy Meeks-Martin and Mason Gooding (Booksmart, Fall) as Chad Meeks-Martin; this latest installment in the film franchise surprised me with its fun tongue in cheek tone. There were violent and bloody scenes; but throughout the story, there were thrills and surprises spun into the action. I was aware there were a few far-fetched things and some level of predictability; however, it was okay because the script provided a fresh take on this long running franchise. There was a quick extra scene at the end of the credits.
Flash Movie Review: Creed III
I FELT SAD FOR MY FRIEND because she was upset about the way her friend had acted. All I could do was listen, though my friend knew I had a low opinion of her friend. My run-in with her was at the theater where a small group of us went to see a play. At the end when the play was done, people came up to thank me for arranging the outing and getting the tickets. Everyone thanked me except my friend’s friend; all she said to me was the seats were not very good. Right there I decided the less contact I had with her, the better. But now my friend was telling me what happened that caused her feelings to get hurt. She and her friend were at a store that had an eclectic mix of merchandise. On a table sat a set of coasters with images of penguins on them that her friend picked up. My friend has collected various objects with penguins for years; from plates to scarves to pens to salt and pepper shakers. Anyone who knows her, knows she loves penguins. Her friend had to have known. When my friend mentioned she had never seen penguin coasters and thought they would make a wonderful addition to her collection, her friend said she was going to buy them as a housewarming gift for her niece. My friend’s feelings were hurt. Granted she could have said something directly to her, but my friend chose not to say a word. I WOULD NOT CONSIDER HER FRIEND’S actions malicious, maybe unthoughtful. However, any type of dent or break in a trusted friendship hurts on some level. I had a friend who I had known for several years. We met in college during freshman year and stayed friends all through school and after graduation, where we wound up working in the same city. One day he called me up and said he was in financial trouble and desperately needed funds to pay his bills. He asked if he could borrow money and would pay it out each month back to me. I knew he had a decent paying job, so I loaned him the funds. For the first few months I would get a monthly check from him without having to ask for it. I think it was the fourth or fifth payment that was late because he had been out of town on vacation. I found that news unsettling; he couldn’t pay his bills, but he could go on vacation? For the next couple of months, I would have to call to get him to send me a check. As time went on it got harder and harder to get a hold of him. Pretty soon, I stopped hearing from him all together and worse, when I finally went to his apartment his name was no longer on the directory. That was tough for me, but not as tough compared to what took place with the two friends in this dramatic, sports film. AFTER A LONG PRISON SENTENCE, A childhood friend reappears looking to pickup where he left off before prison: to get a chance to box for a world championship. His methods would conflict with the world champion. With Michael B. Jordan (Black Panther franchise, Just Mercy) as Adonis Creed, Tessa Thompson (Passing, Sylvie’s Love) as Bianca Creed, Jonathon Majors (Devotion, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania) as Damian Anderson, Wood Harris (Remember the Titans, Empire-TV) as Tony ‘Little Duke’ Burton and Phylicia Rashad (Black Box, A Fall From Grace) as Mary-Anne Creed; this latest installment of the franchise was the first that did not include Sylvester Stallone. I mean no disrespect, but it was fine because of the wonderful acting skills of the main actors. Michael directed this picture and overall he did a good job, though there were a few missteps along the way in my opinion. I would have preferred seeing more scenes with Jonathan because I think he is an excellent actor. Having him and Michael together made for some emotional scenes. There was a level of predictability to the story, but the intensity of several scenes helped keep the interest high. Overall, this was a well done film, but keep in mind there are several scenes with violence and blood.
Flash Movie Review: Spoiler Alert
I THINK IT MUST BE AN age thing. In my younger days, the dating scene never involved discussions about future health scenarios. What I mean by that is the only thing ever discussed was whether one had an autoimmune syndrome, a positive status, diabetes or something else along those lines. We never talked about home health care or medical powers of attorney or long-term disabilities; and truthfully, why would we? When I was young, dating involved mostly fun and excitement. Even if we became a couple, our schedule involved going to movies, concerts, plays, restaurants and clubs. One weekend we would hang out with friends; the next weekend we would stay at home and make dinner. It was a good time. My first big test of a relationship was planning a weekend getaway trip for the two of us. I always felt if we could get along over an extended weekend in a different environment, then the relationship was on track to succeed. Any talk about the future would be focused on living arrangements and/or our individual family dynamics and how to please each of our families. For example, which family’s house to go to for the holidays. WHEN ONE IS OLDER IN THE dating world, the priorities shift in my opinion. Sure, there is still the element of fun and excitement; but, as things progress and we get to the living together level, the conversation drifts toward those later in life possibilities. It is weird how falling takes on a whole different demeanor when one is older. I have noticed in myself how I walk differently now when the pavement outside is icy. The term, I believe, is walking like a penguin, to avoid slipping on the ice. Now, I have known a couple of individuals who had, what I refer to as, the Peter Pan syndrome. They did not want to grow up a/k/a old. One was in a committed relationship for some time. I thought things were going well until their significant other had a medical issue that required a hospital stay. Everything turned out fine; however, I noticed a change in my friend. Not at first, but sometimes they would come alone to events and talked less about their relationship. At some point, I did ask them how things were going but all they voiced involved the second thoughts they were having for the long-term. It seemed odd to me, but I never found out the real reason they broke off their relationship. I would hate to hear it was due to the medical issue. Some people are made for the long-term and others are not, I guess. See what I mean in this comedic drama. AFTER SPENDING SEVERAL YEARS TOGETHER AS a couple, the relationship suddenly ended when one of them decided to move out. Adding to the confusion soon after was finding out the person who left was diagnosed with an illness. What to do? With Jim Parsons (The Boys in the Band, Hidden Figures) as Michael Ausiello, Ben Aldridge (Knock at the Cabin, Pennyworth-TV) as Kit Cowan, Josh Pais (Joker, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) as Scott, Sally Field (80 for Brady, Lincoln) as Marilyn and Jeffery Self (You’re Killing Me, Search Party-TV) as Nick; this film based on the bestselling memoir was a touching story that showed the highs and lows of a love relationship. I thought the acting was above par and was impressed more than usual with Jim’s performance. There were a few scenes that bordered on being a cliché and predictable; but there were enough powerful scenes to make up for them. If planning to watch this film about love, I suggest having some tissue readily available.
Flash Movie Review: Cocaine Bear
IT TOOK A FEW MONTHS OF convincing before I started eating tomatoes again ever since I saw them kill a human. Luckily, I only saw it happen on a theater screen on a Saturday afternoon. There was a small movie theater in my neighborhood; it was in the middle of the block with a discount store on one side and a liquor store on the other. Every Saturday they would have a kid’s matinee show for a discounted price and I was there at least two out of every four Saturdays of the month. I cannot remember ever seeing a film there I did not like during my childhood. Besides seeing those tomatoes that were attacking humans, I saw aliens from a different planet who all looked like they were clowns, evil clowns bent on destroying us. One week I saw the incredible shrinking man, the following one had an Amazon woman who was close to fifty feet tall. On the way home from the theater, my friends and I would act out a few of the scenes we especially liked from the movie. One of my all time favorite films from that time was a horror film with Vincent Price and Peter Lorre. One of them was a sorcerer and there was magician who I found out years later was a young Jack Nicholson. I was enthralled with the magic effects and curses; objects flying in the air and electric bolts coming out of extended fingertips. THERE WAS SUCH A HIGH LEVEL of comfort for me those Saturdays. I could always count on being taken to a different world or see my world from an alien’s perceptions. Yet, I felt safe with my box of popcorn and box of chocolate candy. It was years later when I came across the term “B” movie and understood most of those films I was watching back then were “B” films. None of them would ever be considered for an Academy Award; they had low production values and cheesy special effects. I did not know it back then, but the acting and the script were at a bare bones level, sometimes teetering on the absurd. But here is the thing, they were fun to watch. They usually could illicit an emotion out of the viewers; it might have been shock, fear or laughter, but there was always a reaction to what was coming across the screen. Presently, making a “B” film is being kitschy/retro. They can be over-the-top and fun as long as you do not give a lot of thought to the plot. If you are interested in watching a “B” film, this one certainly would fit the bill. WHEN A DRUG CARTEL LOSES A shipment of cocaine over a Georgia forest, the first to discover the drugs was a black bear. Anyone else coming near the drugs would have to deal with the bear who took a liking, some say addiction, to the cocaine. With Keri Russell (Waitress, The Americans-TV) as Sari, Alden Ehrenreich (Beautiful Creatures, Solo: A Star Wars Story) as Eddie, O’Shea Jackson Jr (Ingrid Goes West, Straight Outta Compton) as Daveed, Ray Liotta (Something Wild, Shades of Blue-TV) as Syd, and Isiah Whitlock Jr (Da 5 Bloods, BlacKkKlansman) as Bob; this comedy horror was based on a true event which I have to say sounded crazy from the start. Directed by Elizabeth Banks (The Hunger Games franchise, Love & Mercy), this film does not take itself too seriously and that was fine by me. One must put reason to the side and just go with it, because it was a wild and entertaining viewing experience despite the scenes of blood, violence and gore. There were laugh out loud scenes mixed in with the great CGI display of the bear. I thought the kids were especially good in their roles. This was a steady to fast paced freaky, fun film with a stranger than truth story line. There were two extra scenes during the ending credits.