I DO NOT UNDERSTAND why I should pay to have a cable repair person come out to replace the defective cable box the cable company shipped me. Customer service told me they could send me a new box and I could install it, saving the cost of a service call. If I had dropped, kicked or broken the box I would better understand the fee structure; however, they installed the box and after several weeks the box started to freeze up periodically. I would have to unplug it and count to ten before plugging it back in so it would reset itself. It is so annoying especially when it freezes up and does not record the programs I scheduled. It is annoyances like this that can drive me crazy. Even when I had my recent medical episode all I wanted medical staff to do was their job and follow through on their promises. IMAGINE TALKING TO THE nurse about your test results and she says she will call the test facility for more information per my request. She tells me she will call me the next day. After not hearing from her most of the next day I contact her late in the afternoon only for her to hear my voice and say she had my file right on her desk and she forgot to call the facility. I sit there and listen to her rattle off all the things she had to do during the day, less the one thing she promised to do for me. Are you kidding me? I do not know about you but if I do not do my job or at least follow through with what I tell someone it reflects on my performance review. How is it that I and my fellow employees are held accountable for our job duties but I see more and more workers’ lack of care or concern for their job responsibilities not being addressed by their employers? It can be so frustrating which is why I could totally sympathize with the grieving mother in this dark dramatic comedy. MONTHS HAVE GONE BY without any inkling of the police finding Mildred’s, played by Frances McDormand (Promised Land, Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day), daughter’s killer. Fed up Mildred decides to let everyone know what she thinks about the investigation. This film festival winning crime movie also starred Woody Harrelson (War for the Planet of the Apes, LBJ) as Chief of Police William Willoughby, Sam Rockwell (Seven Psychopaths, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind) as Officer Dixon, Lucas Hedges (Lady Bird, Manchester by the Sea) as Robbie and Abbie Cornish (Geostorm, Sucker Punch) as Anne. Hands down Frances deserves a nomination this Oscar season for her unbelievable acting in this role. I know it is a cliché but she was a force of nature; I could not take my eyes off of her. She must have relished the twisted script with all the opportunities to embellish her character. I enjoyed the rest of the cast almost as much but felt Abbie’s role was minor. The one complaint I had about the script was the story arc for Officer Dixon; his development from the 1st to 2nd half of the film did not ring true to me. Honestly I felt the last part of the script quickly tidied up the events and the viewers were left somewhat hanging. Despite these few issues I still was swept up into Mildred’s plight and to tell you the truth, secretly wished I could act out like her whenever I encounter someone not doing their job.
3 ½ stars
MOST CHILDREN ONLY WANT it to rain in the middle of the night, while they are sleeping. For some hopefully, thunder and lightning will not wake them up; though they would not mind if there were puddles to jump in during the morning hours. I remember hoping every time it was snowing outside the schools would close for the day, so I could play in the snow with my friends all day. Back then the weather was only thought about when it would alter the planned day of events. A rainy day meant I could not go to the beach or the local amusement park. Depending on how much snow fell would determine if we would go out to the suburbs to visit relatives. Weather back then was simply a part of life; dramatic events were at a minimum. Thunderstorms I recall lasted a couple of hours with very little damage to property. THOUGH IT WAS STARTED in the late 1940s, I think it was not until the 1960s or 70s when cloud seeding was mentioned in the mainstream. The idea of humans changing weather patterns fascinated me. Then again I always enjoyed the character Storm, who could manipulate the weather, in the X-Men series. Now I do not know about you but I have noticed the weather has taken on a more sinister veneer these days. Storms and weather events have become more violent, from intense tornados to major flooding. To my way of thinking, something had to happen that affected the weather patterns. If I remember correctly didn’t the host country China seed clouds before the Olympics started, so it would rain before the opening ceremony? One has to wonder if there were any ramifications from doing such a thing. Something has changed in my opinion that is causing the weather to turn on us. Long stretches of drought, major flooding, multiple tornadoes and hurricanes; whether one believes or not the theories that are being used to explain the weather, wouldn’t it make sense to at least explore the possibilities to see what is taking place around us? This action, science fiction thriller might be a prelude to what could happen to us. AFTER A PERIOD OF peaceful coexistence with the weather, a network of satellites that were controlling the climate begins to malfunction. The cause needed to be found before the earth would become the victim to a massive, destructive world storm. Starring Gerald Butler (A Family Man, Playing for Keeps) as Jake Lawson, Jim Sturgess (Across the Universe, The Best Offer) as Max Lawson, Abbie Cornish (Bright Star, Limitless) as Sarah Wilson, Alexandra Marie Lora (Rush, Control) as Ute Fassbinder and Daniel Wu (New Police Story, One Nite in Mongkok) as Cheng Long; the script quickly sunk this film. There was nothing new in this story that has not played in numerous disaster movies from before. Even the special effects were only okay; something about them did not make them pop out like I have seen done in other pictures. I am afraid outside of a couple of scenes I was bored a good portion of the time. Scenes that lent themselves to intense drama were lacking it and one pretty much could figure out what was going on in the story. Though I saw this film on a sunny day, it put a cloudy damper over me.
1 ¾ stars
Does one’s love diminish by the amount of hair left on someone’s hairbrush? Does the amount of poundage on your significant other directly relate to the intensity of your love for them? The higher the number the less love you have to give? I have said before I believe our bodies are only being rented; what is inside of them is what counts, at least for me. It always amuses me when I hear someone say they do not like facial hair or redheads. Taking it one step further, I find it perplexing when someone makes a judgement based on a person’s ethnicity, race or even where they were born. What does that have to do with love? You will have to excuse me but I find individuals who lose their love and leave their mate due to illness utterly despicable. The essence of an individual remains the same as the body evolves through the years; those are my feelings. In this updated version of the 1987 science fiction film, you can see how love is stronger than any one body. After a suspicious explosion Detroit police officer Alex Murphy, played by Joel Kinnaman (Safe House, The Killing), had only one chance available if he was to survive. That decision fell to his wife Clara, played by Abbie Cornish (Limitless, Bright Star), who gave her consent to the corporation that would provide her husband with a robotic body, giving birth to a new crime fighter for the city: RoboCop. The only comparison I will make to the original movie is an obvious one; the special effects were better in this action crime film. I thought Gary Oldman (Lawless, Harry Potter franchise) as Dr. Dennett Norton and Michael Keaton (Jackie Brown, White Noise) as Raymond Sellars were the best of the cast. One of the issues I had was Joel Kinnaman; he did not have a powerful screen presence, coming across stiffly and I do not think it was due to his suit. The story had a satirical streak with the addition of Samuel L. Jackson’s (Django Unchained, Oldboy) character, talk show host Pat Novak. Along with a couple of twists in the story it pretty much was a standard good against evil plot. When this movie ended I did think about the advancements being made today in the medical field and wonder what will the effect be on humanity in the future. Will love wane based on the amount of mechanical parts a person has inside of them?
2 1/2 stars
Forgive me Madonna fans; I really wanted to like this film. The score was a wonderful accompaniment to this stylish film and the costumes were perfect. In fact, you had Madonna singing during the closing credits. She was the director and co-writer of this schizophrenic film. There were two stories being played out in this movie. The better of the two was about King Edward VIII, played by James D’Arcy (An American Haunting, Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World), who abdicated the throne for the woman he loved, Wallis Simpson played by Andrea Riseborough (Happy-Go-Lucky, Never Let Me Go). The other story was about Wally Winthrop, played by Abbie Cornish (Bright Star, Sucker Punch), who became inspired by Mrs. Simpson’s life to find happiness in her own life. I have seen Abbie act and know she can be rather good; however, under this tedious and boring script, along with utterly lifeless direction from Madonna, Ms. Cornish was dreadful. Some of her scenes were ridiculous; I would have thought Madonna would have studied up on camera angles and how to set up a scene. Andrea’s performance as Wallis was the most real for me. Also, I found her looks to be quite interesting. With the curious idea of having two stories, one in the past and one in the present; it was a shame Madonna did not deliver a more fitting film. I stood on a folding chair in cowboy boots for 3 hours during a Madonna concert. Gratefully, I did not have to spend the money nor wait in line to see this messed up movie.
1 2/3 stars — DVD