The older I get the harder it is for me to remember the last time we were together. I at least remember where we met, it was in the city of Denver, I just cannot come up with the year. He met me at the airport; as I walked outside to the loading area, I saw them standing off to the side of the entrance. If I had not known he was coming to get me I might have overlooked him. He was an older version of the image I had of him in my mind. Perched now on his face were aviator style glasses, looking large on his oval shaped face. There was not a lot of hair on his head, but there never was to tell you the truth. However, what hair he still had now was all gray with wisps of white. Despite these changes as soon as we got in his car for the ride back to his house, it felt like very little time had passed since we last met. We picked up right where we left off as we talked about our families, jobs, health and everything else that was on our mind. This was the norm for our relationship presently since he moved to a different city. I felt fortunate that we were able to feel this continuation in our friendship despite the lack of time spent hanging out together. The funny thing about this is when we do finally meet up we are reminded how good it feels to share some time with each other. I felt the same way about this animated, adventure comedy. THIRTEEN years have passed and though afflicted with short term memory loss Dory, voiced by Ellen DeGeneres (The Love Letter, The Ellen Show), suddenly remembered she had a family. She had to find them. As I said just before I did not realize how much I missed Dory with Ellen’s incredible comedic timing. Along with Albert Brooks (Drive, Defending Your Life) as Marlin, Ed O’Neill (The Bone Collector, Married with Children-TV) as Hank and Kaitlin Olson (The Heat, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia-TV) as Destiny; many of the characters were memorable, aided by the magnificent visuals all around them. The weak link to this sequel was the script. I found the humor and drama did not have a lot of variance; there were only chuckles instead of laughs, with very few attention grabbing dramatic scenes. But what made this movie stand out was the way the writers addressed the characters with special needs. I thought this was a brilliant way to introduce children to the topic and showed it was not a scary or bad thing. Kudos to the writers for making this issue a part of the story. In spite of the few issues I had with the script, overall the film was well worth seeing on the big screen. Before the picture started there was a sweet, charming short film that I totally enjoyed. Then make sure you stay through the fun credits for the extra scene at the very end. After seeing Dory again I hope it will not be another 13 years before I see her again.
3 1/4 stars
It still can have disastrous effects and doesn’t make things better, but at least there were no ill intentions associated with it. As part of my banter during my classes I do public service announcements, a portion of it is listing any product recalls. There have been some that were not due to human error; for example, a bad circuit board installed into a motor vehicle or a food item that did not receive all of its ingredients due to a glitch during the automated manufacturing process. I understand things can happen. The issue I have is when individuals willingly keep the status quo though they know it could be dangerous for the consumer. Listen to these product recalls I have previously announced in class: a paper lantern that could catch on fire because the votive candle holders were too close to the lamp’s sides or how about the children’s swing set where the seats hung too low, causing kids to scrape their legs on the ground when swinging. You are telling me no one bothered to inspect the product before selling it? It has been drummed into all of our heads that time is money; no one wants to spend a lot of time on something if it affects the bottom line. I find it sad and miss the old days (listen to me) when people cared about their products and even other people. This is why I was so taken aback by this drama. FORENSIC neuropathologist Dr. Bennett Omalu, played by Will Smith (I Am Legend, Hancock), worked at the coroner’s office in Pittsburgh. When the corpse of one of the Pittsburgh Steeler’s star football players arrived, Dr. Omalu could not understand why such a relatively young person had suffered such ailments and was now dead. It was a mystery he was determined to solve. This film festival winning sports film played partially like a thriller. Based on a true story I have to give credit to Will Smith. The character Will portrayed was such a gentle, down to earth man that one just wanted to root for him. Maybe the accent was weak but Will made this role one of his best performances I have ever seen. With Alec Baldwin (The Departed, 30 Rock-TV) as Dr. Julian Bailes and Albert Brooks (Drive, Defending Your Life) as Dr. Cyril Wecht, the supporting cast did a fine job with their characters even though they were not written with much depth to them. There were a couple of scenes that felt forced, where the writers wanted to inject an element of suspense; they were only a distraction for me. On the other hand I will say as the pieces of this mystery were being discovered there was one particular scene that was powerful and put everything into place for me. After seeing this picture I honestly cannot imagine a parent, who has children playing in some type of sports activity, not questioning their decision to allow their children’s participation.
I am used to friends and family picking up and moving out of state for either a job opportunity or retirement. As for me I would be willing to do it only on a part-time basis, specifically during wintertime. I never had the courage to even think about this until the past several years as the winter months have been harder on me; but who knows if I will ever get to a point where I could afford to do such a thing. What I find to be more courageous are those individuals and families who emigrate to a different country, especially the ones who hope to become business owners one day. I have known people who were willing to work seven days a week, doing whatever needed to be done, to try and make a go of their new business. Depending on where it is located can add an extra level of difficulty when it involves local or federal government agencies. In fact, I just heard a story from a member from one of my classes who is trying to build a new building. The restrictions and requirements to get and keep a building permit is truly a nightmare. ON the verge of expanding his business Abel Morales, played by Oscar Isaac (Inside Lleywn Davis, Body of Lies), was desperately trying to keep things afloat while trying to find out who was stealing from his company. With all of his finances tied up in the business he was taking these acts of crime personally. This film festival winning crime drama had everything going for it. Written and directed by J.C. Chandor (Margin Call, All is Lost), the movie perfectly balanced the emotional scenes with brilliant film work. One of the main reasons why this worked so well was due to the cast and what a group of actors were chosen. Besides Oscar’s performance which was wonderful, there was Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty, The Help) who played his wife Anna, David Oyelowo (Selma, Interstellar) as Lawrence and Albert Brooks (Defending Your Life, Drive) as Andrew Walsh. All of them were amazing to watch; but let me add, Jessica was electric in this role. She was so good that I have to say I think this was her best performance to date. Set in New York during the early 1980s, the whole look of the picture was right on. This action movie was the complete package that was beautifully done with the right amount of emotional investment; I thoroughly enjoyed it from beginning to end. There were a couple of scenes where blood and violence was shown.
3 1/2 stars