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Flash Movie Review: Dog Gone

IT IS TRUE WHAT THEY SAY about you learning about someone based on how they treat their pet. I had a friend who had a wonderful relationship with their dog. Time was always set aside for the two of them to have quality time together. The dog grew up being such a loving creature, who always wanted to be in whatever room you were in. I dog sat for them over a weekend and the dog showed me unconditional love. If I was sitting on the sofa watching television, he would jump up and plop himself down next to me, resting his head on my leg. He had several toys he loved to either play with or gnaw on. The first time I watched my friend tell the dog to go get a specific toy, I was stunned when the dog came back with that toy in his mouth. I could not wait to try it when I babysat him. After taking an inventory of what toys were out, I told the dog to go get his carrot. Off he ran and in a matter of seconds he returned with the carrot sticking out of his mouth. I asked for a couple of other toys then we spent the time playing with them; me tossing them and him racing to get them to bring back to me.      I HAVE BEEN AROUND SOME DOG owners who were not nice people; their dogs were a direct reflection of them. There was one owner who only wanted a dog to “guard” the house. Not that they did any training for it, the owner felt any robber who heard the dog barking would leave the property alone. There was a neighbor in my building who was not friendly, with no personality. His two dogs seemed to have the same temperament; all they would do is bark at you. Whether riding down the elevator or crossing their path outside, they just barked and yapped. In summer, the neighbor used to leave the dogs outside on the balcony; but, after other residences complained about the constant barking, the owner had to bring the dogs inside. During my dating years, I quickly got a feel about the person if they had a pet. Dogs can be such a great example of unconditional love and in turn, teach their owners how to express it. If you care to see how relationships grow when there is a pet involved, then feel free to view this biographical, family drama film.      WHEN HIS SON’S DOG GOES MISSING, a father reluctantly joins his son in a search along the Appalachian trail. Their hiking would reveal more than the beautiful scenery. With Rob Lowe (How to Be a Latin Lover, Wayne’s World) as John Marshall, Johnny Berchtold (Snow Falls, Life as a Mermaid-TV) as Fielding Marshall, Kimberly Williams-Paisley (We are Marshall, Father of the Bride franchise) as Ginny Marshall, Nick Peine (Office Christmas Party, Just Getting Started) as Nate and newcomer Savannah Bruffey as Peyton Marshall; this movie based on a true story was predictable and a bit cheesy. The production seemed amateurish and low cost, while the acting was just okay. However, it was hard not to like the story line and fall in love with the dog. The script was filled with emotions though I wished they had been portrayed in a better way. Now if one is not a dog lover, they probably will get bored watching this picture. For those who are pet owners, there is a good chance their hearts will be touched by various scenes. I especially enjoyed seeing the people associated with the production of this film and their pets during the ending credits. Overall, this was an easy movie viewing experience that showed how a dog can affect a family’s life.

2 stars  

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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: I Wanna Dance with Somebody

I WAS ATTENDING A DINNER EVENT where I knew everyone, for some years. Essentially, we had all grown up together. The dining room table was a long oval due to the 2 extra leaves that were added to it. On one end, pushed up to the edge of the table, was an aluminum folding table. Not that one would notice the metal; it was just because I usually was the one to bring it up from the basement and unfold it before the host would put a tablecloth over it. With both tables there was just enough room for all the guests to sit together for dinner. I was always grateful for it since I detested sitting on the sofa while balancing a dinner plate on my lap. The conversation at these dinner parties was always lively and fun. Everyone had an opinion and all of us respected each one’s opinion, even if there was a bit of ribbing and teasing involved with it. There was one guest, I have to say, who would get on my nerves. Maybe a better way to say it would be to say I found them exasperating. Everything was a joke to them, and they said the same jokes over and over. Literally, I have heard those same jokes for several years and can no longer try to laugh at them; there is nothing left that is funny to me. I find them more irritating to tell you the truth.      IT IS DIFFICULT TO REACT TO repetitive jokes and stories. I used to be better about it because I did not want to appear rude or indifferent. However, for example when a news story gets repeated over and over it begins to lose its impact on me. The same holds true when a person shares their same opinions constantly. I believe everything in moderation. It is not easy being around someone who is always telling you what they hate, or on the flip side, who constantly talks about something they love. I find it hard to carry on a conversation under these terms. Now, there are things I go overboard with myself, where I want to hear and see everything available about the subject. Loving our national parks, I will watch or listen to various stories about them. There is a legendary actor I am fond of who I have seen various telecasts about them; recently a documentary that surprised me because it shared things that I had never known about the movie star. It was a pleasant surprise for me. When I saw the movie poster for this musical drama, I wondered if I was going to find out something that had not been mentioned before about the famous musical artist.      FROM HUMBLE BEGINNINGS ROSE A YOUNG girl who would become a musical superstar. All within a short time. With Naomi Ackie (The Score, Star Wars: Episode IX-The Rise of Skywalker) as Whitney Houston, Stanley Tucci (Spotlight, Julie & Julia) as Clive Davis, Ashton Sanders (Moonlight, The Equalizer 2) as Bobby Brown, Tamara Tunie (Flight, A Journal for Jordan) as Cissy Houston and Nafessa Williams (Black and Blue, A Holiday Chance) as Robyn Crawford; this biographical picture was perplexing. Naomi did an admirable job of acting and lip synching as well as Stanley Tucci did with his acting; however, I did not learn anything new about Whitney. The movie for the most part was a highlights reel, showing both high and low lights from Whitney’s life. There was little character development or for that matter, emotional depth. I sat in my seat wondering what was the point of making this movie. This story was just a repeat of things the general public had been told before. If you are a fan of Whitney, then you might enjoy this film, if for nothing else the musical numbers. For me, I was bored part of the time, wishing I was home seeing actual video clips of Whitney doing some of her monumental moments                               

2 stars

Flash Movie Review: The Good Nurse

IT WAS NOT MY FINEST MOMENT, but I also had not slept for two days. My only time in a hospital was filled with torturous nights on an awful hospital bed. The bed looked like a jigsaw puzzle, where the pieces were poorly cut, leaving small gaps between the sections. It was capable of folding and bending in multiple positions; none of them provided any relief for me, since the so-called mattress was as thick as the foam you would find around a dinner plate that had been packed for shipping. It was beyond uncomfortable. Add in the nightly wakeup visits from the nurses to take my vitals and I was more like a zombie than a human being. On the third night I had had enough. I told the night nurse that I was making a bed for myself on the floor using the cushions from the sofa in the room. She said she could not approve it, but I did not care. I told her I did not want to be woken in the middle of the night, just to have my temperature taken; I needed sleep if I was expected to get better. Seeing my determination, she thought better of disagreeing with me. Well, at least that is what I assumed. After she left the room, I got ready for bed. Placing the couch cushions on the floor up against the sofa; I grabbed my pillow and blanket and settled on top of the cushions, in a fetal position. Sleep enveloped me in a matter of seconds.      I FELT A HAND ON MY arm that was rousing me up from a deep slumber. As my eyes slowly opened and adjusted to the darkness, I saw the silhouette of a nurse kneeling next to me. She said I could not sleep on the floor, to please get back in bad so she could take my vitals. I asked her what time it was and when she said 4 am, I unleashed a volley of swear words that were fueled by a well of anger that had been stored inside of me ever since I was admitted into the hospital. The look on her face told me I was scaring her, but I could not stop myself. She quickly got up and raced out of the room, forgetting her clipboard that was still on the floor. I immediately felt bad, but it only lasted seconds before I rolled over and sunk back into a deep sleep. Later that morning, the day nurse walked in, asking if the ogre was receiving guests. I sheepishly looked up at her. For the next several minutes, she explained the importance of me sleeping in the bed and the need to monitor my fever. She offered I place the sofa cushions on top of the bed, but only if I lift-up the rail guards on the sides to prevent me from rolling off. She was being so kind to me after my poor behavior; she reminds me of the nurse in this crime drama.      WHEN A COUPLE OF HER PATIENTS die unexpectedly, a nurse takes it upon herself to find out if there is something going on within the hospital that is contributing to these deaths. With Eddie Redmayne (The Trial of the Chicago 7, The Danish Girl) as Charlie Cullen, Jessica Chastain (The Eyes of Tammy Faye, Molly’s Game) as Amy Loughren, Noah Emmerich (Little Children, The Americans-TV) as Tim Braun, Nnamdi Asomugha (Crown Heights, Sylvie’s Love) as Danny Baldwin and Devyn McDowell (Jerry and Margo Go Large, Annette) as Maya Loughren; this film based on a true story started out slow, but with the wonderful performances of Jessica and Eddie, kept picking up steam as the story unfolded. Having no recollection of the events that this story was based on only made this picture more gripping for me. However, there were several scenes that seemed awkward to me, deflating the building tension. Luckily, the actors worked well together to keep the story going. I only wished the writers would have injected more drama and depth for the actors to incorporate into their performances. Still, this was an incredible story to follow.                                               

3 stars 

Flash Movie Review: Blonde

IT WAS SO LONG AGO, WHEN I first saw her. Back then, I thought she had an odd voice. I think I was still in elementary school when I saw Marilyn Monroe for the first time. It was the movie “Some Like it Hot” with Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon and it was being shown on television. Liking both Tony and Jack, the movie easily kept my attention. When I first heard Marilyn speak, I thought that could not be her real voice; it sounded like a cartoon voice. Because I could not recall seeing any other woman that looked like her, I thought her voice added another layer to her cartoonish size physique. In my mind, she did not look real. The characters Tony and Jack played drew more of my attention than Marilyn’s character. I remember laughing at the two men when they were dressed up as women. After seeing this film, it was some years later before I saw another film that Marilyn starred in. And that movie was Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Though Marilyn’s character had a familiarity to it, I was older now and better able to understand the work that went in to create her character.  Her timing was impeccable along with her line deliveries. Her character became a classic in filmdom.      IN ALL HONESTY, I HAVE NOT seen any other of Marilyn’s films except one or two. I have seen news stories and articles, along with documentaries. In fact, there was a documentary series about her that aired earlier this year and it was the best one I had ever seen. The talk in Hollywood was Jayne Mansfield was highly intelligent. Well after seeing this latest docuseries, Marilyn was much smarter than what she let people see. For that time, as an actress, she yielded a lot of power. She knew exactly what she was doing to keep her name front and center. I was impressed with the things she achieved despite all the hardships she had to endure. The attribute of hers that I could relate to the most was her determination. She truly was a fighter and would not give up until she reached her goal. The perfect example is the film she did with the British actor who had no use for her and made her time during the filming of their picture a living hell, from what I understand. Now with my heightened awareness of her abilities, I have been working on watching anything that has to do with Marilyn. This is the reason I chose to sit through and watch this long movie based on Joyce Carol Oates’s novel.      DESPITE THE HARD CHILDHOOD, YOUNG NORMA Jeane, played by Lily Fisher (General Hospital-TV, Station 19-TV), had a determination in her that would help her succeed in a man’s world. With Ana de Armas (No Time to Die, The Gray Man) as Norma Jeane, Julianne Nicholson (Black Maps, August: Osage County) as Gladys, Tygh Runyan (Dark Harvest, Road to Nowhere) as Norma Jeane’s father and Michael Drayer (Claws-TV, Mr. Robot-TV) as Deputy Will Bonnie; this biographical romance drama had one outstanding thing going for it. It was Ana; she was amazing in her role. Unfortunately, I found the rest of this film to be exploitive and shallow. Maybe because I had watched the docuseries, I found the script for this picture to be disjointed. There were times where it felt like little snippets of time were being shown without any depth to back them up. I was disappointed with this picture; it did not provide anything new or anything entertaining. I think Marilyn would have been insulted by this movie.

1 ¾ stars

Flash Movie Review: Thirteen Lives

GRATEFULLY A RELATIVE OF MINE WAS okay after being at a public gathering where there was an active shooter. I never thought I would ever have to write about such a thing, but it has become part of our world. The gathering was a celebration for a national holiday; there were people who came from all areas around where the event was being staged. Horrifically there were fatalities and injuries. This tragic event was televised multiple times; the newspapers covered the story for many days. As one would expect, the news focused on the victims. All of it was so sad to see; the scenes showing the aftermath were especially hard to view. However, there was something out of this tragedy that struck me after hearing about it on a personal level, besides from the news. I was in awe of all the people who came together to help the survivors. Living at a time where there is so much divisiveness and polarization, where everything is turning into an extreme, it was heartwarming to see people from all levels of society coming together to help one another. The word that comes to mind is “hopeful.” Seeing such an act of kindness gives me hope that people can live a judgment free life together.      I HAVE BEEN A WITNESS TO other acts of kindness like the fitness presenter I was assigned to drive around during our yearly convention. We were driving to a dinner event when we spotted a car crash. She had me pull over so she could run out and see if anyone needed any help. As it turned out, the driver was dazed and going into shock. She took her jacket off, wrapped it around him while checking his pulse as she had me dial #911 to report it. It was comforting to see how she dealt with the situation, unconcerned about getting her outfit dirty and bloody. Being in the fitness industry, I have seen other acts of kindness. For example, I had a friend who worked at a health center where he personally had saved five members because of his quick actions to start CPR on them. We used to joke about why members were only getting ill when he was on duty. I do not know what it is about my focus on finding/hearing about acts of kindness. Maybe because of all this anger and hatred I see on the news and that includes these political ads that mention nothing about policy, instead showing explosions and crime; it makes me sad. Having said this will help you understand why I found this dramatic, action adventure so inspiring.      WHEN AN UNEXPECTED STORM TRAPS A boys soccer team inside of a cave, it would take more than a village to help keep the boys alive. With Viggo Mortensen (Green Book, A Dangerous Method) as Rick Stanton, Colin Farrell (The Batman, The Gentleman) as John Volanthen, Joel Edgerton (Boy Erased, The Gift) as Harry Harris, Tom Bateman (Death on the Nile, Cold Pursuit) as Chris Jewell and Paul Gleeson (The Thin Red Line, Home and Away) as Jason Mallinson; this film based on a true story was directed by Ron Howard, who created the perfect balance between tensions and emotions. I remember when this event happened and yet watching it play out in this movie felt like a new experience for me. The cast did a terrific job conveying the dangers, exhaustion, mental anguishes, and hopefulness from the script. Ron’s direction kept the story on a steady pace that allowed for the touching moments to shine in between the harrowing ones. I do not think it would make a difference whether you remember this event or not, that took place in Thailand; this was an exciting movie watching experience for me and I believe it could be for you as well.

3 ½ stars  

Flash Movie Review: Jerry & Margo Go Large

IN A PREVIOUS REVIEW, I MENTIONED I would do more traveling if I were to win a lottery game. For me, traveling makes me feel like an explorer. I get a thrill arriving in a new place and delving into the history of the area, while also participating in all the kitschy, touristy things. Walking through the only royal residence on US soil, learning it was the first building to get electric lights, even before the White House, was a historical tidbit that gave me a shot of adrenaline. Or, walking through the belly of the USS Midwest aircraft carrier, ducking my head at every doorway, learning at the time of World War II it was the largest warship in the world, sparked my childhood fantasies about being a military general. As you can see, I am not the type who likes to sit at a beach for a vacation. And though I have not won a lottery game with a life-changing jackpot, I am grateful that I can still do some traveling. The only difference between traveling now and if I were a lottery winner or retired is that I would not have a time restriction on the trip if I were not working.      THOUGH I LOVE TRAVELING AND SEEING various places, there is something to be said about the feeling I get when I come home. Presently, I can manage being away from home around 10 days at most before I get tired of living out of suitcases and eating every meal out. I can only do so many breakfast buffets and restaurant food, before I want the comforts of my own cooking with my food items. I do not think I am unusual in this regard. Even if I were to become a lottery winner, I would still live where I am living. Sure, I mentioned I wanted to buy a home in a warmer climate in my previous review; but I would only consider it a winter residence to get out of the cold, snowy days of winter that occur here. I love the area I live in, having grown up in it with family; there are friends who live nearby who I have known since elementary school. Now I do not want you to get the wrong impression; when I play a lottery game, I am only purchasing one or two tickets. I am not the type to walk into a place and buy $50.00 worth of tickets. However, if I would have discovered what the main character did in this comedic drama, I might buy a few more tickets.      RECENTLY RETIRED, A LOCAL RESIDENT DISCOVERS a flaw in the state’s lottery game. The flaw could lead him to a whole, new career. With Bryan Cranston (The Upside, Get a Job) as Jerry, Annette Bening (The Report, Death on the Nile) as Marge, Rainn Wilson (Blackbird, Don’t Tell a Soul) as Bill, Larry Wilmore (Date and Switch, Vamps) as Steve and Michael McKean (A Mighty Wind, This is Spinal Tap) as Howard; this film based on a true story was pure delight. Let me start with Bryan and Annette; they were wonderful to watch as a married couple, using their ample acting skills to their advantage. The story was unbelievable, but with the straight-forward, simple writing style of the script, I found myself totally engaged. Sure, there were several holes in the script, but it did not bother me. Just the fact there was a good, old fashioned type of story told with no CGI effects or wide dramatic flair; I found this such an easy film to watch. If nothing else, the story provided me with fuel to sit and fantasize about what my retirement years could look like.

3 stars 

Flash Movie Review: Elvis

THE COUPLE SITTING NEXT TO ME were being rude. We were sitting inside the city’s stadium for a music concert and the opening act was performing. This couple did not pay any attention to the act as they continued with their conversation. I had no idea who the artist was; but I still wanted to listen to them perform. Even if I did not care for their style of music, I would have been considerate of the people sitting around me and not carried on a conversation. From a long time ago, I learned to pay attention to the opening acts because you never knew if they would become a success one day. My favorite example is Tina Turner. I had tickets to a concert where she was listed as the opening act for the star attraction. Her work with Ike was well known but that had happened a long time ago. None of us knew what she would be doing by herself. Well, you can see what she did based on how quickly she returned to being the headliner. As a warm-up act, she was utterly amazing. By the end of her set, I felt I had already gotten my money’s worth; she was as they say, a superstar. Because of that concert, I always pay attention to the opening acts at concerts. There was a singer songwriter I got to see early in their career as the opening act; they went on to have a #1 song on the charts.      EXPERIENCING A MUSICAL ARTIST AT THE beginning of their career journey and following them to the top of the charts is an awesome feeling. I remember seeing this one musical artist who came out on stage with her hair bound up in a scarf, dressed in old fashioned clothes, with a couple of backup singers and a small band; yet it was an incredible show due to the singer. Her personality and voice were both amazing. From that first time seeing her, I have followed her career as it ventured into movies and Broadway stages, not once being disappointed by her performances. She had something different I had never seen and with her talent, I was sure she was going to be a star. I even have photos of her in the early days of her career because in the initial stages of a musical artist’s career, I believe, they can be the most exciting times. If you do not believe me, feel free to take a look at this dramatic biography to see what it is like.      SOME MUSICAL ARTISTS CAN REACH THE top of the charts, but only a few can usher in a whole new movement. One of those artists is the subject of this musical movie. With Tom Hanks (News of the World, The Post) as Colonel Tom Parker, Austin Butler (Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood, The Dead Don’t Die) as Elvis, Olivia DeJonge (The Visit, The Sisterhood of Night) as Priscilla, Helen Thomson (A Man’s Gotta Do, Getting’ Square) as Gladys and Richard Roxburgh (Van Helsing, Moulin Rouge) as Vernon; this film was very lucky to have Austin as Elvis. If he had not been in the starring role, the first 1 ½ hours would have been more painful than they already were for me. I thought the quick cutting from scene to scene and the over-the-top dramatics took away from the performances. It almost appeared cartoonish. The last hour was the part that engaged and kept my interest. I say that because we finally got to see a more vulnerable Elvis as the scenes were given emotional depth. Up until this point I found Tom’s performance erratic; at times, his acting was excellent, other times it was off the mark. If for nothing else, it was worth it to me to see Austin’s singing performances. I felt like I was at a concert seeing someone who would be going far in their career.

2 ½ stars 

Flash Movie Review: The Duke

I DO NOT THINK I AM CRAZY, though some of my friends and family think so because I soak prescription medicine bottles. The reason is to remove the labels before I recycle the bottles. Several of my friends think for the small size of the bottles it is not worth it to recycle; I beg to differ. But here is the thing, I do not force my recycling beliefs on those around me. If a package can be recycled into another item, I feel I am doing my part to protect our world’s natural resources. If by my recycling there is one less plastic product sitting in a garbage dump or floating in the ocean, then I feel quite good about helping protect the planet. I do not berate anyone if they choose not to recycle their products; I can only hope they see by my example a mindset that does not take much effort to do. If I am drinking water from a plastic bottle at someone’s house, I ask them if they recycle. If the answer is no, then I tell them I will take the bottle home with me to recycle it. I do not pass any judgements on the person, nor do I make a big deal out of it to embarrass the host in any way. I am simply doing my thing, as they say.      THE WAY I ACT ABOUT RECYCLING, where I do not berate or force people to follow, came about from seeing how a couple of individuals were acting about their beliefs. One person had signed up with an organization to become a sales rep for their exclusive home products. This person constantly talked about how wonderful the company benefits were and how they were able to make more than their agreed upon salary. At meals, get togethers, emails and phone calls; they also made a point of asking me to sign up and work under them. It came to a point where I started avoiding them because what they were describing to me was a pyramid scheme. The only way I could make more money was if I could get individuals to sign up under my name; the more people you convince to join the organization, the more money you make. And of course, with the discount salespeople get for the company’s product line, this person’s house was filled with every product from air fresheners to toilet bowl cleaners. I was forced to watch how well one of the cleaning products worked on their kitchen counter; it was no different than the cleaner I use at home, and I did not have to pay shipping for mine. Can you imagine having to listen to this stuff every day? It would be like living with the main character in this comedic drama.      FIGHTING WITH THE GOVERNMENT OVER THEIR charging policy for television broadcasts took on more importance when Kempton Bunton, played by Jim Broadbent (The Iron Lady, Another Year), saw how much money the government paid for a painting by Francisco Goya. With Heather Craney (Vera Drake, Child 44) as Debbie, Helen Mirren (The Good Liar, Woman in Gold) as Dorothy Bunton, Fionn Whitehead (Dunkirk, The Children Act) as Jackie Bunton and Matthew Goode (Chasing Liberty, Downton Abbey) as Jeremy Hutchinson QC; this film based on a true story was a treat. First the acting prowess of Jim and Helen was mesmerizing. The story was incredible and the whole cast made this film a non-stop piece of entertainment. I enjoyed the curves the script threw, and the way Jim delivered his words with timing perfection. Because the true story was so outrageous, I at times wondered how much liberty the writers took in writing the script; however, it was not enough to take my attention away from the all the scenes. Finally, to show you the sign of a good actor, I was getting annoyed by some of Kempton Bunton’s actions.

3 ½ stars 

Flash Movie Review: The Survivor

I HAVE LEARNED NOT TO THINK I have heard all the comments and thoughts about a particular subject. After hearing and reading all the different comments about vaccines that inject microchips into our bloodstreams and medical tests that only use lemmings for test subjects, very little can surprise me these days. I do not know if this a good or bad thing to tell you the truth. In my work position, I have heard so many excuses from customers that owe the company money, that I never react to what they say to me. Maybe it is true, maybe not; it does not phase me anymore. Not to delve into any political discussion, but hearing someone actually say members of a political party are buying and selling babies for some demonic ritual; how does someone carry on a discussion with a person who believes this to be true. In yesterday’s review, I mentioned the appalling behavior of individuals who believe the school shootings at Parkland and Sandy Hook were a hoax; it just does not stop does it with these extreme thoughts/comments.      WHEN I WAS MUCH YOUNGER, I knew a couple of people who were survivors of a German concentration camp. They both had a series of numbers tattooed on their forearms. I remember talking to one of them about her time in the camps and could not believe what she was telling me was true; it was so horrific; I was too young to take in the scope of the situation she was living in. She remembered always being cold and shivering to the point where captives would huddle together to try and share any type of warmth in a brutal environment. Looking at this tiny, weakened woman, I recall thinking to myself how in the world did she survive such a place and, how could people be so evil to set up a systematic way of eliminating a large group of humans. Her stories stayed with me and when I finally went off to college, one of my professors was one of the foremost experts on Nazi Germany. He was a German man with a thick accent. He was the author of the textbook assigned to us for the class. I remember he always tried to shock us during his lectures, providing us with personal insights into the Nazi culture, to the point I wondered if he had been a German solider. His stories about all the atrocities and actions that took place during the war made me think I was getting a firsthand look at everything that took place back then. That is until I watched this movie based on a true story.      KNOWING HIS STORY ABOUT HIS TIME in a concentration camp would produce negative reactions, a survivor decides to tell it anyway in the hopes of finding his true love. With Ben Foster (Leave No Trace, Hell or High Water) as Harry Haft, Billy Magnussen (Into the Woods, Game Night) as Schneider, Vicky Krieps (Phantom Thread, The Last Vermeer) as Miriam Woesoniker, Peter Sarsgaard (The Lost Daughter, Loving Pablo) as Emory Anderson and Danny DeVito (Batman Returns, The Comedian) as Charley Goldman; this drama was an intense and riveting viewing experience. Ben’s acting was mind blowing, including the 62-pound loss for part of the story. As for the story, I was stunned upon discovering what he had to do to survive. My only negative comment is I wish the script had not jumped back and forth as much. I felt the emotional tension would have benefitted with more time spent in each era for a longer duration. The current story paled compared to the older era, in my opinion. Despite this and the fact this is based on a true story, I was locked into this biographical sports story and Ben’s performance. There were multiple scenes with blood and violence.

3 ½ stars 

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