SITTING on the sofa after a satisfying meal I was waiting for the punch line to the story that was being told to us. It was not because the story was exciting, though it was the 1st time I heard it some years ago, or that the storyteller always had an animated way of telling a tale; I actually had heard this story enough to be able to retell it without any coaching. The reason I was waiting for the ending of the story was so I could get up and go to the bathroom without appearing rude to the story teller or the other people sitting around. The first time I heard the story I remember how all of us were laughing hysterically; it really was a funny set of circumstances that happened to the story teller. However after hearing the same story again and again, it had lost its surprise and funniness. For my way of thinking once a funny story has been told it needs to go into retirement, put away on a shelf only to come out on special occasions as a reminder about a particular person or period of time. THE retelling of jokes or stories only robs them of their uniqueness. After a time the listener you are trying to entertain is simply lulled into boredom. This reminds me of a person I know who does not fully grasp the art of joke telling. Every time they tell a joke they have to explain the portion of it that they find particularly amusing. This is never a good idea; if you have to explain a joke then it is not a joke. There have been times where I find myself sitting and listening to them and I immediately know anything I might find funny will be weighed down with this explaining thing that will make me cringe into wishing they would stop talking. Telling something over and over again is not exclusive to parties and family gatherings; it can be found in movie franchises. FAMILY was the most important thing to Dom, played by Vin Diesel (The Pacifier, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk). Then why did he turn his back on them? Starring Jason Statham (The Expendables franchise, The Mechanic franchise) as Deckard, Dwayne Johnson (San Andreas, Hercules) as Hobbs and Charlize Theron (Monster, Mad Max: Fury Road) as Cipher; the script for this action crime thriller was the weak link. The action scenes kept coming over and over, most connected by cheesy dialog. I will say the action was outrageous as the stunts were things the viewer has come to expect from this franchise. Another positive point about this movie was Charlize Theron; I found her acting to be above everyone else in the cast. After so many years with this franchise the writers needed to do something different in my opinion. I found some of the characters’ conversations were so typical of past films that I found myself becoming dazed and tired. Good thing there was always some over the top action scene ready to unfold right afterwards. This film franchise has had a long run but based on this installment it might be time for this group to take the exit ramp and take a rest. It might do wonders for them.
2 ½ stars
Between the people slightly in front an arm was thrust towards me so I shook hands with it. I did not have time to see who was attached to the arm so I asked the person alongside me. It was a city politician who was walking the parade route. Funny this was now the 4th handshake I have had with a political figure. You can learn something from a person’s handshake; I still remember the feelings I experienced when I shook the previous hands. One politician’s handshake was more of a squeeze instead of a shake; he was tightly wound in my opinion. Another politician’s handshake was firm but respectful who deliberately made eye contact, exuding confidence. The most I have been able to say to them was something about being glad to meet them. I think my handshake conveys my feelings; it is direct and firm most of the time. If I happen to get a negative feeling from a person I keep the handshake light and less firm so I can remove myself quickly. Besides politicians the only other celebrities I have met were a couple of directors who came to the screenings of their movies. I have seen actors at different locations but I am not the type to go run up to them and carry on about meeting them out in public. However what I really would enjoy is being able to sit down with them for coffee or dinner and just have a conversation that goes beyond the surface. This would apply to anyone from any facet of life who I admired. I can only imagine how it must have felt for the journalist in this biographical drama. WHEN the phone rang at his office Ed Myers, played by Giovanni Ribisi (The Rum Diary, Ted franchise), could not believe who was calling him. The gentleman on the line said he was Ernest Hemingway. Based on a true story I had never heard of this event. The first thing I have to tell you is I thoroughly enjoyed watching the outdoor scenes in this film festival winner because they were shot in Cuba; talk about timing as the United States has moved away from its previous policy towards the country. Starring Adrian Sparks (The Manhattan Project, The Purge: Anarchy) as Ernest Hemingway and Joely Richardson (Event Horizon, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) as Mary Hemingway; I thought the acting was good, especially from Joely and Giovanni. Set during the late 1950s in Havana, Cuba the idea to film this story sounded like it would be a dramatic win-win situation. Now I did like this movie but I felt it did not do real justice to the characters; the script kept things too simple so some scenes came across manipulative and over-dramatic. The actual experience was more important than what was told in this picture; but I have to tell you, I would be just as excited as Ed Myers if I were to meet the person who I felt changed my life.
2 2/3 stars