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Flash Movie Review: Black and Blue

SO ANNOYING, FOR THE PAST TWO weeks I have been trying to stop receiving a company’s daily email advertisements. I receive several every day and it is getting on my nerves. At first, I thought it would be an easy thing to do by going online to unsubscribe via the link they listed on their emails. Going through several steps before finally receiving a confirmation of the stoppage, I thought I was done. Sadly that was not the case because sure enough the very next day I got the same amount of email advertisements in my inbox. Once again, I went through the same steps online to put a stop to them, receiving another confirmation of my success. I was not buying it until I had seen proof; it never came since there was not even a slowdown in the amount of emails coming to me. My next step was to call them on the phone, easier said than done. I had to search multiple pages online before I found a phone number. When I called, the phone rang and rang without anyone ever picking up.  Jumping back online, I looked for another phone number and when I dialed it I was greeted with a message that told me to dial the number I had previously dialed. This just ticked me off further; so, I set up my computer to block this company’s emails.      THE LESSON I LEARNED FROM THIS WAS believing that the larger a company was, the more chances their employees would be apathetic towards their customers’ experiences and needs. I know this is a broad generalization, but I have experienced this in other situations. I was with a friend when they tried returning a couple of items they bought online from a store’s website. Figuring it would be easier and faster to stop at the store to return them, my friend was met with an unpleasant store employee behind the customer service counter. One thing I cannot stand is when a store employee does not even look up when addressing you and this is exactly what the employee did to my friend. Explaining the situation that the items were the wrong size, the employee said they could not help because the items were bought online. My friend agreed they were ordered online, pointing out to the employee it was from their store’s website. The customer service rep then did something that if I was returning the items I would have taken the discussion up a notch or two. They rolled their eyes at my friend. It was obvious they were not going to budge so I told my friend to dispute the purchase on their charge card. Just because the company was large it was apparent its employees were not interested in bucking the system to do what was right. In a way, it was similar to what the main character was experiencing in this action, crime drama.      INVESTIGATING THE SOUND OF GUNSHOTS COMING FROM a deserted factory police officer Alicia, played by Naomie Harris (Moonlight, Skyfall), discovered something that she should not have seen, according to the people on the scene. She saw it differently and because of that there was a chance she might get killed for it. This film festival winner also starred Tyrese Gibson (The Fast and Furious franchise, Transformers franchise) as Mouse, Frank Grillo (Captain America franchise, The Grey) as Terry Malone, Mike Colter (Men in Black 3, Luke Cage-TV) as Darius and Reid Scott (Dean, Veep-TV) as Kevin. The best part of this movie was Naomie. Not only was her acting excellent, but also having her as the main character gave this story a different twist to the usual cat and mouse game. This picture was pretty much all about the action and despite it being easy to figure out, I still felt I was being entertained. The script needed some finesse to make the moral messages less heavy-handed and soften the bluntness in its delivery, especially in the latter half of the story. Despite these issues, I did feel the movie studio was not lax in trying to provide a worthwhile product for the viewing audience.

 

2 ½ stars

Flash Movie Review: The Purge: Anarchy

Finding an outlet to let go of life’s daily irritations is the way to stay sane in today’s world. Maybe it is just me but it seems as if everybody has shorter fuses these days. I can easily rattle off a variety of incidents where I find myself becoming irritated. There is the person in the theater texting during the movie; the driver who cut me off to be the last one to cross the railroad crossing before the gates came down and I had to sit for over 10 minutes as a freight train went by; the person at the help desk who was of no help in trying to locate where my cashed check was applied; I can go on, but the point is I find a way to release the collection of negative emotions that simmer and boil inside of me. The first thing I do is tell myself I cannot control those things that are out of my control. This has served me well for many years; there is no reason to devote energy to something I cannot change. If that doesn’t work I always have my reliable backup and that is watching a movie. Mmm, I hope no one assumes I must be teetering on the edge based on the amount of films I view weekly. I know what I would become if I did not have a way to release pent-up stress or anger and I have a pretty good idea what the world would look like if everyone held on to their negativity. They would be doing what the people were doing in this horror thriller sequel.    ONCE a year the government made all crimes legal and let the citizens participate in an annual purge of the population. Frank Grillo (The Grey, Warrior) played the character Sergeant, a mysterious man who instead of killing people wound up helping mother and daughter Eva and Cali Sanchez, played by Carmen Ejogo (Pride and Glory, Alex Cross) and Zoe Soul (Prisoners), survive the night. This action film was filled with violence and blood. If this movie was to be a true parody or satire, I did not get the full effect because the story made little sense. Sure one could comment on the disparity between the wealthy and poor people depicted in this film but the script had no substance to assist in such a discussion. I found the movie played more like one long video game, just scene after scene of chases and violence. It became a boring experience for me. What I found scarier was the mother who was with her underaged son, sitting near me in the theater. Why would someone bring a child to see this brutal film; what kind of lesson was she trying to teach him?

 

1 3/4 stars

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