Flash Movie Review: Cocaine Bear
IT TOOK A FEW MONTHS OF convincing before I started eating tomatoes again ever since I saw them kill a human. Luckily, I only saw it happen on a theater screen on a Saturday afternoon. There was a small movie theater in my neighborhood; it was in the middle of the block with a discount store on one side and a liquor store on the other. Every Saturday they would have a kid’s matinee show for a discounted price and I was there at least two out of every four Saturdays of the month. I cannot remember ever seeing a film there I did not like during my childhood. Besides seeing those tomatoes that were attacking humans, I saw aliens from a different planet who all looked like they were clowns, evil clowns bent on destroying us. One week I saw the incredible shrinking man, the following one had an Amazon woman who was close to fifty feet tall. On the way home from the theater, my friends and I would act out a few of the scenes we especially liked from the movie. One of my all time favorite films from that time was a horror film with Vincent Price and Peter Lorre. One of them was a sorcerer and there was magician who I found out years later was a young Jack Nicholson. I was enthralled with the magic effects and curses; objects flying in the air and electric bolts coming out of extended fingertips. THERE WAS SUCH A HIGH LEVEL of comfort for me those Saturdays. I could always count on being taken to a different world or see my world from an alien’s perceptions. Yet, I felt safe with my box of popcorn and box of chocolate candy. It was years later when I came across the term “B” movie and understood most of those films I was watching back then were “B” films. None of them would ever be considered for an Academy Award; they had low production values and cheesy special effects. I did not know it back then, but the acting and the script were at a bare bones level, sometimes teetering on the absurd. But here is the thing, they were fun to watch. They usually could illicit an emotion out of the viewers; it might have been shock, fear or laughter, but there was always a reaction to what was coming across the screen. Presently, making a “B” film is being kitschy/retro. They can be over-the-top and fun as long as you do not give a lot of thought to the plot. If you are interested in watching a “B” film, this one certainly would fit the bill. WHEN A DRUG CARTEL LOSES A shipment of cocaine over a Georgia forest, the first to discover the drugs was a black bear. Anyone else coming near the drugs would have to deal with the bear who took a liking, some say addiction, to the cocaine. With Keri Russell (Waitress, The Americans-TV) as Sari, Alden Ehrenreich (Beautiful Creatures, Solo: A Star Wars Story) as Eddie, O’Shea Jackson Jr (Ingrid Goes West, Straight Outta Compton) as Daveed, Ray Liotta (Something Wild, Shades of Blue-TV) as Syd, and Isiah Whitlock Jr (Da 5 Bloods, BlacKkKlansman) as Bob; this comedy horror was based on a true event which I have to say sounded crazy from the start. Directed by Elizabeth Banks (The Hunger Games franchise, Love & Mercy), this film does not take itself too seriously and that was fine by me. One must put reason to the side and just go with it, because it was a wild and entertaining viewing experience despite the scenes of blood, violence and gore. There were laugh out scenes mixed in with the great CGI display of the bear. I thought the kids were especially good in their roles. This was a steady to fast paced freaky, fun film with a stranger than truth story line. There were two extra scenes during the ending credits.
Flash Movie Review: Da 5 Bloods
IT WAS NOT UNTIL I CAUGHT his sideways glance back at us that I realized we needed to stop talking separately. I understood because I had been in his position myself and knew what it felt like. Early on, I did not realize when two people are together in a relationship, they learn to talk to each other in a certain shorthanded type of way, that only they understand. They also can get a sense through their partner’s body language; people refer to this as non-verbal visual cues. I remember walking with their new significant other as mine was walking behind to catch up with their old flame. To me it sounded like they were conversing with sentence fragments; little snippets of phrases and idioms that made little sense to me. They would laugh at what I heard to be random bits; but to hear them, one would think they were a couple of comedians sharing their comedy routines with each other. I cannot say I was feeling hurt per se, however, I did feel as if I was being left out from being part of their clique. As I said, the first time this happened to me I was uncomfortable. But as I gained experience being in that role and with maturity, I stopped feeling threatened and instead, learned to respect it for what it was: 2 exes’ catching up in the way only they knew how to communicate with each other. WHETHER IT IS TWO OR A DOZEN people who have spent a significant time together, it is understandable they form a special bond between themselves. The bond becomes so strong that a long expanse of time filled with absence barely shaves off a layer from the top surface of the connection. I remember going back to an elementary school class reunion and despite having had no contact with many of my classmates for decades, all of us immediately fell into that comfortable spot of familiarity and belonging. It was as if I had just been with them a short time ago as my memories burst into my awareness like a school of swimming dolphin coming up for air at the same time; I would see someone new walk into the room and I immediately recognized them and recalled the interactions we had together when we were back in such and such grade. Any of the petty issues that any of us were carrying about a bad experience shared got washed away from the excitement of being back together as one cohesive body of students who survived the formative years of elementary school. That special bond between people was something that resonated with me when I watched the group of friends in this dramatic war adventure film. RETURNING TO VIET NAM AFTER MANY YEARS, four military Vets were determined to complete their mission to retrieve their buddy’s remains and a stack of gold that was left behind. The bonds between them would serve them well as they went back into the jungle. With Delroy Lindo (Malcom X, Get Shorty) as Paul, Jonathan Majors (White Boy Rick, Captive State) as David, Clarke Peters (John Wick, Marley & Me) as Otis, Norm Lewis (Winter’s Tale, Sex and the City 2) as Eddie and Isiah Whitlock Jr. (Cedar Rapids, BlackKklansman) as Melvin; the story in this movie was loaded up with several topical themes. The acting was excellent to the point I believed the 4 Viet Nam vet characters really fought together in the war. Granted I have no personal experience about being in the military during the Viet Nam war, but I found the script authentic enough for it to be believable. There were times where I felt some preaching was taking place, but it did not distract me enough to care about it. There were several scenes with blood and violence. One other positive thing about watching this movie was it reminded me how good pictures can provide viewers with things to think about afterwards.
3 ½ stars