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Flash Movie Review: Traffik

THE PRICE ADVERTISED WAS THE deciding factor for my friends to book their trip. Having gone to Mexico multiple times they did not need the add-on excursions or upgrades to their tour package. With the low price they chose to extend their stay; but once they booked the hotel and agreed upon the dates, there wound up being additional costs. All of a sudden they were being charged extra for their suitcases and seats; never before were they ever billed such a charge when they booked through the travel agency. What really galled them was an extra charge from the hotel due to the extended stay; it brought them into the travel season pricing, whatever that meant. When I talked to one of my friends she expressed her anger at the travel agency. She said if they would have included all the extra fees into their advertised price she would not have gotten a bad attitude about them. The way they listed a super low price to entice travelers then hit them with added fees felt dishonest to her.      I WOULD HAVE TO AGREE WITH her. The same thing has happened to me. Several years ago I saw an advertised price for a piece of furniture; it was something I had been waiting to go on sale. When I saw the item being advertised on sale I drove to the store to get it. Once there I sought out someone to help me which I have to tell you has become more of a challenge these days. Finally getting a salesperson, I went over the options of color and pattern. Would you believe the sale price was only for one specific color and wood finish?!?! For my color choices it would be more expensive. I was so ticked off I decided not to buy it and instead go look for something else. Things like this are irritating to me. Why can’t they just list the fine details (in large enough print) or state everything upfront? I feel the same way about passive aggressive behavior; just tell me what you want instead of hinting at it or trying to manipulate the conversation with me. It is annoying which is how I felt about this dramatic thriller inspired by true events.      WHAT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE A romantic weekend for Brea and John, played by Paula Patton (Precious, Déjà Vu) and Omar Epps (Love & Basketball, House-TV), turned into a nightmare as they were being stalked by what they thought were just some prejudiced people. Actually they weren’t, they were looking for something specific. With Dawn Olivieri (American Hustle, Den of Thieves) as Cara, Missi Pyle (The Artist, Galaxy Quest) as Deputy Sally Marnes and Laz Alonso (Detroit, Jumping the Broom) as Darren Cole; this story had an identity crisis. If the writers would have only focused on one of the 2 stories taking place this would have been a better movie in my opinion. Unfortunately they missed an important opportunity to shine light on a dark aspect taking place around the world. I was so disappointed not only by this but the rudimentary script. Paula gave it a good try but as I have said before, a film loses points when the script makes the characters do unrealistic things. I am talking about, as an example, knocking unconscious your attacker but you do not take their gun with you or at least hide it before you run away. Stuff like this drives me crazy. So the bottom line here is this movie should have focused on being either a thriller or a startling revelation about human trafficking.

 

1 ¾ stars

Flash Movie Review: Battle of the Year

It is not to see who will win that keeps my attention at competition events; it is the way the contest does not have any discrimination that attracts me. Having been exposed to the ugliness of prejudice at a young age, I tend to seek out things that create a level playing field for all. Whether it is a singing, dancing, musical or sporting activity; I enjoy seeing people from all over the world, from all walks of life coming together to perform the same activity. I never understood why country, race, religion or even physical appearance should matter to someone. Shouldn’t being human suffice? I admire the participants in any type of physical venue due to my background in fitness. Add in some music and I love it more; so, this dance competition movie was something I was curious to see. Inspired by the documentary film Planet B-Boy, the story revolved around a premier international dance crew competition that attracted teams from all over the world. America had not won in 15 years and Dante Graham, played by Laz Alonso (Jarhead, Constantine) wanted to change that statistic. Josh Holloway (Paranoia, Lost-TV) played former championship basketball coach Jason Blake who was hired by Dante to train a team of dancers to bring home the championship. Caity Lotz (The Pact, Death Valley-TV) as choreographer Stacy and Josh Peck (Red Dawn, The Wackness) as assistant Franklyn would help Coach Blake in this quest. My biggest complaint about this musical dance film was the awful way they filmed the dance routines. I did not understand why they were filmed either in slow or fast motion, making them look cartoonish. If the idea was to bring together the best dancers to form a team then I wanted to see them actually dance. The story was completely lame with all of its stereotypical cliches and ideas. With uninspired dialog the acting was simply pathetic. Josh looked like he was about to cry in every single scene. Maybe he had a clue on how bad this movie was turning out. The two best parts for me in watching this film were not paying to see it in 3D and the enjoyment of listening to a couple of good songs that were used during a few of the dance segments. I plan on viewing the documentary Planet B-Boy and if you are interested in seeing some real dancing, I recommend you take a pass on this film and get the documentary also.

 

1 1/3 stars

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