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Flash Movie Review: Shock and Awe

IT IS SO INFURIATING TO ALWAYS be asked for advice that always gets dismissed. I just need to stop giving it when I am being asked, because it drives me crazy. A friend of mine will constantly ask me what I think or would do regarding an issue she is experiencing. Since she asked I am willing to help; not that I am some kind of oracle of truth who has the best advice. However, in those circumstances where I do have knowledge about the subject I will advise her. Time after time she will pick my brain to get as much information as possible before she goes and does the exact opposite of my suggestion. This is not bragging but a majority of the time my advice has been right on target. I know she hears me but from all those times she chose not to take my suggestions she wound up either losing money, wasting time or delaying her healing process. It really is maddening to see this stuff happen to her when it could have all been avoided. If she does not believe what I am saying, then what is the point of continually asking me?      THE IRONIC THING ABOUT THIS is we had a mutual friend who could never tell the truth. With anything he said the listener had to discount most of it. As an example, within a span of 3-4 months I heard him say he was a personal trainer, an accountant, a financial advisor, a banker and a chef. I know there were more but I no longer can remember, nor care about it. As I am writing this I just realized on the one hand I have a friend that doesn’t believe what I am saying and on the other there is another friend who never tells the truth. If memory serves me correctly, the friend who did not trust my advice used to accept the other friend’s stories a/k/a lies. What the heck was she thinking?!?! Truth is based on facts and reality; so, she must have been using a different reality if she was willing to believe the story telling friend. I guess this is an example of a person believing something is true, but not knowing if it indeed is true. Sadly, this is only one of many instances where I have seen someone willing to believe something without investigating the facts. I have an idea what the journalists must have been feeling in this dramatic biography based on true events.      HEARING A RUMOR ABOUT THE government wanting to invade a country journalists Jonathan Landay and Warren Strobel, played by Woody Harrelson (Wilson, Solo: A Star Wars Story) and James Marsden (Hairspray, Enchanted), set out to find the facts to such a story. Every turn they made was met with disbelief. Set before the 2003 invasion of Iraq, this movie also starred Rob Reiner (The Wolf of Wall Street, All in the Family-TV) as John Walcott, Tommy Lee Jones (The Homesman, The Fugitive) as Joe Galloway and Jessica Biel (Total Recall, The Illusionist) as Lisa Mayr. I so wished I had some knowledge about this story and the journalists from Knight Ridder newspapers; the story was made to play like a political thriller. Horribly, this movie lacked everything needed to tell a good story. I cannot put my finger on it but the script was dull; there was no excitement or thrills when there should have been. The acting was okay but if you look at the film Spotlight, this movie was a light version of this type of investigative story. Such a shame and waste of resources to produce this mess of a movie. Trust me you do not want to spend money on this picture. I would rather have seen a documentary about these 2 journalists and what they accomplished.

 

1 ½ stars    

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Flash Movie Review: And So it Goes

It takes real effort for a person to act mean. Because everyone has the potential for good and evil I believe, it comes down to making choices. For example the brother who invites all but one sibling to his son’s special event or the person in the elevator who sees you running towards them and does nothing to prevent the doors from closing just as you are about to reach them. These people were acting mean in my opinion. Now there are some individuals who look mean, display a tough exterior, but beneath it they are completely sweet. I have a friend who cuts an imposing figure. Well over 6 feet tall and bulky, the irises of his eyes are as black as his pupils. His pale complexion only intensifies the glare of his deep set eyes when he is looking at you. I have seen many strangers move out of his way when he is walking down the street. Once you are familiar to him, his piercing eyes look more like the button eyes on a stuffed teddy bear and his physical size diminishes into soft edges. I know meanness can be based on a person’s perception; but unless one has evidence, don’t you think most people determine if someone could be mean by the way they look?    BEING mean was what realtor Oren Little, played by Michael Douglas (Last Vegas, Falling Down), thrived on when he had to deal with people. All he wanted to do was sell one last big property so he could retire. His plans were blown when the granddaughter he never knew he had Sarah, played by Sterling Jerins (The Conjuring, World War Z), was dumped at his front door. Not interested in the 9 year old girl Oren tried to push her off on his neighbor Leah, played by Diane Keaton (The Godfather franchise, Mad Money), so he could continue on his way. Just how mean could Oren remain towards the two females? This comedic drama was utterly predictable which was why I gave you more information about the movie than usual. I found it sad that Michael and Diane were both stuck with the script; it did not offer one single new thing. Directed by Rob Reiner (The Bucket List, When Harry Met Sally), there just was not much one could do to try and make this film pleasurable. The crowd in the theater who were all older had an equal mix of positive and negative comments as they were exiting at the end of the movie. I know the movie studio was not trying to be mean by boring me for the duration of this picture; however, they were not very nice to make a poorly written film.

 

1 3/4 stars

Flash Movie Review: The Wolf of Wall Street

When two people work well together they create something truly special. I have one friend who is the only person I will travel with because we compliment each other so well. When we are exploring a new city or area out of state, we usually cover everything on our to do list. If for no other reason because we both are avid walkers. For example at a national park while they read all the signage that pertains to each site, I make sure I take multiple photo shots to create a visual travelog. After we return home we can easily recreate our vacation down to the littlest of details. In film history there have been several couples who had a way of blending with each other to give us memorable moments. Some of these pairings would be Katherine Hepburn/Spencer Tracy and Myrna Loy/William Powell. A current couple that does something special when they get together on a film project is Leonardo DiCaprio (The Departed, Titanic) and director Martin Scorsese (Hugo, The Departed). In this crime comedy the two men made a spectacular film. Based on a true story Leonardo played Jordan Belfort, a New York stockbroker who was at the center of a huge securities fraud scheme back in the 1990s. With his partner Donnie Azoff, played by Jonah Hill (This is the End, Moneyball), the two built up a brokerage firm that would fund their excessive lifestyle; it did not matter if it was legal or not. I believe this was Leonardo’s best acting performance to date. Not only the emotional aspect but the physical side of his acting created a volcanic, unforgettable character. The casting of this Golden Globe nominated movie yielded several interesting choices such as Rob Reiner (The Story of Us, All in the Family-TV) playing Jordan’s father Max Belfort and Joanne Lumley (Late Bloomers, Absolutely Fabulous-TV) as Aunt Emma. For the few scenes they had, each left a lasting impression. Now I understand the movie originally clocked in over 4 hours but after some editing it was reduced to 3. This was still too long for me, since I felt the amount of sexual scenes were excessive. With that being said, Martin’s directing was pure perfection; each scene came across fully realized. Some viewers may have a hard time with the nudity and use of strong language throughout the film. Based on the track record for Leonardo and Martin, we should be in store for more movie magic in the future.

 

3 3/4 stars

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