Flash Movie Review: Don’t Worry Darling
I CRINGE WHEN I HEAR A statement such as, “I hate it when he eats in bed.” The back story to this comment; a friend of mine married a man who enjoyed eating in bed. Personally, it would be a deal breaker for me, so I get where she is coming from. The thing is, she knew going into the relationship that this was something he did. I remember her telling me stories about waking up in the morning with crumbs strewn across the whole bed sheet. So, by the time they got married, she had been dealing with this situation for three years. For the next couple of years, I would periodically listen to her complain about her husband’s eating habits. I finally had to ask her why she thought things would be different after they were married. My friend felt once they were married, she could convince him to change his eating habits. I had to call it as I saw it by telling her if she went into the marriage with the idea she could change him, she would set herself up for disappointment. Love does not come with conditions; you either love unconditionally or the basis of the marriage will have this open wound that will not heal. I suggested some options she could try to find a happy medium, but explained at our ages change is hard to come by. She cannot change him, but she can change her reaction; because let us face it, no one is perfect. MAYBE IT WILL NOT SURPRISE YOU those two filed for divorce after a couple of more years. Heaven knows, I have been in relationships where I wished I could change some aspect about the person, but I always concluded that if I am not perfect, why would I expect them to be perfect. Going into a relationship, where you totally accept the person for who they are, is so much easier than struggling to mold each other into what you imagine they could be. I remember being in a relationship where they constantly told me I was never available for them, despite keeping every weekend open for us to be together. What they were saying to me was they wanted me to quit teaching so I could be available for them during the weekdays. They knew from day one that I worked a full-time job and at night I taught fitness and yoga classes. Nothing changed on my part; but they came into the committed relationship expecting me to change for them. It was never discussed or questioned. Knowing my schedule, if they were not happy with it, they could have chosen not to move forward with our dating status. As I have said before, life is not perfect; except maybe for the people living in the experimental town in this dramatic thriller. A HOUSEWIFE BEGINS TO WONDER IF something is wrong with her perfect life after she begins to recall some disturbing dreams. With Florence Pugh (Black Widow, The Wonder) as Alice, Harry Styles (Dunkirk, Eternals) as Jack, Chris Pine (All the Old Knives, The Contractor) as Frank, Olivia Wilde (Richard Jewell, Life Itself) as Bunny and Kiki Layne (The Old Guard, If Beale Street Could Talk) as Margaret; this movie kept my interest because of Florence. She has such a magnetic screen presence that made me want to find out what was happening to her character. There were some interesting parts to the story; however, the longer the movie dragged on the less I cared what was happening to the cast. There was a familiarity to the script, as if I saw some scenes in previous films. And I disliked the twist and the last part of the story; it made no sense to me and by this time I did not care, feeling I wasted my time. Now I don’t expect every movie I see to be perfect, but I certainly want them to be entertaining. This one was not perfect nor was it entertaining.
1 ¾ stars
Flash Movie Review: The Mother
WAITING TO CHECK OUT MY SCHOOL supplies, I saw something that changed my opinion about motherhood. In the next line stood a mother holding a crying baby. I had no reason to assume she was not the mother. She tried calming the child by gently bouncing her up and down, while making soft cooing sounds. I was wondering why the mother did not give the baby bottle she had in her hand to her child just as she brought it closer to her other hand to unscrew the top. Placing the bottle on the edge of the conveyor belt, she contorted her arm back to grab something out of her large canvas bag that was slinged over her shoulder. I could not believe what she pulled out of that bag; it was a bottle of cola. She quickly took off the cap and poured the soft drink into the baby bottle. I had to look around to see if anyone else was seeing what I was watching; it was the most incredible thing I had ever seen. The mother closed the baby bottle and stuck the nipple into the baby’s mouth. I thought the baby would spit out the carbonated liquid, but I was wrong. The baby calmed down and sucked away on that bottle, like the way I imagined a sugar addict would do it. I wondered if Dr. Spock would have approved. FROM THAT EARLY SINGLE INCIDENT, I realized not every woman is cutout for motherhood. I have encountered many women who were outstanding mothers. There was the mother who surprised her music-loving child with tickets to their very first rock concert, because she wanted to further encourage her child’s interest in music. On the other hand, I heard about the mother, who was attending the parent/teacher conferences at her son’s school, when the teacher mentioned the child’s disappointing testing scores and the mother exclaimed, she was screwed (the actual comment is not printable here). The mother was more concerned about the optics of having a child who is struggling in certain areas instead of focusing on finding the proper resources to help her son succeed. Her actions as told to me simply reinforced my belief that just having a baby doesn’t qualify a woman to be a mother. It takes a special person with a special skill set. It does not even have to be as skilled as the mother in this action thriller, but it certainly could not hurt. HAVING BEEN FORCED TO GIVE UP her child at birth, a single mother had to resign herself to a quiet life of solitude. That life would rapidly change when she found out her daughter was being targeted by someone from her past. With Jennifer Lopez (Shotgun Wedding, Marry Me) as The Mother, Lucy Paez (The Exorcism of Carmen Farias, Silencio) as Zoe, Omari Hardwick (Army of the Dead, Sorry to Bother You) as Cruise, Joseph Fiennes (Risen, The Handmaid’s Tale) as Adrian and Gael Garcia Bernal (Old, The Motorcycle Diaries) as Hector; this drama had a decent premise and a committed lead star with Jennifer. Granted even in a fight scene her makeup and outfits looked fine, but I did appreciate her effort in making the fight scenes look believable. My issue with this picture was the script. It was a good idea but came across as a series of cliches; it was easy figuring out what was going to happen next. I felt there could have been more given to the characters, both emotionally and historically. And of course, there were a few scenes that came across as non-believable. It was not lost on me that this film debuted Mother’s Day weekend because it really showed an intense example of a mother’s love. There were several scenes filled with blood and violence.
2 ½ stars
Flash Movie Review: Burning
I FELT LIKE I WAS WEARING a disguise because he did not recognize me. One night I was about to start my yoga class when an unfamiliar couple walked in. As was my custom, I went up to introduce myself and ask if they had ever done yoga before. Through the conversation, I never let on that I recognized the man; I was friends with him in elementary school. Granted, I had lost a lot of weight, had a beard and was wearing a baseball hat; so, chances were he would not have remembered me after all these years. However, after class I went up to ask both how they felt. At some point during the conversation, I came out and asked if he recognized me. He looked at me for a moment and said no. I chuckled and asked how his sister was, to see if that would jog his memory. His face showed such utter confusion that I chuckled and told him my name. Not only did he stare at me in disbelief, but he asked me what happened to me, that I was so skinny now. It was my turn to chuckle before I answered him. I TOLD HIM EVERYTHING I LEARNED about fitness; I learned after I left high school. That statement got us started on talking about our years together in school. I mentioned that I could only recall us having a gym class together in high school and he said he remembered the class; but he cut it often. I shared with him how I had to cut gym class sometimes out of concerns for my safety. That is not a typical statement, I know; he asked what happened. From what I told him, we each shared our horror stories about high school. The thing that amazed me the most was how my perceptions of him did not match who I thought he was in school. Because of his laid-back appearance and lack of enthusiasm during the school day, I thought he had little motivation. He explained how he found most of the classes boring, naming a few teachers he thought were the worst. When he would cut class, he would go downtown to explore the different museums or go to a particular exhibit or concert. I was so surprised to hear this since I interpreted his actions as a slacker. On the contrary, he was at the city’s main library studying the same school subjects we were, but he really wanted to learn about the assigned topic. What a surprise! It just goes to show, you can never assume you know how a person will turn out from your childhood. It can be seen in this film festival winning, mystery thriller. IT WAS A BIT OF A SHOCK that the employee during her performance was flirting with him. It was a bigger shock when she said she knew him. With Yao Ah-in (The Throne, Voice of Silence) as Lee Jong-ju, Steven Yeun (I Origins, Minari) as Ben, Jeon Jong-seo (Nothing Serious, Mona Lisa and the Blood Moon) as Shin Hae-mi, newcomer Kim Sao-Kyung as Yeon-ju and newcomer Choi Seung-ho as Lee Yong-seok; this drama was a slow burn, pun intended. For the beginning portion of the movie, I kept wondering when things would pick up. Things slowly took place in what seemed to be no particular direction. On a better note, I was fascinated seeing on display the Korean culture and landscape. One could argue there were different stories taking place, that were filled with symbolism and metaphors. Maybe there was, but I am not the type to delve into a movie story’s psyche and try to figure out what the writer and director were trying to say. Korean was spoken with English subtitles.
2 ¾ stars
Flash Movie Review: Smile
WHEN I WENT TO THE NEW dentist my first time, I did not realize he came from a line of dentists. I was sitting in the exam room waiting for him, looking at the different certificates that were hanging on the walls. He came in and introduced himself, extending his hand out to me to shake. Once we went over the preliminary discussion on why I was there and such, I asked him about one of the graduation certificates on the wall. The reason being the school was in one of my favorite cities. He told me that was not his certificate but his father’s. I was momentarily surprised which he detected because he offered me his family history. The dentist practice was started by his grandfather, who came to the states from Germany. My dentist’s father came into the practice after graduating college. I asked the dentist if he always wanted to be a dentist like his father and grandfather. He said he did from a young age, when his dad would bring him to the office, and he became fascinated by the X-rays of teeth and all the tools. To me, it was just interesting that the practice was made up by three generations. I have always wondered if multiple generational occupations happen by chance or some other variant. I WAS WATCHING A TELEVISION INTERVIEW, where the interviewee was explaining why she became a medical scientist. She explained when she was young, she watched her mother die of cancer. She remembered wishing she had a way of saving her mother. When the mother died, she decided she wanted to find a cure for cancer and that is what led her to the position she was now in. Though I understood how tragic the circumstances were for the scientist, I was intrigued how a set of events affects a child/person’s options in what they want to do for an occupation. I look at my history and I started out wanting to be a singer, to veterinarian to dancer to a DJ to a fitness teacher to credit and finances. There was no one who influenced or swayed me to any of these professions. For example, I have always loved animals. As I was growing up, I thought I wanted to be a veterinarian. When I was getting closer to my college years, I decided to apply to schools that had extensive networks to achieve my goal. It was not until I was halfway through the program when I realized I was not meant to become an animal doctor. Seeing what the main character in this horror, mystery thriller experienced in childhood, I had to wonder if she could do it all over again, would she have chosen the same line of work. AFTER WITNESSING A TRAUMATIC EVENT IN her office with a patient, Doctor Rose Cotter, played by Sosie Bacon (13 Reasons Why, Off Season) began seeing and experiencing unusual events. With Jesse T. Usher (Shaft, Independence Day: Resurgence) as Trevor, Kyle Gallner (Scream, Ghosts of War) as Joel, Robin Weigert (The Sessions, Big Little Lies-TV) as Dr. Madeline Northcott and Caitlin Stasey (Kindred Spirits, Please Like Me-TV) as Laura Weaver: this picture surprised me. Not being a fan of horror films in general, this movie offered legitimate eerie and scary scenes as it told its story. Because there was an element of suspense, I was entertained more than I had expected. Sure, there were elements of other films in this story and some of the characters had little back story to help connect with the viewer; but I felt the writers accomplished what they wanted to do and that is provide a tense mystery drama. What helped in my opinion was the absence of evil beings and spirits created from the makeup/CGI department. It was more of an old school horror vibe film, which I appreciated.
2 ¾ stars
Flash Movie Review: Luckiest Girl Alive
WHEN I WAS TOLD GIRLS WERE nasty fighters, I did not understand what it meant. I remember looking around at the girls in my classroom and wondering how any of them could be “nasty.” It was not too long after hearing this “fact” before I saw it with my own eyes. A fight broke out on the playground between two girls when we were all outside for recess. Only seeing a group of boys and girls congregating at a corner of the playground was the only reason I even knew something must have been going on. I thought it might have been a stray dog that wandered onto the playground or some weird looking insect; but it was nothing like that. As I came up behind the crowd of kids, I could hear two girls yelling at each other. Within a matter of seconds, the crowd started shouting out stuff as the two girls’ argument became physical. I only caught glimpses of it as the girls were scratching and slapping each other, besides throwing punches and kicks. One of the girl’s punches missed the face and hit the other girl in the shoulder. When she recoiled back, her blouse ripped from the fist still holding onto some decorative ruffles. Both girls’ faces started bleeding just as a group of teachers broke up the fight. THE GIRL WHO TOOK THE WORSE beating was in my class. When she walked into the room the next day, I could see the other students glancing at her bruises and scratches. She did not make eye contact with anyone, keeping her face down as best as she could while walking to her desk. I felt bad for her. When she reached her desk and sat down at it, a boy who sat kitty-corner to her leaned over and called her a loser. A couple of the kids who heard started to giggle. I could not believe it. The poor girl just sat there staring at her desktop. Whatever caused the fight did not matter, it still was not right to make fun of her. Since the boy who called her a loser was one of the alpha male bullies in the class, a couple of the other boys started to call her names whenever they saw her in the hallway. I did not see her the next year, so I had to assume she either went to a different school or moved out of the neighborhood; I could not blame her if that was indeed the case. This is why I partially understood what the main character in this dramatic, mystery thriller did to herself. ANI FANELLI, PLAYED BY MILA KUNIS (Black Swan, Bad Moms franchise) appeared to have a perfectly charmed life. Yet no one knew she was a survivor from a horrific tragedy. With Chiara Aurelia (Gerald’s Game, Cruel Summer-TV) as young Ani, Finn Wittrock (Unbroken, American Horror Story-TV) as Luke Harrison, Connie Britton (Joe Bell, Nashville-TV) as Dina and Scoot McNairy (Frank, 12 Years a Slave) as Andrew Larson; this movie was lucky to have Mila in the lead role. I thought she was the big standout from the cast; her acting was excellent. Unfortunately, it was not enough to make up for the uneven direction of the choppy script. There were elements of the story that were engaging, but jumping back and forth in time was a distraction for me. I feel if the writers had stuck with one story line, then this film would have had a greater impact on me. The topic was tough to watch as were the other main story lines. By the end of the film, I had to sit there and think about people in general who have survived a brutal tragedy. It must be beyond awful on all levels.
2 ¼ stars
Flash Movie Review: John Wick: Chapter 4
THE RESTAURANT WAS CHOSEN BECAUSE OF one dessert. It is not just any kind of dessert; it is one of the best examples of a chocolate flavored dessert in my opinion. I did not tell the others about the dessert, simply offered the restaurant as a suggestion when we were deciding where to meet for dinner and the majority voted for it. At the designated time we all met at the restaurant and were quickly seated. The meal was tasty, and the conversation was fun. When it came to dessert, everyone was undecided except for me on what to order. I shared my opinion about the chocolate dessert. Evidently, I must be a good sales rep because everyone decided to order it. The look on their faces when the waiter brought us our desserts was priceless. I told them it was a large serving, but it must have not prepared them for the reality of what was sitting on their plate. So you have a clearer picture, let me describe this amazing dessert. It is a moist, chocolate layered cake with dark chocolate chips through it. The layers and frosting consists of this smooth chocolate fudge crème that I actually eat, since I normally do not like any type of frostings. On the outer edge of the cake (the widest part) is a sprinkling of mini chocolate chips and sprinkles. As they say, it is heaven on earth. As the others tried their cake, I watched for their reactions. There was silence, no indication of whether they liked or disliked it. After a second or third bite most of them said it tasted great but was too much. TOO MUCH?! I WAS NOT SURE what they meant, so asked for clarification. The consensus was the cake was too rich and too chocolatey. I was taken aback because that certainly was not my perception. Asking them to elaborate, I listened to them tell me the portion was massive and the chocolate was over the top. They felt the extra chocolate chips on the edge was overkill and the fudge crème frosting was so rich that they felt they needed a shot of insulin to compensate for the spike in what they believed their sugar level was doing. It was a joke about the insulin but still, I could not believe it. Ultimately, I had to respect their feelings and opinions. For me, the cake was the perfect chocolate dessert; for them, it was too over-indulgent and decadent. To each their own, as they say; it was not my place to sway or woo them over to liking the dessert. When I thought about it, it was no different than people’s feelings about Las Vegas. One either loved the city or did not; again all one can do is respect their opinion. This type of dilemma is what I am experiencing with this latest installment of the action, crime thriller film franchise. WITH THE BOUNTY CONTINUING TO GO up on his head, there was only one thing left for John Wick, played by Keanu Reeves (Destination Wedding, Speed), to do. He would have to kill every one of the Elders of the crime organization that turned its back on him, to get his life back. With Laurence Fishburne (The Matrix franchise, Mystic River) as Bowery King, Ian McShane (Bolden, American Gods-TV) as Winston, Bill Skarsgard (It franchise, Barbarian) as Marquis and Donnie Yen (IP Man franchise, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story) as Caine; I was looking forward to seeing this movie. However, that did not mean I wanted to sit in my seat for two hours and forty-nine minutes. The script was excessive and bloated. Having said that, I thought the fight sequences were outrageous and supremely choreographed. The only thing was, I did not have to see the fight scenes go on for so long, besides having so many going through the story. At one point, I felt I was watching a video game due to the intensity of the fight scenes. Now there were some cool fight scenes and I would love to know how many minutes in those scenes were actually Keanu doing the fighting. It truly was crazy and that is what these films are known for, not the acting or the believability of the story. I am torn on how many stars to rate this picture. Part of me felt there were too many repetitive scenes of violence and blood fighting; but on the other hand, they were so well done, and some were even humorous, that I was enjoying myself. If one is a fan of John Wick already, they may enjoy watching this more than someone who is unfamiliar with the story line. There was an extra scene after the ending credits.
2 ¾ stars
Flash Movie Review: Scream VI
WHERE THE OTHER STUDENTS LOOKED FORWARD to the end of class at the afterschool program, I dreaded it. During the winter quarter, there were 3 boys who made a point of teasing and picking on me. To this day, I have no idea what set them off because in class I was one of the quiet students. The only thing I could come up with was the fact that I was overweight, which I guess in their minds made me an easy target. I could handle the name calling and shoving, but outside of the school, I had to deal with snowballs pelting me or being pushed down into the snow. On days where we had substantial wet snowfall, I would linger back in the classroom, helping the instructor clean up the room. I knew they were waiting outside for me, hiding behind trees or around the corner of the school building. My hope was to be able to walk out at the same time as the teacher, but it never happened; I could only linger for so long before she would tell me to “run along.” Though I was unfamiliar with the concept and word, later on I realized that was my first experience of being stalked. IT WAS NOT UNTIL MANY YEARS later that I experienced my second stalker. She appeared one day in my evening fitness class. It was in the middle of the session, so I was familiar with everyone who attended the class. When she walked in, I did what I always do, went up before class to welcome her. I remembered asking her if she had any health issues I should be aware of and she said no. She told me she enjoyed swimming but the pool was closed for cleaning; so, that is why she came to class. I figured she would not be back once the pool reopened. After class was done, she came up to tell me how much fun she had working out with me. I thanked her just as she surprised me by asking if I would like to go swimming with her sometime. I was taken aback by the unusual request, while keeping a pleasant look on my face. Again, I thanked her before declining. She asked, “Why not?” Thinking fast, I said I did not swim. That seemed to appease her, but it did not last long. She kept coming back to class and would hang back to talk to me afterwards. Her requests were getting weirder and weirder, to the point I had to tell management. It did not stop her until she grabbed me one time and a member in class ran and got security. The woman’s membership was cancelled, and the club’s lawyer sent her a letter to stay away. Because of that situation, I felt I understood what the sisters were going through in this horror, mystery thriller. WANTING TO LEAVE THEIR PAST BEHIND them, the survivors of the Ghostface killings settle down in New York City to begin a new life. Sadly, their new home soon experiences the same horrors they experienced back in Woodsboro. With Courteney Cox (Mothers and Daughters, Cougar Town-TV) as Gale Weathers, Melissa Barrera (In the Heights, All the World is Sleeping) as Sam Carpenter, Jenna Ortega (The Fallout, American Carnage) as Tara Carpenter, Jasmin Savoy Brown (Sound of Violence, Yellowjackets-TV) as Mindy Meeks-Martin and Mason Gooding (Booksmart, Fall) as Chad Meeks-Martin; this latest installment in the film franchise surprised me with its fun tongue in cheek tone. There were violent and bloody scenes; but throughout the story, there were thrills and surprises spun into the action. I was aware there were a few far-fetched things and some level of predictability; however, it was okay because the script provided a fresh take on this long running franchise. There was a quick extra scene at the end of the credits.
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 loud 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: Knock at the Cabin
IT HAD TO BE THE HARDEST decision in the world; I could not think of anything worse. I was watching the news report about an accident involving a father and his two sons. They were on vacation, and something happened to the vehicle they were driving in. There were no details yet about what caused the vehicle to go off the road, but it wound up plunging down an embankment and into a rush of turbulent rapids. The young boys and their father were stranded in the water apart from each other at some point. Purely on instinct, the father made his way towards his children. However, with the strong current dragging the boys further apart from one another, the father was being forced to decide which son to head for first, to try and save. I could not even imagine! How could anyone make such a decision? I was grateful there was not a video of the scene; only thing the news report showed was the mangled vehicle in the water. Sadly, the father was only able to grab and save one son. The other boy was dragged under the water and was found a distance away near the edge of the river, face down. He did not survive. THAT STORY STUCK WITH ME FOR some time. Just the idea of having to choose, whether one wanted to or not, which family member to save was such a horrific position to be in; I honestly do not know what I would have done if I was in that type of situation. I do know what can happen when one has to make that type of decision, however. A friend of mine has a relative who caused an accident in the car she was driving. Her two children were strapped in the back seat. She had trouble undoing the seatbelt from one child’s safety seat. By the time she was able to free that child from their seat, the fire had spread past the front seat of the car. Though the temperature was getting intense, she tried to undo the second child’s seat. Her sleeves caught fire a few seconds before it spread to her arms. She kept trying but the heat got to be too intense and a policeman who arrived at the scene had to pull her back in case the car was about to explode. With the loss of her 2nd child, she turned to drugs and alcohol to numb her grief and pain. As I said, it was such a tragedy that she could never recover from. Because of my knowing about this, I completely understood the predicament the couple found themselves in inside this horror, mystery thriller. THE SETTING WAS PERFECT FOR THE family to have an idyllic vacation; but it all changed when there was a knock at the door. With Dave Bautista (Guardians of the Galaxy franchise, Glass Onion) as Leonard, Jonathan Groff (The Matrix Resurrections, Glee-TV) as Eric, Rupert Grint (Harry Potter franchise, Into the White) as Redmond, Nikki Amuka-Bird (Jupiter Ascending, Persuasion) as Sabrina and Ben Aldridge (Our Girl-TV, Pennyworth-TV) as Andrew; this movie was written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan (Old, The Visit). I thought Dave Bautista was a standout in this cast, playing a character that the audience could not tell was sincere or not. There were scenes that were excellently staged to keep the tension and thrills high; but, there were also spots that did not reach the same level due to the script. A majority of the time I was focusing more on myself, whether I believed what I was seeing was true or not. Also, the last quarter of the film turned weird for me, to the point where I left the theater feeling confused. There were a few scenes of violence and blood, though I appreciated the way they were filmed to prevent the audience from seeing the full results from the actions. I picked this movie to go see; maybe I did not make the smartest choice.
2 ½ stars
Flash Movie Review: Plane
I LOOKED OVER AT THE PERSON playing a video game on their phone and wondered how they would help in a crash. They were small in stature and appeared to still be in college. Looking in the opposite direction, I looked at the person sitting by the window. Hopefully, I am not sounding judgmental; but they looked like they had been in their senior years for some time. I wasn’t sure if they were staring out the airplane window or dozing. All of us were sitting in the emergency row; my main reason was for the extra legroom. Before we had taken off, the flight attendant came over to ask each of us if we understood what was required in the case of an emergency. Each of us had to answer her with a yes or no answer. In all my years of flying on airplanes, I have only witnessed two people who said no to the request. They were asked to take a different seat on the airplane. This may sound weird; but when I find myself sitting in the emergency row, I tend to pay more attention to the other passengers. I am not sure entirely why I do this, but I think I am doing a quick assessment of who might be resistant to following the rules in the case of a crash or emergency landing. I know I would be freaked out, but I do not think I would bolt and forget about helping others get off the plane. THERE WAS ONE FLIGHT I WAS on, where I thought I would find myself assisting the flight attendants in an evacuation. The captain had announced over the speakers that we were headed into a rough patch while they tried to go around a bank of storm clouds. He turned on the seatbelt light and told everyone to hold tight; he would try to get through as fast and as safely as possible. We certainly hit a rough patch because there were a few times where the plane suddenly dropped in altitude. My stomach felt the same as when I am experiencing a sudden drop on one of those huge mega roller coasters. I was tightly gripping the armrests. Gratefully, the captain made good on his promise to get through the bumpy air quickly, though at the time it seemed awfully long. Listening to the chatter among the passengers, it was clear everyone was freaked out. Luckily none of us were on a flight like the one that took place in this action thriller. FORCED TO MAKE AN EMERGENCY LANDING, the pilot of a passenger plane was lucky to have spotted a small patch of land on an island, where he might be able to keep the plane relatively intact and the passengers alive. Unfortunately, there was more danger waiting for them after they landed. With Gerard Butler (Den of Thieves, A Family Man) as Brodie Torrance, Mike Colter (Black and Blue, Luke Cage-TV) as Louis Gaspare, Yoson An (Mulan, Jawbone-TV movie) as Dele, Paul Ben-Victor (The Irishman, Get Hard) as Hampton and Evan Dane Taylor (Castle Falls, The Enemy Within-TV) as Datu Junmar; this was a typical Gerard Butler film. I am not knocking it, but it was easy to figure out what would be taking place in this story. Having said that, I have to say this film was still exciting to watch. Put reason to the side and just go for the ride, would be my suggestion. I did like the variety of scenarios, and thought they kept the story on a steady clip. There was nothing new presented in the script; but if one just wants to experience a couple of easy thrills, then this movie would provide it and in a safe way. There were multiple scenes of blood and violence.
2 ½ stars