Archive for the ‘FILM REVIEWS’ Category

“Three Identical Strangers”–film review   Leave a comment

 The less you know about “Three Identical Strangers” the more times you will find yourself with your mouth agape asking yourself if you just heard what you thought you heard!

This is a film definitely ‘stranger than fiction’ and starts with the fact that boy triplets were separated at birth and each given to a different ‘class’ family, none of the adoptive parents knowing their son had 2 brothers. The story opens with how, just by chance, the 3 brothers meet 19 years later.

The “Why?” they were separated, the outcome of that separation and their reunion along with the results ranges from laughs to tears to truly tragic emotions. Much is made of whether nurture or nature is more important in raising a child and though that question is not answered examples of both are shown.

We do hear from and learn about the adoptive parents but though, by design, the boys are given to families that already have children we do not hear from the siblings. We, also, hear a bit about the birth mother though I don’t recall anything about the father.

The film leaves you with some questions but it certainly shows that, yes, it can happen here!

 

 

Movie trailer

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c-OF0OaK3o0

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Posted July 20, 2018 by greatmartin in FILM REVIEWS, MOVIES, Uncategorized

“Whitney”–documentary film review   Leave a comment

It looks like 2018 is a documentary summer with one about Supreme court Justice Ginsberg, another about children’s host Fred Rogers, this past week one telling the story of Whitney Houston and this coming Friday the story of triplets separated at birth that discover each other 19 years later.

I, generally, don’t go to see a documentary film in the theatre but due to ‘improvements’ being made to my apartment I’ve had to get out a few hours and what better way, whether hot and humid or raining, than going to a a/c movie theatre!?!

I admired Whitney Houston’s voice, though at times I felt she was screaming too much and after hearing “I Will Always Love You” for the 4th million time (you couldn’t escape it!) I sort of tuned her out.

In “Whitney” we hear from/about her brothers, mother, father, relatives plus several from the music and movie industry as the documentary director Kevin Macdonald sort of tilts the story to get the audience to feel sorry for this woman who had everything and lost it all, an old entertainment story. On one side it is said, and shown, to have had an idyllic childhood while on the other hand

At one point Houston signed a $100 million contract only a few years later having to make a movie because she was broke. How much her marriage to Bobby Brown was related to her drugs problems, though it seems she started to go grass and cocaine at 16, is sort of dismissed because he was jealous of her and though not proven it seems one of her aunts sexually abused her when she was a child plus she had a long affair with her best friend and assistant Robyn Crawford.

Whitney Houston is seen hitting bottom and she does just as we see her at the height of her success and she shows what made her a major talent.
“Whitney” is a must see for her true fans and a wait until it is on television for others.

Trailer

 

“Sicario: Day of the Soldado”–movie review   Leave a comment

 I am a big fan of Benicio Del Toro and a huge one of underrated actor Josh Brolin because even though he usually gets rave reviews for his performances he very seldom gets the big awards! The 3rd reason I went to see this movie that there were very few new films opening today.

The main reasons I didn’t want to see “Sicario: Day of Soldado” is that I am not into gratuitous violence as there always seem to be in this type of movie let alone the screenplay not being that logical or understanding and this film proved those points!

The most I can say about the film is that Brolin and Del Toro were excellent and I was introduced to two new actors that impressed me, they being Isabela Moner and Elijah Rodriguez. The villains are villainous while some familiar pros like Catherine Keener and Matthew Modine deliver the goods.

I neither do or don’t recommend “Sicario: Day of the Soldado” as you know whether you will like this film before you walk in and I will say the 2 hours and 3 minutes moves pretty face.

Movie trailer

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i02bxFc88b4&t=48s

“Gotti”–movie review   Leave a comment

There are three reasons to see “Gotti” with the first being if you are a fan of John Travolta (I am), the second, if you are a fan of John Travolta and the third, is to see a performance rise above the script though as good as it is doesn’t quite save the film.

Upfront let’s just say that the film is not as bad as the critics who have been slamming it say it is or the 0% rating RottenTomatoes or MetaCritics give. “Gotti” reminded me of the many “B” movies that used to be shown on the lower half of double feature bill in movie houses years ago when you saw 2 movies for the price of one. They usually starred James Cagney, Edward G. Robinson, Humphrey Bogart blasting away with machine guns.

The main problems with the film are first of all the screenplay which is all over the place as is the soundtrack and the fact that it is based on John Gotti, Junior’s autobiography so one thread shows the love between father and son, the father grooming the son to become the ‘Boss’ while another shows how he became called the Teflon Don and at the same time showing different aspects of the life of a godfather in the mob, condensing all 3 “The Godfather” movies into 110 minutes of one film.

John Travolta shows what the film could have been if it had a good director, a better screenplay and an editor who cared about the final result. He is a good actor and even in some overly made makeup looks his ability comes through but not enough to save the movie!

In a way, it is worth seeing just to watch the cliché scene where one mobster shoots another 5 times and the latter gets up and runs away! Welcome to “B” movies.

 

Movie trailer

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e3cabEqPVTU

Posted June 23, 2018 by greatmartin in FILM REVIEWS, MOVIE REVIEW, Uncategorized

“The Misandrists”–movie review   2 comments

Watching “The Misandrists” it didn’t take 91 minutes to let me know this has to be the worst movie of the years or the decade but after all the time watching it now holds the title of one of the worst movies if not the worst! It is not so bad that it is funny nor will it become a ‘cult’ film even though it is about a cult!

It has some of the most atrocious acting ever seen in a movie and let’s not get into the lessons it tries to teach the audience, on a blackboard yet, or the awful male on male sex scenes they show in porn films. Did I mention the tired lines the women have to speak in various accents in various, awful costumes? Oh, by the way, let’s not skip the showing of the mutilation, the cutting off of a man’s penis! Aside from the last scene, there are only 2 men in the movie as it is basically about Lesbians banding together to get rid of men and that mutilation is one way of doing it.

The film has lesbians, transgender, gender fluid, pansexuals all being angry, confrontational and secrets. There is a side story about making a lesbian porno film to spread their message more as an excuse to show women having sex than to give examples of why women are so much better off without men.

 

This is a quote from the press release: “When an injured male leftist on the run discovers the remote stronghold of the Female Liberation Army — a radical feminist terrorist group whose mission is to usher in a female world order — one of the members takes pity on him and hides him in the basement. However, the man in the basement is just one of many secrets threatening to disrupt the FLA’s mission from within.” If only it was this interesting!!

“The Misandrists” is a film to see only if you are a masochist who likes really bad movies or doesn’t want to miss one of the worst films of the past 100 years!

Movie trailer  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BXuoTe8ma1s

Posted June 17, 2018 by greatmartin in FILM REVIEWS, MOVIE REVIEW, Uncategorized

“Summer 1993”–movie review   1 comment

One of the major advantages of having a theatre like The Classic Gateway Theatre is that you get to see most of the independent films and will come across a stunner now and then but that is not the case with “Summer 1993”. Based on the true story of the director and screenwriter of the movie Carla Simon we follow 6-year-old Frida (Laia Artigas), upon the death of her mother and father, sent to live with her mother’s brother Esteve (David Verdaguer), his wife Marga (Bruni Cusi) and their 3-year-old child Anna (Paula Robles).

We watch Frida as she adjusts, or doesn’t, to her new life and how her new family adjusts or doesn’t, to this addition into their home. Unable to understand or vocalize her pain Frida lashes out in awkward, sometimes dangerous and, other times, bewildering ways.

I missed an important factor in the movie which is primarily explained in the title and the last 2-3 minutes of the film which became obvious about a few incidents that take place in the movie. I don’t usually give spoilers in film reviews and I won’t here but I am more surprised that I didn’t catch on to this.

In spite of that disclosure, I didn’t find “Summer 1993” interesting enough to recommend it though Laia Artigas as Frida gives a natural performance and you can feel what she doesn’t seem to be able to express.

Movie trailer

https://www.youtube.com/watchv=0tZcRbyjqNU&t=8s

“Anything”–movie review   Leave a comment

The best, if not most original, line in “Anything” is said by the nephew Jack (Tanner Buchanan) of Early (John Carroll Lynch) when he says, “Love is Love” and that is what this movie is about.

There is the first love of a teenager, Jack, for a girl at school, the love between Early and his sister Laurette (Maura Tierney) and her love for her husband Ted (Christopher Thornton), the love between the drug addicts David (Micah Hauptman) and Brianna (Margot Binham) not to mention what might be the pivotal love story of Freda (Matt Bomer) and Early.

Early has just lost the love of his life, his wife, of 26 years, and is having difficulty dealing with the loss. His sister flies in from Los Angeles to their small hometown in Mississippi where he is an insurance salesman and talks him into coming to California and living with her, her husband and son, which he does. It doesn’t take very long to find out that Laurette is a controlling woman who, though she loves her brother, doesn’t seem to be able to stop herself from trying to control him.

Early has received a good settlement from the insurance when he wife died and he decides to sell his home back in Mississippi and to stay in Los Angeles but not live with his sister and instead gets an apartment in Hollywood much to her disdain because she would rather he live in a better neighborhood. She explains that she is worried about him living there alone but at the same time there is a sort of snobbishness that she has acquired since moving out west.

Early soon meets his next-door neighbor Freda and though they are very different in many ways both are lonely. Early stays in his apartment reading, drinking and reading old letters from his wife while Freda, being a transgender sex worker, having a life of being hurt both emotionally and physically, people leaving her, is not open to deep relationships. He is the soft-spoken quiet Southern gentleman while she is the sassy, wisecracking one who has seen it all. Slowly but surely she is won over by his kindness, the true love he had for his wife and his reaching out to help her while he, at first, while he doesn’t know what to make of this woman who has lead a life he can’t understand but sees her pain.

“Anything” is one of the first films that offer lessons to those who may be uncomfortable with the idea of transgender people or know little about it and there are one too many clichés but as Jack says, “Love is love” and that is what this movie is about.

Without spoiling the scene there is an interlude when Early invites his sister, brother-in-law and nephew over for dinner to meet Freda that is a roller coaster of emotions that offers a dazzling performance by Maura Tierney.

John Carroll Lynch gives a quietly understated performance that works perfectly opposite Matt Bomer who projects being a woman without overdoing it, holding back on the gestures but showing her warmth, delicacy and tenderness but also her strength. They both give stellar performances.

This is the second movie I have seen within a week where the leads have the chemistry that is rare in films and, like “Beast” I fear it will be gone and forgotten before people have a chance to see it as being an independent film it has sort of ‘snuck’ into town but “Anything” should be seen. It is, also, as “Beast” is, the debut of a new director, Timothy McNeil, who wrote the screenplay based on his produced play and he makes a few mistakes as most new film directors do, those ‘art’ shots, but it is an impressive debut.

(An observation: Matt Bomer has the ‘best actor’s eyes’ since Paul Newman!)

 

 

Movie Trailer

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C4D39IVxzyw

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