The story is driven by main characters making decision that lead you to throw out the notion of good guys vs. bad guys. Two detectives, played by Mel Gibson and Vince Vaughn, are caught on a cellphone video arresting a drug dealer. The act of the arrest is perceived as overly aggressive by the media. As a result, they are suspended without pay for several weeks. Their unexpected furlough compounds financial concerns for Mel Gibson’s character who is forced to reconsider moving his wife — who has multiple sclerosis — and a daughter, who is being bullied – away from their rough neighborhood. His questionable plan to make ends meet somehow intersects with a smart, recently released neighborhood felon. He wants to begin living a straight life but is pulled back into crime. That’s because he is faced with having to take care of his mother, who has taken up hooking to subsist, and a wheelchair-bound younger brother, whose dream is to someday go to college and become a videogame creator. As may be expected with any S. Craig Zahler film with such a graphic title, the movie is gritty and intense, leaving viewers to gasp just when they thought they could sit back and eat popcorn.
Greeted with open arms,
By disarming the ones you love.
But nighttime sounds of armaments
Break through the arms of Morpheus;
Can’t keep the memories of war
At arm’s length.
Thank you for your service*
And how you brought us peace,
Shouldn’t we do more
To help pick up your pieces?
*Title of a thought-provoking movie, which is inspired by true events. The film follows four soldiers returning home from Iraq and their struggles in trying to settle back into civilian life. Main cast: Miles Teller, Amy Schumer, Haley Bennett, Scott Haze, and Beulah Koale
At once a mystery and a love story, this road trip movie shows how three unlikely people come together to eventually trust and help one another in more ways than one. The three travelers are played by William Hurt, a newly released, middle-aged ex-convict; Kristen Stewart, a lonely young woman with insight beyond her years; and Eddie Redmayne, an awkward but earnest young man wanting to see more of the country in his big old American car. Together they travel the backroads of the southern bayou, unloading their emotional baggage and gradually finding hope. Prepare for a tear or two at the end.
A powerful movie with a timeless message, featuring Christopher Plummer, who plays a ~90-year old Auschwitz survivor with dementia. Co-starring is Martin Landau as another Auschwitz survivor, who orchestrates the vengeance on behalf of their murdered families during Hitler’s rule. More than a revenge film, the movie is suspenseful with a shocking twist. Other stars include Jurgen Prochnow and Dean Norris.
If you like reality shows, you will find this as another extension of the concept. This movie is about a woman who decides to get off her medication that treats her borderline personality disorder. She wins an $86 million lottery jackpot and purchases time in a flagging infomercial T.V. station so she can air her own show featuring anything and everything about her life and troubles. This is not really a laugh-out-loud comedy; it is more of a portrayal of a mentally unstable person who makes decisions that produce (un)intentional, comic results. Kristen Wiig plays the troubled woman’s role, supported by Joan Cusack, James Marsden, Tim Robbins, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and Wes Bentley. Continue reading
I didn’t finish this movie because it was mortifyingly dull. I thought Johnny Depp was miscast as Mortdecai, a nearly broke British aristocrat with a budding mustache that repulses his wife, Gwyneth Paltrow. The opening scene is Johnny, as Mortdecai, talking to a group of Chinese hoodlums. When Johnny was talking, my immediate thought was the movie was trying to be like the Pink Panther remakes in which Lieutenant Clouseau is played by Steve Martin, who mangles the French language. Johnny Depp’s British accent sounded forced; he didn’t pull it off like Steve Martin did with his funny French accent in the Pink Panther movies. (I wish Steve Martin would star in a new movie. I’ve seen all his movies, but that’s another list.)