Widows (R)

Directed by Steve McQueen, based on a classic British television series written by Linda La Plante and starring Viola (or Vee-ola, as I love to call her – – Does she even need her last name anymore?) Davis, Liam Neeson and Colin Farrell, Widows tells the story of a botched robbery which results in the death of a crew whose widows have to figure out how to fend for themselves while hatching a plan to pay off their husbands’ outstanding underworld debt.

This review may contain spoilers, so be advised…

There is a lot to like about Widows. It has some great action and suspense, along with a couple of nice twists. The acting is fine from this rag-tag, multicultural group of strong women. The cast has enough chemistry to float it. The story is interesting enough I suppose. I wasn’t bored watching it. So what went wrong?

The first problem with the premise of Widows occurs quite early on.

Here’s how I live my life  – – –

If someone comes to YOUR house to threaten YOU over money they feel YOUR husband cheated them out of, uuummm, Boo-Boo… that there is what would be considered, your problem. Period. No, I’m not interested in robbing anything with you. Robbing places is not my area of expertise and I have no desire to die in a blaze of gunfire, kill anyone else or spend the rest of my life in jail. Good luck with all of that. When someone comes knocking on MY door, then we can talk. Until then, Deuces!

But maybe that’s just me. These women were not friends before their husbands died. They were complete strangers. For this reason, from that point on, the movie struck me as preposterous. Had the threat been made imminent to all of the women, so they all had some skin in the game, it  would have made much more sense and brought a heightened sense of danger and urgency into the situation = a better movie.

Also, the good moments were overtaken by the integration of nearly every social issue and human condition ever known to mankind being crammed into this one little movie, including but not limited to, interracial love, economic instability and the threat of homelessness, grief, struggling-working-single mothers, corruption in politics, corruption in business, criminality in general, sexism, absent fathers and otherwise generally sorry men, feminism, the older generation vs. the younger generation, gun control, the balance of power between men and women, liberalism vs. conservatism, white privilege, and so on and so on and so on. I am for equal rights for all, and if that makes me a liberal or whatever people want to call it, then so be it; but even for me, Widows became “preachy,” condescending and boring (because of the preachiness). The espousing of liberal ideology felt extremely forced, out of place and did nothing to elevate the quality of the film; in fact, it did the opposite. There is a time and a place for everything, and this was neither.

All I know is I was supposed to be involved in what could have been one of the best all female heist movies ever and all of this political speak thrown into the mix ruined my good time. It was an unnecessary distraction. . Specifically the office conversation between Colin Farrell’s character and Robert Duval, who plays his father. Make up your mind about the movie you want to make because the heist story line was alright (with the mutual threat included, of course), but the political plot line went left (pun intended) and I just wasn’t in the mood to go that way just then. That’s just not what I showed up for.

And the slapping was just downright ridiculous. Who goes around slapping grown women as if they are children without the expectation of getting slapped right back?! Nobody I know.

Oh well. At any rate, Widows earned 5.5 out of 10 bloops. I wouldn’t say it’s not worth the price of admission, but it could have been much more enjoyable had it kept its focus, not gotten preachy, and fixed that gaping plot hole. An honorable mention to Elizabeth Debicki for bringing all of her towering, 6 foot 3-ness into the mix, Daniel Kaluuya is downright frightening and quite possible the best part of this entire affair, and the beauty, athleticism and fitness of Cynthia Erivo is admirable. They were all a pleasure to watch.

Thank you for reading. You can scroll down, enter your email address to subscribe to bloopbymimi, and never miss a review or follow me on twitter @bloopbymimi1 

Bloops:

1   =   worst ever, avoid at all cost
2   =   very bad, forget about it!
3   =   poor movie, not recommended
4   =   not good, even for free – NO!
5   =   so-so, worth it if you don’t have to pay
6   =   not bad, could have been better
7   =   good movie, worth seeing
8   =   great movie, don’t miss it!
9   =   excellent movie, a must see!
10 =   a masterpiece, go see it now!

What I’m Seeing Next

My review of Mary Queen of Scots should be up tonight. Later today I will be seeing Vox Lux.

Other Reviews

The Favourite
Green Book
Halloween
Nobody’s Fool
Bohemian Rhapsody
Beautiful Boy
The Hate U Give
First Man
Assassination Nation
The Oath
A Star is Born
The House with a Clock in Its Walls
A Simple Favor
The Predator
BlackkKlansman
Support the Girls
Peppermint
Christopher Robin
Crazy Rich Asians
The Happytime Murders
RBG
Won’t You Be My Neighbor
Sorry to Bother You
Superfly
Hereditary
Book Club
Avengers: Infinity War
You Were Never Really Here
Rampage
A Quiet Place
Ready Player One
A Wrinkle in Time
Lady Bird
I, Tonya
The Florida Project
Black Panther
Molly’s Game
The Post
Phantom Thread
Den of Thieves
All the Money in the World
Coco
The Greatest Showman
The Disaster Artist
Call Me By Your Name
Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri
The Shape of Water
Marshall
The Man Who Invented Christmas
Victoria and Abdul
Thor: Ragnarok
Kingsman: The Golden Circle
Mother!
It
Good Time
Atomic Blonde
Dunkirk
Girls Trip
Spider-Man: Homecoming
The Big Sick
Baby Driver
All Eyez on Me 
It Comes at Night 
The Wedding Plan 
Wonder Woman
Everything, everything
King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
Raw
Kong: Skull Island
Logan
The Girl with All the Gifts
A Cure for Wellness 
Get Out
Hidden Figures
Fences
Moonlight
Hell or High Water
Loving
La La Land
Lion
Manchester by the Sea
Arrival
Hacksaw Ridge
Nocturnal Animals
Captain Fantastic
Elle
Jackie
I Am Not Your Negro
The Lobster

 

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The Favourite (R)

Directed by Yorgos Lanthimos, written by Deborah Davis/Tony McNamara, and starring Olivia Colman, Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone, The Favourite is a take on the real life of Queen Ann of England, Scotland and Ireland (1702-1707). It is a historical, period, comedy-drama-of-sorts where two women vie for the attention of the Queen and the position of “The Favourite” (as in her favorite person – her right hand/confidante) in her Court.

The more I think about this movie, the more I like it, but it took me a while to warm up to. I’ve been writing this damn review for a week now (usually it takes me 4-8 hours to get it out). When I started writing, The Favourite had earned 6 bloops. This is a very different review from the original draft, so let’s get into it, shall we?

First off, let’s face it, there have been so many similar period pieces about one king or queen or another, at this point they just all kind of blend together; at least they do for me. These stories are so well known and have been retold again and again. I always ask the question, how do you breathe new life into a somewhat stale genre? (I enjoy a good period piece myself, and as interesting a historical figure as she may be, how many Queen Elizabeth stories can one stand before it all becomes old?)  You find a royal whose story hasn’t been told to death, if ever, write an amazing screen play about said subject that includes darkness, humor, fun, great character development, and get the finest actresses and actors affordable.

The three lead actresses are absolutely stellar, but Stone stood out as she brought her A-Game, played in this role, fearlessly embodied it and made it her own. The expressions on her face at times were so genuine and well timed. I’m happy that she found a role that she apparently enjoyed so well because it showed all over the screen in every frame of every single scene. Rachel Weisz as her rival was amazing, as was Olivia Colman as the Queen. They were really nuts and seemed to have a great time together. Any one of them could be nominated for Best Supporting Actress (I say supporting actress because the roles were too dependent upon one another and they had pretty much equal screen time as they literally supported one another. There was no lead.). The supporting cast is excellent as well.

The costumes/wig and hair/wardrobe, sound, lighting, makeup, cinematography, set design, are all sublime.

Yorgos Lanthimos also directed one of my all-time favorite dark comedies, The Lobster (my review in the link). He directed this film beautifully as well.

As much as I enjoyed this movie and see the beauty of it, it isn’t perfect. How is it possible that such a superbly acted and shot movie with super gorgeous set design and fabulous wardrobe, outstanding acting, an intense rivalry as a plot line in an interesting story I knew little about, be boring at times? There I was checking my watch 40 minutes in, 60 minutes in, and then the film heated up and I was in. The pacing of it all is just a bit off, particularly early on, when the audience needs to be drawn in. When the movie ended I was glad I didn’t walk out (That’s what I’m always thinking about once I start checking my watch. One thing I cannot stand is to have my time wasted.).  We now know for certain that each of the three lead actresses can emulate vomiting, for crying out loud. Also, there was one silly scene that could have been edited out. Why it was shot in the first place puzzles me because it does not jibe with the rest of the film. It just came out of nowhere and annoyed me. And that ending! What was that?!!!

Here we go. Pay attention, because this rating has levels…

The Favourite earned 7 out of 10 bloops. It is a good movie worth seeing, but gets an additional bloop bump up to 8 on the strength of the outstanding acting, which makes it a great movie (if you’re into the whole period thing, you have the time and you care to). I’m going to push that 8 up to a 8.5 for the mastery of the overall storytelling. Watching this wicked, sophisticated, nutty, all out brawl between these two crazy broads (Stone/Weisz) is nothing short of hilarious and the parallels drawn between the conflicts inside and outside the palace were cleverly executed. I think I’ll stop there for now, but reserve the right to change my mind later. Remember, it is rated R for a reason. There’s plenty of sexual talk and action but every bit of it is germane to the story. (Hell, I might have to give it a 9 for that!) Let me go before I declare this movie a masterpiece or something crazy! Enjoy!

Thank you for reading. You can scroll down, enter your email address to subscribe to bloopbymimi, and never miss a review or follow me on twitter @bloopbymimi1 

Bloops:

1   =   worst ever, avoid at all cost
2   =   very bad, forget about it!
3   =   poor movie, not recommended
4   =   not good, even for free – NO!
5   =   so-so, worth it if you don’t have to pay
6   =   not bad, could have been better
7   =   good movie, worth seeing
8   =   great movie, don’t miss it!
9   =   excellent movie, a must see!
10 =   a masterpiece, go see it now!

What I’m Seeing Next

Well, you know I have to go see Mary Queen of Scots tonight! I’m going to do my best to get that review up by Friday eve, and I have to try not to compare movies. I hate when they do this during awards season, but the fear is that if one comes out earlier in the year, people will forget about it by the time the nominations are being discussed. Oh well, more corsets and wigs coming right up!

Vox Lux – again, a similar movie to A Star is Born (my review in the link) featuring an up and coming pop star who is consumed by fame. Not a Portman fan, per say (I would consider myself a fan of very few actors/actresses), but let’s see how she does.

For a break from the Oscar offerings, Swimming with Men looks like a good place to take a break.

I am going to try and squeeze in Shoplifters. I haven’t seen a good foreign language/foreign film in a while. If it is as good as I’ve heard I’ll be able to catch it later should it be nominated.

Other Reviews

Green Book
Halloween
Nobody’s Fool
Bohemian Rhapsody
Beautiful Boy
The Hate U Give
First Man
Assassination Nation
The Oath
A Star is Born
The House with a Clock in Its Walls
A Simple Favor
The Predator
BlackkKlansman
Support the Girls
Peppermint
Christopher Robin
Crazy Rich Asians
The Happytime Murders
RBG
Won’t You Be My Neighbor
Sorry to Bother You
Superfly
Hereditary
Book Club
Avengers: Infinity War
You Were Never Really Here
Rampage
A Quiet Place
Ready Player One
A Wrinkle in Time
Lady Bird
I, Tonya
The Florida Project
Black Panther
Molly’s Game
The Post
Phantom Thread
Den of Thieves
All the Money in the World
Coco
The Greatest Showman
The Disaster Artist
Call Me By Your Name
Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri
The Shape of Water
Marshall
The Man Who Invented Christmas
Victoria and Abdul
Thor: Ragnarok
Kingsman: The Golden Circle
Mother!
It
Good Time
Atomic Blonde
Dunkirk
Girls Trip
Spider-Man: Homecoming
The Big Sick
Baby Driver
All Eyez on Me 
It Comes at Night 
The Wedding Plan 
Wonder Woman
Everything, everything
King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
Raw
Kong: Skull Island
Logan
The Girl with All the Gifts
A Cure for Wellness 
Get Out
Hidden Figures
Fences
Moonlight
Hell or High Water
Loving
La La Land
Lion
Manchester by the Sea
Arrival
Hacksaw Ridge
Nocturnal Animals
Captain Fantastic
Elle
Jackie
I Am Not Your Negro
The Lobster

Green Book (PG-13)

Directed by Peter Farrelly, co-written by Peter Farelly, Nick Vallelonga and Brian Hayes Currie, and starring Viggo Mortensen (as Tony Lip) and Mahershala Ali (as Dr. Don Shirley), Green Book is based on a true story about an unlikely friendship between a street wise, rough around the edges (that is putting it mildly and kindly… Tony was actually somewhat of a thug – I only use the term “somewhat” because being a thug was how he earned his living so I’m cutting him some slack), Italian-American man from the Bronx and a scholarly, worldly, sophisticated, Jamaican-American man from Harlem in the early 1960s and how they used the The Negro Motorist Green Book: An International Travel Guide; USA Alaska Bermuda Mexico Canada, a/k/a  The Green Book to navigate their travels through the South during the Jim Crow era.

This is my new favorite Christmas movie, or should I say anti-Christmas (meaning it takes place around Christmas, but isn’t necessarily about Christmas) movie, again, keeping in mind that among my other favorite “Christmas” movies are Die Hard and The Long Kiss Good Night. I already knew about/had heard of The Green Book, but I have never ever heard anything about Dr. Shirley or his music. How could it be that I’ve never heard of this genius?! He is another incredible “hidden figure” and I’m so happy some portion of his story was told. And watching Mahershala play! Just. Wow! I couldn’t tell whether he was actually playing or not and had to google it to be certain. I mean, no one can expect the man to learn to master piano on Dr. Shirley’s level in a lifetime, much less in months but he sure did make it look good. Ali’s posture and keyboard skills are seriously impressive and may be Oscar-worthy on their own.

Green Book is co-written by Tony Lip’s son, Nick. It’s sort of a “bro” movie where the character development felt as though I were on this road trip with these characters and watching them bond. Their relationship becomes its own character, as it changes and grows along with the two men. The difference between what the characters were like when the movie started and when it ends is satisfying.

Could you imagine a two month road trip with a stranger? You can’t not get to know a person you are stuck in a car with for that long. (In reality, the tour lasted longer than 2 months, but for purposes of the movie the time was condensed. I can’t think of one person on the planet I would want to road trip with for two months without them getting on my last damn nerve.)

In Green Book two people who would otherwise not have spent much time together under very many other circumstances learned about one another, and most importantly, they talked to one another. They broke down preconceived notions they each had about one another. Eventually they helped one another in areas of their lives which merited an intervention. Dr. Shirley disarmed an entire family’s and the surrounding communities’ mindset regarding racism. He worked to help Tony improve his diction, writing, emotional responses, etc. and Tony encouraged Dr. Shirley to reconnect with his brother and let loose and laugh sometimes; to trust and be able to rely on someone other than himself. Tony allowed Dr. Shirley to see that everything in life doesn’t have to be “intellectualized.”

I always enjoy a movie where the two main characters are men since it seems there are so few dramas which feature men and examine their friendships, emotions and issues and the characters actually grow, learn, and evolve. Don’t have any statistics to back that statement up and I don’t have time to research right now. I am very far behind and I have to move on to the next movie…

Green Book earned 9 out of 10 bloops. It’s a well-acted, tightly written, beautifully shot, original movie with excellent performances and a message. Oh yeah – and there’s Christmas! I look forward to learning more about Dr. Shirley and his life.

***

Since seeing Green Book (it took me at least two weeks to post about it as I’ve been unwell) I’ve learned Dr. Shirley’s family won’t see the movie and says it is full of lies (he had eaten fried chicken before, he wasn’t estranged from his family. (In all fairness, Shirley’s character stated he was busy with his work and it was difficult to stay in touch. Busy with his work doesn’t equal estrangement; semantics.) This is called poetic license. The phrase “based on true events” does not equal the gospel. Stories are always told with a skew which will more than likely include the protection, perspective and biases of whomever may be doing the story telling, and in the case of movies, how the information can best be formatted/packaged/presented in a 2 hour movie that makes sense that people will pay to see.

It’s Hollywood. Thank God it’s not a history book (a whole ‘nother conversation. Don’t even get me started…) and only a movie. Things get bent out of shape, turned around, revised, deleted and added to “true” stories all the time. A prime example is Bohemian Rhapsody, a movie which has been proven to be chock full of amended history and slick Hollywood storytelling. (My review in the link. I loved it, and if I watch that Live Aid performance once more…)

Green Book is told through the lens of a third party, Tony Lip’s son, so no one involved was in that car and on the road with these two men. Lip’s son knows what his father and Dr. Shirley told him and has the actual letters Shirley helped Lip write. The name of the movie is not the Dr. Don Shirley Story. It is about both men, how they met and how their relationship developed.

It’s unfortunate the Shirley family is not happy with this film. Not that any of them asked, but my advice is this – if you want a story told the way you want it told, start writing it and tell it. I’m sure there is so much more material in the life of such an amazing man and this one snippet is just the tip of the iceberg. That is a movie that I, for one, would pay to see. (I would also like to see a movie about Victor Hugo Green, author of The Green Book and how he compiled and organized his information.)

References:
Dr. Shirley’s Death Notice in the New York Times
The True Story behind the Movie Green Book
https://shadowandact.com/green-book-is-full-of-lies-dr-don-shirleys-family-speaks-out

Thank you for reading. You can scroll down, enter your email address to subscribe to bloopbymimi, and never miss a review or follow me on twitter @bloopbymimi1 

Bloops:

1   =   worst ever, avoid at all cost
2   =   very bad, forget about it!
3   =   poor movie, not recommended
4   =   not good, even for free – NO!
5   =   so-so, worth it if you don’t have to pay
6   =   not bad, could have been better
7   =   good movie, worth seeing
8   =   great movie, don’t miss it!
9   =   excellent movie, a must see!
10 =   a masterpiece, go see it now!

What I’m Seeing Next

Too much to say right now. I’ve been ill lately and unable to get to the movies like I’d like to. I’ll have something new up soonest.

Please let me know if I’ve got typos in this post. I just wanted to get it up today and didn’t have much proofreading time. Thank you.

Other Reviews

Halloween
Nobody’s Fool
Bohemian Rhapsody
Beautiful Boy
The Hate U Give
First Man
Assassination Nation
The Oath
A Star is Born
The House with a Clock in Its Walls
A Simple Favor
The Predator
BlackkKlansman
Support the Girls
Peppermint
Christopher Robin
Crazy Rich Asians
The Happytime Murders
RBG
Won’t You Be My Neighbor
Sorry to Bother You
Superfly
Hereditary
Book Club
Avengers: Infinity War
You Were Never Really Here
Rampage
A Quiet Place
Ready Player One
A Wrinkle in Time
Lady Bird
I, Tonya
The Florida Project
Black Panther
Molly’s Game
The Post
Phantom Thread
Den of Thieves
All the Money in the World
Coco
The Greatest Showman
The Disaster Artist
Call Me By Your Name
Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri
The Shape of Water
Marshall
The Man Who Invented Christmas
Victoria and Abdul
Thor: Ragnarok
Kingsman: The Golden Circle
Mother!
It
Good Time
Atomic Blonde
Dunkirk
Girls Trip
Spider-Man: Homecoming
The Big Sick
Baby Driver
All Eyez on Me 
It Comes at Night 
The Wedding Plan 
Wonder Woman
Everything, everything
King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
Raw
Kong: Skull Island
Logan
The Girl with All the Gifts
A Cure for Wellness 
Get Out
Hidden Figures
Fences
Moonlight
Hell or High Water
Loving
La La Land
Lion
Manchester by the Sea
Arrival
Hacksaw Ridge
Nocturnal Animals
Captain Fantastic
Elle
Jackie
I Am Not Your Negro
The Lobster

 

Halloween (R)

Co-written and directed by David Gordon Green based on characters created by John Carpenter and Debra Hill, and starring Janet Leigh’s and Tony Curtis’ baby girl, Jamie Lee Curtis (I would be remiss if I didn’t mention she is Hollywood royalty. She also got an exec producer credit.), Michael Myers is back in yet another Halloween! It’s 40 years later and wouldn’t you know it? Michael Myers has escaped from the institution. You know that after what he put Jamie Lee Curtis through she wants to finish him, right? And he wants nothing more than to do the same to her because she is “the one who got away.” Such is the premise for Halloween (2018).

I loved the original Halloween, but I have never seen one sequel. I’ve told you before, I’ve been a sequel snob for a very long time. I had no idea 9 other Halloween installments existed before this 2018 one until today. That’s how much attention I pay to this franchise. The only ones I knew about were II and maybe the third (I guess), and I remember hearing Rob Zombie had something to do with one of them. That didn’t even motivate me to see it. For me it is a straight line from the 1978 to here, and it is probably best that way.

I enjoyed this movie, until I didn’t. It’s a mixed bag. It was done in the spirit of the original, with the jack-o-lantern, the music, all the references and it was going along well at first, but this set of teenagers were so very annoying to me. Anyone else? Is it just me? When the phone gets damaged, that would have been how the fight got started. Oh I would have ruined the whole prom. And what was up with those scenes with the baby sitter and the little boy? Fresh children are never funny to me and just, why? I came to watch a horror movie, not a comedy. Not to take away from the younger kid, I’m glad he got a job and a moment, the exchange just felt out of pace with the overall feel of the film. And what’s up with skipping so much of the actual killing in what is supposed to be a slasher movie!? But for the saving grace of a Jamie Lee Curtis, I mean a Laurie Strode, and the realization by all those close to her that she’d been right to prepare for this dude to return all these years, and the stalker-ization of it all in the end, this movie would have been a complete disaster. Oh, an honorable mention to Haluk Bilginer who plays Myers’ doctor.

The best occurs once the prey becomes the predator. I loved the stalking ending and I hope this is the end of Michael Myers. Seriously. Enough already. A 40 year run is more than sufficient. But you know Mike was messing around with one of the women who worked at the facility he was in and they had a secret baby, right? And the child is a killer already at like 4 years old. And so it starts all over again… I’m sure someone will figure out a way to keep it going. But wait a minute… Did I hear Mike breathing at the end of the movie or did I make that up in my head? How is that possible???!!! LOL! Movies. Ya gotta luv ‘em. OH! And when he was in the back seat of the car!!!! Anyone who tells you THAT wasn’t scary is a liar. The movie does have some strong moments and there is a lot to like about it, I just wish it had more.

Halloween earned 7 bloops out of 10. It really took me back to how I felt watching the first movie at times. I’ll throw it a 7 for the nostalgia of it all, but it could have been better with less irritating teens (to be honest, I don’t even know if any of those teens can act. They were pretty bad.). I enjoyed seeing Jamie Lee Curtis revisit her roots and find some closure with a character she will be forever famous for.

Thank you for reading. You can scroll down, enter your email address to subscribe to bloopbymimi, and never miss a review or follow me on twitter @bloopbymimi1 

Bloops:

1   =   worst ever, avoid at all cost
2   =   very bad, forget about it!
3   =   poor movie, not recommended
4   =   not good, even for free – NO!
5   =   so-so, worth it if you don’t have to pay
6   =   not bad, could have been better
7   =   good movie, worth seeing
8   =   great movie, don’t miss it!
9   =   excellent movie, a must see!
10 =   a masterpiece, go see it now!

What I’m Seeing Next

Too much to say right now.

Other Reviews

Nobody’s Fool
Bohemian Rhapsody
Beautiful Boy
The Hate U Give
First Man
Assassination Nation
The Oath
A Star is Born
The House with a Clock in Its Walls
A Simple Favor
The Predator
BlackkKlansman
Support the Girls
Peppermint
Christopher Robin
Crazy Rich Asians
The Happytime Murders
RBG
Won’t You Be My Neighbor
Sorry to Bother You
Superfly
Hereditary
Book Club
Avengers: Infinity War
You Were Never Really Here
Rampage
A Quiet Place
Ready Player One
A Wrinkle in Time
Lady Bird
I, Tonya
The Florida Project
Black Panther
Molly’s Game
The Post
Phantom Thread
Den of Thieves
All the Money in the World
Coco
The Greatest Showman
The Disaster Artist
Call Me By Your Name
Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri
The Shape of Water
Marshall
The Man Who Invented Christmas
Victoria and Abdul
Thor: Ragnarok
Kingsman: The Golden Circle
Mother!
It
Good Time
Atomic Blonde
Dunkirk
Girls Trip
Spider-Man: Homecoming
The Big Sick
Baby Driver
All Eyez on Me 
It Comes at Night 
The Wedding Plan 
Wonder Woman
Everything, everything
King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
Raw
Kong: Skull Island
Logan
The Girl with All the Gifts
A Cure for Wellness 
Get Out
Hidden Figures
Fences
Moonlight
Hell or High Water
Loving
La La Land
Lion
Manchester by the Sea
Arrival
Hacksaw Ridge
Nocturnal Animals
Captain Fantastic
Elle
Jackie
I Am Not Your Negro
The Lobster

Nobody’s Fool (R)

Written and directed by Tyler Perry, starring Tiffany Haddish (Tanya) and Tika Sumpter (Danica), Nobody’s Fool is a comedy/drama. When Tanya is released from jail her sister, Danica, must take her in. Tanya learns that Danica is involved in an on line relationship and suspects her sister is being “catfished.” Tanya sets out to uncover the truth, but all is not what it seems.

This post is going to be less about the movie (it was good) and more about Tyler Perry and my movie-going experience.

Full disclosure: I had no idea this was a Tyler Perry movie until just now, as I was researching to write this post and I must say, I am pleasantly surprised. I made the decision early on in my blogging life to not review Tyler Perry movies. It started with Boo. I thought that movie was absolutely terrible and I refused to review it. I got the idea that until Tyler Perry gave me a movie I could say something nice about, I wasn’t going to bother.

Then I saw Acrimony, but my review was a bit harsh, so I scrapped it. The truth is, I had plenty of nice things to say about Acrimony, but the overdramatic, Tyler Perry-esque silliness which occurred at the end ruined the entire film. I was mad at him for that one, but I still had faith and I waited.

Finally, he’s done it. He’s given me a movie I can review! I admire the man and I’m glad he put something out that I don’t feel the need to pick apart. Thank you Tyler Perry. Thank you.

I just had to get that off my chest before moving on.

Here’s another fearless performance from Haddish. I am growing to love her not only for her work, but for the way she conducts herself in her personal life. That video of her and Whoopie Goldberg is beautiful. I hope she never allows Hollywood and fame to change her. I hope she remains as humble, respectful and frugal as she is right now. (By the way, if you haven’t seen her in the Oath, do. (my review is in the link. It is not in theaters any longer but you should be able to catch it streaming somewhere shortly.) Tika Sumpter is a great actress. I’ve never seen The Haves and the Have Nots because I don’t care for soap operas, but she sold me when she played Michelle Obama in Southside with You (my review is in the link). The supporting cast is great, although there were moments when Omari Hardwick seemed a bit lost or out of sync. I don’t know if Tiffany was going crazy with ad libs and throwing him off, or what.

As funny as this movie was, let me tell you what was funnier; watching this movie in a theater full of black women. When I tell you these women had jokes… Oh. My. Goodness. I laughed harder at and with them than I did at almost anything on that screen. Not that the movie wasn’t funny, because it was, but the additional ambiance caused tears of joy and laughter to stream down my face. I mean, we had a great laugh. Normally, I absolutely despise when people talk during movies. I have walked out and demanded my refund. I am an Alamo Drafthouse-you talk or text, you’re gonna get bounced out of here-type of movie goer. Sweet Lord, my head nearly exploded when I went to see Fences (my review in the link) from all the conversations going on with the screen. (If one more person said, “Oooh, that’s Abraham, Martin and John!” just one more time…) I don’t know what happened to me while watching Nobody’s Fool, but somehow the evening was a real joy, full of this spontaneous community sisterhood with talking and all. Go figure?

Nobody’s Fool earned 7.5 out of 10 bloops. It is a good movie that is worth seeing. Might not be everybody’s cup of tea, but what is. Tiffany is great in it and I’m proud of her as I watch her career blossom. I am thrilled to be able to say that I enjoyed it. Thanks again TP. I’ll have more of this please.

Thank you for reading. You can scroll down, enter your email address to subscribe to bloopbymimi, and never miss a review or follow me on twitter @bloopbymimi1 

Bloops:

1   =   worst ever, avoid at all cost
2   =   very bad, forget about it!
3   =   poor movie, not recommended
4   =   not good, even for free – NO!
5   =   so-so, worth it if you don’t have to pay
6   =   not bad, could have been better
7   =   good movie, worth seeing
8   =   great movie, don’t miss it!
9   =   excellent movie, a must see!
10 =   a masterpiece, go see it now!

 What I’m Seeing Next

Can You Ever Forgive Me
Girl in The Spider’s Web: A New Dragon Tattoo Story
Overlord

Other Reviews

Bohemian Rhapsody
Beautiful Boy
The Hate U Give
First Man
Assassination Nation
The Oath
A Star is Born
The House with a Clock in Its Walls
A Simple Favor
The Predator
BlackkKlansman
Support the Girls
Peppermint
Christopher Robin
Crazy Rich Asians
The Happytime Murders
RBG
Won’t You Be My Neighbor
Sorry to Bother You
Superfly
Hereditary
Book Club
Avengers: Infinity War
You Were Never Really Here
Rampage
A Quiet Place
Ready Player One
A Wrinkle in Time
Lady Bird
I, Tonya
The Florida Project
Black Panther
Molly’s Game
The Post
Phantom Thread
Den of Thieves
All the Money in the World
Coco
The Greatest Showman
The Disaster Artist
Call Me By Your Name
Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri
The Shape of Water
Marshall
The Man Who Invented Christmas
Victoria and Abdul
Thor: Ragnarok
Kingsman: The Golden Circle
Mother!
It
Good Time
Atomic Blonde
Dunkirk
Girls Trip
Spider-Man: Homecoming
The Big Sick
Baby Driver
All Eyez on Me 
It Comes at Night 
The Wedding Plan 
Wonder Woman
Everything, everything
King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
Raw
Kong: Skull Island
Logan
The Girl with All the Gifts
A Cure for Wellness 
Get Out
Hidden Figures
Fences
Moonlight
Hell or High Water
Loving
La La Land
Lion
Manchester by the Sea
Arrival
Hacksaw Ridge
Nocturnal Animals
Captain Fantastic
Elle
Jackie
I Am Not Your Negro
The Lobster

 

Bohemian Rhapsody (PG-13)

Written by Anthony McCarten and Peter Morgan, directed by Brian Singer and starring Rami Malek, Bohemian Rhapsody is a biopic about the life and times of Queen and the band’s front man, Freddie Mercury

Bohemian Rhapsody is a beautiful tribute to Freddie Mercury. It skips over his last sickly, ailing days spent suffering from AIDS related symptoms (which could have easily been used for dramatic effect and Oscar  pandering fodder, but Freddie was dynamic enough on his own so all of that wasn’t necessary) and cuts it all off at the 1995 Live Aid concert before Freddie became gravely ill. Bohemian Rhapsody features little to no man love (I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before, but this is a term coined by my daughter when we would watch Queer as Folk together. Anytime it looked like something inappropriate for a 9 year old was about to be shown she would yell out, “Man Love!” and I would have to change the channel until the scene was over and then turn back again.) and is rated PG-13.

I do not believe the PG-13-ness of it all was done as a way of “straight-washing.” Mercury’s sexual, bi-sexual, homosexual, history. People can complain about anything and make up a term for that complaint in a heartbeat). I’m just half-kidding with you all. I know exactly what the term means and I understand how it is being applied, but I don’t think that this is what is going on here. I agree that in Bohemian Rhapsody Freddie’s sexuality early on was treaded upon quite lightly, but his sexuality is not the only thing that is sanitized in this film. There was nothing accurate about the way the band met or was formed; it wasn’t made clear that Freddie never legally married Mary, there wasn’t one instance of drug use; and I’m sure there were a few more things that weren’t historically accurate, but I don’t have time to dig that deep and report back right now. Oscar season is upon us, and as highly anticipated as this movie is/was I gotta keep moving forward.

Queen band mates Brian May and Roger Taylor had/have creative control over the content of this film so, of course they didn’t want to make “The Freddie Mercury Story.” (Had it been that story it would have been much darker and grittier and the straight washing claim of it all may have been valid.). Queen band members wanted to be included in the story and have their stories told as well. So, perhaps it is less about straight washing and more about showing respect to the subject and/or simply writing the story the way they wanted it written, and the balance of the story not to be strictly about Mercury and certainly not solely from his point of view.

Sure, this could have been an opportunity to educate about the AIDS epidemic and so much more, but that’s not the story they wanted to tell. May and Taylor don’t have to explain themselves to anyone. No one can tell them (or me, and I’m kinda starting to take this personally, imagining myself as a person who has a platform to convey my story and being criticized on  how to tell my own story) how they should convey their own story. Everyone loved Freddie, but they were there too, ya know? Not to mention the fact that the only one who could accurately tell the sexual part of Freddie’s story would have been Freddie himself, and considering how private he was about his doings (and his true fans understood and still guard his privacy), call  it what you want, closeted or whatever, it’s doubtful that this man would have wished that the sexual part of his life to be shared in that way. It’s just about showing respect for a friend/band member/colleague/family member. I like the fact that the film focuses on Mercury’s relationships with music, the band, his family and Mary. It focuses quite heavily on his musical process and genius.

Dear Acting Gods…, Rami Malek becomes Freddie Mercury when he performs on stage. Off stage, at times he becomes somewhat of a caricature of Mercury, but when you think about it, wasn’t Freddie Mercury sort of a caricature of himself? He was a dude who felt he had a lot to hide. In  acapella portions of the movie, you hear Malek’s voice. He took voice lessons, studied Mercury and how he danced/spoke/moved/etc. and took piano lessons for more authenticity in his performance. I read that Malek is credited with the idea of recreating Freddie’s famous teeth. As if this movie could have been done and felt authentic without paying homage to the teet! Those teeth were part of Mercury’s legend. And they look much better in the movie than Freddie’s actually looked. It might have been too distracting to attempt to totally recreate them I suppose. And Freddie’s movie teeth are too white. Freddie did not whiten his teeth!  He arose at a time before celebrity tooth whitening was a thing. Aside from that, Malek expertly channels Freddie’s energy on stage and his sadness/loneliness behind the scenes. The supporting cast is stellar. The likeness to the band is freakishly uncanny.

There’s nothing to be said about the music. It’s Queen so it’s all good and you won’t hear a complaint coming out of me. I enjoyed every bit of it. Loved it!

Bohemian Rhapsody earned 9 out of 10 bloops. It is an excellent film if you are willing to take it for what it is.  You will want to get up out of your seat, sing along, clap you hands at least, at the end. This is a feel good movie and that’s the way it was intended to be. A respectful tribute to one of the greatest voices of our time. Rest in Power Farrokh a/k/a Freddie.

Thank you for reading. You can scroll down, enter your email address to subscribe to bloopbymimi, and never miss a review or follow me on twitter @bloopbymimi1 

 

Bloops:

1   =   worst ever, avoid at all cost
2   =   very bad, forget about it!
3   =   poor movie, not recommended
4   =   not good, even for free – NO!
5   =   so-so, worth it if you don’t have to pay
6   =   not bad, could have been better
7   =   good movie, worth seeing
8   =   great movie, don’t miss it!
9   =   excellent movie, a must see!
10 =   a masterpiece, go see it now!

 

What I’m Seeing Next

Can You Ever Forgive Me
Nobody’s Fool

 

Other Reviews

Beautiful Boy

The Hate U Give
First Man
Assassination Nation
The Oath
A Star is Born
The House with a Clock in Its Walls
A Simple Favor
The Predator
BlackkKlansman
Support the Girls
Peppermint
Christopher Robin
Crazy Rich Asians
The Happytime Murders
RBG
Won’t You Be My Neighbor
Sorry to Bother You
Superfly
Hereditary
Book Club
Avengers: Infinity War
You Were Never Really Here
Rampage
A Quiet Place
Ready Player One
A Wrinkle in Time
Lady Bird
I, Tonya
The Florida Project
Black Panther
Molly’s Game
The Post
Phantom Thread
Den of Thieves
All the Money in the World
Coco
The Greatest Showman
The Disaster Artist
Call Me By Your Name
Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri
The Shape of Water
Marshall
The Man Who Invented Christmas
Victoria and Abdul
Thor: Ragnarok
Kingsman: The Golden Circle
Mother!
It
Good Time
Atomic Blonde
Dunkirk
Girls Trip
Spider-Man: Homecoming
The Big Sick
Baby Driver
All Eyez on Me 
It Comes at Night 
The Wedding Plan 
Wonder Woman
Everything, everything
King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
Raw
Kong: Skull Island
Logan
The Girl with All the Gifts
A Cure for Wellness 
Get Out
Hidden Figures
Fences
Moonlight
Hell or High Water
Loving
La La Land
Lion
Manchester by the Sea
Arrival
Hacksaw Ridge
Nocturnal Animals
Captain Fantastic
Elle
Jackie
I Am Not Your Negro
The Lobster

Beautiful Boy (R)

Based on David Sheff’s memoir, Beautiful Boy: A Father’s Journey through His Son’s Addiction and his son Nic’s memoir, Tweak, Beautiful Boy tells the story of Nic’s addiction to methamphetamines and his father’s desperate effort to save him from certain death. Directed by Felix Van Groeningen in his American film debut and starring Timothée Chalamet and Steve Carell, Beautiful Boy shows the devastating toll addiction can take on a family.

Beautiful Boy is a universal film because, sadly, chances are if you’re an American, no matter what walk of life you may be from, what ethnicity you are, what salary you earn, how much education you do or do not have, you probably know an addict.

This movie touches upon every emotion experienced when dealing with an addiction; frustration, fear, anger, sorrow, guilt, shame, disgust, exhaustion, hopelessness, helplessness, you name it. It also touches on the many behaviors addicts exhibit; manipulation, lying, stealing, selfishness, recklessness, risk taking behavior, etc. The audience gets a vivid picture of the full burden this father takes on while trying to get his son clean for good. In the midst of it all the lightbulb goes off that the only person who can help Nic is Nic. Replace the name Nic with anyone you know and love who’s addicted and the scenario remains the same. I won’t get into my experience with addiction right now but let’s just say I know of what I speak and I had to learn this lesson the long, hard way.

Timothée Chalamet steals the entire show. In a word, he is outstanding. I knew he was something special when I saw him in Call Me by Your Name (my review in the link), and I was sure he was the real deal then, but man-o-man this dude nailed this performance. I would be shocked if he were not nominated for an Oscar. I’m looking forward to seeing who his competition might be because right now he is the one to beat. Steve Carell is effortless in his role. It’s like he’s not acting at all and I felt every bit of his angst. The supporting cast is fantastic as well.

The directing and writing are exceptional. There wasn’t a dry eye in the theater by the time that movie went off; every man and woman was sniffling at the bare minimum. One man could not stop wiping away his tears, and he was making a serious effort to do so. When the movie went off one woman came into the ladies’ room after I had entered, locked the stall door and just broke down and cried. She was still in there when I left. I would have helped her out but I was trying to hold it together myself. It. Hits. Home.

Beautiful Boy educates the audience about addiction by showing how Nic’s addiction affects the entire family dynamic and the road to recovery is most often not without hiccups. Addiction never occurs in a vacuum. Addiction is a total disruption of everything. It not only consumes the thoughts and life of the addict, it also consumes the thoughts and life of everyone in the addict’s orbit.

The one huge problem I had with Beautiful Boy was that I wish Timothée’s/Nic’s skin would have become less clear over time and he looked a bit more disheveled as he descended into this haze of dope. Nic and his girlfriend were two of the cleanest looking addicts I’ve ever seen. Considering how they were living, and how severe their addictions were, the upkeep of hygiene on that level of getting high is highly unlikely.

Beautiful Boy earned 9 out of 10 bloops. It is an absolutely excellent and important film that relays one man’s truth about the hell he went through trying his best to save his son.

Thank you for reading. You can scroll down, enter your email address to subscribe to bloopbymimi, and never miss a review or follow me on twitter @bloopbymimi1 

Bloops:

1   =   worst ever, avoid at all cost
2   =   very bad, forget about it!
3   =   poor movie, not recommended
4   =   not good, even for free – NO!
5   =   so-so, worth it if you don’t have to pay
6   =   not bad, could have been better
7   =   good movie, worth seeing
8   =   great movie, don’t miss it!
9   =   excellent movie, a must see!
10 =   a masterpiece, go see it now!

What I’m Seeing Next

Can You Ever Forgive Me
Bohemian Rhapsody – Finally!!!!!
Nobody’s Fool

Other Reviews

The Hate U Give
First Man
Assassination Nation
The Oath
A Star is Born
The House with a Clock in Its Walls
A Simple Favor
The Predator
BlackkKlansman
Support the Girls
Peppermint
Christopher Robin
Crazy Rich Asians
The Happytime Murders
RBG
Won’t You Be My Neighbor
Sorry to Bother You
Superfly
Hereditary
Book Club
Avengers: Infinity War
You Were Never Really Here
Rampage
A Quiet Place
Ready Player One
A Wrinkle in Time
Lady Bird
I, Tonya
The Florida Project
Black Panther
Molly’s Game
The Post
Phantom Thread
Den of Thieves
All the Money in the World
Coco
The Greatest Showman
The Disaster Artist
Call Me By Your Name
Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri
The Shape of Water
Marshall
The Man Who Invented Christmas
Victoria and Abdul
Thor: Ragnarok
Kingsman: The Golden Circle
Mother!
It
Good Time
Atomic Blonde
Dunkirk
Girls Trip
Spider-Man: Homecoming
The Big Sick
Baby Driver
All Eyez on Me 
It Comes at Night 
The Wedding Plan 
Wonder Woman
Everything, everything
King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
Raw
Kong: Skull Island
Logan
The Girl with All the Gifts
A Cure for Wellness 
Get Out
Hidden Figures
Fences
Moonlight
Hell or High Water
Loving
La La Land
Lion
Manchester by the Sea
Arrival
Hacksaw Ridge
Nocturnal Animals
Captain Fantastic
Elle
Jackie
I Am Not Your Negro
The Lobster

The Hate U Give (PG-13)

Based on Angie Thomas’ 2017 novel, directed by George Tillman Jr., and starring Amandla Stenberg (as Starr) and Russell Hornsby (as Starr’s father, Maverick). The Hate U Give is the ultimate coming of age story about a young lady who (after years of silence, much like Maya Angelou’s caged bird) finds her voice after witnessing the traumatic police shooting of an unarmed black man. Maverick prepares his children for the harsh realities of life, including drilling them from a young age on how to interact with law enforcement so they survive precarious police encounters. Unfortunately, the young man who was killed hadn’t been taught or hadn’t heeded these lessons.

The Hate U Give not only addresses police shootings of unarmed black citizens, it addresses problems in the black community that “the community” can work on to improve the quality of life therein. The phrase, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing” kept coming to my mind while watching The Hate U Give and the phrase takes on several meanings throughout this film.

The Hate You Give highlights the fact that there’s not any one thing that needs to be done to combat police shootings of unarmed black citizens, the issue lends itself to a collective effort and consciousness shift that could be the “something good” that comes from all of this misery if dealt with properly. In a perfect world…

I haven’t felt so much emotion during a film in a long while. The Hate U Give made me laugh and cry, and in between there are many, many valuable lessons about life, loss, family, society, communication and more. Hell, I cried half way back to Brooklyn. The tears just would not stop! I don’t think I’ve ever seen this level of intimacy into the lives of a black family in present day America shared on film in such a relatable way; and to have a police shooting be the impetus to all the action is timely, important and brilliant. I’m talking about the type of intimacy where one can get an authentic glimpse of what a slice of black life is like for many black people in America, if one cares to.

The fictionalization of it all makes it much more palatable to examine and discuss the issue more rationally. And there will be much discussion, particularly if you take your children. And they all need to go see this film. I recommended a co-worker who has nieces (18, 13, 10 and 8 years old) visiting from Ireland this week see The Hate U Give with them. I cannot wait to hear her take when she returns from vacation. It’s got a PG-13 rating, which is pretty incredible given the depth of the subject matter.

George Tillman Jr.’s direction is spot on. The writing is strong, at one point things get chaotic and it’s smart because that chaos reflects all the things going on with this young woman and within this community. I was fully engaged and entertained. I felt the need to get out of that party, I felt the angst in that car, I was at Starr’s school when she went off, I was at that funeral, nearly embarrassed by and irritated with Seven’s ignorant mom. I was in Starr’s home with her dad and Chris. I was at that protest and felt all that frustration and rising rage. I felt as though I got a real, first person account of what was happing to the main character and her thought process. And here’s where that tricky perception thing comes in. You see, I’m black, I’m a woman and I come from a place not so different than from where Starr is from, so I can readily place myself in this young woman’s shoes and feel all these things she is feeling. That is the stuff of exceptional movie making.

Amandla Stenberg and Russell Hornsby give award winning, 10 bloop worthy performances here. I felt the fear, joy, frustration, tears, elation, love, connection, and the inner turmoil of each of these characters. Stenberg’s character evolves into somewhat of a superhero. The supporting cast did an outstanding job as well.

The Hate U Give earned 10 out of 10 bloops. It may not be a “perfect” film but it is certainly a “masterpiece,” in its own special way. I recommend it to everyone I come across. It is one of the most powerful, well-acted, well written, well produced films of the year so far. It tells and excellent, timely story that not only attempts to fairly assess this difficult issue from all sides, but offers challenges, changes and solutions for black families, the black community, police officers and activists to ponder. The Hate U Give needs to be seen, heard, questioned and discussed. I’ll be reading the book shortly.

Thank you for reading. You can scroll down, enter your email address to subscribe to bloopbymimi, and never miss a review or follow me on twitter @bloopbymimi1 

Bloops:

1   =   worst ever, avoid at all cost
2   =   very bad, forget about it!
3   =   poor movie, not recommended
4   =   not good, even for free – NO!
5   =   so-so, worth it if you don’t have to pay
6   =   not bad, could have been better
7   =   good movie, worth seeing
8   =   great movie, don’t miss it!
9   =   excellent movie, a must see!
10 =   a masterpiece, go see it now!

Other Reviews

First Man
Assassination Nation
The Oath
A Star is Born
The House with a Clock in Its Walls
A Simple Favor
The Predator
BlackkKlansman
Support the Girls
Peppermint
Christopher Robin
Crazy Rich Asians
The Happytime Murders
RBG
Won’t You Be My Neighbor
Sorry to Bother You
Superfly
Hereditary
Book Club
Avengers: Infinity War
You Were Never Really Here
Rampage
A Quiet Place
Ready Player One
A Wrinkle in Time
Lady Bird
I, Tonya
The Florida Project
Black Panther
Molly’s Game
The Post
Phantom Thread
Den of Thieves
All the Money in the World
Coco
The Greatest Showman
The Disaster Artist
Call Me By Your Name
Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri
The Shape of Water
Marshall
The Man Who Invented Christmas
Victoria and Abdul
Thor: Ragnarok
Kingsman: The Golden Circle
Mother!
It
Good Time
Atomic Blonde
Dunkirk
Girls Trip
Spider-Man: Homecoming
The Big Sick
Baby Driver
All Eyez on Me 
It Comes at Night 
The Wedding Plan 
Wonder Woman
Everything, everything
King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
Raw
Kong: Skull Island
Logan
The Girl with All the Gifts
A Cure for Wellness 
Get Out
Hidden Figures
Fences
Moonlight
Hell or High Water
Loving
La La Land
Lion
Manchester by the Sea
Arrival
Hacksaw Ridge
Nocturnal Animals
Captain Fantastic
Elle
Jackie
I Am Not Your Negro
The Lobster

 

 

First Man (PG-13)

Based on James R. Hansen’s book, First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong, directed by Damien Chazelle and starring Ryan Gosling, First Man tells the story of the life and times of Neil Armstrong from 1961 to July 20, 1969 when he became the first man to walk on the surface of the moon. The film includes a look at Armstrong’s personal life, the mission which made him a household name and the failed missions which led to that successful mission.

According to IMDB, Hansen is an expert in aerospace history and the history of science and technology who has published a dozen books and numerous articles covering a wide variety of topics, including the early days of aviation, the history of aerospace engineering, NASA, the Moon landings, the Space Shuttle program, and China’s role in space. First Man is Armstrong’s singular authorized biography.

In other words, the man knows what he’s talking about. I include this for those who are concerned with the movies historical accuracy because Chazelle chose not to replicate the iconic American “flag-planting” on the moon. A smart move, only if he figured out another way, or a better way to emphasize the triumph of being the first man to walk on the moon; but does he?

No he does not. I sat for over two hours waiting for Ryan Gosling to plant his foot on the moon and say the now famous quote. I saw it and I was unimpressed. He may as well have gone ahead and reenacted the flag planting or showed the footage because the event felt incomplete without it, and what was done instead made the story feel overworked, insincere and corny.

I understood the attempt to create tension by demonstrating NASA’s failures, thereby creating this great moment when success is finally achieved, but I didn’t feel the tension and build up from the failed missions enough to feel the triumph of Armstrong’s mission. The movie was too busy teaching us about the life of Neil Armstrong and then somewhere along the way the politics of the day were inserted into the story line (not that I’m mad about it because my favorite part of this entire movie is Gil Scott-Heron’s poem). I learned some things about Neil Armstrong, but aside from the facts about his daughter I wasn’t very interested.

The stories of the astronauts who gave their lives in the name of science, technology and space exploration and Neil’s own failed test was the part of the story I found most enjoyable and it was where I learned the most. I wish more focus had been placed on the failed missions/tests and less on Armstrong and his family life, and his wife smoking, for crying out loud. The meatiest part of the story was sort of glossed over and inserted as an “aside” in a missed opportunity for what would have made a much more interesting and focused movie.

Chazelle and Gosling are reunited here for the first time since La La Land and the direction he administered and direction taken had me scratching my head. (I didn’t care for La La Land (my review in the link) and I have the same luke-warm feeling about this movie.) Ryan Gosling walks about as if he is made of wood or something. He has little to no facial expression for most of the film. I mean, was Armstrong autistic or something? (I’m not being facetious. I have a master’s degree in psychology, I’ve worked with many autistic people, I know what autism looks like, I know it can be quite serious and I do not speak of it lightly, so take your outrage and offense elsewhere. I am honestly mulling the question.) Like, tell me what I’m missing here? No doubt the man was a gifted engineer, so it wouldn’t be a far-fetched theory that he was perhaps on the spectrum, with some social awkwardness, but I need someone to tell me that and not leave me guessing about it, and somehow explain this performance of Gosling’s. And if I had to stare into Ryan Gosling’s baby blues for one more damn second while he was in that little capsule I thought I was going to scream! It was like being hypnotized to sleep or something in a movie that was already too long and too slow in spots. Thank goodness there were no opening credits!

The cinematography, effects, hair, make up, wardrobe, lighting, set design, are all impeccable. The integration of old footage is brilliant but not done seamlessly.

First Man earned 5 bloops out of 10. It so-so, perhaps worth it if you don’t have to pay. You may like it more if you’re more interested in the life of Neil Armstrong than I. Gosling’s inexplicably robotic performance was just too much to bear, the more interesting parts of the movie deserved more time/time spent on Armstrong’s personal life could have been reduced, and at 2 hours and 21 minutes it was too long with a weak payoff in the end. From what I can see, this film is not a contender in the Oscar race as far as acting, directing or screenplay. I found it totally unmemorable as it floats in a sea of other “meh” movies made this year.

Thank you for reading. You can scroll down, enter your email address to subscribe to bloopbymimi, and never miss a review or follow me on twitter @bloopbymimi1 

Bloops:

1   =   worst ever, avoid at all cost
2   =   very bad, forget about it!
3   =   poor movie, not recommended
4   =   not good, even for free – NO!
5   =   so-so, worth it if you don’t have to pay
6   =   not bad, could have been better
7   =   good movie, worth seeing
8   =   great movie, don’t miss it!
9   =   excellent movie, a must see!
10 =   a masterpiece, go see it now!

What I’m Seeing Next

A lot. Too much to get into. I’ll be posting every day for the next several days.

Other Reviews

Assassination Nation
The Oath
A Star is Born
The House with a Clock in Its Walls
A Simple Favor
The Predator
BlackkKlansman
Support the Girls
Peppermint
Christopher Robin
Crazy Rich Asians
The Happytime Murders
RBG
Won’t You Be My Neighbor
Sorry to Bother You
Superfly
Hereditary
Book Club
Avengers: Infinity War
You Were Never Really Here
Rampage
A Quiet Place
Ready Player One
A Wrinkle in Time
Lady Bird
I, Tonya
The Florida Project
Black Panther
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Phantom Thread
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Coco
The Greatest Showman
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Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri
The Shape of Water
Marshall
The Man Who Invented Christmas
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Thor: Ragnarok
Kingsman: The Golden Circle
Mother!
It
Good Time
Atomic Blonde
Dunkirk
Girls Trip
Spider-Man: Homecoming
The Big Sick
Baby Driver
All Eyez on Me 
It Comes at Night 
The Wedding Plan 
Wonder Woman
Everything, everything
King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
Raw
Kong: Skull Island
Logan
The Girl with All the Gifts
A Cure for Wellness 
Get Out
Hidden Figures
Fences
Moonlight
Hell or High Water
Loving
La La Land
Lion
Manchester by the Sea
Arrival
Hacksaw Ridge
Nocturnal Animals
Captain Fantastic
Elle
Jackie
I Am Not Your Negro
The Lobster

Assassination Nation (R)

Written and directed by Sam Levinson (son of Barry Levinson) and starring Odessa Young, Hari Nef, Abra and Suki Waterhouse, Assassination Nation is the story of how a data hack that turns a lovely American town upside down and into a pack of animals. As the hack exposes the secrets of the townspeople, chaos ensues, and four girls are blamed and forced to fight for their lives.

Assassination Nation is billed as an action/comedy/crime film. With a combination like that you expect some chaos at a fast pace. This movie is super aggressive. It assaults the viewer with unpleasant images and uncomfortable subject matter purposefully in order to get a rise out of it. The way the film moves from subject to subject and scene to scene is tiring because it moves so fast as it attempts to put all these moving parts and information and situations in motion at once. Whatever Assassination Nation may be, it isn’t timid and it isn’t dull. It is balls to the wall art out loud baby. It gets in your face and beats you over the head with one social messages after another and then another; but not without warning. You are informed that the assault is coming. And when it’s over, you’re worn out. At least I was. All of this while it asks the question, if someone hacked your phone and released all of your data, what would your life look like to outsiders, people who don’t know you, your employer, your neighbor? Pretty effin’ brilliant concept if you ask me. How social media has grown from this lovely way of staying in touch with classmates, then family and friends, and now it’s like a monster. Or at least, it can be. Even if the execution isn’t spot on here, the action and crime are great.

Assassination Nation is a bit weaker in the area of comedy. I love a dark comedy, but this is not a dark comedy. Dark, yes. A comedy, no. The subject matter is just too heavy and aggressive, goes too deep and gets too real for humor. With the exception of Nef’s character, who provided nearly all comedic relief, there wasn’t much else to laugh about. I understand comedic tastes varies, but, no. The idea of a group of people losing their shit due to the fear of having their deepest darkest secrets exposed is not so far-fetched, so the situation could have been funny, but I didn’t see it that way. You may disagree.

This movie explores every toxic corner of our society and it is disgusting, sad and frightening to watch at times because you can totally imagine something like this actually happening. You really have to see it for yourself to judge, moreso than most other movies. It definitely isn’t a movie for all. But if you like horror and suspense I think you may like this.

The acting is quite good. Odessa Young gives it her all. Hari Nef is downright loveable. Understand that there are four teenage girls together much of the time so old fuddie-duddies may find the chatter and their conversations a bit annoying. The action is amazing. The gore is so great and disturbing it is just too satisfying to miss out on. The third act is enthralling, technically beautiful and provided a proper pay off for any suffering I may have experienced.

Assassination Nation earned 7 out of 10 bloops. An angry movie for our angry times and it is definitely worth a watch. It’s crazy but there is something hella-artistic about it. It’s like Kill Bill on meth. I would have given it a 6.5, but it got a well-deserved bump from that brilliant, beautifully executed third act and smart concept (even though I dislike the way it ends).

Thank you for reading. You can scroll down, enter your email address to subscribe to bloopbymimi, and never miss a review or follow me on twitter @bloopbymimi1 

Bloops:

1   =   worst ever, avoid at all cost
2   =   very bad, forget about it!
3   =   poor movie, not recommended
4   =   not good, even for free – NO!
5   =   so-so, worth it if you don’t have to pay
6   =   not bad, could have been better
7   =   good movie, worth seeing
8   =   great movie, don’t miss it!
9   =   excellent movie, a must see!
10 =   a masterpiece, go see it now!

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