Movie Review: All the Way ****

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All the Way is an HBO movie about Lyndon Baines Johnson (LBJ) the 36th President of the United States. It’s 1963, President Kennedy has just been assassinated and LBJ assumes the role of President to finish out the last 14 months of Kennedy’s term. On the table is the Civil Rights Act that would give equal rights to blacks. LBJ is from a Southern State that historically fought against civil rights for minorities. He makes the politically unpopular decision to push the bill through congress while attempting to become the Democratic nominee for President in the upcoming 1964 election. Promises, arm twisting, deals, and threats are made to make civil rights leaders back off and to make congressional leaders change their long-held discriminatory policies while LBJ campaigns to become President.

This is a very historic turning point in America that happened during my lifetime. It is scary to see how close we were to maintaining the status quo and retaining the racial segregation of open discrimination against blacks and other people of color. It’s been over 50 years and we’re still not quite there. I hate to think where we would be today had LBJ’s push for equal rights failed and waited for ratification at a later date. I liked the historic significance of this movie and the behind the scenes deals it takes to get bills through congress. The acting was outstanding, newsreels were mixed in to give the actual flavor of the day, and the story was well told. I liked it. 4 out of 5 stars.

Published in: on May 23, 2016 at 2:05 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Movie Review: Money Monster ****

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Money Monster is a hostage movie about an abduction on live TV. George Clooney has a popular television show about finances and stock tips–he is the Money Monster. Julia Roberts is his producer who is always communicating with him via ear bud. A young man invests all of his inheritance in stock advice from the program because it was touted as a very good company listed as safe. The stock tanks, he loses everything, and he wants to know why the safe tip was so bad. He holds the studio hostage on live TV. Efforts are made to rescue the host while the young man’s query is investigated. An elusive CEO from the company makes it difficult to sort out what is going on and why.

This is an edge-of-your-seat movie with good dialogue, good characters, and a plausible scenario. The story is very well told, the acting is very good, the characters are relatable, and the actions seem possible. This movie was very engaging… until the end. I would have liked it better if it took a different turn. I didn’t like the ending. Even with the bad ending, I liked this movie enough to give it 4 out of 5 stars.

Published in: on May 16, 2016 at 11:27 am  Leave a Comment  
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Movie Review: Captain America: Civil War *****

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Captain America: Civil War is a Marvel Comics superhero movie about the Avengers led by Captain America and Iron Man. The Avengers are saving the world from bad guys who also have super powers. The Avengers act on their own, although they are centered in the United States, and go wherever they can be helpful. In these super conflicts, there is a significant number of unintended civilian casualties. Cities are saved, but there is a movement of world leaders that question the cost. An international security council declares that they should stay home unless called upon. This causes the Avengers to split into two groups, the ones that are haunted by the civilian casualties and the ones who know there is a price to pay for peace. They eventually find out that one of their own is a Manchurian Candidate who unwittingly takes orders with no remorse. They fight against each other to decide which side is right while bad guys plan to take over the world.

I’m not a comic book guy, I just watch the Marvel movies. This one is very well done. There is a lot of action, explosions, fight scenes, humor, relationships, and conflict. Most of the characters are familiar, but it would help to have seen previous Marvel movies to follow this one, especially Captain America: The Winter Soldier. This movie is 2 1/2 hours long and there is a bonus scene during the credits, and another bonus scene following the credits, so watch your liquid intake, and stay until the very end. Teenagers will be entertained by this movie rated PG-13. Adults will have a good time with their kids. The characters are outstanding, the story is very good, the humor is well-placed, the graphics are spectacular, the acting is very good, and there are a couple of excellent cameo appearances. I loved it. 5 out of 5 stars.

Published in: on May 6, 2016 at 10:58 am  Leave a Comment  
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Movie Review: The Boss ***

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Melissa McCarthy is The Boss. She grows up being rejected by many foster homes. As an adult she achieves incredible success. Much of her success is gained by taking advantage of people. She goes to jail and comes out a broken woman with no assets. She seeks refuge with a former employee who sympathetically takes her in on a temporary basis. They find a lucrative business using children as employees. She goes back to her old ways and there are further conflicts and resolutions.

The Boss is a crude comedy with lots of sexual innuendo and cussing. It earns its R rating. It depicts the ruthlessness of business and the consequences it breeds. Melissa McCarthy is almost unrecognizable in her clothes, hairstyle, and makeup–Kudos to the staff that pulled that off. The story is pretty good and the acting is good for a comedy. I laughed out loud, and cringed at several jokes. It was worth the price of admission. 3 out of 5 stars.

Published in: on May 2, 2016 at 9:51 pm  Leave a Comment  
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