Movie Review: Inferno *****


Inferno is a Dan Brown book turned into a movie starring Tom Hanks. Previously, we have seen Tom Hanks play Robert Langdon in the DaVinci Code and Angels & Demons. This time, he uses his knowledge of literature, history, architecture, and science to solve puzzles that lead to the location of a horrific plan to “cull the herd” known as mankind. A virus is developed where the end plan is to reduce the population of the Earth to a sustainable number. Clues put several parties in a race to find where in the world the virus will be released. Who are these groups? What are their motives? Why do they need Langdon? The chase is on to save the world from people who may or may not be friends.

This is an edge-of-your-seat chase scene that moves from place to place revealing clue after clue to solve the mystery. Outstanding scenes shot in Italy and other countries give new perspective to historic places. The puzzles are impossible to solve without the help of Langdon, but he makes it look easy–even with a head wound. The locations were exceptional, the characters were relatable, and the threat is real. The acting was good and the drama was intense. If you liked the first two movies, you’ll like this one. I loved it. 5 out of 5 stars.

Published in: on October 28, 2016 at 4:33 pm  Leave a Comment  

Movie Review: Jack Reacher: Never Go Back ****


Jack Reacher: Never Go Back is the second time we’ve seen Tom Cruise as this ex-military justice seeker. Reacher is arrested and accused of being part of a conspiracy against the U.S. government that involves weapons dealing in the Middle East. His contact with a female officer he has never met puts him in the hot seat as mysterious operations try to eliminate loose ends in an apparent arms deal. They escape and try to clear their names while an unknown teenager becomes involved in the action.

Tom Cruise and both the female leads are believable in their well-developed roles. The bad guys are sinister and well-played, too. The story is easy to follow and involves a cat-and-mouse game though Washington, DC, and New Orleans. Halloween in the Big Easy looks like it is as much fun as Mardi Gras. The chase scenes were good, the fight scenes were well choreographed. The loose ends were tied up nicely. Not as good as the first Jack Reacher movie, but still worth the price of admission. I liked it. 4 out of 5 stars.

Published in: on October 28, 2016 at 4:30 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: ,

Movie Review: The Accountant *****


Ben Affleck is The Accountant. An autistic kid grows up as a military brat whose officer father wants him to function in the real world instead of living a recluse life in a safe place with his medical condition. He grows up to be an accountant with an incredible level of independence, focus, and proficiency. He helps regular folks relieve some of their tax burden, while he contracts to find discrepancies in high level bookkeeping worldwide for legitimate and criminal enterprises. He has other skills that he is able to perform with great efficiency and competency. He is immature in personal relationships but trusted in professional relationships. The accountant is hired to find the problem with a company that puts his life in danger.

This thriller displays the degree one man with autism went to in order to live a “normal” and productive life. He is joined by 2 of my favorite actors, Anna Kendrick and J.K. Simmons. The story is set up very well. The characters and situations are believable. The acting and direction are outstanding. There is a lot of action. The R rating came from the violence–lots of execution style killing. There were no loose ends at the end. I loved it. 5 out of 5 stars.

Published in: on October 15, 2016 at 9:05 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , ,

Movie Review: The Girl on the Train *****


The Girl on the Train is a suspense murder mystery drama starring Emily Blunt. A woman rides the train to and from the city every day. She is an alcoholic who starts to daydream about one particular house and the attractive couple that lives there. It turns out that she used to reside in the neighborhood and has some bad memories of her life there with her ex-husband. She wishes their relationship had been more like the couple in the other house. She has a history of blacking out and has to be told what happened when she awakens from her stupor. The girl in the house disappears, and she gets involved in the search, which leads to her becoming one of the suspects. Her drunkenness prevents her from being able to recall what happened over several hours during the night of the disappearance.

This movie has a very high sexual theme with brief nudity, a lot of erotic situations, and blunt sex talk. The movie depicts drunkenness, infidelity, and loathsomeness of several characters. Some of the characters are depicted at the very worst level of human abomination. Some of the characters could be heroes. Which is which? This movie has some very disturbing scenes with some very ignoble people and earned its R rating. Do not even think of letting your teenager see this movie. The story unravels very slowly and is told through shifts back and forth in time. Pay attention, as two of the characters have a similar look. The acting and the story were outstanding. You need to know going in to the theater that there is a lot of evil out there. I was creeped out by a lot of this movie. It is not a show for everybody. However, the film was done so well, that I loved it. 5 out of 5 stars.

P.S. My wife would have walked out.

Published in: on October 7, 2016 at 4:41 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , ,

Movie Review: Deepwater Horizon *****


Deepwater Horizon is a true story about a guy who was on the oil rig when disaster struck and caused the largest oil spill in American history. Mark Wahlberg is an engineer who takes a helicopter for a 6 week stint on an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico. He and his coworkers are shocked that inspections that take a lot of time were done when they arrive for their shift. They fear that corners were cut regarding safety features. These short cuts could keep the project from being behind schedule. These short cuts could make the project even more profitable. A problem arises and everything goes bad. Then it gets worse. A community of workers try to evacuate amidst fire, explosions, and structural chaos.

This movie is about the decisions that were made that caused the disaster. It does not chronicle the efforts to stop the flow of oil or cap the fire. It ends with the survivor toll. There are facts and figures about the recovery during the credits. The special effects are extremely well done. The graphics are incredibly real at at an intense level. I enjoyed the background of the lead actor. I liked the us vs. them conflict that led to the decisions that were made. I was on the edge of my seat for the 2nd half of the movie. This was as real a disaster movie as I have ever seen, and it is a true story. I loved it. 5 out of 5 stars.

Published in: on October 7, 2016 at 4:38 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , ,

Movie Review: The Magnificent Seven *****


The Magnificent 7 is a remake of the 1960 classic western movie that starred cool guys Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen, and James Coburn. This one stars Denzel Washington as a cowboy who is hired to lead a group of mercenaries to keep their town from the control of the evil robber baron mining company. He assembles a group of 7 misfits who try to help the town fight back against an army of bad guys.

The story is very straightforward. The character development is excellent. 9 main roles are researched and formed into people we care about. There is a lot of horseback riding, a lot of shooting, a lot of killing, along with some burning and explosions. It earned its PG-13 rating. I liked everything about this movie more than the original that I watched on Turner Classic Movies just the other day, with the exception of the musical score. The story is believable in front of an outstanding backdrop of the Rocky Mountains during the Wild West era. This is one of the best westerns I have seen in a long time. I loved it. 5 out of 5 stars.

Published in: on September 25, 2016 at 6:22 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , ,

Movie Review: Snowden *****


Snowden is the true story about the guy who released secret NSA documents to the media. Edward Snowden is a self-taught computer coding genius who dropped out of high school, received an administrative discharge from the Army, and became a private contractor with the CIA, NSA, DIA, and other government agencies. His intellect, conscience, and loyalty are compromised when he witnesses covert operations that are deemed normal, but are morally reprehensible. He is torn about what is pragmatic, what is his job, and what is his duty. He decides to work with the press to secretly get them documents that would uncover the level of spying that the NSA is doing on regular Americans. His plan is successfully executed, he goes on the run, and gets stuck in Moscow.

I think that most people recognize Ed Snowden’s name, but do not realize exactly what he was trying to do. This film identifies Snowden and shows who he was, what he did, and why he did it. It explains the level of information that has been gathered about our enemies, our allies, and our citizens. It shows the soul searching that lead to what some will call an act of treason and others and act of patriotism. This is an important movie that will be in the news again when his asylum runs out. It may be renewed, he could be smuggled out, or he could be extradited. This story is not over, yet. Snowden wants to come home and face the consequences, but he wants to be tried in a public court. This movie is filmed like a news expose. This Oliver Stone movie is over 2 hours long. The story is told very well. There are some bonus scenes during the credits. The movie is excellent for the information it provides. The actor looks like Snowden. The story is outstanding. I loved it. 5 out of 5 stars.

Published in: on September 16, 2016 at 7:09 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , ,

Movie Review: Sully *****


Sully is the real life news movie about the airline pilot that safely landed a jet in the Hudson River. Tom Hanks plays Sully. Birds get sucked into both engines of a jet causing it to lose thrust. Without power, Sully decides to make a forced water landing, and saves the lives of everyone on board. The movie is based on the investigation that follows. It presumes Captain Sully is guilty of making a bad decision when there was an airport just a few miles away where he might have safely landed the plane. The movie focuses on the Traffic Safety Board’s investigation and Sully’s testimony that eventually leads to his exoneration.

Sully is directed by Clint Eastwood, which automatically makes it a must-see movie. The acting is great. The story is familiar, but I did not remember the details of the investigation. There are a lot of flashbacks that accurately depict Sully reliving the event to try to remember every minute detail to reason that his decision to land in the river was a better choice than hoping to make it to an airport. There are two bonus scenes during the credits that are worth waiting around to watch. I love true stories. This one gets 5 out of 5 stars.

Published in: on September 16, 2016 at 5:40 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: ,

Movie Review: War Dogs *****

movie war dogs

War Dogs is a Jonah Hill movie about civilians who sell arms during war time. It is a true story. A couple of buddies reunite a few years after high school and discover that anybody can buy and sell military equipment to the government. There is a lot of money to be made by being the middle man who puts the buyers and sellers together without ever directly handling the merchandise. They start small, but find a connection of a lifetime that could make a huge score. There is some shadiness, fear of double-crossing, and skirting of foreign and domestic laws that get them into a lot of trouble. They find a unique but ridiculous solution to their problem that just might work.

Jonah Hill is one of my favorite young actors. I liked his role in this movie. The story is real–that is what made it intriguing. The plot was set up and unraveled very well. The locations were seedy, not glamorous as many other movies project. The acting was very good and the soundtrack was outstanding. I loved this movie. 5 out of 5 stars.

Published in: on August 19, 2016 at 11:20 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: ,

Movie Review: Sausage Party *

movie sausage party

Sausage Party is a dirty animated movie starring Seth Rogan. Imagine if all of the items in a grocery store had life, personalities, and dreams. All of them are waiting for the day when they are purchased by a customer to be taken to the Great Beyond where they will be removed from their packaging to interact with other groceries and have a good time. Life in the grocery store is a big anxiety party until one of them is returned because it was the wrong flavor. He reveals that the Great Beyond is not what everyone dreams, and what goes on there is like being in a horror movie.

First off, this is a Seth Rogan movie. Secondly, it is a raunchy animated movie. Leave the kids at home. The movie was amusing. I liked the concept of groceries with hopes and dreams who are trapped inside of their packaging. This could have been a great movie if it had been done by Pixar and kept the romance, without all the cussing and sexual innuendo. I don’t know who keeps giving Seth Rogan millions of dollars to make crappy movies, but he keeps churning out awful pictures that people, like me, go to see anyway. There were 9 people in the theater at the 7:00 show on opening night. I wanted it to uproariously raunchy and funny. It wasn’t. I laughed a little. I liked the idea, but hated the finished product. I’d be stretching to give it 2 stars, so it’s a 1 out of 5 stars movie.

Published in: on August 19, 2016 at 11:19 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: ,