Category Archives: CURRENT MOVIE REVIEWS

Hope you enjoy my movie reviews which reflect my opinion of the many movies I’ve enjoyed or not!

DADDY’S HOME 2 (2017) – My rating: 7/10

Daddy’s Home 2 is a comedy sequel to Daddy’s Home directed by Sean Anders and written by Anders and John Morris.  While it was descent, it wasn’t as good.  It starts out pretty mundane before it builds up to the comedy you though you came to see and there’s not quite enough of that to make it the hit of the original.

Daddy’s Home 2 is all set from the events of the first film with Dusty Mayron (Mark Wahlberg) and Sara Mayron (Linda Cardellini) divorced from each other with 2 children, Dylan Mayron (Owen Vaccaro) and Megan Mayron (Scarlett Estevez).  Sara is now Sara Whitaker and remarried to Brad Whitaker (Will Ferrell) with a new baby (Griffy).  Dusty Mayron is also remarried to Karen (Alessandra Ambrosio) who is divorced from Roger (John Cena), they have 1 child, Adrianna (DiDi Costine) who is now Dusty’s difficult stepdaughter. In this sequel, Dusty and Brad who are now  “besties” must deal with their fathers, who are coming to visit for the holidays.  It’s going to be quite the showdown right from the start, when they meet at the airport. Brad’s father Don Whitaker (John Lithgow), who is sweet and kind vs Dusty’s father, Kurt Mayron (Mel Gibson) who is rugged and manly, must find a way to get along during their stay. The criticisms start to fly from Kurt immediately but most of it goes over Don’s head because he so nice.  The airport scenes give Daddy’s Home 2 a lift but that might be the pinnacle of the movie for most.  There are a few more remotely funny scenes but nothing earth shattering.  There are some pretty good lessons to be learned about getting along and surviving extended family situations but all in all, I recommend waiting for Blu-ray or DVD.
 

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THE FOREIGNER (2017) – My rating: 8/10

The Foreigner is a 2017 action thriller film directed by Martin Campbell and written by David Marconi and is based on the 1992 novel, The Chinaman by Stephen Leather. I was thrilled at the aspect of seeing a movie featuring Jackie Chan without a comedic sidekick. I wasn’t too happy with the reviews The Foreigner received. This is why I like to see and judge for myself. Needless to say, I disagree with the critics, as I liked the movie.

Ngoc Minh Quan (Jackie Chan) is a retired Vietnam War special forces operator who currently owns his own Chinese restaurant in London. The film opens with Quan and his teenage daughter Fan (Katie Leung), engaged in conversation as he drops her off at a boutique. While Quan is parking the car, a bomb goes off in the boutique killing everyone inside and injuring Quan and others outside. Responsibility for the bombing was claimed by a group called the “Authentic UDI”. Distraught and deeply grieved, Quan seeks revenge for the death of his only living family by attempting to bribe a Scotland Yard officer, Richard Bromley (Ray Fearon) for the names of the bombers, however Bromley refuses to accept the bribe or reveal any information. Convinced Commander Bromley was a dead end,  Quan focuses on Irish deputy minister Liam Hennessy (Pierce Brosnan), who he heard speak publicly about his status as a former leader of the Unionist forces, while condemning the bombing. Keyi Lam (Liu Tao), Quan’s co-worker and personal friend, attempts to console and convince him to move on, but he refuses to be swayed and eventually leaves for Belfast to meet Hennessy. Hennessy claims to have no knowledge of the bombing or its perpetrators, but Quan does not believe him. His queries escalate until he becomes fixated on Hennessy, setting off a homemade bomb in his office and threatening more unless he gets the bombers’ names. Hennessy is angered by Quan’s persistence and hires one of his staff to investigate him.  Quan originally escaped from Vietnam to Singapore where he and his family were attacked by Thai pirates. He and his wife looked on hopelessly as their two daughters were raped and murdered by the pirates. As he tried to fight them off, he and his wife were thrown overboard and she later died giving birth to their daughter Fan.

Although Hennessy actually ordered the bombings as warnings that would serve partly as a political ploy to solidify the radical factions, he does not know who the bombers are, just that they are rogue members of the UDI. He is really outraged that no warnings were given and civilians were killed. Hennessy tries to identify the bombers by changing the code words they use after any bombings are carried out, but the rogue members catch on and outwit him.  Despite his ignorance, Hennessy’s dirty politics and shenanigans are responsible for Fan’s death and the bombings taking place all over London.

At this point, The Foreigner is just getting started.  Hennessy and Quan are involved in many twist as Quan unravels the answers to who actually set off the bomb that killed his daughter.  While Quan’s role is totally unbelievable, I liked the action and understood the mission, plus I was entertained.  Too bad we couldn’t really expose the truth about actual dirty politicians who spend tax payers money for their own agendas or be held responsible for the death of innocent people.  If you could get past the fantasy of it all, this would be a significant movie.  For now, we’ll just have to dream.  Although Jackie Chan is maturing, he is still able to kick ass!  The foreigner is worth checking out.

 

JUSTICE LEAGUE (2017) – My rating: 8/10

Justice League is a superhero film based on the DC Comics superhero team of the same name consisting of Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Aquaman, and Cyborg. The film is directed by Zack Snyder with a screenplay by Chris Terrio and Joss Whedon, from a story by Terrio and Snyder. There are many reasons I’m glad Justice League was created.  I was a very unhappy camper when they decided to kill off Superman, especially by the likes of Batman, who actually has no super powers.  That was the biggest injustice in super hero history, in my opinion.  Justice League redeemed that unfortunate event, which made my day.  I also got to see Aquaman in all his glorious action, which also made my day.  So much eye candy, so little time!  I was well entertained as well.

Thousands of years ago, Steppenwolf (Ciarán Hinds), an alien military officer from Apokolips and his army of Parademons attempted to conquer and remake Earth through the combined energies of three “Mother Boxes”. They were foiled by a unified army that included Olympian Gods, Amazons, Atlanteans, humans, and Green Lanterns. After repelling Steppenwolf’s army, the Mother Boxes were separated and hidden in three locations around the world.

In the present, all the world is in mourning over the death of Superman (Henry Cavill), which has triggered the Mother Boxes to reactivate along with Steppenwolf’s return to Earth in an effort to regain favor with his master, Darkseid.  When Steppenwolf retrieves a Mother Box from Themyscira, Amazonian Queen Hippolyta (Connie Nielsen) warns her daughter, Diana Prince / Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), of his return by lighting the invasion fire located in the palace.  As a result, Diana joins Bruce Wayne / Batman (Ben Affleck) in an attempt to unite other Meta-humans.  Bruce Wayne goes after Arthur Curry  / Aquaman (Jason Momoa), a member of the Justice League and heir to the throne of the undersea nation of Atlantis and Barry Allen / Flash (Ezra Miller), also a member of the Justice League and a Central City University student, who can move at superhuman speeds due to his ability to tap into the Speed Force. Diana Prince tries to locate Victor Stone / Cyborg (Ray Fisher), another member of the Justice League and a former college athlete who, after being cybernetically reconstructed after a near fatal car accident, has powers that allow him to fly, turn his arms into cannons, and manipulate technology.  Once the team is assembled, they go into action to keep Steppenwolf from acquiring all three of the Mother Boxes, but fail.  The team receives intel from James Gordon (J. K. Simmons), the Commissioner of the Gotham City Police Department and close ally of Batman, leading them to Steppenwolf’s army, based in an abandoned facility under Gotham Harbor.

As usual, I’ve said enough.  The story gets even more interesting and how the Justice League keeps Earth from being destroyed by Steppenwolf is exciting.  Flash and another member of the Justice League have similar powers and are always in competition.  There are many funny scenes, as well as  lots of muscle flexing.  Alfred Pennyworth (Jeremy Irons) stepped up his role as Bruce Wayne’s butler, chief of security and trusted confidant.  Also Diane Lane reappears as Martha Kent and Amy Adams as Lois Lane.  Justice League is a great super hero film with an all-star cast and a good story to back it up.  I recommend it to all – check it out for yourself!
 

THOR: RAGNAROK (2017) – My rating: 9/10

Thor: Ragnarok is a superhero action film based on the Marvel Comics character Thor and is the sequel to 2013’s Thor: The Dark World. The film is directed by Taika Waititi from a screenplay by Eric Pearson and the writing team of Craig Kyle and Christopher Yost.  It is my humble opinion that Thor: Ragnarok is the best of the Thor trilogy.  It’s well written with an excellent plot and an enjoyable host of characters, new and old.  As of late, we’ve been bombarded with super heroes and gods from other planets as well as AFI, cyborgs, robots and transforming machines that come to save or destroy the world, in abundance.  Not that Thor is not more of the aforementioned group, it’s just more relatable and pleasant in terms of the human aspect.

Thor opens two years after the Battle of Sokovia with Thor (Chris Hemsworth) imprisoned by the fire demon Surtur (Clancy Brown (voice)) on the alien planet of Sakaar.  Surtur reveals that Thor’s father, Odin (Anthony Hopkins) is no longer on Asgard and that the realm will soon be destroyed in the prophesied Ragnarök once he successfully unites his crown with the Eternal Flame that burns beneath the city.  Thor manages to break loose and defeat Surtur, confiscating the crown and stopping the impending Ragnarök.

Thor returns to Asgard to find his adopted brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston) posing as his father. Thor forces Loki to help him find their father and with directions from Dr. Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) on Earth, they locate Odin in Norway. Odin explains that he is dying, and that his passing will allow his firstborn child, Hela (Cate Blanchett), to escape from a prison she was sealed in long ago. Hela had been the leader of Asgard’s armies, and had conquered the Nine Realms with Odin, but had been imprisoned and written out of history after her ambitions became too great. Odin dies, and Hela appears. She destroys Thor’s hammer Mjolnir, and when Thor and Loki attempt to flee through the Bifröst Bridge, she pursues them and forces them out into space to die. Hela arrives in Asgard, destroying its army and the Warriors Three; resurrects the ancient dead who once fought with her, including her giant wolf Fenris; and appoints the Asgardian Skurge (Karl Urban) as her executioner. She plans to use the Bifröst to expand Asgard’s empire, but Heimdall (Idris Elba) covertly steals the sword that controls the Bridge, and hides away with the rest of Asgard’s citizens.

Thor crash-lands on Sakaar, a garbage planet surrounded by wormholes. He is captured by a bounty hunter named Scrapper 142 / Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson), and taken to serve as a gladiator for the planet’s ruler, the Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum), with whom Loki has already become ingratiated. Thor recognizes 142 as one of the Valkyrior, a legendary force of female fighters who were killed defending Asgard from Hela long ago. Thor is forced to compete in the Grandmaster’s Contest of Champions, facing his old friend the Hulk / Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo).

As you can see, Thor: Ragnarok has extensive content.  This is just an introduction into a brilliant story of survival, love and leadership with loads of action and fantasy.  There are more twist and turns than I can count and I promise, you won’t be bored.  I loved all the character revivals and introductions.  Good job, good message, good movie and brilliant acting.

I’ve provided some additional history into a few of the characters, compliments of : Kevin Feige, Taika Waititi and the cast of Thor: Ragnarok at the 2017 San Diego Comic-Con

WARNING — LOTS OF SPOILERS BELOW:

  • Chris Hemsworth as Thor:
    The crown prince of Asgard based on the Norse mythological deity of the same name, who has become a “lone gunslinger” searching for the Infinity Stones. Hemsworth had become “a bit bored” with the character after portraying Thor four times previously, and wanted to take some risks and experiment: the character has shorter hair in the film, wears a different outfit, his hammer Mjolnir is destroyed and he loses an eye. Director Taika Waititi added that “stripping” the character down like this allowed him to become a refugee at the end of the film. Waititi also wanted to use more of Hemsworth’s comedic talents showcased in films like Vacation (2015) and Ghostbusters (2016), and cited Kurt Russell’s portrayal of Jack Burton from Big Trouble in Little China as an influence on the character.
  • Tom Hiddleston as Loki:
    Thor’s adoptive brother and nemesis based on the deity of the same name.  Hiddleston was interested in how Loki’s attitude has changed, saying, “he is always a trickster. It is trying to find new ways for him to be mischievous”. As the ruler of Asgard since the end of Thor: The Dark World, Hiddleston notes that “Loki has devoted most of his efforts to narcissistic self-glorification. Not so much on good governance.” He also added that “the idea that Thor might be indifferent to Loki is troubling for him, because that’s a defining feature of his character … ‘My brother doesn’t love me; I hate my brother.’ And the idea his brother’s like, yeah, whatever, it’s an interesting development.”
  • Cate Blanchett as Hela:
    Odin’s first born child and the goddess of death, based on the deity Hel, who is inadvertently released from her prison. Blanchett noted the difficulty of playing the role in a motion capture suit rather than costume, feeling the character’s headdress is “such a huge part of when she comes into the height of her powers in the film”. Hela’s design was taken from Thor: God of Thunder by Jason Aaron, while the character Gorr from that comic, who has the ability “to manifest an infinite number of weapons”, inspired a similar ability for Hela. Blanchett worked with stuntwoman Zoë Bell, Hemsworth’s personal trainer Luke Zocchi, and studied capoeira for the role.
  • Idris Elba as Heimdall:
    The all-seeing, all-hearing Asgardian sentry of the Bifröst Bridge, based on the deity of the same name, who has gone into self-imposed exile during Loki’s reign. After Hela invades Asgard, he helps to hide its vulnerable citizens. Describing Heimdall’s character arc in the film, Winderbaum says, “he’s gone from this elder statesmen, the gatekeeper to Asgard, to this badass warrior-wizard character who lives in the hills and kicks a lot of ass throughout the entire film.”
  • Jeff Goldblum as Grandmaster:
    One of the Elders of the Universe who rules the planet Sakaar, and enjoys manipulating lesser life-forms. Goldblum described the character as “a hedonist, a pleasure-seeker, an enjoyer of life and tastes and smells”. He also said that Waititi encouraged improvisation in order for Goldblum to “make [the character his] own”. Waititi explained that Grandmaster does not have blue skin in the film as the character does in the comics, because Goldblum had already played a blue-colored character in Earth Girls Are Easy, and because Waititi did not want to detract from Goldblum’s personality by concealing his appearance. Grandmaster is the brother of Benicio del Toro’s Collector from Guardians of the Galaxy, and producer Kevin Feige expressed interest in seeing the two together in a future film.
  • Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie:
    A tough, hard-drinking Asgardian bounty hunter, based on the mythological being Brynhildr, who was once a legendary warrior of the Valkyrior and now works for the Grandmaster under the designation “Scrapper 142”. Thompson said the various versions of the character from the comics “left us a lot of leeway” in creating the film version.[20] Waititi “wanted to make sure we weren’t making a female character that was boring and pretty” and Feige said Marvel wanted to pair Thor with a love interest more his equal than Jane Foster. Thompson was inspired by pictures of Linda Hamilton as Sarah Connor in Terminator 2: Judgment Day while training for the role and worked with dialect coach Andrew Jack to create an Asgardian-sounding accent that was different enough to sound like she had been away from there for a long time. Thompson will appear in future MCU films.
  • Karl Urban as Skurge:
    An Asgardian warrior, who guards the Bifröst Bridge in Heimdall’s absence and chooses to join Hela to survive. Urban shaved his head for the role, and worked out to “get into the zone and feel” the part even though his body is hidden under a costume. Urban said Skurge “makes a deal with the devil” and becomes Hela’s “henchman. He does the dirty jobs. And that sort of is something he has to—it plays on his conscience.”
  • Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner / Hulk:
    A genius scientist who, because of exposure to gamma radiation, transforms into a monster when enraged or agitated. He becomes a successful and popular gladiator on Sakaar. He is in “perma-Hulk mode”, having suppressed the Banner side for a few years, and forming the vocabulary “of a toddler” with the level of Hulk’s speech being “a big conversation” between Waititi and Marvel since it was taking into account future appearances for the character. Ragnarok begins an arc for the character that continues in Avengers: Infinity War and its untitled sequel, stemming from discussions Ruffalo had with Feige.  Ruffalo felt Hulk was “much more of a character than the green rage machine you’ve seen in the Avengers movies. He’s got a swagger.” Waititi provided additional motion capture for the Hulk after Ruffalo had completed his scenes.
  • Anthony Hopkins as Odin:
    The king of Asgard, father of Thor, and adoptive father of Loki, based on the deity of the same name. The character is in exile on Earth, and was originally intended to be a “crazy-looking” hobo on the streets of New York City, but Waititi ultimately felt that this was tragic rather than funny given the character’s death during the sequence. The sequence was changed to take place in Norway, to “honor” the character’s past and be more authentic to his role as a king of Asgard. Waititi was surprised by the improvisational ability of Hopkins after he was told “to be funny and to really destroy what’s come before [with the role] and recreate it.”

Additionally, Tadanobu Asano, Ray Stevenson, and Zachary Levi reprise their roles as Hogun, Volstagg, and Fandral, respectively, members of the Warriors Three.  They are all killed early in the film, which Feige called “noble ends” that served to establish the threat of Hela and the danger she poses to the main characters. Benedict Cumberbatch reprises his role as Stephen Strange from the film Doctor Strange. Rachel House, who has appeared in several of Waititi’s films, plays Topaz, the Grandmaster’s bodyguard, while Waititi portrays Korg, a gladiator who befriends Thor. Waititi provided a motion-capture performance for the character, who is made of rocks, and wanted to do something different by having the character be soft-spoken, ultimately basing Korg’s voice on that of Polynesian bouncers. Waititi also provided the motion-capture performance for the fire demon Surtur, based on the mythological being Surtr, with Clancy Brown providing the voice for that character. Thor co-creator Stan Lee makes a cameo appearance as a man on Sakaar who cuts Thor’s hair. There are also several cameos in a sequence where Asgardian actors perform a play based on the events of The Dark World: Sam Neill, who Waititi previously worked with on Hunt for the Wilderpeople, plays the Odin actor; Luke Hemsworth, brother of Chris, plays the Thor actor; and Matt Damon plays the Loki actor.

MOTHER! (2017) – My rating: 5.5/10

Mother is a demonic horror story written and directed by Darren Aronofsky.  I really dislike horror movies, especially demonic horror movies but I watched this one to settle a dispute about the subject matter.  Jennifer Lawrence stated the following:   the film is an allegory: “It depicts the rape and torment of Mother Earth … I represent Mother Earth; Javier, whose character is a poet, represents a form of God, a creator; Michelle Pfeiffer is an Eve to Ed Harris’s Adam, there’s Cain and Abel and the setting sometimes resembles the Garden of Eden.”

Instead of GOD, I saw Lucifer. Instead of just Cain and Abel, I also  saw Jacob and Esau.  I didn’t see Adam or Eve, as the Devil only interacted with Eve, then Eve with Adam, in Mother the opposite took place.  I have no thoughts on Mother Earth and I saw no beauty in their home or wallpaper that would reflect the Garden of Eden. In fact, I found the whole analogy insulting.

Mother opens in a house that has recently been burned by fire, Him (Javier Bardem), an acclaimed author struggling with severe writer’s block, places a crystal object in a pedestal. Upon placement of the crystal object, the house transforms to suddenly look newly renovated, while in a bed, mother (Jennifer Lawrence) is ‘formed’ magically and wakes up, wondering aloud where Him is. She starts seeing questionable visions around the house that are unsettling, including visualizing a beating heart within the walls.

One day, man (Ed Harris) shows up at the house, asking for a room. Him happily agrees while Mother reluctantly follows suit. During his stay, Man experiences prolonged coughing fits and Mother catches a glimpse of a fresh wound by his rib area before her husband covers it with his hand. The following day, Man’s wife, woman (Michelle Pfeiffer), arrives, expecting to stay as well. Mother is annoyed with her guests, while Him begs her to let them stay, telling Mother that the guests are fans of his work and that the male guest is dying, and wanted to meet Him. However, when Man and Woman accidentally break and shatter the crystallized object, Mother decides to kick them out.

Before leaving, Man and Woman’s two sons arrive and start to fight over the will their father left. The oldest son (Domhnall Gleeson), who will be left with nothing, mortally injures his younger brother (Brian Gleeson), and flees, while Him, Man, and Woman take the injured son to get help. Upon returning, Him informs Mother that the son has died. Dozens of people begin arriving at the house for a wake for the dead son. More people arrive, and behave in a way that bothers Mother; she becomes angrier and eventually snaps when they flood the house. She kicks everyone out. Angry with Him for allowing so many people into the house for his own pleasure and ignoring her, she berates him before the two have sex.

The next morning, Mother announces that she is pregnant. The news leaves Him elated and inspires him to finish his work. A few months later, Mother prepares for the arrival of their child and reads Him’s newest piece, which is so beautiful it drives her to tears. Upon publication, it immediately sells out every copy. In celebration, Mother prepares dinner for him when a group of fans arrives at the house. As she barricades herself in her home, more fans arrive and begin to enter the house to use the bathroom. Their behavior devolves into stealing their belongings as keepsakes, and disrupting the environment. An increasingly disoriented Mother makes her way around the house as each room devolves into chaos.

At this point, you’re either hating or loving this deranged movie.  It’s confusing, and unclear as to why Him is allowing this madness to occur.  Things are heating up and the scenes that follow are nothing less than despicable.  The second set of so-called-fans make the previous set look like angels.  Mother ends up giving birth in all the chaos.  The military arrives, rituals begin, the house is destroyed and the unthinkable happens.  There is no rhyme or reason to this film, except a mixture of evil vs innocence and naivete.  You’ll meet the ending with a mixture of anger, frustration, confusion and horror.  Mother puts senseless killing, and poor judgement in a place it shouldn’t be and allows us to take a look at a darkness that not only scares us but brands us helpless.  Not a good place.  Not a good movie.  I’m surprised at all the stars that consented to participate in this story of pure evil.  Not a good feeling, not a good time to share.  See Mother at your own risk!

NOTES:  Aronofsky said that the title’s exclamation mark “reflects the spirit of the film” and corresponds to an “exclamation point” of the ending. The director discussed the film’s unusual capitalization in a Reddit AMA, saying, “To find out why there’s a lowercase ‘m’, read the credits and look for the letter that isn’t capitalised. Ask yourself what’s another name for this character?” The characters’ names are all shown in lowercase, except for Him.

The lighter which appears throughout the film bears the Wendehorn, a symbol believed to represent “the cooperation between nature’s eternal laws, working in effect and in accordance with each other.” One of the film’s unexplained elements is the yellow powder Lawrence’s character drinks, which The Daily Beast suggests is a reference to Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s short story “The Yellow Wallpaper”.

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SUBURBICON (2017) – My rating: 7/10

Suburbicon is a dark comedy directed by George Clooney and written by George Clooney, Joel Coen, Ethan Coen, and Grant Heslov. The movie is set in a new, up and coming suburban neighborhood in the year 1959.  Racism, hate and just plane stupidity runs rampart throughout the community of Suburbicon.  I’m not sure this is what America needs right now with all the crap we’re already putting up with these days.

The attraction to this advertised, peaceful, all-white neighborhood called Suburbicon was no blacks, no crime, no crowds and no traffic.  When an African-American family moves in, everything changes.  The natives grow restless and start a situation that pales by comparison to anything bad they thought Blacks would cause.  Right in their own backyard Gardner Lodge (Matt Damon) and his wife, Rose Lodge (Juliann Moore) would experience their own crime when robbed by a couple of white men who breaks into their home and chloroform Gardner, Rose, Margaret (Juliann Moore), Rose’s twin sister and Nicky Lodge, (Noah Jupe) Gardner and Rose’s son.

Between this highly racist neighborhood, and the scary, murderous Lodge family, you’re in for a crazy ride of anger and a whole lot of senseless murder.  At some point you are not even sure of what you are seeing or hearing, especially after a police lineup leaves you somewhat confused.  It all starts to become clear as the whole neighborhood gets out of control and bodies start dropping.  The film becomes ambiguous again when the next day comes and the cleanup begins and the film ends with no explanation as to the prognosis for the neighborhood, the Black family or Nicky.  You’d have to see this one yourself to make your own determination as to the value of Suburbicon.  These writers have a pretty sick mind, but then we are talking the Coen brothers and George Clooney.

 

MARSHALL (2017) – My rating: 8.5/10

Marshall is a biographical drama directed by Reginald Hudlin and written by Michael and Jacob Koskoff and is based, in part, on the life of Thurgood Marshall – July 2, 1908 – January 24, 1993.  His original name was Thoroughgood, but he shortened it to Thurgood. His father, William Marshall, worked as a railroad porter, and his mother Norma, as a teacher; they instilled in him an appreciation for the United States Constitution and the rule of law.

Thurgood Marshall (Chadwick Boseman), who was the first African-American to be appointed to the position of Supreme Court Justice served from October 1967 until October 1991. He not only was the 96th justice but was famous for successfully arguing 29 of 32 cases before the Supreme Court, including Brown v. Board of Education, which resulted in the outlaw of racial segregation in schools.

The film focuses on one of the first cases of Thurgood’s career as a lawyer, working for the NAACP.  While Thurgood Marshall was not allowed to actually defend the case, (as ordered by The Judge – James Cromwell), he served as a non-speaking consultant, while Sam Friedman (Josh Gad), an insurance lawyer who teamed with Marshall, actually defended the accused in the State of Connecticut v. Joseph Spell (Sterling K. Brown). Eleanor Strubing (Kate Hudson) a rich, former model married to John Strubing (Jeremy Bobb), a successful advertising businessman accuses her chauffeur of rape and attempted murder for which he pleads not guilty.  After listening to Spell’s story, the NAACP decided to back him and put Marshall on the case.  Racism ran rampart throughout the trial. The reality that a Black man had his way with a White woman really showed in disgust on John Strubing’s face throughout the proceedings.  The judge did all that he could in favor of the victim.  This is a movie worth seeing, as it is well acted and a credit to the accomplishments of Thurgood Marshall. Below are 2 pictures of Thurgood taken in 1936, and 1967.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marshall doesn’t depict Justice Marshall’s entire career and doesn’t highlight his best trials but does make the public aware of his brilliance and struggles along his legendary journey.  I really enjoyed Marshall although I wished they explored more of his life.  Check it out, there’s a lot here to learn.

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