Don’t Let Go is a psychological horror-thriller directed and written by Jacob Aaron Estes, from a story by Estes and Drew Daywalt. Jason Blum serves as a producer through his Blumhouse Productions banner, alongside Bobby Cohen and David Oyelowo.
I took a chance and went to see Don’t Let Go, despite the fact I never heard of it. This one flew way under the radar, as I really enjoyed it.
Don’t Let Go starts off with Jack Radcliff (David Oyelowo) who is a homicide detective, picking up his niece Ashley Radcliff (Storm Reid) from a theater, after her parents had forgotten. Ashley is somewhat detached from her parents, especially her father Garret Radcliff (Brian Tyree Henry) due to his bipolar disorder and past years of drug abuse. Jack decides to have a stern talk with Garret about his lack of decent parenting skills. The movie goes on to show the close relationship Jack and Ashley have developed over the years.
While bogged down in paperwork, Jack receives a disturbing phone call from Ashley desperately begging for help. Jack races to their house only to find Ashley, Garret and his sister-in-law dead. He also finds a box of cocaine beside Garret, which suggests Garret killed his wife, daughter and himself after consuming too much drugs, which caused him to lose control and go into a murderous rage. Jack blamed himself, thinking that his chastising of Garret sparked this murder-suicide.
Two weeks later, Jack receives a phone call from Ashley which indicates she is still alive. Mysteriously, Ashley is calling him from the past. Jack then realizes by changing events in Ashley’s timeline will cause changes in his own time, enabling him to re-write the past. He decides to covertly help her re-arrange events in her life in the hope of preventing the murder-suicide. It quickly becomes apparent that Garret was not responsible for murdering himself and his family but was murdered by someone else. Jack and his partner Bobby (Mykelti Williamson), who is also a homicide detective and close family friend, begins to uncover evidence of an underground network of drug dealing cops working for an unknown figure called “Georgie”. Garret’s old connections to the drug underworld finally caught up with him, allegedly leading Georgie to collect some old debts and kill Garret and his family, or so it seems.
Although, Don’t Let Go, in my opinion, is a science fiction/fantasy movie, it was directed in such a way that you really start to believe this could happen. Kudos to Jacob Aaron Estes for his creativity and direction. There is a lot of story here that will require your deepest focus to keep up. Things are going to happen quickly so keep alert. “Georgie” must be cracked, the timeline must line up and Jack must convince someone that there is really a chance to turn this murder mystery around. I highly recommend Don’t Let Go — Check It Out!
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged alfred molina, Ashley Radcliff, bobby, brian tyree henry, Byron Mann, david oyelowo, Don Let Go, Garret Radcliff, howard, Jack Radcliff, mykelti williamson, Rober Lee, Shanelle Azoroh, Storm Reid, susan
Ralph Breaks the Internet (originally titled as Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2) is a 3D computer-animated comedy produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Pictures. It is the sequel to the 2012 film, Wreck-It Ralph, making it Disney’s 57th feature-length animated film. It is directed by Rich Moore and Phil Johnston (who wrote the screenplay with Pamela Ribon), and executive-produced by John Lasseter, Chris Williams, and Jennifer Lee. As far as children’s animated films go, this one was quite busy, loud and fun. I do know Ralph Breaks the Internet has received mostly positive reviews from critics, who called it a “worthy successor” and praised the animation, humor, characters, and plot, as well as the vocal performances. I’m not a big fan but I do agree the film teaches (in it’s own way) a few lessons about how the hi-tech world operates.
Six years after the first movie, Wreck-It Ralph and Vanellope von Schweetz have been best friends. They’ve been hanging out every night after work in Litwak’s Family Fun Center and Arcade. While Ralph (John C. Reilly) is content with his current life, Vanellope (Sarah Silverman) admits to being bored with her game’s predictability and wishes for something new. One day, Ralph attempts to fulfill her desires by creating a secret bonus track during a race. Vanellope overrides player control to test it out, but the resulting conflict between her and the player ends with the cabinet’s steering wheel being broken, thus, no functionality within Sugar Rush. Since the company that made Sugar Rush is defunct, one of the kids finds a replacement for Mr. Litwak (Ed O’Neill) on eBay. The only problem is Mr. Litwak deems it too expensive and has no choice but to unplug Sugar Rush from the arcade, leaving the game’s characters homeless and Sugar Rush unavailable.
Later that night, after talking with Fix-It Felix Jr., (Jack McBrayer) Ralph decides to enter the internet via Litwak’s recently installed Wi-Fi router to obtain a replacement wheel on eBay. Ralph brings Vanellope with him, and although they place a winning bid of $27,001 to obtain the wheel, they cannot pay and are obligated to finalize the purchase within 24 hours.
**** SPOILERS ****
The two turn to J.P Spamley (Bill Hader) to quickly make money, receiving a lucrative job of stealing a valuable car belonging to Shank (Gal Gadot) from the MMORPG Slaughter Race. Ralph and Vanellope steal the car, but are forced to return it. Shank compliments Vanellope’s driving skills and points the duo towards Yesss (Taraji P. Henson) at BuzzzTube, where Ralph decides to make a series of viral videos playing off popular trends to get the money. As Ralph’s videos become a viral sensation, an excited Vanellope joins Yesss’s staff in spamming users with pop-up ads. Ralph convinces Yesss to send Vanellope to a Disney fansite, where she meets and befriends the Disney Princesses, who encourage her to address her sense of unfulfillment. Vanellope reaches a musical epiphany when Ralph calls her upon earning enough money to purchase the wheel. When Vanellope does not show up at eBay, Ralph’s second call causes him to overhear her confessing to Shank that she wants to stay in Slaughter Race because its unpredictability and challenges make her feel more alive than she did in Sugar Rush. Horrified at the thought of Vanellope leaving him, Ralph turns to Spamley for a way to make Slaughter Race unsatisfying for her by slowing down everything in the game.
There’s not much to say about Ralph Breaks the Internet because it sort of speaks for itself. It’s a children’s film that is pretty well put together and even sends a good message. The adventure is long but fun for children. There are quite a few known celebrity voices that make up the movie i.e., Jane Lynch as Calhoun, Alfred Molina as Double Dan’s conjoined brother Little Dan, Taraji P. Henson as Yesss, an algorithm that determines the trending videos on BuzzzTube, and Alan Tudyk as KnowsMore. just to name a few. If you need to take your child(ren) to see a good animated movie, I recommend Ralph Breaks the Internet — Check It Out!
[Ralph breaks the Internet is Oscar nominated for Best Animated Feature Film]
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged alan tudyk, alfred molina, bill hader, buzzztube, calhoun, disney fansite, double dan, ebay, ed o'neill, fix-it felix jr, gal gadot, jack mcbrayer, jane lynch, john c reilly, jp spamley, king candy, knowsmore, mr litwak, pamela ribon, ralph, ralph breaks the internet, sarah silverman, shank, slaughter race, taraji p henson, vanellope, yesss
Vice is a biographical comedy/drama written and directed by Adam McKay. It is the second theatrical film to depict the presidency of George W. Bush, following Oliver Stone’s “W” and the third collaboration between Bale and Adams, following The Fighter and American Hustle. The plot follows Cheney in his pursuit to become the most powerful Vice President in American history. All I can say is, this film is brilliant and well put together and true.
**** SOILERS ****
Vice is narrated by Kurt (Jesse Plemons), a fictitious veteran of the Afghanistan and Iraq Wars and opens with Dick Cheney (Christian Bale) along with White House officials responding to the September 11 attacks. The film then flashes back to Wyoming, 1963, where Cheney finds work as a lineman but struggles with alcoholism, which led him to drop out of Yale. After a traffic cop stopped Cheney for driving while intoxicated, his wife Lynne Cheney (Amy Adams) convinces him to clean up his life, using powerful verbiage and ultimatums. The film then flashes forward to 1969 when Cheney finds work as a White House intern during the Nixon Administration. Working under Nixon’s economic advisor Donald Rumsfeld (Steve Carell), Cheney becomes a savvy political operative as he juggles commitments to Lynne and his two daughters Liz (Lily Rabe) and Mary Cheney (Alison Pill). While working at the White House, Cheney overhears Henry Kissinger (Kirk Bovill) discussing the secret bombing of Cambodia with President Richard Nixon (himself on film), which revealed the true power of the executive branch. Rumsfeld’s abrasive attitude leads to a suddal detachment between the two men from Nixon that worked in their favor; after Nixon’s resignation, Cheney rises to the position of White House Chief of Staff under President Gerald Ford (Bill Camp) while Rumsfeld becomes Secretary of Defense.
After Ford is voted out of office, Cheney runs to be representative for Wyoming. After giving an awkward and uncharismatic campaign speech, Cheney suffers his first heart attack. While he recovers, Lynne campaigns on her husband’s behalf, helping him to win a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. During the Reagan Administration, Cheney supports a raft of conservative, pro-business policies favoring the fossil fuel industries. Cheney next serves as Secretary of Defense under President George H. W. Bush (Sam Rockwell) during the Gulf War. Outside of politics, Cheney and Lynne come to terms with their younger daughter Mary coming out as gay. Though Cheney develops ambitions to run for president, he decides to retire from public life to spare Mary from media scrutiny.
During the presidency of Bill Clinton, Cheney becomes the CEO of Halliburton while his wife Lynne raises golden retrievers and writes books. A false epilogue claims that Cheney lived the rest of his life healthy and happy in the private sector and the credits roll, only for the film to continue. Cheney is invited to become running mate to George W. Bush during the 2000 United States presidential election. Recognizing that the younger Bush is more interested in pleasing his father than attaining power for himself, Cheney agrees on the condition that Bush delegates “mundane” executive responsibilities like energy and foreign policy to him. As Vice President, Cheney works with Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld, legal counsel David Addington (Don McManus) and Chief of Staff Scooter Libby (Justin Kirk) to exercise control of key foreign policy and defense decisions throughout Washington.
I especially enjoyed Vice because I am sort of a political junky. I th0ught Vice was well thought out and outlined Cheney’s agenda as close to the truth as possible. For those who are not that political, Vice was easy to understand and delivered it’s message for all to process. 44 year old Christian Bale had to gain 40 pounds for the role of Cheney and was barely recognizable. I’ve provided a picture of the transformation from Bale to Cheney — now that’s dedication. I think Vice is worth seeing, you will learn a lot of not so good historical events such as the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq, caused by Cheney. There is also a monologue at the end of the film you wouldn’t want to miss. Vice will probably be nominated for an Oscar. Check it Out!
[Vice is Oscar nominated for BEST: Picture, Supporting Actress, Actor, Supporting Actor, Director, Original Screenplay, Makeup and Hairstyling and Best Film Editing]
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS, STREAMING
Tagged adam barley, aidan gail, alex macnicoll, alfred molina, alison pill, amy adams, antonin scalia, Bill Camp, cailee spaeny, christian bale, colin powell, colyse harger, condoleezza rice, david addinton, dick cheney, don mcmanus, donald rumsfeld, eddie marsan, edna vincent, fay materson, frank luntz, george tenet, george w bush, gerald ford, henry kissinger, jesse plemons, jillian armenante, joan, joseph beck, justin kirk, karen hughes, karl rove, kirk bovill, kurt, lily rabe, lisa Gay Hamilton, liz cheney, lynne cheney, mary cheney, matthew jacobs, naomi watts, paul perri, paul wolfowitz, sam rockwell, scooter libby, shea whigham, stefania lavie owens, stephen adly guirgis, steve carell, trent lott, tyler perry, vice, violet hicks, wayne vincent