Tag Archives: david oyelowo

DON’T LET GO (2019) – My rating: 8/10

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!


QUEEN OF KATWE (2016) – My rating: 9.5/10

queenofkatweI really wondered how interesting a movie about the game of chess played in Africa, focused on a young girl could be. Out of curiosity and because I really like Lupita Nyong’o, I saw the movie, Queen of Katwe.  Honestly, it was beyond my expectations. I loved the way Queen of Katwe made no apologies for their impoverished country nor their impecunious people. No victims here, just extremely hard working, very poor souls, trying to ensure they had food and shelter every day for their families. This was a stretch for Disney as they tried to maintain a balance between showing a normal day to day happy and hopeful existence along side crime and extreme poverty. My emotions “runneth over” throughout the entire movie. There were many highs and lows. A mother of five children lived in what I’d describe as a shack and all who were old enough, sold maze and other items to make money for food and to pay rent. The children didn’t attend school because school wasn’t free or available. Times were particularly hard because Nakku Harriet’s (Lupita Nyong’o) husband had recently passed away. Living in the slum of Katwe in Kampala, Uganda, is an especially difficult and constant struggle for a single parent with five children to manage alone. One daughter, Night (Taryn “Kay” Kyaze) had already gone astray, and Nakku was trying desperately to keep the rest of her children in tact. One son, Benjamin (Ethan Nazario Lubega) and one daughter, Phiona Mutesi (Madina Nalwanga) met the coach of a local ministry, Robert Katende (David Oyelowo) who also played football/soccer and taught chess. This is what Queen of Katwe is all about.  Robert who is a missionary, had a whole class of semi-quasi gifted chess players who all had the potential of becoming much more. The story centers around Phiona and her younger brother Ben, who stood out among the rest, especially, 10-year old Phiona, a Ugandan chess prodigy.

Queen of Katwe, a true story, ended up being one of the most provocative stories I’ve seen this year. I absolutely loved it. The coach was brilliant, and women can learn a thing or two about how to handle and treat a husband from the coaches wife, Sara Katende (Esther Tebandeke).  Phiona’s success in local competitions and tournaments opened the door to a bright future and a golden opportunity to escape from a life of poverty.

As usual, I don’t want to tell all and spoil the story so I will urge you to go and see this fantastic movie for yourself. There is so much more to be told.  Kudos to Mira Nair, for brilliant direction of Queen of Katwe, which is more than worth your time and money to see.  You will learn something about African culture and the despair turned to hope through GOD given talents and hard work.  A win is exciting and breath taking for anyone but a win that takes you from a world so close to rock bottom and delivers that hope you’d been praying for is like none other!



A MOST VIOLENT YEAR (2014) – My rating: 7.5/10

AMostViolentYearA thought provoking, old argument comes to mind when talking about A Most Violent Year.  Can a moderate sized business prosper if that business is not willing to get into bed with the crooks and wrong doers of the business world?  This film tells the story of an immigrant who owns Standard Oil Company and wants to have a piece of the American dream.   The year is 1981, the most violent year recorded in the history of New York City.  Abel (Oscar Isaac) is interested in protecting his family, business and integrity while walking the straight and narrow, thus taking a more righteous route.   Abel Morales and his wife Anna Morales (Jessica Chastain) are being accused of tax evasion, price fixing and other wrong doing that could land them in jail, thus dissolving their company.  The district attorney, Lawrence (David Oyelowo) is watching and harassing Abel because he believes there is corruption there.  Suddenly trucks of the Standard Oil Company are being hijacked causing thousands of gallons of oil lost to Abel.  A Most Violent Year is pretty slow getting started and doesn’t really pick up too much throughout the movie.  While it’s not boring, it’s not action packed either.  It’s sort of a thriller because the audience is trying to figure out who’s behind the hijackings and what illegal part is Abel playing in the running of his company.  Oscar Isaac plays a convincing, believable role as does Jessica Chastain and David Oyelowo.  Albert Brooks brilliantly plays Andrew Walsh, the company lawyer.  Even though I liked A Most Violent Year, I recommend waiting for the DVD as there are no special effects or action sequences that rate seeing it on the big screen.