Black and Blue is an action thriller directed by Deon Taylor from a screenplay by Peter A. Dowling. Unsure if I wanted to see this movie, I decided to go after a few family members told me they enjoyed it. The film follows a rookie police officer who goes on the run after she witnesses two corrupt police officers murder an informant/drug dealer. Usually not my cup of tea, but it was well done.
Black and Blue opens in the year 2019 when a U.S. Army veteran Alicia West (Naomie Harris) returns to her hometown in New Orleans. Now back, she is recruited into the city’s police department. Alicia is reminded by her new partner Officer Kevin Jennings (Reid Scott) about the differences of residing in the community where she grew up and being a police officer servicing that same neighborhood. The two officers seemed to have a relatively good relationship. Later that day, Kevin gets assigned to work night duty, paired with Officer Deacon Brown (James Moses Black) on a night he had planned a romantic date with his girl. Alicia sacrificed her evening and took Kevin’s place so he could go on his date.
**** SLIGHT SPOILERS BELOW ****
Officer Deacon, who was against Alicia working with him, drives to an abandoned warehouse and tells Alicia to wait for backup as he goes to investigate. While waiting in the car, Alicia hears gunshots coming from the warehouse, so she heads into the building, armed with a Glock pistol and a vest fitted with a body cam. There, she witnesses Deacon along with two obviously corrupt police officers, murder an unarmed drug dealer. The lead officer, Terry Malone (Frank Grillo), tries to explain the situation to Alicia but Officer Smitty (Beau Knapppanics) panics when he notices Alicia is wearing body cam. He instantly shoots Alicia, causing her to fall and crash through the partly open floorboards, landing her at least 30 feet below. When the police officers investigated the scene, Alicia was gone. And so, the chase began. A wounded Alicia tries to get help from the community but no one was willing to risk getting involved with a wounded police officer, except a reluctant old friend from school, Milo “Mouse” Jackson (Tyrese Gibson). And so the plot thickens!
I didn’t know what was going to make Black and Blue different from other movies in this genre. After seeing the film I think Black and Blue is different enough to recommend it to all you moviegoers. The film has a decent plot and an ideal cast playing the roles. The biggest issue I had with this movie was the Hollywood version of what a ghetto looks like. In this case, it was somewhat a disaster. I felt the environment was overdone and had a cheesy look about it. It wasn’t lively enough nor was there enough folks occupying the streets. Tyrese Gibson and Naomie Harris gave brilliant performances as did Frank Grillo, who practically stole the show. There was just the right amount of action and desperation of the corrupt police trying to get the body cam which held evidence against them. The excitement level eventually had you on the edge of your seat. “Black and Blue” was nicely done with an epic ending. I highly recommend the film. Check It Out!
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged Alicia West, Beau Knapp, Black and Blue, Darius Terrow, Deacon Brown, frank grillo, Frankie Smith, James Moses Black, Kevin Jennings, mike colter, Milo "Mouse" Jackson, Missy, Nafessa Williams, naomie harris, Reid Scott, Smitty, Terry Malone, Tez, tyrese gibson
Here we are, back for the third Purge movie. Shockingly, the second was better than the first and the third is better than the second, which makes this one the best of the sequels. The concept is still ridiculous but the movie was really good. There’s quite a bit going on in The Purge: Election Year however, I’ll keep the story telling short, as not to give away too many spoilers, even though it’s pretty much the same as the first two. The US government feels by giving all people in the United States the freedom to murder anyone they please, with no penalty, once a year, for a period of 12 hours, will keep crime down and allow those with pent up stress and frustrations to release their anxieties. Hospitals and all other emergency facilities are shut down for those 12 hours. Also, there is no help available like police, firemen or transportation during the purge. In Election Year, Senator Charlie Roan, (Elizabeth Mitchell) who is running for President, is the soul survivor of the purge of 2022 (18 years ago) when her entire family was murdered right in front of her. She is determined to put a stop to this insane idea of a purge. However, there is an entire government organization called the NFFA who wants to keep it going because their agenda is to eliminate all the poor and homeless people so they won’t have to take care of them. This will eliminate government programs like welfare, child care and food stamps. The NFFA, headed by Caleb Warren, (Raymond J. Barry) view Roan as a threat to their new world order and plot to use the upcoming Purge to eliminate her as a presidential candidate. There’s no one you can trust. Former police sergeant Leo Barnes, (Frank Grillo) is Roan’s bodyguard who loss a son due to a drunk driver accident, is hell bent on protecting Roan. There are side stories that are very interesting and shows us that there are some very sick people in the world (and that’s not just movie talk). Convenience store and deli owner Joe Dixon, (Mykelti Williamson) finds his insurance company is abandoning him the night before the purge, leaving him without any way to defend his only source of income but himself. There are vigilante groups out in the streets trying to help those stranded during this horrific time which harbors more corruption than one could imagine. Opposing Senator Roan is Minister Edwidge Owens, (Kyle Secor) a New Founding Father (NFFA) member set up as a presidential candidate to maintain the status quo, who is also the epitome of nefarious. Plans are put into motion surrounding purge night and we get to see whether or not they work out. This movie is both surprising and entertaining. It’s sure to get your dander up. I was on the edge of my seat. I was surprised for a third time, as I did not want to see the Purge series. It’s certainly school for thought — I hope this could never happen. In my option The Purge: Election Year is worth seeing.
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged caleb warren, charlie roan, elizabeth mitchell, frank grillo, joe dixon, kyle secor, leo barnes, minister edwidge owens, mykelti williamson, nffa, raymond j barry, the purge: election year
In my opinion, Civil War is the best Captain America to date. I absolutely loved this movie. It even addressed the over the top destruction I often talk about in these types of movies. In fact, you might say destruction, carelessness, and thoughtlessness are the themes of Civil War. It also addressed the diversity issue of giving Blacks better roles, although these types of movies are never nominated for Oscars. This third movie in the Captain America series starts out with Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) trying to displace a blast into the sky using telekinesis. However, a nearby building is destroyed killing several Wakandan humanitarian workers. This causes the US Secretary of State, Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross (William Hurt) to expedite preparation of the Sokovia Accords that will establish a United Nations panel to oversee and control the Avengers as well as the Superhuman Registration Act. Due to the deaths of innocent by-standers and guilt about Ultron’s creation and Sokovia’s destruction, Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey, Jr.) supports the Accords. Steve Rogers/Captain America (Chris Evans) however, places his faith and judgement in himself and the team rather than the government. The Accords causes a major conflict between the two leaders and they end up so divided, they go off in separate directions to fight the good fight. NOTE: [The TV series, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. makes mention of the Accords as do the coming attractions of the X-men.] In the meanwhile, at a conference in Vienna where the Accords are to be ratified, a bomb is detonated killing King T’Chaka (John Kani) of Wakanda. Security footage indicates the bomber is Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan), who T’Chaka’s son, T’Challa/Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) vows to kill. Information provided by Sharon Carter (Emily VanCamp), who is the niece of Captain America’s deceased girlfriend, Peggy Carter, informs Rogers of Barnes’ whereabouts and the government’s intention to kill him. Rogers decides to apprehend Barnes himself, since Barnes is his childhood friend and war comrade. Barnes is brainwashed, his handler has been killed and a book containing a series of words that allows one to totally control him is being sought after by the killer. This is just the beginning of an exciting 2 and a half hour movie. Stark and Rogers really go at it, forming two independent teams. James “Rhodey” Rhodes/War Machine (Don Cheadle), Peter Parker/Spider-Man (Tom Holland), Scott Lang/Ant Man (Paul Rudd), Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Sam Wilson/Falcon (Anthony Mackie), Android: Vision (Paul Bettany) and Brock Rumlow/Crossbones (Frank Grillo) make up some other participants of the two opposing teams. Helmut Zemo (Daniel Brühl; is a Sokovian Colonel turned terrorist obsessed with defeating the Avengers), Aunt May Parker (Marisa Tomei; plays Spider-Man’s Aunt), Miriam Sharpe (Alfre Woodard; is a grieving mother who lost her son and blames Stark. Howard Stark (John Slattery; is Tony Stark’s father) and Maria Stark (Hope Davis; is Tony Stark’s mother). We learn what really happened to Stark’s parents — it wasn’t very pretty and didn’t make matters any better between the super heroes.
As usual, I’ve said enough and have to stop at this point in order not to give away any more of this fascinating story. I can only say there is so much more to come. I found Captain America: Civil War very interesting and highly recommend that you see it on the big screen. Even though I saw it in Real 3D, I didn’t really see a need for it. Your time will be well worth spending to see Civil War. The acting is brilliant, the story is excellent and the outcome is great.
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged ant-man, anthony mackie, black panther, black widow, captain america: civil war, chadwick boseman, chris evans, crossbones, don cheadle, emily vancamp, falcon, frank grillo, Iron Man, james rhodes, john kani, king t'chaka, natasha romanoff, paul rudd, peter parker, robert downing jr, rumlow, sam wilson, scarlett johansson, scott lang, sharon carter, spider man, Steve rogers, t'challa, the accords, tom holland, tony stark, war machine
I can hardly believe Hollywood actually made The Purge: Anarchy into a descent movie. It’s predecessor, The Purge, was bordering on awful. The premise continues to be ridiculous, but this time the story is good and it divulged an acceptable reason for the government’s decision for the annual purge, in the first place. Due to high poverty, crime is also high. The purge is mostly targeted toward the poor and under privileged who will rid the country of those who are below the poverty line, causing crime to go down significantly. Inhumane, yes but who cares — in a world as wicked as it is good, all is fair in money, war and survival. The Purge: Anarchy, focuses on the streets and shows many purgers and their strategies. One person in particular is Sergeant played by Frank Grillo, who is on a definite mission to get revenge on the person who wronged him. While in pursuit, Frank encounters innocents who he has to decide to help or not help. It’s pretty interesting to see how things unwind. There are some twist but overall, nice job Hollywood.