21 Bridges is an action thriller directed by Brian Kirk. Brothers Joe and Anthony Russo act as producers. 21 Bridges is an exciting film that has quite a few surprises. I don’t think it received all the publicity it should have, I was told about it by a relative. Initially, I didn’t really know what 21 Bridges was about however, I’m glad I went to see it.
**** SPOILERS ****
21 Bridges opens with a young Andre Davis (Christian Isaiah) attending his father’s funeral after he was murdered on the job. Many years later, Andre (Chadwick Boseman) becomes a successful law enforcer, working for the NYPD and has taken down more than 8 criminals during his time as a police officer. One night, two small-time criminals and former war veterans Michael Trujillo (Stephan James) and Ray Jackson (Taylor Kitsch) took on a job to ransack a winery and steal several kilograms of cocaine it was illegally harvesting. The heist takes a left turn when they realize the amount of cocaine was 10 times as much as they were expecting plus several police officers unexpectedly arrive on the scene. They were forced into a shootout that landed 6 officers gunned down. Ray is chastised by Michael for killing cops, which puts them in jeopardy.
Andre Davis is assigned to the case. Struggling with the legacy of his deceased father, Davis has earned a reputation for hunting down and killing “cop killers,” although he claims they were all in self-defense and is uncomfortable with the label. Narcotics detective Frankie Burns (Sienna Miller) is assigned as Davis’ partner. The two come into conflict with FBI agents Butchco (Obi Abili) and Dugan (Andy Truschinski), who attempt to take the case over. Captain Matt McKenna (J. K. Simmons) of the 85th precinct is assigned to oversee the case.
With this being a good place to stop, 21 Bridges is loaded with excitement plus it drives home a profound message. I can’t imagine the scope of crime and blatant disrespect for the law as shown in this film. A death that occurs during the surrendering of a criminal made 21 Bridges more relatable. Although the director tried to invent a very real climate that represents more of today’s issues, the aura around 21 Bridges just didn’t feel real, especially shutting down 21 bridges at any given time. Despite this, I found the movie to be just exciting enough to pass as a holiday filler. I also thought Stephen James’ performance was outstanding. You just might enjoy 21 Bridges, it’s a real thrill ride at best. The film received mixed reviews from critics and has grossed $34 million worldwide on a $33 million budget. Check It Out!
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged 21 Bridges, Adi, Adriane Lenox, Alexander Siddig, Andre Davis, Andy Truschinski, Bush, Butchco, Captain Matt McKenna, chadwick boseman, Christian Isaiah, Dale Pavinski, Darren Lipari, Deputy Chief Spencer, Deputy Mayor Mott, Dugan, Frankie Burns, Gary Carr, hawk, j k simmons, Jamie Neumann, Keith David, Leigh, Lieutenant Kelly, Louis Cancelmi, Michael Trujillo, Morocco Omari, Obi Abili, Ray Jackson, Sarah Ellen Stephens, Sienna Miller, stephan james, Taylor Kitsch, Tom Cheaver, Victoria Cartagena, Vonetta Davis, Yolanda
While I love musicals, I didn’t think La La Land was the fabulous movie I had heard it was going to be. It’s a love story with a clever title and a clever twist. It’s mostly uplifting and gives you “warm fuzzies” throughout the film. Mia (Emma Stone) meets Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) for the first time on a crowded highway, each going to their respective destinations. She flips the bird at him for his reckless driving and he keeps it moving. After continuously running into each other, they decide it’s time to strike up a real conversation. They become friends, then lovers — and so the romance begins. Mia is an aspiring actress that can’t seem to land a role and Sebastian is a jazz keyboardist who can’t seem to get his career on the right track. She continues to get turned down at every audition she tries out for and he gets fired as a piano player at a popular night club and lounge on Christmas Eve by the manager, Bill (J. K. Simmons). Desperate for work, Sebastian takes on a position with a rock band that doesn’t play any jazz. He hates it but it’s a job. Eventually, Sebastian runs into a friend, Keith (John Legend) who has a jazz band featuring a new sound, Keith defines as modern jazz. Reluctant to join, Sebastian finally gives in and begins to throw himself into this very successful band. He abandons his dream of owning his own jazz night club where he plays endless jazz into the wee hours of the night. Sebastian’s objective is to save jazz music, as it is beginning to die out. Mia, on the other hand decides to write and perform in a one woman play. She feels it will be her only chance at becoming a star actress. Their hopes and dreams, which are all embodied around their professions, are light years away from each other.
The movie picks up when John Legend comes on board because the music gets better and the dialogue becomes more alive. Mia and Sebastian actually begin too share meaningful conversations and discover they have a dilemma. La La Land doesn’t have a huge cast, plus Emma and Ryan, who have several song and dance scenes, are not the greatest singers in the world but they are excellent actors.
If La La Land had not been nominated for an Oscar, I probably would have waited for the Blu-Ray/DVD release. La La Land is a decent story with good acting and good music however, I’ve seen and am use to much better. BTW: the La stands for Los Angeles (where the film mostly took place), the second La represents a fantasy world, hence the term la la land. I recommend the movie to those who really like musicals as I somewhat liked it myself, I just didn’t find it to be “all that” fantastic!
[La La Land is nominated for 14 Oscars: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, Cinematography, Costume Design, Film Editing, Music: Original Score, Music: Original Song (for 2 songs), Production Design, Sound Mixing and Writing: Original Screenplay]
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged bill, emma stone, j k simmons, jazz, john legend, keith, la la land, mia, musical, ryan gosling, sebastian
Whiplash gives a whole new flavor to riveting entertainment. Without telling all, Whiplash is brilliant. A 19 year old, first year drummer enrolls in a famous, prestigious Conservatory music school, (Shaffer) with an over the top abusive instructor teaching the class of musicians. Andrew Neyman played by Miles Teller is a promising drummer who is willing to forsake everything to get the training, recognition and respect for his talent that he so rightly deserves. The abusive teacher, Fletcher, played by J. K. Simmons, will do whatever it takes to squeeze every drop of talent out of his students. His agenda may be honorable but his methodology is brutal and so mentally obstructive, if found out by the powers that be, could cost him everything, including his job. In the end, fed up Andrew shows everyone who he is and turns Fletcher’s thinking up side down. A small cast and a big story with lots of emotions flying high will take you on a thrill ride worth every minute of this movie. I haven’t heard a drummer like Andrew since Buddy Rich who was deemed the world’s best drummer. Miles Teller is an actor but should seriously think about making his drumming skills his calling. See Whiplash, it will bring something out in you!
[WHIPLASH is nominated for Best picture, Best Supporting Actor, Film Editing, Sound Mixing, Adapted Screenplay (Writing)]
The Awful Truth!
There has been a lot of hype about this movie. I’ve seen Tom Hanks on a few talk shows promoting the heck out of `The Ladykillers’. While the movie was funny, Tom Hanks’ character was quite annoying. He talked way too much and the words, while somewhat funny, were not funny enough to overlook or overcome the constant chatter. I actually found most of the dialog down right boring.
This unlikely crew of bandits had a most brilliant plan, which was well executed. However, when it came to the simplest task (the one that really counted), no one could accomplish it. A comedy of errors led to more and more errors which led to the biggest error, The Ladykillers!
As usual, Tom Hanks’ performance raised the bar but it wasn’t enough to raise this movie above it’s borderline tale. Ladykillers was barely entertaining. I thought George Wallace would have been better casted as part of the gang, rather than the sheriff — he’s a very funny comedian. I particularly enjoyed the performance of J. K. Simmons as Garth Pancake. His voice alone was almost worth the watch.
I recommend you wait for this movie to come out on DVD.