Just Mercy is a legal drama directed by Destin Daniel Cretton. The film is based on the memoir of the same name and is written by Bryan Stevenson. Just Mercy is the true story of Walter McMillian, who, with the help of young defense attorney Bryan Stevenson, appeals his murder conviction. The film shows the prejudices in the state of Alabama, which suppresses the rights and voices of Black innocent citizens.
In 1989, an idealistic young Harvard law graduate, Bryan Stevenson (Michael B. Jordan) makes the decision to defend poor Blacks in Alabama hoping to give relief and help to those who cannot afford proper legal representation. He meets with Eva Ansley (Brie Larson) and together they create the Equal Justice Initiative. At the nearby prison, Bryan meets death row inmates, including Walter “Johnny D.” McMillian (Jamie Foxx), an African-American man convicted of murdering a White woman named Ronda Morrison. Bryan looks over the evidence in the case and discovers it hinges entirely on the testimony of convicted felon, Ralph Myers (Tim Blake Nelson), who provided a highly self-contradictory testimony in exchange for a lighter sentence in his own pending trial. Bryan’s first move is to consult with prosecutor Tommy Chapman (Rafe Spall) for assistance but Chapman dismisses him without even looking at his notes. AND SO THE PREJUDICES BEGINS!
Just Mercy can cause you to get pretty angry just listening to the lies and watching the smug looks of satisfaction on the faces of bigots when they are executing power and victory over their victims. Because Just Mercy is a true story, it made it harder to digest the horrific injustices throughout the movie. Overall, the film was well done and well-acted. The sad part is these kinds of injustices are continuing to plague poor communities of color. Racism is such a waste of time as well shown in Just Mercy. You will be adversely moved and saddened but also feel a sense of exoneration because of the outcome. I recommend Just Mercy to everyone, it shows the other side of evil. The film received positive reviews from critics, as well as a nomination for Jamie Foxx for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role at the 26th Screen Actors Guild Awards. Additionally, Just Mercy grossed $35,191,640 domestically and $44,841,640 worldwide. The review aggregator website, Rotten Tomatoes, reported that 84% of critics have given the film a positive review based on 211 reviews, with an average rating of 6.99/10. The site’s critics consensus reads: “Just Mercy dramatizes a real-life injustice with solid performances, a steady directorial hand, and enough urgency to overcome a certain degree of earnest advocacy.” Check It Out!
Posted in CURRENT MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged Anthony Ray Hinton, brie larson, bryan stevenson, C.J. LeBlanc, Darnell Houston, David Walker, Dominic Bogart, Doug Ansley, Eva Ansley, Hayes Mercure, Herbert Richardson, Jamie foxx, jeremy, Jimmy Darrell Britt-Gibson, John McMillan, Judge Foster, JUST MERCY, Karan Kendrick, kirk bovill, Lindsay Ayliffe, michael B. jordan, Minnie McMillian, o'shea jackson jr, rafe spall, Ralph Myers, rob morgan, Ron Clinton Smith, Terence Rosemore, tim blake nelson, Tommy Chapman, Walter McMillian, Woodrow Ikner
Finally, a summer movie with a very different theme. Baby Driver is not your run-of-the-mill gangster movie flick. Instead it is a unique story about a young adult who made a mistake and put himself into a bad situation. That was the good news, the bad news is he now has to pay it off. The problem with paying off debts to bad people is you’re never done, especially if you’re good at what you do. Baby Driver takes place in Atlanta, Georgia and tells the story of Baby, who mostly grew up as an orphan when his parents died while arguing during a car accident. Baby was strapped in the back seat and the only survivor.
As a result of the car accident that left Miles “Baby”, (Ansel Elgort) / Young “Baby” (Hudson Meek) an orphan, he suffered tinnitus causing him to use music to block out the humming in his ears. In addition, he uses music to re-record everyday conversations as remixes and gives them relative titles, which he constantly listens to while driving for his boss, Doc, (Kevin Spacey) a veteran criminal mastermind heist planner and mysterious kingpin of the rag-tag crew of bank robbers. A while back, Baby stole a car belonging to Doc, which had valuable equipment inside — Baby has been paying Doc off by working for him as a get away driver ever since. Baby’s skills as a driver is unmatched as he has been 100% successful. Each job affords Baby $10,00 which he has been saving under the floor boards in his apartment, where he lives with his handicap foster father, Joseph, (C.J. Jones) who is in a wheel chair, unable to speak. The 2 have a loving relationship as Baby cares for Joseph, cooking for him, feeding him and watching TV together. While discussing Baby’s future, via sign language, Baby reveals a new love interest he met, who is a waitress named Debora, (Lily James) who works at the diner he frequents. Joseph convinces Baby to take a job delivering pizza now that he won’t be driving for Doc since he has now paid off his debt.
Doc never uses the same crew twice. Having informed Baby that his debt is paid, Doc is without a driver. Since Baby is the best, Doc is not about to let Baby go. Doc has all the information about Baby and Baby’s loved ones he needs to keep him working for him. The plot thickens from here. The crews and the dynamics between Doc and Baby and Doc and the crews and Baby are pretty interesting and the driving is incredible. The bank robbing crews consist of Monica “Darling” Castello (Eiza González), Jason”Buddy” Van Horn, (Jon Hamm) former Wall Street trader and Darling’s boyfriend, Griff, (Jon Bernthal) bank robber who consistently mocks Baby and Leon “Bats” Jefferson, III (Jamie Foxx), a gun slinging cohort of the bank robbing crew, to name a few. The cast is colorful, well acted and convincing as some of the most paranoid bank robbers to come along in a while. Baby Driver received great reviews and great scores. I enjoyed it very much and highly recommend you check it out! BTY: I think Ansel Elgort has a huge future ahead of him as an extremely handsome young man and a very good actor.
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged ansel elgort, baby driver, cj jones, debora, doc, Eiza González, griff, hudson meek, Jamie foxx, jason buddy van horn, jon bernthal, jon hamm, joseph, kevin spacey, leon bats jefferson iii, lily james, monica darling castello
I expected a good remake of Annie and I got one. Jamie Foxx delivered a fantastic performance of Oliver “Daddy” Warbucks, renamed Will Stacks. The real draw was Quvenzhané Wallis who is absolutely adorable. She plays Annie Bennett and is currently the youngest nominated Oscar candidate in the history of the Academy of Arts and Science. She was nominated 2 years ago for “Beast of the Southern Wild”. She was mesmerizing then and mesmerizing now. She is talented and charismatic. In Annie, Quvenzhané sang and danced her way through scene after scene in search of her real parents, a slight twist from the original Annie. Cameron Diaz also delivered a brilliant performance as the always drunken Miss Colleen Hannigan who is the foster parent responsible for a house filled with orphan children. Foxx is a billionaire who is running for mayor of New York City. Bobby Cannavale plays Guy, Stacks campaign adviser and Rose Byrne plays Grace, Stack’s love interest and personal assistant. Original favorites like “It’s a Hard Knock Life” were performed to a tee. I don’t think Quvenzhané Wallis is the best singer in the pack but I do believe she is the total package and will charm her way right into your hearts. Nice job!
Horrible Bosses 2 is more like a horrible movie too. While I’m not a fan of slap stick comedy, I did like the first Horrible Bosses. The sequel however, makes Dumb and Dumber look Smart and Smarter. The concept was good, the cast was good but the movie was silly and over the top stupid. What’s funny is how the cast from the previous Horrible Bosses is what saved this sequel as much as it could be saved. The jokes and routines were just plain stupid and really got on my nerves. I really don’t enjoy people looking, acting and sounding stupid, which I endured for almost 2 hours. If I had to crown someone funny and clever, Jennifer Aniston, Jamie Foxx and Kevin Spacey, who reprised their original roles as Dr. Julia Harris, D. D. S., Dean “MF” Jones and Dave Harken, respectively, would win that award. I can sometimes excuse stupidity for a laugh but I found few laughs and too much stupid. I wish I had waited for the DVD. I couldn’t wait for Horrible Bosses 2 to be over. I actually developed a headache watching it. Chris Pine, who played Rex Hanson was at least fantastic eye candy that made me stay to the end. Their decision to become bosses was ridiculous from the beginning because they were too dumb. In conclusion, save your money unless you like dumb and stupid slap stick movies.
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged chris pine, dave harken, dean jones, dr julie harris, horrible bosses 2, Jamie foxx, jennifer aniston, kevin spacey, mf, rex hanson, silly, slap stick, stupid
I wasn’t thrilled when they started making my beloved Spiderman movies with someone other than Toby MaGuire. Not being into the comic book scene, I was very surprised and confused when they remade Spiderman instead of continuing where the last Spiderman movie left off. This surprise sort of clouded my judgement towards the new Spider-man series making me very unhappy with the new film. I’ve since had time to adjust and see the errs of my ways. Little did I know Spiderman is a trilogy. I went into the Spider-Man 2 movie with great expectations. I knew a lot of fans were not too excited about the movie after seeing it but I forged on with my new attitude anyway. Oddly, I don’t agree with the fans who didn’t think much of Spider-Man 2. I think it was fantastic. It was more true to the comic book story (which I read up on) and it had lots of action and endless special effects. Hollywood threw everything at Peter Parker, including the kitchen sink. I like the added original comic book character of Gwen Stacy played by Emma Stone and I love Sally Field as Aunt May. I even like Andrew Garfield as the new Spider-Man. TAMN2 had all the usual bells and whistles; villains like Harry Osborn/The Green Goblin played by Dane Dehaan, who wants Spiderman dead, the unresolved death of Peter Parker’s parents, Oscorp powers that be cover-ups and always a new and different super-villain struggling for power. In this case, Jamie Foxx as Max Dillon/Eletro was quite convincing as an invisible person who finally gets noticed, albeit in a bad way. I couldn’t see anything not to like, as this movie wasn’t any different than other Spider-Man movies. Lots of destruction, action, romance and special effects. There’s so much going on in this movie, you won’t have time to be bored or uninterested. Some say Peter Parker’s relationship with Gwen Stacy is corny and cheesy but I disagree. I guess it’s a personal call — you’ll have to decide for yourself. TASM2 is worth seeing on the big screen and runs 2 hours and 22 minutes. I found the movie very entertaining.
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged andrew garfield, aunt may, cheesy, corny, dane dehaan, electo, emma stone, gwen stacy, harry osborn, Jamie foxx, max dillon, oscorp, peter parker, sally field, special effects, tamn2, the amazing spiderman 2, the green goblin
Oh my, what is there to say about Django, except the D is silent. I went on a fantasy, gun totting, America at its worse, wanted for bounty killing spree ride that hasn’t been seen since the likes of Natural Born Killers. And I was rooting for the killers all the way. Django is an action packed thrill ride and a feel good movie that I don’t expect will win any Oscars however, this movie will go down in history as one of a kind. The entertainment factors are endless. The acting was superb and the German, played by Christoph Waltz was unsurpassed. With Quentin Tarantino as director and Leo Dicaprio as a shrewd plantation owner with Samual L. Jackson as his right hand lackey, what else would we expect. Django is up for Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor, Best sound Editing, Best Writing (Original Screenplay) and Best Cinematography. I don’t expect any Oscars to be won but I can tell you Christoph Waltz took his character to a place we won’t soon forget. Red Foxx and Kerry Washington rounded out a cast that was unforgettable. I loved this movie and highly recommend it.
[Christoph Waltz won Best Supporting Actor! ]
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged christoph waltz, django, Jamie foxx, Kerry Washington, killers, killing, lackey, leo dicaprio, natural born killers, oscar, plantation, right hand, samual l jackson, shrewd, unforgettable