Tag Archives: mykelti williamson

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!


FENCES (2016) – My rating: 9/10

fencesI heard Fences was somewhat theatrical, which it was and after seeing it, I also found it was a little slow. At times, I felt I watching a play but a very well written and a very well acted play. Never having read August Wilson’s play, I didn’t know where this story was going. Then all of a sudden, it took a turn for the better. I sat up in my seat and any boredom and any bad thoughts I harbored about having come to see Fences disappeared. Suddenly, excitement and intrigue entered the story. My emotions were coming into play and I couldn’t wait to find out what would happen next. Was I dreaming or was this really happening? Was this boring, straight, hardly off the beaten path, Black man now full of sass and controversy with an exciting story to tell? Is he really standing here before his wife saying what I’m hearing?

Fences takes place in the 1950s and tells the story of Troy Maxson (Denzel Washington) who lives in Pittsburgh with his wife Rose Maxson (Viola Davis) and their son Cory Maxson (Jovan Adepo).  Fences is a story about a Black family with many stories of how they got to the point they have gotten to with the convictions, hopes and dreams for their future and their child’s future. Troy and Rose along with Troy’s brother Gabe Maxson (Mykelti Williamson) and their child try to make it in a world that makes it extremely hard for them to just exist and live normally. Troy works for the Department of Sanitation as a garbage collector along side his best friend, Jim Bono (Stephen McKinley Henderson). However, Troy wants to be a driver like the White man and wonders why that position is excluded from the Black man. Thinking he is about to get fired for speaking up, Troy gets quite the surprise instead. From here we meet Troy’s estranged son from a previous relationship, Lyons Maxson (Russell Hornsby), who infrequently visits his father to borrow money, which upsets Troy, since he’s not on board with Lyons choice of occupation as a musician.  In addition, Troy’s son Cory wants to play football, which Troy is also not on board with since he feels Blacks can’t make a decent living in the NFL either.  Having played professionally in the Negro Leagues himself, he believes he was passed over because he is Black and not because he was too old for advancement.

Fences goes on to tell the stories that define Troy and the decision making that go into shaping his brand of raring his son and dealing with his handicap brother as well as his profound feelings of love and marriage that make him who he is today.  It also mentions the fence Rose asked him to build around their house, many times.  Having survived a near-fatal bout of pneumonia in his youth, Troy claims to have done so by defeating the Grim Reaper in a fistfight, upon which the Reaper vowed to return for a rematch. The titular fence is conceptualized by Troy as a symbolic way to keep the Grim Reaper out, but is also representative of the emotional barriers he built between himself and his sons as well as Rose’s effort’s to protect the people she holds dear.

Of course I have left out the most exciting parts of this story and urge you to go see an extraordinary classic you won’t soon forget.  Denzel and Viola really were brilliant and it’s a story that’s worth knowing about.  It goes places you would not have imagined.  Check it out!

{BTW, Viola Davis won the 2017 Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in any Motion Picture,  for Fences!}


[FENCES is nominated for Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress and Adapted Screenplay]


THE PURGE: ELECTION YEAR (2016) – My rating: 8.3/10

ThePurgeElectionYearHere 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.