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
Rampage is a science fiction movie directed by Brad Peyton, and is loosely based on the video game series of the same name by Midway Games. It is the third collaboration between Peyton and Johnson, following Journey 2: The Mysterious Island (2012) and San Andreas (2015). I really didn’t expect much from this film — the trailers looked like a children’s movie as well as the same old thing we’ve come to ignore. I have much to say about Rampage and it isn’t all good. Basically, Rampage is about a primatologist who must team up with an albino gorilla to stop two other animals from destroying Chicago.
Rampage starts with Athena-1, a research space station owned by a gene manipulation company called Energyne, which is destroyed after a laboratory rat mutates and wreaks havoc. Dr. Kerry Atkins (Marley Shelton), the lone surviving crew member, is ordered by CEO Claire Wyden (Malin Akerman), to retrieve research canisters containing a pathogen. The escape pod eventually imploded, causing debris to spread across various locations in the US; a canister in the Everglades is consumed by an American crocodile as well as exposure of a pathogen to a gray wolf in a forest in Wyoming.
Primatologist Davis Okoye (Dwayne Johnson), a former US Army Special Forces soldier and member of an anti-poaching unit, works at the San Diego Wildlife Sanctuary, a wildlife preserve. He befriends a rare albino gorilla named George, whom he saved from poachers. Davis communicates with George using sign language and gestures, and George shows Davis that he has a sense of humor. At night, one of the canisters crash-lands in George’s habitat, exposing him to the pathogen. George grows considerably larger and more aggressive over a short time. Davis is contacted by Dr. Kate Caldwell (Naomie Harris), a genetic engineer, who explains that the pathogen was developed by Energyne to rewrite genes on a massive scale.
Dr. Caldwell was hoping to advance CRISPR research as a potential cure for disease but discovered that Energyne planned to use it as a biological weapon. Meanwhile, Claire and her brother, Brett (Jake Lacy), fired Dr. Caldwell and sent her to prison on false charges for attempting to expose them. The exposed animals go on a
I think you get the gest of this film, as I am stopping here to talk a little about the quality of Rampage. The plot is simple and lends itself to a younger audience but the acting was seriously flawed. Claire and her brother Brett tried hard but just couldn’t pull off the whole villain thing. Their lines were so corny that I felt as though I watching a Saturday morning adventure project for kids. The special effects were pretty descent but not the best I’ve seen. Adding to the corny dialogue was their attempt to come off gangster like, which they never pulled off. Also, there are some questions about the logic or lack of. Dwayne Johnson is making movies so fast, that I’m afraid he’s going to acquire a rep for grade B films with bad acting. I’m truly a fan but lately, I’ve been disappointed with “The Rock” and Disney. The mutated animals reek havoc, making Rampage somewhat exciting but ridiculous. See this one on DVD/Blu-Ray, you’ll probably be happier with your choice.
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged agent park, amy, Breanne hill, brett wyden, bruce blackshear, burke, claire wyden, colonel blake, connor, davis okoye, demetrius grosse, dr kate caldwell, dr. kerry atkins, Dwayne Johnson, Garrick, george, harvey russell, jack quaid, jake lacy, jason liles, jeffrey dean morgan, joe manganiello, malin akerman, marley shelton, matt Gerald, naomie harris, nelson, pj bryne, rampage, taylor, Urijah faber, will yun lee, Zammit
If you’re expecting a great story, you’ve picked the right movie. Moonlight is about the life of Chiron “Little” (Alex Hibbert) from the age of 6 through adulthood. He grew up with an abusive, junkie mother, Paula (Naomie Harris) and no father. His only friends were Kevin (Jaden Piner), who he grew attached to and Juan (Mahershala Ali), a grown man and crack dealer, who takes Chiron to his house where he lives with his girlfriend, Teresa (Janelle Monáe). Chiron was bullied terribly as a little boy all the way up though adolescence, about the age of high school. One day Chiron as a teenager, (Ashton Sanders) who was frequently bullied by Terrel (Patrick Decile), changed all that. Obviously, he was surrounded by some of the most deplorable situations imaginable, but managed to beat the odds. I can only say Moonlight is profound and touching. It digs deep into the life of an unusual situation one would not necessarily know how to deal with since adult Chiron, now known as Black (Trevante Rhodes) is dealing with so many issues at once. Black’s character changes somewhat during the years but he continues to remain shy. We could see what a strain it was for Black to act normal, as he came off quite uncomfortable.
This story is softly and delicately told. Of course I’ve left the best of the story out of this critique, as it would spoil any surprises and motivation to see it away. Directed by Barry Jenkins, I say it’s a job well done. I highly recommend Moonlight to all adults, as it has already won a Golden Globe for Best Picture. Check it out!
[MOONLIGHT has WON the 89th ANNUAL OSCAR AWARD for Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor and Adapted Screenplay. Moonlight was also nominated for Best Director, Best Supporting Actress, Cinematography, Film Editing and Original Score]
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS, STREAMING
Tagged Alex Hibbert, andre holland, Ashton Sanders, black, Chiron, Jaden Piner, janelle monae, Jharrel Jerome, Juan, Kevin, Little, mahershala ali, Moonlight, naomie harris, Patrick Decile, Paula, Teresa, Terrel, Trevante Rhodes
Spectre is one of the most expensive movies ever made. With a budget of $245M, it has brought in approximately $176M over the last 4 weekends here in the US and grossed $750M worldwide. After all is said and done, Spectre needed to gross $640M to break even. A reported $34M was spent just on the destruction of expensive cars during the making of this 24th James Bond movie. Add Daniel’s salary of $24M, making him the highest paid Bond (which doesn’t include endorsements), in the history of the 007 franchise. Now add around $100M for promotions, plus with all the other staff, actors and employee salaries, one can see how the price tag escalated so high.
So with that said, lets talk about the movie. The plot features James Bond’s first encounter with the global criminal organization called Spectre. Also, several characters, including M, Q and Eve Moneypenny return, with the new additions of Léa Seydoux as Dr. Madeleine Swann, Dave Bautista as Mr. Hinx, Andrew Scott as Max Denbigh and Monica Bellucci as Lucia Sciarra. Spectre opens in Mexico City with 007 on an unofficial mission ordered by the former M (Judy Dench). Eventually, Bond ends up in Rome where he learns about Spectre. Things get pretty complicated and very dangerous as Bond finds himself without backup, as his division has been dissolved by the current M’s new boss, C, because he deems “00” section outdated. In the meanwhile, Spectre turns out to be a sinister organization headed up by the ultimate villain, Ernst Stavro Brofeld, played by Christoph Waltz. The story is complex, the action is intense and the cast is brilliant. However, I found Spectre to be quite different from most of the Bond stories. It seemed like something was missing. Somehow I think the absence of Judy Dench and her nurturing personality made Bond seem noticeably alone and a little uncertain of himself — not the overall confident ladies man I’m use to seeing. Pierce Brosnan expressed that this Bond film seemed weak and lack luster. While I thought the story was solid, I have to agree with Pierces’ opinion. Check it out, it’s an endless challenge of surprises, twist and turns. It will keep you entertained all the way to the end.
[SPECTRE is nominated for Original Song]
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged "c", "m", "q", 007, andrew scott, ben whishaw, christoph waltz, daniel craig, ernst stavro brofled, james bond, judy dench, mexico city, moneypenny, naomie harris, pierce brosnan, ralph fiennes, rome, spectre