Tag Archives: prison

NO GOOD DEED (2014) – My rating: 8.5/10

NoGoodDeedAmongst Hollywood’s redundant plots, No Good Deed is a refreshing change.  Idris Elba and Taraji P. Henson give top notch performances.  Colin Evans, played by Idris Elba, is an imprisoned serial killer with a narcissistic complex.  After almost serving a five year prison term for manslaughter,  (he murdered 5 women and 1 man) Colin was denied parole, so he breaks out of prison with a specific agenda in mind.  Taraji who plays Terri Granger, is a housewife and mother of 2.  Terri is married to a prestigious lawyer named Jeffery Granger, played by Henry Simmons, who is always on the go.  This plot appears to be the usual prison break story but it offers a mind binder that is the saving grace for this film.  I cannot reveal much of the plot because it will give away the element of surprise so I have limited my comments.  Aside from the brilliant acting, the movie is well directed,  suspenseful and thrilling.  I believe No Good Deed is a winner and worth seeing on the big screen.

OUT OF THE FURNACE (2013) – My rating 7/10

OutOfTheFurnaceThe best thing I can say about Out of the Furnace is Woody Harrelson who played notorious Harlan DeGroat, a drug addicted gangster who ruled in the Appellation Mountains and Christain Bale who played Russell Baze, a steel worker that’s down on his luck.  Their performances were outstanding.  Other than that, it was pretty much down hill.  This movie was oh so slow — even the music seemed slow except at the end when Pearl Jam’s “Release” permeated the screen.  There were no happy endings and no real message that I could determine.  The story takes place in North Braddock, Pennsylvania’s  steel mill  country and in the Ramapo Mountains of New Jersey.   The plot is basically about Casey Affleck’s character, Rodney Baze (Russell’s brother) who goes missing after he agrees to take a dive in DeGroat’s bare knuckle fighting event to even a debt between Willem Defoe, who plays Bookie, John Petty, himself and DeGroat.  Russell who lost his woman (Zoe Saldana) to Chief Wesley Barnes, played by Forest Whitaker, decided to go rogue while looking into Rodney’s disappearance.  This movie presented many questions for which I didn’t get many answers.  In fact, I had to read up on Out of the Furnace to find the truth.  I recommend Out of the Furnace on DVD if you have some time to kill, it’s interesting at best!



Scene:  One night, Russell slams into a car backing out of a concealed driveway.  The camera zooms in on what appears to be the lower, lifeless half of a child’s body.  We know Russell had at least one drink before starting his journey home.

Question: Why is Russell in Prison?

Answer:  The child and the driver died in the car crash and Russell was arrested for a DWI.


Scene:  The movie opens with Russell and Lena (Zoe Saldana) in a loving relationship, playfully laughing and tossing around in their bed.

Question:  Why hasn’t Lena been to see Russell in prison considering how much she loved him?

Answer:  She left him for Chief Wesley Barnes.  One can only assume she thought this would be a more stable life — she also is pregnant by Barnes.


Scene:  John Petty reiterates the deal between  himself and DeGroat — (Rodney takes a dive which evens any debt between DeGroat and Petty).  DeGroat reluctantly agrees.

Question:  Why did DeGroat kill Petty and Rodney after the fight?

Answer:  You have to guess at this one because it’s not clear — I think he may have felt threatened by Rodney’s fighting skills.


Scene:  Russell larges two bullets in DeGroat.  While limping away, Russell makes a final shot from about 60+ feet away from DeGroat.  DeGroat falls.  We see no movement.  Chief Barnes is standing behind Russell shouting “don’t do it”, “put the gun down”, “let me make this right”.

Question:  Is DeGroat dead?

Answer:  Yes!


Scene:  The last scene shows Russell sitting in his dining room reflecting.

Question:  Did the chief not arrest Russell for murder?

Answer:  No he did not!


I was able to find out these answers via research, not the movie!


THE YELLOW HANDKERCHIEF (2008) – My rating: 8.5/10

TheYellowHandkerchiefI absolutely loved this movie.  William Hurt plays Brett Hanson, a newly released prison inmate with nowhere to go.  He soon meets up with Martine, played by Kristen Stewart and Gordy, played by Eddie Redmayne.  As the movie progresses, Brett Hanson’s life is revealed and the three embark on a road trip/journey that proves to be mentally healthy and empowering for all.  It seems their common denominator is loneiness.  I can’t say I’ve seen any other movies like this one.  I loved the fact that there was little violence and the story wasn’t over the top.  Explanations were feasible, decisions somewhat sensible and the ending was very well done.  Brett Hanson’s story was the most profound given his age and experiences which included a woman named May, played by Maria Bello.  I highly recommend this movie as it delves into the lives of the lonely and shows you should not judge a book by it’s cover.  Now available on Netflix.

I’M IN LOVE WITH A CHURCH GIRL (2013) – My rating: 6.5/10

ImInLoveWithAChurchGirlI had hoped for a lot from” I’m in love with a church Girl” but…  If you’re going to show gangsters reformed, especially of their own accord, you have to get your facts straight and it has to be believable.  Whether it was due to a low budget or bad directing, this movie was corny, unconvincing and unbelievable.  If the addicting game of drug dealing were that easy to get out of, why do most stay in till death or life in prison?  I’m not saying it can’t be done but on the level this firm deals, it’s highly unlikely.  Additionally, who allows the DEA to work 24/7 on a potential drug bust that will only yield a couple of small fries?  In a time when there’s no money and eveything from education to jobs are in jeopardy, what budget is allocated for a low level drug bust using high level surveillance equipment?

A former drug dealer, Les Montego, meets a girl, falls in love and risk everything to keep her and out of respect, he doesn’t sleep with anyone, including the girl he’s in love with, pending marriage.  That’s unrealistic for the characters in this life style.  They tried to show some of the struggle in keeping this kind of committment, but it just wasn’t convincing.  I wish with every fiber of by being that it could and would be this way, but all in all, this movie was wrapped up too tightly in a nice, neat unbelievable  package.  At times, some of the transitioning seem amateurish.  Cute movie but unrealistic.  Casing Ja-Rule Atkins was brillian as he came off as believable as one could possibly be under the circumstances.  Steven Baldwin as a DEA cop didn’t prove to be tough enough for a DEA position and Adrienne Bailon as Les Montego’s girlfriend was very believable.  Check it out on DVD!

BELIEVE – My rating: 7/10

BelieveI’m not sure this series is going to make it.  It’s about a little girl with special abilities.  While it’s well acted, the concept is unbelievable and has been done before.  The theme is “whoever controls the girl, controls the world”.  It reminds me of Heroes, which I loved until the writers went a little crazy and messed up a really good show.  They introduced so many new super powers and killed off so many beloved ones, it became impossible to maintain a relationship with the show.  Believe focuses on one super power that was born of another super power, who died in childbirth.  The child is played by Johnny Sequoyah, who is a girl who just happens to have a boy’s name. The agency is headed up by Milton Winter, played by Delroy Lindo, who is trying to make sure the child is safe and free of experimentation and abuse.  They have gone as far as breaking the child’s father out of prison and giving him the task of protecting his daughter.  Of course he dosen’t know the little girl is his daughter and all of New York and beyond is searching for them.  The child is also misson oriented and has to backtrack and/or stop running long enough to put herself and her father in harm’s way while helping some distressed person to greener pastures.  This reminds me of Touch, which was one of the best series on TV, in my opinion.  With some writting changes, Believe has the potential to become a very good series.  Believe is a J.J. Abrams and Alfonso Cuaron production so it may turn out to be a good one.  Check it out.  Believe is currently airing on NBC.

ESCAPE PLAN (2013) – My rating: 7.5/10

EscapePlanEscape Plan was pretty good.  These 2 seasoned actors, Arnold and Sylvester did a really good job of portraying inmates with a twist.  Sylvester Stallone, a Structural-Security Authoritarian, was hired to ensure the prison was escape proof.  I like this movie because it held my interest.  It also exposed the potential corruption up for grabs by privately owned enterprises delving into the prison system.  There were a few twist in this movie surprising me at each turn.  I pride myself on figuring out what’s going to happen next, I couldn’t determine the “what’s next” in this movie.  There is, of course, lots of action.  Jim Caviezel played Hobbes, the relentless warden of this uniquely designed prison.  This one-way situation was totally illegal but would be a great place for the most perverted, twisted and dangerous of society’s criminals.  The only glitch is why bother.  So much money to construct an escape proof prison where the prisoners are treated horribly and probably were never going to see the light of day again in their life time.  Putting aside this one glitch, I liked it!  Does it need to be seen on the big screen?  No, so my final comment, wait for the DVD.