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
If Beale Street Could Talk is a romantic drama directed and written by Barry Jenkins, based on James Baldwin’s 1969 novel of the same name. It follows a young African-American woman who, with her family’s support, seeks to clear the name of her wrongly charged lover and prove his innocence before the birth of their child. There’s been lots of marketing of this movie, beware of over zealous advertising! Still, I liked the film.
Clementine “Tish” Rivers (KiKi Layne) and Alonzo “Fonny” Hunt (Stephan James) have been friends their entire lives. As children, they did everything together, from taking baths to playing in the streets. As adults, they enter a romantic relationship together and hold a bond between them that can’t be broken. After deciding to get married, they struggle to find a place to live as most landlords refuse to rent apartments to black people. Eventually they found a place in a warehouse that is in the process of being converted to an apartment building. Levy (Dave Franco), the Jewish landlord, agrees to rent it to them at a reasonable rate due to the fact that he enjoys seeing couples in love, regardless of their race.
**** SOME SPOILERS ****
One night, when Tish is shopping at a predominately White grocery store, she is harassed by a White man. When he begins to assault her, Fonny physically throws the man out of the store. Officer Bell (Ed Skrein), who was nearby witnesses the incident but because of his racist background, attempts to arrest Fonny. Bell reluctantly lets Fonny go when the lady who runs the grocery store vouches for the couple. Soon after the incident, Fonny is arrested for raping a Hispanic woman, despite the fact that it would have been virtually impossible for Fonny to travel from the scene of the crime to the apartment where he was arrested. The case against Fonny is considered strong due to Officer Bell’s testimony, who says the he saw Fonny fleeing the scene plus Victoria Rogers (Emily Rios), the victim, picks him out of a line-up then disappears after identifying Fonny as her rapist. Tish, as well as Fonny’s friend, Daniel Carty (Brian Tyree Henry), were with Fonny and would be his alibi at the time of the rape, but their testimony isn’t considered reliable due to Tish’s romantic relationship with Fonny, and Daniel’s previous conviction for grand theft auto (despite his claim to not even know how to drive a car).
While the film is dealing with the most delicate of matters, it doesn’t give any closure to the story. If Beale Street could Talk opens at the apartment where the Rivers family live. A routine family dinner is taking place, showing the closeness of the family and their status in the community. Learning of Tish’s pregnancy, they decide to invite Fonny’s family over to share the news. The scene gets down right hilarious as insults and accusations fly between the two families. Tish’s mother, Sharon Rivers (Regina King) has a way of showing her feelings through a series of facial expressions that would scare off most but then speaks in the most kind and soft voice that would make most melt. Tish’s father, Joseph Rivers (Coleman Domingo) is funny and supportive. Their story is heart felt and is worthy of anger directed at a tiresome racial problem that makes no sense. The saddest part, is we are still experiencing racism at the highest level and still we struggle to rise above it, tell our stories and suffer in hopes the problem ends before the world perishes. Hate is a terrible thing and we could achieve so much more without it. I enjoyed If Beale Street Could Talk, I just think it was a little over marketed. Despite the appearance of a low budget the performances were quite believable, the story has much more to offer so Check it Out!
[If Beale Street Could Talk is Oscar nominated for Best Supporting Actress, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Original Score]
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS, STREAMING
Tagged adrienne hunt, alonzo "fonny" hunt, annjanue ellis, clemtine "tish" rivers, coleman domingo, dave franco, diego luna, dominique thorne, ebony obsidian, ed skrein, emily rios, ernestine rivers, fin wittrock, frank hunt, hayward, if beale street could talk, joseph rivers, kiki layne, levy, michael beach, milanni mines, officer bell, pedro pascal, pedrocito, pietro alvarez, regina king, sharon rivers, sheila hunt, stephan james, teyonah parris, victoria rogers
Well done Stephen Hopkins, Stephan James and Jason Sudeikis. A horrible situation exquisitely acted and well told. Race issues certainly fits right in to today’s on going battles of racism, hatred and bigotry. Makes me think we’ve learned nothing in the last 80 years. It was quite interesting watching the bigotry of the Nazi regime vs the bigotry of the USA. In the end, money and power prevailed. The same as today. There are many, many lessons to be learned from a movie like Race but I fear we’ll learn what we always learn and so the beat goes on the same as it always has. There in the 1930’s we have a man, deemed as the fastest human alive, who could escalate the US to new heights in the Olympic games and we have people on both sides hating the fact that “the man” is Black. It doesn’t matter the accolades we (the US) are about to achieve, only that “the man” is Black. Against all odds, we put him in the race but the country holding the games is worse than we are. They hate Blacks but even more than Blacks, they hate Jews. Having to sit through this racism made me sick and angry. It made me want to jump into the screen and strangle those responsible for stirring up this bigotry. The whole thing is just so senseless and stupid. People fighting because they were born Black or Jewish. How dumb is that and what a waste of time. What is one suppose to do about who they are, as if there’s something wrong with who they are? Jesse Owens should have been able to concentrate on nothing else but winning but instead had to deal with both this own country and the country where the races were being held discriminating against him. After all was said and done, he couldn’t even get a job to support his family. Here is a man who represented his country in the 1936 Olympics and won 4 gold metals but couldn’t get a job because of his skin color. Then you’re criticized for being a lazy non-working bum. This is a bitter pill to swallow. Race really brought out how screwed up the society is and how willing we are to sweep it all under the rug. A dinner was held in Jesse’s honor but he couldn’t go in through the front of the hotel where the dinner was being held. He had to use the service entrance. It’s very hard to sit through movies that cause us to relive this part of history, especially when it’s still happening. I commend Jesse Owens for his abilities, achievements and for holding it together when most would have lost it. Watching Jesse Owen’s struggles from the onset of his career as an Olympian to his bitter sweet victory when a doorman wouldn’t allow him to come in the front entrance of a hotel where he was being honored was a reminder that there’s much work to be done. Freedom begins in your heart.
Strongly acted movie with loads of historic information surrounding the 1936 Olympics and Berlin where the games were held. The relationship between Jesse and his coach was extraordinary and the issues between the team and Jesse Owens was also very interesting. “Race” is a movie worth seeing. Performances by Jeremy Irons as Avery Brundage whose actions cost the only Jewish candidates their participation in the games and Barnaby Metschurat as the German Chancellor, Joseph Goebbels who said “do you expect Hitler to be photographed shaking hands with that” (that meaning Jesse Owens) were outstanding.
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged 1936, adolf hitler, avery brundage, barnaby metschurat, berlin, german chancellor, germany, Jason Sudeikis, jeremy irons, jesse owens, joseph goebbels, olympics, race, racism, stephan james