Tag Archives: willie

GOING IN STYLE (2017) – My rating: 7/10

Going in Style is a 1979 remake of a totally unrealistic answer to a realistic problem in today’s society. Too bad we couldn’t all be clever enough to pull off a guilt free bank heist, (just kidding). Going in Style is also a delightful,  humorous story of three senior citizens who are lifelong best buddies who are getting the shaft every where they turn. Living off their less than modest pensions, in situations that afford them little to no extras in life, they are now faced with the company they worked for all their lives being bought out, causing their pensions to become a thing of the past.  Ironically, an unusual incident at the very bank that’s threatening to take what little they have, becomes the very solution to a peaceful, happy existence for these 3 old geysers and their families.

Joe Harding (Michael Caine) has a small house in which his divorced daughter, Rachael Harding (Maria Dizzia) and his granddaughter, Brooklyn, (Joey King) are living in with him.  Joe has been receiving pink foreclosure notices from the bank and will have 30 days from the forthcoming red foreclosure notice that will render them homeless. Despite Joe’s x son-in law’s, Murphy (Peter Serafinowicz), estrangement from his family, Joe attempts to get Murphy involved in his daughter’s life.  Willie (Morgan Freeman) and Albert (Alan Arkin) live together, directly across the street from Joe. All three belong to the usual community clubs for the elderly and do the usual senior citizen activities like food shopping, frequenting the park, eating at the senior citizen shelter and for Willie, Skyping with his daughter, Cary Sachs (Melanie Nicholls-King) and granddaughter, Kanika (Ashley Aufderheide) who he seldom gets to see because of the long distance between them and his financial situation. Willie also learns that he is in need of a Kidney and should confide in friends or family members to get one asap or prepare for his funeral. In the meanwhile, Albert is having a much easier time at life being pursued by Annie, (Ann-Margret) a beautiful senior worker at the super market where he shops.

As Joe tries to deal with his foreclosure notice at the bank, he becomes a victim and a witness to a robbery in progress, carried out by three individuals wearing black masks. When, the robbers manage to escape with over 1.5 million dollars, Joe decides this might be a way out for the three seniors.  Of course the bank was no help to Joe regarding his foreclosure notice and any chance of getting their pensions reinstated was never going to happen, as they later learned the bank intended to steal their retirement.  Did I mention this plot was unrealistic but still fun to watch.  Here are some other actors and actresses that are definitely an excellent reason to see Going in Style:  Matt Dillon as Special Agent Hamer, an FBI agent who investigates bank robberies,  Christopher Lloyd as Milton, the guys’ lodge buddy, Annabelle Chow as Lucy, the child witness, Kenan Thompson as Keith, a grocery store manager, Siobhan Fallon Hogan as Mitzi and John Ortiz as Jesus, a man of unspecified credentials who agrees to show the guys the ropes.  Well done — no need to pick this one apart — just enjoy it for what it is, entertaining and funny!

THE SHACK (2017) – My rating: 8.5/10

Ever notice how the background music in most spiritual movies sound alike — slow and with an elevation as though something divine is about to happen. Somehow, the movements are different and the aura of the characters are different. What they talk about and the way they talk is different. You know right away it’s a spiritual movie. The Shack had a lot of these attributes but without giving anything away. It is just a story about a super nice family (rare these days) consisting of two girls, Kate Phillips (Megan Charpentier), Missy Phillips (Amelie Eve) and a boy, Josh Phillips (Gage Munroe) plus mom, Nan Phillips (Radha Mitchell) and dad, Mackenzie “Mack” Phillips (Sam Worthington). They actually hung out as a family, going to church, family picnics, school events and eating dinner together. While that might sound corny to a lot of the world, it’s a pretty nice existence in a world full of smart phones, TV, drugs and so many other interest outside of plain old family values.  All is good until something horrific happens that rocks this family to their knees, especially dad.  Months later, on a snowy day, Mackenzie receives an invitation in his mailbox, signed by GOD as Papa, to meet at the very shack where tragedy still loomed in his head.  Because there were no footprints in the snow, Mackenzie had no idea how the invite got there.  He had just checked the mailbox moments ago.  There was no stamp and no return address.

While not 100% accurate, according to scripture, The Shack teaches a wonderful, spiritual lesson that I believe many can benefit from, even if you’re not a Christian.  The movie focuses on abuse, alcoholism, judgement, healing, forgiving, evil, love, why GOD, and gives an acceptable answer to why bad things happen to good people.  If you listen with an open mind and heart, you might get something out of this movie — and for those who go in knowing their scripture, you’ll have more information to add to what you already know.  The Shack is not boring — it held my attention.  It’s pretty hard to say more about the film without revealing spoilers, so I’ll leave up to you to see The Shack for yourself.  Octavia Spencer plays Papa, Missy’s nickname for GOD while (Tim McGraw) plays Willie, Mackenzie’s best friend.  Aviv Alush plays Jesus and (Sumire Matsubara) plays Sarayu, who completes the trio (Trinity) representing the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  I highly recommend The Shack, it really is enlightening!