Movie Reviews

Movie Review: Thriller (2018)

Movie Review: Thriller (2018)

Director – Dallas Jackson

Characters/actors:
Lisa Walker – Jessica Allain
Lisa Walker (13years old) – Teshi Thomas
Derrick Jackson – Luke Tennie
Derrick Jackson (13years old) – Marcus Ryan Doyle
Ty Reynolds – Mitchell Edwards
Ty Reynolds (13years old) – Noah Abbott
Gina Brown – Paige Hurd
Gina Brown (13years old) – Jordan Alexa Davis
Tiffany Rodriguez – Chelsea Rendon
Tiffany Rodriguez (13years old) – Reggie Zavala
Andre Dixon – Tequan Richmond
Andre Dixon (13years old) – Charles W. Greer IV
Amani Morris (13years old) – Bria Singleton
Kim Morris – Pepi Sonuga
Kim Morris (13years old) – Brooke Singleton
Chauncy Page – Jason Woods
Chauncy Page (13years old) – Zachariah Waller
Ronny De Berry – Maestro Harrell
Ronny De Berry (13years old) – Philip Solomon
Eddie Gomez – Michael Ocampo
Eddie Gomez (13 years old) – Angel Bonilla
Principal Hurd – Rza
Unique – Chauncey Jenkins
Mrs. Cruz – Valery Ortiz
Detective Johnson – Mykelti Williamson

Chauncy Page is a sweet 14-year-old who stutters. He bought a hot dog, he sees a homeless man and gives that man the hot dog. Other kids make fun of Chauncy. A girl asks Chauncy to help her find a cat in an abandoned house. Chauncy goes in and a bunch of students in skull masks taunt and chase him through the house. At one point Chauncy ends up upstairs and pushes one of the skull mask wearing kids. That kid falls down to the first floor and ends up dead. The kids gather by the not yet cold body and decide that they will say that Chauncy did it. Chauncy is arrested and spends four years in juvenile detention. I appreciate the fact that they did not show us all the horrors Chauncy went through while in juvenile detention. Instead they eluded to what he went through by showing moving comic like pictures – getting on the prison bus, someone spitting on him when he gets in, getting kicked while on the floor and locked in a cell with a bunch of stronger/older men. I feel that if Chauncy’s mother had money to hire an expensive but competent law firm. Those lawyers would have investigated and figured out that Chauncy was not to blame for the death, it was an accident on his part and so he should not be the one getting punished. But unfortunately, Chauncy did not have a good defense lawyer, the cops heard from the other kids that Chauncy did it and they did not dig any deeper, and the prosecutor charged Chauncy and he ended up in jail.

The next scene is four years later and Chauncy is free! He goes back home to his mother who might be an alcoholic – it was during the day and she was drinking from the bottle but it’s understandable because her son was sent to jail. Chauncy’s mom is happy that he is back but she continues to drink alcohol. At one point Chauncy’s mom tries to get Chauncy to dance and when he refuses she gets really upset with him and verbally puts him down. Chauncy’s mom has issues that she needs to deal with being a single parent, trying to raise a boy into a man as a mom, her son went to jail, not having a great job, living in a not so great neighborhood, etc.

The kids who blamed Chauncy for the death, have continued with life and currently attend Compton High School. Once Chauncy is out, the kids who put him in jail begin to die one by one!

The themes I saw in this movie are:

Bullying – Chauncy was bullied by the neighborhood kids because he was a sweet boy who stuttered. Kids can be cruel and those same kids grow up to be adult bullies.

Feeling stuck – all the kids feel stuck in Compton and some are trying to get out while others have given up.

Ty Renolds is a football star and his chance to get out is through getting recruited by a big college to play football for them.

Lisa Walker got into Spellman and her family is trying to figure out how to pay for it.

Derrick on the other hand, is smart but has been letting his grades slip because he will end up dead soon anyway so as he put it – “what is the point?”

Revenge – Chauncy lost four years of his life because the kids who set up the messed up prank blamed him for it and now when those kids begin to die, they are getting their just desserts!

The ending surprised me because the killer was not who I expected it to be and the one who saved the day was not who I thought it would be! I really liked the fact that all the characters were African American in this movie and I could just enjoy watching brown skinned people just living life and it was wonderful! I would recommend this movie for people who like movies with killers and murder.

 

Movie Reviews

Movie Review: Astro Boy

Directed by David Bowers
Freddie Highmore as Astro Boy/Toby
Nicolas Cage as Dr. Tenma
Donald Sutherland as President Stone
Bill Nighy as Dr. Elefun
Kristen Bell as Cora
Dee Bradley Baker as Trashcan (dog)
 
I must confess that I love anime/cartoons! And Astro Boy did not disappoint.
Astro Boy is the story of a father (Dr. Tenma) who has no time for his son (Toby) until his Toby dies. Through his grief, Dr. Tenma creates a perfect replica of his son Toby, the only difference is that this Toby is a robot. Dr. Tenma takes Robot Toby home and tries to make him act like the original Toby. Dr. Tenma realizes that Robot Toby is different. Dr. Tenma rejects Robot Toby and Robot Toby goes out into the world to find out where he fits in.

The themes I saw in the movie are as follows:

Father/son relationship
Not having time for your loved ones
Destiny and finding your place in the world
What defines family?
What makes you human?
Protecting the ones you love
Finding where you belong
What it means to be a friend
Figuring out who you are and what you stand for
I loved this movie and I did get teary.

Movie Reviews

Movie Review: The Breadwinner

Director: Nora Twomey

Starring: Saara Chaudry, Soma Chhaya, Ali Badshah

Parvana is a girl growing up in Afghanistan under the Taliban. Her father (Nurullah) is arrested one day and unless there is a boy or man present to escort them outside, Parvana, her older sister (Soraya) and her mother cannot go outside. Parvana does have a younger brother (Zaki) but he is too small to be an escort (this is my conclusion, not something that the movie stated). Parvana’s mother (Fattema) goes with Parvana to make the long trip to the prison in hopes to find news on the condition of Parvana’s father; they figure if they do not draw attention to themselves then hopefully they can make it to the prison.

Unfortunately they are caught and Fattema is beaten. They go back home and Fattema is utterly defeated. It seems that they are to stay home and slowly starve to death. Parvana decides to cut off her hair, wear boy’s clothing and provide for her family. This is dangerous because if she is caught she will be killed but there is freedom in being a boy. Parvana is able to work, buy food, get water, etc without major issues. Parvana meets Shauzia who is a girl who also dresses up like a boy; they become friends and work jobs to make money. Throughout the story, Parvana continues telling the tale her father had started about a boy who goes into the mountains to face the elephant king and get the seeds that were stolen from his village (seeds the village needs to plant in order to have food).

I cried while watching this movie. I cried as Fattema was beaten, I cried when Parvana and her friend were getting shot at and I cried near the end when Parvana is at the prison begging to see her father.

I want to be as brave as Parvana one day, to find a way to accomplish my goals even when everything is going against me. Parvana touched the little girl in me, who climbed trees, questioned the mailman until he was scared and never wanted to have children. The little girl I was before I was weighed down by fear and others’ expectations of how I must act because I am a girl. That little girl in me is awake once again and together we will find our path.

My hope is that one day we as women can live in a world that we can reach our fullest potential and everyone is fine with that!

Movie Reviews

Movie Review: Mute

Directed by Duncan Jones

Starring Alexander Skarsgard

The main character is Leo (actor Alexander Skarsgard who also played Eric in True Blood)

Here we see Alexander Skarsgard in a different light than his True Blood character. As Leo, he is innocent, sweet and loves his girlfriend, Naadirah (played by Sayneb Saleh). Leo had an accident, when he was young, that messed up his vocal cords leaving him unable to talk. Anytime a character does not speak, it means the actor has to really sell the character’s emotions through their facial expressions and body movements, of which Alexander Skarsgard really did well!

My favorite scene is when Naadirah starts to tell Leo a secret that she has been keeping from him. Leo at first starts to panic thinking that she is breaking up with him, he tears up and after she reassures him that she is not breaking up with him. He writes “then nothing else is important”. I was so touched, that’s how real love is supposed to be, if you really love your person, accept your person with all of their flaws.

Naadirah disappears and Leo sets out to find her. He does not stop until he figures out the mystery. Along the way he discovers some bad things about Naadirah’s life but Leo gets it – don’t judge the person you said you love! Leo setting out to find Naadirah was harder for him because he doesn’t talk and through the film you saw how he communicated to strangers when asking about Naadirah. Leo did not let his non talking get in the way, he kept asking with a picture, pointing, beating people, drawing, writing, following, whatever it took to find his Naadirah.

The movie is set in Berlin, Germany, in the near future where cars fly. The main theme was love – mainly the love Leo has for Naadirah and secondly the love between two besties – Cactus (played by Paul Rudd) and Duck (played by Justin Theroux) – they drink together, do surgeries together (they are doctors), and were soldiers together in the past. Cactus is focused on getting forged documents for himself and his young daughter so that they can get out of Berlin while Duck is content with his life. Cactus discovers something really messed up about Duck which could potentially end their friendship but he decides to rough Duck up a bit and make Duck promise never to act on it, hence the love between to besties.

All in all, I liked this movie, it gave me hope that there are still some good men (like Leo) out in the world!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Movie Reviews

Secret (2007) directed by Jay Chou: Movie Review

This is a Taiwanese movie in MANDARIN CHINESE with ENGLISH SUBTITLES. You will have to read the subtitles the whole movie if you don’t speak Mandarin.

I’m usually never in the mood for subtitles no matter how good the movie looks but full disclosure I’m attempting to learn Mandarin so I was fine with the subtitles this go around. It’s actually a really beautiful movie with great music and subtle, modest romance.

I don’t remember anyone’s name and I’m not looking their names up because it really doesn’t matter to the story.  I am writing about this **WITH SPOILERS*** so if you are one of the many “SHHHH no spoilers!!! why oh why God?! You ruined my life by discussing a movie in its entirety” people….then this is not for you.

So there is this guy (let’s call him main character boy) and he is starting as a new student in a music high school. This girl (let’s call her supporting character girl) is showing him around the school. He ditches her to go explore the music building and hears wonderful music playing. When he goes to the piano room he sees another girl (let’s call her main character girl) on a ladder far away from the piano. For whatever reason, she doesn’t own up to being the talented musician who was just playing the amazing music he just heard  (she was probably socialized to be humble at all costs…eye roll… because unfortunately this nonsense is pervasive in a lot of different cultures… and she’s also just shy…ugh…girls…. we have so far to go).

Main character boy and girl form a romantic friendship that includes bicycle rides home, trips to the record store, stolen glances in the classroom, and eventually the cutest kiss on a rooftop. I liked that the camera angle was from behind the two as they were seated for their kiss. It’s as if the audience should respect that this is a private moment between the 2 of them, which makes it that much more powerful. Aww to be young and in love… (distant stare into the unknown….. oh romance you are a powerful drug…. just when I think I have you outta my system, you snake your way back into my life vicariously through romantic movies, damn you romance…. fist shake…. damn you!).

There is a miscommunication that ends up in main character boy kissing supporting character girl instead of his main squeeze main character girl! So what does main character girl do? SHE GHOSTS THE HELL OUT OF HIM LIKE A BOSS!!!!! She straight up disappears which is concerning because she is in high school and education first, ladies! But as a response to a man’s foolishness, I was completely here for it! I would’ve been out too.

Main character boy: It was just a…

Me: …………… GHOSTED. GONE. BYE.

A lot more happens and the movie pivots to science fiction/fantasy but that’s all I feel like writing about. Awesome movie, thumbs up.

 

Movie Reviews

Movie Review: Matters of the Heart (MOTH)

 

Written and directed by Nancy Vazquez               

Tasha Cleaver (played by Alana Johnson) is a college student majoring in Psychology. One of Tasha’s professors gives Tasha and her classmates a case study to get acquainted with. Tasha’s case study is a woman named Linda Blake (played by Nancy Vazquez) who is in a psychiatric hospital for murdering several people whom she says hurt her.

The story touches on themes of sexual abuse, revenge, second chances and faith.

The locations and B roll for the film were all in New Jersey, which was cool! The film had six female producers (Khairah L. Walker, Melissa Grant, Khairaah Davis, Nancy Vazquez, Lakeesha Williams, Michele Frantzeskos)!