#StepIsLife, #LoganLucky, and more – Movie Reviews

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Table of Reviews

Step – Review

Step – Budget Unknown – 1 hour and 23 minutes

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Step
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Blessin, Cori, and Tayla are seniors at The Baltimore Leadership School for Young Women. This private charter school is focused on helping the young women become focused, get great grades, and move on to college. This senior class is special because it was the founding class of the school also these three ladies are a part of the school’s step team. The step team’s founding member is Blessing Giraldo. She has a passion for Step that has not resonated in her school work. She has been focusing hard her senior year but has her step-mates get college acceptance letters, she becomes disenchanted and starts losing focusing again. To make matters harder, she does not have 100% parental support because her mother suffers from depression and the refrigerator is usually empty. Cori Grainger is focused on becoming the school’s valedictorian. She was 1st in class one year and that taste of being on top is in her veins. She dreams of attending John Hopkins but understands that being one of seven means money is non-existent. And with her step-dad losing his job and the power going out, she is more determined to make the grades necessary to get a scholarship. Tayla Soloman is a good student with a helicopter mom. She is often embarrassed by her mother’s over-involvement in step practice and in school. However, her mother is a Baltimore Correctional Officer. She has seen the end result of the lost children. She is determined to ensure that Tayla will be more. However, when Tayla grades slip, she must regain her passion and succeed. To these girls, Step Is Life. They must put in the work to reap the reward. The prize will not be handed to them. They must take it. And what they want to take is the Bowie Step Competition. The past the Lethal Ladies of Baltimore (LLOB) Step team has not won or even placed in this competition. While their school director Paula Dofat keeps an eye on their grades and college admissions, their Step Coach Gari McIntyre keeps her eye on the team, their steps, and the championship. These Lethal Ladies must come together to make their team and personal dreams come true.

This film begins at the start of the school year for these ladies, which happen to be after the Baltimore Riots and the murder of Freddie Gray. These 3 ladies are constantly second-guessing themselves and their future. It’s heartbreaking to hear Blessin say “Maybe I dream too big”, you want them to gain the self-confidence to dream big, do better, and become stronger. And as they step, they do. However, the pain of home and school often seeps into step practice and cause conflicts among the team members. They continue to step while applying to college, studying, and facing the mounting pressure of their own minds. It’s their coach Gari and their director Paula that act as a secondary parental figure. Since the senior class has 120 students, they get personalized attention they would not get in public school. The teachers and staff know each girl by name and are focused on their success. Not just academically but personally. Seeing them grow beyond their own interpersonal battles is the most rewarding aspect of this film. It should be used to inspire everyone. “Remember, it could have been us”.

I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars

I need them to understand this is way bigger than stepping – Gari

If they can make it through step practice, they can make it through life – Gari

Hopkins is for certain type of people and I didn’t think I was one of them – Cori

No, I am smart like my momma – Tayla

Step is a complete getaway for me – Blessin

Sorry, this is completely unprofessional – Paula

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Logan Lucky – Review

Logan Lucky – Budget of $29 million – 1 hour and 59 minutes

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Logan Lucky
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Jimmy, Clyde, and Mellie Logan are the Logan siblings.  Jimmy, a former high school prom king/football star, blew out his knee before his chance to go pro.  Clyde served 2 tours in Iraq.  But just before he went home, he lost his arm to an IED.  Mellie does hair at the local beauty salon but she has not met a car she couldn’t drive, fix, or control.  But days after Jimmy is fired, he comes up with a plan to make enough money to help his family and hire a lawyer to prevent his ex-wife Bobbie Joe from moving with his daughter Sadie to another state.   Jimmy tells Clyde he wants to rob the NASCAR’s Speedway by taking advantage of current construction work, the lack of security during a lesser-known race, and the Speedway’s pneumatic system.  Clyde and Jimmy know they can’t get to the volt without a “bomb guy”, so they go to see Joe Bang, in jail.  They tell Joe they have a plan to break him out of jail, do the robbery, and get him back to jail, without anyone noticing he is gone.  Joe is shocked and impressed but he has one condition to join the crew.  His brothers, Sam and Fish, must be involved in the heist in order to protect his interest.  After a “moral” conversation, Sam and Fish Bang agree to the heist.  With everything in place, Jimmy’s 10-step plan seems full proof.  Until he talks to an old friend and learned that the current construction is running ahead of schedule.  They will have to move the robbery up by a week, during the Memorial Day Coca-Cola 600.  The busiest and most secure race of the year.   At the end, this robbery will include roaches, gummy bears, a chemistry lesson, a jailhouse “riot”, Game of Thrones, cake, and cauliflower (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer).  Will the Logans finally become Lucky?

This is Ocean’s Eleven with less polish but just as sophisticated (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer).  You will need to keep an eye open for everything you see and your ears open to everything you hear.  This robbery movie throws several curve balls at the watcher to keep them on their toes while providing plenty of laughs.  It’s pure entertainment when watching the Logan Brothers convince the Bang Brothers to do the job.  As well as seeing Mellie behind the wheel and meeting any car knowledge challenge.  Don’t be surprised if you feel like you want to watch this movie twice.   You will feel like you missed something because they pull a fast one on the audience as well.  There should have been more information on the Bang brothers and their relationship.  Let’s see if they are given more in part 2.  There should be a part 2.

I give it 4 out of 5 stars

The only thing I need a cell phone for is to take pictures of you – Jimmy

Did you say cauliflower to me – Clyde

Don’t get greedy – Mellie

Well, I’m sitting on this side of the table wearing a onesie. How do think it’s going – Joe Bang

I love stick. I’m a big fan of stick – Moody

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Wind River – Review

Wind River – Budget of $11 million – 1 hour and 51 minutes

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Wind River
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Near to the town of Lander, there is Wind River Reservation.  They have had an issue with mountain lions killing the local livestock, so they call in U.S. Fish and Wildlife officer Cory Lambert.  It’s his job to hunt big animals and keep the town and reservation safe.  While tracking the family of lions, he comes across the dead body of Natalie Hanson.  She was barefoot, beaten, and raped.  Cory can see that her footprints are in the snow and she has frostbite on her feet and face.  He calls the murder into the Tribal police, who call the FBI.  Cory meets with Jane, the FBI agent, who realizes that his knowledge of the area will help her in the investigation.  She asks him to help her hunt for a killer.  Her biggest obstacle is the medical examiner.  He doesn’t want to list Natalie’s death as a murder because she died because of the exposure to the cold, not her injuries.  Jane and Cory are furious.  They know she was running from her attackers and that caused her to freeze and die.  Now Jane has to investigate without any other agents on her side.  Just the Trible Police and Cory.  While Jane hunts for a killer’s motive find him, Cory hunts for a killer’s trail to find him.  But during the investigation, Jane learns this hunt is personal for Cory.  Natalie was his daughter’s best friend and his daughter Emily was a murder victim too.  Solving this crime will not bring his daughter back, but it will bring the closure to a family that he was never given.

Inspired by several events among Native women, this is a heart-wrenching tale of crime, grief, and loss.  This movie completely contradicts with the picturesque landscapes, open land, and magnificent snow.  You learn that while the land is beautiful, it masks a horrible legacy of rape, drug abuse, and murder.  As Cory tells Jane how the victim died, you will feel the theater get colder and your chest tighten.  You will wonder how long you could survive given the circumstances.  This movie is different because you just don’t hear the crime, you see it first hand.  Also, you will see the effect her death has on her family but comes to no shock to the reservation.  And just as you find peace with the ending, you learn a horrible statistic.  The number of missing Native Women is not a tracked statistic.  No one knows for sure how many are missing.  Hopefully, this film will spark a change.

I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars

What’s the rule, son? Guns are always loaded, even when they ain’t – Cory

Why is it when you people say you want to help, it starts with an insult – Martin

Please don’t make me laugh – Jane

It’s not good – Ben

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