#RomanIsraelMovie, #PixarCoco, and more – Movie Review

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Table of Reviews

Roman J. Israel, Esq. – Review

Roman J. Israel, Esq. – Budget of $22 million – 2 hours and 9 minutes

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Roman J. Israel, Esq.
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Roman J. Israel is a partner and the “man behind the curtain” at Willam Henry Jackson Law Firm for 26 years.  Roman his happy to stay behind his desk and draw up briefs while William fights in court.  When William has a heart attack and takes a turn for the worst, Roman learns that the law firm will be dismantled and absorbed into George Pierce’s Law Firm.  Roman had no clue of Williams plans.  George offers him a job with his firm, but Roman is not comfortable being an attorney focused on profit.  Roman has always focused on activism and civil liberties.  But when the job market turns cold, Roman takes George’s offer.  During his first case, Roman gets information from his client to give to the DA in exchange for a lesser charge.  When negotiations go bad, his client dies.  Then Roman has an altercation that leads Roman to stop “doing the impossible for the ungrateful” and think of himself.  This one action takes him down a path of self-judgment that will force him to his ultimate goal.

Roman had the savant abilities of Monk and Sheldon Cooper; however, he has their social graces too (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer).  If you can get past his inability to “know when he reached other’s limit” and see to his genius, you can see the beauty in this film.  Now be forewarned, this movie has a slow build up to help you understand Roman’s struggle with everyday life.  He has a mind and clothes set in the 70’s, technology set 2001, but dealing in a 2017 world.  It’s hard for him to adapt.  But when he does, he goes so far off the path, he doesn’t recognize himself.  This is one you have to see but be prepared for a slow build and a shocking but satisfying ending.

I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars

You stand on his soldiers – Mia

Like the flag pin on your lapel – Roman

I disbelieve that – Mrs. Jackson

I’ll talk to him – George

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Disney & Pixar’s Coco – Review

Disney & Pixar’s Coco – Budget of $175 – 225 million – 1 hour and 49 minutes

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Disney & Pixar's Coco
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Miguel believes his life was cursed many years ago.  His great great grandfather was a musician who left his family to pursue music and never returned.  His great, great grandmother Mamá Imelda Rivera decided not to cry about her husband but built a career making shoes.   She passed her knowledge down to her daughter Coco (Miguel’s great-grandmother) and it has been passed down the generations ever since.  But what has not been passed down is music.  The family has been forbidden to play, sing, or listen to any music.  Miguel has a passion for music like Ernesto De La Cruz, the greatest musician in Mexican history.

When he runs to play Dia de Los Muertos Talent show, his grandmother Elena Rivera smashes his guitar.  Looking at an old picture of Coco and her parents, Miguel notices that the guitar in the picture looks exactly like Ernesto’s guitar.  Miguel surmises that Ernesto is his great, great grandfather and believe they guitar in Ernesto’s crypt is his birthright.  Miguel decides to get the guitar and play it for the talent show.  To tune it, Miguel plays one note, this alerts the townspeople to come to Ernesto’s crypt.  They see the guitar but no Miguel. Miguel is only visible to the dead, not the living.  His ancestors, who are crossing for the Day of the dead, come to Miguel’s aid to cross back to the land of the living.  If he doesn’t get back before sunrise, Miguel will be stuck forever. Imelda will give her blessing with one condition, he doesn’t play music in life or death.  Miguel agrees, gets the blessing, goes back to the living, strums Ernesto’s guitar, and then goes back to the land of the dead. Imelda is furious.  She attempts to offer him the same blessing with the same conditions, Miguel refuses.  Since a relative can only give the blessing, Miguel is going to find another ancestor to bless him without conditions.  Miguel is determined to find Ernesto De La Cruz before sunrise.

This movie is a masterpiece, not just for a cartoon but for movies period.  Coco was meant to be seen in 3D.  With imagery that leaps off the screen, it’s hard not to be in awe of the world Pixar developed.  They provided children and adults with the knowledge and history of the Day of the Dead.  It’s a great way to have children and teens understand that passing on their family history is not only important but a necessity.  It does throw in some Spanish, but you will understand everything being said.  The storyline, while a bit predictable, added warmth and strength to each character.  Even though Imelda was abandoned, she refused to cry.  Instead, she started a business.  The whole town is scared of Elena and she runs the family with an iron fist; she will feed them (no matter what) out of love.  With Miguel’s journey, he will conclude on the importance of family, history, and forgiveness.  See this movie today before someone gives away the ending.  And don’t miss the short film “Olaf’s Frozen Adventure”.   It is fun segway into the main movie.  So make sure you get there early enough to catch it.

I give it 5 out of 5 stars

If it wasn’t for my family – Miguel

Never name a street dog. They will follow you around forever. Now go get my shoe – Renee

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Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri – Review

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri – Budget of $15 million – 1 hour and 55 minutes

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Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri
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Driving along Drink Water Road, Mildred sees 3 rusted unused billboards and gets an idea.  She puts a down payment on the boards and they read:

  1. Raped While Dying
  2. And Still No Arrest?
  3. How Come, Chief Willoughby?

It’s not long before the Chief William Willoughby gets the message and goes to Mildred to find out why she would post these billboards.  She wants answers for her daughter Angela’s murder after 6 months of hearing nothing.  The Chief tries to explain that the DNA didn’t match anyone with a criminal history and there were no eyewitnesses, so he can’t do anything about it.  All his leads are exhausted and he can’t make headway in the case.  As news of the billboards picks up, the town has more sympathy for William than Mildred.  The deputy, dentist, he ex-husband, and priest all try to sway Mildred, but she won’t budge.  However, with one gunshot, everything in this town will change with fiery fury.  And the story will end the same as it began, with someone driving down the road, contemplating a plan.

This is just a damn good story that will make you cringe, scream, laugh, and drop your jaw.  It has the perfect amount of humor and tragedy.  It’s almost Shakespearean in its storytelling of human emotions and interactions.  Just as you want to hate a character, they do something redeeming.  Just as you want to love a character, they do something awful.  You plead with them to stop and think before they do something regrettable.  You hope for them as they lose everything.  With everything happening in this movie, Mildred’s last words to her daughter will shatter your heart.   This movie cannot be missed and every actor was astounding.

I give it 5 out of 5 stars

I guess – Red

Did I say something wrong – Pamela

You drilled a hole in a dentist – Denise

Thanks for coming here anyway father – Robbie

We’re all dying – Mildred

Your move – Chief Willoughby

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The Man Who Invented Christmas – Review

The Man Who Invented Christmas – Budget Unknown – 1 hour and 54 minutes

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The Man Who Invented Christmas
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Fresh off his America tour for Oliver Twist, Charles Dickens is happy to be back in London (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer).  While he found Americans to be ‘enthusiastic’, he was ready to go home.  Once home, he created 3 flops and was falling behind on his bills.  With house renovations, money owed to the publishers, legal fees, and another baby on the way, Charles needs to write a new best-selling book now.  He hears one of his maids, Tara, telling the kids a story about ghost visiting during Christmas.  He learns it’s an old Irish tale of the veil between the living and the dead being lifted on Christmas Eve.  Later, he meets a rich man with nothing but contempt for the poor, who believes they should all die.  Then he sees a man quickly and quietly burying his business partner.   When the man approaches Charles, the man only says ‘Humbug’.  These three encounters will lead Dickens to go on a journey that will change how we celebrate the holidays forever.

Based on The Man Who Invented Christmas by Les Standiford, it’s hard to believe there was a time when Christmas was seen as a passing fade (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer).  His publishers didn’t believe that a Christmas book would sell because no one celebrated it.  So Charles published A Christmas Carol on his own (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer).  But as he gained inspiration from his book, the characters haunted him.  They forced him to recognize his painful past and it’s effect on his present.  During the final scene, Dickens becomes the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come while standing in his past and having Scrooge confront him about the present.  This is the most remarkable scene in the movie.  While it’s an ok movie, it doesn’t really capture your attention until the last 5 minutes.  So see this one at the matinee price.

I give it 2 out of 5 stars

Only the best for Mr. Dickens – Mr. Foster

Charles, I am relieved to see you out and about – Zachary

It was fizzing – Tara

Copperfield, you say? – Charles Dickens

I know, you don’t deserve me – Kate

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