#JustMercy, #1917movie, and #Underwater – Movie Reviews

Table of Reviews

Just Mercy – Review

Just Mercy – Budget Unknown – 2 hours and 16 minutes

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In 1987, Walter McMillian, Johnny D to his family, cleared trees and looked up to the evening sky.  He had no idea it would be the last day he would look at the sky as a free man.  On the way home, he was met with a police blockade.  The sheriff told him to get out of the car.  He was arrested for the brutal murder of Ronda Morrison.  After the jury sentenced Johnny D to life, the judge overrode their sentence and give Johnny D the death penalty.  In Jackson, Georgia, Bryan Stevenson is an intern meeting with death row inmates to update them about their case.  He is stunned to see a man his age and with the same background on death row.  After he graduates Harvard 2 years later, Bryan moves to Alabama, he gets federal funding to start the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI), and he hires Eva as his Director of Operations.  Bryan is unprepared for the uphill battle he will have just to rent an office, nevermind defending his clients.  When he meets Johnny D for the first time, Bryan is faced with a humiliating, unnecessary, and illegal strip search.  Before he meets Johnny D, Bryan meets Herbert.  A Vietnam vet with extreme emotional trauma and delusions.  Herbert admits to leaving a bomb on the doorstep that killed a girl but he was delusional at the time.  He thought he was being attacked.  Bryan takes his case and hopes he can have Herbert put in a mental facility.  After meeting 4 other clients, Bryan meets Johnny D.  He offers to help Johnny D but Johnny D doesn’t want to hear it.  Johnny D gets frustrated and leaves.  Bryan refuses to quit and meets with Johnny D’s family.  They all admit attending a church fish fry with Johnny D the day of the murder.  And later, a co-worker says Johnny D was with him.  Bryan tells the family he will take the case and they don’t have to worry about paying.  The EJI works for free.  After hearing Bryan met with his family, Johnny D agrees to let Bryan be his lawyer.  But he warns Bryan that he is about to make a lot of enemies and could be killed.  Bryan refuses to give up because wants everyone to have an equal shot at justice.

Based on Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson, this story is moving, painful, and honest (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer).  It speaks on the unfair scales of justice based on race, class, economics, and political standing.  You will be moved to tears when Bryan’s efforts fall short for some.  You will be enraged when blatant displays of injustice are ignored.  You will be disgusted as a town, who prides itself as the home of To Kill a Mockingbird, defends a sheriff’s open disregard for the criminal justice system.  At first glance, you will become angry at Ralph Myers.  But as the film progress, you will learn the true nature of why he has done what he has done.  You will sympathize with his agonizing decision.  When you watch, remind yourself: This didn’t happen during slavery or Jim Crow laws.  This happened in the late 1980s, less than 40 years ago.   Bryan eloquently stresses that many sit on death row because they had inadequate or no legal representation at the time.  Life and death is not a decision that should be based on injustice.  To make a donation to the EJI, click here.

I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars

I taught you all of that – Johnny D

People just want to know what your intentions are – Thomas Chapman

I don’t need people to like me as long as I’m doing what I’m supposed to do – Eve Ansley

I believe that hopelessness is the enemy of justice – Bryan Stevenson

He got any kids? – Ralph Myers

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1917 – Review

1917 – Budget of $90 million – 1 hour and 59 minutes

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Lance Corporal Thomas Blake is woken by his captain.  He tells Blake to follow him and bring a friend.  Blake wakes up is friend Lance Corporal Will Schofield.  General Erinmore wants Blake and Schofield to send a message to the 2nd battalion of the Devonshire Regiment.  The Regiment’s leader,  Colonel Mackenzie, believes he has the upper hand because the Germans have retreated.  However, this was a strategic maneuver.   The Germans moved their line 9 miles back to ambush them with an attack like no other seen in the war.  Blake and Schofield must find Colonel Mackenzie and tell him to stop the attack.  If Blake and Schofield don’t deliver the message in time, 1600 men – including Blake’s older brother – will die.  They will have to walk to the original German frontline through no-mans-land, and into enemy territory to deliver the message.  Blake and Schofield are given extra supplies and sent on their way.  Upon hearing their mission, a captain gives them a flare gun to signal when they have arrived at the original German frontline.  Blake wants to leave now but Schofield tells him to wait until nightfall.  Schofield has been through this before and received a medal for his service.  Hearing his brother is in danger has lit a fire inside Blake, he is determined to go with or without Schofield now.  The two men leave the trenches to carry out their mission.

With well-choreographed, continuous shots, this story – derived from the director’s grandfather’s accounts – will leave you with awe, heartbreak, and pride.  These men conquer rats, barbed wire, tripwire, being buried alive, and the enemy with a stiff upper lip and bravery.  With each step, they are reminded of the danger that lies ahead.  They run across dead horses and dead men being eaten by scavengers and rotting away on the battlefield.  During the few quiet moments, they take time to tell stories of home and the pain behind earning a medal.  In these moments, you learn the truth and spirit behind both men.  You should view this movie on the largest screen possible to enjoy its majesty.  Be warned: if you or a loved one suffer from battle-related PTSD, this movie may be too much for you.

I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars

Did they feed us – Lance Corporal Blake

I have my uses – Lance Corporal Schofield

He who travels fastest travels alone – General Erinmore

Some men just want the fight – Captain Smith

I hoped today might be a good day. Hope is dangerous – Colonel Mackenzie

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Underwater – Review

Underwater – Budget of $60 – 80 million – 1 hour and 35 minutes

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TIAN industries are drilling 7 miles to the bottom of the Mariana Trench for resources.  Nora, a mechanical engineer, brushes her teeth as the Kepler (their underwater station) around her starts to break apart.  The drilling has caused a huge earthquake causing the rig to rip apart.  She runs for safety when she catches up to Rodrigo.  They close up their hatch to prevent further damage, leaving many to perish.  As they crawl through the Kepler to find the escape pods, they find Paul in the rubble alive.  They pull him out and make their way to the pods.  They find Captain Lucien alone and all the pods are gone.  Lucien, Nora, Paul, and Rodrigo make it to the control base to find Emily and Liam, biologist and engineer respectively.  After they can’t make contact with the surface, Nora tells Lucien that a nuclear explosion is inevitable.  They have to leave if they want to survive.  Lucien comes up with a plan.  They will put on pressurized suits, descend to the ocean floor, walk one mile to the Roebuck station, and board the escape pods.  Nora points out that the suit wasn’t designed to handle that amount of pressure.  They could die of insufficient oxygen or damaged suits.  Also, they will be walking in the dark with some who are inexperienced divers.    Lucien points out that staying will ensure their death.  Leaving will give them a chance to survive.  They walk out not knowing the horror in front of them.  When TIAN drilled, they let something out.  Something big, sightless, and determined to eat them all.

With limited and predictable jump scares, this movie could have been made with real sea predators and had the same impact.  If you choose to see this movie in the theaters, you need to see it from the beginning.  The story of TIAN industries and what they are doing is covered in newspaper clippings.  During the film, you see hints for a possible prequel.  In the end, you will see hints for a possible sequel.  Both should not be seen in theaters and should go direct to DVD.  See this movie when it comes to Vudu (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer).

I give it 2.5 out of 5 stars

That’s what a captain does – Captain Lucien

Could you please just admit we might die – Nora

Has anyone else ever walked out there before? – Emily

You know what the fish said when he ran into the brick wall? Damn – Paul

I didn’t like the sounds on that transmission – Liam

Here, you take this one – Rodrigo

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