|Table of Reviews|
Elvis – Review
Elvis – Budget of $85 million – 2 hours and 39 minutes
Colonel Tom Parker sets up for his next show with Hank Snow, and Hank’s son, Jimmie, puts a song on the album player (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer). His father tells him to turn it off because it’s black music, but Billy says the singer is white. Tom wants to find the singer immediately and manage his career. The singer works for Sun Records and has greasy hair with makeup, so Tom tracks down the singer and follows him to get a moment to talk. Tom catches the young singer in a private moment with his family before singing in front of the crowd. The singer, Elvis Presley, hits the stage, and the girls go wild. Tom sees the girls have feelings they aren’t sure they should have. And Tom believes it’s time for the Show-Man to meet the Snow-Man. Tom offers Elvis a spot on Hank’s tour, but only with Elvis’s parents’ approval. Tom creates Elvis Presley Enterprises and puts Elvis’s dad, Vernon, in charge. Now, Elvis is ready to take the world by storm with Tom by his side. And according to Tom, he brought Elvis to the top, but something else brought Elvis down. Tom will give his accounts of Elvis, Elvis’s military service, money, marriage, and downfall for you to judge.
What happens when the tamer loses control of the lion? Tom answers that question loud and clear. Tom narrates the story to redeem himself after suffering a heart attack. He discusses Elvis’s love of superheroes, growing up in a black community, rise to stardom, marriage, and addiction. However, he blames Elvis’s downfall on long-haired hippies and politics. As the story of their relationship unfolds, history plays in the background. Through the deaths of Martin Luther King Jr., Bobby Kennedy, and Mahalia Jackson, Elvis keeps singing and Tom dealing. As you listen to the story, you wonder what Tom is hiding because he refuses to let Elvis go International. However, he got Elvis the biggest deal in history, the first satellite concert, and a residency in Vegas. It’s easy to see how Elvis fell for the glitz and glamor without checking the contracts or background. Would Elvis be Elvis without Tom? That’s up to you to decide.
I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars
I didn’t kill Elvis. I made Elvis – Tom
I’m ready to fly – Elvis
Don’t wear yourself out trying to get rich – Gladys
You were incredible. You were everything – Priscilla
Can you do it, Colonel – Vernon
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The Black Phone – Review
The Black Phone – Budget of $16 million – 1 hour and 42 minutes
Finny plays baseball but fails to strike out the opposing team’s best pitcher, Bruce. After the game, Bruce compliments Finny, and the teams leave the field. Sometime after, Finny walks to school with his sister, Gwen, and they see a missing person’s flyer up for Bruce. Gwen believes The Grabber got Bruce, and he’s never coming back.
Finny hides in the bathroom at school, and three bullies come in. They call out his name, and Finny comes out of hiding. They name-call him until Robin walks into the bathroom. The bullies saw Robin beat up Moose earlier. As Robin washes Moose’s blood off his fist, he warns them not to miss with Finny. Or Robin will mess with them. Robin warns Finny that he needs to defend himself because Robin can’t do it forever. At the same time, the principal calls Gwen into his office. She told someone that she had dreams of the missing boys and black balloons. The police never released details about the balloons and now want to know how she heard about it. Gwen makes a profanity-laced statement to them and asks permission to leave the room. Finally, Gwen admits that she has visions in her dreams that come true. The detective gives Gwen his business card in case she has another. Those dreams won’t help because The Grabber got Robin.
Finny is the punching bag without Robin’s protection, and home isn’t better. Finny wakes up to hear his alcoholic father, Terrence, beating Gwen because the police came to his job asking about her dreams. Terrence tells Gwen to never talk about her visions again. After school, Gwen leaves to visit a friend, and Finny walks home to look after their dad. Finny sees a man drop his groceries and offers to help. The man snatches Finny off the street using black balloons as a diversion. Finny tries to attack the man, leaving a deep gash on the man’s arm. The man sprays something in Finny’s mouth, puts Finny in the car, and drives away.
Finny wakes up on a mattress in a soundproofed concrete room. A masked man tells Finny he won’t hurt him, locks the door, and leaves. Finny takes in his surroundings and notices a black phone on the wall. He picks it up to make a call for help but hears nothing. Then, he sees someone cut the cord, and Finny accepts his fate. That is, until the phone rings. Finny picks up, but the caller doesn’t recall his name. The caller remembers The Grabber and Finny’s arm. The caller is Bruce. He warns Finny to get out, or The Grabber will kill Finny just like him.
This psychological thriller is not a horror movie as advertised. It goes beyond that and becomes a tale of triumph and strength. Just to let you know, this movie doesn’t depict child molestation. However, it displays child abuse. Gwen and Finny share an unbreakable bond. While Finny runs from bullies, Gwen refuses to back down for anyone. She curses out the cops and God. Finny must learn to fight back and use his wits to save himself. The victims on the phone give Finny all the tools he needs to survive and overcome The Grabber. The moment Finny squares his shoulders, you will cheer for him. There are a few jump scares but nothing grotesque. There are no unnecessary scenes, and you get a complete story. Luckily, the plot doesn’t try to get into The Grabber’s psyche or make viewers feel empathy for the monster. This story is about Finny growing into a confident young man with help from past victims.
I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars
Finny’s arm is mint – Bruce
You’re never getting out of here. I’m never getting out of here – Finny
Please forgive me – Terrence
Sometimes my dreams are right – Gwen
What’s your name – The Grabber
You have to fight back – Robin
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