|Table of Reviews|
White Boy Rick – Review
White Boy Rick – Budget of $29 million – 1 hour and 56 minutes
Rick Sr and his son Rick Jr buy guns in Oklahoma to sell in Detroit. While he can legally sell guns, it’s his homemade silencers that are the real problem. Sr. uses those silencers as an upsell for his guns. Rick Jr takes his dad’s advice and goes to the local auto body shop run by Detroit’s biggest dealer, Jackson, to sell the guns. They buy Rick Jr’s guns but it’s his bravado that wins them over. He is dubbed White Boy Rick and asked to come to the Skate and Roll by Booh (Jackson’s little cousin). Rick goes home with money in his pocket but his family is falling apart. His sister Dawn is a drug addict and is leaving with her drug-dealing boyfriend Ty. And a gun his father sold was used in a murder. Wanting an escape, Rick goes to the Skate and Roll and have fun. But on is way home, three cops ask him to get in a car. They give him money to buy drugs at one of Jackson’s house to help get dirt on Jackson. If he doesn’t help, they will throw his father in jail. Rick agrees and succeeds. A few days later, the cops give him cocaine. They tell him to make crack, get a crew, and sell it. Any money Rick makes, he can keep. They want Rick to get more information about the crew so they can make a better case. But when Rick is shot, he is out of the game for 2 years. But with one major life event, Rick decides to use his new knowledge to become the country’s youngest kingpins.
Based on a true story, it’s hard to believe everything happened in 3 short years. Rick went from being a 14-year-old gun dealer to a 17-year-old drug kingpin. However, when you watch the movie, you have to ask yourself one question: Who gave Ricky his start? The cops, who gave him his first brick of cocaine to sell. His dad, for not stopping his son and insisting Ricky do something different with his life. The system, for not allowing Ricky back in school after he was a victim of a crime. Ricky, for not seeing any other options for himself and his family. Or all of the above. A sad reality this movie points out is having more than 655 grams of cocaine in Detroit offered a stiffer penalty than murder. So, dealers worried more about the weight of drugs they carried than the lives they took. It was this dragnet that caught Ricky in the long run.
I give it 4 out of 5 stars
What do you think dad is Ricky – Dawn
I didn’t steal the car. I borrowed it. Someone stole it from me – Ricky
Be a lion – Ricky Sr.
A Simple Favor – Review
A Simple Favor – Budget of $20 million – 1 hour and 57 minutes
Stephanie starts her vlog by saying hello to all her followers. But before she starts her next project, she updates them on her friend Emily’s disappearance. The two met five days ago because Stephanie’s son Miles wanted to have a playdate with Emily’s son Nicky. Emily has them all back at her house. And while the boys play, the two mom’s have martinis and talk. Stephanie reveals she is an English Lit major and homemaking guru. She was widowed when her husband and brother died in the same car accident. Because her husband left a life insurance policy, she can afford to be a single stay-at-home mother until 2020. She likes to keep busy and uses her vlog as an outlet to help other moms. Emily is the Director of Public Relations for a fashion designer. She pursued her husband Sean and got him to marry her in a few months. Sean wrote a successful book but hasn’t written anything in 10 years. Now he is a college professor. While everything looks great on the outside, the couple is house poor and in financial debt. After a few more playdates, the two are at ease with each other. So at ease that Emily asks Stephanie to watch her kid while she takes care of work. The first pick up goes without incident, but the next is different. Emily doesn’t come back, doesn’t answer calls, and doesn’t answer text. Worried, Stephanie calls Sean in London with his sick mother. Sean flies home and agrees that the police need to be called. That was 5 days ago. With a phony plane ticket, a car rental, and $4 million, Stephanie wonders what happened to her friend Emily. Let’s hope Stephanie has some faith.
Based on the novel A Simple Favor by Darcey Bell, this movie is more than a roller coaster ride (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer). It is the entire theme park. With out-of-this-world twists and turns, it’s hard to keep straight what is really going on. And don’t take Stephanie’s innocent face for a sweet backstory. She has plenty of skeletons in her closet that will make you cringe and want more. These women together are one combustible mix that makes for a unique, fun, and intriguing movie. This is the type of movie that makes you want to read the book. See it now before someone ruins it for you.
I give it 5 out of 5 stars
Like my mom always said, lies are like margarine. Easy to spread but bad for the heart – Stephanie
The best thing I can do for Nicky is blow my brains out – Emily
It’s 5 o’clock somewhere – Sean
A Boy. A Girl. A Dream. – Review
A Boy. A Girl. A Dream. – Budget Unknown – 1 hour and 30 minutes
Cass’s watching the state by state results for the 2016 election when Frida crosses his path. He takes a moment to talk to her. Frida stopped at a food truck after she couldn’t get into a club. Cass – a club promoter – tells her he “doesn’t do lines”. And if she rolls with him, she won’t have to stand in line. She turns him down and continues to eat. He walks away with his friend and a group of women. After an affirming conversation with his son, Cass’s joined by Frida. She changed her mind and decided to come. Once in the club, the two accidentally kiss. In shock, Frida runs to the bathroom. Cass joins her and they start to make out. But when Cass goes a step too far, she leaves the club. He offers to get her a ride but she brushes him off. Then he turns away only to hear a commotion. Two men are harassing Frida and he fights them off. Cops witnessing this assumes Cass’s the perpetrator and slams him against a wall. Frida screams to the cops that they are attacking the wrong guy. With the 2 men in the wind, the cops leave Frida is awestruck and Cass bloody. Having a guy fight for her instead of fighting her strikes a nerve in Frida. The two will spend the rest of the night talking about their hopes and dreams while the world changes.
Amazingly this movie was shot all in one take. It’s hardly noticeable until the camera has to readjust on the fly or the actors’ head is cut off. But having a play on a street with multiple building, traffic patterns, and actors is a difficult orchestra of planning. Because this is all in one take, you don’t delve too deep into what lead each character to their current positions in life. Just that each was following a dream and now they are stuck. But with the night’s conversation, their dream deferred will be their mission in life. There are moments when your mind will drift as the two are quiet for long periods of time, so be prepared for that. Also, while Cass’s dream is spoken, you won’t get to see it. Only imagine it.
I give it 3 out of 5 stars
Nobody ever gets what they really want – Frida
I’m just doing my job – Cass
|Table of Reviews|
Mile 22 – Review
Mile 22 – Budget of $35 million – 1 hour and 34 minutes
Sixteen months ago, black operatives stormed a home looking for cesium while being overseen by Overwatch. They killed everyone inside and got away without being seen. Now, Jimmy is furious because his partner Alice got bad intel. There was more cesium than they were told. He knows this because of an officer named Li Noor. Li crashed into someone on purpose in front of the U.S. Embassy. And to make matters worse, Li was Alice’s asset for the first mission. He has a disc containing the location of the last cesium. And this disc is slowly removing its information with every passing second. Li wants safe passage out of the country and he will give Jimmy the code to unlock the disc and save the data. The airstrip is 22 miles away from their current location. With Overwatch monitoring from the sky, this seems like an easy trip. But this trip will leave a scar on Jimmy that can never be healed.
So much action packed into one movie is just not possible. But Mile 22 finds a way to get it done and get it done right. Mile 22 doesn’t waste time with holier than thou good guys or over the top evil bad guys. It makes every person human and with a purpose. You will not only hear but you will feel each death blow and get a strong sense of this teams connection. Even as they leave members behind to fight to the death, it is done with a moment of sadness. But the mission must continue. This movie can only be appreciated on the big screen so you can see each move through smoke and fire. See it today and look forward to a part 2.
I give it 4 out of 5 stars
I just wasted 10 minutes coming back for you – Jimmy
Don’t. I’m a mother – Alice
Stop monologuing – Mother
Crazy Rich Asians – Review
Crazy Rich Asians – Budget of $30 million – 2 hours and 0 minutes
Economics professor Rachel Chu is completely in love with her boyfriend Nick Young. Nick’s best friend Collin is getting married in Singapore and Nick is a groomsman. Nick wants Rachel to come as his date to the wedding and take this chance to meet his family. While sitting in a restaurant discussing the trip, Nick is spotted by 2 women who use social media to alert the world of his relationship. In seconds, his mother Eleanor gets wind of Rachel and Nick’s relationship. She warns Nick not to bring her but Nick defies her. On their way to Singapore, Rachel learns that Nick’s family is uber rich. Now, she not only has to worry about thumbing her knows at traditional culture but walking the line of rich etiquette. Both worlds make her feel like an outsider. Is Rachel’s love for Nick stronger than Eleanor discontent for her?
Based on the Crazy Rich Asians Trilogy by Kevin Kwan, the power of money is on full display but the Young family does it with so much style and class you want to be one of them (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer). That is until Nick gives you an overview of his whole family. You see that money, while it has been extremely helpful, it has become a leash around their necks. While Rachel is seeing this all first hand, she is making a careful decision about her possible function in this family. As bitter exes, overbearing mothers, and gossipers try to put a wedge between Rachel and Nick, you will laugh each step of the way. But Rachel has her best friend Goh Peik Lin and her family by her side to help. Just when you believe the two have found their “happily ever after”, this movie does what no other does, it extends the story beyond what you know as “the end”. It’s not just a cultural phenomenon but a unique twist to the Cinderella love story. Except, Rachel is the one to be feared not rescued. See it today.
I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars
Of course. I’m not an animal – Goh Peik Lin
Do get a mop. The floor is wet – Eleanor
You dealt with it – Nick
Family never says thank you – Grandma
It’s not my job to make you feel like a man – Astrid
I buried it. It was disgusting – Rachel
Alpha – Review
Alpha – Budget of $55 – 80 million – 1 hour and 36 minutes
Keda has just passed is the spear-making test and can now join the seasonal hunt for bison. He and his tribe must travel the sacred path to the bison in order to keep their tribe alive. Keda’s father, the Chief believes this will make him stronger. He knows Keda is smart but worry he does not command the strength and killing instincts to be the Chief. Traveling to the hunt is long, painful, and dangerous, so the women, including Keda’s mother, are extremely worried about their safe return. When the hunters find their prey, they prepare by hunkering down. They strike and lead some of the animals to their death by having them jump off a cliff. But one turns around and comes straight for Keda. Keda is thrown off a cliff and onto a ledge. The Chief tries to save him but his men stop him because Keda is too far down. They believe Keda is dead, leave burial markers, and return home. Keda wakes up on the ledge after a buzzard tries to eat him. He is on a ledge, with a broken leg, and all alone. But not for long. He will meet a wolf and take mercy on it. This chance meeting will forge the “first” relationship between man and dog.
You will quietly chuckle as you see the “first” game of tug & war and fetch played between Keda and Alpha. The layer of trust isn’t given instantly between the two. It is earned over several days and nights while Keda and Alpha are healing and hiding from a pack of hyenas. However, with the touching storyline, it is the cinematography of each scene that will leave you awestruck. A director has not used light and scenery like this since The Revenant (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer). IMAX was made for movies like this. See it matinee today but be prepared for lots of subtitles.
I give it 3 out of 5 stars
Pain will journey with us – Tau
He leads with his heart not with his spear – Mom
I will keep you alive – Keda