Archive for Crime Story

Paramount Pictures, Skydance Media, Huahua Media,

Tom Cruise, Cobie Smulders, Danika Yarosh, Austin H├ębert, Patrick Heusinger, Aldis Hodge, Holt McCallany, Robert Knepper, Robert Catrini

“Jack Reacher” (Tom Cruise) in 2012 present Tom Cruise as an ex military police, lone vigilante type real badasss. [Click Here for Ed’s Review] Jack is back, this time under suspicion for murder, and watching people near him getting taken out at a speedy pace in this sequel to the 2012 film. Turner (Cobie Smulders) is in the office and is his primary contact, but when he arrives to see her in person he finds that she has been arrested for espionage, and those who are out to get him are after her too. It turns out it could be a huge conspiracy involving high up military personnel as well as a primary private contractor involved in a massive corrupt scheme. But Jack isn’t ready for another surprise as he finds out that he’s also wanted as a deadbeat Dad, since a woman filed a claim against him for a daughter he never knew anything about. She’s 15 now, and a true street rat named Samantha (Danika Yarosh) who is suddenly mixed up with Reacher and Turner as all three of them are on the run and trying to stay alive in this ultimately violent and extremely intense action film.

So it’s not surprising to anyone when I say that I’ve not been a Tom Cruise fan for many years, especially after the Mission Impossible disasters which I absolutely loathed. But I have to admit that he does a really good job with his Reacher character. It’s been a long time since we’ve had someone as rough and tough as this guy. He reminds me a lot of Charles Bronson in his heyday, and there is a feel a lot like the Death Wish films from the 70’s. The prime difference here is that Bronson was a private citizen who is wronged and heads out to exact revenge. But Reacher is an inside guy with his military background who has become discouraged with the corruption and heads out on his own against the system, but still with a strong feeling of right and wrong. Much like the Bourne films too, but Reacher is maybe not as smart as Bourne, but he’s certainly tougher than anyone I’ve seen in a long time. I actually really liked the original Jack Reacher, and I liked this one just as much. It’s every bit as exciting, and the addition of Cobie Smulders and Danika Yarosh really help, as both of them are really good here as well. I think Cobie was pretty good in this tough guy role, but Yarosh really blew me away with her acting skills. She really did an excellent job. All in all this is a very action filled crash fest with lots of fist fights, gun fights, and car chases, with some of the best cat and mouse scenes I’ve seen in a long time. If you like action, this is a really good film. I recommend this one for fans of the action genre. It’s a great sequel to a good original film.

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Transfilm, Archery Pictures, Canal+ Distribution,

Jessica Chastain, Mark Strong, Michael Stuhlbarg, Alison Pill, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Jake Lacy, John Lithgow, Sam Waterston

Elizabeth Sloane (Jessica Chastain) is a Washington D.C. power lobbyist who is the best in the business. Everyone wants to work with her, but this time she’s taking on a gun control bill and is facing an uphill battle which may turn out to be the biggest in her career. She’s set on winning at any price, but the price may be too high as she may destroy herself along with lots of good friends along the way in this look at the lobbying profession and the special interests and corruption at the highest levels of government.

This movie brings out all kinds of opinions from the folks that see it. That’s one of the good things about it. This is about lobbying and political blackmail, and though it’s revolving around a particular gun control bill, it’s not about gun control, really. With stunning dramatic scenes and courtroom scenes as the attempt to bring Elizabeth down once and for all, it makes for a very exiting film right out of the pages of the newspapers. From the sly back deals that cost us millions as the Democrats bought votes for ObamaCare, to the corruption in California where Governor Jerry Brown just did completely illegal on the side pork barrel deals worth a billion dollars or more to get enough votes to increase gasoline taxes by nearly a half a buck a gallon and a new car registration fee of about 50 bucks a year on every car registration to help raise money to pay the government pension deals that we are being sunk by. In California it’s completely illegal to offer bribes or funding to influence the vote of a legislator, yet it was very publicly done. The final vote waas acquired by convincing a Republican legislator who is being termed out a deal to protect the business he is going back to getting him to break ranks and vote for this devastating bill that cannot be overturned by a referendum. That’s the kind of thing this movie is about, and it’s a good look at the bribery, blackmail, and much worse that goes on in the lobby business every day. For that reason, I found it an interesting film, but even without that, there is very good dramatic and suspenseful story going on as well, even if you are not interesting in the lobbying stuff. Especially the courtroom scene that comes in the last part of the story is very well done. This is a role that was built for Jessica Chastain, and with a whole crew of backup actors who also perform very smartly, this is a very well told story and probably worth watching. It’s quite a change of pace from the usual stuff, and interesting to watch.

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Warner Bros. Animation, DC Entertainment,

Matt Ryan, Camilla Luddington, Jason O’Mara, JB Blanc, Ray Chase, Enrico Colantoni, Roger R. Cross, Jeremy Davies, Rosario Dawson, Brian T. Delaney, Alfred Molina, Jerry O’Connell, Colleen O’Shaughnessey, Jeff Parise, Laura Post, Nicholas Turturro

The Justice League, Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, etc. band together to fight a group of evil super villains, including John Constantine, Zatanna and Jason Blood also known as the demon Etrigan, who are using magic to create evil and chaos. It’s an all out battle of good and evil.

As you know, I’m not a big superhero/comic book fan by any means. But I really hated sitting through this movie. It’s TV type low quality animation with low quality voices and dialog, and a very boring story. This is stuff that is typical Saturday Morning cartoon stuff but R rated. Sometimes the R rating is because the depth of the story is too difficult and mature for kids, but this is just a lot of swearing. There’s no reason why it needed tp be like that, as it’s simply wasted. So not for kids (boys) who might like it, and not interesting enough from adults, there may a few fans of this type of film, but it didn’t work in the least for me. I even found myself so disinterested in the film, that I turned it off and tried again the next day. After looking at the reviews of the guys that loved this, I thought maybe I was wrong, and I try to never review a movie that I haven’t seen start to end, so I watched it again yesterday. It was just a bad the second time through. I would suggest avoiding this like the plague.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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Broadway Video, Michaels-Goldwyn, Relativity Media,

Zach Galifianakis, Owen Wilson, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones, Jason Sudeikis

Steve (Owen Wilson) is a bad guy. But he’s tired of the little nickel and dime capers, and thinks it would be great to pull of an armored car heist, but needs someone on the inside. Kelly (Kristen Wiig) has the solution. Kelly work for the Loomis Fargo company for a short while and knows that innocent, but not too bright David Ghantt (Zach Galifinakis) has a crush on her, and has worked for the company for many years. So Kelly flirts with David to convince him that he could pull of the heist, disappear to Mexico where she will shortly join him in a happy and carefree life with tons of money. But they are just playing him for a sucker. David pulls off he heist, heads to Mexico with his share (all he can stuff into his underwear, to Mexico where he finds the Interpo, and a hired killer named Mike McKinney (Jason Sudakeis) is looking for him. Not to mention that stupidly all of these “masterminds” left behind a huge amount of evidence, and the law is closing the noose.

This is a funny film, that does have a good many laugh out loud moments. It’s not as funny as it thinks it is though. Based on the real life 1887 Loomis Fargo robbery, it misses on a lot of the jokes and ends up being more silly than funny. It’s not nearly as good as many of the other films featuring these same actors, and I blame the script and the director for letting it fall into silliness right away. This is produced by Lorne Michaels which explains all the SNL actors in this film, and that also explains a lot of it. SNL has gone a long way towards losing their sense of humor lately as well, and is getting really hard to watch anymore. As a rental flick, this isn’t that bad, and these guys are really good actors, with very thin material to work with, granted, but they do their best. Several of the moments were really good, and I think it’s worth it to give it a go when you don’t have to pay big money to see it in the theater, but all in all, it’s not near as good as it should have been.

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Worldview Entertainment,

Colin Firth, Reese Witherspoon, Dane DeHaan, Mireille Enos, Bruce Greenwood, Elias Koteas, Stephen Moyer, Alessandro Nivola, Amy Ryan, Robert Baker

This crime story is based on a book of the same name covering the murder of three eight year old boys in the small town of West Memphis, Arkansas. Because it was a very brutal murder, everyone was anxious to find and prosecute the killers as quickly as possible. The teens became the focus because of their penchant for things like wearing black, listening to heavy metal music, and being interested in the occult. But did their rush to nail someone for the crime cause a horrible miscarriage of justice? This film, based on a true story tries to look at that possibility.

This is an interesting story that I had never heard anything about. Being a true story, it was all the more interesting. It’s very appropriate for the current time since there is the same kind of mass fear going around that is often very unfounded. In this time, in this town, there was a concern about the behaviors of the teens of the town that seemed to love heavy metal music, show an interest in the occult, and wear all black. The citizens were all fired up, just like the Salem witch trials of long ago, and is often the case, ready to convict whoever is handy, just to solve such a horrible crime. The moral question of a rush to judgement, and guilt unless proving innocence makes this an intriguing story. But at the same time, the story seems to have taken a side, and been told to uphold the side of the author, so I’m not sure they really pulled off an open minded story. Choosing facts to prove your point is a dangerous method of determining the truth. The performance of the primary actors in this movie is at a very high level. This is a bit of a different role for Reese Witherspoon, but it goes to show what a talented actress she’s become. Very good job. Colin Firth, on the other hand, seems to have been slighted in this film. It appears that he is going to have a major role, and it was really sidelined early on, and he mostly puts in an appearance. He usually has a much meatier role, and this is not one of his best by any means. All in all, though, it’s a good story and an interesting case, and as a fan of courtroom stories, this was an interesting film. I think it’s well worth watching.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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