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Showing posts with label movie reviews. Show all posts
Showing posts with label movie reviews. Show all posts

6 Balloons Movie: Great Codependency Flick

There aren't too many movies out there with a codependency theme, but "6 Balloons" is one such movie. Interested persons can only view it on Netflix. 

It's themed around the relationship between a codependent sister and a heroin-addicted brother, but it can apply to any type of relationship where one person has an addiction or abusive behaviors, and the other person tries desperately to "save" that person or change that person's behavior. The codependent individual often unknowingly neglects her loved ones, job, children, and even herself because she focuses so much on "changing the other person." She may also exhibit destructive behaviors if things don't go her way. That's why codependency is its own addiction.

The first thing we see in the movie is the main character, Katie, planning a huge birthday celebration for her boyfriend. We then see a glimpse of the dynamics between Katie and her parents, but they don't give us a whole bunch. We see Katie's mother insulting her looks and telling her what she should and shouldn't wear to the party. At one point, the mother says to her, "You look good," after Katie conforms to her makeup "suggestions." Katie smiles, and then the mother immediately reneges on her compliment by saying, "Well... better." So many messages came through in that scene: "You're still ugly but a little better looking now that you've done what I told you," and "What you did still wasn't good enough" came to mind. That had to hurt. Katie tries to laugh it off and handle it passively as if it doesn't bother her, but we know better. 

The father is an unemotional person who tells everyone to "suck it up" when they're in pain. He has no other solutions and doesn't really console anyone. He doesn't do emotions. So there's that. 

So the movie starts with a little glimpse of the family dynamics and Katie running around to get everything done for the party. Throughout the movie, we hear an inspirational tape playing and telling Katie which part of her codependent cycle she's in.

Katie's father was supposed to pick up the brother, Seth, and his daughter for the party. However, he dumps the responsibility onto Katie and asks her to grab him instead. Katie complies and goes to pick him up on the way to get the cake for the party.

When Katie gets to Seth's house, she finds that Seth has started using heroin for the umpteenth time, and his daughter is a bit unkempt. She then wants to "help him" by forcing him to go to detox. He agrees to go to detox but insists that she keep everything a secret.

A few minutes later, we see Seth insult Katie by calling her "incompetent" and then teaching his two-year-old daughter to say the same thing about her. Are we seeing some more of the family dynamics here? Katie again laughs it off like it's no big deal that her brother taught his daughter to say that she's incompetent. 


Everything changes once Seth gets to the detox facility and starts having withdrawal symptoms. He calls Katie and asks her to leave the party and "rescue him" from the facility. He then asks her to involve herself in getting him "just a little bit" of drugs to ease his pain. The cycle continues from there. 

Pretty soon, Katie is absent from the party, not answering her phone, and enmeshing herself in Seth's issues and problems, all because she thinks she can save him, and things will be different this time.

I won't give away the ending, but I'll say that this was an excellent flick of a certain niche. There aren't enough of these movies around, in my opinion. 

Movie Commentary: "Here Today" Was a True Dromedy


I'd been looking for a good movie to watch for a while, but all I could find were gore flicks and movies with "hell" or "unholy" in the first or last part of their titles. Yeah, no. 

I considered watching "Mortal Kombat," but then I changed my mind. I enjoy playing my fair share of Mortal Kombat video games, but in no way did I want to see an even more realistic version of the kind of gore the games display. At times, even the games are a bit too much for me, so no. 

Finally, I saw the trailer for "Here Today." The first thought I had was, "Where the heck did they find Billy Crystal after all these years?" The next thought I had was that I might get a bit of nostalgia from watching a Billy Crystal flick. His movies were kind of funny back in the day. So this one had a chance of being funny. Comedy is always my first choice for movies, and the trailer made me laugh a little bit. I'm not that familiar with Tiffany Haddish, but she seemed pretty fun in the trailer to me. 

The movie ended up having a lot more substance to it than a typical comedy. In fact, it wasn't a straight comedy at all. At times, it was a tear-jerking drama. At other times, it toed the line of romance. It wasn't your typical romance but it was love. It showed how two people can be there for one another, be great friends, and truly love each other without having any physical relations whatsoever. 

This is one that you really have to watch to understand. You'll go into it thinking you're going to get some silly Billy Crystal stuff (and you will), but then you'll get much more. I thought it was good. I might even watch it again. I'll give it four stars for touching every one of my emotions at least once within the two-hour span.   

Mini Movie Reviews: "Wonder Woman 1984" and "Promising Young Woman"

I was never much of a Wonder Woman fan, but the trailer for "Wonder Woman 1984" still compelled me to watch it. Why? Well, because it's Wonder Woman 1984, and the 80s era is my favorite. I just wanted to get a little fix of the 80s for 2.5 hours. I didn't have much faith that I would enjoy the movie, however.

The flick turned out to have an excellent plot, though. The moral of the story is to be very careful what you wish for.  We sometimes pine away so desperately for the things we don't have, that we lose sight of what we do have. Then we lose our most precious possessions in pursuit of what we think we want. 

The entire movie revolved around the concept of making wishes and having to pay the piper when he comes to collect. I liked it because I thought it had some deep concepts. The movie also had a lot of action in it, and I got to see Wonder Woman in some pretty cool suits. I was a little disappointed that they didn't insert a gigantic vintage Conion or Lasonic boombox somewhere in the flick. Still, they made up for it by inserting a classic Lynda Carter for a guest appearance. 

I'll give it 3.5 stars for its food for thought. Wonder Woman fans might enjoy it a little more than I did, but it's definitely worth a watch. 

"Promising Young Woman" is about a woman who experienced trauma in high school and chose to handle it in a devious way. She chose the path of vengeance instead of choosing the paths of forgiveness and perseverance. Though she chose a path I don't agree with, I still got a kick out of some of the antics in this black comedy/ thriller. I chose to watch it because it was unique. It was different from all the other holiday-soaked theater offerings that have been coming out lately. 

The movie did a splendid job of keeping me interested and wondering what was going to happen next. It had a bit of a feminist feel and somewhat of a vigilante spirit, but it was quite entertaining. You definitely won't be bored if you check it out, and you'll get an interesting surprise at the end. I give it four stars for the originality and the scorned-trauma-survivor perspective. The way they pulled this off with a hint of comedy laced into it was ingenious.  

The pictures in this blog are from the following source sites:



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"The Last Shift" and "Unhinged": Good Movies or No?

There hasn't been a whole lot going on in the movie realm because of COVID-19, but our theaters slowly re-opened. Some folks have been brave enough to enter the premises. The theaters require all visitors to wear masks, and they practice social distancing. Right now, social distancing isn't hard because not many people are willing to go out at all. My philosophy is this: It's not any more dangerous to go to a movie theater than it is to show up at an essential job every day. There's much more risk at the local grocery retailers/department stores than there is at the movie theaters. But to each his or her own. 

"Unhinged" seemed interesting to me because it was a road rage movie. When I saw the trailer, I thought it would be an action movie with some element of comedy to it. I hadn't seen Rusell Crowe in a while, and it was good to see a familiar face. I'm not an avid fan of his, but I'm sort of a fan. 

I didn't care for the movie too much, however. It wasn't what I expected. It turned out to be more of a horror/slasher movie than I wanted. I wouldn't have watched it if I had known that as I don't do horror at all. Russell Crowe gave an amazing performance, but the movie was too gruesome for my taste. 

On the other hand, I enjoyed "The Last Shift" very much. It definitely won't be a box office hit, but it was a hit in my book. I liked the plot and theme. It's about ordinary people with real-life issues. That's what compelled me to see it. I'm a writer, and I'd have probably written a similar screenplay if I'd had the chance. 

"The Last Shift" ended up being a different movie than I thought it would be, too. It took some unexpected turns and made me think hard about racism, stereotypes, work politics, and the like. The only thing I didn't like about it was the ending. It was too abrupt, and it didn't thoroughly explain what the two characters were thinking and how they felt at that last moment. 

I'd give "The Last Shift" three and a half stars, and I'd give "Unhinged" two and a half stars. "Unhinged" might be enjoyable to those who like horror flicks, but I didn't enjoy it. "The Last Shift" probably won't be popular with the superhero crowd or the action-movie group. It's a slow-moving flick that provokes thought. Watching it is sort of like reading a book. Therefore, it won't be for people who are looking for instant gratification.  

"Queen & Slim" Movie: A Comedy and a Tragedy

I had been hyped up to see "Queen & Slim" ever since I saw the previews. I couldn't wait for the opening night to come. I didn't actually get to see it on opening night, but I still couldn't wait for it to come, lol. I almost didn't get in the next night either because my movie buddy underestimated its popularity. By the time it was time to reserve the seats, only four were left in the entire theater. We made it though, and everything worked out just fine. 

The Storyline

The movie was about a couple who met on Tinder (online dating site/mobile app). They went out to dinner for their first date, and they exchanged small talk and got to know each other. They didn't seem to click very well, so Slim was just going to drop Queen off at home. Perhaps they'd have never seen each other again. 

Unfortunately, a cop pulled them over on the drive home and did the typical "harass the black man" nonsense. Things got out of hand very quickly, and the cop ended up dead. The event left Queen and Slim bound to each other as they journeyed toward freedom and ran from the law. 

What I Liked

I liked this movie because it pulled off mixing comedy, tragedy, drama, and action. No one expected Bokeem Woodbine (Uncle Earl) and his "female friends" to deliver such lighthearted and jovial performances. The audience laughed hard several times, and so did I. It was refreshing to have that burst of humor amid such a horrible situation. They weren't the only ones who brought some funny to the table, though. A little boy and his dad had us laughing about 20 minutes earlier. There was also an interesting character toward the end who was funny as crap. 

Daniel Kaluuya and Jodie Turner-Smith both gave amazing performances as the love-budding fugitives. Their dynamic was a cross between an old married couple, a black Bonnie and Clyde, and Romeo and Juliet. They knew their chances of survival were slim, so they wanted to live their lives to the fullest while they had the chance. They didn't let the fact that they were fugitives stop them from enjoying the beauties of the world. They didn't let it stop them from breathing in nature, loving each other, or believing in God. I loved their spirits!

I loved the support that Queen and Slim got from some of the people in the movie, as well. There were actually some good folks who understood the truth about what happened and helped them. The audience cheered them on every time.

What I Didn't Like 

There was a scene in the movie that might as well have been X-rated. They went to great lengths to show just about everything that was going on. I felt that it was unnecessary and kind of raunchy for it to be so graphic. It took some of the beauty out of their romance, and it disappointed me. I think I closed my eyes during most of the scene because I didn't need to be seeing that. Hmmm, well I guess we can add porn to the list of genres that this movie crossed!

I did not like the end of the movie at all. I can't say too much about it without dropping spoilers, but I can say with great passion that I hated it. It left me angry, dissatisfied, disgusted, and eager to use acronyms such as WTF and WTH.

My Rating

I can only give this movie three stars out of five. Even though I was mindblown by the romanticism, comic relief, ingenious genre mixing, and "power to the people" energy, I still couldn't forgive the ending. Don't get me wrong. The movie is entertaining and worth every bit of $12 or so. But don't buy any popcorn because the underwhelming final scenes might nauseate you.

"Terminator: Dark Fate" Review: No Flop Here

This week's movie choice for me was "Terminator: Dark Fate." I'm one of the old heads who saw the original "The Terminator" movie and "Terminator: Judgment Day," so the trailer piqued my interest. What made me watch it was that they revived Linda Hamilton and put her in as a kick-ass terminator hunter. I always love the concept of courageous women who can throw down. This woman was no slouch at 63 years old either! She came out kicking butts and taking names! I loved it!

I also liked seeing Governor Schwarzenegger (72) resume his role as the protective Terminator machine. He gave an outstanding performance as well, although the writers put a bit of a cheesy twist to his personality and lifestyle this time. Married with children? Yeah, no. 

Now let's talk about the new terminator models and the girl everyone fought to protect. Natalia Reyes played the target, Dani Ramos, a young and fearful Mexican girl who had no idea that she would be a legend in the future... if she survived the hunt. I liked her character because she started innocent, compassionate, and sweet and blossomed into a fight-or-die young woman of strength. Gabriel Luna played the Rev-9 android assassin sent to terminate Dani, and Mackenzie Davis played the **gender confusing and cybernetically enhanced soldier sent to protect Dani. All of their performances were great, but Linda Hamilton (Sara Connor) was the one who made the movie for me. 

The movie started with lots of action and kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time. The storyline wasn't difficult to understand as they scratched the concepts from all the movies after "Judgement Day" and replaced them with a new one. There was never a dull moment the whole time I watched. All the performances were stellar, and the graphics were quite good. It would have been really awesome in 3D, but it was still amazing on a regular screen. 

The Rev-9 was a complex machine that had the ability to split into two entities, hack databases, and reliquify itself back together after an extreme arse whooping. He was no joke, and it seemed as if he was unbeatable. 

Grace had massive strength, but she wasn't a full machine. Her weakness was that she was only designed for short spurts of action. After that, she needed to take certain medications like benzos and insulin to live. Thus, we had Hollywood's first diabetic (?) Terminator. It was interesting to see her interact with her fully human allies against the Rev-9 machine.

I felt that the writers and producers redeemed themselves and made up for the multiple lackluster sequels of the past. I appreciated the hella heroines concept, and I loved that they brought some of the original characters back. This movie was no flop to me. I'd pay to watch another one if it follows this particular storyline, and I'd love to see Linda Hamilton and Arnold Schwarzenegger come back in their 80s to kick some more butt, ha-ha-ha. I'll give it four stars out of five. The missing star is for the confusion it caused me in the beginning, lol.    

**I thought Grace was kind of a cute male at the beginning of the movie. Turns out he identifies as a woman. Oops. Never mind.

Quick Review of "Black and Blue" Movie

The trailer for "Black and Blue" got me interested in going, so I watched it in the theater not too long ago. I don't go out to the movies much because the "free" option is always available to me. Free is always more appealing than $11.99 is. However, there's something recreationally satisfying about being inside of a gorgeous movie theater with plush reclining chairs and a gigantic screen. Plus I deserved a nice time out, and by golly, I got one. 

I loved the movie. The action started within the first 10 minutes, and it never stopped. There wasn't one second when I wasn't on the edge of my seat. Naomie Harris played one hell of a role as the innocent rookie who accidentally witnessed some highly unethical behaviors. I adored her character to death because she reminded me of myself. That's how I would be if I were a police officer. I'd care about "the people," and if I saw something unjust, I'd want to change it, even if it meant risking my life. I loved this woman in the movie. Damn that girl could run, lol. She also had a set of iron fists and had no problem opening up a can a whoop-ass on a grown man in a heartbeat. My favorite part of the movie was toward the end, and it involved a lead pipe and a crooked police officer. 

I was happy to see Tyrese Gibson in the movie, too. I didn't know much about what kind of role he was going to play before the movie started, but I was pleasantly surprised by him. He portrayed a courageous, chivalrous, and heroic brother who also risked his life for something good. Uh-oh. I think I'm in love. 

Frank Grillo played the complete and utter scum-bucket cop who killed some unarmed people for no apparent reason. He didn't feel that their lives mattered, but they did matter to someone. 

This was the best film I've seen in a while. I'll give it four stars out of five. The missing star is for Mike Colter's character, Darius. I wanted to see a different outcome for him. I say the movie is worth the money to see if you like good cop/bad cop movies, though. It kind of has an air of "Training Day" to it, and we all know how awesome that movie is.