Showing posts with label movies. Show all posts
Showing posts with label movies. Show all posts

"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.

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.  

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