Sometimes a movie is just a movie: mindless escapism, a joyous romp through reality and or fantasy, a “gloom” chaser and mood- mender, mind- bender; the medicine that eliminates angst, removes ‘”ego” from the pedestal; a window into the inexperienced, unknown circumstances, an awakening that leaves a residue, an unveiling of life and lives of those whose paths, destined never to intersect with are own, are unveiled, resulting in pilates of the mind; the muscle frequently neglected, favoring the more observable limbs, abs. etc.
Quintessential “hell hath no fury like a woman scorned” (or in this scenario “betrayed".) Gina Carano stars as “Mallory Kane” the superwoman who with Ramboesque finesse and Paula Radcliff swiftness, fells, singlehandedly, the nefarious forces seeking her obliteration for untoward reasons. Steven Soderbergh’s slick and stylish thriller simmers with scintillating vignettes played by Michael Fassbender, Michael Douglas, Ewan McGregor, Antonio Banderas, Channing Tatum. A soufflé of fabulous fun, lacking a deflated, but triumphant, entertaining, conclusion.
TWO & 1/2 STARS!!
Long overdue story about the Tuskegee Airmen who contributed substantially with their lives and talents to the ultimate victory of the United States in WWII. The Negro fighter pilots valiantly fought myopic prejudice, ultimately winning close to 100 Distinguished Flying Crosses; over sixty years later it was exhilarating watching and cheering their brilliant and audacious tactics as they, without an once of fear or trepidation, laid waste the German Air Force. The red tails of their planes were the signature and legacy of their heroism.
Terrance Howard and Cuba Gooding Jr. star in this pride-inducing but often sentimental and sensational script. A love story between an airman and a beautiful Italian woman was awkward, added nothing, and should have been eliminated.
The audience of primarily high school students was vociferous in their applause and lauded director, George Lucas.
President Harry Truman integrated the Armed Forces in 1948 and the Tuskegee Airmen were the catalyst. “Red Tails” is not a great movie but all left feeling more copacetic with the world and snug being Americans.
TWO & 3/4 STARS!!!
MAN ON A LEDGE
Ridiculous, improbable plot is saved by the zeal of the actors: Sam Worthington (as the escaped convict on the ledge); Elizabeth Banks (the detective lusting to save him); Jamie Bell (the brother and foil for his escape); Ed Harris (corporate guru without scruples or a conscience). Dumb but fun. Sometimes……….
TWO STARS!! (is enough).
The jewel of this foursome. The iconic Liam Neeson is “John Ottway”, devastated, broken- hearted, one of seven survivors of a horrific plane crash (phenomenal, painfully realistic, terrifying scene) in the frozen, glacial, haunting, lethal beauty of the Alaskan tundra. These men are strapping, tough, belligerent outcasts returning from a stint at a gas refinery. They are fearless, impossible to intimidate and herein lies the perfection of the film, survival of the fittest; man pitted against beast, “the grey”, monumental wolves, hungry to attack and feed on these human interlopers who have tainted and tread upon their sacrosanct territory, den.
“The Grey” ( Director, Joe Carnahan) is beautiful, even in its horror; the beauty is not just the pristine, celestial landscape but as the film progresses the beauty of each individual is laid bare; their power, resilience, bravado melts as their exteriors freeze; we discover their loves, their losses, their diamond-like dignity. You desperately root for them, given insurmountable odds, hope is never eliminated; herein lies the potency of this unique and spiritual film; struggling to persevere, seeking a power beyond their own, never whining, ultimately controlling, accepting their fate. The viewer witnesses a glorious battle of men whose might survives at all costs.