Tuesday, June 5, 2018

New In Theaters Now

The past few weeks have been either feast or famine at the movies.  There have been huge blockbusters and there have been some movies that have simply come and gone without a whimper.

We seldom review the gigantic blockbusters at length.  They have a built in audience and seemingly they love everyone every frame before even seeing it.

But lets get you caught up on what's out there right now.


Solo

The latest Star Wars Story.  Good thing that Chewy is around or this may not have been made.  To be fair, there is nothing really wrong here, there just isn't enough right.  This is fine, but that's what this is, is fine.

Nothing mind blowing, nothing special.  And there is one huge problem.  Even though this deals with a young Solo, it's hard to see anyone but Harrison Ford as Solo.


Deadpool 2

OK, another one of these. Yes, yes funny at times, gross, incorrect, vile, and somewhat creative.  Everything you think it will be.

I'm not quite sure this is necessary,  but this is going to go on, till it stops making hundreds of millions of dollars.


Adrift

A young couple gets on a sailboat and heads out on a long voyage and it all goes wrong.  There is the good and the ad here. Good - based on a real event, and there is a nice depiction of a very strong woman, who is bound and determined to survive.  Bad - predictable from the first frame. 

Good example of a movie that fans are going to love far more than critics.  Also, her character is very well developed, but Shailene Woodley is not very likable to me.  This is not a bad day at the movies, just a predictable one.


Book Club

Great cast, seemingly a great idea, with a script that should have been walked ceremoniously to the dumpster and tossed out.  A group of older women are introduced to the 50  Shades series in their book club.

And let the unending amount of sex jokes begin, and begin, and begin.  Hey, there are certainly worse movies out there, but this could have been a lot funnier, with a more creative script.

Oceans 8

The trend continues this week, where there was far more thought put into who would be in this movie, than what they would say in it.  Oceans 8 boasts a huge cast, and that is supposed to carry the day.  And it did to the tune of a 41 million dollar opening weekend. too bad the budget was 150 million for this.

This is a disturbing trend right now in Hollywood.  Big casts, and projects, and terrible scripts.  This is not a bad day at the movies, but this should have been way better.  There also may be some "Oceans" fatigue too, but this is simply falling short.

Anne Hathaway is really great here, as she did a lot with the little that was given to her, but she can't make this great. This will have to settle for average.



Friday, May 11, 2018

New In Theaters

There are a few new movies out, and lets see whats new for you!


Life Of The Party

Melissa McCarthy stars in a new comedy that really needed not to be made.  McCarthy again picks a movie where she is used wrong, and quite frankly, she has outgrown this kind of sophomoric drivel.

She plays a woman whose daughter is attending college, and after her husband decides to divorce her, she decides to go back to college and finish up her senior year that she didn't 20 some years ago.  You can see where this is going.  Plenty of drinking, parties, recreational drug usage, and of course hooking up with college boys. 

This just isn't funny.  Way too much needless dialogue that McCarthy is making up, and it just doesn't work.  Yeah, there's a sight gag or two that works, but it's not enough.    This is not funny, original or anything mildly entertaining.

Life Of The Party.   McCarthy needs three things. A new agent.  To stop making these kind of movies, and to stick to ensemble pieces where she is generally very good.  This is horrible.


Breaking In

Here comes a movie that checks in at a very tidy 88 minutes, and it's a good thing.  Gabrielle Union stars, and produced this flick, and this to misses the mark.  This is the story of a woman, trying to save her kids who have been taken and locked inside a fortress of a house by a gang of horrible guys who want to rob this home of it's supposed cash fortune inside.

Union is appealing enough, but this really smacks of a Lifetime movie, and not the big screen.  This script has tons of holes in it, and most of this does not add up.  Plus, you generally know the entire time the eventual outcome of this, another outcome would have been socially unacceptable.  And for a simple movie, this really drags at times. Even though 88 minutes is very short, an hour (Lol) would have been sufficient.

This movie has been made in one way, dozens of times before, and there is nothing original here, or compelling.  This is a rental, at best in 90 days.

Breaking In.  Broken.




Friday, April 13, 2018

New Movies

Rampage

The Rock can do little wrong these days, and Rampage is proof positive. Rampage is a monster movie, plain and simple.  This is the story of a affable, intelligent Albino Gorilla named George, and his handler, (The Rock).  After an accident, George is exposed to a secret agent gas that causes genetic editing.  Meaning George is growing out of control, and is becoming more violet, agitated and a threat to everyone.

Also exposed were a wolf, and alligator,  and now they are all gigantic monsters all converging on Chicago. The only hope is a cure, and that is what our team of human heroes are trying to deliver.  The national critics are going to hammer this, but the public is going to eat this up and make it a huge hit.

This is a throwback to the monster movie era, with a modern twist of today's humor, and the charm of Dwayne Johnson.   This is simply mindless entertainment at its core.  This movie says nothing, has no agenda, and just gives you about 2 hours of flat out entertainment.

Rampage.  Not a literary movie, but just fun.  Go have fun.


Truth Or Dare

Leave it to Hollywood to take a slightly naughty 7th grade game and turn it into an ugly, semi-violent mess, but here we go again.  What's next?  Spin The Bottle?  Truth is, this is not very daring at all, as this really smacks of the whole Final Destination franchise.  There is nothing here that's very original.

A group of about to graduate college students from California takes a Spring Break trip to Mexico.  There they end up cursed with this whole Truth Or Dare spirit that takes the game literally.  Don't tell the truth, you die.  Don't do the dare, you die.  Try to leave the game, you die.  So you are basically up a creek if you are exposed.  This is not very compelling, and not overly violent, and not really very racy, as I was expecting.  In fact, it's really not much of anything except too long, and too tired as a premise.

This is still more evidence that Hollywood is out of fresh ideas, and is grasping at straws.  This just lies there and takes you no where you have not been 100 times before.

Truth Or Dare.  Yawn!


Beirut

Here comes one of the years best movies.  Jon Hamm and Rosamund Pike star in this absolutely riveting movie about the incredible challenge that was and is Beirut.  This is a government thriller with a plot that you don't know, and can't figure out.  Amazing writing, directing, sets, and performances bring this to life brilliantly.

This takes place between 1972 and 1982, and the beginning of the civil war there, and there are numerous factions involved as a highly placed U.S. official is kidnapped, Now how do we get him back? Who has him? And at what price?  Hamm and Pike are terrific, and are cast perfectly in this gritty, hard to watch sometimes authentic piece.  In this time frame of early spring, it can be tough to find slick, well done movies that are not special effect fests, or spring break type of flicks. This is neither, and no matter what happens between now and Christmas, this will be one of the years best movies.

Beirut.  Great writing, great performances and totally worth seeing.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

New in Theaters this week


 Blockers

Well, there seems to be no end to these kinds of movies, the raunchy comedy that through it all, tries to grow a heart and say something.  Well, as raunchy and at times as distasteful as some of this is, there are some laughs.  And even though this is an exaggerated look at parents letting their teens grow up sexually, there is enough truth to make this fun.

John Cena and Leslie Manna are pretty darn funny as panicked parents who are trying to get in the way of a "sex pact" that their daughters have made to lose their virginity on prom night.   Without question, some of this goes way too far, and there are things we don't need to see, but I laughed at times, and felt the parents fear for most of this.

What I wish is, that the makers of these movies would remember is that there is a limit.  Not every scene has to be 7th grade locker room funny.  A bit of imagination, a small rewrite, and a sharper editing blade would be in order and movies like this could be a bit more attractive to more peeps.  Until then, we have to watch Cena chug beer through his kiester.  Just sayin'

Blockers.  Yes, funny a times.  An acquired taste.




A Quiet Place

There are many things about this movie that make it very original and others that don't.  But for me, the good far outweighs the bad.  This is a 90-minute intense thriller that doesn't sell out to special effects and uses just good old fashioned ways to scare you.

Set in today's world, some sort of event has happened and Earth is now inhabited by these awful creatures that are barbaric and hunt humans, but can only do so when they hear them. They cannot see,  but sound of any kind now is the enemy of all of mankind.  So this family lives in silence and communicates through sign language to survive. But they soon learn that is easier said than done, as about every imaginable thing makes sound on earth. Can they survive?

This movie has very little dialogue, and that is very interesting. The silence to me still, became a bit fatiguing, but at only 90 minutes (good decision)  this works.  And this is going to continue to work for a few weeks, as word of mouth will be great on this, and it's quite good.

A Quiet Place.   Very good, intense.  



The Miracle Season

There are some movies that have a nice story to tell, but lack the budget and commitment to make it great.  And that is the case here.  This is not a terrible movie by any stretch, but could have been a whole lot better.

This is the true story of the 2011 Iowa City, Iowa West High School women's volleyball team, and their struggles on and off the court after the death of their star player and inspiration, Caroline Found.  This is also a story worth telling, but this could have used a rewrite two.  Much of this is cliche', and looks rushed, and pushed through.  Also, Oscar winners Helen Hunt and William Hurt, seem to be taking this to simply find work and that's hard to watch too.

But, this even though this isn't near perfect at all, families will like this and that is generally fine with me.  We need all kinds of movies for all kind of fans.  Found's legacy does shine through and that is great, even if the movie writing and making is not.

The Miracle Season.  Problems, yes.  But fine for family day.

Midnight Sun

Here comes a little movie that on the surface looks like a silly Nicolas Sparks story, and in some aspects, it is.  And it is another movie that chronicles a young woman housebound by a terrible illness, and yearning for love, and it is. But after seeing this, I liked it far more than the above mentioned. Even though the national critics are hammering it.  Is this perfect? Heck no, but please quit showing your pompousness. 

This is the story of Katy, who has a disease called XP.  She cannot go in the sun at all, as it would be life ending.  So, she goes out at night, and lives a life in reverse, which is no life at all.  She falls in love with Charlie and risks it all to live a life of love, as best she can.  Yes, this is predictable, and melodramatic, and a bit far fetched at times. But so what?  Can't we make a movie that is easy to digest, and have a good cry, or a few awww moments without critics being too far above it?  

This flick shows a few new faces, and does its best to be an escape from the rest of the nonsense that can be out there this time of year.  Granted, it's not fighting robots, or superheros saving the world, but there is room for this.  This is for young people who want a love story for spring break. Period.  And that's fine with me.

Midnight Sun.  It's fine. They can't all win Oscars, and this won't. But at 90 minutes, this is a fair rainy afternoon flick.


Love, Simon 

This is a very well written movie that takes on a highly topical, and potentially difficult issue of growing up in high school in the 21st century.  This movie is a slick romcom, that features the life of Simon, a 17 year old young man who realizes he is gay.  Now, how does he handle this? And how will his life, and his friends life change as a result of his "coming out?"

This movie chronicles his journey, and in many ways is deadly accurate showcasing the landmines that teens have today. The social pressures, and social media, constant communication and the anxiety of it all.  Although, my gut feeling too is there are also scenes here that may be a bit too generous to the good,  in their depiction of  the travels Simon would have to take.   

But overall, this is very well done, and moves along nicely.  I found this to be for the most part a charming flick, with a strong cast, and solid characters created.  This movie may fly a bit below the radar, but is certianly worth a ticket.

Love, Simon.  Well done indeed.


Pacific Rim: Uprising

There is the obvious question here.  Why?  Do we really need more of this series?  Well the answer is probably yes, for some.  Here we go again, gigantic robots defending the world against alien forces and this time - even ourselves.  Put a ton of great effects together with a bunch of noise and a large screen and you seemingly have the right formula.  

The big problem with this is, Transformers.  I'm not going to sit here and say those are way better movies, but they were here first and that means PR looks like a poor mans rip off.  And if it is.  This is about 2 hours of animated robots fighting with a touch of a story mixed in.  Honestly, if you are about 12, this is really cool.  Good for your kids, grand kids and the dudes in general.  This is not recommended for a first date  (kidding).

Pacific Rim:Uprising.  Can we just stop...Please?



Unsane

Wow!  There are some movies that take us to places that we have never been, and this is one of them.  This is the story of a young, troubled woman that seeks professional counseling to deal with some of her everyday problems.  And when she admits during a session she has had thoughts of suicide in the past, her life takes a horrible turn.

Actually, beyond horrible.  This movie will scare the heck out of anyone who may seek counseling, and that is an honest observation, even though this is a fictional movie. This also morphs into a "stalker" movie, as if the original premise isn't disturbing enough.  This movie is well written, compelling and thought provoking all at the same time.  Although there a remnants that are similar to other "mental ward" movies, this is another level and stands on its own just fine.

In the end, this is a bit unsettling and tough to watch at times, as it dares to look deeply at problems that everyday people can possibly face, and the willingness to share these problems with those who are charged with trying to help sort them out.  I am sure the healthcare companies are not thrilled with this.

Unsane.  Good, well done, creepy.


I Can Only Imagine

This movie for some reason is wearing the "Christian" movie label, and I can't really understand that. Granted there are elements that are, but they are very subtle.  This is the true and brave story told of the origins of the biggest Christian hit song ever, I Can Only Imagine and its writer Bart Millard, and band, Mercy Me. 

This is a powerful flick with a great performance from J. Micheal Finley as Millard.  This is the first time I can remember a movie being made about a song as well.  Finley is terrific as Millard and is a fresh face on screen that was central to its success. The music is done very well and some of the filming of this is great, especially in pivotal scenes when it really matters.  There is an underlying Christian element throughout, but it's not preachy, or judgmental.  The writing here was a challenge, and they pulled it off walking a fine line.

In short, this is a nice little movie that is destined for some big success. This will attract people to the theaters that seldom go, and that's a good thing.  Its good for anyone, including the whole family.  Is this perfect?  Well, no.  But it's a great example that Hollywood can make movies for everyone can can make it work.

I Can Only Imagine.  Good, solid movie.















Sunday, February 18, 2018

BOOK REVIEW - A Storyteller's Guide to a Grace-Filled Life

I don't normally review books. But some are worth talking about more extensively than simply the office coffee room.  Like this one - A wonderful new feel good book by Tony Agnesi.

Full disclosure, I know Tony well as we share commonalities.  We've played a lot of golf, like good food, people, bourbon and a good cigar.  We are both passionate about many renaissance-men like activities.  But as we do share similar interests, we are very different in some ways as well.  That is what is celebrated in this new little book.  It's OK to be different from one another and still be a caring soul to those who are not quite the same, or even opposite, as you.

Tony is a wonderful storyteller in life and in this book.  This is a series of Tony's true story essays over the years referencing his life, health, his marriage, family, and his strong faith. When you read it, you are reminded that it takes great courage to document your life for all to see.  And as a man of great Catholic faith, Tony melds various passages and biblical quotes that fit the narrative of that particular short chapter at its end.  It is a nice idea that really works. 

Truth be told, I am not Catholic, and do not posses the biblical knowledge at my finger tips as Tony does, but it makes this book no less valuable.  To me, that is the real measure of spirituality, as I feel it is a life long search, no matter how you get there.  Books like this speak to many, without alienating any.  It's just honest, and makes you feel good without ever demanding you feel a certain way, or his way, about the matter at hand.

You can pick this book up and read any part of it at any time in its 190 easy to read pages.  And after Tony shares his personal point of view about a given story he's sharing, he gently asks you only consider to reflect on a similar story in your own life, in your own way.  And you do.  This book does make you think about your own life, many things you may not have thought of in a long time.

The message of this book is one of happiness. And you would be hard pressed not to feel better about many things after reading this, even if you don't agree with some, or much of it. You've been many of the places Tony has.  It's refreshing to see someone tell compelling stories and be willing to share much that is private for us to page through and relate to.  After reading this book, you may feel the need to write more about your own life, that's how it moved me.

And even though Tony approaches much of this from a spiritual or what some would call a religious view, he skillfully uses his words to start a conversation, and not end one. 

And man, do we need more of that in our world today.

Available about anywhere books are sold.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

New In Theaters

Tomb Raider

Well, get ready Lara Croft is back again and so is Tomb Raider, the latest franchise to be rebooted.  New cast, some new effects, and new techniques in movie making, but it's still a reboot.

This version is very action based with long, drawn out action sequences and some of them very good. Others too long.  Lara has gone to the edge of the world to try to save the world from a horrible company that wants to unleash a global genocide from a log sealed tomb.  It's Lara's job to stop them, and also find her thought-dead father who has the key that protects anyone from opening the tomb.

This is basically OK, not a bad day at the movies, we've just seen this whole thing before. And for a movie called Tomb Raider, there isn't a whole lot of "tomb raiding" till very late in the movie.  This is what it is. New fans will call this their franchise, and older gamers will compare it to the originals.

Tomb Raider.  For the new target audience? This will be just fine. 


Hurricane Heist 

Very short and sweet.  Why?  Why to theaters? This is the poster child for straight to video or streaming services.  

Hurricane Heist.  Can we just.....




Red Sparrow

I understand that is almost a crime in today's movie going world to not rave about a Jennifer Lawrence flick, but I can't here yet again. This new political thriller is not a total wash, but is riddled with problems and overall comes up very short.

First of all, could this be any longer?  And any more belabored than it is?  This anti Russian Intel / anti-CIA flick takes far too long to make its point.  Sparrows, are Russian women who are secretly trained in very sexual and specialized areas to root out foreign spy's, and diplomats, and Lawrence plays one of them.  But what this actually does is make you wait for something to actually happen that matters.  Yes, there are compelling moments here, but overall this is drawn out to the extrmeme.

Also, there is a certain level of predictability that makes this all the more cliche'. This has a nice supporting cast with Joel Edgerton and Jeremy Irons, but they seem under utilized and trivial in the end.  This is Lawences flick, and being fair, she holds up her end of the bargain for the most part. But some bad writing editing spoil the party.   This is also very brutal at times with torture and moments of general tastelessness that will be tough for some.

Red Sparrow.  Not so good.



Death Wish

Here we go again, rebooting an old movie series for a new audience, and this time it's Bruce Willis in the old Charles Bronson series, Death Wish.  The original from 1974 has been updated for a more modern feel, but the basic premise is still in tact.  

Dr. Kersey (Willis) is a surgeon and his wife is killed, and young daughter is brutally attacked in a home invasion.  And the good Dr. decides on a life of vigilantism.  This is based on a very successful book from 1972, that actually refutes being a vigilante, as where the original and this, embrace it.  This movie is not totally tone deaf to violence.  This has many scenes where gun laws and our culture are put on wide display.  It does make its feelings known on its stance on gun laws, and accessibility to getting potentially dangerous information.

This is very violent, and very graphic at times.  But in the end, what this is, is a dad protecting his family much like the original.  This will find a following, and this is set up for more.  But is this good movie making?  Well, not really but the basic story and premise are timeless and so there is always room in the early spring for a movie like this.  Better than some, worse than others.

Death Wish.  Again, driving down memory lane.


Annihilation

This heavily anticipated thriller is finally out and is going to have nice opening weekend.  Natalie Portman chooses fine projects and even though this has a name that may make it sound like a B- grade action flick, it is not.

This is the story of an entity that has shown up on Earth somehow and is altering everything in its path.  A group of all female experts enter this thing called, "The Shimmer" to find out its origins, and to see it it can be stopped.  Many groups have entered and not returned, so this group seems to be one of the last hopes to see if this can be contained.

This is written well, and this is a story that is totally original.  But this is a bit long, meaning when you think this may be over, it's not.  There is far too much after the movies big climax. But being fair, it is not a deal breaker.  This is a good, solid movie that has a story to tell, and tells it well.  Don't be fooled by its aggressive title, this is not a cheap action, sci-fi flick.

Annihilation.  Very good.




Game Night

OK, occasionally a comedy comes out that has the right idea.  Or ANY idea in today's Hollywood is a nice change, and this is pretty funny.  This little 80 plus minute comedy really had the audience laughing with it's original premise and really good casting.

Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams are Max and Annie, a married couple who are huge "game night" players with their group of friends.  And in their never ending quest to take their board and classic game night playing the next level, somehow find themselves in a situation they think is a live action game, that is actually a very real, dangerous situation. And it takes them a while to figure that out.  Their naivete at first is very funny, then their discovery of reality is even funnier.

The script is very original, and the decisions to not let this become raunchy are really good, when most modern comedies do.  This has a line and stands behind it.  McAdams is really funny as the very fun and affable Annie, and many times steals the show.  Bateman and the very well cast supporting actors are a fine compliment.  Great use of music and also the willingness to lampoon their generation is very funny.  Plus, ending this short was a very good decision. It said everything it had to say, and it was time to go home on a high note

Game Night. Funny, and clearly set up to be a franchise.


Black Panther

Lots of anticipation on the first huge superhero movie of the year.  This is expected to take in about 180 million this weekend, and it just might.  Up front, this is a comic book movie like you've not seen.  This deal exclusively on the origins of what will be a series of the character, Black Panther.

This is wonderfully written, and the special effects will be very impressive to those who are taken with that type of thing. But you must be prepared to not see him  save the world, or mankind.  Very little of this takes place in a city, or metropolitan area.  There really is no villain, such as we are used to.  But imagination here is high, as is creativity.  The scenes you see in trailers, are the exceptions, and not the rule.

But this will be very popular for many reasons, and among them is we've been waiting for a blockbuster to go to, and the look of this movie is very good.   This is available to you in various formats, 3D, IMAX, IMAX 3D and regular showings, so check the one carefully you want to see.

Back Panther.   Very original.




The 15:17 To Paris

This is a very brave idea.  Clint Eastwood directs a story completely worth telling of real life heroes, using the very heroes that were involved.  These guys clearly have never acted, and it shows.  But this is authentic, even when the acting isn't very good.  

These military guys happened to be on a passenger train from Amsterdam to Paris when a terrorist attempted to shoot up the train with 300 rounds of ammunition.  They stopped it, and are heroes, and that remains fact.  Eastwood is correct in that this story should be told.  What this does, is tell the back story of these three friends, and it is an interesting one.  Ending with a very authentic climax of the attempted attack.

This has limitations for sure, but it also is an interesting idea.  It's short at about 90 minutes, and you are ready for the story to play out.  The national critics are being very hard on this, and you understand why for a ton of reasons, fair or not.  But that may play out to be somewhat tone deaf, as fans may love to see a story like this told, no matter who is cast in it or not.  After all, there is a whole lot of really bad acting anyway in Hollywood, by professional actors themselves.

Is this Eastwood's best movie?  Of course not.  But in a town where there are very few original ideas, this is one of them.  Plus, it's a story that needs to be told.  If you want to see REAL superheroes, this could be your ticket. 


 I, Tonya

Well this is in limited release and this has been out for a while.  This also has a ton of award nominations and should not be missed, as this is very, very good.  This was a risky venture from the get-go, but this is slick movie making.

This interesting movie is the tragic story of former world-class figure skater Tonya Harding, and her horrible roots that was seemingly always in the way of any kind of real success in a sport that demands class, elegance and style. Harding had none.  This is based on extensive interviews of the important people in her life and her.  This is told in a semi-documentary, semi classic movie style and is written extremely well.  The performances of Margot Robbie (Tonya) and Alisson Janney (Tonya's mom) are amazing as well.

This movie reminds us just how great Harding actually was on the ice.  In fact, she may be the greatest ever athletically.  But her off ice antics and just her overall decision making prevented her from real greatness.  Toss in her horrendous upbringing and you have a recipe for disaster, and that is what she turned out to be in her sport and, most of her young life.  This makes you feel many different ways about Harding, and that's great writing.

I, Tonya.  Fantastic


Hostiles

There are movies that come out all to rarely, that make the script the total star. The new "Western" Hostiles is one of them.  This stars Christian Bale, Rosamund Pike and a real nice supporting cast, but with respect, it makes no difference.  The star of this movie is the writing.

This is set in the American West in 1892. Without giving you too much info, because that's part of the magic of seeing this, this is the story of a small band of people making a long journey through the perils of the West at the time, and how they survive - together.  This movie skillfully addresses every single in incredible issue of the era, and the horrific experiences of the lawless west.  It helps you understand from all sides the social issues of the day, and the conflict that raged within many during this painful time of history.

They may call this a "western" but it's not in the realm of Unforgiven, Wyatt Earp, or Tombstone. This is far more graphic.  This develops characters extremely well, and makes you feel many emotions.  It makes many great decisions on what they choose to show you and what they don't.  In short, this is simply terrific.

Hostiles.  Very adult, and very, very good.  Not to be missed.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

New Flicks

12 Strong

This is another true story that is at the movies right now, and this is way better than I thought it was going to be.  This time of the year can be the junkyard of movies, but this is worth a ticket.  A very good cast led by Micheal Shannon and Chris Hemsworth give us a story worth telling.

This is the recently declassified story of 12 soldiers who carried out the first real attack on the Taliban in the Middle East after 9/11.  Not only are the circumstances very interesting surrounding this mission, but it had to be carried out - on horseback.  And against all odds.

This gets a ton of points from me right out of the gate as it's a story we don't know, and have not seen before.  The script is smart, and slick, that lets the action and pictures tell the story, plus it does develop characters well for a movie like this.  I was concerned about this initially, as I wanted it to be good as we honor some very brave soldiers, and it is.

12 Strong.  Lots to like here. Makes you feel good about many things.


Den Of Thieves

Here comes Girard Butler in a new police thriller that forgets all that is possible, probable and doable in today's world. Right up front, even though this has a ton of problems, this would have been way better, as is, 30 minutes shorter.  This was a pretty good idea that gets in its own way.

It's the story of a bunch of really bad guys who want to rob The Federal Reserve Bank in California, and an equally bunch of really hard nosed cops who want to stop them.  There is some to like here, and I think this will find a following, but so much of this is so far fetched, son ridiculous, and much of this could never happen in today's world, what were these storytellers thinking?

Plus, there are a few story lines that have nothing at all to do with the plot, I have no idea why they bogged us down with them.  This is action based, and the action is not that great to be honest.  This just stumbles time after time, and becomes it's own worst enemy.

Den Of Thieves.  Wait, stream or rental.