Wednesday, June 21, 2017

MOVIE REVIEW - Megan Leavey

There are some movies that are not going to be gigantic hits, but deserve to be made.  This is one of those.

Based on the true story of Marine Megan Leavey and her bomb sniffing, warrior dog, Rex, this is an emotional piece that tells a story you have not seen before.  Megan and Rex are kindred spirits as they each have bad past and have trouble connecting with others still.  They find each other in the Marines as Megan becomes Rex's handler and they end up in the Middle East together in 2006, saving lives by sniffing out explosives.

But where will this journey eventually end?  Rex is the property of the U.S. Military, as is Megan. What happens in the Middle East, and what happens when Rex, or Megan for that matter can no longer work?

This movie is very powerful at times, and as a dog lover you can't help but be moved by all that Rex is, and what he becomes. This movie is moving, interesting, and entertaining. It could be a bit too long, but it's not a deal breaker.  It also takes us somewhere we have never been before, and that always gets high marks from me.

Megan Leavey.  Limited release, but worth the find.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

MOVIE REVIEW - 47 Meters Down

Well you can tell summer is here, because here comes the obligatory "shark" movie. And 47 Meters Down, is OK.

This stars Mandy Moore and Claire Holt as two young sisters who are very different on vacation somewhere in southern, tropical waters.  One sister learns of this off the books boat charter that drops you in a cage in scuba gear and submerges you down about 15 meters, and lets the great white sharks swim around you.  Sound fun?

One of sisters (Moore) wants nothing to do with this scheme, while the other (Holt) is all about it, and she pressures the other to do it. So they do.  And it does not go well. The cable snaps that he cage goes to the sea floor. They are stuck, no way to get up, and sharks, and limited air supply.

This movie does a number of things well. First off, it does not wear out its welcome, very short.  It is filmed well, as 90% of this is underwater.  The story is a good one, that is as original as a shark movie can be, and our stars do well in a limited setting.  The only real negative here is in your own mind.  You just may be tired of shark movies, or there may not be enough shark for others.

But this is an entertaining movie. It's no perfect, but neither is any other movie.  Above all this is NOT hokey or stupid. It has a story, it tells it, and that's it.  Effects good, story good, over all good.

47 Meters Down.  Well done!

Sunday, June 4, 2017

MOVIE REVIEW - Wonder Woman

It's no secret, I am not a fan of the millions of unneeded Superhero movies. There are too many, they come out to fast, and they all look the same. -  But this -  this is really something.

Wonder Woman starring Gal Gadot and Chris Pine, and for my money is the best, non parody Superhero movie yet, and not be a little.  Guardians is the best comical one I have ever seen, but this is straight, and this is incredible.  In fact, this is one of the best movies of any kind in this young year so far.  The strength of this, is its incredibly smart, slick and well written script.  I have always stated, all GREAT movies start with a great script and not what you can generate on a computer.

This script is sensational, patient, smart, and they develop the characters wonderfully.  You learn who WW (Diana) is, where she's from, why she is the way she is.  You like her, you feel with her, you understand her the best you can given her complicated origins.  Gadot is so well cast, it's one of the best decisions possible.  You have to have an up and comer be Diana so we can grow with her.  Because of that, you are learning about and watching Diana, and not some huge A-lister in a skimpy costume.  This is also not written for any wise-cracking big stars' comedic ego either. There is no real attempt at being funny here like so many of these other series. This has a story to tell in a troubled time, and tells it directly. 

This takes place during the waning days of WWI, and you feel the horror that was that horrible war.  The settings are in Europe and the locations, sets, music, effects and costuming are fabulous. The story is a great blend of an actual event, (WWI), and of course the fantasy that are Superheros. This makes you feel, it makes you angry, and puts you right in the middle of a place we seldom go to at the movies.

The effects are fine, but they are in all these flicks. The star here is Gadot, Pine and "the smart." The enemy is the the war and its horror. What a great decision. There's not some stupid villain that has some far fetched ray gun trying to eliminate mankind.  This is written for adults, and boy is that a nice switch from the rest. 

Wonder Woman - Not just a great superhero movie.  This is a great movie -period!

Friday, May 26, 2017


The much hyped Baywatch satirical movie is here with The Rock and Zac Efron.

This movie is getting ripped by critics, and here is a good example of a flick they will hate, and those who goes will like. Probably a lot.  This movie totally makes fun of every aspect of the long running TV show.  The plot lines, the filming, the whole concept of these lifeguards somehow turning into cops.  We all wondered that when the show was on, or were we simply giving it a pass because of the pretty people on it?

This movie spends the entire film making fun of itself, and what's not to like about that?  Yes, this is mindless fun.  Great?  No! Too long?  Yes!  And yes sometimes the "comedy" envelope was pushed a bit too far and the movie is not better for it.  I could have done without seeing a thing or two that happens here, but I dealt and you can too.

You do have to have some knowledge of the TV show to get all the jokes and situations, but if not, you can catch on pretty quickly.  The Rock is funny, I like him in roles like this, and the supporting cast is fine too.  Some nice action, and of course lots of pretty people.

 Baywatch.  Go, it's fun.  Leave your mind at home for a bit.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

MOVIE REVIEWS - In Theaters Now

Something for everyone, but only one will really matter this week and you know what it is.

Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2

I loved the first installment of this series, and I like this one way more.  As far as comic book and superhero flicks are concerned, this series has the absolute right idea.  Chris Pratt leads a terrific cast again in this incredibly entertaining movie that people will totally fall in love with.  This is the best superhero flick series - period.

For my money, the very best comic book flicks are the ones that embrace the fun that comic books can be.  I love the ones that have a thread of humor that runs through not just certain moments, but throughout the entire movie.  So many of these become too dark, too serious and make it more difficult to enjoy them.  I also think that they can become more "offensive" (the only word I can come up with), where they invent villains that resemble so closely real life terrorists that are really no joke.  And then lead us to think that some flying, ray shooting, joke cracking superhero will show up and save us all.

This movie is funny, fun, action based, and all at the same time continues to develop its characters like few others really do.  Or try to do.  This is way out there fun, that understands that these movies should be entertaining

This will easily be one of the most entertaining movies of this year or any year.  Great performances, an interesting story, and Baby Groot??  C'mon!  Who wonderful is this.

Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2.  Run to see this. Terrific!

How To Be A Latin Lover

We need a good comedy.  What a surprise hit, and what a fun flick.  This little movie is the story of a middle aged Mexican man, who used his good looks as a young man, to hook up with rich old women simply for the money.  And when his sugar mama of 25 years throws him out, he must find a new one, or just change his life.

This movie has a bunch of names you know. Salma Hayek, Rob Lowe, Raquel Welch, Kristin Bell, Linda Lavin, Micheal Cera, Rob Corddry and Eugenio Derbez who is terrific as Maximo, our Latin Lover wanna be again.  And Rapheal Alajandro is simply amazing as Maximo's young nephew.

Not all of this works, there are some moments that could have been rethought, and edited out, but this is overall pretty funny, and really fun.

Looking for a laugh, this will give it to you!

The Circle

What a disappointment.    This is a way better idea than movie.  This gigantic company that is sort of a mixture of Amazon, Facebook, Google, and Twitter thinks that they have the answer to all of our problems.  They think there should be virtually no privacy at all.  They also upon further review seem to be up to no good, possibly evil.

This script is really silly, and not even Tom Hanks and Emma Watson can save it.  There are tons of holes in this, general silliness, and some stupid stereotypes.  Plus, this makes young people look foolish by and large.  Even though one of them wakes up and saves the day.  (Not a spoiler, you'll see it coming, like everything else in this.)

This has a lousy script, marginal performances, and is among the most predictable movies you will ever see.  Should be noted, Bill Paxton has a small role, think this was his movie shot before his tragic death.

The Circle.  Not good.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Good Thought - Practice Your Passion

My dad died when I was 16.  He wasn't here long.  But he was here long enough to make say some things that have stuck with me forever.  

You know, the basics.  Be nice, treat women nicely, work hard, work before play.  Some of that didn't hit me till later, like what is going on every day in our lives now.  The Cavs and the Indians have me thinking a lot about him lately.   In short, my dad gave me the love of sports.  And that's an accurate sentence.  LOVE the SPORT.  Not in the winning and losing, but in the passion and the reflection sport can give us -  to life.    He flat out told me to "practice your passion."  And even though he never heard me say one word on the radio ever....I have done so in my professional life all these years.  Practiced my passion.

He once said I should learn to play golf.  He was a scratch player (par), I am not. So he taught me how to play, and how to understand the game.  He said I should learn it, as it is about the only game you can play your whole life long.  He was right, been playing my whole life and there's no end in sight for me.  I love the game, and if you love something, you respect it, and treat it right.  I play golf because of the game, and relationships the game forges and not my scores.  There are good scoring days and not good scoring days.  But I am always on the course with my best friends on earth.   Everyone should be so lucky.

The Tribe and the Cavs have me thinking now too.  I have been fans of them my entire life.  My dad was too as he took me to games all the time.  And it was always for the fun that we could get from the game.  It wasn't about winning and losing, it was about going to the game. And now that both of our favorite teams are having great runs, I am glad I have been a fan all these decades. 

He would love this winning!  But what he would really love, is that I still go to the games for all the same reasons I did during the down years.  That I go, buy a beer, a dog, and simply enjoy a day at the ball yard.   For no other reason that it was a fun thing to do.

Dad was right.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

MOVIE REVIEWS - In Theaters Now

This week, there are many choices at the movies, let's see what's up!

Free Fire

This very short, and strange little independent flick is 91 minutes of violence, fun, and flat out irony. I have never really seen a movie like it.

Set in 1978, it's the story of a few "gangs" if you will, who end up shooting up themselves and an abandoned building after an arms sale deal goes wrong.  This movie is essentially a bunch of people shooting at each other the entire time.  Who is going t make it out? 

As strange as this sounds and is, it is pretty good. They do develop the characters pretty well, in the midst of all of this gunfire, and it does keep you wondering who is going to make it out.  A solid cast, and an original idea make this work.

Not for everyone, but this will find a way.


This movie is gaining momentum and is really a feel good flick, and it's right on time with that.  Chris Evans (Captain America)  is quite good as a uncle raising a literal genius 7 year old little girl.  He is determined to raise her as a regular kid, when others want her to be raised differently.

He is terrific in this, as is the supporting cast.  This movie makes you feel - a lot. This is very good all the way around.  This movie also does not wear out it's welcome and ends right on time.  This little movie may get lost in the Spring Break shuffle, but this is worth a ticket for a date, or a family night out.

Well done - Very well done!


Simple here.  Rosario Dawson and Katherine Heigl "star" in EASILY the worst movie of the year so far. 

And it may be tough to pass.   This is a putrid mess.