Unbroken

PG-13  2hrs 17mins  (2014)

This is a true story. This story is about an Italian immigrant family, and the struggle a boy Louis Zamperini (C.J. Valleroy) had, being accepted by his peers. The family were avid church goers, but Louis seemed to be distracted. Louis seemed to look for trouble everywhere he went. His older brother Pete (John D’Leo) was on the track team, and saw him running after getting into trouble one day. Pete told Louis he was going to join the track team. When Louis did join, he worked hard and became very good. As Louis (Jack O’Connell) got older he became the best, and was invited to the Olympic trials. Louis started out in the back of the crowd, but towards the end of the race Louis ran the best lap in the history of the Olympics and qualified. Louis, shortly after, joined the military and became a bombardier. He still trained for the Olympics on the base. His unit was called to bomb a compound on an island, and were engaged by enemy planes. Their plane barely made it back. But the victory was short lived. Louis’ unit were assigned to go back out and look for a crew that abandoned their plane in the ocean. Louis’ crew had to take a different plane because theirs was destroyed from the last mission. The plane they took was junk, and the engines went out while searching for the other crew. The plane goes down in the ocean, and only Louis and two other men survive. One night during a horrible storm, Louis prayed that if God let him survive he will devote his life to God. They drift at sea for months, one of them passed before being captured by a Japanese war ship. After starving and dehydrating for months, now they were put into a jungle prison. They were in a solitary confinement and beat, until at the brink of insanity, they are moved to an internment camp. The leader of the camp was called the Bird, and he was a ruthless sadist. Upon arrival at the camp, the Bird broke Louis’ nose only for the enjoyment of it. For days, the Bird beat Louis for no reason. Will Louis survive this test of life? Will Louis make it home, or will the Bird finally break him? You will have to watch and see.

This film was directed by Angelina Jolie. Other films she has directed are: In the Land of Blood and Honey and By the Sea. Angelina’s vision for this film was a telling of the true event of a horribly misfortunate individual that only has his faith in God grow stronger.

The plot to this motion picture was direct, being that is was a true story. The storyline was brilliantly written and executed. The CGI was perfect and absolutely realistic. The props and effects were stunning. The sets and locations were well scouted and constructed. The wardrobe and makeup was spot on. The score for the film was fantastic, and helped bring emotion to the film. The acting was really quite marvelous. Domhnall Gleeson played a fantastic role. He portrayed a God loving pilot that has quite a great outlook on even the grimmest circumstances. Miyavi played the head of Japanese prison camp, but due to some internal turmoil in his life he is a very sadistic human. He played such an emotional role. Jack O’Connell was very passionate about his role. He gave a very compelling performance. I knew nothing of this story beforehand, and I enjoyed this film. I do recommend this movie.

The motion picture was rated PG-13, and due to its nature should have probably been rated R. This film had partial nudity, torture, blood, violence, murder, adult language, adult situation, and adult content. I do not recommend anyone under the age of 18 view this film.

By Dan Jones

A Hologram for the King

R 1hr 38mins (2016)

This is the film adaptation of a novel. Alan (Tom Hanks), an IT salesman, is going to Saudi Arabia. He is going to pitch being the primary supporter of IT for the entire future city of the King’s Metropolis of Economy and Trade. When he arrives, he has some trouble with jetlag and oversleeps on his first day of work. He calls to a driver service. The driver named Yousef (Alexander Black) shows up to give him a ride. He drives an older car, and Alan is a little uneasy about the reliability of the vehicle. On the way of their four-hour drive, Yousef asks many questions. Alan answers most of them, but isn’t extremely interested in conversing. Once they arrive the King’s nephew greets him, and Alan is taken to where his team is waiting. Alan is dropped off in a huge tent. He greets his team, and asks how everything is going. His team tells him that they don’t know what to do about food, there is nothing around. They also don’t have any kind of a Wi-Fi signal. Alan tells the team, he will address those issues when he goes to his meeting with Karim Al-Ahmad (Khalid Laith). He heads over to meet with Karim, but the secretary tells Alan that Karim won’t be in today due to him being stuck in traffic. The secretary tells Alan tomorrow Karim will be there all day and they can meet at any time. Later at the hotel Alan checks his emails and his daughter had written him. She tells Alan that his ex-wife, her mother, has been talking down about Alan again. She tells her dad to prove his Ex wrong one time. Due to lack of funds, Alan can’t pay for his daughter’s college, but that is why he is in Saudi Arabia to help earn the money. Then he notices he has a lump growing on his back. The next day Alan wakes up even later and calls Yousef for a ride. When Alan gets to work and he goes to meet with Karim, and the secretary tells him he is out of the country and will not be back to the following day. Alan sneaks into the elevator, and searches for someone to speak with. He finds a woman named Hanne (Sidse Babett Knudsen), and she works for Karim. Alan gets the lump on his back checked out, and the doctor name Zahra (Sarita Choudhury) tells him she thinks it is benign, but will do a biopsy to be sure. A few days later when Alan gets to work the air conditioning is out in the tent, and it is extremely hot. Still no Wi-Fi or food. Will Alan ever get to meet with Karim and get things sorted out, so Alan’s company can finish their job? Is Alan’s lump something to be concerned with? You will have to watch and see.

Tom Tykwer is the director of this motion picture. Other films he has directed are: Run Lola Run, Heaven, The International, and Cloud Atlas. Tom’s vision of this film is one of friendship and relationships.

The plot to this motion picture was pretty good. The storyline was pretty well written. The props and effects were fantastic. The sets and locations were marvelous, and quite beautiful. The wardrobe and makeup was very authentic looking. The score kept the pace of the movie and had a fantastic sound. The acting was great. I really enjoyed Alexander Black’s character. He was so charismatic and fun. Sarita Choudhury played a very tight lipped emotional role. Her feelings are not supposed to be shown. Tom Hanks is a given nowadays. He is brilliant in everything he plays. His character was a good man, not void of flaws, but still a good man. His portrayal of a passionate man was amazing. I had no idea what this film was about before watching it. It would fall under the category of a “chick flick”, but had more depth to it. I did enjoy the film. I do recommend the film.

This motion picture was rated R and rightfully so. The film had blood, nudity, strong sexual contact, alcohol abuse, adult language, and adult situations. I do not recommend this film to anyone under the age of 18 years old.

By Dan Jones

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

PG-13  2hrs 16mins  (2017)

This follow up film to the original starts out with the Guardians on the planet of the Sovereign. Guardians were charged with protecting Anulax batteries from a beast called the Abilisk. Peter “Starlord” Quill (Chris Pratt), Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Drax (Dave Bautista), Rocket (voice of Bradley Cooper), and baby Groot (voice of Vin Diesel), struggle to work together as a team and defeat the Abilisk. For the payment of defending the batteries, they are handed over the criminal Nebula (Karen Gillan) to collect the bounty on her. Nebula was apprehended while trying to steal the Sovereign’s Anulax batteries. As the Guardians are getting ready to fly out Rocket steals several of the Sovereign’s Anulax batteries. It doesn’t take long for the Sovereign to figure out the batteries are missing, and take this as an insult to the Sovereign people. The Sovereign commit a full-frontal attack on the Guardians. Eventually Rocket admits to taking the batteries. Out of nowhere, a white egglike ship with a man riding on the outside, destroys the Sovereign fleet with one blow. The Sovereign destroyed the Guardians ship, and they crash land on a nearby planet. The white ship followed the Guardians to the planet. Mantis (Pom Klementieff) and Ego (Kurt Russell) both appear from the white ship. Ego tells Quill that he is his father. Ego tells Quill that if they go with him he will explain everything, and Quill’s friends can come as well. Quill decides that they will go with Ego to hear him out, but Rocket and baby Groot will stay behind and keep an eye on Nebula and fix the ship. Meanwhile the Sovereign have found the Ravager crew led by Yondu (Michael Rooker) and hired them to find Quill and bring them back to face judgement. Will Rocket be able to handle an entire Ravager crew alone? Is Ego really Quill’s father? You will have to watch and see.

James Gunn is the director of this motion picture. Some of his other works as a director are: Slither, Super, Movie 43, and Guardians of the Galaxy. James’ vision for this film is a very colorful and wondrous universe that at the same time is very dangerous and unforgiving.

The plot to this motion picture was really solid. The storyline was extremely well written, and rivals the first film. The CGI was beautiful and very realistic. In true Marvel form the CGI was great. The props and effects were amazing. The sets and locations were very extravagant. The wardrobe was similar to the first with some additions, and was very colorful. The soundtrack had new songs added, and was really good and appropriate for the follow up film. The acting was very good. Karen Gillan had a bigger role in this film. It shows a little more depth of character for her. Dave Bautista’s part was absolutely hilarious and brilliant. I love his character. Kurt Russell was added to the roster for this film, and anything he does is a solid performance. Michael Rooker reprised his role in the film, but this time a more emotional part. His part really connects with the audience, and I love the part and he was brilliant. Again, the star of the show was Chris Pratt. He was funny, passionate, and heroic all in the same character. This was a completely fantastic film. I loved it, and was completely entertained the entire film. I highly recommend this film.

This motion picture is rated PG-13. This film had crude humor, sexual innuendos, adult language, violence, blood, gore, and murder. I do not recommend anyone under the age of 13 years old view this film. Parent or guardians can view the film to judge if it is right for anyone under the age of 13.

By Dan Jones

Captain America: Civil War

PG-13 2hrs 27mins (2016)

In 1991, The Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan) was given a target by Hydra, kill passengers and retrieve case. He completed his mission as commanded. Cut to today in Lagos, the Avengers are on a mission to track down and detain Rumlow (Frank Grillo) an agent of Hydra. Rumlow and his thugs have infiltrated a Research for Infectious Disease, and taken a vile with a biological weapon in it. While fighting Captain America (Chris Evans), Rumlow distracts him and then activates a suicide bomb to take out Captain America. The Scarlet Witch contains the blast around Rumlow, and tries to remove the explosion from the crowd of people. Unfortunately, it goes off in the air next to a building killing civilians. This puts Secretary of Defense Ross (William Hurt) into action giving NATO oversight of the Avengers. If they do not cooperate then retirement is the only other option. Meanwhile, a man named Zemo (Daniel Bruhl) finds the book to put the Winter Soldier into a hypnotic mode to follow orders unquestioned. The Sokovia Accords will be ratified by 117 countries through a NATO meeting to discuss the Wakanda nationals doing mission work that were killed during the Avengers assault on Rumlow. Prince T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) and his father King T’Chaka (John Kani) thank The Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) for her support in the Accords. During King T’Chaka’s speech, a van parked outside exploded killing a few of the guests including King T’Chaka. T’Challa vows vengeance, and the news plays poor quality video showing the culprit is the Winter Soldier. Knowing that the order is shoot to kill, Captain America goes to intercept the Winter Soldier. The Captain and the Winter Soldier escape the CIA assault to capture the Winter Soldier, only to be faced by another foe. It is the Black Panther, who is actually T’Challa there to exact his vengeance. The three fight it out, then go on a high-speed chase. Only to be stopped by the authorities and War Machine (Don Cheadle), and arrested. They were brought back to the base of operations for the Secretary Ross that runs the Avengers. Will the Winter Soldier pay for a crime he didn’t commit? Will the Avengers be torn apart by the Sokovia Accords? You will have to watch and see.

The Russo brothers, Anthony and Joe, are the directors of this motion picture. Other films they have directed consist of: Welcome to Collinwood, You, Me and Dupree, and Captain America: Winter Soldier. Anthony and Joe’s vision for this film is a story of a team of superheroes, divided by the rule of man.

The plot to this film even though it broke my heart, was very good. The storyline was well written and extremely well tied into the other films, and spawning yet another super hero film series. The CGI was incredible. I paid close attention and watched, trying to find a flaw with it somewhere. Alas, could not see anything that did not look legitimately real. The 3D CGI was amazing, it just keeps getting better. The props and effects were Marvel-ous. The sets and locations were as big budget as they come. The wardrobe and makeup were so realistically authentic looking. The score was the kind that makes the geekbumps stand up on your arms in certain parts. The acting was fantastic. Jeremy Renner’s part was perfectly timed and was the first time I really got excited for his character. The introduction of Chadwick Boseman was a great addition to the team. His acting was emotionally driven, and he was very passionate about his role. Robert Downey Jr. showed a little something new in his character not seen before. A sensitive feeling of sentiment in Robert’s character. And as I always say, Chris Evans is Captain America. His devotion to this character always come across on the silver screen. I say it every time, but this is to date the best of the Marvel films. They just keep getting better and better. And each film is impeccably linked to the other films. Even though this film tore my heart in two, I highly recommend this film.

This motion picture was rated PG-13. The film had adult language, adult situation, violence, blood, and murder. I do not recommend that anyone under 13 years of age view this film, without preauthorization form a parent or guardian who has view the film first.

By Dan Jones

Point Break

PG-13  1hr 54mins  (2015)

This story starts out with an extreme athlete, who is with his friend, riding some extreme terrain on their motor cross bikes. The gutsy young man, nicknamed Utah (Luke Bracey), makes a daring move and jumps his bike to a small landing pad hundreds of feet in the air, and encourages his cohort to do the same. His friend lands on the pad, but doesn’t get stopped in time and plummets to his death. After seven years Utah joins the FBI. There happens to be some extreme athletes making heists, and Utah thinks he has figured out that they are doing. He also thinks he knows the extreme thieves’ next move. Utah is sent to meet up with another agent Pappas (Ray Winstone). Utah and Pappas take a boat out to the middle of the ocean where large waves will be created. They find a yacht with surfers riding giant swells. Utah cuts in on another surfer named Bodhi’s (Edgar Ramirez) wave, and gets swallowed by the wave and Utah sinks. Bodhi dives down and pulls Utah up, and takes him to the yacht to recover. Utah meets a girl named Samsara (Teresa Palmer), and they go for a swim and get friendly. Utah overhears the squad talking about where they are going, and has Pappas take him there. Several guys are brawling, and they let Utah in and Bodhi challenges him. It goes back and forth, but then Bodhi knocks down Utah. The crew decides to let Utah tag along with them to the next of the Ozaki 8. The Ozaki 8 is what a great extreme athlete named Ozaki deemed that after completing eighth trails the person would achieve nirvana. Ozaki died during the third of the trails, that’s how dangerous the trials are. Will the crew be able to complete the Ozaki 8? Will Utah get too involved with the team of criminals, or will he be able to make the arrest? You will have to watch and see.

The director of this motion picture was Ericson Core. He has also directed Invincible. Ericson’s vision for this film was to reimagine the point break film with today’s extreme sports.

The plot to this motion picture was weak. The storyline was not very well written or executed. The props and effects were really good, and was the best part of the film. The sets and locations were quite spectacularly beautiful. The wardrobe and makeup was pretty bland. The score sounded great and helped keep the movie going with the action. The acting was pretty much atrocious. Ray Winstone, Teresa Palmer, and Delroy Lindo have all been in films and given great performances. But this film was not one of them. I don’t know where they found Luke Bracey, but I hope they paid him very little. Luke was absolutely awful. It pained me to watch him act. I know they were looking for a wild card and someone cool to replace Keanu Reeves, but this was a horrible choice. Edgar Ramirez was the only one in the entire film that didn’t absolutely suck at acting. He was actually pretty convincing and passionate about his character. Even at the very beginning of the film there was a movie mistake. The first scene of the two guys on the motor cross bikes. In the scene where they are talking with their helmets off, the guy in the back has a GoPro on his helmet, but all the shots of them riding there is no GoPro. The end of that scene was so stupid it made me upset. Utah jumps his bike onto a rock hundreds of feet in the air and several yards away from land. Fantastic he got out there, how in the heck does he get down? How does he get his motorcycle down? Then he tells his buddy to join him. We get it, the character is extreme. But does he have to be extremely stupid? Just an absolute crap fest of a movie. I would pass if you get the chance to watch it.

This movie is rated PG-13, and why not. The film has sexual contact, adult language, violence, blood, murder, and adult situations. I do not recommend anyone under 18 view this film.

By Dan Jones

Hidden Figures

PG  2hrs 7min (2016)

This is a story that starts out with a genius little girl named Katherine G. Johnson, who is invited to a special school for exceptionally smart children. The teacher asks her to work on the problem on the board, and within a minute she has it completed. The teacher is impressed with her work. Cut to her as an adult. Katherine (Taraji P. Henson) and her friends Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monae) are stalled on the side of the road. Dorothy gets the car running and they rush to work at NASA. Mary gets promoted to a fulltime position with the engineering program. Dorothy’s boss Vivian Mitchell (Kristen Dunst) asks her if she knows anyone that knows astronomic geometry. Dorothy tells her that no one knows the numbers better than Katherine, and Vivian says to send Katherine over to Al Harrison’s (Kevin Costner) office right away. Dorothy asks if there is any word on the open colored supervisor position. Vivian tells her there is no word. While in the engineering department for capsule reentry, Mary is asked by the head engineer Karl Zielinski (Olek Krupa) if she has considered entering the engineering program at NASA. She tells him that they would never let a colored woman into the program. Karl tells her that they are making history, who would’ve guessed a Polish Jew, whose parents died in a Nazi prison camp, is now standing beneath a spaceship that’s going to take an astronaut to the stars, they are living the impossible. The bullpen team of men do not approve of Katherine working in their department. On the first day Katherine has to use the restroom and asks where it is. The secretary tells her she is not sure where the colored restroom is. So, Katherine shuffles a half mile back to the wing where the colored restroom is. Al wants to know where she has gone for forty minutes. When she gets back Paul Stafford (Jim Parsons) gives her data that she needs to figure but much of it is blacked out. Katherine asks how she is to figure out the data without all the information. Paul tells Katherine she doesn’t have the clearance to see the classified information, and to do her best. Will the three women be able to overcome the sexism and racism just to perform their jobs? Will NASA be able to get a man into space without the three women’s help? You will have to watch and see.

Theodore Melfi was the director of this motion picture. He also has also directed a few shorts and the movie St. Vincent. Theodore’s vision for this film was an oppressive society afraid to let prejudices go for the betterment and advancement of the country.

The plot to this film was outstanding. The storyline was magnificent and so well written. The CGI was completely amazing. The way they tied in actual footage of the space race and made new footage that looked like it was filmed at that time was great. The props and effects were so realistic. The sets and locations were very convincing and authentic. The wardrobe and makeup was perfect for the time period. The score was good and kept the pace of the film moving and thrilling. The music was fun and entertaining. The acting was fantastic. Janelle Monae was very convincing that she was a strong intelligent female engineer during the space race. Taraji P. Henson portrayed a nerdy single mother of three girls, who never sells herself short even when others do. She was probably the most emotionally driven character in the film. Octavia Spencer’s role was a strong determined woman that even when faced with bigotry she did not lash out, but taught her children to be better than those who persecute. Kevin Costner was my favorite character in the film. He played a man who didn’t look at color of skin, but results produced. In his eyes everyone is equal, until proven differently. I really like the tone of the film. It was not the poor me, everyone owes me kind of film. It was very inspirational, and it says there may be obstacles in your way, but if it is truly what you want you must work hard and earn it. Life is not fair, and you can either throw a pity party and do nothing, or you can shoot for the stars and not stop until you are there. I loved this movie and highly recommend it to everyone.

This motion picture was rated PG, and was a good rating. This film had racial inequality, and some adult situations. I recommend that parents or guardians watch this film with small children.

By Dan Jones

Ben-Hur

PG-13 2hrs 3mins (2016)

This story begins when a Jewish Prince, Judah Ben-Hur (Jack Huston) and his step-brother Messala Severus (Toby Kebbell) are racing horses against each other. Judah has won the race, but his horse falls and Judah is thrown face first into the ground. Messala carries Judah all the way back to their house. Their mother Naomi Ben-Hur (Ayelet Zurer) blames Messala for the accident. Judah is in love with the family’s hand maiden Esther (Nazanin Boniadi). Messala’s grandfather was one of those who betrayed Julius Cesar, and Messala was an orphan that carried the shame of the family name. After Judah has healed, Messala decides to join the Roman army to bring honor back to his family name. Messala rises through the ranks of the Roman army quickly and soon brings honor back to his name. The Roman Empires presence in Jerusalem is getting tense. The Romans wish to bleed the country dry while Jerusalem’s people starve. Only the wealthy families live comfortably, and let the Romans do what they want. Judah and Esther are walking through the market, and come across a very wise young carpenter named Jesus (Rodrigo Santoro). Jesus tells them that love is what this world needs. A rebellion is forming, and Judah’s sister Tirzah (Sofia Black-D’Elia) brings a rebel boy named Dismas (Moises Arias) that was injured, back to their home. Dismas was injured fighting Roman soldiers that were taking stones from the tombs and headstones from a sacred Jerusalem cemetery to build a chariot stadium. Judah tells the boy that not all Romans are bad, but the boy tells him the Romans killed his father and raped his mother. Judah dresses Dismas’ wounds, and tells him he is welcome to stay as long as he wants. Messala has returned and Judah has invited him home for dinner, and Messala accepts. After dinner Messala asks Judah since he has the people of Jerusalem’s ear, to be calm and not protest or rebel. Messala tells Judah that Pontius Pilate will be coming through the streets of Jerusalem, and if there is any rebellion there will be hell to pay. Judah shrugs it off. The day Pilate goes through the streets from Judah’s home, Dismas shoots an arrow at Pilate and misses. Judah asks Dismas if he knows what he’s done, and then tells him to go. Messala has the Roman guards seize everyone from the home, but Esther escapes unnoticed. Judah pleads with Messala not to harm his family, but Messala tells Judah, you did this to them. Messala tells the guards to take the women to be executed. Will Judah’s family die to protect someone else? Will Judah be executed? You will have to watch and see.

Timur Bekmambetov is the director of this film. Other films he has directed are Night Watch, Day Watch, Wanted, and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. Timur’s vision for this film was to re-imagine the story of Ben-Hur.

The plot to this motion picture was it must follow certain lines to not betray the original character but still must make something new out of it. The storyline was fantastically written. The CGI was spot on. The props and effects were very good. I thought it seemed as though much detail was put into this film. The sets and locations seemed very authentic and quite beautiful. The wardrobe and makeup was very realistic and looked marvelous for the time period. The score was that of a bigtime production. The acting was superb. Morgan Freeman is always a delight to have in a film. I love just about anything that guy does. Rodrigo Santoro had some big shoes to fill, but I thought he did the role justice. Toby Kebbell was very emotionally driven and showed much depth in his character. Jack Huston was very good. I didn’t love his character right away, but he grew on me throughout the film. I believe it was designed that way. I don’t remember the older film of the same name, so I didn’t have much to go on while watching this film. But I really liked the way they tied the life of Jesus in to the story. It brought that much more depth and emotion into the film. I highly recommend this film.

The rating for this motion picture was PG-13, which was very generous due to the nature of the film. This film had murder, blood, violence, and adult situations. I do not recommend anyone under 13 view this film, and parents or guardians view it before letting children 13 to 17-year-old watch it.

By Dan Jones

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping

R 1hr 27mins (2016)

This comedy is filmed like a documentary. It is about a pop star named Conner (Andy Samberg). Similar to most of the young white pop stars today, he has very little talent and a huge ego. He tries to set trends by doing exactly what everyone else is doing, just like todays pop stars. This mocumentary starts out with three best friends, Conner, Owen (Jorma Taccone), Lawrence (Akiva Schaffer), who started a rap group called The Style Boys. The Style Boys had three top selling albums with several hits. But at the height of the groups popularity, front man Conner has gotten a big head and left the group. Owen has tagged along with Conner on his first album. Owen is the DJ and beats man for the album, but Lawrence has moved on and is a farmer in Colorado. Conner’s first album sold four million copies with Owen producing the music. On the second album Conner decides to not use Owen to produce the music. After this decision, the album flops and had barely sells any records. The tour starts and Conner has Owen pretend to DJ and plays the music from an iPod. Will Conner be able to recoup from this bad album? Will Conner alienate all of his old friends? You will have to watch and see.

The directors of this motion picture were also actors in the film, Jorma Taccone and Akiva Schaffer. They are also known for directing films such as: Hot Rod, McGruber, and a slew of TV shows. Jorma and Akiva’s vision for this film are to mock the pop industry and make inappropriate jokes.

The plot to this motion picture was not the worst part of this film, it actually wasn’t terrible. The storyline was written like several skits stitched together to make one film. The props and effects of this film were actually really good. The sets were well built, and the locations were exotic. The wardrobe and makeup was pretty crazy and reminds me of Justin Bieber on steroids. And honestly, I can’t stand Bieber. The music was supposed to be horrible, but some of it was kind of catchy. Some of it was horrible though. There were tons of cameos like Questlove, Carrie Underwood, Nas, Usher, 50 Cent, Ringo Star, Simon Cowell, Adam Levine, Akon, Mariah Carey, Pink, D.J. Kahaled, A$AP Rocky, RZA, T.I., and Pharrell. The acting was that of a boundary pushing comedy. Tim Meadows plays the same monotone and emotionless character that he plays all the time. Chris Redd plays an up and coming rapper, and his acting and rapping was pretty good. Andy Samberg is the oddball pop star that says the strangest things with a straight face. He actually can sing and rap pretty good. This film wasn’t the best. It was pretty much just drug and dirty skits and punchlines. Some of the jokes were funny. I did laugh a few times, but you had to endure quite a bit of forced jokes to get to the good ones. I am all for silly and even dirty slapstick comedy, but something was a little off with this one. I didn’t hate it, but it wasn’t great.

This motions picture was rate R, and maybe should be a worse rating. This film had crude humor, adult language, full frontal nudity, strong sexual contact, drug abuse, alcohol abuse, blood, violence, gore, adult situations, and adult content. I do not recommend this film to anyone under 18 years old.

By Dan Jones

Black Mass

R 2hrs 3mins (2015)

This story starts out with Kevin Weeks (Jesse Plemons) in federal custody and going to turns states evidence on his boss James “Whitey” Bulger and the White Hill Gang in Boston. The officer pushes record and Kevin begins to narrate. Kevin tells the officer how he got started with Whitey and some of the things he does for him. Whitey is the king of the Southern territory. The Mob has the Northern territory.  Whitey has a close nit group of guys that reside with him. One day, a cop pulls Whitey and his boys over, and delivers a message from the Northern Mob. Whitey asks him why he works as a cop for the Mob, because he is from the South end. To Whitey that is treason and punishable by death. One of Whitey’s boys named Tommy, in the back, keeps running his mouth to the cop. That night Tommy was drunk at the bar and running his mouth to Whitey. The next day one of Whitey’s boys was eating in his car and gets whacked by a guy on a motorcycle. Whitey has some boys with him and stops to pick up Tommy. They tell Tommy that they found who killed their boy, and take Tommy out to an undisclosed location. Tommy apologizes for the other nights when he was drunk, and Whitey accepts his apology. Then BAM! One of Whitey’s boys shoots Tommy in the back of the head. Whitey believes that Tommy ratted out one of Whitey’s boys and got him whacked, plus he publicly challenged Whitey. In comes a new FBI detective named John Connolly (Joel Edgerton), he was an old friend of Whitey’s. He proposes to his boss Agent Charles McGuire (Kevin Bacon) to give Whitey a free pass to continue to keep committing crimes with no killing and no drugs, in exchange for invaluable information against the Northern Mob Boss and his syndicate. Agent McGuire accepts the deal. Whitey and Connolly have a meeting and he tells him the deal, and Whitey accepts. Whitey’s crew become more aggressive in their reign of crime, even though they have given the Feds no information. One day Whitey’s young son becomes very ill, and gets such a bad fever that he becomes a vegetable. Whitey’s live-in girlfriend tells him that she doesn’t want to keep their son as a vegetable and wants to pull the plug. After losing his son and his mother, Whitey starts expanding his empire to Florida. All the while, Agent Connolly is covering for Whitey and his crew. Agent McGuire is tired of letting Whitey walk around a free man while giving no information on the Mob. Connolly tells Whitey if he doesn’t give them something on the Mob, the Feds with be coming after him. The next day, the location of the Mob boss is given to Connolly who turns it over to McGuire. The Mob boss is arrested. Will this keep the Feds at bay, or will they eventually come for Whitey? Will Connolly keep protecting Whitey, or will he sell him out? You will have to watch and see.

Scott Cooper is an actor, writer, and director, and the director of this film. Other films he has directed are: Crazy Heart and Out of the Furnace. Scott’s vision for this film is a dark and endless hole in one human’s soul, that is never filled no matter what he tries to fill it with.

The plot to this motion picture was a true story. The storyline was fantastically written, it had me at the edge of my seat the whole time. The props and effects were amazing, they spared no expense. The sets and locations were spot on and looked legitimate. The wardrobe and makeup were marvelous, not too flashy or overdone. The score to this film was that of a thriller and made the pace of the film seem like it was going fast. The acting was superb. Benedict Cumberbatch was great in his role as Whitey’s brother. He was very professional. Joel Edgerton played the perfect dirty agent that actually has an honor code, to those form his past. He started out very confident and ended grasping at anything he could to keep the status quo. Johnny Depp was brilliant. He really embraces the characters he plays. He had the perfect aggression to make you believe he was this sociopath. Johnny was very convincing. I knew nothing about this story before I watched it, and I really enjoyed this film. I highly recommend it. If you are into crazy mob type films from the old days, then this is your kind of film.

This motion picture was rated R and for good reason. This film had adult language, blood, violence, drug abuse, alcohol abuse, adult situations, and murder. I do not recommend this film to anyone under the age of 18 years of age.

By Dan Jones

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

R 1hr 52mins (2016)

This is a based on a true story. It follows a smaller time journalist named Kim Baker (Tina Fey). The U.S. is in a war in Afghanistan, and the U.S. forces are re-engaging in Iraq. Kim’s boss has gathered all the single journalists with no family, and asked them to consider going over to Afghanistan. Kim decides that she will go. Kim has a boyfriend that is on the road quite a bit. Once she gets over to Afghanistan and gets to the journalist’s compound, it is like a first college year frat party. Kim interviews several soldiers before they go to a village to repair a well. Kim’s first run with a marine unit, there is an exchange of gun fire. In the fight or flight moment that it started, Kim gets out of the Humvee and follows the soldiers as they fire upon the enemy. This act impresses General Hollanek (Billy Bob Thornton). She makes friends with one of the only woman reporters over there named Tanya Vanderpoel (Margot Robbie). The journalists over there run down leads and report all day, and party all night with drugs, alcohol, and sexual infidelity. Kim stays faithful to her boyfriend. But one day, after she had to cancel a flight home to see her boyfriend, she Skypes him, Kim sees a woman’s reflection in the TV behind him and their relationship is over. Kim decides to extend her few months stay in Afghanistan to a few years. Will Kim fall into the pattern of the rest of the journalists? Will Kim get the big story? You will have to watch and see.

Glenn Ficarra and John Requa are the directors of this motion picture. Other films they have directed are: I Love You Phillip Morris, Crazy Stupid Love, Focus, and This is Us. Glenn and John’s vision for this film was a crazy and messed up country in the middle of a dessert, with a bunch of reporters running amuck.

This motion picture was a true story and had a good plot. The storyline was exciting and well written. The props and effects were first class and very realistic. The sets and locations were also good and authentic. The wardrobe and makeup was just right for the story in the Middle East. The soundtrack was colorful for the time frame, but good. The score set the tone of the film. The acting was very good. I liked Billy Bob Thornton’s character. He was a leader, and had respect for those who took risks and respected themselves. Martin Freeman also had an interesting character. He seemed to have a silver tongue, yet had some slight emotions. He was funny. Tina Fey portrayed this woman who was an average run of the mill normal woman, who was put in an extraordinarily bizarre place. Tina played many emotions in this role. She did quite well. I thought this film was very good. I can’t believe that this was true and is how things happened. But if it was a boring story they wouldn’t make a movie about it. I do recommend this film.

This motion picture was R and rightly so. This film had adult language, sexual scenes, drug abuse, alcohol abuse, blood, gore, murder, and adult situations. I do not recommend this film for anyone under the age of 18 years old.

By Dan Jones