My friend John visited, and we spent last weekend at the movies. And for once, we didn’t see a bad one. Lol So…I thought I’d write a few more reviews. The movies we saw were Run All Night, Unfinished Business, Focus, The Lazarus Effect, and McFarland, USA. I hope you enjoy my reviews.
1) The Lazarus Effect – This movie is about a group of scientists who are tying to bring the dead back to life. They have success with a dog, then use the process to bring back one of their own after her death. Gee, no surprise there. The rest of the film follows a fairly standard pattern, but the ending does stray from the stereotypical path and I found that refreshing. It was very much a low budget film, and I don’t think I knew anyone in the cast, but it was a fairly good plot and the acting was pretty good as well. This one gets a 3* rating.
2) Unfinished Business – This Vince Vaughn romp follows a three-man company competing for a contract with Vaughn’s character’s ex boss. There’s not much I can say without giving spoilers, but I will say that it’s a fun movie, excellently cast and acted. Nick Frost, Tom Wilkinson, and Dave Franco provide wonderful accompaniment to Vaughn, and overall this was a highly enjoyable film. An easy 4*.
3) Focus – This film reminded me of those wonderful Ocean’s movies. The plot twists and turns, and the line between what is real and what is con is often very hard to see.
The cast includes such notables as Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Gerald McRaney, Rodrigo Santoro, and D Wong. This is a top of the line film, and one that I highly recommend. 5*
4) Run All Night – Oh my goodness, this is a “don’t miss” movie! Former hit man Jimmy Conlan, expertly portrayed by Liam Neeson, is put in the line of fire when he kills his mob boos best friend’s son to prevent the murder of his own estranged son. I’m really liking Neeson as an action star, and this stellar cast also features Ed Harris, Bruce McGill, Joel Kinnaman, Holt McCallany, and Common. If you like high-intensity action, if you like mob vengeance, and if you like to be pulled to the edge of your seat and held there until the credits roll, you’re going to love this movie! A well deserved 5*.
5) McFarland, USA – I saved what was far and away the best for last. I don’t think there are enough words in any dictionary of any language on the planet to adequately describe how phenomenal this film is. Family fare at its best, this film showcases a group of young actors who bring incredible depth and drama to the tale of a volatile coach who starts a cross country team at what is probably the last school that would hire him. After Coach White moves his family to McFarland, a poor California town with a predominantly Mexican population, they must adjust to a lifestyle that is completely foreign to them. White’s students come from “picking” families where poverty is a fact of life and college is a pipe dream. The high school is a stone’s throw from the prison that will provide a future address for many of the young men in McFarland, who see crime as the only alternative to the same dead end life that parents could not escape from. This is Costner’s best film yet, and when placed next to Black & White, I think he’ll be forgiven for both Waterworld and The Postman, many times over. 5* are not enough for this movie.
Please forgive me for a little more self-prootion. Tomorrow, March 19th, I am so fortunate to be interviewed by Renee Hand. We’re going to be talking about Shadow of the Drill, and I’m thinking it’s going to be a festive chat. Please stop by http://www.blogtalkradio.com/storiesfromunknownauthors if you find yourself with a few minutes to kill. Thank you so much for your support of my blog, my writing and…me. 🙂