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Tag Archives: 2019

The Last Black Man in San Francisco

Jimmie Fails wrote and plays himself in this autobiographical account of growing up in San Francisco. Jimmie and his friend Mont (Jonathan Majors) are inseparable, and Jimmie stays with Mont and his blind father (played by Danny Glover). Mont works in a fish market but spends a lot of time observing people and dialog in hopes of writing a screenplay. Jimmie is obsessed with the house that his grandfather built 70 years ago in the Fillmore district. When the current owners are gone, Jimmie and Mont go over to the house and do improvement work, such as weeding the gardens …

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When They See Us (Netflix Mini-Series)

In 1989, 5 young African American and Latino boys, ages 14-16, were accused of beating and raping a white jogger in Central Park New York. After serving between 6 and 13 years in prison, they were exonerated after a fellow prisoner serving time with one of the five confessed to the crime.  In this Netflix mini-series, Ana DuVernay provides a perfect complement to the Sarah Burns documentary Central Park Five from 2012; DuVernay presents the story completely from the viewpoint of the 5 teenagers. She takes us up close and personal into what it was like for these boys to …

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Rocketman

Taron Egerton plays Elton John in this very interesting and unusually told biopic of John’s life. While the film starts out in a rather conventional narrative away – we first see Elton John checking himself into a rehab facility wherein he starts recounting various parts of his life – it becomes quickly clear that this will be a different kind of life story. The film is really a musical; at several points, it feels like you are watching a stage play. There is one number in which Edgerton first appears as the teenage Elton John that is particularly well done). …

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Booksmart

The story is about two girls who spent their entire high school life studying and making the best grades so that they can get into the best colleges. On the day before graduation, after a scene in the bathroom, Molly realizes that she and Amy have probably missed out on an important part of high school life. They decide to go all out on their last night before graduation and have the experience they missed. What results is mostly hilarious as the two find themselves trying to find rides and finding themselves at different parties thrown by very different people …

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John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum

Chapter 3 picks up where Chapter 2 left off – John Wick, who commits the ultimate crime of killing an enemy at the Continental Hotel, which is off-limits for killing of any sort, has been granted one hour to make himself scares before he officially becomes excommunicated from the underworld syndicate. The film starts at approximately T minus 20 minutes. The corporate office, which runs on old typewriters and telephone exchanges, is getting ready to pull the trigger and set the 14M prices for his head. We already know that the chances anyone is going to kill John Wick are …

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Avengers: Endgame

Avengers – End Game: The story picks up from where Infinity Wars left off. Arrow’s wife and children vanish as Thanos, who has control of the six Infinity stones, makes 50% of the population of the universe disappear. Antman returns after having somehow time traveled to the present, and that event triggers the reunification of the Avengers to get back the Infinity stones. The film is very entertaining. It has several periods of comic relief (especially Thor, who has a very funny post-Avengers life), numerous scenes that are emotionally powerful, and a lot of action, particularly during the last 30 …

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The Mustang

The Mustang tells a story of Roman, an incredibly angry man who has served a very long time in prison, and what happens to him when he participates in a prison program to break wild mustangs. In the beginning, we are told that there are about 100,000 mustangs roaming in the wild, and the Bureau of Land Management periodically rounds them up and sends them to prisons. Ultimately, they are auctioned off.  The story is one that has been told in a number of different ways, but this one works really well. The acting by Matthias Schoenaerts (Roman) and Bruce …

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Shazam!

14-year-old orphan Billy is unhappily assigned to another foster home, and he is not happy. One day, he becomes the guy designated to become Shazam: A superhero who can go into and out of his role by proclaiming Shazam! He encounters Sivana, the older man version of the boy who first stumbled into the Wizard realm and was not deemed worthy to have Shazam’s power. The movie is sweet but too much so. Most of it is rather cliché; we have seen the story of the guy who doesn’t know how to harness his powers, the guy who overcomes personal …

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Us

This is Jordan Peele’s second movie following his big horror hit from last year, Get Out. In this story, a young girl strays from her father and finds herself in a room of mirrors at an amusement park on the California coast. She turns around and finds herself staring at herself. Fast forward to the present day, she is married with two children, and she is talked into going to the beach by her husband who doesn’t know her history at that beach. One night, after a day at the beach, the family discovers 4 intruders on their property – …

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The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part

After several years of relative calm after Bricksburg was originally saved by Lucy and Rex, a new threat comes from invaders from outer space. Lucy is captured by the invaders, and it is up to Rex find Lucy and for both of them to once again save their city. I will start by saying that I don’t think this film worked nearly as well as the first one. My daughter called it right: the movie tries way too hard for its laughs. But at a deeper level, the laughs will come to those who are very young and respond to …

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