Green Book (2018)
Starring: Viggo Mortensen, Mahershala Ali, Linda Cardellini, Don Stark, Sebastian Maniscalco, P.J. Byrne, Brian Stepanek, Iqbal Theba, Tom Virtue, Paul Sloan, Anthony Mangano, Joe Cortese, Johnny Williams, Dimiter Marinov, David Kallaway, Nick Vallelonga, Mike Hatton, Craig DiFrancia, Quinn Duffy
Director: Peter Farrelly
Synopsis: The polarity of reviews is what kept me away from Green Book so long. I’m sorry I waited. It’s a very good movie, but let’s make one thing clear, Viggo, the driver has a more robust part, yet Mahershala’s role is not meant to be robust. These two men are playing real life characters, one a world-class pianist, Dr. Don Shirley, who chooses to do a concert series in the heart of full-on segregation during the days when the Kennedys and Martin Luther King were alive. The other is his hand-chosen driver; chosen because of his reputation as a bruiser who can get the job done, which in this case is drive and protect Dr. Shirley. This movie is about showing segregationist southern areas where Dr. Shirley must stay at hotels, eat at restaurants, and patronize businesses found in the Green Book. It is also about a growing connection between the fastidious and refined Dr. Shirley and the prejudiced bruiser who does what it takes to keep food on his family’s table. I enjoyed the movie and don’t see what those who criticized it saw.
Starring: Joaquin Phoenix, Robert De Niro, Frances Conroy, Zazie Beetz, Brett Cullen, Brian Tyree Henry, Marc Maron, Dante Pereira-Olson, Douglas Hodge, Sharon Washington, Bill Camp, Glenn Fleshler, Josh Pais, Shea Whigham, Leigh Gill, Sondra James, Murphy Guyer, Hannah Gross, Gary Gulman, Chris Redd, Bryan Callen, Greer Barnes, Ray Iannicelli, Keith Buterbaugh
Director: Todd Phillips
Synopsis: I don’t want to give too much of the plot away, but go into Joker knowing it is not a reprise of anybody else’s Joker, and it is not about a comical or DC Universe character. Joker is a real live human being’s descent from loser to maniac. It’s gritty, it’s got triggering scenes of violence, and it is Joaquin’s chance to let his freak flag fly high. Many actors would give anything to do this role, but I honestly don’t think that many would be up to playing it to exquisite perfection like Joaquin. Decent support cast but I think it could have been better. DeNiro is good as a talk show host, and Max is right, there is similarity to Taxi Driver and DeNiro could be a nod to it.
Rust Creek (2019)
Starring: Hermione Corfield, Jay Paulson, Sean O’Bryan, John Marshall Jones, Daniel R. Hill, Jeremy Glazer, Micah Hauptman, Laura Guzman, Jake Kidwell, Virginia Schneider
Director: Jen McGowan
Synopsis: I really wondered if this movie would be your typical dumb-teenager-gets-lost-in-the-woods-and-is-hunted/killed-by bad people. There is some of that, but the teenager has some wits about her. She is headed towards being a goner when an expected ally shows up. For this type of movie it isn’t too bad. Not much swearing, no gratuitious violence, and a more or less decent plot as far as these things go. Jay Paulson is a standout in Rust Creek. He is a character I ended up genuinely caring about, and in a plot like this finding that is not the usual.
Angel Heart (1987)
Starring: Mickey Rourke, Robert De Niro, Lisa Bonet, Charlotte Rampling, Stocker Fontelieu, Brownie McGhee, Michael Higgins, Elizabeth Whitcraft, Eliott Keener, Charles Gordone, Dann Florek
Director: Alan Parker
Synopsis: Part detective movie, part horror movie. I rented it because it has Mickey Rourke with his pretty boy face and because someone recommended it to me (not sure who). Mickey plays a two-bit detective that gets a call from a refined gentleman who is looking for a missing person who is supposed to be confined at an asylum but appears to have left. The gentleman is persuasive in getting Mickey to take the job, which quickly leads him to New Orleans. There is a lot of creepy stuff in here, voodoo, supernatural, and extremely graphic violence. I should have turned it off, but I needed to know what happened to Mickey! lol
John Wick 3 – Parabellum (2019)
Starring: Keanu Reeves, Halle Berry, Laurence Fishburne, Mark Dacascos, Asia Kate Dillon, Lance Reddick, Anjelica Huston, Ian McShane, Jason Mantzoukas, Roger Yuan
Director: Chad Stahelski
Synopsis: You should probably watch the first two before watching Part 3. It’s pretty much more of the same except the assassins and other bad guys seem tougher and harder to kill. I think the body count is less here than in 2, but not by much. There is a pretty blatant continuity error in it that I won’t give away, but really!? They had to be aware of it yet kept it in the film. Keanu is just as methodical and creative in his killing as in the others. There are many of the same characters in 3, but there are also some good new support characters like Halle Berry, Mark Dacascos, and Anjelica Huston.
Sturgill Simpson Presents: Sound and Fury (2019) NETFLIX
Starring: Various anime heroes and villains
Director: each anime short has its own director
Synopsis: Far-out anime shorts set to Sturgill Simpson’s album, “Sound and Fury”. It’s a little over 40 minutes long. There is a lot of gore, tragedy, killing, maiming, revenge. If you’re a fan of violent anime, it is very well-done. If you aren’t sure, test it out and see. The music is really good with lyrics and melodies. It does seem strange to see this music set to anime, but many will consider it avant garde creativity.