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Posts Tagged ‘Movie Review’

Blu-ray Review: River Runs Red

December 21, 2018 | by Herija Green | Comments Comments Off
River Runs Red*Consternation intensifies*

Written and directed by the heretofore unknown Wes Miller, River Runs Red takes a serious and topical subject — the shooting deaths of young African-Americans and other POC by law enforcement officers — and puts an “eye for an eye” spin on it. Backed by a cast featuring some well-known actors, the film looked to have some potential. Time to see if it can deliver.

THE PLOT

Bringing himself up from nothing, Charles Coleman (Taye Diggs) now serves as a judge in the city of Louisville, Kentucky. He and his wife, Eve (Jennifer Tao), a police officer, have a son together, CJ (Joseph Belk), who has been accepted to the academy. On the day he’s set to start he borrows his father’s BMW and drives around, eventually flashing a peace sign at a pair of officers, though one of them claims he flipped them off.

During the traffic stop, Von (Luke Hemsworth) sees CJ reaching for his wallet and believes him to be going for a gun, prompting his partner Rory (Gianni Capaldi) to fire into the car, killing CJ in the process. Rory then plants a gun, making it a justifiable homicide. When city and federal agencies sign off on the officers’ version of events, Eve quits the force and Charles is in shock, turning to an old detective friend (John Cusack) to investigate.

When it appears that the same gun, alleged to be CJ’s, was at the scene of two officer-involved shootings, Charles goes to visit the father of the previous victim, Javier (George Lopez), to encourage him to sue the city. When Javier declines, Charles continues to push, and the pair eventually decide that the only way to get justice for their sons is to take matters into their own hands.

THE GOOD

There’s a solid premise at the core of River Runs Red, even if the execution feels a bit ham fisted. While Luke isn’t the actor his brother is, he does a solid job as the conflicted cop, and Taye Diggs, who we haven’t seen in a meaningful role since Way of the Gun, does the best of the primary characters. There’s also enough passable action to give the movie a little juice, though the chase sequence never ascends beyond feeling relatively low budget.

THE BAD

Despite offering an interesting entry point, the way the story is presented and the way it moves forward are both frustratingly bad. Let’s start with the pointless conversations, such as Diggs talking about how his father-in-law said some bad things to him, but when Lopez inquires as to why he’d say that, Diggs responds that he doesn’t know and doesn’t care. Awesome. Or when the Mayor asks his assistant to get the number for judicial ethics after a confrontation with Diggs and then literally never appears in the movie again.

Story advancement is also weak. One minute Diggs and his wife are mourning their son, the next they’re having a date night at home with Chinese food. One minute Diggs is telling his wife he has to remain a judge or “they win,” but as soon as the city leaks that his son was packing he’s ready to take it to the streets. At one point he threatens one of the officers that he’s going to use every resource at his disposal, then he gets raw footage of the guy murdering someone and does basically nothing with it.

There’s no depth to the cast, either, with both Diggs and Lopez saddled with completely bland wives that bring nothing to the film. Capaldi is brutal as Rory, the scummy racist cop, and his cigar monologue might just be the movie’s low point — somewhere somebody probably thought it was Tarantino-esque, it wasn’t. Later on a crew of, we guess, undercover officers show up just to do some pseudo martial arts fights with the headliners and then vanish. It’s so awkward.

OVERALL

Perhaps action fans can garner some enjoyment from the final act, but whatever promise River Runs Red had at the conceptual level is largely squandered by the wooden acting and poor story development.

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Blu-ray Review: Smallfoot

December 12, 2018 | by Herija Green | Comments Comments Off
Anyone that watched Looney Tunes growing up should enjoy some of the physical comedy here as the movie often tosses aside any semblance of reality for classic nods to Wile E. Coyote. The other obvious influence is that of Lin-Manuel Miranda on some of the musical numbers, particularly Common’s Let it Lie, which feels like it could’ve been ripped from Hamilton or Moana with its situation-specific rhyming lyrics.
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Blu-ray Review: Mission: Impossible — Fallout

December 3, 2018 | by Herija Green | Comments Comments Off
There are some brilliant set pieces in Fallout. The kind you go back and watch multiple times just to appreciate how well constructed they are. At the top of the list are the incredible fight in a Paris nightclub’s bathroom, and the operation to liberate Lane from police custody. There’s just such an organic intensity there, and it’s hard not to get fired up watching them.
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Blu-ray Review: The Nun

November 30, 2018 | by Herija Green | Comments Comments Off
One thing that has always stood out in films from the Conjuring universe is quality acting, a relatively rare thing in the horror genre. That continues here with Bichir, who we loved in The Bridge, heading a solid slate of performances for all three primary characters. Jonas is likable and gets to add what little levity there is, and Taissa ably projects strength, faith and vulnerability at the center of it all.
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Blu-ray Review: Crazy Rich Asians

November 19, 2018 | by Herija Green | Comments Comments Off
Visually, Crazy Rich Asians never fails to impress. The costumes are pristine, the locations are amazing and everyone always looks their best. Viewed through the spectrum of Rachel it sets up a lot of enjoyable moments. And that’s what the film does best, it has fun and gives you the green light to have fun along with it.
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