Tag: Yes Boobs

The United States vs. Billie Holiday

Lee Daniels has never been known to be shy about the types of movies he wants to do. He did Precious, which was groundbreaking in lead and topic (which is unfortunate, because it should not have been ground breaking) and The Butler, which was like the Forrest Gump of Butlers.

And now, he wants to tackle on a bio film about Billie Holiday, famous American singer from the 30’s to the 50’s. A film about music with music but not a musical. Apparently he was reluctant to cast Andra Day in the titular role, because she is a singer not an actress, but was blown away by a quick acting real she put together. And I am so glad she did.

I hate it when bios cast purely actors who cannot sing in films as singers. You can tell the difference and it really bugs me. And yes that is still one of my issues with Bohemian Rhapsody, a film that had a lot of issues. Let singers play singers. Don’t give me recordings of the original artist someone pretending. I want someone who can sing like them too.

Now who was he going to cast as America in The United States vs. Billie Holiday?

singing
Sing like, look like, all of the above. We need perfect castings!

At this point in the movie, Billie Holiday (Andra Day) was already pretty famous. Why? Well, she was a good singer sure, but her soulful an sorrowful song Strange Fruit really got to people. It was a song about the southern states doing lynching and hangings of free black citizens, and Holiday obviously had a problem with it.

However, the people in charge, the government, the FBI, her show promoters and venue owners had a problem with the song, not with what the song was about. Weirdly mixed priorities. They wanted to put a stop to her song in whatever way they could. They couldn’t arrest her for singing or ban a song, But they could arrest her for other things.

And then began the long campaign to try and ruin Billie Holiday’s life, because they didn’t want her to sing a song or cause a revolution. So they put some moles in her close circle. They got her arrested on drug charges mostly and some conduct things. They really had it out for her and kept being pretty big jerks about it. Fucking FBI.

Also starring Tyler James Williams, Garrett Hedlund, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Rob Morgan, Leslie Jordan, Natasha Lyonne, and Trevante Rhodes.

rain
That is the tears of white upper class people feeling oppressed by a song. 

The story of Billie Holiday is not unique and unfortunately familiar, despite being a unique and fantastic individual herself.

In fact, thanks to recent films, I am learning the the US FBI was kind of huge dicks in the early and mid 1900’s. Probably after that too. Are they dicks now? I have no idea, but they were definitely more aggressive dicks then. (Although if they are being aggressive dicks now, we will have to wait until files become publicized and we might have to deal with this for decades).

Anyways, they are huge dicks confirmed. It is confirmed here. It is confirmed in Judas and the Black Messiah. It is confirmed in MLK/FBI, all movies released within a month or so of each other. Very interesting this very apparent and strong theme. Who else did they screw over? How have they negatively impacted the growth of American and our history?

Back to the movie. Day absolutely destroys it as Billie Holiday, and that is the main aspect to talk about. The voice, the singing, the swagger, she was great. She really puts it all out there for this performance, you can tell it is personal.

It is long movie, but one that will likely lose luster over time, especially due to its similar (unfortunate) themes to other recent films. I learned a lot about a musical artist who I can say I definitely didn’t know much about before. And at least we have that going for us.

3 out of 4.

Narco Sub

The tale of Narco Sub coming out is not longer or more arduous than other films, but it is still notable. It is just one of the many films that was set to come out early in 2020, hit some festivals, and then maybe get a wider release in theaters.

The director, Shawn Welling, was unable to release the movie in theaters, at a time when theaters are definitely hurting and wanting more and more new material. Instead, it ended up being released on Amazon, not as a part of Amazon Prime, but just a thing you can buy and rent for a pretty high price.

Pretty ballsy of an approach, given that the director has a ton of work that most people would say they haven’t heard about before.

main character
Look moody and mean. That’ll show them. 
Bruce Stryker (Tom Vera) is a narcotics officer, trying to bring an end to all this drug stuff coming in to our USA from the South Americas. He is good at what he does, and sometimes he has to go on ground missions to really help save the day.

His job has took him to literal Columbia, where he moved his wife (Sydney Ruddock) and daughter (Alexis Arnold) in order to combat the drug crisis. Seems like a strange idea, but okay. And sure enough, after helping put an end to a hostage crisis that involved a Senator’s daughter, he finds his own family in hot water.

Now the cartel has taken his wife and daughter and might kill him! But they won’t, if he totally gets on a sub full of drugs, and helps get it to America in one piece, to sell all of the drugs to the citizens. So I guess our agent now has to go against the law, good times.

Also starring Tom Sizemore, Lee Majors, Robert LaSardo, Jim Jimenez, and Jon Fiore.

runaway
I don’t think a single actor in this picture is noted in my tags. 
There is some bias here, I will say, because this is not the first Welling film I have seen. It is the first to get a review on the website, but not the first I have had to write about in other sources. This is maybe my sixth film of his. The others were all gigantic wastes of time, similar to how I currently find Terrence Malick films, except for at least Malick films I can see a reason why someone might enjoy them.

This one doesn’t feel the same as his previous work. Gone are the weird visuals and big music background numbers. It is an action film and going for that. Unfortunately, the film didn’t become good along the way with the change in directorial style.

This plot is absolutely terrible. From moment a to b to c, it has characters making strange decisions and a lack of payoff by the end. There are quite a few changes in the plot, so it was a bit hard to even type up the outline above, because it went a lot of places to get to the point in the story that the plot cared most about. The ending itself is so quick and disappointing as well. Not the worst ending of the year, but up there.

There is nothing positive about the film to note, and it is a waste of not just your own time, but frankly the people who were in it who had to wait for it to eventually come out.

0 out of 4.

Guest House

2020 is a weird year, for life, for cinema, for you, likely, in all aspects.

And through the ashes of this year, despite how high they pile up, is this the year that Pauly Shore rises through those ashes? The great phoenix, often spoken about in hushed tones as a relic from the 90’s.

He has been missing from cinema for some time, with the occasional cameo, or playing himself, or documentary series, but as a lead? The last time he was the lead or co-lead in a film was in 1997, something called The Curse of Inferno, which I also never heard about before in my life until typing this up a second ago.

That doesn’t mean he cannot come back and be a force to be reckoned with, for the new movie Guest House. It isn’t like he was just lying dormant in a basement somewhere waiting for a time to strike. Hell, we had Bill and Ted Face the Music just last week, and that was surprising in that it wasn’t terrible, unlike many comedy sequels that have been coming out decades later.

So. There. Is (was?). A. Chance.

shore
“‘Never Tell Me The Odds’ – Han Solo” – Pauly Shore

Sarah (Aimee Teegarden) and Blake (Mike Castle) are not newlyweds, and they aren’t even engaged, but they are looking to get a house together. A big commitment, and something that is only doable because of Sarah’s dad (Billy Zane) helping out, even if he doesn’t approve much of Blake because of his slacker and party past.

After a long search, they find nothing good in their price range, until they found the perfect house. Lots of space, a big yard, a pool, and a guest house! So what is the catch? Oh, there is someone living in the guest house. Randy Cockfield (Pauly Shore), a user of drugs and alcohol, a loud mouth, a exhibitionist, and all together strange person. He was there from the previous owner and totally “about to leave” so that is why the main house is cheap.

They end up taking the deal, because he will be gone soon. And the rest of the movie plot sort of writes itself. Is he actually trying to leave? You know he isn’t. And with squatter rights in California as they are, it would be a long and lengthy and expensive battle to even get him out of that place, so it looks like they will have to go to war.

Also starring Lou Ferrigno, Erik Griffin, Steve-O, Liz Katz, and Chris Kattan.

kattan
How excited am I to see Chris Kattan in a movie? Well…

Okay, it turn out this is not Pauly’s time to rise out of the ashes.

Guest House was certifiably not a great film. Right away, the cinematography leaves a lot to be desired, feeling like it is a made for TV film. It doesn’t go for interesting anything with the camera, and it just feels so dreamy, I guess is a way to describe it.

The main characters? None of them are people we care about. The couple is bad to each other and bad people in general who clearly shouldn’t be together. The husband’s job feels so unimportant, with bad coworkers, so we don’t end up caring about that either.

As for Shore, the third main character, he is playing a meaner and more lewd character than he ever played. It isn’t an R-rated Weasel, it is just a not fun person. I can’t even imagine them having friends that would want to stop by and do drugs? It is hard to believe that level of king party animal.

The events that happen are just contrived, and even the lessons learned at the end are not how I would take it away in real life. It is a miserable situation for miserable people to be in, and we are all losers for having to watch it.

0 out of 4.

The Argument

Sometimes partners argue. It can be over what color the linens need to be, or it could be what color the sheets need to be. It could be over the color of the shower curtain or even the color of a new carpet. I believe couples only argue over colors, if I am not mistaken. I can say that because I don’t fight with my wife.

The Argument film is a straight to VOD picture directed by Robert Schwartzman, who is definitely the brother of Jason. This is actually his third film, so it shouldn’t be too surprising that some famous people joined it, but also, he is from a pretty famous family and probably has tons of clout. I haven’t seen his other films, but one is about a unicorn or threesomes or something.

Anyways, this intro is definitely going nowhere fast, except to this picture right now!

love
Aw, these cute little love birds are going to argue? I don’t see an reason why.

Jack (Dan Fogler) and Lisa (Emma Bell) have been in a relationship for three whole years now. They sometimes fight, but they usually reconcile, but generally there always has to be a winner. Jack is in love and wants to propose to her, in front of their great friends, in a special night in their home. Lisa just finished her role as Constanze in a run of Amadeus, her biggest role as an actress. Jack is a writer, who has written a script for one whole movie!

And after Jack’s friend (and agent) and his partner get to their home (Danny Pudi/Maggie Q), Jack is ready for a quiet and fun evening. But oh no! Another couple shows up. Paul (Tyler James Williams) and his girlfriend (Cleopatra Coleman). Paul was also in the Amadeus play as the lead, and did a lot of flirting with Lisa from their characters, and this makes Jack uneasy.

One thing leads to another, discussions and dancing and drinking, and an incident happens at the end of the night that neither feels they are responsible for. So they are going to create the night, with the help of their friends, to figure out who is actually right, and the other arguments that branch from the festivities as well.

Also starring Karan Brar, Mark Ryder, Marielle Scott, Nathan Stewart-Jarrett, and Charlotte McKinney.

couch
“i’m glad you joined me tonight for a recreation of a recreation again and again.”

When I heard the description of this film, I just thought it would be a strange remake of Rashômon. You know, the classic Japanese film where people retell the story from their point of view and they are all different. That is my effective, yet bad description of Rashômon! Anyways, it made sense that this one would be the same way, but with six people at a small party.

And I was wrong! First of all, which is both bad and good. It is bad, because what they actually did wasn’t great. The main character tries to literally create the night and conversations with the same people, doing the same food prep, without anyone telling his goal first. It is completely ludicrous. The only reason there is buy in from the others is due to their own arguments and trying to work it out together. And again, it is really dumb seeing this apparently night after night after night. That part feels more ridiculous than anything else.

However, it did finally surprise me for the final night of the argument. It changed things up, and it did it in a fun way. I really loved the ending, making the movie go from an average (to bad with the way things were going) to a pretty good one overall. If they could have made the middle part a bit better, we could have had an excellent film. Why even have someone with a “photographic memory” if they are going to barely use the feature?

I especially liked the extras which I kept vague for a reason. Maggie Q and Cleopatra Coleman were some of the better characters from my point of view, and I also really enjoyed Karan Brar, who grew up from some Disney shows apparently.

3 out of 4.

Satanic Panic

It’s Spooktober, so it is time to watch a lot more horror movies and actually get off my ass and review them. Especially if those horror movies aren’t super mainstream, because I will be honest, there aren’t really any coming out this month? Where the hell are the horror movies? Is it too cliche to come out in October now?

Satanic Panic came out last month to VOD, and I am surprised it didn’t get a theatrical release. Based on the name alone, it could have gotten a lot of people in the theaters.

Comedy horrors don’t always pack the seats in, and its mostly unknown people, and sure maybe religions groups would boycott, and maybe it wouldn’t get an R rating as easily if it planned to go to theaters. Oh okay, I guess it makes sense to be straight to video.

panic panic
Here is the panic!

Gypsy (Arden Myrin) is just down on her goddamn luck. She has a little scooter, just got a job delivering pizzas, but really has no other assets. She needs money for gas and to build up funds to finally better her life. But it turns out, people suck at tipping and delivering pizza is a lame as hell job.

And Gypsy gets really annoyed when she delivers a really big order to a mansion, and gets absolutely nothing extra. Shit. She is almost out of gas. She can’t find the guy who paid for the pizza, but barges in anyways and sees some sort of meeting going on, led by some sort of inspirational speaker, Danica (Rebecca Romjin). Lot of red.

Next thing she knows, she is locked in a room with some man (Jerry O’Connell). She is going to be part of a ritual? To be sacrified? For a demon?

No way. That’s all made up shit. Rich people are crazy.

Also starring Hayley Griffith, Ruby Modine, and AJ Bowen.

cult
Here is the Satanic!

Satanic Panic is very graphic, as graphic as the name implies it should be. Gore, sex, creepy ritual shit. A lot of deaths and red. It is not something those with the faint of heart would watch. But of course, it is a comedy, the extreme nature of these deaths is part of the fun and the reason you’d want to see.

The characters involved are all okay. They give appropriate levels of freakout and evilness. It is definitely a film where the women are here to shine showcase their talents.

Overall, it is exactly what it set out to be. An enjoyable experience, with a lot of surprise deaths. I will note that being a pizza delivery person appears to be a very unsafe job. We had this VOD film about them, and last year we had another VOD film in Slice. Why do they gotta scare us so much of the time as delivery people? I don’t want to be killed when I am just trying to make a buck.

3 out of 4.

Never Look Away

Never Look Away is a foreign film I would have never noticed if it wasn’t nominated for Oscars. Not only one Oscar, Foreign Film, but also Cinematography.

So I decided to watch this one in theaters instead of Happy Death Day 2U (which is getting good reviews?). I pulled into the lobby a good 30 minutes before showtime, not really sure what to expect, and then after I pulled out my phone to see the rough plot outline, I was shocked. Aghast. The run time of this movie is 3 hours and 6 minutes.

There is nothing wrong with a long run time. It is just something that you should know about before going into it. I was prepared for The Wolf of Wall Street, and Lincoln. I had napped ahead of time. But this is a time when I had nothing to help me keep myself awake or get going.

So instead I just ran around for 30 minutes hyping myself up. A film about art and Nazis does not usually seem like one that you would “hype” up about. And that explains why I went into the film like a strange excited little man.

Art1
Art! Paintings! Nazis! Annnnd MURDER!

When Kurt Barnert (Tom Schilling) was a young lad, he lived with his extended family outside of the city of Dresden. It is the 1940’s, art is shunned if it isn’t realistic, and he wants to draw. He takes a liking to his free spirited aunt, Elisabeth May (Saskia Rosendahl) who teaches him to look for the truth in things, to live, to see the injustices around him.

And then she is eventually killed in a gas chamber. Not for being Jewish, but for having bad genes, schizophrenia they say, and they can’t let that pass on. Sucks!

Eventually Kurt grew up, still into art, and now Germany having lost the war. Germany is also split up, with him on the Eastern side, not yet a physical barrier to separate them. He gets into art school, learns to make murals and perfect realistic portraits and hates his life. This isn’t art. This isn’t important.

He needs to get to the west, to find out love, and truth, and beauty. Then he can maybe unlock his real potential.

Also starring Paula Beer, Sebastian Koch, Oliver Masucci, and Hanno Koffler.

Art2
Sure is a lot of pictures in this movie of a guy doing art. What a surprise!

This film is supposed to be a biography, except there is no artist named Kurt Barnert who fits the story. How can that be!?

It it actually based on the life of Gerhard Richter, who has similarities with the plot and the major paintings by the end, but it seems like Richter didn’t want this story to happen. Here is a really long article about it. It didn’t come out as inspired by a true story, but it is better to put this as a fictional story and just pretend it is all made up. Inspired by World War II, then we don’t have to worry about accuracy.

And this is a story that goes hard in a lot of ways. They show a lot, death, nakedness, and the struggles of art. It is a film about finding your true passions, and made with a lot of passion. I ended up having to run out to pee at some point (its long, remember), and was surprised it had already been over 2 hours. It didn’t drag in the slightest. A film about not the most exciting topics ended up being really entertaining.

It was about love. Achieving success. And not necessarily about revenge, but overcoming demons certainly.

A really strong film, but one I definitely won’t see again, for the obvious reasons.

3 out of 4.

The Favourite

At this point in my career as a movie reviewer, I can no longer say I am unfamiliar with Yorgos Lanthimos‘ work. Now, his first few things? Sure. But I have reviews of The Lobster, The Killing of a Sacred Deer, and now, The Favourite, so that is a clear majority of his movies. I can still suck as a person for not seeing the things that got him famous that are apparently great in their own rights, but I am familiar with his work.

Lobster was absurd and social commentary. Deer was creepy and made me panic. And The Favourite would turn out to be just as different as the last two.

The one thing I was most curious about this movie going into it is that it was listed as a “Biography” on IMDB before hand, having never seen the trailers or anything. This…this is a real story? Or at least based on one? That is certainly nothing like Lanthimos’ previous work, so it is good to see him go in strange directions.

Wait
Waiting rooms with no magazines got me like

Queen Anne (Olivia Colman) is in pain and sad. She lost her husband, she has aches and hurts and she doesn’t want to rule England. She wants people to fix things and for her land to be in peace and to hang out with bunnies. Thankfully she has Lady Sarah (Rachel Weisz) by her side. Sarah has ambitions and smarts and wealth and is married to the main general. She wants what is best for Anne and best for England. She helps the Queen in every thing, including decision making, and is brutally honest with her. They might even be in love. That would explain all the sex stuff at least.

Things are going well enough, the two political parties disagree about things, and it is all terribly confusing, but whatever.

On the other side, there is Abigail (Emma Stone), who used to be a lady, but had some big problems with her family kind of ruining everything. But she is cousins with Sarah, so she wants to go to their castle and find protection. She is given a job as a very low level maid, not what she is used to, but it is better than nothing. However, she quickly finds that her talents can be better used and makes herself extremely valuable, with the goal of rising up the ranks.

Maybe even winning over the love of the Queen, and screwing over her cousin, who is definitely a b word.

Also starring Nicholas Hoult and Joe Alwyn.

Bow
But we are here for the ladies ya’ll, even if Hoult has magical hair.

Going into a Lanthimos film you will never really know what to expect. This film seemed to be an experiment in camera work, from wide angled to fish. Amazing camera work at that. Given a film that will have most people talking about the costumes and acting, it is very important to realize how sexy everything felt. It wasn’t like normal impressive cinematography, it had strange side effects, and there were a lot or risks with it. It helped explain the complex feelings going on in the kingdom at the time and the complexity of these characters.

Okay, now the acting. Stone. Weiss. Colman. All extravagant and showcasing some of the best acting of the year. Apparently Stone/Weiss are both going for supporting roles and will be nominated together in a lot of shows, while they are giving Colman the top acting role and you could argue for all three that they deserve some form of main actress. The men are secondary in this film, they are schemers, they are distractions, but it is about two women who both want power and will do a lot to make sure they maintain their power.

I laughed so much throughout this film, while cringing and hiding at other parts. It really goes to extremes in all levels, never super graphic, but a few intense scenes regardless.

What surprised me was how “accurate” it was to history. Now I am willing to bet none of these conversations are close, and I don’t even think Abigail was real. But we have the same queen, bad health a lot of her life, lady Sarah, changing political allegiances, war, and it had the number of miscarriages correct (which during the movie just seemed like an absurd/uncomfortable joke). Again, I put accurate in quotation marks. It is clearly not accurate, but it is also very much inspired and not drawn out of thin air.

Basically, everything that The Favourite tries, it accomplishes with gold and blue ribbons. Even the jarring and uncomfortable ending makes a lot of sense for this movie. The Favourite came out of nowhere for me, and I could never have guessed it to be so brutal and enjoyable. One of my must see films of the year, and certainly one of the top.

4 out of 4.

Burning

I have been really behind on my foreign films this year. I can’t even think of what I have seen with mostly subtitles this year. Not including the beginning of the year when I was hitting up last years Oscar nominees. Basically, it would have been during WorldFest, when I was in a theater with them, and that was in April. I legit haven’t watched a foreign film since April, and that kind of blows my mind.

I know there has been opportunities, but a lot of it comes from my inability to cross stitch while watching a foreign film, lest I don’t really get anything out of it. But I took an exception to Burning for a few reasons. One, a lot of people were talking about it and I wanted to talk about it. Two, it seemed like one of those foregone conclusions of definitely an award winning film. And three, Steven Yeun.

Yes, don’t let star power be a bad factor. Yeun was on The Walking Dead, I liked him on that show, and now I want to see him in a purely non American film. What’s the harm in that?

Field
Burning is a metaphor for his feelings. Inside.

Lee Jong-su (Ah-In Yoo) is a young man, trying to just live his life. He works odd jobs mostly, and would like to be a writer, he is just having a hard time writing. His dad is in prison and could get out if he was nicer and apologized, but he is holding firm. So Jong-su has to watch over the farm, their one animal, and just make sure life doesn’t fall to pieces, while trying to get his own life back on track.

And then he meets Shin Hae-mi (Jong-seo Jeon). Well, re-meets technically. Apparently Hae-mi knew him when he was a child, but he mostly ignored her. They have a past that Jong-su just doesn’t remember a lot of, and if Hae-mi’s story is true, then it totally makes sense. He ignored her, he might have been mean, and she got some plastic surgery.

Needless to say, they hit it off! And she is about to go away and needs someone to feed her cat. Oh. Sure. Because she is attractive, likes him(?), and he has only the other major things going on in his life. When she gets back, they might start a relationship.

Except she comes back…with him. His name is Ben (Steven Yeun), he is rich, mysterious, totally cool. A “Great gatsby” character in South Korea. And she has fallen for him. But Ben has secrets, secrets that Jong-su is going to investigate, or else bad things might happen. Maybe even Burning things might happen.

Group
I don’t know, they just kind of look like best friends here.

Burning is a (heh) slow burn of a film, coming in at about 2.5 hours. It is very slow moving, and its direction can seem to be all over the place. But if you focus the film on just Jong’su’s point of view and trying to understand the strange world around him, the mysteries and suspense add up.

It is a gorgeous movie with very notable camera work. It isn’t displaying the sexy parts of South Korea, but regular fields and cities, but it has extreme attention to detail and really draws the viewer into the movie.

The ending very much ends at a climax, a climax that people will feel like might never come. Because unfortunately, some mysteries remain mysteries by the films end. And that is likely to trouble some viewers, given what we saw from Lost backlash some time ago. No actual spoilers though here.

Ah-In Yoo is a great lead, while still keeping that passive unsure nature. Yeun was fine in this movie, but I don’t think it required a lot of hard work on his part. This is Jeon’s only movie, and she plays the free spirited and weird quite well, and hopefully gains an acting feature after this film.

Overall, Burning won’t be for everyone. You have to want subtitles and be okay with not everything spelled out for you. It will likely make waves from the foreign film market, and will still likely lose to Roma for Oscars.

3 out of 4.

The Misandrists

I admit, I was really intrigued when I heard about the film The Misandrists.

Of course the title drew me in, it is a type of film that could go a lot of ways. What story does it want to tell? It is a heavily propagandized documentary? Is it full of lies?

Well, I immediately read the plot description and found myself now more confused than ever. It really made me read it a few times just to make sure I was understanding it correctly. It was clearly going to be some sort of satire film, and how good or bad that goes really depends on who is in charge of it.

Well, The Misandrists is directed (and written) by someone named Bruce La Bruce, a man (a bad sign), but a notably gay man. Could still be a bad sign. His film work, that I also have never seen, apparently have lots of frequent gay male sex in them, partly for shock, and partly for the story. And he is potentially exploitative when it comes to these tales.

Oh okay, fine. Based on the description, and his history, maybe this is the perfect man for a movie like this?

Woman
“Perfect man? No such thing!” – These misandrists, probably.

Set in Germany, at some time period before cell phones I assume, sits a small secluded large building. This building is not a school, but a training ground for the Female Liberation Army. This group made entirely of women want to grow strong, powerful, and weaponized and eventually band together to take down the patriarchy in Germany.

It is run by a few “sisters” (you know, like nuns), and Big Mother (Susanne Sachße). The younger girls there are taking classes like a normal school, on Herstory and physical education and math, while also exploring themselves sexually to be free radical women. Most of them came from troubled backgrounds or abuse, and had to leave home at early ages for one reason or another.

While out with her girlfriend, Isolde (Kita Updike) finds a man who is hurt and on the run from authority. She wants to bring him back to their home, to hide in the basement and get better. She doesn’t like men, but can appreciate someone who is anti-authority, which he clearly is. Despite pleading, they do bring him back to hide and heal while still going about their normal duties.

This is a pretty big secret to hide, especially with some of the type of ladies that are in the home. But it turns out that is just the start of the secrets between this small group of ladies.

Also starring Viva Ruiz, Kembra Pfahler, Caprice Crawford, Grete Gehrke, Victoire Laly, Olivia Kundisch, Lina Bembe, and Til Schindler.

Man
The guy looks like he starred in War Horse.

Wow.

I really can’t get into too much detail down here, (partially because I do not want to), but also because there is just so much to talk about that I would just ramble and sound incoherent.

I definitely left this film not enjoying it in the slightest. It does feel like a vehicle to just create some softcore pornography. There is plenty of sex scenes in it, and maybe the longest pillow fight I have seen in a movie. Once the secrets start unraveling, it goes from dull to just really bad. The ending is extremely strange and jarring, without a lot of sensical resolution.

And yes. There is a nice fun scene of a penis being cut open. I assume it was surgery to turn the genitals into a vagina, it really wasn’t specifically clear, but it definitely was REAL. The camera change to a surgical video, and it was gross and so god damn unnecessary.

My stomach hurts just typing this out and remembering it.

The plot is bad, the graphic-ness is disturbing, and this film will only appeal to extremely small niche group of folks. Unfortunately, I probably won’t be able to scrub this movie out of my memory anytime soon, as it will likely appear in my worst of the year list.

0 out of 4.

Crown Heights

If I fail at a goal, I definitely don’t make it very vocal and let everyone know. Unless it comes to movie watching. I have introductions for a reason, after all.

Just like I want to watch all the Oscar nominees before the Oscars air, I hope to watch the Spirit awards as well, for indie films. And one of the films nominated was Crown Heights, which I clearly failed to do before that March date.

It was only nominated for Best Supporting Actor, but the real issue is that I had access to it and could have done it by the date, I just forgot about it while I was chasing other bigger films to watch. I’m sorry! But look, I made some amends.

Early
Some amends are better than no amends at all, right?

In the 1970s, Colin Warner (Lakeith Stanfield) was living in the Crown Heights area of Brooklyn. He was young, he was free, he was trying to make his impact on the world. Unfortunately when he was 18 (and young and free) he found himself behind bars. He was being charged with the murder of a 16 year old kid, one he did not knew, and claimed his innocence.

He wasn’t given a bail until they found out the details of the case, and then he was charged with murder. He didn’t have money, so he was given a public defender. They also actually found a different guy, who did kill him, and charged them together in the same trial with the same defendants.

And guess what. They both were sentenced to jail at the same time for the murder, despite arguments about Warner never being involved.

Unfortunately for Warner, he would spend then ext 21 years of his life in jail for a murder he did not commit. He could not get parole, as he refused to say he was sorry for a crime he didn’t do. With changing politicians, it became harder and harder to hold on to hope. But thankfully, Warner had a friend in KC (Nnamdi Asomugha) who never gave up for him, and made it his personal life goal to eventually free his friend.

Also starring Marsha Stephanie Blake, Adriane Lenox, and Luke Forbes.

Late
Once he gets free, he better get all of the amends.

Crown Heights is of course a true story of a really fucked up situation. It is more fucked up when you realize that this probably happens a decent amount of time. There are estimated to be over 100,000 people currently in prison for crimes they are not guilty of, which is a scary and frightening thought. You can live your whole life swell, never doing anything wrong, and then get arrested and go to jail for a long time if you don’t have a good defense.

And despite the law saying everyone gets a lawyer, it is not going to be great, because that lawyer probably has dozens of current clients and is focusing on plea deals over trial things.

The true story is an amazing tale of perseverance and standing up to injustices. But for whatever reason, in this iteration, it just doesn’t translate well onto the screen. Stanfield and Asomugha act great as our two leads. They have the appropriate amount of passion and really delve into those roles. It just feels like a drag to get through the story.

I did like how it interlaced the time with the change of the political landscape. Politicians arguing to be tougher on crime, longer sentences, three strikes and all that, creating more hurdles for our hero to get through before he can find himself a free man.

2 out of 4.