Tag: Blackweek

Black Rock

Final day of Blackweek which also means I can pick almost anything I want! After all, since Black Mass isn’t out yet, I don’t have any other super new 2015 movies to review.

And I really had no idea what I wanted to watch. So as I often do in this situation, I went to Netflix and just searched around. This time was a bit easier, as I also got to search for the word “Black” and narrow down my results pretty significantly.

The reason I settled on Black Rock is for a few reasons. One, I didn’t have any horror-esque movies this week, just a thriller. And honestly a lot of horror movies have “Black” in the title. Secondly, out of all five or so movies I could have actually picked from that fit all my requirements, this is the only one I had heard of. With people I knew in it. And it wasn’t made for TV!

And familiarity leads to happy reviews because I can name drop facts or past reviews the actors have been in! We call that movie synergy.

We call this boat workingy.

Girls just wanna have fu-un. That’s what they really waaa-a-aa-aannnt. And to not die. But back up a bit.

Sarah (Kate Bosworth), Lou (Lake Bell), and Abby (Katie Aselton) have been friends since they were kids. And when they were kids, they used to go to a local island to play games, build forts, do outdoorsy things, probably experiment sexually. I don’t know, I don’t know what kids do on islands. The only book I read about it was pretty fucked up though.

They have some issues now, but they want to put the past behind and enjoy each others company. Well, while out gallivanting and arguing, they run into three hunters (Will Bouvier, Jay Paulson, Anslem Richardson), and hang out with them. They party with them! These guys all fought in the war too, but they are back. And then they DRINK with them. Well, one of our ladies gets flirty and starts to make out with one of our dudes. But he goes farther than she wants, and won’t stop when she wants him to stop. So she flails and hits him on the head with a rock.

Fatally. A black rock, maybe. Who can tell, it was night time. Other two hunters don’t like this and beat up the ladies and don’t know what to do. Well, they end up escaping, so now dudes with guns are looking for them on an island and they don’t have anything to help them. Ruh roh. Fucking hunters.

Beat Up
This is how you all must feel, having received zero movie synergy after my tease up.

Wait wait wait wait wait let me check something. The rating. “Rated R for some strong violence, pervasive language, sexual references and brief graphic nudity”.

BRIEF GRAPHIC NUDITY MY ASS (heh). That means a flash of a body. There was about ten minutes of naked women in the last 30 minutes of the movie. Nothing was brief about that. Did the MPAA not watch that? It was a very surprising scene, needless to say. It was a scene that you’d imagine as being very quick but you know. Ten fucking minutes. It is an eighty minute movie. A huge percentage of it is just nakedness.

Speaking of how long this movie is, I honestly feel the biggest issue is that it should be even shorter. There was not enough story to make it last. The first part of the movie, the set up, the trip to the island, the chick bonding. I don’t remember how long that lasted, but it just seemed to drag. It obviously started to speed up once we introduced the dudes, but the intro was slow.

Overall, I was surprised by how brutal the whole movie felt. It wasn’t a normal thriller/horror, as it was going for a realistic vibe. And it showed. You see the ladies up there? Beat up, cut up, black eyes. It only gets worse. Simple things seem to take people down and nothing is super movie like.

It was so real, I definitely wouldn’t want to watch it again, let’s say that. But also, not fantastic enough to warrant a second viewing either.

2 out of 4.

Black Friday

Alright, I am kind of cheating here. Day 4 of Blackweek means documentary day, and well the documentary day is always the hardest to fit the theme. And I clearly reviewed Blackfish about two years early because it was the perfect fit for this moment. And a documentary about The Black Panthers isn’t out yet.

So no, I am stuck with Black Friday. A 35 or so minute documentary done by an indie lady about shopping. So a pretty short one, which makes me feel like I am cheating. Is this really an appropriate time investment for anyone? Nah. It is taking me more time to write this small review than it took to watch the short thing.

This documentary is brought to us by Cora Berchem, someone who is on a lot of tech crews, and her first shot at directing something. It is on Vimeo. I watched it here. You know, just so you know it is real.

Well, glad we have that descriptor of one of our interviewees. Very helpful!

Here is what the doc covers. Very brief history on the term Black Friday. Why it is good for business/the economy. And then it has a whole bunch of people getting interviewed, mostly people from the NY/NJ area. Definitely doesn’t branch off there.

These people are literally just complete randos. Maybe all friends or coworkers of the director, I don’t know. Maybe one person was qualified to really talk about anything in this documentary outside of personal opinions and experiences with the holiday.

And that is about it. It is literally just a few people spouting mostly just their opinions on what they like or don’t like about Black Friday shopping, the traditions. Documentary over.

Fuck, what a waste of time. I don’t know what I expected from such an indie first time effort. But I figured it would try to make a point about…something. Something at all. Oh well. Let’s call this a filler review for a not real thing.

0 out of 4.

Black Or White

The middle day of Blackweek and also the last expected review for this theme. I had said three movies came out in January with Black in the title, and you probably could figure them out. Day 4 and 5 are a mystery though!

Black or White is the first (and only? We will seeee) of the movies in this theme to actually have anything to do with race. Who the fuck even know what Blackhat was about, title wise. Some hacking shit.

This movie however does not feature the Michael Jackson song of the same name, nor a Macaulay Culkin cameo. Such a shame.

“If you’re thinking about my baby it don’t matter if it is while watching Black Or White!”

This movie isn’t about your ordinary child custody case. This one involves mostly grandparents. Elliot (Kevin Costner) and his wife Carol (Jennifer Ehle) have been looking after their granddaughter, Eloise (Jillian Estell). Her mom, their daughter, died during child birth due to complications. Complications that could have been stopped if hey were there, but she gave birth in secret hiding it from them, because the parents wouldn’t have approved of her relationship. Not just because it was interracial, but because of age differences and more.

Well, now Carol is dead too. So Elliot is over his head. He is also an alcoholic. Either way, he does the best he can, gets a tutor (Mpho Koaho), and takes time off work. But it might not be good enough. So, Eloise’s other grandmother, Rowena (Octavia Spencer) wants to sue for custody. She has a big support network, has culture and experience and believes has the better interest for the girl. Heck, she eventually even has the father (AndrĂ© Holland), out of prison and off drugs now, ready to be a daddy (maybe).

So let the digging up of dirt and lawyer shenanigans begin!

And maybe. Just maybe. Some life lessons along the way to learn to be good to people and not be racist. Or something.

Also with Bill Burr, Anthony Mackie, Gillian Jacobs, and Paula Newsome.

I am half tempted to give a tag to “sweet ass lawyer table.”

I will just go out and say it, Black or White was better than I gave it credit for. On the outside, it looks like a cliche family movie treading very lightly on the subject of race relations. I figured it would end with everyone hugging saying “Give Peace A Chance!” and warm happy rainbows. And hey it doesn’t have a 100% happy ending. It is more complicated. People get dragged through the mud and not everyone is a great person. Fantastic.

My other concern was Kostner. Last year at the beginning of the year he had Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, 3 Days To Kill, and Draft Day, all of various meh to lame movies. So when I saw he had multiple movies within a month or so of each other, I figured we were in for a repeat.

I am not saying his performance was fantastic by any means. It was okay. But the characters and the story made this a worth while movie, not Costner getting old.

3 out of 4.

Black Sea

Day 2 of Blackweek!

Day 1 featured Blackhat, so we are going to remove our clothing and take a dive in the Black Sea instead.

I’d make a corny joke about what this movie is about and act surprised when it is something different. But how could I do that? It is called Black Sea! That is a real place, right there above Turkey. Huge as shit, important to history. Can’t miss it.

If this movie doesn’t feature the actual Black Sea, I will quit my job as a movie reviewer!

And drive a submarine into the job territory known as “Film Critic Land”.

Under water salvaging can be a tricky job, but someone has to clean that ocean litter. I have been told prisoners are not up to the job, so instead, real people do it and get paid! Like Robinson (Jude Law). Or at least, he used to get paid. Now he is laid off, his company doesn’t want him anymore, his job “redundant.”

But the good news is, now that he is jobless, he has free time to do crazy things. Like get a crew together and search for a rumored Nazi gold! Apparently a U-Boat sunk off the coast of Georgia (IN THE BLACK SEA) with millions and millions of dollars worth of gold bars in it. Some shit involving Germany and Russia. No one has been able to find it, but no one has had Robinson’s skills.

So he gets a backer, a mysterious Lewis (Tobias Menzies) agrees to fund the expedition for 40% of the profits. He gets a crew, half British (like him!) and half Russian (for reasons). They get a really shitty beat up sub and head on down!

But first, they have extra crew. Like Tobin (Bobby Schofield), a neighborhood kid who Robinson brought along for other reasons. And Daniels (Scoot McNairy), a representative of Mr. Lewis.

Our crew only has one translator though between the sets. And a whole lot of money on the line. People migh get all antsy and want to make their cuts a bit bigger. And hey, maybe there are even more twists and turns in line. MAYBE.

Also featuring Grigoriy Cobrygin, Ben Mendelsohn, and Konstantin Khabenskiy.

The movies initials may be BS but this Nazi gold sure is for real!

For the most part, I wouldn’t say I am ever really a fan of submarine movies. I mean, did you see Phantom? That totally was a real movie a couple years ago. Like a submarine itself, submarine movies are kind of limited in terms of what one can do with them. Only so many things can happen on a sub, so a lot of submarine stories end up using the same sort of events. There can only really be one Das Boot.

Despite this, Black Sea had a lot going for it. Enough unique members with a few different desires to make it not a complete one man Jude Law show. It wasn’t just a weird murder mystery thriller. That is what I was most afraid of. And speaking of Jude Law, he did a pretty swell job.

My main issue with it all is the ending. It was lame and cheesy and expected. I was getting pretty excited with how things were going, I was getting super into the story. Then the ending. Meh. I should also note the beginning of the movie is pretty dang slow. It takes awhile to get on the damn submarine, but once they do it, it goes up pretty quickly.

2 out of 4.


Welcome to Blackweek! Yes, that is the official name of the week, no you can’t make me change it.

It is simple. Every movie this week begins with Black. Part of the reason you may have realized is that in January, literally three movies came to theaters called Blacksomething. So all three of them are featured, plus two more! Boy, do I love me some theme weeks.

So we got Blackhat, a (shudder), January movie, one of handful of January movies I have yet to see. I was forced to see the trailer a long time before it came out, and was immediately turned off from it. It is a “hacker” movie but with more action than computers it looks like. It is directed by Michael Mann, which is a dude with a lot of followers for some reason. I can’t say I have any strong opinions on him one way or another.

But did I mention this movie had a terrible trailer?

But a snazzy bullet proof vest.

Shit is going crazy everywhere. Some HACKER is hacking into technical mainframes of nuclear reactors and things and causing explosions. EXPLOSIONS! That is in China. In Chicago he is hacking into stock markets and changing the prices around. Oh man, we got a world villain here. So we need China to bring people over to investigate and work with the FBI. Yeah. So we got Chen Dawai (Leehom Wang) who was put in charge. That is good. His old roommate was a really good hacker. Nick Hathaway (Chris Hemsworth), currently in prison for hacking related crimes. He is so good, you know. But now they need his help to get this other guy. Who are the we? Oh well, Chen’s sister, Chen Lien (Wei Tang). I have no idea how Chinese names work apparently. Also our FBI person, Viola Davis!

And then you know. Shenanigans. Terrorism. More and more explosions and action action action!

That is literally all I can say about the plot.

Here is some more characters. John Ortiz, Holt McCallany, Andy On. Eh. I’m done.

We could easily make this a comedy if those escalators were going the opposite way.

My entire plot description wasn’t long so I will keep this part brief as well.

Blackhat wasn’t an entertaining movie. It wasn’t exciting action wise, character wise, or anything. It was a huge steaming pile of dull.

I was hoping it could actually be bad enough to find parts funny, but I didn’t laugh, just yawned. I mean, the entire thing is ridiculous as we already know, making some hacker also be an action star because why not. Of course they are involved. I think there is a really detailed plot description on Wiki. Read that instead of watching this movie.

Hemsworth is wasted. Wang was kind of interesting. Davis was giving us nothing new.

And yeah. Good start to Blackweek. With a yawn!

1 out of 4.