Hustlin’ aint easy, but the main characters in this flick sure seemed good at it.
“Hustlers” follows the character Destiny (Constance Wu), a woman trying to make a living in New York City by working at a gentlemen’s club. On top of making a living for herself, she’s also working to support her grandmother. While she’s making some money with the job, she doesn’t hit her stride until she meets Ramona (Jennifer Lopez), who acts as a sort of mentor.
Things appear to be going well with more money coming in. However, the film is set around 2008 and as many may remember, Wall Street tanked and pulled the rest of the world economy down with it. In the ensuing years, with more financial strains, Destiny decides to join Ramona in a scheme of getting wealthy wall street clients drunk and then over-charging their credit cards.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Hustlers’ is a flashy, fun crime story”
There are some movies that on paper, look like they might be pretty good. “The Kitchen” certainly was one, with a pretty good cast and a writer looking to make a debut in a classic genre. But when the movie is put to screen, one sees that the positive appearance was just a mirage.
“The Kitchen” is set in the late 70s, taking place in New York City’s Hell’s Kitchen area. The picture follows three women who are married to members of an Irish crime syndicate, including Kathy (Melissa McCarthy), Ruby (Tiffany Haddish) and Claire (Elisabeth Moss). The flick picks up in the midst of a robbery by their husbands, which was being watched by the FBI.
As a result, the three men are sent to prison and their wives are left to fend for themselves. Having not enough to survive and getting little help from the Irish mob, they decided to go into “business” for themselves, and end up becoming powerful figures in their burrow.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘The Kitchen’ doesn’t serve audiences anything good”
Mr. Wick is back and as the Latin phrase in this movie’s title implies, he’s going to war.
“John Wick: Chapter 3” picks off right after the events of the second film, so seeing that one is probably a good idea before checking this out. Wick (Keanu Reeves) is a man now on the run. After breaking the rules of the criminal underworld in part two, every assassin in New York City, and basically the world, are after him for a multi-million dollar bounty.
As a result, Wick searches for a way to reverse his predicament and atone for his transgressions. His journey brings him to Sofia (Halle Barry), a person from his past who decides to help him find someway to make amends. The quest remains a difficult one, though, as the group running crime at a worldwide scale want Wick, and anyone who’s helped him, eliminated.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘John Wick 3’ thrills with top tier action”
“The Mule” was a rather perplexing experience. Mainly because the tone was all over the place for so much of the picture.
Earl Stone, played by Clint Eastwood, is the main character of “The Mule.” He’s an older gentleman who had a successful career as a gardener. However, with the rise of the internet his business fell to pieces and his commitment to his job meant he was alienated from his family.
Wanting to still support his family, though, despite being pushed away for his absences, Earl looks for ways to find money and through a chance encounter, becomes a mule for a Mexican drug cartel. Because he’s a simple, nice old man who just likes listening to old tunes and follows the law, Earl actually becomes the perfect drug smuggler. However, the cartel operation as a whole comes under investigation by a federal agent named Colin Bates (Bradley Cooper).
Continue reading “REVIEW: Inconsistent tone causes ‘Mule’ to crash”
A trio of women going through grief are quickly forced into action in this new heist flick.
“Widows” takes place in an area of Chicago and follows a group of women, Veronica (Viola Davis), Linda (Michelle Rodriguez) and Alice (Elizabeth Debicki). At the movie’s onset, the three have never met each other, but their husbands all work closely. However, their work includes pulling off criminal heists.
The film picks up with one of these jobs, helmed by Veronica’s husband Harry (Liam Neeson), going wrong and the whole crew getting killed. Not only does this put the three women in the grieving process, but the job their husbands attempted has left a sort of trail, putting them in danger. As a result, they decide to go through with a plan originally written up by Harry and pull off the heist to begin new lives.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Widows’ is a disappointing time at the theater.”
The latest gang/crime drama has released to theaters, but this one comes with a bit of a twist.
“White Boy Rick,” based on a true story, follows Rick Wershe Jr. (Richie Merritt). Rick lives in Detroit with his father Richard (Matthew McConaughey), who sells firearms in poor neighborhoods. As this process continues, local and federal law enforcement agencies become aware of Richard’s dealings and look to put an end to it.
However, instead of arresting him, the FBI and local detectives give Richard an out by giving Rick the opportunity to be an undercover informant and make controlled drug deals. Rick takes the offer and begins to work undercover, but soon comes to terms with the dangers associated with the role.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘White Boy Rick’ dragged down by story, characters”
Legendary filmmaker Spike Lee has returned to the directors chair, this time to helm a crime/cop drama that’s actually based on a true story.
Taking place in the 1970s, “BlacKkKlansman” follows Ron Stallworth (John David Washington), a recent addition to a police department in Colorado. As a rookie in the department, Ron initially works in the records division. However, he eventually convinces the chief to get a chance in undercover detective work.
After a short time in the new division, Ron ends up taking a chance by phone to call a local chapter of the Ku Klux Klan. In doing so, Ron is able to keep track of the local Klan’s strategies and if they’re seeking to do anything violent. To make the investigation even more effective, Ron works with Flip (Adam Driver), a fellow detective who takes Ron’s place during in-person meetings with the Klan.
Continue reading “REVIEW: While flawed, ‘BlacKkKlansman’ is an engaging take on a wild true story”
I don’t know if anyone was really asking for a “Sicario” sequel, but I sure as hell won’t complain.
Denis Villeneuve, who directed the first picture, didn’t helm “Day of the Soldado.” Instead, Stefano Sollima enters the director role and did solid work in crafting a crime thriller. The movie picks up sometime after the events of the previous one, with tensions along the U.S.-Mexico border reaching a boiling point.
The reason for such intensity is because some cartels have allegedly started smuggling terrorists over the border. Following a terrorist attack in the heartland of America, federal agent Matt Graver (Josh Brolin) is recruited because of his experience on the border and is sent to throw the cartel system into chaos, and subsequently ruin their drug empires. To help, Graver once again teams up with the mercenary Alejandro (Benicio Del Toro).
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Sicario’ sequel is a (mostly) satisfying follow-up”
“Molly’s Game” is a film certainly filled with talent, both in its acting and writing. However, this isn’t necessarily a picture to go all in on.
The film tells two intertwined tales, both revolving around the same real life figure, Molly Bloom (Jessica Chastain). One of them is about how Molly created a high-stakes poker game which led to large amounts of wealth and its own share of problems.
The other takes place in the ‘present day,’ where her game was exposed by authorities and she needs to build a legal defense. In doing the latter, Molly gets help from a lawyer named Charlie Jaffey (Idris Elba), who becomes her legal counsel.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Molly’s Game’ Is Entertaining But Lacks Depth”
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” is listed as a comedy and the trailers definitely promote that aspect of the picture. However, there’s more going on in this movie than just humor.
As it’s title suggests, the film centers around three billboards near a rural town that call out the municipality’s chief of police for not solving a case. The person who ordered and paid for the signage is Mildred (Francess McDormand), a woman whose daughter was raped and murdered. At the film’s start, it’s been seven months since the murder and there have been no arrests and no leads in the case.
In response, Mildred takes aim at Chief Willoughby (Woody Harrelson), for what she sees as incompetence and a lack of effort on behalf of the Police Department toward her daughter’s case. The response from the community starts to turn the small town of Ebbing upside down and in the process reveals numerous things about its inhabitants.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri’ Powered By Strong Script, Acting”