Get Out

Get Out is a 2017 American horror film written and directed by Jordan Peele. It stars Daniel Kaluuya as Chris, a black man who uncovers a disturbing secret when he meets the family of his white girlfriend (Allison Williams). Bradley Whitford, Caleb Landry Jones, Stephen Root, and Catherine Keener co-star.

I didn’t feel like I wanted to watch this movie for the longest time, despite the really great reviews I kept hearing about it. I finally did watch it this afternoon. As you may know  by now the movie’s plot is about this black dude, Chris who is dating a white girl, Rose, and after several months, she is taking him to meet her family. The racial undertones in this movie is awesome to note; nothing is overt or in your face. The sense of tension and dread is given a boost when just outside her family’s estate, their car hits a deer and as it dies, the couple call the cops. The cop’s racism is clear to see but Rose deflects the paper trail it can cause by standing up to the cop when he asks for Chris id (she was driving).

Despite her parents warmly greeting and welcoming him, Chris is soon feeling awkward as his blackness is clearly out in the open. Having just met Rose’s parents, neurosurgeon Dean and hypnotherapist Missy, and her brother Jeremy who is a medical student make discomfiting comments about black people.  Missy helps cure him of his smoking with just one hypnosis session. Yet the strange behaviour of the black “help” housekeeper Georgina and groundskeeper Walter makes him feel on the edge. Dozens of wealthy white people arrive for the Armitages’ annual get-together, and almost all of them are rich white people who are so eager to meet Chris and comment on aspects of his blackness. Chris meets the only other black person there, Logan King, who acts strangely and is married to a much older white woman.

When he takes a photo of Logan to send to his friend & TSA agent Rod, but the flash causes Logan to confront Chris aggressively and tell him to get out. The others take Logan in a room and post a session with Missy, he is back to his calm self and Dean claims Logan had an epileptic seizure. While Rose & Chris talk away from the house, there is a silent auction for Chris. Rod recognizes Logan as Andre Hayworth. Suspecting a conspiracy, Rod goes to the police but is derided. Chris convinces Rose to leave but finds lots of photos of her with other men, all black. He tries to leave the house but is confronted by her family and she reveals that she is in on it too. What is the it?

Chris tries to attack Jeremy but Missy activates a post-hypnotic trigger that causes Chris to lose control of his body and fall unconscious. He awakens strapped to a chair in the basement. A video presentation featuring Rose’s grandfather Roman explains that the family transplants the brains of white people into black bodies; the consciousness of the host remains in the “sunken place”, watching but powerless. Hudson tells Chris he wants his body so he can gain sight and Chris’s artistic talents. Chris is able to overcome his situation and attacks and kills Dean, Missy & Jeremy and then drives away, only to hit Georgina – who is possessed by the soul of Rose’s grandmother. She awakes and causes the car to crash and Rose shoots at Daniel.

An armed Rose apprehends him with Walter, possessed by Roman. Chris awakens Walter with his phone flash. Walter takes Rose’s rifle, shoots her and then himself. Chris begins to strangle Rose but stops after what apparently is a police car arrives. However, it is revealed to be Rod, arriving in a TSA car, and he and Chris drive away. We assume that an injured Rose dies of blood loss.

What a crazy concept. Although the social commentary is brilliant and the storyline original, I found the pacing a bit odd in the film. There are some genuinely scary – not ghost or monster related though – moments but I was bored through some of it. I give this film a 7.5 outta 10!

2018 Oscar Awards (Selected Winners)

Best supporting actor – Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Best makeup and hair – Darkest Hour

Best documentary – Icarus

Best production design – The Shape of Water

Best supporting actress – Allison Janney, I, Tonya

Best animated film – Coco

Best visual effects – Blade Runner 2049

Best song – Remember Me, Coco

Best director – Guillermo del Toro, The Shape of Water

Best actor – Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour

Best actress – Frances McDormand, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Best picture – The Shape of Water

The Chamber (1996)

The Chamber is a 1996 crime thriller film based on John Grisham’s novel of the same name. The film was directed by James Foleyand stars Gene Hackman, Faye Dunaway and Chris O’Donnell. Among the supporting staff are Robert Prosky, Raymond J Barry & Lela Rochon.

The book is a big favorite of mine. The story is about Klansman Sam Cayhall (played by Gene Hackman) who is tried and found guilty of bombing the office of Marvin Kramer, a Jewish civil rights lawyer in Indianola, Mississippi, in 1967, killing Kramer’s five-year-old twin boys and leading to the amputation of Kramer’s legs and his later suicide. After two mistrials Sam is tried again for murder in the bombing, and is eventually convicted and sentenced to die in the gas chamber at the Mississippi State Penitentiary. Enter Adam Hall.

Now without a lawyer, Sam becomes a pro bono case for a team of anti-death penalty lawyers from the large — and ironically Jewish — Chicago law firm of Kravitz and Bane. Representing Sam is his own grandson, Adam Hall, who travels to the firm’s Memphis office to aid Sam in the final month before his scheduled execution. Although lacking experience in death penalty cases, Adam is determined to argue a stay for his grandfather. Sam, despite his violent past, is one of the few living links to Adam’s family history. Sam’s alcoholicdaughter, Lee Cayhall Booth, slowly reveals the family’s tragic past to her nephew, Adam.

As Adam tries to find a way to stay the execution he learns that Sam was actually the accomplice. Before the Kramer bombing, Sam usually used very basic bombing and planned them to minimize damage and not to kill but only to serve as a warning. Rollie Wedge, was the bomb expert and timed the bombing so that Kramer would be at the office at the time; the two sons were there only because their mother was ill. Sam refuses to coroborate this new evidence as he took an oath of loyalty to the Klan. At the same time, Lee, faced with the unearthed ghosts of the family history and having lapsed back into full-blown alcoholism, reveals to Adam that in the early 1950s, as children, she and Adam’s father had witnessed their father murder the family’s African-American neighbor, Joe Lincoln, during a fight that had started because Adam’s father, Eddie, had wrongly accused Lincoln’s son of stealing a toy soldier.

Eddie had blamed himself for the murder, as well as Lee, for failing to stop Sam, the guilt of which was a factor in Eddie’s later suicide and Lee’s alcoholism. Lee also reveals how their father had been indoctrinated into the Klan as a child, showing Adam an historic photograph of Sam as a young boy attending a Klan lynching. Wedge has his men beat up Adam when the young lawyer comes questioning but the Klansman is later arrested by the cops. Adam’s motions for a stay are denied by the courts, including the United States Supreme Court. Despite Sam’s finally authorizing the release of relevant Sovereignty Commission files, the Governor refuses to grant clemency. Sam is executed in the gas chamber, though Adam remains as a confidant and advocate for his grandfather up until his execution, and he and Lee embrace at the end, in the hope that maybe the ghosts of the past are gone.

There are several changes from the book though not for the better. The film is too short to make a compelling story and it suffers greatly due to that. I give it a 7 outta 10!

RIP David Ogden Stiers

Veteran actor David Ogden Stiers, best known for his role as the arrogant surgeon Major Charles Emerson Winchester III on “MASH,” died Saturday. He was 75. His agent, Mitchell K. Stubbs, tweeted that he died of bladder cancer at his home in Newport, Ore. He is also known for the role of District Attorney Michael Reston in several Perry Mason TV movies.

Stiers first appeared in the Broadway production The Magic Show in 1974 in the minor role of Feldman. Subsequent early credits include The Mary Tyler Moore ShowKojak, and Rhoda. Stiers also appeared in the pilot of Charlie’s Angels as the team’s chief back-up. In 1977, Stiers joined the cast of the CBS-TV sitcom M*A*S*H. As Major Charles Emerson Winchester III, Stiers filled the void created by the departure of actor Larry Linville’s Frank Burns character. In contrast to the buffoonish Burns, Winchester was a well-spoken and talented surgeon who presented a different type of foil to Alan Alda’s Hawkeye Pierce and Mike Farrell’s B.J. Hunnicutt. Stiers received two Emmy Award nominations.

After M*A*S*H completed its run in 1983, Stiers expanded his work on television with regular guest appearances on North and SouthStar Trek: The Next GenerationMurder, loan low income She WroteMatlockTouched by an AngelWings; and Frasier, along with a recurring role in Season 1 of Two Guys and a Girl as Mr. Bauer. In 1984, he portrayed United States Olympic Committee founder William Milligan Sloane in the NBC miniseries The First Olympics: Athens 1896. Beginning in 1985, Stiers made his first of eight appearances in Perry Mason made-for-TV movies as District Attorney Michael Reston. He had guest appearances on ALF and Matlock. He appeared in two unsuccessful television projects, Love & Money and Justice League of America (as the Martian Manhunter).

For efforts as the narrator and as of Disney’s enormous hit animated film “Beauty and the Beast,” he shared a Grammy win for best recording for children and another nomination for album of the year. In 2002, Stiers started a recurring role as the Reverend Purdy on the successful USA Network series The Dead Zone with Anthony Michael Hall. In 2006, he was cast as the recurring character Oberoth in Stargate Atlantis. I will forever remember Stiers as the lead guest character in that thought provoking TNG episode that is at the heart of great scifi.

Stiers was gay but never spoke publicly about his sexual orientation until 2009, as he feared that public knowledge of his sexuality would harm his career; much of his work would consist of family-friendly roles.

Runaway Jury

Runaway Jury is a 2003 American legal thriller film directed by Gary Fleder and starring John Cusack, Gene Hackman, Dustin Hoffman, and Rachel Weisz. It is an adaptation of John Grisham’s 1996 novel The Runaway Jury. Also starring in the movie are Jeremy Piven, Bruce Davison, Bruce McGill, Marguerite Moreau & Jennifer Beals in supporting roles.

The book is always better than the movie in most cases and it certainly is the case over here but having said that, I must admit that the movie is certainly watchable though not too exciting. But they do have a stellar cast which more than makes up for the lack of excitement. In New Orleans, a failed day trader at a stock brokerage firm shows up at the office and opens fire on his former colleagues, then kills himself. Among the dead is Jacob Wood. Two years later, with attorney Wendell Rohr, Jacob’s widow Celeste takes Vicksburg Firearms to court on the grounds that the company’s gross negligence led to her husband’s death.

During jury selection, jury consultant Rankin Fitch and his team communicate background information on each of the jurors to lead defense attorney Durwood Cable in the courtroom through electronic surveillance. But one of the jurors, Nick Easter, who is initially rejected is brought back in to the notice of Fitch and his team as he tries to get himself excused from jury duty. Judge Frederick Harkin decides to give Nick a lesson in civic duty and Fitch tells Cable that the judge has now given them no choice, and that he must select Nick as a juror. Nick uses his easy going and congenial manner to win over and influence several of the jurors with one exception. Marlee, who Nick is working with, contacts Fitch and Rohr: she will deliver the verdict to the first bidder.

What happens next is some brilliant planning and scheming by Marlee and Nick as they showcase their power and influence over the rest of the jurors by selecting a foreman and making the jurors do other things. itch orders Nick’s apartment searched, but finds nothing. Marlee retaliates by getting one of Fitch’s jurors bounced. Nick shows the judge surveillance footage of his apartment being searched, and the judge orders the jury sequestered. Fitch then goes after three jurors with blackmail, leading one, Rikki Coleman, cheapest secured loans to attempt suicide. Rohr loses a key witness due to harassment, and after confronting Fitch, decides that he cannot win the case. He asks his firm’s partners for $10 million. Fitch sends an operative, Janovich, to kidnap Marlee, but she fights him off and raises Fitch’s price to $15 million. On principle, Rohr changes his mind and refuses to pay. Fitch agrees to pay Marlee to be certain of the verdict.

One of Fitch’s men tracks down Nick’s real name and also Marlee’s hometown and meets her mother Nick is really Jeff Kerr, a law school drop-out, and that Marlee’s real name is Gabby Brandt. Gabby’s sister died in a school shooting. The town sued the gun manufacturer and Fitch helped the defense win the case. Doyle concludes that Nick and Marlee’s offer is a set-up, and he calls Fitch, but it is too late. The gun manufacturer is found liable, with the jury awarding $110 million in general damages to Celeste Wood. After the trial, Nick and Marlee confront Fitch with a receipt for the $15 million bribe and demand that he retire. They inform him that the $15 million will benefit the shooting victims in Gardner.

Though the plot is brilliant and the cast is very good, the shorter time for a movie makes the rather entertaining story from the book a little wasted in the movie. This happens quite a lot. I will give the movie a solid 7 outta 10!

RIP Sridevi Kapoor

Veteran actress Sridevi died in Dubai on Saturday after a cardiac arrest. She was 54. Popularly hailed as the first female superstar of Hindi cinema, the actor was in Dubai with her husband Boney Kapoor and younger daughter Khushi to attend nephew and actor Mohit Marwah’s wedding. The actor had married film producer Boney Kapoor with whom she had two daughters. Sridevi, who made her acting debut at the age of four, had many big hits like “Chandni” and was especially noted for her impeccable timing as a comedienne.

She took a 15-year-long break from movies in 1997, a year after her marriage. She returned in 2012’s “English Vinglish”. Sridevi stunned fans with her performance as a villainous queen in “Puli”, which also marked her comeback to Tamil cinema after a gap of more than two decades.

Sridevi started her career as a child artist in M.A. Thirumugham’s devotional Thunaivan at the age of four, and continued to act as a child artist in Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada films. She made her Bollywood debut as a child artist in the hit Julie (1975) and played her first adult role at age 13 with the Tamil film Moondru Mudichu (1976). Subsequently, Sridevi established herself as one of the leading actresses of Tamil and Telugu cinema, with roles such as 16 Vayathinile (1977), Sigappu Rojakkal (1978 ), Varumayin Niram Sivappu (1980 ) Meendum Kokila (1981), Premabhishekam (1981), Moondram Pirai (1982), Aakhari Poratam (1988 ), Jagadeka Veerudu Atiloka Sundari (1990) and Kshana Kshanam (1991).

In Bollywood, she made her debut as a lead actress in Solva Sawan (1978 ) and gained wide public attention with the movie Himmatwala (1983). She appeared in a string of commercially successful movies such as Mawaali (1983), Tohfa (1984), Naya Kadam (1984), Maqsad (1984), Masterji (1985), Nazrana (1987), Mr. India (1987), Waqt Ki Awaz (1988 ) and Chandni (1989). She also received critical acclaim for commercially successful movies such as Sadma (1983), Nagina (1986), ChaalBaaz (1989), Lamhe (1991), Khuda Gawah (1992), Gumrah (1993), Laadla (1994) and Judaai (1997). Sridevi has won five Filmfare Awards and has been nominated ten times.

Kingsman: The Golden Circle

Kingsman: The Golden Circle is a 2017 spy comedy film produced and directed by Matthew Vaughn and written by Vaughn and Jane Goldman. It is a sequel to Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014) which is based on the comic book series Kingsman, created by Dave Gibbons and Mark Millar. The film features Colin Firth, Taron Egerton, Mark Strong, Edward Holcroft, Hanna Alström, and Sophie Cookson reprising their roles from the first film with Julianne Moore, Halle Berry, Pedro Pascal, Elton John, Channing Tatum, and Jeff Bridges joining the cast. The plot follows the members of Kingsman needing to team up with their American counterpart, Statesman, after the world is held hostage by Poppy Adams and her drug cartel, “The Golden Circle”.

The movie starts off with Eggsy Unwin, who has officially joined Kingsman, taken his late mentor Harry Hart’s title of Galahad, and begun a relationship with Tilde, Crown Princess of Sweden. On his way home from work he is ambushed by Charlie Hesketh, a former Kingsman trainee who lost his arm and vocal cords during the Valentine incident, replacing them with cybernetics. Eggsy evades Charlie and his henchmen in a car chase across London, but Charlie’s severed cybernetic arm hacks into the Kingsman servers through the computer system of Eggsy’s car. While Eggsy has a birthday dinner with his friends and Tilde, Charlie passes on the information gained to Poppy Adams, the leader of the world’s largest drug cartel, the Golden Circle. Poppy uses the information to launch a volley of missiles that destroy the Kingsman headquarters and wipe out all of the agents in Britain, aside from Eggsy and Merlin, Kingsman’s tech support.

Eggsy and Merlin now the only Kingsman staff left alive drink their sorrows but discover that they have a connection to Statesman, an American private intelligence service posing as a Bourbon whiskey distillery in Kentucky.  There, they discover that Harry survived his shooting thanks to Statesman technology, but is suffering from amnesia. They also learn about the Golden Circle from Statesman head Champagne, and the two agencies agree to work together to bring it down. Statesman agent Tequila later develops a blue rash and shows signs of mania, and is replaced by another agent, Whiskey, as Eggsy’s partner. Eggsy plants a tracking device on Charlie’s ex-girlfriend Clara Von Gluckfberg during a sexual encounter at Glastonbury Festival, but his revelation of the mission to Princess Tilde strains their relationship.

Eggsy manages to get Harry out his amnesia by jogging his memory, by threatening to shoot a Cairn Terrier puppy that resembles Harry’s late dog, shortly before Poppy broadcasts a message telling the world about a toxin she has added to all her drugs, which causes users to develop symptoms like Tequila’s before progressing to paralysis, and ultimately, death. She offers the antidote to the world if the President of the United States ends his country’s War on drugs and grants her cartel immunity from prosecution. The President decides to have everyone affected quarantined, intending to let them all die in order to put Poppy out of business. Eggsy, Harry, and Whiskey track Clara to the Golden Circle’s antidote factory in Italy but it is broken by Whiskey while they are ambushed. Harry suspects Whiskey and shoots him dead but Eggsy , believing Harry to be delusional as a result of his recovery, saves him with the same technology that Statesman used to save Harry.

Prince Tilde calls Harry and she too is affected by the blue rash due to taking drugs upset about her relationship. Eggsy, Harry, and Merlin discover the location of Poppy’s hideout, “Poppy Land”, in Cambodia and fly there to steal the laptop which can deploy the drones carrying the antidote. Upon their arrival at Poppy Land, Eggsy steps on a land mine, but Merlin sacrifices himself to save him and Harry. The duo beat out Charlie, Poppy’s two robot dogs and a bunch of her man before inject Poppy with a concentrated dose of her toxin and heroin. Poppy gives them the laptop password in exchange for the antidote, but dies of an overdose from the heroin. Whiskey interrupts them before they can deploy the drones, revealing that he wants all drug users to die after his pregnant wife was killed in a robbery committed by two methamphetamine users.

Eggsy and Harry fight and kill Whiskey, then deploy the drones to release the antidote and save the affected victims throughout the world. In the aftermath, the President is impeached for conspiring to commit genocide on the drug victims, and Statesman purchases a distillery in Scotland to help rebuild Kingsman. Statesman tech support specialist Ginger Ale is appointed to the position of Whiskey, Eggsy marries Princess Tilde, and Tequila joins Kingsman, which acquires a new tailor shop in London.

Fun but not as good as the first one but just barely gets an above average grade. I’d say it’s good enough for an afternoon watch. 7 outta 10!

Black Panther

Black Panther is a 2018 American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name. Produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, it is the eighteenth film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). The film is directed by Ryan Coogler from a screenplay by him and Joe Robert Cole, and stars Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa / Black Panther, alongside Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Martin Freeman, Daniel Kaluuya, Letitia Wright, Winston Duke, Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker, and Andy Serkis. In Black Panther, T’Challa returns home as king of Wakanda but finds his sovereignty challenged by a long-time adversary, in a conflict that has global consequences.

Apparently Wakanda, formed around a mountain where a meteorite of the alien metal vibranium crashed centuries ago, has 5 tribes that went to war with each other in order to rule Wakanda. A warrior ingested a “heart-shaped herb”, that was affected by the metal, and gained superhuman abilities. He became the first “Black Panther”, and united the tribes to form the nation of Wakanda, though the Jabari Tribe chose not to follow the Black Panther’s rule. Over time, the Wakandans used the vibranium to develop highly-advanced technology and chose to isolate themselves from the rest of the world by posing as a Third World country.

In 1992 Prince N’Jobo, who has abandoned Wakanda after became convinced that Wakanda’s isolationist policies had done more harm than good, and vowed to share its technology with people of African descent around the world in order to help them conquer their oppressors, is confronted by his brother, King T’Chaka, then the Black Panther. When N’Jobo threatens the undercover agent Zuri, T’Challa is forced to kill his own brother and leaves his nephew, who was born to N’Jobo and his American wife, on his own as an orphan. In 2018, T’Challa is taking his role as king after his father’s death when, as part of the ceremony, he is temporarily stripped of his powers, and the Jabari Tribe’s leader M’Baku challenges T’Challa for the crown, but T’Challa defeats M’Baku in ritual combat, becoming the new king. He allows M’Baku to live.

T’Challa is joined at the ceremony by his mother, the current Queen Ramonda and younger sister Shuri as well his General Okoye and Nakia, a spy and his love interest. Ulysses Klaue, a black market arms dealer who N’Jobu had enlisted to infiltrate Wakanda and steal a cache of vibranium, had recently surfaced to sell a stolen Wakandan artifact to a buyer in Busan, South Korea, T’Challa’s closest friend W’Kabi—who lost his parents as a result of Klaue’s actions—urges him to bring Klaue to justice. T’Challa, Okoye & Nahia go to a nighclub in Busan to capture Klaue and run into CIA agent Everett K. Ross, who is posing as the buyer to apprehend Klaue. Klaue tells Ross that Wakanda’s international image is just a front for a technologically advanced civilization, before being broken out by Erik, now an ex-U.S. black ops soldier who goes by the name “Killmonger”.

Ross is seriously injured during the attack, and T’Challa decides to take him to Wakanda where their technology can save him rather than pursue Klaue. Shuri heals Ross with vibranium, while T’Challa confronts Zuri about N’Jobu. Killmonger kills Klaue and takes his body to Wakanda as a token, revealing his identity to the tribal elders and challenging T’Challa for the throne. He challenges T’Challa to ritual combat; during the battle, Zuri begs that he be killed in T’Challa’s place, so Killmonger kills him. Killmonger defeats T’Challa and hurls him over a waterfall. Killmonger is fed the heart-shaped herb, giving him the power of the Black Panther, and orders that the remaining heart-shaped herbs be incinerated. Nakia manages to extract one herb before the rest are burnt. Killmonger enacts his father’s plan and prepares shipments of Wakandan weapons to be distributed to operatives around the world, supported by W’Kabi and his army.

Nakia takes Ramonda, Shuri and Ross to the Jabari tribe where the group finds a comatose T’Challa, rescued by the Jabari in repayment for him sparing M’Baku’s life. Healed by the heart-shaped herb brought by Nakia, T’Challa requests that M’Baku provide his aid to defeat the usurper to the throne, but M’Baku declines. T’Challa returns to Wakanda to complete his combat with Killmonger, as he had neither surrendered nor died. Killmonger commands W’Kabi and his army to attack T’Challa. While the Dora Milaje are initially loyal to Killmonger, they become disgusted with his actions and battle him, causing him to reveal he had stolen a Black Panther suit for himself. In the battle (with huge rhinos wearing vibranium armour) Shuri and Nakia fight alongside the Dora Milaje, while Shuri instructs Ross to remotely pilot a jet to shoot down the planes carrying the vibranium weapons before they can leave the country. M’Baku and the Jabari eventually arrive to fight alongside T’Challa.

T’Challa and Killmonger fall into Wakanda’s vibranium mine and continue to fight below. Okoye tells W’Kabi, her husband, that she who would kill him before abandoning the throne, causing him and his army to surrender. T’Challa uses sonic mining technology to temporarily disrupt Killmonger’s suit and fatally stab him. Killmonger declines an offer to be healed and imprisoned, choosing instead to die free as he watches the sun set over Wakanda. Rejecting Wakanda’s isolationism, T’Challa establishes an outreach center in Oakland to be run by Nakia and Shuri. In a mid-credits scene, T’Challa appears before the United Nations to reveal Wakanda’s true nature to the world. In a post-credits scene, Shuri continues to help Bucky Barnes with his recuperation.

I really like the movie but the fight scenes between T’Challa and his cousin Eric leaves a lot to be desired as it was dark and the CGi was choppy. Perhaps the fact that I was watching it in a PVR screen where they don’t do dark scenes well also is to blame but the fighting left me feeling unfulfilled. There’s a lot more to the film and it was done well. 8 outta 10!

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is a 2017 drama film written, produced, and directed by Martin McDonagh. It stars Frances McDormand, Woody Harrelson, and Sam Rockwell. McDormand plays a mother who rents three billboards to call attention to her daughter’s unsolved murder. The film also stars Peter Dinklage as James, Kerry Condon as Pamela, Caleb Landry Jones as Red Welby, Abbie Cornish as Anne & Samara Weaving as Penelope.

Mildred, a grieving mother whose teenage daughter, Angela, was raped and murdered 7 months ago passes by three rundown billboards on a rarely used road just outside of the town of Ebbing. She goes to meet Red Welby and rents the boards for a year and pays the month’s rent in cash. The boards, once painted and fixed up reads, in sequence read “RAPED WHILE DYING”, “AND STILL NO ARRESTS?”, and “HOW COME, CHIEF WILLOUGHBY?”. This upsets the townsfolk, Chief Willoughby and racist officer Jason Dixon. Willoughby is dying of pancreatic cancer and the townsfolk’s sympathies lie with him and both Mildred and her son Robbie are harassed.

Willoughby visits Mildred and tells her he finds the boards unfair as he and his department have done everything to find the girl’s killer. Dixon threatens Red and arrests Mildred’s friend and coworker, Denise, on trivial marijuana possession charges. Mildred is also visited by her abusive ex-husband Charlie, who blames her for their daughter’s death. Even her dentist, who supports Willoughby, is hostile towards her and when he tries threaten her, Mildred uses his own drill and injures him. Willoboughy brings her in for questions but coughs up blood during the session and is taken to hospital. Later he spends an idyllic day at the lake with his wife and two young daughter and later kills himself in the barn.

Willoghby leaves suicide notes for several people, including one to Mildred, in which he explains that she was not a factor in his suicide, and that he secretly paid to keep the billboards up for another month, amused at the trouble this will bring her. Mildred is threatened by a stranger in her store. Dixon reacts to the news of Willoughby’s death by assaulting Red and his assistant. This is witnessed by Willoughby’s replacement, Abercrombie, who fires him. Mildred is devastated when the billboards are destroyed by arson and in retaliation she tosses Molotov cocktails at the police station, which she believes is unoccupied for the night. However Dixon who was in there to read a letter left for him by Willoughby, advising him to let go of hate and learn to love as the only way to realize his wish to become a detective, is burned but escapes.

Mildred’s acquaintance James witnesses the incident and provides Mildred with an alibi, claiming they were on a date. Dixon is treated for his burns and temporarily confined in the same hospital room as Red, to payday loans online direct lender no credit check whom he apologizes. After he is discharged from the hospital Dixon is at a bar when he overhears the stranger who threatened Mildred bragging in a bar of an incident similar to Angela’s murder. Dixon stages an altercation with the dude and scratches him to get some of the man’s dna under his nails and sends it to be tested. He also notes the Idaho license plate number of the man’s vehicle. Meanwhile, Mildred goes on a date to thank James for the alibi; Charlie enters with his 19-year-old girlfriend Penelope, and admits to burning the billboards. Mildred instructs Charlie to treat Penelope well and leaves.

Abercrombie informs Dixon that the DNA sample does not match DNA found on Angela’s body, and that the man was overseas on military duty at the time of the murder. Mildred and Dixon conclude that the man must be guilty of some other rape, and set out for Idaho with a gun. On the way, Mildred confesses to him the police station fire; he replies without surprise. They express reservations about their mission, but agree to decide what to do on the way.

I hate that the movie ended that way not letting us know what they are going to do and if Angela’s murderer is ever found. Brilliant acting by the way with some stellar performances from an outstanding cast. 8.5 low interest unsecured loan outta 10!

ROSHAN’S ELEVEN: Fav Romantic Movies

Romantic films are the easiest for me to really like and get into. Some of them are cheesy and corny as hell while a few are worth watching over and over. I have tried to put in my top favourite movies that have romance as the main theme in it and came up with these.

  • You’ve Got Mail
  • Ghost
  • The Notebook
  • Definitely Maybe
  • Sleepless In Seattle
  • Before Sunrise
  • Serendipity
  • Titanic
  • The Proposal
  • La La Land
  • Forrest Gump

American Made

American Made is a 2017 American biographical crime film, directed by Doug Liman, written by Gary Spinelli, and starring Tom Cruise, Domhnall Gleeson, Sarah Wright, Alejandro Edda, Mauricio Mejía, Caleb Landry Jones and Jesse Plemons. The plot focuses on Barry Seal, a former TWA pilot who flew missions for the CIA, and became a drug smuggler for the Medellín Cartel in the 1980s. In order to avoid jail time, Seal became an informant for the DEA.

I’ve been waiting for this movie with a lot of anticipation but I guess I was expecting too much. Don’t get me wrong – you get to see some really good work by Tom Cruise. He plays Barry Seal, who in the late 70s is a pilot for TWA, who smuggles a few Cuban cigars on occasion. He is is contacted by CIA case officer, calling himself Monty Schafer. He asks Seal to fly clandestine reconnaissance missions for the CIA over Central America using a small plane with cameras installed.Later in the 1970s, Schafer asks Seal to start acting as a courier between the CIA and General Noriega in Panama. During a mission, the Medellín Cartel picks Seal up and asks him to fly cocaine on his return flights to the United States. Seal accepts and starts flying the cartel’s cocaine to Louisiana. The CIA turns a blind eye to the drug smuggling, but the DEA tracks Seal down. To avoid the authorities, Schafer moves Seal and his family to a remote town in Arkansas called Mena.

Seal is excited with the missions, flying one of the best small planes in the world and finds the thrill exhilarating. His wife gets upset when they have to move but he manages to convince her that he is going to be fine and confesses that he is working for the CIA. Schafer asks Seal to run guns to the Nicaraguan Contras based in Honduras, Central America. Seal soon realizes that the Contras are not serious about the war and starts trading the guns to the cartel. The CIA set up a Contra training base in Mena and Seal flies the Contras in, but many of them escape as soon as they arrive. Barry has been making a lot of money in these deals but it all goes wrong when his freeloading brother-in-law JB,who comes to stay with his sister and Barry, and who has been working for Barry, gets caught with a lot of money that he stole from Barry’s operation.

Barry gets JB out of jail and sends him away with some cash and a way to get to Bora Bora but JB’s car explodes; it is implied Jorge Ochoa had JB’s car rigged with explosives, killing him so that he would not snitch. Eventually the CIA shuts down the operation leaving Barry vunerable and he is arrested by the FBI, ATF, DEA and the Arkansas State Police but the White House steps in to release him. They ask Seal to get photos that tie the Medellín Cartel to the Nicaraguan Sandinistas. Seal manages to get the pictures, but the White House releases them as propaganda against the Sandinistas. Seal is prominently shown in the pictures, which leads to his arrest, and to the cartel plotting revenge.

Seal gets a light sentence of 1000 hours of community service but with no outside help, he fears for his life and lives in a different motel every night awaiting an assassination attempt. Assassins sent by Pablo Escobar and the cartel easily locate Seal and kill him; the CIA then destroys all documentation and other evidence to avoid being implicated in drug smuggling. Even after Seal is dead and the evidence is destroyed, the CIA still becomes embroiled in the infamous Iran–Contra affair.

I don’t think the rest of the cast were that good, with the exception of Gleeson as Monty Schafer & Sarah Wright as Barry’s wife Lucy. There is a small scene in which scifi tv show regular Connor Trinneer appears as George W. Bush. That was good for me to see. I give the movie a 7 outta 10!

RIP John Mahoney

John Mahoney, a veteran character actor best known for playing the curmudgeonly dog-loving father of the title character in TV’s “Frasier,” has died, his publicist said Monday.He was 77 years old. Mahoney, who played Martin Crane, father of Frasier Crane and Niles Crane on the long-running sitcom, died Sunday in Chicago after a short illness, Wendy Morris told CNN. Mahoney was an ensemble member of the Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago for 39 years, the theater said in a tweet.

Mahoney played the father of Kelsey Grammer’s Frasier and David Hyde Pierce’s Niles. The series, a spinoff of Cheers, ran for 13 seasons on NBC from 1993 to 2004. Mahoney’s portrayal of Marty earned him two Emmy nominations, two Golden Globe nominations and a Screen Actors Guild award. The actor was born in Blackpool, England, but made Chicago his adopted hometown. Beginning his acting career in theatre in the 1970s, he joined Steppenwolf Theatre on the suggestion of actor John Malkovich, eventually winning a Tony Award for his performance in John Guare’s The House of Blue Leaves in 1986.

Mahoney made his feature film debut in Tin Men in 1987, later appearing in films including In the Line of Fire, Reality Bites, Say Anything, The American President and Primal Fear. He was also a frequent voice actor, including voicing characters in the 1998 animated film Antz, Atlantis: The Lost Empire and an episode of the Simpsons. Mahoney’s recent work included guest appearances on Hot in Cleveland and a 2015 episode of Foyle’s War. Mahoney moved to the United States as a young man when his older sister, Vera, a war bride living in rural Illinois, agreed to sponsor him. He studied at Quincy University, Illinois, before joining the United States Army to speed up the U.S. citizenship process; he received citizenship in 1959.

Along with David Hyde Pierce, Mahoney was godfather to Frasier co-star Jane Leeves’ son Finn. Mahoney rarely spoke publicly about his private life, but in a 2002 article he revealed he had been in several relationships, although he had never married. He suffered from colon cancer in the mid-1980s.


Jigsaw is a 2017 American horror film directed by Michael and Peter Spierig, written by Josh Stolberg and Peter Goldfinger, and starring Matt Passmore, Callum Keith Rennie, Clé Bennett, and Hannah Emily Anderson. It is the eighth installment in the Saw franchise, picking up over a decade after the death of the eponymous Jigsaw killer, during the police investigation of a new succession of murders that fit his modus operandi. Saw 3D (2010) was originally deemed the final installment of the series, before Lionsgate Films commissioned the production of Jigsaw from a pitch by Stolberg and Goldfinger.

More of the same kind of traps that we have seen in the Saw franchise but I do feel some of them are pretty ingenious, if I can say that, in this ones. Well a lot of them are.We are treated to a flashback element as half of the scenes shown in the film aren’t in the same time as the other – the scenes with the 5 people who are killed by various traps set of Jigsaw are actually from 10 years ago. The 5 of them are all selected because they have committed crimes that weren’t caught – selling a faulty bike to a young man who got killed, stealing a bag from an asthmatic woman and the woman dying because she couldn’t breathe and the inhaler was inside it, accidentally caused the death of several of his friends years prior in a car accident but managed to escape blame and killing your baby because it was keeping you up all night and then blaming the death on your husband claiming that he smothered it during his sleep and the husband committing suicide in jail.

An investigation is conducted when a body is found with Jigsaw’s signature stuff and it leads them to a body killed by ingestion of acid & another mangled body – the viewer is left to believe that the three victims are the same as the ones from the barn. However we see that the 5 in the barn are actually victims of Jigsaw and the first guy presumed dead was actually saved by Jigsaw aka John Kramer. He, a doctor and police pathologist named Logan Nelson had accidentally mismarked Kramer’s charts that showed he had cancer. Kramer forgave him and he became Jigsaw’s first apprentice. Logan wants to get to Halloran, a corrupt detective leading the investigation and who has caused the deaths of so many as he protected criminals who became his informants.

As the movie ends you are left wondering what happened to Eleanor, assistant to Logan and who is a self-confessed obsessive fangirl of the Jigsaw case, and has built replicas of Kramer’s traps. She is last shown escaping from the barn and flagging down a vehicle that stops but her expression means something is afoot. Perhaps we might get a sequel to this. 6 outta 10! Didn’t hold my interest for too long!

A Good Marriage

A Good Marriage is a 2014 American psychological thriller film based on the novella of the same name by Stephen King, from the 2010 collection Full Dark, No Stars. It stars Joan Allen, Anthony LaPaglia, Kristen Connolly and Stephen Lang. It was released on October 3, 2014.

The Anderson’s, Darcy & Bob are celebrating 25 years of marriage at a party thrown by their kids, Petra & Donnie and Petra’s fiance Bill. They have a happy yet humdrum relationship, running a mail-order business selling and appraising rare coins and Bob is also an accountant. A few nights later while Bob is away on a business trip, Darcy accidentally finds out Bob’s secret storage of sadomasochistic porn magazines and a box which contains the ID cards of Marjorie Duvall, a victim of a serial killer secured bad credit personal loan called “Beadie”. Having seen the details on the news Darcy is distraught and feels lost.

Afterwards, Darcy Googles Beadie and cross-checks Bob’s business records with the locations of the murders, finding that Bob was in close proximity to most of the crimes. Bob calls and senses that something is wrong from the tone of Darcy’s voice. He comes home early and surprises Darcy and tells her that he knows that she found out his secret. He tells her how he and a sadistic friend named Brian Delahanty – nicknamed “BD”, from which Beadie’s name was derived – planned a school shooting as teenagers. Delahanty was hit by a truck before they could carry it out, but Bob claims he had “infected” him with “certain ideas,” resulting in his homicidal urges. Bob claims that after he started his family with Darcy, his murderous alter ego receded and he was not driven to kill again for several years. 

He pleads with Darcy to keep it behind them and even threatens her with what this revelation could do to their kids. Darcy agrees to continue living with him on the condition that he bury Duvall’s ID cards deep in the woods. As this is happening, an older retired cop named Holt Ramsey has been watching them from a distance Bob believes Darcy has put the truth behind her; however, she is trying to think of a way to stop him from killing again. Petra marries and things go back seemingly to normal. A few months after Darcy’s discoveries, an elated Bob finds a rare 1955 doubled die cent, and the couple goes out to Portland to celebrate. When Bob becomes drunk from champagne, Darcy devises a plan to murder him. She goes upstairs while Bob fetches her a bottle of Perrier and when he comes up Darcy pushes him down the stairs, breaking his arm, neck, and back.

She then manages to shove a plastic bag and a dish cloth down his throat, killing him. After removing the evidence of murder, Darcy manages to convince the authorities and the children that Bob died in a drunken accident, and isn’t suspected of committing any foul play. The kids are devastated and attend the funeral. Darcy gives away most of Bob’s things and prepares for life anew when Holt visits her Ramsey spent years investigating the Beadie murders and had questioned Bob. Ramsey tells Darcy that he suspected Bob was the killer, since his Chevrolet Suburban was seen in the vicinity of each victim. Darcy realizes that Ramsey has figured out her role in Bob’s death. Once she admits the truth, Ramsey assures her that she “did the right thing” and leaves; before he does, she tells him about Delahanty. Darcy realizes that Bob was close to being caught and wasn’t as smart as he thought he was. She also finds that she can now be at peace with herself.

It’s not the horror film and tension filled flick that I was hoping for. It’s a bit meh in many ways though I thought both the leads are very convincing. I give it a 6 outta 10!

Borg Vs McEnroe

Borg McEnroe, also known as Borg vs McEnroe, is a 2017 internationally co-produced multi-language biographical sports drama film focusing on the famous rivalry between famous tennis players Björn Borg and John McEnroe at the 1980 Wimbledon Championships, culminating in their encounter in the men’s singles final.The film is directed by Janus Metz Pedersen, from a screenplay written by Ronnie Sandahl, and stars Sverrir Gudnason, Shia LaBeouf, Stellan Skarsgård, Tuva Novotny, and Robert Emms.

I was a little less than a month short of turning 4 when this great match took place and as I ofcourse wasn’t into tennis back then, I never watched it. Around 1987 I first watched Wimbledon and became hooked to the sport (though I stopped following the sport by the year 2000 and football once again became numero uno in my life). We have a sports magazine called SportsStar in India and I was a subscriber for the next 8 years as I wanted my monthly tennis fix, other than watching it on tv and reading about it in the papers.

Around 1988 I became fascinated with Bjorn Borg, though he had retired a couple of years before that, and I even asked my dad to buy me his 1980 autobiography “My Life & Game”, co-authored by writer Eugene L. Scott. It was a look into his life, childhood and his years at the top of the men’s game which sadly ended prematurely at the age of 26 in 1982. He was an icon – and still is – for the sport. The movie focuses a lot on Borg’s state of mind during that Wimbledon, with all the pressure on him as he went for an unprecedented 5th consecutive men’s singles title. His heavily anticipated final with his rival McEnroe was one for the books.

It’s a must watch for all fans of the sport of tennis and those of us who remember Borg as the ultimate professional. The Ice Borg had cracked under pressure many times but he held it together in public. A 7.5 outta 10!

Patriots Day

Patriots Day is a 2016 American crime drama-thriller film about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing and the subsequent terrorist manhunt. Directed by Peter Berg and written by Berg, Matt Cook, and Joshua Zetumer, the film is based on the book Boston Strong by Casey Sherman and Dave Wedge. It stars Mark Wahlberg, J. K. Simmons, John Goodman, Kevin Bacon, and Michelle Monaghan.

Berg is back with his frequent collaborator in Walhberg (his last three movies all star Marky Mark). I’ve always liked Peter Berg as an actor (Chicago Hope & Aspen Extreme being two noteworthy credits) and this, based on a terrorist attack, a homegrown terrorist attack, and the manhunt that follows it, is probably one if his best works. The acting is superb! The direction is well done, even though I felt that the beginning was a bit choppy.

The movie itself focuses on the investigation and shows us what the main characters were upto – including the two terrorists – just before the actual act and the aftermath. A surprise cast member in a supporting role as the wife of Katherine Russell, Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s wife and Muslim convert is Melissa Benoist (Supergirl from the tv show). I was also made aware of officer Sean Collier, the cop who was shot by Dzhokhar & Tamerlan because he and his brother wanted to get another gun. Another thing I wasn’t aware of (having read some of the reports in the news but not all of it) was that the brothers also abducted a Chinese immigrant, Dun Meng, and stole his car in which they forced him to be in while they planned their new attack.

When Dzhokhar enters a Shell gas station to pay for fuel and some food, Meng takes his chance and quickly escapes the car and runs to the Mobil gas station so that he can call the police; the brothers flee in the stolen car. Using the stolen car’s GPS tracking number, police are lef to the pair which leads to an epic and ensuing shootout. The ensuing shootout sees several officers injured and/or killed. Tamerlan is wounded by Watertown Police Sergeant Jeffrey Pugliese,  and run over by Dzhokhar, killing him. Dzhokhar escapes in the chaos; meanwhile, Tamerlan’s wife Katherine Russell and Dzhokhar’s college friends are detained by the FBI Hostage Rescue Team and questioned by and interrogation team. Katherine refuses to disclose any knowledge of her husband’s illegal activities, while Dzhokhar’s friends appear oblivious to his plans, despite having earlier found bomb components in his possessions.

Dzhokhar was later found hiding under the sheets of a man’s boat who then calls the police. Dzhokhar is quickly surrounded and arrested after a brief standoff. Dzhokhar was convicted on thirty counts and sentenced to death by lethal injection and is currently awaiting for his appeal in federal prison; his three college friends were arrested for obstructing the bombing investigation and authorities are continuing to seek information regarding Russell’s possible involvement of the bombings.

As a film I give it an 8 outta 10! I really like these kind of films based on true events even if many Boston-based publications criticized it for glamorizing the events it was based upon, and for the film’s focus on Wahlberg’s fictional character.

The Prophecy

The Prophecy is a 1995 American fantasy horror-thriller film starring Christopher Walken, Elias Koteas, Virginia Madsen, Eric Stoltz, and Viggo Mortensen. It was written and directed by Gregory Widen, and is the first motion picture of The Prophecy series including four sequels. The film tells the story of the Archangel Gabriel (Walken) and his search for an evil soul on Earth, and a police detective (Koteas) who unknowingly becomes caught in the middle of an angelic civil war.

Thomas Dagget, a Catholic seminary student, loses his faith when he sees disturbing visions of a war between angels. Years later, Thomas is a detective with the Los Angeles Police Department. While investigating a homicide, he is visited by Simon, an angel, who warns him of upcoming events. A second fallen angel, Usiel, a lieutenant of the angel Gabriel, is killed in an altercation with Simon. Investigating the disturbance, Thomas finds in Simon’s apartment the obituary of a recently deceased Korean War veteran named Colonel Arnold Hawthorne and the theology thesis about angels which Thomas himself wrote in seminary. Meanwhile, in Chimney Rock, Arizona, Simon finds the dead veteran awaiting burial and sucks the evil soul out of the body.

A dying Simon then hides Hawthorne’s soul in a little Native American girl, Mary, who immediately falls ill and is taken care of by her teacher, Katherine. Gabriel arrives and takes the helps of Jerry, a suicide, in the moment of his death and keeps him in a state of limbo. Jerry is now forced to do the bidding of Gabriel and etrieves Usiel’s belongings from the police station while Gabriel destroys Usiel’s body in the morgue. After finding Usiel’s burnt body, all evidence of its oddity now lost, Thomas hurries to Chimney Rock. Gabriel finds Simon, who refuses to reveal the location of Hawthorne’s soul and has his heart ripped out. Thomas examines Simon’s remains and questions Katherine. In Hawthorne’s home, he finds evidence of war crimes. During the battle of the Chosin Reservoir, Hawthorne’s regiment had massacred a huge number of Chinese soldiers and had ritually sacrificed many others, staking their bodies out. They had also engaged in cannibalism.

Thomas visits a church to reflect and is shaken by a verbal confrontation with Gabriel. He is beginning to understand the nature of the jealous angels who hate humans because God loves them most. Katherine finds Gabriel questioning the kids at the school but she has no idea who he is. After he leaves, she rushes to Mary’s home and finds Thomas there. As Mary’s condition worsens, Katherine takes Thomas to an abandoned mine where she had seen Gabriel. Inside, they find angelic script and experience together a terrible vision of the angelic war. They rush back to Mary’s home, only to find Gabriel and Jerry there. Thomas kills Jerry, who thanks him for the release. Katherine stops Gabriel temporarily when her wild gunshot misses him and blows up Mary’s trailer home. The three protagonists flee to a Native American site where Mary can be exorcised.

Gabriel meanwhile recruits a new unwilling assistant, Rachael, just as she dies of a terminal illness as he needs her because he doesn’t know how to drive. That night, Lucifer confronts Katherine and tells her that “other angels” have taken up this war against mankind, and since then, no human souls have been able to enter Heaven. He knows of Gabriel’s plot to use Hawthorne’s soul to overthrow the obedient angels. He also knows that if Gabriel wins the war under his influence Heaven will ultimately devolve into another Hell, which Lucifer considers “one Hell too many”. The next day, Lucifer appears to Thomas and advises him to use Gabriel’s lack of faith against him. Gabriel arrives and attempts to disrupt the exorcism ritual. Thomas kills Rachel, and he and Katherine fight Gabriel.

Lucifer appears first encouraging the tribe to complete the exorcism. Then he confronts Gabriel telling him that his war is based upon arrogance, which is evil, making it Lucifer’s territory. Gabriel taunts Lucifer about his past when he fell from grace; Lucifer tells Gabriel he needs to go home and rips out his heart. Simultaneously Mary expels out Hawthorne’s soul, a rancid cloud of evil. The “enemy ghost” starts to attack the people but a bright light from Heaven immediately destroys it. With the threat to his evil kingdom eliminated, Lucifer tells Thomas and Katherine to “come home” with him. They staunchly refuse. “I have my soul…and my faith,” declares Thomas. Lucifer drags Gabriel to Hell. As morning comes, Thomas comments on the nature of faith and what it means to truly be human.

It’s not a bad movie, with a stellar cast, but the end product isn’t that good. I’d give it a 7 outta 10!

The Shape Of Water

The Shape of Water is a 2017 American romantic dark fantasy film directed by Guillermo del Toro and written by del Toro and Vanessa Taylor. The film stars Sally Hawkins, Michael Shannon, Richard Jenkins, Doug Jones, Michael Stuhlbarg, David Hewlett and Octavia Spencer. Set in Baltimore in 1962, the story follows a mute custodian at a high-security government laboratory who befriends a captured amphibian.

The movie is set somewhere in the early 1960s during the height of the Cold War. At a secret government laboratory in Baltimore scientists are conducting tests on a humanoid amphibian, caught in a South American river, that was worshiped as a god by the natives. Colonel Strickland is in charge of getting the creature from South America to the United States, in the hopes that testing it’s abilities will let them gain an advantage in the space race. Elisa Esposito is a custodian who works in the facility’s night shift and who lives alone in an apartment above a movie theatre.

Elisa was rendered mute as a child by an injury to her neck. Her only friends are Giles, a closeted gay artist and neighbour, as well as Zelda, an African-American co-worker who also serves as her interpreter at work.  Elisa is not afraid of the creature and begins visiting the creature in secret and the two form a close bond, feeding it boiled eggs which it seems to like. When Strickland’s superior General Frank Hoyt orders Strickland to dissect the creature in order to learn it’s secrets, Elisa convinces Giles to help her sneak the creature out of the lab. One scientist, Robert Hoffstetler, who is secretly a Soviet spy, pleads unsuccessfully to keep the creature alive for further study, and is also ordered by his Soviet spymasters to euthanize the creature sees Elisa and Giles and helps them.

Using chemicals given to her by Hoffstetler, Elisa keeps the creature in a filled bathtub in her apartment. She & Giles plan to release him into a nearby canal when it opens to the ocean in several days.  Strickland interrogates Elisa and Zelda, but he dismisses the notion that “the help” could be involved. Back at the apartment Giles discovers the creature eating one of Giles’ cats. Startled, the creature slashes Giles’ arm and bolts from the apartment. The creature gets as far as the cinema downstairs before Elisa finds him and returns him to her apartment. The creature touches Giles on his balding head and and his wounded arm, and the next morning Giles discovers that his hair has grown back and the wounds on his arm are healed. Meanwhile, Elisa joins the creature in the bathroom and they have sex.

Strickland becomes increasingly disturbed during his investigations, pressured by Gen. Hoyt, just as the creature’s health starts to deteriorate.  Strickland follows Hoffstetler and hears him speaking in Russian, kills the spymasters and then tortures Hoffstetler for information. Strickland then goes to Zelda’s house and threatens her and her husband, who gives away Elisa’s address.Strickland searches Elisa’s apartment and finds a calendar note revealing where she is taking the creature. At the canal, Elisa and Giles bid farewell to the creature, but Strickland arrives and shoots both the creature and Elisa. The creature heals himself and kills Strickland (who remarks just before he is killed that maybe the creature is a god). As police arrive on the scene with Zelda, the creature takes Elisa and jumps into the canal, where he heals her and transforms her neck scars into gills.

The movie ends with a narration from Giles reveals that Elisa and the creature escaped together and probably lived happy and long lives. It’s a beautiful and stunning movie to watch. The film does has some dull moments but overall I think it’s done very well. The creature looks fantastic and Doug Jones is a chameleon. Praise must be given to some stellar acting from Sally Hawkins & Richard Jenkins. 8 outta 10!