Murder on the Orient Express (2017)

Murder on the Orient Express is a 2017 mystery drama film directed by Kenneth Branagh with a screenplay by Michael Green, based on the 1934 novel of the same name by Agatha Christie. The film stars Branagh as Hercule Poirot, with Penélope Cruz, Willem Dafoe, Judi Dench, Johnny Depp, Josh Gad, Derek Jacobi, Leslie Odom Jr., Michelle Pfeiffer, and Daisy Ridley in supporting roles. The film is the fourth screen adaptation of Christie’s novel, following the 1974 film, a 2001 TV film version, and a 2010 episode of the television series Agatha Christie’s Poirot.

After solving a theft at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, wants to have some time off and rest in Istanbul. However he is called for a case in London and his friend Bouc, the director of the Orient Express, offers a room aboard the train. While in the train, American businessman Edward Ratchett offers to pay Poirot to be his bodyguard, thinking the Belgian’s detecting skills should protect him against possible assassins, but Poirot politely refuses. That night, Poirot hears strange noises coming from Ratchett’s compartment, and later sees someone in a red kimono running down the hallway. An avalanche derails the train’s engine, stranding the passengers.

The next morning Ratchett is discovered to have been murdered sometime during the night as his body is found with a dozen stabs. Bouc asks Poirot to help solve the case. Poirot discovers a partially burned note connecting Ratchett to the kidnapping of Daisy Armstrong, a child who was abducted from her bedroom and held for ransom. After the ransom was paid, Daisy was found murdered. Ratchett’s true identity is revealed: he was John Cassetti, Daisy’s kidnapper and murderer. The shock of her death caused her mother Sonia to die after giving premature birth to a stillborn baby; her father, Colonel Armstrong, then committed suicide. The family’s nursemaid Susanne was wrongly suspected of complicity, leading to her being arrested and she hanged herself while in police custody, only to be found innocent afterwards.

After conducting his individual interviews and being shot at, Poirot meets the suspects outside the train, offering two theories of how Cassetti died. The first is simple: A murderer disguised as a conductor boarded the train, murdered Cassetti, and fled. The second is more complex: every suspect is connected to the Armstrongs, Susanne, or her trial in some way—including those who had pretended otherwise—and had motive to kill Cassetti. Hubbard is revealed to be Linda Arden, a former stage actress, and Sonia Armstrong’s mother. She admits to hiring everyone else to be on the Orient Express and all of them took their turns to stab Cassetti.

Poirot challenges the passengers and Michel to shoot him with Arbuthnot’s gun, since he is the only one who can expose their plot; Bouc can lie, but Poirot, obsessed with truth and balance, cannot. Hubbard grabs the gun and tries to kill herself, but it is not loaded; Poirot wanted to see how the suspects would react. With the train back on track, Poirot concludes that justice is impossible in the case, as Cassetti deserved death; for the first time, Poirot will have to live with a lie, and imbalance. He presents the lone killer theory to the Yugoslavian police, allowing the others to leave on the train. As he disembarks, a messenger asks him to investigate a death on the Nile. Poirot takes the case.

It was ok though the movie did not have the style and panache of the original, which I had seen many years ago. The focus is way too much on Kenneth Branagh as Poirot and the movie does plod along a bit. The production though is stylish and gorgeous. 7.5 outta 10!

The Disaster Artist

The Disaster Artist is a 2017 American biographical comedy-drama film produced and directed by James Franco. Written by Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber, the film is based on Greg Sestero and Tom Bissell’s non-fiction book of the same name, and chronicles the making of Tommy Wiseau’s 2003 The Room, widely considered one of the worst movies ever made. The film stars brothers James and Dave Franco as Wiseau and Sestero, respectively, alongside a supporting cast featuring Seth Rogen (who also produced), Alison Brie, Ari Graynor, Josh Hutcherson, and Jacki Weaver.

The movie tells the story of how Greg met Tommy in acting class as they two lived in San Francisco and asks for help to get rid of his shyness as the former is impressed by the latter’s no holds barred style. As they become friends while trying to get an acting career moving, they decide to move to Los Angeles where they stay in an apartment that Tommy, who seemingly has a lot of wealth though no known source of income, owns. Greg soon finds a talent agency who signs him on but Tommy keeps getting rejected. reg develops a relationship with Amber, whom he meets at a nightclub, and Tommy grows jealous; as he fails to find work, he becomes disheartened. As Greg’s auditions also dry up, he shares his frustrations with Tommy, who decides to make a movie for them both to star in.

Tommy writes the screenplay for The Room, a melodrama about a love triangle and betrayal  between banker Johnny (played by Tommy), his fiancée Lisa and his best friend Mark. Greg accepts the role of Mark and an associate producer credit and the two select the cast. They rent out a production house; Tommy insists on buying all the production equipment, and shooting the film on 35 mm film and HD Digital simultaneously, costly and unnecessary measures. Production starts smoothly enough as there is a lot of issues as Tommy always arrives late, forgets his lines (in a hilarious scene on the rooftop) and doesn’t supply his crew with necessities like air conditioning and water, causing an older actress to faint. He even insults the actress playing Lisa during their sex scene.

He also secretly has another camera man record his crew who criticize him and his plans. While at a cafe, Greg runs into Bryan Crantson who knows Amber, and the actor ends up offering him a role in an episode of Malcolm In The Middle. he part requires a beard; as Greg is due to shave his beard for The Room, he begs Tommy to postpone shooting, but Tommy refuses. On the last day of shooting, Greg accuses Tommy of being selfish and duplicitous throughout their friendship, and questions his real age and origins. 8 months pass with no contact between the friends, when Greg gets an invitation for the premier, as do the entire cast and crew and they all show up.

Tommy makes a strange and late entrance and the movie starts with a packed audience (no doubt some of them influenced by the large billboard that Tommy has rented for the movie’s advertising) – the audience reacts first with horror then laughter at the film. Tommy is upset walks out, but Greg comforts him, telling him they have delighted the audience, not angered them. With Greg’s urging, Tommy comes back in and greets the audience takes credit for his “comedic” movie, and receives a standing ovation. the film made $1,800 against its reported $6 million budget during its initial release (Wiseau kept it running for two weeks, allegedly to qualify for the Academy Awards), but it has since become a profitable cult film. Wiseau and Sestero remain friends and, to this day, Wiseau’s age, past life and source of income remain a mystery.

It is strange how good this film is, ironically as it is about the worst film to have been produced, atleast in the US. I’m sure that there are even worse films elsewhere. There are awesome acting moments here. It’s a fun and entertaining flick but I do think you should watch The Room atleast once before you see this one. 8.5 outta 10!

The Human Centipede (First Sequence)

Made in 2009, this is a movie which I have avoided for so long. I kept hearing about this movie during the year before and after it’s release by a lot of horror fans. I watched a lot of people reacting to the trailer and doing reaction videos of watching or having watched the movie. I wanted to watch it but I was also disgusted by it. Just last night I gave my sister the synopsis and she was utterly disgusted.

The Human Centipede (The First Sequence) is s a 2009 Dutch horror film written, directed, and co-produced by Tom Six. The film tells the story of a German surgeon who kidnaps three tourists and joins them surgically, mouth to anus, forming a “human centipede”, a conjoined triplet. It stars Dieter Laser as the creator of the centipede, Dr. Josef Heiter, with Ashley C. Williams, Ashlynn Yennie, and Akihiro Kitamura as his victims. According to Six, the concept of the film arose from a joke he made with friends about punishing a child molester by stitching his mouth to the anus of a “fat truck driver”. Inspiration for the film also came from Nazi medical experiments carried out during World War II, such as the crimes of Josef Mengele at the Auschwitz concentration camp.

That is the story – seriously who the fuck comes up with this twisted and demented idea? LOL, seriously it’s not as gross as I expected it to be. The German actor Dieter Laser does a great job of acting as this crazed doctor who is obsessed with this idea of creating a centipede with humans after years of making a name for himself separating Siamese twins. He plays the mad scientist to a T, even threatening the cops who come searching for the missing tourists. He plans to combine the two girls as the middle (Lindsay) and end (Jenny) and connect them to the front of the centipede, a third victim he’s abducted named Katsuro (Kitamura).  I also think that making the Japanese tourist speak only in Japanese, spitting out his rage and frustration adds to the movie.

The shit scene – oh man, I was so scared and squeamish of watching that scene but it was only implied and you don’t get to see anything. Which is where the movie works best – the horror and disgust are mostly, not completely, but makes you imagine what is happening and that what’s in your mind is what disgusts you more. Full credit to Tom Six for that! 6 outta 10!

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Star Wars: The Last Jedi (also known as Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi) is a 2017 American epic space opera film written and directed by Rian Johnson. It is the second installment of the Star Wars sequel trilogy and the eighth main installment of the Star Wars franchise, following Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015). It was produced by Lucasfilm and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. The ensemble cast includes Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Lupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Gwendoline Christie and Frank Oz in returning roles, with Kelly Marie Tran, Laura Dern and Benicio del Toro joining the cast. The film features the final film performance by Fisher, who died in December 2016, and it is dedicated to her memory. The plot follows Rey as she receives Jedi training from Luke Skywalker, in hopes of turning the tide for the Resistance in the fight against Kylo Ren and the First Order.

So I finally got around to it and to be honest there were parts of it which I found to be boring in some parts and a bit predictable. I am not a big fan of Star Wars and I have this say this – I do not see why this franchise is so popular and why a lot of people find this franchise and universe so fascinating. I am not that impressed. Also I am one who likes the prequel trilogy and think that they were essential for us to understand the main characters in the original trilogy and especially Anakin Skywalker / Darth Vader. And I wasn’t impressed with the Force Awakens which is just a rehash of A New Hope (JJ is known to do that, what say Star Trek : Into Darkness?) .

What did I like from the movie? The special effects, the fight scenes, the spaceship fight scenes, the light sabre fight scenes with Kylo & Rey and everything with Leia, Poe and his character development and the new character Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo (Laura Dern) who becomes a hero with her death. What didn’t make much sense is the new Jedi trick of projecting themselves across great distances of light years and interacting with someone, Luuke’s behaviour throughout his interaction with Rey, the casino “royale” scene which made no sense and the whole adventure that Finn & Rose go through to get the codebreaker – for nothing! And Phasma – wow, that was a slap in the face. I was expecting a lot from this character and they ruined it!

And what the heck is with the porgs if that’s what you call them? Stupid, idiotic looking animals. Luke, who is completely out of character in this film milking some animal and then drinking the milk that he just squeezed out of it’s tits? The final fight scene between Kylo and Luke – don’t get me wrong, it was cool but the fact that Luke was mind projecting all that while and not really there was a bit weird. And he dies or decides to die in peace once that is done as he looks up at the rising suns on his exile planet. Finn was a supporting character and not very impressive in this movie.

The Last Jedi had its world premiere in Los Angeles on December 9, 2017, and was released in the United States on December 15, 2017. It has grossed over $1.3 billion worldwide, making it the highest-grossing film of 2017, the 7th-highest-ever grossing film in North America and the 9th-highest-grossing film of all time, as well as the second-highest-grossing film of the Star Wars franchise. It’s beyond me but then money and Disney and the Star Wars machine defies odds. 7.5 outta 10!

Annihilation

Annihilation is a 2018 science fiction horror film written and directed by Alex Garland, based on the novel of the same name by Jeff VanderMeer. The film stars Natalie Portman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Gina Rodriguez, Tessa Thompson, Tuva Novotny, and Oscar Isaac, and follows a group of military scientists who enter “The Shimmer”, a mysterious quarantined zone full of mutating landscapes and creatures. The film was released in North America by Paramount Pictures on February 23, 2018, and in other markets on March 12, 2018 by Netflix.

From the skies something flashes by and hits a lighthouse in an area in Southern California and a shimmer like dome appears surrounding it. Over the course of three years the area inside the shimmer, deemed Area X, grows and expands until it reaches almost city size. Cellular biology professor and former U.S. Army soldier Lena’s husband and Army Special Forces soldier named Kane is one of the military men sent in to investigate the inside of the shimmer as part of the 3rd group sent in – no one comes back out. A year later, after deemed to have been lost, Kane returns back home surprising Lena without much memory of what happened and suddenly become ill. Lena calls an ambulance but a government security force intercepts Lena and Kane on the way to a hospital and brings them to Area X.

Psychologist Dr. Ventress recruits Lena into the project, after being question by her as she feels that a group of scientists should follow the all military 3 expeditions. The research expedition consisting of them, physicist Josie Radeck, anthropologist Cass Sheppard, and paramedic Anya Thorensen. Lena does not reveal to her teammates, other than Ventress, that Kane is her husband. Once inside the shimmer they lose track of time and events that happened and their equipment save for supplies and ammo are useless. Inside the now swamp like environment they are attacked by a mutated crocodile which has teeth like a shark, which the manage to kill. They then find Kane & group’s base of operations inside an abandoned military center and in a memory card find a recording that shows Kane cutting open a living expedition member to reveal that something inside him is moving.

At night a mutated, bear-like creature drags Cass away and kills her; the following morning, the team see Cass’s boot. Lena investigates further alone, and she discovers the mutilated corpse of Cass, which she reveals to the others. As the team continues toward the lighthouse at the center of the shimmer, they find a settlement filled with human-shaped plants. Josie hypothesizes that the shimmer is acting on organisms the way a prism distorts and refracts light. The team members realize they are rapidly changing as well. That night when Anya discovers that Lena is Kane’s wife, she gets paranoid and restraints the other three. Anya hears what sounds like Cass screaming for help outside, and investigates. The creature that killed Cass enters the house, and the screams are coming from the creature. It kills Anya and attacks Lena before Josie shoots and kills the creature.

Ventress, who is dying of cancer, goes to the lighthouse alone while Josie, seemingly gives herself to the mutation happening and changes into a human shaped plant. A distraught Lena heads to the lighthouse where she finds a corpse, incinerated by a phosphorous grenade. A video recording footage in the camera next to him shows Kane ranting about the shimmer’s effects on him, urging someone offscreen to find Lena, and finally committing suicide and his doppelganger appears near him. Lena descends into the hole and finds Ventress, who tells her the forces at work will spread to encompass everything. Ventress disintegrates into a glowing nebulous structure that absorbs a drop of blood from Lena’s face and creates a humanoid entity that mimics Lena’s every motion and eventually transforms into an identical copy of her.

Lena manages, after a tussle, to set an active phosphorus grenade in its hands before fleeing. The creature is set ablaze by the grenade and it spreads the flames everywhere engulfing the lighthouse, and the various constructs in the area collapse and the shimmer fades away. Lena goes back and is questioned by the military while under quarantine and is reunited with the doppleganger Kane. She asks him whether he is the real Kane, to which he replies, “I don’t think so.” He asks her if she is Lena, to which she does not respond. The two embrace as their irises shimmer and shift in color.

Here is a scifi movie that is slow and methodical and yet brings enough intrigue and some terror and thoughtfulness into the plot. You are left wondering and guessing as the movie ends, which is what good scifi does. I will give it an 8 outta 10!

Pacific Rim Uprising

Pacific Rim Uprising is a 2018 American science fiction film directed by Steven S. DeKnight (in his feature-film directorial debut) and written by DeKnight, Emily Carmichael, Kira Snyder, and T.S. Nowlin. It is the sequel to the 2013 film Pacific Rim, with Guillermo del Toro, director of the original, serving as a producer here. The sequel stars John Boyega (making his producer debut) as well as Scott Eastwood, Cailee Spaeny, Jing Tian, Adria Arjona, and Zhang Jin, with Rinko Kikuchi, Charlie Day, and Burn Gorman returning from the original film. Set in the year 2030, the plot follows humanity needing to again fight Kaiju, giant monsters set on destroying the world.

Set 10 years after the events of the 2012 film,  former Jaeger pilot Jake Pentecost–son of Kaiju War hero Stacker Pentecost–makes a living by stealing and selling Jaeger parts on the black market. While trying to steal part of a disabled Jaeger’s power core, he and teenager Amara Namani (who stole the core to power her homemade and much smaller Jaeger, Scapper)  is arrested by the Pan-Pacific Defense Corps. His adoptive sister and PPDC General Secretary Mako Mori gives Jake a choice between prison and returning to the PPDC as an instructor. Both Jake and Amara, who is recognized for her talent, are taken to the PPDC where Jake starts training Jaeger program recruits with his estranged former co-pilot Nate Lambert. Nate and his sister reveal to him that the Jaeger program is threatened by Shao Corporation’s drone program, which offers to mass produce remote controlled Jaegers developed by Liwen Shao and Dr. Newt Geiszler.

Mako is due to deliver a final assessment to determine the authorization of the drones at a PPDC council meeting in Sydney, but is killed by rogue Jaeger Obsidian Fury before she can report. The drone program is authorized and before her death Mako reveals the location of a defunct Jaeger production facility in Russia, which she suspects Obsidian Fury is using as a base of operations. Before Jake and Nate can investigate the area in their own Jaeger, Obsidian Fury destroys the complex and engages them in battle. Upon destroying its reactor, they find that Obsidian Fury was controlled by a Kaiju’s secondary brain. Later, the drones are taken over by cloned Kaiju brains and simultaneously attack Shatterdomes worldwide, inflicting heavy casualties on the PPDC forces and incapacitating almost all Jaegers. Hermann Gottlieb seeks out Geiszler for help, unaware that Geiszler is the mastermind behind the attack, as he has been corrupted by regularly drifting with Kaiju brains.

Seeking to destroy the world for the Precursors, the alien race who created the Kaiju, Geiszler has installed a backdoor in the drone program so that the Kaiju brains could take over the drones, destroy the PPDC and open new breaches all over the world. Although Shao is able to destroy the drones, three powerful Kaiju successfully emerge from the Breaches and unite in Tokyo. The team realizes that the Precursors’ goal is to activate the Ring of Fire by having the Kaiju fall into Mount Fuji, where their blood will react with the volcano’s rare earth elements and activate all of the volcanoes volcano in the ring of fire, wiping out all life on Earth and terraforming the planet for their colonization. Using the recruits and 4 jaegers, the team launch an attack at the the Kaiju, Geiszler merges them into one gigantic beast that quickly overpowers the team. The PPDC use Gipsy Avenger, the last operational Jaeger to destroy the Kaiju with a rocket designed by Shao. In the aftermath, Geiszler is taken into custody by Nate.

The captive Geiszler threatens that his masters will attack the world over and over again. Jake replies that next time, humanity will be the ones attacking the Precursors. Setting up what could be an awesome third movie, which could be made if this movie is successful. I must admit, initially I was not impressed with the movie as it looked and felt like so many other films. The original movie was much better but in the second part of the film, things picked up and the action is riveting. Albeit the actors do look cheesy with all the stuff they have to do but it was fun. No characters really stand out. I’ll give it a 7 outta 10!

The Client

The Client is a 1994 American legal thriller film directed by Joel Schumacher, and starring Susan Sarandon, Tommy Lee Jones and the late actor Brad Renfro in his movie debut as well as a supporting cast of Mary Louise Parker, Anthony LaPaglia, JT Walsh, Anthony Heald, Kim Coates, Bradley Whitford & William H Macy with Dan Castellaenetta. It is based on the novel of the same name by John Grisham. The film was released in the United States on July 20, 1994.

Eleven-year-old Mark Sway and his little brother, Ricky, are smoking cigarettes in the woods near their home when they encounter Mob lawyer Jerome Clifford who is attempting to commit suicide. Clifford tells Mark that he is about to kill himself to avoid being murdered by Barry “The Blade” Muldano, the nephew of notorious mob kingpin Johnny Sulari. Ricky becomes catatonic after witnessing the suicide and is hospitalized. Authorities–and the Mob–realize that Clifford may have told Mark where a Louisiana senator who was murdered by Muldano is buried. As the cops, FBI, a prosecution team lead by “Reverend” Roy Foltrigg and the mob would like to know what the boy knows, Mark goes and seeks a lawyer and finds child care specialist Reggie Love.

Reggie, a divorcee and recovering alcoholic agrees to represent him even though he has no money to pay her. She wires him to entrap Roy and his legal team who try to question the boy without a guardian present.  In the meantime, it is revealed that Sulari never authorized Muldano to kill the senator and wants Muldano to uncover how much the boys know. Muldano is also ordered to move the body, but currently he is unable to because it is buried in Clifford’s boathouse, and police are still on the property investigating his suicide. Foltrigg continues to use legal means to get Mark to reveal where the body is hidden, while Sulari orders Muldano to kill the children and Reggie. He also orders the body to be moved once the investigation at Clifford’s home is concluded. Mark is threatened in a hospital elevator by a member of the Mafia, and is unable to talk to Foltrigg.

The boy escapes from the clutches of the mob’s killer sent to silence him and meets up with Reggie and the two  go to New Orleans to confirm that the body is on Clifford’s property. Reggie intends to use this information to broker a deal with Foltrigg to get Ricky specialized medical care and place the family in the witness protection program. Reggie and Mark arrive at Clifford’s house the same night as Muldano and his accomplices. They are digging up the body, but a melee follows when Mark and Reggie are discovered. Muldano and the others flee after Reggie trips the neighbors’ alarm. Foltrigg agrees to Reggie’s demands in exchange for information about the body’s location. Before the Sway family leaves to restart their lives under new identities, Mark and Reggie share a heartfelt goodbye.

Although not explicitly stated, Sulari has had enough of Muldano and intends to have his nephew killed. With the body recovered, Foltrigg is a lock-in for the media headlines he craves, and mentions that he intends to run for governor. Foltrigg, who had plans all along to use the high profile case to boost his election campaign for governor, however shows his softer side as he offers Reggie a job in his team, impressed by what she has shown. She smiles but refuses and leaves with her assistant.

A very entertaining movie with some awesome performances, especially Sarandon, Jones and the then 11 year old Brad. Renfro would go on to act in more movies that showcased his talent and did well until the trappings of fame caught up with him and he faded in a haze of alcohol and drugs. He died from a heroin overdose at the age of 25. The movie is a must watch. 8.5 outta 10!

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 loans no credit check direct lenders 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 instant laonsIcarus

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 alliance and leicester loans 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, 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, 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 payadvance 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 short term loans for students uk 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 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 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!