DON’T LET GO (2019)

Written & Directed By: Jacob Estes 
Story By: Drew Daywalt 
Cinematography: Sharone Meir 
Editor: Billy Fox & Scott D. Hanson

Cast: David Oyelowo, Storm Reid, Alfred Molina, Mykelti Williamson, Brian Tyree Henry, April Grace, Shinelle Azoroh

After a man’s family dies in what appears to be a murder, he gets a phone call from one of the dead, his niece. He’s not sure if she’s a ghost or if he’s going mad, but as it turns out, he’s not.


I remember this film being released around the same time as the Tyrese Gibson Starring BLACK AND BLUE. And that movie came streaming fast while I kept waiting for this film to be released and only recently did finally I get to catch this film. 

I was interested as these films came out around the same time And seemed to be pitted against each other for a share of the so-called urban box office. Even though the films are different they are both thrillers that have cops as the protagonists though each takes a different approach to the material.

The film thankfully directed its unexpected circumstances and twists isn’t a GROUNDHOG’S DAY type story. Where the same day is repeated over and over. It’s more like the film FREQUENCY where there is town travel of sorts and communication from the future and past through technology

The film’s logic falls apart in the third act. As it becomes more satisfying because of its non-solid rules in its set-up

Though for all of the films at towns more far-fetched elements and details. What holds the film together. What makes it so interesting and emotional is the lead performances of David Oyeyelo and Storm Reid. They keep everything so engaging. That is the more thrilling moments you find yourself more involved and on the edge of your seat.

The film offers a nice mystery and thriller that stays intriguing. Only wish the script had been a bit stronger. As the actors are all better than the material and lift the material to create believable characters and situations.

David Oyelowo seems to star in a bunch of these movies. Where he injects the film with good character work and vivid lived-in performances that are often better than the films. Making all around him as well as the film better because of him.

The filM Falls a bit short of expectations or at least hoped for but is entertaining in its own right. It works as an emotionally intriguing popcorn movie. 

Grade: B-

CHILD’S PLAY (2019)

Directed by: Lars Klevberg
Written by: Tyler Burton Smith 
Based on the screenplay “CHILD’S PLAY” by: Don Mancini, John Lafia & Tom Holland
Based on the “CHILD’S PLAY” Story By: Don Mancini
Cinematography: Brendan Uegama
Editor: Julia Wong & Tom Elkins

Cast: Aubrey Plaza, Brian Tyree Henry, Tim Matheson, Gabriel Bateman, Beatrice Kitsos, Ty Consiglio, Carlease Burke, Mark Hamill

After moving to a new city, young Andy Barclay receives a special present from his mother. a seemingly innocent Buddi doll that becomes his best friend. When the doll suddenly takes on a life of its own, Andy unites with other neighborhood children to stop the sinister toy from wreaking bloody havoc.


This film is still as ridiculous as the series but more like the later films rather than the originals where it was far fetched but still more of a thriller.

This time Chucky isn’t possessed by a devil-worshipping serial killer. Instead, he just is a doll that has artificial intelligence and has his safety protocols turned off due to a disgruntled factory worker. So the dolls friendly nature is taken to obsessive extremes here.

The ridiculous nature of the film actually works for the tone of the movie. As it never truly seems to know what it wants to be more of a horror or comedy or more a kind of horrific am lin film with young teens as the heroes of sorts 

Chucky uses tech more as his murder weapon or his control over it. That is his weapon of choice most times or as his accomplice, though he still does good old blades also especially when in doubt.

Chucky here is more obsessed with Andy as his best friend. As he and his mom just moved there and he has no friends and his mother is dating a jerk. Once Andy becomes more popular and Chucky is dumped to a certain degree, more because of his behavior. He chooses to frame Andy while simultaneously exterminating all close to him with a believable case against him.

One particular standout is when one character who throughout the movie is a victim ends up being killed multiple times. Mainly because he seems to be not that moral. 

One murder feels personal and mean. Even though also provides laughs. Though it kind of ruins the whole mood of the movie seems to put in there for that reason. To signal a mood change and for not all the victims to be bad people.

Aubrey plaza is given a more normal role here though is still left with little to do. Her sarcastic humor works here but is barely used. It is also hard to believe that she would be so gullible throughout. Yet her character stays always fetching.

The violence feels wackier. It seems like it’s there more to either be excessive and funny the more ridiculous the better,  it then wants us to treat it seriously or be shocking after a certain point.

The film lacks the original spirit of the first film whereas this goes more form comedy and Learning. About friendship with plenty of violence. That it feels more like a studio driven film

Where they try so hard to modernize it and update it that it is missing its own identity. Clearly made for more. This is why this is not a sequel and the creators of the other series of CHILD’S PLAY movies are continuing their own on television. While allowing this to be Its own separate entity.

Grade: C

IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK (2018)

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Written & Directed By: Barry Jenkins
Based on the Novel By: James Baldwin
Cinematography: James Laxton
Editor: Joi McMillon & Nat Sanders
Music By: Nicholas Britell 


Cast: Stephen James, KiKi Layne, Regina King, Michael Beach, Teyonah Parris, Colman Domingo, Aunjaune Ellis, Diego Luna, Dave Franco, Brian Tyree Henry, Ed Skrein, Emily Rios, Finn Wittrock, Ebony Obsidian 


African-American teen sweethearts Fonny and Tish are ripped apart when Fonny is wrongly arrested for the rape of a Puerto Rican woman because of the machinations of a racist cop. While seeking justice for Fonny, a pregnant Tish relies on her Harlem community, including her sister, mother Sharon and future mother-in-law.

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JOKER (2019)

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Directed By: Todd Phillips
Written By: Todd Phillips & Scott Silver
Based On Characters Created By: Bob Kane, Bill Finger & Jerry Robinson
Cinematography: Lawrence Sher
Editor: Jeff Groth 


Cast: Joaquin Phoenix, Zazie Beetz, Robert DeNiro, Brett Cullen, Francis Conroy, Shea Whigham, Bill Camp, Josh Pais, Marc Maron, Bryan Callen, Glenn Fleshler, Chris Redd, Brian Tyree Henry, April Grace 


Joker centers around an origin of the iconic arch nemesis and is an original, standalone story not seen before on the big screen. Todd Phillips’ exploration of Arthur Fleck, a man disregarded by society is not only a gritty character study, but also a broader cautionary tale. If you are looking for a comic book tale. You will be disappointed. While it doesn’t include the joker and the Wayne family as well as Gotham and arkham. It seems more tied into a psychological character study thriller. That uses all those comic book elements and storyline as a frame for it’s own ideas.

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WHITE BOY RICK (2018)

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Directed By: Yann Demange
Written By: Andy Weiss, Noah Miller & Logan Miller
Cinematography By: Tat Radcliffe
Editor: Chris Wyatt 


Cast: Richie Merritt, Matthew McCognahey, Bel Powley, Bruce Dern, Piper Laurie, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Rory Cochrane, Brian Tyree Henry, RJ Cyler, Eddie Marsan, Jonathan Majors, YG 


The story of teenager Richard Wershe Jr., who became an undercover informant for the FBI during the 1980s and was ultimately arrested for drug-trafficking and sentenced to life in prison.

Continue reading “WHITE BOY RICK (2018)”

HOTEL ARTEMIS (2018)

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Written & Directed By: Drew Pearce
Cinematography By: Chung-Hoon Chung
Editor: Gardner Gould & Paul Zucker 


Cast: Jodie Foster, Sterling K. Brown, Sofia Boutella, Dave Bautista, Zachary Quinto, Brian Tyree Henry, Charlie Day, Jenny Slate, Jeff Goldblum, Kenneth Choi 


A woman known as The Nurse runs a high-security, members-only hospital for high-rolling criminals in Los Angeles. When a bank robber brings his injured teammates along with $18 million in jewels there, both mob boss Wolf King and the police follow. With the hospital under siege, The Nurse, her orderly and her other criminal patients have to defend themselves.


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WIDOWS (2018)

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Directed By: Steve McQueen
Written By: Gillian Flynn & Steve McQueen
Based On “Widows” By: Lynda La Plante
Cinematography By: Sean Bobbitt
Editor: Joe Walker 

Cast: Viola Davis, Colin Farrell, Robert Duvall, Brian Tyree Henry, Daniel Kaluuya, Michelle Rodriguez, Elizabeth Debicki, Cynthia Erivo, Liam Neeson, Lukas Haas, Jon Bernthal, Carrie Coon, Jacki Weaver, Ann Mitchell, Garret Dillahunt, Kevin J O’Connor 


 “Widows” is the story of four women with nothing in common except a debt left behind by their dead husbands’ criminal activities. Set in contemporary Chicago, amid a time of turmoil, tensions build when Veronica, Alice, Linda and Belle take their fate into their own hands and conspire to forge a future on their own terms.


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WHITE BOY RICK (2018)

whiteboyrick

Directed By: Yann Demange
Written By: Andy Weiss, Noah Miller & Logan Miller
Cinematography By: Tat Radcliffe
Editor: Chris Wyatt


Cast: Richie Merritt, Matthew McCognahey, Bel Powley, Bruce Dern, Piper Laurie, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Rory Cochrane, Brian Tyree Henry, RJ Cyler, Eddie Marsan, Jonathan Majors, YG 


The story of teenager Richard Wershe Jr., who became an undercover informant for the FBI during the 1980s and was ultimately arrested for drug-trafficking and sentenced to life in prison.

Continue reading “WHITE BOY RICK (2018)”