WITHOUT REMORSE (2021)

Directed By: Stefano Sellima
Written By: Taylor Sheridan & Will Staples 
Based On The Novel By: Tom Clancy 
Cinematography: Philippe Rousselot
Editor: Matthew Newman 

Cast: Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Bell, Jodie Turner-Smith, Guy Pearce, Lauren London, Cam Gigandet, Brett Gelman, Colman Domingo, Jacob Scipio, Todd Lasance 

An elite Navy SEAL, goes on a path to avenge his wife’s murder only to find himself inside of a larger conspiracy.


Considering the talent involved. This should have been a much better film. 

The film feels more like a revenge saga that happens to have espionage and the government more on its mind and just adds that revenge to make it more personal for the lead.

The film’s most memorable action sequences are shown in the trailer and seem to be used quickly within the film’s first hour.

This is a totally joyless film with no sense of fun or any real excitement. 

When it comes to most espionage films. I usually find myself confused and having to watch a few times to work out exactly what happened or went down. This film comes off as simplified or maybe as I get older I pay closer attention. This film feels way too simple.

The film runs into the Wonder Woman example of the hero being encouraged and supported. Only to find out by the end. He is the true enemy following the keep your friends close and your enemy closer mentality. The prick character thought out thought to be the villain is actually a red herring and the closest to an ally the main character might have.

Screenwriter Taylor Sheridan is used to writing these types of films but here he is working with previously written material. So he can only do so much.

The film has an epic story that feels more like it is told and is more compact than it should be.

Which considering director Stefano Sollima’s previous work. He seems to always make the focus sharp but seems to limit the action which feels all over the place as it feeds into a vast conspiracy that is international and worldwide, but by the end feels way too simplified and compact. 

Cinematographer Philippe Rousselot manages to make the images sumptuous enough that you can see the richness in the colors making everything vivid while being mysterious. 

The film keeps your interest but by the end doesn’t feel worth it. As there are way too many conveniences. It doesn’t help that star Michael B. Jordan and co-Star Jodie Turner-Smith feel like they are in two different films and most of us would rather be in the one she’s in. As it feels stronger like her performance. Whereas Michael B. Jordan comes off as a one-note. In pure action hero mode and not a charismatic one. Is that supposed to be for him to feel more realistic?

In the end, the film is entertaining enough but never feels like it goes far enough. So that by the end it is one of the few films made from Tom Clancy’s novels that feels small scale 

Grade: C-

MA’ RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM (2020)

Directed by: George C. Wolfe
Written By: Rueben Santiago-Hudson
Based On the play Written By: August Wilson
Cinematography: Tobias A. Schliessler
Editor: Andrew Mondahein

Cast: Chadwick Boseman, Viola Davis, Colman Domingo, Glynn Turman, Michael Potts, Jonny Clyde, Jeremy Shamos, Taylour Paige, Dusan Brown

During a recording session, tensions rise between Ma Rainey, her ambitious horn player, and the white management determined to control the uncontrollable “Mother of the Blues”.


This film contains a smaller story than expected. One was aware it was a play before but wasn’t expecting it to still feel as stage bound.

As the film tries to open up the story and show more locations but there are very few attempts to leave more it error locations. Which consist of two locations. The liner room where they practice and the recording g studio. So that the film keeps reminding you of its theatrical origins 

Chadwick Boseman steals all of his scenes and is more at the forefront of the movie. Though at first, it seems like he will be more of a high-energy supporting player. 

Though Viola Davis is the title character. Where she makes a powerful entrance and a strong exit. She also feels liek a supporting player. Even though the film revolves around her character. As after all, it’s her recording session and the others are her band. Who she feels are more the hired help. Who should be happy to be working for her.

Through her character though high strung. We find out why she is that way. As it is all about respect and wanting to be treated with it most overall. She has a short temper when what she says isn’t followed and forces a hard situation and a flirtatious girlfriend.

One has to give extra credit to Viola Davis for gaining most of the appropriate weight to play the character and give her the exact look which is unflattering g with gold teeth and heavy running make-up, she might not be the actual star of the movie but she gives off star presence and in believability.

Though by the end she is just a supporting character and her presence really has little effect on the actual story or drama that ends up happening In the film. By the end, she hasn’t changed. Only the situation has changed and in a more tragic way that really has nothing to do with her. Not much changes for her, but more for the secondary characters

The film ends up becoming a tragedy in a way you can see coming hit not necessarily the circumstance or the collateral damage. 

Though shocking in the end. Still wish it had been longer and a little bit stronger. It’s a tragedy you thought was going to be one kid. If one and is read ends up somewhere totally different. 

As the film had Great cinematography and details as far as art direction.

It really makes you feel like you are In The period and of course, immediately makes you aware of the limitations for its African American characters and the rampant racism.

Grade: B

IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK (2018)

if-beale-street-could-talk

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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ASSASSINATION NATION (2018)

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Written & Directed By: Sam Levinson
Cinematography By: Marcell Rev
Editor: Ron Patane 


Cast: Odessa Young, Joel McHale, Hari Nef, Abra, Suki Waterhouse, Colman Domingo, Maude Apatow, Bella Thorne, Anika Noni Rose, Kathryn Erbe, Bill Skarsgard, Danny Ramirez, Cody Christian, Jennifer Morrison 


After a malicious data hack exposes the secrets of the perpetually American town of Salem, chaos decends and four girls must fight to survive, while coping with the hack themselves.


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