Directed By: Brenda Chapman, Steve Hickner & Simon Wells

Written By: Philip LaZebnik

Cast: (Voices) Val Kilmer, Ralph Fiennes, Michelle Pfeiffer, Sandra Bullock, Jeff Goldblum, Danny Glover, Patrick Stewart, Steve Martin, Martin Short, Helen Mirren, James Avery, Eden Reigel 

Egyptian Prince Moses learns of his identity as a Hebrew and his destiny to become the chosen deliverer of his people.

This movie really takes me back as I remember it being a big release at the time and a big holiday one at that. I was working at a movie theater at the time of my first job and remember the shows staying packed for weeks full. Almost every show. 

I also remember how messy yet warm and sweet-smelling the theaters would be afterward. Not only that but constantly hear the duet by Whitney Houston & Mariah Carey on the song BELIEVE.

This embezzled that song into my head and anytime I hear it now it reminds of this movie and takes me to a happy place. 

Shocked, it took me so long to see this last film. As one never watched it in theaters and can tell that was a lost opportunity. As this definitely works best on a big screen. As the story is epic, so is the film. Even for an animated movie, it feels majestic. 

It tells such a grand story in a short amount of time with plenty of impacts. 

Not usually a fan of biblical films but this doesn’t feel preachy. It just feels like a story from history with some supernatural elements. Though still is a story about the strength of character and faith.

Watching the film you might prefer fewer songs that make it feel more like a musical without song and dance numbers but montages and memories instead. 

Which also helps counter and explain its darkness in the second half. 

It allows for more stories to be told in a shorter time. As well as showcase their emotions in the moment and at the time of course most family animated films do have songs to keep kids and some adults from feeling restless though for this film. Not to mention it helps embed the movie into memories through those sing-along songs. This is impressive all-around yet more for adults, there could have been less. 

The animation is impressive and has stood the test of time. 

Even in one of the action scenes such as the final battle scenes and the sandstorm sequences and the miracles/plagues.

Grade: B+

28 DAYS (2000)

Directed By: Betty Thomas 
Written By: Susannah Grant 
Cinematography: Declan Quinn
Editor: Peter Teschner 

Cast: Sandra Bullock, Elizabeth Perkins, Viggo Mortensen, Dominic West, Margo Martindale, Diane Ladd, Reni Santoni, Alan Tudyk, Azura Skye, Steve Buscemi, Michael O’Malley, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Susan Krebs 

A big-city newspaper columnist is forced to enter a drug and alcohol rehab center after ruining her sister’s wedding and crashing a stolen limousine.

This movie is charming in its own way.  As it is primarily a comedy but it gets deeply dramatic and doesn’t always provide a happy ending. 

This movie marked a difference In Sandra Bullock’s career. Where she seemed more interested in trying to stretch past her girl next door image and have more edge to her but also kind of realized her limitations. So she was trying to have a middle ground here. 

The film is too light to really be too hard-hitting, but gets to the emotional landscapes that it needs to and hits those aspects hard.

It’s a relief to watch a film where there is a hint of romance but treats it more for what it is a connection that can easily be read as a distraction from your true problems. 

While Sandra bullock is engaging it’s the side characters that really pepper the film

And make it spicy. They are also more the heart and dramatic pulls of the movie. Luckily though Sandra bullock is clearly the star. She lets the supporting characters breathe enough for us to care about them. Even if some stay one-dimensional.

Even though in hindsight the plotline with Azura Skye’s character would have been more recognizable and maybe a more informed outcome. Though she is one of the more heartbreaking. Elements of the film And definitely memorable characters. 

Though Viggo Mortensen comes into this film Like a true movie star and makes his presence felt he still feels more like a minor element to the film As a whole. Whose most dramatic and Piercing scene is a throwaway one at a gas stop. Though throughout the oozes charisma.

Though when the film hits her dramatic past. It does feel right and strong. Yet luckily never quite overdramatic. 

When I first saw the film I wasn’t prepared as it seemed to ride the middle as far as genres and quality. Watching it again recently though it might not have a typical happy ending film Makes you feel comfortable. As the film is infinitely rewatchable.

The only problem with the film Might be that In trying to be so many different things instead of going in-depth it kind of flirts and gives a bit, little too passable when it comes to everything. 

We are just given enough to feel or be informed about characters, situations, and the road to recovery. While feeling a bit spiritual but not the hokey hippie kind.

In the end, it shows the power and charisma of Actress Sandra Bullock that lasts to this day. As she is one of the last true stars of the big screen. Where audiences follow her no matter what genre of film she stars in and is still usually a hit of some kind. Yet she never comes across as the stereotype of a star. 

Grade: B-


Directed By: John Pasquin
Written By: Marc Lawrence 
Based on Characters Created by: Marc Lawrence, Katie Ford & Caryn Lucas 
Cinematography: Peter Menzies Jr. 
Editor: Garth Craven 

Cast: Sandra Bullock, Regina King, Enrique Murciano, William Shatner, Ernie Hudson, Heather Burns, Diedrich Bader, Treat Williams, Abraham Benrubi, Nick Offerman, Eileen Brennan, Octavia Spencer, Elisabeth Rohm, Stephen Tobolowsky, Leslie Grossman, Eve Gordon, Affion Crockett, Adam LeFevre 

F.B.I. Agent Gracie Hart is assigned to promote the F.B.I., touring with the brutal Agent Sam Fuller as her bodyguard. While traveling around the country, her friend and the Miss United States Cheryl Frasier is kidnapped along with Stan Fields, and Gracie decides to investigate the abduction in Las Vegas on her own, and against the direct orders of local F.B.I. Assistant Director Walter Collins. 

After the surprise success and enjoyment of the first film. Most I can imagine would think this would naturally be pleasing? No

First of all the series gets rid of Benjamin Bratt’s character and all hope of a love interest with him. So that this film can focus on more two mismatched partners working together. While taking matters differently. So in other words this becomes more of a buddy comedy with the audience having a history with at least one of the partners.

In the first film, it seems there was more room for side characters to make their mark. As they seemed to have something to do and were allowed to be as funny as the lead. Instead of just feeling like suspects and a plot device.

Sandra Bullock’s performance here seems more indebted to vaudeville. As she is more at the center of things but also seems more silly and wants to dress up in silly disguises.

Regina king is really the only one who has a chance to come through with her head held high. In making this a buddy comedy, just a more female-centered one that feels more predictable than the first film but also more stilted and outdated even for the time period in which it was made.

The film doesn’t feel as fun or silly as Ms. Bullock’s performance and the fun she seems to be having. Even as the situations and script get sillier. As do William Shatner and the usually hilarious Heather Burns in their roles.

As usual when a formulaic film is likable and comes as a surprise enjoyable hit. The sequel tries to replicate the formula all wrong. As it seems to be focusing on the wrong chemistry and elements. Leaving the product lacking in flavor that the first one brought that made audiences enjoy it in the first place.

It’s a shame as Regina king is a good and enjoyable actress, especially with the right material. But this is the second sequel where she plays a tough-as-nails thankless buddy in a buddy comedy that is bad (LEGALLY BLONDE 2 Is the other) she deserves better.

One can guess most of us expected the same from Sandra Bullock as she seems such a likable screen presence and films she stars in are usually enjoyable and passable but her me while she seems to be having fun. Watching this feels like the equivalent of homework

Grade: C-


Written & Directed By: John Lee Hancock 
Based on the book “THE BLIND SIDE: EVOLUTION OF A GAME” By: Michael Lewis 
Cinematography: Alar Kivilo 
Editor: Mark Livolsi 

Cast: Sandra Bullock, Kathy Bates, Quinton Aaron, Tim McGraw, Kim Dickens, Lily Collins, Ray McKinnon, Irone Singleton, Omar J. Dorsey, Adriane Lenox

The story of Michael Oher, a homeless and traumatized boy who became an All-American football player and first-round NFL draft pick with the help of a caring woman and her family.

I can’t help it. I am a sucker for a lot of tearjerkers. I know the emotional manipulation techniques they use. The emphasis on all the good things that are done.

This one is pretty standard except it also contains the tags to riches story, the orphan story, overcoming The odds, and helping lead the team to victory. In the wrong hands, this could have been just another faith-based movie 

The film is based On The true story of football player Michael Oher,

Now I am a Sandra Bullock fan for the most part and here she gives a strong performance in the less glamorized fresh prince of bel Air-like story.

The film is pretty basic and hits all the right familiar notes. Not too much you haven’t seen before. It’s good family entertainment and inspiration.

One of the problems one has with the movie is that there are scenes that have Michael bond with each individual member of the family alone throughout the film, even bonding with his teacher and tutor, but when it comes to the father in the family. He only bonds with him when the whole family is surrounded. Which seems more forced. It’s a nitpick but it bothered me and made me feel like the father went with the flow. But I didn’t necessarily want to adopt him.

The film also could have been a little fairer to Michael’s character by making him more of a character. Allowing him to show more emotions. Here he is played as the familiar screen type for African Americans. The gentle giant and while he might be in real life. I’m sure there is more to his character than What is presented on screen. Which is simple and all things to all people. The saintly black character helps all The Caucasian characters with their problems.

Especially when most of the African American characters shown in the film aren’t exactly positive characterizations. In fact, more than is needed are more villainous than anything. This is disturbing especially when it is not the same way when it comes to the Caucasian characters

I will give the film credit that it has an absence of real conflict. As everything seems to happen smoothly and successfully. Conflict only occurs towards the end and at that point, it feels more minor.

Maybe the reason it is left out is to show both the family and him coping with these strangers around the.

And how they go against the wishes of their friends to do what they feel is right.

It makes almost everyone come off as saintly. Which would be fine as a movie of the week or a Disney film. While I enjoy the film. I think there is a strong enough story to make a better film. All parties involved do their job.

Some Like Ms. Bullock go above and beyond. While not the most powerful of actresses, she is always a likable screen presence. A star can still disappear at times inside of a character. So it’s nice when she decides to stretch past the romantic comedies that are her forte and actually invest herself in a drama. Lightweight as it might be, but at least she tries and in this case succeeds.

Grade: C+