Category Archives: Movies

Supremacy (2014)

I watched Supremacy for the first time a few days ago. I’m watching  it again right now as I write this. I’m multitasking.

Supremacy is a true story. In 1992, Garrett Tully was released from prison after serving a fifteen sentence. Tully is a white supremacist and he has the ridiculous views that white supremacists have. On the way home, during a traffic stop, Tully murders a police officer and flees the scene. Tully and the woman he is with go to a house and take the family hostage.

Danny Glover is the actor I’m most familiar with in this movie. I think I’ve seen them all in other movies at one time or another, but I know Danny Glover best. In Supremacy, Glover plays Mr. Walker, the stepfather of the family Tully takes hostage. Mr. Walker is an ex con who is walking the straight line now.

Because Mr. Walker is an ex con. he understands what Tully is going through.

Several scenes got to me emotionally, especially the ending.

Lucky Number Slevin (2006)

So, a few days ago, I discovered Lucky Number Slevin on Netflix and have watched it three times since. It’s another badass movie. Stars Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, Ben Kingsley, Josh Hartnett and Lucy Liu.

Slevin’s luck has gone bad. All in one day, Slevin loses his job, finds out his apartment building is condemned, he goes to his girlfriend’s place and finds her in bed with another man. So, he goes to stay with his friend, Nick, in another town and gets mugged along the way.

Get the picture? Slevin’s not having a good day. But it’s far from over. Slevin arrives to find Nick isn’t home, but since Nick was expecting him and the apartment door was open, Slevin goes in and gets himself cleaned up. That’s when things go from bad to worse.

Turns out, Nick owes two different gangsters a lot of money. Men show up at Nick’s apartment and find Slevin. They think Slevin is Nick. Since Slevin lost his wallet when he was mugged, he doesn’t have his I.D. to prove he’s not Nick.

The two gangsters that Nick owes money to are at war with each other. Because Nick owes them so much money, the gangsters decide that instead of having Slevin pay back what Nick owes, they want Slevin to kill for them.

It’s a fun movie and hilarious.

Glory Road (2006)

51kaepxgrrl__sy445_The other night, I watched Glory Road on Netflix. It’s another one of those historic sport movies. This one is about the 1966 NCAA Basketball Championship team.

Don Haskins is hired to coach basketball at Texas Western, a small college in El Paso. Haskins goes  out and recruits black players from different states, such as Indiana, Michigan and New York.

This is 1966 and in the south. Although some NCAA teams had a token black player or two, the black players were not given much time on the court. I guess Don Haskins’s 1966 team was the first NCAA team where the majority of the players were black and they were given the most time on the court.

A good movie. I paused it several times to look up something mentioned, so I would know more about it.

The Road Within (2014)

712youpdrel__sy445_Finally I get around to telling you about this fantastic movie, The Road Within. I would love it if everyone stopped what they were doing right now, logged into their Netflix accounts to  watch this movie.

Why is this movie so important to me? Why do I want people to watch it? Well, mostly it’s because the lead character has an extreme case of Tourette’s..

I might have Tourette’s, or rather, I’m pretty sure I do. I admit, I have never been diagnosed, though I hope to have a confirmed diagnosis eventually. It really makes me mad when people wave off the notion that I might have Tourette’s and tell me, “Oh, you’re probably just frustrated.” as if I wouldn’t know the difference.

I’ve done a lot of research on the subject and it all seems to fit. I wouldn’t say I have an extreme case, but it is bad enough that I often feel like the Disturbance of Peace. I keep my windows closed at night because I’m terrified of my neighbors hearing my outbursts. I don’t worry about it so much during the daytime, because there’s usually lawnmowers and things like that running that I feel covers most of my outbursts.

But at night, it’s pretty quiet outside and I worry that people can hear every word that comes out of my mouth, whether I shout it at the top of my lungs or just blurt it. I feel that with the windows closed, my outbursts are at least muffled. Of course, sometimes they are very, very loud outbursts and I think the whole neighborhood hears them, even when my windows are closed.

What people don’t understand is these outbursts are not in anger. Yes, I have a terrible temper and I do yell in anger a lot too. But that’s a whole other issue and it doesn’t bother me near as much as the Tourette episodes do.

The stuff that comes out of my mouth during the Tourette episodes is often embarrassing shit and it comes out for no reason. It’s like some freak takes over the part of my brain that controls my vocal cords and tries his damnedest to destroy my reputation. Or as Vincent described it in The Road Within: “There’s a clown in my head, and he shits in between my thoughts. And he forces me to do the most inappropriate thing at the most inappropriate moment.”

So, why The Road Within?

Sure, there’s Jim Carrey movies, and you might’ve seen documentaries about Tourette’s, and whatever else. But I feel that The Road Within really shows you how Tourette’s works. I also find this movie entertaining, while many other accounts on the subject are boring.

The movie opens up with Vincent at his mother’s funeral. This is a stressful time for him and his Tourette’s are in overdrive. He’s twitching and blurting out numerous obscenities, all of which leave him visibly embarrassed. Eventually he gets up and exits the church to do some screaming outside.

Vincent’s father, Robert, sends him to a home for teens with problems. There Vincent meets Alex, who is a germaphobe, and Marie, who has anorexia. The three of them end up stealing their counselor, Mia’s  car to take a trip to the beach where Vincent wants to leave his mom’s ashes.

Their friendships develop along the way and they gain better understandings of each other, as do Robert and Mia who are in pursuit.

My All-American (2015)

A1H6YuL6kRL__SY445_Ouch. This movie hit hard at the end. Last night my brother recommended My All-American. Tonight, I needed a break from playing Grand Theft Auto and decided to watch the movie. After watching this, I feel differently toward the Texas Longhorns. I’m not necessarily a Sooner fan, but I feel more in key with the Sooners, and,  well, the Longhorns are the Sooners’ top rival.

During the first half of the movie, it feels kind of like Rudy. Freddie Steinmark is shorter and lighter than your usual college football player,  but his dream comes true when Coach Royal of the Texas Longhorns recognizes his talent and offers him a full scholarship to attend the University of Texas.

Freddie soon becomes a starter and plays the safety on defense. His role on the team is a big part of the Longhorns’ successful season. After the last regular game–before the Cotton Bowl, Freddie learns that a limp he had during the last few regular games is not a football injury, but is instead a tumor.

It’s a bone cancer and the doctors have to remove his leg. Freddie does make it to the Cotton Bowl, to be with his team while they play, but he dies a year and a half later, on June 6, 1971. He was twenty-two years old.

To this day, the Longhorns continue to honor Freddie Steinmark. His memorial is in the stadium and the players touch his picture on their way out to the field.

Jack the Bear (1993)

71CFG3vpnHL__SY445_I was delighted to see one of my old favorites is on Netflix. Jack the Bear. Before tonight, I probably haven’t seen it since the end of the 90’s, but it’s a movie that I’ve thought about from time to time.

It’s 1972. Danny DeVito plays John Leary, a widower raising two sons, Jack and Dylan. Jack is the lead character, he’s around twelve, and Dylan is three.

John works as an actor.. He hosts a TV show and does commercials. He also has a drinking problem.. John’s drinking affects his parenting and Jack assumes responsibility for Dylan.

When a neighbor kidnaps Dylan, Jack has to handle the situation himself until John gets home. They’re desperate, angry, scared and they do what they can to find Dylan.

Great acting and a powerful story. I’ll probably watch it again within the next few days.

Jennifer 8 (1992)

81FRnCGQZNL__SY445_Andy Garcia has the lead role in this hard boiled police drama-mystery. Jennifer 8 was filmed in the time before everyone had a cell phone, the internet boom and all that. The scenery really takes me back.

Garcia’s character is John Berlin, a detective who just transferred from the big city to a small town.  While investigating a separate case, the police stumble on a human hand. John Berlin takes the case. After digging around, he learns that the victim was blind and he suspects there were other victims who were also blind. He also meets the woman who he believes will be the next victim.

I watched this movie last night and I was up until 4:30 AM because I couldn’t bring myself to turn it off and go to bed. It was that good. It’s one of those movies that keeps you on your toes and makes you eager to see what happens next.

Defiance (2009)

51AJhKR7FHL__UY200_It’s 1941. Germany occupies Belorussia. The Jews are rounded up. Within weeks 50,000 are murdered and a million more will be deported.

Defiance is based on the true story of the Bielski brothers who are credited for saving 1,236 Jews from extermination.

Zus and Asael Bielski return home to find their parents murdered and their youngest brother, Aron, hiding in a cellar with a knife. The three head to a familiar location in the Lipiczanska Forest. That’s where Tuvia, the eldest brother, finds them.

Later, Aron finds a small group of people in the woods. He leads them to his brothers and the brothers agree to let them stay. As time passes more people make their way through the forest and the group grows.

They are all Jewish. All of them are fleeing the Third Reich. Tuvia becomes the leader of the group and welcomes new arrivals. His role comes with heavy responsibilities that he takes very seriously. He puts a system in place to make it easier for the growing community to survive.

Every member of the community has to work. Everyone is assigned to a job. Everyone also learns to use guns. The Germans are hunting them. There are several conflicts between the Bielski Partisans and the Germans.

I’ve watched Defiance several times over the last few years. It is one of my favorites. It’s a very convincing movie and one I recommend.

The Magic of Belle Isle (2012)

91SmLTfOBHL__SY445_One of my favorite movies is The Magic of Belle Isle. It’s one of those movies that I find comforting and easy to settle into when I’m not in the mood for something overly exciting. It’s just a simple down-to-earth story, about life that we recognize.

Morgan Freeman plays Monte Wildhorn, a man in a wheelchair who appears to have full use of only one of his arms. He’s also a drunk and a famed novelist who has not written anything since his wife died years ago.

Monte moves into a small house for the summer. He’s bitter, he complains, and he’s often drunk.

In the house next door, there’s Charlotte, who is going through a divorce. Charlotte lives with her three daughters, Finnegan, Willow and Flora.

When Don,  one of the neighbors, dies, Monte is invited to the memorial that Al, another neighbor, is having at his house. Monte reluctantly shows up for the memorial. There, Monte meets Finnegan, who is nine and a half years old and allowed to carry her own pocket knife. When Finnegan learns that Monte is a writer, she decides that she wants to learn how to write and Monte agrees to teach her.

Monte gets to know the rest of Finnegan’s family and other neighbors. He becomes a friend to some and helps them in their times of need, and they teach him something in turn.

My favorite quote from the movie came when Monte read Al’s speech to the people at Don’s memorial. That quote is “He took beer very seriously. It had to be Pabst Blue Ribbon. If it couldn’t be Pabst, it at least had to be cold.”

The Missing (2003)

51AoX0fT7zL__SY445_The Missing. Yeah, an impressive movie. If you haven’t seen it, it’s one I recommend. It stars Tommy Lee Jones and Cate Blanchett.

Set in New Mexico, 1885. Blanchett plays Maggie , a doctor, rancher and mother. Tommy Lee Jones plays Maggie’s father, Samuel.

Samuel had run off when Maggie was young and Maggie does not wish to reconnect with him. But he turns up at her home because he needs a doctor. Maggie tends to him, and then runs him off her land.

Later, Brake, the man Maggie loves (I don’t think they were married) and her two daughters, Lilly and Dot, leave for the fair. Maggie stays home, until she sees one of the ranch’s horses that Brake and her daughters had taken with them. The horse is riderless and appears to be frightened.

Maggie figures out that something had happened to Brake and her daughters. She rides off to find them. She arrives at the place where they had camped and finds Brake dead. And then she sees Dot who had hidden. Dot informs Maggie that men had taken Lilly.

Maggie sets off to find Lilly, enlisting the help of Samuel. Along the way they encounter Chiricahua Apaches who Samuel had lived with and who agree to help rescue Lilly and other girls who were taken.

I first watched this movie a couple years ago. A few weeks ago, I watched it again with my friend Kathy who is a citizen of the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma and has ancestors from various tribes. She’s very involved in Native American culture, i.e., she knows stuff. Her dad is a famed Native artist who once served as chief of his tribe. So, I think she knows what she’s talking about.

Kathy felt that the people who made this movie did a very good job in holding true to Native culture and beliefs. I guess there are a lot of movies that did not get it right, but this one did.

Hats off to Ron Howard and everyone involved in the making of this movie.