The Bachelor (S:22 E:7): That’s Amore

Welcome To Tuscany

The women arrive in Tuscany, Italy. Chris Harrison informs the ladies that it’s a week before home towns and there will be no rose ceremony, only dates. Becca K. is the first one to get a solo date with Arie. To start the date, they go get some bread and have a little picnic.

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ABC

Picnic turns into a dinner date and Becca tells Arie how he would be the first guy to really meet her family, apparently the last guy just came over sporadically and they couldn’t even make it official. Looks like that was enough to convince gullible Arie that he’s falling for her and to give her a spot at home towns.

Jacqueline Meltdown

Jacqueline is melting down again and trying to disqualify herself, while Lauren B. gets another one-on-one date. Jacqueline can’t wait any more so she goes up to Arie’s room and tells him that she has doubts and just isn’t that into him. Her paranoia gets to her. Off she goes. Eliminates herself. Paranoia at its finest.

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ABC

Pizza Time

Lauren and Arie’s date starts with some ice cream and a walk around town. They sit down and eat some pizza, I repeat, they sit down and EAT pizza. They actually ate a prop for the first time. Amazing. Whatever happens from here on out is just a bonus. I stand corrected, on the dinner date Lauren tells are she’s falling in love with him and he proceeds to get up and leave. She immediately regrets opening up to him. He probably needed to take a leak. Let the guy pee. He comes back and tells her that he’s falling deeply in love with her. She gets a rose. What?

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ABC

Truffling

Sienne is the next one to head on a date with Arie. They start out with truffle hunting. This is so weird. They are using a cute dog to dig in the ground to find truffles. This man whose their tour guide actually invites them to his home for dinner. Geez these Italian people are trusting. Arie reveals that he used to work at a pizza place. That answers the question why Dominos had to change their entire menu and company outlook.

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ABC

Sienne and Arie have a polite conversation at dinner. Her logic versus his heart is the struggle to the middle ground between them. She’s not ready not to have him in her life, but something is off for him. He feels they should be further along and can’t give her a rose. That’s not logic, that’s him following his heart. She logically tries to explain what happened as she drives off in the limo. The women pretend to act shocked when Sienne’s luggage is taken away.

Someone’s Going Home

Villa Royale is the location for the group date. Bekah M., Tia and Kendall are the ones vying for two roses. Kendall is the first one to get some alone time with Arie to build a case for herself to stick around. Tia thinks it’s her duty to warn Arie about Bekah not being ready for him. At least Tia is upfront to Bekah about throwing her under the bus with Arie. That’s what friends are for.

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ABC

Arie reassures Bekah about their feelings for each other. She also opens up and reveals that she has multiple gray hairs. Now, I feel they are perfect for another. So Arie comes over to give the first rose and it goes to Kendall. Well, if that wasn’t another Arie bomb. Tia or Bekah will be heading home. Well after some talk with each lady, Arie drops the shocker and sends young Bekah home. Must have been her gray hair’s. He’s picking Tia and heading to Arkansas.

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ABC

EPISODE 7 RATING: 8.5/10 (Bekah M. shockingly goes home)

BACH TALK:

Another surprising episode tonight. Here are the take aways.

  • Jacqueline’s meltdown wasn’t surprising, but what was is that he seemed genuinely disappointed with it and wanted her to stay.
  • Lauren B. seemed to have the writing on the wall for her, especially since he left the table. It was surprising that she was the one to receive a rose.
  • Becca K. has been slow and steady. Arie seemed to display concern about their lack of momentum, but there has been no sign of that.
  • Sienne’s day on the show appeared to have been numbered. She didn’t last past this episode. There was minimal chemistry between them.
  • The big shocker came when Arie gave Kendall the first date rose. That meant Bakah or Tia would be heading home. It ended up being Bekah heading home. She seemed like a frontrunner and a sure-fire home town entry.
  • Arie has been full of surprises the last few weeks. He has been pretty true to himself and serious. Not keeping around apparent favorites.

For more on The Bachelor, check out my site The Bachelor Universe and follow me on Twitter @JimRko 

 

The Bachelor (S:22 E:4): Young and Convincing Love

Fun On The Lake

Things get rolling with some gossip. Bekah M. is the subject and her age is the topic. Ageism at its finest. Can this non-mystery be finally put the rest. So she’s barely over 20-years-old. We know Arie has some fetish for pixie cuts and young women.

Chris Harrison barges in with a surprise notice that Arie has left for Lake Tahoe (good, keep him there) and the women will be joining him there.

The women discover their taxidermy ridden cabins, a.k.a Kendall’s paradise. Sienne doesn’t get to enjoy the cabin, as she gets a solo date with Arie. The date is parasailing, which shocks Sienne, whose never been to Tahoe. Well she won’t be hard to please. Arie promises Sienne some sweet nothing, she buys it, so as I said, doesn’t take much to impress her.

Meanwhile Maquel learns that her grandpa passed away.

The women learn they are going on a group date.

At their dinner date, Sienne announces that she’s very impressed with Arie’s winking skills. Her standards are dropping by a second. I’m convinced that this girl would be over the moon with a McDonald’s date, much less a fancy dinner. I’d even teach her how to whistle, imagine how impressed she’d be with that?! Sienne has never had a love story, so Arie decides that he will provide her with a date rose and take her to an obligatory dance, performed by “Lanco,” whoever they are?

Hiking With Bears

The group date hiking among bears turns into a promise from Jenna that she is willing to drink Arie’s pee, insert eye roll and barf emoji. Arie missed the memo because he’s eating some bugs. How romantic is all this? A hiking competition splits the women in teams of three. The red team with Chelsea, Brittany and Marikh is lost immediately. Give these women some morse code signals. Team Arie make it to the oasis first. The most shocking moment of the season arrives when Arie takes his shirt off for a blink of an eye.

After the date, Arie “steals” Lauren B. and wants to chat with her. She admits that she’s not one to open up. Well, news flash Lauren B., there are about ten more Lauren’s in the house who will open up. Kendall will open up though, mainly about taxidermy, but Arie just wants to make out with her, so he will keep her around for that and the potential she casts him in something.

With all the waiting around Krystal learned the meaning of the word “ostracized”. So she goes to pout to Arie about it. The women can’t bear Krystal, but they are there for Arie, unfortunately Arie is only there for Krystal and Bekah mainly. Tia has trouble understanding the process, girl, just take the advice of Philadelphia 76er Joel Embiid and “Trust The Process”. Stick with it and take your date rose that Arie just gave you and run before he changes his mind.

Young Lovin’

Young Bekah M. gets a solo date with Arie. They start out with some horseback riding. They end up jumping in a small tub in the woods, once again shirtless Arie, can we stop with this? Overdone already and the episode is barely halfway through. To make matters worse, he starts sharing boring racing stories of the past. Snooze fest.

The dinner date with Bekah is about to get going and the apparent moment of truth is inevitable. Bekah brings up the topic of transparency…LOL. Bekah laughs at Arie’s concert that she wouldn’t be ready for “that step”. Joke’s on Arie. The age question comes up and Arie gasps with a smile. Creepy old man. Bekah does all the backtracking she has to do to keep her around. The puppy eyes gaze and a little smart ass reassurance convinces him enough to give her the rose, which he does. Smiley Bekah wins the staring contest.

Rose Ceremony

Rose Ceremony prep time sees yet another arrival of Chris Harrison who announces Arie has made up his mind with who he’s picking and sending home. First rose goes to….never mind. Krystal stops him in his track and asks for a private moment with him. Krystal wastes more time talking about nonsense.

Back to the roses. Lauren B. gets the first one. Kendall. Ashley? Becca K., Chelsea, Jenna “Margot Robbie” Cooper, Jacqueline? Marikh and the final rose to Krystal. Caroline can sell lots of houses now that she’s being sent packing. What a huge mistake. She’d be a finalist if I was The Bachelor, which I should be. Cute Brittany T. is also heading home.

THE BACHELOR (EP. 4) RATING: 7.5/10

BACH TALK:

    • Bekah M. let the inevitable cat out of the bag, she’s 22. Arie pretended to be shocked and turned off, but he was anything but that. She stayed and she’ll be around for a while.
    • Krystal has firmly established herself as the sole villain. She’s the annoying crybaby kinda villain, more like Kelsey from Chris Soules season, less Corinne.
    • Tia is starting to make her move as someone that’s sticking around.
    • Kendall finally separated herself from the rest.
    • Caroline surprisingly gets let go so early. She looked like she should have been a favorite, especially with the likes of Ashley and Jacqueline still receiving roses.

 

For more content on The Bachelor check out TheBachelorUniverse 

Movie Review: Den of Thieves

If Sicario is widely considered to be one of the best crime thrillers of recent years, then Den of Thieves deserves to be right alongside it on that list. Den of Thieves is one of the most pleasantly surprising films in the past year. It had all the potential to turn into a stereotypical overly predictable shoot em’ up cops vs gangster crime genre flicks, but instead it did everything right.

LA’s top County Sheriff Department goes on the hunt for LA’s top bank robbery crew as they try to be the first to take down the Federal Reserve Bank. Leading the charge for the LA Sheriff’s is “Big Nick” Flanagan (Gerard Butler), who isn’t the kinda guy you would want to cross in any way, as evidenced by Nick’s constant bullying of an FBI agent ‘Lobbin’ Bob’ (Jordan Bridges) that keeps interrupting on his crime cases.

Gerard Butler stars in Den of Thieves

STX Films

On the other end, Pablo Schreiber plays the bank robbers lead dog, Merrimen. He’s exactly the kind of guy you also don’t want to mess with, unlike Nick, Merrimen is ruthless and unforgiving. The man in between linking both of these crews is Donnie (O’Shea Jackson Jr.) who is part-time bartender and driver for Merrimen’s crew, but he’s forced into helping out Flanagan’s team. Jackson Jr. can have the “Jr.” removed from his name because he’s big time and proves that he’s a legitimate actor, not just Ice Cube’s son.

There are a lot of moving parts and plot points, it’s why the two hour and twenty minute runtime is actually fitting. There is a twist midway through that changes the events and adds stake to the impending Federal Reserve Bank heist. Yet, another unforeseen twist awaits at the very end of the movie that will leave you gasping. The twists are a major bonus to a already spectacular film.

Writer and first time director Christian Gudegast crafts a smart and edgy movie that’s loaded with tension filled moments. The main characters have a backstory and home life outside of the crime world. Flanagan deals with marital issues and separation from his two young children. Donnie is stuck in between the law and crime, as he teeters on the edges trying to survive.

One drawback was the lesser emphasis on the supporting characters. I wish 50 Cent’s character Levi Enson was given more emphasis and backstory. There is a hint of his home life in a scene where his daughter is getting ready to head to prom and Enson gives the kid a “pep talk”. It’s one of the funnier scenes in a rather serious movie.

What quickly stands out is the raw gritty feel and look that this movie has. The authenticity that the film projects is uncanny. These characters are tough and living moment to moment on the edge that instill fear from a distance. The gloomy locales of the tough neighborhoods of LA are depicted as areas these characters would undeniably be roaming around.

This is by far a return of Gerard Butler to prominence after a run of bad movies. This is the kinda movie and roles he should be taking on predominantly, because it brings out the best of his talents. His interactions with Schreiber’s character are so slick and convincing that only a look or facial expression say all you need to know. It’s this subtle interaction that’s spot on.

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STX Films

There are no moments where the action and plot become stale or redundant. Everything about this movie is gripping and it sucks you into this fascinating dangerous world of high stakes crime. The intensity and tension is on at all times. It’s all you can ask for in a movie of this genre.

Fans of Michael Mann’s Heat will notice some similarities in Butler’s and Schreiber’s characters in comparison to those of Al Pacino and Robert De Niro in Heat. Both strong, though, no nonsense alpha male characters, especially in the “good guy” roles. Seeds are planted early on for the eventual showdown between Flanagan’s men and Merrimen’s crew, that scene is fairly lengthy but in all the right ways, it takes into the “den” to witness the face-off that’s brutal and action filled.

Den of Thieves takes you on a thrill ride from start to its mind blowing ending. It will literally keep you on the edge of your seat and hyped up. Gudegast hits a home run in his directorial debut. He mixes all the elements of action, characters development, outstanding acting, plot intrigue, authenticity, intensity and exciting tension to create this must-see movie. Welshly Arms “Legendary” is the end credits theme song that is perfectly fitting, because this movie has the makings of something legendary.

‘DEN OF THIEVES’ SCORE: 100%

(One of the best crime thrillers in years)

The Bachelor (S:22 E:3): Wrestling, Dogs and Keeping it Socially Active

Women Of Wrestling

Week three of The Bachelor starts out with a group date. Get ready for some bodyslams, because the group date consists of some good old fashioned wrestling. One of the women admits to never wrestling, there is a shocker. The women from GLOW wrestling (from the 80’s) arrive to smack some sense and skills to Arie’s girls. Bibiana and Tia have their gimmicks pre-made, “The Crybabies”.

Unbeknownst to him, Arie, gets a match with surprise opponent, Kenny King. Somehow he gets beat down and they give Arie a fake win at the end.

Time for the women to get at it. Bekah does her best Catwoman impression and slaps and smacks the heck out of her opponents.

Krystal proves to be a destroyer by bashing her opponents head against he mat.

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ABC/Paul Hebert

After the women are done slamming each other, they get some alone time with Arie, actually, it’s just Krystal, at Bibiana’s expense. Bekah keeps asking the women if they watch WWE? No, they don’t Bekah, WWE is on exactly at the same time the show you’re on is! You are on THE BACHELOR, do you think these chicks watch pro wrestling? Insert eye roll emoji.

The rose is up for grabs and the women are pretending to tell themselves and each other that they will be getting a rose, all while Arie is making out with the young nanny, Bekah, who ends up getting that rose.

Socially Active

Social Media Manager guru Lauren S. gets a solo date with Arie, so you know she’s definitely tweeting all about it. She’s so impressed with the vineyard that leads me to believe she’s been permanently glued to a computer screen.

Lauren can’t stop talking about growing in her career and not having time for her last boyfriend. It’s called being addicted to social media, girl.

The women at the house get a date card. The implications is that it will be dog themed, which immediately makes Annaliese’s palms sweat and she projects the most sour face possible. Guess what? She also has dog trauma. Insert another few emojis.

Lauren, talks Arie’s head off to the point he needs to stop her and tell her that she won’t get a rose. Luckily for Lauren, she has all the time in the world to dominate social media now.

Doggie Daycare 

The group date is at The Grove in LA. The women are doing a doggie showcase and failing epically at it. Even Fred Willard couldn’t help with the commentary.

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ABC/Paul Hebert

Annaliese can plan her swift exit after she has an awkward chat with Arie, where he can’t help himself, but look away. Ouch.

Cocktail rose awaits none other than Chelsea.

During the pre-rose ceremony Bibiana continues her lamenting. Meanwhile Bekah M. and Arie tries to find out if she is ready for marriage. She flips the questions back at him and psycho analyzes him. He calls her “risky”. Has to be the pixie cut.

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ABC/Paul Hebert

We finally find out what it takes to get Tia smitten, some moonshine. How unimpressive.

Annaliese, takes Arie to the balcony in hopes of a make out session, but he tells her they are not there yet, meaning, leave this balcony woman because you’ll be leaving this house tonight.

Alert! There is a Margot Robbie “lite” look-alike in the house. Stay tuned for her name.

Annaliese, is desperate for an answer, so she confronts Arie and gets her elimination, prior to the rose elimination. Arie just isn’t the man to deal with bumper car and doggie phobias.

Rose Ceremony

Are we seriously back to rose ceremonies at the end of the show? This is groundbreaking.

The first rose goes to Caroline (gets my approval). Kendall. Ashley. Lauren B. Brittany. Becca K. takes the rose with a “hell yeah”. Sienne gets the next one. Krystal. Tia. Markel. Jenna (ok, so maybe she isn’t quite Margot Robbie, but to me she does). Jacqueline. Marikh gets the final rose of the night. Bibiana and her mouth are finally going home.

EPISODE RATING: 8/10 (Arie is letting women leave by the minute)

QUICK TAKES:

  • Krystal is being established as the clear villain of this season, only problem is that she’s kinda nice also. There is a lack of baddies, so Krystal is the worst of the nicest. I find her just more of an intimidator to the women.
  • Bekah is making her push. This episode showed how smitten Arie is with her already, wait till she tells him her age. Seems like that reveal is next week.
  • Annaliese and Bibiana are finally put out their misery. Lots of complaining, but they got no action.
  • I’m still debating if Jenna resembles Margot Robbie. To me she does, I’ll take it.
  •  For an old Bachelor, they sure are booking a lot of immature dates for Arie. Wrestling? Go-karts? What’s next, a the kiddie playland at McDonald’s.
  • Arie is making it uber (not the car service) easy to see when he’s not into a woman. He can’t even look them straight in the face and finds every excuse not to get physically close to them and kiss them.

Pics: (ABC/Paul Hebert)

For more on The Bachelor, follow me on Twitter @TheJimAlexander and check out my site TheBachelorUniverse.com

Interview: ‘Leatherface’ Director Julien Maury

The team of Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo are horror film aficionados. They are also the men behind some really good horror films, such as, Inside and ABC’s of Death 2. Their latest film, Leatherface, is an origins story to the classic horror movie villain from the Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchise. I had a chance to speak to Julien about the new Leatherface film and learn about what attracted him to the story and the approach he took telling it.

What attracted you to the script:

JM: Honestly what hooked us was that the narrative structure was very different from the others (Texas Chainsaw Massacre movies) in the saga, franchise. We basically have the same structure on every other film, where a bunch of kids are getting lost on the lens of the family and they are getting killed. Here it was was much more like road movie. That was something quite interesting for Alex and I. We felt we could bring it more easily to our universe. 

How important was it to separate to narrate the difference from the young version of this character from the one that everyone knows him to be:

JM: It was one of the challenges. In the first draft it was much more of a ‘who done it’ movie. A bunch of crazy teenagers, we didn’t know which one would become Leatherface. Versions after versions we lost a little bit of the suspects till the end. Honestly, it is really challenging for a director to have an opportunity to tell a story of bad guys, villains.

MY TAKE: 

My impression of Julien was first and foremost that he was a really cool dude. Very open and passionate. Someone who is easy to talk to and personable. I couldn’t ask for more. I liked how descriptive he was on how he wanted to change the character and not make it cliche, by also acknowledging how smart horror fans are, relating it to him being a fan himself. That sort of understanding of the genre and its pitfalls comes through in the way they went against the cliches in directed this film.

I thought it was interesting when he said that Alex and him love bad guys and finding the humanity in them. That’s a really neat perspective to characters who usually lack any sort of humanity in horror films.

Overall, he gave great breakdown of the film and the thinking behind what they ended up doing. I liked when he said that the more realistic you are in the beginning, the crazier you can get at the end. Such smart and true perspective.

One of the best answers I’ve gotten from anyone I interviewed was when he told me he was involved and passionate about ecology. His laugh was infectious.

Leatherface is a unique origin story and interesting watch with enough scares and gore to satisfy your horror expectations. A really good horror movie to see for Halloween.

Leatherface is out now in select theaters (check local listings), On Demand and DIRECTV 

Movie Review: Goodbye Christopher Robin

This is one of the under-the-radar gems of 2017. Goodbye Christopher Robin delivers on strong emotions from multiple angles. It made my cry, be informed and look back on my childhood and relationship with my father. On the surface this film is about the creation of the Winnie the Pooh story, but beneath the surface it’s about that and a lot more.

WHAT’S THIS MOVIE ABOUT:

It’s the real life story of Winnie the Pooh creator A.A. Milne (Domhnall Gleeson) and relationship with his son Christopher Robin (yes, the boy from Winnie the Pooh). The film offers a peek behind the curtain in the life of the Milne’s. It’s not necessarily a picturesque peek into their lives, which makes the film that more compelling. The first act details the inner struggles that A.A. endured with. The PTSD that haunted him, yet, he couldn’t talk about, due to the shame returning soldiers had about their undiagnosed traumatic conditions.

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Fox Searchlight Pictures

Milne isn’t given a flawless portrayal as human being, he’s very flawed and conflicted. He doesn’t have any sense of what it’s like to be a father, but neither does his wife Daphne (Margot Robbie), who’d rather just attend lavish receptions and let the nanny take care of the boy. It’s not until the second half of the movie that it starts delving into the Winnie the Pooh stories.

HOW DID THE ACTORS DO:

Domhnall Gleeson stars as A.A. Milne, and he encompasses his inner turmoil and brilliance as effectively as possible. His scenes with Will Tilston who plays Christopher Robin are meaningful and emotional. Margot Robbie really surprised me. She does a terrific English accent, particular to the Sussex region. She’s stylish and exudes beauty as always, but this may be her first notably unlikable character she’s played. Daphne is anything but a nurturing and caring mother and loyal wife. Tilston has the best bowl haircut and most incredible dimples that radiate on-screen. Robin is such a cute and likable character, unlike his parents. Kelly Macdonald plays the nanny Olive, and she steals the show with her love and dedication.

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Fox Searchlight Pictures

The acting is very good and the casting may not look ideal on paper, but on-screen it makes all the sense in the world. Yes, that means Robbie was perfect in the mother role.

HOW DID THE MOVIE LOOK AND SOUND:

The look is very fitting with the time period the story takes place in, 1940’s-50’s. The English countryside looks gorgeous. The most poignant scene is the one in which Christopher Robbin and A.A. share a touching moment together, it’s s a key point in the movie (don’t worry not a spoiler). The rock they sit on, the hill surrounded by the woods and overlooking a gorgeous landscape below, is just stunning visual work.

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Fox Searchlight Pictures 

The score composed by Carter Burwell is outstanding. Not only does it fit with the movie theme, but it’s one that projects the emotions of the scenes.

WAS IT ENTERTAINING:

I didn’t know what to expect of this film. The story of the Winnie the Pooh origins does sound interesting, but is it entertaining? Yes. The movie won’t entertain you with fancy effects, explosions or sex appeal, but it entertains with the most important element—story. It’s engrossing and emotionally fulfilling. Not once did I lose interest or didn’t care about investing further into the story.

IS IT WORTH SEEING:

PROS:

Well cast, with terrific performances. A story where it’s easy to invest into. The film honors the origins of the Pooh story and focuses on the relationships and the people behind it, which ends up being more interesting than the Pooh story. Personally, I found it hard to hold back emotions, maybe because I related it to my relationship with my father.

CONS:

The only question that remains unanswered and touched upon was the Disney connection. There is no mention of Disney, even in the end credits story follow-up. I wish that was addressed at some point, because majority of people are familiar with Winnie the Pooh due to Disney. That’s how I was introduced to it. Heck, I didn’t even know that it wasn’t a Disney entity prior to this film.

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Fox Searchlight Pictues 

Overall, director Simon Curtis manages to capture the emotions of the story and the father-son relationship. Goodbye Christopher Robin tackles some real life issues. The commentary on PTSD and child celebrity parents. Robin may have been the first child star, and his parents pushed him out like cattle, to the boys dismay. The personal family connection is ultimately what this movie is about. The regret, sorrow, joy and emotional vulnerability. By the end of the film I was genuinely teared up. This story got me. The cute bear, piglet, donkey and tiger were just the icing on the cake.

  • Movie Rating: PG
  • Genre: Biography, Family, History
  • Runtime: 1 hr 47 min
  • Release Date: Friday, October 20, 2017 (Chicago & Wide)

GOODBYE CHRISTOPHER ROBIN’ SCORE: 85%

(Must-See Movie, Take The Family)

Movie Review: American Made

Tom Cruise has made it!

Ok, so that happened about 30 years ago, but what he has made (shameless pun) is a comeback from the disaster earlier this year called The Mummy. Cruise is terrific in American Made. Granted, it’s just the sort of film that I’m drawn to, one that’s based on a true story and real individual who overcomes something insanely impossible, lots of action, good cast and director. This movie has all the ingredients to make it a must-see. Here is the breakdown of why you should go out and spend on it this weekend.

WHAT’S THIS MOVIE ABOUT:

Based on a true story of a (crazy) pilot named Barry Seal (Tom Cruise) who became a drug runner for a South American cartel and CIA associate stateside. I couldn’t believe this story hadn’t been told prior to this. Seal’s double dipping journey spanned from the late 70’s into the mid 80’s where the film’s story takes place in. How does Seal get into this peculiar situation? Well, he’s starts out as a domestic pilot, seeking some thrill in his life, so he’s approached by a CIA guy at a bar. Obviously this sort of stuff happens to us all the time in everyday life, right? I think not. Seal gets bamboozled into taking the gig (all it took was a fancy personal plane) and soon after gives into additional temptations, of money from a cartel. Are you trying to put this all together? So did I initially, but it’s not confusing, as the movie does a good job explaining things in simple terms.

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Universal Pictures

HOW DID THE ACTORS DO:

This is exactly the kind of role Cruise has been made for. A throwback to the days where he used his charm and charisma, instead of his daredevil acts of defiance aka any Mission Impossible movie. Cruise plays a real guy, and boy is it insanely fun watch make the character come alive. Of course he still uses his signature cackle laugh and huge smile along the way. I enjoyed this character because it’s hard not to like and root for him. Even though he’s committing crime and working for and against the American government.

As in most Cruise movies he notoriously surrounds himself with up-and-coming talented supporting actors. Look back at any Cruise movie in recent memory, and ask yourself how many big A-list actors star alongside him? Emily Blunt in Edge of Tomorrow, maybe? Even though she wasn’t a bonafide A-lister back then. I’m not sure if that’s an admirable thing or not that he does that? The supporting actors that stand out in this film are Sarah Wright and Domhnall Gleeson.

Wright is certainly rightly cast to play Cruise’s wife. Thankfully she’s married with kids in real life, so he wasn’t casting her to become his actual wife. That’a a thing also, look it up. Wright, just isn’t some eye candy, even though she’s beautiful and has that Margot Robbie appeal about her. She delivers a lot of cool sweet sassiness in the role of Lucy Seal. Hopefully, this movie and part can open the door for her to other prominent roles. Gleeson plays a fun shady CIA recruiter, ‘Schafer’, a bit of a removal from the characters he usually plays.

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Universal Pictures

HOW DID THE MOVIE LOOK AND SOUND:

The look and sets resemble the 80’s nicely. The cars, clothing and style are on par. Unlike the recent,IT, which made me doubt and debate what time period the movie took place in. No worries about that here, it’s definitely the 80’s, looks and feels like it. When it comes to sounds, expect to hear a lot of airplane engines. There is a lot of action that takes place so it’s fast and loud in many ways, especially when Cruise is flying his planes around like a madman.

WAS IT ENTERTAINING:

You’re damn right it was entertaining. This is one of the better movies of the year. I loved War Dogs and Pain and Gain and this film could fit in right alongside those. It has similarities in the outrageous hard to believe plots that are based on a true story and real people. Director Doug Liman has a rapport working with Cruise (Edge of Tomorrow) previously, but even if they hadn’t worked together, the style that Liman tends to incorporate is fitting for a movie of this caliber. He’s done well with action films that project a real sense of reality about them (Bourne movies).

There isn’t really any point in American Made where you can turn away or where it loses your attention. I made the fastest bathroom break possible during the screening, I may or may not have even flushed. There is always something going on, whether they are racing planes or having secret discussions about a drug run, it’s still interesting. I had to catch myself a few times thinking about the possible realities and how could some of these things actually have happened?

americanmade

Universal Pictures

People like watching money, literally, in movies. There is a memorable scene where Seal is trying to hide all the money he’s making and he’s running out of room and locations to hide it in! I guarantee half of the audience that will be watching will attempt to picture themselves with all that cash and how they would have handled it. Money is fun and Cruise makes it fun the way he uses it in the film.

IS IT WORTH SEEING:

PROS:
I’d be hard pressed to say this movie isn’t enjoyable. The theme is exciting, the subject is intriguing and the execution is top-notch. The acting is strong from top to bottom. Cruise will make you fall-in-love with him again, for those of you who have divorced him after the Oprah couch jumping fiasco. It’s okay to love him again. Hey, you also get to see the rise of some famed criminals, such as Pablo Escobar (Mauricio Mejia), who is featured in the film as one of Seal’s criminal bosses.

CONS:
You might not like it if you’re..asleep? But why would you be asleep during this? Only real excuse for not finding this movie appealing is if you’re seeing it with a ridiculously hot date and you two decide to start making out? But even in that scenario you’re still at the movies. Point is, this is an awesome film. One of the most entertaining and fun times you’ll have at the movies this year.

  • Movie Rating: R
  • Runtime: 1 hr 55 min
  • Genre: Action, Biography, Comedy
  • Release Date: Friday, September 29, 2017 (wide)

‘AMERICAN MADE’ SCORE: 95%

(One Of The Best Must-See Films Of The Year)