THE MEG: Movie Review

As a kid I would have waited with great anticipation for this movie, probably having to beg my mom to let me go. And when I got there, I would not have been disappointed. Fourteen-year-old Ben would have dearly loved the movie The Meg. Adult Ben?

First , here is what Wikipedia says about the film: The Meg is a … thriller film directed by Jon Turteltaub with a screenplay by Dean Georgaris, Jon Hoeber, and Erich Hoeber, (very) loosely based on the 1997 book Meg: A Novel of Deep Terror by Steve Alten. The film stars Jason Statham, Li Bingbing, Rainn Wilson, Ruby Rose, Winston Chao, and Cliff Curtis, and follows a group of scientists who encounter a 75-foot-long … megalodon shark while on a rescue mission at the floor of the Pacific Ocean.

Disney originally purchased the film rights to the book in the 1990s, but after several years in development hell, the rights landed at Warner Bros….  Continue reading

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JOHNNY — A Movie Review

A lonely and confused older man hires a young male sex worker named Johnny to be his first sexual experience with another man, and the intimate evening they share forces both men to confront difficult truths they’ve been trying to outrun….

When I watched Johnny, I thought I was seeing a movie about the older man (who calls himself “Sam”), played very well by Tony Abatemarco (he’s had a number of small parts in films and series like, Sleeping With the Enemy, Moonlighting and How to Get Away With Murder). But after seeing it, I became aware that this sad little film is about both men equally, and their coming to terms with the fact that they are gay. Brandon Crowder is a delightful surprise—his acting is noteworthy and he is quite talented. I want to see him again (he is also the director and producer).

And while Johnny doesn’t have a happily ever after ending, the single evening it shows us has had a deep effect on the two of them. While it is not romance per se, it is worth watching at only nineteen minutes. There is a ton of story revealed in such a very short time and we learn, with few words, a lot about these men—they are very real. I was quite engaged in their lives.

And it is worth watching for surprisingly good acting for such a short, low-budget film. What it proves to me is that you don’t need millions of dollars to make a high-quality little project and that there is just no excuse for the horrible acting, film and sound quality, and more that I see in so many gay movies.

If you want to take the chance, I highly recommend it. So what if they don’t run off into the sunset (in this case, sunrise?)? You will be left thinking and wondering about what happens next for Johnny and Sam. And wishing them all the best.

CAST:

Brandon Crowder … Johnny
Tony Abatemarco … Sam
Nikita Kochnev … Young Johnny
Luca Alexander … David
Devon O’Kane … Sex Worker 1
Donzell Lewis … Sex Worker 2

Extinction: A Movie Review

Image result for three and out five stars
Just watched a Netflix film called Extinction and was…interesting. Starring Michael Peña (the hilarious guy from the Ant-Man movies), Lizzy Caplan (the fangbanger girlfriend of Jason in True Blood) as his wife, Mike Colter (Luke Cage from Marvel’s Luke Cage) and Israel Broussard as…well that would be giving away the plot twist. At first I thought that “Extinction” was merely another alien invasion story like Skyline or Battleship or Battle Los Angeles—which is okay. But it was sort of…well…done. There was nothing new except the fact that the main character Peter (played by Peña) starts having visions that said invasion is going to happen and no one believes him. It’s causing all kinds of problems with he and his wife and family. Even his boss is insisting that he see a therapist to deal with the problem. But despite some really decent acting by the cast…it wasn’t enough to keep my focus. I was busy doing other things, even when the invasion happened. I’d seen it all before. Ships soaring around the city, killing everyone, looking in windows, people running for survival and trying to fight back.

But then comes the plot twist about two-thirds through the film. The only thing that I felt really saved the movie.

Except that I personally found that plot twist just a little too big for me to swallow, to willing suspend my disbelief.

SPOILER ALERT! Continue reading

MOVIE REVIEW: JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM: (possible spoilers, but I’ll warn you)

So l saw the new Jurassic Park movie Thursday night and… I…. Well I liked it. It was good. It was exciting. It had all the amazing, gorgeous special effects of a JP franchise movie. It had the amazing gorgeous Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard. It had all those moments that make you jump, squeal, and sit on the edge of your seat. But…. For me it was missing something. And I can’t quite put my finger on it.

It is kind of like how the second Jurassic Park movie was really good, but not nearly as good as the first one. Same thing happened here.

It is like the people who made Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom didn’t know what was so great about Jurassic World, and in the case of the sequel just tried for something, anything, whatever. They put in dinosaurs and the two great characters…but they got this new movie wrong. It didn’t feel like a labor of love, like the first one felt to me. It almost felt like “let’s see if we can make as much money as the first one!” The characters were not very well developed this time. Kind of cardboard. I didn’t believe in them as much as I did in Jurassic World. I saw Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard’s character) change and grow in the first Jurassic World movie but not in this one. Saw her change from a person who saw the dinosaurs as assets into believing they were real, living animals. This time she just mostly filled up space. I did not believe that she was making the lives and rights of the dinosaurs her life’s mission.   Continue reading

Beautiful Something: A Movie Review

I just watched a movie on Amazon Prime called “Beautiful Something.” It started hot, then I couldn’t tell where it was going, and it wound up being a beautiful something. I highly recommend it.

To quote: “Fresh and unsentimental, four diverse men navigate the links between young and old, black and white, and love and desire and art in one sublime night in Philadelphia.” Perfect description.

Good story, good cinematography, very good acting for the most part, beautiful men, hot man on man action (although it is left mostly to your imagination).

Brian Sheppard is the main character in a way and he is terrific and we watch him fail and fail at love before finally figuring it out. I loved the subtlety of his performance. I felt like l knew his character. Like he was right there with me. Zack Ryan is the mover of the second major plot thread and watching this lovely lad navigate this heart is breathtaking. The entire cast is good.

At last, another gay film where we see the possibilities of happiness, no one is bashed, no one dies, AIDS is not a part of the story and characterization is number one. I will watch this again and again.