See more “Watch This with Chris” reviews at www.mysaline.com/watch-this
So, as it turns out, quarantine allows plenty of time for watching TV. Who knew?! Don’t worry. I’m fine. It’s my young ‘uns that have the COVID. Thankfully, they are all okay and experiencing very few symptoms. It’s a strange thing. My girls are not old enough to receive the vaccine, and they are positive. The boy has had the 1st Pfizer shot, and he is positive. The wife and I are fully vaccinated AND LIVING IN THE SAME HOUSE AS THE KIDS, but we are COVID negative. Go figure. Anyway, I was able to get to the theater just before the bottom fell out and I caught this first film.
Stillwater (in theaters)
It’s kinda like the old days with this one. If you want to see it, you have to go to the movies! No streaming here. Go to your local theater, get a big ole bucket of buttery popcorn and an iced cold diet coke (because that’s what I like) and check out this new Matt Damon flick. I’m trying to think of something I can relate/compare this story to. I guess the closest I can think of would-be a cross between “Taken” with the great Liam Neeson and “Snitch” with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.
So, here’s the deal. Matt Damon plays the part of Oklahoma roughneck, Bill Baker. He is your average, every day, down-and-out, out of work roughneck from smack dab in the middle of the American heartland. Somehow, even though he’s out of work, he regularly travels to Marseilles, France to visit his daughter who is in prison for a crime that she claims she is innocent for. He’s confronted by language barriers, cultural differences, and a complicated legal system, but above all, he’s a determined father who will not stop until he gets justice for his daughter, Allison.
Yep. That’s it. There’s honestly nothing else to say to describe the plot. That being said, I really liked it. It’s just not a terribly complex story I didn’t think. The casting was fantastic. Matt Damon, in my opinion, nailed Bill Baker. I’ve read reviews where people said he was boring or whatnot, but honestly, he just portrays that desperate, Southern father who’s most definitely out of place in France trying to find justice for his daughter and he’s not taking no for an answer.
Abigail Breslin (Little Miss Sunshine, Scream Queens) plays the role of Allison, Baker’s daughter in the film. Camille Cottin (House of Gucci) also does a really good job in the film playing the role of Baker’s French acquaintance, Virginie.
There is a lot of heart in this movie. The cast works. And the story is compelling. This one gets my vote. The film is rated R for language throughout. Go see it.
Nobody (Redbox & streaming on Amazon Video)
So, this one isn’t SUPER new, but it’s new enough. It’s a 2021 release. I’ve been thinking about watching this one for a while, but I finally hit up the Redbox this weekend, and boy am I glad I did! THIS MOVIE IS AWESOME!
The tagline for the movie is “Never underestimate a nobody.” Hahaha- ain’t that the truth?! This is that story about not judging a book by it’s cover and/or how some things aren’t what they seem. Emmy award winner Bob Odenkirk (Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul) stars as Hutch Mansell, an underestimated, overlooked, and disrespected husband and father who chugs along in his boring life taking all of life’s indignities right upside the chin. Basically, he’s a nobody; and coincidentally, that’s the name of the movie. It all works out! However, even the most passive fella comes to his breaking point. Right?
This is a really fun, and really violent action movie. Bob Odenkirk is fantastic. Christopher Lloyd (Back to the Future) plays Odenkirk’s father in the movie, and he is a treat as always. Have I mentioned yet how violent this movie is? It’s so violent! There are parts where I think I’m watching an old skool Steven Seagal movie because there are so many bones being broken. This movie is violent! I really want to stress the level of violence in this movie. Like almost Kill Bill violent. It’s awesome. There’s nothing not to like about the movie…unless you don’t like violence. If that’s the case, you should absolutely steer clear of this one. It’s so violent, and so awesome!
That’s really all there is to say. If you like Bob Odenkirk, check it out. If you like lots of gratuitous violence, definitely check it out. “Nobody” is obviously rated R for language throughout, and lots and lots of gratuitous violence and some gore.
Jungle Cruise (in theaters & streaming on Disney+ w/ Premier Access)
Okay folks, I really liked every movie I watched this weekend. “Jungle Cruise,” however, is a whole other level of fun though! I’m a big fan of The Rock, and most of his movies. From “The Rundown” to “Walking Tall” to “Rampage” to “Jumanji” to “G.I. Joe: Retaliation” to ”Snitch,” and even “The Tooth Fairy;” I love Dwayne Johnson.
This movie is based on the Disneyland theme park ride of the same name where a riverboat takes a group of travelers through the jungle filled with dangerous wildlife, but with a supernatural element as well. Dwayne Johnson stars as Frank Wolff, a riverboat captain on the Amazon River who loves his boat almost as much as he loves telling lame dad jokes to his customers.
I’m continually impressed with Johnson’s on-screen chemistry in so many of his movies. He and Kevin Hart are brilliant in their movies. He and Sean William Scott seemed a perfect fit in “The Rundown.” This one is certainly no different. The on-screen chemistry between Johnson and his co-star Emily Blunt (A Quiet Place, Mary Poppins Returns) is electric. They are absolutely awesome together in this movie. Aside from these two, the entire cast is really, really good including Edgar Ramirez (The Girl on the Train, Zero Dark Thirty), Jack Whitehall (Mother’s Day, Bad Education), Jesse Plemons (Breaking Bad, Game Night), and the great Paul Giamatti (Straight Outta Compton, San Andreas).
Y’all, I’m that guy that’ll be kinda loud watching a movie at home if I love it. I try to contain myself in the theater, but at home…oh it’s on. When my family watched “Jungle Cruise, I laughed out loud…a lot. I probably said, “This movie is awesome” at least 10 times. I absolutely loved it. My kids loved it. My wife loved it. I cannot stress enough how good this movie is.
We streamed it at home on Disney+ this weekend with Premier Access. Now that does cost $30, but we’d undoubtedly spend a lot more than that going to the theater, and now we can watch it as much as we want, and I can assure you we’ll watch it plenty more times. “Jungle Cruise” may just be THE family movie of the year!!
“Jungle Cruse” is rated PG-13 for sequences of adventure violence, and maybe a little language, but I really can’t remember anything specific. It’s really fun for the whole family. My girls are 8 and 10 and they loved it!
The Suicide Squad (in theaters & streaming on HBO Max)
Okay well with my state of the art 1950sish edge of Saline County internet, I just finished this one after trying to stream it for 2 ½ days. I didn’t really know exactly what to expect going in. I know I loved the first “Suicide Squad” as well as the “Harley Quinn” sequel. I wasn’t sure if this was going to be a continuation of the story or a reboot. Whatever it is, it’s really fun. This movie was built from the brilliant and disturbing mind of the great James Gunn (Guardians of the Galaxy, Movie 43).
Supervillains Harley Quinn, Peacemaker, and Bloodsport along with a whole host of zany cons from Belle Reve prison join forces with the ultra-secret Task Force X and then are dropped off on the super-remote enemy overridden island of Corto Maltese. What happens next? I don’t know that I can even adequately describe it other than to throw out words like fun, zany, wacky, over-the-top, surprising, and VIOLENT.
Margot Robbie (Wolf of Wall Street) reprises her role as Harley Quinn. The always great Idris Elba (Concrete Cowboy, The Dark Tower) joins the team as Bloodsport, and John Cena (F9, Playing with Fire) plays Peacemaker. Aside from these three, there’s also an incredible supporting cast including (Viola Davis (The Help), Joel Kinnaman (Robocop), Jai Courtney (A Good Day to Die Hard), Pete Davidson (Saturday Night Live), and Sylvester Stallone (Rocky franchise). Sylvester Stallone’s character may be my favorite from the film. I’d compare it to a Groot (Guardians of the Galaxy), but violent.
To me, this is exactly what you’d expect from a Suicide Squad movie. However, aside from the violence and the humor, there actually are lessons to be learned here. I think it’s a good visualization of how there’s at least a little bit of good in all of us. There’s also lessons to be learned about restraint, friendship, and overcoming your fears.
“The Suicide Squad” is obviously rated R, and that’s the case because of strong violence and gore, language throughout, some sexual references, drug use, and brief graphic nudity. So, not necessarily a kid-friendly family movie, BUT it certainly gets my recommendation for you grown folk out there. It’s a lot of fun and a great continuation of this franchise. It also definitely leaves it open for future film(s).
Here Today (Redbox & streaming on Amazon Video)
And my sentimental side is coming out here. “Here Today” will tug at the heart strings quite a bit. This one kinda reminded me of “The Upside” with Kevin Hart and Bryan Cranston. It’s kinda that feel-good, unlikely pair buddy relationship movie…if that makes any sense at all.
“Here Today” stars comedy legend Billy Crystal (City Slickers, When Harry Met Sally) and Tiffany Haddish (Night School, Like a Boss). Crystal stars as Charlie Burnz who works as a writer/adviser for a sketch comedy show and is a legendary comedy screenwriter. Haddish plays the part of a NYC lounge singer that is gifted a lunch with Burnz that was won at an auction for a mere $22. The relationship between the two starts here though it’s most definitely a rocky start.
Along with Crystal, Haddish, and a fantastic supporting case, you’ll also see many legendary cameos including Sharon Stone, Bob Costas, and Kevin Kline. The on-screen chemistry between Crystal and Haddish absolutely works here. They play off each other really well. Billy Crystal gives a classic, and superb Billy Crystal performance, and Tiffany Haddish continues to cement her status as a leading lady.
I love the relationships in this movie. There are very strained relationships between Crystal and his grown children that are realistic and beautiful, and the relationship between the two main stars grows from rocky to beautiful, with lots of laughs along the way.
This is a great date night movie, folks. On Amazon Prime, it’s a $4.99 rental and/or a $14.99 purchase or you can get it on DVD/Blu-Ray in your good ole neighborhood Red Box. That’s the route I tend to take since I live in the land that time and technology has apparently forgotten- the literal edge of Saline Co and the seeming edge of the freaking universe. What are you talking about…you might ask? Well, I live in Traskwood on Holy Ridge Rd, and there is no internet. None. Nada. Unless, that is, you want to sign up for overpriced crap satellite internet that is limited and might as well be 1990s dial-up. We use a Verizon hot spot at my house. That one hotspot has to power the TV/Roku, phones, games, tablets, Chromebooks (for schoolwork) and laptops (for Mommy and me to work.) Doesn’t that all just sound fun?!
Okay sorry about that. I tend to get pretty wound up about living in freaking Leave it to Beaver land (technology-wise.) Back to the movie. I absolutely recommend “Here Today.” Guys, surprise your lady with a date night. Fix a nice dinner for her or just order in some sushi or a charcuterie board or some chili dogs. You know…something nice. Snuggle up on the sofa and ‘Red Box and chill.’ Is that a thing? Well, it should be for those of us without sufficient internet to stream Netflix!!!
The Hate U Give (streaming on Amazon Video)
So, this isn’t a new movie. “The Hate U Give” was released in 2018 and is based on the absolutely wonderful book with the same title by Angie Thomas. I didn’t know they’d made a movie, but I just recently listened to the audiobook, and I fell in love with the story.
This story revolves around a young black girl named Starr Carter, played by Amandla Stenberg who many of you may remember for playing Rue from “The Hunger Games.” who is the only witness to the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend at the hands of a local police officer. Amid pressure from literally all sides of her community of Garden Heights, Starr must find her voice and stand up for what she knows to be right.
Y’all this is a good one. This young girl is a fantastic leading lady. She also has a great supporting cast including Regina Hall (Black-ish, Think Like a Man), Russell Hornsby (Fences, Grimm), Anthony Mackie (Avengers, The Hurt Locker), and Common (Wanted, Selma).
I think it’s safe to say that most of the time, we want a movie/book/story with a happy ending. We want things to be wrapped up nicely in the end. Right? However, life doesn’t always give us a happy ending. Now I’m not going to tell you how the movie ends. That would be a terrible review, and I’m not one for spoilers. However, I can tell you that the story that is told here doesn’t yet have a happy ending. The story is one of ongoing violence and systematic racism at the hands of SOME police officers and departments across this country. Please indulge me while I get on my soapbox for just a moment. This is not a “Defund the police” promo. This is not a I’m against the police thing because I very much am not. I do not think all police officers are bad. I do understand that there are “bad apples” in every bunch, BUT my problem is that we too easily accept this whole “bad apple” thing when it comes to law enforcement. Think about airplane pilots. Are there “bad apples” in that bunch? Probably, but that scares all of us. Doesn’t it? None of us want even 1 “bad apple” when it comes to pilots. That could be a real crisis. People will die. Right? My point exactly. We’ll do whatever it takes to weed out any “bad apples” from the cockpits of planes, but we’re all too passive about there being a “few bad apples” in our local precincts. And until we ALL change that passive mindset, we won’t see real change.
Okay so that’s that, and I have a feeling now that most of you have already decided if this is a movie that you want to watch or if it’s one that you think is probably just that leftist anti-police rhetoric. It’s really not that at all though. It’s a great story of injustice and of a young girl finding her voice and her place in a really noisy and messy world.
As much as I enjoyed the film, I AM going to be the guy that tells you “The book is so much better.” That used to really get under my skin before I fell in love with reading, and specifically with audiobooks. The audiobook is read by Bahni Turpin, and she is fantastic! I highly recommend you check it out. I listen to audiobooks in the car now. If I’m alone, there’s almost always an audiobook playing. I’m currently listening to the follow-up to “The Hate U Give” entitled “On the Come Up.” It’s really good too, and I listen to most of my audiobooks on the Hoopla app, which is linked to my library account through the incredible Saline County Library System.
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