Monday, January 27, 2014

Arryo vs No Country, Movie Reviews

Over the past few days and weekend I seemed to have gathered up some spare time that I usually don’t have, so I have been taking in the movies.  So, there will be no earth shattering remarks made or great resolutions about life or life after death, etc.  But, there was a locally produced film in the Lubbock area, starring Lubbock folks that I thought needed viewing and reviewing.  The name of the movie is “The Arryo”, local actors and local scenery, even though some of it was filmed in Arizona disguised as the South Plains.  Here goes: 

“The Arryo”, **, This movie was written by a former South Plains resident from Slaton, Texas who migrated out to California.  Jeremy Boreing’s Arryo was filmed in small towns around Lubbock and showed a close resemblance to Academy award winner “No Country for Old Men”, starring Tommy Lee Jones and directed by the Coen Brothers in 2007.  The similarities almost make you wonder if the Coen Brothers were robbed just a little bit.  After all  “No Country” was in a West Texas setting, with local people along with hardened, experienced movie stars, involved illegal immigrants, drugs, murder, thievery, two main heroes(Josh Brolin, Tommy Lee Jones), vs. Arryo stars(Kenny Maines, Junior Vasquez) and then two hit men that had different ways of killing their prey, but in the end always left them dead.  Javier Bardem played the hitman in No Country and liked to philosophize with those he was paid to kill and then he killed them with some kind of electric gismo.  The Arryo hitman, David Armendariz, had a special ring that had a fine point on it that folded up when not in use and then when he was ready to put his victim to eternal sleep he just took the point to the jugular and the victim bleed to death.  He always kept it sharp as a tack and in one scene we got to see him sharpen it.  The hero of Arryo was Jim Weatherford, played by local actor, song writer and singer, Kenny Maines.  He was the big daddy who was tired of the illegal immigrants crossing his land at night and the drug dealers doing the same.  So, he took the law into his own hands and the shooting begins. Also, since I had never seen him act(I have heard him sing many times) I really did not know what to expect.  But, he was good for a local guy who was starring in his first movie.  It had an ending I did not expect so I will not reveal it.  While I am fairly certain this film will not make the big time I could be wrong, so look out for it.  Rated  R for strong violence, pervasive language, drug content.(While this movie had no rating I just added that so you would know what to expect.   One other note:  90% of the audience was in the senior + age group. 

“Jack Ryan”, ***, Jack Ryan(Chris Pine), as a young covert CIA analyst, uncovers a Russian plot to crash the U.S. economy with a terrorist attack.  Kevin Costner plays his mature, now greying, boss and mentor as they fight the bad Russians and save the day.  Lots of actions and really done well. He also has a young beautiful fiancee who wonders what he does while away on business trips, since she doesn’t know he works for the CIA. This puts some interesting dialogue into the mix.  Rated PG-13 for sequences of violence and intense actions, and brief strong language.

“ August:  Osage County”, ****, For acting alone this movie would get another star; however, the depressing part of it kind of knocks it down a notch.  Even though I realize that the statement, “holidays are for times when people who don’t like each other can get together and fight” describes this movie.  While it is not a holiday that brings them together it is the funeral of the patriarch who has just committed suicide.  So now we have a look at the lives of this family and the real dirty linen that is tossed across the dinner table, especially by the surviving matriarch.  She spells dysfunctional very well and demonstrates it even better.  Along the two hour path of this cinema we have incest, adultery, mental illness, retardedness, excessive legal drug use, illegal drug use and the use of the f,,,bomb and m....f......more than I have heard in some time.  Meryle Streep played the woman who raised this group of weird people, and Julia Roberts was so good at throwing out these bombs I am sure she must practice a lot in real life.  Chris Cooper was excellent and gave a hair raising objection to all the bad karma that was going around.  In the end they all left after the funeral still hating each other and in no way was any one cured of these feelings that I could tell.  Sequel?? Hope not, depression after watching this movie will take days to expire.  The acting was so good you would think it was a real family and I am not to sure this wasn’t a true story!!  Rated R for language including sexual references, and for drug material.

EA, SH...........!!!


Saturday, January 18, 2014

Little Walnut, Brain Movie Reviews

It seems as though every time I go to the mail box there is another mail out concerning the  prostate gland or the brain.  What one has to do with the other is beyond me, but I do know they are hot subjects.  The prostate(little walnut) is popular now because it basically came out of the closet of silence since only men have them, and they weren’t exactly keen about talking about this little critter until now.  Well why not make it a hot subject since the minute the urologist withdraws his 3”x 7” index finger the fun begins.  Maybe in the next edition I will cover some of the gritty details, but now I want to move to the brain.  It is funny how much different the doctors are in each specialty.  Here we have a person(usually male) who likes to check things out from the rear side to the neurologist who checks out the brain waves that makes us do what we do or don’t do.  But I do know I have much more experience with the urologist than the brain docs.  Does that mean I have more prostate than brain, well possibly but thankfully I have only had to visit the brain guy one time.  While it is common to have an enlarged prostate at age 70 I am convinced that the brain shrinks by the time we are 70.  It seems so unfair since we really need all the brain power we can get just to move through the day.  In addition to receiving literature that tells me how to shrink my prostate, have better sex and more importantly have a smooth urine flow, I also get tons of mail about exercising and saving the brain.  There seems to be thousands of lists from 1-10, or things to do to preserve the brain and improve its’ functions.  The other day I saw a magazine that told how to keep your brain active and healthy.  It said that going to movies was very healthy and reduced stress, since you go into a darkened movie house with elevated comfort seats and enjoy the entertainment of a great movie.  Of course it didn’t cover what happens to the nervous system when you see gory blood slinging gangster or horror movies.  At any rate, possibly I have touched on two hot subjects and now I would like to cover my current movie adventures:

Movie Reviews:

“Lone Survivor”, ***, This movie was about a failed, or botched, mission in Afghanistan.  The mission was to capture or kill notorious Taliban leader Ahmad Shahd.  Cast includes always tough Mark Wahlberg as the lone survivor.  The story was true and the movie was well done but the reality is that millions were actually spent, many lives were lost, and the mission was not accomplished.  What made the lone survivor a hero of sorts was that he just happened to be the only one that survived, and that was by luck.  BUT, a multi-million dollar movie was made about it.  Go see with the understanding that you will almost bleed with the actors and feel the pain.  Rated R for strong BLOODY war violence and pervasive language.

“Anchorman 2:  The Legend Continues”, **, With the ‘70s behind him, San Diego’s top rated newsman, Ron Burgundy(Will Ferrell) returns to take New York’s first 24 hour news channel by storm.  Cast also includes Kristen Wilg, Jim Carrey, Paul Rudd, Llam Neeson, Steve Carell and Kirsten Dunst.  Some stupid humor but worth a discounted ticket.  Rated PG-13 for crude and sexual content, drug use, language and comic violence. 

“Grudge Match”, *, Well I have seen it all now.  A pair of aging retired boxing rivals( played by Sylvester Stallone and Robert De Niro) are coaxed out of retirement to fight one final bout 30 years after their last match.  Since they are both supposed to be over 60 this was about as stupid as they come.  Two guys this age hitting each other in the head was almost too painful to watch and unbelievable that they could last 10 rounds.  These guys are good actors and normally enjoyable to watch on the screen but this was too much to bear.  Hopefully they will hang them up for good and play some good parts. Rated PG-13 for sports action violence, sexual content and language.  

“Homefront”, ***, This is an action packed movie about a former DEA agent who movies his family(young daughter, no wife) to a quiet town in Louisiana.  While he tries to be quiet, reserved and cool he just seems to bring out the worst in the local red neck bull headed southern men who want to challenge his manhood.  He soon tangles with a local meth druglord and the action begins.  James Franco, Jason Statham and Winona Ryder do a great job and the young lady who plays his daughter is also very good.  Rated R for strong violence, pervasive language, drug content and brief sexuality.  

EA, SH........:)