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A FRANK MOVIE REVIEW – “1917” – 10.0

“1917”  –  Rating:   10.0

     In a word:  Intense

 

Alex Heeney is a movie critic who writes for Seventh Row. In regards to “1917”, he opines: 

    1917 is breathtaking in every way. A chamber drama tucked inside an exquisitely rendered war epic, 1917 is more heart-stopping thriller than traditional war movie.

     Before writing this review, I accessed a number of other professional critics to see if there was a consensus, because I had agreed totally with Mr. Heeney. The great majority of critics I found shared similar feelings about this picture.

     I think this will go down as one of the top ten war movies of all time, on a level with “Saving Private Ryan,” “Midway” and “Schindler’s List.”

     The basic premise of the story is as simple as it is complicated. During the final stages of WWI when Great Britain was in a critical position in the French countryside fighting the Germans, Lance Corporal Blake and Lance Corporal Schofield, young soldiers each, are selected by the field commander to embark on a harrowing foot mission to deliver a critical message to another American brigade commander thought to be trenched in miles away. The dire message, which could only be

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A FRANK MOVIE REVIEW: “UNCUT GEMS” – 1.0

 

“Uncut Gems” – 1 out of 10.

 

In a word:  Frenetic

     If you like good movies don’t bother seeing “Uncut Gems.” It’s the greatest waste of viewer dollars I’ve seen in a long time.

     The premise of the plot:  A crime thriller about Howard Ratner (Adam Sandler), a New York City jeweler always on the lookout for the next big score. When he makes a series of high-stakes bets that could lead to the windfall of a lifetime, Howard must perform a high-risk and dangerous act, balancing business, family, and adversaries on all sides in his pursuit of the ultimate victory.

     The movie had way too many implausible scenes. For  example, the bad guys kidnap Ratner, drive him around then bring him to where his own car is parked. There, the bad guys strip him nude and deposit him into the trunk. Minutes later, in the darkness of the trunk, Ratner is using his cell phone to call his wife, who, in fact, comes to help him out.

     Cell phone in the darkness of an auto trunk? Naked?

     If you like the sounds and optics of New York City, viewers will get plenty of that. People who are

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A FRANK MOVIE REVIEW: “RICHARD JEWELL” – 7.5

“RICHARD JEWELL” – 7.5

In a word:  Awakening

     This is a Clint Eastwood film, who at the age of 89, is one of the great wonders of the world, delving into the depths of the actual story then making it come alive in film. This was a good movie, but not one of his best. That’s saying a lot, because most of his films have been first class.

     Fans going to see this film must first know that it is intended to be a docudrama, based on a true story that focuses around an overweight frumpy security guard who was a police-wannabe, working for a company which assigned him a guard role at the 1996 Olympics in Atanta where – amid the throes of thousands of citizens – he (Jewell) discovers a suspicious backpack under a bench in Centennial Park. His frenetic actions warning everyone in the area, caught the attention of police and other security personnel, though his allegations about a package with a bomb inside was doubted by many. Shortly after he began screaming at people to get back, “Get Back,” sure enough a bomb exploded. Two died, scores were injured. There would have been more victims if

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A FRANK MOVIE REVIEW: “MIDWAY” – 8.5 (M. Frank)

“MIDWAY”  –  8.5

 

     In a word: Deja Vu

Here’s the short version. “Midway” is a well-made war movie, but if you’re a middle-aged (or older) you will think you’re seeing the 1970 version, “Tora Tora Tora” all over again. It’s a remake, a la, scene after scene of American pilots flying, bombing and diving over Japanese war ships.

Just as in “Tora,” Yamamoto is often featured as the Japanese leader aboard his battleship leading the enemy into an invasion of Pearl Harbor in December of 1941, and later, reciting the same phrase “I fear we have awakened a sleeping giant.”

Certainly, with technology advanced over nearly 50 years, the action shots are more spectacular and frightening. And, while the Pearl Harbor raid is well-recreated at the beginning of the film, the later objective is to defeat the Japanese air and naval forces at a crucial setting at the Midway atoll, in the Pacific. The movie certainly highlights the bravery and valor of the American military heroes as they finally claim victory over the enemy but not before thousands lose their lives. Without a doubt, some filming shots are visually spectacular, as the American commanders and soldiers fight with valor.

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A FRANK MOVIE REVIEW: “THE GOOD LIAR” -10. M. Frank

“THE GOOD LIAR” – 10

     In a word: Engrossing

 

     This is a great movie, with shades of Agatha Christie and John Grisham creating a plot with so many twists and turns that keep the viewer lasered to the characters while anticipating what comes next in every scene. For people who like mystery, this is a do-not-miss film.

     The irony is that this film may not draw appeal among the bread-and-butter movie goers, the massive count of youths and millennials who keep the film industry thriving. The usual come-ons are absent.  There are no sex scenes, no nudity. No one uses the “F” word as a perennial adjective. Guns and bombs are not going off in every other scene. No Sci-fi or super natural. There is a scene or two involving struggles and one killing, but the story does not surround those events as the basis for the storyline. What does emerge will surprise everyone.

     The main characters are not a young hot woman and a sexy jock, nor politically correct mixed races as we often see today. Rather, the story encompasses two lonely British people in their late 70s, a widow and widower deftly played by Helen Mirren and

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A FRANK MOVIE REVIEW: “HARRIET” – 9.5

“HARRIET” – 9.5 

 

     In a word:  Powerful

A month ago, I wrote a movie review of “Judy” that began like this:

     “I can see it coming …“And the Oscar goes to – Renee’ Zellweger”…

Now I say, Whoa, not so fast. I hadn’t yet seen “Harriet.”

     It will be a tight Oscar race for best actress because a lesser known, 32 year-old British actress named Cynthia Erivo has given the movie industry one of the greatest female performances ever.

     The “Harriet” in this movie centers on a slave woman known in her earliest years as “Minty” who later changes her name to Harriet Tubman, a woman of unbridled courage and tenacity in the pre-civil war era in which she was responsible for hundreds of slaves being rescued and brought to freedom in the north, and later to Canada, while under the most hazardous of conditions.  She had escaped from the hands of her slaveholders in 1849 Maryland at great risk and steadily became a fearless, storied conductor on the Underground Railroad until the Civil War was over.

     This is not just a “slave era” movie in which the audience witnesses endless whippings and beatings, and heart-breaking plots

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A FRANK MOVIE REVIEW: “JEXI” – 3 / 10 (M. Frank)

A Frank Movie Review

JEXI  –  3 out of 10.

In a Word: Hunk-a-junk

 

First of all, do not bring kids to this movie. Sure, they’ve all heard the dirty words and seen suggestive stuff before, but this film was an overdose pushing the proverbial envelope to the edge of acceptability. There comes a time when kids need to know the barriers between art and pure garbage. Bringing a 12 year-old, even a 17 year-old to a movie like this sends a message that vile language, revolting behavior and references to male body parts – including pictures of pictures – is not acceptable in a venue that helps mold the minds and hearts of kids.

     Yes, there were a few funny scenes that made me laugh, which is why I didn’t give the movie a zero.  Rotten Tomatoes, on line, probably the most prestigious review site, awarded Jexi one star out of five.

     The premise was clever enough, if only the writers and director would have realized that excessive filth and immorality does not define humor.

     In a wrap, the movie is about a wussy fellow (Adam Devine), single, in his 20’s who is addicted to his cell

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