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A FRANK MOVIE REVIEW: “BOLDEN” – 7.5 (M.Frank)

“BOLDEN” – Rated  R  (nudity, language) –

     Rating:  7.5

     In a word: Frenetic

     If you are a lover of old-time jazz music, you’ll love this movie. While I do enjoy jazz, this movie offers an overdose, with constant repetition of horns from beginning to end. Nevertheless, it certainly fit within the plot structure, focusing on the pathetic life of Charles “Buddy” Bolden, Louisiana-born kid who happened to develop a unique talent playing sounds and rhythms that were new to the music industry at that time. The opening credits for the movie claimed Buddy Bolden to be the inventor of jazz music.

     Bolden formed a band that was well-known in New Orleans between 1900 and 1907. That’s when he lost his marbles and began episodes of lunacy which culminated in being locked in a cell block within a mental institution for the next twenty-five years until his death in 1931. During his “hey-day” playing jazz with his band all over Louisiana, Bolden embarked upon sub-life of using drugs and alcohol to a point where it apparently damaged his brain and he was deemed hopelessly insane.

     This was his story, as much as we know about it. Jon Cornick is quoted on

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A FRANK MOVIE REVIEW – “UNPLANNED” – 7.0

UN PLANNED:    Rating:  7 out of 10

 

     In a word: Propaganda

 

This movie is designed to sway points of view against abortion.  Pro-life folks will flock to it. Hard core pro-choice folks will not likely bother to see it.

     First a caveat:  My personal views of the abortion debate are along the lines of pro-life, though I do believe early term (first trimester) abortions should remain legal, for the reasons stated at the end of this review. (*)  Beyond that, abortions should be banned in the remaining six month period, unless it is shown that the mother’s health is in dire straits or faces a risk to her own life. My opinion.

     That being said, I have no major objection to the storyline, which tells us about a bright young woman, Abby Johnson, who is pro-abortion and becomes a youngest-ever director of a Planned Parenthood operation in Texas. She is met with hostile crowds and demonstrations from outside the premises on a daily basis, but still manages to perform her job until, one day she witnesses an abortion with her own eyes. That was the game changer. Watching a well-formed fetus on video equipment struggling with extraction, added a whole

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A FRANK MOVIE REVIEW: “HOTEL MUMBAI” – 10 …M. Frank

HOTEL MUMBAI –  10

In two words: Extreme Intensity (From beginning to end)

     This movie should have come out earlier in 2018 so it would be eligible for Oscar nominations, particularly in photography, screen writing, editing, directing and perhaps, supporting actors. It was among the most gripping, intense and exhaustive movies I’ve ever seen, and I’ve been evaluating movies since the age of ten.

     First, the caveat: If you can’t stomach raw violence, don’t see this movie. It’s laden with guns, bombs, blood and guts, terror and dead bodies. It had to be because of the horrific nature of the nightmarish event in 2008 that left 164 unsuspecting and innocent people dead, and hundreds more wounded, during an Islamic jihad attack at the Taj Hotel in Mumbai, India. Some movies are overloaded with gratuitous violence for effect. None of this violence was gratuitous for effect, because it all actually happened.

      Here’s the storyline as gleaned in part from IMDB.com, written by Bleecker Street:

     “A gripping true story of humanity and heroism, HOTEL MUMBAI vividly recounts the 2008 siege of the famed Taj Hotel by a group of terrorists in Mumbai, India. Among the dedicated hotel staff

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A FRANK MOVIE REVIEW: “FIVE FEET APART” – 7.5

Think: “Love Story” – for those who can remember.    

     This is one of those movies where you need a box of tissues, particularly as the film evolves into the latter stages. 

     Stella, a victim of Cystic Fibrosis (Haley Lu Richardson) is a beautiful teenager that spends most of her time in the hospital as a patient. Her life is full of mundane routines and she has got everything figured out until she meets Will (Cole Sprouse), another teen with the same chronic and terminal illness. Because they are both afflicted with the same condition, it is imperative that that hold their conversations at least 5 foot apart from each other, lest one or the other can be contagious from airborne issues that could lead to rapid decline.

     Flirtation quickly turns into broken rules with potentially deadly consequences for the two teens. As the movie fades into its second half, the tension rises as both lovers-from-a-distance are drawn closer to each other with death looming over their relationships.

     Outside of a few implausible scenes, the movie captures the attention of an audience because of the dire nature of these two kids falling madly in love, yet

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A FRANK MOVIE REVIEW: “GRETA” – 8.0 (M. Frank)

GRETA  8.0

In a word:  Gripping

Greta exceeded our expectations, partly because the array of movie releases in these last few months have been pathetic. Never have we walked out on so many junk movies. Because the quality of the film was unexpected, Greta earns a high rating. This was definitely a well-crafted suspense film, rife with great acting and plenty of scenes that would have the audience on the edge of their seats. The story is told by Academy Award winning director, Neil Jordan.

     Actress, Chloe Grace Moretz, who I never heard of before, plays in the starring role as Frances, a sweet, naïve young woman trying to make it on her own in New York City, Frances discovers a handbag left in a subway train then goes about tracking the owner down to give it back. Not everything is as simple as it looks.

     The owner of the purse is a middle-aged widow named Greta (Isabelle Huppert), an eccentric French piano teacher with a love for classical music and an aching loneliness. Frances gives her back the purse and quickly grows closer as a friend to Greta as the two become fast friends. But there’s more

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A FRANK MOVIE REVIEW: “THE WIFE” – 9.0

THE WIFE  – 9.0

In a word:  Compelling

     If you prefer movies with a lot of action, sex, violence, Sci-Fi or political correctness, do not see this movie. This is pure drama with superb acting on the part of the prime stars, Jonathan Pryce and Glenn Close, who already has landed a Golden Globe for her masterful performance, not to mention a number of other awards. And, yes, she’s up for an Oscar as well.

     Set in 1992, Connecticut, the story begins where John Castleman, a famed literary giant, receives a call from Sweden telling him he is being awarded the Nobel Prize for literature. He and wife Joan (Close) are elated and make their way to Stockholm for the grand awards.

     Meanwhile, the director brings us into flashbacks when these two lovebirds first met, wedded and established a harmonious relationship in which the wife helps and guides him through everyday living, more so than we could have imagined. The story expands to the young adult son who has issues with his careless father, and a few dalliances which The Wife is expected to ignore.

     The main plot surrounds a surprising revelation which sends all the

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A FRANK MOVIE REVIEW: “COLD PURSUIT” – 4 OUT OF 10

COLD PURSUIT  –  4   (Out of 10)

In a wordAmateurish

     This was supposed to be thriller/revenge story with Liam Neeson at the head of the cast, followed by nothing other than amateurs, poor writing and dumb directing. I’d like to have a dollar for every time I’d groan with a pair rolling eyes. Oh give me a break.

     The setting is in the areas around Denver during the cold winter. Neeson’s grown son, had been abducted and killed by drug cartel people. This incensed Neeson to the point of embarking on a retribution campaign, but not until he was caught trying to blow his own brains out with a shotgun…which was never explained. Never mind that his marriage was over, apparently because the obsessed Neeson could no long communicate on a normal level.

     The story brings in a myriad of characters, including tribal chieftains, organized crime tough guys, oriental women, and a pair of investigative cops that must have come from Keystone. Kidding aside, two local police officers working in a small town outside Denver become the top investigators of things they don’t know what they are investigating. For diversity, they include one young

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