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A FRANK MOVIE REVIEW: “OVERCOMER” – 7

OVERCOMER  –  7 out of 10.

     In a word: Tear-jerker

If you like movies that have lots of action, violence, guns, bombs, racism, sexual references and bad language, DO NOT see this film. There’s none of the above. Ergo, it’s kinda refreshing to see a “clean: movie these days.

     This is a good story with an emotional plot about a small town high school basketball coach who loses most of his student players when a major industrial plant is closed and people have moved to new towns where the local economy is better. Coach John Harrison (played by Alex Kendrick) then meets up with a young girl student, age 15, who shows some interest in long distance running, though she is the only runner remaining from the “team.” Harrison, by necessity, reluctantly accepts the job as running coach.

     Played by Aryn Wright-Thompson, runner Hannah Scott had never known her father which was clearly a void in her life. Now living with her grandmother, she is torn between expectations of her school, her friends, her grandmother and her coach. Struggling with a history of rejection, the movie follows the path of young Hannah and Coach Harrison who becomes her mentor and

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A FRANK MOVIE REVIEW: “ANGEL HAS FALLEN” – 8

 

A Frank Movie Review: “Angel Has Fallen’  –  8

     In a word:  Sensational

Warning: If you do not like violence and/or movies with lots of gunfire and explosives, do NOT see this film. Boom Boom, Rat-a-Tat, Rat-a-Tat. Cover your ears. This is all about a plot to kill the president (Morgan Freeman) while out on a relaxing fishing excursion, surrounded by hordes of protective personnel, with his number one Secret Service agent (Gerard Butler). That’s when all hell breaks loose and the scores of drones swarm in like jet-bees, firing and shooting at everyone, killing them all but, of course, the star Gerard, and the president. That was quite stirring.

     The plot widens into a myriad of power mongers, insiders and heroes, one scene after another, of magnificent explosives, collapsing buildings, flying cars, endless shootouts with automatic weapons, that keep the viewer glued to the screen. The premise is to make it appear like the president is in cahoots with Russia (sound familiar) while the vice-president takes over control of the government. However, the real plot is not known until later in the film.

     Normally, I dismiss these kinds of action films as mindless junk, but I must acknowledge

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A FRANK MOVIE REVIEW: ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD – 6

ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD  –  6

 

In a word:  Disappointing

     Titillated by the previews and the heavy-hitters cast, we were expecting non-stop scenes full of action, Hollywood nostalgia and heart-wrenching plots that simply didn’t deliver, not until the ending, that is. With the picture stretching 2 hours and 40 minutes, it seemed director, Quentin Tarantino did all he could to drag out the movie with unnecessary scenes and/or some painfully elongated, that it digressed from the story lines. Lots of movie shots inside the vehicles.

     One example of wasteful scene time was Actress Margot Robbie who actually does a good job of portraying Sharon Tate (who was murdered by the Manson Gang in 1969). In one long and boring scene, Tate is enamored with herself having been cast in a Hollywood movie. Upon seeing a marquis with her name displayed as one of the stars, she walks across a street and enters the theater where the camera watches her watch herself on screen amid the audience. This was easily about seven minutes, or more, of valuable film time that could have been omitted and no one would have known the difference.

     This film takes place in Los Angeles

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A FRANK MOVIE REVIEW: (SHAFT (2019) – 3 (M. Frank)

Shaft  (2019)  –  3 out of 10.

 

In a word:  Ridiculous

 

First of all, if you don’t like violence and filthy language, don’t see this movie. There is plenty of both, to a point of gross excess, including lines spoken by little kids. I would estimate the “F” and MF” words are in play at least 200 times in the film or more…which is a distraction from whatever the plot was intended to be. With little exception, the screenwriting is pathetic. They should read a dictionary and see if there are other adjective words in English besides “F”.

     Yes, we are accustomed to lots of violence in movies, particularly those produced and directed by Hollywoodites who espouse anti-gun sentiments in their off-screen lives. In this film, there must be at least seven to ten wild shooting exchanges with no less than a barrage of a thousand rounds fired, or more, involving multiple actors using repeating rifles. Ironically, the good guys always got away unscathed, including Jackson, while the bad guys are all killed. Amazing what lousy shots they are.

     Shaft (2019) is the fifth in a series since 1971. Here, based in Harlem which he knows well, Samuel L. Jackson

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A FRANK MOVIE REVIEW: “ROCKET MAN” – 7

A FRANK MOVIE REVIEW: “ROCKET MAN” – 7.0

     In a word:  Eccentric

 

     This is a great movie for fans of Elton John, the British rock and roller who has sold over 300 million records in his lifetime.

     The movie focuses on the early life of the rocker in England, his conflicts within the family with whom he has limited attachment and later, his natural immersion into the world of rock music mostly through natural talents which he developed on his own.

     The high points of the movie are witnessing the emergence of an entertainment genius, wildly eccentric in flair and dress, and seemingly addicted to the roars of the adoring crowds. Meanwhile, John struggles with coming out of the closet, finally admitting he is a gay man. This doesn’t go well with his mother and father. Finally, wealth and success draws the artist into the abyss of addiction to most every substance imaginable, for which he eventually seeks out long range therapy and treatment.

     At the end of the movie, we learn that John has evolved into a sober person for 28 years, and proudly married to another man, on the heels of new British laws that allow for

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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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