Detroit #review

Riots break out in the city of Detroit, Michigan, in 1967. The local police, state police and national guard are all called in to stop the disaster that is occurring. In the midst of this struggle, murder occurs at the Algiers Motel while the local police investigate gun fire they heard coming from the area of the motel. So, does “Detroit” paint a believable reenactment of the true events that took place ? Or is this just another made for television, historical, movie that high school kids will fall asleep in during History class. Let’s dive in and take a look in this review.


This film is advertised as a look back at the events that took place in Detroit, as well as, the Algiers Motel. This is partly true. The run time is close to 2.5 hours but the events that occur at the Algiers don’t take the full length. The riots in Detroit also do not take the full amount of time. I would say, it felt like three quarters of the movie is riots and Algiers. The remaining portion is the court hearing for the local police and a look at the lives of the people in the film after everything is said and done. So, the film is broken down in 3 different parts. I’m not speaking about 1st, 2nd and 3rd act either. The actual story is told from 3 different points of interest.


The first point is a look at the city of Detroit. The film opens with a look at the migration flow of people moving to Detroit post the Civil War. From there we get to see the events leading up to the riots, the riots themselves and the journey that eventually leads us to the Motel Algiers. Once at the Motel, we see what is described at the end of the film as a look at the possible events as told from eye witnesses, court docs, etc. However, we don’t get that disclaimer until the end of the film. Once the horrific events at Algiers conclude, we’re now in part 2. This second portion looks at the criminal court case, and proceedings that took place, with regard to the shootings and murders at the Motel. Once that concludes, we’re safely into part 3. Here get to see how all the events shaped the lives of the people in the film. We also get to see where the survivors are today.


The film initially confused me. As I walked out of the theater I had to recalibrate my thinking because I was under the assumption we’d see the Motel part and that was the movie. We get to see that, yes, but, and more importantly, the film examines life from the perspectives of the protagonists. Once the Motel scenes concluded I looked at my watch because I couldn’t believe 2.5 hours was already over. Indeed, the movie was not over and we were getting a deeper look into how the main characters view the world. It’s this sudden revelation that won me over for this film. This is not a story about the Detroit riots or the Motel Algiers. Those are merely plot devices used to show, on screen, the distrust that we hear about between black communities and the police. This movie brilliantly shows us the good and the bad. It puts to screen visual reasons that are understandable once the film concludes. You might not agree, but you will at least have a better understanding when you hear someone proclaim the system is rigged, police are out to get us, and more. This movie did well to show us the tragedy involved during the civil rights movement in America. Once I realized that this movie is more of a statement about race relations and culture over riots and murder, I appreciated this film all the more.


The characters in this film are all important with respect to race relations. The entire time I didn’t understand why Anthony Mackie and John Boyega were in it because I didn’t see them really moving the plot along. However, once I made the realization that this is a story about race relations, it all made sense. Boyega plays a security guard who was helping the police and national guard but still gets thrown in jail towards the end of the film as a suspect to the murders. Even while doing the right thing, his character is mistreated. Mackie, a veteran with two terms of service who was in Detroit looking for work now that he’s honorably discharged from the military. He is abused and mistreated by the police at the Motel even after showing his government card for service. This film really digs into the mindset and beliefs we hear about on the news about cops mistreating black America. While you might not agree with this sentiment, the movie explores that belief we still hear about today, some 50 years later, approximately.


Detroit” is in theaters now! If you like historical movies you’ll enjoy this. It’s a very difficult movie to watch and I don’t believe everyone has the fortitude to sit through the whole story. So, because of that, I will still recommend people see it but I will add a word of caution while you make your decision. This is intense, unsettling and disturbing. My only real criticism is the run time of 2.5 hours. I feel they could’ve edited this film down and not lost any of the drama and intensity they were going for. I enjoyed it but my goodness, it’s a long movie that requires a lot of emotional energy from the audience.

Film Review Detroit

Nut Job 2: Nutty By Nature

The animals are back and ready to save their beloved park in the follow up to 2014’s “Nut Job.” There’s familiar faces as well as some new characters who all work together to deliver an animated film that explores the lives of critters in a big city park. So, does this sequel provide an entertaining animated adventure or are all the nuts spoiled? Let’s dive in and take a look at “Nut Job 2: Nutty By Nature” in this review…


This movie is garbage. I almost walked out of the theater halfway in and the run time is only 90 minutes. This film celebrates laziness, the benefits of businesses failing, how horrid white business men are and it is also poorly written. This was the biggest piece of propaganda nonsense I’ve seen in a long while. I couldn’t believe what I saw on screen. The writers for this film didn’t even bother to try and subtly imply their political leanings. They were almost beating the audience over the head with it. Meanwhile, they decided to make it animated which almost feels like they’re trying to manipulate kids into relating with the protagonists who were, mostly, indolent characters. I sat through this film aghast at what I was witnessing.


The main character, Surly, celebrates a businesses failure because it’s a nut shop and that allows the park critters to eat for free instead of having to hunt for food like a normal animal would. Instead, they are all celebrating this failed business that is now providing them shelter and free food. When charged with finding a new home, as their park is getting rebuilt as an amusement park, this same character leaves to find more free food from another failed business… instead of another park. The other lead in this movie, Andie, is openly mocked and ridiculed for trying to get the rest of the animals to go back to their normal life style of hunting and gathering.


The villain in the film is such an over-the-top negative stereotype of the white business man it’s borderline ludicrous. The character refers to political contributions as bribes, the license plate on his car is about embezzling, and on and on. This film did so little to make me believe this was anything but an animated propaganda film attempting to lure kids or indoctrinate them into this bizarre view of the world. The writers didn’t even attempt in the slightest to make their points subtle or use any tact at all. This was a pile of animated garbage.

Nut Job 2: Nutty By Nature” is in theaters now! Hopefully, it will be out of theaters sooner than later. I don’t recommend you see this film. I don’t recommend you let your kids watch this either. It’s a poorly written, piece of propaganda trash. I stayed until the end of the movie to see if there would be some sort of redeeming value and there wasn’t. This would’ve been a complete waste of my time except that I get to share this disaster with you in an attempt to save you from wasting 90 minutes of your life.


The Dark Tower – #review

Countless times I’ve heard how movies have fallen short of the original source material when adapted from the pages of a beloved book. If you search for meme’s online you find pictures of icebergs and the tip of the ice berg is the movie while everything else is the book. So, does “The Dark Tower” manage to become more than just the tip or are we destined for frozen boredom? Let’s take a look in this review…


The movie is based on a series of novels by writer Stephen King. The story blends fantasy, horror and western elements together to create something unique but still familiar. The run time was approximately 90 minutes and that was enough. The story itself was comprehensive, in that, we clearly understand what each character’s role is in the overall plot of the film. However, I will say, it took some time before the reason is explained. Little in this film is explained, actually. The director, Nikolaj Arcel, placed great faith in us as an audience that we’d be fine knowing things are a certain way without them being explained. For example, what’s the deal with the rat people and where did they come from? The gunslinger has a mantra, ok, but why and what’s the point of remembering the face of your father? Why does a child’s psychic ability need to be used to destroy the tower? Kids have psychic abilities? Sure, ok. How are all these kids getting kidnapped and the news not talking about it? How does the gunslinger live on a world that had an amusement park, but doesn’t know what an amusement park is? There’s no historians that kept a record of life pre the war/battle? In short, there’s a lot of questions.


Overall, the story had great ambition but was executed only in mediocre fashion. I believed Chris Hemsworth (as Thor, in the 1st Thor) when he came to earth and had to adjust. I found that same story in this movie but not as well received. The kid (Tom Taylor) was actually more believable in his response to the dialogue of Idris Elba, than I found myself believing Elba’s performance on earth. Also, quite odd, in the hospital scene what was the point of mentioning several diseases that the gunslingers character had? It felt like they were trying to make a joke but it did not come across that way to me. The gunslinger pays in a gold coin, says he’s stronger than most, and then walks out of the hospital, to drop several pain pills on a bus with the kid while drinking a soda pop. What is going on in this movie??


The Dark Tower” is in theaters now. You can skip this movie. There’s more story missing than present and because of that you’ll be scratching your head a lot. The ending makes sense only because that’s the ending we have been led to expect and Matthew McConaughey was just a demonic/sociopathic version of who is plays in the car commercials for Lincoln. In fact, since his performance was so similar it would’ve been a nice comedic nod to have his character move through worlds in that car. Ok, maybe not. Also, the last fight scene looks really bad. McConaughey looks like a mime the way he moved, waving his hands around, pretending to be a sorcerer of sorts. If you pick this up on RedBox or VOD I understand. It’s actually not a terrible movie. I could see what they wanted to achieve and how much they wanted to invest in the characters but fell short. I walked out of the theater thinking, “Well, at least they tried.”