“White Boy Rick”
Based on a true story from 1980’s Detroit. Matthew McConaughey is the blue collar dad of a teenager (newcomer Richie Merritt) who becomes a police/FBI informant & drug dealer. Bruce Dern & Piper Laurie play the grandparents who live across the street. A future Oscar winner (I can almost guarantee it sometime in her future) Bel Powley, plays his drug-addled older sister. There are some fine performances here (especially Powley & Dern) but this movie is tone –challenged. Much of it feels like a romp with many comedic moments and then it gets deadly serious in the end. Just all over the place. The end was especially disappointing because we don’t get to SEE the real White Boy Rick- we just hear him. It gets 62% from Rotten Tomatoes.
2 ½ ♥
A re-invention of the 30 year old sci-fi action/thriller franchise, which originally starred Arnold Schwarzenegger at his peak. The pop-culture legacy of the original was enough to spawn lukewarm sequels and some downright dreadful crossover movies with the “Alien” franchise. Surprise- once again you get alien hunters out to end the human race. Olivia Munn, Sterling K. Brown of “This Is Us” fame, Keegan-Michael Key & Thomas Jane headline. I didn’t see. It gets 34% on Rotten Tomatoes.
“The Public Image is Rotten”
A documentary all about Public Image Limited’s (PiL) John Lydon, a/k/a Johnny Rotten of The Sex Pistols. It glosses over the Sex Pistols completely- we never learn even why they broke up. But it’s an intimate look at the evolution of punk rock pioneer John Lydon, who is now pretty much a family man. Lots of very cool footage. I got to sit down and pick his brain for this weekend’s “Sonstein Sunday” at 6:55 am…and only had to edit him once for cursing. But his publicist warned me if I asked at all about the Sex Pistols, he would walk out!!!
3 ½ ♥
Yes, as in the drug ecstasy. Think “Breaking Bad” on campus in the 80’s. Annie Q (a native Staten Islander and the only cast member on “The Leftovers” to have a happy ending) stars in this true story of a brilliant Asian-American who pays the tuition at her very famous prestigious college by making and selling ecstasy. Francesca Eastwood, Clint’s daughter, co-stars as her rich roomie. It’s entertaining, a little over the top and heartbreaking. Totally 80’s. You can catch it on VOD. My interview with Annie Q will be featured on a not-too-distant “Sonstein Sunday”.
2 ½ ♥
Based on a book written just before the 9/11 terror attacks 17 years ago so it took this long for this terror/love story to be made into a movie , though it’s based on a real-life 1996 terrorist incident in Peru. The always wonderful Julianne Moore stars as an opera star invited by a rich Japanese industrialist (Ken Watanabe) to play a private concert in South America. Just as the concert begins, a group of terrorists invades the mansion and holds them all hostage. As the terrorists and their captors live together day after day, in a scenario that can’t end well, relationships form that would never happen in the real world. “About A Boy’s” Paul Weitz wrote & directed – and gives us more than a few poignant moments.