I’ve seen two movies, both set in New York City. In each there is no character worth liking; there is no one to root for. Keanu Reeves is in Exposed; Adam Rodriquez is in A Kiss of Chaos.

The stories like the setting, the underside of New York City, are grimy, tough, rude, vulgar and bleak. In A Kiss a character says to another: “The cops are coming.” RESPONSE: “The cops don’t come here.” Without knowing anything else viewers agree. The dialogue reflects elementary educations, perhaps to sixth grade after most kids know the swear words, cliches and conventional comments which are meaningless. Someone offered to teach a woman class; he spoke quietly, like he had an eighth grade education.

In Exposed Reeves investigates his partner’s murder. He learns along the way, that his partner has been committing felonies. A Kiss is about a cocaine deal that goes wrong – the buyer ends up with drugs and the cash. How do they get it back?

These low, miserable, youthful tales have identifiable characters, none that a family would want delivered to a family member who is in the state prison. Each movie has a premise which is resolved; each is filled with sociological terrors. The human imagination runs wide and strong, but I have no reason to doubt that these films and stories reflect large doses of reality. They are existing facts and circumstances which will arrive in the future.

Finally, I must commend Mr. Reeves and Mr. Rodriquez for acting and being in these stories. They are not fantasy; they are not concocted love; they are not super-hero stuff; they are not monster versus mankind, or the earth; there are no car races or car chases. These movies seem real, although the movies suggest the true facts should never be put into a police report.


Tom Hardy 2014

Since MAD MAX: The Fury Road, I’ve liked Tom Hardy. So I eagerly looked forward to LOCKE, a pre-Mad Max flick.

I got ten minutes into the movie. Through those minutes Hardy drives a car on city streets and on the Motorway, and he talks on the phone. Perhaps in Britain those activities are sophisticated and advance civilization. In California the CHP will give you a ticket.

One set of phone calls is to delay or change meetings and deliveries at a construction site. The accents were so pronounced in this film (“Not genteel,” as Eliza Doolittle might say), it is impossible to determine the reasonable of Tom Hardy’s complaints. I did not know Hardy was talking to a message machine until he left a message.

The second set of telephone calls are to home. Hardy will not arrive in time to see or watch something. If it is a fool football game, Hardy will be better off missing it. Statistics show that viewers who watch football games, with or without helmets, lose IQ points.

The final set of telephone calls return to the cement delivery problems at the construction site (the subject of the messages of the first set of calls). I don’t believe there was a problem because it is not that sort of movie. When cement is poured, the real question is how many bodies are tossed in, let alone the few workers who take a dive for a swim in the mix. Despite the accents I could tell no one was murdered. What sort of cement/construction movie was this?

I next wondered why I was watching a movie about a guy driving a car on the Motorway. I see that morning, noon and night on every freeway in California. I mentioned this “movie action” to a friend, who asked, “What’s there new about that?” And there is a final point: The dialogue was no good – mundane at best.



Movie Review, SERENDIPITY, John Cusack, Kate Beckindale. I like both actors. And this movie. I watched 90 seconds before turning the movie off.

Black pair of gloves. John and Kate each reach for the last pair. Idle chit-chat amounting to dull, flimsy dialogue getting worse. After a minute of it, an old man (actor I don’t like who should always be the bad-evil pervert) intervenes and claims the gloves. On his second line I turned it off.

PROBLEM: Kate and John are supposed to fall in love, at-first-sight. There’s no chemistry, no electricity, no other atoms or molecules and no bison measurements flowing between them. John has to move his mouth, and he has to sound intelligent and interesting. He sounds lame. Kate waits.

Dialogue should not be the gracious, meaningless offer from each, “You take them.” Share, share, we learned how to be kind to one another. Let’s be three years old again (when nobody was buying gloves). Remedy: In a busy world Kate says, “All right,” and takes the gloves. John has to convince her while making her interested in him, to let give him the gloves.

That didn’t happen.

Movie Review, GET THE GRINGO, Mel Gibson. A decent action movie about an American stuck in a Mexican prison. In America he has stolen $4,000,000, some of which the Mexican police have. Nobody can identify the Gringo; he doesn’t tell what he did, until the information is useful to save his life and help him leave the prison. Hence, the audience as do the characters in the movie learn about the entire sum late.

Mel Gibson is the thief. How he navigates in the Mexican prison (“Worst mall in the world…”), how he gets out and how he survives provide action in realistic settings.