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Showing posts from June, 2019

Vic’s Flix Movie Review: Yesterday

We’ve been looking forward to this movie since first seeing the trailer several months ago. The premise is enticing and creative. Unfortunately, previews now give so much away there’s always the risk of seeing a film and then feeling as if the trailer would have sufficed. While there’s an element of that at play here, I can say that enough surprises, twists and tangential plot lines are carefully woven in along the way to make this a thoroughly enjoyable ride. And then there’s the music. If you don’t like the Beatles, don’t read further, don’t see the movie, and please don’t tell me. I don’t want to know that about you. Out of respect for my daughter (the ultimate Beatles fan), I will not spoil or reveal much at all about the content of  Yesterday . Also for the sake of the twenty or so people who may read this review. I have written about the Beatles before: http://viclarson.blogspot.com/2017/09/i-should-have-known-better.html The band’s impact on popular music and our cul

Vic’s Flix Movie Review: Shaft

“You see this cat Shaft is a bad mother (Shut your mouth!)” We all remember that iconic line from the Oscar winning  Theme From Shaft  by Isaac Hayes in 1971. And it is repeated in the latest  Shaft  movie, with less polite editing. Whether you like the original  Shaft  movie or character, the song is unique, powerful and playful. It evokes imagery of the time, Afro-style. If you’re looking for polite, this film is quite the opposite. It is loaded from curb to gutter with N-words, F-words, M-words, C-words, B-words and whatever other letter-word you can imagine. Even John Shaft’s Millennial son John Shaft Junior is offended, and asks his dad to stop using the N-word. Junior also apologizes for Dad’s behavior, “He thinks he’s the black James Bond.” Dad responds, “If that dude was real, he’d wanna be me.” What is it about Samuel L. Jackson that’s so fun to watch? He’s become a virtual parody of himself. His badass self. You expect him to be foul, fierce and forgiveable, and he

Vic’s Flix Movie Review: Men In Black International

So, what’s different about  Men In Black International from its predecessors and why doesn’t it work? A number of things, actually. The MIB franchise, parts I, II and III were all directed by Barry Sonnenfeld. They all starred Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones. And rather than produce  Men In Black IV , faced with declining box office revenue, even when adjusted for increasing ticket prices, they chose to stop while they were ahead. So is this a reboot or simply a fourth chapter? Calling this film  Men In Black IV  would have been a disservice to the original triad, which struggled even with the on screen charisma of Smith and Jones to maintain audience interest and compelling stories. Granted, Liam Neeson has a very particular set of skills, as we now understand, but as the head of the London MIB organization, “Agent High T” lacks resolve and caves under pressure from his subordinates. And there’s a reason for that, as we discover later. There’s some cool tech in this outing. Weap

Vic’s Flix Movie Review: Rocketman

On October 12, 1986 we saw Elton John at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, a mere five miles from the legendary Troubadour music venue where he exploded onto the scene on August 25, 1970. By this time, his greatest hits, those from his classic period between 1970 and 1976 were all part of the set list. It’s one of those shows you pull out of your portfolio when comparing concerts with friends. Yeah, I saw Elton John in L.A. And that said, I don’t consider myself a huge fan, although the song  Rocketman  is one of my all time favorites. I think we have a greatest hits cassette somewhere, but the Elton John I experienced when I was coming of age in the early 70s was as an inescapable, integral fabric in the soundtrack tapestry that soothed our journey from the late 60s into a fabulous and turbulent decade.  His songs evoke that “where were you when you first heard…” visceral reaction. He was always on the radio (remember radio?) with a range of tunes that spanned from the beautif

Vic’s Flix Movie Review: Ma

We all enter the crucible of terror known as high school and emerge after four years ready for adulthood. Correct that. We emerge ready for another four years that change us forever. But some never recover from the trauma suffered between ages 13 and 17. Some are kind and some are cruel. And cruelty plays a significant role in the film  Ma . Octavia Spencer is one of those actresses you just want to hug. Thus, she is perfectly cast as Sue Ann (nicknamed Ma), the cuddly adult willing to buy booze for a car full of partying teens. Or the hostess who offers her home as a safe place to drink, “to keep you off the road” she pleads. Who would suspect she’s a psychopath? Spencer is an academy award winner we all remember from  The Help  and  Hidden Figures.  But she has had an extremely busy career, frequently playing nurses on TV and in film. She turns the mood from laughter to horror on a dime in  Ma , manipulating the impressionable teen victims she befriends outside a liquor store.

Vic’s Flix Movie Review: Aladdin

Here comes “The Summer of Disney” - but we have to wonder, with recent acquisitions, isn’t it all-Disney all the time? The animated  Aladdin  was a fun family favorite in 1993. And the new live action release is no less engaging. But I have to get this out of the way up front and then move on: I miss Robin Williams. He brought his trademark energy and humor to the Genie character and was clearly the star of the show. Genie is Robin. Robin is Genie. A tough act to follow, and no doubt to cast. Enter Will Smith and his computer enhanced blue muscles to do an admirable job in the central role, singing and seeming to really enjoy himself in an updated portrayal of Genie. As I’ve mentioned in previous reviews, the popular particle-smoke effect is used throughout the film when letting the Genie out of the bottle or putting him back in place. Many other transformative moments benefit from this multimedia effect. This is a colorful romp through Agrabah, a product of a Middle Eastern f