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Reviews

Ashley Jones Is Perfectly Normal
(2021)

The debate, is it 'normalcy' or 'normality?'
We found this movie on Amazon streaming. The trailer looked very interesting. My wife lasted about 15 minutes, it was too quirky for her. I stuck with it and enjoyed it. Some scenes, like the table in the restaurant were perfectly symmetrical, the filming and some of the dialog reminded me of some scenes in Wes Anderson movies.

The star is Hana Yuka Sano as Ashley Jones, a perfectly normal California TV reporter, married to a perfectly normal man, every week for six years they ate at the same restaurant, seated at the same table, and he always had a tenderloin cooked medium with three potatoes. She always had pasta with marinara, no meatballs.

All this 'normalcy' (or is it 'normality'?) is to set up the rest of the movie. One morning Ashley wakes up without her usual California accent, instead she has a Japanese accent, for no reason. Things happen as a result, her husband leaves, her job is in jeopardy, she is self-conscious about her condition. (There is a real condition, 'foreign accent syndrome', commonly caused by a sudden damage to the brain.)

So the quirky story has one aim, that is to accept yourself and if life gives you surprises just go with them. I didn't have much success finding anything about Hana Yuka Sano but it appears that she is a Japanese-American actress, so her 'foreign' accent is probably pretty real. If you look closely at her mouth movements when speaking in California accent you see a slight lack of synchronization, and in the end credits, another voice actress is credited with Ashley's California accent. Clever film making.

Paddington 2
(2017)

Marmalade sandwiches are the hit of the movie.
On successive nights my wife and I watched "Paddington" and "Paddington 2". The villain in the first was played by Nicole Kidman, Hugh Grant played a different type of villain in the second. Grant usually has "vanilla" type rom-com roles but here he demonstrates his considerable acting range.

This second one uses the first 7 minutes to recap where Paddington originated and how he got to London, and settled in with the Brown family. Then we are treated to a totally new story, one where Paddington is mistaken for a thief and ends up in prison where he helps Knuckles, the cook, overhaul his prison cuisine. There are a number of inventive chase scenes, in all this is a totally interesting and entertaining movie. Even for adults like these grandparents.

I even learned how to make marmalade, 4 oranges thinly sliced, a cup of sugar, juice of half a lemon, a pinch of cinnamon, and 2 cups water. Cook and cook and cook then stop when it is all 222 degrees F. I made some and it is quickly becoming a favorite snack in my household. I used Navel Oranges.

At home on BluRay from our public library.

Paddington
(2014)

Peruvian bear hitches a rode to London.
Not sure why we missed this movie when it came out 8 years ago but, I suppose better late than never.

A British explorer goes to Peru in the 1970s and while looking around came across a bear species that was unknown up to then. It was a very intelligent species, before he left Peru they learned to communicate. And told them if they ever went to London to look him up, he would see that they found a good home.

Now in present time, roughly 40 years later, this young bear has inherited the red hat the explorer had left behind. With his family getting on in years, he decides to stow away on a ship and get to London. While nothing goes as he thought it would it sets the stage for a number of funny adventures. He gets named for the train station he is found in, Paddington.

The writing and animation are very creative and entertaining. My wife and I enjoyed it at home on BluRay from our public library.

The Outlaws
(2021)

'Community Payback'
That is written on the bright vests they are required to wear when working off their service, "Community Payback."

This is a British comedy-drama set and filmed in Bristol. Each of the seven main characters, all from different walks of life, has had a brush with the law, some more serious than others, but all are together to work off their transgressions. I like British comedies but also a 'hook' for me was having Christopher Walken as one of the "outlaws."

The site of their effort is a dirty and littered building and property which will be cleaned up to establish a new community center. The drama part concerns one of the six, custodian of his 14-yr-old sister, and he also gets into some hot water with the local crime gang. A lot of money goes missing, the gang wants it back, but it has been found by someone else. There are guns and a bit of shooting, but not too much to overwhelm the basic charm of the stories.

The stories are interesting, the characters are interesting, and their interactions are interesting. One of the more entertaining "made for TV series" I have watched.

This is a very entertaining series, I watched it on Amazon streaming.

Paris Blues
(1961)

Newman and Woodward, real lovers who play lovers.
Actor/director Ethan Hawke is now (2022) working on a project, a Paul Newman & Joanne Woodward Documentary. It is said to follow the careers and complex 50-year relationship of actors Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward. They were married in 1958, this movie "Paris Blues" was filmed in 1960. So I found it at my public library, a restored high-definition version on DVD. A movie I hadn't already watched so I did partly to prepare me for the eventual documentary.

The story is pretty simple, trombonist Ram (Newman) and his friend Eddie (Poitier) are working musicians playing jazz in Paris nightclubs. Ram fashions himself as a talented composer, Eddie writes the transcriptions for him. They both have greater ambitions.

It is November 1960 and two pretty, single women show up, visiting from the States, Lillian (Woodward) and Connie (Carroll). Ram and Eddie hit it off with them right away, each couple falls in love, then the tough part starts. The two ladies each want her man to go back to the States with them, each of the men really want to stay in Paris to further their music. An extra treat is Louis Armstrong showing up with his band one evening at the jazz venue.

The ending had a 'Casablanca' feel for me, although instead of an airport it was at a Paris train station. Good movie, in glorious black & white, it was fun to see Newman and Woodward in a movie together, just a couple of years after they were married, a marriage that lasted 50 years to his death.

10 Items or Less
(2006)

Who would have thought Morgan Freeman and Paz Vega would pair well in a buddy movie?
This is a quirky, low-budget movie shot in south L. A. areas, including adjacent to the Carson refinery I used to work at occasionally. Morgan Freeman plays himself, after four years of inactivity is thinking about accepting a role in a new movie. To research his prospective role he gets a ride and is dropped off at a small grocery story to observe what goes on.

The only one who seems competent is Paz Vega who is operating the "10 items or less" checkout line. As the story unfolds the title takes on another significance, they discuss "10 items or less" of likes and dislikes about their lives. Freeman gets stranded when his ride fails to return, Vega has a job interview and isn't sure she is prepared. So Freeman works with her on confidence and their trip to the interview location becomes a short road trip of sorts.

This is a good role for Freeman because he plays a different version of himself, sillier and more playful but still full of wisdom. The end reminded me a lot of "Lost in Translation" because after bonding, at the end they realize they may well never see each other again.

Fun, entertaining movie. My wife and I watched it at home on Prime streaming movies.

Adventures of a Mathematician
(2020)

'Rabbi responded, sex must be pleasure, for if it were work my wife would insist the maid do it for her.'
As of today, August 2022, this movie has an IMDb rating of 5.5 but it is a better movie than that. Some reviews mention that it is "slow" but research and experimentation is usually like that. I can see that a person who is NOT deeply into Science and Mathematics, or the Manhattan Project in the 1940s, may have a harder time appreciating the interest and importance of this man's story.

Ulam was a Polish immigrant, a Mathematician, who crossed the Atlantic in 1939. He became a professor but after a few years was recruited to move to Los Alamos and be a part of the Manhattan Project, to develop Atomic and Hydrogen bomb technology. He had a major role but came away conflicted, the science was important but there was the guilt of creating something that could and did kill so many in the two Japanese bombings.

He eventually went back to his teaching job. He died in 1984 at the age of 75.

Good, interesting movie, I watched it at home on Amazon streaming movies.

Dual
(2022)

Dual persons and possibly a two person duel.
This is NOT a mainstream movie by any stretch. It is brought to us by a young writer-director whose specialty is unusual, quirky stories. I was anxious to see it because it stars Karen Gillan, I am a big fan, I could watch and listen to her read a phone book and be entertained.

So the premise here is in a alternate universe a technology has been invented to clone people. And a fantastic thing about it is, you spit in a cup and an hour later you meet your clone, the same size and same apparent age as you. Of course you have to teach it about yourself, family, likes and dislikes, things like that. And guard your boyfriend.

Why would you want to? You get a disgnosis that you have a terminal illness, you don't want to deprive your family and friends your presence so you make a clone to replace you.

So for most of the movie Gillan is playing two characters with subtle differences, she does it well, often with just the slight expressions on her face, and with some different voicings. What happens if, against the odds, she doesn't die? There is a law, within a year the two of them will battle until only one remains.

Set on the US west coast but filmed in Finland, it is not a sci-fi movie as much as it examines human nature and the things that motivate us, either for good or for evil. Pretty good viewing.

My wife and I watched it at home on DVD from our public library. I enjoyed it more than she did. We were slightly puzzled at the end but the DVD "extra" featuring the director's commentary cleared up any doubts.

Thirteen Lives
(2022)

July 2018, Thailand, 12 boys and their soccer coach were stranded in a cave.
Now in 2022 it seems such a short time ago, in June 2018, when news around the world announced that twelve young boys and their soccer coach were trapped in a Thailand cave, trapped by excess rain and rising water. The trip to them was over a mile and took several hours by experienced divers.

This is Ron Howard's movie about that event and eventual rescue in July, using a technique that had never been tried. So great was the fear of killing the boys the government provided diplomatic immunity to several rescuers in case all or most of the boys died. But they viewed it as their only option, soon the monsoon season would arrive and eliminate all chances of rescuing them alive.

It is a really good movie, a bit long at 2 1/2 hours, but my wife and I enjoyed it, at home streaming on Amazon Prime.

Destination Moon
(1950)

There's no law yet prohibiting launching a spaceship to the Moon.
This is one of the favorite sci-fi movies from 1950. It is especially fun to watch in 2022 when we know so much more about how rockets are actually launched and how a journey to the Moon can actually work.

In this story a group are designing and building a rocket ship with a new kind of propulsion system. Having difficulty getting government OK for a test, they decide, we will launch in 17 hours, finish up all these hanging things. It will either work or it won't. There is no law to stop them. They will go to the moon. One crew member is suddenly hospitalized for appendectomy? No problem, let the instrumentation man do his job.

This movie actually treats weightlessness in a sort of meaningful manner. A problem requires that they do a spacewalk but did all four of them have to go out? Maybe to create the rescue mission when one of them floats away.

And landing on the moon? Just turn the rocket backwards, look out the window and, with the help of radar data, pick a good spot. No science experiments, just climb out and look around. Plus take a few pictures to prove they were there, like the first time you visit the Grand Canyon. Not all goes smoothly in the return, they are too heavy for the remaining fuel so have to dump as much as they can. Early litter on the moon!

Yes it is cheesy and uses lots of bad science but for 1950, it is a very entertaining movie.

At home streaming on XUMA.

The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent
(2022)

Nic Cage plays himself.
This is a great concept but I am so tired of scripts having so much filthy language and dirty sexual references. A good script just doesn't need that.

With that gripe out of the way, Nic Cage pretty much plays himself, an actor and divorced father who doesn't understand how to connect with his teenage daughter (played by Lily Mo Sheen, daughter of Michael Sheen) but is always searching for his next role.

Then he gets invited to Mallorca, Spain (Dubrovnik, Croatia the actual filming location) by a super Nic Cage fan who wants to pitch him a script. But a kidnapping of a teenager also happens, and Cage gets roped in to help the CIA.

There is a nice level of absurdity to the script, there is a car chase with Michael Bay type action. Overall very inventive.

On a positive note, in the script they mention the movie "Paddington 2" which I had never watched. So I got both "Paddington" and "Paddington 2" from my public library and we watched them on BluRay on successive evenings. Very nice and entertaining movies.

I watched it at home on BluRay from my public library, my wife skipped, not her type of movie.

Rocketship X-M
(1950)

Five men and a girl rocket into space.
This movie came out in 1950, which means it was in writing and production in the late 1940s immediately after WW2 ended. The advertisements even used the words "Five men and a girl" even though the female scientist was in her 30s. It is something that wouldn't be done today but viewing a movie like this is a window into societal norms back at that time. I was 4 years old when this movie hit the theaters. I just watched it on VTV streaming movies, in glorious black & white.

The X-M rocket is an experimental craft to go to the Moon. Recall in 1950 there had been no space exploration, no satellites yet in orbit, there was just a general, vague understanding of what it took to explore space. So as casually as a group of five might board a ferry to cross a lake, the five crew members are holding a press conference 15 minutes before takeoff. Then two minutes before launch they are climbing aboard and taking their positions, belted down for the ride.

Their destination is the Moon but half-way there a problem arises with the propulsion system. In making calculations to figure a way around it, my favorite scene is when the lady scientist briefly scolds the main scientist then apologizes, he says "For what? For being a women for a moment?" A bit later he makes reference to her "Woman's intuition." So it was in the 1950s.

A faulty repair results in the ship speeding up and all five black out for an undetermined time. When all awake they find they have blown by the Moon but as luck would have it are headed right for Mars. So they make the best of it. With a 15% oxygen in the atmosphere it could work out better than the Moon, they reason. (Of course we now know there is no measurable oxygen in the Martian atmosphere. )

So while this is a mediocre movie that slides into a love story between the captain (Lloyd Bridges, in his 30s) and the lady scientist it is worthwhile as a glimpse into how they looked at possible future space exploration.

Go Back to China
(2019)

Entitled daughter learns the real world of work.
Sasha is a 20-something graduate of design school, a year earlier, and about all she does is party with her girlfriends and shop for expensive clothes. Her dad, much older (actor was about 80 during filming), is Chinese and runs a toy factory in a smaller Chinese town. When he calls she just ghosts him.

Then one evening faced with a $2000 tab in L. A. on her birthday with friends she is shocked to learn her credit card was no longer valid. Next day her bank accounts have been frozen. Seems dad has cut her off from her trust fund. She can't find a job and rent is due. So in spite of her grave reservations travels to China, if she will work for a year in the factory he will repay her $1Million.

So the story is actually full of surprises, her dad had been a serial philanderer, had several children with different mothers, but is wealthy. He is a hard-driving boss, he doesn't seem to be able to anything not related to the factory. The story is a growing experience for both Sasha and for her dad.

My wife and I watched it at home on Amazon streaming movies. I know many people object to what they see is the politically-incorrect depiction of work in China but hey, it is a fictional story. It didn't bother us.

Flight to Mars
(1951)

Earth crew encounter an advanced Martian civilization.
The 1950s space sci-fi movies have a special charm today. Back then they knew nothing about actual space travel so everything depicted is from someone's imagination. Of course they get almost all of it wrong, in a certain sense the whole story is one big "goof" so we must ignore the inaccuracies and get into the story.

In this movie a team of five are assembled, one a reporter and one the "girl", a pretty scientist. It warmed my heart to see her handling a slide rule to do some calculations during the voyage. Computers were still a few years away. When it is time for launch they all get picked up at home and transported to the spaceship. With no fanfare they climb in, strap themselves into horizontal cots, like the sleeping cots on an aircraft carrier, and after a 5-second countdown the captain presses a button and they are off. When they are getting close to the moon its gravity starts to pull them so they have to fire the engines to avoid crashing there. Nothing at all like we now know real space travel to entail.

A problem arises and they end up making an awkward crash landing on Mars, to find an intelligent and advanced civilization that look just like Earthlings and have built an elaborate underground existence. They speak perfect English, which they learned over the years by intercepting Earth broadcasts.

So after the preliminaries the task is to make friends with the Martians, see if they can repair the ship, while a few dishonest Martians plot to take the ship for themselves and travel to Earth to work to salvage their threatened existence.

Overall one of the more enjoyable 1950s sci-fi movies, in color, I found it streaming on VTV.

Ambulance
(2022)

All-American caper, car chases, lots of guns, nonstop shooting, and generous killing.
This was a free "rental" from our public library. My wife and I reclined to watch it on this warm Wednesday night. She lasted about 1/2 hour and abandoned it in the middle of action overload, nonstop chases, wrecks, explosions, and gunfire. I sort of skipped forward a bit, 15 seconds at a time using the remote, and actually found the second half pretty interesting. Implausible but interesting.

In Los Angeles, we see early that two brothers, one white and one black, grew up with a difficult dad. In fact we eventually learn he was a ruthless master bank robber. One of the brothers followed in dad's footsteps, the other joined the Marines and became a dedicated soldier. But now getting the runaround with the VA for his wife's surgery he goes to his brother for help, a loan perhaps. Instead he is pulled into a "sure thing" heist that would give him even more than he needs.

Nothing goes as planned, most of the gang get shot, the title comes from the fact the two brothers commandeer an ambulance carrying a wounded cop that one of them shot, along with the EMT caring for him. It is implausible that the ambulance could have done everything depicted in Los Angeles with many cop cars and a few helicopters on its trail. Still the last 20 or so minutes have some more interesting, quiet moments.

Not a good movie overall, but it was interesting.

Infinite Storm
(2022)

'The whole universe appears as an infinite storm of beauty.
The title is misleading, we automatically think it is a reference to the storm that caused the drama in the movie, but in fact it is a quote from near the end, when asked if you ever get over the loss of a loved one.

Mount Washington at almost 6300 feet the tallest peak in the NE USA. It is known for its erratic weather and in 1934 a wind velocity of 231 mph was recorded. It is the location of the hike and rescue featured in this movie, based on actual events.

Pam is a member of the area search and rescue squad, on this November day she is hiking the 5 miles to the Mt Washington summit on the anniversary of a personal tragedy. We learn her two young children perished in an unfortunate accident. There is only one other car at the trail-head parking lot and she eventually finds him, half frozen and unable to function. Her task is to get him down to safety.

For me this is not a particularly enjoyable movie because the vast middle has the two of them coming down the mountain, overcoming a few unexpected surprised. It is very well made but it is scant material for a feature length movie. But the last 10 or so minutes are pretty good.

At home on DVD from our public library, my wife skipped.

The Angry Red Planet
(1959)

A crew of four explore Mars, the Red Planet.
This movie came out just after Russia launched their Sputnik and the world of space travel was still mostly a dream. Certainly before we knew much about Mars, just what we could imagine by viewing it through land-based telescopes. In this version of Mars there is some oxygen but not enough for Earthlings, and there are some life forms including plants and an advanced intelligent life. In the end the message is analogous to what we saw in 1951's "The Day the Earth Stood Still", namely Earthlings need to learn to get along better with each other.

This is an entertaining movie, but now that we know how rockets fly, how a trip to Mars must go where Mars will be in its orbit, and how crews prepare, this movie generates a few laughs. Once they get to Mars the three guys and one lady, the scientist, behave like they might on an Earthly camping trip. They look through the windows, they decide ad hoc what to do next, then all go outside to it. When they encounter a strange life form there isn't much caution, they go right up to it.

The movie actually starts when ground control notices the rocket some 90,000 miles away in space, they activate instruments to bring it down in the desert. When they see the crew has suffered some injuries and a death, and ask what happened, most of the movie is in flashback form, to show what their transit to Mars was like and what they encountered there.

I enjoyed it as a good example of a sci-fi movie from the 1950s. On Amazon streaming. On a hot August afternoon when the high reached 101.

Everything Everywhere All at Once
(2022)

We go in a circle, do laundry, do income taxes, do laundry ... is that all there is?
Besides anything else this is a very manic movie. It plays on the (certainly fictional) concept that there are an infinite number of parallel universes and each of us exists in each of those, with particular traits and skills. We witness each character exploring a number of their alternate existences. Distilled down it is about finding your true self and building loving relationships with others. My wife and I stared watching it, she gave up after just 10 or 12 minutes, too off-kilter and manic for her. I watched all of it but in three different sittings.

The focus is on Michelle Yeoh as Evelyn Wang. Over 20 years earlier she starred in "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" and here she gets to use some of her martial arts skills. While I admire what the filmmakers did here, for ME it would never become one of my favorites, to re-watch periodically. Too manic and off-kilter and too many symbolic elements to make sense of.

This comment by a reviewer reflects my own take:

'Though I usually like high-concept creative films, this time I must admit I felt lost in all its odd layers of storytelling and couldn't emotionally get with such an incoherent film that just kept piling on absurdly illogical sci-fi things to its base plot until I ultimately had enough.' (Review by Dennis Schwartz)

At home on DVD from our public library.

'

Mars Needs Women
(1968)

Not funny but funny Martian movie.
As I write this on August 1st, 2022 the IMDb rating is 3.2 which is a bit of an injustice. It is a bit better than that, although not much. Maybe a '4' or a '5' if you compare it to similar movies from the 1950s and 1960s. This one takes advantage of the general interest in space exploration and came out a year before Armstrong and team landed on the Moon.

This is done in a strictly dramatic style but has mostly very irritating background music. I was able to watch it streaming on Amazon Prime. It was filmed mostly in Texas, including the Houston and Dallas areas. Curiously it even has a scene during a Baylor football game where a pretty homecoming queen was chosen.

Here's the premise, because of a problem with chromosomes the ratio of males to females on Mars has become about 100:1 so Mars needs females. (To stay morally correct the script makes a point of 'single' females.) So they have sent a small team in a classic saucer-shaped spaceship, they have handy powers, like being able to hypnotize Earthlings. They are NOT little and green, they look and speak like Earthlings and use all the same metrics of distance and time. Once they pilfer a set of clothing and change they fit right in.

As is common for movies of that time period much emphasis is placed on how 'pretty' the females need to be. I suppose that Baylor homecoming queen was a candidate because she was pretty. I'd like to say the movie ends on Mars, with pretty women having a slew of pretty little Martians but it doesn't end that way. The Martians pretty much fail in their mission but there is some interest and fun in watching them get there.

I was in my first year of graduate school when this came out, I didn't see it back then. But I am glad I came across it now, not a particularly good movie but a reasonably interesting one. And a good reminder of that era.

Memory
(2022)

A different role for Neeson, an assassin with progressive dementia.
Probably the most amazing thing about this movie is Liam Neeson, who just turned 70 in June 2022, is still able to play a physical role like this.

He is a career paid assassin and very good in his job. Sort of like Leon the Professional. When he figures out that he has gotten involved in something that includes a hit on a 13-yr-old Mexican girl working as a prostitute, simply because she knows too much, he draws the line and takes it upon himself to eliminate all the bad actors in this enterprise.

This is a good movie of a distasteful subject. My wife and I watched it at home on BluRay from our public library.

After Yang
(2022)

How a family handles loss and grief, in a future world.
First I'll mention that family member Yang was purchased. He is not a person he is a type of AI android companion, particularly for the family's young adopted Chinese daughter. Yang develops a malfunction and in their quest to have him repaired find out he had at least two prior owners. In trying to find a solution to a difficult repair they are able to examine his memories, and there they find surprises.

Loss of Yang and the grief that goes with it is somewhere between losing a real family member (lots of grief) and losing a set of golf clubs (not much grief). But it still examines how each family member reacts.

Almost three years ago we watched another movie by the same writer-director, it is called "Columbus." Of that one I wrote, "This is a rather "quiet" movie, much of it has (the characters) getting to know each other, view architecture together, discuss its meaning, and ultimately what each wants in life." The theme here is quite different but it has a similar "quietness" about it. Sort of the filmmaker's signature style.

Frankly my wife and I didn't enjoy the viewing very much. It moves very slowly and very quietly and with the stylistic symbolism it was usually difficult to interpret what the filmmaker was trying to say. Maybe it wasn't too much? Maybe I was hoping for more?

At home on DVD from our public library.

The Simone Biles Story: Courage to Soar
(2018)

From a rough start in life to the gymnast G.O.A.T. - so far.
I came across this movie on Lifetime free streaming. As a sports fan in general, and as a close observer living near Houston, I watched this with interest.

I suppose it is accurate but don't really know. It tells the story of Simone Biles who had a rough start with a mother unable to take care of her. So she was adopted by her grandparents and grew up in the Houston area. She is depicted as a very talented girl with often a bad attitude but her parents stuck with her and encouraged her. She wasn't always the best on the floor at various ages, as I had assumed, but had to work hard, mentored by her dedicated coach from 6 years of age.

The movie is well made and uses an actress that has a reasonable resemblance to Simone. They also use archive footage of actual competitions, spliced into the movie footage, to give it a mostly real look.

As history witnesses Simone Biles became multiple world champion and Olympic champion in 2016 Rio. She has a natural athletic ability to jump very high with allows additional time in the air to perform difficult tricks many of her peers cannot. Today, in 2022, she is generally considered the best of all time, through lots of natural talent but more so, lots of hard work.

Good movie. Roughly 90 minutes long.

As They Made Us
(2022)

Modern Jewish family production.
I haven't watched it yet, I will get to it eventually when my public library gets the DVD or it becomes available streaming on Peacock or Prime.

However I have to wonder about the writing, directing, and casting. Not that there is anything wrong with any of them, I became a big Diana Agron fan for her role in "Glee", Dustin Hoffman is great in anything. But the writers, director, and most of the main actors are Jewish. It seems in recent years there has been a concerted push in TV and movies for diversity. This one seems to have been put together via the 'good-old-boy' network. A "let's get our friends jobs" sort of thing.

Just a thought. Seems a bit strange to just be coincidental.

Morbius
(2022)

Origin story for Morbius, a Spiderman comics villain.
This is the first movie which features Morbius which in some issues of Spiderman comics is a villain. Jared Leto is in the lead role as Michael Morbius, born with a degenerative illness but now a Medical Doctor looking for a cure, for himself and his boyhood friend Milo. It involves bats and the risk is that he will turn into a Vampire.

Here Morbius is written as a more complex character, with one foot figuratively in place as a good man seeking a way to use his newfound powers for good, while the evil side fights for supremacy.

All in all this is a well made movie and Leto, one of the best, does the role justice. The soundtrack is a killer, in certain scenes the low bass is reproduced by the subwoofer so I could feel it as well as hear it.

Most of the first 80% of the movie is interesting and tells a good story. There is about 10 minutes near the end which I can only describe as sensory overload, with flying fights and special effects, and we only tolerated the movie during those sequences. But overall we found it to be suitably entertaining, not worthy of some of the really harsh reviews here on the IMDb.

My wife and I watched it at home on BluRay from our public library.

Redeeming Love
(2022)

Based on the biblical Book of Hosea, using an 1840s and 1850s old west story.
Hosea was a minor prophet, in his book the worship of false gods is denounced, metaphorically comparing Israel's abandonment of Yahweh to a woman being unfaithful to her husband. The main character here is Michael Hosea and his wife is Sarah but until the very end only known as Angel. It is a story of hope and redemption. As others urged Michael to forceably bring Angel home he stood steadfast, it has to be her decision to return.

It is set in the old west, but filmed in South Africa, particularly locations where prospectors were hunting gold. Angel was orphaned as a young girl and ended up in prostitution. In the local town called Pair-A-Dice (Paradise). When Michael discovered her, late teens or maybe 20, he vowed to marry her so she could be his partner in life, live and work with him on his farm, and raise a family.

It is a very well told and well made movie. My wife and I watched it at home, streaming on Amazon Prime. Good movie.

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