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Column

Movie Mania

To say my wife and I’s interest in movies are different would be an understatement. We have certainly watched movies together, but our taste in movies don’t often line up.

So when my family is out of town, I like to cross off movies that I otherwise wouldn’t watch with them around.

I was able to do that last week. I knocked out a few choices that I have been wanting to see for a while and then viewed a few others that I thought looked good after reading the general descriptions online.

My first trio of films included Just Mercy, The Way Back and The Invisible Man.

All three movies lived up to their high Rotten Tomatoes ratings.

The Invisible Man had a 91 percent rating. And when the movie ended, I tweeted that it was almost a perfect movie. There wasn’t much to nit pick at. It was a fantastic film that kept me on the edge of my seat the entire two hours.

The opening scene of the movie features the female star escaping the house of her boyfriend. It was an abusive relationship that she desperately needed to get out of.

No one believes Cecilia (played by Elizabeth Moss) that her Scientist boyfriend is still alive after faking a suicide and then creating a suit that makes him invisible. She ends up being right and what comes next is her trying to figure out how to finally rid him of her life.

The Way Back, which has an 84 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, stars Ben Affleck as an alcoholic who was once a high school basketball star. He returns to coach his alma mater for one last shot at redemption.

I thought Affleck was brilliant in the lead role. He uses colorful language on the bench and in practice and that’s not taken well by administrators at the private institution.

But Affleck’s character, Jack Cunningham, reaches the team and transforms the program from barely winning a game to playing for a spot in the postseason almost instantly.

Just Mercy is based on a true story about a civil rights defense attorney who fights to free a man who is on death row for a crime he didn’t commit.

Bryan Stevenson is played by Michael B. Jordan and Jamie Foxx plays the innocent Walter McMillian on death row. I was surprised neither actor got any Oscar buzz for their roles. I thought both were great.

Because of the subject matter involving civil rights and racism, Just Mercy can be streamed for free all month.

My next set of films I checked out included Knives Out and A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood.

Both films tested above 95 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. And both films were fantastic.

Knives Out is funny and entertaining and it makes you think throughout. The plot twist and turns throughout the two-hour, 10-minute film.

The cast also is great as Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Jamie Lee Curtis, Don Johnson, Christopher Plummer and Michael Shannon all have key roles.

Craig stars as the detective who investigates the death of a rich grandfather, who is set to give all of his worth to one single person in his life.

If you liked this movie, I have heard a sequel is in the works starring Craig and an entire new cast.

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood took a lot of criticism during the early stages because folks were finding out the movie was not all about Mr. Rogers.

Fred Rogers plays a role in the movie, but the main plot revolves around a magazine journalist who gets assigned a fluffy feature story on the iconic family TV star who doesn’t appear to have any flaws.

The journalist spends most of the assignment trying to find something negative about Mr. Rogers and Rogers helps him sew up a poor relationship with his father. The two eventually form a strong bond and become friends.

The other three movies I checked out were Dark Waters, Trauma Center and A Dog’s Journey.

Dark Waters is about a corporate defense attorney who takes on an environmental lawsuit against chemical company DuPont, which exposes a lengthy history of pollution. It stars Mark Ruffalo, Tim Robbins and Anne Hathaway.

A Dog’s Journey is the sequel to A Dog’s Purpose. Rotten Tomatoes likes the sequel better. I enjoyed both movies. And Josh Gad is fantastic as the voice of the main dogs in the movie.

Trauma Center is about an injured woman who is alone and trapped in a locked-down hospital. She must escape a pair of vicious killers who are after the only piece of evidence that can implicate them in a grisly murder, the bullet in her leg.

Bruce Willis stars as the good cop and Nicky Whelan plays the lead female role.

It’s hard to rank all eight movies. I didn’t hate any of them and would recommend them to other movie goers.

Trauma Center had the only poor rating on Rotten Tomatoes, but I thought it was better than the rating. I didn’t think Willis was that great in his role though.

Contact Troy Hyde at thyde@shawmedia.com

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