REVIEW: “DETROIT” (2017) MGM Pictures

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With “DETROIT” Oscar winning director Kathryn Bigelow’s new turn at making another hard-hitting film, just doesn’t connect completely. Though again, Bigelow takes on delicate subject matter with the expertise of a great filmmaker, and it is a very good film – for about 60 minutes of the 2 1/2 hour run time.

‘Detroit’ takes place in 1967 during the midst of the riots after a black owned Blind Pig bar where patrons were kicked out due to lack of liquor license and eventually leads to the towns people rioting and destroying the nearby businesses, even with tags of “Soul Brother” as a way to try to protect their black owned business. However, most of the film centers around the several young men and 2 women staying in the Algiers Motel. Carl Cooper (Jason Mitchell) has a starter pistol which he shoots in the air, and police mistaken it for a sniper, and begin to surround the Algiers and harass and intimidate the guests beyond recovery.

‘Detroit’ is filmed wholly hand-held, and the shakiness that comes along with that direction choice is effective and not the nausea-inducing type that can sometimes happen with this type of filming, The opening scenes before the riots even start and as watch them proceed brought a note of flashbacks for me, having been through the L.A. riots, it’s not something you easily forget. The storyline that follows is where the weakness of the film sets in. If I didn’t know that this was actual history, I would have thought this part to be made up as you get introduced to the characters Larry (Algee Smith), Michael (Malcolm David Kelley), Morris (Joseph David-Jones), Jimmy (Ephraim Sykes) and Fred (Jacob Latimore) who make up the singing group the Dramatic’s. Once they are told to leave the stage before their biggest performance to date, because of the riots is where the film really starts to kick in. This is where the shocking nature of what takes place really begins and you will be set on edge throughout the next 60 minutes by what unfolds in front of you. It’s also where we meet the rest of the characters to whom this appalling and disturbing event happens to.

Dismukes (John Boyega), the security guard who witnesses everything that happens, though honestly, I don’t think he was in the position to stop what was happening. Julie (Hannah Murray) & Karen (Kaitlyn Dever) are the two white girls who happen to be at the hotel also, partying with their African-American male friends Green (Anthony Mackie) Aubrey (Nathan Davis Jr.) and Lee (Peyton Alex-Smith), which in the 1960’s still was not accepted. This alone creates tension that is only ratcheted up little by little as the film progresses. At this point we also meet the police officers involved Karuss (Will Poulter), Demens (Jack Reynor) and Guardsmen Flynn (Ben O’Toole) who along with the terrifying nature of the situation, help make this feel like what happened is something out of a horror film.

Every actor here gives a near flawless performance. this is actually a film without a standard Hollywood- style star. These actors are treated as equally important details in a larger event. The performances here are emotional, powerful, but most of all, real and feel instead as though each actor embodies the real life people that lived through these events and that let you get to know them as people, allowing you to genuinely care about them.

While this is a great film, it is a hard watch. This is an emotionally grueling film for the most part. With that being said, the two and a half hour run time of this film is exhausting and the length is something that can really work against this film. While I do recommend it as a watch because of it’s intrinsic value that it carries, it’s not as brilliant of a watch as I expected it to be.

Grade: B-
@pegsatthemovies

Review Screening – Wednesday, August 2, 2017 ~ Courtesy of LAFTV Film Group
“Detroit” will be in theatres nationwide on Friday, August 4, 2017

MY REVIEW OF THE ONE, THE ONLY…CAPTAIN AMERICA!!!! #peggyatthemovies

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What a fun fun movie this was!! It really was…I mean fast-paced, energy galore, some new characters all added up to make this movie a great ride.  Now if only they didn’t cast Scarlett Johansson in it. :O  She is seriously one of the most boring actresses out there..and no different in this movie..SHOW SOME EXPRESSION SCARJO! (she says she hates being called that soooo).  I mean it’s the same acting job in this as ‘Lost in Translation’ (which I actually liked) and every other movie inbetween.

But to the movie, Chris Evans (Capt.America/Steve Rogers) really goes after it this time around. It’s a solid superhero performance that to be honest, I wasn’t expecting and enjoyed it immensely along with a new side-kick ‘Falcon/Sam Wilson’ *Anthony Mackie) whom I also really liked.  They created Falcon/Sam’s backstory quickly enough to let you know where he was from and where he was going, to make him completely like-able and believable.  And yes, Emily Van Camp has a small, albiet decent role here also, and no one in this movie is going to win an Oscar here or Best Picture etc.. it’s just fun and entertaining, again, what more can you ask for!

And not sure about you all, but for me, the bad guys are always some of my favourite characters if done well and they were here.  I mean Robert Redford as your main bad guy!! How can you NOT love that??!!! I mean come on now!! 🙂  Frank Grillo aka ‘Brock’ is always a good character bad guy, but my 2 favs were by far Georges St.-Pierre (Georges) and hands down Sebastian Stan (Bucky!!!!/Winter Soldier).  They both had Capt. America rockin’ & reelin’ and when you found out who Winter Soldier really was, well it really was emotional for all.  I thought the ending was well thought out and made it so yes, we do know that another Capt. America movie will be coming to theatres in oh..say 2015 sometime…And I only hope it’s as likeable as this one was.. if only we could minus out Scarlett Johansson. *sigh*

Grade: B-

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