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

+++REVIEW OF THE HEAD-POUNDING – “TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION”

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If you are like me, you probably have seen a Transformers movie..maybe even 2, and then promptly forgot about them once the ringing in your ears went away. I saw the first one, just called “Transformers” ~ don’t really remember much of it..I can’t even remember if I saw the 2nd one, “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” and I DEFINITELY know I did not see the 3rd one, “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” so just in case you missed some of them also..here is a handy dandy little 3min recap courtesy of Vulture.com  http://www.vulture.com/2014/06/transformers-recap-three-minutes-explanation-video.html

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That will catch you right up.  Unless of course you’re looking for Shia LeBouf’s character “Sam Witwicky” or Megan Fox’s character “Mikaela Banes” though i think she was gone after #2 ..or well basically if you’re looking for any other character other than the Transformers themselves..because they aren’t here.. nor are they even MENTIONED ..or do we even know they once existed.  This to me is more of a re-boot than anything else with new characters “Cade Yeager” (Mark Walhberg) (aka Marky Mark always and forever!), his perpetually tan daughter, “Tessa Yeager” (Nicole Peltz), his surfer bestie, “Lucas Flannery” (T.J. Miller), the oh so adorable Irish boyfriend in the middle of nowhere Texas, “Shane Dyson” (Jack Reynor)…and of course the villains, “Harold Attinger” (Kelsey Grammer), “James Savoy” (Titus Welliver), and of course the bad man who turns ‘good’ (ZZZZzzzzzz) “Joshua Joyce” (Stanley Tucci).

I’m not even sure there is really a plot to this movie.. or maybe there is too much of one trying to be an actual plot as the majority of it makes no sense…because this is a LOOONGG, LOOUUDD..movie.. Went to the restroom for a few moments and absolute heaven,..as in quietness. To be truthful, the first 30min of this movie were not awful.. Basically, Cade buys an old truck, which as he is repairing it, turns out to be the long missing Optimus and once it’s figured out by Harold Attinger, they end up being hunted by a top-secret team of Transformer Destroyers. We are supposed to be on the side of the Transformers but Attinger, who is with a special secret CIA group & his hitman, Savoy have a huge money deal with Joyce to get all the metal the Transformers are made of to then make their own and do what else..control the world..Lo and behold, they also have a piece of alien technology called ‘the Seed,’ which, it turns out, is what REALLY wiped out the dinosaurs.Yep..there was no ice age people.. this is the truth!!! 😀

What all this is really leading up to is SEQUEL!!! It’s CLEARLY noted in so many different ways in so many different sentences you can’t stop laughing..and that is what I did through most of the movie.. LAUGH!! I can’t help myself during bad movies.. at least it makes them fun.  It jumps from one bad CGI action sequence to another.. I mean you see them crash into a bridge and it blows up..yet 2 scenes later you see said bridge perfectly fine in the background. Come on Michael Bay.. check your CGI dude. While most of it is that bad, some of the chase scenes were decent including one at the end where they have a fun one scrambling down the sides & ledges of those cramped Hong Kong apartment buildings. I also kept laughing as they try to have silly, dumb, trying to hard to be witty, banter between characters at times that makes you just want to pound your head and scream WHYYYY!! WHYYYY!!!  it doesn’t work nor fit.  And the end we get a what is supposed to be a heartfelt speech from Optimus.. which is basically telling you what the next movie is going to be all about. Oh and there is dino bots..which are okay..

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The best part of this whole experience for me..These pic below..#bumblebeebot #Paramountscreeningwithfriends Jason, Cody, Jon

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Grade:D

#peggyatthemovies

GRADING SCALE: A = OSCARWORTHY; B = ABOVE AVERAGE~MUST SEE; C= AVERAGE~SHOULD SEE; D = DON’T WASTE YOUR TIME OR MONEY; F = YEAH..NO DON’T SEE THE MOVIE.. ( + OR – ) GIVES IT A BIT UP OR DOWN