Monday, August 21, 2017


Another well intentioned effort that turned out for me to be a disappointing movie experience. So much talent, especially among the actors (I've followed and loved John Boyega's work since I saw him in ATTACK THE BLOCK when he, or at least his character, was a teen). But the parts don't add up and the inconsistencies and dubious motivations (a seasoned street character, who happens to be "black," holed up in a motel in the middle of a riot in 1967, with tons of mostly if not exclusively "white" cops, state troopers, and National Guard troops nearby, in fact right out the window, decides it would be funny to stick his hand out the window with a starter pistol and shoot it, not just once but repeatedly...?!) of way too many characters for me to keep everyone's story clear, ruined the impact of an otherwise powerful story.

And that's on the director, Kathryn Bigelow, for hiring the writer, Mark Boal. I can see why she did, because he wrote THE HURT LOCKER and ZERO DARK THIRTY for her to direct and they were both big successes for her, though I had problems with them as well. But all the controversy over her being "white" and directing an essentially "black" story based on a real historic incident, is beside the point to me, except how it figures into her hiring a "white" writer who she's obviously comfortable working with. There are moving moments of high drama that are compelling at times, but in the end, I wished someone else had told this story, with better focus and coherence and understanding of the subject matter.

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