Comedy Icon Talks about Entertaining the Troops on Overseas Tour

 

George Lopez

The “I Am Battle Comic” Interview

with Kam Williams

Comedy Icon Talks about Entertaining the Troops on Overseas Tour   

George Lopez’s multi-faceted career has encompassed standup comedy, TV series, feature films, and hosting and guest appearances on television. For two seasons, he starred on TBS’ “Lopez Tonight,” a late-night television talk show.

George Lopez,  The “I Am Battle Comic” Interview, U.S troops, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Bahrain, Iraq, comedy tour, military,  heartfelt interviews

Previously, he co-created, wrote, produced and stared on the groundbreaking sitcom “George Lopez,” which enjoyed a six season-run on ABC. The series remains a hit with viewers in syndication on both broadcast stations and cable’s Nick at Nite.

In 2006, George received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In addition, Time magazine has named him one of the 25 Most Influential Hispanics in America.

Here, he talks about his new movie, I Am Battle Comic, a concert film about a tour he and 13 other comedians took overseas to entertain troops stationed in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait and Bahrain. 

Kam Williams: Hi George, I’m honored to have this opportunity to speak with someone so successful at standup, with a sitcom and hosting your own talk show. Just mastering one of those would be very impressive, but accomplishing all three is quite a phenomenal feat.

George Lopez: Well, thanks Kam. Let me say that this is the best start of any interview that I’ve ever had.

KW: I’m not even factoring in your challenging childhood where your migrant farm worker father abandoned your mom when you were a toddler. And then she left you to be raised by her parents. That makes your success utterly implausible.

GL: Thank you. You know, my grandmother’s been gone since 2009. She had dementia since about 2005. It was very painful to watch. My grandfather passed in ’88. So much time has passed that, when I think of him, it’s so far back, it feels almost like a silent movie. He’s gone so long that I can’t remember ten things we did together. Just maybe one or two.    

KW: I’m sorry to hear that.

GL: Still, when I reflect on my life, I wouldn’t change one thing. I feel that like in the movie Slumdog Millionaire, everything has a purpose. I believe that everything that happens to you is currency for you down the line. Now, it all makes sense.   

KW: What interested you in I Am Battle Comic? I don’t remember ever crying so much while watching a standup comedy film. It was really moving. 

GL: That project is amazing. I’ve known [co-star] Don Barnhart forever, and Bob Kubota, Jordan Brady and all those other comedians, a long, long time, too. In the movie, they talk about Bob not being successful after almost 30 years in the business. But you know what? If you’re going to war zones to entertain the troops, you are successful. The culture may put a superficial value on celebrity, and associate success with fame. But success really has much more to do with your character and behavior beyond the limelight. It,s not only successful, but honorable, for those guys to go over there to entertain the troops in such dangerous conditions.    

KW: How do you tweak your standup act when performing for G.I.’s?

GL: It has to be clean, and there a certain subjects you need to avoid, like jokes complaining about how hard your own life is, George Lopez,  The “I Am Battle Comic” Interview, U.S troops, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Bahrain, Iraq, comedy tour, military,  heartfelt interviewsbecause their lives are at risk 24/7. But it’s pretty easy to make the adjustment. Normally, the #1 worry of any standup comedian is: how am I going to do? But that doesn’t matter when you’re performing on a military base in a war zone. Your just showing up is greatly appreciated. That’s an unspoken standing ovation. Since I had the TV shows, I’ve been getting a lot of letters from soldiers asking for autograph pictures or this and that. And I’ve always sent stuff to them. So, when I show up in person, they can’t believe I’m there, and they’re ‘re so appreciative of that that there’s no need to worry about how much I make them laugh.   

KW: Editor/Legist Patricia Turnier asks: Has there been any soldier you really connected with?

GL: Sure. One from years ago was a corporal serving in Afghanistan named David Wheat. He’d been burned over 90% of his body after being ejected from a tank and landing in a pool of fuel. I went to visit him while he was recuperating in the hospital  He was burned worse than anyone I’ve ever seen. I gave him my email and we’ve stayed in touch ever since.    

KW: Patricia was also wondering whether your visits change the mood of the soldiers you entertain?

GL: Of course, by taking them away from themselves for a couple of hours or so. During that time, they’re not thinking about how dangerous their their situation is, people they miss back home, or lost comrades. The show is an escape, much like going to the movies. 

KW: And she asks: What did you take away from going on these tours? 

GL: That’s a great question, Patricia, because the country is so divided today, not only racially, but between the right and the left. I get a ton of messages from right-wing people who don’t like my ethnicity or my political views. But before this current administration, no one ever told me they didn’t think I was funny. What I take away from performing for the troops is that their service gives me the freedom to express myself in whatever way feels right for me.

KW: The country is so divided and internet trolls have become so snarky and hateful, I wonder where the world is headed.

GL: Kam, I’ve been doing standup for 38 years, and I’ve never seen it like this. Freedom is supposed to mean being able to express yourself. But now, inside this freedom ball, you have people pointing fingers, which is actually anti-freedom, and anti-American. I get hostile messages every day on Instagram, like “Go back to Mexico!” How am I going to go back to Mexico. I’m not from Mexico. But I never started hearing stuff like that until a couple of years ago  And I get it every day now.

KW: That’s so sad.

GL: It’s amazing that someone needs to take time out of their life to wish me bad. And they don’t seem to be able to separate humor from reality or to look any deeper than the immediacy of whatever that message is.

KW: Patricia’s last question is: Did you have a role model who when you were young who made you believe that the sky was the limit?

GL: Yeah, my high school baseball coach, Steve Marden. When I quit the team my senior year, we went nose-to-nose. He called me a quitter and told me I’d never achieve anything in life, because I was a quitter. Then, when I was an aspiring standup comic, it dawned on me that he was right. And years later, I went back to the school to apologize to him for wasting his time. I said, “You were right, and I had to come and tell you I’m sorry, because I did eventually understand what you were trying to teach me.” He appreciated it, and would call me whenever he saw me on TV, and ask, “How’s my 3rd baseman!”

KW: Finally, what’s in your wallet?

GL: I always carry an amulet from the Chinese Year of the Ox, that a fan gave me after a show in 2002. She said that it would bring me good luck, if I always kept with me. 

KW: Thanks again for the time, George, and best of luck with the film.

GL: It’s been a pleasure, Kam.

To order a copy of I Am Battle Comic on DVD, visit:

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B071HV6MZ5/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

 

 Source:  Baret News

 

Visual F/X Variation of the Classic Tale Arrives on Home Video

 

Guy Ritchie, fantasy action adventure, Charlie Hunnam, Jude Law, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, Blu-Ray ReviewKing Arthur: Legend of the Sword

Blu-Ray Review by Kam Williams

Visual F/X Variation of the Classic Tale Arrives on Home Video

 

Do you remember what happened to the Sherlock Holmes franchise in Guy Ritchie’s hands? The low-key, cerbral sleuth who solved mysteries with his intellect suddenly morphed into a flamboyant, two-fisted superhero as likely to rely on brawn as brains to solve a case.

Well brace yourself for a similar transformation with King Arthur: Legend of the Sword. Again, Ritchie makes a concession to the attention-deficit demographic in crafting a fanciful reimagining of the beloved epic that plays out more like a frenetic, action-packed video game than a classic medieval tale.

Nonetheless, the good news is that the movie works, if all you’re looking for is to be entertained by an overblown summer blockbuster with an A-rating when it comes to state-of-the-art special f/x. And the characters even sport familiar names, from King Arthur (Charlie Hunnam) to Lady Guinevere (Astrid Berges-Frisbey) to Merlin the Magician (Kamil Lemieszewski). But I still defy anyone to make sense of this hyperactive adventure which abandons the British folklore upon which it’s ostensibly based in deference to a cinematic mandate for incessant stimulation. 

The picture’s rudimentary plot unfolds as follows.  At the point of departure, King Uther (Eric Bana) is assassinated at the behest of his power-hungry brother, Vortigern (Jude Law). Instead of ascending to the thrown, Arthur grows up a lowly street urchin, utterly oblivious of his royal bloodline until the moment, years later, he manages to pull the magical sword Excalibur out of a stone.

Cognizant of his rendezvous with destiny, with the help of a big bird, an archer (Aidan Gillen), a black knight (Djimon Hounsou) and psychic Guinevere, Arthur embarks on an epic  quest to reclaim his birthright. And what an eye-popping spectacle it proves to be!

Guy, I like what you’ve done with the legend!

Very Good (3 stars)

Rated PG-13 for violence, action, suggestive content and brief profanity

Running time: 126 minutes

Distributor: Warner Brothers Home Entertainment

Blu-Ray/DVD Combo Pack Extras: Arthur with Swagger; Sword from the Stone; Parry and Blood; Building on the Past; Inside the Cut: The Action of King Arthur; Camelot in 93 Days; Legend of Excalibur; and Scenic Scotland.

To order a copy of the King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Blu-Ray/DVD Combo Pack, visit:

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B071J8Y6CP/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

 

Source:  Baret News 

 

Top Ten DVD List for August 8, 2017

 

This Week’s DVD Releases

by Kam Williams

Top Ten DVD List for August 8, 2017

DVD Releases, August 8, I Am Battle Comic, Kate & Mim-Mim: Super Kate, I Am the Blues, Kam Williams

 

I Am Battle Comic [Standup Comics Entertain Troops Overseas]

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B071HV6MZ5/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

I Am the Blues [Blues Legends Retrospective]

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B071FHSZXR/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

Snatched [Mother-Daughter Vacation Nightmare]

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B06ZXY47D3/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

Room on the Broom [Enchanting Children’s Tale about Witch’s Trip]

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B01KWM3L1K/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

The Exception: The Kaiser’s Last Kiss [World War II Suspense Thriller]

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B071WTB7FH/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

Frontline: Bannon’s War [Trump Advisor Agenda Expose’]

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B071CKZ18K/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword [Visual F/X Variation on the Classic Tale]

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B071J8Y6CP/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

Diary of a Wimpy Kid  The Long Haul [Family Road Trip from Hell]

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B071JT3QQ5/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

The Dinner [Well-Connected Parents Conspire to Cover Up Kids’ Crime]

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B071WTCM7J/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

Kung Fu Yoga [Jackie Chan Slapstick Comedy]

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B072BXYZKT/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

Honorable Mention

Phoenix Forgotten [Fact-Based UFO Sighting Saga]

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B071JB2927/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

Kate & Mim-Mim: Super Kate [4 Fun-Filled Adventures in Mimiloo]

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B06VVNXDG7/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

 

 

Source:  Baret News

 

Gunslinger Defends Planet from Extinction in Adaptation of Stephen King’s Sci-Fi Epic

 

The Dark Tower

Film Review by Kam Williams

Gunslinger Defends Planet from Extinction in Adaptation of Stephen King’s Sci-Fi Epic

Laurie Chambers (Katheryn Winnick) is understandably worried about her 11 year-old son’s recurrent nightmares. After all, Jake’s (Tom Taylor) becoming increasingly convinced of Earth’s imminent demise.

The Dark Tower,  Film Review, Kam Williams, Stephen King, Superheros, Katheryn Winnick, Tom Taylor,

So, she takes him to a shrink who misdiagnoses the visions as delusional and has the kid committed to a mental health facility. Truth be told, Jake is indeed psychic and has  accurately forecast an impending extinction level event.

The planet’s only hope of averting an apocalypse rests on the shoulders or, more precisely, on the trigger fingers of Roland Deschain (played by Idris Elba with that trademark gravitas). He’s the last in a long line of gunslingers from another dimension who’ve been locked in mortal conflict with forces led by Walter Padick (capably played by the terminally-suave Matthew McConaughey), an evil sorcerer on a quest for infinite power. World domination is attainable should he reach the Dark Tower, the nexus between time and space located in a parallel universe called End-World.

It’s not long before these mysterious figures from Jake’s dream begin to materialize on the streets of Manhattan. After Walter’s minions murder his mom, the boy is rescued by Roland. The two soon escape through a portal to Mid-World where the epic battle to preserve life as we know it is set to unfold.

The Dark Tower,  Film Review, Kam Williams, Stephen King, Superheros, Katheryn Winnick, Tom Taylor,

That is the engaging point of departure of The Dark Tower, an ambitious adaptation of Stephen King’s magnum opus of the same name. The sci-fi series was inspired by “Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came,” a poem written by Robert Browning back in 1855. King also credits Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy, Clint Eastwood’s Spaghetti Westerns, and the Legend of King Arthur as major influences.

The Dark Tower took a rather circuitous route to the big screen. The story was originally optioned by J.J. Abrams in 2007. Ron Howard subsequently acquired the rights in 2010. However, the picture was ultimately written and directed by Nikolaj Arcel, whose A Royal Affair was nominated in 2013 for an Oscar in the Best Foreign Film category.

This movie marks the great Dane’s first foray into English , which helps explain why he sought help with the screenplay from a trio of scriptwriters, including Oscar-winner Akiva Goldsman (for A Beautiful Mind). The final production’s pretty skittish, yet engaging enough to establish the franchise and leave you eagerly anticipating a sequel.

The best sci-fi Western since Cowboys & Aliens!

Very Good (3 stars)

Rated PG-13 for action, gun violence and mature themes

Running time: 95 minutes

Production Studio: Sony / Media Rights Capital / Imagine Entertainment/ Weed Road

Distributor: Sony Pictures

Source:  Baret News

 

It’s Halle Berry vs. Hillbillies in High-Octane Chase Thriller

 

Kidnap

Film Review by Kam Williams

It’s Halle Berry vs. Hillbillies in High-Octane Chase Thriller

Karla (Halle Berry) is a stressed-out single-mom waitressing in a diner when she’d rather be spending more quality time with her young son, Frankie (Sage Correa). In fact, today, he’s patiently waiting right there in the restaurant for her overtime shift to end.

Kidnap, Film Review, Halle Berry, Sage Correa, Jason George, Chris McGinn, kidnapped son

After she finally gets off, the two drive to an amusement park for what promises to be a fun-filled afternoon. Trouble is, she’s in the midst of bitter custody battle over Frankie with her vindictive ex-husband (Jason George). That explains why she wanders a few feet away for a little privacy when she gets a call from her divorce attorney.

Unfortunately, it’s enough of a distraction to afford a lurking kidnapper (Chris McGinn) an opportunity to pounce. Next thing you know, Margo’s dragging the kid to a waiting getaway car with her husband Terry (Lew Temple) at the wheel.

Karla frantically rushes into the parking lot where she drops her cell phone before spotting a suspicious Mustang GT with tinted windows and no license plates peel rubber. At that point, her maternal instincts kick in, and she decides to pursue the perps despite the fact that she’s driving a relatively-sluggish, Chrysler Town & Country.

What ensues is an extended chase scene that lasts the rests of the movie. So unfolds Kidnap, a low-budget variation of Baby Driver directed by Luis Prieto (Pusher). Although the plot arrives riddled with comical holes big enough for Karla to drive her minivan through, the picture nevertheless proves pretty compelling thanks to a combination of heart-pounding action and the protagonists convincing embodiment of pure desperation.

It’s Halle vs. hillbillies in a high-octane showdown where there’s never a doubt about whether “Mommy Driver” will prevail.

Very Good (3 stars)

Rated R for violence, profanity and scenes of peril

Running time: 95 minutes

Production Studio: Well Go USA Entertainment /Gold Star/ 606 Films / Lotus Entertainment

Distributor: Aviron Pictures

Source:  Baret News

 

For movies opening August 4, 2017

 

OPENING THIS WEEK

Kam’s Kapsules

Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun

by Kam Williams

For movies opening August 4, 2017

Big Budget, Foreign and Independent Films, August 4, 2017, The Dark Tower, Detroit, Matthew

 

BIG BUDGET FILMS

The Dark Tower (PG-13 for action, gun violence and mature themes) Adaptation of the Stephen King sci-fi thriller about an 11 year-old adventurer (Tom Taylor) who slips into another dimension where he witnesses a showdown between an evil sorcerer (Matthew McConaughey) and a gunslinger (Idris Elba) defending the universe from extinction. Supporting cast includes Abbey Lee, Dennis Haysbert and Jackie Earle Haley.

Detroit (R for graphic violence and pervasive profanity) Two-time Oscar-winner Kathryn Bigelow (for The Hurt Locker) directed this claustrophobic docudrama, set in the Motor City, revisiting the ’67 riots through the prism of the sadistic police interrogation of some suspected snipers. Co-starring John Boyega, Anthony Mackie, Will Poulter, Jacob Latimore and John Krasinski. . 

Kidnap (R for violence and scenes of peril) Suspense thriller about a single-mom (Halle Berry) who turns vigilante after her young son (Sage Correa) is abducted by kidnappers. With Lew Temple, Dana Gourrier and Chris McGinn.

INDEPENDENT & FOREIGN FILMS

Armed Response (R for graphic violence, profanity and grisly images) Supernatural thriller about a special forces team’s investigation of the mysterious slaughter of the entire staff at a black ops facility. Co-starring Wesley Snipes, Anne Heche and Gene Simmons.   

Columbus (Unrated) Romantic dramedy, set in Indiana, about a Korean man (John Cho) who falls in love with a local librarian (Haley Lu Richardson) living with her drug-addicted mother when he comes to America to care for his comatose father. With Parker Posey, Rory Culkin and Jim Dougherty.

Fun Mom Dinner (R for sexuality, drug use, crude humor and pervasive profanity)  Girls’ night out comedy about four mothers (Katie Aselton, Molly Shannon, Toni Collette and Bridget Everett) with kids in the same preschool whose simple plan to unwind over a meal turns into a wild evening they’ll never forget. Featuring Hart Denton, Gerald Dewey and Leigh Dunham.   

Savage Dog (Unrated) Action thriller about a just-paroled boxer’s (Scott Adkins) quest for revenge against the mobsters responsible for murdering his loved one. With Marko Zaror, Juju Chan and Cung Le.

Some Freaks (Unrated) Romantic dramedy about a one-eyed teen (Thomas Mann) who falls for a chubby, high school classmate (Lily Mae Harrington) only to have their relationship fall apart when she loses 50 pounds in college. Cast includes Marin Ireland, Lachlan Buchanan and Ely Henry.

  

Step (PG for mature themes and mild epithets) Against-the-odds documentary, set at a girls’ high school in Baltimore, chronicling the effort of seniors on the step team to win a dance competition as well as scholarships to college.

Wind River (R for profanity, rape, graphic violence and disturbing images) Crime thriller about a rookie FBI agent (Elizabeth Olsen) who teams with a veteran game tracker (Jeremy Renner) to solve a murder after a body is discovered in the woods on an Indian reservation. With Graham Greene, Judith Jones and Jon Bernthal.

 

Source:  Baret News

 

Cheated Geezers Pull Bank Heist in Hilarious Crime Comedy

 

Going in Style,  Blu-ray Review, bank robbery, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, Alan ArkinGoing in Style

Blu-ray Review by Kam Williams

Cheated Geezers Pull Bank Heist in Hilarious Crime Comedy 

Released in 1979, Going in Style revolved around a trio of retirees who break the monotony of their dreary daily lives by robbing a bank. That critically-acclaimed, comic caper co-starred a trio of entertainment icons in George Burns, Art Carney and the legendary Lee Strasberg, the father of method acting.

Ordinarily, one would think twice before mounting a remake of such a beloved classic. Not Zach Braff (Garden State). Despite the daunting challenge, the ambitious actor-turned-director decided to give it a go.

First, he turned to Oscar-nominee Theodore Melfi (for Hidden Figures’ screenplay). Melfi came up with a terrific script only loosely based on the original. He retained the main characters’ names and the basic “bank heist” premise while updating the dialogue and overhauling plot to yield a rollicking, laff-a-minute adventure.

Second, Zach retained the services of Academy Award-Winners Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine and Alan Arkin to play the leads. Although 79, 84 and 83, respectively, these reliable, accomplished thespians generate an endearing camaraderie and deliver every punchline with perfect timing.

At the point of departure, we find Joe (Caine) in the midst of complaining to an unsympathetic loan officer (Josh Pais) about Williamsburg Savings’ impending foreclosure on his home when the place is suddenly held-up by a gang of masked men. Later that day, while commiserating with former co-workers Willie (Freeman) and Al (Arkin), Joe realizes they’ve all fallen prey to the bank’s shady practices which includes completely draining the pension fund they’re all dependent on.

But instead of alerting the authorities, the victims opt to take the law into their own hands, conspiring to retrieve at gunpoint precisely the same amount “stolen” from them. Of course, the hold up proves easier planned than executed, given that this is each of these geezer’s first felony.

Fortunately, the BFFs are not to be deterred, even after a disastrous dry run shoplifting at a supermarket. What’s bad for them is great for the audience, as the laughs just keep coming clear through the closing credits.

You can’t ask any more of a madcap comedy than this much hilarity!

Excellent (4 stars)

Rated PG-13 for profanity, drug use and suggestive material

Running time: 96 minutes

Distributor: Warner Brothers Home Entertainment Group

Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack Extras: Deleted scenes;  and director’s commentary with Zach Braff.

                          

To order a copy of the Going in Style Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack, visit: 

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B071ZN6N4Y/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20 

 

Source:  Baret News

 

 

Standup Comics Entertain Troops Stationed Overseas in Inspirational Concert Flick

 

I Am Battle Comic

Film Review by Kam Williams

Standup Comics Entertain Troops Stationed Overseas in Inspirational Concert Flick

  For over 50 years, Bob Hope served as emcee of the USO tour traveling overseas to entertain the troops. From World War II through Operation Desert Storm, Hope never hesitated to put himself in harm’s way. The well-received shows proved to be pretty popular back home, too, where they aired periodically on NBC.

I Am Battle Comic,  Film Review, Jordan Brady, Bob Hope,  Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Bahrain, Battle Comic, George Lopez, Dave Attell, George Wallace

Jeff Capri, Slade Ham, Don Barnhart, Jordan Brady, and Bob Kubota  © Brady Oil Entertainment

Although no longer televised, an altruistic band of talented comedians have continued to venture to war zones in the wake of Bob Hope’s passing. Their unheralded efforts are the subject of I Am Battle Comic, a combination concert flick and documentary directed by Jordan Brady.

The inspirational film was shot on location in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait and Bahrain, and stars 14 standup veterans, including George Lopez, Dave Attell and George Wallace, to name a few. While it’s certainly fun watching them perform onstage before very grateful audiences, what’s far more rewarding is the behind-the-scenes footage of them bonding with the soldiers.

Jeff Capri, Slade Ham, Don Barnhart, Jordan Brady, and Bob Kubota in a Film Still from I Am Battle Comic © Brady Oil Entertainment

Jordan Brady  © Brady Oil Entertainment

For instance, we witness Lopez stick around after a show to sign an autograph for anybody that wanted one, over 1,000 in total. Then there’s Bob Kubota, who explains that he’s actually anti-war, and isn’t there for those who started or profit from the conflict. Rather, he wistfully recalls the satisfaction coming from receiving a letter from grateful parents thanking him for lifting the spirits of a son who’d been down in the dumps for eight months.

The picture also features funny archival footage of Bob Hope and Robin Williams. Still,  what’ll probably stick with you longer than any witty one-liners are sobering moments like a weeping private’s heartfelt reflections on his service and a comic’s visit to an infirmary to chat with wounded warriors.

A moving concert flick that’ll make you laugh while bringing a tear to your eye in appreciation of our soldiers’ selfless sacrifices.

Excellent (4 stars)

Unrated

Running time: 89 minutes

Studio: Brady Oil Entertainment

Distributor: Monterey Media

 

Source:  Baret News

 

Claustrophobic Docudrama Revisits ’67 Riots through the Prism of Infamous Interrogation at Algiers Hotel

 

Detroit

Film Review by Kam Williams

Claustrophobic Docudrama Revisits ’67 Riots through the Prism of Infamous Interrogation at Algiers Hotel

Detroit’s ’67 riots broke out in the wee hours of July 23rd, in the wake of a police raid on an unlicensed bar where folks had been toasting a couple of vets who’d recently returned from Vietnam. Word spread like wildfire through the black community that the cops had arrested all 82 people they found inside, and it wasn’t long before mobs began looting and firebombing stores all around the ‘hood.

Detroit,  Film Review, Riots, Vietnam, 1967, rebellion, Motor City, Michigan National Guard, speakeasy, civil unrest, Kathryn Bigelow

The rebellion would last five days and result in over 1,000 injuries and 7,000 arrests, while also claiming 43 lives. In terms of property damage, about 2,500 businesses were destroyed and hundreds of families were left homeless.

The insurrection was quelled by the Motor City’s police force in conjunction with the state of Michigan’s National Guard as well as federal troops from the 82nd and 101st Airborne divisions. While the arrests at the speakeasy ostensibly served as the flashpoint for the civil unrest, the revolt was really the result of long-simmering frustrations with the poor quality of housing, employment and education in the ghetto.

Detroit,  Film Review, Riots, Vietnam, 1967, rebellion, Motor City, Michigan National Guard, speakeasy, civil unrest, Kathryn Bigelow

Directed by two-time Oscar-winner Kathryn Bigelow (for The Hurt Locker), Detroit revisits the ’67 riots by telescoping tightly on events which unfolded at the Algiers Motel on the third night of the rebellion. The picture features an A-list ensemble that includes John Boyega, Anthony Mackie, John Boyega, Will Poulter, Jacob Latimore and John Krasinski.

The trouble started when a sniper seemed to be taking pot shots at the police stationed a block away from the Algiers. Truth be told, it was just 17 year-old Carl Cooper (Jason Cooper) firing a harmless starter pistol.

Nevertheless, reasonably assuming they were under attack, officers returned fire before storming the hotel’s three-story annex. Emptying the rooms, they found a dozen guests,  two 18 year-old white girls and 10 black males, including members of The Dramatics, The Motown group whose biggest hit was “Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get.”

Detroit,  Film Review, Riots, Vietnam, 1967, rebellion, Motor City, Michigan National Guard, speakeasy, civil unrest, Kathryn Bigelow

The guests were herded into a first-floor hallway where, over the next several hours, they were threatened, humiilated and sadistically beaten during a prolonged interrogation being directed by Patrolman Krauss (Poulter). The white females were stripped naked, and called “whores” and “[N-word] lovers.”

No gun was ever found, but by the end of the torture three black teenagers lay dead: Cooper, Fred Temple (Latimore) and Aubrey Pollard (Nathan Davis, Jr.). Newspapers reported that they were snipers who died during an exchange of gunfire. But autopsies revealed each had been shot from behind at very close range.

Detroit is very difficult to watch, since it’s basically a searing snuff flick which forces the audience to witness the deliberate persecution of innocent civilians at the behest of a racist redneck with a badge. Riveting revisionist history setting the record straight in a way which will undoubtedly resonate with the Black Lives Matter Movement.

Very Good (3 stars)

Rated R for graphic violence and pervasive profanity

Running time: 143 minutes

Production Company: Annapurna Pictures / First Light

Distributor: Annapurna Pictures

Source:  Baret News

 

Top Ten DVD List for August 1, 2017

 

This Week’s DVD Releases

by Kam Williams

Top Ten DVD List for August 1, 2017

Top Ten, DVD Releases, Going in Style, The Lovers, Kam Williams

 

Going in Style [Broke Geezers Pull Bank Heist]

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B071ZN6N4Y/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

The Lovers [Can This Marriage Be Saved Saga]

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B071J6KQMV/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

Sleight [Orphaned Street Magician Turns to Drug Dealing]

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0722NNJ2K/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

Colossal [Party Girl Miraculously Controls Monster Wrecking Korea]

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B071Y44R3C/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

Crashing [The Complete First Season]

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B06XVZJRVC/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

Big Little Lies [An HBO Limited Series]

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B06XTZ23Q9/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

A Quiet Passion [Emily Dickinson Biopic]

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B06XWSDRD8/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

Opening Night [Stage Manager Struggles to Save Broadway Musical]

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B071SJ8NHQ/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

The Legend of Ben Hall [Western about Outlaws on the Run]

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B072C3B8JH/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

Cop and a Half: New Recruit [Unlikely Police Partners Comedy]

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0711Y86F5/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

Honorable Mention

Fortitude [Season 2]

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B06VVNC7N4/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

The Ottoman Lieutenant [World War I Love Story]

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B06XPSMJ1C/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

The Circle [Corporate Ethics Thriller]

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B072MPK8K6/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

 

 Source:  Baret News