Thinking Out Loud: Miss Bala

Welcome to the 2nd edition of Thinking Out Loud where I take running notes throughout the movie.

I went to see Miss Bala, I really had semi-low expectations for this movie but I’ve been proven wrong plenty of times over movies that looked awful.

This will be obviously SUPER HEAVY on Spoilers (mind you not a whole lot of twist or turns in this one), you can check out my non-spoiler review here: https://letterboxd.com/rickygangster/film/miss-bala-2019

Well with all that mumbo-jumbo out of the way.


Here we go…

(Only person in the theaters, this movie is going to make billions)

We’ve got fashion week folks, oooooooooooooooo he just said honey we ain’t paying you to think.

Fashion show people seem so mean.

We’re going to Mexico and in this movie there are no walls.

Based on a Spanish language film? Had no clue.

Sisters are excited to see each other, dancing and now reminiscing over old pictures and drinks.

He bought the kid a toy, he said holy shit. Yikes, parenting is not a plus here.

Miss Baja America …. I think I could win

Cheese anyone? (I deserve a model contract)

OMG FRIENDSHIP BRACELETS

Oh, she just got her but grabbed, dudes are dicks. She’s in the bathroom and now dudes are breaking into the club.

She’s American, sooooooo they let her go? Interesting.

They are now shooting up the club, Bala is running outside and now tried to call the best friend.

She left the best friend in the club? Wow worlds worst best friend.

So wait, she fell asleep in the diner? And just woke up? And they let her? I’m confused.

She got in a cop car and said she saw everything and the cop said when we get to the police station tell them everything. Hahahahaha he pulled over and said he was going to get his lunch and walked into a hotel and she just sat in the car. LOL

She’s in deep shit now. The big boss is now interrogating her.

He’s cutting deals, she helps, he lets the friend go. I totally trust him.

He’s now making her drive a car to some random place, (obviously scene from trailer) we about to blow up the safe house. She doesn’t seem thrilled that she had a part in that. He signed her up for the pageant, ha.

He gave her one of those Motorola flip walkie talkie phones.

She broke free, she’s now running in heels, and ran towards a guy, welp. This ain’t good. Oh wait, it’s the FIVE-O.

He’s awfully handsie for a cop, and a dick.

Cops making promises that I’m sure he can’t keep.

This is like taken but with a female lead. The little kid turned on her phone to find games on that old ass flip phone only to get her in trouble with the big man.

So they’ve now taken over her house, to save one of their fallen soldiers.

Ummm he’s making her take his boots off, cause he’s had a long day. He’s making her strip, I mean he’s making sure she ain’t wearing a wire duh.

Oh no, Rueben is dead!!!! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. I just got to know him. (As the lifeless body they tried to save in this random ladies house)

He’s now telling stories about a girl he knew in high school.

They strapping money to her, Wolf of Wall Street style. Loading her car fully of dope.

Homie sidekick has some issues with the American, he’s going to gut her Godson like a chicken, that’s a little harsh.

Driving through the border looks like driving through downtown Nashville during rush hour traffic.

Anthony Mackie has arrived. Does he make good movies?

DEA has a mole inside his operation.

So a powerful guy in Mexico and she’s going to try and get him arrested by setting him up? She does understand other bosses exist? Dumb American.

GUN FIRE, repeat GUN FIRE …. she’s making a run for the double doors!!!!!! The cops lied, repeat the COPS LIED…. shocking. No cop was waiting for her. The cop just said she was on her own. Wow.

I get it, she saved him after he got shot but hundreds of bullets flying and not one hits him, unreal. One thing that really bugs me about action movies.

Anyone remember the Mole TV show? That was I think on Fox? That was such a good show.

Set the kitchen on fire and now going through the phones and replacing the chip in another phone. Smart move. That was single handily the best part of this whole movie.

He’s teaching her how to shoot. AR-15 made in the USA comment felt forced.

This is extremely boring. And now we get story time.

Damn she put the police bug inside the chicks phone, damn. That was predictable.

I seriously skipped nap time to see this movie.

They found the best friend, she’s being sold as a sex slave. Sounds like a very familiar storyline.

She had to win Miss Bala American, get invited to the party and get in the police chiefs bedroom, he kills him and she gets her best friend. Sounds really easy.

She WON OMGGGGGGG SHE WON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! She’s awful with these fake ass tears.

The sisters have reunited!!!!!!!!!!! She just realized that her new boy toy is a liar. Duh. I am absolutely shocked he was lying to her.

Gun fire everywhere, LOUD NOISES ….. LOUD NOISES

Oh man. She’s fired a gun once and now she’s about to shoot everyone. BIG EYE ROLL.

Oh no, she shot him. Didn’t see that coming.

Anthony Mackie is a cop, that kind of surprised me.

Shoot gun once, shoot bad guy and now work for the CIA… cool

Overall Thoughts:

* out of ***** stars

This movie was super predictable from start to finish. It has become so frustrating that in ALL action movies trained shooters can’t seem to shoot a target in the middle of the field.

The story was bland, lacked a lot of substance, it felt very Taken like. Nobody will mistake any of this cast for award nominations any time soon. It was just really lazy writing, poor execution, and overall poor movie.

Maybe catch it on RedBox?

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Date Night Review: The Upside

Welcome to another edition of the Date Night Review, where I give you my review of the movie, my wife gives her thoughts and we collectively help you decide if this movie is worthy of a Date Night.

I will dive right in, give you the Good, the Bad and my overall thoughts

The Good

Kevin Hart/Bryan Cranston: This pairing just works for all the reasons you think it would work. You have Cranston who can be very witty but at the same time he can bring a very dry sense of humor as well, mix that up with probably the funniest man in the planet in Kevin Hart, you have a solid on-screen duo.

Hart: He plays a struggling Dad who has paid for his mistakes by losing out on the raising of his son. He really embodies the role well, I think he shows a little of his acting chops you don’t get to see in some of his over the top funny roles. He makes you feel all the things you need to feel, whether he makes laugh, whether he pulls at the heart strings in the moments he realizes the mistakes he’s made.

Cranston: These roles are not the easiest to play, to play a role in which you have no body movement really, where you just basically can move your face. I have really wanted to see Cranston break out of some sort after how amazing he was in Breaking Bad, while these might not have been that groundbreaking, I do think it’s a step in the right direction.

Nicole Kidman: You know I wasn’t really sure what to expect from Kidman in this, I didn’t get the vibe she would be in this a whole lot and honestly thought she was really good in this. She fit in well with the duo (not acting wise, she’s a rockstar) and really brought some good stuff to the film.

The Funny: I won’t spoil anything but the “Penis Scene” is one of those just hilarious moments in movies that you will be talking about for hours after the movie is over.

The Bad: Predictability? Maybe?

Overall Thoughts


*** 1/2 out of *****

It won’t go down as one of the best movies of the year but it certainly will go down as one of the most heartfelt movies of the year.

The directing, the pacing, a fun redemption/overcoming story to fire along a solid on-screen combo makes the movie really enjoyable.

The Wife’s Thought’s: Great movie! I knew it would be a feel good movie but didn’t anticipate the true friendship that was formed. They forced each other to self-evaluate and their banter kept me laughing the entire movie. Thumbs up!!!

Date Night Worthy: Absolutely, a fun, warm, heartfelt movie? It’s the key to the perfect Date Night movie.

Date Night Review: Glass

I’d like to thank you for joining me for the inaugural edition of the Date Night Review. My wife came up with the idea, so I am running with it. Weekly, we watch a movie, whether we RedBox it or we go catch a movie in theaters.

So collectively decided to help you couples out with being able to pick a movie together based on whether we think it’s a good Date Night movie or not. (Means you only have to fight about what you are going to eat)

So let’s dive right into the movie review, I’ll give you the Good, the Bad and my overall thoughts of the film.

The Good

James McAvoy– He was born to play this role, it isn’t an easy one either. He is portraying characters from a 8-year-old little kid to an older lady to a “monster”. He picked up right where he left off of from Split (which I thought was amazing), he is believable, he is raw and he is very real. To have to change characters the way he does within scenes isn’t an easy task and he does so with such ease and every time he is on the screen, you are captivated by him.

Willis & Clark – I enjoyed the relationship between these two, I thought they had good chemistry and the sympathetic figure Clark played was really solid towards the end.

Paulson – I love her, she’s a fantastic actress, and she plays a great role in this. She has a niche and she rocks it. She was one of the few things in this movie that was great.

The Bad

M. Night Shyamalan – The Story was just mediocre, I was so excited coming off Split and this movie really just disappointed. He was all over the place, he tried to fit pieces into spots that didn’t need too.

Samuel L. Jackson – I didn’t care for his character, he had some funny moments which made you chuckle but outside of that I don’t feel like he really brought anything to the table

Overall Thoughts:

** stars out of *****

I was extremely disappointed in this film, this was one of my most anticipated movies of 2019 and it’s the first swing and miss of the year. The movie starts pretty good but somewhere between Act I and Act II it gets lost and never recovers. The ending was drawn out, and I never thought it would end. McAvoy & Paulson are really only great things about this movie, McAvoy was made for this role and I would love to see another Split.

The Wife’s thoughts: I loved James McAvoy, loved Sarah Paulson, loved that key players in Split and Unbreakable were in it. It definitely pulls at the heart strings at times but a very drawn out movie. Momentum was good at first then it kind of fizzled out. The ending was better than expected. Thumbs Down

Date night worthy: Absolutely not, I would not recommend seeing this in theaters, I would maybe wait until it hits RedBox but I don’t think it would be a Date Night worthy.

My 10 Takeaways From See Fifty Shades of Grey

So I went and saw Fifty Shades of Grey over the weekend. All the hype from the movie was hard to resist taking myself to the theaters and seeing it for myself. I do warn all my readers that I have not read the book, so don’t shoot me for liking or not liking something in the movie that was or wasn’t in the book. But after all that here are my 10 takeaways from seeing Fifty Shades of Grey.

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Synopsis: Literature student Anastasia Steele’s life changes forever when she meets handsome, yet tormented, billionaire Christian Grey.

This review Contain Spoilers

1 – I really feel they missed the boat on the casting of Christian. While I had never read the books I have heard a lot about them and heard a bunch about this “Christian” guy. He is this hot-shot rich guy that just woman go crazy over, well this guy didn’t do that for me.

2 – I was fond of the Dakota Johnson casting though. While she wasn’t overly drop dead gorgeous, she fit the role of innocent girl Anastasia. I looked at her IMDB page and really didn’t know she was in as many movies as it stated but this was her first “big time” role in a movie. I would also like to applaud her for having the “balls” to be naked for like 75% of the film.

3 – Seattle is a beautiful city.

4 – The rest of the cast really didn’t matter. It was all about Christian and Anastasia. This was a key to me in making this movie enjoyable. I didn’t have to buy into the other characters, they were selling me on the vocal point of the story and I enjoyed that.

5 – You can’t help but laugh at certain parts of the movie. Certain things about the movie were funny to me. I had no problem with the contract of confidentially but the sex contract really made me laugh.

6 – The scene where Anastasia dissects Christians contract in this very low lite room, HOW COULD THEY SEE WHAT WAS ON THE PAPER? It was way too dark in that room to see any lighting at all. (Side note: I do love how Anastasia worked up Christian in this scene, just to walk out on him.

7 – Chemistry between Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan was pretty good. You felt it from there first scene and throughout the movie. They worked well together. This is very vital in a movie based on the two main characters.

8 – Placement of the music/the score was fantastic. They used the songs at the perfect time, I loved the change they brought to Beyoncé’s Crazy in Love mix they had in the film. It was a harder version of the song that really fit perfect in the film.

9 – A lot less sex in the movie than I thought which really shocked me. I wasn’t sure what to expect but I thought for sure there would be more than what happened in the movie.

10 – The movie for me was all about building the background story for Christian and Anastasia. It was a decent build and my first thought walking out of the theater was they set this whole thing up to make the 2nd one. I know there are 3 books and that’s the purpose but as a person never have read the books I knew as soon as it ended, another was to follow.

Overall Review

3 out of 5 Stars 

This will never go down as a great movie but it was very enjoyable. While at times I couldn’t help but chuckle at certain things, I couldn’t help but find myself invested in the main characters. It was a well-directed, well shot and the score was fantastic. I bought into the movie and that to me is a big reason I liked it.

Fifty Shades of Grey is Rated-R for strong sexual content including dialogue, some unusual behavior and graphic nudity, and for language.

In theaters now

Hercules Review

So I went to the movies and saw Hercules starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. I had some high expectations because I thought the trailer was rather well done. So here is my review of the film.

Follow me over on Twitter @rickygangster

Life Itself Review

I checked out the Documentary “Life Itself” – The story of one of the biggest fixtures in movies Roger Ebert.

Check out my review and my comments below.

This was Directed by Steve James and he just took us on an amazing venture from the beginning of Ebert’s life to the very last days of his life.

Hearing stories from his wife Chaz Ebert, his battles with Gene Siskel, listening to how Martin Scoresese talk about how Ebert reviewed his films or just watching him as he was so inspirational during his final months and still beating on like nothing was wrong.

This is a must see documentary by not only film junkies like myself but for those who just even heard the name Roger Ebert.