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"Ray" is a biopic of the life of Ray Charles Robinson, musical genius and American Icon. I found this film to be well directed, superbly acted (especially Jamie Foxx / Kerri Washington (my cousin), and the ensemble cast. Many people have said that the story is lackluster but I feel that it is well told within the time restraint that the film has. If anything, the music of Ray Charles and Mr. Foxx's portrayal of him will hypnotize you for about 2.5 hours.
Overall, "Ray" is an honorable homage to this innovator of many genres of music. I feel that Jamie Foxx should win an Oscar (TM) for best actor 2004 and "Ray" is an outside shot for Best Picture.
It is in my collection and I feel it will make a worthy addition to yours! Peace...
Excalibur is an epic action / adventure which retells the story of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. This film is a slept on classic that has incredible staying power. You will see some early performances from Gabriel Byrne, Patrick Stewart, and Liam Neisson. The battle sequences were pretty graphic for it's time and rivals some films of today's standards.
To sum it up, this is a film that you should have in your collection. I rated it 8/10.
Enjoy and peace..
Romeo Must Die (2000)
Romeo Must Die (2000)
Romeo Must Die is an action / drama that centers on a street war between two crime families, the Chinese and the Blacks. Both are in cahoots to gain waterfront property that is to be used to house a new NFL franchise coming to the area. During this street war, two members of the respective families develop a "Romeo & Juliette" type relationship that strains the relationship of the already estranged groups. Performances by the late Aalyiah and Issaiah Washington are not to be missed. The action sequences are a little too Hollywood for my tastes but they are enjoyable nonetheless. A pretty good story and a powerful soundtrack drive this movie beyond mediocrity. This is a decent film to have in your collection as it has made it's way into mine. I rated it an 8/10.
Peace and enjoy
Serpico is a crime / drama based on the true story of Frank Serpico, a NYC police officer who started a crusade against corruption on the force. Al Pacino gives a top-notch performance as the title character. The film takes you through his matriculation as a rookie officer fresh from the academy up until his testimony at the corruption hearings. You feel for Serpico's plight to get his voice heard while others are trying to hush it. Great direction by Lemet coupled with superb production that puts you right in NYC during the early 70's.
All in all this film is not to be missed from your collection. It has blessed mine and I rate it a 9/10. This film shows Pacino in his nascent stage as an actor and from this performance you can see that he was destined to be just what he is today, one of the greatest actors of all times.
Enjoy and Peace...
Thin Line Between Love and Hate, A ('96)
A Thin Line Between Love and Hate is a comedy/drama that revolves around a "player" played by Martin Lawrence who is looking for a special woman to call his own. During his search, he gets involve with a young lady who gives him more than he can bargain for (played by the very voluptuous Whitfield). The acting is sub-par but the story brings a very good twist on an over-told story. This film reminds me of "Fatal Attraction" in many ways.
It is a decent film that is slept on because of the acting. I have "Thin Line" in my collection and rated it a 7/10. Pretty good if you're not expecting Oscar caliber performances and A-level talent. A pretty good pick up if it is on sale.
Sharky's Machine (1981)
Sharky's Machine (1981)
Sharky's Machine is a crime drama set in early 80's Atlanta. It stars Burt Reynolds as a renegade cop who is hellbent on stopping crime and corruption in his city. The story is about a dirty politician who is at the top of a crime ring that has been brining the city to it's knees. Sharky's link to bringing down this syndicate is a high-priced hooker that he falls for during the course of the movie. The action sequences are well done for the early 80's and the soundtrack / score are pretty good. The acting is B-level but this is a pretty decent film to have in your DVD collection.
Jeepers Creepers II (2003)
Jeepers Sleepers II (2003)
Jeepers Sleepers II is a horror / thriller that doesn't live up to the original. Not like the original was a horror classic or anything but it offered more than this film. I thought the sequel would at least give you more insight on where this creature comes from and how it can be defeated. This film had me nodding in and out because there is constant bickering and bitching throughout with hardly any horror action. I think this film was a bad idea and they should have stopped at the first one. At least the characters were a little more developed and you sorta cared about them.
In summation, this film is garbage! I picked it up at Hollywood Video during their 3 for $30 special. . .lucky I have the receipt!
4/10 ...avoid spending money to obtain or see this film.
Juice is an urban drama set in early 90's New York City. It is the story of four friends who each look to gain respect in the neighborhood one way or another. Q(Epps), Raheem (Kain), Steel (Jermaine ...), and Bishop (The Late? Tupac)have good chemistry as the group of friends looking to earn some props around the way. The standout performances were from Tupac and Epps. There are many cameos by famous hip-hop celebrities in the film. The story is good and there are many memorable lines for those who enjoy this genre.
The cinematography by Dixon gives you the feel of Harlem during that era. This will go down as a classic hip-hop film with a great soundtrack. All-in-all this film is a must have if you are a fan of the genre, and a decent pick-up if you are not particularly fond of these types of films.
Traffic is Fantastic!
Traffic is a crime/corruption drama that shows how the drug trade affects several aspects of different peoples' lives. The directing by Soderberg is stylish with good use of colors and lighting. The acting is superb by the ensemble cast that makes you believe you are actually there with them. The disconnected interconnectivity works like magic. You never get confused or loose interest in the stories and how they play together.
This movie gets heavy rotation in my DVD collection and if you don't have Traffic in your collection then you have a hole that you have to fill!
Cabin Fever (2002)
Cabin Fever (2002) 6/10
Cabin Fever is 1/3 away from being a pretty decent film. It is a horror/comedy about a group of friends who go to a cabin on a weekend get-away. They encounter a strange virus that drives them to test the limits of their trust and friendship. It starts off promising and even grabs your attention throughout but the ending is something left to be desired even though it leaves it open to a sequel (either theatrical or direct to video). Good special effects and makeup work capped off by decent direction. The acting is pretty good by horror film standards. I expect to hear good things from Eli Roth in the future. 6/10 (In the collection DVD)