River Walk, downtown San Antonio, Sunday, February 25, 2018

River Walk, downtown San Antonio, Sunday, February 25, 2018
River Walk, downtown San Antonio, Sunday, February 25, 2018

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

On a Different Note...Movie Reviews - Wed., Oct. 5, 2016

Sully: So far, I have seen Sully twice: once with Susan and Darren on Sept. 13, and then with Bob on Sept. 18. What a great movie! The story is told with the emphasis on Sully's personal life and the inquiry into the events of the forced water landing. (As Captain Sully points out in the movie, this was a "forced water landing," not a plane crash.) It's fascinating to watch the sequence of events (including the subsequent rescue) which is covered in great detail. 

We learned a lot from the movie and have a renewed respect for Captain Sully, co-pilot and crew. We can never fully understand the stress and pressure brought to bear on Captain Sully, but this movie does a good job of going deep. Clint Eastwood has earned our acclaim for directing this movie based on a real-life incident and giving it heart. 5 stars.

In between the two Sully viewings, Bob invited me out to dinner at Pappadeaux's Seafood Restaurant. The president of the company he works for (Southwest Electrical Contracting) was visiting from Colorado and took all the executives, managers and their wives or partners out to dinner. Bob had cedar-planked salmon with salad and I had rib-eye steak and salad. For dessert we had Creme Brulee. We enjoyed going out to eat very much. In all, there were 18 people at dinner.

Eight Days a Week: For this movie, we went to local theater that shows independent movies. Eight Days a Week chronicles the Beatles as they toured the world, from their early days in London (1962) until they broke up in 1969. These iconic lads stole people's hearts and were at the top of the charts for years. The movie shows previously unseen footage of the Beatles and you really get a feel for their personalities. It's hard to believe they were together only ten years, yet have influenced music for 50+ years. Wow. 

Personally, the Beatles have been in my life since I first watched them on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1964 until the present. 4-1/2 stars

While we were at the Wonderland Mall where the Santikos Bijou theater is located, we came upon a CosPlay/Gamer/Halloween event. All kinds of booths were set up and adults and children were trick-or-treating. We had no idea what some of the costumes were.

Obi-Wan Kenobi

Harley Quinn
I have no idea what this is.

The Magnificent Seven: Oh, my. A Western in the tradition of the big westerns of years past. The opening scene of the mountains with fall color and snow-capped mountains is gorgeous. We learn about the citizens of a small mining town called Rose Creek, a number of whom are simple farmers. 

A San Francisco industrialist named Bartholomew Bogue comes to town with his henchmen and seizes control, killing a number of people in the process. Rose Cullen, whose husband was killed, goes to another town to look for help to overthrow Bart Bogue and reclaim their town. She finds Denzel Washington who plays Bounty Hunter Sam Chisholm. At first he is not interested in joining their cause until he hears the name Bartholomew Bogue.

From that point on, Sam Chisholm crosses the territory looking for others to help him remove Bogue and his henchmen from Rose Creek. He finds six others willing to help, including Chris Pratt (as Josh Faraday), Ethan Hawke (as Goodnight Robicheaux), and Vincent d'Onofrio (as Jack Horne). A lot of the movie is spent on recruiting the magnificent seven and then planning how they will defeat Bogue, who is four days away in San Francisco. It's a very exciting climax and will have you on the edge of your seat. 4 stars

Deepwater Horizon: We all remember the record oil spill from the Deepwater Horizon, but I didn't remember learning exactly how it happened. This movie brings it all to life. Mark Wahlberg plays the chief electronics technician, Kurt Russell plays Mr. Jimmy Harrell, boss of the workers on the oil rig, Kate Hudson plays Mark Wahlberg's wife, and John Malkovich plays the bad guy, BP executive. 

From the opening scenes you get a sense of foreboding about what is about to happen. Transamerica workers are flown from Louisiana by helicopter to the Deepwater Horizon oil drilling rig to get it ready for production. Two BP executives whose company owns the rig are along to speed up getting the rig into production; it is already 43 days past the date when production was supposed to start. The oil rig workers do not want to start production as there are too many problems and safety tests which still need to be addressed or completed. The BP company men order shortcuts be taken and safety protocols bypassed or ignored. The result is a horrific explosion and fireball aboard the Deepwater Horizon. The special effects and story are so well done, you will be holding your breath, dodging flying debris, and hissing the villainous BP exec, Donald Vidrine. We highly recommend this one. 5 stars.

And last, but not least, we watched the following movie on a Netflix DVD:

13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi: At 2-1/2 hours long, this is quite the biographical war movie. Wikipedia.org gives the following description of Benghazi in 2102 when this event occurred: 
 "In 2012, Benghazi, Libya is named one of the most dangerous places in the world, and countries have pulled their embassies out of the country in fear of an attack by militants. The United States, however, still has a diplomatic compound (not an official embassy) open in the city. Less than a mile away is a CIA outpost called 'The Annex,' which is protected by a team of private military contractors from Global Response Staff (GRS)."
U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens arrives in Benghazi and decides to stay at the diplomatic compound with limited security (only two Diplomatic Security [DS] agents, and gate guards hired from the 17th February Martyrs Brigade, AKA 17-Feb). We know this is not good from the get-go. Stevens notices suspicious men taking photos of the compound. It happens to be the morning of the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks in the U.S. Doubly not good!

What follows is a travesty and a tragedy. At nightfall, militants from Ansar al-Sharia attack the compound. The 17-Feb guards run from the gates leaving the compound defenseless from intruders. The ambassador and an IT specialist are taken to a "safe room" by Wickland (one of the DS agents). A large gun battle ensues which can be heard from The Annex. The attackers cannot force their way into the safe room, so they set the building on fire.

Meanwhile, at The Annex, the GRS team wants to help at the compound. However, the CIA Chief-of-Station refuses as he does not want to give away the position of the CIA's secret Annex or leave The Annex vulnerable to attack. The GRS team disobeys orders and races to the compound to reinforce the limited security, only to find 17-Feb have deserted their posts and the compound overrun by attackers. 

The CIA staff make many fruitless calls to try to find any soldiers to help them. A drone is sent to assess the location of the enemy, but only GRS out of Tripoli sends anyone to help. That help is a long time coming. 

In the meantime, the GRS soldiers and Wickland return to The Annex, but Wickland gets lost on his way there and leads the enemy right to the Annex's gate. All night long, the attackers lay siege to The Annex. One of the defenders likens their situation to The Alamo. Every time a new vehicle or people arrive, the soldiers on the roof ask the CIA Chief-of-Station if they're expecting any "friendlies." The answer is always "no." 

The movie takes you right into the heart of these GRS soldiers and you want more than anything for all of them to survive to go home to their loved ones. It's awful what happened there and many did not make it home. Be sure to see this movie. It's so well done. Five stars to this powerful movie. Zero stars to the U.S. for not responding to the cries for help.

Wow, that was quite a lot of movies. Travel Bug out.

1 comment:

  1. That is a lot of movies, thanks for the reviews.


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