Elvis the Pelvis (Sorry! Had to go there since I didn’t in my review) was an impressive talent. The film, though dressing up his life a bit more than it probably was, does a good job of showing you just how monumental of a talent he was. It also shows us how terrible someone who was supposed to care for him and his career, Colonel Tom Parker (Hanks), could be. He put all of his trust in Parker but was treated so terribly that you’re shocked Elvis did as well as he did. In this biopic, you see that Elvis (Butler), for the most part, did as he was told. When other people finally came into his life, he matured and started to make his own path.
Luhrmann doesn’t hold anything back, focusing on what others never really have. He shines a light on the racism of the day and hones in on the fact that African Americans taught Elvis everything did. Growing up in the ghetto, he learned everything about singing and dancing from studying the black members of the local church. He then cultivated a style that would later move people to tears. A lot of folks believe that Elvis didn’t give them enough credit and should have. From watching the film, this could have been a decision made by Parker but not having that knowledge, I couldn’t say for sure. Parker was a compulsive gambler and a jerk to anyone who questioned him, so I can see that being the case.
Regardless, there is a lot to see in “Elvis” and a lot to discover, fan or not. I believe that if you’re a millennial or younger and or not a fan, after watching this, you’ll be digging into your parents’ and grandparents’ music collections and hearing what you’ve missed. Also, Butler’s performance is uncommonly good, which matches his beautiful face that’s irregularly close to the man he’s depicting for you. Academy Awards for all!
And the others:
“Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris.”
Lesley Manville was spot on as Ada Harris, a character so likable it’s impossible not to add to a top list of some sort. I’m sure we’ll be seeing it at the Academy Awards, too. Ada never lived in a world where haute couture would be seen as possible, but with the love of her life now gone, she decides it’s time to treat herself.
A humble cleaning lady, Ada sees a Dior dress in a client’s bedroom. She decides the way to pamper herself is to fly to Paris and get one for herself.
The character is charming and sweet, naïve but lovely. I loved her and Manville’s interpretation of her. This is my number two pick for the summer.
“I think this should be made every now and then, so actresses get a chance to be this wonderful character.”
“Brian & Charles”
I have never been all that fond of robot movies, but here the robot is more of a man than most. Brian (David Earl) fits into this category and whether he realizes it or not (yes, he realizes it), he creates a pal to help him navigate the waters of the real world. Meet Charles (Chris Hayward). You have to meet them both, actually, when you sit and watch this, currently on Amazon and other platforms.
Like in the movie “Cast Away,” Charles is Brian’s “Wilson” to Tom Hanks. Having no one may have gotten him by before, but not these days. He needs a companion. He needs someone to talk to, someone to care for him. He’d also like an extra pair of hands about the place, even though he believes wanting that in his life is being greedy.
“With the help of Charles, we get to watch Brian evolve into an individual who no longer needs the device in his life. That’s what’s so beautiful about this story and what makes it a must-see!”
This movie made my list because I had a great time watching the movie. Sometimes, it just comes down to that. Were you entertained? YES! I was and relished in the work the cast gave their audience. Based on what how ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ did, we want action from our summer movies. ‘Bullet Train’ is nothing but. Well, it’s also very bloody. So much so that I’ll give it a ‘Bloody Good!’ and a two thumbs up (some of the characters may not be able to, however.).
If you like pure fun and crazy in your action, disregard some things you’ve heard about this movie and see it. I’ll admit to there being a few moments of ridiculous and eye-rolling, but when have we not come across a few of those, even in the best of films? This is a two-hour thrill ride that has you traveling fast, up to 275 miles per hour, in fact, while traversing the tracks of the Japanese subway system, with assassins unaware of who’s there and why they’re there. The good time is when we learn who these people are as each of them moves about the compartments trying to get their jobs done. It all comes down to retrieving a briefcase and who’ll end up with it.
These characters are so well written that you start rooting for them. They’re maniacs! That being the case, it’s hard to say who you’ll like more. I liked ‘Ladybug.’ Brad Pitt so magnificently delivered the part, it would be hard not to walk out of that theater a bigger fan of his work.
See this on the largest screen possible. If you don’t catch it at the theater, go out and purchase an 85’ and make this the TV’s debut film. You’ll appreciate the cameos, by the way.
“Top Gun: Maverick”
Thirty-Six years! Whew! That’s a long time to wait and see if you still have an audience. Going in, I assumed I wouldn’t care a thing about Capt. Pete ‘Maverick’ Mitchell and his story. Well, director Joseph Kosinski proved me wrong.
It was thrilling and exciting and exactly what I needed in my summer watching. The cast, including Cruise, Jennifer Connelly, Bashir Salahuddin, Lewis Pullman and Miles Teller, as the son of Maverick’s friend ‘Goose’ (Anthony Edwards), who died in the original film, are impressive and perfectly cast. Considering his other work, he’s lucky to have gotten to work with them.
Oh! I hate to say it but must… Kelly McGillis as love interest ‘Charlie’ wasn’t missed. The film just had so much to offer that you weren’t thinking about what it wasn’t giving you, only what you were being given. Especially the storyline that includes Val Kilmer’s ‘Iceman.’ You might tear up a little. If you’re like me, you’ve been watching this magnificent actor for a long time and can’t imagine films being made without him. Introducing an illness into Iceman’s narrative when you know what’s going on with Kilmer hits a bit too close to home. That said, we do get some skin from a game of football. That was kind of enjoyable in and of itself. Might be reason enough to check it out if you’ve nothing else to do. I jest.
The action and visuals you never thought you’d get from a “Top Gun” movie (expecting them more from the Sci-Fi types) were a pleasure to watch. They’re jaw-droppingly entertaining and the sound design is epic. I would hate to think you’d miss this at the theater but also put this one on your list to watch on the biggest screen possible.