Movie Review Weekly Roundup: May 30 – June 5, 2021

Inherit the Wind (1960), directed by Stanley Kramer, starring Spencer Tracy, Fredric March, Gene Kelly, and Dick York.

The following is part of a weekly compilation of movie reviews from The Buzz Track staff. These movies were watched in the previous week, and the reviews were originally posted on Letterboxd.

Flickering Lights (2000)

DIRECTOR: Anders Thomas Jensen.
WRITERS: Anders Thomas Jensen.
MPAA RATING: Unrated – Viewer discretion is advised.
GENRES: Action, Comedy, Crime.
LENGTH: 1h 49min.
WHERE TO RENT: JustWatch or Alamo On Demand.
★★★★☆ | WATCHED: May 30, 2021.

Mads Mikkelsen plays a Danish redneck who loves firearms and killing animals. But he is a terrible line cook. However, I felt bad for the poor cow that he kills. The entire movie is about four criminally inclined recluse guys who are never really good at almost anything they are involved in. Each one of them had a troubled childhood from which they are forever running away. I enjoyed the story and would definitely consider watching the movie a second time. Four stars! Joe Bob says, “Check it out.”

Inherit the Wind (1960)

DIRECTOR: Stanley Kramer.
WRITERS: Nedrick Young & Harold Jacob Smith (script), Jerome Lawrence & Robert E. Lee (play).
GENRES: Drama, Crime, Courtroom, History.
LENGTH: 2h 8min.
LANGUAGE: English.
WHERE TO RENT: JustWatch or Prime Video.
★★★★☆ | WATCHED: May 30, 2021.

Released in 1960 and based upon a real court trial that occurred in 1925. The subject matter of this movie is as prevalent in 2021 as it was then. The battle between science and religion continues to this day. Evolution catalyzes debate in the story of this movie. But today, the catalyst is vaccines, morality, pandemic conditions, racism, and just about everything that is intertwined with American politics. Will the battle for morality, ethics, and the system of religious beliefs continue for another hundred years?

The Olsen Gang Sees Red (1976)

DIRECTOR: Erik Balling.
WRITERS: Henning Bahs, Erik Balling.
GENRES: Comedy, Crime, Family.
LENGTH: 1h 40min.
WHERE TO RENT: Alamo On Demand.
★★★★☆ | WATCHED: May 31, 2021.

There are fourteen movies about the Olsen Gang. I would imagine they could be described as the Danish Three Stooges. And they have more films under their belt than the Fast & The Furious franchise, too. At least, that is the case for now. This would be the first Olsen Gang film I have watched. I did not expect so much comedy to be interwoven into the story. I had never heard of the series before watching the movie, so I had gone in blind. I am glad I did little research on the background of the series because I thoroughly enjoyed the movie’s goofy nature. I will now have to go check out the other movies when I can get a chance.

…And Justice For All (1979)

DIRECTOR: Norman Jewison.
WRITERS: Valerie Curtin, Barry Levinson.
MPAA RATING: R – Viewer discretion is advised.
GENRES: Crime, Drama, Courtroom.
LENGTH: 1h 59min.
LANGUAGE: English.
WHERE TO RENT: JustWatch or Prime Video.
★★★★☆ | WATCHED: May 31, 2021.

The ’70s were the peak time for Al Pacino. It is a time period when everything he appeared in felt like a gold star. His character, Arthur Kirkland, is a blue-collar level lawyer. His legal work consists of criminal defense for those with low means of income or social prominence. He is an ethical lawyer who wants to do the best job he can for his clients. But he does not win every case. The justice system constantly drags his clients through the wringer of wrongdoing; they are treated like garbage. It is taking a toll on Arthur. The movie is heart wrenching, engaging, and wonderfully put together. I enjoyed watching the story develop and will want to watch it several more times.

The Guilty (2018)

DIRECTOR: Gustav Möller.
WRITERS: Gustav Möller, Emil Nygaard Albertsen.
MPAA RATING: R – Viewer discretion is advised.
GENRES: Crime, Drama, Thriller.
LENGTH: 1h 25min.
WHERE TO RENT: JustWatch or Alamo On Demand.
★★★★★ | WATCHED: May 31, 2021.

Wow. Here is a bottle episode filled with extremely intense phone conversations. The main character is the only person seen on screen for about 90% of the movie’s runtime. So the audience has to live the entire story through his side of the phone conversations. He is a police officer who is placed on disciplinary assignment at an emergency call center. The entire story unfolds in a single location during the end of his work shift. It feels like the entire movie could easily be adapted into a theatrical play. But I am concerned the audience might not pick up on the subtle facial expressions of the actor during a few tense moments in the story. These moments work great for close-up camera shots. I did think “oh crap” in a moment of flabbergasted response a few times while watching this movie. I usually do not respond like that often during a movie, but this was one of the few movies to reel me in like crazy. I loved it.

Stage Struck (1958)

DIRECTOR: Sidney Lumet.
WRITERS: Ruth Goetz & Augustus Goetz (script), Zoe Akins (play).
GENRES: Drama, Romance.
LENGTH: 1h 35min.
LANGUAGE: English.
★★☆☆☆ | WATCHED: June 2, 2021.

Save yourself some time by watching Morning Glory (1933) with Katharine Hepburn and Douglas Fairbanks Jr. as an alternative to this film adaptation of the stage play by Zoe Akins. This version is directed by Sidney Lumet, with whom I appreciate his directing work. However, I do not consider this movie to be near the top of his best work. Susan Strasberg appears in the leading role of the story. She looks extremely young as if she is still a high school student during the production. Her performance is over the top in the sense of over eagerness. It feels a bit too much. Then there is Christopher Plummer’s performance as the love interest. His first appearance in the movie comes across as creepy and slimy more than the intention of being a romantic interest. Not exactly a good first impression for a character in the movie.

Pusher III (2005)

DIRECTOR: Nicolas Winding Refn.
WRITERS: Nicolas Winding Refn.
MPAA RATING: Unrated – Viewer discretion is advised.
GENRES: Crime, Drama, Thriller.
LENGTH: 1h 48min.
LANGUAGE: Danish, Serbian, Polish.
WHERE TO RENT: JustWatch or Alamo On Demand.
★★★☆☆ | WATCHED: June 4, 2021.

The movie is about a day in the life of an aging drug dealer who needs to consider retirement. The quality of his work life is slipping. The majority of the movie is relatively low-key, but the final act is graphic and violent. It is definitely not for anyone with a weak stomach. Who tries to shove an entire pile of guts down the garbage disposal? Eew, disgusting! Also, it is completely impractical. Imagine having to call a plumber to repair the broken disposal? Anyway, the movie is okay. I have seen better movies. And I have seen much worse ones as well. I am curious to backtrack to watch the first two movies in this trilogy. Maybe I will watch them sometime down the line. Probably not anytime soon.

Raya and the Last Dragon (2021)

DIRECTOR: Don Hall, Carlos López Estrada, Paul Briggs.
WRITERS: Qui Nguyen, Adele Lim, et al.
GENRES: Animation, Action, Adventure.
LENGTH: 1h 47min.
LANGUAGE: English.
WHERE TO RENT: JustWatch or Prime Video.
★★★★☆ | WATCHED: June 5, 2021.

As with many other animated movies from the world of Disney, this one is just as enjoyable as the rest. I like it and enjoyed watching the movie. It is nice to see the studio explore the cultural history and folklore from more sources other than sticking to America and the European countries. An interesting observation I noticed while watching Raya is how the studio continues its legacy of storytelling through animation. But they decided to forgo the integration of lyrical music into the story for this movie. The characters are not breaking out into a song and dance number. It is a straightforward action story with an adventure. I like it! I am definitely interested in watching this movie a few more times in the future.

R (2010)

DIRECTOR: Tobias Lindholm, Michael Noer.
WRITERS: Tobias Lindholm, Michael Noer.
MPAA RATING: R – Viewer discretion is advised.
GENRES: Crime, Drama.
LENGTH: 1h 39min.
LANGUAGE: Danish, Arabic.
WHERE TO RENT: Alamo On Demand.
★★★☆☆ | WATCHED: June 5, 2021.

This movie seems like a cross between HBO’s Oz and a basic cable reality show about the day in the prison life of a group of convicts. And the whole movie is spoken in Danish. I enjoyed the tone and story of the movie. It is simple production and probably low budget. But it held my interest in watching the main character adapt to the new life in prison.

Affiliate Referral Links Disclosure: This article may contain affiliate referral links embedded within its content. This means The Buzz Track may be monetarily compensated when a visitor clicks on a third-party referral link and makes a qualifying purchase on the affiliated website.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.