Monthly Archives: September 2017

We Review, American Made “Good violent fun. Worth seeing, but not as ‘great’ as advertised. 4 stars” -MR

American Made

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
American Made
American Made (film).jpg

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Doug Liman
Produced by
Written by Gary Spinelli
Starring Tom Cruise
Music by Christophe Beck
Cinematography César Charlone
Edited by
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release date
  • August 23, 2017 (Europe)
  • September 29, 2017(United States)
Running time
117 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $50 million[2]
Box office $59.5 million[2]

American Made is a 2017 American biographical crime film directed by Doug Liman, written by Gary Spinelli and starring Tom CruiseDomhnall GleesonSarah Wright, Alejandro Edda, Mauricio Mejía, Caleb Landry Jonesand Jesse Plemons.[3] The plot focuses on Barry Seal, a former TWA pilot who became a drug smuggler for the Medellín Cartel in the 1980s.[4] In order to avoid jail time, Seal approached United States government officials and served as an informant for the DEA.[4]

The film was first released in Europe on August 23, 2017, and then in the United States on September 29, 2017. It is the first film directed by Liman to be released by Universal Pictures since The Bourne Identity in 2002, and was played in 2D and IMAX in select theaters.[5] It has grossed $59 million worldwide and received generally positive reviews from critics, who praised Cruise’s performance.[6]


In the late 1970s, Barry Seal, a pilot for commercial airline TWA, is contacted by CIA agent, Monty Schafer. He asks Seal to fly clandestine reconnaissance missions for the CIA over South America using a small plane with cameras installed.

Later in the 1970s, Schafer asks Seal to start acting as a courier between the CIA and General Noriega in Panama. During a mission, the Medellín Cartel picks Seal up and asks him to fly cocaine on his return flights to the USA. Seal accepts and starts flying the cartel’s cocaine to Louisiana. The CIA turns a blind eye to the drug smuggling, but the DEA tracks Seal down. To avoid the authorities, Schafer moves Seal and his family to a remote town in Arkansas called Mena.

Later, Schafer asks Seal to run guns to the Contras. Seal soon realizes that the Contras are not serious about the war and starts trading the guns to the cartel. The CIA set up a Contra training base in Mena and Seal flies the Contras in, but most of them escape as soon as they arrive.

Lucy’s brother JB moves in, needing a job from Barry. Eventually he starts stealing money from the Seals and is caught by Sherriff Downing with a briefcase full of laundered cash and is arrested. When Barry exiles him for good, it is implied Jorge Ochoa had JB’s car rigged with explosives, killing him so that he wouldn’t snitch.

Eventually, the CIA shuts the program down and abandons Seal to be arrested by the FBI, DEA and other law enforcement agencies. Seal escapes prosecution by making a deal with the White House, which wants evidence the Sandinistas are drug traffickers. They ask Seal to get photos that tie the Medelin Cartel to the Sandinistas. Seal manages to get the pictures but the White House releases them as propaganda against the Sandinistas, leading to Seal’s arrest and the Cartel placing a bounty on his head.

Our Thoughts

American made, is a wild, non-stop, action packed portrayal of the true tale about the trade of money, guns, and drugs. I enjoyed it, and do recommend seeing it. But it lacked something. There was no sense of urgency, no shocking surprises, and the ending was just as I expected. The acting was perfect, and all the characters were well portrayed. It was good violent fun, but not as ‘great’ as advertised. 4 stars” – MR

Find, American made, and see the new trailer here.

We Review, IT (2017) “Pennywise will kill you if you don’t go see it. 4.5 stars” – MR

It (2017 film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
It (2017) poster.jpg

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Andy Muschietti
Produced by
Screenplay by
Based on It
by Stephen King
Music by Benjamin Wallfisch
Cinematography Chung-hoon Chung
Edited by Jason Ballantine
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
Release date
Running time
135 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $35 million[2][3]
Box office $500.7 million[4]

It (titled onscreen as It: Chapter One) is a 2017 American supernatural horror film[5] directed by Andy Muschietti, based on the 1986 novel of the same name by Stephen King. The screenplay is by Chase Palmer, Cary Fukunaga and Gary Dauberman.[6][7] The first of a planned duology, the film tells the story of seven children in Derry, Maine, who are terrorized by the eponymous being, only to face their own personal demons in the process. The novel was previously adapted into a 1990 miniseries.[8][9][10]

The film stars Jaeden Lieberher and Bill Skarsgård as Bill Denbrough and Pennywise the Dancing Clown, respectively, with Jeremy Ray TaylorSophia LillisFinn Wolfhard, Wyatt Oleff, Chosen JacobsJack Dylan Grazer, Nicholas Hamilton and Jackson Robert Scott in supporting roles.[11][6]Principal photography began in the Riverdale neighborhood of Toronto on June 27, 2016, and ended on September 21, 2016.[12][13] Other Ontariolocations included Port Hope and Oshawa.[14][15][16]

It premiered in Los Angeles on September 5, 2017, and was theatrically released in the United States on September 8, 2017.[17][18] Upon release, the film set numerous box office records and has grossed over $500 million worldwide.[19] It received positive reviews, with critics praising the performances, direction, cinematography, and musical score, and many calling it one of the best Stephen King adaptations.[20] A sequel is set to be released on September 6, 2019.[21]


In October 1988, teenager Bill Denbrough gives his seven-year-old brother, Georgie, a paper sailboat. Georgie sails the boat along the rainy streets of small town Derry, and is disappointed when it falls down a storm drain. As he attempts to retrieve it Georgie sees a clown in the sewer, who introduces himself as “Pennywise the Dancing Clown“. The clown entices Georgie to come closer, then severs his arm and drags him into the sewer.

The following summer, Bill and his friends (loudmouth Richie Tozier, hypochondriac Eddie Kaspbrak, and timid Stan Uris) run afoul of bully Henry Bowers and his gang. Bill, still haunted by Georgie’s disappearance and the resulting neglect from his grief-stricken parents, discovers that his brother’s body may have washed up in a marshy wasteland called the Barrens. He recruits his friends to check it out, believing his brother may still be alive.

“New kid” Ben Hanscom learns that the town has been plagued by unexplained tragedies and child disappearances for centuries. He is targeted by Bowers’ gang for being fat, after which he flees into the Barrens and meets Bill’s group. They find the sneaker of a missing girl, while a member of the pursuing Bowers Gang, Patrick Hockstetter, is killed by Pennywise.

Beverly Marsh is also incorporated into the group; both Bill and Ben develop feelings for her. Later, the group befriends African American homeschool student Mike Hanlon after defending him from Bowers. All the while each member of the group has encountered terrifying phenomena in various forms; these include a menacing clown, a headless boy, a fountain of blood, a diseased and rotting man, a creepy painting come to life, people burning alive, and a phantom Georgie.

Now calling themselves “The Losers Club”, they realize they are all being terrorized by the same entity. They determine that Pennywise (or “It”) assumes the appearance of what they fear, awakens every 27 years to feed on the children of Derry before returning to hibernation, and moves about by using sewer lines – which all lead to a well currently under the creepy, abandoned house at 29 Neibolt Street. After an attack by Pennywise, the group ventures to the house to confront him, only to be separated and terrorized. Eddie breaks his arm, while Pennywise gloats to Bill about Georgie. As they regroup Beverly impales Pennywise through the head, forcing the clown to retreat. However, after the encounter the group begins to splinter, with only Bill and Beverly resolute in fighting It.

Weeks later, after Beverly confronts and incapacitates her sexually abusive father, she is abducted by Pennywise. The Losers Club reassembles and travels back to the Neibolt house to rescue her. Henry Bowers, who has killed his father after being compelled into madness by It, attacks the group. Mike fights back and pushes Bowers down the well to his apparent death. The Losers descend into the sewers and find It’s underground lair, which contains a mountain of decayed circus props and children’s belongings, around which the bodies of missing children float in mid-air. Beverly, now catatonic after being exposed to It’s true form, is restored to consciousness as Ben kisses her. Bill encounters Georgie, but recognizes that he’s Pennywise in disguise. Pennywise attacks the group and takes Bill hostage, offering to spare the others if they let It keep Bill.

Our Thoughts

This was the first half of the book, or no, the half of the book about the gang of heroes in their youth. The adult part of the story when they come back, will be part two.  I was not disappointed that they separated the two parts of the novel. In fact it made it a lot easier to take in. I have read IT the 1400 page novel twice, and this rendition sticks to the book fairly well. I really enjoyed this film and I am looking forward to part two. It was creepy and spooky and all the things it needed to be, and I am sure the younger generation who read 140 character texts not 1400 page novels, will love it and think it is all new. King is a master, and this version is great. Well worth the price of a premium ticket. Pennywise will kill you if you don’t go see it. 4.5 stars – MR

Find IT and see the new trailer here.