Movies: The Final Year, 12 Strong, Small Town Crime

Hi everyone!  As we write this it is 20 minutes before the Screen Actors Guild awards.  We will consider all the talking heads and awards results as we consider the upcoming Oscar awards and our annual predictions.  Just a little hype before our…drum role…annual predictions.

J&J

The Final Year

This film is a chronicle of the last 12 months of the Obama administration’s foreign policy team and the events that occurred.  Interestingly, it opened at Film Festivals in Canada, the UK and Netherlands in September, October and November respectively.  It opened 1/19/2018 in the USA.

The focus is on the inner workings of the White House and Obama’s foreign policy team and the State Department as President Obama prepares to leave after 8 years in office.

The behind the scenes perspective is riveting.  The focus on climate change, the war in Syria, the United Nations and other global events was stunning.  The live footage clips of Laos, Central Africa, Hiroshima and Vietnam were eye opening.

It is listed as a Documentary.  It is not rated and runs 89 minutes.  The most significant clips include John Kerry, Barack Obama, Samantha Power, Susan Rice and Ben Rhodes.  If you have any interest in politics, you must see this film.

Rating 

12 Strong

We just managed to squeeze this movie into our schedule.  The reviews overall were tepid.  The release was delayed more than once.  That said, we were attracted by the true events the film is based on.  It is set in post 9/11 in Afghanistan where the Taliban and Al Qaeda factions are fighting for Afghan territory.

U.S. Army Special Forces are tasked with aligning with the local war lords to stop the advancement of the Taliban and Al Qaeda forces from seizing more territory.

The cast includes Australian Chris Hemsworth as the Captian.  Michael Shannon and Michael Pena give strong performances as team leaders.  Also notable are Iranian actor Navid Negahban as the Afghan General, Trevante Rhodes and Geoff Stults of the Special Forces Team.

The film is rated R for war violence and language throughout.  The authenticity of the subject matter is not suitable for children.  The run time is 2 hours, 10 minutes.  We think it is worth a watch.

Rating  

Small Town Crime

Small town America and its alcoholic ex-cop challenge killer bad guys in an intense ‘could be anywhere’ America setting.

This story unfolds slowly and succinctly.  It is a skillfully told story about dark characters.  That said, there are these constant glimmers of hope and decency.  No doubt, this is a unique film on several levels.

Acting leads include John Hawkes, Robert Forster, Anthony Anderson, and (not enough of) Octavia Spencer.  There are a least another dozen actors making the plot come together.

This film is in limited theater release and extensive pay per view.  It’s rated R for strong violence, language and some sexual references.  It is NOT recommended for children.  The genre is registered as Drama, Mystery & Suspense running 91 minutes.

Rating 

 

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