Movies: Whitney, Sanju, Skyscraper

Whitney

This is the second documentary about the life of Whitney Houston.  It’s at the same time touching and heart breaking.  It uses real footage including amazing performances and the dark erosion of one of the worlds best contemporary singing talents.

It’s also raw, insightful, haunting and tragic.  As the film unfolds, Whitney is discovered and begins a meteoric career that plateaus as a superstar with her family, husband Bobby Brown and her childhood demons in tow.

The cast includes Whitney of course, her daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown, husband Bobby Brown, her mother Cissy Houston, Clive Davis, Robyn Crawford, Gary Houston, L.A. Reid, Mary Jones, Alan Jacobs and over 20 crew members.

We found the film riveting.  Her performances are stunning.  Her life story and family deeply flawed.  We were surprised to see the film is not rated.  We also feel the movie is absolutely not appropriate for children.  Nonetheless we noticed many children in attendance with parents.  The run time is 120 minutes.

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Sanju

This is an interesting and unique film about an East Indian Actor Sanjay Dutt, his enormous success as well as his battle with numerous addictions, time in prison and behavioral demons.

The film was released globally a couple of weeks ago and was greeted with great success.  If you have not seen Indian films, this would be a great first choice.  There are 14 primary actors from a cast of 50.  It is noteworthy that actor Ranbir Kapoor literally transformed himself into the character with extensive hours of hair and makeup.  He also spent months of physical training to bulk up to better match the real life character.

It’s a classic Bollywood production.  The acting is exaggerated, the language is primarily Hindi, the English subtitles fly across the screen, and the underlying messages are both locally and globally relevant.

It is not rated in the US.  It is really a Biography/Drama.  There is drug abuse, violence and sexually suggestive so we strongly caution parents that it is not child appropriate.  The run time is 2 hours, 35 minutes.

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Skyscraper

This is the latest Dwayne Johnson film.  This time building consultant to the tallest building in the world.  It is set in Hong Kong in the near future when the bad guys set the building on fire and extort money from the owner.

It is just different and fresh enough to be entertaining.  It’s a unique plot, generally well acted with just the right mix of surprise and production features.

The cast is compact.  Dwayne Johnson is, of course, the headliner.  Neve Campbell plays the wife.  Noah Taylor, Pablo Schreiber and Roland Moller are really good bad guys.  American actor Ng Chin Han is the building owner and Byron Mann is the top policeman.  The special effects are impressive.

It is rated PG-13 for gun violence, action and some strong language.  The genre is noted as Action & Adventure, Drama.  The run time is 103 minutes.

Rating 

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