Movies: Papillon, We the Animals, Support The Girls


So much to share about this movie!  Many of us will recall the instant classic film from 1973 by the same name staring Steve McQueen and Dustin Hoffman.  More important, Papillon is based on the real story of the French convict Henri Charriere who was imprisoned in 1933 in French Guiana (then Northeast South America) and later escaped in 1941.

The cast is exceptional.  Charlie Hunnam plays Papillon.  Rami Malek is equally good as the counterfeiter and fellow prisoner.  Danish actor Roland Moller plays the prisoner Celier.  Scottish actor Tommy Flanagan plays the cruel Masked Breton.  Dutch actor Yorick van Wageningen is the ruthless warden.

The film was shot in several locations around Europe including Montenegro, Malta, and significantly in Belgrade Serbia.  The story is gritty, violent, intense and sometimes difficult to watch.  It is rated R for violence including bloody images, language, nudity and some sexual material.  It absolutely is not appropriate for viewing by anyone under 18.  It is listed as a drama with a run time of 136 minutes.  DO NOT miss this film.


We the Animals

This is an unusual yet poignant film about a young family with volatile parents and three children who adore their Mom and Dad who are barely adults themselves.  The youngest struggles to keep up with his brothers and often isolates himself in a self made world of his own.

The acting is surprisingly good.  The father is played by American actor and playwright Raul Castillo.  The mom is played by the American actress known for here role in Argo, Sheila Vand.  The boys are played by Evan Rosado as Jonah, Isaiah Kristian as Manny and Josiah Gabriel as Joel.  Their performances are  well beyond their years thanks to the skills of Writer/Director Jeremiah Zagar.

It is rated R for strong sexual content, nudity, language and some underage drug and alcohol abuse.  It is often difficult to watch, heartbreaking at times.  Children should not see this film!  For that matter, adults with challenging upbringings may find this movie uncomfortable.  All that said, it is uniquely executed and deserves an audience.


Support The Girls

It is a pretty straight forward plot.  Double Whammies is a Sports Bar with minimally dressed waitresses.  It is managed by a tough and tender woman who is kind, encouraging, positive, realistic and optimistic.  On the flip side her personal life is a train wreck.

The cast has a handful of actors:  Regina Hall is the manager, the waitresses include Haley Lu Richardson, Shayna McHayle, Brooklyn Decker, Jana Kramer and Amanda Michalka.  There are a handful of male characters but no notable performances beyond “sports bar patrons”.

It is supposed to be heartwarming and charming, uplifting and positive.  We found it depressing and borderline annoying.  Comments like “rough around the edges” and “truthful but not cynical” are hardly compliments.

It is rated R for language including sexual references and brief nudity.  It’s listed as a comedy but we heard little to chuckle about.  Children should not see this film.  The run time is 90 minutes.  Pass on this one, there are plenty of worthwhile films out there worthy of your patronage.


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