The film War Machine was released on May 26, 2017. It is a fictionalized account of an idiosyncratic general (Brad Pitt) who is determined to find a way to end the war in Afghanistan. His plans are opposed by allies and politicians because they just want out of the fighting in order to look good. Some of his troops question his methods. The only ones who seem to back him are the people in his entourage.
For some reason, I expected this film to have more battle scenes than it did. About the first ten minutes of the film dealt with introducing the characters in the general’s entourage. The movie had its slightly funny moments but, overall, the story tended to be uneven and slow paced. The actors did a good job and the photography was excellent. The film was basically a parody about the tenure of General McChrystal in his 2009 attempt to get our troops out of the war. About 30% of the film dwelt on the civilian aspects of war, i.e. politicians, media, alliances. This may have given the audience a taste of what goes on behind the scenes of war, but it also tended to be boring. This was, in my opinion, supposed to be a war movie, not a political dissertation.
I have to take off a star for the unevenness of the script. The foul language was realistic to the characters, so I will ignore that. It loses another star for the “boredom factor”. I rate this 3 stars out of 5.
The spy film Unlocked was released on May 5, 2017. Alice Racine (Noomi Rapace) is reactivated by the CIA in order to get information about a terrorist biological attack. Michael Douglas appears as her London handler, while John Malkovich is her section head. The story is full of action and the acting was excellent.
Toni Collette is a MI5 friend of Alice’s and Orlando Bloom is a former veteran who wants to help her. There are plenty of twists in the story which, at times, were confusing. This also had some Arabic being spoken but there were no subtitles. This was the ONE time I needed subtitles, but I suppose the director thought it made the story more mysterious. There was some foul language but it wasn’t throughout the whole film.
This was actually a good movie despite some flaws. I would recommend it if you enjoy spy thrillers or just action movies. I rate this 4 stars out of 5.
Enter the Warrior’s Gate is a French/Chinese production which was released in the US on May 5, 2017. The story is about a teen boy Jack Bronson (Uriah Shelton) who is a gamer. One night, a Chinese warrior from one of his games appears in Jack’s room and asks him to protect a princess (Ni Ni). When the princess is kidnapped by the bad guys, Jack is magically transported to ancient China to rescue her. He is helped by a wizard and the warrior (Mark Chao).
The acting and directing were good. There were plenty of action scenes and some funny lines. Since the film takes place in a fantasy world, it is not unbelievable that one, or in some scenes two, people would be able to combat hundreds of bad guys. Uriah Shelton, in real life, is a junior tae kwon do expert and his moves reflected this. I was not thrilled with the beginning of the film, but once I understood that it was a video game, I understood why it was put in.
The story line is a bit weak at times, but I am sure that it will appeal to younger audiences, especially boys. There is only one kissing scene and it is near the end of the movie. I give this 3 stars out of 5.