Roman J. Israel, Esq. (***1/2) – We can’t have nice things

There's virtually no shot at this film winning any awards, and perhaps it doesn't truly deserve any. Washington's about the only actor alive that can so eloquently display his faults as a virtue. He's able to color a little outside the lines of his somewhat limited character, but he knows the point of his character is self-analysis that the others will learn from, so he plays it like he's doomed from the start. 


I Don’t Have A Vote: The 89th Annual Oscars – You are ruining Everything

My pick for the best in film this year is a lot closer to what the Academy picked this year. I can almost see it from here when there are no clouds at night. It's somewhere behind Pluto.

Fences (*****) is powerful, unlimited

Fences - 2016 Director Denzel Washington Screenplay August Wilson Starring Washington, Viola Davis, Stephen Henderson, Jovan Adepo, Russell Hornsby, Mykelti Williamson, Saniyya Sidney Some people build fences to keep people out, and other people build fences to keep people in. There is a bushel of truth to be gleaned from observing the lives intersecting inside of Fences. There is almost certainly as much … Continue reading Fences (*****) is powerful, unlimited

The Magnificent Seven (****) is star power at its best

Even if you are not a fan of the recent spate of pale remakes that come along with every generation, this update is worth your time. It will take a spot in my collection, to be sure. Right after Kurosawa.

The Equalizer (***1/2) is brutal art in motion

The Equalizer - 2014 Director Antoine Fuqua Starring Denzel Washington,  Marton Csokas, Chloë Grace Moretz, David Harbour, Bill Pullman, Melissa Leo Screenplay Richard Wenk based on the TV Show by Richard Lindheim and Michael Sloane The Equalizer is the type of story that would have agonized one to watch if it had been created by lesser talents than Fuqua and especially Denzel. Bearing … Continue reading The Equalizer (***1/2) is brutal art in motion

2 Guns: Not enough bullets

2 Guns - 2013 Director Baltasar Kormákur Starring Denzel Washington, Mark Wahlberg, Paula Patton, Bill Paxton, Fred Ward, James Marsden, Edward James Olmos, Robert John Burke Screenplay Blake Masters based on the book by Steven Grant There is a lot of star power in this film.  Personality just jumps off the screen at every turn.  We have Wahlberg somewhere between the knowing novice of his early … Continue reading 2 Guns: Not enough bullets

I Don’t Have A Vote: Cool Papa E thinks the 85th Oscars Suck

I have to admit it.  Once I found out it wasn't happening, I wasn't interested,  The list of nominees arrived on January 10 and Samuel L. Jackson's name was not among them.  There is no good reason for it, either.  Within the list of nominees, even the guy from his own movie, Christoph Waltz, didn't … Continue reading I Don’t Have A Vote: Cool Papa E thinks the 85th Oscars Suck

Flight just begs “For Your Consideration”

Flight - 2012 Director Robert Zmeckis Starring  Denzel Washington, John Goodman, Don Cheadle, Melissa Leo, Kelly Reilly, Bruce Greenwood Screenplay John Gatnis There is a pall hanging over every scene of Flight.  Two stories are told.  One is that of William "Whip" Whitaker, an Airline pilot who has copious amounts of booze, coke and sex (with one … Continue reading Flight just begs “For Your Consideration”

Forgotten Gem: Déjà Vu is pure, delightful hogwash

Déjà Vu - 2006 Director Tony Scott Starring Denzel Washington, Val Kilmer, Jim Caviezel, Paula Patton, Bruce Greenwood, Adam Goldberg Screenplay Bill Marsilii, Terry Rosso When I discovered that Tony Scott had taken his own life, I felt conflicted.  He had directed some of the most overrated pulp (Top Gun, Days of Thunder, Man on Fire) I had … Continue reading Forgotten Gem: Déjà Vu is pure, delightful hogwash

Safe House: Bullets, Crunching Metal and Quick Cuts

Safe House - 2012 Directed by Daniel Espinosa Starring Denzel Washington, Ryan Reynolds, Brendan Gleeson, Vera Farmiga, Sam Shepard,  Rubén Blades, Robert Patrick, Liam Cunningham Screenplay by  David Guggenheim "I need to find out who this Matt Weston is right now..." is a demand made by CIA Deputy Director Harlan Whitford.  This after the safe house in which … Continue reading Safe House: Bullets, Crunching Metal and Quick Cuts