2/9 TCL Movie Trip

TCL’s movie guy, Paul McGuire Grimes reviews the final movie in the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy. Plus, he recommends two movies to see at home.

FIFTY SHADES FREED (theatrical release)

It’s the wedding of the century when Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey finally proclaim, “I do.” They jettison off to France for their honeymoon to learn that someone has broken into Grey Enterprises and set off an explosive device. Their honeymoon is cut short in order to come home and get to the bottom of what’s happening. The suspect is Ana’s old boss Jack Hyde who was fired in the previous movie for harassing her. Ana and Christian’s first few weeks of marriage are filled with ups and downs as they deal with the danger present with Jack and another family surprise that throws Christian’s identity for a loop.

-Starring: Dakota Johnson, Jamie Dornan, Marcia Gay Harden, Brandt Doherty, Rita Ora

-Finale in the trilogy by E L James. The script was written by her husband who also wrote the second movie, Fifty Shades Darker. The dialogue is quite laughable and hokey at times.

-In terms of story, this final entry has more plot than the second film, but it’s painfully obvious what little story they have stretched over three movies.

-Freed works best when we get to see Dakota Johnson fully stand her ground as Ana. She’s no longer than young, innocent girl being talked down to by Christian. She puts herself forward in this movie and knows how to keep her own identity instead of bowing to his every demand.

-For a series so focused on sex and bondage, it’s dealt with so tame in the movies even for the final entry. It does a disservice by not talking about the role this can play in marriage; instead it focuses too much on the stalker plotline, which fizzles out by the end.

Is It Worth Your Trip to the Movies? Fifty Shades of Boring


STRONG ISLAND (home release)

Yance Ford’s brother William was murdered in 1992, and she still doesn’t have the answers as to what really happened that night. She directs and narrates the film in hopes of giving her brother and family an identity separate from the image he was given when killed. She’s not angry, but is not accepting of the lack of answers. She interviews her mother and sister and uses family photos to invite the audience into the normal life her family had and the strides they were making for themselves despite the hardships of segregation going up. They were a normal family trying to get by until that day in 1992. A car accident involving William led to him to getting his car fixed at a private body shop and the location of the crime. A jury ultimately decided not to try the mechanic believing he was acting in self-defense. William’s death forever changed his family as they dealt with the injustice that has plagued them since.

-Oscar nominee for Best Documentary

-Streaming exclusively on Netflix

-If you liked podcasts like “Serial” or “Undisclosed”, you will be drawn into this documentary and the role race and stereotypes plays into the crime.

-It’s less about the “whodunit” of the crime, but trying to find closure and answers. Yance Ford never interviews the mechanic to get his perspective of the night.

-The documentary demonstrates how easy it is to attach labels/identities on victims and their families based on what a jury or media makes them out to be like. As we see with William Ford, he was trying to make a living in law enforcement and far from the threat he was portrayed to be.

ONLY THE BRAVE (home release)

It may not seem like the right time to see a movie about wild fires given the tragic fires engulfing parts of California. I urge you to rethink that idea as this film will no doubt change your attitude and give you a better appreciation for the men, women, and families who put their lives on the front line. Josh Brolin stars as Eric Marsh who has given his life to his career as a supervisor to the firemen of Prescott, Arizona. He’s a stand up, noble kind of guy always looking out for his men. Tensions start to rise between his men and other area firemen as his crew is trying to get certification to become Hot Shots. They’re the firemen on the front line directly engage with the flames. Brendan “Donut” McDonough is his newest recruit who comes with his own troubled background. He’s a drug addict looking to rebuild his life as he’s a new father. Marsh has the experience and knowledge and correctly predicts the town of Yarnell, Arizona could easily go up in flames. A massive fire breaks out putting the newly formed Granite Mountain Hot Shots in extreme danger as this is by far their largest fire to date.

-Starring: Josh Brolin, Miles Teller, Jennifer Connelly, Jeff Bridges, Taylor Kitsch, Andie MacDowell

-Stand out cast. Josh Brolin and Miles Teller give excellent performances. Brolin definitely has the strength and leadership qualities for Marsh. Jeff Bridges is another highlight as he’s perfect in the mentor role for Josh Brolin’s character. As we’ve seen in many movies before, the cowboy/western type role suits him well.

-Based on a true story first written about in the GQ article “No Exit.” Feels more like a human interest piece than your standard disaster type of movie. Goes for the personal angle instead going the “blockbuster” route.

-Builds up the ensemble nature of the movie by spending time getting to know many of them on an individual basis on and off the clock. There’s plenty of humor in the film with the ribbing the guys give each other in that brotherly fashion.

-When they’re not on call, we see how the brutal hours during fire season takes its toll on Eric Marsh’s marriage and the relationship Brendan McDonough has with his daughter. I think anyone that struggles with work/life balance and that idea of doing what you are passionate about will relate to many of the discussions and arguments brought forth.

-Gives you a better appreciation for the work these men do. It also gives you an insight on how they stop and prevent fires without using water.

– A well-rounded human interest story showing the brotherhood and bravery of these men and their families.

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