Because I never got around to writing my short movie reviews for these in May, here are the last five movies I watched last month. They are in no particular order and of course, the two movies I encourage anyone to watch or watch again are The Great Debaters and Dredd. Next, I would watch Ninja Assassin and The Greatest Show. I can’t really recommend Rampart because it wasn’t all that good. Woody Harrelson was convincing, but there wasn’t enough substance.
The Greatest Showman (2017) stars Hugh Jackman, Michelle Williams, Zach Efron, and Zendaya. Jackman portrays the real life P.T. Barnum. He goes down as one of the great rags to riches stories. He was a true businessman in every sense of the word. The acrobatics, singing, and choreography were done well for a musical. It purposely leaves out the whole controversy of animal entertainment, but the inequities of the freaks makes up for it.
The Great Debaters (2007) stars Denzel Washington, Nate Parker, Jurnee Smollett, Forest Whitaker. Washington portrays Melvin Tolson who coaches an all black debate team from Wiley College in Texas. The team wins enough debates to challenge Harvard for the national championship. The excellent performance by Nate Parker alone is enough to watch this movie.
Dredd (2012) stars Karl Urban, Olivia Thirlby, Wood Harris, and Lena Heady. Urban portrays Dredd who is a police officer in a city where drugs and crime are the two main enemies. While training a rookie cop, he comes face to face with a drug lord named Ma-Ma. Think a lot of gun fighting, betrayal, and cool DP shots. This movie was a trip even without the drugs. I liked the ending too.
Ninja Assassin (2009) stars a K-Pop singer named Rain as Raizo. He’s a boy who was trained as a ninja by a ruthless man. It leads to him wanting revenge as he gets older. The ultimate fight is between him and the Yakuza. The choreography was good, but maybe I was wanting a little more substance. Overall, I did like the movie but it dragged a little bit in some scenes.
Rampart (2011) stars Woody Harrelson as a LA cop with Cynthia Nixon, Anne Heche, and Brie Larson as his family. He’s the burnt out, do it my way cop that needs to retire. Except he can’t because he doesn’t want to and won’t be told what to do. His family is dysfunctional because he is a drunk. I’ve seen this movie before. I should’ve watched Serpico again instead.