Archives September 2021

A FRANK MOVIE REVIEW:“DEAR EVAN HANSEN” – Frank Rating :  5.0

In a word:  So-So

This story could have been a great film, because it focuses on the trials and tribulations that young teens and some adults as well, struggle with while trying to be accepted by others. Or, they find a deep, dark hole somewhere because they simply cannot connect with desired friends. Often, such victims are prescribed mood and psyche medication for symptoms, as does the main character in this film.

Evan Hansen, the main character, is an anxious, isolated high-school student who aches for understanding by others. Rather, belongs amid the chaos and cruelty of the social media age of which he does not welcome. He soon embarks on a journey of self-discovery when a letter he wrote for a special exercise falls into the hands of a grieving couple whose son had taken this own life.

The story becomes more complex when two factors merge, lest I say clash, one about a struggling, unwanted teen (played deftly by Ben Platt) and two merging families which include Class A actors, Amy Adams and Julianne Moore.

That’s where the movie slows like crashing into a wall, making time for thirteen songs, not only sung intermittently by Platt, but also by other actors. That might have worked well on a Broadway stage production, but not so much in a movie.  After we were forced to listen at the sixth, seventh or eighth song, I was ready to walk out.

It was only after doing more research, that I learned the show had been an award-winning musical at various venues through the country since 2015.

Had the music been melodic and pure, it may have made a difference, but in fact, most of the songs were repetitious and not very melodic. That’s an opinion by a lifelong violinist who I know.

Found in Wikipedia’s summary:

     “The film’s handling of its source material, particularly how the Broadway version’s stagey aspects mixed in with the movie format, was generally not well-received. Few critics felt the transition from stage-to-screen was successful.”

But the basic story is worth telling. I hope, in five or ten years, that Hollywood would remake the movie and stick to a script only, because the purpose of the film is important and not well-adapted to the combination of drama and repetitive song productions.

I give this movie a 5.0 out of 10.

 

Dear Evan Hansen (2021) – IMDb

Dear Evan Hansen (film) – Wikipedia 

A FRANK MOVIE REVIEW -“CRY MACHO” – Author Rating  – 8.5

In a word:  Engrossing

Though flawed in a few scenes, this is a good movie and far less complicated than most in modern times. For movie goers who rely on death-defying heroics, blood gushing, untold fights, Karate kicks, guns blasting, screaming, daredevil stunts, female breasts or the repetitive use of the “F” bomb, DO NOT SEE THIS MOVIE.

Based on a novel by N. Richard Nash, “Cry Macho” stars one-of-a-kind actor, Clint Eastwood who plays Miko, an over-the-hill rodeo star and washed-up horse breeder who, in 1978, accepts a job from an ex-boss in Texas to bring the man’s 13 year-old old son home and away from his alcoholic mom who lives in Mexico. But there’s more to the story. Crossing rural Mexico  (via cars and horses ) on their way back to Texas, the unlikely pair face several unexpected and challenging obstacles. The world-weary horseman may have found his own sense of redemption by developing an unintended relationship by teaching the boy what it means to be a good man.

Simple, but deep.

The story tears at the heart in several aspects, to and including an unanticipated tender romance between the washed-up cowboy and a Mexican lady, though the two cannot speak the same language.

The real phenom is the man named Clint, who at age 91, not only plays the lead role, he also serves as screenwriter and director. Though challenged in some scenes where we can detect his fragility, we cannot escape the admiration so many have for witnessing such a high achiever who knows no limits.

Also admired, is the performance by the young actor, Eduardo Minett, age 13, who plays Rafo. Amazingly, the boy’s constant and closest pet is a rooster that is always in the boy’s company, like brothers. The following is an excerpt from the script, which I dare to include in this review:

Rafa:  His name is Macho, like me. Very strong rooster.

Miko: Whatever.

Rafa: What’s wrong with that?

Miko: Guy wants to name his cock Macho, it’s okay by me.

Clint Eastwood has performed in over 60 movies, and won numerous awards, including two Oscars for Best Director. I doubt he’ll be retiring any time soon.

I give this movie an 8.5 rating.

Cry Macho (2021) – IMDb

“THE YEAR OF DANGEROUS DAYS” – Review By Marshall Frank

“THE YEAR OF DANGEROUS DAYS”
Riots, Refugees and Cocaine in Miami, 1980
By Nicolas Griffin

This is a powerful read for people, especially law enforcement personnel, judges, prosecutors, and prison staff who survived Miami in the era of boundless crime, 1979-1980. Penned by a first-class Miami writer, Nicholas Griffin brings the reader into the most difficult era in law enforcement history when Dade County became the murder capital of the nation for four consecutive years.

Published 2020 by Simon & Shuster

This book includes a graphic account of:

  • The overwhelming infestation of drugs and traffickers
  • Police corruption
  • Deploying investigative units with only half the personnel available.
  • The Arthur McDuffie Case in which multiple cops, after a long chase, took turns beating a man to death for speeding.
  • A trial that rendered a “Not Guilty” verdict, sparking the worst race riots in Florida history, with eighteen innocents brutally murdered, and many more injured.
  • The impact on South Florida from the Mariel Boatlift 1980 which, over a four-month period, brought 125,000 refugees, many unidentified, to the Miami area from jails, hospitals, psyche wards, crippled, insane, or infirmed. And, yes, drug smugglers.
  • That also impacted the Medical Examiner’s office whose daily dead body count nearly doubled, requiring a refrigerator truck to handle the overflow.
    For weeks and months, bodies were floating up everywhere, in canals, cars, trucks.

Yours truly is mentioned in a number of incidents and scenes. I feel honored to have been of assistance to the author. We also interviewed many other Miami-Dade cops who worked, along with others, around the clock on these cases. This includes my good friends, most notably Frank Wesolowski, Al Singleton, Raul Diaz and Lonnie Lawrence. A full list is mentioned in the book.

Nicholas Griffin is a first-class interviewer, and I’ve known many. Also mentioned are numerous other officials from various agencies in South Florida

The book is available via Amazon or at bookstores everywhere.

It’s a very good read.