Tag Archives: movie review

Is Apu racist?


Theres a documentary out wherein many Indian Americans feel the Simpsons character ” Apu” is a hurtful racist stereotype.

They are entitled to their opinion, and only they can say how they feel.

I think Apu was the first Indian character ever seen on American TV.  (Wasn’t he? was there an earlier character?)  He works in a convenience store, “Indians work in convenience stores” is a common generality.  But how is he negative?

He seems to be a very hard working man. In fact he seems to work at his store 24 hours a day. No matter when a Springfield citizen goes to the Quickie Mart, Apu is there, he doesn’t seem to have any outside employees who cover the night shift.

He is also seen to be a good father, husband and citizen. In fact he is shown to be a much better person than Homer or almost anyone else in Springfield.

Is the main problem his voice? His accent?  Is it the fact that it is a white actor doing the voice of an Indian man? Would the the same complaint be there is it were an Indian actor playing the part?

White actors playing African Americans in “mush mouf” / “stepin fetchit” minstrel show black face was a huge problem for African Americans for decades.

Its not done anymore, no one would dare.  Singer Harry Connick Jr was a judge on an Australian TV talent show and some Australians did a Jackson 5 spoof done up in minstrel show black face.  Connick, who we can assume has been working with the finest African American musicians in the world, was appalled that this kind of act was still being done.

Fair enough, good on Harry. Until someone pointed out that Connick himself once appeared in blackface in a MAD TV sketch….

Does this make Harry Connick Jr a two faced hyprocrite? Or is it a matter of degrees.  Harry Connick Jr did NOT appear in Minstrel Show BlackFace, but rather in relatively realistic light brown make up and relatively realistic curley black wig.

In the movie “Tropic Thunder” Robert Downey Junior plays an ACTOR playing the part of an African American character in some kind of parody of “PLATOON”.  The producers and Downey HAD to know they would be scrutinized for this.  Downeys makeup is very realistic,  you could forgive someone for not knowing it is a white actor. Its so well done that I think many folks might assume its just a Black man in the part.

I never heard any complaints from the Black Community about “Tropic Thunder”. Some white media personalities tried to stir the pot and ask Black celebrities if they were offended by “Tropic Thunder”.  Most said they didn’t care, they thought it was funny. they thought Downey was a great actor.

Maybe its that by the time “Tropic Thunder” came out there were plenty of other Black faces in positive roles all across TV and movie screens.  You could get away with “Tropic Thunder” in  2008, whereas you couldn’t get away with it in the 50’s or 60s.

Tropic Thunder ‘s IMDB page

Tropic Thunder ‘s Wiki page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tropic_Thunder

So perhaps the problem some have with Apu is that he was the first and at the time ONLY Indian character on TV.   And decades after the Simpsons premiere, he is, amazingly, STILL one of the ONLY Indian characters on TV.

No one complains when white actors do parody’s of other European ethnic stereotypes… How many times have we seen white actors do exageratted French accents, German accents,  Scottish accents and no one says anything.  But they have a right to that because…. They are white?

( Although a small but vocal group of Italian Americans who complain that Italians rarely appear as anything but mobsters).

Also notice there is a mild scandal if a white actor does a SPANISH accent or dresses up as a SPANISH person……. look at a map folks…. SPAIN is in EUROPE! Its right next to Italy.

Everyone loved Spanish actor Antonio Banderas playing a Mexican in ZORRO.  Sure they share a common language, but Spain and Mexico are separate countries, thousands of miles apart, and, for the most part, separate ethnicities. On a separate but related note, many Mexican Americans, Mexican nationals and other South American will say that English is a language forced on them and they should be addressed in their native tongue… Spanish.

IMDB page for the movie ZORRO: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120746/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

Now please enjoy Spanish actor Antonio Banderas and British actor Anthony Hopkins playing Mexicans in ZORRO:

Spanish is just as much a foreign language forced upon Mexico and South America as English is.

Spain was a foreign European superpower who “colonized” (invaded) South America and forced their language on the locals just as much as England was.

I see many more Indian actors and comedians in movies and TV now than then.  And none of them talk like Apu.  But I still can’t think of any major Indian characters on TV. There is Apu on the Simpsons, the side character Raj on BIG BANG THEORY and…. thats it isn’t it?

IMDB page for Kunal Navyar : https://www.imdb.com/name/nm2471798/?ref_=tt_cl_t5




CHUCK movie review


I just watched the movie “Chuck”



I had heard for years there was a low end boxer who kept claiming he was the REAL “ Rocky”.

Sounded like a wanna bee trying to leech off of Stallone.  The Rocky story was similar to MANY aspiring and or over the hill boxers.

After I saw this movie, I think that Stallone HAD to be at least partially inspired by the Wepner story.

Wepners fight happened right before Stallone started writing the ROCKY script.

An over the hill washed up low end local boxer gets picked the go against the national heavy weight champ in an exhibition match.

Rocky/Chuck goes against Appollo Creed / Muhammed Ali and goes the distance…. doesn’t win but lasts longer than anybody thought he would. And the way Rocky grabs the ropes at the end of the fight is IDENTICAL to the real Wepner -Ali fight.

The actor playing Ali doesn’t really look like him too much but does the voice well.  Will Smith was the WEIRDEST choice to play Ali in that other movie….. but who else has the charm to sell Alis trash talking and taunting poems  like Will Smith (and Apparently Smiths body was worked into an exact replica of Ali’s definitions).  I think the closest replica of Muhammad Ali was the actor who appears Ali in a brief shot in the Denzel Washington movie “American Gangster”


You see all those perfectly sculpted bodies on movie boxers that its odd when you see that real boxers usually have mass not definition:

The cleverest thing was that they used a lot of 1970s newsreel and stock footage, and then shot the actors scene in a style that looks like 1970s documentary film. You’d almost think a 70s news crew shot the movie.

An interesting story but I was really let down by the ending.  It ends with the “hot waitress” he’s been listing after the whole movie getting with him. I didn’t get what she saw in him. I would have liked to have seen him make amends to the ex wife and daughter and brother he was mistreating the whole movie.


Kevin Costner in Saving Private Ryan


When I first saw the movie Saving Private Ryan ( by Steven Spielberg) I had a heard a rumor on this new thing called “the internet” that actor Kevin Costner had a minor role and or cameo in the film.

Was Kevin Costner in Saving Private Ryan?

Where was he?  There was a scene of a German sniper who kills the character “Caparzo”  (played by then unknown actor Vin Diesel) and then gets shot by Private Daniel Jackson (Barry Pepper) :

That German sniper looks like it MIGHT be Kevin Costner.

But imdb says that sniper was played by stuntman Leos Strasky.



Theres also a scene at the end where we see a tank commander off in the distance. That might be Costner- but hes too far away to be seen for sure.


I think by now Costner would have said something about being in the film.


There is a cameo by Ted Danson, that at the time seemed out of place ( Danson was too well known as Sam in the TV comedy ” Cheers”).

Theres also cameos  by Dennis Farina and Paul Giamatti.

But…as far as I can tell…. no Costner.


Victoria and Abdul movie review

Just saw the British remake of “Driving Miss Daisy”- oops I mean “Victoria and Abdul


Not bad, pretty good, but emotionally didn’t move me much.

Just what you’d expect…. Oscar bait……

Judi Dench is of course very powerful in the part of playing the Queen of England ( she always is…. lol!  HOW many times has she played the Queen? of England?).

Everyone else is good. Lots of foggy cinematography, period costumes and stuffy British accents. Conspicuous Oscar bait all around. Like an overlong episode of Downton Abby.


It also reminded me a bit of the Shirley MacLaine  /  Nicholas Cage movie “Guarding Tess” about the tumultuous relationship between a widowed former First Lady and her Secret Service bodyguard. By the end of the movie we see the real relationship between them is that she sees him as a better son surrogate than her actual birth son.


I choked up more when Hobbes died in “Arthur” than when SPOILER  Queen Victoria dies ( oh please, you couldn’t guess THATs how it ends????)



The movie makes him seem like an innocent, accidental charmer,  the below documentary hints he was a manipulative ladder climber.



The Florida Project

The Florida Project


This got great reviews, Oscar Buzz…… I just didn’t get what was great about it.

OMFG that movie was terrible! The life of sub white trash who live in a motel on the outskirts of Floridas Disneyworld. A hundred or so unrelated boring scenes of a scuzzy trailer trash hooker / stripper her dirty 6 year old brat and other dirtbags that float around the edges of this toilet.

NO plot until the very end….. could have maybe made an OK short film. I had to fight the urge to walk out at the first hour.

The symbolism of the millionaires helicopters buzzing past the poor people… OK we get it. We got it the first 3 times.

Little to no character development, endless redundant scenes of 3 brats getting into increasingly cringeworthy trouble…
It could have / should have been cut down to a 20 or 30 minute short film.





Saturated Colors and Screeching Children Cursing Obscenities Do Not Mix and Left Me Disappointed

Author: ecto-3 from San Diego, CA
17 October 2017

Seldom have I walked out of a preview screening. But after enduring one hour of screeching, unsupervised children, dripping obscenities as casually as they dripped ill-gotten ice cream, unsupervised by adults who were as misbehaved and irresponsible as they were, I mercifully exited the theater.

This film neither amused me, nor held my attention. I kept thinking of the times I was on a flight in which the cabin had a child or two who were constantly crying, or kicking the back of my seat, only this viewing experience was worse, because I was expecting better.

In the row to my right was a morbidly obese gentleman with a backpack on the seat next to him filled with chips and other snacks that he dipped into regularly, taking time between bites to laugh uncontrollable at the obscenity laden dialogue, as other members of the audience got up to leave in twos and threes.

This was worse than going to a restaurant and selecting something from the menu that I was sure would give me indigestion.

I go to films, not primarily to be entertained, but for the impact of drama that consists of conflicts and their eventual resolutions, that also reflect and reveal truths about myself, and the world in which I live.

Maybe I left too soon to experience any resolution of conflict, but this so-called “drama” meandered aimlessly for a full 60 minutes, while I wished that I could look out the window at the passing clouds on that imaginary flight at 35,000 feet, and order a double Jack Daniels.

I started the evening in a good mood, on a full stomach, with high hopes, and left hungry, but relieved to be out in the fresh night air.

I did briefly enjoy the fantasy created and alluded to by the lush, saturated colors with references to the Magic Kingdom, but other than that, I could not find anything to like about this very painful experience.

I may be in the minority, and perhaps this was too rarefied a creative effort for me to fully appreciate, but life is too short, and my instincts told me that I made the right decision to exit early.

Was the above review useful to you?    (Report this)

5 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

Not worth your money

Author: Joe
3 October 2017
*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Most annoying movie, period. Don’t waste your money! I had to watch it for a class.

It’s about a girl and her friends continuously causing trouble for their neighbors and maintenance guy. And somehow they get a way everrry single time. No lessons are learned. But I blame the mother of the girl, who’s a bad influence and can’t seem to change. Yet it ends somehow in an ideal candy-wrapped fashion. Nothing gained, nothing achieved.

The characters themselves have no redeeming qualities whatsoever. Moreover, this movie has no heart, just a flat story line, not much plot, bad acting (except Willem Dafoe), weak dialogue, and just emptiness.

The cinematography is also kinda messy: a lot of tracking shots from behind and awkward framing. (I get it’s supposed to be voyeuristic look but come on, this is a visual medium, man. At least make it somewhat decent). Also, the sound design isn’t that smooth. Very noisy and rocky.

There was Q&A with the director, cinematographer and actors after the movie. The director apparently strove to capture the feeling of childhood (and also because -fun fact- he liked the Little Rascals). I’m sorry man, but this movie fails to deliver.

Was the above review useful to you?    (Report this)

5 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

Not good

Author: williammcfadden8 from United States
7 October 2017

Other than Willem Dafoe who lends solid credibility to this thing, it is almost unwatchable. I’m actually surprised children can work on a movie and be verbally assaulted and sworn at incessantly at the workplace. Even at the end of the movie when there could have been a moment of breakthrough to justify the rest of this random event, well, that too was missed. There is nothing redeeming about this unless you want to be assaulted without any insight. Simply offensive. Think about Ken Loach and what tremendous heart he would deliver with the same actors and setting.

Was the above review useful to you?    (Report this)

6 out of 24 people found the following review useful:

The instruction manual to my coffee maker has more of a storyline that the Florida project

Author: amrelsherif-43265 from Canada
22 September 2017

General Public: This movie has no storyline. This movie literally made no sense. I might not be a professional movie critic but speaking from a logical perspective, this is a movie not worth wasting your time watching

The movie’s focus is on the girl and her mother. The girls role is seriously exaggerated, no kid of that age speaks or acts like that. Her style of humour is NOT funny to begin with and the movie producers made sure to milk it! She certainly know’s how to act so the blame is not on her.

Quality over quantity, a popular saying that certainly is not applicable here. A lot of random scenes that attribute no value to the movie. Cant emphasize that enough – what on earth was the point of the old paedophile scene? Or the random helicopters coming and going? Or the random guy who helped the Motel manager move the fridge/freezer?

The mother’s acting was OK, a representation of a lower class American individual. An adult making irresponsible decisions, yes, we’ve never seen that in a movie before.

1 Good thing though is the shooting of the movie, some nice shots here and there. Very colourful, not worth watching this movie for though. Nothing out of the ordinary.

My honest and genuine advice as a regular guy who enjoys good movies: this is NOT worth watching.

Was the above review useful to you?    (Report this)

11 out of 37 people found the following review useful:

A worthless mess

Author: Don Jindra from Los Angeles
30 September 2017

I’ve walked out on two movies that I can remember. This was one of them. At this stage in my life I simply refuse to sit through a movie that has no worthwhile characters and doesn’t even try to tell a story. I lasted 45 minutes before giving up. It’s about a bunch of bratty kids who keep getting into trouble, and their parents who, not surprisingly, don’t know how to set an example. Willem Dafoe is the only watchable character and he’s not given enough to do to make him worth watching. Nothing original here. No heart. I suggest people skip this one.

Hitman’s Bodyguard Review


I saw the movie “Hitman’s Bodyguard ” at the Alamo Drafthouse New Braunfels last Night.

The pompous pretentious film snob in me wants to knock it BUT its good lighthearted fun.

Riggs and Murtaugh from the Lethal Weapon movies are recast with Ryan Reynolds and Samuel Jackson and inserted into a Jason Stratham “Transporter” movie.

Much of it felt too “digital” and in the middle of real looking car chases they’d add clearly fake digital explosions, actors obviously green screened onto boats and such.

What saves it is the hilariously snappy dialog between Reynolds and Jackson, and they way it almost spoofs itself. Melodramatic / romantic scenes with gag tastic 80s power ballad music underneath, impossible stunts that aren’t played for a joke, but it comes close.

Samuel Jacksons character was clearly written FOR him, its like he is spoofing Samuel Jackson. The script probably sets a record for the amount of times Jackson says “mother f–er”. Salma Hayek is almost spoofing the hot yet badass Latina stereotype.

Great cinema? No. Fun movie- yes!