'Precious' stars Gabourey Sidibe as Claireece "Precious" Jones. She is an obese 16 year old African American girl who lives in Harlem with her mother Mary. Mary is an extremely abusive and menacing woman (there are not enough adjectives to describe her) who literally beats and fights with Precious on a near daily basis. Precious was raped and impregnated twice by her father, Carl, and is pregnant with the second child, the first child named Mongo, has down syndrome and is taken care of by Precious' grandmother. Precious and her mother live in Section 8 apartments, and rely completely on Welfare in order to survive. After Precious is suspended from her school due to her pregnancy, Precious decided to enroll in alternative school, where she hopes that she can change her life. While there, she meets a few different other girls who also have terrible lives, and a teacher that later ends up helping her change her life, Miss Blu Rain (Paula Patton). Precious also meets weekly with a social worker, Miss Weiss (Mariah Carey) who also tries to help Precious. That is basically the entire movie, in a nutshell, and told in less than 2 hours. Frankly, I was quite disappointed with this film. Granted Mo'Nique's performance was astounding, I just didn't find the right place to slip into this movie. It was long, drawn out, and just flat out boring. There are weird scenes where Precious just zones out and dreams about becoming a model and such, and near the end it just kept on getting repetitive, and it felt as if the same scenes were being played over and over again. I also found the language to be awfully vulgar. In one if Mo'Nique's lines, she practically says every curse word in the book in less than 10 seconds. I mean, I know the film is supposed to be realistic, but dang, you don't have to make it sound like a schoolyard for crying out loud. Overall Precious is not what I had expected it to be, and instead was treated to a long boring film that could have been done in lesser time. No it wasn't the content that caused me not to like it, I have seen worse, it was just almost everything else. The film's only saving grace in my opinion is Mo'Nique, who was incredible as a monster. It didn't meet my expectations, and was really overated, just don't believe I don't like the film because I am a racist, I am not. A lot of people are probably going to hate me for this as well.
Final Rating: 2/4 stars
THE CRAZIES (2010)
In The Crazies, Timothy Olyphant stars as David Dutton, the local sheriff of a small town called Ogden Marsh, in Iowa. On one mellow day during a High School Baseball game, the town drunk named Rory Hamill, enters the outfield with a rifle. Everybody starts to panic and David goes to calm Rory down, who seems to be in a strange state. He lifts his gun about to fire on David, and he has nothing else to do but shoot Rory. David feels guilty for what he has done, and soon all around the town, people start going into the state that Rory was in, and some end up killing residents. Soon David and his partner Russell, soon discover the cause behind this 'infection', and before they can really do anything to stop it, the government and Military soon invade the town to quarantine the area. After separating the infected from the normal folk, David's wife Judy, who is the town's only doctor, (portrayed by Radha Mitchell) is captured by the government after mistaking her for being sick (she in turn had a fever due to her pregnancy), and David tries at nothing to get her back along with her assistant Becca (Danielle Panabaker). After rescuing them, they are soon on the run from the government, the Military, and the Infected, while all trying to escape Ogden Marsh. The Crazies is a VERY good Horror picture. The acting is incredible for a Horror feature, all characters are believable, and you start to care for every one of them. While on the flipside the plot can be a little predictable at times, and there are a few plotholes, the rest of the film is great. The sound is awesome, and really filled the theater with the screaming of helpless residents, or of the infected. The Crazies also had a lot of fun gore, and some incredibly tense scenes that had me on the edge of my seat near a dozen times, including the Car Wash scene, which was awesome. While the infected are not really Zombies, they remind me more of the infected off of 28 Days Later, with the Rage virus, in which they are just mad, mad people who run around killing anything in sight, and with the Rage virus acting like the flu. I have not seen the original 'Crazies' but I have heard this this one is far superior in many ways, and is often considered as one of the better Horror remakes. Overall The Crazies is a very fun Horror show, with incredibly tense scenes, bloody gore, great acting and characters, and just a lot more fun, and one of the better Horror films I have seen in awhile.
Final Rating: 3½/4 stars
AMERICAN HISTORY X
At the beginning of American History X we are treated so a scene where a truck owned by a brutal Neo-Nazi skinhead named Derek Vinyard (Edward Norton), is broken into by 3 African American men, he goes in a state of rage, and kills 2 of the 3 men brutally. He is arrested, as his younger brother named Danny (Edward Furlong) watches in shock and disbelief while this is all happening. We flash forward 3 years later, where Danny is shown talking to his principal, Dr. Sweeney, about an essay he wrote that is sympathetic to Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf. Sweeney tells Danny that he must write a new essay on his brother Derek, renaming his history cl@ss 'American History X', or else he will be expelled from the school. He reluctantly takes that offer, and on that very same day, Derek is released from Prison on probation, as a new changed man. He is no longer a skinhead, or a Neo-Nazi for that matter, and views it all as wrong and menacing. He is helped guided to this way by his only friend in Prison, his African American laundry working buddy, Lamont (Guy Torry). Also throughout the film, in black and white flashbacks, we are shown how Derek had came to his ways of being a Neo-Nazi, such as the death of his firefighter father who was killed on the job by 2 African Americans, and how rascist that his father actually was. Derek and the Nazi gang are also shown horribly vandalizing a Korean owned supermarket, and multiple other hate crimes. Derek is also second in charge of the Neo-Nazi group, under the advisement of Cameron Alexander (Stacy Keach), who seems to be following in the shoes of Hitler himself. Anyways, on the day of his arrival from Prison, Derek finds out that Danny has now fallen in his own footsteps and is becoming more of his older self of being a Skinhead, and Neo-Nazi, and Derek stops at nothing from making him follow that path. American History X is a superb film. Everything is nearly perfect. The acting is top notch, and Edward Norton's performance is perfect dazzling. The directing by Tony Kaye is phenomenal, and each use of each scene was chosen correctly. The story is great and will never let you go until the very end, as it had done with me. It makes you really think about life, and what it can do to people, as well as how characters deal with loss, and tragic measures. American History X is a truly amazing film that everyone able to stomach the subject matter should view at least once. Edward Norton's performance is definitely worth it, and you truly do not know Edward Norton until you have seen this film. It will change you as it has changed me already, I guarantee it.
Final Rating: 4/4 stars