Body Cam (2020)

Body Cam
Director: Malik Vitthal
Writer: Nicholas McCarthy, Richmond Riedel
Cast: Mary J. Blige, Nat Wolff, David Zayas, Anika Noni Rose, David Warshofsky, Ian Casselberry, Philip Fornah, Lara Grice, Demetrius Grosse
Seen on: 6.8.2020

Content Note: police brutality, racism

Plot:
Renee (Mary J. Blige) just returned to duty as a police officer. After the death of ther son in an accident, she lost control on a suspect and needed some time away. But she feels ready to dive in, even if she isn’t happy that she is settled with rookie cop Danny (Nat Wolff) as a partner. On their first night on duty together, they get called to an abandoned cop car. They find blood, and finally their colleague’s body. Renee checks the footage of his body cam and sees a suspect and something inexplicable, but then the footage disappears. She realizes can’t help but investigate, even if she isn’t actually sanctioned to do so.

Body Cam is rather topical and has a couple of okay horror scenes, but overall the film is a mess – and I’ve rarely seen a film with acting this bad.

The film poster showing Renee (Mary J. Blige) and Danny (Nat Wolff) in police uniforms.
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Mudbound (2017)

Mudbound
Director: Dee Rees
Writer: Virgil Williams, Dee Rees
Based on: Hillary Jordan‘s novel
Cast: Garrett Hedlund, Jason Mitchell, Carey Mulligan, Jason Clarke, Rob Morgan, Mary J. Blige, Jonathan Banks
Seen on: 05.04.2020

Content Note: (critical treatment of) racism, racial violence

Plot:
Henry McAllan (Jason Mitchell) buys a farm in the last corner of Mississippi without discussing it with his wife Laura (Carey Mulligan) who is not thrilled. Nevertheless, they, their children and Henry’s cranky, racist father (Jonathan Banks) make their way there. The farm is being worked on by Hap Jackson (Rob Morgan) and his family who have been tending the land without much hope of ownership for generations. The McAllans and the Jacksons not only have the land in common, though under completely different conditions, but als World War II. Henry’s brother Jamie (Garrett Hedlund) is a soldier as is Hap’s son Roncel (Jason Mitchell). But the racial divide looms large in more than one way.

Mudbound is an excellent film that carries quite a punch and managed to not only not make me hate voice-over, but actually appreciate it. It’s definitely not easy to watch, but it is even more definitely really good.

The film poster with all of the main characters artfully arranged.
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Rock of Ages (2012)

Rock of Ages
Director: Adam Shankman
Writer: Justin Theroux, Chris D’Arienzo, Allan Loeb
Cast: Diego Boneta, Julianne Hough, Russell Brand, Alec Baldwin, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Paul Giamatti, Tom Cruise, Malin Akerman, Mary J. Blige, Bryan Cranston, Eli Roth

Plot:
Sherrie (Julianne Hough) just arrived in LA, dreaming of being a singer but instead she gets robbed straight away and somebody makes off with her record collection. Drew (Diego Boneta) who witnessed the incident manages to get Sherrie a job as a waitress at the living off its former glory Bourbon club where he works, too. The club is preparing for a huge concert by Stacie Jaxx (Tom Cruise) while Christian protesters lead by Patricia Whitmore (Catherine Zeta-Jones) try to shut down rock in general.

As long as the movie was camp, it was brilliantly funny. Unfortunately most of the time we’re stuck with the absolutely colorless and frankly just boring lead characters.

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