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Thursday October 19th 2017

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“The Accountant” & “Moonlight”

the_accountant-trailer-screen1

** out of 5 stars

“Accountant,” “R” Rating

Ben Affleck’s character Christian Wolf in “The Accountant” lives in an Airstream trailer in the hinterland where he stocks weapons, money, paintings by Renoir and Jackson Pollack (bought on the black market). He’s involved with some nefarious organizations and some of assignments are completed by his expertise as an assassin.

Christian’s activities draw Treasury Department Director Ray King (J.K. Simmons) to track him down using unethical means by forcing a department analyst, Marybeth Medina (Cynthia Addal-Robinson) to find The Accountant in one month or be exposed for serious crimes in her past.

A hit man from Chris’ past Brax (Jon Bernthal) appears to be a thorn in his side. But Christian goes to Living Robotics where he meets a kindly inventor Lamar Black (John Lithgow) and his sister Jean Smart (Rita Blackburn) before Mr. Wolf starts to investigate millions of dollars somehow disappear from the books. There he meets one Living Robotics feisty worker Dana Cummings (Anna Kendrick) who willing helps him get to the bottom of the missing cash. And in the process of finding the bad guys, stoic Chris has to come to the aid of the damsel in distress.

Ben Affleck here as the assassin can be Ben Affleck out of his Batman suit with him as an assassin would have been better if Jason Statham had the role not that the movie would be much better, but he would have been more convincing as an assassin. “The Accountant” suffers from a poor script by Bill Dubuque. Instead of seeing full Elm trees in one’s backyard there’s only tumbleweeds blowing about.

What could have been a better movie is chocked off by too many plot points (many make no sense) making the base of the movie extremely flat. Why does Christian Wolf live in an Airstream trailer?

What did the movie reveal about autism? Little to nothing. Well, Chris’ autism as a boy and his dad’s forcing him to be a fighter to make him “normal” just one of those plot points that’s lost in a bad script? It’s good Affleck and Kendrick have a passion for accounting; I have a dispassion about “The Accountant”.

Cast:  Ben Affleck (Christian Wolf), Anna Kendrick (Dana Kendrick), J.K. Simmons (Ray King), Jon Bernthal (Brax), Jeffery Tambor (Francis Silverberg), Cynthia Addai-Robinson (Marybeth Medina), John Lithgow (Lamar Black), Jean Smart (Rita Blackburn), Andy Umberger (Ed Chilton), Robert C. Treveiler (Young Chris’ Dad), Mary Kraft (Young Chris’ Mother), Jack Presley  (Little Brother). Running time:128 minutes. Director: Gavin O’Connor.

moonlight

*****

“Moonlight” “NR” Rating

“Moonlight” is a must see film about a young African American man’s difficulties within himself as well as those kids going out of their way to hurt him. Juan (Mahershala Ali) is growing up in one of the poorest neighborhoods in 1980s Miami.

Juan has a heavy load to deal with such as an absent father, a crack-head mother, school bullies taunt and beat him up because he’s different.

Juan goes through three nicknames: known as “Little” as a skinny boy; known as “Black” as a teenager; known as “Chiron” as a grown man with a muscular build.

Juan knows he’s different and struggles with his sexuality which is the principal reason director Barry Jenkins’ Moonlight” shines large in cinema in general, African American cinema in particular. The subject of black homosexuality is usually shunned and seldom explored in black cinema. “Pariah” (2011) by Dee Rees focuses on a young black lesbian in a dysfunctional family.

The story of “Moonlight” does the gamut of pain, agony, anger, joy, love, and settles in reconciliation and redemption. Heartwarming is an under-statement for terrific indie gem.

Cast: Mahershala Ali (Juan), Aston Sanders (Chiron, Chrion), Naomie Harris (Mother), Janelle Monae Teresa), Shariff Earp (Terence), Allen Hibbert (Little) Duan “Sandy” Sanderson (Azu). Running time:110 minutes. Director: Barry Jenkins.

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