The Gunman; my movie review – HaliPawz

I went to see ‘The Gunman‘ at AMC Independence Commons in Independence, MO.  The movie is based on a novel by Jean-Patrick Manchette, directed by Pierre Morel, and starring Sean Penn, Jasmine Trinca, Peter Franzen, Javier Bardem, Ray Winstone, Mark Rylance, and Idris Elba.  Good names, strong director, should be interesting.

Jim Terrier (Sean Penn) is a former special ops soldier working in the private sector over in the Congo.  He’s a trained sniper with orders to take the Minister of Mines out.  After completing the mission, he had to immediately leave the continent, and leave his love interest, Annie (Jasmine Trinca), behind.  We catch up with Penn eight years later, back working in the Congo, this time for a good cause.  It appears he is trying to right all of the wrongs (killings) he had done in the past. While working, an attempt is made on his life and the remainder of the movie is focused on him trying to figure out WHO is trying to kill him, WHY they are trying to kill him, and him trying to stop it.  All the while, he is dealing with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) leading to early onset Alzheimer’s.  While in the process of reuniting with his former security team, he learns Annie went on to marry Felix (Javier Bardem).  Felix was the one who had ordered Terrier to kill the Minister and had assured him he would take good care of Annie.  Terrier also learns there is an ongoing investigation on the killing of the Minister of Mines and that Interpol is looking for him and the others involved.

The beginning was difficult to watch.  When the actors spoke, they sounded muffled, more so than just because they are talking in low tones; the images moved fast, almost giving you a swim feeling.  I was concerned about it being like that throughout the whole movie.  Luckily, it wasn’t.

After about the first fifteen minutes, the movie caught my attention and kept it throughout.  I enjoy good action movies, even if I tend to be a little squeamish at the blood scenes! I am what you would call a “close my eyes, I can’t watch, then I peek through my eyelashes” watcher when it comes to more of the gruesome scenes.  I can’t help it, even when I try to watch, it just happens. I will admit, there were plenty of scenes throughout the movie where I caught myself doing it.  Even when I tried to watch them, I’d flinch, close my eyes, and force them open again!  I’m sure the person sitting next to me was laughing at me!

The attention to detail seemed hit or miss throughout the movie, which was a little disappointing.  In an interview with Collider, Penn shared with them why he helped write the movie and how he worked with different consultants to bring authenticity to various scenes throughout.  This work was evident in the scenes where special op training came into play.  Those details and scenes were good.  The action scenes were suspenseful.  You know something is about to happen, you just don’t know what exactly.

One of the misses in the attention to detail was in regards to the TBI.  It went in and out of staying true to a character who would have this disease.  When it was convenient for him to have symptoms to make the movie interesting, it was front and center, when it wasn’t convenient, it just magically disappeared.  The movie touched on how he had been suffering with the symptoms long before he was ever diagnosed because he wrote everything down and had for years.  He was meticulous in keeping these books safe.  He was a trained killer.  The fact that he lost one of the books in such a sloppy way made for a good movie scene, but was another miss in the attention to detail you would expect from Terrier.

One scene, in particular seemed a little over the top.  It takes place out in a country home that just didn’t seem realistic, from the lack of security, to the number of staff members in the home.  The scene, as a whole, was played out a little long.  It was in this scene Felix gets killed and Annie goes with Terrier.

I was disappointed in how they portrayed Annie.  It was clear the two were in love in the beginning and it was clear from the beginning the feelings Felix had for Annie so it was not a surprise he wanted Terrier out of the way.  What wasn’t clear was how Annie could be such a strong woman to work as a doctor in the Congo during difficult times, yet acted so weak at other times in the movie.  As a doctor, she would have picked up on some of the symptoms of the TBI in Penn’s character, yet there never seemed to be a mention of it, it was as if she was completely in the dark.

We learn Interpol Office DuPont (Idris Elba) had been watching Terrier in his quest to catch up with Felix and the others.  He manages to have a cryptic conversation with Terrier and leaves him his business card instead of picking him up, knowing he was close to leading them to the others.

The last main scene had me confused.  Penn made a phone call to DuPont asking for some backup, but for Interpol to have been so close to him throughout the movie, always tailing him or watching him on camera, help didn’t arrive until everything was over with.  The timing just seemed far-fetched.

sean-penn-in-the-gunman 

All in all, I felt Penn did a great job in the movie.  You felt his emotions coming across the screen.  His character had depth and passion about trying to atone for something he did, even though it was at the direction of someone else and it was his job at the time.

Some of the movie was predictable but I didn’t feel like it took too much away from the movie itself.  Bottom line, as a story, it wasn’t the best.  As an action movie; combining Penn’s acting with Morel’s ability to direct some great action scenes, leads to a pretty good action movie.

 

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Criminal on your bucket list? FOCUS on the movie for instructions A Randomocity Submission

I find myself at the Alamo Drafthouse Theater again for a movie premier. Tonight I saw Focus starring Will Smith and Margot Robbie.

This is the first time I have ever been upstairs at the Alamo. (To read my previous review on the Alamo Theater, click here)  There is a table shared between two chairs instead of the solid table in front of the row like I am used to. It wouldn’t be bad if you were sharing a table with someone you know, but a single ticket had been given for seat one, so everyone was off a seat, resulting in trying to share a little table with someone you don’t know. While not horrible, you were more aware of your actions.  I was trying to be courteous throughout the movie.

I actually watched the trailer earlier today so I would have an idea what it was about. I was happy to see it was about a woman learning how to be a better criminal. I have always fancied myself as able to commit the perfect crime if I was inclined to do so.

To read my movie review in its entirety, visit Randomocity Podcast Network.

Follow your dreams, when you hit a fork, don’t be afraid to explore

Sometimes moments happen to us that we don’t always understand but we need to embrace them, cherish them, and grow as a person from them.  I stepped away from my safe job about a year ago to take a chance on myself.  I had three goals:  Start my own business, Finish my book(s), and Blog my personal ideas and thoughts, separate from the business writing.  Of course, the overall goal is to be successful at all of it.

I made mistakes when I first started out.  I thought it was all about making a quick dollar and I forgot about where my passion lied within the network of the business.  Then fear set in.  Fear I had made a mistake.  Fear I wouldn’t be successful.  Almost to the point where I didn’t even want to continue with my business endeavors.

Then it all started kicking in.  I needed to go back to the root of WHY I wanted to start the business.  I needed to be reminded WHY I was writing my book(s), I needed to remember WHY I wanted to share my voice with whomever would read my blogs.  I made changes.  I put the focus where it needed to be.

Almost a year later, here is where I am.  My business concept has taken a completely different turn in more ways than one.  I love to make people laugh, I love to make people think, I love to help people.  How do I turn that all into something successful?  I don’t know yet.  What I do know is it is important to look at the paths you go down, the paths you cross and not let uncertainty or fear cause you to miss out on an amazing opportunity.

I’m not where I want to be yet fiscally with my business.  Surprisingly, my personal writing has been getting more attention then I thought it would and I have been told I have a gift to write, so I decided to venture out and see if I could supplement my income with my writing.  I stumbled upon an intern position for Randomocity Podcast Network.  Intern position at my age?  No thank you.  I moved on.  Wait, it was for a podcast.  Let me go back and read it again.  I think I read the job description about five or six times.  Something kept telling me to apply.  I argued with myself; it’s an INTERN position!  I needed something to SUPPLEMENT my income, not take more time away.

Randomocity Logo

I applied with the thought, I’ll keep looking for something else, but it doesn’t hurt to see what they have to say.  I heard back and they liked my writing.  Yay!  I submitted something else for them, which I discussed in the blog “Deflated Balls in your Face…”  and set up the interview.  I wasn’t sure why I was going.  Looking at their social media interaction, they didn’t have a strong impact.  I kept saying it was a good way to get my writing and name out there, but if their social media numbers were any indication, was it really going to help me?  Yes, it was a podcast and for some reason, I had been intrigued by the concept for a while now.  The only problem was, every indication from them was they really just wanted me as a blogger, not on the podcast.  I was disappointed about it, but thought, I’m in it this far, just go and see what they have to say.

I can honestly say it was the best interview I have ever been on.  I was so excited!  Not only was I going to get to write for them, but they were also going to consider me for the podcast!  There was something about this business I was drawn to from the beginning and the excitement of being involved wasn’t going away, it was only getting stronger.  Not to mention the fact their social media numbers did not, in any way, reflect their listener base, which made me extremely happy.

I made a huge mistake and listened to a bunch of podcasts over the course of a few days.  No, it wasn’t a mistake!  I’m joking about that, but it was a mistake in the sense panic set in.  I’m not this funny.  These guys are hilarious!  I could not stop laughing from the minute they started to the minute they ended.  What was I getting myself into?  I love to laugh, yes, I make others laugh from time to time, but I had also been reminded over the years of how “unfunny” I was from people I had known.  I think the thing I was truly drawn to with the podcasts is, from time to time, they would discuss something I had no interest in or no knowledge of, but I would still listen, I would still laugh, and yes, at times, I would be curious about what they were discussing.  When anyone can get my attention about a subject I have no interest in, I’m sold!  They would do it time and time again AND I was going to be a part of it.  ARE YOU KIDDING ME?  I’m NOT funny!  I was devastated.  Then, through conversation with the owner, he reminded me I might not make it into the podcast.  They had to test me on the mic to see how I did.  My heart sank.  I don’t know how to explain it, but I felt like my excited emotional moment came crashing to a harsh stop.  I already knew I wasn’t funny.  They would do the test with me and discover it for them themselves and my heart would be broken.  I considered saving myself, and them, the trouble, and just telling them it wasn’t for me. I couldn’t.  I REALLY wanted this.  I really felt drawn to this company.  No matter how many times I tried to convince myself why I shouldn’t, my heart won.  I felt led to this and I was going to take a chance on myself!

I was a bundle of nerves the first day I went to record.  I had so much nervous energy, I swept and mopped my floors, I baked cookies, I did laundry.  Looking at the cookies cooling, I thought, “hey, why not take some to them?” I sure didn’t want them all in my house to eat.  I’m trying to lose weight, not gain!  I got dressed, packed up some cookies, and headed out the door.

Within minutes, I was at ease.  While I didn’t get to meet the whole team at once, it was clear I was in a comfortable setting. The guys appreciated the cookies, score one for the new girl! Of course, now I’m thinking I will have to bake often because they are going to expect more cookies, but I’m ok with it.  The little voice in the back of my mind kept telling me, “You might still suck on mic, don’t get too excited” and “You aren’t funny!” but I refused to listen.  We hit a few snags getting started, which you will hear about in the podcast, but it was all handled with fun and laughter.

Laughter.  Laughter is something you can never get enough of and it is something I do non stop when I am around these guys.  I also realized when you are around people who truly appreciate you for you, who genuinely have a gift of comedy, and are just overall great people, it is easy to be funny around them.  Yes, I am funny when I am with them!  What???  I get to be myself and help make others laugh? Am I dreaming?

I have since met all three guys.  I know I am the luckiest woman right now.  I have an opportunity to work with some of the most intelligent, funny,  down to earth guys, you could ever meet; doing something I truly enjoy.  All because I kept fear away and took a chance on something I wanted to try.

I am blessed.

The show IS so good, it ended up being split into two parts. Please take some time and listen.  I am sure you won’t regret it.  As you can hear from my laughter, I laughed throughout the whole thing and then laughed again when I listened to it.  I really need to work on laughing quieter, I know!

Randomocity #15 The VD Special Volume 1

Randomocity #15.2 The VD Special Episode 2  

Of course, after you listen to it, you will understand the following, but I have to make sure to put this social media plug in as well.

If you are on Facebook, please LIKE them at Facebook.com/RandomocityPodcast

On Twitter, Follow them @RadomocityPod

On Instagram: RandomocityPodcastNetwork

The quicker their count gets to 1000, the quicker you all get to hear sound bites of men screeming in pain!  Who doesn’t want that?

Follow your dreams, invest in yourself, believe in yourself!  There is no limit when you are your own cheerleader!