PG-13  |  107 min  |  Action, Drama, Thriller 
Review - Matt Mungle

*In theaters September 30th 2016 *

SynopsisA story set on the offshore drilling rig Deepwater Horizon, which exploded during April 2010 and created the worst oil spill in U.S. history.

Review: Most people remember the event but few know the name of the oil rig, DEEPWATER HORIZON. The new film from director Peter Berg shows us what took place during those tragic hours and the crew that lived through a fiery hell. Part Towering Inferno and part Poseidon Adventure this action thriller graciously overcomes its many flaws. Just keep your eyes on Wahlberg and all will be fine. 

Mike Williams (Mark Wahlberg) kisses his wife (Kate Hudson) goodbye as he hops on a helicopter to head back to work on the oil rig, Deepwater Horizon. The Chief Electronics Technician is joined by Installation Manager Jimmy Harrell (Kurt Russell), and Andrea Fleytas (Gina Rodriguez). When they arrive they are greeted by BP executives (John Malkovich) and discover that all the much needed safety tests have gone undone. A decision that will have devastating results just a few hours later.The explosion and aftermath of rescue and survival are the meat of this film and its sole redemption. Oh, and Mark Wahlberg. 

The first half hour of the film is a mottled script of technical jargon and confusing discussions about who did or didn't do what. It is easy to understand the point of the opening scenes and luckily none of the dialogue matters after the action starts. The main point is a common one. Corporate executives cutting costs with no real idea or concern for the outcome. The crew know what needs to be done but the suits and ties do not want to hear it. It is a conversation that takes place in every office around the country. Bottom line: BP bad. Crew good. But the rig is not a respecter of persons and when its fury is unleashed it will take them all to the bottom with her. 

Mark Wahlberg has the ability to make you like his character immediately. You instinctively trust him and hope that others will follow. Williams and Harrell are fed up with the execs but their hands are tied. Russell is perfect as the seasoned install manager who knows the job backwards and forward. It is up to these two to do what needs to be done once the proverbial feces and fan have their meeting. 

Kate Hudson unfortunately gets the worst part of the script. The lines she is asked to read early on are cliche and dripping with Hollywood pulp. You hear the collective groan from the audience as she converses with her hubby. Thankfully they are quite few. She is redeemed later when you see her as the distraught wife watching the event on TV and wondering if she will ever see her husband alive. Malchovich is by far one of the greatest actors ever and he is forces here to take on some Cajun bayou accent that is as horrifying as the explosion itself. So much so that no more should be said about it. 

Again once you get passed the initial setup of what should have been done the film takes on a whole different, and better, element. It becomes a fast paced catastrophe film that looks and feels like a shot for shot narrative of the real events. You are engulfed in the horror of smoke, fire, and melting iron. It is an edge of your seat white knuckler that holds you riveted until the final body is taken from the water. 

While the event is true I am sure the writers took a few liberties with the characters interaction and participation. If you go back and read the actual case transcripts you can find some faults. But why would you? The film is correct in how it makes you feel and the anger that boils over against the company that allowed this to happen. It is the same aggravation that hit America when the event happened.

DEEPWATER HORIZON is rated PG-13 for prolonged intense disaster sequences and related disturbing images, and brief strong language. It is best suite for those 15 and up due to the horrific imagery and emotional moments. I give it 3.5 out of 5 told you so's. A solid action thriller that delivers where it needs to. 


Is That a Gun in Your Pocket? - Review

R | 1h 35min | Comedy
Review - Matt Mungle

*In select theaters September 16th 2016 *

SynopsisLife in this idyllic Texas town is turned upside-down when a gun incident involving Jenna’s son spurs her to rethink their obsessive gun culture. Jenna ignites a movement by convincing the women to withhold sex until every gun in town is vanquished. A wild and hilarious showdown ensues between the sexes. 

Review: The gun debate is always a hot topic and never have folks gotten as heated as seen in the new lighthearted comedy, IS THAT A GUN IN YOUR POCKET. Despite the long title the film is not short on laughs. Regardless of which side of the debate you support it is fun to set that all aside for some small town Texas humor.

Jenna (Andrea Anders) wasn't sure what would happen when she decided to withhold sex from her husband (Matt Passmore) until he got rid of all the guns in the house. But soon all the townsmen feel the pressure as their wives take up the cause. It becomes a no holds barred match of will and strength as the men try and keep their right to bear arms sacred and upheld. Can family values win out over the concept of liberty? It is gonna be a hard fought battle for sure. 

If you are looking for a serious anti (or pro for that matter) gun piece then this is not the film for you. Both sides are allowed to plead their case but it is clear that the film makers are trying to show how very silly gun owners can be. Viewers up north might think this is a fairy tale and no one could be that serious about owning a weapon. But in the south the film comes across more as a horror film. Men will be waking up in a cold sweat fearful it could happen to them. 

Is the film sexist? Maybe. But that is what makes it so fun. In one seen a preteen boy asks his father, "is sex that important to a man?" The reply to which is a serious, "Yes, it is." The women are portrayed as the weaker, stay home and clean the house while the men make a living, variety. What will really make the feminists cringe is that the women in the film are ok with that. They like that role. They just want to make their homes and towns safe and are using the most powerful weapon at their disposal to do it. 

The gun lobbyists are the ones that look the most ridiculous. As news spreads about this small Texas town the big guns are brought in to help stop it. But they are no match for women on a mission. Even the plan to bus in some "professional women" to help ease the men's suffering is easily thwarted. 

The cast is wonderful and Anders has the perfect balance of small town sweetness and southern backbone. You want her to win just to see her smile. The supporting cast are all great at comedic timing and never shy away from the ludicrous moments. They own the roles and dialogue which is so important in a film of this nature. It makes the humor easier to laugh at. Horatio Sanz, John Michael Higgins, Max Lloyd-Jones, and Fernanda Romero are so fun to watch. Rounding out this troupe are equally crafted David Denman, Cloris Leachman, and Lauren Bowles. 

IS THAT A GUN IN YOUR POCKET is rated R for sexual content and language. For the right audience this is a truly sweet, touching, and outright hilarious movie. The couples may fight but in the end they all want the same thing. Marriage is the great equalizer and love always triumphs. The right audience will be the ones ok with the strong language, sexual innuendos, and crude banter. In a movie about sex and guns you can bet the puns are a plenty.