“Cry Macho” (Drama: 1 hour, 44 minutes)
With: Clint Eastwood, Eduardo Minett, Natalia Traven and Dwight Yoakam
Director: Clint Eastwood
Classified: PG-13 (Wholesale, violence and thematic elements)
Movie Review: “Cry Macho” is an adaptation of the 1975 novel by N. Richard Nash. Clint Eastwood movies are always rewarding because they tell straight-line stories. They omit side stories, sticking to a simple plot. Technique is generally good for Eastwood, but not this outing.
Eastwood’s macho western style tries to be a film of deep feelings, but is just a story without enough substance to be emotional.
In 1979, Texas rodeo cowboy Mike Milo (Eastwood) retired with a serious injury while performing. Since then, Milo has worked on a ranch for Howard Polk (Yoakam).
Shortly after firing Milo, Polk rehires him to travel to Mexico City and pick up Howard’s 13-year-old son Rafael “Rafo” Polk (Eduardo Minett). Milo’s job will not be easy. Rafo is a minor surrounded by bickering parents, Polk and his wife, the boss of crime, Leta (Fernanda Urrejola). Still, Milo does his best to bring Rafo and his rooster Macho to the border.
Earlier this year, “The Marksman” (director Robert Lorenz), which starred Liam Neeson. “Cry Macho” is similar. Both films are about older men trying to get a boy to the US-Mexico border safely. These films are inspiring because someone is helping a stranger.
“Cry Macho” is slightly inspiring but not in a lasting way. It seems unfinished, especially the romance between Milo from Eastwood and the beautiful Natalia Traven’s Marta, which seems forced. This exists because Eastwood is misinterpreted in his film. Here he is a director, producer and actor.
Often the actors, when they are also producers and directors, have too much control over who and what is in their film. Producers should give their casting directors the freedom to oppose their casting – their boss – if necessary.
This movie needed a famous star to sell it. The person just isn’t Eastwood this outing.
The human condition is a major element of this neo-western. A retiree and a teenager need to find a place to belong while thinking about what it means to be macho. This part of the film is present and engaging, but it’s not strong enough to overshadow the injured parts.
Note: C (not macho enough to be emotional.)
Play in the cinemas of the Valdosta stadium.
“Copshop” (Action / Thriller: 1 hour 47 minutes)
With: Gerard Butler, Frank Grillo, Alexis Louder and Toby Huss
Director: Joe Carnahan
Rated: R (strong / bloody violence and intrusive language)
Movie Review: “Copshop” is an engaging movie, but it’s an action movie painted by numbers. It has a bit of everything that movie buffs who love energetic movies can enjoy.
It’s action-packed with interesting characters while being a simplistic, unsophisticated tale with over-the-top violence. However, these rambling facets are artistically interesting when juxtaposed with funny characters.
Teddy (Grillo) is a devious con artist who tries to avoid a deadly assassin, Viddick (Butler). Teddy assaults Officer Harper (Louder), who takes him prisoner in a small town police station in the middle of a barren place.
Soon, Viddick also lands in the same neighborhood, hoping for a chance to assassinate Teddy. Rookie Officer Harper finds himself in the middle when a third more violent hitman, Anthony Lamb (Huss), arrives to put an end to Teddy.
Alexis Louder is a star in this cast of men as an African American woman. She exudes confidence as a seductive and exotic allure as a resourceful cop. She is captivating and a welcome surprise.
Another notable, mainly due to his over-the-top performance, is Toby Huss as Anthony Lamb. His serial killer character is excessively violent yet comical. It inspires humor. This is most exposed when he maintains that he no longer goes through Anthony and prefers Tony. More so, Tony Lamb points out their flaws to people, especially law enforcement. He often tells people why they got it wrong, which makes it easier for him to kill them.
Grillo and Butler join Louder and Huss. Known for their tough men, their on-screen characters, Grillo and Butler are your stereotypical action stars. They offer a lot of good action scenes, but Louder and Huss outshine them.
Director Joe Carnahan (“Smokin ‘Aces”, 2006) remains consistent. The characters with nuanced quirks provide interesting moments during violent scenes.
The story has a lot of sub-par moments via the actions of the characters. The plot is uncertain and seems unfinished for some scenes, but its open ending indicates more to come. For those looking for action, the violent sequences and interesting characters make this a suitable popcorn flick.
Note: B- (Go shopping; they are having a sale.)
Play in the cinemas of the Valdosta stadium.
Adann-Kennn Alexxandar has been a film critic for over 20 years for the Valdosta Daily Times.