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The Butler (2013)
Violent facts collide with soap opera fiction too much
I gave this movie a *5* because it wasn't a bad movie, but it wasn't a good one either. Miss Oprah would have done better producing this as a mini-series for her OWN network and maybe giving it a little more factual history and a little less gratuitous violence. Better yet a whole movie on the "real" Butler's life would be far more interesting than giving him an imaginary son to tie civil rights into the story.
This is why I added the spoiler alert, so much of it is made up including the disturbing opening of a child hearing his mother being raped, then watching his father murdered by a caricature of an evil white man. Oh sure, this evil did exist, but not all at the same time to one person and according to all those who fact-checked the real Butler's life, certainly not him.
Not sure where the Oscar buzz is coming from, possibly for Forest Whitaker who was the reason I didn't feel the price of admission wasted. Oprah was a disappointment playing the smokey-boozey lonely wife. Sure, marriage is hard work, but she was not a sympathetic character. During those turbulent years, she had it pretty good, a hard working husband, a nice house, lovely clothes and a father figure for her two sons. It's obvious, in real life, Oprah's never smoked or been drunk, so there was no method acting involved, just extreme closeups of "ugly makeup" and maybe some drunk speaking voice coaching.
The Presidents they paraded through this movie appeared too briefly which was fortunate, you could indeed figure out which ones the director liked ... and didn't like.
Fortunately I read reviews with *spoilers* before I saw the movie so I entered the theater with an open mind and my bar low for expectation. I wasn't disappointed, though what could have been an important movie, wasn't.
Rock of Ages (2012)
It's fun Summer Fare, Enjoy !
I saw the Broadway play with the original cast and had a great time. The movie didn't disappoint me either. A cheesy love story tied together with great music from the hair band 80's was on purpose. Re-living that era, priceless. Go. Enjoy. This will definitely become a cult favorite in future years, bless 'em for preserving some amazing rock history. Ignore the professional critics, go have fun!
This is my first review attempt on IMDb, with hopes this helps those who are turned off by People, EW, local and national news professional (aka, paid) reviewers. I'm a pop culture junkie and a grandma, I don't always agree with the pros. I'm sorry Rock of Ages had a poor box office start out of the gate, but hopefully my little review piece will bring some fun to those clinging to their entertainment dollars. Great party experience!