Archives for posts with tag: Michelle Monaghan

There’s plenty of films where the psycho villain manipulates the nice suburban family, but “Every Breath You Take” (2021) uses an updated version of “Ordinary People” as the family’s backstory to give things a different twist. It also helps distract us from what is a pretty formulaic film genre. We have a family that’s struggling to cope with the loss of a son when a stranger with a struggle of his own enters the fray. Things become pretty obvious pretty quickly, but I maintained interest in the interpersonal dynamic between dad (Casey Affleck), daughter (India Eisley) and mom (Michelle Monaghan).

For most of “Sleepless” (2017), I was on the edge of my seat. Partially because of the tense action surrounding crooked cops and a Vegas drug deal gone bad. Mostly because I couldn’t hear the clenched-jaw mumblings of Jamie Foxx and his cast of mush-mouthed costars. It wasn’t me. I’m old, but I don’t listen to Fox News all day with the sound turned up to 11. This was the worst dialogue sound of any movie I’ve seen recently. There are also way too many plot elements straight out of “How to Write a Modern Hollywood Action Script, Vol. I.”

My cynical take on “Patriots Day” (2016) is movie producer Mark Wahlberg gave movie director Peter Berg money to do what Peter Berg does best, which is to make movie star Mark Wahlberg look like some kind of everyman hero. However, Berg is such a masterful storyteller he makes Wahlberg practically superfluous despite making him ridiculously ubiquitous. Seriously. You could have cut much of Wahlberg’s screen time, reduced the film by 20 minutes and ended up with an indy-style Boston Marathon bombing film instead of an emotionally exploitative, big-budget cliche. Sorry if that makes me a bad American, but it’s true.