Tag Archives: Defy Life

Screenings With Migs: Summer Of Soul

In the summer of 69 a festival that celebrated black love, black culture, black music, and black pride took place in Harlem. The Harlem Cultural Festival was an epic concert series but unless you were there it’s likely you didn’t have any knowledge of the event. The event was filmed but the footage wasn’t released and so it sat collecting dust for 50 years. Thankfully Questlove (the film’s director) and producer Robert Fyvolent came together to bring the footage to light. I went to an early screening on Monday. I had a smile on my face the entire movie!



Continue reading Screenings With Migs: Summer Of Soul

Movies With Migs: Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard

I’m a fan of the original so I was excited when I picked up passes to attend an advanced screening of Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard at Cinemark on June 10th. The next day I went to the AMC early access screening. After the events of the first film Michael (Reynolds) is still experiencing post-traumatic stress. Since losing his license to bodyguard due to the actions of hitman Darius Kincaid (Jackson) Michael can’t get the images out of his head. He sees Darius EVERYWHERE! Even in his dreams. His therapist tells him to forget body guarding and take a vacation. Michael takes her advice which turns out to be a bad move because Sonia Kincaid has tracked him down and says she needs him to help rescue Darius! The rescue turns into a super bloody mess and after a weird series of events the trio get forcefully recruited by Interpol to help save England from a madman’s vengeful plot.  

Continue reading Movies With Migs: Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard

Movies WIth Migs: A Quiet Place Part II (Full Review…No Spoilers)

If you are reading this I’m assuming you’ve watched A Quiet Place. If not I recommend you do that then come back here. It’s a well written monster thriller (for the most part) and ended up being my number 3 film of 2018 (Click the link for reference https://godefylife.com/2019/01/01/movies-with-migs-2018-cinematic-review/). The first time watching it in the theater was a fun experience. It was tense and you could hear a pin drop. The thrills had my heart pounding. Needless to say I was all in when the sequel was announced for 2020. I pre-booked tickets! Then covid happened and Part II got delayed…..

Fast forward to May of 2021!! No more delays. Theaters across the US were re-opening and A Quiet Place Part II was touted as “the movie you want to go back to the theater for”. I wanted to get myself prepared so I upgraded to a 4K steelbook edition of the original and watched that right before I saw it a day early on May 27th.

Part II was awesome! As you can see from the picture I’ve seen it twice. Premium format for this movie is the way to go. If you have premium options available and you haven’t seen this yet I recommend you pay the extra money. AMC A Listers….you know what to do! It looked great in IMAX and Dolby. Those monsters (or are they aliens?) are scary looking and you get to see more monster mayhem in the sequel. The movie starts with an intense flashback scene of Day 1 and opens right where the first one ended. The Abbotts decide to leave their farm after surviving an attack to see if there are any other survivors. They find Emmett (Cillian Murphy), an old friend who has become cynical and weary since none of his family was left. He’s reluctant at first but he eventually agrees to help the Abbotts as they venture out into hostile territory. I really liked the addition of Murphy to the cast. He played his role well and you felt for his character. There’s a tense moment where the family first runs into him that had me gripping my seat. I liked how that was set up. Emily Blunt does her thing as Momma but Millicent Simmonds, who plays Regan, had a bigger role and she handled it well. You can see the evolution of her character after the events of the first film. Throughout the movie there are nice scares that made me jump a few times. I even jumped during a scene the second time I saw it. There was a decrease in tension however that was offset by an increase in monster action so it worked out. I did have a couple of questions after seeing this one. The flashback scene made me wonder where the creatures came from. I also need more information on the people at the docks because what in the hills have eyes……

The trailer showed too much (ARRGHHHHH) but I still had a great time seeing A Quiet Place Part II. It will be in my top ten for 2021 for sure. This Wednesday theaters everywhere will be showing a double feature so check your local listings. I’ll be at my local AMC for it!

Check out my video review of A Quiet Place Part II here: https://www.facebook.com/324698124776582/videos/518155499338310

CHEERS!
Migs Rodriguez

MOVIES WITH MIGS: Those Who Wish Me Dead (Full Review…No Spoilers)

What’s happening readers!! After a year of being away due to the shutdown I finally made my way up to New York City! During my trip I hit up one of my favorite AMC locations to check out the latest thriller from director Taylor Sheridan. If you’re in NYC check out the AMC on 34th and 8th in Midtown. It’s 3 stories and there are HUGE posters everywhere. I love it!

Those Who Wish Me Dead was an okay thriller. Angelina Jolie plays Hannah, a firewoman who is haunted by a past fire that killed a fellow firefighter and 3 children. She blames herself for the deaths even though there was nothing she could have done to save them. Hannah is stationed at an outpost in the Montana mountains and runs into a boy named Connor, who is scared and on the run from a 2 man hit crew. Connor tells Hannah that he has a story that has to be told to the news and she decides to help him get to safety. In order to cover their tracks the hitmen, played by Nicholas Hoult and Aidan Gillen, start a HUGE fire in the woods and blackmail the town sheriff (Jon Bernthal) into helping them search for the boy. So Hannah and Connor have to evade the fire and the hitmen. If I say anymore about the plot I’d be giving the story away so I won’t. It’s a run of the mill action flick. Not much stood out but I must praise the performance of Medina Senghore, who plays the sheriff’s wife Allison. She was tough!! Super tough!! Her time on scene made for some tense thrills. I was on edge. I liked the interaction between Hannah and Connor and I even liked the hitmen. I got a laugh out of the fire, especially towards the climax of the film. If you’ve seen this movie you probably know what scene I’m referring to. I’ll just say I’m glad Hannah and Connor can run really fast! I’m a big fan of director Taylor Sheridan however his last two films (this and No Remorse) didn’t do much for me. Were they watchable? Yes. Enjoyable? Somewhat. Basic? HIGHLY! This movie is adapted from the same titled book but some of the story was changed. I wonder if the book is better. Those Who Wish Me Dead is in theaters and also streaming on HBOMAX. It probably won’t be in theaters much longer though. In my opinion it’s worth a view if you have a couple of hours to kill.
Oh yea…..Tyler Perry is in the movie for 3 minutes! Haha

CHEERS!
Migs Rodriguez

MOVIES WITH MIGS: NOBODY (NO SPOILERS)

Meet Hutch Mansell. He’s retired military that lives in the suburbs with his wife and kids. He has the same routine every day, every week, which includes not putting his trash out in time and wearing the same clothes to work. Hutch is frustrated with his mundane life but he stays silent and drones on until a botched robbery at his house awakens his vigilante spirit. When Hutch attempts track down the robbers it comes out that he may not be just a regular guy. In fact, Hutch can throw hands and serve beat downs to Russians who make him angry. After Hutch has a violent encounter with some baddies on a bus the movie turns high octane and you find out Mr. Mansell has a very interesting past. I enjoyed this action flick. When I saw the trailer for the first time I laughed because I recognized Bob Odenkirk (Hutch) as the wacky President from the movie Long Shot. This guy is going to be beating up goons left and right? Yes….he sure is! The writer of the film, Derek Kolstad, is the creator of the John Wick series so you see some similar elements in Nobody. It felt like someone threw Odenkirk in a blender with Wick and the Equalizer to create Hutch. One of the best elements of this movie is that it doesn’t take itself seriously even though there’s hardcore brutality throughout the film. The music choices add to the comical element and seeing my man Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd) in action made me chuckle. You also get to hear RZA (Wu-Tang represent!!) on the mic. He was a trip! The main bad guy looking like some off brand Hugh Hefner made me laugh. Some parts of the story could have been better executed but overall this was good time in the theater. If you have theaters open in your area check it out on discount day. Nobody is also available On Demand. I’ll be adding this to my collection!

Check my live review here: https://www.facebook.com/324698124776582/videos/966095320806677

CHEERS!
Migs Rodriguez

Movies With Migs: One Night In Miami…

Hello readers! I’ll get right into this and say if you have access to Amazon Prime Video WATCH THIS MOVIE! If you watched it already then WATCH IT AGAIN! Major kudos to Regina King for her directorial debut. Her direction and screenplay by Kemp Powers is rightfully receiving praise and accolades. This film is adapted from the play of the same name and is set around a fictional meeting in Miami. You may have heard of the attendees….

It’s February 1964 and Cassius Clay has become boxing’s heavyweight champ. After his bout he meets with Malcolm X, Jim Brown and Sam Cooke. Now this is supposed to be a celebration but it turns into so much more. The 60s was a tumultuous decade for Black people in America, to say the least. Each one of these men was a prominent figure and they were all up against racism and dealing with personal problems. As a Muslim Malcolm explains the need for urgency to stand against oppression against Blacks however Cooke and Brown don’t agree with everything he says. It’s an interesting crossroad for Clay, who is contemplating devotion to the Nation of Islam, but he still has reservations. You see the clash in ideals and as Jim Brown states….”We aren’t all the same.” You feel the emotions as these men deal with the times they were living in and how they planned to use their influence in a world that wanted to keep their voices suppressed. Even though this meeting didn’t actually happen the actors made it feel real. Their differences created compelling dialogue. The conflicts were loud and in your face. The dynamics to resolve the conflicts felt personal. I never heard of Kingsley Ben-Adir until this film but his performance as Malcolm X had a lot of emotional depth. Aldis Hodge plays a young Jim Brown and even though his role was the lesser of the 4 his performance was good. Eli Goree and Leslie Odom Jr knock it out as Cassius Clay and Sam Cooke. Goree had Clay’s mannerisms down. Odom is a singer and songwriter and he was able to channel that into his portrayal of Cooke. Odom’s performance stood out to me. I appreciated how he was able to command the screen at certain points but also able to take a backseat. For me it’s a bit harrowing seeing films about real people and past events. Retrospect is crazy because later that year Sam Cooke was shot and killed and early 65 was when Malcolm X was murdered. Their influence and mark on American society still lives on. Clay became Muhammed Ali and also one of the greatest boxers ever. Arguably thee greatest. Ali recently passed but he will be quoted and imitated for a LONG time. Jim Brown is the only one who is still alive. He made his mark as one of the greatest players in the NFL and he’s also starred in a few decent movies. He’s my dude in Mars Attacks! So if you have the ability to check out One Night In Miami… please do so. I highly recommend it. Strong dialogue, performances and direction. BRAVO BRAVO!

See my live review here: https://www.facebook.com/324698124776582/videos/248593186648632

CHEERS!
Migs Rodriguez

MOVIES WITH MIGS: Wonder Woman 84 (Full Review)

What’s happening readers! If you have not watched WW84 you probably shouldn’t read on (unless you really want to). I’m not going full blown spoiler but I will be going into details over certain scenes so putting that out there up front. Good? Alright….Go time!

Continue reading MOVIES WITH MIGS: Wonder Woman 84 (Full Review)

Movies With Migs: Monster Hunter (Spoiler Free)

Monsters on the big screen? SOLD!!!!! When I saw the trailer for Monster Hunter I knew I was in. The trailer shows too much (as they do these days) but I wasn’t going to miss out on seeing these crazy looking creatures in the theater. When I went to book my ticket I had the option to watch it in Dolby Cinema. SCORE!!!!! It was a fun time and I want to watch this one again in IMAX.

Continue reading Movies With Migs: Monster Hunter (Spoiler Free)

MOVIES WITH MIGS: COME PLAY

What’s happening readers!! Last Friday I made it to the theater to see Come Play, a horror/thriller about a monster trying to make a boy his “best friend” by taking the boy to his world…….FOREVER! I found the film to be enjoyable even though it wasn’t scary. It had some creepy moments which turned out to be a lot of fun for me because I was in the theater by myself. I was ignorant! Like….ignant! Yelling at the screen. Telling the kids to run!! Saying “OOOHHH NOOOOOOO” really really loud! HAHAHAHA. Ahhh good times!

Continue reading MOVIES WITH MIGS: COME PLAY