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The Commuter Movie Review by Ms. H

Disclaimer:  The views expressed in this movie review are mine alone and do not reflect those of

Introduction:  You probably have seen at least one of the Taken movies Liam Neeson is known for.  Looks like Liam Neeson moved from his Taken movie series to act in other movies.  The question is was the movie, The Commuter that much different from all the Taken movies Liam Neeson has done.  Specifically, was The Commuter better than the Taken movies or worse?  Check out my movie review of The Commuter to find out.

Plot of The Commuter Movie

The name of the movie describes exactly what The Commuter movie starring Liam Neeson is all about.  It involves the hustle and bustle of many people commuting to and from work and other places.  Liam Neeson knows some commuters on a personal basis and others only in passing. The plot centers around Liam Neeson accepting a bet from a strange woman. What transpires next forms the basis for the movie, The Commuter.

Pros of The Commuter Movie

Starting  on a positive note, I thought The Commuter movie was one someone could easily understand.  There are some action scenes in the movie as well as some somber moments as well.   Of course, The Commuter is a movie, so it can be expected that some of the action scenes were unrealistic to the degree that Liam Neeson would have to be some type of superhero to survive all the different skirmishes he found himself in. However, I think most of the action scenes were well done including the scene that I believe is a first for a movie involving a train.

I think everyone performed their roles adequately including the woman who proposed the odd bet to Liam Neeson. Additionally,  it appears the movie provided lots of opportunities for Liam Neeson to show his “Taken”  facial expressions to a T.  Just like in the movie Taken, Liam Neeson seems to alway show either a stone face,  frowns of concern or anger in his face.  Looking back on the movie, I can't recall Liam Neeson smiling at least once -- even though I'm sure that he probably did.

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Cons of The Commuter Movie

Even though the plot was simple, it seemed to me The Commuter used inspirations from other movies as foundations; therefore, there was not much originality.  If you watch The Commuter, you may be reminded of the movie Unstoppable, The Oriental Express, and even Liam Neeson Taken movies.  I guess as a mode of transportation, trains may not be as popular as other type mass transit, so to tap into something different, writers and directors may choose trains as the setting of some action/adventure type movies.  However, using a train as a setting for a movie could prove to be boring, because most of the time, people may be just sitting, waiting to get to their destination.

The exception to this was several fights broke out on the train involving Liam Neeson as well as a major malfunction with the train.  Liam Neeson also had to interact with the commuters as a result of the bet that he accepted from the woman. By the way, You can tell when major actions are occurring  because the movie music gets louder and the movie scenes shakes to let you know people are fighting or other actions are taking place.

Have you ever seen  a dog or cat chase their tail?  Well that is what The Commuter movie reminded me of to a certain extent.  Spoiler Alert:  For example,  there is a scene in the movie where Liam Neeson scribbles on a friend's newspaper to call the police.  He couldn't call himself since his phone was stolen before he boarded the train.  After a lot of actions ensued including Liam Neeson performing his superhero duties of saving the train from derailing he ended up being met by the police albeit under different circumstances. In other words, there were  police waiting for him after the train crashed even though earlier in the movie he sought out the police to help him.

By the way, with all the other commuters on the train, it was Liam Neeson who worked with the conductor  to stop the train from derailing. Even though it was noble what he did, I thought the part of him saving the train was out of place in the movie and pulled everyone's attention away from the biggest mystery which was the secret person he was searching for on the train.

Assessment of The Commuter Movie

At the end of the day, The Commuter is an action film, not unlike the Liam Neeson Taken movies.  I thought the writer and director stretched the movie by adding unnecessary actions and scenarios in the film. There is even an addition in the movie where the woman who started this whole process meets with Liam Neeson again.  It was as if the writer and director did not want to leave any loose ends.  Tying up loose ends was not the problem with the movie.  In a nutshell, the problem was why would Liam Neeson decide to take money not knowing what would be required of him even if he was in financial straits at the time. However,  If he didn’t take the money, I guess there would be no reason to make the movie.  To answer the question posed earlier, was The Commuter movie better or worse than the Taken movies, my response is that both the Taken movies and The Commuter are on the same level.

Rating of The Commuter Movie

Based on a rating of 1 star to 5 stars, with 5 stars being the best, I rate The Commuter movie two (2) stars.

Proud Mary Movie Review by Ms. H

Disclaimer:  The views expressed here are mine alone and do not represent those of

Introduction to Proud Mary Movie Review

When I see movie previews or movie trailers, I sometimes instantly decide that I will see the full movie when it comes to the theaters. This was the case for the movie Proud Mary.  Since action movies starring females are few and far between, I usually see just about every one that comes out. From the previews of Proud Mary, I knew the movie would be starring Taraji P. Henson who is known for playing Cookie on the TV show Empire.  I was curious if the movie would be worth seeing or if she would just rehash her Cookie character. Did Taraji P Henson make a successful transition from her Cookie TV character to the one she played in the movie, Proud Mary?  Check out my movie review of Proud Mary to find out.

Proud Mary Movie Genre

I was skeptical about the type movie Proud Mary would be.  In fact, some parts of the movie is reminiscent of what they called blaxploitation movies from years past. Even the introductory words at the beginning of the movie used some of the same print styles that you may see in a Super Fly, Jackie Brown or other similar type movies.  If you get the same impression, just bear with the movie. Towards that end, one of the pros of Proud Mary is it is not long in duration.  In fact, the movie lasted long enough where you are not squirming in your seat, wondering when the movie will end.

Movement - Pace of Proud Mary Movie

Alluding to my advice to bear with the movie, Proud Mary starts slow and could very well be like a TV soap opera if not for actions from Mary -- played by Taraji P.  Henson.  Some of the scenes may seem to be just filling up time, but as the storyline progresses, you may realize that those scenes have meaning. If you see the complete movie Proud Mary, you should be able to put the pieces together. By the way, if you missed something, the dialogue in the movie will help clarify the movie for you.

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Actors in Proud Mary Movie

It is  probably obvious that the stand-out actor in the movie is Taraji P. Henson.  In my opinion, she did an adequate job of moving away from her Cookie character in Empire -- even though there are some parts of the movie when she reverts to actions that may bring images of Cookie to mind.  It helps that Proud Mary is essentially an action movie, which differs from the mostly dialogue-based Empire, so Taraji P. Henson is almost forced to play her movie character Mary differently from that of Cookie.

If I had to choose an actor who was out of place and not believable in his role, I would pick Danny Glover who played the Boss in the movie.  I think a better actor to play the part would have been Samuel L. Jackson, Wesley Snipes or some other actor who fit the mode of this character better. I think Danny Glover was lackluster in his performance and when he finally verbally fired back at Taraji P. Henson, there was no impact since he spoke all his lines like a droning monologue.  

Proud Mary Movie Title

It appears the writers chose a classic R&B song and wrote the story around it.  Looking back on the movie, I would not use the word “Proud” to describe Taraji P. Henson’s character Mary, even though she was probably proud.  This movie was more action oriented instead of character-study driven, so the movie title, Proud Mary, did not quite fit the movie.  Based on the character, there are better words to describe Mary instead of being proud.  Brave, daring, calculating and even caring are a few choice words for Mary.  But since there are no songs with these words associated with Mary, I guess the writers settled on Proud Mary for convenience.


Assessment of Proud Mary

In a word, I found Proud Mary to be primarily action-focused albeit, I had to wait for the actions to kick in. Also, there are some obvious missteps regarding actions in the movie, especially regarding the security of the Boss.  Spoiler Alert:  The absence of body guards in the direct presence of the Boss when it was most needed was a misstep as well as the guards failing to search anyone who came near the Boss were obvious flaws in the movie. Additionally, there were hesitations in some of the action of the characters to allow certain events to happen, especially toward the end of the movie.  Even though the movie had some shortfalls relative to actions, this did not negatively impact my rating.  With that being said, my rating of Proud Mary would have been higher if the inconsistencies as described above in the movie were not as obvious as they were.

Rating of Proud Mary

Based on a rating of 1 star to 5 stars, with 5 stars being the best, I rate Proud Mary three (3) stars.


Molly’s Game Movie Review by Ms. H

Disclaimer:  The views expressed here are mine alone and do not represent those of


Prior to seeing the movie  Molly’s Game, I anticipated it would be the typical story of a woman who was seeking to get wealthy quickly at almost all costs -- which included going the gambling route.  I did not read reviews or look at movie trailers, etc. previously, so I was pleasantly surprised to find that with a few exceptions, Molly’s Game, starring Jessica Chastain was not the gambling cliche movie I thought it would be.


Get RIch Quick Storyline in the Molly’s Game Movie

The movie, Molly’s Game is based the true story of Molly Bloom who became wealthy through managing gambling tables.  I’ve seen similar casino-type movies, where in many instances the person profiting from this venture got money “under the table” or performed some other shady deals to make it big. Oftentimes, making poor choices and other reasons resulted in such an undertaking being a dangerous venture.  What I liked about Molly’s Game is I think the movie conveyed why she believed that her way to wealth was by trying her luck at running a gambling “business.”  The writer of Molly's Game made it clear that when she started, there was initially no intent to defraud or simply take advantage of other’s weaknesses. In fact, many times Molly Bloom attempted to discourage people from playing the tables, especially if they were not good at the game.  While seemingly looking out for others while at the same time running her business, Molly Bloom demonstrated that she could come become a sucess. Well, at least, in the beginning. Don’t worry. I will not reveal any spoilers.

Molly’s Game Movie - Pros

There are many ways to tell a story, including flashbacks, narration and chronological events, etc. I believe the Molly’s Game movie effectively used a combination of flashbacks, narration and current personal happenings to share Molly Bloom's story. These methods were used flawlessly and the events of the story moved along at a good pace.  Even though the movie could be considered long (2 hours, 20 minutes  to be exact), you may become so engrossed in her story that when the movie ended, you may not realize the movie lasted as long as it did.

I found Molly’s Game to not only be entertaining but informative as well in the way of learning about Molly Bloom’s character.  As mentioned earlier, I’ve watched casino-type movies in the past; however, in comparison to other movies of this type, i.e. the movie 21 and others, I found Molly’s Game to be more revealing as to who Molly Bloom was as a person. I believe the movie succeeded in letting the audience know insider information on what drove Molly Bloom to get into this line of work.

If you see Molly’s Game, you will notice there are plenty of dialogue between Molly and who ever she comes in contact with.  This was a positive because the dialogue actually helped move the story along.  There were no deviation from who the story was about by bringing in background stories about people she may have  encountered.  If a background story of one of her clients was told, it was done from the viewpoint of Molly Bloom.  By taking this approach, the writer and director kept the focus on the type of individual Molly Bloom was at the forefront, since in some instances she would add her opinion about various people.  At no time did the story stray from its main plot line, and even though the movie included a variety of different characters, the writer and director did not meander away from Molly Bloom being the focus of the movie.  

Molly’s Game Movie - Cons

During the movie, Molly Bloom shared a reason she was intent on becoming a success at what she was doing.  It appears that her highly renowned and well-known athletic siblings may have been the impetus for her drive to succeed. However, instead of narrating this part of the movie, I think Molly's Game could have illustrated in more detail what happened, or incidents could have been shown to indicate she was overlooked by her father and others because of her siblings -- which in turn caused her to work harder not to become a failure.  Unfortunately, these events or happenings did not appear in Molly's Game.

Assessment of Molly’s Game Movie

I think the point of Molly’s Game was not to try to persuade anyone to take up what she got into -- but it was simply Molly Bloom sharing her experiences. Even though I am giving this movie a positive review, as a personal disclaimer, I do not condone gambling. Towards that end, in my opinion, Molly’s Story was well told, and even with the abundance of dialogue, the movie was not in any way boring or a drain to watch.  If not for the Molly's Game Movie con listed above, this movie would have received an even higher rating than I provided below.

Rating of Molly’s Game Movie

Based on a rating of 1 to 5 stars, with 5 stars being the best, I rate Molly’s Game 4 stars.

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