Category Archives: FLICKANALYSIS


Birth of a Nation- Karl Sides “The Flick Fanatic”

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Nate Parker stars, directs and even wrote the screenplay for the new film about the slave rebellion in Virginia led by Nat Turner called “Birth of a Nation”

Years before the civil war erupted, a young boy named Nat Turner was growing up on the Turner plantation (slaves took the last name of their owner as they were property). Nat was raised by his mother after his father ran off to avoid being lynched after killing a slave hunter when he was caught stealing food. Nat would also take books from the main house and taught himself how to read. Elizabeth Turner (Penelope Ann Miller) found out about Nat and instructed his mother to send him to the main house and he would be taught properly. Mrs. Turner gave Nat a bible to read and study.

Nat grew into a young man and began to preach to the other slaves on the plantation. Following his father’s death, Samuel Turner (Armie Hammer)took over the farm. Mrs. Elizabeth left to live with her daughter Catherine and her new husband on a neighboring property. As a gift Samuel, after being prodded by Nat, bought a slave girl Cherry (Aja Naomi King) to serves as a house girl for Catherine (Katie Garfield). Nat was infatuated with Cherry and would take every opportunity to go to see Cherry. Nat would eventually marry Cherry as they jumped the broom. Cherry still remained at the other farm with Catherine.

Word got out about the Turner farm and how there was never any issue with the slaves there. Rev. Zalthall (Mark Boone Jr.) suggested to Samuel that he take his slave preacher to other farms to help get their slaves in line. This would generate the much needed money for Samuel to keep the farm. Drought was keeping crop numbers down and putting the crunch on the farmers. Nat agreed and then got his first look at what slave life was like at other farms under abusive owners.  One such farm had a slaver force feeding his slave who had refused to eat by chiseling out his teeth and putting a funnel down his throat.  I could barely watch parts of this film because there were brutally gruesome. There were whippings, beatings, rape and murders, this all before Nat decides to rebel.

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Deepwater Horizon- Karl Sides (The Flick Fanatic)

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Wahlberg and Russell bring the greatest oil disasters in US history to the big screen in “Deepwater Horizon”

Peter Berg directs this tale of the crew of the BP oil drilling platform “Deepwater Horizon” with corporate cost cutting, accelerating timelines and faulty/failing equipment as the platform fails. Mark Wahlberg stars as Mike Williams, the crewmember that is responsible for patching the equipment and keeping the station working. The captain referred to as “Mr. Jimmy” is Jimmy Harrell played by Kurt Russell, who calls the BP officials on their negligence and insists on test before the DWH moves on to a new drilling location.

April 2010, Mike Williams (Wahlberg), Mr. Jimmy (Russell) and Andrea Fleytas (Gina Rodriguez) are aboard a helicopter in route to their job, a crew on the BP Oil drilling platform Deepwater Horizon. The Deepwater Horizon is located about 10 mile of the Louisiana coast and is in the final stages of drilling out the mud from the ocean floor before it moves on to a new location. Jimmy finds out the BP executives cancelled a concrete test, a test crucial to the stability of the station, and he is furious. Jimmy insists on a negative pressure test to see if the concrete base on the ocean floor is going to hold. Mike Williams (Wahlberg) agrees and begins to rifle off all the things broken at the station when asked by Vidrine (John Malkovich) as the BP folks thinks the crew were just dragging their feet. There is cautious and then there is careless.

The crew does the negative test and the results show pressure, but no mud is coming up the pipe. So Vidrine is satisfied, but Jimmy is not. Vidrine agrees to run another pressure test on the auxiliary line. As the test is being done, there are ripples on the ocean floor and the pressure red lines and mud is spewed out of the pipe all over the DWH. The crew tried to shut down the pipes and normalize the pressure, but there are gas alarms everywhere just as the plat form explodes.

Now the crew is on a Oil rig, 10 miles into the ocean and it’s on fire. Jimmy, who was in the shower at the time of the explosion, trying to feel his way to the command center with glass in his face and one eye swollen shut. Mike and the surviving crew try to get to the lifeboats. Mike gets an injured crewmate on the boat and goes back for Jimmy and Andrea. When he returns to the launch area, he sees that the boats have left him and Andrea on the burning rig.

Deepwater Horizon is an exciting thrill ride and should be seen on the big screen, I even recommend spending the big bucks for the IMAX version. Deepwater Horizon also stars Kate Hudson as Williams wife (in a film with her step-father for the first time). All the monitors and equipment in the film are accurate and Mike Williams and Jimmy Harrell themselves were on set to consult.


I am Karl the Flick Fanatic, and I am telling you to catch the adrenaline rush that is Deepwater Horizon this weekend!




Sully- Karl Sides “The Flick Fanatic”

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Tom Hanks “Soars” as Chesley Sullenberger, the man who piloted the “Miracle on the Hudson” in “Sully”.

Clint Eastwood brings another award contender to the big screen this week with Sully, the story behind the “Miracle on the Hudson”. Tom Hanks stars in the title role as the pilot that manages to land a plane full of passengers on the Hudson river after both engines fail. Aaron Eckhart co-stars as his co-pilot Jeff Skiles.

Everyone knows the story of US Air flight 1549, that hit a flock of birds minutes after take-off and had both engines destroyed and was forced to land a plane with 155 passengers on the Hudson river 208 seconds after the left LaGuardia airport in New York. Sully tells the story of the investigation that followed the water landing conducted by the NTSB. Sully was a hero to American and a superstar as he did the mandatory media tour following the incident. So it will come as a surprise as the insurance company pressured the National Transportation Safety Board to pin the accident on the crew.

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Hands of Stone- Karl Sides (The Flick

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hands of stone poster

Edgar Ramirez is Roberto Duran in the new Bio pic “Hands of Stone!

Roberto Duran was raised on the streets of Panama stealing mangos and fighting for money to feed his family. Duran also had a hatred for Americans due to the taking of the Panama Canal. Duran would grow up and become one of the greatest fighters in history and world champion in the welterweight class.

Edgar Ramirez (Point Break, The Bourne Ultimatum) is Roberto Duran, welterweight fighter from Panama that earns the nick name “Hands of Stone” because of the viscous way he would knock out his opponents. Following a 13 round TKO of Ken Buchanan, Duran’s manager Carlos Eleta (Ruben Blades) introduces Roberto to the great Boxing trainer Ray Arcel (Robert DeNiro). The meeting was as cold as the Baskin Robbins Ice cream Duran was eating. Duran still hate Americans and didn’t want one training him.

Ray Arcel was a boxing legend having trained numerous World Champions and being a visionary in the sport wanting to bring it to TV and viewed by the entire nation. That idea almost got him killed by the mob, who were protective of the sport they were running. Arcel made a deal when he left the hospital that he would not make a dime from Professional boxing or he and his family would be killed. So Ray could only train Duran for free!

Eleta convinced Duran to bring on Arcel and the two had more friction that the speech barrier. But soon Duran adopted Arcels way of psychological boxing, making your opponent think the way you want him to. This would be especially clear on the first legendary fight with Sugar Ray Leonard (Usher). Leonard was a faster fighter and also undefeated, so Duran meets him in public and insults his manhood and his wife. Duran gets in his head and Leonard doesn’t dance in the fight, it is fought toe to toe Duran style. Roberto Duran wins the fight Arcel’s way!

The film chronicles the rest of Duran’s career and is a very good look at what the flip side of the Leonard/Duran coin was like.

“Hands of Stone” is an entertaining and captivating fight film. Usher is magnificently cast as Sugar Ray and has the signature smile down pat! DeNiro is amazing opposite Ramirez in the title role. There is also a cameo by John Turturro as mob boss Frankie Carbo.

I am Karl, the Flick Fanatic and I am rating “Hands of Stone” a KNOCKOUT!!!

Rated R (Nudity, Drugs, Violence)




Ben Hur (2016)- Karl Sides (The Flick Fanatic)

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BEN HUR (2016)


Jack Huston stars as the prince turned slave in the biblical remake Ben Hur!

Hollywood believes that today’s youth won’t go past the new release rack, so they feel the need to remake all the classic films. The latest target is the biblical classic that had Charlton Heston racing chariots against the Romans in the 1959 epic Ben Hur. The updated version stars Jack Huston as Judah Ben Hur and Morgan Freeman as gambler IIderim as the pair that take down the Romans in a race that will leave you breathless.

Judah Ben Hur (Huston) , Prince of Jerusalem, was raised by his family with his step brother Messala Severus. Messala was an roman orphan after his family stood up against Caesar and they were crucified. Judah  and Messala were normal brothers, they raced horses and were very competitive. Messala joined the Roman army to see the world and step out of Juddah’s shadow and prove himself to Tirzah (Sofia Black-D’Elia).

While Messala was away Judah married servant girl Esther (Nazanin Boniadi) and Jerusalem has had zealots making attacks against romans. The zealots are led by a spiritual man named Jesus of Nazareth (Rodrigo Santoro) and Judah discovers Tirzah is helping them. Messala returns home as a commander of Caesars army telling Judah to speak to his people so there is no uprising when Roman leader Pontius Pilate (Pilou Asbaek) leads the legion through town.

An arrow nearly misses Pilate hitting a soldier in the throat. Judah and his family are arrested by Messala as traitors. Esther escapes, but Tirzah and her mother are imprisoned and Judah is sent to the ships to row until he dies. During a battle with the Greeks, Judah’s ship is sunk and he is the only survivor and washes up on shore, found by an African gambler IIderim. IIderim tells Judah he his heading to Jerusalem to race chariots in the games. Judah is brought along to take care of the horses and sees this as the opportunity to seek revenge on Messala.

Ben Hur is a biblical story and is very slow paced until you get to the chariot race. Huston and Freeman are great in the film as well as Santoro as Jesus. The story is the same as the 1959 epic but done much better in 3D and has better special effects in the race.

I would recommend checking out Ben Hur at a matinee to save a few bucks, but then take that savings to the DVD store and rent the original.


Rating 3.5/6