Category Archives: Movies

Killers of the Flower Moon, the Movie

The family ventured out recently to see the movie, “Killers of the Flower Moon.” This movie is based on the best-selling book by David Grann, and it tells the story of the Osage Nation murders in 1920s Oklahoma. Martin Scorsese directed it and the two star actors are Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro,

Abandoned Oilwell Pump - Osage County, Oklahoma

The movie exposes a dark side of the America, as the Osage people in northeast Oklahoma, became the richest in the world after oil was discovered on their land, only to be targeted by a ruthless conspiracy that killed dozens of them. The movie follows Ernest Burkhart (DiCaprio), a World War I veteran who marries Mollie Kyle (Lily Gladstone), an Osage woman, and becomes involved in the plot orchestrated by his uncle William Hale (De Niro), a powerful rancher and businessman. The movie also features Jesse Plemons as Tom White, an FBI agent who leads the investigation into the murders, and tries to uncover the truth behind Hale’s scheme.

Lily Gladstone really brings a lot of presence to the movie. She doesn’t really say much but she sees and hears everything. De Niro plays the hapless Ernest who has no foundation nor rudder. He just does what his uncle tells him to do, even helping with the murders of his wife’s family members despite loving his wife. De Niro’s, William Hale, is the ultimate master manipulator who pulls levers behind the scenes to concentrate money into his family.


From what I have read Scorsese initial thoughts were to make the movie into an FBI story as this was the FBI’s first ever investigation but the Osage Tribe prevailed upon him to make the tribe and the members of the tribe the focus of the movie.


The movie is visually beautiful captures the beauty and horror of the Osage Nation. The movie also pays tribute to the Osage culture and history, and highlights their resilience and courage in the face of injustice. The movie has a story to tell and it plods along telling the story for about three and half hours. I love the movie but I think it is overlong for many people.

Tall Grass Prairie Preserve - Pawhuska, Oklahoma

Killers of the Flower Moon is a movie that will make you think, feel, and learn about a tragic chapter of American history that deserves to be remembered.

I feel very invested in the story. I read the book and attended it’s release here in Tulsa. It was electric. David Grann spoke about the book and in the audience there were Osage Tribe members who were descendants of some of the people that Grann wrote about. I thought Grann’s attitude was interesting many people in the audience thanked him for writing the book and getting the story out. That didn’t phase him too much. He’s a reporter, he just told the story with the facts that he found out after years or interviewing people and doing research in the national archives.


The movie took a long time to come together, film, and edit. In June 2021 they were shooting on location in Pawhuska in Osage County so son Logan and I had to go check it out.


They had taken over several blocks of the downtown area and put new windows in the stores, old time electric poles on the sidewalks and covered the streets with dirt.


They weren’t filming so they opened the barriers and let people take photos from both ends of the street. It was pretty cool.

They also filmed in other areas like the Lost City Trails of Chandler Park in Tulsa. During a tour of the area I was on one of the County Parks people told me that there was a huge crew filming, lots of people and the first thing they did was power wash all the graffiti off the walls of the canyons. He was very complementary of them. When they left there was no trace of them they had cleaned up after themselves so well.

I recognized several scenes shot in Tulsa’s downtown art deco buildings with ornate interiors.

So overall I give the movie five stars out of five. Yes, it does plod along at times and yes there is probably a good two and half hour movie in the footage they shot but I loved the movie as is.

Oppenheimer – The Movie

Son and I went to see Oppenheimer last night at a movie theater. It is three hours ong and the time went by fast. The movie is about J. Robert Oppenheimer, a theoretical physicist who was over the Los Alamos Laboratory in New Mexico where the atomic bomb was developed. The movie is not just about the bomb but concerns what happened afterwar World War II was over and the country was trying to decide where to go next. Whether to build more bombs and whether to proceed with the hydrogen bomb and whether to share the secrets of the bomb with Russia.

Oppenheimer had his opinions and they were not popular with the powers that be at the time and so they maneuvered to strip him of his security clearand and this his credibility. They did so in a nasty underhanded manner. But hey I am not going to give it away except to say this is a great movie. See if if you like great movies, and doubly so if you like history, and further if you love science as I do.

Many of the great people of science had a role in the making of the bomb and many of them are portrayed in the movie. Such as Albert Einstein, Edward Teller, Niels Bohr, Werner Heisenberg, Richard Feynman, Earnest Lawrence, Hans Bethe, Kurt Godel, Enrico Fermi, and more. I had always known that Oppenheimer got screwed but I didn’t know the story until now. Of course its a movie so I have to do a little reading to double check the my understanding of the events.

I give the movie, five stars out of five. Keep the kids at home. Take them to go see Barbie instead. That’s the next movie I want to go see. I might even buy a pink shirt. Does that make me woke? Second thought, I’m told the movie is a little dark for little kids so you are on your own.

Check the Oppenheimer movie web site. Lots of good stuff there. My mother played a small role in the project. She was a secretary briefly at the Hanford Site in Washington state. I think she specialized in partying. She used to talk about slipping out of the dorms at night, squeezing through a gap in the security fence and catching a ride to town and then coming back very late. Fun times!

Also check out the Department of Energy’s online information about Oppenheimer and the Manhattan Project. Lots of good stuff there.

Dungeons & Dragons – Honor Among Thieves – the Movie

Thursday night my wife was having bookgroup at our house. Happens about once a year and they have been together for about 30 years or so. Son and I have to vacate the premises. We call it “Boys Night Out.” This year for BNO we had dinner and a movie.

The movie was Dungeons and Dragons – Honor Among Thieves, with Chris Pine, Hugh Grant and others.

I thought it was pretty good, the plot was beyond me. but I don’t think people care about plots in these kinds of movies. It’s all about the action and the action was great. The movie had some really funny parts as well. Nothing really gruesome and best of all, everybody kept all their clothes on.

I highly recommend this movie. I give it five stars!

Spirited with Will Ferrel and Ryan Rynolds

Our family loved the Spirited, a new movie based on the the Dickens classic novella, A Christmas Carol, I am not going to give anything away as we all know the basic plot, right?! I will say that this movie takes the tale and turns it back on itself, then inside out, upside down, and whirls it all around. It’s a musical adaption, the songs are great, there is even dancing. I think it is destined to be a Christmas classic. Ferrel and Reynolds do a great job. Here’s the trailer.

Elvis by Baz Luhrmann starring Tom Hanks, Austin Butler, and Olivia DeJonge

Heather and I went to the movies today. She let me pick and I wanted to see Elvis. We didn’t know what to expect but the trailers seemed interesting.

We were blown away. What a fantastic movie. It’s kind of hard to describe it because it is unique on how it tells the story. The story is of the relationship between Elvis Presley (Austin Butler) and his promoter, Colonel Tom Parker (Tom Hanks)

The movie web site provides a great synopsis and other information. The movie IMDB site has a complete cast list and 149 photographs and other information.

The movie shows Elvis as a youngster and his influences from then up to becoming a star and then does a great job showing his development as singer and performer including a long string of movies. Tom Hanks does a great job of being the complex, mysterious promoter who had a hold on Elvis. I’m not going to give the movie away. I think one thing it will do is reinvigorate Elvis’s reputation. The man was an incredible talent with a wonderful voice and knew how to move an audience.

The clip before of Elvis singing Unchained Melody in 1977 in maybe his last public performance is incredible. It was toward the end of his life but the power in his voice is wonderful.

I highly recommend this movie.

Spider-Man: No Way Home with Tom Holland, Zendaya, and Benedict Cumerbach

The kid is home, we are tired of being locked down so we headed to a local theater and saw Spider-Man: No Way Home. Heather and Logan love the Spider-Man movies. I go along and enjoy them but I can’t keep track of all the characters and all the actors who play Spiderman, and there are lots of them plus the whole series of movies is embedded in the “Marvel Universe.” Yep, well okay!

That being said, this is a great movie. It is hard to write about the movie without spoiling it for people. Let me just say that I loved it. It has a number of twists and turns in it. The action is intense and so is the acting. Read the IMDB writeup if you must.

I give it five stars out of five. I’d go watch it again.

Nomadland Starring Frances McDormand

I finally watched Nomadland. It’s been out since February but I just now got it at the Redbox.

Nomadland is a movie based on the non-fiction book of the same title by journalist, Jessica Bruder. Bruder featured several people living a nomad lifestyle doing different things in her book. The common denominator was that they were forced out of homes and into vans and old RVs because of hard economics. They couldn’t afford to live in a house any longer. In the movie, McDormond’s character, Fern gets laid off from work after her husband dies, and she fills all the roles described in the book.

She joins Amazon’s Camperforce for a while. She works as a campground host, on the sugar beet harvest in Nebraska, and at Wall Drug in South Dakota. They all feature lots of low skilled, low pay, hard work. She lives in an old van that she refitted into living quarters. She makes friends with other nomads and learns the ins and outs of living on the road from them including a cool guy named Bob Wells. Wells plays himself in the movie.

There were a couple of other people who played themselves in the movie.

I think the movie is about the dignity and spirit of the people who live the lifestyle. Fern always does the best job she can no matter how crappy the work is. She takes it seriously and demands respect.

This isn’t a movie where everything is tied up in a bow at the end.

I recommend the film highly. Get it at the Red Box or stream it on Hulu. Get the book at the library.

“Blinded by the Light” – starring the Music of Bruce Springsteen

The family went to see another movie on Sunday. “Blinded by the Light” by Gurinder Chada, starring Vivek Kalra, as Javed, a young Pakastani living in a small town in England in 1987 with his parents and sister. He lives a life dominated by his Father and family which doesn’t leave him much room to himself and he doesn’t quite know what to do about it until one day…

A friend of his loans him a couple of tapes (it’s 1987, and you could loan somebody tapes, and share the music, how the crap do you share music in this day of downloads???? Yeah, I don’t know either!)

Through Springsteen’s music, Javed feels understood finally, that somebody else has felt hopeless in a small town yet still found a way to find hope in this world. This is helped by a sympathetic teacher that recognizes Javed’s writing talent and of course the love a of a good woman, a new girlfriend.

Javed eventually finds his voice, gets the courage to stand up against his socially rigid, controlling father, and learns that he can find a future without building a wall against his Pakastani upbringing.

It was eyeopening for me, I was like a quarter generation off Bruce Springsteen’s core audience. I liked some of his music but found it a little pretentious for my tastes plus I wondered why he never really rocked out. But then again I never listened to the lyrics. I never listen to lyrics except for hit them over the head lyrics like Carly Simon’s “Come Upstairs” … “Come upstairs, we can take off the phone, Come Upstairs, you can take off my clothes”!!! (Yes, I get those lyrics). Oops sorry, (not sorry), I am really digressing bad.

The first song, Javed listens to “Dancing in the Dark”

I get up in the evenin’
And I ain’t got nothin’ to say
I come home in the mornin’
I go to bed feelin’ the same way
I ain’t nothin’ but tired
Man, I’m just tired and bored with myself
Hey there, baby, I could use just a little helpYou can’t start a fire
You can’t start a fire without a spark
This gun’s for hire
Even if we’re just dancin’ in the dark

And its like wow, and it is on and on. And it is fun watching Javed grows up right before our eyes and learns how to be his own person. In the meantime, movie magic happens and people break out singing and dancing.

This is a great, feel good, eye opening movie. I highly recommend it. How many stars you give to movie, give all of them to this one.

“Where’d You Go Bernadette” with Cate Blanchette

Heather and I celebrated our new status of being emptynesters by going to a movie on a Thursday night. Who does that besides people with no kids at home?

Heather picked the movie and it was a good one, “Where Did You Go Bernadette” about a wife and mother and also former award winning architect, Bernadette Fox, who after a career reversal twenty years ago has turned into a moody hot mess of hell on wheels, kind of like a female Donald Trump without a twitter account, at war with everybody.

Her husband tries to arrange an intervention to address all these issues, and poof! she bolts. Where did she go, so her husband and daughter go look for her.

This is a great movie, Cate Blanchette does a great job, it has a great message. Also, just so you know, everybody keeps their clothes on, and keeps their language clean and no vegans were harmed during the filming of this movie. I give it four stars out of four, or five out of five, or however many stars you got it gets.

A Star is Born with Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper

Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga

Heather and I went to see A Star is Born recently. It is a really good movie. Guess what, Bradley Cooper can sing, he rocks and he does it really well. And, Lady Gaga can act. And as a bonus they have great chemistry together.  Cooper also directed and produced the movie. I have no idea how that much talent ends up being concentrated in just one person.

You can check the link above for a synopsis but basically Cooper plays an aging rocker, Jack, who sees this young chick singer with an amazing voice, Ally,  in a dive bar. Sparks fly, he helps her with her career and it zooms off to the stars, while his career, rocket charged by too much booze and pills heads downward quickly.

On the way though we get quite a ride. Lady Gaga of course can really sing, and she does some Pop diva songs in the movie but I have really like her recent album where she plays a lot slower, less produced songs that are really good. I think the sound track to this movie is something I would consider buying.

Supposedly this is the third or fourth version of this movie and I can’t tell you how this stands in relation to others because I didn’t see them!

I give this film four stars out of four or five out of five or however else you want to rate it. Go see it, you won’t be disappointed.