Brian Banks Review - Gripping, A Rare Exoneration Highlights Shocking Injustice

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Brian Banks, from Bleecker Street films, brings to the screen the story of the Long Beach football star, who spent eleven years fighting a wrongful conviction, and his story from USC committed to convicted rapist to free man.

Directed by Tom Shadyac, Brian Banks stars Aldis Hodge, Greg Kinnear, Sherri Shepherd, Melanie Liburd, Tiffany Dupont, Matt Battaglia, Xosha Roquemore, Dorian Missick, Charles Alexandre, Jose Miguel Vasquez, David Clyde Carr, Mick Rudolph, and Morgan Freeman. The screenplay was written by Doug Atchison.


The Art of Racing Against the Rain Review - Captivating, Engaging, A Touching Love Story


Brian Banks begins on the football field, a little older, a little slower, and a lot wiser, Brian, played by Aldis Hodge, is playing for a local community college on the road to recapturing his dream. Sitting in the locker room, his pager goes off and he is forced to report to a parole officer, played by Mick Rudolph.

Today, Banks is told California has instituted a new policy and every convicted sex offender must wear an ankle bracelet. The monitoring system, he is told, will inform police wherever he goes. If he leaves the county, he will be arrested. He is strictly forbidden to be within 200 yards of a school, a park, any place children congregate. Trying to comply with the rules and take his life back, he explains he's playing football again. He is told no more football, get a job.

Ordered to leave his dream behind again, Banks hits the pavement looking for work. He is a genuine stand up guy, smart, articulate, smooth, attempting to maintained his dignity,as every employment option closed in his face.

Back at home, his mom, played by Sherri Shepherd, suggests he write Justin Brooks of the California Innocence Project, played by Greg Kinnear, and this time tell them who you are.

Banks writes a compelling letter telling the CIP about himself, his hopes, dreams, his pre-tragedy life, and yes, the false accusation, the dream that was suddenly interrupted by cops handcuffing him, and the man who mentored him in prison, about faith and how his Mom made him write the letter.


Otherhood Review – A Charming, Funny, Compelling Look at Mothers and Sons


This time, as he had been rejected for representation twice, somehow touched the right heart and the right time. Justin sends his assistant Alissa Bjerkhoel, played by Tiffany Dupont, to L.A. to interview him and explained, as she presents his case to the team, he is even more compelling in person. By the end of the interview all are convinced of his innocence.

Of course, that is all well and good. And the law is blind, just as the symbol is a blindfolded woman holding the scales of justice, which is meant to mean that all are equal and what it has come to mean is justice is blind. So, with ten months left to clear his name the CIP team begin to climb over the obstacles.

What follows is the true story of the final ten months of Brian Banks' supervised parole and the truths of life if the conviction was not overturned and how it would literally mean a lifetime label of convicted sex offender and all the restrictions, liabilities, constraints and judgments that are part of the penal system.

The film takes the audience from the present, one year before his supervised parole would end, and back to a foolish walk with a "friend" who wanted to have sex, and as he said, he wasn't wise enough or man enough to explain a dark hallway in a deserted building isn't the right place, so he left the girl alone.

Her story, and unbelievable rationale, also is presented. The story is shocking. It is a shocking injustice, railroading a young black man on the word of a young black woman, no DNA, no evidence. Besides, one can almost hear them saying, "he may not be guilty of this crime but he's guilty of something."


After The Wedding Review – Four Stars, Perfect, Powerful, Riveting


The prison scenes are shot inside a real prison, and with five years behind bars, and sixty days in solitary, the film presents him as one who hits rock bottom. Yes, there was further to fall before he could rise again.

Morgan Freeman gives a cameo appearance as the man who mentors him during his first year as a juvenile offender and gives him advice that remained with him and now will be for all.

The entire cast, Aldis Hodges, Greg Kinnear, Moragn Freeman, Tiffany Dupont, Sherri Shepherd, Melanie Liburd, Mick Rudolph, Xosha Roquemore and Jose Miguel Vasquez all give solid authentic, dramatic character driven performances.

Brian Banks, highlights a shocking injustice and a rare exoneration as an overloaded system rubber stamped sentences on the advice of ill-prepared lawyers.


SKIN Review - Powerful Character Driven Hypnotic Performances, Mesmerizing


Uplifting and inspiring Brian Banks is a story of hope, and a lesson in persistence even in the most difficult of times. When every door has been closed, never give up. The film opens Friday, August 9, 2019. See it.

Haute Tease

  • Whitey: United States of America v. James J. Bulger Review – Explosive, Stunning, Powerful

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    "Whitey: United States of America v. James J. Bulger," from Magnolia Pictures and CNN Films, presents a haunting account of DOJ corruption that enabled the most notorious mobster in recent history to rule South Boston for more than three decades.

     
  • Three Deadly Explosions Rock Brussels; 31 Dead; Scores Injured; City in Lockdown

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Three catastrophic blasts in two different locations have exploded across Brussels, Belgium, the capital city, during the morning commute killing at least 31, including the airport suicide bomber, and leaving dozens wounded.

     
  • Valentine’s Day Gift Giving - The Eiffel Tower’s Diamond Lights

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Every night, for the first five minutes of every hour, 20,000 bulbs make Eiffel Tower sparkle in the Parisian sky. Having reached the end of their useful lives, 450 of these bulbs have been taken down and made into outstanding ornaments.

     
  • World-Class Orchestra Announces Next Year’s Exciting Summer Line-Up Beginning June 28, 2014

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    August 26, 2013 – It was a Cal Phil weekend full of awe-inspiring performances, music magic and a string of standing ovations that marked the conclusion of another successful summer season for the world-class orchestra and the building excitement for next year’s series.  

     
  • Charlie Hebdo Suspects Killed In Police Shoot Out

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The two brothers suspected of the slaughter of 12 affiliated with the satirical French magazine Charlie Hebdo, and wounding 11 others in the worst act of terrorism in more than two decades, have been killed.

     
  • Celebrity Interview & Review: G-Force,From Walt Disney Pictures and Jerry Bruckheimer Films, Animation At Its Finest

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    “G-Force”, a soon-to-be released 3-D animated spy thriller, from Walt Disney Pictures and Jerry Bruckheimer Films was recently previewed for the World Media at AMC Empire Theaters in New York City.

     
  • Beltway Insider: Syrian’s Assad Challenges Obama; Iranians Elect Moderate Cleric President

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    President Obama has issued his strongest warning yet to Syrian leader Basher al-Assad as the troubled dictator has gathered military support from Russian President Vladimir Putin as he seeks to defend his country.

     
  • A Cure For Wellness Review – A Trippy, Sci-Fi, Mind-Bending,Thrill Ride

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    A Cure For Wellness, from TSG Entertainment and 20th Century Fox, presents a mind-bending story of the power of folklore, mystery, health and the lengths people travel to stop the clock, to secure longevity, to escape, to find Zen.

     
  • Op/Ed: Money Can’t Buy You Health

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    "Healthcare" is supposed to be a big election issue: politicians promise universal and equal "healthcare," or prevent it from being taken away. Everyone wants to be healthy, and a $3 trillion industry wants to keep the money flowing.

     
  • Dr. Christopher Calapai Offers A Tip Sheet of Favorite Natural Skincare Options

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    With Spring’s unpredictable weather approaching, keeping your skin healthy and glowing can be a challenge. From the heat’s dehydrating effect to humidity’s pore-clogging grief, an at-home facial is sure to provide a quick fix.

     
  • Royals Announce Engagement of HRH Prince Harry and Ms. Meghan Markle

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Ending months of media speculation the engagement of HRH Prince Harry, 33, and American actress Meghan Markle, 36, was announced by HRH The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwell via a press release from Clarence House.

     
  • View Featurette: Deliver Us From Evil, from Jerry Bruckheimer, a Terrifying Demonic Trip

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    In DELIVER US FROM EVIL, executive produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, New York police officer Ralph Sarchie (Eric Bana), struggling with his own personal issues, begins investigating a series of disturbing and inexplicable crimes. 

     
  • Exclusive interview: Torryn Orriss, GM of Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steak House Las Vegas, Talks Chop

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steak House Las Vegas breaks the "if you've seen one, you've seen them all" brand mold. My exclusive interview reveals secret menu items, James Bond experience and other distinguishing features of this venerable Vegas eatery.

     
  • Beltway Insider: President Pushes Gun Reform; Legal Weed Sales High; 21st State Allows Med Marijuana; Cannabis Op-ed

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    President Obama, during the last week of the holiday season, has continued his aggressive action toward curbing gun violence by implementing additional executive orders in tandem with the 23 signed one year ago.

     
  • CNBC All-America Economic Survey: CNBC’s Steve Liesman: Average Holiday Spending To Top $900, Highest In Nearly 12 Years

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    CNBC surveyed 800 Americans across the country in the latest All-America Economic Survey. The results showed optimism about the economy hit 30 percent for a second-straight quarter, the first such occurrence in the survey's history.