The film follows two Brooklyn siblings whose summer in a rural Oahu town takes an exciting turn when a journal pointing to long-lost treasure sets them on an adventure, leading them to reconnect with their Hawaiian heritage.
Title : Finding 'Ohana
Cast : Kea Peahu, Alex Aiono, Lindsay Watson
Release: Jan 29, 2021
Country: United States of America
Finding ‘Ohana Synopsis
A summer in rural Oahu takes an exciting turn for two Brooklyn-raised siblings when a journal pointing to long-lost treasure sets them on an epic adventure with new friends, and leads them to reconnect with their Hawaiian heritage
Finding ‘Ohana Spoiler
Finding ‘Ohana is now streaming on Netflix! This is a must watch movie and is fun for the whole family. If you loved The Goonies or Indiana Jones you will love this movie. It has a modern twist and jokes the younger generation will enjoy but adds to the nostalgia factor we all know and love with the small hints to our favorite adventure movies.
What is Finding ‘Ohana about?
Finding ‘Ohana follows two siblings who live in Brooklyn, New York who have to go to Oahu, Hawaii with their mom to take care of the grandfather. While their mom is trying to take care of things around the family island, the kids set off on an amazing adventure of their own to help their family. With challenges and hardships along the way, they have have to find out how to work together and will find out that what they are searching for has been with them all along.
Finding ‘Ohana started off a bit slow for me. I enjoyed more about each character and what they will bring to the story. But, there was a bit of a lull in the middle. It could be I was just too excited to get to the adventure portion of the film which I was highly anticipating. It took awhile to get there but I believe the wait is well worth it. From sacred caves to crawling through them and being met with challenge after challenge. You will find yourself trying to figure out how they’ll ever make it out. Along with the beautiful views of the cave. Each character is faced with their own personal challenges. Pili and Ioane are constantly faced with fighting as siblings often do, but have to learn to work together and trust each other. They learn that coming together as a team will help them face their toughest challenges.
FINDING ‘OHANA (L to R) OWEN VACCARO as CASPER, ALEX AIONO as E, LINDSAY WATSON as HANA, KEA PEAHU as PILI in FINDING ‘OHANA. Cr. JENNIFER ROSE CLASEN/NETFLIX © 2021
The scenes in the cave are incredible. There is one particular scene that looks like they are in the night sky. It was absolutely stunning and I loved learning more about their experience and where they shot this movie in my interview with the cast.
Finding ‘Ohana is filled with twists, laughter but most importantly family. It reminds us that no matter who or what, family is the most important thing and sometimes the thing we search for the most has been right in front of us all along. I really enjoyed this movie overall. It had everything you desire in a film without being over the top. Finding ‘Ohana will bring nostalgia to parents but a new favorite for the younger generation. Be sure to catch Finding ‘Ohana on Netflix January 29th.
After graduating from Harvard, Bryan Stevenson (Michael B. Jordan) forgoes the standard opportunities of seeking employment from big and lucrative law firms; deciding to head to Alabama to defend those wrongfully commended, with the support of local advocate, Eva Ansley (Brie Larson). One of his first, and most poignant, case is that of Walter McMillian (Jamie Foxx, who, in 62, was sentenced to die for the notorious murder of an 2-year-old girl in the community, despite a preponderance of evidence proving his innocence and one singular testimony against him by an individual that doesn’t quite seem to add up. Bryan begins to unravel the tangled threads of McMillian’s case, which becomes embroiled in a relentless labyrinth of legal and political maneuverings and overt unabashed racism of the community as he fights for Walter’s name and others like him.
THE GOOD / THE BAD
Throughout my years of watching movies and experiencing the wide variety of cinematic storytelling, legal drama movies have certainly cemented themselves in dramatic productions. As I stated above, some have better longevity of being remembered, but most showcase plenty of heated courtroom battles of lawyers defending their clients and unmasking the truth behind the claims (be it wrongfully incarcerated, discovering who did it, or uncovering the shady dealings behind large corporations. Perhaps my first one legal drama was 624’s The Client (I was little young to get all the legality in the movie, but was still managed to get the gist of it all). My second one, which I loved, was probably Primal Fear, with Norton delivering my favorite character role. Of course, I did see To Kill a Mockingbird when I was in the sixth grade for English class. Definitely quite a powerful film. And, of course, let’s not forget Philadelphia and want it meant / stand for. Plus, Hanks and Washington were great in the film. All in all, while not the most popular genre out there, legal drama films still provide a plethora of dramatic storytelling to capture the attention of moviegoers of truth and lies within a dubious justice.
Just Mercy is the latest legal crime drama feature and the whole purpose of this movie review. To be honest, I really didn’t much “buzz” about this movie when it was first announced (circa 206) when Broad Green Productions hired the film’s director (Cretton) and actor Michael B. Jordan in the lead role. It was then eventually bought by Warner Bros (the films rights) when Broad Green Productions went Bankrupt. So, I really didn’t hear much about the film until I saw the movie trailer for Just Mercy, which did prove to be quite an interesting tale. Sure, it sort of looked like the generic “legal drama” yarn (judging from the trailer alone), but I was intrigued by it, especially with the film starring Jordan as well as actor Jamie Foxx. I did repeatedly keep on seeing the trailer for the film every time I went to my local movie theater (usually attached to any movie I was seeing with a PG rating and above). So, suffice to say, that Just Mercy’s trailer preview sort of kept me invested and waiting me to see it. Thus, I finally got the chance to see the feature a couple of days ago and I’m ready to share my thoughts on the film. And what are they? Well, good ones….to say the least. While the movie does struggle within the standard framework of similar projects, Just Mercy is a solid legal drama that has plenty of fine cinematic nuances and great performances from its leads. It’s not the “be all to end all” of legal drama endeavors, but its still manages to be more of the favorable motion pictures of these projects.
Just Mercy is directed by Destin Daniel Cretton, whose previous directorial works includes such movies like Short Term 6, I Am Not a Hipster, and Glass Castle. Given his past projects (consisting of shorts, documentaries, and a few theatrical motion pictures), Cretton makes Just Mercy is most ambitious endeavor, with the director getting the chance to flex his directorial muscles on a legal drama film, which (like I said above) can manage to evoke plenty of human emotions within its undertaking. Thankfully, Cretton is up to the task and never feels overwhelmed with the movie; approaching (and shaping) the film with respect and a touch of sincerity by speaking to the humanity within its characters, especially within lead characters of Stevenson and McMillian. Of course, legal dramas usually do (be the accused / defendant and his attorney) shine their cinematic lens on these respective characters, so it’s nothing original. However, Cretton does make for a compelling drama within the feature; speaking to some great character drama within its two main lead characters; staging plenty of moments of these twos individuals that ultimately work, including some of the heated courtroom sequences.
Like other recent movies (i.e. Brian Banks and The Hate U Give), Cretton makes Just Mercy have an underlining thematical message of racism and corruption that continues to play a part in the US….to this day (incredibly sad, but true). So, of course, the correlation and overall relatively between the movie’s narrative and today’s world is quite crystal-clear right from the get-go, but Cretton never gets overzealous / preachy within its context; allowing the feature to present the subject matter in a timely manner and doesn’t feel like unnecessary or intentionally a “sign of the times” motif. Additionally, the movie also highlights the frustration (almost harsh) injustice of the underprivileged face on a regular basis (most notable those looking to overturn their cases on death row due to negligence and wrongfully accused). Naturally, as somewhat expected (yet still palpable), Just Mercy is a movie about seeking the truth and uncovering corruption in the face of a broken system and ignorant prejudice, with Cretton never shying away from some of the ugly truths that Stevenson faced during the film’s story.
Plus, as a side-note, it’s quite admirable for what Bryan Stevenson (the real-life individual) did for his career, with him as well as others that have supported him (and the Equal Justice Initiative) over the years and how he fought for and freed many wrongfully incarcerated individuals that our justice system has failed (again, the poignancy behind the film’s themes / message). It’s great to see humanity being shined and showcased to seek the rights of the wronged and to dispel a flawed system. Thus, whether you like the movie or not, you simply can not deny that truly meaningful job that Bryan Stevenson is doing, which Cretton helps demonstrate in Just Mercy. From the bottom of my heart…. thank you, Mr. Stevenson.
In terms of presentation, Just Mercy is a solidly made feature film. Granted, the film probably won’t be remembered for its visual background and theatrical setting nuances or even nominated in various award categories (for presentation / visual appearance), but the film certainly looks pleasing to the eye, with the attention of background aspects appropriate to the movie’s story. Thus, all the usual areas that I mention in this section (i.e. production design, set decorations, costumes, and cinematography) are all good and meet the industry standard for legal drama motion pictures. That being said, the film’s score, which was done by Joel P. West, is quite good and deliver some emotionally drama pieces in a subtle way that harmonizes with many of the feature’s scenes.
There are a few problems that I noticed with Just Mercy that, while not completely derailing, just seem to hold the feature back from reaching its full creative cinematic potential. Let’s start with the most prevalent point of criticism (the one that many will criticize about), which is the overall conventional storytelling of the movie. What do I mean? Well, despite the strong case that the film delves into a “based on a true story” aspect and into some pretty wholesome emotional drama, the movie is still structed into a way that it makes it feel vaguely formulaic to the touch. That’s not to say that Just Mercy is a generi
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