Where and with whom did you see the movie?
I saw the movie Focus with my wife Joanne Chinen-Moore at Pearlridge Consolidated Theatres.
Overall, what did you think?
Will Smith plays a con man named Nicky Spurgeon. He works with a group of professional pickpockets and scam artists, and later “hooks up” with Margot Robbie, who plays the beautiful Jess. Jess is schooled by Nicky in the game of deceit and gets played by him more than once. The first half of the movie was quite entertaining, while the second half moved at a slower pace. Will Smith looked older and tired, while Margot Robbie looked beautiful throughout the movie.
Without giving away the ending, what was one of your favorite scenes?
My favorite scene took place at the Super Bowl in New Orleans, when Will Smith gambled and almost lost more than $2 million on a bet that had an amazing storyline behind it.
On a scale of one to four stars, what would you rate this film?
I would rate this film ★★ 1/2. While the acting was good, the story and the plot were too long and drawn out. The story had a little bit of comedy and drama in it, which kept the audience awake but not at the edge of their seats.
What did you think of the cinematography?
The cinematography was good. They filmed in New Orleans and Buenos Aires. The scenery was convincing to the eye.
Was the message/theme clear?
Yes, the message was clear, as it was a movie about a group of con artists and thieves, and how they made millions over short periods of time and made a living out of picking people’s pockets.
Did it remind you of any other works of film?
It reminded me of the movie Ocean’s 11 and Catch Me If You Can. Both of those movies involved con artists, though one was with a group, like this movie, and the other was not.
Who would you recommend this movie to?
I would recommend this movie to anyone who is a fan of Will Smith. He has come a long way since Fresh Prince of Bel Air, and though he is definitely past his prime of when he was starring in every other movie in the ’90s, he still does a decent job of playing the role of Nicky Spurgeon.
Did any of the actors stand out?
Margot Robbie, who plays femme fatale Jess, is an up-and-coming actress who should be starring in more movies. She is convincing in her role as a wannabe con artist and even in her role as the girlfriend of a race car owner.
Did you identify with any of the characters?
No, not really. I think that I identified more with the victims of the cons and scammers. It made me think that this could really happen and probably does happen, especially at big events like the Super Bowl.
Did the soundtrack contribute significantly to the film?
Not so much. It wasn’t a big part of the movie.
Would you buy this movie when it comes out on DVD?
I think that seeing it once in the theater would be enough for me. It is not one of those movies that I want to see over and over again.
What’s your favorite movie snack?
Popcorn! But I can’t eat too much of it.
On a different note, what’s new with you?
I am still performing my Little Richard act all over the world. I will be presenting my rock ‘n’ roll show at Honolulu Music, Arts and Food Festival at Aloha Stadium March 14 from 4 to 5 p.m. This is a huge three-day event featuring country music March 13, pop, rock and reggae March 14, and jazz and funk March 15. For more information, visit honolulumaffest.com.