The 15:17 To Paris
This is a very brave idea. Clint Eastwood directs a story completely worth telling of real life heroes, using the very heroes that were involved. These guys clearly have never acted, and it shows. But this is authentic, even when the acting isn't very good.
These military guys happened to be on a passenger train from Amsterdam to Paris when a terrorist attempted to shoot up the train with 300 rounds of ammunition. They stopped it, and are heroes, and that remains fact. Eastwood is correct in that this story should be told. What this does, is tell the back story of these three friends, and it is an interesting one. Ending with a very authentic climax of the attempted attack.
This has limitations for sure, but it also is an interesting idea. It's short at about 90 minutes, and you are ready for the story to play out. The national critics are being very hard on this, and you understand why for a ton of reasons, fair or not. But that may play out to be somewhat tone deaf, as fans may love to see a story like this told, no matter who is cast in it or not. After all, there is a whole lot of really bad acting anyway in Hollywood, by professional actors themselves.
Is this Eastwood's best movie? Of course not. But in a town where there are very few original ideas, this is one of them. Plus, it's a story that needs to be told. If you want to see REAL superheroes, this could be your ticket.
Well this is in limited release and this has been out for a while. This also has a ton of award nominations and should not be missed, as this is very, very good. This was a risky venture from the get-go, but this is slick movie making.
This interesting movie is the tragic story of former world-class figure skater Tonya Harding, and her horrible roots that was seemingly always in the way of any kind of real success in a sport that demands class, elegance and style. Harding had none. This is based on extensive interviews of the important people in her life and her. This is told in a semi-documentary, semi classic movie style and is written extremely well. The performances of Margot Robbie (Tonya) and Alisson Janney (Tonya's mom) are amazing as well.
This movie reminds us just how great Harding actually was on the ice. In fact, she may be the greatest ever athletically. But her off ice antics and just her overall decision making prevented her from real greatness. Toss in her horrendous upbringing and you have a recipe for disaster, and that is what she turned out to be in her sport and, most of her young life. This makes you feel many different ways about Harding, and that's great writing.
I, Tonya. Fantastic
There are movies that come out all to rarely, that make the script the total star. The new western, Hostiles, is one of them. This stars Christian Bale, Rosamund Pike and a real nice supporting cast, but with respect, it makes no difference. The star of this movie is the writing.
This is set in the American West in 1892. Without giving you too much info, because that's part of the magic of seeing this, this is the story of a small band of people making a long journey through the perils of the West at the time, and how they survive - together. This movie skillfully addresses every single in incredible issue of the era, and the horrific experiences of the lawless west. It helps you understand from all sides the social issues of the day, and the conflict that raged within many during this painful time of history.
They may call this a "western" but it's not in the realm of Unforgiven, Wyatt Earp, or Tombstone. This is far more graphic. This develops characters extremely well, and makes you feel many emotions. It makes many great decisions on what they choose to show you and what they don't. In short, this is simply terrific.
Hostiles. Very adult, and very, very good. Not to be missed.
This is another true story that is at the movies right now, and this is way better than I thought it was going to be. This time of the year can be the junkyard of movies, but this is worth a ticket. A very good cast led by Micheal Shannon and Chris Hemsworth give us a story worth telling.
This is the recently declassified story of 12 soldiers who carried out the first real attack on the Taliban in the Middle East after 9/11. Not only are the circumstances very interesting surrounding this mission, but it had to be carried out - on horseback. And against all odds.
This gets a ton of points from me right out of the gate as it's a story we don't know, and have not seen before. The script is smart, and slick, that lets the action and pictures tell the story, plus it does develop characters well for a movie like this. I was concerned about this initially, as I wanted it to be good as we honor some very brave soldiers, and it is.
12 Strong. Lots to like here. Makes you feel good about many things.
When you toss two huge stars together and have Steven Spielberg directing it, you should have a great movie. But here, you only have a good one. Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep star in the new flick, The Post.
It's based on a true story that takes place in the early 1970's, with the landmark case of the Washington Post printing deeply classified Pentagon papers, essentially proving the Vietnam War was a sham, and the government had been lying to the public for 35 years. There's a court case too, and it's basically a First Amendment movie. There is nothing really wrong here, there just should have been a lot more right. The trailer is better than the actual movie.
Hanks and Streep are fine, and there a moments in this that are really moving. It's a period piece and we are transported back in time nicely. There's just something missing. I think it's the lack of really strong dialogue, instead of a bunch of average speak. It's a bit too long and a bit to - average, with a ton of potential, but that's where it ends.
The Post. Rental, or stream in a couple months.
The Darkest Hour
This is simply fantastic. And right up front, Gary Oldman gives one of the best performances I have ever seen. He stars as Winston Churchill in the incredible movie about the early and dark days of WWII in England, and his defiance of Hitler and even members of his own government. He changed history and is honored well here.
Oldman should win about every award there is for this. It's one thing to transform and invent a fictional character for a movie. It's quite another to take on the awesome responsibility to play maybe the most important historical figure of the 20th century. Oldman is amazing, and totally unrecognizable as he becomes Churchill. In this, Churchill is real, good, fallible, and human.
The script is incredible, and the amount of dialogue that Oldman delivers is insane. And he delivers it with unmatched skill. His performance alone is not to be missed.
The Darkest Hour. Fantastic.
The Greatest Showman
Hugh Jackman, Zac Ephron and Michelle Williams star in this new story of the real P.T. Barnum in this LA LA Land type of musical. This movie is going to be this years LA LA Land, as it has the same feel, and made by many of the same people. This is very good by any measure, and will be enjoyed by many.
Great music, and solid production numbers, and some by any account, are simply breathtaking. This story moves along nicely, has something to say, says it, and finishes up. This is only about 1 hour 45 and that is plenty. This is not a "total" musical like Les Mis, but is more like the more modern LA LA Land.
Jackman is great, and I have yet to see a movie where Williams isn't brilliant. She is quietly become Hollywood's best actress. I love her in this.
The Greatest Showman. Quite good, and good for the whole family.