Marshall (2017)

Director: Reginald Hudlin

Writer: Jacob Koskoff, Michael Koskoff (Screenplay)

Starring: Chadwick Boseman, Josh Gad, Kate Hudson, Sterling K Brown, Dan Stevens, James Cromwell

 

Plot: About a young Thurgood Marshall, the first African-American Supreme Court Justice, as he battles through one of his career-defining cases.


Tagline – Live Hard. Fight Harder.

Runtime: 1 Hour 58 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Enjoyable Insightful Biopic

 

Story: Marshall starts as we learn about Thurgood Marshall (Boseman) a lawyer that works on prevent African-Americans from facing unfair trials, now for his latest case Marshall gets a case of Joseph Spell (Brown) accused of raping a white woman. Marshall must assist Sam Friedman (Gad) in the trial which shows strange occurrences that don’t make sense for a typical trial.

While Marshall is forbidden from taking the case by Judge Foster (Cromwell), Marshall must guide Sam through the case because he lacks the experience as they go against hot shot lawyer Loren Willis (Stevens) family friend of the judge. Can the two put aside their differences to win the case for Joseph or will he face life in prison.

 

Thoughts on Marshall

 

Characters – The characters are based on real people involve in and around the case. Thurgood Marshall is a black lawyer that has been travelling around America to defend African-Americans from unfair trials, he has reached the supreme court level in cases before, which is why he has taken this case. This case is unlike anything that he has taken on before, against the odds to prove the innocence. Sam Friedman is small insurance lawyer that Marshall recruits to lead the trial because they won’t allow a man of colour to be a lawyer. His inexperience could cost them the case, but learning as he goes through the trial will help him learn. Eleanor Strubing is the woman that claims to have been raped by Joseph, she comes from a wealthy family and her story is convincing. Joseph is the man accused of raping Eleanor, he doesn’t have much of a chance in a court of law and only Marshall can give him the hope. Loren Willis the opposition lawyer, he comes from a good family that has supported him his whole life, while being friends with the judge too. Judge Foster is taking the case, he does his best to favour one side, but can he keep the law intact while the case unfolds.

PerformancesChadwick Boseman is Mr biopic, this is his 4th one in his early career, he once again showed his talent as one of the best stars in the business, showing the skills needed for roles like this. Josh Gad has had a fantastic year in 2017, he has shown his range as an actor where he shines in this role. Kate Hudson continues her movement away from rom coms with another performance in a drama that shows the skills she has. Sterling K Brown, Dan Stevens and James Cromwell round off the cast here and all give great supporting performance through the film.

StoryThe story follows lawyer Thurgood Marshall a man that stood up for the fellow African-Americans that don’t get fair trials during the time when America was still riddle with racial discrimination. This is just one of his many cases he took, this is told through the trial unfolding, which does keep us on the edge of the seat wondering what will come from the case next, just like the best of the courtroom drama, which is something it needs to be. The film doesn’t get into a big racial battle outside of the courtroom which other films have done in the past, this helps because we don’t need to have this forced into the story either.

BiopicThurgood Marshall was the first African-American supreme court justice, this shows us one of his career-defining cases, the helps understand his ability, while it would have been nice to see the biggest case he was the lead lawyer on.

SettingsThe film is mostly set in the courtroom, which is a location we love to see the tension filled moments in any movie, we do have other scenes which show the moments the film gets to with the planning the defence.

 

Scene of the Movie – Joseph on the stand.

That Moment That Annoyed Me This is a pretty much cut and dry style of case for a film, it would have been nice to see a more challenging one for him to take on.

Final ThoughtsThis is another brilliant addition to the courtroom drama genre which keeps us on the edge from the opening moments to the end of the film. it also shows us how one man was trying to make a difference when others weren’t given the chance too.

 

Overall: Wonderful courtroom drama

Rating

 

 

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ABC Film Challenge – Oscar Nominations – H – The Hurricane (1999)

Director: Norman Jewison

Writer: Armyan Bernstein, Dan Gordon (Screenplay) Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter, Sam Chaiton Terry Swinton (Book)

Starring: Denzel Washington, Vicellous Shannon, Deborah Kara Unger, Liev Schreiber, John Hannah, Dan Hedaya, Debbi Morgan

 

Plot: The story of Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, a boxer wrongly imprisoned for murder, and the people who aided in his fight to prove his innocence.


Tagline – Based on the inspirational true story of a champion.

Runtime: 2 Hour 26 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Incredible Battle for Freedom

 

Story: The Hurricane starts as we see Rubin Carter (Washington) win his first boxing title, but not he is in prison for what he claims is a crime he never committed, a murder. In prison he has written a book to tell his side of the story and his life. When his book is published it goes through the system until 7-years later Lesra (Shannon) picks it up with his home tutors Sam (Schreiber), Terry (Hannah) and Lisa (Unger).

As Lesra reads more of the book he learns how hard the life of Rubin had been with a white cop constantly targeting him including the framing of the murders. Lesra becomes the one young man that will try to defend Rubin and over turn the charges given to him with a new case and a fair jury.

 

Thoughts on The Hurricane

 

Characters – Rubin ‘The Hurricane’ Carter was a champion boxer, he had to overcome the race discrimination that was still flowing through America, targeted by one cop who wants him behind bars. Found guilty of a murder he never committed having given up hope of ever getting released his book sheds new light on the case. When he becomes friends with Lesra and his guardians his hope of freedom is restored. Lesra is a young man that gets taken in by three Canadians who want to give him an education, he gets inspired by Rubin’s book and wants to help him become free for his wrongful imprisonment. Lisa, Sam and Terry are the three guardians of Lesra who end up investigating the case trying to shed new light on the evidence that has been put in the trials before. These characters are all based on real people, they show us just how hard the people worked to clear one man’s name when other wouldn’t or couldn’t.

PerformancesDenzel Washington received one of his Oscar nominations for this role, you can see why because he is fantastic in this leading role, having to go through a body transformation for only limited boxing time too, which shows his dedication to the role. Vicellous Shannon is the least known of this cast and he shows the enthusiasm to help his character see the bright future. Unger, Schreiber and Hannah are actors you know you will always get great performances from and this is no difference even if Hannah’s accent is questionable at times.

StoryThe story focuses on the real case of Rubin Carter, a wrongfully committed prisoner who is running low on options to find his freedom until young man and his guardians come to help with the case. This story shows the racial problems that America had during the 60’s and 70’s in a time where times were changing we still had victims to the old guard that didn’t want to change. It shows how hope could help guide one man to his freedom even after people had almost given up on him.

Biopic/SportsThe sports side of this film is a well-constructed boxing match, but this is only used once because it ruined the career of the fighter. The biopic shows how the life was changed by a wrongful conviction and needing to find a way to get out of prison.

SettingsThe settings show the different locations Rubin would be in out of prison, how confined he felt in jail and where the Lesra and his family have come from to help free him.


Scene of the Movie –
The trial.

That Moment That Annoyed Me John Hannah’s accent doesn’t work.

Final ThoughtsThis is a biopic that is very strong, it has brilliant performances from the whole cast, a story that is almost unbelievable to think it true becomes a reality for Rubin Carter.

 

Overall: Must watch for Biopic fans.

Rating