The Senator (2018)

Director: John Curran

Writer: Taylor Allen, Andrew Logan (Screenplay)

Starring: Jason Clarke, Kata Mara, Ed Helms, Bruce Dern, Jim Gaffigan, Olivia Thirlby, Clancy Brown


Plot: Depicting Ted Kennedy’s involvement in the fatal 1969 car accident that claims the life of a young campaign strategist, Mary Jo Kopechne.

Tagline – The Untold True Story

Runtime: 1 Hour 46 Minutes


There may be spoilers in the rest of the review


Verdict: Strong Political Thriller


Story: The Senator starts on July 18th 1969, man is about to land on the moon and Senator Ted Kennedy (Clarke) the last remaining Kennedy child is start his early Presidential campaign. That night Ted and friends are celebrating when he drives one of the campaign strategists Mary Jo Kopechne (Mara) home, when they are involved in an accident, killing Mary Jo.

The morning after the news breaks and Ted must use all of his team to help come up with a smart enough story that will cover him from any wrong doing, the bonus for Ted, man just landed on the moon is the biggest story in the world.


Thoughts on The Senator


Characters – When we look at the character, we must first acknowledge that these were real people. Ted Kennedy is the last of the Kennedy siblings, always in the shadows of his brothers, now embarking on his own journey to become President. He is involved in a car accident which leads to a death of a young woman and we see how he is planning to keep his career on the right path showing how difficult each decision he was making. Mary Jo Kopechne was the victim, she has been a key part of the previous Kennedy campaigns with her work and Ted was recruiting to his latest one. Joseph Gargan is the most trusted man to Ted, he knows what should have been done and gets increasingly frustrated with the attempted cover up. Joseph Kennedy is the father of the Kennedy’s he wants to see Ted follow in his brother’s footsteps always feeling let down by his last remaining son.

PerformancesJason Clarke is the leading role is wonderful, when it comes to serious roles he hasn’t always been given the leading role, here he shows us that he is ready to be taken seriously in a leading role. Kate Mara is good for her smaller part which is all we needed. Ed Helms surprises in a serious role because we are used to see him in comedic roles. Bruce Dern shines in role which shows him in a disabled role where he still shows the disappointment on his face.

StoryThe story we follow takes us into the week surrounding the death of Mary Jo Kopechne which had an impact on the political career of Ted Kennedy. The story shows us how the Kennedy camp was trying to put a spin on the accident to clear Ted of any wrong doing. This plays into how this is an incident is one that remained a talking point even though it was overshadowed by the bigger story in human history. Seeing how the politics system was run to spin any story to show innocence to the keep campaign strong even if it means stepping on the people who are affected by the act.  This is strange because we always seem to get two major news events together where one will end ups getting forgotten.  

History/ThrillerThis is a look at a moment in history that would have had a lot bigger story nearly any other day of the week, one that never really got too the truth about. This does keep us on edge as we wait to see just what will happen if the truth was to come out.

SettingsThe settings in this film show how behind closed doors the operation to clean up a political disaster works.

Scene of the Movie –
The speech.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It would have been interesting to see more of the girl’s impact after the death of their friend.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good political historical drama that shows us just how one story about one of the biggest iconic family’s in America history the Kennedys.


Overall: Interesting political thriller.




ABC Film Challenge – Sci-Fi – T – Tau (2018)

Director: Federico D’Alessandro

Writer: Noga Landau (Screenplay)

Starring: Maika Monroe, Ed Skrein, Gary Oldman


Plot: A woman is held captive in a futuristic smart house and hopes to escape by breaking into the computer programs that control the house.


Runtime: 1 Hour 37 Minutes


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Interesting Idea, Just Misses


Story: Tau starts when young thief Julia (Monroe) is captured and locked up in a mysterious house with a beacon like object placed in her neck. The house is owned by Alex (Skrein) who has been working on learning the brain patterns and with his other two subjects he believes he can change the planet.

After trying to escape from the cell, Julia ends up getting the rest of the subjects kill, forcing her to complete the tasks alone, as she spends the time interacting with the computer controlling the house Tau (Voiced by Oldman), with a time limit in place, can Julia trust Alex to get out of the house alive.


Thoughts on Tau


Characters – Julia is the streetwise thief, she works alone against the wishes of her handler, she gets captured and forced into an experimental program which using her skills, she tries to escape from the house which fails only leading her to need to complete the tasks which measure her brain activities as she continues to worry about her life once the tasks have been completed. Alex is the genius that owns the house, he has been trying to make a major break through in his field of brain activity and is now dealing with the pressure thrown on him by his company. Tau is the computer system that controls the home, it is forced to keep the place clean and makes sure the subjects remain in certain location. It starts to befriend Julia as part of her ideas on how to escape from the home as we learn that it is just as much of a prisoner as Julia.

PerformancesMaika Monroe is strong in this film, she appears in every scene and you can see how she is calculating her next move in each scene. Ed Skrein is good as we see him keep his character feel withdrawn from Julia through the film, he shows the arrogance needed too for a genius that believe he is bigger than the world. Gary Oldman’s voice work is good addition because he is such a well-spoken man, which works for the Tau computer character.

StoryThe story follows a young woman that is abducted and forced into an experiment which located in an advanced computer run house and we follow her attempts to escape. We do get into a relationship between a learning artificial intelligence and the woman that tried to help him which goes on longer than it needs to, we don’t seem to get enough of a focus on just what the experiment and tasks is trying to achieve which will leave things feeling empty by the end of the film. The story does have original concepts, but soon falls into the old we have seen this before problems.

Sci-FiThe film does use the sci-fi well because we get the artificial intelligence discussing situations with Julia in a futuristic world.

SettingsThe film is set inside the house for the whole time, which keeps Julia’s mind ticking as she plans for her escape from the evil genius.

Special EffectsThe effects are a mixed bag because certain moments do come off strong but then others look very weak.

Scene of the Movie –
The music discussion.

That Moment That Annoyed Me There are too many talking scenes between Julia and Tau.

Final ThoughtsThis is a sci-fi film that does have wonderfully potential, only it does end up falling short of the potential.


Overall: Sci-fi that misses the marks.