Writer: Albert Maltz, Irene Kamp (Screenplay) Thomas Cullinan (Novel)
Starring: Clint Eastwood, Geraldine Page, Elizabeth Hartman, Jo Ann Harris, Darleen Carr, Mae Mercer
Plot: While imprisoned in a Confederate girls’ boarding school, an injured Union soldier cons his way into each of the lonely women’s hearts, causing them to turn on each other, and eventually, on him.
Tagline – Who is really the captor and who the captive?
Runtime: 1 Hour 45 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: Twisted and Dark Thriller
Story: The Beguiled starts when a union soldier John McBurney (Eastwood) is injured, dying in the woods during the war, young Amy (Ferdin) finds him and brings him back to the girls boarding school to fix over and hand over to the confederate soldiers.
Head mistress Martha (Page) brings in strict rules to keep John away from the girls, but it isn’t long before John starts using his charm to take advantage of the women, including teacher Edwina (Hartman), eldest student Carol (Harris) and even Martha herself. Everything goes to plan until they learn about his plan and turn the tables on him.
Thoughts on The Beguiled
Characters – John McBurney is a union soldier that has been wounded in the war, he is rescued by the girls of a boarding school as he uses his charm to remain safe with the enemy soldiers looking for him. He knows how to seduce all of the women into loving him and it isn’t long before he has all of them waiting for him. Martha is the owner of the school, she doesn’t want to let John in because she knows a man would only bring trouble, only to know it would be right to fix him before falling under his spell just like the other women. She does have a brother missing in the war too. Edwina is the only teacher in the school, she has never been able to trust a man, though John manages to show her how to trust, though she is the most on edge of the women. Carol is the eldest of the student, she sees John as her first experience with a man, one that she can love and be loved by.
Performances – Clint Eastwood in the leading role is great, he goes against what people would be expecting from him in this villainous role that will make you hate him. Geraldine Page does a great job too, with Elizabeth Hartman giving us a strong performance as the one that seems easiest to seduce. Jo Ann Harris fills the role of the seductive teen well completing the three different generations of women trying to win the heart of John.
Story – The story follows a union soldier taken in by a confederate girl’s boarding school where he uses his charm to lie and win the hearts of the women and girls in the school, until they learn of his ways and turn on him. This shows how the men and women during the war would feel left out by not seeing the opposite of sex for such long periods of time. This shows us just how without communication people can fall for anything and just what will happen if one-man pisses of a lot of women in the same building. This will go in direction you wouldn’t expect and will shock you with just what happens on both sides of the battle
War – The film doesn’t show us too much of the battles o war, only the effects it has on both the men and women, just how far they will go to get what they want and get revenge.
Settings – The film keeps us in one major setting, the boarding school, we see the scale of the building which shows us just how easy it is to operate the way John wants to around the girls.
Final Thoughts – This is a dark thriller that shows us just how far people will go to get what they want during the war, it has a twisted look at what will happen if you upset too many women at once too.
Overall: Eastwood shines as the villain.
Writer: Stephen J Rivele, Christopher Wilkinson, Eric Roth, Michael Mann (Screenplay) Gregory Allen Howard (Story)
Starring: Will Smith, Jamie Foxx, Jon Voight, Mario Van Peebles, Ron Silver, Jeffrey Wright, Mykelti Williamson
Plot: A biography of sports legend Muhammad Ali, focusing on his triumphs and controversies between 1964 and 1974.
Tagline – Float like a butterfly and sting like a bee.
Runtime: 2 Hours 37 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: Boxing Biopic a Must Watch
Story: Ali starts on the brink of Cassius Clay (Smith) first title match in 1964, a match he wins to become heavyweight champion of the world, with his place on top of the world ready, Cassius joins forces with Malcolm X (Peebles) becoming a Muslim in the process, changing his name to Muhammad Ali.
With the Vietnam war drafting men from America, Muhammad is drafted, but he refuses to go and fight which leads him to be stripped of the title and banned from fighting in certain states, Ali uses his to create one of the biggest fights in history, The Rumble in the Jungle.
Thoughts on Ali
Characters – Muhammad Ali is one if not the most famous boxers in the world, in the history of the sport, he help shape the sport to be what we know now, with his charisma and loud behaviour against his opponents, we follow just ten years of his life, from his first title win, through his religious change, the battle against the government about fighting in the Vietnam war, to being part of one of the biggest fights in boxing history. When we focus on the rest of the real-life people we get to see the loyal people in his life, reporter Howard Cosell that seemed to have a wonderful relationship which included banter between the two and the promoters that make the fight possible.
Performances – Will Smith in the role of Ali is brilliant, this is easily his best performance of his career showing the world that he can have his wise cracking side mixed with the serious side. We have an unrecognizable Jon Voight who is shows us all that how easily he can morph into any role. The rest of the supporting cast are good without being fantastic or taking away anything from Smith in the leading role.
Story – The story here takes us into Muhammed Ali’s life for ten years, we get to see from the night he first won the title till the famous Rumble in the Jungle match. We do see the obstacles he must overcome to remain the man he was which in itself is an incredible story during late 60s America. My issues with the story come from not seeing everything that Ali went through in this career, mostly the rise to the top, which could have been an even more interesting story. for the story to only cover 10- years is interesting because we could have seen so much more of the legal battle against the government, the religious battles he faced because of his stance on war and action with the women. The truth is, Ali lived an amazing life and there are so many story we could learn about him from his career any film just can’t cover them all.
Biopic/Sports – Ten years of one of the great boxers in the history of the sport, one of the men that changed the sport almost doesn’t give it enough justice. The sports side of the film comes from the boxing scenes which are incredibly real through the film we do get a couple and they do go on a long time.
Settings – The film here takes us to the important locations in Ali’s life, the ring of course is the most important one while we get scenes away from the ring to as we look at his church and his personal life.
Final Thoughts – This is one of those biopics which is great to watch and has wonderful scenes, only for it to be missing that big it factor about it. The fights do feel real which is key and the performances are flawless, we could only have learnt more.
Overall: Biopic to enjoy.