Le Mans ’66 (2019) Movie Review

Director: James Mangold

Writer: Jez Butterworth, John-Henry Butterworth, Jason Keller (Screenplay)

Starring: Christian Bale, Matt Damon, Caitriona Balfe, Jon Bernthal, Josh Lucas, JJ Field, Ray McKinnon, Noah Jupe

Plot: American car designer Carroll Shelby and driver Ken Miles battle corporate interference, the laws of physics and their own personal demons to build a revolutionary race car for Ford and challenge Ferrari at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1966.


Tagline – They took the american dream for a ride

Runtime: 2 Hours 32 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Sporting Classic

Story: Le Mans 66 starts as we see how Carroll Shelby (Damon) made history by winning the Le Mans 24 Hour race only to be forced into retirement because of medical problems, not wanting to walk away from the sport, he starts designing cars and turns to his friend a racer Ken Miles (Bale) to help race the cars.

When Henry Ford II (Letts) sees the sells in his car going down he turns to his team to think of ideas, Lee Iacocca (Bernthal) suggests challenging Ferrari in Le Mans, which sees Carroll hired to build a car capable of defeating them and he only wants Ken to drive for him, can they make history?

Thoughts on Le Mans 66

Characters – Ken Miles was the greatest racer of the era, the problem with him was always his attitude, never wanting to follow rules almost blacklisting him from most teams around the world, his wife wants him to race, his son looks up to him and Carroll knows he is the best man for the job, he help design the car with Carroll and his team and must prove himself on the track to get the drive at Le Mans. Carroll Shelby won Le Mans, retired from the racing side of the sport to start designing the cars, he is considered the best in America and is pick by Ford to design their race car, he will challenge the order of things because he knows he can achieve this, if he is given the chance to select who he wants in the car. Mollie is the ever-supportive wife of Ken, she wants him to drive knowing he will get bored if he doesn’t, she only asks that he is honest with her, she odes also get a great driving scene. we do get to meet plenty of executives from Ford, who each have their own agenda with Leo Beebe being made out to be the villain of the team, while Henry Ford II is made out to be strict, but will accept honesty.

PerformancesChristian Bale and Matt Damon are both fantastic proving to everyone why they are considered two of the best in the business today, they have great individual moments as well as banter between them. Outside of the two big names, nobody does get to reach their level and everybody is a joy to watch in their roles.

StoryThe story here follows Henry Ford II desire to beat Enzo Ferrari in the Le Mans 24-hour race, we see him hire a former winner turned designer to build his car, as the two sides do battle to get Ken Miles behind the wheel, in an attempt to make history. This does show how an American decided he would rather push the limits of his bank than improve the product he was making as we see how Ford changed the racing world that Ferrari had been dominating for decades and how faith in a driver is often more important that having the fastest car. The story is told over a couple of years, we get to see the important turns in the battle between Carroll and Ford’s executives to get the best driver behind the wheel, before letting us just sit back and enjoy the races. It could have had a little bit of the story chopped down to save some time though.

Action/Biopic/SportThe action mixes with the sport wonderfully to give us edge of the seat race moments that will be the highlight of the film, while the biopic side of the film seems to focus more on the car side of things only, while Ken does have a family, we really don’t learn anything else about Carroll outside of his work.

SettingsThe film recreates the iconic race track perfectly and shows us how the time relevant cars were used in nearly every scene of the film, on and off the track.


Scene of the Movie – Le Mans Race.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Give us subtitles for the Ferrari scenes.

Final Thoughts This is a high speed biopic that doesn’t let you breath through most of the action involved, it has brilliant performances from the whole cast and is a must watch for any motor sports fans.

Overall: Motor Sports Fans Must Watch.

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Door in the Woods (2019) Movie Review

Director: Billy Chase Goforth

Writer: Billy Chase Goforth (Screenplay)

Starring: Jennifer Pierce Mathus, David Rees Snell, CJ Jones, John-Michael Fisher, Katherine Forbes, Cassie Self

Plot: Things take a turn for the worst when a small town family finds an abandoned door in the woods. Is this just an abandoned door, or a gateway to something so dark no one sees coming?

Runtime: 1 Hour 29 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Starts Well, Fizzles Out

Story: Door in the Woods starts when Everlyn (Mathus), Redd (Snell) and son Kane (Fisher) move to a small town to hopeful start a new life, helping Redd get more job chances. Kane doesn’t always fit into the schools he attends and it doesn’t take him long to get into trouble and when the family decide to spend the day in the woods they find a random mysterious door in the middle of the woods.

When the family put the door in their new home, they start to get evil visitors and the local pastor Uriah (Jones) comes to try and help them deal with new problems they are facing before the darkest takes over.

Thoughts on Door in the Woods

Characters – Evelyn is the mother that is preparing to start her own internet business, she redecorates the random door they find and starts experiencing the events, she learns the truth and sets out to get help. Redd is the father that has moved here to start a new job hunt, he tries to help with the behavioural problems and joins Evelyn searching for the truth. Uriah is a pastor that has come to bless the house, he is turned to, to help deal with the hauntings knowing how to end the problems they are facing. Kane is the troublesome child that often finds himself getting into trouble at school, becoming the target of the sinister nature of the door.

PerformancesWhen we look at the performances, we don’t have the strongest ones here, Jennifer Pierce Mathus and David Rees Snell do struggle to make us believe the situations and life they have lived with these characters, while CJ Jones is the standout performer in the film.

StoryThe story here follows a family that are looking to start a new life in a small town only to find a door in the woods, inviting evil into their own home needing to get rid of it before it is too late. The start of this story is really good, with creepy elements of hauntings in the house, the problems start when the story tries to break out of following this trend and spends way too long with the final act that is more talking than anything thrilling, which is could have been. This is a story that could have become a lot deeper, but gets caught up in the middle of the two ideas and not using enough of the horror involved.

ThrillerThe opening half of the film does offer plenty thrilling horror moments, only to spend more of the second half of the film trying to make up and discuss what has been happening.

SettingsThe film uses the small town setting for everything to unfold, showing people can try to escape for a new life, but every small town has a secret.


Scene of the Movie – Background walking.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Would you really take that door home.

Final Thoughts This is a film that has a lot of potential only to fall short in how everything unfolds.

Overall: Doesn’t hit the marks.

James Bond Month – Thunderball (1965)

Director: Terence Young

Writer: Richard Maibaum, John Hopkins (Screenplay) Kevin McClory, Jack Whittingham, Ian Fleming (Story)

Starring: Sean Connery, Claudine Auger, Adolfo Celi, Luciana Paluzzi, Rik Van Nutter, Guy Doleman

 

Plot: James Bond heads to The Bahamas to recover two nuclear warheads stolen by SPECTRE agent Emilio Largo in an international extortion scheme.

 

Runtime: 2 Hours 10 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Just Your Average Mission

 

Story: Thunderball starts when SPECTRE’s latest villain Largo (Celi) steals two nuclear warheads from NATO, James Bond (Connery) now has one week to locate the warheads before Largo threatens to destroy a major city in either England or America.

James travels to the Bahamas to uncover the missing jet, with the help of his team, he must get close to Largo and his right-hand woman Domino (Auger) who knows the location of the warheads.

 

Thoughts on Thunderball

 

Characters – James Bond is back once again, forcing himself on women while trying to recover missing warheads. He gets to do the sneaking around, while alluding capture from the people who know he is after them. We don’t learn much that we haven’t already seen from James in this movie. Domino is the woman on the side of Largo, one that James is trying to seduce to help uncover the location of the missiles and one that won’t give into his charm. Largo is number two in SPECTRE who is the mastermind behind this latest plan is he can pull of the plan he will help fund the criminal group. Fiona is another one of the women that Bond tries his best to get his hands on, another one of the women working for Largo.

PerformancesSean Connery continues to be strong in the leading role of the film, he is starting to have more fun with his performance too. When it comes to the Bond girls, they each have their own beauty while just being written as traditional, will sleep with Bond and more often than not, just pawns in the bigger game. Adolfo Celi is solid in the villainous role, even though it is his look that makes him more memorable than any of his actions.

StoryThe story here follows James Bond on his latest mission to stop SPECTRE and their criminal actions against the world, now this is good to see the big villain return and yes, once again we don’t take on the head of SPECTRE as we continue to see plans for the organisation to bring terror on the world. the only negative is that we just glossed over them not being around in the last film and now suddenly they are back. As for the actual mission, we get the normal idea of Bond versus villain that will use weapons of mass destruction against the world with a limited time frame to stop them. This barely bring anything new to the world we are seeing Bond operate in and only continues the long running story against SPECTRE.

Action/AdventureThe action here is very unique and ambitious, we get most of the fight sequences happening underwater, something we rarely see even in this day of cinema, making the action the highlight of the film. the adventure gets to see James in another exotic location to save the day once again.

SettingsThe film is set in the Bahamas for the most part, this gives us the beauty shots and as all Bond movies need, the women in bikinis. It shows how the remote islands can easily be used to harbour fugitives too.


Scene of the Movie –
Mass underwater fight.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It is more of the same.

Final ThoughtsThis is another Bond movie that brings him against the criminal organisation known as SPECTRE once again as we continue to world build, it is easy to watch even if it isn’t going to be the most memorable in the series.

 

Overall: Simple Bond Film

Rating