Denzel Washington Weekend – Roman J Israel Esq. (2017)

Director: Dan Gilroy

Writer: Dan Gilroy (Screenplay)

Starring: Denzel Washington, Colin Farrell, Carmen Ejogo, Lynda Gravatt, Amanda Warren, Hugo Armstrong, Sam Gilroy

 

Plot: Roman J. Israel, Esq., a driven, idealistic defence attorney, finds himself in a tumultuous series of events that lead to a crisis and the necessity for extreme action.


Tagline – All rise.

Runtime: 2 Hours 2 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Slow Lawyer Heavy Movie

 

Story: Roman J Israel Esq starts as legal defence attorney Roman J Israel Esq (Washington) who doesn’t attend the courtroom and helps his partner win his cases with his legal mind. When his partner falls into a coma, George Pierce (Farrell) takes over the business, looking to close the firm, but he sees something in Roman, believing he could be hired to help with his own case load.

Roman agrees to help with a charity with young lawyers, run by Maya Alston (Ejogo), while needing to learn how to be part of a team, rather than using his knowledge to put people down, being one of the few people that wanted to be a lawyer for the right reasons.

 

Thoughts on Roman J Israel Esq

 

Characters – Roman J Israel Esq is a genius in the law field, he can memorise every case, knows how to solve the case with logic before getting into a courtroom, only he doesn’t go to court, he helps his partner do the lawyer side of the cases. This does make him come of anti-social at times too, he does want to help people when other people don’t listen to their voices. He goes through his own Epiphany which will see him changing, because of one incident, this will see him facing a conflict in his head about his future. George Pierce is the lawyer for the big firm assigned to close the small firm, he sees the skills Roman has, deciding to hiring him to help with his own cases. Maya runs a charity for people who can’t afford lawyers, she is happy to let Roman help out, she sees the good he has to offer people and in him.

PerformancesDenzel Washington was nominated for an Oscar for his performance in this film, he doesn’t really shine on the levels we know he could, he handles the character well though, considering he is in nearly every scene of the film. Colin Farrell as the lawyer for the rich firm is strong as always in the supporting role, while Carmen Ejogo completes the main cast well.

StoryThe story follows Roman J Israel an attorney that works for a small firm only to see that one close down and him getting a chance in a big law firm, where his own good natured mindset can be left behind when temptation comes his way. The problems with the story are clear, because we don’t get to see Roman doing any real courtroom lawyer work which seems like why he is hired, the mindset he has isn’t bought forward soon enough to see his change for enough of an impact either. We are meant to be dealing with one man going to far which just doesn’t end up being as interesting as it should be.

CrimeThe crime side of this film comes from what Roman does, leading up to his crime before showing us the consequences.

SettingsThe film is set in the locations you would expect to see a lawyer operate, we see the small firm, the big firm and the charity firm he could work for, where he is driven to make his own choices.


Scene of the Movie –
The homeless man.

That Moment That Annoyed Me We didn’t believe how good-natured Roman was meant to be.

Final ThoughtsThis an interesting if not slow moving lawyer based movie, it tries to do something different which should be praised, but it never reaches the potential it had.

 

Overall: Doesn’t hit the required marks.

Rating

 

 

20 Favourite Horrors of 2019

2019 has been one of the best years for horror, I have found myself enjoying most of the horrors this year, this is just going to be the ones I enjoyed the most in no particular order. There will be a few films missing off this list, first The Lighthouse, which hasn’t been released in the UK yet and secondly, IT Chapter Two and Midsommar, two I didn’t really enjoy.

Us Us follows a family that start getting haunted by their doppelgangers who act in murderous ways, we see how the family is trying to survive against them in what is a horror with a killer twist, the best performance of the year from Lupita Nyong’o and an ending that will stop to make you think for hours, days or even weeks when it concludes.

Doctor Sleep Doctor Sleep is the sequel to The Shining, it has been years since we saw that one, we have waiting for Stephen King to write his own sequel book, while Mike Flanagan manages to balance the original film, with King’s sequel, giving us one of the best horror sequels made, it builds up a bigger world, has one of the most shocking deaths in horror, along with a breakout performance from Kyliegh Curran, with a scene stealing performance from Rebecca Ferguson.

Little Monsters Little Monsters might well be the lightest horror on the list and it brings us a zombie comedy with music, not a musical though, we follow a school teacher and chaperone who find themselves trapped in a petting zoo when zombies arrive, this is one of the few films that manages to not have annoying kids, and does have the important message about letting people know who you really are, yet another wonderful performance from Lupita Nyong’o.

Crawl Crawl is a creature feature follow a father, daughter that get trapped in their crawlspace by alligators while the flood waters rise around them. This film is filled with jumps, thrills and bloodshed, sure it might have a couple of poor decisions, but you can have a lot of fun with this one.

Eli Eli is a horror that follows a young boy with a auto-immune disorder that finds himself going through special treatment, only for things to spiral out of control, with a twist you simply wouldn’t see coming, this film does shine from the final third where everything is unleashed.

Ready or Not Ready or Not starts with what should be the perfect day for Grace, her wedding turns into an extreme game of hide and seek, which is life or death for her, to help follow a family curse. Samara Weaving shines in the leading role, which does balance the horror with the comedy too, however outside the box certain moments in the film are.

Rabid When the Soska Sisters got their hands on the remake of the David Cronenberg cult classic, we knew we were in good hands, we follow a young lady that gets infected by a cure to her facial injury, only to learn that she does have anew blood lust, one that leads to deadly consequences.

Escape Room Escape Room was the third movie of the same title I had seen within 12 months, thankfully this one was enjoyable, bringing us a deadly game that does feel like it is a soft version of Saw at times, but does build a world that is much bigger, one I can’t wait to see the next chapter of.

Brightburn Brightburn is the anti-superhero origin story, this shows us how an alien being can become the biggest threat to humanity, the opposite to a superman. This is one that slowly builds up, it has some brutal kills, that could easily happen with somebody with superpowers and now we have one that could be some fresh in the world of superhero movies.

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark Being a huge fan of Andre Ovredal, this was going to be a film I would be supporting all day long, when it came to this one we are get a string of scary stories happening to the victims, which all introduce a new figure that is more terrifying than the last one, kept for a younger teenage audience, it still is filled with fear.

Mentally Apart Mentally Apart is one of the most recent horrors I have seen, one that should be available to everybody in 2020, it follows a relationship, through some good and bad times, it does have a sense of unease throughout the film, one that will keep us wondering just what is happening and one that doesn’t waste a scene, when it comes to the truth.

Blood Craft Blood Craft follows two sisters that were abused by their father and decide to use witchcraft to bring him back to life, only to punish him for what he did to them. This film does tackle domestic abuse well and show us just how much damage it can do if it isn’t treated on a smarter level.

Room for Rent When you see the name Lin Shaye attached to any horror thriller, you know you are in for a treat, this is no different as she plays a lonely widow who rents out a room where she starts to become obsessed with her latest guest, one that will see her become more deadly.

The Dark Within The Dark Within is a horror that follows a man who has been struggle to control his psychic abilities, which sees him trying to learn about his past, which only unleashes more demons into his mind, with some great scares, complex storytelling, this is one you didn’t want to miss this year.

The Village in the Woods The Village in the Woods does follow a couple that are moving into the village, only for them to learn just how creepy this village is, with what the people want from the new residents. This is a horror I did enjoy and it also has a personal landmark for me, one of the quotes for my review was used on the cover, for the review on Ready Steady Cut.

The Tokoloshe The Tokoloshe follows a young woman in a Johannesburg hospital that ends up getting haunted by a ghostly figure that will follow its victims wherever they will go, waiting for its chance to strike. This is one horror that brings a ghostly figure from another culture to the limelight, which is always great to see.

Annabelle Comes Home Annabelle Comes Home takes us to the Warren house, filled with artefacts which have different haunting effects about them, this opens up the Pandora’s box of horror figures, which does give us hope this franchise could go on for years to come, with some unique original creations, even if certain parts of the horror are by the book jumps.

The VelociPastor Where do we start with this movie, we have a priest that gets infected with something that gives him the ability to turn into a dinosaur and uses it to fight crime and ninjas. Yeah, this movie is sooooo bonkers it just works and is one you could laugh along with the blood splatter too.

Echoes of Fear Echoes in Fear follows a young woman that inherits her grandfather’s house, only to find herself being haunted by ghostly figures, which makes her look into the clues, where she learns the shocking truth about her grandfather. This is a nice ghost investigation film, which is my personal favourite sub-genre in horror.

Child’s Play Child’s Play was a film that I was against seeing, knowing it was a remake going in, I didn’t expect much from the film, this film manages to be completely different, well it has a killer doll, but it is technology over a serial killer, which brings a unique modern twist to how everything unfolds. It breaks the mould of a pointless remake, by being original and bringing a modern twist to the story.

Denzel Washington Weekend – Antwone Fisher (2002)

Director: Denzel Washington

Writer: Antwone Fisher (Screenplay)

Starring: Derek Luke, Denzel Washington, Joy Bryant, Salli Richardson-Whitfield, Leonard Earl Howze, Kente Scott

 

Plot: Antwone Fisher, a young navy man, is forced to see a psychiatrist after a violent outburst against a fellow crewman. During the course of treatment a painful past is revealed and a new hope begins.


Tagline – Inspired by a true story. 

Runtime: 2 Hours

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Moving Biopic

 

Story: Antwone Fisher starts as we pick up with the incident which caused navy officer Antwon Fisher (Luke) which saw him on the last chance situation, this brings him to psychiatrist Dr Jerome Davernport (Washington) that wants to help Antwone get to the root of this anger problems.

As Antwone starts to get his feet back on track he meets the beautiful Cheryl (Bryant) just before his latest leave where the anger erupts again, until Davenport gets to the bottom of al the problems that Antwone has been dealing with.

 

Thoughts on Antwone Fisher

 

Characters – Antwone Fisher is a real man, this is his story about his connection with a psychiatrist that helped put his life back on the right track after a troubled and abusive childhood. There was always a good man inside him, but the anger of abandonment haunts him. Dr Davenport is assigned to Antwone to see if he is going to be fit to return to duty in the navy. He struggles to get through to him at first, but pushes him to tackle his past to help him move on, unlike anyone before. Cheryl is the fellow navy officers that Antwone falls in love with, the one person that he opens up to and supports him.

PerformancesDerek Luke was an unknown actor at this point of his career, he took this role and made himself a star with his performance. Denzel took directing duties on this film too, where he is the supporting role and shows the level of performance that knows how to let the lead take control. Joy Bryant is good even if she is only given the role of supportive love interest.

StoryThe story here is one man’s life, Antwone Fisher, the abuse he dealt with in a foster home which has caused him to hold in plenty of anger. We follow the one doctor who helped Antwone get through these troubles to confront his past to make him the man he is today, a good man. This story is hard to believe, but is hauntingly as real as they come when telling the true story of one man, this could easily explain a lot of problems in the world, where are people do need to accept each other more, not use or abuse them.

Biopic The story of Antwone Fisher is one that ends up feeling incredible, the suffering he faced as a child to the levels he gets in the navy.

SettingsWe are shown where Antwone is now living, where he is from and how this moment has guided him from location to make him stronger.


Scene of the Movie –
Reunion.

That Moment That Annoyed Me We could learn more about where Antwone goes next.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good biopic that shows one man’s troubles in life that needed to open up about them to move on.

 

Overall: Good biopic throughout.

Rating

 

 

Iron Man 3 (2013)

Director: Shane Black

Writer: Drew Pearse, Shane Black (Screenplay) Stan Lee, Don Heck, Larry Lieber, Jack Kirby, Warren Ellis, Adi Granov (Comics)

Starring: Robert Downey Jr, Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Guy Pearce, Rebecca Hall, Jon Favreau, Ben Kingsley

 

Plot: When Tony Stark’s world is torn apart by a formidable terrorist called the Mandarin, he starts an odyssey of rebuilding and retribution.


Tagline – Unleash the power behind the armor.

Runtime: 2 Hour 10 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Superhero Movie with Consequences

 

Story: Iron Man 3 starts in the aftermath of The Avengers, Tony Stark (Downey Jr) is still dealing with the side effects from going through the worm hole, to make matters worse Pepper (Paltrow) is getting tired of his action, a new terrorist known as the Mandarin (Kingsley) is bombing the world.

After Tony challenges him to fight him, Tony finds his mansion destroyed, with Tony getting stuck in a small town, when the true identity of the Mandarin is revealed and the man who is controlling him Aldrich Killian (Pearce) a man that Tony once rejected working with.

 

Thoughts on Iron Man 3

 

Characters – Tony Stark is back, this time he can’t sleep because of what happened in New York in the Avengers. He can’t cope with knowing he could know lose somebody he loves in Pepper, he keeps busy by improving his suits and challenge the new terrorist. He must go on a journey of self-discovery before fighting the latest enemy. This is one of the best character arcs in the franchise. Pepper Potts is still running the company, but is getting more distant from Tony, she learns how Tony feels about her by his actions in this film. Rhodey has become the lead guardian turned to for his newly rebranded Iron Patriot. He lets Tony get the important information required to learn the truth. Aldrich Killian is the man that Tony once forget or rejected, he has gone on to master a way to fix limp loss, which has helped him grow a group of soldiers that can explode if not treated properly, he has put a mask on his attacks making it seem like he had nothing to do with it. Maya is another lady from Tony’s past, she has her own reasons for returning, where she plays partly as a love rival for Pepper and somebody who still wants her work to mean something. Trevor is the Mandarin, through to be the big threat in the film, while we get a twist in his purpose in the film which has divided fans ever since.

PerformancesRobert Downey Jr gives one of the best performances in the Marvel Universe because he must deal emotions unlike any other hero in the franchise to date. Gwyneth Paltrow gets to bring her own stamp to this role, getting more involved in the action this time around. Don Cheadle continues to make his character more likeable than ever. Guy Pearce does make for a strong villain, he keeps up guessing to what he will do next hanging on his words. Rebecca Hall struggles, but this is mostly because the character is written poorly. Ben Kingsley gives us one of the funniest performances in the franchise to date.

StoryThe story involves Tony Stark facing consequences of The Avengers, while dealing with a new threat terrorising the world. This way of looking at the story is impressive because we have seen many superhero films that have never looked at dealing with side effects of the previous films, this brings Tony on a character arc which is easily one of the best in the franchise. The idea a villain has created a way for people to recover from limp loss that could end up becoming deadly weapons is strong because it continues to show rival inventors in Tony’s world. This is one of the stories which does get questions over a certain serve in the story, but it only adds to the way we are getting too.

Action/Sci-FiThe action involved in the film is a terrorist that uses explosive to destroy or fight Tony Stark. Which does show us how the sci-fi world of technology is making a new threat to the world.

SettingsThe film uses the settings to show Tony stuck in a town where he wouldn’t ever visit, the action scenes do take us to new settings though which does help.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film show how flawlessly Tony can get in and out of his suits, the way the characters look when they could look to explode or regenerate, which fits the style of the film.


Scene of the Movie –
The plane save.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Failure to use Maya well enough.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the best character arcs in the franchise to date, we see how he must learn from his mistakes and fight a new threat.

 

Overall: Best character arc to date.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Anticipated for 2020 – #

ABC Film Challenge

Anticipated for 2020

#

The year 2019 is coming to a close and it is time to look ahead to the new year, through December the subject is the films I am looking forward to seeing, hopefully I will be able to select one film for each letter even if we dive into actors, directors or themes. Join in if you want and let’s get this conversation going about the next hopefully wonderful year in film.

The Conjuring 3, The Nun 2 and The Crooked Man

Stars – Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga

SynopsisThe Conjuring Universe continues to grow and with three more additions lets see how they all work out.