Emma Stone Weekend – Battle of the Sexes (2017) Movie Review

Director: Jonathan Dayton, Valerie Faris

Writer: Simon Beaufoy (Screenplay)

Starring: Emma Stone, Steve Carell, Andrea Riseborough, Natalie Morales, Sarah Silverman, Bill Pullman, Alan Cumming

Plot: The true story of the 1973 tennis match between World number one Billie Jean King and ex-champ and serial hustler Bobby Riggs.

Tagline – He made a bet. She made history.

Runtime: 2 Hours 1 Minute

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Great Look at History Making

Story: Battle of the Sexes starts when women’s tennis champion Billie Jean King (Stone) decides to boycott the Lawn Association Tournaments run by Jack Kramer (Pullman) who isn’t offering equal pay to the women’s games to start her own tournament for the women. Bobby Riggs (Carell) a former grand-slam winner has been dealing with his gambling addiction which is costing him his marriage.

When Billie Jean’s tournaments start taking off, they are excluding from the Grand Slam events, Bobby Riggs comes up with the idea to challenge Billie Jean to an exhibition game which would get the press interested in both the players, putting the spotlight on the women players in the way they deserve.

Thoughts on Battle of the Sexes

Characters – The characters here are based on the real people, I have no idea how accurate they are. Billie Jean King is the number one tennis player in the world, she wants to earn the same prize money as the men and after not getting it she starts her own competition for the women in the game and beating Bobby would change everything for her, off the court she is dealing with her own feelings towards another woman despite being happily married. Bobby Riggs is a hustler and former grand-slam winner, he has a gambling problem which has cost him his marriage and has come up with an idea to challenge one of the top women’s players, defeating the current number one, Billie Jean steps up with the press turning the match into major deal. Bobby does play this like the exhibition that it was, knowing he is taking the bad guy role in this game, not truly caring about the outcome, more focused on the show around it. Marilyn is a hairdresser that does start an affair with Billie Jean, her role leaves Billie losing part of her game being involved in what was considered a forbidden romance. Rosie is one of the women players that joins Billie in her new league, one of many that just wants to be treated equal.

PerformancesEmma Stone and Steve Carell are both fantastic in the leading roles, we see just how much Emma makes Billie look like a player that wants to change the game, while Carell makes us love to hate his cocky arrogant player. Elsewhere in the cast we have strong performance throughout the film without taking the shine of the performances of the leading pair.

StoryThe story follows the real events leading up to one of the most watch games of tennis in history. We get to look at how Billie Jean lead the change in tennis for equality within the game which should be front and centre of the story. We do get to see how both Billie and Bobby have personal problems with relationships which were being explored at the time. The big and most entertaining part of the story comes from seeing the build up to the big game, where Bobby is playing into the press more than anything. The slightly confusing part of the whole story comes from wondering if Bobby knew what he was doing and whether he was actually supporting the women’s game, the film shows him making it a show for the cameras, which could see him trying to bring them to the forefront of the conversation rather than just being somebody trying to put them down.

Biopic/ComedyThe biopic side of this film does show us just how much of an impact Billie Jean had on tennis during the 70s how she made a difference for the prize money and views of tennis. The film is set with a comic tone with most of the laughs coming from just how outlandish Bobby is meant to have been.

SettingsThe film is set in the 1970s with each location, costume or outfit looking like we are part of that time.

Scene of the Movie – The match.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The scoring in the match, it isn’t clear enough.

Final Thoughts This is a great to watch biopic about one of the biggest games in tennis history, it has brilliant performance throughout and will leave you want to see what happened next.

Overall: Brilliant biopic.

Road to the Oscars 2021 – February 2020

Road to the Oscars 2021

At the end of each month, I will be looking at the major categories and rate from only what I have seen through the year, what are the current contenders for the 2021 Oscars, this will not include most of the obvious choices early on and will be changed at the year goes on. It is unlikely I will see any of the major contenders until a month before, so please take this as my month rating of what I think the best films or performances of year are through the year.

Best Picture

Falling Off the List –

Best Actor

Falling Off the List –

Best Actress

  1. Margot Robbie – Birds of Prey
  2. Elisabeth Moss – The Invisible Man

Falling Off the List –

Best Supporting Actress

Falling Off the List –

Best Supporting Actor

  1. Martin Lawrence – Bad Boys for Life
  2. Aldis Hodge – The Invisible Man

Falling Off the List –

Please remember this is only done through the year, I doubt many of the early picks will actually stand a chance of being nominated for an Oscar and if you feel like joining in, feel free to leave you thoughts in the comments below.

  • Any films that are being considered for the 2020 Oscars are not going to make this list even if I do see them for the first time in 2020.

The Invisible Man (2020) Movie Review

Director: Leigh Whannell

Writer: Leigh Whannell (Screenplay) H.G. Wells (Novel)

Starring: Elisabeth Moss, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Aldis Hodge, Storm Reid, Harriet Dyer, Michael Dorman, Benedict Hardie

Plot: When Cecilia’s abusive ex takes his own life and leaves her his fortune, she suspects his death was a hoax. As a series of coincidences turn lethal, Cecilia works to prove that she is being hunted by someone nobody can see.

Tagline – What You Can’t See Can Hurt You

Runtime: 2 Hours 4 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: First Great Horror of the Decade

Story: The Invisible Man starts as Cecilia (Moss) escapes her abusive relationship with Adrian (Jackson-Cohen), still haunted by her time thinking Adrian will find her, she is living with cop James (Hodge) and his daughter Sydney (Reid), when she learns the news that Adrian has killed himself.

While trying to move on with her life Cecilia starts to suspect Adrian is in fact still alive and faked his death to continue to ruin her life, with his knowledge of technology, which nobody will believe her story about, leading her to need to prove the truth before it is too late.

Thoughts on The Invisible Man

Characters – Cecilia Kass was once an ambitious architect who ends up getting involved in an abusive relationship, where nobody knows about, she has planned her escape, even though she is still caught under his spell, believing he will come for her, she is trying to continue her life after his death. Cecilia shows us just how difficult escaping an abusive relationship can be and how not everybody is going to understand the story. Adrian Griffin is the tech genius that has been controlling Cecilia’s life refusing to let her live her life and after she leaves, he kills himself, only he continues to haunt her life using his knowledge of tech. James is a police officer that takes in Cecilia, while raising his teenage daughter, he is very open and patient with Cecilia, only he will always put his daughter first.

PerformancesElisabeth Moss is fantastic in the leading role, giving us one of the greatest performances of the year. Aldis Hodge was great to watch too, showing both sides of his character very well. While the actual invisible man is more about the presences, it is truly hard to give a true description about the acting behind it.

StoryThe story here follows a woman escape her abusive relationship only to learn the man has killed himself, only he hasn’t, he is still haunting her using his own creation to continue to torment her life. Where this story is very interesting, is by not telling us everything about Adrian, we start with the escape and learn about him from how Cecilia tells the people in her life. This helps because we slowly see how Cecilia could well be losing her mind and by sucking out all of the sound in most scenes, we have a tension filled story.

Horror/Sci-FiThe horror in this film comes from seeing how Cecilia is being haunted by an invisible threat and how that person goes about causing the pain in her life, while the sci-fi side of the film shows us just how the invisible effect is achieved.

SettingsThe film does use the locations to show the different places Cecilia finds herself, from the glamorous mansion, to the suburban location or the hospital she finds herself being assessed in.

Special EffectsThe effects are flawless to make every action seem nature despite the attacker being invisible.

Scene of the Movie – The Dinner.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – It never seems to be explained the relationship between Cecilia and James.

Final Thoughts This is easily going to become one of the best horrors of the year, with one of the best performances of the year from Elisabeth Moss, being one of the most gripping movies too.

Overall: Fantastic

Dark Waters (2019) Movie Review

Director: Todd Haynes

Writer: Matthew Michael Carnhan, Mario Correa (Screenplay) Nathaniel Rich (Magazine Article)

Starring: Mark Ruffalo, Anne Hathaway, Tim Robbins, Bill Pullman, William Jackson Harper, Mare Winningham, Victor Garber

Plot: A corporate defense attorney takes on an environmental lawsuit against a chemical company that exposes a lengthy history of pollution.

Tagline – The Truth Has a Man on the Inside

Runtime: 2 Hours 6 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Important Case, Told Too Slowly

Story: Dark Waters starts when defence attorney Robert Bilott (Ruffalo) gets invited to put a lawsuit against the very chemical company who works for by Wilbur Tennant (Camp) who has lost his whole herd of cows to different illness, ones he believes to be environment.

Robert decides to take the case, much to his boss Tom Terp (Robbins) annoyance, which will see him take on one of the biggest firms in America, with the claim they deliberately poisoned the water for years.

Thoughts on Dark Waters

Characters – Robert Bilott has been working to defend chemical companies for years, now he is asked to lead a case against one of the biggest firms DuPont, which could put his own career as a lawyer on the line to expose one of the biggest poisoning and lack of care in America. Sarah is the wife of Robert’s she doesn’t like his work to start with, but sees how it might even be effecting people in their own life, backs him in his fight against the company. Tom Terp is Robert’s boss, he isn’t happy with him putting the case together to start with, only once he sees his case, he will back him to do the right thing. Harry Dietzler is the lawyer that handles to trial for Robert, he knows how to play the courtroom to get the best out of the situation.

PerformancesMark Ruffalo in the leading role is the highlight of the film, he shows the sacrifice the man made to win the case. When it comes to the supporting case Anne Hathaway, Tim Robbins and Bill Pullman are all strong with their roles in the film.

StoryThe story follows a defence attorney that will risk his career to take on a giant firm accused of dumping chemicals into the water supply causing countless numbers of side effects that affects millions, this case does go on for decades and we see the ups and downs along the way. The story is important because it shows how bad the corruption in a company can be, which is sadly, one of the weaknesses in the story, we are trying to get too much information out, while not having enough to work with because of the number little cases involved. With the scale of the story being this big, it would have been better to get a mini-series, which could have explored more of what was going on in the grand scale of things.

BiopicThis was the important story of one man’s struggle to try and make a difference when taking on a massive company that will do anything to keep the little man down.

SettingsThe film uses the settings to show us just what the company was doing and how the people had been affect by their careless action.

Scene of the Movie – The cases start.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – There is too much to cover in just a movie.

Final Thoughts This is an interesting look at the important case that showed how hard one person worked to make a different against a company that wouldn’t give him a chance.

Overall: Could have had more.

Bloodline (2018) Movie Review

Director: Henry Jacobson

Writer: Avra Fox-Lerner, Will Honley, Henry Jacobson (Screenplay)

Starring: Seann William Scott, Mariela Garriga, Dale Dickey, Christie Herring, Raymond Alexander Cham Jr, Nick Noraine

Plot: Evan values family above all else, and anyone who gets between him, his wife, and newborn son learns that the hard way. But when it comes to violent tendencies, it seems the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

Runtime: 1 Hour 37 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Dexter Movie

Story: Bloodline starts as we see a woman killed in the shower then getting buried, Evan Cole (Scott) returns to his wife Lauren (Garriga), then off to help the students decide their future. As the couple have their first child, the sleep deprivation starts to come through, as the memories of an abuse from his childhood come back to him.

As Evan counsels the students, he starts to hear the stories of abuse they are going through and decides to channel his own aggressive into eliminating the threats in their lives, in an attempt to give them back the lives they are having taken from them.

Thoughts on Bloodline

Characters – Evan Cole is a guidance counsellor at a school, dealing with children that are suffering abuse, much like himself as a child, to vent this problem, he eliminates the threats to the children to filled his serial killer urges. He remains calm with everything going on in his life, including a new-born which is taking away his sleep, he still performs in a calculated manner. Lauren is the wife who has just given birth to their first child and starting to get stir crazy at home with the baby, she must decide what is right for the family. Marie is the mother of Evan, she has always looked after Evan in her life.

PerformancesSeann William Scott is chilling in the leading role, with how he can manage to seem calm and friendly, while also being disturbing at time. Mariela Garriga and Dale Dickey are both strong too, being the support in Evan’s life.

StoryThe story here follows a guidance counsellor who listens to the students problems, before using the night to solve the problems of the students moonlighting as a serial killer. The story does show us a lot of similarities to the Dexter the TV show with the anti-hero in Evan, he is only killing people who deserve it, rather than random people, which does work, where even in his conflicted head, he believes he is doing the right thing, the biggest change between the two would come with how the family dynamic unfolds. It is fun to start with, only it just seems to slow down when it comes to the investigation into the bodies being found.

Crime/HorrorThe crime side of the film follows the serial killer that is dealing with child abusers, while starting his own family, while also giving us the horror elements with how he gets the kills.

SettingsThe film gives us the residential setting, showing how a killer could be living next door to you.

Special EffectsThe effects are used to show the brutality of the kills we see through the film, that look as brutal as they need to.

Scene of the Movie – Lauren’s car trip.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The investigation side feels slow.

Final Thoughts This is a cold movie which only makes the killer more terrifying despite he remains calm through the film, even though it is a Dexter feeling movie.

Overall: Chilling Serial Killer Movie.