Mank (2020) Movie Review

Director: David Fincher

Writer: Jack Fincher (Screenplay)

Starring: Gary Oldman, Amanda Seyfried, Lily Collins, Tom Pelphrey, Arliss Howard, Tuppence Middleton, Charles Dance

Plot: Follows screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz‘s tumultuous development of Orson Welles‘ iconic masterpiece Citizen Kane (1941).

Runtime: 2 Hours 11 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Mank starts as we meet Herman Mankiewicz (Oldman) a renowned screenwriter in the golden era of Hollywood and after an accident he is bedbound working on his latest screenplay for Orson Welles, Citizen Kane, where Rita Alexander (Collins) transcripts his writing. We flashback to earlier in Herman’s career, seeing how his relationship with Louis B Mayer (Howard) will always put his career in rollercoaster, while William Randolph Hearst (Dance) loves having Mank around, with his daughter Marion Davies (Seyfried) showing us the difficulties of being in the Hollywood spotlight.

Thoughts on Mank

Characters – Herman Mankiewicz is one of the most popular screenwriters in Hollywood, his work has given him a reputation of being one of the best, but his drinking also making him the entertainment at a party and the fact he won’t just follow the secret rules of Hollywood, will see him pushed out of the spotlight. We follow two main times of his career, writing Citizen Kane and his career ups and downfall in a system that shows the political side of movie making. He does steal every scene in the movie, where he will always want to be the centre of the attention. Marion Davies is the star of the movies at the time who becomes friends with Herman, along with her father, she is someone who always wanting to see Herman and what he will do next. Rita Alexander is hired to help Mank finish of the screenplay for Citizen Kane, her husband is away in the military, she will need to learn with Mank’s turns when it comes to his drinking. Louis B Mayer is the studio head that knows the talent of Herman, but is getting tired of his behaviour, his power in the industry could cause more problems for Mank’s future in the industry. We meet many people who are in Mank’s life, his long suffering wife, his brother, fellow writers, the biggest player in the business, Orson Welles himself clashing with him, plenty of the characters from the industry.

PerformancesGary Oldman is brilliant in this film, he dominates the screen every single scene he has through the film, it is hard to go against anyone who doesn’t think he will be on the shortlist for best actor this year. The supporting cast are amazing too, never looking out of place, with wonderful moments from everyone through the film.

StoryThe story here follows the rise of Herman Mankiewicz in the golden age of Hollywood, played along side the latest writing which has seen him put on the outside of the industry where he is placed after not following the system. This story is told in a way that truly feels like we are in the 1930s era of Hollywood, with the way that everything is told, the split timeline even makes a point to tell us we are entering a flashback and even the sound feels like an older movie. It shows us just how political the Hollywood system was in the 1930s too, where he literally had to follow suit or you would have been pushed out, with this showing us how Mank was given more chances than others too.

Biopic/ComedyThe biopic side of the film does show two main parts of Mank’s life, two that do come hand in hand showing the different moments that created the most important screenplay of his career, with the comedy in the film coming from how Mank treats each day, never being quite in control of the situations.

SettingsThe film does an amazing job to recreate 1930s Hollywood where nothing looks out of place, with each location around the grounds looking like we are experiencing the journey.

Scene of the Movie – The tour of the grounds.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Nothing.

Final Thoughts Mank is a brilliantly acted movie that pays respect to the 1930s era in style and storytelling.

Space Dogs: Return to Earth (2020) Movie Review

Director: Inna Evlannikova

Starring: (Voice Talents) Mauriett Chayeb, Maria Anonieta Monge

Plot: When a mysterious and dangerous whirlpool phenomenon appears in the tropics of the Atlantic Ocean, Belka and Strelka, the first astronauts on their way back from a mission to Saturn, are sent to investigate. As they venture down into the swirling ocean depths, they discover a mysterious UFO attempting to steal all of Earth’s water. With the help of their good friends, Belka and Strelka once again perform a heroic mission to save both our planet and the distant home of their new alien friends.

Runtime: 1 Hour 20 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Space Dogs: Return to Earth starts when space dogs Strekla and Belka are called back from their mission on a Saturn moon, to investigate a series of cyclones in the Atlantic Ocean, meanwhile there rat best friend Lenny is looking to get to the cyclones too, traveling to Cuba in an attempt to solve the mystery.

The three will look to meet up and try and save the world from an unknown threat while dealing with their own weaknesses.

Thoughts on Space Dogs: Return to Earth

Thoughts – Space Dogs: Return to Earth is a family friendly animal animation that will put different animals from the lead dogs, a rat, cockroach, jellyfish, elephant and many more into an adventure to save the planet from a new invader that wants the water from the ocean. This is one movie that will play into the family audience with ease, you will get some laughs, deal with the teamwork, as both Belka and Strelka will both have weaknesses the other will cover up and help them through. We do have a small message about the importance of the world’s water sources are, but it isn’t thrown down our throats. The musical numbers work well through the film, while the animation looks great for the world created.

Final Thoughts Space Dogs: Return of Earth is an enjoyable family film that will get laughs along the way.

Signature Entertainment presents Space Dogs: Return to Earth in Cinemas 11th December