Molly’s Game (2017)

Director: Aaron Sorkin

Writer: Aaron Sorkin (Screenplay) Molly Bloom (Book)

Starring: Jessica Chastain, Idris Elba, Kevin Costner, Michael Cera, Jeremy Strong, Chris O’Dowd, J.C. MacKenzie

 

Plot: The true story of Molly Bloom, an Olympic-class skier who ran the world’s most exclusive high-stakes poker game and became an FBI target.


Runtime: 2 Hour 20 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Overly Long

 

Story: Molly’s Game starts as we learn how the Olympic dream of Molly Bloom (Chastain) are shattered due to a freak accident, broke and moving away from her demanding father Larry (Costner) to moves to LA. In what becomes a trend in this movie we see the FBI raid Molly’s apartment laying on new charges to her for running illegal poker games with the mobs.

Needing to clear her name again Molly recruits lawyer Charlie Jaffey (Elba) as we learn how she started as small time secretary and turned into secret poker game mogul for the elite, movie stars, athletes and business tycoons alike. We learn mostly how she must clear her name from any illegal activities.  

 

Thoughts on Molly’s Game

 

Characters – Molly Bloom is our narrator, our story telling, she has been branded the Poker Princess. She tells us the whole story how she has gone from just being a hostess to becoming the owner and leader of the secret poker game for the social elite, she won’t give up the names of her clients even if she could to get off any criminal offences. Charlie Jaffey is the lawyer who reluctantly takes the case, he knows she could be defended and challenges her to take a plea, while showing similar characteristics to Molly’s own father. We get to meet plenty of characters along the way who have played in the game, each with their own sub-stories.

PerformancesJessica Chastain is great in this leading role showing she is one of the best actresses in the business today, Idris Elba is strong in the supporting role, but not being his fault, I would have liked an extra dimension to his character. The rest of the cast are good without being great through the film.

StoryThe story follows Molly’s rise and fall in the secret poker playing world, how it starts with celebrities and soon turns into mobsters. We jump around different times as she is telling the story to Charlie, but there is a lot of rinse repeat when it comes to the poker events which only leads us to get tired of, this is a new player, he came from this place and has this much money, he is this level of poker player. I found myself thinking that we didn’t care too much about Molly’s story, she barely does anything that illegal, she just offers people with too much money a chance to lose it to other players.

BiopicThis is something we have been seeing a lot in Hollywood now a days, we follow a person that did something minor that wouldn’t effect most people that seems to think it is a story we want to see, even if the story isn’t that interesting.

SettingsThe settings show us the high life the characters we have been living in, this shows us how secretive the game was to the people involved.


Scene of the Movie –
Charlie snaps in a briefing.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It does seem to repeat what we have seen before.

Final ThoughtsThis wasn’t on the level it could be, we have a character in Molly we don’t really care about because most of the characters we meet here are on the high-life just spending money most people could never see. The performances are the strength in the movie.

 

Overall: Not the best biopic you will see.

Rating

 

 

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The Social Network (2010)

socialDirector: David Fincher

Writer: Aaron Sorkin (Screenplay) Ben Mezrich (Book)

Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, Justin Timberlake, Armie Hammer, Max Minghella, Josh Pence, Rashida Jones, Rooney Mara

 

Plot: Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg creates the social networking site that would become known as Facebook, but is later sued by two brothers who claimed he stole their idea, and the co-founder who was later squeezed out of the business.

 

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Overrated and Hard Work

 

Story: The Social Network starts as we meet Mark Zuckerberg (Eisenberg) on a date with Erica Albright (Mara) showing how socially awkward he can be during his time Harvard. Upset about the break up Mark with his friend Eduardo Saverin (Garfield) Dustin Moskovitz (Mazzello) and Chris Hughes (Mapel) create a comparing girls photos on a website that spread through Harvard instantly bringing down the servers.

This night’s events cause Zuckerberg on front of a disciplinary panel as well as showing us the ongoing court case going on against Zuckerberg. His stunt has grab the attention of the Winklevoss twins Cameron and Tyler (Hammer playing both) who want Zuckerberg to help them with their big idea.

The story continues to show Mark works with Winklevoss twins only to use their idea to build his own site The Facebook. When the site takes off it grabs the attention of founder of Napster Sean Parker (Timberlake) who wants to take the site from Millions to Trillions. This is the story of how Facebook ends up becoming one of the biggest things the world has ever seen.

 

Thoughts on The Social Network

 

StoryThe story shows us how Facebook was built by making enemies with the people who helped start it going by borrowing ideas to make it the biggest sites in the world. We get plenty of business talk, tech talk and lawyer scenes which mix up the story for us making it difficult to understand everything that goes on because most of the story is very American, so if you don’t understand the terms you will find yourself lost in the mix. I feel this will always be a complex story that will be remember but is told very slow and confusingly.

Biography/DramaShowing the actions of the real-life people involved Mark Zuckerberg, Eduardo Saverin, the Winklevoss twins and Sean Porter show how they were all effected by what happened with the creation of Facebook which is all good as we see how these people were meant to be acting towards making this happen. There is nothing bad to say about this side of the story watching the genre.

Characters/PerformanceThe performances are nearly all flawless as we see just how these people are portrayed, we see how Zuckerberg comes off very brash arrogant and rude towards the people who help him. When you see the cast being involved you can see how the stars have started and come onto the next big things.

SettingsEach setting makes us see just how much a party incident this started as which would be where the idea started but the most important side of this is showing how it started with dorm room before turning into the business venture in a tower.

Final Thoughts Overall this is a very interesting look at how Facebook started even if the story can be hard to follow. We get heavyweight performances from all but the early stages of the film come off slow but the final acts of the film are the real highlights of the film.

 

Overall: Great performance, important story but at times tells a story we don’t need to know.

Ratingcard

 

 

Steve Jobs (2015)

jobsDirector: Danny Boyle

Writer: Aaron Sorkin (Screenplay) Walter Isaacson (Book)

Starring: Michael Fassbender, Kate Winslet, Seth Rogen, Jeff Daniels, Michael Stuhlbarg, Katherine Waterston, Sarah Snook, John Ortiz

 

Plot: Steve Jobs takes us behind the scenes of the digital revolution, to paint a portrait of the man at its epicentre. The story unfolds backstage at three iconic product launches, ending in 1998 with the unveiling of the iMac.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Good Drama

 

Story: Steve Jobs starts as Jobs (Fassbender) is about to release the Mac in 1984 and we follow as along with his assistant Joanna (Winslet) are struggling to make the computer just say ‘Hello’ we also follow how Jobs deal with his ex Chrisann (Waterston) who is trying to get Jobs to accept his responsibility to his daughter Lisa.

We move to 1988 for the release of the ‘Black Cube’ under the company name ‘Next’ as all the former friends and co-workers have come to witness this new release. We get to see how his relationship with Wozniak (Rogen) and John Sculley (Daniels) change between the releases.

The final act is set in 1998 where the IMac is being released and how Jobs can finally give the world his perfect design.

Steve Jobs is a very interesting look at one of the most important men in technology history. We get to see how his attitude was what made him difficult to work with. We see how even after he failed he came back stronger even though he made enemies. My big issue with this is that if you don’t know anything about Steve Jobs and the people involved this feels very distant for the audience to relate to. If you didn’t know anything about Jobs you won’t learn that much about him because this is just his reaction towards his releases with the people who would be the closest to him.

 

Actor Review

 

Michael Fassbender: Steve Jobs is the brain behind the Apple, we follow his life in three different times with three different releases that show his personal battles with people within the company and in his personal life with his estranged wife and daughter. Michael gives us a brilliant performance in this role through three different time periods.steve

Kate Winslet: Joanna Hoffman is the assistant to Jobs, she has been with him through all of the releases trying to keep him prepared for both success or failure but struggles to witness his behaviour towards his daughter. Kate gives us a great performance in this role working brilliantly with Fassbender.joanne

Seth Rogen: Steve Wozniak is the former partner of Jobs who started in a garage building the first computer, they have their differences through the years but Jobs does stay loyal to his old friend. Seth gives us a great supporting performance showing he can do the serious roles too.waz

Jeff Daniels: John Sculley is the marketing man who came into Apple from Pepsi who clashes with Jobs through the years, they both clash over how the world should work with Jobs wanting people to think and Sculley wanting to make money. Jeff gives us a great supporting role which is something you would always expect from him.daniels

Support Cast: Steve Jobs has a great supporting cast that all give us great performance with their interaction with Jobs.

Director Review: Danny BoyleDanny gives us a great film because of the subjects it was covering but unless you know the story it will fall short to the unknown person.

 

Biographical: Steve Jobs shows three big moments in the life of this brilliant minded man as we see how he real nature is portrayed.

Settings: Steve Jobs uses the settings which is mostly back stage areas before a big release.
Suggestion
: Steve Jobs is one to try, I do think it will be hard for some people to understand. (Try It)

 

Best Part: Fassbender is brilliant.

Worst Part: If you don’t know the Jobs story you will find yourself wondering what is happening.

 

Believability: Based on the real man and events leading up to the big releases.

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Awards: Nominated for 4 Golden Globes Including Best Actor, Actress, Screenplay and Original Score.

Oscar Chances: Will get a few nominations.

Budget: $30 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 2 Minutes

Tagline: Can a great man be a good man?

Overall: Great performances, great story but not understanding leaves us feeling empty.

Ratingcard

A Few Good Men (1992)

logoDirector: Rob Reiner

Writer: Aaron Sorkin (Screenplay) Aaron Sorkin (Play)

Starring: Tom Cruise, Jack Nicholson, Demi Moore, Kevin Bacon, Kiefer Sutherland, Kevin Pollak, James Marshall, J.T. Walsh, Christopher Guest, Cuba Gooding Jr, Noah Wyle, Xander Berkley

 

Plot: At Guantanamo Marine Base, a private is attacked by 2 other marines and dies as a result. An investigation is conducted by Lt. Commander Jo Galloway and reveals to her superiors that she believes that the private was attacked by because he was going over the head of Colonel Jessup, the base commander and was threatening to reveal something unless he gets a transfer, so Jessup ordered a “code red” which is basically a type hazing done which is not legal. Galloway wants to be assigned to defend the 2 marines but her superior prefers that the whole go away quietly so he denies her request and has the case assigned to Lt. Dan Kaffee, a Naval lawyer who hasn’t tried a case in court and prefers to plea his cases out. But Galloway warns him that if he pleads the case out, Jessup will get away with murder. Kaffee decides not to plead the case out and tries to defend them but there’s no proof that Jessup actually gave the order.

 

Verdict: Courtroom Masterpiece

 

Story: Who doesn’t like a good investigation story? Well this gives us a look at how a team of lawyers need to uncover the truth about a marine’s death. We know who is meant to have committed the crime but we need to see who gave the final order. The team of lawyers are all very different and clash over every decision. They must put the differences behind them to work together to gain the evidence to prove the truth and it all comes to a clash in the courtroom creating one of the most iconic scenes in film history. It seems like quite a boring subject but put together it is one of the most engrossing stories in film. (9/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Tom Cruise: Lt. Daniel Kaffee top lawyer who comes off as a slacker, he has never lost a case but he now has to take one of the biggest of his career. Cruise nails this using his charm to get over how easy it all seems but also shows he can go toe to toe with the best in the business with the courtroom scene with Jack. (9/10)

 cruise

Jack Nicholson: Col. Nathan R. Jessup believes he is top of any chain, he gives out orders to anyone and his old fashion techniques will be his downfall. Great performance from Jack showing what one man with all the power can do. (9/10)

jack

Demi Moore: Lt. Cdr. JoAnne Galloway officer who wants to take the case and wants to make it her own but if forced to work with Kaffee very much against her will. Good performance but sometime gets out shown by Cruise. (7/10)

 demi

Kevin Bacon: Capt. Jack Ross an old friend of Kaffee who is going up against him in court, he will do what is right in his role but he won’t go over any laws to make sure he wins. Good supporting performance. (7/10)

 

Director Review: Rob Reiner – Great directing throughout to create one of the most interesting films of all time. (9/10)

 

Crime: Searching for the truth has never been so interesting. (10/10)

Drama: Top drama showing how each line is leading to something much bigger. (10/10)

Mystery: We have to watch as the lawyers uncover the truth. (9/10)

Thriller: Brings you to the edge of your seat from start to finish. (10/10)

Settings: Most of the settings work well, but the courtroom is the highlight arena of choice. (6/10)

Suggestion: This is a must watch for all, it is a classic that has one of the most iconic film scenes of all time. (Watch)

 

Best Part: Tom v Jack in courtroom.

Worst Part: Not one

Favourite Quote: See Video

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: Nominated for four Oscars including ‘Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor, Best Sound, Best Film Editing.

Box Office: $243 Million

Budget: $40 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 18 Minutes

Tagline: In the heart of the nation’s capital, in a courthouse of the U.S. government, one man will stop at nothing to keep his honor, and one will stop at nothing to find the truth.

 

Overall: Brilliant Thriller

Rating 93