The Senator (2018)

Director: John Curran

Writer: Taylor Allen, Andrew Logan (Screenplay)

Starring: Jason Clarke, Kata Mara, Ed Helms, Bruce Dern, Jim Gaffigan, Olivia Thirlby, Clancy Brown

 

Plot: Depicting Ted Kennedy’s involvement in the fatal 1969 car accident that claims the life of a young campaign strategist, Mary Jo Kopechne.


Tagline – The Untold True Story

Runtime: 1 Hour 46 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Strong Political Thriller

 

Story: The Senator starts on July 18th 1969, man is about to land on the moon and Senator Ted Kennedy (Clarke) the last remaining Kennedy child is start his early Presidential campaign. That night Ted and friends are celebrating when he drives one of the campaign strategists Mary Jo Kopechne (Mara) home, when they are involved in an accident, killing Mary Jo.

The morning after the news breaks and Ted must use all of his team to help come up with a smart enough story that will cover him from any wrong doing, the bonus for Ted, man just landed on the moon is the biggest story in the world.

 

Thoughts on The Senator

 

Characters – When we look at the character, we must first acknowledge that these were real people. Ted Kennedy is the last of the Kennedy siblings, always in the shadows of his brothers, now embarking on his own journey to become President. He is involved in a car accident which leads to a death of a young woman and we see how he is planning to keep his career on the right path showing how difficult each decision he was making. Mary Jo Kopechne was the victim, she has been a key part of the previous Kennedy campaigns with her work and Ted was recruiting to his latest one. Joseph Gargan is the most trusted man to Ted, he knows what should have been done and gets increasingly frustrated with the attempted cover up. Joseph Kennedy is the father of the Kennedy’s he wants to see Ted follow in his brother’s footsteps always feeling let down by his last remaining son.

PerformancesJason Clarke is the leading role is wonderful, when it comes to serious roles he hasn’t always been given the leading role, here he shows us that he is ready to be taken seriously in a leading role. Kate Mara is good for her smaller part which is all we needed. Ed Helms surprises in a serious role because we are used to see him in comedic roles. Bruce Dern shines in role which shows him in a disabled role where he still shows the disappointment on his face.

StoryThe story we follow takes us into the week surrounding the death of Mary Jo Kopechne which had an impact on the political career of Ted Kennedy. The story shows us how the Kennedy camp was trying to put a spin on the accident to clear Ted of any wrong doing. This plays into how this is an incident is one that remained a talking point even though it was overshadowed by the bigger story in human history. Seeing how the politics system was run to spin any story to show innocence to the keep campaign strong even if it means stepping on the people who are affected by the act.  This is strange because we always seem to get two major news events together where one will end ups getting forgotten.  

History/ThrillerThis is a look at a moment in history that would have had a lot bigger story nearly any other day of the week, one that never really got too the truth about. This does keep us on edge as we wait to see just what will happen if the truth was to come out.

SettingsThe settings in this film show how behind closed doors the operation to clean up a political disaster works.


Scene of the Movie –
The speech.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It would have been interesting to see more of the girl’s impact after the death of their friend.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good political historical drama that shows us just how one story about one of the biggest iconic family’s in America history the Kennedys.

 

Overall: Interesting political thriller.

Rating

 

 

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Stronger (2017)

Director: David Gordon Green

Writer: John Pollono (Screenplay) Jeff Bauman, Bret Witter (Book)

Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Tatiana Maslany, Miranda Richardson, Richard Lane Jr, Nate Richman, Lenny Clarke, Patty O’Neil, Clancy Brown

 

Plot: Stronger is the inspiring real life story of Jeff Bauman, an ordinary man who captured the hearts of his city and the world to become a symbol of hope after surviving the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing.


Tagline – Strength Defines Us

Runtime: 1 Hour 59 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Brilliant Inspiring Drama

 

Story: Stronger starts as we meet Jeff Bauman (Gyllenhaal) a likeable supermarket worker that is a regular in his local Boston bar, while trying to rebuild his relationship with Erin (Maslany) who is running the Boston marathon. Jeff plans to be on the finish line to supporting Erin, this is where his life changed forever, when he is one of the victim in the bombings.

With his parents Patty (Richardson) and Big Jeff (Brown) by his side, we learn that Jeff has had both his legs amputated from above the knees. With the full support of his family, Erin, his employers and the city of Boston, Jeff starts his recovery, rehibition and learning that his life is never going to be the same again.  

 

Thoughts on Stronger

 

Characters – The characters in this movie are real people, you can’t make up their stories, their feelings and emotions about what has happened to them. Jeff Bauman is the average young man, working a normal job, living a normal life. His life is changed forever when he becomes one of the victims of the Boston marathon, losing both his legs. He must learn to accept his new reality of life, while dealing with the pressure of becoming the face for strength in the aftermath of the Boston marathon bombings. Erin Hurley is the on again off again girlfriend of Jeff’s it is for her that he attends the marathon, she gives everything to stick by him during his recovery, gives up her job to care for him, but she struggles to cope with extra demand on hr life. Patty is Jeff’s mother who brings the family together to support him, she does also struggle to see her son the way he is now.

PerformancesJake Gyllenhaal is fantastic in this movie, he once again shows everybody that he is the real deal, he can accept any change needed to make himself the character while showing the emotional distress his character goes through. Tatiana Maslany is brilliant in her role too, she shows the difficulty that her character must go through with each action and speech she goes through. Miranda Richardson is great as the devastated mother who must remain strong after what has happened.

StoryThe story continues on the events of the Boston Marathon after last years Patriots Day. This time we just follow one man’s recovery and how it effects the people in his life. This story plays on the emotional level that which you feel as Jeff’s road to recovery unfolds. It shows how one moment in life can change everything in life and the people you are sharing that life with.

BiopicJeff Bauman was an average person, his friends loved and respected, his life changed making him a celebrity for the city, which is where the pressure is shown for him.

SettingsThe film is set in and around Boston which is where the event happened and it shows the life the people had before it happened.


Scene of the Movie –
Carlos meets Jeff.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It was difficult to find one.

Final ThoughtsThis is a powerful drama showing the strength the city showed in support for Jeff through the tragic event that changed his life, we see how he did overcome the event to become stronger.

 

Overall: This is a power drama that shows how to find strength in the darkest moments.

Rating

 

 

Little Evil (2017)

Director: Eli Craig

Writer: Eli Craig (Screenplay)

Starring: Evangeline Lilly, Adam Scott, Clancy Brown, Bridget Everett, Tyler Labine, Donald Faison, Owen Atlas

 

Plot: Gary who has just married Samantha the woman of his dreams, discovers that her six-year-old son may be the Antichrist.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Enjoyable Horror Comedy

 

Story: Little Evil starts with Gary (Scott) moving in with his new wife Samantha (Lilly) and her son Lucas (Atlas), Gary sees this new relationship with Lucas as a chance to make up for the lack of a father he has in his childhood. The problem comes with the fact Lucas doesn’t communicate with Gary and he has an awkward evil presence about him.

As the evil enters continue to grow around Lucas, Gary starts looking into the past relationships Samantha where the men have all met with unusual fates, Gary must now find a way to prove whether Lucas is the antichrist or not.

 

Thoughts on Little Evil

 

Characters – Gary is a real estate agent that gets married to a girl of his dreams Samantha, but he barely got a chance to know her son first. He finds it difficult to connect with Lucas and starts to believe he is the antichrist. He mostly sums up what it would be like being a new parent to a step child but to the extremes. Samantha is the woman Gary marries, the mother of Lucas, she just wants to have the two get along, but we don’t learn too much more about her. Lucas is the stepson in question, he is distant like you could imagine and doesn’t like Gary entering his life.

PerformanceAdam Scott is a comedian that can always be the best supporting character in a movie, but I have found he can struggle in leading role but here, he was the best thing in the film. Evangeline Lilly is good but doesn’t have much to do in the film, with Owen Atlas giving us a good performance from a child actor. We do have a mix in supporting performances where I did like Tyler Labine performance but I felt Bridget Everett tried too hard for an extra joke.

StoryThe story adds extra horror to the idea of becoming a step parent, we get to see how it starts with an extreme problem with each other and need to learn to accept each other. We do get plenty of moments which can poke fun at the horror genre following a play book but in the state the obvious feel to everything. the story is easy to follow and fun along the way.

Comedy/HorrorThe comedy is mostly about the idea of being a step parent and it all dives into the horror side of the it being what could have happened if it could be the worst.

SettingsThe small town shows us how the people will come together as step parents work together to improve and give knowledge on being the step parent.

Special EffectsThe effects are only used when needed and all work for the film even if the biggest moment could come off cheesy.

Scene of the Movie – Waterpark.

That Moment That Annoyed Me I feel the opening sequence gives too much away.

Final ThoughtsThis is a fun horror comedy that gets the laughs out of the horror we would have seen in other films.

 

Overall: Fun enjoyable horror comedy.

Rating

 

 

Flubber (1997)

flubberDirector: Les Mayfield

Writer: John Hughes, Bill Walsh (Screenplay) Samuel W Taylor (Short Story)

Starring: Robin Williams, Marcia Gay Harden, Christopher McDonald, Ted Levine, Clancy Brown, Raymond J Barry, Wil Wheaton, Edie McClurg

 

Plot: An absent-minded professor discovers “flubber,” a rubber-like super-bouncy substance.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Just bad

 

Story: Flubber starts as we meet forgetful genius Professor Philip Brainard (Williams) who has been working towards finding a more reliable energy source but while working on that he keeps forgetting his own wedding to Dr Sara Reynolds (Harden) and on his actually wedding day he makes the biggest discovery of his career with a flubber like material.

When Philip misses the latest attempt to get married he uses the flubber to try and impress Sara who has warned him that was his last time, he has to go against his former rival Wilson Croft (McDonald) as well as dealing with a rich father and his goons.

Flubber is a film I remember from my youth being something I enjoyed as a kid but re-watching it now I found myself think what is this? We get terrible cheap comedy which never really hits with a lot of the goon comedy feeling like it was just stolen from Home Alone. Williams does what he can with his quick delivery but even he looks like he is struggling to make this work. The story is simple and while it flows past quickly you never really get invested in the characters. This is one I can only see young children enjoying.

 

Overall: Not worth the time really

Rating25

 

 

Warcraft (2016)

warcraftDirector: Duncan Jones

Writer: Duncan Jones, Charles Leavitt (Screenplay) Chris Metzen (Story and Characters)

Starring: Travis Fimmel, Paula Patton, Ben Foster, Dominic Cooper, Toby Kebbell, Ben Schnetzer, Robert Kazinsky, Clancy Brown, Daniel Wu

 

Plot: The peaceful realm of Azeroth stands on the brink of war as its civilization faces a fearsome race of invaders: orc warriors fleeing their dying home to colonize another. As a portal opens to connect the two worlds, one army faces destruction and the other faces extinction. From opposing sides, two heroes are set on a collision course that will decide the fate of their family, their people, and their home.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Good Game Adaption

 

Story: Warcraft starts by addressing the war between humans and orcs but also from a time before they knew they were enemies. We meet Durotan (Kebbell) an orc warrior about to be going through the portal to the human world created by sucking the life out prisoners.

From the human side of the story we meet the great warrior Anduin Lothar (Fimmel) who has to turn to the King Llane Wrynn (Cooper) to summon the Guardian Medivh (Foster) to learn what they are up against.

With the Orcs starting to take control Lothar joins forces with the mages who use magic to defeat a small attack capture Garona (Patton) as the battle between the two comes down to two fathers trying to find safety for their families.

Warcraft is a fantasy film that will always be a problem having to Game of Thrones as a big fan favourite. I will say I have never played the game so my judgment is only based on what I know from the South Park episode. The drawing lines are set up for something bigger in this film which is a big hate towards the young adult genre so that doesn’t help. The story does tell both sides of the story well though because we get to understand both sides of the conflict. I do also feel that if you haven’t played the game you might struggle to understand certain parts of the film. In the end this just doesn’t each all the potential it could have.

 

Actor Review

 

Travis Fimmel: Anduin Lothar is a great human warrior one of the most feared of all of the men when it comes to combat. He has to lead the battle against the orcs being the first they see as combat. Travis is good in this role showing he could be an action star in the main stream for the future.

Paula Patton: Garona is the cursed orc treated as a prisoner only to be freed by Durotan. She is the communication between the two sides helping the humans while trying to impress the orcs. Paula is good in this role too.

Ben Foster: Medivh is the Guardian of the land who has to push his limits to the mage skills that almost take his life. Ben is an actor I do love watching in films but you do know he will always be the villain of the piece.

Dominic Cooper: Llane Wrynn is the king of the human realm trying to keep everyone protected during this reign. He isn’t afraid to get involved with combat side of this either. Dominic is solid but I do feel like he gets held back too much in this role.

Support Cast: Warcraft has a large supporting cast with Toby Kebbell as the orc hero and Ben Schnetzer as the comic relief early on only to get all serious for the second half. The rest of the supporting cast are solid but we just don’t get enough of them all.

Director Review: Duncan JonesDuncan a solid job with this big budget but the world of fantasy is such a difficult one to get something every single fan will enjoy I do feel certain parts miss.

 

Action: Warcraft has plenty of fantasy action going on with epic like battle sequences.

Adventure: Warcraft throws our characters into an adventure that could be similar to the actual game.

Fantasy: Warcraft creates the fantasy world that only the players of the game wold understand.

Settings: Warcraft makes us believe that we are part of the game with the settings created.
Special Effects
: Warcraft does use great effects to create the mix of humans and orc along with the creates in the world.

Suggestion: Warcraft is one I do think you can only watch if you are a fan of the original source material otherwise large amounts will be hard to fully translate. (Game Fans Watch)

 

Best Part: Visually it is very good.

Worst Part: Hard follow.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: It could.

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: It might get a few effects related awards.

Runtime: 2 Hours 3 Minutes

Tagline: Two worlds. One home.

Trivia: Duncan Jones said that the original script was very one sided in terms of the two factions (Horde and Alliance). after signing on to direct, he made major edits to the story, as well as the script, so both factions could tell their side of the story.

 

Overall: One of the better video game adaptions which could work out to be a franchise.

Ratingcard