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.




Velvet Buzzsaw (2019)

Director: Dan Gilroy

Writer: Dan Gilroy (Screenplay)

Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Billy Magnussen, Toni Collette, John Malkovich, Natalia Dyer, Rene Russo, Daveed Diggs, Zawa Ashton


Plot: After a series of paintings by an unknown artist are discovered, a supernatural force enacts revenge on those who have allowed their greed to get in the way of art.


Runtime: 1 Hour 52 Minutes


There may be spoilers in the rest of the review


Verdict: First Great Horror of 2019


Story: Velvet Buzzsaw starts by taking us into the art world with critic Morf Vandewalt (Gyllenhaal) being the man that can make or break an artist career, Rhodora Haze (Russo) runs the gallery with aspiring artists Josephina (Ashton), Coco (Dyer) and Bryson (Magnussen) working for her.

When one of Josephina’s neighbours dies suddenly, she learns of the number of breath-taking pieces of art, that soon gets the art world going into a frenzy, with Gretchen (Collette) the newly appointed consulate for the rich wanting to get the some of the work. This is only the beginning as the art work seems to have a supernatural force behind it that wants to consume the greed in the art world.


Thoughts on Velvet Buzzsaw


Characters – Morf Vandewalt is the biggest and most well-respect art critic in the business, he can make or break a career, which has given him enemies along the way. His friendship with Rhodora helps her collect and profit from the most amounts of work, he sees the brilliance in the new artwork, though he questions certain background towards them. Rhodora is the one of the most popular art curators, her gallery gives young artists a chance, while she knows which clients to accept or not, she wants this new work and makes a deal to make sure she makes the most money she can out of them. Josephina is the aspiring curator, she is learning of Rhodora and she is the one that finds the artwork, this gives her all the leverage required to finally make her name in the industry. Gretchen works in a gallery until she gets a job acquiring work for her clients, this shows us just how one person can go from small time to big time, while changing along the way. Jon Dondon is another curator, one that has become a rival to Rhodora, he clearly doesn’t understand the art world on the same level as her though, only requiring money to keep him happy. Piers is the famous artist that has been struggling with his latest work after giving up his addiction, he sees the brilliance, but is also scared of the work of the new artist.

PerformancesJake Gyllenhaal is just as fantastic as we would expect, he plays the over the top figure that strangely feels grounded too. Rene Russo shines as the cut throat art curator that will put anybody who crosses her in their place. Toni Collette turns out an almost opposite performance to Hereditary, which see her become an ambitious lady that knows how to deal. It is Zawa Ashton that becomes a more influential performer in this film than you would expect, which surprises with the cast we have, she is equally as strong as the rest of the cast too.

StoryThe story takes us into the art world, we have the pivotal characters to make us complete accept being part of this world, as a new unknown artist gets discovered, only his work has a much more sinister side to it. The scale of the world created here is wonderful because within five minutes of the film, we are completely embraced into this world. The darker side of the film shows us just how easily people can become consumed by greed. This will leave you shocked with the events of the film and will leave you never wanting to be part of the art world.

HorrorThe horror comes from the sinister nature behind the art work, going hand in hand with just how Morf is slowly starting to lose his mind as the work is become bigger.

SettingsThe film keeps us in the art world for the settings, this shows us how the members of the art world will do whatever they want to become the biggest name in the industry.

Special EffectsThe effects used in the film are wonderful they play in with artistic world when it comes to the body count, we get to see.

Scene of the Movie –
The sinister side of the artwork.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The trailer gives too much away.

Final ThoughtsThis is a beautiful horror film that will fully engross us into the artworld with the characters and gives us the twisted look at just what could happen when a spirit can spread so easily.


Overall: Visually beautiful horror film.




Kong: Skull Island (2017)

Director: Jordan Vogt-Roberts

Writer: Dan Gilroy, Max Borenstein, Derek Connolly (Screenplay) John Gatins (Story)

Starring: Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L Jackson, Brie Larson, John C Reilly, John Goodman, Corey Hawkins, John Ortiz, Tian Jing, Toby Kebbell, Jason Mitchell


Plot: A team of scientists explore an uncharted island in the Pacific, venturing into the domain of the mighty Kong, and must fight to escape a primal Eden.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Mindless Monster Mayhem


Story: Kong: Skull Island starts as we see an instant introduction to Kong during World War II, move forward to 1973 Bill Randa (Goodman) want to lead an expedition to the mysterious island in the Pacific Ocean, one that has only just been discovered by satellite images. Joined by his assistant Brooks (Hawkins) and a mapping team Randa puts together a unit to cover him if the stories are true.

The team includes tracker James Conrad (Hiddleston), photographer Mason Weaver (Larson), San (Jing) and army unit led by Preston Packard (Jackson). Upon arrive on the island Kong destroys all the helicopter killing half the unit, with the scientists looking for a way off the island and Packard out for revenge the two battle within as they face enemies they had never imagined including the monstrous Kong.


Thoughts on Kong: Skull Island


Characters/PerformanceConrad is a British tracker who we rarely see track, Weaver is a photographer who clashes with Packard a lot on the morale side of her job post-Vietnam, she isn’t just the damsel in distress though. Packard is a war-hero who I believe wasn’t a hero in war, he wants one more chance to go into a battle before returning home, as the film unfolds he does feel very similar to Pete Postlethwaite character in Jurassic Park 2. Bill knows more than he lets on but could be considered a businessman villain. Hank steals most of the scenes here, he is the former WWII pilot who has been stuck on the island for 28 years. Kong is a character all to his own, destroying anything that gets in his way while also showing the most emotion of any character in the film. we also have scientists who are forgettable, and soldiers who are giving basic banter to work with.

Performance wise, Hiddleston does struggling to make much of the poorly written character, Larson starts well but again her character is written weakly, Jackson does what Jackson does well without being his best, Goodman also doesn’t reach his potential while Reilly knows how to steal a movie with limited scenes. Most of the stars all struggle with the same problem, their characters are written very weakly.

StoryThe story here is fine, I liked that is wasn’t the same as the 30’s era trying to bring Kong back to New York, this is just a surveillance job turned race against time to survive. So, this is The Lost World with King Kong in the end. There isn’t too much to say good about the story because I found myself confused a lot, we had ONE ship with about SIX helicopters on it and sudden when they reach Skull Island there is about TWENTY helicopters, the same goes for the number of soldiers, one minute we have the FOUR we know and then when we need people to die there suddenly seems to be another group of disposable ones. These inconsistent annoyed me most.

Action/Adventure/FantasyThe action is very big and sure you can switch off and enjoy it all, the adventure is in the new world unseen and comes off fine throughout, the fantasy comes from battle what should be the impossible.

SettingsI did like that we kept all the action upon Skull Island, I feel this is important to creating the bigger universe they want to.

Special EffectsI also think the special effects are brilliant through the whole film and could barely tell the different between what is real or not.

Final ThoughtsThis is big bad and fun but I feel the character development comes off pointless in places because all we get is a sudden death to a character that doesn’t make sense or it is an unknown character killed to save ones we have got to know.


Overall: This will go down in the fun but not great action set piece.




Nightcrawler (2014)

logoDirector: Dan Gilroy

Writer: Dan Gilroy (Screenplay)

Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo, Bill Paxton, Riz Ahmed


Plot: When Lou Bloom, a driven man desperate for work, muscles into the world of L.A. crime journalism, he blurs the line between observer and participant to become the star of his own story. Aiding him in his effort is Nina, a TV-news veteran.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Wow Brilliant Thriller


Story: Nightcrawler starts by showing Louis Bloom (Gyllenhaal) working to thief stealing and selling metal. Louis is looking for career in life but it struggling to find his calling in life, but witnessing a car crash recovery Louis meets Joe (Paxton) who race to the scene of the crime to get raw footage so they can sell it to whoever pays the most. This leads to Louis starting his own chase to the crime scene with his first Police radio and video camera.

After getting his first footage he sales it to cut throat news veteran Nina (Russo) who explaining what her station is after as well as handing out tips for him to improve his style in the future. Starting off Louis hires an assistant Rick (Ahmed) to learn the codes to help navigate through the city of Los Angeles. Louis continues to improve his style he gets drawn into world, improve his equipment, car as well as starting to become more daring in pushing the boundaries including make the scenes look better on camera. With ratings week happening Louis has to prove he is all he claims and going up against Joe and his multi van team he has been losing out, now Louis will go to new levels risking not only his own life but his assistant’s life. Louis starts going dark crossing lines he should never be to make sure he gets the perfect footage.

Nightcrawler is very much one of the most interesting films of the year, I have not seen a film that focuses on the subject that this one does before. We get to see how Louis slowly becomes obsessed with this fascination on the perfect film as well as learn more about what drives him to perfection. We get to see how close the boundaries people will go and we then get to judge on what is too far for ourselves. We get morals questioned from the first moment to the final but with the new world’s obsession with reality these guys would be considered right even though it is very wrong how far they go. The story is fresh, the story is original and the story pulls you in. (10/10)


Actor Review


Jake Gyllenhaal: Louis Bloom starting off as a thief but when he learns about ‘Stingers’ who go around looking to get the first footage of crime scenes he gets interested in starting his own recording service. As the time continues he becomes obsessed with getting the best and along with his relationship with news veteran grows as does his reputation. Jake gives his best performance of his career here and it will stick with you afterwards too. (10/10)


Rene Russo: Nina Romina a veteran news director who is on the lowest rated channel, she gets involved with using Louis footage and sees the rating rise but she gets caught up in negotiating on the footage as each one rises to breaking the budgets. Rene gives a great performance as the aging news lady. (9/10)


Bill Paxton: Joe Loder a fellow stringer who shows Louis the world before becoming competition against him. Bill does a good job offering the a supporting role here without doing too much. (7/10)


Riz Ahmed: Rick assistant to Louis who constantly starts wanting more money but keeps getting shot down because of the demands of Louis, who eventually gives him the raise but only when Rick starts risking more. Riz does give a great performance as the slacker in need of money. (9/10)


Support Cast: Nightcrawler doesn’t have the biggest support cast with most involved are part of the news team and we see how they start to know and respect Louis the more he brings them to work with.


Director Review: Dan Gilroy – Dan does a great job directing this making the film edge of the seat from start to finish. (10/10)


Crime: Nightcrawler shows the dark side of the crime world where people films what has been happening for money. (9/10)

Thriller: Nightcrawler is one of the most edge of your seat films that you will ever see. (10/10)

Settings: Nightcrawler uses the settings of Los Angeles brilliant to show the difference in the neighbourhoods as well as the people you will meet. (10/10)

Suggestion: Nightcrawler is just a must watch for everyone. (Just Watch)


Best Part: Car Chase.

Worst Part: Hard to find one.


Believability: These people are real but this extreme maybe not. (7/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: This could very well have a sequel.

Post Credits Scene: No


Awards: Nominated for Golden Globe Best Actor and Nominated for four BAFTAs including Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Screenplay and Best Editing.

Oscar Chances: Could get nominated for Oscars.

Box Office: $38 Million

Budget: $8.5 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 57 Minutes

Tagline: The City Shines Brightest at Night


Overall: Thriller of the Year

Rating 94

The Bourne Legacy (2012)

logoDirector: Tony Gilroy

Writer: Tony Gilroy, Dan Gilroy (Screenplay) Tony Gilroy (Story)

Starring: Jeremey Renner, Scott Glenn, Stacy Keach, Edward Norton, Rachel Weisz


Plot: Following the events of the original Bourne trilogy a new hero Aaron Cross (Renner) has be activated but with the system trying to hunt him down and terminate him. Aaron goes on the run with Doctor Marta Shearing (Weisz) while ruthless operative Col Eric Byer (Norton) runs the operation to stop him.


Verdict: Action packed thriller

Story: Entering into a world of arguable the best action series of films in recent years is always going to be hard. The introduction of Aaron Cross offers a chance to look more into the science behind the more advanced soldiers. The man hunt side of the story is nothing new and I feel it takes a little while to get going but once it does its edge of the seat stuff. (7/10)


Actor Review: Jeremy Renner – Aaron Cross one of the next generations of the Jason Bourne operatives. Jeremy does a good job stepping into the role but never reaches the same levels as Matt Damon. Action Star Award (8/10)


Actor Review: Rachel Weisz – Marta Shearing one of the doctors who tests the subjects but after surviving an attack at the lab she teams up with Aaron to escape from the people after them. Good performance but you have to question why she is doing a supporting role in another action film when she can lead alternative films. (7/10)


Actor Review: Edward Norton – Eric Byer charged with closing down tredstone and eliminate everyone involved in it. Good performance dominating the screen whenever he is on it. (8/10)


Director Review: Tony Gilroy – Stepping up from just the screenplay writer for the whole series he does a good job directing the latest instalment. (8/10)


Action: When the action final starts it is some of the best you will see. (10/10)

Thriller: Edge of the seat throughout. (9/10)

Believability: The government will cover anything that makes them look bad up. (4/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Settings: Some good settings most notable Manila for the final action sequence makes it feel very unique. (8/10)

Suggestion: I would say any action to watch they will enjoy it, but I feel you have to have seen the first three to really enjoy and fully understand what is going on. (Watch)


Best Part: The hauntingly frightening scene in the lab.

Worst Part: Bit slow to start with.

Action Scene Of The Film: Manila scene.

Kill Of The Film: The Larx operative

Oscar Chances: No

Chances of Sequel: Yes with rumours about joining Aaron and Jason together is one.

Similar Too: The Bourne series


Overall: Strong action thriller

Rating 80