The Front Runner (2018)

Director: Jason Reitman

Writer: Matt Bai, Jay Carson, Jason Reitman (Screenplay) Matt Bai (Book)

Starring: Hugh Jackman, Vera Farmiga, J.K. Simmons, Mark O’Brien, Molly Ephraim, Chris Coy, Alex Karpovsky,

 

Plot: In 1987, U.S. Senator Gary Hart‘s presidential campaign is derailed when he’s caught in a scandalous love affair.


Tagline – Gary Hart was going to be President. Instead he changed American Politics forever.

Runtime: 1 Hour 53 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Over-Populated Political Thriller

 

Story: The Front Runner starts after Gary Hart (Jackman) has missed out on the Vice-President position, four-years later in 1987, Gary is running for the Presidency, he is the clear favourite too, his team which includes Bill Dixon (Simmons) knows it is only a matter of time before he wins, while the opposition team is looking for weakness in his reputation.

Gary’s lead starts taking a hit when an early report of a potential affair emerges and before long every single newspaper in the country is trying to cover the story on different levels, some using it as a gossip column while others just want to question his own integrity. This will see Gary’s hope of becoming President come crashing down around him.

 

Thoughts on The Front Runner

 

Characters – These characters are based on real people, which will show certain ones in good and bad lights. Senator Gary Hart is running for Presidency, is has the whole campaign under complete control, which has all but guaranteed he would become the next President of the United States. Gary has the ability to spin any story that is placed on front of him, to show that he could bring America a brighter future. Gary however does have a secret with an affair which the press turn into a big story which sees him needing to try and recover from the spiralling situation he has created with his own wrong doing. Lee Hart is the wife of Gary, she has been part of a previous separation which made her suffer enough, she has however always stood by her man with strict rules for the future. Bill Dixon is the campaign manager for Gary, that wants to keep everything simple only this becomes difficult when the truth starts to come out. The Front Runner struggles with one big problem, we have such a large cast of characters it does make it hard to keep up with the almost nameless characters, we have three or four papers and their staff, the campaign team, the people involved in the potential affair, it just becomes completely keeping up with who is who.

PerformancesHugh Jackman is great to watch in the leading role, if he was given that one scene to try and make his character truly memorable it would have put him into a stronger respected performance for the year. Vera Farmiga does everything asked of her character which she doesn’t do anything wrong with. J.K. Simmons almost feels wasted in his role which should have been larger for what is going on. Most of the performances do seem to struggle for this reason.

StoryThe story here follows a presidential candidate whose life becomes filed with speculation after an alleged affair that both sides denied saw him going from a guarantee winner to needing to withdraw, changing the way politics are portrayed in the papers forever. This story does put the spotlight on the moment that saw a change in how politics and journalist operated, the film even points out in the fact that previous Presidents asked for heads to be turned about affairs, but this alleged one saw the country turn on any person that was willing to cheat. The story does show how the three weeks changed the whole race, only it does try to put way too many characters into the film which does make it hard to keep up with who each person is and what side of the story they really are on.

Biopic/HistoryWe follow a 3 week period in Gary Hart’s life, the three weeks that took him from being the next President to the moment he withdrew wanting to keep the false accusations about him out of the papers, this shows how quickly the public can turn on people and the media can make it happen, this plays into the history side of electing a President because we see how minds suddenly changed after how previous ones had acted.

SettingsThe film does use the authentic settings, show how the press would hide for a story, while Gary would use the public to put an end to the stories being made up.


Scene of the Movie –
Twisting the medias words.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Too many characters.

Final ThoughtsThis is a story which does feel like it should be told to more people, only this version of the story is completely over-saturated be characters making it hard to keep up with.

 

Overall: Political Thriller that just doesn’t pack the punch.

Rating

 

 

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Oklahoma! (1999)

Director: Trevor Nunn

Writer: Oscar Hammerstein II (Book) Lynn Riggs (Play)

Starring: Maureen Lipman, Hugh Jackman, Josefina Gabrielle, David Shelmerdine, Jimmy Johnston, Shuler Hensley

 

Plot: Cowboy Curly McClain tries to win the heart of a girl in a singing and dancing extravaganza.

 

Runtime: 3 Hours

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Nice Theatre Experience

 

Story: Oklahoma! Starts as cowboy Curly (Jackman) is trying to get farm girl Laurey Williams (Gabrielle) to be his date for dance, her heart is torn between what she wants in him and what would be right, going with the farm hand Jud (Hensley).  Playing matchmaker is Aunt Eller (Lipman) who wants best for her niece.

The battle between the men is on leaving Laurey to make the difficult decision herself, while on route to the party just where will everything go.

 

Thoughts on Oklahoma!

 

Characters – Aunt Eller is the lady pulling the strings between her niece and the other single women in the west, she can keep peace between the different backgrounds. Curly is a cowboy that is full of confidence that wants to be with Laurey, he is honourable and desirable for the women in the town and sets his sights on Laurey only. Laurey is the farm girl in search of a husband and is torn over two men, one she loves and one that has helped her family the most. Jud is the rival that wants Laurey’s hand in marriage, she is rougher around the edges making him feel like he would be a bad husband.

PerformancesWhen going into the performance we must understand this is the stage recording of the story, the whole cast show their talents off here to make this feel truly believable like you are one of the audience, and Jackman doesn’t even stand out over the rest of the performers.

StoryThe story here is a theatre classic, it focuses mostly on a young farm woman that is searching for a husband and being torn between her feelings and marrying for supporting in the wild west era. This is a slow story and you can understand why it is a stage musical, making it 3 hours is strange because there isn’t too much going on for the most part though.

Musical/Romance/WesternThe musical numbers are big and magical, easily the most important part of the film. the romance side of the film follows Laurey as she must make her choice about how to treat love. The western side of the film comes from the setting and time which shows us just where we are meant to be watching.

SettingsThis is a recording of the theatre production, we know the settings are only going to be the stage and what can be placed on it, this does work for this very well.


Scene of the Movie –
Dream sequence.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It is way too long.

Final ThoughtsThis is a musical production that gets to highlight Hugh Jackman when he first broke into Hollywood, it is known as the classic show and has nothing wrong with the performance, but it is overly long.

 

Overall: Easy access to Musical world.

Rating

 

 

The Greatest Showman (2017)

Director: Michael Gracey

Writer: Jenny Bicks, Bill Condon (Screenplay)

Starring: Hugh Jackman, Michelle Williams, Zac Efron, Zendaya, Rebecca Ferguson, Austyn Johnson, Cameron Seely

 

Plot: Inspired by the imagination of P.T. Barnum, The Greatest Showman is an original musical that celebrates the birth of show business and tells of a visionary who rose from nothing to create a spectacle that became a worldwide sensation.


Runtime: 1 Hour 45 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Delightful Magical Musical

 

Story: The Greatest Showman starts as we see how P.T. Barnum (Jackman) stars as a street kid dreaming of being a star on the stage, he works his whole life to improve the life for his wife Charity (Williams) who has come from riches. When he loses his job, he decides to risk everything by starting his own circus for everyone who has been rejected in life.

When the money pours in, he hires Phillip Carlyle (Efron) a man who has connections and needs a way to continue his fame, as P.T. is desperate to get rave reviews from the snobby side of time. This will push him to limits that will risk him losing everything he has worked for.

 

Thoughts on The Greatest Showman

 

Characters – P.T. Barnum is a man with a dream, to escape his poor life after he falls in love with Charity at a young age, he drives to impresses and give her a life she came from, this includes making a decision to make his own show with the rejected people in society. We see his rise and potential fall from the top because of his obsession. Charity is the love of the life of P.T. she came from a rich family, but never cared for the money side only wanted happy. She supports P.T. on all his decisions and dreams. Phillip Carlyle is a play writer that gets talked into helping P.T. with the promise of becoming part of something nobody has seen before. He takes time to accept his place, but a smile from Anne changes him for the better. Anne Wheeler is one of the acts in the show a trapeze, along with her brother she wows the audiences, she opens the eyes for Phillip to see the potential of the show. Jenny Lind in an opera singer famous throughout Europe, she agrees to come to America to be part of P.T. next idea which puts the biggest risk on his dreams.

PerformancesHugh Jackman in an all singing, all dancing role, this guy is fantastic and is the Showman the film describes. Michelle is brilliant in the supporting role, her character does slip from the screen as the story unfolds at times though. Zac Efron has been trying something different in recent years, it has work at times, but returning to his singing and dancing roots shows us the talent he has. Zendaya has had a great year, this shows that she could step into a musical film whenever she wants to. Rebecca Ferguson is good, but we do tend to not see enough from her character. The whole cast in the show a fantastic with Keala Settle being a potential scene stealer through this film.

StoryThe story follows the life of P.T. Barnum, who he started as a poor street kid that worked for his money, married the woman of his dreams and opened the show that offered the rejected members of society the spotlight their talents offer. This does turn into watching one man’s obsession which getting recognition from people who have always looked down on him and his father. This being based on the real person, once again shows that people were trying to break ground for people who were considered different in the world because of their colour, size or general look.

Biopic/MusicalThe musical side is filled with fantastic performances from the team, it has memorable songs that have brilliant meaning. The negative is something I found in the film was how the biopic side of everything unfolds, we don’t get any timeline to the events of the film which I feel disappoints greatly, but this is how it is told, not who he was.

SettingsThe settings for the most part look fantastic, but we have a couple of awful looking CGI backgrounds, which can take away from the scenes.


Scene of the Movie –
Rewrite the Stars performance.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Certain CGI for large landscape is poor.

Final ThoughtsIf you love a good musical with fantastic songs, strong performance and a success story, this will be for you, I was sat there in the cinema enjoying every moment of the performances.

 

Overall: Spectacular Musical that delights.

Rating

 

 

Logan (2017)

Director: James Mangold

Writer: Scott Frank, James Mangold, Michael Green (Screenplay) John Romita Sr, Roy Thomas, Len Wein, Herb Trimpe, Craig Kyle, Christopher Yost (Characters)

Starring: Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Dafne Keen, Boyd Holbrook, Stephen Merchant, Elizabeth Rodriguez, Richard E Grant

 

Plot: In the near future, a weary Logan cares for an ailing Professor X in a hide out on the Mexican border. But Logan’s attempts to hide from the world and his legacy are up-ended when a young mutant arrives, being pursued by dark forces.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Rawest, Grittiest Superhero Movie Ever

 

Story: Logan starts in the near future, 2029 to be exact where mutants are nearly all but extinct. Logan, Wolverine or this time James Howlett (Jackman) is an aging man drive a limo for hire, he is saving enough money to get a sunseeker so himself and an also age weary Professor Charles Xavier (Stewart) can sail off into the sunset.

With Charles suffering from strokes which cause his power to become out of control, Logan knows the time is short but for the moment the money is shorter. When Logan is forced into defending himself we can see the effects or any battle on his body, no longer instantly healing, but this attack draws the attention of Pierce (Holbrook) and his soldiers but also nurse Gabriela (Rodriguez) who needs Logan’s help. When Logan finds, himself helping he learns of a new experiment on mutants and with his genetics creating Laura (Keen). Laura along with other children have all been enhanced but when the experiment is closed they must fend for themselves.

Logan finds himself in the middle of a battle he will struggle to fight this time as himself and Charles travel cross country to a new location that could be the new safe haven for mutants.

 

Thoughts on Logan

 

Characters/PerformanceLogan is a character we have known and loved for nearly 17, we have seen him through origins, beginning and cameos but now we get to see him near the end of his life. This version of Logan is battered, beaten and not long for this world, making him a version of a comic book character that we have never yet seen. Profession Charles Xavier is also very old in fact sick in this outing, he can’t control his powers like he once used to, making him a risk for everybody he meets. He still dreams of finding and protecting more mutants which is what draws him to saving Laura, but he is also filled with a guilt he just doesn’t understand. Laura is a great look at the new breed of mutants who is deadly in a fight without understanding how the world works, I would like to see the next chapter of this characters development. Pierce who is the primary villain of the piece is interesting to start with but through the film does slowly turn into a generic mercenary character. Dr Rice is filling the William Striker role well, being the one that wants control over the mutants with Caliban at times I feel we could have learnt more about this character.

When you look at the performances Hugh Jackman gives one of his, if not his best performance as Logan here, with Patrick Stewart easily being able to be considered an outside bet for an Oscar nomination. Dafne Keen is great for what is the first role I have ever seen her in. even though I feel the character does fall into the background of the final story I did also think Boyd Holbrook does an excellent job too.

StoryWhen you look at superhero movies we often find ourselves stuck in the middle of too many characters, too many subplots and too many over the top storyline action sequences, but much like Deadpool last year we get a simplified story here. The idea that two aging mutants in a world without any known mutants must travel cross country to save this young mutant’s life while being chased down by ruthless henchman works for this movie. The story is easy to follow, you don’t have to know the previous films and you will get the emotional impact of each moment of this film.

Action/Drama/Sci-FiThe action sequences are all raw based fights which are saved for few and far between but this helps the impact of these moments. Going into the future once more gets to see how the final chapters of these character’s lives could unfold but still leaving the door open for the time between.

SettingsThe settings all feel like they could be a western and you can tell this movie borrows heavily from the classic western ‘Shane’. I liked how this wasn’t about a big destruction sequence followed by another like many other films in this genre.

Special EffectsThe special effects are brilliant to show the brutality of the fight sequences with how the Wolverine movie could be bloody throughout.

Final ThoughtsI think this could easily be one of the best superhero movies of all time, but the one moment I didn’t enjoy was the fact the film did get the keys of the kingdom and felt like they did just swear for the reason to be able too.

 

Overall: This is a must watch for the superhero movie fans out there.

Rating

 

 

Eddie the Eagle (2016)

eddieDirector: Dexter Fletcher

Writer: San Macaulay, Simon Keaton (Screenplay) Simon Kelton (Story)

Starring: Taron Egerton, Hugh Jackman, Iris Berben, Tim McInnerny, Jo Hartley, Keith Allen, Jim Broadbent, Christopher Walken

 

Plot: The story of Eddie Edwards, the notoriously tenacious British underdog ski jumper who charmed the world at the 1988 Winter Olympics.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Inspirational Feel Good Film

 

Story: Eddie the Eagle starts as we follow Eddie Edwards a man from England who despite his early age disability wants to enter the Olympics. Once he reaches his teens he gets the leg braces removed and start searching for his calling. Eddie (Egerton) finally finds his sport as skier but yet again Dustin Target (McInnerny) kicks him out of the team just before try outs.

Eddie with his never giving up attitude looks into Ski Jumping a sport that Great Britain has no team for Eddie heads off to Germany to train. Getting taunted by all the experienced jumpers it is former American and disgraced jumper Bronson Peary (Jackman) teaches him the ropes.

We watch how Eddie overcomes everything obstacle put in his way to make his Olympic dream a reality.

Eddie the Eagle shows the inspirational story behind the cult hero known as Eddie the Eagle who against all the odds made his way to the Winter Olympics even though he has none of the athletic abilities. The film shows how Eddie Edwards has all the heart and desire to just take part is refreshing because too often it is always about winning this gave us what taking part is really about achieving. We do get what would be called a typical fan supporting favourite even against the best we get to see everything unfold in a way that leaves you feeling good afterwards.

 

Actor Review

 

Taron Egerton: Eddie Edwards is an aspiring Olympian that spends his whole childhood searching for a sport to enter into the Olympics. When he finally finds his calling he takes a chance on Ski jumping a sport that Britain won’t accept anything but competitive. Eddie has to overcome all of the obstacle to get his chance to just enter the Olympics even if he is all about heart and desire over the actual skills. Taron gives us yet another brilliant performance showing yet another skill he has in comedy.eddie chrchter

Hugh Jackman: Bronson Peary is a former ski jumper that has found himself disgraced by the American team years before he just cleans the slopes. He sees the heart on Eddie and reluctant teaches him the next level of the sport being the only person to be honest with him from the start without taking the piss out of him. Hugh is great in this supporting role showing he doesn’t need to be the main attraction in a film.bronson

Iris Berben: Petra runs the ski bar in Germany and offers Eddie a place to stay and a job while he trains. Iris is only really a supporting character but does a great job in this role.

Tim McInnerny: Dustin Target is the Head of the British Olympic Committee that has always put a halt to Eddie’s dream be it as a skier and now a ski jumper. He has to reluctantly let Eddie enter the Winter Olympics and is surprised with the popularity he garners. Tim is good in this role playing the typical stuck up English rule maker.

Support Cast: Eddie the Eagle has a small supporting cast with Eddie’s parents all being the highlight of the supporting cast.

Director Review: Dexter FletcherDexter gives us one of the most feel good films you could see this year and in many years to come.

 

Biographical: Eddie the Eagle shows how hard Eddie worked for this achievement show that he needed to follow his dream.

Comedy: Eddie the Eagle is filled with comedy without being too much over taking the serious side of the story.

Sports: Eddie the Eagle shows the sport that no one wanted to risk entering from Britain, the sport all comes off looking realistic throughout.

Settings: Eddie the Eagle makes each setting feel realistic throughout.

Suggestion: Eddie the Eagle is one that I feel everyone should watch especially if you are British. (Watch)

 

Best Part: Eddie’s heart.

Worst Part: Won’t be for everyone

Funniest Scene: Eddie achieving different heights landing.

 

Believability: Based on the real man.

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Awards: Could get a few nominations.

Oscar Chances: Could be an outside shot.

Budget: $23 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 46 Minutes

Tagline: The hysterical true life story of Britain’s most famous ski jumper Eddie “The Eagle” Edwards and his journey to Olympic fame.

 

Overall: One of the most inspirational and fun movies to watch.

Ratingcard