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The Battle of the Sexes (2017)


The Battle of the Sexes (2017)

Although I did not live during the time that this film is supposed to have taken place, I knew a little bit about the battle of the sexes.  OK, all I really knew was that men and women played tennis against each other in the 1970s to prove which sex was better at sports.  I did not know any specifics.  I knew nothing.

The movie is a true story about how the best women’s tennis player, Billie Jean King (Emma Stone) and former men’s tennis champion, Bobby Riggs (Steve Carell) come to play an exhibition tennis match against each other for the battle of the sexes in 1973.

The rest of the noteworthy cast includes Andrea Riseborough, Bill Pullman, Natalie Morales, Sarah Silverman, Alan Cumming, Elisabeth Shue, Eric Christian Olsen, Fred Armisen, Jessica McNamee, Austin Stowell, Wallace Langham, Lewis Pullman (son of Bill Pullman), and James Mackay.

The movie was written by Simon Beaufoy and directed by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris.

The Battle of the Sexes was very formulaic and predictable.  However, it was a true story that I was truly unfamiliar with.  An exhibition tennis match suddenly becomes a fight for equal pay and equal rights.  It is a feel-good film about working to right a wrong in society.  The movie is an exploration in sexism and surprisingly, sexuality.

This would have been a great time to experience in American History.  To witness this symbolic tennis match (even just on TV), would’ve been witnessing an important time for women’s rights.

The movie does a good job showing just how slanted peoples’ views of men and women were back in the 1970s.  Even though lots of people believe that we still have a lot of work to do when it comes to equals rights for all, this film is definitely a big reminder that we have come a long way.

Emma Stone and Steve Carell were superb pitted against each other (as they were together in Crazy, Stupid, Love. (2011).  The costume design in the movie was excellent.  Stone and Carell looked very much like the people they were portraying.  So much so, that it was a little scary.  The 1970s was recreated very artistically down to every detail.

The movie had a nice recipe of goofy humor, and serious drama.  Like many sports films, it was quite predictable.  It is a formula that we have seen 100 times and it doesn’t get old.  We still enjoy watching the underdog.  It’s a David and Goliath story.  Danielle and Goliath, if you will.

 

I rate this movie a 6.5 on a scale of 1-10.

 

If you liked this film then you might also enjoy:

Crazy, Stupid, Love. (2011)

Invincible (2006)

Rocky (1976)

The Natural (1984)

Rudy (1993)

Gangster Squad (2013)

Zombieland (2009)

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Oblivion (2013)


Oblivion Poster

Oblivion (2013)

With Tom Cruise in the driver’s seat of this Sci-fi thriller, all that he has to do is do what he does best, act.  Forget about his crazy private life.  He may have had a lot of drama with his marriages (jumping on Oprah’s couch and whatnot, etc., etc.) and his religious beliefs (Scientology) may seem a bit weird, but lets face the facts.  The guy can act and he can act well.  He is one of the most solid actors of our time and he still draws a crowd.  Tom gets comfortable in his character, hits “Cruise Control” and all of the viewers in the audience are in for a treat.  He proves it time and time again that he is highly capable of carrying the majority of a movie on his back.  Oblivion is no exception.  In fact, the majority of Oblivion is Tom Cruise in one way or another.

Oblivion Cruise Drivers seat

After the world has been virtually destroyed by nuclear war and natural disasters, a couple (Tom Cruise and Andrea Riseborough) become part of “the cleanup crew” to help salvage the remaining natural resources that the world has to offer.  They are also there to protect their mission and make sure that it runs smoothly.  After a while things may not be what they seem.

I am not a huge fan of a lot of Sci-fi movies.  Many Sci-fi movies these days are filled with so much special effects that they make the movie seem totally fake.  I do not watch movies simply for the special effects.  I enjoy Sci-fi movies where the special effects are tastefully done to the point where it doesn’t take away from the movie.  The film also has to have an interesting plot, solid characters that can act, and a well written script and story to tie it all together nicely.  Oblivion fulfilled all of my requirements of a great Sci-fi movie quite nicely.

Joseph Kosinski does a superb job of writing and directing Oblivion.

The special effects are not overdone.  They are beautiful and awesome and some of the greatest that I have seen, but they are not too much.

Oblivion Cruise chilling

The film does not have too many characters in it and that is okay.  Tom Cruise is great as always, and everybody else is as good as they can be.  Andrea Riseborough, Olga Kurylenko, Morgan Freeman, Melissa Leo, and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau all performed to the best of their abilities with what they had to work with.

Oblivion Freeman group

The plot had many twists and turns which made it very entertaining.  The story itself was very original.  However, a little bit of the movie was hard to follow and I left the theatre scratching my head.  I love movies that really make you think as you put each piece of the story together.  I figured out the gist of it, but I felt like it could have been explained a little better.  That was one of the only problems that I had with the movie.

Oblivion Riseborough

Given that I am not much of a Sci-fi fan, I was very pleasantly surprised by how good Oblivion was.  It is definitely worth seeing in the theatre and because of the excellent special effects, it will certainly be better on the big screen.

Oblivion Clouds

I rate this movie an 8 on a scale of 1-10.

Buy, rent, or run?  Buy.