Advertisements

Blog Archives

Beirut (2018)


Beirut (2018)

Beirut looked intriguing to me because the always dapper Jon Hamm was finally given the main lead in a serious film.  He has always been likable in every role that I have seen him.  Of course, his boost to stardom was in the leading part in the Mad Men (2007-2015) series.

The film is about a hostage situation that summons a former U.S. diplomat back to war-torn Beirut in an attempt to save his old friend.

The movie was directed by Brad Anderson and the noteworthy cast includes Jon Hamm, Rosamund Pike, Mark Pellegrino, Dean Norris, Shea Whigam, Douglas Hodge, Larry Pine, Ben Affan, and Mohamed Attougui.

The filmmakers did a superb job creating a believable Beirut in 1982 and thereafter.  The not-so-peaceful Middle East was very apparent in the movie.  There was a sort of gloomy undertone to the film and this gave the movie a much darker feel to it.

It was nice to see Jon Hamm in a leading role carrying a film.  He brought a level of class and finesse to his character that made the movie exciting, where it otherwise may have lacked with someone else playing his part.

Rosamund Pike did a good job in the movie.  However, I felt like her character could have been developed better.  She is a strong actress, but this film did not allow her a strong presence.  I felt like her performance in Hostiles (2017) and Gone Girl (2014) were far better than her performance in Beirut because she was able to give those other characters more substance.

Beirut is not a movie that you are going to want to watch over and over again because of the subject matter.  However, it is a well-made, above average film that is worth the watch.

I rate this movie a 7 on a scale of 1-10.

 

If you liked this film then you might also enjoy:

 

12 Strong (2018)

Lone Survivor (2013)

American Sniper (2014)

The Kite Runner (2007)

Chappaquiddick (2017)

The Post (2017)

Lincoln (2012)

Captain Phillips (2013)

Darkest Hour (2017)

No Escape (2015)

American Assassin (2017)

Advertisements

All the Money in the World (2017)


All the Money in the World (2017)

When I think of All the Money in the World, it is hard not to think about everything that happened with Kevin Spacey and the bad publicity that surrounded this film because of him.  It is my understanding that the movie was just about completed when the news came out about his sexual allegations.

(This is my review of All the Money in the World, but I feel that it is important to talk first about the cloud of negativity that hovered over this movie before its release.  There is a certain amount of hypocrisy that has been a part of the Hollywood machine for many years.  It still is today).

I think that the producers of the movie agreed that All the Money in the World was guaranteed to bomb at the box office because of Spacey.  So how did they resolve this problem?  The same way that Netflix resolved their Spacey problem with the infamous House of Cards firing, they cut him out of the film completely.  They brought Christopher Plummer in to replace him.  Then they had to reshoot all of Spacey’s scenes with Plummer instead.  How that will pan out with the Netflix Original Series House of Cards is yet to be seen, but that is a topic for a different day.

Spacey was originally billed second.  His character was a big deal to the film.  They had to bring in the other actors and redo a good chunk of the whole movie so that they could replace him.  This all had to be done with only weeks remaining until the film was due to be released!

I read that it took about 9 days to completely reshoot the necessary scenes to cut Kevin Spacey completely out of All the Money in the World.  That is insane if you think about it.  Ridley Scott did what they thought would be impossible to try to salvage the film.

Now, if that was not enough, more controversy instantly surfaced about the reshoots.  Apparently, Walhberg negotiated that he would get paid somewhere in the millions of dollars if he had to film any extra scenes.  He has a good agent and he is one of the highest paid actors out there, so this comes as no surprise right?  Wrong.  To stir things up more, now all of a sudden, people were complaining because he got paid far more than Michelle Williams or any of the other actors for his reshoots.  They were paid thousands and he was paid millions.  The complaint was that there should be closer to equal pay for all involved.

I am all for women’s rights.  I am glad that they were able to erase Spacey from this film because of his sexual misconduct.  They should have cracked down on all of that years ago.  We all know, and they all know that people in power in Hollywood have been taking advantage of that power for far too long and nothing has really been done about it until recently.

However, I believe in the free market.  People should be able to negotiate their worth.  They get paid for what they contribute.  The superstars get paid more because they bring more to the table.  That is how it always has been and how it always should be.  If you want to look at equal pay between men and women in Hollywood, I think you need to look deeper into the fact that Hollywood treats women like objects.  Hollywood writers do not write many quality roles for women.  Instead women are seen as window dressing and men are made out to be the heroes.  That is not a problem with the actors or actresses.  That is a problem with the filmmakers, and ultimately the big production companies that have gotten big for a reason, because they know how to make money.

What does Mark Wahlberg do when he hears that many people believe that he got overpaid and he is looked at as being part of the problem?  Marky Mark turns around and donates all of the extra millions of dollars that he made for reshoots to “Time’s Up” in Michelle Williams name.

All of the Money in the World is based on true events.  It is about a teenage boy who is kidnapped and held for ransom because his grandfather is the richest man in the world.  The grandfather will not pay the ransom, and the boy’s mother is forced to do whatever is in her power to try to get her son back.

The movie was directed by Ridley Scott and the noteworthy cast includes Michelle Williams, Christopher Plummer, Mark Wahlberg, Timothy Hutton, Charlie Plummer, Romain Duris, Charlie Shotwell, Andrew Buchan, and Marco Leonardi.

Ridley Scott generally knows how to get a film done right.  He has got the process down.  Sometimes the expectation is higher than the outcome, however.  This is the case with this movie.  It is well made to a point.  It jumps around a lot.  Usually that is OK to tell a story, but it makes this film feel a little choppy.  It also seems to take away from how we feel about the characters in the story.  We are not given much of a chance to really like and care about the people in the movie.  If we do not care much about the characters, then we do not care much about what happens to them.

I think that this disconnect exists in the movie because it is in fact, based on true events.  They follow the story line of what happened in real life, but they do not give you much reason to like the characters.  This strongly takes away from how good the movie could be.  It is good up to a point, without the possibility of being better.

Christopher Plummer got nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for this movie.  He was part of the film for 9 days of reshoots.  With all of the chaos that surrounded All the Money in the World, it seems like Hollywood was just throwing the movie a bone when they nominated Plummer for an Oscar.  He is a solid actor and he was good in this film, but not Oscar good.  Not even close.  I think that this is a case of Hollywood trying to recoup their investment and show praise for Ridley Scott’s ability to get the job done that needed to get done.  If there is an Oscar nomination of any kind for a movie, it pretty much guarantees that people will see it.  It is sort of like the media.  They tell you what they want you to hear.  In this case, they tell you what they want you to watch.

I cannot help but wonder, what the other version of the film with Spacey was like.  With my tainted view of him as an actor at this point, I would have hated the movie.  It was definitely the right thing to do replacing him.  I used to be big fan of Spacey, but it is amazing how quickly your view of someone changes once their true colors bleed through.

Overall, the movie was good, but not that good.  It is an interesting true story that was certainly worth telling.  It felt rushed, because it actually was rushed.  I feel that with more thought placed on character development, the movie could have been a lot better.

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

 

If you liked this film then you might also enjoy:

 

Captain Phillips (2013)

John Q. (2002)

Proof of Life (2000)

Hostage (2005)

Inside Man (2006)

The Negotiator (1998)

Ransom (1996)

Broken City (2013)

Lone Survivor (2013)

The 15:17 to Paris (2018)


The 15:17 to Paris (2018)

The legendary Clint Eastwood took a big risk casting the actual people that his film is about to star in it.  This concept immediately sparked my interest enough for me to be really excited about seeing The 15:17 to Paris.

I intentionally did not watch much of the trailer for this film, nor did I read anything about it.  This is because I vaguely remembered hearing about this story, watching the news and reading about what happened after this event took place, not too long ago.  I did not remember a lot of what happened and I did not want to spoil the movie by knowing all about it beforehand.

With all of the vile stories of terrorism and mass-murder we hear happening all over the news in this crazy world that we live in, it’s nice to recognize the heroes that fight back against the evil that is unleashed around them.  That is what The 15:17 to Paris is.  It is a story about the ones that fought back to try to protect their fellow man because they were not about to go down without a fight.  This movie is the story of three friends who grew up together and how they happened to be on a train to Paris at the time of a gruesome terrorist attack aimed at everyone on board.

The movie was based on the book by Anthony Sadler, Alek Skarlatos, Spencer Stone, and Jeffrey E. Stern.  It was produced and directed by Clint Eastwood.

The cast includes the three men the film is about: Spencer Stone, Anthony Sadler, and Alek Skarlatos.  The rest of the noteworthy cast includes Judy Greer, Jenna Fischer, P.J. Byrne, Thomas Lennon, Tony Hale, Jaleel White, and Steve Coulter.

I heard that initially the MPAA rating system wanted to make the movie rated R.  This upset Eastwood and he had to raise a big fuss to win the PG-13 rating.  I’m not sure if any scenes were cut from the film to achieve the PG-13 rating, but I found no reason that there should’ve been an R rating.  There was hardly any swearing, no nudity, and only some violence.  The violence was not excessive and was very necessary to tell the story accurately.  Nothing else warranted an R rating.  Could it be a way of censoring Eastwood’s film so less people could see it?  That will likely never be revealed, but I wouldn’t put it past Hollywood for pulling a move like that.  Good old Clint!  Always fighting for what he thinks is right.  He doesn’t care if Hollywood doesn’t back him.  He has built an astounding career on getting his movies made no matter what.  In a lot of ways, he is that powerful protagonist character that he has portrayed on screen so many times.  I think he felt that this story needed to be told and he wanted the perspective of the real people to make it more accurate.

The film is not going to win any awards for its acting.  These three men are not actors.  These are real people.  Realizing this fact while watching the movie actually made it more powerful.  It made me approach my view of the movie in a different way.  It doesn’t matter that the dialogue was not delivered by seasoned actors.  This is an obvious detail in Eastwood’s vision.  It simply matters that their story was told.  Who better to tell it than the real people themselves?

The 15:17 to Paris depicts an incredible true story of heroism and courage.

The movie is not loaded with action and special effects.  It sheds light on a story that a lot of people didn’t pay much attention to.  It reminds us of the good in people.  Humanity in helping others because that is the right thing to do.  These men didn’t think twice about their own safety.  They just did what they had to do.

I watched this film two nights ago and I have thought about it since.  The more that I think about it, the more I like it.  You are not going to leave the movie in awe.  However, it will make you contemplate what you saw.  Maybe you will be more grateful for what you have.

 

I rate this movie a 7.5 on a scale of 1-10.

 

If you liked this film then you might also enjoy:

American Sniper (2014)

Lone Survivor (2013)

World Trade Center (2006)

Captain Phillips (2013)

12 Strong (2018)

United 93 (2006)

Redbox Movie Reviews January 2014


Redbox Movie Reviews January 2014

redbox box

I have seen 94 of the movies that are currently available at the Redbox.  Of those 94 films, I have written a review for 61 of them.  My reviews will let you know what I think are the best movies currently available at the Redbox and what are the worst movies currently available at the Redbox.

I like a wide variety of movies.  My list consists of comedy movies, horror movies, action movies, drama movies, western movies, science fiction movies, foreign movies, comic book movies, family movies, war movies, etc.  I’ve reviewed almost every genre you can think of, so hopefully it will suit whatever mood you are in.

Note: I will continue to update this list throughout the month of January.  Each month I will keep updating a new list that will have more and more movies on it.  If you like what you see, I hope that you will come back for more in the future.

Click on each title below for a trailer, pictures, cast list, my rating, and my review of that movie.

2 Guns (2013)

6 Souls (2009)

42 (2013)

Admission (2013)

The Big Wedding (2013)

Bullet to the Head (2012)

The Call (2013)

Captain Phillips (2013)

The Company You Keep (2012)

The Conjuring (2013)

Curse of Chucky (2013)

Dead Man Down (2013)

Elysium (2013)

Emperor (2012)

Evil Dead (2013)

The Frozen Ground (2013)

Gangster Squad (2013)

Getaway (2013)

A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints (2006)

The Hangover Part III (2013)

The Heat (2013)

The Hunger Games (2012)

The Iceman (2012)

Identity Thief (2013)

InAPPropriate Comedy (2013)

The Incredible Burt Wonderstone (2013)

The Internship (2013)

Jobs (2013)

Kick-Ass 2 (2013)

Killing Season (2013)

The Last Stand (2013)

Lee Daniels’ The Butler (2013)

The Lone Ranger (2013)

The Lords of Salem (2012)

Mama (2013)

Man of Steel (2013)

Man of Tai Chi (2013)

Mud (2012)

Now You See Me (2013)

Oblivion (2013)

Olympus Has Fallen (2013)

Only God Forgives (2013)

Oz the Great and Powerful (2013)

Pain & Gain (2013)

Pawn Shop Chronicles (2013)

The Place Beyond the Pines (2012)

Prisoners (2013)

The Purge (2013)

Red 2 (2013)

R.I.P.D. (2013)

Star Trek Into Darkness (2013)

Stuck in Love (2012)

This is the End (2013)

Trance (2013)

Vehicle 19 (2013)

Violet & Daisy (2011)

The Way, Way Back (2013)

We’re the Millers (2013)

White House Down (2013)

The Wolverine (2013)

World War Z (2013)

If you like what you see then click on this link: www.brockingmovies.com to check out the rest of my site.  Movies are what I do.

Now In Theatres Movie Reviews November 8th – November 14th


Now In Theatres Movie Reviews November 8th – November 14th

Movie Tickets Popcorn

I have seen and reviewed 24 movies that are currently in theatres.  Some of the films have been in theatres for a while now, and others are newer releases.  If you are having trouble deciding what movie to see in theatres, I hope that you will consult my list for help.  Movie ticket prices are pretty expensive these days, and I might be able to help save you some of your hard earned cash.  My ratings will help you decide what are the best movies currently in theatres and what are the worst movies currently in theatres.  Also, at the bottom of the list I have provided you with trailers of movies that are out that I have not seen yet.

Click on each title below for a trailer, poster artwork, and my full review of that movie:

The Counselor (2013)

Gravity (2013)

Captain Phillips (2013)

All is Lost (2013)

Escape Plan (2013)

Prisoners (2013)

Don Jon (2013)

The Way, Way Back (2013)

Jobs (2013)

Lee Daniels’ The Butler (2013)

Kick-Ass 2 (2013)

We’re the Millers (2013)

The Wolverine (2013)

Elysium (2013)

2 Guns (2013)

R.I.P.D. (2013)

Red 2 (2013)

The Conjuring (2013)

World War Z (2013)

The Lone Ranger (2013)

White House Down (2013)

The Heat (2013)

This is the End (2013)

Star Trek Into Darkness (2013)

Click on each title below for a preview and poster artwork of that movie along with my opinion of whether or not I think that film will be any good:

Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa (2013)

Ender’s Game (2013)

Last Vegas (2013)

About Time (2013)

The Family (2013)

Runner, Runner (2013)

I hope that you find my reviews helpful.  I will continue to update this list when I have seen more movies, so feel free to check back regularly.  Also, I plan on making a new list each week as more films are released.  Happy movie watching from www.brockingmovies.com

The Best Movies of 2013


The Best Movies of 2013

2013 is not over yet, but the last couple months of the year always seems to have a ton of new releases that get crammed in just in time to be considered for the current year’s Academy Awards.

We are in the midst of the beginning of the end of the year, so I thought it would be fitting to list all of the best movies that have been released so far this year.  I will list what I think are the best movies so far this year, and the rest of my list will consist of other great movies that did not quite make the cut.  The movies that did not make the cut were still pretty awesome and worth seeing.

Click on each movie for my full review, rating, trailer, and poster artwork for that film.

So, without further ado, here is the list:

The Best Movies of 2013 (in alphabetical order)

2 Guns (2013)

42 (2013)

All is Lost (2013)

American Hustle (2013)

Captain Phillips (2013)

Gravity (2013)

The Iceman (2012)

Lone Survivor (2013)

Out of the Furnace (2013)

Prisoners (2013)

Best Sequels:

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013)

Red 2 (2013)

Other Great Movies that did not make the cut (in alphabetical order)

The Big Wedding (2013)

Broken City (2013)

Bullet to the Head (2012)

The Conjuring (2013)

Escape Plan (2013)

Gangster Squad (2013)

The Heat (2013)

Jobs (2013)

Man of Steel (2013)

Mud (2012)

Oblivion (2013)

Oz The Great and Powerful (2013)

The Place Beyond the Pines (2013)

The Purge (2013)

Star Trek Into Darkness (2013)

Violet & Daisy (2011)

White House Down (2013)

The Wolverine (2013)

World War Z (2013)

Because the year is not over yet, I will continue to add to this list.  That is of course, if I see a movie that is good enough to be on it.  Considering the list of movies that are set to release before the end of the year, I’m sure that I will have no problem adding to this list.  I hope that you will come back to www.brockingmovies.com to see any additions to the list.

Captain Phillips (2013)


Captain Phillips Poster 2

Captain Phillips (2013)

 

Captain Phillips is based on the true story of when a US flagged-cargo ship was hijacked by Somali pirates in 2009.  This was the first time that this had happened to an American cargo ship in 200 years.  Richard Phillips (Tom Hanks) was the captain of the ship.

Tom Hanks

Back in 2009 I had a warehouse job that enabled me to listen to the radio all day long during my shifts.  I remember having my ears glued to the little radio that was set up in my work station as I listened intently for updates about what was happening with Captain Phillips, his crew, and the Somali hijackers.

It was already 4 years ago, but it feels like yesterday.  I remember how America responded to this act of terrorism and that made me curious to see how the film would portray the situation.  I figured if the movie followed the truth closely, than it might have the potential to be a quality film and an Oscar Contender.

The movie was directed by Paul Greengrass.  Billy Ray wrote the screenplay, but Richard Phillips wrote the book that it is based on, “A Captain’s Duty: Somali Pirates, Navy SEALS, and Dangerous Days at Sea.”

Film Review Captain Phillips

The noteworthy cast includes Tom Hanks, Catherine Keener, Michael Chernus, David Warshofsky, Chris Mulkey, Max Martini, Omar Berdouni, Barkhad Abdi, Barkhad Abdirahman, Faysal Ahmed, and Mahat M. Ali.

Hanks has not had a great part for a while, until now.  There was a time when he had one excellent movie after another.  This will be the movie that puts him back into the spotlight (it already has).  The role fit him like a glove and he wore it well.  His performance should be worth an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor and if he wins, it would be well deserved (another one to add to the collection).  The film also deserves a Best Picture nomination.

The film does not follow the facts completely, but the few things that it does change only serve to make the movie more powerful, more entertaining, and more enjoyable.  The things that were changed were done so tastefully.  After all, with Tom Hanks in the driver’s seat, Hollywood has to dress the story up a little bit to turn it into a blockbuster.

Captain Phillips Hanks Binoculars

Captain Phillips is an edge-of-your-seat suspenseful thriller that is one of the best movies of 2013.  It is one of those films that hits home a little harder because it is based on a true story.

I rate this movie a 9 on a scale of 1-10.

Buy, rent, or run?  Buy.

The Most Anticipated Movies Coming to Theatres in October 2013


Movie Tickets Curtain Popcorn

The Most Anticipated Movies Coming to Theatres in October 2013

Click on each title below for a brief synopsis, trailer, movie poster and release date of each film.

Captain Phillips (2013) (Click on this link for my full review.)

The Counselor (2013) (Click on this link for my full review.)

All is Lost (2013) (Click on this link for my full review.)

Gravity (2013) (click on this link for my full review.)

Runner, Runner (2013)

Escape Plan (2013) (Click on this link for my full review.)

Happy Birthday to Tom Hanks


Tom Hanks

Happy Birthday to Tom Hanks!  He is one of the most well-known actors of all time and he turns 57 years old today.

Toy Story 3 Tom Hanks

Hanks has been on the top of the acting food chain for over 20 years, until recently.  Although he has continued to make a number of movies over the last few years, it seems like his popularity has decreased lately.  Besides contributing his voice for Toy Story 3 (2010), Tom Hanks has not had a quality acting part in a successful movie since Angels & Demons (2009).

Tom Hanks stars in Columbia Pictures' suspense thriller "Angels & Demons."

His upcoming role in Captain Phillips (2013) appears like it has the potential to revive his career and bring him back into the spotlight.  If it doesn’t, I guess there is always Toy Story 4.

Saving Private Ryan Hanks

Just think about all of the solid performances that Tom Hanks has given to us over the course of his career.  The man sure has been consistent.

Road to Perdition Hanks gun

My favorite Hanks movies are Saving Private Ryan (1998), Road to Perdition (2002), Catch me if You Can (2002), Big (1988), Forrest Gump (1994), and A League of Their Own (1992), just to name a few.

Catch me if You Can Hanks holding up DiCaprio

Trailer for Captain Phillips (2013)


Captain Phillips Poster

Captain Phillips (2013)

This film is based on the true story of when an American cargo ship was hijacked by Somali pirates in 2009.  This was the first time that this had happened to an American cargo ship in 200 years.

Does anybody remember how America responded to this hijacking?  Do you remember Captain Phillips?

It’s hard to believe that happened about 4 years ago.

If this movie follows the truth closely, I think that it might have the potential to be a quality film and an Oscar contender.

The film is directed by Paul Greengrass.  Billy Ray wrote the screenplay, but Richard Phillips wrote the book “A Captain’s Duty: Somali Pirates, Navy SEALS, and Dangerous Days at Sea” that it is all based off of.

The cast includes Tom Hanks, Catherine Keener, Max Martini, John Magaro, Chris Mulkey, Corey Johnson, David Warshofsky, Yul Vasquez, and Michael Chernus.

Hanks has not had a great part for a while.  Could this be the movie that puts him back into the spotlight?  I will have to be there when it releases to find out.

The film is set to release on 10/11/13.