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:
American Sniper (2014)
The Kite Runner (2007)
No Escape (2015)
American Assassin (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:
John Q. (2002)
Proof of Life (2000)
Inside Man (2006)
The Negotiator (1998)
Now In Theatres Movie Reviews November 8th – November 14th
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:
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:
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
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.
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.”
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 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
Click on each title below for a brief synopsis, trailer, movie poster and release date of each film.
Happy Birthday to Tom Hanks! He is one of the most well-known actors of all time and he turns 57 years old today.
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).
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.
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.
Captain Phillips (2013)
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.
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.