Roman J. Israel, Esq. (2017)
What is not to like about the thought of Denzel Washington being an attorney? His track record speaks for itself. He is a man who can become anyone. I do not remember the last time I was disappointed in a Denzel Washington movie. He is one of the most consistently extraordinary actors of our time. So, of course I wanted to see Roman J. Israel, Esq.
The film is about a stubborn savant, Roman J. Israel, Esq. He is a diligent and methodical defense attorney, who is hopelessly stuck in his ways. When his career is flipped upside down, it sends his ritualistic life spiraling out of control.
The movie was written and directed by Dan Gilroy and the noteworthy cast includes Denzel Washington, Colin Farrell, Carmen Ejogo, and Tony Plana.
Great quote from the film: “Every weapon is a tool if you hold it the right way.”
This is not a great movie. This is a meticulous, one man freight train, and immersive performance by an iconic heavyweight, Denzel Washington. This is eloquence in motion and an exercise in character.
In Roman J. Israel, Esq., Denzel becomes his character down to the gap in his front teeth, glasses, mini fro, headphones, precision in speech, mannerisms, and tendencies. He is a diligent and unique man who sticks to his guns, and is still stubbornly listening to records and using paper files. He is an eccentric-minded “Rain Man-like” attorney of sorts
The movie itself, is not anything special. It is good until about halfway through and then it starts to lose its momentum. Denzel keeps it afloat and it sort of redeems itself at the end.
Colin Farrell’s character wafts badass arrogance. His role is a good one, but feels like an afterthought.
Overall this is a great performance in an about average movie. Denzel takes a mediocre film and makes it watchable. It is an Oscar caliber performance. He is submerged in his character. He has multiple performances that are better than this one, but his character dominance in this movie brings it up a notch and makes it worth seeing.
I rate this movie a 7 on a scale of 1-10.
If you liked this film then you might also enjoy:
Training Day (2001)
The Hurricane (1999)
Déjà vu (2006)
American Gangster (2007)
Inside Man (2006)
The Manchurian Candidate (2004)
Man on Fire (2004)
Antwone Fisher (2002)
John Q. (2002)
Remember the Titans (2000)
The Bone Collector (1999)
The Equalizer (2014)
Out of Time (2003)
2 Guns (2013)
Director Baltasar Kormakur pulled out the big guns for his new Action/Comedy 2 Guns. With a cast that includes Denzel Washington, Mark Wahlberg, Bill Paxton, James Marsden, and Paula Patton, how could you go wrong? This is the question that I asked myself. My answer was that you most likely can’t go wrong. I was very excited to see this film, so I caught one of the first showings.
The film is about an undercover DEA agent (Washington) and an undercover Special Forces officer (Wahlberg) that team up to get close to a drug cartel. The catch: each man is unaware that the other is a cop.
2 Guns is a high caliber adventure that is fully loaded with twists and turns, plenty of action, an amazing cast of edgy characters, lots of laughs, and a whole lot of fun.
Denzel Washington is one actor that has never really disappointed me. He has always acted his heart out in every role that I have seen him in. He is certainly one of the greats. He is one of the most consistently solid actors of our time. His role in 2 Guns is evidence that he has no intention of changing his ways or slowing down. His character is suave and in control. He lets his presence be known on screen. If he were a Jedi, the force would be strong with this one.
Mark Wahlberg’s acting ability has noticeably improved over the years. It was never bad by any means, but he has definitely found his niche. He has always taken a no-nonsense approach to his acting. This has given his movies more intensity and energy. Over time, he has learned to develop a different personality to each of the characters that he plays. He has become very versatile. In 2 Guns, he somehow managed to be funny and a badass.
The witty banter exchanged between Washington and Wahlberg was hilarious. That, mixed with each man’s physical ability for violence made the movie very entertaining. Their characters played off of each other wonderfully.
Besides Haywire (2011), I have not seen Paxton in anything great for a while. This is his best film movie Frailty (2001). He played a good tough-guy in this film.
There was never a dull moment in this movie. If you are looking for a lot of action, some good laughs, great acting, and an overall awesome film experience, look no further than 2 Guns. This movie has everything. It’s the best Action/Comedy film so far this year, and will probably be the best of the year.
I rate this movie a 9 on a scale of 1-10.
Buy, rent, or run? Buy.
If you enjoyed 2 Guns, then you will most likely enjoy:
Happy Birthday to Ray Allen! The greatest 3-point shooter to ever live turns 38 years old today.
Ray is an okay actor, but an amazing basketball player. Most recently he can be credited for winning the 2013 NBA Finals for the Miami Heat. The San Antonio Spurs had the Heat backed into a corner. Lebron James couldn’t finish, so it took a real superstar (Ray Allen) to knock down a 3-pointer at the buzzer in game 6, that ultimately won the Championship. It was a dagger through the heart of the Spurs and Allen did the stabbing. If it weren’t for Ray, the Heat would have lost.
It was tough to see him leave the Celtics and go over to the darkside. In my mind he will always be a Celtic. He definitely Got Game!
2 Guns (2013)
Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg teamed up together and against each other in an action/drama. This movie sounds good and looks even better. Great title. Great cast that also, most notably, includes James Marsden, Paula Patton, Bill Paxton, Edward James Olmos, Robert John Burke, Patrick Fischler, and Fred Ward. It is directed by Baltasar Kormakur.
I think that it is basically guaranteed to be a big hit. I will definitely check it out in the theatre.
The film is set to release on 8/2/13.
Dead Man Down (2013)
Dead Man Down is a tale about grief, pain, and especially revenge. The film is a bit of a puzzle. I especially enjoy movies that make you think and figure things out for yourself instead of spelling it all out for you. This story pieces itself together little by little as events unfold and eventually everything becomes clear. By doing this, the movie keeps your attention because you are focused on what will happen next.
Although the movie was filmed in New York, it has a foreign independent movie feel to it. This is not only because there are a number of foreign actors and actresses in the film, but because the whole movie has an almost exotic feel to it. Instead of focusing on landmarks to tell the viewers where the story is taking place, this movie almost does the opposite. You can tell that it takes place in a big city, but the filmmakers decided to film in less obvious parts of the city. Instead of getting big helicopter views, they give you a view from a rooftop or a balcony. It seems like the story is intentionally confined to a smaller area. Maybe this makes it easier for people all around the world to believe that what is happening in the film could actually be happening in their home town. It is just an interesting aspect of filmmaking that I have never thought of before.
I like Colin Farrell but I am always a little leery of his movies because they are usually hit or miss. Lately he has been choosing his characters a little more wisely (Seven Psychopaths (2012), Total Recall (2012), Horrible Bosses (2011)) and this movie was no exception. His character is a no-nonsense tough guy and he plays the part well.
Terrence Howard brings a lot of energy and charisma to the film. He has a very Denzel Washington-like way of taking over the scenes that he is in and making his presence known. I think that this is his best role since The Brave One (2007).
After watching her delicate performance in the movie, Noomi Rapace has convinced me that I should check out her Dragon Tattoo Trilogy (2010) that she is most known for. Her character in Dead Man Down seemed very genuine.
Armand Assante has basically a cameo appearance. I was a little bummed that he wasn’t in more of the movie.
The movie was a little drawn out at times. Some of the action sequences seemed a little convenient. The story might be a little hard to follow if you’re not paying attention. But, overall it was an entertaining and unique film.
I rate this movie a 7.5 out of 10.
Buy, rent, or run? Rent.
Flight transports you into the depths of a dark and lonely place only to bring you back feeling better about it all. Alcoholism, drug addiction, loss, grief, sorrow, anger, and pain are all symptoms of this darkness.
Is it a feel good movie? No, but you will probably feel better about it at the end. Not because it is over, but because of how it ended.
The film is about a hero pilot (Denzel Washington) who crash-lands a doomed plane like no other pilot could. The pilot has a drug and alcohol problem and is therefore under investigation to decide whether or not he was the root cause of the plane going down.
Some parts of the film were hard to watch. It all got a little bit more intense than I had anticipated and that caught me by surprise. This was not a bad thing, but it is hard to enjoy watching appalling scenes in a movie and feel good about them. These scenes would not have been so hard to watch if they had not been depicted so well. That being said, the severe moments were very necessary to the rest of the movie and kudos to the cast and director for making them so powerful.
Denzel Washington supplied his best acting since American Gangster (2007) or Déjà vu (2006). The raw emotion and realism that he brought to his character is enough in itself for me to recommend that you watch this film.
Although he played such a skuzzy character, John Goodman portrayed that character very well.
Each actor and actress played so well off of the other that it seemed to bring their acting ability to its highest potential.
Even though some parts of the film were very extreme, I think that it is absolutely worth the watch.
I rate this movie an 8 on a scale of 1-10.
Buy, rent, or run? Buy.
If you liked Flight, then you will most likely enjoy: