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

Red Sparrow (2018)


Red Sparrow (2018)

This movie appeared like it would be a cross between Atomic Blonde (2017) and Black Swan (2010).  I always find it interesting how after such a unique film like Atomic Blonde is released, shortly after we get a copycat movie (I will talk more about this concept in a post in the near future).

I have gotten fed up with actors and actresses feeling the need to be politicians.  As if their political opinions matter.  Please just do what you do best and stick to filmmaking.  It gets a little old when they stir up the negativity.

All politics aside, Jennifer Lawrence is a talented actress.  I feel that she proved her ability in her role in Silver Linings Playbook (2012).  She has a tendency to make insanely outrageous statements that are about as inappropriate as some of the things that come out of President Donald Trump’s mouth.  This has started to taint my view of Lawrence as an actress.  If she was a little more careful with her words publicly, I would respect her more.

Prior to seeing this movie, I went to the theater with an open mind.  Instead of having a biased and negative opinion before even seeing the film, I thought I would let Jennifer Lawrence’s acting do the talking and drown out the crazy things that she says publicly.

Red Sparrow is about a damaged Russian ballerina who finds herself training to be a “Sparrow”, a Special Agent of sorts for the Russian government.  She is tasked with getting information from the American C.I.A. and becomes entangled between both governments working against each other.

The movie was directed by Francis Lawrence and the noteworthy cast includes Jennifer Lawrence, Joel Edgerton, Matthias Shoenaerts, Jeremy Irons, Charlotte Rampling, Mary-Louise Parker, Ciaran Hinds, Joely Richardson, Douglas Hodge, Bill Camp, Sakina Jaffrey, and Thekla Reuten.

The film did in fact, feel like a cross between Atomic Blonde and Black Swan.  However, there was much less action than Atomic Blonde and far more drama.  It has the surprising sexual darkness of Black Swan, only much more magnified.  The graphic violence in the movie is a lot more twisted and vicious than Atomic Blonde.

I did not think that Jennifer Lawrence was going to be able to pull off a Russian accent.  I was worried that this would really take away from the movie.  For the most part, the accent was OK though.  Towards the end of the film, it started going in and out, but overall was believable.  Her performance was quite gritty.  There were some surprisingly twisted nude scenes.  It definitely has the shock value.

Edgerton’s character was likable, but he was a little underused.  His character was not quite developed enough.  That was acceptable, because it really is Jennifer Lawrence’s movie.  However, I feel like this did take away from the film.  The chemistry between the male lead and female lead was just not there.

I did feel like Red Sparrow was trying really hard to be like Atomic Blonde.  All the way down to platinum blonde hair and Stoli vodka.  Charlize Theron was a much bigger badass in Atomic Blonde than Jennifer Lawrence was Red Sparrow.  Atomic Blonde was a lot more fun and exciting.  The dark subject matter in Red Sparrow was not broken up with any humor or much fun.  I feel that took away from the overall quality of movie because it makes the 2 hours and 19 minutes runtime feel like that amount of time.  They did not cut the tension and therefore it felt like it was trying too hard to be too dark.

This is a shadowy spy thriller that pulls no punches.  It is intentionally and methodically puzzling.  The film is a little rough around the edges, but overall is well-made and well-acted.

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

 

If you liked this film then you might also enjoy:

 

Atomic Blonde (2017)

Salt (2010)

Black Swan (2010)

Casino Royale (2006)

Skyfall (2012)

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011)

Mission: Impossible (1996)

Mission: Impossible III (2006)

Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol (2011)

Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation (2015)