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Chappaquiddick (2017)


Chappaquiddick (2017)

Prior to seeing this movie, I had no knowledge of Ted Kennedy’s infamous scandal.  This is not something that is talked about in school.  I remember having class discussions about the assassination of JFK.  However, I never heard a word about how JFK’s brother, Ted tarnished the family name.  It makes you wonder about all of the things that get left out of the history books.

Chappaquiddick is based on the true story of when in 1969 Senator Ted Kennedy fled the scene of a car accident in which his woman passenger was left to drown in his submerged vehicle on Chappaquiddick Island.

The movie was directed by John Curran and the noteworthy cast includes Jason Clarke, Ed Helms, Jim Gaffigan, Kate Mara, Bruce Dern, and Clancy Brown.

The movie let the story speak for itself.  It was slow and methodical and seems factual.  This is certainly not a feel-good film, nor is it a movie that you are going to want to rush out and see a second time.

Ted really disgraced the Kennedy name.  I always hear about the bad luck that surrounded the Kennedys, but there was also a lot of scandal that surrounded them.  I believe that you make your own luck in life.  Obviously, a lot of the things that happened to the Kennedys were awful, but it does make me wonder how much of the scandalous stuff they brought on themselves.  Just think about how many conspiracy theories revolve around the Kennedys.

The almost full theater that I was in was eerily quiet after the film ended.  I think that was because the story was a sick display of what people with a position of power, especially in government, are capable of.

This was a disturbingly vile true story of how America was duped and Ted Kennedy successfully swept manslaughter under the rug.  He seemed to show no remorse for being responsible for a woman’s death.  All he cared about was protecting his political career.

It is a travesty that Ted was able to go on to be one of the longest running senators in history.  It goes to show just how corrupt the government can be.

I have not been a big fan of Jason Clarke.  He just has not been very likable in anything that I have seen him in.  He played his part of Ted Kennedy well in this movie, however.  To the point where I do not like him because of how bad his character is.  That is how you know an actor is decent; when he is a believable bad guy.

The thought of two comedians (Gaffigan and Helms) in serious roles in this film made me nervous, but they were both likable for the parts that they played.

The filmmaking of Chappaquiddick was not overdone.  They told the story and did not sugarcoat it.  With how far left Hollywood leans, I am a little surprised that this film even got made, and furthermore, made wide release.  The movie felt impartial politically, which I felt was tasteful.  Too often movies will attack one political party with slanted views and opinions to further their agenda.  Chappaquiddick seemed to just stick to the facts and try to tell both sides of the story without choosing a side.

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

 

If you liked this film then you might also enjoy:

 

JFK (1991)

Bobby (2006)

Jackie (2016)

Lincoln (2012)

All the President’s Men (1976)

The Post (2017)

Wag the Dog (1997)

The Manchurian Candidate (1962)

The Manchurian Candidate (2004)

The Ides of March (2011)

Munich (2005)

Beirut (2018)

The American President (1995)

State of Play (2009)

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)

Citizen Kane (1941)

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All I See is You (2017)


All I See is You (2017)

I did not expect much from this movie.  I am not a big fan of Jason Clarke because I just feel that he is an overrated actor.  Blake Lively is really sort of hit or miss.  Marc Forster has proved to be decent director, so I thought I would give this movie a chance.

All I See is You is a story about a blind woman who gets an operation to regain her sight.  Life as she knows it changes when she can see again.  She and her husband begin to see negative changes in each other and it affects their marriage.

The movie was directed by Marc Forster and the noteworthy cast includes Blake Lively, Jason Clarke, Danny Huston, Ahna O’Reilly, Miquel Fernandez, Yvonne Strahovski, and Wes Chatham.

The first thing that I thought about this movie was that Blake Lively would definitely have to be blind to be married to a guy like Jason Clarke.  That casting was just poor and unrealistic.  Also, it seems like they dumb down Lively’s looks a bit for the movie.  Maybe that was because they realized that there was a definite mismatch in that relationship on film.  She is out of his league and they knew it.

Blake Lively was cast against type.  Her part in the movie was just not fitting to everything else that she has done up until this point.  It was just not believable.  Or, maybe she did not make it believable.  Either way, it just did not work.

There really is not much to this movie.  It felt long and drawn out.  It did not really seem to get entertaining until it was just about over.  There was just no follow-through to what they were trying to achieve in this film.

There were a bunch of unnecessary scenes that were just not pertinent to the story.  On top of that, there was some unnecessary nudity that was possibly trying to be artistic, but just came off as awkward.

Overall, All I See is You is a boring, and messed up movie.  The acting is bad, and the casting was worse.  It is not even worth a cheap rental.  Do not waste your time, like I did mine.

I rate this movie a 2 on a scale of 1-10.

 

Here is a list of movies with a somewhat similar theme that are much better than this one:

 

Blink (1993)

The Eye (2008)

At First Sight (1999)

Blood Work (2002)

Tell Tale (2009)

Jennifer 8 (1992)

Stronger (2017)

White House Down (2013)


White House Down Poster 2

White House Down (2013)

I expected White House Down to be basically the same movie as Olympus Has Fallen (2013).  Besides the actors, almost everything about each film looked very similar.  It is very weird to me that two movies that are so much alike would be released the same year and so close to one another.  For some reason I got it in my mind that White House Down was going to be the ugly cousin of Olympus Has Fallen.

White House Down Tatum Bloody nose

White House Down follows a former military man (Channing Tatum) who brings his daughter with him to the White House where he managed to get a job interview to try to become a Secret Service Agent.  He brings his daughter along with him to the White House because she is a huge fan of the President (Jamie Foxx).  While there, they decide to take a tour.  During the tour the White House is attacked and the man does what he can to protect his daughter and the President.

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The film was directed by Roland Emmerich and the rest of the noteworthy cast includes Maggie Gyllenhaal, James Woods, Jason Clarke, Richard Jenkins, Joey King, Nicolas Wright, Jimmi Simpson, Michael Murphy, Rachelle Lefevre, Lance Reddick, Matt Craven, and Kevin Rankin.

This movie surprised me.  It exceeded my expectations.  I liked it a little bit better than Olympus Has Fallen.  It was not quite as predictable as Olympus Has Fallen and I felt that the actors did a better job.  Also, it seemed like White House Down had fewer flaws than Olympus Has Fallen.

White House Down on fire

The film was intense and exciting.  The attack on the White House was eerily realistic.  There was a lot of good action.  As with most action movies, some of the action was a bit unbelievable at times.  But, for the most part, this didn’t take away from the film.

Tatum was likable as he usually is.  Foxx was better than I thought he would be as the President.  When the two teamed up together, they were both pretty entertaining and even funny at times.

White House Down - trailer video

The rest of the actors played their parts well.  Besides Tatum and Foxx, Woods and Jenkins stood out above the rest.

Overall, White House Down is a fun ride worth taking.

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

Buy, rent, or run?  Buy.

If you liked White House Down (2013), then you will probably enjoy the following movies:

Olympus Has Fallen (2013)

A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints (2006)

Zero Dark Thirty (2012)


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Zero Dark Thirty (2012)

The poster for the movie says, “The Greatest Manhunt in History.”  It should have said, “The Greatest Waste of Time.”  The running time of the movie is 157 minutes.  They literally could have cut the running time in half and told the same story and it actually might have been entertaining.

Zero Dark Thirty Strong

The movie is about the 10 year long “Manhunt,” capture, and killing of Osama Bin Laden after the attacks that occurred on 9/11/2001.

We all know by now that the fact that it took America 10 years to find Bin Laden and kill him is an absolute disgrace.  Of course, it was a great thing when it finally got done, but it sure took us long enough.  Zero Dark Thirty plays on that fact.  The movie is a very long, drawn-out depiction of the steps that we took to finally track down America’s Most Wanted and destroy him.  The film isn’t a decade long, but it certainly tries to feel that way.  It is so boring and slow at times that I wanted to turn it off at a number of different points.

Zero Dark Thirty Dark Chastain

The other thing about this film is that it is hard to tell how factual it really is.  It is based on a true story, but do we really know all of the facts?  Unfortunately I think that people will watch this movie and assume that it is 100% accurate.  How do we know the truth about what happened?  A lot of the information about the “Manhunt” is classified.  How will we ever know the real truth?

The film tried so hard to be this big epic movie.  It failed quite miserably as far as I am concerned.

Zero Dark Thirty was nominated for 5 Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Actress (Jessica Chastain), Best Original Screenplay, Best Editing, and Best Sound Editing.  To me, that is so comical.  It shows that the Academy has truly lost its mind to even nominate such garbage in the first place.

Zero Dark Thirty Chastain

This movie was almost as far away from Best Picture as you can get.  The acting was mediocre at best, especially Jessica Chastain’s performance.  Not even close to top notch.    The screenplay was very un-original.  They took a story that everyone in the world knows about and turned it into a screenplay.  That is not original in my book.  There were so many unnecessary scenes that could have been cut out of the movie that it was a complete disgrace to filmmaking.  The editor should have been fired, not nominated for an Academy Award.

I’m glad that the movie only won an Academy Award for Best Sound Editing.  It was better that it didn’t actually win.  It technically tied with Skyfall (2012) for Best Sound Editing.  Skyfall should have won.  I don’t know what is more embarrassing for Zero Dark Thirty, the fact that it was nominated for 5 Academy Awards and only won 1 of them or the fact that the only one that it actually won was a tie for Best Sound Editing.

Maybe the movie only got so much recognition because Kathryn Bigelow directed it.  Her film The Hurt Locker (2008) was very solid and was nominated for 9 Academy Awards and won 6 of them.  That film made her the first woman to win an Academy Award for Best Director.  Were the Academy Award nominations for Zero Dark Thirty just a sort of blue ribbon recognizing Bigelow for her participation in trying again?

Bigelow had no support from her cast which most notably includes Jessica Chastain, Jason Clarke, Reda Kateb, Kyle Chandler, Jennifer Ehle, Harold Perrineau, Jeremy Strong, Mark Strong, Edgar Ramirez, James Gandolfini, Stephen Dillane, Frank Grillo, and Joel Edgerton.  Maybe the cast was not of much help because their characters had way more than enough time to develop, but they never really did.

Zero Dark Thirty Chandler

Kathryn Bigelow was in way over her head when she decided to direct Zero Dark Thirty and it shows.  The film is a steaming pile of cow dung.  The only decent part of the movie is when they showed Seal Team Six raiding Bin Laden’s lair.

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I recommend staying as far away from this movie as possible.  Save yourself a precious almost 3 hours of your life and don’t watch it.

I rate this movie a 2 on a scale of 1-10.

Buy, rent, or run?  Run.

Trailer for White House Down (2013)


White House Down Poster

White House Down (2013) (click on the title for my full review)

It never ceases to amaze me how often very similar movies release in theatres just a few months apart from each other.  White House Down appears to be basically the same story as Olympus Has Fallen (2013).  Is it a coincidence how both movies have titles that are so alike?

White House Down is directed by Roland Emmerich who is known for directing The Day After Tomorrow (2004), The Patriot (2000), and Independence Day (1996).

White House Down stars Channing Tatum, Jamie Foxx, Jason Clarke, Joey King, Maggie Gyllenhaal, James Woods, Richard Jenkins, Rachelle Lefevre, Jimmi Simpson, Lance Reddick, Garcelle Beauvais, Peter Jacobson, and Matt Craven.

The movie does look good.  I will probably have to check it out in the theatre.

The film is set to release on 6/28/13.