Advertisements

Blog Archives

Game Night (2018)


Game Night (2018)

If you are a fan of games like I am, then this movie probably looks like fun to you.  The concept of diving into the unknown and stirring up your plain everyday life sounds great, doesn’t it?  Of course it does.  That is why I had to check this movie out.  Because, it is about exactly that.  It is about a game night filled with endless possibilities, mystery, and excitement.  Also, the trailer for the film is pretty funny and I wanted to see more.  The next best thing to playing a game is being a spectator.

This movie is a comedy about a group of friends that get together for a regular game night.  Their most recent game night gets a huge upgrade when one of the friends surprises the others with a real life puzzle.  One of them will be kidnapped and it is up to everyone else to find that person by following the clues left behind.

The film is written by Mark Perez and directed by John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein.  The noteworthy cast includes Jason Bateman, Rachel McAdams, Kyle Chandler, Jesse Plemons, Billy Magnussen, Sharon Horgan, Lamorne Morris, Kylie Bunbury, Michael C. Hall, Jeffrey Wright, Danny Huston, and Chelsea Peretti.

There have been a lot of comedies in recent history that have fallen flat.  The humor often is just not there or it is not consistent enough to warrant the genre of a Comedy.  Game Night is not one of those movies.  It is all kinds of funny.  It takes a little while to get going, but then it does not stop.

This film feels like a fun game.  The title is fitting, but for a couple of reasons.  The obvious reason is that it is about a game night, but more importantly the movie itself actually feels like a game night.  It is a great movie to see in the company of others (as comedies often are).  See this movie on movie night and it will feel just like a game night.  All the ingredients are there.  The excitement, the fun, the laughs, and the good time are all a part of it.  Buy some snacks at the concessions and you got yourself some good old-fashioned entertainment.

There is a comfortable assortment of humor in this movie; witty, dark, sarcastic, situational, and stupid.  It is a tasteful variety that is sure to make anyone laugh.

The film had a bit of a The Man Who Knew Too Little (1997) feel to it.  The characters think something is fake when it is actually real and hilarity ensues.

I felt like the cast all did a superb job in their roles.  The casting department compiled an enjoyable bunch of characters.

Bateman continues to prove his versatility between comedy and drama.  Not a lot of actors are capable of drama and humor at the same level.  Jason nails it!

McAdams, who is not known for her comedy, manages to pull it off because there is also just the right amount of drama in this film.

Chandler keeps up the trend of being always likable no matter what part he is playing in an acting role.

Michael C. Hall had a great cameo performance.  I think it worked well in this film because of his excellent history as the phenomenal Dexter in the well-known Dexter (2006) TV series.

Plemons continues to prove himself as a solid actor every time that I see him in a movie (which has been a lot lately).  In this one, he hysterically steals the show.

If you are looking for an exciting comedy, Game Night is totally worth it!

I rate this movie an 8.5 on a scale of 1-10.

 

If you liked this film then you might also enjoy:

 

The Man Who Knew Too Little (1997)

The Hangover (2009)

Horrible Bosses (2011)

Wedding Crashers (2005)

Advertisements

The Post (2017)


The Post (2017)

Steven Spielberg directing Hanks, Streep, Odenkirk, Greenwood, Plemons, and Brie should make a lot of money and be a high quality movie, right?

The film is about The Washington Post Newspaper it 1971.  It chronicles how the press defies the government as they want to release loads of classified documents pertaining to the Vietnam War.

The movie was directed by Steven Spielberg and the noteworthy cast includes Tom Hanks, Meryl Streep, Bob Odenkirk, Bruce Greenwood, Jesse Plemons, Alison Brie, Sarah Paulson, Tracy Letts, Bradley Whitford, David Cross, Zach Woods, and Michael Stuhlberg.

The Post is dry as the desert sand.  Bright, but also burned out.

The movie was a little hard to follow in the beginning.  It has a slow start.  Almost every scene seemed drawn out.  Because some of the scenes drag on, it takes away from the storyline.  You either lose interest and it makes it harder to remember small details that do not matter until later on.

Like many political dramas, the stars come out to play.  However, often there are too many stars in the sky, so to speak.  There is not enough movie to go around.  That is exactly the case with this film.  There was this kind of detachment from the main characters.

Odenkirk was probably the most entertaining part of the film and it felt like he was hardly in it.  Hanks was likable, but his performance was nothing special.  Streep’s character started to develop about halfway through.  I feel like the movie had plenty of time for us to become attached to the characters, but it just never gets there.

The entertainment value that we have come to expect from a Spielberg directed film, was hard to find.  The spark was just was not present.  The scenery was great.  It felt like the right time and place that it was depicting.  There was not a shortage of acting ability.  The Post just falls short of all expectations.

It is a likable overrated, underachieving, sluggish, and detached film.  It is worth a one-time rental.

 

I rate this movie a 6 on a scale of 1-10.

 

If you liked this film then you might also enjoy:

Bridge of Spies (2015)

Lincoln (2012)

Chappaquiddick (2017)

Bobby (2006)

Doubt (2008)

Lions for Lambs (2007)

JFK (1991)

All the President’s Men (1976)

Hostiles (2017)


Hostiles (2017)

I’m a big fan of the Western genre if it’s done right.  Christian Bale does not often disappoint.  So, naturally I was pretty excited to see this movie.

The film takes place in 1892.  It is about an army captain (Christian Bale) who is ordered to gather his men and transport a notorious Cheyenne Chief and his family back to their home land.  Along the way, they clash with a group of Apaches.

The film was written and directed by Scott Cooper.  The noteworthy cast includes Christian Bale, Rosamund Pike, Wes Studi, Adam Beach, Jesse Plemons, Ben Foster, Stephen Lang, Scott Wilson, Q’orianka Kilcher, Tanaya Beatty, David Midthunder, Rory Cochrane, and Peter Mullan.

This is the second time that Cooper has directed Bale.  The first time being in the film Out of the Furnace (2013).  Cooper also previously directed Jesse Plemons and Rory Cochrane in Black Mass (2015).  This is the second western that Christian Bale and Ben Foster have been in together.  The first one was 3:10 to Yuma (2007).  Ben Foster and Jesse Plemons were also in the movie The Program (2015) together.

Hostiles does an excellent job recreating the late 1800s in the “Old West.”  The set and costume design are spot on.

The film swiftly grasps your focus like a gut-wrenching kick to the stomach.  It knocks the wind out of you before slowing down to allow the story to unfold.  Like most Westerns, Hostiles runs at a slower pace.  The movie pauses to allow you to take in its surroundings.  The soundtrack and scenery contribute nicely to the overall dark tone of the film.  The characters are permitted to develop naturally as the actors are able to take their time to actually act.  Nothing is rushed.  The precision in the details makes the movie feel convincingly more real.

It’s a breath of fresh air to watch a movie, in this day and age, that doesn’t solely rely on special effects and action to tell the story while leaving acting and writing in the back seat.  Occasionally, Hostiles does feel a little slow, but I think that is just because of all the fast paced action that we are used to Hollywood throwing at us.  In this case, the longer the film goes on, the more you appreciate it for what it is.

Bale imposed his will upon this film with an eerie presence.  The presence of a war-torn honorable man who had been dragged through hell and forced to do terrible things to survive.  His acting is impeccable and he is allowed to shine in Hostiles.

Rosamund Pike gave a good performance.  She was not treated like a set decoration like so many actresses are, these days.

This film is unique because the characters seem to be put in situations where they react more to their environment.  The rough road that they are on can be seen in the actors’ eyes and felt on screen.

I do feel like some of the actors in this film were not used enough.  However, at the pace that the film travels, it could’ve been a much longer road had they not cut their time short.  I can see how this might have taken away from the story.  So, I like the direction that it ultimately went.

Overall, Hostiles is a darker, worthwhile Western with substance.  Christian Bale carries the film, but it’s obvious that Scott Cooper wanted it that way.

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

 

If you enjoyed Hostiles, you might also like:

3:10 to Yuma (2007)

The Revenant (2015)

Dances with Wolves (1990)

The Last of the Mohicans (1992)

Out of the Furnace (2013)