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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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Roman J. Israel, Esq. (2017)


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)

Flight (2012)

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)

Philadelphia (1993)

Ricochet (1991)

Glory (1989)

2 Guns (2013)

The Equalizer (2014)

Out of Time (2003)

Happy Birthday to Meryl Streep


Meryl Streep

Happy Birthday to Meryl Streep!  The actress turns 64 today.

The Manchurian Candidate 2004 Streep

Many consider Streep to be one of the greatest actresses of all time.  She is not my favorite actress by any means, but I have enjoyed many of her films.

MSDMARO EC002

My favorite Meryl Streep films are Marvin’s Room (1996), Before and After (1996), and The Manchurian Candidate (2004).

Before and After Streep Neeson

Streep has been nominated for an Academy Award 17 times and she has won 3 times.  She won an Academy Award for Best Actress for Sophie’s Choice (1982) and also for The Iron Lady (2011).  She won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for Kramer vs. Kramer (1979).  She has been nominated for an Academy Award more times than any other actor.

Meryl Streep Oscars