The Jam Report's The Best Picture Project officially reaches the halfway point and arrives at perhaps the greatest film of all time - 1972's masterful and iconic 'The Godfather.' Why did it win and did it deserve to? Click the link in my bio to find out!
#FrancesMcDormand plays Mildred Hayes, a guilt-ridden mother who believes her actions inadvertently led to the rape, torture and murder of her daughter.
Desperate to find the killer, after the police have had no leads for 7 months, she hires the 3 billboards of the title to display a message to provoke the local police chief, #WoodyHarrelson. Though he is committed to finding the killer his life is being side-tracked by the fact he’s dying from pancreatic cancer.
Now I know the premise doesn’t sound very comical; But like real life, one moment can make you smile and the next moment cry.
The brilliant script powers the film forward, with believable characters that bring this world to life.
This year’s first must-see.
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After loving The Breakfast Club, I was excited for another John Hughes film. As expected the film is of its era, with a classic 80s style. With all his films, the film is dialogue driven and characterisation is one of the highlights. There is no need for action or drama.
The acting is good, and Molly Ringwald is well casted as a sulky, yet easy to empathise with, teenager. Some of the characters are verging on melodramatic, they’re odd, but the film doesn’t quite cross into weird cult humour, and doesn’t stick with reality. This unfortunately means the humour in this film doesn’t come across well.
The plot could be more engaging and the narrative falls flat in places. It is perhaps a bit ridiculous without being relatable. The strange teacher relationship and gong is more annoying than humorous. There are also many sound effects that do not sound quite right and stick out when watching the film.
The film does pick up half way through and the storyline flickers into life and becomes more engaging when the relationships feel more real and there begins to feel a sense of resolution.
Overall I enjoyed the film, but I don’t think it should be as critically acclaimed as The Breakfast Club, the characters fall flat at times and the plot is unbelievable and humour doesn’t hit the mark. A film of its era with some great scenes and brilliant 80s vibe, but for a character driven film, the engagement with the audience could have been improved.
The Movie Maestro's Reviews: Logan's Run (1976) dir. Michael Anderson
Fun fact about myself: I'm about to turn 29 years old, which makes watching Logan's Run, a film set in a futuristic utopia made possible by the euthanasia of persons reaching age 30, somewhat of a surreal experience. I spent the film's runtime wondering if 30 years would have been enough to live a full life, both by my own standards and living in hedonistic pleasure within the Dome. Whatever the answer to that may be, Logan's Run offered some much-needed intellectual exercise.
To get it, however, most viewers will need to be primed; though made just one year before George Lucas' Star Wars revolutionized sci-fi, and three years after Lucas' similar futuristic tome THX-1138, Logan's Run contains none of the fast-paced adventure of the former, and certainly none of the experimental and surreal storytelling of the latter. In fact, I got more of a Planet of the Apes-vibe from this film, and its philosophy of filmmaking is definitely rooted in that time period. Scenes play out in traditional masters-into-coverage cutting, acting is fairly good but very dry, and the visual effects-work is laughable at best. But sticking it out rewards viewers with another engaging example of utopia as dystopia, with many prescient predictions concerning the sexual revolution, generational strife, and overpopulation of the Earth.
It would be interesting to see if that long-gestating remake would ever materialize, to see what, if anything, would change in this still-relevant story.
The Movie Maestro's Reviews: Iron Man 2 (2010) dir. Jon Favreau
The first sequel in the MCU, Iron Man 2 provides an interesting mixed-bag experience compared to its two predecessors. While the promise of an even more ruthless villain played by Mickey Rourke quickly falters as he struggles for screentime, the rest of the film is an intriguing peek at the future of the shared franchise.
Opening six months after the original film, we are quickly greeted to an extravagant display of Tony Stark's grandiose personality, and the reason why it seemingly hasn't changed after embarking on his career of heroism: the arc reactor is killing him. Lifting an oft-used prime motivator in the comics, Favreau and writer Justin Theroux use this dramatic aspect to great effect, both as fodder for the acting talents of RDJ, Paltrow, and newcomer Don Cheadle, who replaces Terrence Howard as Rhodey, and as a window into the psyche of Stark, his self-destructive tendencies, and the troubled relationship with his father Howard, threads which will become far-reaching in later MCU entries. The dearth of material already at hand threaten the pacing and narrative integrity of the film, but looking at it with fresh eyes, it plays almost like a story arc of the comics--which seems very appropriate for Marvel's television-series attitude towards filmmaking.
What Iron Man 2 has that some later installments do not is an allegorical underpinning: as several other writers have pointed out, IM2 heavily resembles Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged at certain points, with Tony firmly in John Galt's shoes, fighting off a government hungry to acquire his tech by unethical means. But by putting Stark in the shoes of the objectivist hero, Theroux and Favreau have dealt a major blow to Rand's ideals--Stark is impulsive, unpredictable, and even mentally unstable, and clearly is no preferrable alternative to the government. Perhaps the filmmakers could see America's current turmoil on the horizon?
“The Little Hours” (2017) : Based on two stories from Giovanni Boccaccio’s “The Decameron,” a servant (Dave Franco) tries to hide out at a convent; he ends up having to fight off three nuns (Alison Brie, Kate Micucci, Aubrey Plaza) who get up in all sorts of trouble such as swearing, drinking wine, witchcraft, sex, and not sharing their turnips. @nomotiveinc and I loved this film! It was hilariously sacrilegious. Despite the crude and sometimes dark humor, it had a lot of heart. Not only do you care about the characters, but even the coldest heart will feel warm by the adorable ending. #LizsMiniReviews#FilmReview#TheDecameron#TheLittleHours
Christopher Plummer--not Kevin Spacey--plays Jean Getty, the richest man on earth. But when his grandson Paul is kidnapped, he refuses to pay the ransom, stranding Michelle Williams, his daughter-in-law.
Let's address the elephant in the room--Plummer is magnificent. In fact, he's the best thing about the movie. When the first trailer dropped and it ended with Kevin Spacey, I thought it was a joke. Spacey looked even worse in gelatinous makeup than Depp in Black Mass. So I was thrilled to hear Plummer was taking on the role, which constitutes a fairly large amount of screen time. And after watching Plummer, I honestly can't think of a better actor to pull off Getty's warped greed.
Speaking of actors, Williams is the 2nd best thing in the film. She's completely believable as an exasperated mother whose suffering never ends despite her best efforts. Both are intriguing characters who light up any scene they're in. It's a pity they're stuck in this molasses movie.
I rarely felt any tension or suspense in this supposed thriller. Overall, it came off as detached and paint-by-numbers. Despite wowing me with Covenant in the same year, Scott's asleep at the wheel here, bungling the script's attempts at suspense with bland direction. An arresting score could have picked up the pace, but it barely registers when it should and only serves as a corny chorus line. I'm also not a fan of the dismal color correction that desperately tries to force a moodier aesthetic that Scott should have crafted before post-production.
Like with Molly's Game, the film is long-winded and fatty. Even though All the Money is shorter than Sorkin's film, I wanted to leave after 45 minutes. It's baffling how uninteresting and sluggish this film is. It's as if the filmmakers thought they were making a slow-burn drama.
A more methodical angle could work if the film zeroed in on the emotions and relationships of the characters, but the script doesn't allow much for that.
#filmreview#mollysgame#aaronsorkin#jessicachastain#idriselba#pokergames#gamblingfilm#crimethriller#americaexceptionalism To be fair, this is a fun film with great acting and some good lines from a fast-paced script. But I really can't stand Sorkin's obsession with the daddy complex issue, or his great ideals about America being the symbol of fairness and justice and dignity and bla bla bla...Molly's story has a great start, and though the typical athlete's mentality affecting life principles of her later life is cliche, nevertheless Sorkin writes it in a way that sounds convincing, thus providing the ground for building a strong, independent heroine played by the formidable Chastain. Later on, her ambition to win and get back at snobbish men is wonderfully entertaining and realistic at the same time, which is awesome and very empowering. But the fatal flaw of Sorkin is his belief that though Molly may be flawed and walked in the grey area, ultimately she must return to the side of good and earn her redemption through making sacrifices that's simply against human nature
Now you see the problem of the Americans Sorkin represents: they believe that justice, no matter how twisted the process may be, will be executed in the end. Therefore good women must not cause real destruction even when she doesn't have the fucking luxury for integrity. But reality doesn't work this way, and certainly not human nature! Chastain has been known as a great fan of #isabellehuppert , and I am sure she has the ability to play a challenging role like Huppert in #elle But American scriptwriters are unwilling or afraid to create female roles who can be as ruthless as men I am sorry that this great actress is wasting her talent on roles that may probably earn her oscar nominations, but also limiting her career to stereotype roles as well