Bombshell is a biographical drama directed by Jay Roach and written by Charles Randolph. The film tells the story of Roger Ailes’ sexual harassment affairs during his reign at Fox News and the cover-up that eventually forced him to step down.
A tenacious Roger Ailes (John Lithgow) is the head of Fox News, the primary televised source of conservative politics. He runs the corporation with an iron fist that includes fear and determination. Roger is seen as an icon and only answers to Rupert Murdoch (Malcolm McDowell), who is CEO of the Fox network. The stories of Megyn Kelly (Charlize Theron), Gretchen Carlson (Nicole Kidman), and Kayla Pospisil (Margot Robbie), who are three political anchorwomen employed at Fox are revealed in Bombshell.
Megyn Kelly is one of the most popular anchors/commentators at Fox and is preparing to co-moderate the 2016 Republican debate. On the day of the debate, Megyn becomes sick and throws up, but nevertheless questions Donald Trump on negative comments he made about women. In retaliation, Trump sends out several tweets hurting her reputation. As a result, Megyn is further ridiculed by reporters and others. One reporter sneaks into Meg and Doug’s home in order to take pictures of their daughter causing her husband, Douglas Brunt (Mark Duplass) to kick him out by force. When Megyn returns to work, Fox hires a security detail to protect her but refuses to go after Trump. Roger, who is a fan of Megyn, becomes paranoid with protecting her and thinks that someone poisoned her the day of the debate.
Meanwhile, Gretchen Carlson is the co-anchor of the popular program “Fox and Friends”, but is taken off and demoted to a less popular show and position. Often Gretchen faces sexist comments by others, on and off the air. Gretchen decides to escalate her situation by hiring legal representation. The lawyers mention that Gretchen should not engage with these newfound enemies then tells her the story of Rudi Bakhtiar who was fired for coming out against her employer who she accused of sexual harassment. The lawyers explain their plan to file a harassment suit against Roger Ailes personally and inform Gretchen that she will need to have other women come out and tell their story.
Kayla Pospisil is the newest hire at Fox, a young conservative from a religious background. She starts off working for Gretchen but is soon offered a position to work for “The O’Reilly Factor”. Gretchen asks Kayla to stay with her and warns her to be careful, but she refuses and questions why she shouldn’t take the job. On her first day, Bill O’Reilly (Kevin Dorff) yells at her and she is consoled by a coworker, Jess Carr (Kate McKinnon). Jess becomes a good friend while Kayla’s situation becomes pretty ugly at Fox.
I thought Bombshell was well laid out, conveying to the audience how one of the biggest sex preditors was caught with his pecker in the mouth of babes. I think the movie was well-acted and the make-up was phenomenal. It seems Trump got away with a lot more than just the Iranian crisis. I’m glad women are coming out and stopping these preditors. The film received generally favorable reviews, with critics praising the performances of the cast, particularly (Theron, Kidman, Robbie and Lithgow) however they criticized the screenplay and inaccuracies in the storytelling. The film received two nominations at the 77th Golden Globe Awards for Theron and Robbie, four at the 26th Screen Actors Guild Awards for Theron, Robbie and Kidman, as well as Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture and three at the 73rd British Academy Film Awards. I really liked Bombshell, Check It Out!
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Tagged Abby Huntsman, Ahna O'Reilly, Ainsley Earhardt, alanna ubach, Alice Eve, Alicia, Alisyn Camerota, Allison Janney, Amy Landecker, Andy Buckley, Ashley Greene, Ben Lawson, Beth Ailes, Bill O'Reilly, Bill Shine, Bombshell, Bree Condon, Bret Baier, brian d'arcy james, Brian Wilson, brigette lundy-paine, Brooke Smith, charlize theron, Chris Wallace, connie britton, D'Arcy Carden, Dianne Brandi, Douglas Brunt, Edie, elisabeth rohm, Faye, Geraldo Rivera, Gerson Zweifac, Gil Norman, Gretchen Carlson, Harris Faulkner, Holland Taylor, Irena Brigante, James Murdoch, Jeanine Pirro, Jennifer Morrison, Jess Carr, john lithgow, John Rothman, josh lawson, Julia Clarke, Julie Roginsky, Juliet Huddy, kate mckinnon, Katie Aselton, Kayla Pospisil, Kevin Dorff, Kimberly Guilfoyle, Lachlan Murdoch, Lily Balin, Lisa Canning, Liv Hewson, Madeline Zima, Malcolm McDowell, Marc Evan Jackson, margot robbie, Mark Duplass, Mark Moses, Martha MacCallum, Martin Hyman, Megyn Kelly, Michael Buie, Nancy Smith, Nazanin Boniadi, Neil Cavuto, Neil Mullen, nicole kidman, P. J. Byrne, Rebekah, Richard Kind, Rob Delaney, Robin Weigert, Roger Ailes, Rudi Bakhtiar, Rudy Giuliani, Rupert Murdoch, Sean Hannity, Spencer Garrett, stephen root, Susan Estrich, Tony Plana, Tricia Helfer
Dark Phoenix is a superhero film based on the Marvel Comics X-Men characters, produced by 20th Century Fox and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. It is the twelfth installment in the X-Men film series, a direct sequel to X-Men: Apocalypse (2016) and the seventh and final installment in the main X-Men series. Dark Phoenix is written and directed by Simon Kinberg. In Dark Phoenix, the X-Men must face the full power of the Phoenix after a mission in space goes wrong. Being the last of the X-Men series, I wasn’t sure I wanted the experience to end. The “Dark Phoenix” film was decent but I think Kinberg has gotten a couple of things incorrect.
**** SOME SPOILERS BELOW ****
In 1975, eight-year-old Jean Grey (Summer Fontana) inadvertently uses her telekinesis to cause a car accident that kills her parents. Shortly afterwards, Professor Charles Xavier/Professor X (James McAvoy) takes her to Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters, where he mentally blocks the accident from her memories and helps her hone her psychic abilities.
In 1992, the X-Men respond to a distress signal from the space shuttle Endeavour, which is critically damaged by a solar flare-like energy. While the X-Men save all the astronauts who are on the space shuttle, an all grown up Jean/Phoenix (Sophie Turner) is stranded and struck by the energy, however, she absorbs all of it into her body in order to save the X-Men’s aircraft from destruction. While Jean survives the event, her psychic powers are greatly embellished as a result. At the same time, Jean’s mental block, placed by Xavier, is destroyed. While the mutants are celebrating their successful rescue at Xavier’s school, Jean accidentally attacks the mutants after having a mental breakdown, then passing out. Eventually, Jean’s breakdown leads her to travel to the mutant refugee island of Genosha to seek assistance from Erik Lehnsherr/Magneto (Michael Fassbender) in controlling her powers, but is turned away by Erik after she engages in combat with U.S. military forces tasked with her arrest.
For the remainder of Dark Phoenix, we are privy to all that makes Professor Charles and Jean Grey tick, leading up to her rise as the Phoenix. The film goes from dark to light to dark and so on and so on. During Jean’s confusion and adventurous search to find and control herself, we get to see and enjoy other mutants at their best as they try to stop Jean from destroying everything around her. There are some earth shattering events that take place during Dark Phoenix, so be prepared for significant changes. I’m not sure why these changes were made, I only know that they make a huge difference to the whole X-Men saga. From deaths of favorites to name changes, you will be surprised. Due to some of the more violent occurrences, I’m not sure I favor what has become of Jean Grey. For one, I don’t know why this is the last installment of X-Men in the main series (whatever that means) because I think they have some explaining to do. Hopefully, another X-Men will be made and some of the more upsetting situations will be fixed. The film was entertaining, the plot was decent and the acting was brilliant. In my opinion, Dark Phoenix was not the best of the X-Men but still entertaining. FYI: The film was dedicated to the memory of X-Men co-creator Stan Lee, who passed away on November 12, 2018. Check It Out!
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Tagged alexandra shipp, Andrew stehlin, ariki, beasttye Sheridan, brian d'arcy james, charles xavier, Chris Claremont, colossus, cyclops, d'bari, Daniel cudmore, dazzler, Elaine grey, endeavor, erik lehnsherr, evan peters, Halston sage, hank mccoy, Hannah Anderson, james mcavoy, jean grey, jennifer lawrence, jessica chastain, John grey, kodi smit-mcphee, Kota eberhardt, kurt wagner, Lamar Johnson, magneto, Margaret Smith, match, michael fassbender, mystique, nicholas hoult, nightcrawler, ororo munroe, Peter mximoff, phoenix, professor x, quicksilver, raven darkhölme, red lotus, Scott shepherd, scott summers, Selene gallio, sommer fontana, sophie turner, storm, vuk, Xavier's school for gifted youngsters
First Man is a 2018 biographical drama directed by Damien Chazelle and written by Josh Singer. The film is based on the book First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong by James R. Hansen. Steven Spielberg serves as an executive producer. First Man follows the years leading up to the Apollo 11 mission that was designated to go to the Moon in 1969. I’ve learned a lot about the NASA program as well as the complex personal life of Neil Armstrong, which was brilliantly preformed.
**** SLIGHT SPOILERS BELOW ****
First Man starts out in 1961 with NASA test pilot Neil Armstrong (Ryan Gosling) flying the X-15 rocket plane when it inadvertently bounces off the stratosphere. Although he manages to land the plane in the Mojave Desert, his colleagues express concern that his recent record of mishaps is due to distraction and he is grounded. At this point it is evident that there is something wrong with Neil. It is revealed shortly that his young daughter, Karen, is undergoing treatment for a brain tumor. It is obvious Karen is the apple of his eye and the love of his life. Desperate to save her, Neil keeps a detailed log of her symptoms and feverishly tries to find possible treatments, but she soon passes on. Distraught, Neil applies for Project Gemini and is accepted to NASA Astronaut Group 2. Neil’s wife Janet (Claire Foy), and their son Rick move to Houston alongside other astronaut families. Neil and Elliot See (Patrick Fugit), another civilian test pilot become friends along with Ed White (Jason Clarke), the first American astronaut to walk in space. As Neil begins training, Deke Slayton (Kyle Chandler) impresses upon the new astronauts the importance of the Gemini program, as the Soviet Union had reached every milestone in the Space Race ahead of the United States. While still in training, Neil and Janet have a second son, Mark.
By 1965, the family has settled in Houston, and Neil awaits selection for a crew. After the Soviets complete the first extravehicular activity (EVA), Neil is informed that he will be the commander of Gemini 8, along with David Scott (Christopher Abbott) as the pilot. Prior to the mission, See and Charles Bassett are killed in a T-38 crash. Armstrong and Scott successfully launch Gemini 8, and dock with the Agena target vehicle, but soon afterward, the spacecraft begins to spin at a rapid rate. After nearly blacking out, Neil activates the RCS thrusters and safely aborts the mission. Armstrong initially faces criticism, but NASA determines the crew is not at fault. Later, Ed White reveals that he has been selected for the Apollo 1 mission along with Gus Grissom (Shea Whigham), one of the original Mercury Seven astronauts and Roger Chaffee (Cory Michael Smith), capsule communicator for the Gemini 3 and Gemini 4 missions, and the third crew member who was killed with Grissom and White in the Apollo 1 pre-launch test. During a plugs-out test on January 27, 1967, a fire kills the Apollo 1 crew, and Armstrong hears the news while representing NASA at the White House.
I’ve introduced you to a small window of events as depicted by First Man. Neil Armstrong appears to be a brilliant introverted man who never got over the death of his daughter, Karen, which caused him to become an astronaut in the first place. Although the events of First Man is history, it’s worth seeing because of it’s 95% accurate accounts of what actually happened. Many men were killed trying to make the moon walk take place and millions of dollars were spent in a race against time, trying to insure that the United States of American would be first on the moon. This was an intense movie, brilliantly acted and brilliantly exhibited as the scenes were lifelike and captured the seriousness of the moment. I liked First Man very much, as it is an epic lesson of historian proportion and I highly recommend it to all. Kudos to Damien Chazelle for his brilliant direction on First Man. Check it this one out!
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Tagged apollo 11, ben owen, brian d'arcy james, buzz aldrin, christopher abbott, christopher c kraft jr, ciaran hinds, claire foy, corey stoll, cory michael smith, david scott, deke slayton, ed white, elliot see, ethan embry, first man, gemini, gil scott-heron, guenter wendt, gus grissom, janet shearson, jason clarke, jd evermore, jim lovell, john david whalen, john glenn, john hodge, joseph a walker, kris swanberg, kyle chandler, leon bridges, lukas haas, marilyn see, mercury seven, mercury seven astronauts, michael collins, nasa, neil armstrong, olivia hamilton, Pablo Schreiber, patricia white, patrick fugit, pete conrad, richard f gordon jr, robert r gilruth, roger b chaffee, ryan gosling, shawn eric jones, shea whigham, skyler bible, steven coulter, wally schirra, x-15
Molly’s Game is a crime drama written and directed by Aaron Sorkin (in his directorial debut), based on the memoir, Molly’s Game: From Hollywood’s Elite to Wall Street’s Billionaire Boys Club, My High-Stakes Adventure in the World of Underground Poker by Molly Bloom. This film is based on a true story and is truly captivating.
Her first accident didn’t stop her but after her Olympic dreams are shattered by a second accident during a qualifying run, world-class skier Molly Bloom (Jessica Chastain) has to rethink her future and skiing isn’t in it. Not feeling like she wants to go straight into law school as originally planned, she instead heads to Las Vegas and finds herself assisting in the production of a high-end underground poker game. Discovering she’s got a knack for this sort of operation, she moves the action to New York and goes into business for herself. Eventually, a young Molly Bloom ran the world’s most exclusive high-stakes poker game in Los Angeles and New York City, for nearly a decade, before being arrested by the FBI. Her players included Hollywood celebrities, athletes, business titans and the Russian mob. With the help of her straight-laced defense attorney, Charlie Jaffey (Idris Elba) Molly faced stiff federal charges all while keeping the integrity her clients.
After Molly’s skiing career ended, her father Larry Bloom (Kevin Costner) maintained a distance from his daughter allowing her to find her own way.
I thoroughly enjoyed Molly’s Game. The acting was brilliant and I found the movie entertaining, charming and enjoyable. At the 75th Golden Globe Awards, Molley’s Game received two nominations, Best Screenplay and Best Actress – Drama for Chastain. Sorkin also earned nominations for his script at the Writers Guild of America and BAFTA Awards. Check it out — I think you’ll enjoy it!
[Molly’s Game received an Oscar nomination for Adapted Screenplay]
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged Bill Camp, bobby, brian d'arcy james, charlene bloom, charlie jaffey, Chris O'Dowd, Claire Rankin, cole, diego, doublas downey, Graham Greene, harlan eustice, harrison wellstone, Idris Elba, j c mackenzie, jeremy strong, jessica chastain, Joe Keery, jon bass, judge foxman, Kevin costner, larry bloom, madison mckinley, matthew d matteo, Michael Cera, molly bloom, natalie krill, piper howell, shelby, shelly habib, victor serfaty, winston
I am rating Spotlight 8.5 because of the message it sends and because of the impact this story has had on society. Many people don’t want to accept the findings of this true story but the proof is there. When you have put your faith in a belief all your life only to learn that the messengers are corrupt, damaged or the opposite of what you believed they were, it’s damn hard to admit you’ve bought into a possible fraud or maybe that your whole world is possibly bogus because perhaps, you’ve chosen incorrectly. Chances are, you feel abandoned without any help from authorities to tell you want went wrong or how to fix the problem. Spotlight is the biographical story of pedophile priest in the Catholic church who’s crimes of molestation were sweep under the rug by church, city and state officials. The amount of victims and predators grew so rapidly out of control, exposure was inevitable. A small group of journalist who specialize in investigative reporting within the Boston Globe, called Spotlight, headed up by Walter “Robby” Robinson (Michael Keaton) began working on this story when they thought there could be as many as nine priest involved. Before the story was published, they had a list of 90 priest and growing. It seemed everyone was in on the cover up, from the District Attorney to the Archbishop of Boston. As the team interviewed victims, it became clear that the damage done to these children went much deeper than a sex act. The impact on a lot of lives turned out adults that ended up in many walks of life. The team had many setbacks including the attitudes of parents who didn’t want to accuse the church of any wrong doing despite knowing the truth. The team, Michael Rezendes (Mark Ruffalo), Sacha Pfeiffer (Rachel McAdams), Marty Baron, (Liev Schreiber) Ben Bradlee, Jr. (John Slattery) and Matt Carroll (Brian d’Arcy James) worked diligently from 2001 to 2002 at getting these priest exposed and out of the mainstream. Mitchell Garabedian, an attorney brilliantly played by Stanley Tucci, was responsible for getting Spotlight their first interviewees. This is when we learned irreparable damage was done to many of the victims and a cap of $20,000 was paid to keep things quiet. Thanks to newly appointed editor, Marty Baron, who appointed the Spotlight team to take up the story in the first place, these priest were exposed sooner than later.
In the end, several pages of domestic and international list were displayed across the screen of convicted pedophile priest. I’m not sure what the church is really doing about this problem but I know it is a serious issue. The story was well told and the movie was well acted. I wouldn’t give it best picture but I liked it very much and recommend that everyone sees it.
[SPOTLIGHT is nominated for Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Director, Film Editing and original Screenplay]
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged archbishop, ben bradlee jr, boston globe, brian d'arcy james, john slattery, journalist, liev schreiber, mark ruffalo, marty baron, matt carroll, michael keaton, michael rezendes, mitchell garabedian, rachel mcadams, sacha pfeiffer, spotlight, stanley tucci, walter "robby" robinson