Tag Archives: charlize theron

BOMBSHELL (2019) – My rating: 8.5/10

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!

 

LONG SHOT (2019) – My rating: 7.5/10

Long Shot is a romantic comedy directed by Jonathan Levine and written by Dan Sterling and Liz Hannah. The plot follows a journalist who begins to spend time with his former babysitter who is now the United States Secretary of State.  While I’m not a fan of Charlize Theron or Seth Rogen, the plot of Long Shot was intriguing, so I decided to see the movie.

In 2019, U.S. Secretary of State Charlotte Field (Charlize Theron) is told by her boss, President Chambers (John Odenkirk), that he does not plan to run for a second term. Realizing an opportunity has now arisen, she convinces POTUS to endorse her as a potential presidential candidate.

At the same time,  New York City journalist Fred Flarsky (Seth Rogan) is being told that the newspaper he works for has been sold to Parker Wembly (Andy Serkis), a wealthy media mogul whose integrity, morality, principles and moral code is opposite to Fred’s. Disgusted, furious and disappointed, Fred promptly quits without any other job prospects. Adding depression to the list, he turns to his more successful best friend Lance (O’Shea Jackson Jr.), who takes him to a charity fundraiser where Charlotte is also attending. She and Fred recognize each other, as she was his babysitter when they were teenagers.

Upon reading some of Fred’s columns, Charlotte decides to hire him to write her speeches despite her manager, Maggie Millikin’s (June Diane Raphael) disapproval. At a world leaders summit, Charlotte is forced to revise a speech involving a planned environmental revision to appease some of her constituents. When Fred objects and calls her out on abandoning her morals, she changes her mind and the speech is a success.  As the two continue to spend time together under the pretext of Fred learning more about Charlotte for his writing, they start to get close.

Long Shot continues from this point with many interesting sub plots.  This movie is deemed a romantic comedy but I deem it as a farce and a satire.  Because Seth Rogan does not ever play a lead male romantic role, and looks far from the part and Charlize is the epitome of beauty, the thought of the two of them together is a laugh.  This is how our society sees things. Once you adjust to them being a real thing, you don’t have to ask why he doesn’t play these kind of roles.  I do realize, this is his character in the film but he’s so good at acting a fool, he’s made a believer out of yours truly.  Long Shot is definitely funny but no where near believable.  Imagine a female POTUS married to a grimy, buffoonery acting husband who is far from being attractive.  The media would have a field day, so would comedians and supporters. The performance of Boyz II Men at the fund raiser was a real treat and since Long Shot made me laugh, I consider it a pretty good movie.  It’s not the best of either actor, but it can serve as a pick me up for someone who needs one.  It received generally positive reviews from critics, with praise for the chemistry and performances of Rogen and Theron.  Check It Out!

 

THE FATE OF THE FURIOUS (2017) – My rating: 9/10

I honestly don’t know how they do it.  After seven Fast and Furious movies, they managed to make an eighth one even better than the others.  Dom turns bad?  Now there’s an interesting concept — the main character not only turns bad, he turns his back on the love of his life and the team he calls “family”.  That’s enough, if you’re a follower of the series, to hurry to your local theater and purchase a ticket to see it for yourself.

Director, F. Gary Gray has tied every scene together, giving every character a purpose.  Known for speed, excitement and fast and furious cars, this eighth installment is actually bigger, faster and features a barrage of fast, beautiful, slickly designed cars that would cause the likes of Mario Andretti to blush with envy.  So far The Fate of the Furious has grossed $690 million worldwide, making it the second highest-grossing film of 2017.  An untitled sequel is scheduled to be released on April 19, 2019.

The film opens with Dominic “Dom” Toretto (Vin Diesel) and Letty Ortiz (Michell Rodriguez) on their honeymoon in Havana.  Dom gets involved with his cousin’s spat at an auto show and is challenged to a street race by a local racer named Fernando (Janmarco Santiago). This turns out to be one of the most spectacular races I’ve seen because Dom is using his cousin’s beaten up, ancient, piece of car to race in.  I can only say by the end of the race, even I had new respect for Dom’s driving skills.   The next day, Dom encounters elusive cyber-terrorist Cipher (Charlize Theron), who appears to be a damsel in distress.  He tries to give her a hand with her car but her conversation lets him know that she knows him and is not very friendly.  She shows him a device right after telling him that he will now be working for her.  Cipher leaves after giving Dom full instructions as he fully accepts his new role.

SOME SPOILERS BELOW!

Dom and Letty along with team members Roman Pearce (Tyrese Gibson), Tej Parker (Chris ‘Ludacris’ Bridges) and Ramsey (Nathalie Emmanuel), are recruited by Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) agent Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) to help him retrieve an EMP device from a military outpost in Berlin. During the getaway, Dom goes rogue, forcing Hobbs off the road and stealing the device for Cipher. Hobbs is arrested and locked up in the same high-security prison where he helped imprisoned Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham). After escaping, both are recruited by intelligence operative Mr. Nobody (Kurk Russell) and his protégé, Little Nobody (Scott Eastwood), to help the team find Dom and capture Cipher.  FYI:  Helen Mirren makes an uncredited cameo appearance as Magdalene Shaw, the mother of Deckard and Owen Shaw.

The whole cast moves to Russia where a long chase, war and shoot out takes place among the teams, which includes the Russians.  Here, there is a lot going on and the fate of the world, the movie and the plot depends on the outcome.  This lengthy scene was a bit much and a little hard to follow because it was easy to lose track of who was who.  The environment was extremely cold and the fight was cumbersome.  This may have shaved a few points off of an otherwise exciting thriller movie.  Charlize will blow your mind — you will probably want to blow hers right out of her head.  I highly recommend The Fate of the Furious. If you’re looking for a thriller, you’ve come to the right movie!

 

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KUBO AND THE TWO STRINGS (2016) – My rating: 8/10

kuboandtwostringsKubo and the two strings is a beautifully animated fantasy movie that takes place in ancient Japan.  Kubo (Art Parkinson) is a one-eyed young boy who lives with his ailing mother, Sariatu (Charlize Theron), in a cave atop a mountain, which is next to a village. Every day Kubo goes into the village and interacts with the locals, who love him like family.  Hosato (George Takei), Hashi (Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa) and Kameyo (Brenda Vaccaro) are some of the villagers who are part of Kubo’s sort of extended family who live in the village.  They encourage him to tell his magical stories that appear to have him manipulating origami, which moves under music played from Kubo’s shamisen. He tells the tale of a samurai warrior named Hanzo, who is Kubo’s missing father. When the town bell chimes, signaling sunset, Kubo returns to his mother, as she explicitly warns him not to stay outside after dark or her Sisters Karasu and Yukami (Rooney Mara) and his grandfather, the Moon King (Ralph Fiennes) will come to take his remaining eye, as they are responsible for taking his missing eye when he was a baby in the first place.

One day, Kubo learns of an Obon festival that has a ceremony where family members communicate with deceased loved ones. Desperate to speak to his father, Kubo arrives at a cemetery and tries to speak to Hanzo, but leaves in anger when his father doesn’t respond.  Kubo realizes the sun is setting and he is far from home, so he begins to run but Sariatu’s Sisters, Karasu and Yukami find him and attack. Kubo’s mother arrives to fend them off. She sends Kubo away using her magic, telling him to find his father’s magic armor. He takes a lock of his mother’s hair before she charges at her Sisters.  Kubo wakes up and meets Monkey (Charlize Theron), his little wooden snow monkey charm that was brought to life by his mother’s magic. She informs him that his mother is dead, his village is destroyed, and they must move on to survive.  The next morning Monkey wakes Kubo and points out “Little Hanzo”–one of Kubo’s origami designed to look like his father–who folded himself and came to life at night. Little Hanzo shows Kubo and Monkey the way to pieces of a magic armor, where they are greeted by Beetle/Hanzo (Matthew McConaughey), an amnesiac samurai who was cursed to take the form of a beetle and claims to have been Hanzo’s apprentice. He joins them on their quest when he finds out that Kubo is Hanzo’s son. The Sisters discover Kubo is looking for his father’s armor and split up to find him.

See the movie to find out what happens next, as usual I don’t want to reveal any spoilers.  While I’m not into cartoons or animated films, I really enjoyed Kubo and the Two Strings.  It is a wonderful story with a wonderful message for all.  Kubo is now on DVD/Blu-Ray and is an interesting choice for the entire family to adventure into.

[Kubo and the Two Strings is nominated for Best Animated Film and Visual Effects]

 

 

 

MAD MAX: FURY ROAD (2015) – My rating: 9/10

MadMax_FuryRoadMad Max: Fury Road turned out to be an excellent movie. It’s been 30 years since the last Mad Max film (Beyond Thunderdome). Fury Road is the fourth film of the Mad Max franchise. It takes place in post-apocalyptic Australian wasteland. Max Rockatansky (formerly played by Mel Gibson) is now played by British actor, Tom Hardy. Water, food and gasoline is scarce but cults and gangs are not. Charlize Theron plays Imperator Furiosa who drives an armored tanker truck and collects gasoline among other things. Her goal is to get back to her childhood home where she was abducted as a child. This time she is bringing with her, the wives of the current cult leader, Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne) and his cronies who are also breeders of warlords and hoarders of water. Furiosa leads a mostly all woman team trying to break free without getting killed. Fury Road seems as though it’s going to be a chase scene across desert land with various gangs chasing Furiosa in their rigged up contraptions for most of the movie. However, more of the story kicks in and we learn what’s really behind the chasers and those being chased.  Live bodies are strapped to the front of many vehicles, causing them to endure sand storms, bullets, fire and all the other elements as a result of the chase. Max was strapped and used as a blood bag for one of the gang members early on.  It’s interesting to see how creative folks can be when they have very little to work with. These gangs are ruthless, amoral and live in a lawless society. Everything that can go wrong for Furiosa does and she ends up having to make a new set of plans that takes her back through the same territory she just escaped. The end of Fury Road is quite satisfying and makes this movie experience, time well spent.  Beware, it’s a blood bath and not for the squeamish.

[MAD MAX: FURY ROAD is nominated for Best Picture, Cinematography, Costume Design, Best Director, Film Editing, Makeup and Hairstyling, Production Design, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing and Visual Effects]