Tag Archives: daniel craig

KNIVES OUT (2019) – My rating 8.5/10


Knives Out is a murder mystery written, produced, and directed by Rian Johnson. Described as a modern take on the whodunit, the film follows a family gathering gone awry, after the family patriarch’s death leads a master detective to investigate. I looked forward to seeing this film and it did not disappoint.


Wealthy crime novelist Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer) invites his family to a party at his mansion to celebrate his 85th birthday. The next morning, Harlan’s housekeeper Fran (Edi Patterson) finds him dead, apparently having slit his own throat. An anonymous figure hires private detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) to investigate. Blanc is accompanied by Detective Lieutenant Elliot (Lakeith Stanfield) throughout the investigation.  Blanc learns that Harlan had alienated many of the family: he had threatened to expose his son-in-law Richard Drysdale (Don Johnson) for having an affair; cut off his daughter-in-law Joni’s (Toni Collette) allowance for stealing money meant for Megan (Katherine Langford) his granddaughter’s tuition; fired his youngest son Walt (Michael Shannon) from his publishing company and cut his lazy grandson Ransom (Chris Evans) out of his will. Harlan’s daughter Linda Drysdale (Jamie Lee Curtis), Harlan’s mother Wanetta who is affectionately known as “Great Nana” (K Callan) and Harlan’s nurse Marta Cabrera (Ana de Armas) are all still in Harlan’s favor.

Knives Out is a typical “who done it” film cleverly put together by Rian Johnson for the modern viewer. I thought this ensemble cast was brilliant as was their story. Clear and comprehensible, the pieces were placed coherently and fit like a glove. If you’re looking for a good brain teaser, Knives Out is your cup of tea. Most of the family had a motive to murder Harlan but only one did it.  Find out when you see Knives Out! The film received critical acclaim, particularly for its screenplay, direction, and acting, and has grossed over $132 million worldwide against a $40 million budget. At the 77th Golden Globe Awards, the film received three nominations in the Musical or Comedy categories: Best Motion Picture, Best Actor for Craig, and Best Actress for de Armas. Check It Out!

[KNIVES OUT is Oscar-Nominated for Best Original Screenplay — Totaling 1 Oscar nomination]


LOGAN LUCKY (2017) – My rating: 7/10

Logan Lucky is another summer fill-in.  I wouldn’t say it’s a bad one but I wouldn’t say it’s a good one either.  It’s a comedy, which may be its saving grace, about a heist with a twist.  Hollywood is making these fill-ins a little better than they use to so kudos to Steven Soderbergh for a half way descent movie to end the summer.

Jimmy Logan (Channing Tatum), once had a promising football career that was ruined by an injury.  To top things off, he was just laid off from his job at the Charlotte Motor Speedway and while picking up his daughter, Farrah Logan (Sadie Mackenzie) for a beauty pageant, he learns that his x-wife, Bobbie Jo (Katie Holmes) and her new husband Moody Chapman (David Denman), a wealthy car dealership owner, intend to move out of state to Lynchburg, making it harder for him to visit.

Angry, down and out, Jimmy visits his brother Clyde, (Adam Driver) an Iraq War veteran who, on account of losing part of his left arm, wears a prosthetic hand, at the bar where he works.  He convinces Clyde to team up with him to rob the Charlotte Speedway after revealing a plan that will include Joe Bang (Daniel Craig) a convicted safecracker, as well as Joe’s dimwitted brothers Sam Bang (Brian Gleeson), Fish Bang (Jack Quaid), as well as their own sister, Mellie Logan (Riley Keough).  Jimmy’s plan includes a jail break, gummy bears, an electrical grid outage, a stolen sports car, home made explosives, the loss of Clyde’s prosthetic hand and much more.  It all takes place during the Coca-Cola 600 race on Memorial Day weekend.  FBI agent Sarah Grayson (Hilary Swank) is assigned to investigate the heist but is sidewined via an insurance settlement.

Logan Lucky has a somewhat crazy plot with a plan that is so out there, I doubt it would or could ever happen.  Despite it’s craziness, it’s entertaining but unbelievable.  It is amazing someone could write a plot with so many unworkable parts yet pull it all together.  Logan Lucky is truly a summer fill-in.  Channing Tatum also gained some noticeable weight.  I recommend waiting for the DVD on this one.


SPECTRE (2015) – My rating: 8.3/10

SpectreSpectre is one of the most expensive movies ever made.  With a budget of $245M, it has brought in approximately $176M over the last 4 weekends here in the US and grossed $750M worldwide.  After all is said and done, Spectre needed to gross $640M to break even.  A reported $34M was spent just on the destruction of expensive cars during the making of this 24th James Bond movie.  Add Daniel’s salary of $24M, making him the highest paid Bond (which doesn’t include endorsements), in the history of the 007 franchise.  Now add  around $100M for promotions, plus with all the other staff, actors and employee salaries, one can see how the price tag escalated so high. 

So with that said, lets talk about the movie.  The plot features James Bond’s first encounter with the global criminal organization called Spectre.  Also, several characters, including M, Q and Eve Moneypenny return, with the new additions of Léa Seydoux as Dr. Madeleine Swann, Dave Bautista as Mr. Hinx, Andrew Scott as Max Denbigh and Monica Bellucci as Lucia Sciarra.   Spectre opens in Mexico City with 007 on an unofficial mission ordered by the former M (Judy Dench).  Eventually, Bond ends up in Rome where he learns about Spectre.  Things get pretty complicated and very dangerous as Bond finds himself without backup, as his division has been dissolved by the current M’s new boss, C, because he deems “00” section outdated.  In the meanwhile, Spectre turns out to be a sinister organization headed up by the ultimate villain, Ernst Stavro Brofeld, played by Christoph Waltz.  The story is complex, the action is intense and the cast is brilliant.  However, I found Spectre to be quite different from most of the Bond stories.  It seemed like something was missing.  Somehow I think the absence of Judy Dench and her nurturing personality made Bond seem noticeably alone and a little uncertain of himself — not the overall confident ladies man I’m use to seeing.  Pierce Brosnan expressed that this Bond film seemed weak and lack luster.  While I thought the story was solid, I have to agree with Pierces’ opinion.  Check it out, it’s an endless challenge of surprises, twist and turns.  It will keep you entertained all the way to the end. 

 [SPECTRE is nominated for Original Song]