Tag Archives: ian mckellen

THE GOOD LIAR (2019) – My rating: 8.5/10

The Good Liar is a crime thriller directed and produced by Bill Condon and written by Jeffrey Hatcher, based on the novel of the same name by Nicholas Searle. A career con artist meets a wealthy widow online and discovers that his plan to steal her fortune has unexpected complications. The trailers made me think that someone was going to be taken advantage of in a big way. While The Good Liar was a tad bit predictable it was a good movie with a good twist.

Using a dating service, Betty Mcleish (Helen Mirren) meets Roy Courtnay (Ian McKellen), a long-time con artist who, along with his business partner Vincent (Jim Carter), manipulates people into giving him access to their finances through a string of deceptions and false identities. Ignorant of Roy’s agenda, the two hit it off right away and started dating frequently. Betty has a grandson, Steven (Russell Tovey) who is very protective of her. When he learns Roy is going to move in with Betty, he tries to talk her out of it. Of course, she doesn’t listen. Roy has cooked up a fake leg injury in order to get an invitation to recover at Betty’s house. Their arrangement has Roy and Betty sleeping in separate rooms and without benefits. Betty, a former history teacher at Oxford lost her husband a year ago and has savings in excess of two million pounds.

This being a good place to stop, I must confess there is a whole lot of story left to tell.  I’m a huge fan of Helen Mirren, her performance in this movie is brilliant.  The good Liar is like a cloak and dagger movie with grifter like maneuvers.  Somewhere in the background of the Good Liar, you get the feeling that Helen’s character is a grifter, so during the entire movie, you’re not sure if she is or if she isn’t.  Before it’s all over, we finally get the answer we’ve been waiting for.  It’s a doozy of an ending, as most situations are not as they appear.  I think you’ll love The Good Liar, I certainly did.  The film received mixed reviews from critics and has grossed over $25.5 million worldwide.  I recommend The Good Liar — Check It Out!

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (2017) – My rating: 9/10

Beauty and the Beast is a musical romantic fantasy directed by Bill Condon from a screenplay written by Stephen Chbosky and Evan Spiliotopoulos, and co-produced by Walt Disney Pictures and Mandeville Films. The film is a live-action adaptation of Disney’s 1991 animated film of the same name, itself an adaptation of Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont’s eighteenth-century fairy tale. While Beauty and the Beast is a timeless film and story is hasn’t lost it’s appeal.  Every time it’s remade, it gets better and better.  I’m so glad I decided to see it once again.

In Rococo-era France, a beautiful enchantress disguised as an old beggar woman (Hattie Morahan) arrives at a castle during a ball and offers the host, a cruel and selfish prince (Dan Stevens), a rose in return for shelter from the storm. When he refuses, she reveals her identity. To punish the prince for his selfishness, the enchantress transforms him into a beast and his servants into household objects, then erases the castle, the prince and his servants from the memories of their loved ones. She casts a spell on the rose and warns the prince that the curse will only be broken if he learns to love another, and earn their love in return, before the last petal falls.

Some years later, in the small town of Villeneuve, Belle (Emma Watson), the book-loving daughter of a music box maker and artist Maurice (Kevin Kline), dreams of adventure and brushes off advances from Gaston (Luke Evans), an arrogant former soldier. On his way to a convention and lost in the forest, Maurice seeks refuge in the Beast’s castle, but the Beast imprisons him for stealing a rose from his garden as a gift to Belle. When Maurice’s horse returns without him, Belle ventures out in search for him, and finds him locked in the castle dungeon. The Beast agrees to let her take Maurice’s place.

Belle befriends the castle’s servants, who invite her to a spectacular dinner. When she wanders into the forbidden west wing and finds the rose, the Beast scares her into the woods. She is ambushed by a pack of wolves, but the Beast rescues her, and is injured in the process. As Belle nurses his wounds, a friendship develops between them. The Beast shows Belle a gift from the enchantress, a book that transports readers wherever they want. Belle uses the book to visit her childhood home in Paris, where she discovers a plague doctor mask and realizes that she and her father were forced to leave when her mother (Zoe Rainey) succumbed to the plague.

While I’m sure everyone knows the story, I will not give any more of the story away in case you don’t know the story.  I urge everyone to see Beauty and the Beast.  It’s a delightful movie and well done.  Beauty and the Beast is now available on DVD and Blu-ray.  Check it out!

[Beauty and the Beast is Oscar nominated for Best Production Design and Best Costume Designs.]

 

X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST (2014) – My rating: 9/10

XMenDaysOfFuturePastX-Men: Days of Future Past is one of the better films in the X-Men series.  It was clear, clean, crisp, entertaining and good story telling.  Wolverine/ Logan, played by Hugh Jackman, is sent back in time, to 1973, in hopes of stopping an event that would eliminate a fatal future for the Mutants and Humans as well.  As usual, the special effects are impeccable and the stellar cast, totally enjoyable.  I was happy to see former X-men like Ororo Munroe/Storm (Halle Berry) and Jean Grey/Phoenix (Famke Janssen ) back in this sequel.  Jennifer Lawrence has played the role of Raven/Mystique in the last 2 films and is eye candy whether she’s in human or mutant form.  The truly great surprise is Dr. Bolivar Trask, played by Peter Dinklage, who plays Tyrion Lannister in Game of Thrones.  I can’t say enough about Peter’s on screen presence and acting ability.  He is magic in any role he plays.  The question is can Charles Xavier/Professor X, played by both Patrick Stewart and James McAvoy and Eric Lehnsherr/ Magneto, played by both Ian McKellen and Michael Fassbender, really come together for a good cause?  Spend the time and money to see X-Men and find out.  This movie was rated high by the viewers who didn’t make a mistake — it’s really a good one.

[X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST is nominated for Visual Effect]