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!
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS, STREAMING
Tagged Annalise, Betty McLeish, Bryn, Celine Buckens, Hans Taub, helen mirren, ian mckellen, jim carter, Laurie Davidson, Mark Lewis Jones, Roy Courtnay, Russell Tovey, steven, The Good Liar, Vincent
Downton Abbey is a British period drama that represents the continuation of the BBC television series of the same name. The film is directed by Michael Engler and written by Julian Fellowes, who is also the creator and executive producer of the television series. Much of the original cast has returned as they perform the first Downton Abbey movie. An official state visit by the British Monarchy to Downton Abbey upsets the entire staff and their way of life, as they bend over backward to please the King and Queen of England. I found Downey Abbey to be one of the year’s best movie and I absolutely loved it.
**** SPOILERS BELOW ****
Downton Abbey begins in 1927 when Robert Crawley (Hugh Bonneville), the Earl of Grantham, receives a letter from Buckingham Palace announcing that King George V (Simon Jones) and Queen Mary (Geraldine James) are coming to Downton Abbey as part of a royal tour through the country. Robert’s daughter, Lady Mary Talbot (Michelle Dockery) and son-in-law, Tom Branson (Allen Leech) are the first to learn of the royal visit, which leads to Drama 1: The Countess of Grantham, Violet Crawley, Dowager (Maggie Smith), is perturbed that Queen Mary’s lady-in-waiting, Lady Maud Bagshaw (Imelda Staunton), will also be coming to Downton with the royal family. Lady Maud is Robert’s cousin and the two families have fallen out over Lady Maud choosing her personal maid, Lucy Smith (Tuppence Middleton) as her heir over Robert. Drama 2: Occurs when the royal staff arrives, which includes the Royal Butler, Mr. Wilson (David Haig), the Queen’s Royal Housemaid, Mrs. Webb (Richenda Carey), the snooty Royal Chef, Monsieur Courbet (Philippe Spall) and the King’s Royal Dresser, Richard Ellis (Max Brown) — the Downton staff is affronted by their extreme arrogance. Drama 3: Occurs when Lady Mary believes that Thomas Barrow (Robert James-Collier), Downton Abbey’s butler, will fall short for the royal occasion, so she asks Charles Carson (Jim Carter), Downton’s retired butler, to temporarily resume his former duties, upsetting Barrow. Drama 4: The plumber, Mr. Sellick (James Cartwright) who arrives to repair the broken boiler flirts with Daisy Mason (Sophie McShera), Downton’s assistant cook, upsetting her fiancé, footman Andy Parker (Michael C. Fox). Drama 5: A man calling himself Major Chetwode (Stephen Campbell Moore), arrives in Downton village. He seeks out Tom, who suspects he is a royal detective involved with security for the royal visit. Lady Mary sees Tom and Major Chetwode leaving a pub together. Assuming something’s not quite right, she follows them. Drama 6: The king informs the Marchioness of Hexham’s, Edith Pelham (Laura Carmichael), husband, Bertie Pelham (Harry Hadden-Paton), the 7th Marquess of Hexham, that he is to accompany the Prince of Wales on a three-month tour of Africa. This is a problem for Edith who is pleased for Bertie but also upset because she needs him home at the time of the tour. Drama 7: Anna Bates (Joanne Froggatt) discovers that one of the royal staff, Miss Lawton (Susan Lynch) has been stealing from Downton Abbey. She agrees to say nothing provided Lawton returns the stolen items and remakes a ballgown for Lady Edith after the wrong size garment was delivered to her. Drama 8: Downstairs, Anna and John Bates (Brendan Coyle) have a plan to retake the household and restore Downton’s honor. The staff agrees. Drama 9: Thomas Barrow meets Chris Webster (Perry Fitzpatrick), who invites him to a club. Webster takes Barrow to a secret nightclub where the patrons are mostly men dancing together. The police storm the club, arresting everyone. Mr. Ellis of the royal staff is watching from across the street and sees the whole incident. Drama 10: At dinner, the king is impressed by the revised menu and praises his chef’s culinary skills, however, footmen, Mr. Joseph Molesley (Kevin Doyle) is quick to defend Downton and blurts out that the head cook, Mrs. Beryl Patmore (Lesley Nicol) prepared the dinner and that the Downton staff are the ones serving it. Everyone is stunned by Mr. Molesley speaking to the king without permission. Robert apologizes for Molesley’s outburst, but the queen praises Mrs. Beryl Patmore’s cooking and tells the Countess of Grantham, Lady Cora (Elizabeth McGovern) that they are accustomed to people behaving strangely around them.
Meanwhile, Henry Talbot (Matthew Goode), Lady Mary’s husband, arrives home in time to accompany the family to the ball at Harewood. As a self-appointed peacemaker, Lady Isobel Merton (Penelope Wilton) makes an important discovery that should settle an age-old feud. Mr. Carson and his wife, Mrs. Elsie Hughes Carson (Phyllis Logan) discuss Downton Abbey’s future. Carson asserts it will stand for another hundred years with the Crawley family still living in it.
As a fan of the popular BBC TV series, I was happy to see Downton Abbey come to the big screen, despite the long wait of three years since it ended on TV. From the moment I heard the familiar Downton Abbey music while entering the movie theater, my heart started jumping for joy. From what I could see of the trailer, the whole cast had reassembled once again to excite us with the ups and downs of a British hierarchy family in the late 1920s. I learned so much about the culture just watching through-out the 6 seasons that Downton Abbey aired. The movie didn’t slack on the heartfelt comings and goings of the household. I found the movie generated much enjoyment with just the right touch of drama and secrets, as well as disappointments. Downton Abbey left me with hopes of seeing a second movie, but without one beloved character, who I will not disclose at this time. Make no mistake, there is a lot more story to be told. I’m trying not to spoil all the surprises or all of the twist and turns this movie has I stored for you. Aside from my love of period pieces, I deem Downton Abbey as one of the better movies of 2019. It opened with a $31M box office and is slated to pull in much more. I highly recommend it to all ages — Downton Abbey is just simply delightful. Check It Out!
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged allen leech, Andy Parker, Anna Bates, Bertie Pelham, Beryl Patmore, brendan coyle, Charles Carson, Chris Webster, Cora Crawley, Countess of Grantham, Daisy Mason, david haig, Douglas Reith, Dowager Countess of Grantham, downton abbey, Earl of Grantham, Edith Pelham, elizabeth mcgovern, Elsie Hughes, Eva Samms, Fifi Hart, Geraldine James, Harry Hadden-Paton, Henry Talbot, Hugh Bonneville, Imelda Staunton, Isobel, jim carter, Joanne Froggatt, John Bates, Joseph Molesley, Karina Samms, kate phillips, Kevin Doyle, King George V, Lady Mary Talbot, Lady Maud Bagshaw, Lady Merton, Laura Carmichael, Lesley Nicol, Lord Merton, Lucy Smith, maggie smith, Major Chetwode, Marchioness of Hexham, Master George, matthew goode, Max brown, Michael C. Fox, michelle dockery, Miss Marigold, Miss Sybbie, Monsieur Courbet, Mr. Wilson, Mrs. Webb, Oliver barker, Penelope Wilton, Perry FitzPatrick, Philippe Spall, Phyllis Baxter, Phyllis Logan, Princess Mary, Queen Mary, Raquel Cassidy, Richard, Richard Ellis, Richenda Carey, Robert Crawley, Robert James-Collier, Simon Jones, Sophie McShera, Stephen Campbell Moore, Thomas Barrow, Tom Branson, tuppence middleton, Violet Crawley, Zac Barker
Transformers: The last Knight is why I bother to critique movies. From all that I read from the critics, I almost didn’t go to see this sequel. While it wasn’t the greatest sequel, it was far from the worse. Of course this is my opinion, which is all relative. I enjoyed it enough to recommend it and give it a decent rating. I really don’t know what the critics are looking for. I was entertained and the acting was good. The story was good as well as the special effects and action. As a matter of fact, I was happy to not see endless destruction of cities and buildings where they normally take place. I’m not sure what prompted the low scores or bad write ups for this movie.
The last Knight starts in the year 484 AD, with a battle being fought between the Saxons and King Arthur (Liam Garrigan) and his army, who are reluctantly relying on wizard Merlin (Stanley Tucci) to win the war. However, Merlin, who previously forged an alliance with the Knights of Iacon, a group of twelve Transformers hidden on Earth, is off begging the knights to help him in this time of need. Unable to help, a transformer presented Merlin with an alien staff to help King Arthur triumph over the Saxons instead.
Moving to modern day; most governments on Earth have declared Transformers illegal, and have created a multinational Transformer Reaction Force (TRF) to eliminate alien robots. Despite the absence of Optimus Prime (who left the planet in search of his creator), new Transformers are continually arriving on Earth. The latest ship to arrive crash-lands in Chicago and is found by a group of children. When a TRF mecha confronts the kids, they are saved by Izabella, (Isabela Moner) a survivor of the Battle of Chicago, and her Transformer companions, Sqweeks and Canopy, but Canopy is killed by the TRF in the process. Bumblebee and Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg) arrive to help the children to escape.
In the meanwhile, on the far reaches of the Solar System, Optimus Prime discovers that Cybertron, the Transformers’ home world, which is now disassembled into pieces, is heading directly for Earth. Optimus finds the being in control of Cybertron’s movement is a sorceress named Quintessa, (Gemma Chan) who professes to be the maker he is searching for. According to Quintessa’s story, the staff that the knights gave to Merlin was stolen from her. Using her powers, she places Optimus Prime under her control, dubs him “Nemesis Prime,” and charges him with the task of recovering the staff. She also alleges, Earth is actually Cybertron’s “ancient enemy” Unicron, and she intends to drain his life force so that Cybertron can be restored.
Eventually, Yeager is tracked to the junkyard hideout where several old Transformers, Autobots, Dinobots, Decepticons, Jimmy, (Jerrod Carmichael) a close friend and employee of Yeager’s and Izabella live, as well as manage repairs of the surviving incoming Transformers and all that comes with them. Yeager is approached by Cogman, (Jim Carter) the Transformer envoy and loyal butler of British Lord, Sir Edmund Burton, (Anthony Hopkins) who takes him and Bumblebee to England to meet his master. There, Yeager also meets Viviane Wembly, (Laura Haddock) an Oxford professor and last descendant of Merlin. Burton explains that he is the last living member of the “Witwiccan” order, an ancient brotherhood dedicated to guarding the secret history of Transformers on Earth.
From this point, you have a pretty good plot. Transformers are now banned from Earth, there’s a newly formed group who are responsible for keeping the Transformers from entering called TRF, a British Lord is trying to get the last descendant of Merlin along with Yeager to retrieve the staff (that was given to Quintessa) and also use the emblem fused onto his arm by a Transformer against Quintessa to stop her from destroying Earth and Optimus Prime. Of course there’s endless twist and turns I can’t tell you about at this point, as not to spoil the movie. The special effects are awesome, the acting is great and the action is plentiful. This is not a bad sequel — I was entertained and not bored or disappointed. However, I don’t think you need to spend the extra money for 3D. If you like the Transformer series, you should check this one out!
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged anthony hopkins, bumblebee, cade yeager, cogman, cybertron, gemma chan, isabela moner, izabella, jerrod carmichael, jim carter, jimmy, laura haddock, mark wahlberg, optimus prime, quintessa, sir edmund burton, transformer reaction for5ce, transformers: the last knight, trf, viviane wembly, witwiccan