Ford v Ferrari (titled Le Mans ’66 in the UK and other territories) is a sports drama directed by James Mangold and written by Jez Butterworth, John-Henry Butterworth, and Jason Keller. The plot follows a determined team of American engineers and designers, led by automotive visionary Carroll Shelby and his British driver, Ken Miles. They are dispatched by Henry Ford II and Lee Iacocca with the mission of building the Ford GT40, a new racing car with the potential to finally defeat the perennially dominant Ferrari racing team at the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans race in France. Despite the great trailers for this movie, I didn’t intend to see it but I kept hearing great reviews from friends so I finally gave in. Ford vs Ferrari exceeded whatever expectations I had.
In 1963, Ford Motor Company Vice President Lee Iacocca (Jon Bernthal) suggests to Henry Ford II (Tracy Letts) that he purchase the cash-strapped Ferrari as a means to boost their car sales, participating in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Enzo Ferrari (Remo Girone), however, walks out of the deal because Fiat offered him a more lucrative deal that would allow him to retain his ownership of Scuderia Ferrari. In rejecting the proposed deal with Ford, Ferrari insults the company and its CEO. A furious Henry II orders his racing division to build a car to defeat Ferrari at Le Mans. For this task, Iacocca hires Shelby American, owned by Carroll Shelby (Matt Damon), a racing driver who won Le Mans in 1959 but was forced to retire due to an ongoing heart condition. In turn, Shelby enlists the help of Ken Miles (Christen Bale), a hot-tempered British racer and struggling mechanic. The two were best friends and had a long-standing relationship. Shelby and Miles test the Ford GT40 Mk I prototype at Los Angeles International Airport, working out all of its design flaws until it was race-ready. The events that followed were heartfelt and forever carved in history.
From this point in the movie, Ford vs Ferrari tells a compelling true story that is intriguing, to say the least. Ford vs Ferrari, which is based on actual events, turned out to be a better story than I anticipated. I expected a run of the mill movie with a lot of meaningless car races. Not being into car racing, I didn’t know names of the car racing greats so Carroll Shelby and Ken Miles didn’t mean anything to me. What a story Ford vs Ferrari turned out to be. I don’t know quite how it was done, but the camera work, while they were racing, was magnificent. I felt like I was in the car with Ken Miles. The excitement was non-stop. I’m sure if you go to see Ford vs Ferrari, you’ll like it as much as I did. The film has grossed $172 million worldwide and received positive reviews from critics, who lauded the performances and racing sequences. It was chosen by the National Board of Review as one of the ten best films of the year, while Bale was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Drama and the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role. FYI: In the early stages of the film’s production, Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt were cast in the starring roles, but those plans fell through. I believe the right actors were cast. I found this true story exciting and I highly recommend it to everyone, not just car racing fans. Check It Out!
[FORD VS FERRARI is Oscar-Nominated for Best Picture, Best Film Editing, and Best Sound Editing — Totaling 3 Oscar nominations]
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged caitriona balfe, Carroll Shelby, christian bale, Enzo Ferrari, Ford v Ferrai, Ford vs Ferrari, GT40, Henry Ford II, jon bernthal, Josh Lucas, Ken Miles, Le Mans, Lee Iacocca, Leo Beebe, matt damon, Mollie Miles, Mulsanne Straight, noah jupe, Peter Miles, Phil Remington, Ray McKinnon, Remo Girone, Tracy Letts
Widows is an action drama directed by Steve McQueen from a screenplay by McQueen and Gillian Flynn, based upon the 1983 ITV series of the same name. Widows is a British-American co-production. The plot follows a group of women who attempt a heist in order to pay back a crime boss after their criminal husbands are killed during a botched job. I was thrilled to see Widows, as I heard it received raved reviews and 93% rotten tomatoes. They were right, Widows deserved every good review it received.
Harry Rawlings (Liam Neeson) is a renowned thief who is killed alongside his partners, Carlos Perelli (Manuel Garcia-Rulfo), Florek Gunner (Jon Bernthal) and Jimmy Nunn (Coburn Goss), during a botched robbery. Harry’s widow, Veronica Rawlings (Viola Davis), a Chicago teacher’s union delegate, is threatened by crime boss turned politician, Jamal Manning (Brian Tyree Henry), from whom Harry and his partners robbed $2 million. Jamal is running against Jack Mulligan (Colin Farrell), the son of the incumbent, Tom Mulligan (Robert Duvall) and needs money to help win the election.
**** SPOILERS BELOW ****
Veronica discovers Harry’s notebook, which contains a detailed plan for what would have been his next heist, worth $5 million. She decides to carry out the heist to repay his debt to Jamal who has his blood thirsty brother, Jatemme (Daniel Kaluuya) watching the women’s every move. Veronica recruits two of the other widows, Alice gunner (Elizabeth Debicki) and Linda Perelli (Michelle Rodriguez), to assist her. Since the fourth widow, Amanda Nunn (Carrie Coon), didn’t show to their initial meeting, Veronica visits her and learns she has a newborn child, so she opts not to mention nor include her in the heist. Alice is responsible for buying the getaway car and guns, while Linda is tasked with deciphering the blueprint in Harry’s plan. Alice uses David (Lukas Haas), a real estate executive who identifies the blueprint as a safe in Jack Mulligan’s home. In the meanwhile, looking for information, Veronica’s chauffeur, Bash O’Reilly (Garret Dillahunt) is murdered by one of Manning’s men. Linda recruits Belle (Cynthia Erivo), her children’s babysitter, to be their driver and Veronica visits the Mulligan home to ask Jack for protection from Jamal and to case the premises in advance of the heist, while the other women investigate the external security.
Obviously, I really enjoyed Widows. The cast were the crème de la crème of actors who played their roles with outstanding precision. The plot heats up with an intensity that will keep you guessing to the very surprise ending. Widows has more twist and turns than you can imagine. The style and flow of Widows reminds me of “How to Get Away With Murder”, only much more understandable. I recommend this film to anyone who wants to see a good suspense feature with lots of twist, action and excitement. Check it Out!!!
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged alice gunner, amanda nunn, bash o'reilly, belle, brian tyree henry, carlos perelli, carret dillahunt, carrie coon, coburn goss, colin farrell, cynthia erivo, daniel kaluuya, david, elizabeth debicki, florek gunner, harry rawlings, jack mulligan, jamal manning, jatemme manning, jimmy nunn, jon bernthal, liam neeson, linda perelli, lukas haas, manuel garcia-rulfo, michelle rodriguez, robert duvall, tom mulligan, veronica rawlings, viola davis, widows
Finally, a summer movie with a very different theme. Baby Driver is not your run-of-the-mill gangster movie flick. Instead it is a unique story about a young adult who made a mistake and put himself into a bad situation. That was the good news, the bad news is he now has to pay it off. The problem with paying off debts to bad people is you’re never done, especially if you’re good at what you do. Baby Driver takes place in Atlanta, Georgia and tells the story of Baby, who mostly grew up as an orphan when his parents died while arguing during a car accident. Baby was strapped in the back seat and the only survivor.
As a result of the car accident that left Miles “Baby”, (Ansel Elgort) / Young “Baby” (Hudson Meek) an orphan, he suffered tinnitus causing him to use music to block out the humming in his ears. In addition, he uses music to re-record everyday conversations as remixes and gives them relative titles, which he constantly listens to while driving for his boss, Doc, (Kevin Spacey) a veteran criminal mastermind heist planner and mysterious kingpin of the rag-tag crew of bank robbers. A while back, Baby stole a car belonging to Doc, which had valuable equipment inside — Baby has been paying Doc off by working for him as a get away driver ever since. Baby’s skills as a driver is unmatched as he has been 100% successful. Each job affords Baby $10,00 which he has been saving under the floor boards in his apartment, where he lives with his handicap foster father, Joseph, (C.J. Jones) who is in a wheel chair, unable to speak. The 2 have a loving relationship as Baby cares for Joseph, cooking for him, feeding him and watching TV together. While discussing Baby’s future, via sign language, Baby reveals a new love interest he met, who is a waitress named Debora, (Lily James) who works at the diner he frequents. Joseph convinces Baby to take a job delivering pizza now that he won’t be driving for Doc since he has now paid off his debt.
Doc never uses the same crew twice. Having informed Baby that his debt is paid, Doc is without a driver. Since Baby is the best, Doc is not about to let Baby go. Doc has all the information about Baby and Baby’s loved ones he needs to keep him working for him. The plot thickens from here. The crews and the dynamics between Doc and Baby and Doc and the crews and Baby are pretty interesting and the driving is incredible. The bank robbing crews consist of Monica “Darling” Castello (Eiza González), Jason”Buddy” Van Horn, (Jon Hamm) former Wall Street trader and Darling’s boyfriend, Griff, (Jon Bernthal) bank robber who consistently mocks Baby and Leon “Bats” Jefferson, III (Jamie Foxx), a gun slinging cohort of the bank robbing crew, to name a few. The cast is colorful, well acted and convincing as some of the most paranoid bank robbers to come along in a while. Baby Driver received great reviews and great scores. I enjoyed it very much and highly recommend you check it out! BTY: I think Ansel Elgort has a huge future ahead of him as an extremely handsome young man and a very good actor.
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged ansel elgort, baby driver, cj jones, debora, doc, Eiza González, griff, hudson meek, Jamie foxx, jason buddy van horn, jon bernthal, jon hamm, joseph, kevin spacey, leon bats jefferson iii, lily james, monica darling castello
The Accountant is an extraordinary thriller, about a very high functioning Autistic child, Christian “Chris” Wolff (Ben Affleck) who is also a mathematical genius. Chris grows up and becomes a forensic accountant, tracking insider financial deceptions for numerous criminal enterprises brokered to him by a mysterious figure known as “The Voice”, contacting him only by phone. There are many surprises in this movie and the excitement never ends. I was on the edge of my seat most of the time. I don’t believe there’s anything predictable about this film. Much care and research had to go into the making of The Accountant. Watching how Chris compensates for his mental deficiencies to make himself more concise and better able to do what’s necessary to get the job done is nothing short of remarkable. I was quite impressed with the movie.
As a child, Chris’ parents (Robert C. Treveile and Mary Kraft) took him to the Harbor Neuroscience Institute in New Hampshire, where he was diagnosed with autism and offered residency there. Although Chris bonded with Justine (Alison Wright), the mute daughter of the institute’s director (Jason Davis), his father, a decorated military officer, declined the offer, believing that Chris should overcome the hardships inherent to his condition rather than expect the world to accommodate to them. The pressure of raising a special needs child drove Chris’ mother to abandon him and his younger brother, Braxton (Jake Presley) who were left in their father’s care.
As an adult, Chris is being pursued by Raymond “Ray” King (J.K. Simmons), the director of financial crimes of the Treasury Department, who knows Chris by the alias “The Accountant”. King recruits an analyst, Marybeth Medina (Cynthia Addai-Robinson) to help him identify and arrest the Accountant before his upcoming retirement. In the meanwhile, Chris is off on a new assignment where he meets Dana Cummings (Anna Kendrick) a young CPA, who has found an accounting mistake in her company’s books. CEO, Lamar Blackburn (John Lithgow) and his sister and associate Rita Blackburn (Jean Smart) hire Chris to collaborate Dana’s findings. Because of what Chris and Dana find, they are targeted for assassination — and so the adventure really gets started. They are ruthlessly pursued by a hit man (Jon Bernthal). I consider The Accountant a much see thriller that will keep you guessing right to the twisted end.
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged alison wright, anna kendrick, ben affleck, braxston, christian wolff, cynthia addai-robinson, dana cummings, jason davis, jean smart, jk simmons, john lithgow, john presley, jon bernthal, justine, lamar blackburn, mary kraft, marybeth medina, raymond king, rita blackburn, robert c treveile, the accountant