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!
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged Abby Huntsman, Ahna O'Reilly, Ainsley Earhardt, alanna ubach, Alice Eve, Alicia, Alisyn Camerota, Allison Janney, Amy Landecker, Andy Buckley, Ashley Greene, Ben Lawson, Beth Ailes, Bill O'Reilly, Bill Shine, Bombshell, Bree Condon, Bret Baier, brian d'arcy james, Brian Wilson, brigette lundy-paine, Brooke Smith, charlize theron, Chris Wallace, connie britton, D'Arcy Carden, Dianne Brandi, Douglas Brunt, Edie, elisabeth rohm, Faye, Geraldo Rivera, Gerson Zweifac, Gil Norman, Gretchen Carlson, Harris Faulkner, Holland Taylor, Irena Brigante, James Murdoch, Jeanine Pirro, Jennifer Morrison, Jess Carr, john lithgow, John Rothman, josh lawson, Julia Clarke, Julie Roginsky, Juliet Huddy, kate mckinnon, Katie Aselton, Kayla Pospisil, Kevin Dorff, Kimberly Guilfoyle, Lachlan Murdoch, Lily Balin, Lisa Canning, Liv Hewson, Madeline Zima, Malcolm McDowell, Marc Evan Jackson, margot robbie, Mark Duplass, Mark Moses, Martha MacCallum, Martin Hyman, Megyn Kelly, Michael Buie, Nancy Smith, Nazanin Boniadi, Neil Cavuto, Neil Mullen, nicole kidman, P. J. Byrne, Rebekah, Richard Kind, Rob Delaney, Robin Weigert, Roger Ailes, Rudi Bakhtiar, Rudy Giuliani, Rupert Murdoch, Sean Hannity, Spencer Garrett, stephen root, Susan Estrich, Tony Plana, Tricia Helfer
Yesterday is a British romantic comedy directed by Danny Boyle and written by Richard Curtis, based on an original screenplay by Jack Barth and Mackenzie Crook. A struggling musician who, after an accident, finds himself as the only person in the world who remembers the Beatles. That leaves him with the unprecedented opportunity to become famous by taking credit for writing and performing Beetle songs. The film falls a little short on imagination but since it’s the Beetle’s songs, it “rocks”.
Yesterday opens with Jack Malik (Himesh Patel), a struggling singer-songwriter from Lowestoft. His manager and childhood friend Ellie Appleton (Lily James), begs a bewildered Jack, not to give up on his dreams. During a global blackout, Jack gets hit by a bus, when he awakens, aside from two missing front teeth, he discovers that no one else on Earth had ever heard of the Beatles. Once he confirms his suspicion, he begins performing Beetle songs, claiming he wrote them. Soon he is heard by a local music producer, Gavin (Alexander Arnold) and records a demo for him, which leads to a performance on local television, which leads to Jack being invited by pop star Ed Sheeran (Ed Sheeran) to play as his opening act in Moscow. Ellie declines to join him, saying she has to work her day job as a schoolteacher, so Jack’s roadie friend, Rocky (Joel Fry) travels with him instead. After the gig, Jack is signed by Sheeran’s agent, Debra Hammer (Kate McKinnon), and rises to global fame. Hoping to trigger more memories of Beatles songs, Jack goes to their hometown of Liverpool, visiting landmarks such as Strawberry Field, Penny Lane, and the grave of Eleanor Rigby.
This being a good place to stop, I can only say that I enjoyed Yesterday, especially the music. I felt too much of the story went unanswered, leaving me to fill in the blanks myself. I also didn’t love Himesh’s singing voice and style. He seemed a bit “pitchy”, to coin a phrase. Yesterday gave us lots of school for thought but didn’t really satisfy our need for explanations. This is a totally British production and therefore, culturally different but still entertaining. Perhaps I’m suffering from culture shock but Yesterday could have been better. The acting was brilliant — too bad the story wasn’t. I recommend you wait for the DVD/Blu-ray. FYI: Getting the rights to include the Beatles’ music cost the filmmakers $10 million. Although none of the Beatles were involved in the production, Boyle received blessings of the project from them and their families. The film received mixed reviews from critics, with praise for the premise, performances, light tone, and musical sequences, but criticism at the familiarity and simplicity. Check It Out, after all, this is only my opinion!
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged Alexander Arnold, camile Chen, carol, Debra hammer, Ed Sheeran, Elise Chappell, ellie Appleton, Gavin, Harry Mitchell, himesh patel, jack Malik, Jaimie killer, james corden, Jed Malik, Joel fry, John lennon, Justin edwards, Karl Theobald, karma sood, kate mckinnon, lamorne morris, Leo, lily james, liz, lucy, Meera syal, Michael kiwanuka, nick, robert carlyle, Rocky, Sanjeev Bhaskar, Sarah Lancashire, Shelia Malik, Sophia di Martino, terry, wendy, yesterday, young ellie Appleton
Ferdinand is a 3D computer-animated comedy-drama adventure film produced by Blue Sky Studios, Davis Entertainment and 20th Century Fox Animation. The film was based on Munro Leaf and Robert Lawson’s children’s book, The Story of Ferdinand, written by Robert L. Baird, Tim Federle and Brad Copeland and directed by Carlos Saldanha. Ferdinand is another animated movie I was obligated to see because of the Oscars. Ferdinand is also another animated movie I was happy to have seen because it was excellent with a beautiful message. I must say, animation story telling is getting better and better.
Ferdinand opens in Spain on a ranch owned by Moreno (Raúl Esparza) called Casa del Toro that trains bulls for bullfighting. There is where a bull calf named Ferdinand (Colin H. Murphy) lives. He is ridiculed by his fellow calves, Bones (Nile Diaz), Guapo (Jet Jurgensmeyer), and Valiente (Jack Gore) for being non-confrontational and for his habit of smelling and protecting flowers. After months and months of ridicule, a melon collie Ferdinand runs away from home after his father, Raf (Jeremy Sisto) doesn’t return to the ranch after being chosen for a bull fight, plus a flower Ferdinand was fond of was flattened by Valiente after his own father was defeated by Raf. Running away eventually lands Ferdinand at a florist’s farm, where he is lovingly accepted and adopted into the family.
Ferdinand (John Cena) eventually grows up into an enormous bull, he still retains his non-violent, flower-loving nature. Due to his size, he is left alone when his new family, Juan (Juanes), Nina (Lily Day), and their dog, Paco (Jerrod Carmichael), goes to the town of Ronda for an annual flower festival. Against the family’s decision that Ferdinand stay home for his own protection, he decides to go to the festival anyway. As a result, Ferdinand gets stung by a bee and unintentionally causes much chaos around town that results in him being sent back to Casa del Toro, much to his and the family’s sadness.
Once back at his old ranch, Ferdinand finds his old friends, Bones (Anthony Anderson), Guapo (Peyton Manning), and Valiente (Bobby Cannavale) have also grown up and have been joined by a Scottish bull named Angus (David Tennant) and a silent but intimidating bull named Maquina (Tim Nordquist). Ferdinand is still disrespected by the bulls, but manages to befriend a crazy goat named Lupe (Kate McKinnon).
Ferdinand goes on to bigger and more exciting adventures. The message projected in Ferdinand is extremely profound. Between Ferdinand’s beginnings at Casa del Toro to the Florist farm and back to Casa del Toro, there are many plots to explore. I am unable to find anything negative about this film. Ferdinand is brilliantly smart, beautifully illustrated and well acted with lessens to be had by all. Or course, the actors only lend their voices to the characters. I highly recommend Ferdinand, which is now on DVD and Blu-Ray and is also streaming on Amazon. I don’t think you can go wrong with this one, the kids will love it!
[Ferdinand is Oscar nominated for Best Animated Feature.]
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS, STREAMING
Tagged angus, anthony anderson, belita moreno, bobby cannavale, bones, casa del toro, colin h. Murphy, david tennant, ferdinand, guapo, jack gore, jeremy sisto, jerrod carmichael, jet jurgens meyer, john cena, Juan, juanes, julia scarpa saldanha, kate mckinnon, lily day, lupe, maquina, moreno, nile diaz, nina, paco, peyton manning, raúl esparza, raf, tim nordquist, valiente
Rough Night was a rough movie. While some of it was funny most of it was a play on male bonding comedies done many times before. I found Rough Night down right silly yet tolerable. There were quite a few “not so bad moments” along with too many annoying moments, as well.
The movie starts in 2006 with 4 friends Jess (Scarlett Johansson), Alice (Jillian Bell), Frankie (Ilana Glazer) and Blair (Zoë Kravitz) in their first year of college. During this period of friendship and bonding, they are doing what first year students do, attending silly parties and performing senseless acts, like spitting a ball across the room to break a rubber boob. Oh my, what a party that was. Guys dressed in thongs, women dressed in ridiculous outfits that served no purpose and everyone just drank and did stupid things. Nothing that really resembles a real party like dancing and meaningful conversation. The film then takes us 10 years in the future where Jess is running for office and is engaged to be married to Peter (Paul W. Downs). She seems to be out of touch with her old friends from college except for her upcoming bachelorette party. Alice, who always considered herself Jess’s best friend, decides that the four friends should spend the weekend in Miami partying. They are also joined by Pippa (Kate McKinnon), Jess’s friend from a semester she attended in Australia. The friends get high and party at a club and then decide to hire a male stripper (Ryan Cooper). When the stripper arrives, the adventure really gets going.
The series of events is the meat of Rough Night so I can’t list what follows. There’s a death, misunderstandings, an unexpected trip, unexpected sex, oversexed neighbors (Ty Burrell and Demi Moore), robbers, wild emotions, make ups, break ups, bodies, handcuffs, drugs, burner phones, diamonds, boats, a cop (Colton Haynes), hellos and good-byes. Rough Night is a roller coaster of crazy. It starts off crazy and ends crazy with crazy in the middle. Good acting — but doesn’t measure up to any of the guy bonding movies like The Hangover Trilogies. I would wait for the DVD.
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged alice, blair, colton haynes, demi moore, frankie, ilana glazer, jess, jillian bell, kate mckinnon, paul w downs, peter, pippa, rough night, ryan cooper, scar, scarlett johansson, stripper, ty burrell, zoe kravitz