Going in Style is a 1979 remake of a totally unrealistic answer to a realistic problem in today’s society. Too bad we couldn’t all be clever enough to pull off a guilt free bank heist, (just kidding). Going in Style is also a delightful, humorous story of three senior citizens who are lifelong best buddies who are getting the shaft every where they turn. Living off their less than modest pensions, in situations that afford them little to no extras in life, they are now faced with the company they worked for all their lives being bought out, causing their pensions to become a thing of the past. Ironically, an unusual incident at the very bank that’s threatening to take what little they have, becomes the very solution to a peaceful, happy existence for these 3 old geysers and their families.
Joe Harding (Michael Caine) has a small house in which his divorced daughter, Rachael Harding (Maria Dizzia) and his granddaughter, Brooklyn, (Joey King) are living in with him. Joe has been receiving pink foreclosure notices from the bank and will have 30 days from the forthcoming red foreclosure notice that will render them homeless. Despite Joe’s x son-in law’s, Murphy (Peter Serafinowicz), estrangement from his family, Joe attempts to get Murphy involved in his daughter’s life. Willie (Morgan Freeman) and Albert (Alan Arkin) live together, directly across the street from Joe. All three belong to the usual community clubs for the elderly and do the usual senior citizen activities like food shopping, frequenting the park, eating at the senior citizen shelter and for Willie, Skyping with his daughter, Cary Sachs (Melanie Nicholls-King) and granddaughter, Kanika (Ashley Aufderheide) who he seldom gets to see because of the long distance between them and his financial situation. Willie also learns that he is in need of a Kidney and should confide in friends or family members to get one asap or prepare for his funeral. In the meanwhile, Albert is having a much easier time at life being pursued by Annie, (Ann-Margret) a beautiful senior worker at the super market where he shops.
As Joe tries to deal with his foreclosure notice at the bank, he becomes a victim and a witness to a robbery in progress, carried out by three individuals wearing black masks. When, the robbers manage to escape with over 1.5 million dollars, Joe decides this might be a way out for the three seniors. Of course the bank was no help to Joe regarding his foreclosure notice and any chance of getting their pensions reinstated was never going to happen, as they later learned the bank intended to steal their retirement. Did I mention this plot was unrealistic but still fun to watch. Here are some other actors and actresses that are definitely an excellent reason to see Going in Style: Matt Dillon as Special Agent Hamer, an FBI agent who investigates bank robberies, Christopher Lloyd as Milton, the guys’ lodge buddy, Annabelle Chow as Lucy, the child witness, Kenan Thompson as Keith, a grocery store manager, Siobhan Fallon Hogan as Mitzi and John Ortiz as Jesus, a man of unspecified credentials who agrees to show the guys the ropes. Well done — no need to pick this one apart — just enjoy it for what it is, entertaining and funny!
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged alan arkin, albert, ann-margaret, annabelle chow, annie, ashley aufderheide, brooklyn, cary sachs, christopher lloyd, going in style, hamer, Jesus, joe harding, joey king, john ortiz, kanika, keith, kenan thompson, lucy, maria dizzia, matt dillon, melanie, michael caine, milton, mitzi, morgan freeman, murphy, nicholls-king, peter serafinowicz, rachael harding, siobhan fallon hogan, willie
While I love musicals, I didn’t think La La Land was the fabulous movie I had heard it was going to be. It’s a love story with a clever title and a clever twist. It’s mostly uplifting and gives you “warm fuzzies” throughout the film. Mia (Emma Stone) meets Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) for the first time on a crowded highway, each going to their respective destinations. She flips the bird at him for his reckless driving and he keeps it moving. After continuously running into each other, they decide it’s time to strike up a real conversation. They become friends, then lovers — and so the romance begins. Mia is an aspiring actress that can’t seem to land a role and Sebastian is a jazz keyboardist who can’t seem to get his career on the right track. She continues to get turned down at every audition she tries out for and he gets fired as a piano player at a popular night club and lounge on Christmas Eve by the manager, Bill (J. K. Simmons). Desperate for work, Sebastian takes on a position with a rock band that doesn’t play any jazz. He hates it but it’s a job. Eventually, Sebastian runs into a friend, Keith (John Legend) who has a jazz band featuring a new sound, Keith defines as modern jazz. Reluctant to join, Sebastian finally gives in and begins to throw himself into this very successful band. He abandons his dream of owning his own jazz night club where he plays endless jazz into the wee hours of the night. Sebastian’s objective is to save jazz music, as it is beginning to die out. Mia, on the other hand decides to write and perform in a one woman play. She feels it will be her only chance at becoming a star actress. Their hopes and dreams, which are all embodied around their professions, are light years away from each other.
The movie picks up when John Legend comes on board because the music gets better and the dialogue becomes more alive. Mia and Sebastian actually begin too share meaningful conversations and discover they have a dilemma. La La Land doesn’t have a huge cast, plus Emma and Ryan, who have several song and dance scenes, are not the greatest singers in the world but they are excellent actors.
If La La Land had not been nominated for an Oscar, I probably would have waited for the Blu-Ray/DVD release. La La Land is a decent story with good acting and good music however, I’ve seen and am use to much better. BTW: the La stands for Los Angeles (where the film mostly took place), the second La represents a fantasy world, hence the term la la land. I recommend the movie to those who really like musicals as I somewhat liked it myself, I just didn’t find it to be “all that” fantastic!
[La La Land is nominated for 14 Oscars: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, Cinematography, Costume Design, Film Editing, Music: Original Score, Music: Original Song (for 2 songs), Production Design, Sound Mixing and Writing: Original Screenplay]
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged bill, emma stone, j k simmons, jazz, john legend, keith, la la land, mia, musical, ryan gosling, sebastian