Molly’s Game is a crime drama written and directed by Aaron Sorkin (in his directorial debut), based on the memoir, Molly’s Game: From Hollywood’s Elite to Wall Street’s Billionaire Boys Club, My High-Stakes Adventure in the World of Underground Poker by Molly Bloom. This film is based on a true story and is truly captivating.
Her first accident didn’t stop her but after her Olympic dreams are shattered by a second accident during a qualifying run, world-class skier Molly Bloom (Jessica Chastain) has to rethink her future and skiing isn’t in it. Not feeling like she wants to go straight into law school as originally planned, she instead heads to Las Vegas and finds herself assisting in the production of a high-end underground poker game. Discovering she’s got a knack for this sort of operation, she moves the action to New York and goes into business for herself. Eventually, a young Molly Bloom ran the world’s most exclusive high-stakes poker game in Los Angeles and New York City, for nearly a decade, before being arrested by the FBI. Her players included Hollywood celebrities, athletes, business titans and the Russian mob. With the help of her straight-laced defense attorney, Charlie Jaffey (Idris Elba) Molly faced stiff federal charges all while keeping the integrity her clients.
After Molly’s skiing career ended, her father Larry Bloom (Kevin Costner) maintained a distance from his daughter allowing her to find her own way.
I thoroughly enjoyed Molly’s Game. The acting was brilliant and I found the movie entertaining, charming and enjoyable. At the 75th Golden Globe Awards, Molley’s Game received two nominations, Best Screenplay and Best Actress – Drama for Chastain. Sorkin also earned nominations for his script at the Writers Guild of America and BAFTA Awards. Check it out — I think you’ll enjoy it!
[Molly’s Game received an Oscar nomination for Adapted Screenplay]
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged Bill Camp, bobby, brian d'arcy james, charlene bloom, charlie jaffey, Chris O'Dowd, Claire Rankin, cole, diego, doublas downey, Graham Greene, harlan eustice, harrison wellstone, Idris Elba, j c mackenzie, jeremy strong, jessica chastain, Joe Keery, jon bass, judge foxman, Kevin costner, larry bloom, madison mckinley, matthew d matteo, Michael Cera, molly bloom, natalie krill, piper howell, shelby, shelly habib, victor serfaty, winston
Hidden Figures is one of the best movies I’ve seen in a long time. Based on true events, Hidden Figures reveals history about the United States space program we knew very little about. I was shocked to know that Black women participated in the launching of the first US astronaut orbiting the earth, in space or that they contributed in any way to launching the first man on the moon. The trials and tribulations they went through broke my heart. This movie tells a story of profound contributions made by three highly educated master minds, toward the space race between the USA and the USSR to gain control during the space age in order to achieve peace, respect and privilege as the front runner and leader, as a nation. The film recounts the story of three African-American women who worked in professional positions at NASA and helped the United States advance during the Space Race.
Mathematician Katherine Johnson and her two colleagues, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson, worked in the segregated West Area Computers division of Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia. The film focuses on Katherine G. Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), who is the African-American mathematician who participated in calculating flight trajectories for Project Mercury and the 1969 Apollo 11 flight to the Moon. Using these calculations, NASA supported John Glenn in becoming the first American astronaut to make a complete orbit of Earth. The film also features Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer), a colleague and mathematician specializing in flight paths, the Scout Project, and FORTRAN computer programming. Dorothy was also the first Black woman to become a supervisor at a time when racism and Jim Crow laws were at it’s worst. Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe), also a colleague and mathematician at NASA, worked to analyze data from wind tunnel experiments and real-world aircraft flight experiments at the Theoretical Aerodynamics Branch of the Subsonic-Transonic Aerodynamics Division at Langley. She ultimately authored or co-authored 12 technical papers for NACA and NASA.
Al Harrison, (Kevin Costner) is the director of the Space Task Group who Katherine reported to but was told not to get close with. Any positive changes that were made, came from Harrison who was brilliantly played by Costner. Vivian Mitchell, (Kirsten Dunst) delivered orders to Dorothy and the 30 Black women Dorothy supervised and trained. Paul Stafford, (Jim Parsons) was the head programmer under Al Harrison and like everyone else, against women and Blacks being present in the program. John Glen (Glen Powell) The first astronaut to obit the earth and obviously a charismatic man who appeared to be non-racist. Colonel Jim Johnson, (Mahershala Ali) married Katherine who was a widow, taking on her three children from her first marriage.
Hidden Figures is at times, very emotional but a wake up call for those who could never imagine what it was like to be treated the way Blacks were treated for no reason other than being Black. Hate is a terrible thing and a terrible waste of energy. I was happy to see credit given to these women who achieved so much and contributed so much. If there is no mention of these women in taught in Black history, there should be and if you haven’t seen this movie, you should because it’s truly a great one. The story is spot on and the acting is outstanding. I wouldn’t be surprised to see an Oscar nod or two come out of this film.
[HIDDEN FIGURES is nominated for Best Picture, Best Supporting Actress, and Writing Adapted Screenplay]
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged al harrison, apollo 11, colonel jim johnson, dorothy vaughan, fortran, glen powell, hidden figures, janelle monae, jim parsons, john glen, katherine g johnson, Kevin costner, kirsten dunst, mahershala ali, mary jackson, naca, nasa, octavia spencer, paul stafford, project mercury, taraji p henson, usa, ussr, vivian mitchell
Criminal really fell way under the radar. I was so impressed with Kevin Costner’s performance as Jericho Stewart, a criminal with no morals. This is Costner as I have never seen him before. Even his voice changed. If you didn’t know it before, you will know now if you see Criminal, Kevin can act his tuchis off! Criminal is about an anarchist, Xavier Heimbahl (Jordi Mollà) who instructs his associate, who is also a hacker known as “The Dutchman” (Jan Stroop) to create a wormhole program that would allow it’s owner access to the world’s nuclear defense codes by bypassing all computer codes via this wormhole. After following Xavier’s orders, the Dutchman panics and attempts to make a deal for $12M with Bill Pope (Kevin Reynolds) a London based CIA agent who secures the money and hides the Dutchman in an undisclosed safe house. Xavier catches Bill, tortures him and leaves him for dead without finding where the money or the Dutchman is being held. In the meanwhile, Bill’s supervisor, CIA Chief Quaker Wells (Gary Oldman) is desperate to find the money and the Dutchman before the Russian, Xavier Heimbahl does. Quaker consults Neuroscientist Dr. Mahal Franks (Tommy Lee Jones) who has developed a treatment that could theoretically plant the memory patterns of a dead man onto a living one. Keeping Pope’s brain stimulated to preserve its knowledge, Dr. Franks requests that convict Jericho Stewart be the subject of the procedure, as Stewart’s criminal behavior is the result of childhood brain trauma, leaving him with an underdeveloped frontal lobe, hindering his emotional development and impulse control, that they can use to ‘graft’ Pope’s knowledge into Stewart’s mind.
Of course there’s lots more to this story and as I said, Kevin Costner really gives a solid performance. Gal Gadot plays Bill Pope’s wife who encounters the deadly Jericho who is beginning to remember what’s in Bill’s head. There are some great and funny scenes, as Jericho rocks Criminal with his lack of ethics, morals and compassion. Criminal is definitely worth seeing. I, for one, was really entertained and enjoyed the movie. The ending was truly worth the entire film.
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged bill pope, cia chief, criminal, dr. mahal franks, gal gadot, gary oldman, hacker, jericho stewart, jill pope, jordi mollà, Kevin costner, london based cia agent, michael pitt, neuroscientist, quaker wells, russian, the dutchman, tommy lee jones, xavier heimbahl
As a loyal fan of Superman, especially the last remake “Man of Steel” I am truly upset with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. There’s a lot to be said about this film, which is actually a follow-up to Man of Steel. I will try to be as fair as I can in bringing you the facts as I know them. Both films were directed by Zack Snyder (how could he do this to us?) Both films starred Henry Cavill as Superman/Clark Kent, Amy Adams as Lois Lane, Kevin Costner and Diane Lane as Superman’s adoptive parents, Jonathan & Martha Kent, respectively and Laurence Fishburne as Perry White. Somehow, Jimmy Olsen was pretty much left out except for a voice in Dawn of Justice as a CIA agent.
Some 18 months after Superman destroyed General Zod in Man of Steel, he has moved in with Lois Lane and is seen as a threat to humanity by Batman. However, after learning of Batman’s (Ben Affleck) intentions and accusations against him, Superman believes Batman is also a threat and plans to stop him by using the Daily Planet articles as Clark Kent. Meanwhile, Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) CEO of LexCorp has his own set of ideas to take down Superman. Lex Luthor’s plans also include creating meta humans which would include Diana Prince/Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) who is also the daughter of Zeus.
While all plans are put into motion by Batman, Superman and Lex Luthor, the audience is left to be confused and bored to death by the rantings and ravings of Lex Luthor. Some of his speeches were so long, I began to doze off. Things really got out of control. I didn’t know where I was at times. Jesse Eisenberg is a fantastic actor but one cannot help the script they’re handed. It was brutal and ambiguous. It was never made clear why Superman was targeted as a villain. It didn’t make sense why someone who fought the good fight for decades suddenly was deemed bad. Batman was so angry throughout the entire movie that I thought he was going to bust a gasket. Ben Affleck made the worst Batman I’ve seen, bar none. He looked fat and stocky in the Batman suit and his face seemed so fat under the mask, I couldn’t help but laugh. He seemed gigantic and reminded me of Humpty Dumpty. And who’s idea was it to cast Jeremy Irons as Alfred Pennyworth? That was a mismatch I couldn’t quite understand. In conclusion, because I know the future of the next sequel, I’m no longer upset with the outcome of this film but I will say Batman V Superman was a bad idea. I absolutely hated the Batman character and wasn’t too thrilled with the movie. I really felt the Batman character killed the movie plus the long Lex Luthor speeches finished it off. The script made little sense and the ending really pissed me off. I for one, am looking forward to “The Justice League Part I”, starring Henry Cavill as Superman, now in production — due to be released in 2017.
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged alfred pennyworth, amy adams, batman, batman v superman: dawn of justice, ben affleck, diana prince, diane lane, gal gadot, henry cavill, jefemy irons, jesse eisenberg, jonathan kent, Kevin costner, laurence fishburne, lex luthor, lexcorp, lois lane, martha kent, perry white, superman, wonder woman, zack snyder
Black or White is a very well written movie about a mixed race child who suddenly loses her Caucasian grandmother to a car accident. The child, Eloise Anderson (Jillian Estell) also lost her mother, who is also Causasian, when she died during child birth. Since she has always lived with her grandparents, Eloise continued to live with her grandfather, Elliot Anderson (Kevin Costner), who is a lawyer but has a very bad drinking problem. Eloise’s father Reggie Davis (André Holland) is Black and a former drug abuser who continues to dibble and dabble in Crack Cocaine. Reggie has no connection or contact with his daughter but is trying to get clean. He’s has no money but claims to have a job. His character appears to be weak and low in self esteem. In the meanwhile, Reggie’s mother, Rowena Jeffers (Octavia Spencer) also known as Aunt Wee Wee decides to file for custody of Eloise and uses her brother, Jeremiah Jeffers (Anthony Mackie), who is a lawyer and has several degrees, to represent her. A lot of interaction ensues between the 2 families. Black or White is deep and sends some profound messages. I believe there is more than entertainment delivered in this film. Everyone could benefit from seeing it. I don’t think it will be long before Black or White is released to DVD. Overall, I liked the movie and recommend it to all. Check it out.
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged andre holland, anthony mackie, aunt wee wee, black or white, elliot anderson, eloise jeffers, jermiah jeffers, jillian estell, Kevin costner, octavia spencer, reggie jeffers, rowena jeffers
I am not a fan of football. In fact, I think if should be outlawed along with boxing because of the debilitating injuries incurred by the players. There’s a lot of documentation on the whole brain vs helmet study. It is truly a serious problem within the sport. Having said that, Draft Day made me want to go home and tune into a live football game. Kevin Costner plays general manager Sonny Weaver for the Cleveland Browns. Through the first half of the movie, we were clueless just like Sonny Weaver. His thoughts were controversial on every level of draft choices. You really didn’t have any idea of what was going to happen or how the process worked. However by the end of the movie, I could hardly stay in my seat. The thrill and excitement of manipulating other organizations plus how deals were made was more than I could stand. The outcome was totally unpredictable. I loved it! Just to see how it all comes full circle was sheer Heaven. I enjoyed Jennifer Gardner as the girlfriend of Sonny Weaver and all the folks who made up the supporting team. Every sports team has it’s back office that makes all the decisions regarding trades, draft picks, salaries, contracts and offers. It’s exciting to see an experienced wheeler dealer at work. I was thoroughly entertained and highly recommend Draft Day whether you are into football or not.