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!!!
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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
First Man is a 2018 biographical drama directed by Damien Chazelle and written by Josh Singer. The film is based on the book First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong by James R. Hansen. Steven Spielberg serves as an executive producer. First Man follows the years leading up to the Apollo 11 mission that was designated to go to the Moon in 1969. I’ve learned a lot about the NASA program as well as the complex personal life of Neil Armstrong, which was brilliantly preformed.
**** SLIGHT SPOILERS BELOW ****
First Man starts out in 1961 with NASA test pilot Neil Armstrong (Ryan Gosling) flying the X-15 rocket plane when it inadvertently bounces off the stratosphere. Although he manages to land the plane in the Mojave Desert, his colleagues express concern that his recent record of mishaps is due to distraction and he is grounded. At this point it is evident that there is something wrong with Neil. It is revealed shortly that his young daughter, Karen, is undergoing treatment for a brain tumor. It is obvious Karen is the apple of his eye and the love of his life. Desperate to save her, Neil keeps a detailed log of her symptoms and feverishly tries to find possible treatments, but she soon passes on. Distraught, Neil applies for Project Gemini and is accepted to NASA Astronaut Group 2. Neil’s wife Janet (Claire Foy), and their son Rick move to Houston alongside other astronaut families. Neil and Elliot See (Patrick Fugit), another civilian test pilot become friends along with Ed White (Jason Clarke), the first American astronaut to walk in space. As Neil begins training, Deke Slayton (Kyle Chandler) impresses upon the new astronauts the importance of the Gemini program, as the Soviet Union had reached every milestone in the Space Race ahead of the United States. While still in training, Neil and Janet have a second son, Mark.
By 1965, the family has settled in Houston, and Neil awaits selection for a crew. After the Soviets complete the first extravehicular activity (EVA), Neil is informed that he will be the commander of Gemini 8, along with David Scott (Christopher Abbott) as the pilot. Prior to the mission, See and Charles Bassett are killed in a T-38 crash. Armstrong and Scott successfully launch Gemini 8, and dock with the Agena target vehicle, but soon afterward, the spacecraft begins to spin at a rapid rate. After nearly blacking out, Neil activates the RCS thrusters and safely aborts the mission. Armstrong initially faces criticism, but NASA determines the crew is not at fault. Later, Ed White reveals that he has been selected for the Apollo 1 mission along with Gus Grissom (Shea Whigham), one of the original Mercury Seven astronauts and Roger Chaffee (Cory Michael Smith), capsule communicator for the Gemini 3 and Gemini 4 missions, and the third crew member who was killed with Grissom and White in the Apollo 1 pre-launch test. During a plugs-out test on January 27, 1967, a fire kills the Apollo 1 crew, and Armstrong hears the news while representing NASA at the White House.
I’ve introduced you to a small window of events as depicted by First Man. Neil Armstrong appears to be a brilliant introverted man who never got over the death of his daughter, Karen, which caused him to become an astronaut in the first place. Although the events of First Man is history, it’s worth seeing because of it’s 95% accurate accounts of what actually happened. Many men were killed trying to make the moon walk take place and millions of dollars were spent in a race against time, trying to insure that the United States of American would be first on the moon. This was an intense movie, brilliantly acted and brilliantly exhibited as the scenes were lifelike and captured the seriousness of the moment. I liked First Man very much, as it is an epic lesson of historian proportion and I highly recommend it to all. Kudos to Damien Chazelle for his brilliant direction on First Man. Check it this one out!
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Tagged apollo 11, ben owen, brian d'arcy james, buzz aldrin, christopher abbott, christopher c kraft jr, ciaran hinds, claire foy, corey stoll, cory michael smith, david scott, deke slayton, ed white, elliot see, ethan embry, first man, gemini, gil scott-heron, guenter wendt, gus grissom, janet shearson, jason clarke, jd evermore, jim lovell, john david whalen, john glenn, john hodge, joseph a walker, kris swanberg, kyle chandler, leon bridges, lukas haas, marilyn see, mercury seven, mercury seven astronauts, michael collins, nasa, neil armstrong, olivia hamilton, Pablo Schreiber, patricia white, patrick fugit, pete conrad, richard f gordon jr, robert r gilruth, roger b chaffee, ryan gosling, shawn eric jones, shea whigham, skyler bible, steven coulter, wally schirra, x-15