1917 is an epic war film directed, co-written and produced by Sam Mendes. It is based in part on an account told to Mendes by his paternal grandfather, Alfred Mendes, and chronicles the story of two young British soldiers during World War I who are given a mission to deliver a message. This warns of an ambush during a skirmish, soon after the German retreat to the Hindenburg Line during Operation Alberich in 1917. The movie is well told and brilliantly acted.
During the First World War in April 1917, the Germans have pulled back from a sector of the Western Front in northern France. General Erinmore (Colin Firth) briefs two young British soldiers, Lance Corporal Tom Blake (Dean-Charles Chapman) and Lance Corporal Will Schofield (George MacKay). Aerial intelligence has learned that the Germans are not in headlong retreat but have made a tactical withdrawal to their new Hindenburg Line, where they have prepared to overwhelm attacking British with their artillery. With field telephone lines cut, Blake and Schofield are ordered to hand-deliver a message to the 2nd Battalion of the Devonshire Regiment, calling off their planned attack, which might cost the lives of 1,600 men. Any reluctance to make the journey was suppressed because Blake’s brother, Lieutenant Joseph Blake (Richard Madden) is among the 1,600.
Schofield and Blake cross no man’s land and reach the original German trenches, now abandoned. The trenches turn out to contain tripwires, which was triggered by a rat. The ensuing explosion almost kills Schofield, but Blake digs him out and leads him out of the collapsing bunkers. They arrive at an abandoned farmhouse, where they witness a dogfight nearby. A German plane plunges into the farm and Schofield and Blake attempt to save the burned pilot. Schofield proposes they mercy kill him, but Blake has Schofield instead fetch water for the pilot to drink, which turns out to be a big mistake. See 1917 to find out how this all turns out.
1917 is an extraordinary tale of Lance Corporal Will Schofield and Lance Corporal Tom Blake who are given a semi-quasi suicide mission to deliver a message that will save 1,600 soldiers from walking into a death trap, set by the Germans. Their journey was unbelievably dangerous and stressful. Their passion and motivation were astounding. It was hard to watch what they had to go through and the kinds of danger they encountered along the way. One of 1917’s claim-to-fame is cinematographer Roger Deakins’ use of long takes to have the entire film appear as one continuous shot. I can’t say too much because I don’t want to spoil the movie for whoever may see it. I can say 1917 was worth all the nominations it received. The cinematography was outstanding, as was the scenery that showed the horrible filth. dead bodies, bob wires and booby traps in all its vivid color. I wasn’t sure they received enough accolades for all their achievements but I’m unsure anyone really knew what they encountered along the way until now. At any rate, 1917 was a brilliant movie and was praised by critics for Mendes’s direction, the performances, cinematography, musical score, sound effects and realism. At the 77th Golden Globe Awards, the film won for Best Motion Picture – Drama and Best Director. At the 73rd British Academy Film Awards 1917 received nine nominations. 1917 domestic gross is $54,616,984 and $78,416,984 Worldwide. Check It Out!
[1917 is Oscar nominated for BEST: Picture, Director, Cinematography, Makeup and Hairstyling, Original Score, Production Design, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, Visual Effects and Original Screenplay — TOTALLING 10 OSCAR NOMINATIONS]
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS, STREAMING
Tagged 1917, Adrian Scarborough, andrew scott, benedict cumberbatch, Captain Smith, Chris Walley, Claire Duburcq, colin firth, Colonel Collins, Colonel Mackenzie, Daniel Mays, Daniel McMillon, Dean-Charles Chapman, General Erinmore, george mackay, Jamie Parker, Lance Corporal Tom Blake, Lance Corporal Will Schofield, Lauri, Lieutenant Hutton, Lieutenant Joseph Blake, Lieutenant Leslie, Lieutenant Richards, Major Hepburn, mark strong, Marksman, Michael Cornelius, Michael Jibson, Nabhaan Rizwan, Private Bullen, Private Cornelius, richard madden, Richard McCabe, Sepoy, Sergeant Sanders
This Kingsman sequel is an action spy thriller directed by Matthew Vaughn and written by Matthew Vaughn and Jane Goldman. Talk about an over the top fantasy — this is it! The special effects were of the likes which I’ve not seen since the last Kingsman. This is really thrilling in every sense of the word. If it’s excitement you want, you’ve come to the right film. Crazy is as crazy does and Kingsman: The Golden Circle does a whole lot of crazy.
A year has passed since Gary “Eggsy” Unwin (Taron Egerton) and the secret organization called Kingsman saved the world from Richmond Valentine’s neurological wave broadcast. Eggsy has finally taken his late mentor, Harry Hart’s (Colon Firth) title of Galahad and is now living with Crown Princess Tilde of Sweden (Hanna Alström). One evening, Charlie Hesketh (Edward Holcroft), a former Kingsman trainee who lost his arm and vocal cords during the Valentine incident, lays in wait and attacks Eggsy as he is returning home. A car chase ensues and Charlie loses his cybernetic arm, which hacks into the Kingsmen servers, destroying their headquarters and killing all their agents in Britain with a missile attack. Being the only surviving agents, Eggsy and Merlin (Mark Strong) follow the Doomsday protocol, which leads them to Statesman, a secret American organization posing as a bourbon whiskey distillery in Kentucky. There, they discover their US counterparts, Tequila (Channing Tatum), Champagne “Champ” (Jeff Bridges), who is also head of the US organization and Jack Daniels / Whiskey (Pedro Pascal). Merlin’s counter is Ginger Ale (Halle Berry), who wants to work more in the field. At this point, they are briefed about a secret terrorist organization called The Golden Circle headed up by Poppy Adams (Julianne Moore), head of the world’s largest drug cartel.
Poppy announces that she has developed and distributed a drug that inflicts it’s user with a blue rash that causes eventual mania before moving on to paralysis then death. She makes her demands to every world leader in exchange for the antidote but of course, they are working against time. The Kingman and Stateman begin their mission by following Charlie’s ex-girlfriend Clara Von Gluckfberg (Poppy Delevingne), who has developed the rash as well as Elton John, Eggsy’s girlfriend and hundreds of thousands more.
I must admit, the first Kingman movie had all the surprises in it for me. The special effects were out of this world and pretty new. I don’t feel this sequel equaled or topped the first one. The Golden Circle actually got a little sloppy, crazy and unbelievable. The film is 2 hours and 21 minutes long but still managed to keep me entertained. Some scenes were down right silly and not even Elton John could make a difference. There is still a whole lot of story to be explored along with some interesting concepts. I think if nothing else, it’s a complete joyride with a great fantasy plot. It’s definitely worth checking out!
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged champagne champ, channing tatum, charlie hesketh, clara von gluckfberg, colon firth, crown princess tilde of sweden, edward holcroft, eggsy, galahad, gary unwin, ginger ale, halle berry, hanna alstrom, harry hart, jack daniels, jeff bridges, julianne moore, kingsman: the golden circle, mark strong, merlin, pedro pascal, poppy adams, poppy delevingne, richmond valentine, stateman, taron egerton, tequila, whiskey
Miss Sloan is not for everyone however it’s still a well done work of art. It’s actually bordering on a Wall Street flick, filled with all the banking lingo, complex deals and fast paced wheeling and dealing we’ve seen in movies like Wolf of Wall Street and the 1987 Michael Douglas Oscar winning, Wall Street. Elizabeth Sloane (Jessica Chastain) is a Washington D.C-based lobbyist who advocates for universal background checks. Some might deem Miss Sloane as a little slow because there’s a lot of discussions that include fast talking and a lot of legalese. However, there is a point when the movie connects all the dots and becomes so interesting that it has you sitting on the edge of your seat. Elizabeth Sloane is a unique character because she will do anything to win. That wouldn’t mean a whole lot if we were talking about a person who didn’t have a fat IQ and the experience of a 70 year old but that’s not the case here. Elizabeth Sloane is so far above the norm, most people in the business would have a problem keeping up with her.
Miss Sloane opens up with Elizabeth making the following quote, “The winner plots one step ahead of the opposition, and plays her trump card just after they play theirs.” This gives you an idea of her mantra used throughout the movie, which is what she chanted to her lawyer. The law firm Elizabeth is currently representing, wants her and her team, which consist of several in-tern lobbyist, including her friend Jane Molloy, (Alison Pill) to go against toughening gun control laws but Elizabeth is not game. When approached by Rodolfo Schmidt (Mark Strong), the president of Peterson Wyatt, she decides to switch lanes and quit her current employer to work toward the Heaton-Harris Amendment which would require background checks for those trying to purchase firearms. After making the transition to Peterson Wyatt and a new team of lobbyists, Elizabeth meets Esme Manucharian, (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) who is the firms authority on gun control. Together they give a brilliant performance that will have you reaching for the tissues. There are so many surprises in this movie, your interest is guaranteed, even if you don’t understand all the lingo. I enjoyed Miss Sloane and therefore recommend it as highly entertaining and sends a profound message. As usual, I’ve stopped because of spoilers but there is so much more to Miss Sloane, check it out to see actors like John Lithgow as U.S. Senator Ron M. Sperling and Sam Waterston as George Dupont.
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged alison pill, elizabeth sloane, esme manucharian, george dupont, gugu mbatha-raw, jane molloy, jessica chastain, john lithgow, mark strong, miss sloane, rodolfo schmidt, sam waterston, senator ron m sperling
Kingsman is a culmination of many spy epics, like James Bond and Casino Royal. I really enjoyed this delightful, breath of fresh air, change of pace film, derived from a comic book series. Great cast and pretty good, albeit, ridiculous plot. Kingsman appeared to be a serious spy (what’s going to happen next) type of movie and it was, except it got a little silly towards the end — but good silly. Right from the beginning, we are presented with the fantastic skills of the Kingsman as we watch Lancelot (Jack Davenport) kick ass rescuing a kidnapped climate expert, Professor Arnold (Mark Hamill) from his captors. Samuel L. Jackson’s character, Valentine, is filthy rich and has a most fascinating partner named Gazelle (Sofia Boutella) who has no legs but wears blades instead. Valentine is a tech genius and is obsessed about the planet’s global warming, climate control and such. The Kingsman is an organization that recruits potentially great spies off the streets of Britain to service the country against terror and crime. Harry Hart/Galahad (Colin Firth), Authur (Michael Caine) and Merlin (Mark Strong) are some of the Kingsman who are part of the recruiting process. The special effects were great, as were the gadgets presented throughout the movie. It isn’t an easy task trying to figure who is good and who is bad in this movie but not knowing made it all the more interesting. Taron Egerton played the star recruit, Gary (Eggsy) Unwin who not only had potential as a Kingsman but his father was a former Kingsman who was killed in the line of duty. Eggsy’s mom, Michelle Unwin (Samantha Womack), who has no self esteem, provided something to look forward to with regards to resolving her man problem. I really think you’ll enjoy Kingsman: The Secret Service. It’s truly a fun change of pace. Kingsman: The Secret Service was the highest rated movie by critics and fans of all the current movies out this week.
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged authur, climate control, colin firth, galahad, gary eggsy unwin, gazelle, global warming, harry hart, jack davenport, kingsman the secret service, lancelot, mark strong, merlin, michael caine, not legs, samuel l jackson, sofia boutella, taron egerton, valentine, wore blades