The Gentlemen is an action comedy film written and directed by Guy Ritchie, from a story by Ivan Atkinson, Marn Davies, and Ritchie. It follows an American marijuana kingpin in England who is looking to sell his business, setting off a chain of blackmail and schemes to undermine him. Having little knowledge about The Gentlemen, I was pleasantly surprised.
When Mickey Pearson (Matthew McConaughey), an infamous cannabis baron, who is a grower and dealer of marijuana decides he has had enough of the illegal drug profession, the word goes out that he wants to sell his lucrative business. Several interested buyers compete for the sale. A private investigator Fletcher (Hugh Grant) is hired by Big Dave (Eddie Marsan) to investigate Pearson’s links to Lord Pressfield (Samuel West), a minor Royal with a heroin-addicted daughter. Fletcher offers to sell his findings (typed up as a screenplay entitled Bush) to Pearson’s right-hand man Raymond (Charlie Hunnam) for £20 million. Born in poverty in the US, Pearson won a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford University, where he began selling marijuana to privileged fellow students before dropping out and building up his criminal enterprise by violence. Big Dave has decided to sell his business to American billionaire Matthew Berger (Jeremy Strong) for $400 million so he can retire peacefully with his wife Rosalind (Michelle Dockery). Pearson is later approached by Dry Eye (Henry Golding), an underboss for Chinese gangster Lord George (Tom Wu) who offers to buy out Pearson’s business, but he refuses. When one of Mickey’s labs is raided by some unprofessional young adults, it is discovered that the crew belongs to Coach (Colin Farrell) who is very apologetic. Good luck with trying to figure this one out, there’s much more to come.
As you can see, there are several players in The Gentlemen. As Flecher spins his script to Raymond, you can see how complicated each player’s maneuvers make this an intriguing film. I thought The Gentlemen was cleverly written and reminded me of several movies that were based on a similar premise, e.g. Knives Out, Parasite, and Uncut Gems. This movie is fast-moving and will require your full attention in order to keep up. You will have to see The Gentlemen in its entirety as you won’t be able to solve this one on your own. I was thoroughly entertained and highly recommend The Gentlemen as a refreshing and different tale of “who’s in charge”. As of February 9, 2020, The Gentlemen has grossed $26.9 million in the United States and Canada, and $33.5 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $60.4 million. On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 73% based on 211 reviews, with an average rating of 6.35/10. Check It Out!
Posted in CURRENT MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged benny, Big Dave, Brittany Ashworth, Bugzy Malone, Bunny, charlie hunnam, Chidi Ajufo, Chris Evangelou, Coach, colin farrell, Dry Eye, eddie marsan, Eliot Sumner, Ernie, fletcher, Franz Drameh, henry golding, hugh grant, jackie, Jason Wong, jeremy strong, Laura Pressfield, Lord George, Lord Pressfield, Lyne Renée, Matthew Berger, matthew mcconaughey, michelle dockery, Mickey Pearson, Phuc, Primetime, raymond, Rosalind Pearson, ruby, Samuel West, THE GENTLEMEN, tom wu
The Dark Tower is a science-fiction/fantasy/western adaptation of a Stephen King novel of the same name. I usually don’t fancy Stephen King novels but I love Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey, as well as a love for fantasy and science-fiction movies. I didn’t hear good things about The Dark Tower, so my expectations of the film were pretty low, yet I was pleasantly surprised. This is why I critique movies from the perspective of the standard viewer rather than the critic’s point-of-view. I ask myself basic questions as part of my analysis that falls into three separate areas: 1) Was I entertained? (Did the movie make me laugh, cry, shout in anger or make me want my money back?) 2) Did the movie send a message or did I learn anything? (Did the movie teach me something about myself or the world at-large or do I now know something profound about history that makes a difference to me?) 3) Was the story brilliant or was the plot dull, offensive or ambiguous? (could the plot be life changing for someone, including myself, does the way they faced adversity have a logical conclusion or was this just a big waste of time?) While all three of these situations may not necessarily apply to every movie I see, at least two out of three do. My mission is not to analyze films for their literary content or even ones acting abilities. Yet, entertainment value and relevancy has to exist for me to label a movie as a good film.
Based on my formula, The Dark Tower falls under two of my three areas for analysis.The Dark Tower is about a mythical structure/tower that supports all realities. Walter Padick / The Man in Black (Matthew McConaughey) and his nemesis, Roland Deschain / The Last Gunslinger (Idris Elba) are on opposing sides of the tower. An 11-year old boy, Jake Chambers (Tom Taylor) has visions of a man in black who seeks to destroy a tower that protects many worlds, including Earth. He also dreams of a gunslinger who opposes the man in black. Jake’s mother Laurie Chambers (Katheryn Winnick), stepfather and psychiatrist Dr. Hotchkiss (José Zúñiga) dismiss Jake’s dreams as trauma, resulting from the death of his father (Karl Thaning) the previous year.
Given Jake’s strange behavior, his school suggested that he be temporarily admitted into a psychiatric facility where he would be rehabilitated. At his home in New York City, a group of workers from the facility appear to take Jake away but he recognizes them from his visions as monsters disguised as human, and flees. Jake tracks down an abandoned house that he recognizes from one of his visions and discovers a high-tech portal, which allows him to travel to a post-apocalyptic world called Mid-World. Once in Mid-World, Jake encounters the last Gunslinger, Roland Deschain from his visions. Roland is pursuing Walter Padick, the Man in Black who had also appeared in his dreams across a desert, seeking to kill him in revenge for the murder of his father, Steven (Dennis Haysbert). He explains that Walter has been abducting psychic children, and is attempting to use their powers to destroy The Dark Tower, a fabled structure located at the center of the universe; this will allow monsters from outside of the universe to invade and destroy the worlds that the tower protects. Roland takes Jake to a village to have his visions interpreted by a seer. Learning of Jake’s escape and journey to Mid-World, Walter investigates, and realizes that Jake has enough psychic potential to destroy the Tower without any help from other children.
Since The Dark Tower is derived from a comic book series, which I’ve never heard of, this is my first encounter with this story and its characters. I mention this because many fans are disappointed that this adaptation does not follow the comic book series closely. My critique is strictly from a new viewer’s perspective, with no prior knowledge of The Dark Tower. As usual, I am stopping here because I do not want to give away any more of the story, which has a lot more twist and turns. I really enjoyed the film, “what you see is what you get”. It was suspenseful and entertaining and had a good message. I think it’s worth checking out and the acting was excellent! I understand there are 2 sequels in the works.
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged dennis haysbert, dr hotchkiss, earth, Idris Elba, jake chambers, jose zuniga, karl thaning, katheryn winnick, laurie chambers, matthew mcconaughey, mid-world, post-apocalyptic world, psychic children, roland deschain, steven, the dark tower, the last gunslinger, the man in black, tom taylor, walter padick
Kubo and the two strings is a beautifully animated fantasy movie that takes place in ancient Japan. Kubo (Art Parkinson) is a one-eyed young boy who lives with his ailing mother, Sariatu (Charlize Theron), in a cave atop a mountain, which is next to a village. Every day Kubo goes into the village and interacts with the locals, who love him like family. Hosato (George Takei), Hashi (Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa) and Kameyo (Brenda Vaccaro) are some of the villagers who are part of Kubo’s sort of extended family who live in the village. They encourage him to tell his magical stories that appear to have him manipulating origami, which moves under music played from Kubo’s shamisen. He tells the tale of a samurai warrior named Hanzo, who is Kubo’s missing father. When the town bell chimes, signaling sunset, Kubo returns to his mother, as she explicitly warns him not to stay outside after dark or her Sisters Karasu and Yukami (Rooney Mara) and his grandfather, the Moon King (Ralph Fiennes) will come to take his remaining eye, as they are responsible for taking his missing eye when he was a baby in the first place.
One day, Kubo learns of an Obon festival that has a ceremony where family members communicate with deceased loved ones. Desperate to speak to his father, Kubo arrives at a cemetery and tries to speak to Hanzo, but leaves in anger when his father doesn’t respond. Kubo realizes the sun is setting and he is far from home, so he begins to run but Sariatu’s Sisters, Karasu and Yukami find him and attack. Kubo’s mother arrives to fend them off. She sends Kubo away using her magic, telling him to find his father’s magic armor. He takes a lock of his mother’s hair before she charges at her Sisters. Kubo wakes up and meets Monkey (Charlize Theron), his little wooden snow monkey charm that was brought to life by his mother’s magic. She informs him that his mother is dead, his village is destroyed, and they must move on to survive. The next morning Monkey wakes Kubo and points out “Little Hanzo”–one of Kubo’s origami designed to look like his father–who folded himself and came to life at night. Little Hanzo shows Kubo and Monkey the way to pieces of a magic armor, where they are greeted by Beetle/Hanzo (Matthew McConaughey), an amnesiac samurai who was cursed to take the form of a beetle and claims to have been Hanzo’s apprentice. He joins them on their quest when he finds out that Kubo is Hanzo’s son. The Sisters discover Kubo is looking for his father’s armor and split up to find him.
See the movie to find out what happens next, as usual I don’t want to reveal any spoilers. While I’m not into cartoons or animated films, I really enjoyed Kubo and the Two Strings. It is a wonderful story with a wonderful message for all. Kubo is now on DVD/Blu-Ray and is an interesting choice for the entire family to adventure into.
[Kubo and the Two Strings is nominated for Best Animated Film and Visual Effects]
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged art parkinson, beetle, brenda vaccaro, cary-hiroyuki tagawa, charlize theron, george takei, hanzo, hashi, hosato, japanese snow monkey, kameyo, karasu, kubo and the two strings, mari, matthew mcconaughey, meyrick murphy, minae, minae noji, monkey, raiden the moon king, ralph fiennes, rooney mara, sariatu, villager, yukami
Wow, what a surprise! This movie will go down as a masterpiece. Part truth and part fiction, it’s filled with hate but rich in history of the shameful past of this country’s treatment of Blacks and determination to keep slaves as indentured servants for as long as they live. Free State of Jones is inspired by the life of Newton Knight (Matthew McConaughey) a poor farmer who lead a rebellion against the Confederacy in Jones County, Mississippi during the Civil War. Jones’ army consisted of deserters and run away slaves creating a mixed race community. Included in that community, was Rachel (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) a former slave who later became Newton’s wife and Moses Washington (Mahershala Ali) an escaped slave who became a major player in Knight’s rebellion. Before Newton started his rebellion, he served in the war for a year, then deserted when his nephew was drafted and killed. The film brings you through the Civil War and beyond the Emancipation and the KKK to a trial in the 1940’s that accuses and convicts one of Newton’s grandsons of being 1/8 Black and as such, places him in violation of the law that doesn’t allow a Black man to marry a White women in Mississippi, where he and his wife lived.
You won’t get warm fuzzes watching Free State of Jones, quite the opposite. From bloody torn limbs of men shot up in battle to the hanging, raping and mutilation of slaves, the picture is pretty grim. You will get to see 2 hours and 19 minutes of a really great movie that holds nothing back about the Civil War, Emancipation, the Monolithic South, and Reconstruction. This is great story telling by Leonard Hartman and Gary Ross who also has done an excellent job of directing this movie. The acting is brilliant as this may be Matthew at his best. Strangely, there is a resemblance between the real Newton Knight and Matthew McConaughey, as shown. I highly recommend Free State of Jones. It’s one of the best films I’ve seen this year. I expected an almost empty auditorium instead, only the first row was available plus a few seats here and there. It’s more than worth your time and money to see it.
NOTE: Gary Ross along with The Huffington Post have documented why the world or at least the US should see this film. It tells the truth as well as disperse 4 myths about the Civil War and slavery. The following was taken directly from the Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/amb-andrew-j-young/free-state-of-jones_2_b_10704230.html “Free State of Jones also tells the truth about Reconstruction. It does not indulge the mythology that simple emancipation at war’s end meant true freedom. Far from it. It is perhaps the first film to show the bitter disappointment in the post-war years as the jubilation of victory gave way to the harsh reality that Confederates would return to power, institute sharecropping instead of slavery, penal servitude instead of simple servitude and the “apprenticeship” of minor children instead of more blatant “ownership.” When some in Congress tried to fight these events, the Ku Klux Klan rose up in force and there was no Northern will to combat it. So it is all the more remarkable that a white southern farmer stood up to this oppression even after the war when so many of his contemporaries would not.”
KNOWLEDGE IS A POWERFUL THING, AS IS THE TRUTH!
Note: Any fiction altered the actual words spoken but not the historical events!
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged black codes, civil war, confederacy, emancipation, free state of jones, gary ross, gugu mbatha-raw, huffington post, kkk, leonard hartman, mahershala ali, matthew mcconaughey, mississippi, monolithic south, moses washington, myth, newton knight, rachel knight, rebellion, reconstruction
When it’s your time, it’s your time. Matthew McConaughey is on a roll. His performance in Interstellar was fantastic. Matthew played Cooper, a retired NASA test pilot, turned farmer, who has a passion for space, flying and discovery. Anne Hathaway was equally magnificent in the role of biologist Amelia, the daughter of a renowned scientist named Brand, played by Michael Cain. The special effects and the great attention to detail is nothing short of phenomenal. Interstellar is a blockbuster of a movie that is well suited for those with a scientific mind and a real sense of adventure. I couldn’t begin to tell you of all the complicated jargon that went into Interstellar to complete this level of cosmic interest. Interstellar is about a team of space travelers who must travel through a wormhole in search of a habitable planet. It seems that Earth’s natural resources are at the brink of extinction, causing us to regress to an agrarian civilization, which is failing. According to Brand, there are 3 planets on the other side of the wormhole that qualify as worthy candidates. At this point, the story gets too complicated for this review but I will tell you that Interstellar has it all, from the “Endurance” that Cooper pilots, to the 2 robots (Case and Tars) that accompany the crew on their journey to the black hole called Gargantua. There is time travel and time lines that are truly fascinating. Cooper’s daughter Murphy, who is called Murph throughout the entire movie becomes a central character and is played by 3 different actresses. In the end, Cooper, who is raising his 2 children (Tom and Murph) must decide between seeing his children again and the future of the human race. Exciting, interesting, entertaining and thought provoking are some of the words that best describe this movie. Interstellar is 2 hours and 49 minutes well worth spending both your time and money to see but is not for everyone. Some folks may find it too scientific!
[INTERSTELLAR is Nominated for Music (Original Score), Production Design, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing and Visual Effects]
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged amelia, anne hathaway, biologist, brand, case, endurance, farmer, gargantua, interstellar, matthew mcconaughey, michael cain, murph, nasa, pilot, planets, science, tars, wormhole
Nicely told. Dallas Buyers Club is about a partying, drinking, drugging, gambling, sex addicted cowboy who tested positive for AIDS. Back in the 80’s the stigma was awful and information limited. ATZ was the popular treatment, which actually did more harm than good. Watching this cowboy’s life unfold was pure genius. Matthew McConaughey portrayed this HIV positive cowboy brilliantly. I didn’t know what to expect from this movie, especially since I had no idea what it was about. I was schooled on so many levels and found myself extremely emotional due to his plight and the plight of many others who are going through living with this horrific decease. I think Dallas Buyers Club is a must see film. I won’t say it’s entertaining, given the subject matter but I will say it’s intense and informative. Dallas Buyers Club is most defiantly worthy of an Oscar, I say check this one out!
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged addicted, AIDS, cowboy, dallas buyers club, gambling, HIV, informative, intense, matthew mcconaughey, sex, worthy