Knives Out is a murder mystery written, produced, and directed by Rian Johnson. Described as a modern take on the whodunit, the film follows a family gathering gone awry, after the family patriarch’s death leads a master detective to investigate. I looked forward to seeing this film and it did not disappoint.
Wealthy crime novelist Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer) invites his family to a party at his mansion to celebrate his 85th birthday. The next morning, Harlan’s housekeeper Fran (Edi Patterson) finds him dead, apparently having slit his own throat. An anonymous figure hires private detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) to investigate. Blanc is accompanied by Detective Lieutenant Elliot (Lakeith Stanfield) throughout the investigation. Blanc learns that Harlan had alienated many of the family: he had threatened to expose his son-in-law Richard Drysdale (Don Johnson) for having an affair; cut off his daughter-in-law Joni’s (Toni Collette) allowance for stealing money meant for Megan (Katherine Langford) his granddaughter’s tuition; fired his youngest son Walt (Michael Shannon) from his publishing company and cut his lazy grandson Ransom (Chris Evans) out of his will. Harlan’s daughter Linda Drysdale (Jamie Lee Curtis), Harlan’s mother Wanetta who is affectionately known as “Great Nana” (K Callan) and Harlan’s nurse Marta Cabrera (Ana de Armas) are all still in Harlan’s favor.
Knives Out is a typical “who done it” film cleverly put together by Rian Johnson for the modern viewer. I thought this ensemble cast was brilliant as was their story. Clear and comprehensible, the pieces were placed coherently and fit like a glove. If you’re looking for a good brain teaser, Knives Out is your cup of tea. Most of the family had a motive to murder Harlan but only one did it. Find out when you see Knives Out! The film received critical acclaim, particularly for its screenplay, direction, and acting, and has grossed over $132 million worldwide against a $40 million budget. At the 77th Golden Globe Awards, the film received three nominations in the Musical or Comedy categories: Best Motion Picture, Best Actor for Craig, and Best Actress for de Armas. Check It Out!
[KNIVES OUT is Oscar-Nominated for Best Original Screenplay — Totaling 1 Oscar nomination]
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS, STREAMING
Tagged Alicia Cabrera, Ana de Armas, Benoit Blanc, chris evans, christopher plummer, daniel craig, Detective Hardrock, Detective Lieutenant Elliot, don johnson, Donna Thrombey, Edi Patterson, Fran, Harlan Thrombey, Hugh Ransom Drysdale, Jacob Thrombey, Jaeden Martell, Jamie Lee Curtis, Joni Thrombey, joseph gordon-levitt, K Callan, katherine langford, Knives Out, Lakeith Stanfield, Linda Drysdale, M. Emmet Walsh, Marlene Forte, Marta Cabrera, Megan "Meg" Thrombey, michael shannon, Mr. Proofroc, Mrs. Cabrera, Noah Segan, Raúl Castillo, Richard Drysdale, Riki Lindhome, Shyrley Rodriguez, Toni Collette, Trooper Wagner, Walter "Walt" Thrombey, Wanetta "Great Nana" Thrombey
The Current War is a historical drama inspired by the 19th-century competition between Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse over which electric power delivery system would be used in the United States (often referred to as the “war of the currents”). Directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon and written by Michael Mitnick. Martin Scorsese and Steven Zaillian also serve as executive producers. Not a lot of action but very informative and very interesting.
“The Current War” opens in the year 1880, with Thomas Edison (Benedict Cumberbatch), revealing his electric lightbulb. He has decided on Direct Current (DC), which is cheaper, cleaner and safer than gaslight but it is limited in range and very expensive. George Westinghouse (Michael Shannon), a successful businessman and inventor himself would like to learn more, so he invites Edison to dinner. Edison snubs Westinghouse who then sets out to prove Alternating Current (AC) is the better technology as it can work over greater distances and at a significantly lower cost. Edison and Westinghouse compete to get cities across the United States to use their system. Meanwhile, a brilliant inventor Nikola Tesla (Nicholas Hoult) arrives in the United States and begins working with Edison, but is disappointed by Edison’s unwillingness to reconsider his ideas and to fulfill what Tesla thought was a financial promise, which Edison passes off as a joke. Edison struggles to find ways to make DC more affordable, while Westinghouse attempts to get the high-voltage AC system to work with motors. And so, the fight for power gets more fierce and much longer. Of course, the plot has many pockets of interesting discoveries as well as showing the depths at which desperate men will go.
The Current War, A period in time when life was less complicated and people were apprehensive about everything. Electricity was a huge move forward. Before it could get off the ground, a simple matter needed to be clarified. AC vs DC. This movie was made and due for release in 2017 but because of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, which halted all things Harvey Weinstein, including The Current War, was never released until now. If you’re not a history buff or have a thirst for historic events, you may want to skip this one. I found this true story interesting but more of a history lesson than a work of entertainment. After two weeks released, “The Current War” has grossed $4,948,935 and has a 60% Rotten Tomatoes rating. I don’t think this box office flop will be around for another week. Don’t get me wrong, I liked the movie but not many other people were anxious to see it. If you like history, Check It Out!
Posted in CURRENT MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged benedict cumberbatch, Bourke Cockran, Conor MacNeill, Damien Molony, Franklin Pope, George Westinghouse, J. P. Morgan, John Schwab, katherine waterston, Lewis Latimer, Louis Ashbourne Serkis, Marguerite Erskine Walker, Mary Stilwell Edison, Matthew Macfadyen, michael shannon, nicholas hoult, Nikola Tesla, Rudolph Young, Samuel Insull, Simon Manyonda, Stanley Townsend, The Current War, Thomas Edison, tom holland, tuppence middleton, William Kemmler
The Shape of Water is a dark romantic fantasy directed by Guillermo del Toro and co-written by del Toro and Vanessa Taylor. The film is set in 1962 Baltimore. The movie has so many great messages that extend far beyond the obvious fantasy most of us will expect to see. It’s strong, profound and worthy of all the upcoming nominations that have already started pouring in. There’s no rose-colored glasses nor any hidden secrets to be discovered. There’s just pure love and of course, good vs evil and I loved it! WARNING: there’s a fair amount of sex or sexual suggestion making it somewhat risque for the under aged.
— SPOILERS BELOW —
The plot follows a mute female custodian named Elisa Esposito (Sally Hawkins) who is employed at a highly-secured, secret government laboratory. The facility receives a creature in a tank, which has been captured from a South American river by Colonel Richard Strickland (Michael Shannon). Curious, Elisa discovers that the creature is a humanoid amphibian. She begins visiting the creature in secret and the two form a close bond and later, fall in love. Her plan is to eventually free the creature from the facility where he is being abused.
Elisa was rendered mute by a neck injury she had sustained as an infant, and communicates using sign language. Her two closest friends are her neighbor Giles (Richard Jenkins), who is an advertising artist and closeted gay man, and Zelda (Octavia Spencer), an African-American co-worker who also serves as her interpreter at work.
Elisa and the creature may be in love, but the United States have other plans for the Amphibian, as do the Soviets, aided by an agent/doctor also working in the facility by the name of Dr. Robert Hoffstetler (Michael Stuhlbarg). With plans already in place, the US wants to exploit the creature for possible advantages in the space race; the Soviets want to steal it, study it then dissect it; Colonel Strickland wants to abuse it and Elisa wants to love it and set it free. None of this is going to go the way anyone thinks. “The best laid plans of Mice and Men often go awry”. The Shape of Water takes on the most bazaar direction in a non-comedy I’ve ever seen. No one will be laughing as everyone ends up where they should be. I see why the nominations are pouring in.
The American Film Institute selected The Shape of Water as one of the top 10 films of the year. It won for Best Director and Best Original Score at the 75th Golden Globe Awards, while also receiving Oscar nominations for Best Motion Picture – Drama, Best Actress – Drama (Hawkins), Best Supporting Actress (Spencer), Best Supporting Actor (Jenkins), and Best Screenplay. At the 71st British Academy Film Awards, the film received 12 nominations, including Best Film. It’s a worth while film with a worth while story and a worth while message. Check it out!
[The Shape of Water is Oscar nominated for BEST: Picture, Director, Actress, Supporting Actress, Supporting Actor, Cinematography, Costume Design, Film Editing, Original Score, Production Design, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, and Original Screenplay]
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged dr robert hoffstetler, elisa esposito, giles, michael shannon, michael stuhlbarg, octavia spencer, richard jenkins, richard strickland, sally hawkins, the shape of water, zelda