Ford v Ferrari (titled Le Mans ’66 in the UK and other territories) is a sports drama directed by James Mangold and written by Jez Butterworth, John-Henry Butterworth, and Jason Keller. The plot follows a determined team of American engineers and designers, led by automotive visionary Carroll Shelby and his British driver, Ken Miles. They are dispatched by Henry Ford II and Lee Iacocca with the mission of building the Ford GT40, a new racing car with the potential to finally defeat the perennially dominant Ferrari racing team at the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans race in France. Despite the great trailers for this movie, I didn’t intend to see it but I kept hearing great reviews from friends so I finally gave in. Ford vs Ferrari exceeded whatever expectations I had.
In 1963, Ford Motor Company Vice President Lee Iacocca (Jon Bernthal) suggests to Henry Ford II (Tracy Letts) that he purchase the cash-strapped Ferrari as a means to boost their car sales, participating in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Enzo Ferrari (Remo Girone), however, walks out of the deal because Fiat offered him a more lucrative deal that would allow him to retain his ownership of Scuderia Ferrari. In rejecting the proposed deal with Ford, Ferrari insults the company and its CEO. A furious Henry II orders his racing division to build a car to defeat Ferrari at Le Mans. For this task, Iacocca hires Shelby American, owned by Carroll Shelby (Matt Damon), a racing driver who won Le Mans in 1959 but was forced to retire due to an ongoing heart condition. In turn, Shelby enlists the help of Ken Miles (Christen Bale), a hot-tempered British racer and struggling mechanic. The two were best friends and had a long-standing relationship. Shelby and Miles test the Ford GT40 Mk I prototype at Los Angeles International Airport, working out all of its design flaws until it was race-ready. The events that followed were heartfelt and forever carved in history.
From this point in the movie, Ford vs Ferrari tells a compelling true story that is intriguing, to say the least. Ford vs Ferrari, which is based on actual events, turned out to be a better story than I anticipated. I expected a run of the mill movie with a lot of meaningless car races. Not being into car racing, I didn’t know names of the car racing greats so Carroll Shelby and Ken Miles didn’t mean anything to me. What a story Ford vs Ferrari turned out to be. I don’t know quite how it was done, but the camera work, while they were racing, was magnificent. I felt like I was in the car with Ken Miles. The excitement was non-stop. I’m sure if you go to see Ford vs Ferrari, you’ll like it as much as I did. The film has grossed $172 million worldwide and received positive reviews from critics, who lauded the performances and racing sequences. It was chosen by the National Board of Review as one of the ten best films of the year, while Bale was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Drama and the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role. FYI: In the early stages of the film’s production, Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt were cast in the starring roles, but those plans fell through. I believe the right actors were cast. I found this true story exciting and I highly recommend it to everyone, not just car racing fans. Check It Out!
[FORD VS FERRARI is Oscar-Nominated for Best Picture, Best Film Editing, and Best Sound Editing — Totaling 3 Oscar nominations]
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged caitriona balfe, Carroll Shelby, christian bale, Enzo Ferrari, Ford v Ferrai, Ford vs Ferrari, GT40, Henry Ford II, jon bernthal, Josh Lucas, Ken Miles, Le Mans, Lee Iacocca, Leo Beebe, matt damon, Mollie Miles, Mulsanne Straight, noah jupe, Peter Miles, Phil Remington, Ray McKinnon, Remo Girone, Tracy Letts
Wonder is a drama directed by Stephen Chbosky and written by Jack Thorne, Steve Conrad, and Stephen Chbosky, based on the 2012 novel of the same name by R.J. Palacio. The film follows a child with Treacher Collins syndrome trying to fit in the mainstream. Having had a child born with a Bilateral Clef Lip, I was reluctant to see Wonder. Unlike the parents of Auggie, I never knew what the bullying was like for my child because I was divorced and had a prominent career that kept me from the close relationship between child, school and myself. After seeing Wonder, I was more mellon collie than ever, however it’s not a problem now, just a distant memory, since my daughter is a beautiful, highly educated women with a career of her own. Wonder reflects more on the bullying than anything else.
August “Auggie” Pullman (Jacob Tremblay) is a young boy raised in North River Heights in upper Manhattan, New York. He has a rare medical facial deformity, which he refers to as “mandibulofacial dysostosis.” Due to numerous surgeries (27), Auggie had been home-schooled by his parents Isabel Pullman (Julia Roberts) and Nate Pullman (Owen Wilson), but as Auggie is approaching middle school age, Isabel and Nate decide to send him to Beecher Prep, a mainstream private school. Fifth grade is tough for Auggie who is ostracized by nearly all the student body. He is bullied by being called a freak and rumors were spread that kids will get the “plague” if they touch him. He does befriend a boy named Jack Will (Noah Jupe).
Halloween is Auggie’s favorite holiday. He has to wear an old “Ghostface” mask and costume because his dog, Daisy, threw up on his “Boba Fett” costume. He walks around school unrecognized and is not tormented while incognito. As he walks through the door to his homeroom, he overhears his friend Jack telling Julian Albans (Bryce Gheisar) that he was “only pretending to be friends with Auggie.” Feeling betrayed, Auggie leaves school and wants to stay home during trick-or-treating. His older sister Olivia Pullman (Izabela Vidovic: older/Maccie Margaret Chbosky: younger), nicknamed “Via,” tells him she is still his friend and talks him out of it. Auggie later confides the incident to a new friend, named Summer Dawson (Millie Davis), but swears her to secrecy. When Jack notices that Auggie has become quiet and distant he asks Summer why, but she only gives him the clue “Ghost Face”. Jack is shocked when it dawns on him that it was Auggie wearing the Ghost Face costume, and thus had overheard everything he said to Julian. When Julian calls Auggie a “freak,” Jack becomes enraged and punches him in the face. A fight ensues between the two, which is soon broken up by their homeroom teacher Mr. Browne (Daveed Diggs). Jack is suspended for two days for his actions. Jack also apologizes to Auggie and the two friends reconcile. They even team up for a winning science project.
This is probably a good place to leave you wanting to see more of this very sensitive movie that is very well done. The acting is brilliant as is the make-up and directing. I really think everyone should see Wonder, especially “bullies” in hopes Wonder will strike a nerve. Anyone could and should put themselves in Auggie’s shoes, it’s not a very good feeling. I think this is a must see movie for everyone. Wonder can now be seen on DVD and Blu-ray. Check it out!
[Wonder is Oscar nominated for Best Makeup and Hairstyling]
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged amos conti, armen bagdasrov, august "auggie" pullman, benjamin ratner, bryce gheisar, charlotte cody, chewbecca, danny, darth sidious, daveed diggs, elle mckannon, isabel pullman, izabela vidovic, j douglas stewart, jack will, jacob tremblay, julia roberts, julian albans, maccie margaret chbosky, mandy patinkin, michael alan healy, millie davis, mr tushman, mr. brown, mr. davenport, nate pullman, noah jupe, olivia pullman, owen wilson, science fair judge, summer dawson, ty consiglio, via, victoria v cruz, wonder
A Quiet Place is a horror film directed by John Krasinski and produced by Michael Bay’s company, Platinum Dunes, which is also run by Andrew Form and Bradley Fuller. The screenplay was written by Krasinski, Bryan Woods, and Scott Beck, based on a story by Woods and Beck. In A Quiet Place, a family must live life in silence while hiding from creatures that hunt exclusively by sound. While I don’t like horror movies, I opted to see this one because I was told it was a different kind of horror film that didn’t involve anything demonic, wicked, nor the usual teenagers screaming and scheming in the woods. My information was good and I enjoyed A Quiet Place.
Over a three month period in 2020, most of Earth’s human population has been wiped out by sightless creatures with hypersensitive hearing and a seemingly impenetrable armored shell that attacks anything that makes noise. The Abbott family consisting of Lee (John Krasinski), the husband and an engineer, Evelyn (Emily Blunt), the wife and a doctor, Regan (Millicent Simmonds), the daughter who is congenitally deaf in real life, Marcus (Noah Jupe), the oldest son and Beau (Cade Woodward), the youngest son, silently scavenge for supplies in a deserted town. Though skilled in American Sign Language, the family must be vigilant in their quietness to ensure they don’t make any accidental noise. Something as innocent as a battery-operated space shuttle toy is forbidden which their four-year-old Beau is drawn to, causing his father to take it away. His sister Regan returns the toy to Beau, who unbeknownst to her has also taken the batteries his father removed. Beau activates the shuttle when the family is walking home through the woods, near a bridge. After putting the batteries back in the toy, Beau becomes an instant target for a nearby creature.
A year later, Evelyn is in the final stages of pregnancy, and Lee is fruitlessly trying to make radio contact with the outside world. Lee attempts to upgrade Regan’s cochlear implant but the device fails to restore her hearing. Later, Lee takes Marcus to a nearby river to teach him to fish and explains to Marcus that they will always be safe from the creatures so long as louder sounds mask their audible movements. Their basement is specially modified soundproof but they still have to tread softly. The creatures are huge and scary. They have also rigged lights that surround their house and change to red at the flip of a light switch. This signals any of the family outside, there is danger and/or an impending catastrophe inside the house.
I must say there are a couple of things that made no sense to me but overall, A Quiet Place is a pretty good movie. There’s a lot more substance to this movie as well as many twist and turns. There are no other characters in this film and John Krasinski and Emily Blunt are married in real life. The movie was brilliantly acted, as they had almost no dialogue. I couldn’t understand why a couple would allow themselves to become pregnant in an impossible situation like they were in. Babies cry and women make a lot of noise in labor. I also didn’t understand Lee’s priorities — some of his decisions down right sucked. Despite my few quirks, I do recommend that you see A Quiet Place, it’s one of the better horror films. Check it out! BTW: A sequel is currently in the works.
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged a quiet place, beau abbott, cade woodward, emily blunt, evelyn abbott, john krasinski, lee abbott, marcus abbott, millicen simmonds, noah jupe, regan abbott
Suburbicon is a dark comedy directed by George Clooney and written by George Clooney, Joel Coen, Ethan Coen, and Grant Heslov. The movie is set in a new, up and coming suburban neighborhood in the year 1959. Racism, hate and just plane stupidity runs rampart throughout the community of Suburbicon. I’m not sure this is what America needs right now with all the crap we’re already putting up with these days.
The attraction to this advertised, peaceful, all-white neighborhood called Suburbicon was no blacks, no crime, no crowds and no traffic. When an African-American family moves in, everything changes. The natives grow restless and start a situation that pales by comparison to anything bad they thought Blacks would cause. Right in their own backyard Gardner Lodge (Matt Damon) and his wife, Rose Lodge (Juliann Moore) would experience their own crime when robbed by a couple of white men who breaks into their home and chloroform Gardner, Rose, Margaret (Juliann Moore), Rose’s twin sister and Nicky Lodge, (Noah Jupe) Gardner and Rose’s son.
Between this highly racist neighborhood, and the scary, murderous Lodge family, you’re in for a crazy ride of anger and a whole lot of senseless murder. At some point you are not even sure of what you are seeing or hearing, especially after a police lineup leaves you somewhat confused. It all starts to become clear as the whole neighborhood gets out of control and bodies start dropping. The film becomes ambiguous again when the next day comes and the cleanup begins and the film ends with no explanation as to the prognosis for the neighborhood, the Black family or Nicky. You’d have to see this one yourself to make your own determination as to the value of Suburbicon. These writers have a pretty sick mind, but then we are talking the Coen brothers and George Clooney.