Posted in Based on a true story, U.S. Film

CHUCK (2017)

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A film by Philippe Falardeau

Cast: Elisabeth Moss, Naomi Watts, Liev Schreiber

The true story of Chuck Wepner, New Jersey’s liquor dealer, who held 15 rounds against the greatest boxer of all time, Mohammed Ali, at the heavyweight world championship in 1975, before finally losing by Technical KO, which Sylvester Stallone got inspired  and wrote the screenplay Rocky.

Chuck Wepner is the guy who was the inspiration for Sylvester Stallone’s scrappy underdog Rocky Balboa. When the film opens, Wepner is a Bayonne celebrity is the guy who walks into a bar greeted by cheers. Phylis, his wife (Elisabeth Moss) , loves him, supports him, but also has her limits, when it comes that her man is going out with other women. Phyllis is tough as her husband and she makes her point straight across. Ron Perlman plays Wepner’s manager, working out of a run-down gym, trying to scrape up gigs. Naomi Watts plays Linda, a local bartender whom Wepner falls for.

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Here Liev Schreiber doe a wonderful job incarnated Chuck who is this man who stand 15 rounds to Ali and became famous because of it. He was just a dude a heavy weight fighter who got a shot at the title. But what goes up must come down. Chuck has his problem of course loved women, did not know how to be a husband and a father to his kid. He got side track and forgot who really matters in his life. Stallone is played by Morgan Spector, who nails Stallone’s distinctive voice, as well as his enthusiasm. Chuck here got caught up into the fame big time. The fighting scenes in the ring was done as real as possible no over exaggeration , it was dead on. The costume and the era of the 70’s even the decor is absolutely right on. God I remember the 70’s what a crazy era. voila fun film to watch.

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Posted in U.S. Film

ALIEN CONVENANT (2017)

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A film by Ridley Scott

Cast: Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston, Billy Crudup

Alien: Covenant is a sequel to Prometheus (2012) and the second instalment of the Alien prequel series. The story takes place years ago  after the events in the previous film following a new group of characters who’re on an expedition to an uncharted planet carrying a large number of colonists in hibernation. However due to a signal in space they land on an other planet that seems habitable but something is off, and very quickly the crew began to regret their decision.

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Katherine Waterston stars as Daniels, one of the crew members of the Covenant ship soon to be heroin. Michael Fassbender  portraying a new android character named Walter who’s part of the Covenant crew, after all he is the keeper of the ship while the crew sleep. Billy Crudup plays Christopher Oram the captain of the crew. The performance here are fine here as well as the visual where Scoot does not disappoint. They will be answers in this one that is going to make sense. It provides  answers to the origins of Alien. It is a bit horrifying to be trap in confined spaces in space with this monster that wants to kill everything on his path. The film’s pace is slow at first to develop the characters so you get to know them and where they come from. The special effects are awesome in this one Scott here went all out as expected, other than that it is fine.

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Posted in Based on a true story, British film, U.S. Film

DENIAL (2016)

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film by Mick Jackson

Cast: Rachel Weisz, Tom Wilkinson, Timothy Spall

Deborah Lipstadt (Rachel Weisz), a noted historian and author, fiercely defends the memory of the Holocaust. She is confronted with an academic extremist, advocate of controversial theses on the Nazi regime, David Irving (Timothy Spall) , who challenges her to prove the existence of the Holocaust.

The thing about Mick Jackson’s film is the unexpected strategy the lawyers take to counter the claim the Holocaust never occurred. The film may be a little dry, but the topic is not. I did not know there was people who denied that the holocaust has never happened and to top it all off they have lawyer that will counter-claim that the holocaust never occurred due to lack of evidence. You have got to be kidding. David Hare’s screenplay focuses on the topic, immersing us in the protagonist’s life and beliefs. It is an intellectually interesting  film that raises not only questions about the Holocaust, but about the issues of  proving any historical event has occurred. It will take a large team of lawyer here to combat this imbecile David Irving and Deborah Lipstadt who is a fighter here can not be on the stand to testify which she struggled with it. Richard Rampton (Wilkinson) took upon this strategy never make eye contact which aggravated Irving big time. The court drama how ever has been done a la traditional a flaw here but the performances of the actors are A+ thank god for that. It is still watchable but not the great film that it should be been.

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Posted in U.S. Film

GOING IN STYLE (2017)

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A film by Zach Braff

Cast: Ann-Margret, Peter Serafinowicz, Joey King 

It is a remake of the 1979 movie of the same name that starred three big names on the back-end of their careers, George Burns, Art Carney and Lee Strasberg. The new version has star power with Michael Caine, Alan Arkin and Morgan Freeman, working amusingly together as retirees who find out that their pension plan is frozen until further noticed due to the fact that the company is going to move to Vietnam.

Ok you guess what they are going to do, well the film is 100% predictable even with this little twist in there. In this one you will see pot smoking,vigorous sex has been enjoyed, and the gents have done a nice job of outsmarting the detective (Matt Dillon) who is investigating the robbery. Christopher Lloyd has done a hilarious job in playing the typical senior citizen. Director, Zach Braff, has directed a well executed film here that you will enjoy but no more no less.  The cast is near perfect and Ann-Margret where it is nice to see her still acting plus she still looks good, amazing.

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Posted in U.S. Film

GET OUT (2017)

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A film by Jordan Peele

Cast: Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams, Bradley Whitford

In Get Out, a smart and scary freakout about a black man in a white nightmare, the laughs come easily and then bang here comes the kill.

The film open with a black man talking on a cellphone on an empty suburban street briskly sets the tone, unsettles the mood, and you go I know what this is going to be about but you don’t. Those arms and smiles all but hug Chris (Daniel Kaluuya), a photographer with a sweet pad, adorable dog and equally frisky, adoring girlfriend, Rose ( Allison Williams). The story opens with them preparing for a long weekend with her parents Ho! boy. “Do they know I’m black?” Chris gently asks, like I said Ho! boy!!! Not to worry she said my parents are not racist. Okay then. Chris and Rose pulls up her parents house which is picture perfect and you know something is off when Chris meets her parents.

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A stroke of genius here the film comes across like a zombie/The Stepford Wives film but much better manipulated differently. Get Out’s premise follows the traditional framework of an outsider discovering the horrors of a secluded local, but adds its own unique spin. The film is disturbing and at times satirical with some tension. As Chris discover more about the folks that comes to the party it gets a very strange feeling to the point he wants to get out. The film here has a genuine chills and a surprising dose of biting humour. It is refreshing that someone has used the imagination to get this one right and turn it into an original idea.

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Posted in U.S. Film

GUARDIAN OF THE GALAXIE VOL. 2 (2017)

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A film by James Gunn

Cast: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Kurt Russell, Sylvester Stallone

This is going to be a dazzling action-packed sci-fi extravaganza. As I am going to try to write a dazzling review. Nothing is lost here it is still fun with some great music to go with it.

After a brief scene set in 1980 Missouri with a miraculously digitally young Kurt Russell, the action  battle in the adventurous spirit and risk-taking of the central characters. Peter Quill (Chris Pratt), makes a living as intergalactic bounty hunters. After a toe-tapping battle sequence featuring a giant Lovecraftian squid and Baby Groot (Vin Diesel) dating to the Electric Light Orchestra’s Mr. Blue Sky, the team is forced to divide. There they Meet Ego (Kurt Russell) and will take them to his dazzling planet which Ego will provide any question that provide answers to Star-Lord’s questions. And there begins the extravaganza of beautiful scenery colourful as hell with jokes along the way with great tunes from the 80’s.Watch out for Sylvester Stallone in a cameo.

Visually stunning, the film is a blast: a joyous sci-fi fantasy filled with weird and wonderful characters, goofy humour and a plot that offers just the right blend of emotional je ne sais quoi. Someone has a lot of imagination here and that is a good thing. Vol. 3 please.

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Posted in U.S. Film

FENCES (2016)

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A film byDenzel Washington

Cast: Denzel Washington, Viola Davis, Stephen Henderson

The man is that he is one of the world’s great talkers. He, Troy Maxson (Denzel Washington)  enters the screen as this nice dude talking  with his friend Bono (Stephen McKinley Henderson) and teasing his wife, Rose (Viola Davis). Rose and Bono have known each other for years. Troy is by turns funny, provocative, inspiring and hurtful, but sometimes is quiet as hell. There are plenty of speech here with of course the occasional profanities. It is from a play from August Wilson. Denzel revived the play by playing in it then wanted to direct it on film, and what a beautiful film it is. No couple is perfect here as you are going to find out as the story goes one . It is well paced with plenty of dialogue.

Troy, 53 years old and employed as a sanitation worker, has a physical assurance of the athlete he used to be. Well he has speeches how great he was in baseball. When in 1947 Jackie Robinson broke the major-league color line, it was too late for Troy he has a bitterness against Corey his son. He wants his son to do better than him and not the same mistake he has done. But troy here is bitter about a few things. Yes he went to jail , got out but came out bitter and cruel at times. Rose here solves problems her husband has created. The relationship will create friction a times but one event will create a monster of a friction here where Rose who is played beautifully well by Viola Davis who got an Oscar for the role is trying to solve the problem but is angry as hell at Troy. A the end of the film you will know who Troy is . It is a most painfully, beautiful and honest film.

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Pictured: Denzel Washington (Troy Maxson) & Viola Davis (Rose)