BATTLE OF THE SEXES (2017)

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A film by Jonathan Dayton, Valerie Faris

Cast: Emma Stone, Steve Carell, Andrea Riseborough

The publicized true story about the on-court face-off between Grand Slam winner Billie Jean King (Emma Stone) and former World Number 1 Bobby Riggs (Steve Carell) is not simply about the sport.

The film is not just about that match it is about a male chauvinist, gay right, legality pay for women it is just scratch the surface in the early 70’s.. It is a funny film at times and the dynamism between the two tennis player makes it entertaining. For me however the film is missing something. I got out of the theatre feeling ok about it. Do not get me wrong the film is entertaining but not the big film either. It has history in it. Billie Jean King has fought all her life so the women could have better pay as equal to the men tennis player to top it all off she is trying to hide the fact that she is gay. Back then there were too much male chauvinism and the women could do well if not better than man. The two actors here are on top of their games. To even put Bill Pullman as Jack Kramer that was brilliant. Bobby Riggs is a gambling addict and a chauvinist pig. Smart as she is Billie that is was training her ass off meanwhile Riggs was putting on a show little did he is going to eat his words. Billie is good under pressure some people are and she was wearing him out to death. Riggs is out of shape. The film comes together toward the match between the two with the tension, thrills and the ridiculous moments . And the winner is.

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BATTLE OF THE SEXES

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LA LA LAND (2016)

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A film by Damien Chazelle

Cast: Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, Rosemarie DeWitt

The setting for La la Land is in L.A. traffic jam with people into their cell phones passing the time waiting to press on the gas pedal. Our two protagonists here honks the horn at each other in frustration not until later they will meet again and now ladies and gentlemen you have boy meets girl may the music begin.

Damien Chapelle has found a way to make a musical picture to make it fresh and unique. When he went to Harvard to study film he was obsessed to the point of doing some day a musical, he grew up watching old musical from the 40’s to 60’s. It is a musical old fashion style with a bolder, modern style with a thoughtful mixture of old school dance numbers you’d expect from a musical in the 50s, and emotionally-wrenching ballads. The film again looks and acts like a classic musical but frequently we see low-key reminders that this is modern-day; actresses using their iPhones, a video being seen on Youtube, etc to remind us that this is set in the present day. The cinematography is beautiful and overall the film is visually stunning with candy-colorer costumes and the decor with pastel colours. The scenes were shot outside and not in a studio as Gostling said in an interview when he was in Paris to promote the film Chapelle wanted it like that a natural setting so we had one shot at this and the revershal paid off.
Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone are phenomenal in this picture, the chemistry is there plus the dancing is perfect. I leave you with this at least Chapelle makes you dream and thank god he ended the film like he did because I thought he was going to go the other way. Voila!

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BIRDMAN: OR THE UNEXPECTED VIRTUE OF IGNORANCE (2014)

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A film by Alejandro González Iñárritu

Cast: Michael Keaton, Zach Galifianakis, Edward Norton

This film is more perfect than we think, it won best picture of the year (2014) for god’s sake. It will leave you memorized in Ha! when you leave the theater. This time Iñárritu has done it with the help of his friend he has written a great screenplay. Michael Keaton is brilliant in the role of Riggan Thomson an actor who became a star playing Birman In a movie trilogy. He is trying to restart his career by producing and staring in a play called We Talk About When We Talk About Love written by Raymond Carver . Riga has put every thing in this project he took an other mortgage on the house plus the rest of his savings You sense a sense of desperation as beginning to know more about him. his assistant his is daughter, he needs to find an other actor in the play, he is the director and producer of the play. Plus he had an affair with an actress while he was married. The critics ridicules him to death. And he is trying what os right to lift off this play for opening day where the critics of course will be watching. Nothing like pressure.

Michael Keaton delivers the performance of a life time so as the others actors, Zach Galifianakis, Edward Norton, Andrea Riseborough, Amy Ryan, Emma Stone and Naomi Watts. When giving a great role Keaton delivers in many ways then one. Here  is a wash out actor trying to lift off a play and wants every thing to go right, hr wants to prove to the critics he can act and do something else than Birdman. Alejandro film this beautiful well in a single shot, an idea the director had from the film’s conception. It looks like you are floating from one character to an other without cutting, a brilliant move there. It require hours of rehearsal prior to shooting there is not room for error. The script took 2 years to write. Really cool performance from Edward Norton as the egotistical actor Mike Shiner. Norton shows just how ridiculously far a method actor can go. Naomi Watts plays this insecure actress beautifully well I love her in anything she does and she does her thing well. Amy Stone plays sam Riggan’s daughter who is trying not to fell off the wagon. She choose her role carefully she is this fearless actress who jump at the occasion for a role like that. She is able to transform herself in to anything she wants. To build the tension and desperation the director put this jazz like drum music as  we see Riga’s blood pressure rising, as well as little bit of symphony at the time.

Birdman is a black comedy hilarious but well acted. See it on the big screen. I am going to get this one in my collection.

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MAGIC IN THE MOONLIGHT (2014)

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A film by Woody Allen

Cast: Colin Firth, Emma Stone, Marcia Gay Harden

Stanley (Colin Firth) is a magician one of the greatest in Europe who spent his life to revealing fraudulent spiritualists. One of his friends invites him to a villa       in France to quickly uncover the truth behind celebrated spiritualist Sophie and her scheming mother who are a guest at the villa. However the more he spent time with her he begins to believe there is something on the other side and possibly an after life , without realizing that he is falling in love with her.

Yes Woody Allen is back with an other one he was in an interview in France and they told him that he was more appreciate in France than in his country and he replied you might be right about that one. That is weird because Jerry Lewis was loved in France like crazy but not in the states. Although the French actor Maurice Chevalier was loved in the United States nut not in France. Well Woody goes back to France to film Magic in the moonlight and let me tell you that the cinematography is outstanding as usual He didn’t miss a beat. It was near perfection. The film takes place In 1920 and Colin Firth incarnates the great Magician Stanley and does a great job at it. Okay he is world famous, no one outside of his closed circle of associates knows his real identity because on stage he is known as Wei Ling Soo, the Chinese magician. Colin Firth has some great lines and he delivers it perfectly well. He is a cynical and does not believe in the after life he thinks that spiritualist are a fraud and he knows that he is right. He does not seems to able to enjoy this great success that he is having. Brice tries to serenade Sophie with some corny song paying on his miniature guitar, he is in love with her immediacy. When we see Sopie (Emma Stone) for the first time you see the light hitting her face just right that gives her charisma and irresistible. Nice work form the light guy on this one on all the movie he has done a great job. Woody Allen is this great director but an awesome writer.

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magic in the moonlight

GANGSTER SQUAD (2013)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A film by Ruben Fleischer.
Cast: Sean Penn, Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone.
It’s 1949 Los Angeles, and gangster Mickey Cohen has moved in, with the intention of controlling all criminal activity in the city. He has bought local judges and police, and no one is willing to cross him or testify against him. Everyone except Seargant John O’Mara, a former World War II soldier, whose goal is to settle with his family in a peaceful Los Angeles. Police Chief William Parker decides to form a special unit whose mission is to take down Cohen, and chooses O’Mara to lead the unit. O’Mara chooses 4 cops and asks another cop and vet, Jerry Wooters to join him but Wooters is not interested. But when he witnesses the murder of a young boy by Cohen’s people, he joins them, and they decide to take apart Cohen’s organization. Cohen wonders if a rival is going after him, but eventually he realizes it’s the cops.

This film is loosely base on real event. They had to tone down the tommy gun shooting and reshot them du to the Aurora Shooting. This film was good wit an all stars cast but it is too Hollywood they should went independent film it would been better. His film has the familiar look and feel of a gangster classic. To me it has a feel like the untouchable and that film was better. Not to say I like Gangster squad. The film gets down to business and introducing the characters who are going to take down Mickey Cohen. There is an impressive car chase, and some gun blazing action scene. Great performance by Sean Penn. Also Robert Patrick’s performance as the grizzled older gunslinger. I call it a guilty pleasure film.