Hello again everyone! I assure you, it’s not that I’m trying to ignore the new Bridget Jones flick, as it most certainly gets a plot shout-out at the end of the reviews; it’s merely that when it press premiered a few days back, I was suspiciously on a plane. So, let us begin.
When tackling nonfiction with cinematic drama mixed in for entertainment reasons, a director and writer(s) needs to be incredibly aware of what they are crafting. Director Gary Ross (Seabiscuit; The Hunger Games) has enlisted some top historians and professors/researchers on the subject matter at hand, which kind of feels like a ‘Black Lives Matter’ theme piece. It is not. The film, Free State of Jones, talks of Confederate Army nurse Newton Knight, who was also a farmer, and who broke away from the warring carnage and started his own rebel militia against the Confederates in the early 1860s, as the US Civil War raged on. Knight is most certainly a historical figure and here played with robust, likeable energy by Matthew McConaughey in one of his first, post-Oscar roles. Ross barely manages but is able to keep a thin line away from the atypical white saviour nonsense that Hollywood loves to spew forth on us like herpes…The Help, anyone? Puh-leeze! Exploring the themes of interracial love and integration, Ross’ piece takes a stance that kind of mixes the underprivileged white experience and the black experience while never even trying to imply that the two were similar. In that sense, this is likely to be one of those high school/community college movies that are played for ‘study purposes’” None too shabby, frankly. ###-1/2
And now, my dad’s new fave action guy…Jason Statham. Sigh. If anyone deserves a prize for becoming the new bald heartthrob in poor films, it’s this brother. Title: Mechanic:Resurrection. Plot: Hiding in Rio after the events of the last film, whose shadows won’t touch the doorstep of these pages, Arthur Bishop gets tracked down by some bad guy shmuck named Crain (played by English actor Sam Hazeldine), who then forces him to kill three other bad guys or all hell will break loose. Enter in stage left Jessica Alba, who is literally rolling in multi-millions from her Honest body and lifestyle company and THIS is what she chooses to do? I just can’t with this one. Even Oscar winner Tommy Lee Jones is here playing a crap copy of some better role he’s done before and the gorgeous Michelle Yeoh with a token appearance since they’re in an Asian country. It’s all just so laboured and done already. It’s as if they all got money to go make a crappy film with just enough action sequences, a couple of explosions and some light sex to keep the stalwarts happy. Nah, I’ll pass. #-1/2
It truly must be something else when your mum or dad are people of excellence in their respective fields of entertainment, and then you follow in their steps. It must be daunting. Ridley Scott’s son’s name is Luke. I like that name. His first feature film is called Morgan. I don’t like that name…especially for a genetically-crafted humanoid girl, played to creepy goodness by Anya Taylor-Joy. Scott’s film boasts a ton of acting chops with Paul Giamatti, Kata Mara, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Toby Jones and Michelle Yeoh (yet again this week!) to name the big ones. They are all there to monitor the goings-on of humanoid Morgan after she violently attacked a scientist at the clinic/lab. What we, the audience, wait for are the thrills and chills, as this is how the movie has been marketed. Rather than that though, we get some major overacting that shams the best of actors at times, and a story that makes us wait until the last 10 minutes of the film to give us some goods…think The Sixth Sense or Others revelation-like drama but in plan light, sabes? Here’s hoping for a better outing for this new director Scott next time. ##-1/2
The new film by Ron Howard is a documentary entitled The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years. It is a practically perfect edit of a docufilm. I was elated the entire time and, as a bonus, we get a 30-minute dose of their Shea Stadium performance in the New York of years ago. For modern interviews, he scours the scene with a gangsta lean and gets the likes of (claro!) Macca and Ringo along with Eddie Izzard, Whoopi Goldberg, Elvis Costello and Larry Kane (on tour with them at the time) giving such great recounts of how affected they, and all of us, have been by their presence. At one point, a journalist asks John what he think about perhaps having a cultural impact on the world in the future, to which he laughs off as complete jest. There are so many great scenes in the film that even someone who knows little about these amazing people can be entertained and have a laugh. There has been no better time since before the summer to say: Get your bum to the cinema and catch this doc! So damn good. ####-1/2
So a quick plot rundown of Bridget Jones’s Baby or (BJ3), which is generally receiving good feedback amongst the critics and crowds and should open widely throughout all of Europe into October. Bridget finds herself at 43 with the usual drama of life in one’s early forties. She has broken up with Darcy (again played by Colin Firth), and life is merely afloat until she meets a man who’s from the US named Jack. Sparks fly, another one-night stand happens, then voila! Bridge is preggers and either one of her one-night stands could be the baby’s daddy. Enter in-jokes and serve fresh if able. We’ll just have to see about that...
Have a great weekend and week everyone!