Monday Movie Report: Matt Damon signs on for Marc Rich biopic

Matt Damon has been brought in on a film project about the life of commodities trader Marc Rich.

According to Variety, Damon will star as Rich in the film, titled “The King of Oil.” The Universal Pictures project is being produced by John Krasinski, Variety reports, through his Sunday Night Productions.

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REVIEW: Robbie, Janney Are Sensational In ‘I Tonya’

A story that many in the United States and the world for that matter are familiar with gets another look in “I, Tonya.”

As the title teases, the movie follows the story of two-time Olympian Tonya Harding (Margot Robbie), whose career rose with a 1991 U.S. Figure Skating Championship and ended with a controversy revolving around an attack on her rival Nancy Kerrigan.

The picture details her early life of training under her strict and controlling mother LaVona (Allison Janney) to her time as a professional skater where she had a relationship, marriage and breakup with her husband Jeff (Sebastian Stan). Through both periods of her life, the film showcases Harding’s difficulties because of poverty and the people around her.

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REVIEW: Oldman’s Performance Energizes The Historical Drama In “Darkest Hour”

A man who seemed to carry the weight of the world on his shoulders at one point is explored in “Darkest Hour.”

The movie takes place in 1940 with the German military invading countries and pushing back the forces of Great Britain and France. With new leadership needed, Winston Churchill (Gary Oldman) is brought in as a Prime Minister who is ready and willing to defend the island nation.

As Churchill enters office, he faces a massive problem with German forces surrounding the British at Dunkirk. Meanwhile, at home, Churchill has to deal with politicians including Viscount Halifax (Stephen Dillane) and Neville Chamberlain (Ronald Pickup) pushing back against the new prime minister’s plan for war and opting to negotiate with Adolf Hitler.

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REVIEW: ‘Molly’s Game’ Is Entertaining But Lacks Depth

“Molly’s Game” is a film certainly filled with talent, both in its acting and writing. However, this isn’t necessarily a picture to go all in on.

The film tells two intertwined tales, both revolving around the same real life figure, Molly Bloom (Jessica Chastain). One of them is about how Molly created a high-stakes poker game which led to large amounts of wealth and its own share of problems.

The other takes place in the ‘present day,’ where her game was exposed by authorities and she needs to build a legal defense. In doing the latter, Molly gets help from a lawyer named Charlie Jaffey (Idris Elba), who becomes her legal counsel.

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REVIEW: James Franco’s Acting, Directing Is On Point In ‘the Disaster Artist’

If commentaries and special behind the scenes features show anything, it’s that the process of making a movie can be a story in itself. That’s even true for what’s been dubbed by some as the worst movie ever made, “The Room.”

“The Disaster Artist” tells that very story. The movie opens in the late 90s from the perspective of Greg Sestero (Dave Franco), a young actor trying to find a way to get his big break. During one of his acting classes, Greg meets Tommy Wiseau (James Franco), an odd man who seems to have no fear when it comes to performing. Greg, impressed by how Tommy is fearless in his acting, decides to strike up a friendship. After the two becomes friends, Greg soon learns that Tommy is mysteriously rich.

As a result of Tommy’s wealth, the two are able to move to Hollywood to try and get into the film industry. However, the effort becomes fruitless after a while. As a result, Tommy decides to just make a movie on his own with Greg as one of the top actors. Because Tommy has seemingly no experience or talent in writing, directing and acting, though, the filmmaking process doesn’t exactly go smoothly.

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REVIEW: ‘Lion’ Is A Feelgood Movie That Earns Every Heartfelt Moment

An incredible journey that happens to be a true story is portrayed in “Lion,” one of the top tier movies in 2016.

The picture tells the story of Saroo (played at first by Sunny Pawar) a young boy from India who, through a series of events, is separated from his family and ends up alone on the streets of Calcutta, thousands of miles from home.

Much of the first act of the film shows Saroo, who doesn’t know the pronunciation of his home town and also speaks a different dialect, trying to survive on his own before eventually getting taken into an orphanage. As a result, Saroo is eventually adopted by a married couple from Australia. The film then has a timeskip and shows Saroo as a grown man (Dev Patel) who’s still haunted by his past. Because the memories of his family live on, Saroo sets out on a mission to find out where he’s from.

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REVIEW: While Predictable, ‘Hidden Figures’ Is A Solid Look At An Important True Story

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the space race of decades past has many inspiring stories of brilliant people, so it’s always a treat when Hollywood visits the subject.

“Hidden Figures” is another such feature. The picture tells the story of Katherine Johnson (Taraji Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monae), three women who worked at NASA in the early 1960s in a unit dedicated to all the math for the agency.

Because their work was all about calculations, they were even called computers at the time. As their skills are called upon, though, Katherine is brought into a special task force for NASA’s latest mission, Mary is brought into an engineering unit and Dorothy, meanwhile, works to advance her role as the supervisor of her group. While this is happening, the three women have to face discrimination while also dealing with immense pressure as their work is key to bringing astronauts home safely.

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REVIEW: Superb Acting From Portman Creates A Haunting Portrait Of American Tragedy In ‘Jackie’

Pablo Larrain directs and Natalie Portman stars as First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy in this in depth look at one of America’s darkest days and the aftermath.

The picture largely takes place in the days after the assassination of U.S. President John F. Kennedy, but other time periods are explored, too. While a majority of the picture shows Jackie planning the funeral in the days after the assassination as well her conversations about the events with others, the movie also shows the First Lady’s famous TV tour of the White House and when the Kennedys first arrived in Texas.

As the film unravels, it explores Jackie needing to be a mother, continue being a public figure and take efforts to preserve her husbands legacy.

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Trumbo movie review

Director:

  • Jay Roach

Cast:

  • Bryan Cranston
  • Diane Lane
  • Helen Mirren
  • Louis C.K.
  • Roger Bart
  • John Goodman
  • Rated: R

Bryan Cranston plays the title character and legendary Oscar winning screenwriter in “Trumbo” which picks up with the lives of the protagonists just as the Red Scare is starting to pick up.

The fear of communism is on full display in the movie and one of the targets of that fear is Dalton Trumbo as well as other Hollywood writers. The film documents this struggle with the Red Scare, mainly through Trumbo’s perspective, featuring how they had to go to jail and were even blacklisted from working in the film industry.

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Joy review

Director:

  • David O. Russell

Cast:

  • Jennifer Lawrence
  • Robert De Niro
  • Bradley Cooper
  • Edgar Ramierez
  • Virginia Madsen
  • Isabella Rossellini
  • Rated: PG-13

“Joy” is inspired by the true story of businesswoman Joy Mangano (played by Lawrence) and details her rise from a person struggling to get by to an inventor who starts her own company. The story begins with Joy working a dead end job, having to take care of her mother who doesn’t do anything but watch soaps, having to raise her children and dealing with her ex-husband.

During a boat outing with her father Rudy (De Niro) and his new girlfriend Trudy, an accident happens that gives Joy the idea to create a new type of mop. What follows is her story of trying to manufacture her invention and get it out to market just as shopping channels are being introduced to the public.

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