REVIEW: Film art legends deliver a powerful American odyssey

Now, we all know Jimmy Hoffa’s body was taken from beneath a stadium into a UFO by aliens, but I suppose it’s worth checking out what this film’s take is on what happened.

“The Irishman” refers to a nickname given to Frank Sheeran, played here by Robert De Niro. At the start of Director Martin Scorsese’s latest feature film, Sheeran is working as a truck driver in Philadelphia, who delivers meat and earns an honest living. However, after some time, he begins making some shipments to a local gangster, and from there he gets involved with mob boss Russell Bufalino (Joe Pesci). Sheeran begins doing jobs for Russell and eventually becomes an enforcer for the crime syndicate.

Eventually, because of the ties between certain organized crime factions and some unions, Frank comes into contact with Jimmy Hoffa (Al Pacino). The powerful Teamsters President takes a liking to Frank and eventually the two start working together. The work he does, though, is deadly and corrupt. As a result Frank’s life never really settles down.

Continue reading “REVIEW: Film art legends deliver a powerful American odyssey”

Monday Movie Report: Golden Globe nominees and more award news

Award season is in full swing with Monday morning bringing the nominations for the annual Golden Globe awards, set to take place in a few weeks.

“Marriage Story” leads the nominations race with six, followed by “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” and “The Irishman” which each earned five. Along with the Globe nominations, several film critic organizations have also announced their awards for 2019 movies.

Continue reading “Monday Movie Report: Golden Globe nominees and more award news”

REVIEW: Despite great potential, ‘Waves’ sinks because of story execution issues

When there are waves, it usually means the waters aren’t calm, and that certainly becomes the case in this movie.

Directed by Trey Edward Shults, “Waves” is a film taking place in south Florida that follows a family of four. More specifically, though, the movie centers on the son, Tyler (Kelvin Harrison Jr.). Tyler, at the movie’s onset, has a lot going for him. He’s a star athlete in the midst of the wrestling season, he has a loving family and he’s in a good relationship with his girlfriend.

However, as the movie gets going, cracks begin to form in Tyler’s life and these cracks eventually lead to the proverbial dam breaking. The film follows the issues the family goes through in the events that follow.

Continue reading “REVIEW: Despite great potential, ‘Waves’ sinks because of story execution issues”

REVIEW: ‘Dark Waters’ is a compelling journey into the depths of corporate greed

Actor Mark Ruffalo trades in his green look for a nice suit in his latest film.

In “Dark Waters,” Ruffalo plays Robert Bilott, a corporate defense attorney who works at an office in Cincinnati. At the movie’s beginning, Bilott and the firm he works for has established a solid working relationship with the DuPont company. That good working relationship begins to strain, though, when Bilott meets with a farmer in West Virginia, based on a referral from a family member, and uncovers an environmental disaster threatening livestock.

Upon the discovery, Bilott launches a case against the DuPont company with the hope that he can win a lawsuit and help the farmer, Wilbur (Bill Camp). However, the lawyer uncovers more and more details about DuPont’s “forever” chemicals and learns that the environmental disaster is much worse than initially thought.

Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Dark Waters’ is a compelling journey into the depths of corporate greed”

REVIEW: Driver’s lead performance powers ‘The Report’

One of the darkest periods of recent American history comes to light in rather convincing fashion in “The Report.”

The movie stars Adam Driver as Daniel Jones, a staff worker for U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s (Annette Bening) office, who’s tasked with scoping out the Central Intelligence Agency’s enhanced interrogation program and filing a report that can be made public. Over the course of several years, Jones uncovers much of the CIA’s torture program and brings his findings back to Feinstein.

However, the process isn’t made all too easy because of senior leadership in the CIA, who want to keep the program that was used in the years after Sept. 11 classified. The movie tracks Jones’ efforts as he tries to get the report out, and navigate the politics in the process.

Continue reading “REVIEW: Driver’s lead performance powers ‘The Report’”

Monday Movie Report: Gotham Award results

The early strides of award season were taken Monday night at the annual Gotham Awards which honors and recognizes independent pictures.

Finishing the night with the most wins was, “Marriage Story,” including victories in Best Feature and Screenplay. “The Farewell,” also had a good showing, taking home Best Actress.

Continue reading “Monday Movie Report: Gotham Award results”

REVIEW: ’21 Bridges’ isn’t sensational, but it is streamable

The characters didn’t go to all 21 bridges. 1 out of 5.

Just kidding, kind of.

This film is a sophomore feature effort by director Brian Kirk, who in the past helmed 2006’s “Middletown.” His latest film stars Chadwick Boseman as Andre Davis, a detective with roughly a decade of experience with the New York City Police Department. While he’s a good detective, though, he’s also gained a negative reputation of being too quick on the trigger.

His expertise is called upon, though, when a drug incident turns into a blood bath, with several police officers dead and the two responsible going on the run. To capture the two and bring them to justice, Andre and another investigator, Frankie Burns (Sienna Miller) launch a city-wide manhunt and shut down all 21 bridges out of New York.

Continue reading “REVIEW: ’21 Bridges’ isn’t sensational, but it is streamable”

Monday Movie Report: Affleck to direct historical drama

Ben Affleck is returning to the director’s chair for a new drama based on real events.

According to Deadline Hollywood, Affleck will helm “King Leopold’s Ghost,” a movie about King Leopold II of Belgium who plundered the Congo in the late 1800s. Along with Affleck, the creative team includes Farhad Safinia, who previously wrote “Apocalypto.”

Continue reading “Monday Movie Report: Affleck to direct historical drama”

REVIEW: This ‘Day in the Neighborhood’ is just OK

In back-to-back years, audiences have been treated to two films about the well known children’s television icon Fred Rogers. After watching both, “Won’t You Be my Neighbor” from 2018 is the clear winner.

In the other film of the two, “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood,” Matthew Rhys stars as Lloyd Vogel. An Esquire magazine reporter, Vogel carries a reputation as a very thorough journalist, often upsetting sources for his commitment to telling the truth and holding people accountable. The movie picks up with him being assigned a lighter piece, though, as he’s told to write a story about Mr. Rogers (Tom Hanks), and explore why he’s a hero to people.

Considering it’s more of a fluff profile than a hard hitting piece, Vogel isn’t too thrilled with the assignment. Plus his personal life has hit a rough patch as he’s a new parent who still has some anxieties about being a dad, and his relationship with his own father is poor. Meeting Mr. Rogers, though, begins to change him.

Continue reading “REVIEW: This ‘Day in the Neighborhood’ is just OK”

REVIEW: ‘Frozen’ sequel doesn’t burn as bright, but is still mostly magical

“Frozen II” may not have surpassed the first film, but it managed to get another song stuck in my head. So, mission accomplished?

The history and lore of the Arendelle Kingdom, details about the world’s magic, along with the relationship between royal sisters is all explored in this sequel to Disney’s smash hit from 2013. The movie is set about three years after Elsa (Idina Menzel) became queen, learned how to harness her powers and with the help of her sister Anna (Kristen Bell), managed the Southern Isles crisis.

At the movie’s beginning, the kingdom appears safe and the returning protagonists seem happy. However, Elsa begins hearing a voice in the distance and the power of nature stars wreaking havoc on Arendelle. Determining the voice she hears and the kingdom’s history are connected to what’s happening, Elsa sets off on a journey to an enchanted forest with Anna, Olaf (Josh Gad) and Kristoff (Jonathan Groff) to set things right.

Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Frozen’ sequel doesn’t burn as bright, but is still mostly magical”