WILD ROSE (2018): New Trailer From Julie Walters, Jessie Buckley, Sophie Okonedo…

Wild Rose (2018), Jessie Buckley

Starring Julie Walters, Jessie Buckley, Sophie Okonedo and directed by Tom Harper; at the centre of new music / drama Wild Rose is Rose-Lynn Harlan (Buckley), a musician from Glasgow with big dreams of becoming a country music artist in Nashville, USA…

I’m in for a story about a dream that seems so far from a person’s beginnings and circumstances, and yet they still believe. I’m also interested in the family dynamic.

On a separate but connected note, I’ve just tried but currently cannot think of a single British musician who’s made it big in Nashville. That’s not to say that it can’t or hasn’t been done, of course. Anything is possible.

Jamie Sives, Gemma McElhinney, James Harkness, Ashley Shelton, Tracy Wiles and Daniel Campbell also star.

Wild Rose Release Dates: April 12th, 2019 (UK); May 10th, 2019 (US)…

Happy Film Loving

G

VICE (2018): The Things I Liked…

Vice (2018), Christian Bale
Vice (2018), Christian Bale

Vice, writer /director Adam McKay’s biography of Dick Cheney (Christian Bale), the most powerful Vice President in history is a movie I both enjoyed and did not enjoy.

The parts I found least engaging were the moments that explained the ins and outs of the White House and / or American politics during Cheney’s time as VP. It’s quite unfortunate because I’d actually hoped that Vice would be a movie that caught me up on some of America’s political history. It turns out that the way McKay’s story is told just didn’t hold my attention the way I’d hoped it would. 

The parts that did have me most engaged were the moments that revealed Cheney’s character and emotional journey. Especially as he grew into a successful man. To put it another way, I liked the parts that revealed Cheney’s heart, the character study rather than the political details of his operations post 9/11.

Where his wife Lynn Cheney (Amy Adams) is concerned, even though I may not agree with much of what she stands for, it was great to see a strong, confident woman speaking up for herself and taking charge of her destiny. 

In addition to the great performances by Bale, Adams, Steve Carell, and Sam Rockwell, I also want to congratulate the makeup and prosthetics team for a job well done. I was most impressed by the transformation of Rockwell into George W. Bush.

As for the all important question of whether Vice is worth your time… if politics, American politics in particular is especially interesting to you, perhaps give it a go. I can’t guarantee that you’ll like the way McKay chose to tell this tory but you may enjoy the content. I myself probably would have stopped watching Vice long before the end if I wasn’t such a big fan of Bale and Adams.  

Watch it if you’re so curious.

Happy Film Loving 

G

GREEN BOOK (2018): The Things I Liked…

Green Book (2018),  Mahershala Ali, Viggo Mortensen
Green Book (2018), Mahershala Ali, Viggo Mortensen

Directed by Peter Farrelly and starring Mahershala Ali, Viggo Mortensen  and Linda Cardellini, Green Book tells the story of the great friendship between a working-class Italian-American bouncer / driver and an African-American classical pianist.

Since Farrelly’s story is set in 1960s America, racial tensions play a significant part in the movie. However, the main focus is very much the developing friendship between the two men.

There’s a number of heartbreaking scenes in Green Book but there are definitely far more that’ll make you smile and have you thinking about the great friends you have and / or want in your life. You may also be moved to be even kinder than I’m certain you already are.

What stands out most for me about Green Book, in addition to the great performances is the fact that, for me, Green Book is one of those movies with a rhythm so perfect that there wasn’t a single moment when I questioned any of the director / editor’s choices. Everything just flowed beautifully and my eyes gladly took in and appreciated the skilful execution before me.

Some of the music in Green Book definitely had me contemplating dressing up and showing up at the nearest jazz venue; not that the main music featured is jazz, by the way. I enjoyed Mortensen’s performance as what one might argue is the most convincingly Italian non-Italian to ever seen on screen. 

I say, watch Green Book because it’s good and to see an inspiring growing friendship and respect between to men that ends up altering them both.

Happy Film Loving 

G

SMALLFOOT (2018): The Thing I Liked…

Smallfoot (2018), Channing Tatum
Smallfoot (2018), Channing Tatum

After being told his whole life that humans don’t exist, young Yeti Migo (Channing Tatum) finds evidence to the contrary and wants all his people to know. Except that things don’t quite go as he expected.

Co-written and directed by Karey Kirkpatrick and Jason Reisig, I like the way Smallfoot flips the story of Yetis and humans by telling it from the perspective of Yetis. I also appreciated what Smallfoot had to say about the errors in the ways we tend to treat those we see as very different from us and how counterproductive the lies we tell to protect can sometimes become.

With other key cast including Zendaya, Common, Danny DeVito and James Corden, in terms of the film’s general execution, I’d say it’s somewhere between OK and OK-ish. Part of the reason is that I just didn’t find the writing as fun and good as the trailer led me to expect and hope. A part of me also wishes that Smallfoot didn’t have the musical numbers. I mean, I definitely wouldn’t have minded so much if I felt that most of the songs and singing were great. 

The moment the film had me most engaged is towards the end and during the scenes when the Yetis were being pursued. If I had to pick the most memorable moment for me in the whole film, that’s definitely when a very everyday human item is amusingly referred to as ‘the scroll of invisible wisdom.’

Watch Smallfoot if you’re very, very curious.

Happy Film Loving 

G

THE HUMMINGBIRD PROJECT (2019): New Trailer From Jesse Eisenberg, Alexander Skarsgård, Salma Hayek…

The Hummingbird Project (2019), Salma Hayek
The Hummingbird Project (2019), Salma Hayek

Salma Hayek, Alexander Skarsgård and Jesse Eisenberg are the stars of The Hummingbird Project, a Kim Nguyen written / directed drama about two high-frequency traders facing off with their former boss.

The prize available is serious money in a fibre-optic cable deal…

I’m in for the showdown, because I love Hayek, I want to see Eisenberg in what looks like a more crazed version of his role as Mark Zuckerberg in The Social Network (2010). And lastly, I have to see more of Skarsgård’s character running.

Michael Mando, Johan Heldenbergh, Ayisha Issa, Sarah Goldberg and Kwasi Songui also star.

The Hummingbird Project Release Dates: March 15th, 2019 (US)…

Happy Film Loving

G

HIGH FLYING BIRD (2019): New Trailer From Zazie Beetz, Zachary Quinto, André Holland, Melvin Gregg…

High Flying Bird (2019), André Holland

Zazie Beetz, Zachary Quinto, André Holland and Melvin Gregg are the stars of director Steven Soderbergh’s new drama, High Flying Bird.

At the centre of the story is a sports agent who pitches a rookie basketball client an intriguing and controversial business opportunity during an NBA lockout / shutdown

Right away, I like the rhythm and flow of this trailer edit. It’s giving me HBO’s Ballers vibes and a little hint of Entourage – another HBO show. I guess that’s why I first thought this was a TV series.

I want to see precisely what the intriguing yet controversial opportunity is and how far it gets. I also just really like the title, ‘High Flying Bird’.

Lastly, in reference to 0:19 in this trailer, when was it agreed that Basketball was the ‘sexiest sport?’ Surely football / soccer is the one.

Kyle MacLachlan, Michelle Ang, Bill Duke, Glenn Fleshler, Sonja Sohn, Caleb McLaughlin also star.

High Flying Bird Release Dates: February 8th, 2019 (US)…

Happy Film Loving

G

JOHN WICK – CHAPTER 3 – PARABELLUM (2019): New Trailer From Keanu Reeves, Halle Berry, Jason Mantzoukas…

Directed by Chad Stahelski, Keanu Reeves, Halle Berry and Jason Mantzoukas are among the stars of John Wick – Chapter 3 – Parabellum.

This time the Super-assassin has has become the target of hit men and women everywhere, thanks to the $14 million price tag on his head. That sort of thing tends to happen when you’re on the run because you killed a member of the international assassin’s guild…

I can’t wait to see just how fun Stahelski can make this instalment because I’m expecting lots of badass fight sequences, as well as bullets flying around at all times.

There’s also the cinematography; I love the colours, the moment on the horse, Halle Berry’s entrance and how well her character teams up with Wick towards the end.

Anjelica Huston, Ian McShane, Laurence Fishburne, Hiroyuki Sanada, Robin Lord Taylor and Lance Reddick also star.

John Wick – Chapter 3 – Parabellum Release Dates: May 17th, 2019 (US & UK)…

Happy Film Loving

G

OH, LUCY (2017): The Things I Liked…

Oh Lucy! (2017), Josh Hartnett, Shinobu Terajima

Josh Hartnett, Shinobu Terajima and Kaho Minami are the stars of Oh, Lucy!, a comedy / drama set in both Tokyo and LA. 

I’m glad to confirm that Oh, Lucy! is as fun and quirky as the trailer suggested. Directed by Atsuko Hirayanagi, it tells the story of a lonely Japanese woman who discovers her alter ego Lucy in an English class and ends up making some questionable decisions soon after. 

Hirayanagi’s film is amusing, smile inducing and surprising. I say ‘surprising’ because Oh, Lucy! is more unpredictable than I expected, but in a good way – in terms f the story. I enjoyed all the performances, especially the sibling relationship between Terajima and Minami’s characters. Even though Lucy gets involved in some highly questionable shenanigans, it’s the simultaneously sad and amusing dynamic in the sibling relationship that stood out most for me.

Watch it for a little something quirky and surprising. Considering the way things unfold, you’ll no doubt find out as the film plays, precisely why the title ‘Oh, Lucy!’ is so very fitting. 

Happy Film Loving 

G

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