Category Archives: Biography

TRIAL BY FIRE (2018): New Trailer From Jack O’Connell, LAURA DERN, Emily Meade, Joshua Mikel…

Trial By Fire (2019)/ Jack O’Connell, RoadsideFlix

Trial By Fire is the true and tragic story of Cameron Todd Willingham, a man executed in Texas for killing his three children after scientific evidence and expert testimony that could have proven his innocence were suppressed.

Directed by Edward Zwick, Trial By Fire stars Jack O’Connell, Laura Dern, Emily Meade, Joshua Mikel…

It’s going to be sad but it’s O’Connell and Dern’s performances that are the reason I’m drawn to this one. I also wonder if I’ll be surprised by how those guilty of suppressing vital evidence that could have saved Willingham, may even begin to defend their actions.

Jade Pettyjohn, Jeff Perry, Chris Coy, Jason Douglas, McKinley Belcher III, Carlos Gómez, Rhoda Griffis and Elle Graham also star.

Trial By Fire Release Dates: May 17th, 2019 (US)…

Happy Film Loving

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ON THE BASIS OF SEX (2018): The Things I Liked…

On The Basis Of Sex (2018), Felicity Jones
On The Basis Of Sex (2018), Felicity Jones

On The Basis Of Sex, the Mimi Leder directed biopic about US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and her notable achievements especially in her fight for equal rights is… it’s a movie I’m disappointed to say isn’t quite all I’d hoped.

Prior to viewing and thanks to the trailer, I had a certain idea of what this movie might be like. However, my bubble of great expectations burst quite early on, thanks to the rather annoying opening song. And not too long after that, it became quite clear to me that something important was missing from Leder’s movie. The missing element (better script and / or execution) made a big chunk of On The Basis Of Sex feel quite flat and unexciting.

Bearing in mind the huge impact of Ginsburg’s work in the United States and beyond, I really expected a more ‘epic feeling’ finished product. Instead the thought that ‘an opportunity has definitely been missed here’ entered my mind and never left.

The scene in the US Supreme Court at the end is certainly the best. Especially because of the words and delivery of the all important rebuttal. I also couldn’t help but notice how wonderful it surely must have been for Ginsburg to have a support system as great as those in her immediate family. Namely, Martin Ginsburg and their daughter Jane. I really did want to love this one, but it simply wasn’t to be.

Watch it for the US Supreme Court scene, the clothes worn by Felicity Jones and if you’re really, really curious. Just know that the documentary RBG (2018) is better.

Happy Film Loving 

G

THE PROFESSOR AND THE MADMAN (2019): New Trailer From Natalie Dormer, Mel Gibson, Sean Penn, Steve Coogan…

The Professor And The Madman (2017), Steve Coogan, Mel Gibson
The Professor And The Madman (2017), Steve Coogan, Mel Gibson

From director Farhad Safinia; starring Mel Gibson, Sean Penn, Steve Coogan and Natalie Dormer, The Professor And The Madman is the origin story of the principal historical dictionary of the English language, the Oxford English Dictionary.

After Professor James Murray started the dictionary in the mid 19th century, he soon received more than 10,000 entries from Dr. William Minor. A man who happened to be a patient at Broadmoor Criminal Lunatic Asylum…

In all my years of appreciating the beauty of the English language, not once have I given a single thought to the founding of the English Dictionary. As a fan of words I sure hope this one is a tale even more interesting than this trailer suggests.

My fingers are also crossed that all the logophiles and lexicographers will have a good time.

Jennifer Ehle, Ioan Gruffudd, Jeremy Irvine, Aidan McArdle, Brendan Patricks, David Crowley and Kieran O’Reilly also star.

The Professor And The Madman Release Dates: May 10th, 2019 (US)…

Happy Film Loving

G

THE IRISHMAN (2019): New Trailer From Joe Pesci, Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Harvey Keitel…

The Irishman (2019), Netflix
The Irishman (2019), Netflix

Joe Pesci, Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Harvey Keitel are the stars of new biography / crime / drama The Irishman.

Directed by Martin Scorsese, the story centres around a mod hitman’s recollection of his possible involvement with the slaying of Jimmy Hoffa.

The names of everyone in this movie is enough to get any serious movie fan very excited – and excited I certainly am. I also have to congratulate the creative mind behind the decision to have the shell float in the place of the letter I. I admit to yelping with delight at the beauty of the execution, especially when De Niro’s name came up. Then I had rewind to watch it again in case I imagined the whole thing; and a third time so I could actually listen to the dialogue.

No actual footage has even been released bur I’m convinced that Autumn has never seemed so very far away.

Anna Paquin, Jack Huston, Bobby Cannavale, Ray Romano, Jesse Plemons and Stephen Graham also star.

The Irishman Release Dates: Autumn 2019…

Happy Film Loving

G

THE KID (2019): New Trailer From Ethan Hawke, Chris Pratt, Vincent D’Onofrio, Dane DeHaan…

The Kid (2019), Ethan Hawke, Lionsgate Movies
The Kid (2019), Ethan Hawke, Lionsgate Movies

Ethan Hawke, Chris Pratt, Vincent D’Onofrio and Dane DeHaan are the stars of The Kid.

Directed by D’Onofrio, The Kid is a biography / western about a young boy forced to go on the run whilst trying to save his sister from his villainous uncle. On his journey he finds himself increasingly entwined in the lives of Sheriff Pat Garrett and Billy The Kid…

I’m not overly familiar with the Sheriff Pat Garrett and Billy The Kid story but I am aware of that Billy is an outlaw and I’m interested mainly because of Hawke and Pratt. My fingers crossed for a pleasant surprise.

Leila George, Adam Baldwin, Jenny Gabrielle and Tait Fletcher also star.

The Kid Release Dates: March 8th, 2019 (2019)…

Happy Film Loving

G

THE DIRT (2019): New Trailer From Iwan Rheon, Douglas Booth, Machine Gun Kelly…

The Dirt (2019), Netflix
The Dirt (2019), Netflix

The Dirt stars Iwan Rheon, Douglas Booth, Machine Gun Kelly and Daniel Webber as members of American rock band Mötley Crüe.

Directed by Jeff Tremaine; The Dirt is the story of how the group became one of the most notorious rock bands in history…

I’m certainly not very familiar with Mötley Crüe’s music but I am curious about the chemistry between the four leads – and hoping for a very convincing end result.

Leven Rambin, Pete Davidson, Daniel Webber, Rebekah Graf, Tony Cavalero and Kabby Borders also star.

The Dirt Release Dates: March 22nd, 2019 (US)…

Happy Film Loving

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AT ETERNITY’S GATE (2019): The Things I Liked…

At Eternity's Gate (2018), Willem Dafoe, CBS Films
At Eternity’s Gate (2018), Willem Dafoe, CBS Films

There’s plenty of beauty in director Julian Schnabel’s At Eternity’s Gate, a biography / drama about highly celebrated artist Vincent Van Gogh. The beauty lies first and foremost in the stunning cinematography, but also in the dialogue, editing and musical score.

As a big fan of colour and light, there’s certainly plenty of it to take in and enjoy  in Schabel’s movie; whether it’s the scenes in nature that Willem Dafoe’s Van Gogh is mesmerised by, or the beautiful blue of the jacket on the artist’s back.

Thanks to Schabel’s great execution, I enjoyed At Eternity’s Gate in its entirety. Even the heartbreaking moments that highlighted the truth of just how challenging Van Gogh’s experience of life must have been. The moments of suffering he endured made me sad and simultaneously grateful that he, at the very least had one of the most loving brothers anyone could ever wish for.

So engaging and immersive is the viewing experience of At Eternity’s Gate that it felt as though I was often there with Van Gogh; whether running with him through the beautiful vistas, laying down to take in the beauty of the sky and surrounding nature or even during his most tormented periods. Periods when there was next to zero colour in his days.

Watch At Eternity’s Gate because you appreciate visual art. Watch it to learn some truths about Van Gogh and for the mesmerising footage of an artist at work. By the very end, you may even be inspired to take  a trip to Amsterdam for the  Van Gogh Museum; or perhaps pick up some paint and brushes.

Time for me to look up Schnabel’s other films.

At Eternity’s Gate also stars Rupert Friend, Oscar Isaac, Mads Mikkelsen, Mathieu Amalric, Niels Arestrup…

Happy Film Loving 

G

BOY ERASED (2018): The Thing I Liked…

Boy Erased (2018), Nicole Kidman, Lucas Hedges
Boy Erased (2018), Nicole Kidman, Lucas Hedges

Boy Erased is a biographical drama based on a specific time in the life of Garrard Conley, a Baptist preacher’s son who as a teenager was forced to take part in a church-supported gay conversion program. A disturbing and damaging practice that I’m sadly unsurprised to learn still continues today. 

Besides standing out for being a heartbreaking true story that’s well acted and directed, Lucas Hedges, Nicole Kidman, Russell Crowe and Joel Edgerton’s latest movie features a number of scenes that I won’t soon forget. 

My very favourite one is a scene so moving that it made me realise I don’t actually recall the last time I wanted a person’s all important phone call to be answered so desperately. 

My second favourite scene takes place just before the one with the phone phone call. It’s a moment that had me hoping that every parent with a strong willed child recognises the value of their child’s will. Especially when the child chooses to question what appears as nonsense – at the most crucial time, regardless of who may be spewing it.

Boy Erased definitely has a number of unfortunate things that happen in this story; meaning you really won’t be laughing much, if at all. Still, I did find the experience worthwhile for the insight into what can occur at gay conversion camps and for the aforementioned well executed and memorable scenes which take place towards the end.

Watch it if it intrigues you enough and also because it’s more hopeful than you may think.

Happy Film Loving

G