Movie Review: ‘Darkest Hour’

February 6, 2018 at 5:59 pm | Posted in Movies, Reviews | 1 Comment

As a fan of war movies and Gary Oldman, I had to see Darkest Hour. In this film, Oldman plays Winston Churchill as Britain deals with the stunning success of the German army as their panzers roll across France and threaten the safety of their island empire. Churchill is placed in power and ready to fight, but his fellow political leaders are more interested in peace talks than sticking their necks out. The situation is only made worse by the fact that their army is facing annihilation in France with little hope of escape. Faced with a looming military defeat, a foreign nation let by a despicable tyrant, and allies who want to give up, Churchill deals with his darkest hour.

First off, Gary Oldman’s performance is superb. Whatever they did to make him look like Churchill works great, and I never found myself distracted by any weird CGI or prosthetics. It all looked real and natural. Oldman’s mannerisms and speech inflection definitely captured the vibe of Winston Churchill, and the story does a great job of giving viewers an idea of what he was like. Now there’s no action in this movie as it’s a pure character piece, and it is very politically focused. The story starts with how Churchill became Prime Minister. It covers him having to deal with the previous Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlain, who infamously appeased Hitler at the start of the war allowing Germany to begin its unchecked expansion as they conquered countries left and right. He also has to deal with Lord Halifax, the favored candidate to replace Chamberlain, and another person who is in favor of peace talks with Germany. Completing the trifecta is King George VI, who doesn’t really like Churchill, but being in the positions that they are, they have to meet each other and somehow get by with directing the future of Britain. Continue Reading Movie Review: ‘Darkest Hour’…

Movie Review: ‘The Shape of Water’

February 6, 2018 at 5:38 pm | Posted in Movies, Reviews | Leave a comment

The Shape of Water is indeed a bit of a sci-fi love story, but it’s a movie that has just the right mix of characters, story and some bits of action to keep an audience entertained. That said, it’s not a film for kids. This one fully earns its R rating, and it’s not because of violence.

Having saw the trailer, this was a movie that interested me. Director Guillermo del Toro has done some odd movies, from big action flicks like Pacific Rim, to franchise films like Hellboy, and fantastical movies like Pan’s Labyrinth. I myself an a sucker for a story with a fantasy element, and The Shape of Water delivers on that note. It’s a story about a mute janitor named Elisa Esposito who works at a government facility. One day, a government agent named Richard Strickland arrives with a special guest – a captive – that is more or less the creature from the black lagoon. Elisa bonds with the creature, and eventually the day comes when they decide to kill it, which in turn leads to her planning a way to rescue the creature. Toss in some Russian spies into the 1960’s period piece, and great performances from Sally Hawkins and Michael Shannon, and you have a entertaining film. Continue Reading Movie Review: ‘The Shape of Water’…

Movie Review: ‘Hostiles’

February 6, 2018 at 5:20 pm | Posted in Movies, Reviews | Leave a comment

Hostiles is not your typical modern western. It’s not pumped up with action, there’s not gratuitous gatling gun scene, and there are no explosions. It’s also not your classic western with cowboys fighting indians. This film strives for something different. It’s a drama set during the west that zeroes in on two characters as they embark on a dangerous, violent journey across the untamed west.

The film opens with one of the stars, Rosamund Pike, whose family is attacked by indians. Those opening scenes set the mood for the movie. It’s a scenic landscape that is interrupted by actions of violence. A peace broken by savagery. Pike’s character, Rosalie Quaid, becomes a central character for the film as she must deal with the trauma of losing her entire family, and some how finding the strength to live on. Her path eventually crosses Christian Bale, who plays Captain Joseph J. Blocker. Captain Blocker is pretty bluntly racist against Native Americans, having spent his entire military career fighting and killing them. On the eve of retirement, he’s given on last mission – to escort a group of indians to Montana to a sacred indian burial ground, by orders of the President of the United States. It’s a mission he doesn’t want with company he can’t stand. Wes Studi plays Chief Yellow Hawk, Captain Blocker’s nemesis. Together, they must make peace if they want to complete their journey, or kill each other off to end their blood feud. Continue Reading Movie Review: ‘Hostiles’…

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