Search

moviemavenspeaks

It's a dirty job but someone has to view 'em!

Tag

Power

Nothing Prepared Them for the BOMBSHELL

Bomb cover

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to theatres from director Jay Roach and Lionsgate comes an explosive story about women and a power they fought against when preparing for the BOMBSHELL.

On the Fox News channel, women like Gretchen Carlson (Nicole Kidman) and Megan Kelly (Charlize Theron) are making a name for themselves. Seeing it for herself is incoming wanna-be Kayla Pospisil (Margot Robbie) who is one of the producers for Carlson’s show and wants more. So much so that Kayla takes a position with Bill O’Reilly which infuriates Carlson.

Luring above all the newsrooms is Roger Ailes (John Lithgow) who made Fox News a sensation and runs a tight ship with the okay from Rupert Murdoch (Malcolm McDowell). No one dare challenge Ailes as he made is very clear that he could make or break a career. That is what Carlson faced when she begins to suspect that her news days on air are numbered. Seeing legal counsel before that happens, she is told that going directly for Ailes instead of the company would be her best option.

bomb 1

At Kayla’s new position she meets producer Jess Carr (Kate McKinnon) and the two quickly become friends. One day Kayla takes it upon herself to make her way up to Ailes office to introduce herself. Accepting the meeting, Ailes begins calming talking to her about what it is she wants. Once the politeness is done, Ailes claims he needs to get a closer look at Kayla since television is a “visual medium”. She leaves his office knowing what transpired was frightening.

Once out and the Carlson sexual harassment lawsuit filed, Kelly must come to terms with what she knows, but she isn’t the only one. One woman after another comes forward while Kelly remains silent. Telling her husband what is happening doesn’t help her decision on what to do next easier. Kayla also keeps her head down and avoids Ailes office as much as she can but Carr notices something is wrong.

Trying to coax people to help, Ailes wife Beth (Connie Britton) wonders why Kelly isn’t coming out in support of the man who gave her a career. Ailes vehemently denies the accusations against him and cannot fathom why the women would say such things. The bigger the story gets, people begin to take sides and finally Murdoch knows that a decision must be made to safe what is left of Fox News.

Standing together the women realize there is safety in numbers.

bomb 4

Theron as Kelly is ridiculously scary because after a minute of watching her on screen I forgot that I was watching Theron. Her movements and speech are spectacular to the point of being brought into the story with ease. Theron has always been a consummate actress in my book and I have never really found fault in anything she has done but let me say in this film just absolutely blew me away. From start to finish I was riveted by her performance and, although not a huge fan of Kelly herself, do have a healthy dose of respect for her. She can thank Theron for that anytime.

Kidman as Carlson is a woman who sees the writing on the wall knowing it comes directly from Ailes and his eyes ever watching his news kingdom. The smartest thing for me was her knowing it was coming and did whatever she could to make sure things were ‘documented’. I mean really, did Ailes truly believe he was untouchable? I don’t comprehend that thinking except to chalk it up to an old school mentality where it’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt. Kidman gives Carlson stealth and determination in a world that Ailes seem to feel was a gift he gave her with a stipulation of silence.

Robbie as Kayla is a young woman on the move and doesn’t think too much before changing lanes. It seemed that all this character wanted to do was get to the top fast and try not to leave to many high heel marks on the backs of others. Idolizing Carlson and even Kelly, the character of Kayla doesn’t seem to have the maturity to handle what is about to happen to her.

bomb 2

McKinnon as Carr is a woman who is hiding who she is because she wants to keep her job. Knowing the environment around her isn’t kind to everyone, McKinnon brings her own hurting brevity to this character and it makes a hard point. Britton as Beth holds fast to her husband innocence even though I have a gut feeling she knows he’s not so innocent trusting in the ‘that’s just who he is’ line of defense.

Now let’s talk about Lithgow as Ailes because his performance is just so disturbing. Thinking that he should get an award for his portrayal it set my mind ablaze thinking ‘how do you give an award to someone for doing a stellar job without once again giving Ailes airtime’. I know, it’s making a mountain out of a mole hill but – is it? Anyway, Lithgow is riveting, yucky and portraying a man who used his powers in the most unspeakable of ways. This performance is just…wow!

Shout out to Allison Janney as Susan Estrich because she deserves a shout out. McDowell as Murdoch waltz’s into a room and shows Ailes how it’s done.

Other cast include Liv Hewson as Lily Balin, Brigette Lundy-Paine as Julia Clarke, Rob Delaney as Gil Norman, Stephen Root as Neil Mullen, Robin Weigert as Nancy Smith, Amy Landecker as Dianne Brandi and Mark Duplass as Doug Brunt.

bomb 3

BOMBSHELL is a film that gives a look inside the fall from Fox News grace of Roger Ailes definitely but more importantly, what it took for Carlson to take a stand. The film isn’t shy about putting it right out there that Ailes had power of such magnitude that he managed to shut down these women for years and years while up in his tower.

I was impressed with Kidman, Theron and Robbie as the film addresses their story’s individually and I think that’s important. Ailes abuses started early and as he got bolder, so did his ‘requests’ of these women and he talk about them later. As what usually happens when a powerful man is confronted with his misdeeds (by almost everyone’s standards), Ailes thinks he is above it all. That he barks and everyone cowers – well, Carlson decided to cower no more in 2016.

BOMBSHELL is definitely a film that needs to be seen and then discussed. Whether it all happened the way its portrayed on screen or not, it is a conversation that can stop even a hint of something like this from ever happening again. I don’t care if these women were on Fox News and I’m not a fan of Fox News – no one and I mean no one deserves to live their lives with fear – in family or at a job.

In the end – based on a scandal that shook a new empire!

THE TIGER OF ESCHNAPUR and THE INDIAN TOMB is Legendary on Bluray

Tiger
Jeri Jacquin
Coming to Bluray from one of the titans of cinema director Fritz Lang and Film Movement Classics are two films the set with THE TIGER OF ESCHNAPUR and THE INDIAN TOMB.
seetha 3
THE TIGER OF ESCHNAPUR
Harold Berger (Paul Hubschmid) is an architect that has been asked to India by the Maharaja Chandra (Walter Reyer). His plan for the city is to build hospitals and schools for his people. On the way to Eschnapur, Berger meets a beautiful temple dancer (Debra Paget) and almost immediately the two connect. Further along the road, Seetha’s wagon is attacked by a tiger and Berger jumps into action to save her.
Maharaja Chandra is ever grateful to Berger and gives him a token of his appreciation. Now that Seetha is near, the Maharaja becomes even more infatuated with Seetha than the first time he saw her. None of this sits well with the Maharaja’s brother Prince Ramigani (Rene Deltgen) who was stepped over as ruler of Eschnapur.
So much so is the resentment that he goes to Padu (Jochen Brockmann) who’s sister was once married to the Maharaja before she passed and others who aren’t happy with Seetha’s arrival. Standing up for the Maharaja is General Dagh (Guido Celano) and standing up for tradition is the temple leader Yama (Valery Inkijinoff).
seetha 4
Helping Berger put plans together for the Maharaja is Asgara (Jochen Blume), an engineer who knows the palace very well. What he doesn’t know is that whispers are going on behind the palace walls about the relationship he has with Seetha. As he learns more of her story, the more he finds himself falling for the beautiful dancer. That sets in motion a plan that the Prince has against his brother.
The Maharaja tries to capture the heart of Seetha but knows there is something she is keeping from him. When the palace whispers get to him, he holds a banquet to test his new friends loyalty. When it all goes horribly wrong, he starts to believe that Berger and Seetha are betraying him. Sensing they are in danger, the two plan to get away as fast as possible as the palace soldiers take chase. What they don’t know is that Berger’s brother-in-law Walter Rhode (Claus Holm) and sister Irene (Sabine Bethmann) have arrived.
Now the Maharaja is playing a game of his own, lying to the Rhodes’ and making Walter an offer that is beyond anything he could have imagined. Berger and Seetha are caught in a sand storm and overtake the couple in their end – or is it?
seetha 5
THE INDIAN TOMB
Irene and her husband suspect that foul play is afoot in the palace and don’t trust anyone but Asagara but he isn’t getting any answers either. In the middle of the desert, a caravan has found Berger and Seetha taking them to a local village for help. Everyone is afraid because the palace soldiers have already made it known that any village helping will be dealt with.
Berger and Seetha make a run for it again but are caught! Seetha is taken back to the palace and Berger disappears. The Maharaja has taken to asking the town seer for help in dealing with his anger and after only moments is gently told what he must do but to no avail. Back at the palace, the leader of Eschnapur begins plans to marry Seetha and isn’t about to let his brother, religious leader or anyone else tell him what to do.
The Prince tries to bide his time in an attempt to make a coup. Irene has made her way to Seetha to discover what has happened and how they are all going to escape the palace. She tells Walter what she’s discovered and the two begin to make their own plans using the problems of the palace to work in their favor.
Seetha 1
The Maharaja is facing enemies from the palace and below it as it all comes to a finality that is as beautifully epic as it could only be.
Paget as Seetha is absolutely stunning from the first films frame to the second films last frame. There is no doubt that she is beautiful and a stunning dancer, but Paget is calmly strong in her portrayal of Seetha. Her performance is mesmerizing and as a fan of Lang I would have expected nothing less in his choice of actress to play this role. She carried herself with such grace and covered in the lavish sari’s just made her character more breathtaking.
Hubschmid as Berger is an equally calm character. He has a gentle nature and a humble spirit that makes it easy to like him. Even when he realizes his feelings for Seetha, he doesn’t outwardly act on them until he feels there is danger for both of them. Their great escape led to the second film where, shall we say, he finds out that not everyone is as forgiving as the viewer might be. Hubschmid is tall, handsome and the hero women fall for so I can see how he was also the right choice to portray Berger!
Reyer as the Maharaja is grieving the loss of his wife but finding happiness once again in Seetha. He tries over and over to make it clear that he just wants a life with her. Not thinking his brother could ever be an adversary was the beginning of his problems and unrequited love turned the tide in his good nature. Reyer has a crazy look in his eye at times and I saw even before THE INDIAN TOMB that I’d be running to get away from him way before Seetha did! Well done performance in both films with an ending that had to happen.
Der Tiger von Eschnapur
Deltgen as Ramigani is a brother who has been stepped over (or maybe even stepped on) to become Maharaja of Eschnapur. The plotting and planning is easy when you have everyone around you rubbing salt on an royal open wound. Torn between wanting to support his brother and wanting to be Maharaja, his choice is taken away by his own hurt feelings.  Brockmann as Padu has a bone to pick with the Maharaja feeling that his sister’s memory is being cast aside for Seetha. When his words are ignored, he doesn’t mind jumping on the revenge band wagon for a round or two.
Bethmann as Irene sense from the moment they arrive in Eschnapur that something is amiss. In her mind there is no way her brother would take off without communication to her. Irene is just as clever as I’d want a sister to be and doesn’t take no for an answer. Holm as Walter is outraged at the Maharaja’s request to stay and even more so when told why. He is absolutely frustrated, as Irene is, that they are not being told the truth. Holm paces so much I’m surprised there isn’t a path ground into the marble! Even Blume as Asagara is confused by the stories being told but again is loyal to the Maharaja and would never question his intentions.
Other cast include Luciana Paluzzi as Bharani, Helmut Hildebrand as Ramigani’s servant and Richard Lauffen as Bhowana.
Film Movement has released more than 250 feature films and shorts culled from prestigious film festivals worldwide. It’s theatrical releases include American independent films, documentaries and foreign art house titles. It’s catalog includes titles by directors such as Hirokazu, Maren Ade, Jessica Hausner, Andrzej Wajda, Diane Kurys, Ciro Guerra and Melanie Laurent. Film Movement Classics features new restorations of films by such directors as Eric Rohmer, Peter Greenaway, Bille August, Marlene Gorris, Takeshi Kitano, King Hu and Ettore Scola. For more information please visit www.filmmovement.com.
The Bluray Bonus Features include Audio Commentaries by film historian David Kalat, The Indian Epic documentary, Debra Paget, For Example a video essay by Mark Rappaport and 20-page booklet with an essay by film scholar Tom Gunning.
Director Lang returned to Germany after a 20 year exile and created a two-part film leaving the first with a cliffhanger to create THE TIGER OF ESCHNAPUR and THE INDIAN TOMB. Leaving Germany before the war and going to Paris then to the United States, Lang is also responsible for the 1927 film METROPOLIS and WOMAN IN THE MOON in 1929. In the U.S. he made FURY in 1936 with Spencer Tracy and THE BIG HEAT in 1953.
He returned to Germany to create what he called his “Indian Epic” with THE TIGER OF ESCHNAPUR and THE INDIAN TOMB. The later was a story created by his estranged spouse Thea von Harbour in 1920 which he helped to develop. Lang was close to ending his career in 1963 because of health problems but made it into the film CONTEMPT.
THE TIGER OF ESCHNAPUR and THE INDIAN TOMB are epics by my standards and those of 1959 and I think it would be stunning to see on the big screen but I’ll certainly take it in my own home. The interesting part of the film is that the language is in Germany (no worries, subtitles!) but watching the film it’s easy to forget it. That’s how you know the film has captured my attention! I am a super fan of period pieces and an even bigger fan when the costuming in absolutely stunning.
These films are given so much richness by the costuming, the colors, the attention to detail and the cast carry themselves well in them. Speaking of the cast, they are impeccable in their character portrayal. Doing two films, they flow one into the next and it feels absolutely seamless. The good guys are trying hard to keep their head out of the tigers mouth and the bad guys are poking the tigers from behind.
It’s a well thought out story of family, royalty, jealousy, revenge, love, passion, exoticness, richness, and a clear message that love and jealousy cannot co-exist for brothers in the same palace.
In the end – this is an exotic Indian epic worthy of every frame!

ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD

money poster

 

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to theatres for Christmas from director Ridley Scott and TriStar Pictures is the true story of greed and kidnapping when you have ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD.

John Getty II (Andrew Buchan) and wife Gail (Michelle Williams) are raising their children under the shadow of being related to the richest man in the world, J. Paul Getty (Christopher Plummer). When their finances become difficult, Gail suggests that John write a letter to his father and mend their relationship.

To their surprise, Getty sends a telegram asking them to come to Rome and for John to work with him. The older Getty takes a liking to his grandson Paul and encourages him to be a part of the family business and spending time learning about their history.

money 1

As the years pass, John falls hard into drugs and Paul (Charlie Plummer) is brought back home to Gail. The relationship with the elder Getty is back to where it was before and they all have little contact with him. Paul has a wild side and he tends to come and go as he pleases and Gail doesn’t know how to deal with it.

One night, as Paul walks the streets of Rome, in an instant he is kidnapped. Gail receives a telephone call informing her of it and that she is to pay a hefty ransom. Reaching out to Getty, she does not get the response of a grandfather concerned about his grandson but instead, the response of a penny pinching old man.

Getty does one thing however, brings in Fletcher Chase (Mark Wahlberg) to work with Gail in trying to locate who might have Paul. Working with the Italian police, Chase isn’t sure he is getting the whole story about the kidnapping or the family.

Paul deals with the kidnappers, especially Cinquanta (Romain Duris) who believe that the ransom will be paid. Phone call after phone call begins to anger them as Gail tries to explain that it is not she who has the money.

This is what happens when greed meets a man with an iron will because one way or another – everyone is going to pay!

money 2

Williams as Gail is a mother who knows the dynamics of the family but isn’t about to let her son die. It would be easy to see that she might be considered a tad cold but I also understand her more than I thought I would. As each phone calls comes in and each new threat is given, Williams thought process is quite clear.

Wahlberg as Chase is a man who clearly has worked with Getty on other issues but this one is different. Trying to understand why Getty just plain refuses to participate in what is clearly a serious matter stuns Chase. Wahlberg’s character begins to invest more of himself in what is happening and doesn’t care what his employer thinks. He puts on his usual badass and makes it known that what is right is right – no matter how much money you have.

Duris as Cinquanta is a kidnapper with a weird conscience. Between a rock and a hard place, it is clear he knows the difference between right and wrong. I’m not defending the guy in the slightest but Duris gives the character his moments.

There are two winners in this film and both of them have the last name of Plummers. First, Charlie Plummer as Paul is a young man who was going through life with a strange chip on his shoulder. There is a disconnect with his parents that just has him feeling as if nothing can touch his free spirit. He is also smarter than his kidnappers give him credit for. Plummer’s performance is everything I’d expect and still pleasantly surprised.

money 3

Christopher Plummer as J. Paul Getty is absolute and stunning perfection! From the moment he is on screen, Plummer portrays the richest man in the world with such a range of non-emotion emotion. What I mean to say is when he is angry you know he is although he’s not screaming, when he doesn’t care about something it is clear that it’s not on his to-do list and when it comes to money he clearly can talk about it with such believeability that it’s jaw dropping. Plummer has always been on my list of performers to watch but in ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD he deserves an Oscar!

Other cast include: Timothy Hutton as Oswald Hinge, Marco Leonardi as Mammoliti, Giuseppe Bonifati as Giovanni Iacovoni, Nicolas Vaporidis as Il Tamia, Andrea Bodini as Corvo, and Guglielmo Favilla as Piccolino.

ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD is a journey through this family’s story in the middle of a kidnapping heard round the world. I knew about the young boy being taken but there is so much more than I didn’t know. That’s what makes this film even more interesting is that it kept my attention with one jaw drop after another.

It is an interesting look inside a family that proves money doesn’t buy happiness. The performances are brilliant but, as I said, it is the two Plummer’s that steal the entire film. Director Ridley Scott delivers with solid storytelling and gives us a thriller, drama and suspenseful look deeper inside a true story.

In the end – J. Paul Getty had a fortune and everyone else paid the price!

TRESPASS AGAINST US Crosses the Line of Family Conflict

trespass-poster

 

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to theatres this Friday from director Adam Smith and A24 is a film about the power struggle in a family with TRESPASS AGAINST US.

Chad Cutler (Michael Fassbender) is a man trying to break away from father Colby (Brendan Gleeson). He wants something different for son Tyson (Georgie Smith), daughter Mini (Kacie Anderson) and wife Kelly (Lyndsey Marshal). That is difficult when the family has a history of criminal behavior.

Behind his father’s back, Chad attempts to obtain a permanent home for his wife and kids. Seeing how Colby is pulling Tyson towards the same criminal behavior he experienced, Chad is more determined to do what is needed to protect his family.

But Colby is well aware in every aspect of his family. Realizing that Chad is pulling away, he sets into motion events that prove once and for all he rules the Cutler clan with an iron fist and metal will.

Chad makes one stand to break away but it might not be enough!

Fassbender as Chad gives the right amount of vulnerability being under the thumb of a very tyrant father. Understanding his upbringing was just how it was doesn’t mean he believes it should be the same for his own children. Fassbender gives this character heart that is purely based on a fear he must overcome at all cost. This is a role that Fassbender does well and makes look easy at the same time.

Gleeson as Colby has the believability to be this brutal without shedding a single drop of blood. There is such a coldness to this character and although Colby wants to be seen as a loving father and grandfather, those close to him know better. There is this fine line between taking care of the family and crossing the family. Gleeson gives the character grit and an eerie creepiness that I’d stay away from!

Marshall as Kelly knows that Chad is stuck between a father and a hard place yet even when she’s upset, it doesn’t stop her support of her husband. Smith as Tyson is a young man easily influenced by grandfather Colby, especially being of the age where listening to a parent is usually met with heavy resistance.

Other cast include: Rory Kinnear as PC Lovage, Killian Scott as Kenny, Sean Harris as Gordon Bennett, Kingsley Ben-Adir as Sampson, Gerard Kearns as Lester, Tony Way as Norman, Barry Keoghan as Windows, Ezra Khan as Jamail, Alan Williams as Noah and Anastasia Hille as Mrs. Crawley.

TRESPASS AGAINST US is a film stripped away of a ‘normal’ family life and instead straight survival. The head of this family is clearly set on controlling every aspect of their lives and expects no questions to be asked. The fact that their survival depends on criminal activity doesn’t seem to bother Gleeson’s character one little bit. Instead it is almost as if he taunts the authorities with a ‘challenge me if you dare’ attitude.

It is Fassbender’s portrayal of Chad that is extremely complex filled with the duality in the father-son relationship going in both directions. Dealing with his father and trying to be a good father, Fassbender shows that the history we come from doesn’t have to be the future he wants for his own family.

What makes this film riveting is that there isn’t anything else here to distract audiences from the bare relationships between this family and what it is all based on. The story is bold as director Smith lets nothing get in his way of telling the tale in its rawest form.

In the end – blood is a brutal bond!

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑