Currently browsing the "Gary Oldman" tag.

Review: Mank

Lovers of Old Hollywood rejoice. David Fincher (Fight Club, The Social Network) has served up a beautiful black-and-white ode to Tinsel Town’s power players and their behind the scenes machinations. Set in the 1930’s and 40s, Mank is the story of the writing of Orson Welles’ debut masterwork Citizen Kane by the alcoholic, bedridden hack Herman J. Mankiewicz (Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy). His friendship with William Randolph Hearst (Charles Dance, “The Crown”, “Game of Thrones”) and his partner Marion Davies (Amanda Seyfried, First Reformed, Mamma Mia) was the basis for the film and their relationship is the backbone of Fincher’s. And as Mankiewicz writes from his bed out in the desert, he reflects back on the past decade of his life when he was a frequent guest at Hearst mansion, tolerated for years despite his loutish behavior because he was so amusing.

Arty Chick’s Middleburg Festival Download

What a great festival! It’s my first year at Middleburg, now in its 5th year, but I was truly impressed by their  selections. It’s a small festival, as yet pretty unknown, but not for long, I suspect. In all I went to 14 films in just over 3 days. It was exhausting, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. Films included here are: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri ; Mudbound; Last Flag Flying; Faces/Places; I, Tonya; In the Fade; The Divine Order; Lady Bird; Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Hold; Meltdown; Loveless; Darkest Hour; The Other Side of Hope; and Hostiles.

Quickie Reviews: The Hitman’s Bodyguard; Logan Lucky; Patti Cake$

The Hitman’s Bodyguard falls into the bucket of mindless summer entertainment that offers a decent-enough cinematic escape for anyone willing to accept the movie for what it is and not over-analyze its foibles. Ryan Reynolds channels his Deadpool sarcasm to play Michael Bryce, a down-on-his-luck “protection agent” (i.e. bodyguard) who is called upon to safely transport his nemesis, notorious hitman Darius Kincaid (Samuel “Snakes on a Plane” L. Jackson) to the Hague so he can testify against brutal East European dictator Vladislav Dukhovich (Gary Oldman). It’s a familiar formula: The clock is ticking. If the witness doesn’t get to the Hague before a 24-hour deadline, the evil dictator will surely walk free. Cue the overlong gun battles, myriad car and motorcycle chases, and outlandish boat escapes as Dukhovich’s cronies take aim at Bryce and Kincaid.

The Dark Knight Rises

There are movies. And then there are MOVIES. The Dark Knight Rises (a.k.a. the latest, and some say the last, Batman) is most definitely the latter. It has an epic running time of two hours and 44 minutes and is probably best viewed as intended, on one of those giant IMAX screens. That’s where I saw it – on the six-story high IMAX at the Smithsonian’s Museum of Natural History. I guess Batman counts as a natural, historical figure these days. Anyway, what you’re probably wondering most is, did I like it? And the answer is…

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is one of those movies to which close attention must be paid. It is a dense story full of twists, turns and quiet intrigue. There are no car chases, explosions, or running gun battles. It’s a cerebral and still spy thriller; a nice change of pace from what so often falls into the “thriller” genre these days.

The Book of Eli

End of the world as we know it/post-apocalyptic cinema is all the rage these days and The Book of Eli is the latest addition to this genre. As post-apocalypse fare, it is a pretty entertaining flick. Then again, it stars charismatic Denzel Washington who is as usual a lot of fun to watch. This time he is Eli, a lone traveler in a color-drained world some 30 years after a nuclear blast scorched the earth. He is in possession of the last known copy of the King James Bible and is on a mission from God to deliver it to the west coast. But don’t expect him to be a pacifist monk. He is a sword wielding killing machine – but only slays evil people who get in his way, of course.