Archive for Based on a true story

Broadway Video, Michaels-Goldwyn, Relativity Media,

Zach Galifianakis, Owen Wilson, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones, Jason Sudeikis

Steve (Owen Wilson) is a bad guy. But he’s tired of the little nickel and dime capers, and thinks it would be great to pull of an armored car heist, but needs someone on the inside. Kelly (Kristen Wiig) has the solution. Kelly work for the Loomis Fargo company for a short while and knows that innocent, but not too bright David Ghantt (Zach Galifinakis) has a crush on her, and has worked for the company for many years. So Kelly flirts with David to convince him that he could pull of the heist, disappear to Mexico where she will shortly join him in a happy and carefree life with tons of money. But they are just playing him for a sucker. David pulls off he heist, heads to Mexico with his share (all he can stuff into his underwear, to Mexico where he finds the Interpo, and a hired killer named Mike McKinney (Jason Sudakeis) is looking for him. Not to mention that stupidly all of these “masterminds” left behind a huge amount of evidence, and the law is closing the noose.

This is a funny film, that does have a good many laugh out loud moments. It’s not as funny as it thinks it is though. Based on the real life 1887 Loomis Fargo robbery, it misses on a lot of the jokes and ends up being more silly than funny. It’s not nearly as good as many of the other films featuring these same actors, and I blame the script and the director for letting it fall into silliness right away. This is produced by Lorne Michaels which explains all the SNL actors in this film, and that also explains a lot of it. SNL has gone a long way towards losing their sense of humor lately as well, and is getting really hard to watch anymore. As a rental flick, this isn’t that bad, and these guys are really good actors, with very thin material to work with, granted, but they do their best. Several of the moments were really good, and I think it’s worth it to give it a go when you don’t have to pay big money to see it in the theater, but all in all, it’s not near as good as it should have been.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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Visible Pictures(II), All Entertainment,

Masey McLain, Ben Davies, Sadie Robertson, Korie Robertson, Bella Robertson, Jaci Velasquez, Jennifer O’Neill

Rachel Joy Scott (Masey McLain) was the first person shot by the Colombine High School shooters, they asked her if she was still a Christian, and when she confirmed her belief, she was viciously shot and killed. Rachel was not a perfect person. Being a High School girl, she had problems and issues, like everyone else, but was a very outstanding young person trying to help others and do the right things. She wrote a journal, and her Mother decided to publish the last few months and weeks of her life to show what a difference her daughter made. This is a biographical story in her own words of how she lived to make the world a better place and to reach out to those who needed her friendship.

This is a Christian movie, certainly. But it’s also very touching and down to earth. Unlike a made up story, this is the real story of Rachel and the struggles she faced. This is not a documentary of the Columbine shooting, although there is actual news footage including President Clinton that is real footage. This is the story of a girl, and her struggles and flaws and her attempts to do good things. In that respect, Masey did a great job of portraying the girl. There are several reasons why people might not like this film, but I think they can be summed up in a few words. One is that it is a Christian movie, and therefore does preach a lot. That turns off a lot of people. Secondly, they are not trying to put down or take away from each of the individuals that lost their life in this terrible tragedy, nor does it do much to explain the psychosis that these boys had that made them do what they did. This is not about the shooting, but is the memory of one person, and a few people that her life touched. So don’t expect a long documentary on the tragedy, as that isn’t here. But if you are able to take the story at face value, it certainly is a great story, and one that ought to be told. It seems each of us ought to have a movie made about our lives and how we made a difference, but sadly only a choice few have that opportunity. If Rachel had been run over by a bus, we never would have known her story and was a decent person she was, and that is sad. But due to circumstances she couldn’t control, she is able to make an impact on each of us. Well done, and a good, very sentimental and righteous story.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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Worldview Entertainment,

Colin Firth, Reese Witherspoon, Dane DeHaan, Mireille Enos, Bruce Greenwood, Elias Koteas, Stephen Moyer, Alessandro Nivola, Amy Ryan, Robert Baker

This crime story is based on a book of the same name covering the murder of three eight year old boys in the small town of West Memphis, Arkansas. Because it was a very brutal murder, everyone was anxious to find and prosecute the killers as quickly as possible. The teens became the focus because of their penchant for things like wearing black, listening to heavy metal music, and being interested in the occult. But did their rush to nail someone for the crime cause a horrible miscarriage of justice? This film, based on a true story tries to look at that possibility.

This is an interesting story that I had never heard anything about. Being a true story, it was all the more interesting. It’s very appropriate for the current time since there is the same kind of mass fear going around that is often very unfounded. In this time, in this town, there was a concern about the behaviors of the teens of the town that seemed to love heavy metal music, show an interest in the occult, and wear all black. The citizens were all fired up, just like the Salem witch trials of long ago, and is often the case, ready to convict whoever is handy, just to solve such a horrible crime. The moral question of a rush to judgement, and guilt unless proving innocence makes this an intriguing story. But at the same time, the story seems to have taken a side, and been told to uphold the side of the author, so I’m not sure they really pulled off an open minded story. Choosing facts to prove your point is a dangerous method of determining the truth. The performance of the primary actors in this movie is at a very high level. This is a bit of a different role for Reese Witherspoon, but it goes to show what a talented actress she’s become. Very good job. Colin Firth, on the other hand, seems to have been slighted in this film. It appears that he is going to have a major role, and it was really sidelined early on, and he mostly puts in an appearance. He usually has a much meatier role, and this is not one of his best by any means. All in all, though, it’s a good story and an interesting case, and as a fan of courtroom stories, this was an interesting film. I think it’s well worth watching.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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Bron Studios, Creative Wealth Media Finance, Follow Through Productions,

Nate Parker, Armie Hammer, Aja Naomi King, Jackie Earle Haley, Penelope Ann Miller, Gabrielle Union, Aunjanue Ellis, Colman Domingo, Dwight Henry, Roger Guenveur Smith, Mark Boone Junior, Esther Scott

The Birth of a Nation is the story of a real character, Nat Turner (Nate Parker) who as a child was found to be an educated fellow who could read and write, even though raised as a slave on a plantation. Nat became a preacher, and was paid to preach to the other slaves to convince them to work hard and listen to their masters to avoid trouble. But after events that turned Nat into a rebel that hated the treatment of his people in the south and caused him to start a bloody uprising that killed scores of white men, women, and children, until a battalion caught up with him and his men and they were all brought to pay for their rebellion. Based on a true character, this is harsh look at the terrible treatment of slaves and former slaves that occurred in the South in 1831 before the Civil war.

This was an interesting film, that is difficult to criticize without casting a very dim light on yourself. First let me say that the brutality and abuse that did occur was very horrible and unexcused, but I’m not sure that this is a completely accurate vision of what in particular happened this time. Historically Nat Turner did head a bloody uprising 1n 1831, but he was despised both in the North and the South due to the killing of little children and women along with the true slave masters. This film certainly does take one side of the story and makes a very shocking story that may be quite a bit embellished as to what really happened in this instance. Nate Parker, who plays Nat Turner, wrote the screenplay and the story and directed the film besides being the primary actor in it. It has a rather weird vibe to it. Though it’s obvious a brand new film, the style and feel of the movie made you think you were watching one of the old 70’s movies, just by the look of it. It wasn’t really very well put together, and it seems to suffer a bit from one guy having to do everything. Perhaps a bigger team would have helped. Still, it’s very touching and moves you to the core, but I’m not sure if we’re being played or if there’s really much truth to this one particular character and his portrayal historically. Likewise, the title, The Birth of a Nation is a political and racial hot button due the to D.W. Griffith 1915 film about the death of Lincoln and the birth of the Ku Klux Klan which is unfortunately a racist white supremacist one sided film that was certainly made to excuse the Klan, make them heroes, and appeal to the racists that existed, and to create many more of them. Now 1915 was a long time ago, but it seemed to be created to stir people up and tell a very incorrect and lopsided tale of who were the heroes and who were the villains. This film, was most likely given the same title to invoke some of the hatred toward the original film and start people off with a particular point of view. I don’t really think this movie is very fairly told either, as I doubt the true character of Nat Turner was really presented here. It was a really flat one sided portrait that simply appears to fire people up to protest. It doesn’t feel like a historical analysis or a documentary, but a one sided attack with no effort to show any balance. Now I can understand how this could happen, as it is a very touchy subject, and one that we really have to deal with in a rational manner. I just feel like this is throwing gasoline on a house fire and doesn’t serve a really good purpose other than to promote hatred. It’s a shame, as I certainly have seen other films that depicted the horrors that happened through a lot of the South at the time, and as a child of the 50’s I’ve seen it in person and on TV and in people I actually know. It’s an ugly thing to judge someone by the color of his skin, but it’s ugly either way, and we need to come together, not try to drive a wedge in to stir up the radicals and make them develop more hatred. With all that’s going on in our nation these days, it’s hard to tell what it all means. Maybe my own fear of being labeled is causing me to feel uncomfortable at this portrayal, and I really wish I had the opportunity to see Nate Parker and find out if he really hates me because of my skin color, or if he’s actually a really nice person who would like to talk to me as well. I would hate to prejudge that, but going by what I see in this film, I don’t think he’d like me very much. Most all ‘isms suck, but racism is one of the worst. In summary, I’m glad I saw it, but I’m just not sure how to react to what I saw.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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Endgame Entertainment, Vendian Entertainment, KrautPack Entertainment,

Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Shailene Woodley, Melissa Leo, Zachary Quinto, Tom Wilkinson, Scott Eastwood, Logan Marshall-Green, Timothy Olyphant, Ben Schnetzer, Lakeith Lee Stanfield, Rhys Ifans, Nicolas Cage

This biographical drama covers the life of Ed Snowden (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) for a period of about 10 years until he shocked the world by showing the world the scope of the data the U.S. Government was collecting on private citizens. It covers his love of his job with the CIA, and his relationship to his girlfriend Lindsay Mills (Shailene Woodley) which was doomed from the start because he couldn’t divulge what he was up to without putting her in danger, and she knew very well something major was going on, but had no clue. With a lot of background on the time, and the technical data collection, and the life in the CIA, it’s a very technical look into the events and the motivation behind what happened. Whether you look at Snowden as the devil, or as an American Hero, this will give you the background of what really went on.

I was a bit disappointed in this movie, although I have been anxious to see what it had to say. I think I have figured out why I was disappointed as I struggled to figure out why. I do not think I have ever seen a movie made by Oliver Stone that I was not disappointed with. I don’t mean to say he’s not a good director, or that he is not an amazing talent, but I am saying that his movies never seem to work for me. There must be something on a personal level that make these movies never click for me, even though I have always been excited about the subject matter. It’s just one of those things I guess. So what did I find wrong with this film? Well, typically when you watch a movie about a historical event you are given enough background for even a layman to understand what it all means. From the housing bubble and the stock market crash which was explained to us in a way that I was able to understand, to even the crash and investigations covered in the movie Sully which dealt with complicated issues of whether or not the right choices were made or not, was fairly easy to follow. But I feel, after this one, that I couldn’t really follow the technical gobbledygook that was thrown out at us at a feverish pace. Yet great detail of Ed’s relationship to Lindsay was explained in great detail which doesn’t seem to really have much to do with the story or the motives of Ed Snowden. I found at times it was really slow and hard to stay interested in, and at other times the scope and magnitude of the data that was being gathered was overwhelming and went past me way too fast. I suppose I could get more out of it by watching it again, but I am not sure I want to put myself through the slow parts again. I think it’s a very interesting subject and one very worthwhile to learn about, but I’m afraid this movie is a missed opportunity to explain the story to us normal folks out there. I work in IT and I still found it hard to follow. It’s a shame.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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