Transfilm, Archery Pictures, Canal+ Distribution,

Jessica Chastain, Mark Strong, Michael Stuhlbarg, Alison Pill, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Jake Lacy, John Lithgow, Sam Waterston

Elizabeth Sloane (Jessica Chastain) is a Washington D.C. power lobbyist who is the best in the business. Everyone wants to work with her, but this time she’s taking on a gun control bill and is facing an uphill battle which may turn out to be the biggest in her career. She’s set on winning at any price, but the price may be too high as she may destroy herself along with lots of good friends along the way in this look at the lobbying profession and the special interests and corruption at the highest levels of government.

This movie brings out all kinds of opinions from the folks that see it. That’s one of the good things about it. This is about lobbying and political blackmail, and though it’s revolving around a particular gun control bill, it’s not about gun control, really. With stunning dramatic scenes and courtroom scenes as the attempt to bring Elizabeth down once and for all, it makes for a very exiting film right out of the pages of the newspapers. From the sly back deals that cost us millions as the Democrats bought votes for ObamaCare, to the corruption in California where Governor Jerry Brown just did completely illegal on the side pork barrel deals worth a billion dollars or more to get enough votes to increase gasoline taxes by nearly a half a buck a gallon and a new car registration fee of about 50 bucks a year on every car registration to help raise money to pay the government pension deals that we are being sunk by. In California it’s completely illegal to offer bribes or funding to influence the vote of a legislator, yet it was very publicly done. The final vote waas acquired by convincing a Republican legislator who is being termed out a deal to protect the business he is going back to getting him to break ranks and vote for this devastating bill that cannot be overturned by a referendum. That’s the kind of thing this movie is about, and it’s a good look at the bribery, blackmail, and much worse that goes on in the lobby business every day. For that reason, I found it an interesting film, but even without that, there is very good dramatic and suspenseful story going on as well, even if you are not interesting in the lobbying stuff. Especially the courtroom scene that comes in the last part of the story is very well done. This is a role that was built for Jessica Chastain, and with a whole crew of backup actors who also perform very smartly, this is a very well told story and probably worth watching. It’s quite a change of pace from the usual stuff, and interesting to watch.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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New Line Cinema, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), Flower Films (II),

Dakota Johnson, Rebel Wilson, Alison Brie, Leslie Mann, Anders Holm, Damon Wayans Jr., Nicholas Braun, Jake Lacy, Jason Mantzoukas

Four friends, Alice (Dakota Johnson), Robin (Rebel Wilson), Meg (Leslie Mann), and Lucy (Alison Brie) are living the single life in New York City. This film covers a ten year span of their adventures and experiences as they struggle with finding the right balance in this comedy about single life in the big city. Raunchy, funny, and touching, all at the same time.

This film has a really good cast. There is no doubt that the ladies are talented. There is some decent comedy here, and a lot of funny situations. Each of the characters have their own quirky personality and their own way of dealing with life. So what is the biggest problem with this film? Well, first of all, it’s really forgettable. This is not something you’re going to remember 24 hours after you’ve seen it. Secondly, it’s very derivative of lots and lots of other movies. Sex in the City anyone? It’s a girl film and I am sure it’s harmless fun for those who are in the mood for this kind of movie, but for the mainstream, I don’t think so. It just wasn’t that interesting for me, and my recommendation is to skip this one.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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Number 9 Films, Film4, Killer Films,

Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara, Sarah Paulson, Jake Lacy, Kyle Chandler

Based on the novel “The Price of Salt” by Patricia Highsmith, this story takes place in 1950, a time that where women were not treated with much respect and were expected to marry and raise a family. Carol (Cate Blanchett) is very unhappily married in an unjustified sexless relationship with a small child Rindy. While shopping, Carol spies a shop girl in a department store and is instantly attracted to her. They two strike up a friendship that soon turns romantic. In a time where same sex relationships were not tolerated, things get bad for Carol as her whole world starts crashing down around her.

This film deservedly got a lot of attention over the awards season, probably most due to Cate Blanchett’s moving performance as Carol. She shows all the sides of this character, and we get to see a lot of emotions, from disgust and anger, to embarrassment, to love and tenderness. It truly is a mind blowing performance, and she certainly deserves all the praise she rightly received. But Rooney Mara as Therese, the shop girl, should also be praised for her role. She had a lot to do with the stunning performances here, and she is a wonderful actress. Her wide-eyed “Audrey Hepburn” look innocence at the beginning, growing into a strong and powerful woman by the end, gives us a chance to see all of her skills as a performer which are many. The story is a bit slow, and it replicates the 1950’s pretty well. It is also stark and very realistic which may chase away some people. This is not everyone’s cup of tea, as it’s is really a woman’s movie, heavy on the romantic relationship, and yet the fierce independence of strong women characters that will please the ladies. I can see why this movie got all the praise that it did, and I can also see a lot of people who will be unimpressed. So if you like romantic period pieces done like the romantic novels of old, this is certainly worth watching. If you like explosions and car chases, this is not the movie for you.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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CBS Films, Groundswell Productions, Imagine Entertainment,

Alan Arkin, Marisa Tomei, June Squibb, Jake Lacy, Amanda Seyfried, Diane Keaton, Anthony Mackie, Olivia Wilde, Ed Helms, John Goodman

Love the Coopers (Shouldn’t this be Love, The Coopers?) is a Christmas Holiday film where, much like the Griswolds, the Cooper family brings four generations together for the holidays. Like all families, they have their problems and issues, but everyone is trying to make the holidays special. But a bunch of surprise visitors and unexpected events turns it all into turmoil until the family is able to right the ship and figure out how to get the ship back on keel to have a successful holiday.

Ok, I must admit (as if you didn’t know it) that I’m a sucker for Christmas films, even in February, but even so, I can see some issues with this movie. Still, the movie does have some flaws, but does that mean I did not like it? Hardly, as I really enjoyed watching it. One of the problems is too many family members to keep track of, and the characters don’t have enough time to develop more than a superficial way. Still since the cast is filled with fantastic actors all over the place, one of the high points too is to get to see them work things out. Diane Keaton and John Goodman are really good together, and I must say are two of the best around. Then aside from these two, star after star appears. The comedy is hit and miss. Some of it is really funny, and some of it is really touching, and that’s what you’re looking for in a Christmas film like this. It certainly would be more fun though to see it in November, and I’m not sure why it was released so early in the new year, except maybe with that title, it doesn’t look like a holiday film. I felt the actors did pretty good, and aside from their being a LOT going on which is hard to keep up with, the lack of time to develop each of the characters as much I would have liked, and the fact that this family is so inappropriate dropping all the family secrets to anyone who will listen, and finally, the unneeded narrator talking over everything, it did work. I really enjoyed it, and I liked it a lot. I know I make is sound terrible, and many critics didn’t like it, but since I did really enjoy it, I have to recommend it, and I do. It was quality work by top notch performers, and cleaning up the script a little would have made an awesome film.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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