Film Review: Ready Player 1

sub-buzz-2161-1520454744-1

There are between 1-3 films I have circled every year that I absolutely cannot wait to see.  This year, it’s Avengers: Infinity War, Sicario 2 and Ready Player 1.  One is an obvious superhero sequel, the other is a sequel to what should have been nominated for best picture.  And that leaves Ready Player 1, which  is one of my favorite books of all time.  If you’re not familiar, you need to do so reallllly quickly.  It’s the story of a Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan), a young man who along with millions of other of citizens, take on a challenge to find a digital “Easter Egg” in the OASIS.  The OASIS is a VR world which is as real as you want to make it.  The winner of the challenge presented by recently deceased creator of the OASIS, James Halladay (Mark Rylance), wins his fortune and control of the OASIS. And of course, there is an evil CEO, Nolan Sorrento, (Ben Mendelsohn) who will stop at nothing to control OASIS. Halladay is a Bill Gates type who grew up in the 80’s, addicted to video games and films from the time.  All of his challenges have to do with both video games and films so turn the nostalgia factor on full blast.  Steven Spielberg directs this film and who better to take us down that road.

Parzival was initially against “clanning”; which is nerd speak for others joining is eventually joined by lady crush, Artemis,  ninjas Sho and Daito, and his best friend, Aech.  They call themselves, “The Top 5,” and they all mesh together quite well and especially when their real identities are given.

There are an absolute shit load of references, characters, and nods to films/video game characters throughout.  You’ll go crazy trying to keep track of whom and what you saw but I’ll give you a few: Goro from Mortal Kombat, Chun Li from Street Fighter, Freddy Krueger, Jason Vorhees, Robocop, the baby Alien, and even caught a Jack Slater from Last Action Hero reference.  Wade Watts’s OASIS character, Parzival, even drives the DeLorean from Back to the Future with the KITT from Knight Rider lights in the front.  Movie nerds and video game nerds, rejoice.  Scoring the film are 2 juggernauts from the 80’s, John Williams (if I need you to tell you what films he’s worked on, deport yourself) and Alan Silvestri (Back to the Future trilogy).  And you’re going to hear a TON of nods from their previous films in the score.  And you will smile.

So let’s do the eventual annoying “book to film” comparison.  The book was amazing because Wade had to play Joust with one of the guardians for the keys.  Wade also had to do “film syncs”  scenes from War Games and Monty Python and the Holy Grail.  In the film, they don’t do either.  The first challenge is a race, the second is a scene within, “The Shining.” And the third is playing, “Adventure” on Atari.  I wish that Spielberg would’ve chosen different challenges, including doing the film syncs.  I know that would’ve brought the same charm and allure that the book brought.  My other biggest complaint is that one of the “Top 5” die in the book but Spielberg pulls the typical “everything ending is a happy one.”  Spielberg kept a ton of the book’s integrity (also noted that RP1 writer Ernest Cline did co-write the screenplay) by tweaking a few things, like the Zemeckis cube.

This film is good and you will get sucked into it without question.  The ongoing references and nods within the score will always keep an ear to ear grin.  But those 2 omissions are glaring ones and major points are deducted for such.  Otherwise, it keeps close to the book and Spielberg does his best work in over a decade.  It will also be the perfect excuse to get your kids researching the great films and games I/we grew up on.

The book is a 10, the film is a 7.

Advertisements

Film Review: Black Panther

images

Black Panther has taken the world by storm, both the film and the cologne.  To be frank, I had no desire to see this film.  I also had no desire to see Ant Man and Dr. Strange and was pleasantly surprised by both.  I also had no desire to see Batman V Superman and the first 2 Thor films and hated them all.  I wasn’t familiar with Black Panther growing up; he was as tertiary as Ant Man and Dr. Strange so why make an entire film about him?    It opened on Rotten Tomatoes at 99%; which made me afraid that with today’s racial climate, people would inflate their scores to come off as “woke” and not racist.  Is white guilt playing a role in the success of this film?  Is this going to get the female Ghostbusters/Wonder Woman treatment?  Who shot first, Han or Greedo?  Clearly Greedo shot first and missed and any of you who think otherwise is wrong.

Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) returns home to Wakanda, his home country in Africa, after the death of his father in Captain America 3.  Wakenda sits on a treasure trove of Vibranium, the same stuff his suit and Captain America’s shield is made of.  They’re a technologically advanced nation although they hide their success right in plain sight to blend in with the other African nations.  T’Challa becomes king of Wakanda and has his family that supports him in many ways.  His sister, Shuri (Letitia Wright), plays Q to Panther’s James Bond.  His mother, (Angela Bassett) is queen of Wakanda.  Daniel Kuluuya (Get Out) plays T’Challa’s best friend and solider.  Panther also has an army of kickass women soldiers that protect him, including his ex, Lupita Nyong’o.  We learn that N’Jobu, Panther’s uncle, was killed while stationed on Earth.  Enter Erik Killmonger (Michael B Jordan), Panther’s cousin; who is hellbent on revenge for his father’s death and through military training, will stop at nothing to kill T’Challa and take over as King of Wakanda.  Killmonger wants to supply all suppressed minorities around the world with the Vibranium and technology so they can no longer be the little guy.

Are there nods to any of the other Marvel characters?  Very, very few.  Andy Serkis reprises his role as Klaw, an arms dealer who fought off the Avengers in Cap 3.  Other than that, no other call backs to the other Marvel films except the end credits which I won’t spoil.  Now, for the social themes.  A lot of people are talking about the female empowerment in this film.  Those lady bodyguards do kick ass and it’s not contrived one bit.  It’s completely believable and they’re a welcome mixture of action and comedy.  Director Ryan Coogler does a fantastic job of portraying African rituals and pride while spinning the tale of Black Panther.  I’ve seen a lot of people post on social media this is the best comic book film ever.  It’s not.  I’ve seen some people post that Killmonger is the best villain in a comic book film ever.  He’s very, very good but c’mon, not the best.  Heath Ledger as the Joker will be damn near impossible to unseat and I’ll even throw Magneto, Green Goblin,  and Vulture (Michael Keaton) in that group of untouchables.  Is this film as a masterpiece like others pain it to be?  No.  I felt that it drag a tad here and there.  The action was solid, the plot flowed smoothly, and the jokes worked.  But it’s damn solid and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  And I’ll bet that you will as well.

Score of 7.5/10

NFL ATS picks for Conference Championship weekend

Drink em if you got em, folks.  This is the real last week of the NFL season as we all know the Super Bowl is more pageantry than game.  This is the last week we get to bet on more than 1 NFL game so it’s bittersweet as it’s the beginning of the end of football.  And then after the Super Bowl, we ahead into the great abyss.  Or as I call it, Tera Patrick’s gash.  3-4 last week, 6-4 overall.  I snuck out the Pats over, thanked Christ the Eagles missed the PAT to get my first half under, and had a puckered up asshole as Vikes late TD didn’t kick the PAT to cover the Saints.  Lost Pitt, the under, Vikes under, and the Falcons.  We all watched Matt Ryan pull off his best “Crohn’s disease patient fucking a woman on his period” impression: shitting his pants in the red zone.  I give that joke a 6.5.

Tom Brady was hurt in practice when a teammate’s helmet accidentally smashed in his hand.  Or so the “liberal media” would want you to think.  I’m sure he really got the injury when one of Giselle’s hooves crushed his hand when he tried reaching for a candy bar.  Jacksonville comes in after a stunning win in Pittsburgh where they dropped 21 on Pitt faster than a Vietnamese black jack dealer in Vegas.  Let’s talk stats: Jacksonville is on its 2nd road game in 3 weeks while the Pats have slept in their own beds for a month.  And teams that put up 40+ in the playoffs the previous week (Jags)? 4-25-1 ATS.  Jags are 2-5 vs NE, 1-5 in NE.  Pats are 6-0 ATS at home, 10-1 of their last 11.  Blake Bortles passer rating is fucking TERRIBLE when they’re behind, 55 QBR.  Do you think the Pats are going to let them get ahead?  They’re going to take Leonard Fournette out early and make Blake Bortles beat them.  Btw, Bortles averaging 151 passing yds and with a 53% completion rate. And do you think the Patriots are going to take their foot off the gas?  Nope.  They’ve outscored their opponents in the playoffs, 80-25 in the 2nd half in the last 4 playoff games. 

Let’s talk over/under.  Pats have hit the under 9/13 but 8/11 over at home.  Jaguars vs Patriots are under 4/6 times as well as 4/6 under in NE.  

The facts are here: Take the Patriots -7.5 and under 46.5

This last game had me debating for the entire week.  The Vikings are good on the road, the Eagles are good at home.  Both teams could have EASILY lost last week.  Both teams are playing with house money as their backup QBs haven’t flinched, yet.  We all know my distaste for that goddamn awful town.  Nick Foles is one of the worst in 3rd and long situations.  Believe it or not, the Vikings D is better on the road than at home (329 yds allowed vs 387 at home) and the Vikes D is top 5 against the run.  But the Eagles D has also been fantastic, 20 points allowed in 3 games.  Philly has been 2-4 ATS and under 6/6. Also 5/6 under at home.  

I’m still not sure but leaning Vikings -3 and under 38.5.  I’m definitely jumping on the Vikes if it gets to 2.5.

Happy gambling and don’t be afraid to grab the first half unders again.  

NFL Divisional Playoffs 2018 Picks ATS

I’ll take my usual bow at the beginning of the column and say yet again, another fantastic week for Herr Gootee.  3-0 last week as the Jax first half under, Saints over, and KC under (thought I had a clenched asshole for the last hour of that game) all came in to cover.  This week, I think it’s a harder crop of games as the numbers are a bit wonky.  Does Tom Brady and the Pats take all the bulletin board material (Discourse in the Pats locker room and Titans safety talking shit) and go into pure, “fuck you” mode?   Do the Vikings take one more step to becoming the first team in a Super Bowl that hosts the game?  Do Eagle fans continue their streak of shitting the bed while their white trash, vile fans create a riot after their backup QB loses the game?  I’ll bet the ranch and your ranch that they’ll do that if Philly loses well because, a tiger doesn’t change his stripes.  Onto the picks.

The aforementioned white trash wasteland known as Philadelphia hosts the red hot (yes, you read that right) Atlanta Falcons at the Stink this weekend.  Atlanta has had to damn near win out while Philly has been on autopilot for 3 weeks, including a bye.  But, in the 2 games Philly has played, they’ve combined for 19 points.  Yes, one was meaningless in week 17 but not a good look when you’re prepping for the playoffs, especially with a backup QB.  The line is 3 so let’s break that down: Home field is 3 points so what this is saying to me is that on a neutral field Matt Ryan and Nick Foles are considered even?  Get the fuck out of here.  Yes, I know it’s a dome team out in the cold where those teams are 4-24 in January.  And I know Atlanta has been on the road for 4/5 of their last games.  But the Atlanta defense can hold down NICK FOLES.  And can you say with confidence that you’re going to put money.  On Nick Foles.  In a playoff game?

I think people are afraid to call Philly a paper tiger as there has never been #1 seed that’s an underdog.  But, let’s also look at numbers: Atlanta under, 5/5.  4/5 under on the road. 9/12 under against Philly and 5/7 under in Philly.  Lastly, Philly has been under in 5/7. Let’s also add that it’s cold there today in the city that considers grade D shaved meat with synthetic cheese a “gourmet experience.”  I think both teams start off slow and try to figure each other out so…

I took first half under 20 and I’ll buy the .5 to get Atlanta at -2.5

Tom Brady is butthurt that Jimmy Garrapolo could have been a threat to his legacy so he had him shipped off.  This is some real Sopranos shit here; didn’t Tony debate about having Christopher knocked off because he also viewed him as a threat?  Don’t flood my inbox with corrections because I haven’t watched the show since it unceremoniously ended in one of the laziest endings ever written.  I know Montana was getting upset that Steve Young was about to and did take his job.  But only time will tell if Jimmy G meets up to everyone’s lofty expectations.  And why does every male sportscaster have to swoon about his looks.  Guys, calm down with that.  Women went gaga over Derek Jeter.  I went gaga because he delivered clutch hits in October so let’s leave it at that.  

The 13.5 is quite lofty and the Pats rarely get backdoored (go ahead and insert your lazy butt sex reference in here, I’m trying to bang out this column before I appear on a podcast to talk about Comics Watching Comics for the umpteenth time this week.  Fuck it, I’ll shoehorn a plug into my own column.)  The Pats have outscored opponents in the 2nd half, 66-18, in their last 3 playoff games.  Meaning they don’t take the foot off the gas.  BUT the Pats against the run are like Alabama fans in SAT scores, dead last.  Derrick Henry ran all over the Chiefs so expect the Pats to key in on him.  That leaves Corey Davis, Erick Decker, and Delanie Walker left as the main options for Marcus Mariota.  Do any of them get your dick hard?  Me neither but I think the Titans can chase points and keep it closer and make Brady throw it late in the game; facing the Titans 24th ranked pass D.  But would I be shocked if this game ends up 35-14?  Nope.  So what am I saying?  I’m saying the Pats are 7/10 over at home, I’m saying Tenn in NE has been over 6/7.  I’m saying Tenn and NE has gone over 7/10 at home.

Pats/Titans over 48 is the play.

Pittsburgh gets a chance to redeem themselves after Ben gave it up more than a black family at a high school graduation.  Jesus, I wish my parents hooted and yelled that loud.  The only thing they yelled was, “Get a fucking job because interns don’t get paid shit.”  This next handicap is really based on the eye test and some stats.  Blake Bortles was fucking ghastly last week, having more rushing yards than throwing yards.  At home.  In 60 degree weather.  Only time that’s ever happened is when I played as Michael Vick in Madden.  And this was against a mediocre Bills defense.  So what do you think is going to happen when he’s in Pittsburgh.  In 20 degree weather.  Facing a team with a solid pass rush.  Yeah, not much.  

I see both teams running the ball as each team’s rush defense isn’t stellar.  In fact, Jax run d is 30th!  Plus, I think they’ll want to slowly dip their toes in the water and not air it out early as Bortles is always a nanosecond from going full Bortles.  And Ben got picked 5 times.  BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!  Jax is surprisingly successful in Pittsburgh, 12-5 and recently 4-1 ATS.  Pitt is 1-5 of late and 1-4 at home.  Again, the eye test screams Pitt but they’ve also been known to play to the level of their competition.  Jax under has hit 4/6 on the road and 15/23.  Pitt at home has gone over 5/6 and 5/7 recently.  I think Pitt is going to win and probably cover as well as go under but I’m going to go with my gut when I put my money down.

And my gut says take the first half under again.  I don’t have a number yet but I’m taking it.

Lastly, the Saints head to Minnesota where everyone and their mothers love the Vikings. And why not?  The numbers of the Vikings have been insanely 1 sided.  Vikes are 11-4-1 ATS and I’ve made a ton of money betting on them.  They have a great defense: 276 ypg average, 10.6 pig, and +137 yds over an opponent at home.  But the Saints (who I have to win the NFC at 6/1) despite being 1-4 ATS of late, do have some success on the road, 12-5-1 on the road ATS.  They are 2-4 in Minnesota, and 2-7 against Minnesota.  If this game gets to 6 or more, I may take it.  I may take the over 48 as recently, 4/6 have gone over and 6/7 over in Minnesota.  BUT the Saints are under 4/6 on the road.  Man, so many conflicting stats.  I just may see how I do and then go on my gut.  But there’s one stat that stares at me square in the eyes, THIS IS THE BIGGEST GAME THAT CASE KEENUM HAS PLAYED IN.

Probably the over and possibly the Saints…depending on the numbers.

NFL Wild Card Weekend 2018 Picks ATS

5-2 last week so back on the winning track for your favorite handicapper.  Wish I would’ve taken my own advice and added on the Bengals and Cardinals.  It’s the perfect weekend to watch the games as it’s pretty goddamn cold with this cyclone bomb at hand.  Cyclone Bomb sounds like a finishing move in Mortal Kombat or a perfect description when I ate a piece of uncooked chicken last week.  Last year, Wild Card weekend was crazy as all the favorites covered.  Will the same occur this year?  Let’s see:

Kansas City hosts Tennessee, who has looked very unremarkable the past few weeks.  Tennessee is 5-12-5 ATS on the road but 5-1 in KC.  KC has seemed to get their offense together while the Titans offense has been as lively as another Tennessee legend, Pat Summit.  Hint: she’s dead.  No DeMarco Murray but that doesn’t matter because he’s been awful.  9 is a lot of points and Alex Smith SHOULD be able to cover this.  Let’s all reminisce how Alex Smith was the first overall pick and selected before…Aaron Rodgers.  Ok, memory break over.  I do not have an idea where to go team wise but I sure have made a lot of money betting on the Chiefs under at home.  Titans have gone under in 4/6 as well as 4/6 on the road.  KC has going under 6/8 and and 5/6 at home.  That’s all the info I need to

Take KC under 45

Buffalo squeaked in because the Ravens 4th quarter defense disappeared like Philadelphia teams during a championship parade.  Shady McCoy has been upgraded to probable so he’s pretty much a go.  Do I trust Buffalo on the road with no WR?  No.  Do I trust Blake Bortles who of late, has been not good.  And now he’s home in the first playoff game for the Jaguars since I was in college.  Playing Goldeneye.  Womanizing.  Playing Beer Pong.  Sigh, those were the days.  This under is quite low, 39.5  But I am going to try some different logic.  The Jags will be running the ball as that’s what they’re good at and the Bills run defense is not.  The Bills will be running because the Jags run D isn’t so hot either.  I think Doug Marrone will want to make keep a leash on Bortles and give him the chance to turn the ball over early.  I think both teams come out conservatively so I went and took…

First half Jacksonville under 19.5

Lastly, my lock of the week.  If you’ve consistently read this column, thanks to all 23 of you.  And you’ll know that I love the Saints at home.  You know what I love even more than the Saints at home?  Blowjobs, duh.  And a ton of Denise Richards naked photos circa 1997.  Also, I love the Saints over at home.  Saints are 15/21 over at home.  And when the Saints play Carolina, the over hits 6/7.  Also, when the Saints play Carolina at home, the over hits 6/7.  Carolina is 5/7 in hitting the over.  The Saints hung 30+ on Carolina both times they played them.  I would take the Saints if it got down to 6.5 but for now, I LOVE….

The Saints over 48.5

NFL week 17 picks ATS

I knew I jinxed myself when I said I haven’t had a losing weekend since late october.  2-5 was not the way to spend Christmas but shit, these things happen.  Hope you enjoyed Star Wars as much as I did.  And I recently did see 2 new films that you may enjoy:  Film reviews: 3 Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri and Darkest Hour And now we go into the last week of the year which is just as confusing as week 1.  Playoffs are mostly set with seedings up in the air which means some teams are half assing it or completely resting their starters.  So I’m going to do more totals or games where there is some meaning.  

The Raiders head to LA for a quasi meaningless game as the Chargers need help to make the playoffs.  So for all you LA residents, get ready for Raiders fans (cholos) to have cockfights in that soccer stadium parking lot of yours.  Let’s get ready for some cold, hard facts.  Oak has hit the under in 5/5, 8/11 on the road (including last week in Philly, one of the 2 I got right), 4/6 vs LA, 13/17 in LA.  Phil Rivers has been focusing more on his 29 kids than scoring points as his team his hit the under in 5/5 and 5/7 at home.  I think Oak +7 is a play

But I like the LA under 42 better.

My NY Giants just have a new GM who already just started cleaning house.  Got rid of the head of personnel evaluation and cut OL Bobby Ross for refusing to practice and play in Sunday’s game.  In come the Redskins off a win and Kirk Cousins playing for a contract.  It’s gonna be cold in Giants Stadium (sorry you Jets fans squatters, it will always be Giants stadium) and let’s see who’s out for the Giants: Evan Engram, Sterling Sheppard, Landon Collins, and Eli Apple.  But I would consider it a positive for the other team if Apple was in because his mouthy mother could cover better than her pansy ass kid can.  This team has ZERO offense which is exactly how many points they scored last week in Arizona.  Oh yeah, JPP and his 7.5 fingers is also questionable.  I’m 0-2 betting against the Giants this year as KC and Den both decided to take a steamy diarrhea dump on themselves in the ONLY 2 Giants wins all year.  Skins are 4-2 ATS or late and 12-6 on the road.  Giants are 2-5 ATS at home and 3-6 overall.  Third time’s the charm.

Take the Skins -3

Minnesota is about to lock up a first round bye if they can take down the Bears.  Shouldn’t be a problem as the Vikings are 9-1 of late, 7-1 at home, and 4-1.  The ONLY thing I’m worried about is the funky number of 11.5 for the Vikings.  I think the Vikings come out flying and shut down the anemic Bears offense.  Bears are 2-4-1 ATS of late, 5-10 on the road, and 1-4 @ Minnesota.  John Fox will be gone before the post game buffet is laid out.  Get ready to say these words in the same sentence: Case Keenum and playoffs.  Here are a couple of fun stats: Vikes are 6-0 for the under as home favorites of 10 points or more. Vikings are under 4/6 of late, 4/5 @ home, and 4/6 home vs Chi.    The Bears are 5-1 for the under as an underdog of 10+ points.  Bears are 4/5 of late with the under, 5/8 playing the Vikings, and 4/6 in Minnesota.  

I really like the Vikings under 38 and the Vikings first half.  I kind of like the Vikings -12 but prefer the other 2 plays.

In one of the top, “who gives a shit” games of the week, the Colts finish the year against the Texans who still look like they’re playing in that hurricane.  This is going to be Chuck Pagano’s last game so the Colts may resemble an NFL team for once.  The Texans have TJ Yates as quarterback this week and I’ll be honest when I say I’d rather have TJ Hooker behind center.  And no DeAndre Hopkins this week either so I’ll play on the sentimentality factor and….

Lay -5 and grab the Colts.

I think the Bengals and Ravens go higher than 40 points this week.  Why?  The trends say under as Cincy has hit the under in Bal 7/10 and 12/18 overall.  But Baltimore hasn’t put up less than 20 points since 10/22.  And Cincy has put up at least 20 in 5/7.  No Vontez Burfect for Cincy either.  Bal needs the game and will want to stay motivated.

Take Bal over 40

In another, “who gives a shit game”, the Cardinals fly (pun intended) to Seattle who actually can make the playoffs with some help.  Cardinals are 4-0-1 ATS of late but they suck on the road, 1-6.  They also have trouble with Seattle, 2-4-1 ATS.  And why doth thou give a dookie about this game?  Because Bruce Arians is supposedly retiring due to health reasons.  And you’re getting 9 points with a team who’s actually trying for no apparent reason.  Yes, Seattle is healthier.  But they haven’t exactly been lighting it up of late, 3-5-1 and 1-4 at home ATS.  I’m tired so no more jokes or analysis.

Take the Redbirds and the 9 free points. 

The lock of the week is the Saints game but not for the reason you may think.  The Saints need this game to ensure a home game.  The Bucs have played well of late but let’s tip my hand a little bit.  Bucs have went under in 5/5 at home and 6/9 overall.  5/6 vs NO and 8/9 at home vs NO.  Saints are 4/5 on the road with the under.  This game could easily be a Saints blowout or a squeaker and I just don’t give 2 flying purple dildos.  But I will guaran-damn-tee that this game…

Goes under 48.5

Kind of debating about: Cincy +9.5, Jets +15, and Niners -3…

Film reviews: 3 Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri and Darkest Hour

End of December means a few things: Christmas, taking back unwanted Christmas presents, and late Oscar entrants.  I saw 2 of them and here’s what I thought. Three_Billboards_Outside_Ebbing,_Missouri

3 Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri is one of those films that the title does all of the explaining for you.  Frances McDormand plays Mildred Hayes, a mother whose daughter was raped while dying and justice has not been served.  So she pays for, you guessed it, 3 billboards calling out the local sheriff’s lack of progress.  It of course, stirs up a shitstorm with the town folk and especially the sheriff, aptly played by Woody Harrelson.  Let’s just take a moment to acknowledge Woody.  He has fun with the role while giving it gravitas, as he’s suffering from cancer.  Woody has had one hell of a resume, he’s run the gamut of roles.  He’s insanely under appreciated but I think he may get an Oscar nod for supporting actor.  

Here’s why this film is deserving the hype it’s received.  This is more than just a mother hellbent on getting revenge.  There are MANY layers to the story like the aforementioned Harrelson as well as Sam Rockwell playing a racist cop who lives with his mother.  The townsfolk bullying Mildred; including Mildred’s ex-husband who comes back to torment her while bringing his much younger but dopey girlfriend.  And of course, Mildred’s son as well as her employer dealing with Mildred’s actions.  Rockwell brings home the goods as the cop who has the quintessential, “seen the light” moment and goes to right his wrongs.

But let’s talk about the real star, McDormand.  She absolutely destroys this role and you not only feel non-stop compassion for her but you’ll enjoy her smart ass quips when the townies attempt to apply pressure to her.  There’s zero doubt that she’s winning the Oscar for best actress.  Is this film solid?  Absolutely.  Do you need to see it in the theater?  No but you definitely won’t walk out questioning your purchase.  This film is solid and I’ll give it an 8.

images

The second film I saw was “Darkest Hour” and this is the story of how Churchill comes to power after Chamberlain was asked to step down.  Churchill said he’s been waiting since the nursery to become prime minister of England and you can tell that if this screenplay was true to history, that indeed he was born for the role.  Europe is being dominated by Hitler and Churchill is first to say that attempts with peace is not in the cards for a madman like Hitler.  King George Vi, Chamberlain, and Halifax are all working against Churchill as they want peace, not war.  So you get an idea of how difficult it was for not only Winston to attempt to save Britain from Nazi domination but doing so while being road blocked by his own government and cabinet.  And they do get into the Dunkirk story again in this film.  

Churchill is a larger than life persona and his rookie typist, played by Lily James (Baby Driver), learns quickly how to adapt to his nuances and eventually gains his trust where he takes her to the military intelligence hub to show her what’s REALLY happening.   Kristen Scott Thomas plays Clementine, Churchill’s wife who gives ZERO fucks and does not cow tow to his attempts to bull doze his preferences.  And god, do I love hearing Oldman drop his many memorable quotes throughout the film.  My favorite: “Those who do not change their mind don’t change much at all.”  He’s INSANELY quick with the tongue and Oldman pulls off the role with such ease but then again, when doesn’t he?

When I saw, “Dunkirk,” (overrated) they showed a preview for this film and after 30 seconds, I said that Gary Oldman is winning best actor. Now that I saw the film, I’m looking for a bookie who will take odds so I can bet this.  Oldman is another guy who has been, “under the radar” amazing for so long.  Dracula, the pimp in True Romance, Lee Harvey Oswald in JFK, and hell, Commissioner Gordon in Batman.  This film is great and flies through it’s 2:05 running time.  They end it at the exact right time, although I could’ve easily sat through another 30-45 minutes of Churchill history.  

This film gets an 8 out of 10 from me.