Can You Ever Forgive Me?: A small splash in the right direction

3.4/5

Genre: Comedy, Crime, Biography
Runtime: 106 min
Main Cast:  Melissa McCarthy, Richard E. Grant
Director: Marielle Heller

Synopsis

A depressed, out-of-work biographer, Lee Child, forges letters from celebrities and sells them as originals.

Review

I want to start by saying that Lee Child’s scheme is brilliant and it is a true delight to see it captured on film. Heller, Holofcener and Whitty have done a great job of capturing how wide depression truly is and how it seeps into every aspect of our lives. We see that as Child experiences financial success how her depression starts lifting but as soon as something goes wrong how her personality topples her world over once again.

© 2018 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation All Rights Reserved

McCarthy’s portrayal of Child is spectacular. She captures the deep intelligence, wit and depression perfectly. Her comic timing helps the story move forward and, strangely, helps her portray the more serious struggles of the character. I would say her foray into a more serious role was a great success.

Grant’s portrayal of John creates a perfect counter to that of McCarthy. He helps create this odd juxtaposition of lightheartedness and depression which makes both the characters of Lee and John relatable.

© 2018 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation All Rights Reserved

The chemistry between Grant and McCarthy works well and serves the progression of the plot well.

Apart from a small market who will love it, I don’t see it competing against many of the horror and action movies prone to come out in the first quarter of the year. When it comes to the Oscars, its small “splash” will also make it one of those nominated movies people will quickly forget about; which is sad.

If you are one of those from the small market, you will thoroughly enjoy this movie.

Green Book: Striking the right balance

4.5/5

Genre: Comedy, Drama
Runtime: 130 min
Main Cast:  Viggo Mortensen, Mahershala Ali
Director: Peter Farrelly

Synopsis

An italian bouncer becomes the driver of a famous African-American pianist as he embarks on a tour of the segregated south. It is a story of an unlikely, lifelong friendship that forms in an era when it shouldn’t.

Review

Green Book does one thing spectacularly well, the story. Nick Vallelonga, Brian Currie and Peter Farrely have produced something that is very rare to find, balance. They were able to capture both the seriousness of the age and the comedy of this unlikely friendship. Doing so, producing a film that will leave you feeling optimistic about life and race relations.

© 2018 Universal Studios.

Viggo Mortensen, know for his role as Aragorn in Lord of the Rings, delivers a flawless performance as Tony Lip bringing in perfect comic timing to aid in the balance of the story. He captures the transition we make when navigating from prejudice to appreciation well.

Mahershala Ali delivers an award-winning performance as Don Shirley, capturing the pain that outsiders feel both when they don’t fit into their community and the world in which they find themselves.

© 2018 Universal Studios.

All in all Green Book has become one of my favourite movies, and anyone watching it will surely enjoy it!

Ralph Breaks the Internet: Fun but fickle Copy

3/5

Genre: Animation
Runtime: 112 min
Main Cast: John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman, Gal Gadot, Taraji P. Henson
Directors: Phil Johnston, Rich Moore

Synopsis

Our big-fisted, warm-hearted villain is back. Ralph and Venelope go to the internet to find a replacement part for Venelope’s broken game. The discovery of the internet hits both, Ralph and Venelope, in very different ways.

Review

© 2018 - Walt Disney Studios

I enjoyed the story and most kids will find it very entertaining. Kids will miss most of the elements that make the movie memorable. The movie takes a stab at mocking some of the most baneful things on the internet.

I found the storyline a bit slow and the comedy average. It lacked the originality of the first instalment and ended up feeling like a better-executed Emoji Movie.

© 2018 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

The lesson at the end of the movie makes it worth the watch. Kids will thoroughly enjoy it, but parents will only be willing to sit through it once. It feels like there should be more to this movie, and this review, but unfortunately there isn’t.

A Star Is Born: The talent at centre stage

4.4/5

Genre: Musical Romance
Runtime: 135 min
Main Cast: Bradley Cooper, Lady Gaga
Director: Bradley Cooper

Synopsis

Ally, a struggling songwriter, who makes ends meet by working as a waiter, encounters seasoned musician, Jackson Maine, at a drag bar. So doing, she launches her music career and meets the love of her life.  A tale unfolds of love that surpasses all understanding.

Review

© 2018 WARNER BROS. ENTERTAINMENT INC. AND METRO-GOLDWYN-MAYER PICTURES INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

In an interview director, Bradley Cooper, who also plays Jackson Maine, said he wanted to bring more of a family element into the movie, and he does that with great success. His portrayal of the fragile but loving Jackson Maine is as on point as his vocal ability!

Lady Gaga, who plays Ally, creates a character who you can root for throughout the movie. Which is immensely difficult given the centre stage the character’s talent takes. Her ability to radiate the vulnerability and insecurities artists suffer is truly moving.

© 2018 WARNER BROS. ENTERTAINMENT INC. AND METRO-GOLDWYN-MAYER PICTURES INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

The story will have you hooked from beginning to end and each musical number reminds us how powerful music can be when fuelled by love. The music used in the movie is bound to win awards; each song is not only a soundtrack to the movie but rather a catalyst to the story.

The movie comments on selling out in the music industry and how in the industry, and life, often looks and sell-ability outshine true expression and talent.

 All in all a great movie filled with real characters who all experience real pain.

Some songs from the movie

First Man: Thorough but Slow

3.3/5

Genre: Historical Drama
Runtime: 142 min
Main Cast: Ryan Gosling, Claire Foy, and Jason Clark
Director: Damien Chazelle

Synopsis:

First Man is a Historical Drama following Niel Armstrong’s journey to become the first man on the moon. Starting before the tragic death of his daughter, we follow Armstong’s rise from non-military pilot to first man on the moon .

Review:

Photo by Daniel McFadden - © 2018 Universal Studios and Storyteller Distribution Co. LLC

Throughout the movie a glimpse of a highly detailed and task orientated Armstrong (Ryan Gosling). Who, after one day of burying his daughter returns to work. Deeply haunted by the death of his daughter he pushes forward and joins Project Gemini which later leads to sending him to the moon.

Janet Armstrong (Claire Foy) is the picture of the perfect nuclear wife on the outside. “I married Niel because I wanted a normal life” she utters to one of the other wives but is not scared to stand up for what she wants when she wants it.

© 2018 Universal Studios

First Man does one thing very right it captures the total effect of the race to space the death, the exorbitant expenditure, and the never quit nature of being human. The loss felt by Armstrong and his task orientated coping mechanism emphasises how quickly we forget the cost of achieving greatness when the greatness is achieved.

The visual of the movie is stunning and the sound really captures the feels of heading into space. Both Gosling and Foy deliver extraordinary performances highlighting the very complex emotions of their characters.

The one lacking element is pace, by the end of the movie I was frustrated that the moon landing took so long to take place. It lacks the momentum and the pace might lose viewers along the way.