Sunday, September 24, 2017

Battle of the Sexes

With wonderful performances by Emma Stone, Steve Carell, Sarah Silverman, Elizabeth Shue, Alan Cumming and a host of other talented actors, Co-Directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris have brought to life the 1973 Battle of the Sexes that occurred between tennis stars Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs.
Thanks to Writer Simon Beaufoy’s brilliant script, even those of us who witnessed the actual event are able to see the dynamics and drama surrounding Ms. King’s struggle for equal pay for women athletes on the tennis court.

Composer Nicholas Britell’s excellent score, faithfully, brings back the feel of the era, along with Production Designer Judy Becker’s sets and Mary Zophre’s costumes.

This is a worthwhile film for everyone.  I give Battle of the Sexes a 4.4 out of 5.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Kingsman: The Golden Circle

Writer/Director Matthew Vaughn’s Kingsman: The Golden Circle brings us back to the feel of Roger Moore Bond films and the Dean Martin Matt Helm features with its fantastical chases, sets and villains.   
The film is a lot of fun, but the best parts are some “in” jokes that you won’t get unless you’ve seen Kingsman: The Secret Service, starting off with how the main character Eggsy (Taron Egerton) got connected with his girlfriend Princess Tilde (Hanna Alström).

Colin Firth returns from his supposed death in the original film with an interesting explanation as to how it was possible.  (I won’t divulge it to you here.)

And, this sequel has some great roles for the likes of Halle Barry as Ginger Ale (a true Bond name) and Elton John as a captive of the chief villain Julianne Moore.  It’s all quite ridiculous, but just go with it and you’ll have a good time.

However, if you’re a bit squeamish, note there is a copious amount of foul language and a somewhat graphic, but unique, placement of a tracking device on the girlfriend (Poppy Delevingne) of Eggsy’s nemesis (Edward Holcroft).  (Hopefully, the latter will make you laugh instead of cringe.)

I give Kingsman: The Golden Circle a 3.9 out of 5.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

American Assassin

Director Michael Cuesta’s American Assassin is a solid action thriller set in Istanbul, Rome and wonderful island locales.
After proposing to his girlfriend (Charlotte Vega) on an island vacation, Mitch Rapp (Dylan O’Brien) sees her killed by terrorists, who invade the beach.  From that point forward, Mitch becomes obsessed with killing Arab terrorists and makes his way into an elite CIA assassination unit trained by Stan Hurley (Michael Keaton).  And, the interesting plot begins.

In today’s action movies, it’s difficult to come up with chases and fights that haven’t been done before, but Director Cuesta has orchestrated some exciting scenes with unique twists, plus some amazing CGI effects near the climax of the film.

If you are in to actions films, you’ll enjoy American Assassin.  I give it a 4 out of 5.