Hans Gruber, The Sheriff of Nottingham & Severus Snape just three iconic roles the legendary actor ALAN RICKMAN gave the world of cinema – may you rest in peace !!
LEE DANIEL’S THE BUTLER (2013) – Movie Review ★★★★
Cast – Forest Whitaker, Oprah Winfrey, David Oyelowo, John Cusack, Alan Rickman, Cuba Gooding Jr., Terence Howard, Jane Fonda, Lenny Kravitz and Robin Williams – The true story of Eugene Allen a man who served eight presidents during his time as a butler at the White House, he not only had to bring up a family during the racist trauma that occurred during the 50’s and 60’s but also contended with the civil rights movement, the war of Vietnam and other such events that happened during his lifetime – Eugene Allen’s name was changed in Lee Daniel’s movie to Cecil Gaines – VERDICT Being a big fan of Lee Daniel’s work that have included 2009’s Precious and last years superb The Paperboy I was excited to finally watch his latest movie The Butler – this was a heartbreaking but at times uplifting story of a man’s journey that started as a child working on the cotton fields, witnessing his dad being murdered and his mum raped to his life working in a hotel and then becoming a Butler in the White House – one of the things I love about a Lee Daniel’s picture is that he manages to not only tell a good story, that’s really engaging but his films are often surprisingly funny and are always extremely well acted – The Butler is no exception, there are some gut wrenching moments in the movie with scenes such as the one in the cafe with the black & white segregation areas, the aftermath of the assassination of JFK with his wife Jackie Kennedy sat alone in the White House with her clothes splattered with her husbands blood and the scary scenes of the fire bombing of a bus by the Ku Klux Klan these are all terrifying moments in our history that are captured superbly well by Lee Daniels – I also enjoyed the way Daniel’s showed us through the eye’s of Cecil Gaines each President he had served for, Cusack’s Nixon and Schreiber’s Johnson were my picks but they were all portrayed well, the movie at times reminding me of 94’s Forrest Gump – the performances of Forest Whitaker who played Gaines and his onscreen son played by David Oyelowo contributed greatly to making The Butler such an effective, compelling movie to watch, the relationship between the two often strained with Cecil not understanding his son’s actions until the films finale when he realized that his son was in fact the true hero for fighting for what he believed in and joined him on a protest – overall Lee Daniel’s The Butler is a powerful, moving and at times uplifting picture that deserves your attention – a must watch!!!!
CBGB (2013) – Movie Review ★★★¾
“50,000 Bands and 1 Disgusting Bathroom”
Stars Alan Rickman, Donal Logue, Freddy Rodriguez, Ashley Greene, Stana Katic and Malin Åkerman – a historical movie looking at the Punk Scene in the 70s – Talking Heads, Blondie, Patti Smith and The Ramones all started off in this dank & dirty club called CBGB that was owned and run by Hilly Kristal (Rickman) VERDICT Director Randall Miller has the knack of surprising me with small movies that fly under the radar and deliver a fun night in front of the screen – in 2008 it was the brilliant Bottle Shock that also starred Rickman, Rodriguez & Chris Pine and now in 2013 comes a real fun musical trip down memory lane, where a club in New York City known as CBGB gives us our first taste of the Punk Scene back in the 70s – it’s cast along with the music is the movies main draw – Alan Rickman looks to be having a ball with his role as club owner Hilly Kristal even capturing a little resemblence – Malin Åkerman is delicious as Blondie and Ashley Greene gives a fabulous performance as Lisa Hilly’s daughter – overall CBGB is a really enjoyable movie with a fine script by Jody Savin & Randall Miller that captures the mood of the time perfectly – the film also delivers a neat comicbook storyboard effect and along with the the movies subtle comedy and it’s knockout soundtrack it’s one I would highly recommend….