The story of social critic and alcoholic screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz as he races to finish the screenplay of Citizen Kane in 1930’s Hollywood : Fincher’s Old Hollywood treatment about the man who wrote Citizen Kane is sublime, it feels like it was shot in the 30s, the photography & detail is astounding, it’s black & white canvas beguiling & over time with multiple watches MANK will be regarded as one of his finest works : Gary Oldman throws everything into his portrayal of Herman J. Mankiewicz, the energy and passion he excudes is phenomenal, Lily Collins gives a scintillating display as Rita, Herman’s straight shooting secretary and Amanda Seyfried illuminates the screen with the beauty and wonder of the 30s with a humdinger of a turn as actress Marion Davies : the score by Reznor & Ross fits the picture’s showstopping era and Erik Messerschmidt photography gives authenticity to Fincher’s work that’s so believable that you feel you’ve been transported back in time : Mank has many wonderous scenes and not many better than Herman’s party crashing scene at Hearst Castle…. “hello everyone” he proclaims as he staggers around the long table drunk, slurring his words with an unamused Louis B. Mayer and William Randolph Hearst looking on, it’s one of those great movie scenes and Oldman nails it : I’ve been a long admirer of David Fincher, from his pop videos in the mid 80s to his varied film career, I just love the way as a filmmaker he can suck you into the time & place of one of his movies, with Zodiac it was the late 60s San Francisco, The Social Network was New York early 2000’s, the prison planet Fury 161 in Alien3 and with his latest Mank your thrust head first into the mid 30s Hollywood with it’s politics, studios, screen stars and egos filling your screen in wonderful monochrome, each scene more compelling and more facinating than the last, a truly wonderful picture by a filmmaker at the peak of his greatness ★★★★★
I FEEL PRETTY : Abby Kohn & Marc Silverstein
Amy Schumer, Michelle Williams, Busy Phillips
Actress Amy Schumer is always a delight to watch, she’s bubbly, nice to look at, has comic timing and always without fail makes me smile – I’ve enjoyed pretty much everything she’s done and this is no exception. The scene’s Amy shares with the amazing Michelle Williams are hilarious, Michelle stealing every scene playing cosmetics boss Lily LeClaire, her accent is adorable & her facial expressions a wonder to watch – Kohn & Silverstein known primarily for their writing work on films such as Never Been Kissed, The Vow and Valentine’s Day do a great job with their first directorial gig – I Feel Pretty is a let your hair down style of movie that makes you feel good and quite simply it’s lot’s of fun to watch ★★★½
TAU: Federico D’Alessandro
Maika Monroe, Ed Skrein & Gary Oldman
Federico D’Alessandro’s TAU reminded me of an extended Black Mirror episode, it’s dark & utterly bonkers, wildly futuristic & pretty darn clever and along with Gary Oldman’s sublime vocals & Ed Skrein’s creepy creator we have Maika Monroe one of the hottest (by that I mean talented and gorgeous) young actresses around – need I say more ★★★★
SICARIO: DAY OF THE SOLDADO: Steffano Sollima
Benicio Del Toro, Josh Brolin, Isabela Moner
Taylor Sheridan is an average actor but he’s an incredible writer and his Sicario followup is a solid no-nonsense sequel that’s pretty intense – Let’s be fair any movie that’s required to follow Villeneuve’s 2015 original is on a hiding to nothing YET Day of the Soldado comes out punching, it really is a better than average thriller with Del Toro and Brolin firing on all cylinders – like Villeneuve’s thriller Steffano Sollima’s Sicario fills you with a sense of unease, the drug world is not a place for the squeamish, that haunting, pounding background beat is only matched by the stunning cinematography by the Polish Master Dariusz Wolski who captures the films scary landscape with frightening realism – Sicario: Day of the Soldado is great movie watching and well worth watching on the big screen so GO buy a ticket !! ★★★★
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014) – Movie Review ★★★★
“Apes Together Strong !”
Director: Matt Reeves – Cast: Andy Serkis, Jason Clarke, Gary Oldman, Keri Russell, Toby Kebbell, and Kodi Smit-McPhee – Synopsis: After a global disaster wipes out a huge chunk of the population a group of genetically evolving apes led by Caesar and a pocket of human survivors in San Francisco battle for supremacy and out & out survival – Verdict: Being a huge fan of the original franchise back in the 60’s and thoroughly enjoying Rupert Wyatt’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes back in 2011, I was excited to see if Matt Reeves (director of Cloverfield) could continue where Wyatt left off and produce something memorable and Reeves did not disappoint – Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is a well balanced action flick that’s not all about the incredible motion capture and mind blowing effects, it’s a film with an emotional spine, a storyline that’s dark and gripping and one that is powerfully played out by it’s great cast including Lord of the Ring’s Andy Serkis as Caesar, Zero Dark Thirty’s Jason Clarke as Malcolm and the veteran Gary Oldman who like a good wine gets better with age playing Dreyfus the leader of the human colony – but one of the standout characters in the film is Koba the bitter and terrifying Ape that resents the humans and goes against Caesar to start a war, his character is brutal but you can sympathize with his plight as he’s been tortured for years by the humans and his character has become entangled with rage and hate – Koba is played motion capture by Toby Kebbell – Matt Reeves handles all the action scenes with aplomb whilst giving several nods to the classic Ape movies of yesteryear in the process – two of my favorite scenes in the film has to be the tower raid by the apes on horseback with guns OMG and the fantastic, breathtaking and moving showdown between Caesar’s & Koba towards the movies climax – Overall: please revisit Rise of the Planet of the Apes and then treat yourself to it’s sequel Dawn of the Apes an exhilarating, cinematic triumph that’s every bit as good as the first and a fabulous addition to the Apes growing franchise….
With the new trailer imminent Fox has released 4 new posters for Matt Reeves Dawn of the Planet of the Apes that lands next summer – the movie stars Andy Serkis (Caesar), Judy Greer (Cornelia), Gary Oldman, Keri Russell and Jason Clarke – loved Matt Reeves 2008 Cloverfield and enjoyed Rise of the Planet of the Apes so this sequel is high on my watch list for 2014 – here’s them posters to whet the appetite…. Enjoy!
Here’s a look at the new Robocop movie trailer that lands next year – the remake is being directed by Jose Padilha (Elite Squad) and stars Joel Kinnaman, Michael Keaton, Gary Oldman, Abbie Cornish and Samuel L Jackson – must admit the trailer has whetted the appetite – not too sure about the suit, but I’m a big fan of Kinnaman (The Killing) and look forward to seeing the film on the big screen in February.