There are some stories in life that you hear about and you just can’t imagine that these stories could be true. That is how powerful these kinds of stories can be and they can be real game changers. That was certainly the case with today’s film Spotlight which highlights the child molestation scandal in the City of Boston. Spotlight was an investigative team that worked at the Boston Globe that took on stories that they felt the public needed to know about. In the year 2000 or 2001, a new man in charge at the Globe by the name of Marty Baron (Liev Schreiber) came in and suggested a story to his Spotlight team that involved the catholic church covering up the child molestation cases in Boston. The film follows the team as they expose the truth as they became the voice of the voiceless. The film stars Michael Keaton (Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)) as Walter Robinson, Mark Ruffalo (Foxcatcher) as Mike Rezendes, Rachel McAdams (Mean Girls) as Sacha Pfeiffer, John Slattery (Iron Man 2) as Ben Bradlee, Jr., Stanley Tucci (The Terminal) as Mitchell Garabedian, Billy Crudup (Watchmen) as Eric Macleish, Neal Huff (Big Daddy) as Phil Saviano, Jamey Sheridan (The Ice Station) as Jim Sullivan, and the film was directed by Tom McCarthy (The Cobbler).
If you’re expecting a film with a lot of action, then this isn’t the film for you because there’s a lot of investigative research involved in the film. The other side to it is that you see the struggle these guys went through to try and unlock the story. You see all of the red tape and you see all the people involved that just bury the story. You end up learning what they could do and what they had to do to try and get viable sources. The film is just absolutely shocking and you can see why the Catholic church took such a hit after this case was exposed by the Globe. One of the biggest elements of these types of films is the acting and the story. Those are the key essentials for these types of films to survive and be great. I am here to say that I was thoroughly impressed with the acting especially from Mark Ruffalo who after a while just stole the show. Rachel McAdams also did a phenomenal job in the film which leads to my next statement. I am not surprised that Rachel and Mark were nominated for Oscars because they were amazing. The story as you can tell from what I wrote was also amazing and it had to be. It’s a story driven film as I said before. If you love films that are based on true stories then you should check this one out. I am going to give the film an A for a final grade.
In the mid to late 1990’s, the thing to do in Hollywood was to bring back the lost art of Disaster Movies that people loved from the 70’s (Airport, The Towering Inferno, Poseidon Adventure, etc.). In 1997, 20TH Century Fox released the film Volcano which starred Tommy Lee Jones (No Country For Old Men) as Los Angeles County Office of Emergency Management (LAC OEM) boss Mike Roark. Everything seems normal in Los Angeles except for the fact that people are outraged at a new subway line going in. That is until a couple of workers end up dying from severe burns. While Mike starts to investigate what happened, a volcano begins to erupt underneath Los Angeles and now Mike has to figure out how to save the city before it’s too late. The film also stars Anne Heche (Donnie Brasco) as Dr. Amy Barnes, Gaby Hoffmann (Uncle Buck) as Kelly Roark, Don Cheadle (Iron Man 2) as Emmit Reese, Jacqueline Kim (Brokedown Palace) as Dr. Jaye Calder, Keith David (Men At Work) as Police LT. Ed Fox, John Corbett (My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2) as Norman Calder, Michael Rispoli (Pain & Gain) as Gator Harris, John Carroll Lynch (Ted 2) as Stan Olber, and the film was directed by Mick Jackson (The Bodyguard).
First of all, I want to start off by saying that Tommy Lee Jones is an amazing actor who commands the screen no matter what role he is playing. Second of all, this is a disaster film after all which means that the special effects are going to be off the chains for these kinds of films and it was. The explosions were cool and the lava running through the city was cool. How far fetched or possible is a volcano under Los Angeles, I am not 100% sure as to how accurate that would be. With the fault lines and all the subway systems they have, it would be a scary notion if it could happen. To spice things up for the film, they trow in some racial tension because we know that was running rampant in LA at the time. You have a guy looking out for his section of town, gets the handcuffs put on him until the cop decides not to be racist anymore. Then you have a little kid who is being carried by a black police officer who looks out and says, “look at their faces, they all look the same.” A nice gesture saying that we are all human and that we should all help each other, but a sentimental part I seriously could have done without. The movie is about Volcano’s, not Rodney King or Rampart. Nevertheless, you know exactly what you are getting with these films and it’s enjoyable enough to watch. That is why I am going to give the film an B for a final grade.
Considering that today is Super Tuesday and the whole political world is going to be watching what happens, I figured I would review a movie that has something to do with that world. The film that I chose for you today was written, directed, and stars Warren Beatty (Dick Tracy) in the film Bulworth. Warren Beatty plays down and out California Senator Bulworth, a man on the brink of a nervous breakdown due to the fact that his campaign is plummeting. In a desperate condition, he calls on a man to carry a hit on him so that his family can collect a life insurance policy. Everything is going as planned until the Senator has a revelation and starts speaking the truth while on his campaign. With the help of the mysterious Nina (Halle Berry), he will try everything he can to stay alive and make a difference. The film also stars Oliver Platt (X-Men: First Class) as Dennis Murphy, Sean Astin (Rudy) as Gary, Christine Baranski (Cybill) as Constance Bulworth, Graham Beckel (Brokeback Mountain) as Man With Dark Glasses, Don Cheadle (Iron Man 2) as L.D., Paul Sorvino (Goodfellas) as Graham Crockett, Jack Warden (Problem Child) as Danvers, and the film features a cameo from Larry King.
One of the things I can say about this film that I enjoyed was the soundtrack because if you’re a fan of old school hip hop/gangsta rap then you’ll enjoy it too. As far as the film goes, it was an OK movie in my opinion as there really wasn’t anything outstanding about it. There are parts in this film that are just cheesy like every time Warren Beatty decided to rap, he made white people seem more cheesy than Vanilla Ice. Some of the scenes in the film felt forced at times (Club scenes) while others meshed real well (the debate and other times he gets interviewed). What I did like about the film is that I wish we had a candidate in the world that decided that enough was enough with the BS like Senator Bulworth. Sadly someone like him would be deemed too dangerous and would probably be taken out because there is too much money flying around with the special interest groups. I seriously want to know what was up with Don Cheadle’s look in the 90’s, it seems like he had just stepped off the set of Meteor Man, shaved the blonde hair, and kept his outfit for this film as he once again plays another crime lord. If you’re looking for a super political movie, then this isn’t it for you. This is more of a satire or Beatty’s attempt on social commentary when it has to do with how the country feels when it comes to politics. I couldn’t find anything else to watch so I checked this out, but the film isn’t that bad. I am going to give the film an C+ for a final grade.