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Molly’s Game (2017)

Molly’s Game (2017)


Jessica Chastain
Idris Elba
Kevin Costner

Directed by Aaron Sorkin

If you want to be intrigued, fascinated and moved by the actions of a real-life person of integrity, watch Molly’s Game.
Aaron Sorkin (in his directorial debut), directed and wrote an adaptation which sailed so smoothly that the drift between current events, events of two years ago and Molly’s childhood will make you view the film like you are living in Molly’s head.
We get to live through her life which started as a professional skier then sailed down the path to the lady in charge of a high-stake poker game where millions are won or lost on the table. Then the present as she struggles with no money and her back against the wall facing off with the government.

Based on the biography on Molly Bloom’s life as she organised poker games.
The movie starts with the introduction of Molly. A young lady who is being hammered by her father to be the best skier she can be.
Molly’s life is hampered by a bad spine, but her father’s behavior towards her was more defining in her character as she never gave up on being the best.

After a nasty fall while skiing competitively, Molly moved on with her life, leaving skiing behind. This involved moving out of her parent’s home and being a waitress.
She later got a job working for a man, who introduced her to a poker game he ran with some rich celebrities and business men.

When her relationship with her boss went sour, she decided to start her own game with the money she had saved and with one of the celebrities named Player-X in the movies but is notably portraying the actor Tobey Maguire (with a mix of Leonardo Di Caprio and Ben Affleck). She took some of her boss’s players and the game was a huge success until Player-X started demanding attention and wanting her to raise the stakes, which she turned down.
This ended her professional relationship with Player-X and her game.
Molly, who is not one to give up easily moved to New York and started a new game, she first struggled to hold things down because the stakes were higher, so to balance things out and make profits she allowed in more players. She took in men from the mob against her better judgement and now her house of cards grew big, and it starts to wobble, and a possible collapse is pending with here life being at stake.

Sorkin’s adaptation earned him nominations at the Academy Awards, Golden Globes, Writers Guild of America Awards and BAFTA. All this pat on the back will not have existed if not for Jessica Chastain.
Her performance is to die for and can arguable be her best performance yet. My view of her magnificent performance is also agreed by the Golden Globe's where she was nominated for Best Actress – Drama.
The movie did moderately well in the box-office, but it was well received by critics and audience.

I can guaranty that when you see this movie, you are bound to admire Molly’s personality and be left to ask yourself if faced with such a dilemma, would you do the same?

The Last Boy Scout (1991)

The Last Boy Scout (1991)


Bruce Willis
Damon Wayans

Directed by Tony Scott

The Last Boy Scout, what a fun movie and one you will enjoy seeing.
It had the typical cliché we see in buddy movies and that is understandable as the screenplay was by Shane Black who also wrote the Lethal Weapon Series. It was produced by Joel Silver who also worked with Shane Black in the Lethal Weapon Series and with Bruce Willis in the first two Die Hard Films.

The movie had its own style of putting things and although the chemistry of Bruce Willis and Damon Wayans were not perfect, this explosive and violent thriller will make you sit tight as you watch things unfold. The late Tony Scott (the director) didn’t put in the comedy mix I would have expected, but he made up for that with a thrilling ride of surprises which I did not expect.

The movie plot starts with an odd beginning during a halftime American football game. A running back gets a call asking him to do his best to win at all cost. The man goes ahead to ingests some pills, gets back into the game gets the ball and while running to the touch line, pulls out a gun and shoots men of the opposing team.
Here is the weird thing, this whole thing really had nothing much to do with the film, but to introduce the owner of the team the running back played for.

Our main star Bruce Willis plays a former Secret Service and now Private Investigator named Joseph. Joseph was hired by a stripper to protect her as she suspected that her life was in danger.
She was right, her boyfriend Jimmy (Damon Wayans) who was banned from the NFL for gambling and drug use, felt he was capable enough to protect her, luring her away from Joseph and this led to her death.

Now Joseph decides he will see this through to the end to discover who killed his client and his best friend. His best friend was the one who gave him the job although he didn’t inform Joseph of the problem he was in by getting involved. Joseph discovers his best friend’s plan to get him killed, but the plan backfired, and Joseph’s best friend got killed instead.

This movie didn’t do well at the box office at all, not even making back the money spent on it. I enjoyed the movie and I believe you will too if you take the time to go see it.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017)

Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017)


Mark Hamill
Carrie Fisher
Adam Driver
Daisy Ridley

Directed by Rian Johnson

I delayed in seeing this movie because of the confusing feedback it got after release (even though it made over $1.3 billion in the box office). Some said good space drama, others say it was a bad addition to the new trilogy. After seeing the movie, I do not agree with the later. This is a good space drama and this Star Wars Episode VIII is better than some of the previous ones and does not deserve the negative press it got from Fans. (This review contains spoilers)

Was the movie different? Yes! it was, concentrating more on answering some old riddles, fill in the gaps for some holes of the past, give a fine ending to Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) and prepare us for the parting of the last of the three great, General Leia.

Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens set the pace when we saw the passing away of Han Solo (Harrison Ford). His death was the birth of Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) into the dark side, as the killing of the young Jedis served as a birthing for his grandfather Darth Vader/Anakin Skywalker.
The new Jedi in this mix Rey (Daisy Ridley) has met the last Jedi Master Luke to train her as she prepares her mind to face Kylo. This was how The Force Awakens ended.

This movie further strengthens the idea of the new three young characters who could possible have movies based on them in the future as they continue the battle to freedom.

It starts where the last one stops, Rey meeting Luke Skywalker. Luke was hesitant in training her at first because of the fear that he single-handedly caused the turning of Kylo Ren to the Dark side.
His mind was changed to train her when R2-D2 played him a clip from way back.

On the other side, Leia and her member of Rebels are finding it difficult to run away from the first order. Kylo too is facing his own battles as the Supreme Leader Snoke is on his case on being defeated by a first timer.

These were the major themes the movie is set on and the movie did not diverge from any of these. All these three incidents are going off at the same time and the director did a good job of merging the incidents into one.

When you get to see this movie, you will feel the sadness I felt when you see Carrie Fisher play Leia for the last time and not because her character was killed off like her partners (Han Solo and Luke Skywalker), but because death took her from us.
She passed on and this movie was released Posthumous. The last Star Wars movie was to be her last as they were working towards killing her character in the last movie as they did for the previous two semi-leaders of the rebellion.

This Star Wars movie is worth being up there with the rest and even higher than some, the CGI is well done, the pacing is magnificent, and the storyline is great.

Batman Begins (2005)

Batman Begins (2005)


Christian Bale
Michael Caine
Liam Neeson
Morgan Freeman

Directed by Christopher Nolan

Batman Begins is not that great a movie I will have to say, the movie scrapes at an ok.
I re-watched the movie again thinking that the reason I didn’t enjoy it on the first run was because I didn’t give the drama in the long introduction and buildup a chance.
This time I listened, gave it a chance to build and yet I got the same vibe I got when I say the third movie in the series, The Dark Knight Rises (2012). That too was an ok movie, just like this one.

Christopher Nolan’s batman trilogy to me only produced one film, The Dark Knight (2008). The movie before and after are just tying up loose ends, which I would not have mind if they were left undone.

Batman Begins, truly is the beginning of how Bruce became Batman. You must endure the long road before Bruce (Christian Bale) finally started wearing the suit. What I really appreciated though in this movie is the introduction of someone like Fox (Morgan Freeman).
It is hard to sell that Bruce and Alfred on their own came up with all the gadgets and machines by themselves without external help.
Christopher Nolan covered that plot hole with the introduction of a third party. Fox’s task is to make the suit and as we continue to see in the trilogy, he was Bruce Wayne’s Q (James Bond has a man who makes all his fantastic gadgets and his name was Q).

After the death of his parents Bruce grew up under the care of Alfred (Michael Caine). Soon he allowed his anger and fear get the best of him and ran away to go discover himself.
He allowed himself to get sucked into the underworld, fighting and battling to stay alive hoping to understand and best the life of criminals. It was there he met, a man.

The man is a member of the League of Shadows led by Ra’s al Ghul. The man introduced him to the League of Shadows and there Bruce learnt martial arts and many more skills to be able to defend himself and take on any criminal minded individual.
The time came for him to now be a full fledge member, but Bruce couldn’t do what it takes to be the member of the league and his actions led to the death of some of its members, including Ra’s al Ghul.

He made it back to Gotham and with the help of Alfred and Fox, he began his vigilante act of being the Batman.
He was trying his best to clean up Gotham going after corrupt cops to find who is trying to poison the city, only to hear that the person behind it all is Ra’s al Ghul the person he believed died.
Now he must face his demons.

The movie serves as the need beginning for Nolan to build The Dark Knight (2008) on, and for that reason and that reason only I believe this movie deserves a 6/10.