When you toss two huge stars together and have Steven Spielberg directing it, you should have a great movie. But here, you only have a good one. Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep star in the new flick, The Post.
It's based on a true story that takes place in the early 1970's, with the landmark case of the Washington Post printing deeply classified Pentagon papers, essentially proving the Vietnam War was a sham, and the government had been lying to the public for 35 years. There's a court case too, and it's basically a First Amendment movie. There is nothing really wrong here, there just should have been a lot more right. The trailer is better than the movie.
Hanks and Streep are fine, and there a moments in this that are really moving. It's a period piece and we are transported back in time nicely. There's just something missing. I think it's the lack of really strong dialogue, instead of a bunch of average speak. It's a bit too long and a bit to - average, with a ton of potential, but that's where it ends.
The Post. Rental, or stream in a couple months.
The Darkest Hour
This is simply fantastic. And right up front, Gary Oldman gives one of the best performances I have ever seen. He stars as Winston Churchill in the incredible movie about the early and dark days of WWII in England, and his defiance of Hitler and even members of his own government. He changed history and he is showcased here wonderfully.
Oldman should win about every award there is for this. It's one thing to transform and invent a fictional character for a movie. It's quite another to take on the awesome responsibility to play maybe the most important historical figure of the 20th century. Oldman is amazing, and totally unrecognizable as he becomes Churchill. In this, Churchill is real, good, fallible, and human.
The script is incredible, and the amount of dialogue that Oldman delivers is insane. And he delivers it with unmatched skill. His performance alone is not to be missed.
The Darkest Hour. Fantastic.
Liam Neeson recently said he is done making action movies, but that must have been before he and Vera Farmiga made this one. His formula over the past few Mid-Winters with action flicks has proven to be a winner for him. And despite the formula, and your possible eye-rolling, I enjoyed this.
This is the story of a an ex-cop (Neeson) that has financial problems, that works in New York City and rides a commuter train every morning. He meets up with the very beautiful, but strange woman (Farmiga) who makes him a proposition one morning on the train. He gets 100K if he finds a certain person on the train and gives them up to her and her "peeps." He reluctantly does, but later learns that he is in a world of trouble, and so is his family.
This drags badly out of the box, and is a bit too laggy after the movies main climax. BUT for the moments in between this is fun, moves nicely and holds us very well. Is this great? No, but it's January enjoyable, and for the most part is done quite well. Special effects are good, this is filmed well, and Neeson again, is the same guy in another action movie, but I'm good with it.
The Commuter. Worth it now, or a stream later. Matinee good way to go, or bargain day.
All The Money In The World
This may be the most overrated movie of the year. This is one of those dreaded "inspired by true events" movies, and my radar always goes off when I see that. This is story of the kidnapping of J. Paul Getty's grandson in the early 1970's. Getty was the worlds richest man at that time, and his refusal to pay the ransom, and the aftermath.
This stars Mark Wahlberg, Christopher Plummer and the incredible Michelle Williams. SHE is amazing in this as the mother of the kidnapped boy, and deserves every good thing that may come her way as a result of her performance. Plummer, you may remember took over on very short notice for the fired Kevin Spacey, and gives a nice performance. But let's not get carried away, this is not an award worthy role.
And it's not his fault. This is too darn long, very draggy in sections, and as you watch this, you can't help but really wonder what is fact, what is embellished, and what is flat out Hollywood. Don't get caught up in the hype, this is a decent flick, but not one of the years best.
All The Money In The World. Stream or rental for sure, but Williams is great, she is Hollywood's best actress.
3 Billboards Outside Of Ebbing, Missouri
This Just won the Golden Globe for Best Picture
This is in very limited release, and should not be missed. This small, independent movie is a remarkable story of a woman in small town Missouri, who takes out a blatant billboard campaign against the local sheriff who has not found her young daughters murderer in over a year.
This is a hard R rated movie, and should be. A GREAT cast of Frances McDormand, Woody Harrelson, and Sam Rockwell, bring this highly original story to life. This is gritty, powerful and extremely well acted and directed. This is tough to watch sometimes, as there is a fair amount of direct violence, but is is central to the story. This is Fargo like in its feel and in it's timely dark comedic moments.
And this is very, very good. One of the best in any year.