Battle of the Sexes and all the images you see in this review are owned by Fox Searchlight Pictures
Directed by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris
Well THIS is certainly a pleasant surprise! I may not know all the details, but I’m certainly aware of the tennis match between Billie Jean King and Robbie Riggs which has always stuck with me despite only knowing about it by watching the back half of a TV documentary around fifteen years ago. I’ve always liked tennis as a sport and the build up to the phenomenal match was ridiculous and felt like a flash in the pan moment in history which did end up having a big impact on everything simply for how much confident men were that she was gonna lose and then had that whole perception shattered on live television around the world. Is there any way that a film can do justice to this once in a lifetime event and remind us all of how important this was in the first place? Let’s find out!!
The movie is about the infamous match between world renowned tennis player Billie Jean King (Emma Stone) and world renowned FORMER tennis player Bobby Riggs (Steve Carell) which was played up in the media as THE BATTLE OF THE SEXES and the match that would once and for all prove that women have no business competing in MAN PLACES like tennis; something that wasn’t helped by Riggs’s absurdly derogatory and over the top chauvinistic stunts. Of course, there was a lot more to the story than the over the top theatrics leading up to it which includes the establishment of the Women’s Tennis Association, Billie Jean’s romantic relationship with another woman Marilyn Barnett (Andrea Riseborough), and even Bobby Riggs’s financial woes that may have been the driving force for setting up this match in the first place. So much was on the line for Billie Jean to succeed, yet with so much working against her, it was quickly becoming a task that seemed impossible to overcome. Would she be able to find the strength to overcome the odds and prove herself once and for all? How will she be able to maintain a relationship with another woman in a time when that was much more frowned upon and life destroying than it is today? How can one person navigate all this nonsense being constantly thrown at them and STILL manage to keep from knocking all these jerkwads upside the head!?
“I must break you…” “Are you sure you won’t break a nail?” “… I’m gonna enjoy this.”
Bridge of Spies and all the images you see in this review are owned by Walt Disney Studios and 20th Century Fox
Directed by Steven Spielberg
We’re well into the Oscar season by this point, but now it’s time for the BIG guns to strut their stuff, and you can’t get any bigger the Steven Spielberg!! It also seems that he’s found a niche that he’s starting to get comfortable with considering this is his second historical film based on a bunch of lawyers and politicians arguing during a very contentious time in our country’s history. Does Spielberg remind us once again why he’s one of Hollywood’s greatest living directors, or will this be one of those lesser films he makes that we’ll all forget about as soon as his next film is made? Let’s find out!!
The movie begins in 1957 with the arrest of Soviet Spy Rudolf Abel (Mark Rylance) and the media storm that surrounded it. When it comes time to actually try the bastard, the US government hires a law firm to represent Rudolf so that at least it can APPEAR to be a legit trial instead of a kangaroo court. Unfortunately for everyone, the man the law firm assigns to the case is James B Donovan (Tom Hanks) who actually believes in the constitution and won’t just let the legal system run all over this guy. For doing the right thing, he ends up drawing unwanted attention from hot heads looking to see some Soviet scumbag hang as well as the ire of the FBI who want him to tell them everything that Rudolph has said in their meetings which would obviously be a breach of attorney client privilege. While this is going on, we occasionally cut to Francis Gary Powers (Austin Stonewall) who is a US solider training to be a spy and will one day fly a stealth plane of USSR territories to take covert pictures. Will fate conspire to put him in a similar situation as Rudolph Abel finds himself now? What kinds of consequences will James incur for himself, his law firm, and his family for simply believing in and fighting for what the constitution guarantees? Just how many awards will Spielberg win for directing a period piece political thriller starring Tom Hanks!? Like… fifty?
“I’m willing to talk Mr. Spielberg down to forty-eight, but you need to guarantee us best picture first.”