Tag Archives: Gary Ross

Cinema Dispatch: Ocean’s 8

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Ocean’s 8 and all the images you see in this review are owned by Warner Bros Pictures

Directed by Gary Ross

I’ve never had much interest in the Ocean’s movies and even though I’m PRETTY sure I saw the first one, the only things I remember is George Clooney on a payphone in the beginning and everyone looking at a fountain at the end.  Needless to say that had they gotten the gang back together for Ocean’s 14, I’d have easily checked out and just went to whatever else was playing that week.  Recasting the entire thing with AMAZING actors in a sort of soft reboot though?  NOW you’ve got my attention!  Don’t always discount reboots, kids!  You’ll find one someday that’s right up your alley!  Does this latest entry in the franchise prove to be a necessary and extraordinary fresh start, or is the title the only thing worth remembering about this movie?  Let’s find out!!

The movie begins with Debbie Ocean (Sandra Bullock), who is the sister of the PRESUMABLY deceased Danny Ocean, getting out of jail on parole and IMMEDIATELY starting up her life of crime once again; scamming stores, sneaking into other people’s hotel rooms, and of course getting ready for her BIG score.  Yes, the one she’s been planning ever since she went inside and is chomping at the bit to get started on.  After all, who wants to ENJOY their freedom when they can just risk it all on a foolhardy heist!?  Speaking of hardy fools, she also reaches out to her old crime buddy Lou (Cate Blanchett) who’s been holding her own but clearly anticipating Debbie’s next big score, and the duo start to lay down the groundwork as well as scope out some new talent who can pull this whole thing off.  So what is the heist you may ask?  There’s this SUPER expensive necklace valued at about one hundred and fifty MILLION dollars that’s sitting in a vault somewhere which is such a shame because it could be going to better use, like enriching a bunch of thieves who are smart enough to figure out how to steal it!  For this to work they’ll first need a patsy to get their hands on the necklace so that they can steal it from HER, and who better to use than one of the most famous actors on Earth, Daphne Kluger (Anne Hathaway)?  To convince Miss Kluger to use the necklace for her ensemble that evening AND THEN to steal it right off of her neck, Debbie and Lou will need a crack team made up of expert jewelery forger Amita (Mindy Kaling), street hustler Constance (Awkwafina), desperate fashion designer Rose Weil (Helena Bonham Carter), MOVIE HACKERTM Nine Ball (Rihanna) and retired fencer Tammy (Sarah Paulson).  Wait, that’s only seven.  Hmm… maybe there’s more to this plan than even WE know!  Can Debbie and her crew pull off this heist without a hitch?  What could Debbie be hiding from the rest of the team, and could the secrecy cost them everything?  Is this yet another awesome and well-made movie for the internet man-babies to cry about because there are too many ladies in it!?  Well I sure hope so!!

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“Hashtag Feminism, BRO!!”

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Cinema Dispatch: Free State of Jones

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Free State of Jones and all the images you see in this review are owned by STX Entertainment

Directed by Gary Ross

Good old STX Entertainment!  They’re the little studio that’s trying so hard to be a respectable outfit, and sure enough they do have some good films under their belts like Hardcore Henry and The Boy… but then they also did Secret in their Eyes, which… yeah.  Let’s not go there again.  I hear The Gift is good at least!  Anyway, they’re latest effort is the quote, unquote, HISTORICALLY ACCURATE film based on a the man who started a rebellion within The Confederacy during the Civil War.  Does STX Entertainment have another notch in their belt with this Matthew McConaughey led biopic, or is this another disaster like… that one movie they made?  Let’s find out!!

The movie follows the tale of Newton Knight (Matthew McConaughey), an army doctor for the Confederate Army who knows that they’re fighting and dying for rich white dudes to keep slaves.  Well, that and to keep the status quo of dehumanizing black people, but I’m SURE that’s not crossing any of these poor farmers minds as they march forward into battle.  It’s certainly not on Newton’s mind, THAT’S for sure!  Anyway, when his… relative (I think his nephew) gets shot and killed in the battlefield, he deserts the army and goes home to deliver the dead body to his sister and to see his wife and son again.  Eventually, he makes his presence known to local Confederate tax collectors (or rather Looters) when he starts stopping them from collecting way more than ten percent of the local farmers’ goods and is forced to hide out in the swamp with escaped slaves to wait out the war I guess; one of whom is Moses (Mahershala Ali) who is looking for his family and becomes a lifelong friend of Newton.  At some point though, Newton is unable to sit still any longer and ends up turning the runaway slaves and other deserters into a functioning society within the swamp that apparently the Confederates are completely unable to overtake and they soon become a huge thorn in their side as they start raiding supply wagons and burning rich peoples’ stuff.  That’s only half the movie though as eventually the war does end and we transition from the armed rebellion to Newton fighting for the rights of his fellow citizens who are now FORMER slaves in an area this not too happy about that.  So how exactly did Newton manage to outlast the Confederate army throughout the rest of the Civil War?  Are he and his friends any safer after the war than they were before?  Does Matthew McConaughey have a beard, or did something die on his face?

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Geez.  Is this what’s gonna happen to ALL of People Magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive winners?

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