Suburbicon and all the images you see in this review are owned by Paramount Pictures
Directed by George Clooney
Now this film kind of came out of nowhere for me as I’ve only been seeing the trailers for maybe a month leading up to its release. I guess that’s not too surprising as George Clooney films, good or bad, rarely make a whole lot of money so there’s not much point in advertising it to the movie going masses; especially when the film in question looks pretty dark and super weird. I mean that makes sense considering it’s from a script The Coen Brothers wrote back in the eighties, but that little factoid not only explains why this movie has been rather low key despite its wide release, it also raises some red flags. Is this a cinematic masterpiece that was just too good to be made in its time, or did the Coen Brother put this in a draw for so long for a really good reason? Let’s find out!!
The movie is basically split into two stories; the first being about Gardner Lodge (Matt Damon) who’s family suffers a horrible tragedy, and The Mayers (Karimah Westbrook, Leith M Burke, and Tony Espinosa) who have just moved into the idyllic neighborhood known as Suburbia and have the dubious honor of being the first black family in town. With The Mayers moving into town and bringing out the worst in the neighborhood just for simply being there, there isn’t a whole lot of attention paid to Gardner and what seems to be some very shady stuff going on with him. For starters, the death of his wife Rose (Julianne Moore) by some bad men who broke into the house seems to have not been as random an act of violence as it appears to be on the surface, yet no one is picking up on this than Gardner’s son Nicky (Noah Jupe) who’s the only one really looking for answers. Throw in some possible mob connections, Nicky’s aunt Margaret (Julianne Moore as well) who’s working a bit too hard to fill in the motherly figure role, and a suspicious insurance claims adjuster (Oscar Isaac), and you have the makings for a classic noir thriller set against the backdrop of the super repressed and overtly racist fifties! Will Nicky find the answers he’s looking for and will he be happy with what he finds? What is Gardner have up his sleeve that’s making him act so inexplicably after the murder? Does anyone in this movie REALLY have any idea what they’re doing!?
“NO NO NO NO NO!! THIS ISN’T HOW IT ALWAYS WORKS OUT IN THE MOVIES!!”
Money Monster and all the images you see in this review are owned by TriStar Pictures
Directed by Jodie Foster
Once again, George Clooney is trying to save America’s soul through his world class acting skills! Not too long ago he directed and co-starred in The Ides of March which was a vicious take down of the electoral process and the idea of there ever being a perfect candidate and then just last year he was in Tomorrowland which, from what I understand, is damn close to a Randian take on a Save the Future kids movie where the best and brightest separated themselves from the rest of the world to form a Utopian society that is no doubt run on renewable energy and good vibes. Now we’ve got Money Monster; a movie he didn’t direct but seems to be right in his wheelhouse as it takes the finical system and investment culture head on. Does this movie manage to make an intelligent statement on capitalism and Wall Street, or is this simply an angry and half-thought out screed that just shows how little the filmmakers and writers know about what they’re railing against? Let’s find out!!
The movie begins with douche bag television personality Lee Gates (George Clooney) going about his normal everyday routine of giving financial advice on his show Money Monster with his trusty director Patty Fenn (Julia Roberts) in the booth making sure it all comes together instead of just being a big cacophony of egotistical noise radiating from the self-centered host. Today is not going to be a normal day for anyone however as a complete stranger Kyle Budwell (Jack O’Connell) manages to sneak his way into the studio with not only a gun but a bomb vest. He takes everyone hostage, puts the vest on Lee, and begins his own personal broadcast to spout off about the ills of Wall Street and their hype men like Lee. Specifically, the guy lost A LOT of money when a company called IBIS suspiciously lost eight hundred million dollars in a single day due to a supposed computer glitch and he wants answers for it; especially after Lee said on national television that the company was a sure thing for any investor. Can Lee talk his way out of a bullet in the head? What really DID happen to the money that IBIS claims to have lost? How amazing are the ratings gonna be for THIS show? Maybe he can get another desperate asshole to break in during sweeps…
“On today’s episode, we see who wants to get shot in the face! Any takers?” … “Come on people! If you can’t decide amongst yourselves, then I’m gonna choose for you!”
Hail, Caesar! and all the images you see in this review are owned by Universal Pictures
Directed by Joel & Ethan Coen
Now that January is finally out of the way, we can get to the GOOD movies, right? Well… February isn’t exactly the best month for movies EITHER what with Valentine’s day being an invitation to release terrible rom coms, but then we ARE dealing with the Coen Brothers who have a pretty damn good track record when it comes to movies. Is this going to be another classic film in their catalogue, or is way below their usual standard of excellence and just be a decent film? Let’s find out!!
The movie follows around Eddie Mannix (Josh Brolin) who is the head of Capitol Pictures and an all-around problem solver for everyone who works there. He makes sure the bills get paid and that the movies stay under budget, but he also pulls actors out of embarrassing situations, pays police to stay quiet, and that Capitol Pictures keeps a respectable image despite the chaos that is brought before him each and every day. The day that the film takes place on turns out to be an eventful one as Baird Whitlock (George Clooney) who is the star of the studio’s biggest film, Hail Caesar, has been kidnapped. Not only that, but another big star at the studio DeeAnna Moran (Scarlett Johansson) is having a baby out of wedlock which Eddie needs to find a way to cover up, and another one of the movies on the lot needs a lead actor but the only guy available is Hobie Doyle (Alden Ehrenreich) who has only starred in cowboy pictures and they need him to somehow act in a classy movie about New York socialites. Will Eddie be able to deal with these problems and more as the day goes on? Will the world finally get an idea of just how mad the movie business is, or can Eddie keep everything on the down low despite several reports prying into the studio’s affairs? Do we get to see Josh Brolin slap the shit out of George Clooney!?
Our Brand Is Crisis and all the images you see in this review are owned by Warner Bros Pictures
Directed by David Gordon Green
I’m pretty sure I saw a trailer for this before every single movie in the last four or five months. Now that we finally get a chance to see this political dramedy about campaign management, does it actually turn out to be any good? Well this is basically a hodgepodge of people we like but who don’t always make the best career choices, such as Sandra Bullock, Billy Bob Thornton, David Gordon Green as the director, and even George Clooney who’s producing this and will sometimes have a misstep. Will this be another great film from people we know can make great movies, or is this gonna be one big disaster that we only sometimes expect from them? Let’s find out!!
The movie follows Sandra Bullock as Jane (colloquially known as Calamity Jane) who was at one time the best campaign manager in the United States. She won many elections in her career but along the way she developed a drug habit and became an alcoholic to the point that she started to become a laughing stock in her field and eventually checked into the Betty Ford clinic. The movie picks up several years later and she’s spent the intervening time alone in the woods in exile or something until two campaign managers Ben and Nell (Anthony Mackie and Ann Dowd) who are working on a campaign in Bolivia and are so far behind that they’re desperate enough to try and call Jane out of retirement. When she finds out that their opponent is being managed by her rival Pat Candy (Billy Bob Thornton) she agrees to go there and help out, but is quickly unimpressed by what she finds. A candidate who seems checked out and disinterested, a staff composed of idiots who can’t even speak Spanish, and polls that put the guy over twenty points behind their opposition. Can Jane get back into the swing of things and whip this campaign into shape, or will she end up losing herself again throughout this whole ordeal!?
“What do you think our chances are?” “Honestly? I think Rick Santorum had a better chance of winning the presidency.” “2012 Santorum, or 2016 Santorum?” “Does it matter?” “I guess not.”