Tag Archives: Jessica Chastain

Cinema Dispatch: Miss Sloane

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Miss Sloane and all the images you see in this review are owned by EuropaCorp

Directed by John Madden

If you really take a look at Jessica Chastain’s acting career, it becomes clear that she’s truly one of the most versatile actors working today.  Not only has she been in high caliber Oscar fare of multiple genres including The Martian, Zero Dark Thirty, and Tree of Life, but she’s also been fantastic in other places like The Huntsman: Winter’s War, Crimson Peak, and Lawless.  Now she’s headlining a political thriller at right about the time that EVERYONE is not in the mood to even be thinking about politics.  Well, I guess we can’t blame her or the director for that, and just because the world is going straight to hell doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy movies like this anymore, right?  Can this new vehicle for Jessica Chastain turn out to be another high point in her illustrious career, or will her role in that Frozen knockoff with Chris Hemsworth turn out to be her highlight this year?  I mean… that WAS a really solid movie that no one but me seems to appreciate, but even so!  Let’s find out!!

The movie follows the greatest lobbyist ever, Elizabeth Sloane (Jessica Chastain) who’s faced with a crisis of… conscious maybe?  Either conscious or competitive zeal; one of those two.  Anyway, the crisis is that the lobbying firm she works for wants her to campaign against a bill that would restrict gun sales to criminals, those on the terror watch list, etc, and her boss (Sam Waterson) is being a REAL overbearing jerk about it.  Not one to suffer fools lightly, Miss Sloane packs up her desks, grabs the best millennial interns under her command, and goes to work for Rodolfo Schmidt (Mark Strong) who is heading the Pro-Gun restriction effort.  Of course, when you bargain with the devil (or in this case someone know what it takes to win) you get exactly what you pay for and Miss Sloane proves to be INCREDIBLY effective despite how uneasy some of her methods make some of her allies, particularly Esme Manucharian (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) who experiences firsthand just how far Miss Sloane is willing to go to get what she needs.  Will the best of the best be able to stand up against the most funded lobby to ever exist?  What can all these starry-eyed liberal babies learn by watching Miss Sloane in action?  What exactly led her to being like this?  Personal tragedy?  A drive to succeed?  Rich relatives that changed her life for the better?

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“Now this is the story all about how my life got flipped, turned upside down.”

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Cinema Dispatch: The Huntsman: Winter’s War

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The Huntsman: Winter’s War and all the images you see in this review are owned by Universal Pictures

Directed by Cedric Nicolas-Troyan

I really haven’t been looking forward to this.  Cutting Snow White out of a sequel to Snow White?  Yeah… no.  This exists simply because Chris Hemsworth had a weekend free between Captain America and In the Heart of the Sea.  Still, the first movie was a pretty solid fantasy film that had drop dead gorgeous designs and if nothing else that seems to have carried over here.  Not only that, but they managed to somehow get Charlize Theron back, and while the explanation will probably be dumb as hell, she WAS one of the best aspects of the first film.  Can they manage to squeeze out ONE decent sequel before driving this franchise into the dirt, or is it too late to even hope for that much?  Let’s find out!!

First of all, this movie is very much a sequel despite the advertising that states otherwise.  It STARTS as a prequel, but only to fill in the backstories for the characters who weren’t around for the first movie.  Queen Ravenna (Charlize Theron) was murdering her way through the fantasy kingdom’s royal families when her sister Freya (Emily Blunt) reveals that she is not only in love, but pregnant as well.  Despite the careful warnings of her sister, Freya goes all in on love and gets seriously burned.  Okay, well maybe SHE doesn’t get burned, but her baby does as she finds her one true love has torched the nursey with the baby inside.  Ouch.  This traumatic incident is enough to not only awaken Freya’s hidden ice powers, but to essentially make her emotionally dead and disdainful of love.  Since grief council apparently doesn’t exist in this world, she instead takes out her pain on the Northern part of the country (it’s ALWAYS in the North where things we don’t know about until later happened) where she creates her icy doom fortress and raids villages for children to raise as her Huntsmen.  Two such huntsmen are Eric (Chris Hemsworth) and Sara (Jessica Chastain) who fall in love which is strictly forbidden in the snow palace, so Sara’s killed and Eric is left for dead.  Got it?  Good.  We THEN cut to the present time (not too long after the first movie) where Snow White (who apparently is still in this except not really) has ordered the mirror mirror on the wall to be sent away where its wicked powers cannot hurt anyone.  Unfortunately, the convoy delivering it to some vaguely defined sacred place never reached their destination so she requests the huntsman to go out there, find the damn thing, and finish delivering it before it can fall into the wrong hands.  Say… those of the Ice Queen?  He heads out on the journey with Nion and Gryff (Nick Frost and Rob Brydon) who are two dwarves (one of whom is from the first movie) and try to figure out just what the hell happened to the mirror and the convey.   But wait!  Not all is as it seems as Eric is soon confronted with Sara who somehow is still alive and super pissed!  How did she manage to recover from being murdered?  Will this little posse of fantasy bad asses be able to find the mirror before it’s too late?  Just how blatantly are they ripping off Frozen in this!?

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Cinema Dispatch: Crimson Peak

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Crimson Peak and all the images you see in this review are owned by Universal Pictures

Directed by Guillermo del Toro

Well at least SOMEONE decided to release a horror movie in October!  Seriously, why don’t we get horror movies during Spooky Month anymore?  Is it too obvious or something?  Well NOTHING’S too obvious for good old Guillermo Del Toro who’s bringing us a good old late Victorian era Haunted House feature that might as well come straight from Hammer Studios!  Can his Spook House thriller bring some life back to the genre which has been surviving off of found footage scraps for years now, or is he going to indulge way too much in what he loves to see to the point that he ends up only appealing to a niche audience with his big budget feature?  Let’s find out!!

The movie is about Edith Cushing (Mia Wasikowska), an aspiring writer of ghost stories who’s having trouble getting her magnum opus published.  Despite being the daughter of a rather wealthy contractor in New York city with plenty of connections, no one seems interested in selling a ghost story written by a female and would rather have her write some tween love story.  I guess ghosts are next on the list for Twilight-ification (if they haven’t been already) but Edith is not willing to compromise on her vision, especially because it comes from a very personal place.  Edith’s mother died when she was fairly young and a couple of days later she was visited by her ghosts.  Now it doesn’t seem like Edith has seen a ghost since then, but that night has stuck with her since then, especially considering that her Ghost Mom could see the future and warned her to be wary of CRIMSON PEAK!!  While struggling with this, her father is visited by a British Baronet named Thomas Sharpe (Tom Hiddleston) who’s trying to get her father to invest in his clay extraction machine while also getting moon eyes for the lovely Edith.  He’s not alone on his journey however and has come to America with his sister Lucille (Jessica Chastain) but all she seems interested in is standing off to the side and giving off bad vibes.  This doesn’t deter the budding romance between Edith and Thomas however and after some horrifying event befalls the young Edith, she leaves the United States and is whisked away by her knight in shining armor to be his bride.  Once at the family home though, it’s clear that there’s MUCH more going on than Thomas led on during their courtship which I think was about a month.  What secrets does the rickety manor have that Thomas and Lucille are trying to hide?  Will Edith’s power to see ghosts come in handy or be a curse that slowly drives her mad?  If we can’t have Silent Hills, is this at least a decent replacement!?

“THE POWER OF CHRIST COMPELS YOU!!”     “Yeah, that ain’t gonna work.”     “Ah hell…”

“THE POWER OF CHRIST COMPELS YOU!!”     “Yeah, that ain’t gonna work.”     “Ah hell…”

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Cinema Dispatch: The Martian

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The Martian and all the images you see in this review are owned by 20th Century Fox

Directed by Ridley Scott

Oh yay!  Another Ridley Scott film, because the last one was so good.  Well despite his shaky track record as of late, there’s no denying that the man is one of our greatest living directors and a movie like this is right in his wheelhouse while also being an original science fiction property as opposed to going back to the Alien well.  Can he manage to make a great movie with so many excellent resources at his disposal, or will he still manage to screw it up like he did with Exodus and Robin Hood?  Let’s find out!!

The movie is about astronaut Mark Watney (Matt Damon) who is part of the Ares III manned mission to Mars.  While on the planet’s surface, the crew gets word of a big ass storm coming their way so they have to leave the mission early, and by early I mean RIGHT THE FRAK NOW!!  Apparently they didn’t see it coming until five minutes before it hits.  The astronauts on the planet (including Mark) try to make it to their recon ship in the midst of the downpour of… whatever the hell it is Mars starts raining down in a storm (rocks I think).

“I think I’ve got a rock in my shoe.”     “DEAL WITH IT!!!”

“I think I’ve got a rock in my shoe.”     “DEAL WITH IT!!!”

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Living on Netflix: Lawless

LAWLESS UK Quad poster

Wow.  It must be a stretch for Shia LaBeouf to play a dumbass kid who gets in way over his head, right?  Lawless stars him as one of three brothers who run a moonshining trade in rural Virgina during Prohibition, and it was the last mainstream film he’s been associated with.  Sure, he’s in a Lars Von Trier movie that’s coming out soon, but I doubt that’s gonna be in your local multiplex if you see what I’m getting at.  Despite his toxic public persona, he has been able to prove himself as an actor on a few occasions, but it’s gone far past the point where anyone want to give him the benefit of the doubt anymore.  All that said; is Lawless another example of him showing off his acting chops, or is it yet another chance for him to make a complete ass of himself?  There’s only one way to find out, and that’s to KEEP ON READING!!!

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