King Richard and all the images you see in this review are owned by Warner Bros Pictures
Directed by Reinaldo Marcus Green
Well Concussion didn’t get him an Oscar, so now it’s time for Will Smith to get back on that horse and work his butt off in a drama to try and get the Academy’s attention! To me though, his movies where he went chasing that Oscar gold are some of his least interesting. I still need to see Ali at some point so perhaps that’s the exception that proves the rule, but for my money, his best work in recent years have been in his more action-heavy features like Gemini Man and Bad Boys For Life which on the surface seem like run of the mill popcorn flicks but have quite a bit of depth to them that allow Smith to really stretch those acting muscles. Sadly this doesn’t seem to be one of those as I’m pretty sure Serena and Venus didn’t moonlight as secret agents, but the trailers look promising and Smith is definitely putting his all into the role. Is this the film to finally get Will the award he’s been seeking, or is this just another piece of Oscar Bait Pablum that we’ll all forget about by next year? Let’s find out!!
Richard Williams (Will Smith) is the proud patriarch of the Williams family in Compton California. He has a loving wife (Aunjanue Ellis) as well as five daughters; two of whom are Venus and Serena (Saniyya Sidney and Demi Singleton) who will become two of the greatest tennis players of all time. That’s not just me saying that because I know the history, that’s Richard’s plan from the day they were born; to teach them to be strong, smart, and well-rounded women, while also training them relentlessly to become tennis superstars. He has to knock on a lot of doors, ruffle a few feathers, and take on many jobs to keep this plan on track, but come hell or high water they WILL succeed and become the best there ever was! Of course, with such a narrowly focused vision, he’s bound to miss some things along the way; not just the people showing him the path to success, but his own family who are certainly behind this dream but are the last people to hear about what the next step in the plan is. Is this strong-willed approach from Richard just covering up his own insecurities about himself, or is the system so corrupt that he has to forge his own path for his girls? What will the tennis world do in response to these two out of nowhere prodigies showing up on the scene, and can Venus and Serena live up to the lofty expectations of their family? Are we sure this movie was written by Richard Williams himself? It just seems like something the character in this movie would end up writing.
Ford v Ferrari and all the images you see in this review are owned by 20th Century Fox
Directed by James Mangold
With the Disney/Fox merger, there were bound to be a few films lost in the shuffle with at least one that seems to have INTENTIONALLY been shelved for the foreseeable future (*cough* New Mutants *cough*). This film was originally scheduled for earlier in the year but instead they pushed it to Oscar season which frankly seems like a solid move considering this ticks off a lot of awards bait boxes; it being a period piece relying heavily on Americana and nostalgia for the non-hippie version of the sixties while also starring two big name actors to lend a bit of clout and respectability to the proceedings. Does this movie about cars going fast manage to be about something much more, or is this yet another movie destined for heavy rotation on TNT and nowhere else? Let’s find out!!
Carroll Shelby and Ken Miles (Matt Damon and Christian Bale) don’t get along all that well but they both seem to respect the other with Shelby being a great car designer and former racer and Miles being the best racer alive with a flawless instinct for driving as well as the inner workings of the car itself. These two have been given something of a golden opportunity as Henry Ford II (Tracy Letts) is determined to have one of his cars beat Ferrari at the biggest race in the world; the La Mans. With his vice president (Jon Berenthal) leading the charge, Shelby comes on board with the project and convinces Miles to go along with it as well despite his hot head and distrust of corporations; a mistrust that may be well founded as interference from the higher ups constantly gets in their way of doing what needs to be done in order to beat Ferrari and prove that Ford cars can be just as powerful and sexy as European models! Can Shelby thread the needle of the Ford Company’s misguided directives with Miles’s inability to get along with others? What kind of new tricks and technology will they need to develop in order to claim a victory that has eluded Ford for so long? Is it just me or is a movie with Batman and Jason Borne that’s being directed by the guy who made Logan somehow as cool as that description would imply despite the film ACTUALLY being about regular cars?
Widows and all the images you see in this review are owned by 20th Century Fox
Directed by Steve McQueen
Is it time for another cinematic confession? Alright, so I’ve never actually seen a Steve McQueen movie all the way through. I’ve seen bits and pieces of Shame and I haven’t seen 12 Years a Slave, but based on those films and what we’ve been shown of this one I get the feeling that I’m not gonna be the biggest fan of his work. What can I say? I’m not the biggest fan of overly oppressive mood pieces even if the subject matter justifies that tone, but unlike other kinds of movies of filmmakers that I’m not too fond of I’m rather open to what this guy has to say here because even if I don’t like what I see on screen at least I’m fairly confident that the director is trying to ENGAGE with their audience instead of completely alienating them (*cough* Eli Roth *cough*). Will this film be the perfect introduction to the director’s body of work, or did he already reach his peak and nothing else will quite measure up to it? Let’s find out!!
Veronica Rawlings (Viola Davis) is just having a TERRIBLE week! Not only did her husband (Liam Neeson) die in a horrible fiery explosion, two million dollars went completely up in smoke which she is now being held responsible for since said two million was STOLEN by Liam Neeson and his crew of crooks (Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Jon Bernthal, and Coburn Goss) from a local gangster who’s the slightest bit miffed about all this. It’s made especially bad because said gangster Jamal Manning (Brian Tyree Henry) is also running for local office against the golden boy Jack Mulligan (Colin Farrell) and could have used all that ill-gotten gain to fund his campaign; presumably through shady 501(c) groups considering where the money came from. Thanks, Citizens United! Anyway, him and his brother Jatemme (Daniel Kaluuya) have given Veronica a week to pay him back which is PROBABLY not all that feasible, but as luck would have it her husband left her a notebook that had detailed plans for their next heist; one that could not only pay back Jamal but will give her a nice payday to keep her afloat while she figures out what to do next with her life. She enlists the help of two of the widows, Linda and Alice (Michelle Rodriguez and Elizabeth Debicki) as well as Bell who is another person in need of some fast cash (Cynthia Erivo) to hopefully pull off this heist, though without any actual experience committing crimes, pulling guns, and breaking into places, their success seems dubious at best. Will Veronica and her slapdash crew of desperate widows manage to pull off such a dangerous heist? What exactly happened the night their husbands died, and could it have had anything to do with this plan that was left behind? Is it just me, or could this easily be an Amanda Waller prequel?
Wind River and all the images you see in this review are owned by The Weinstein Company
Directed by Taylor Sheridan
It’s always fun to go into a movie COMPLETELY blind; knowing nothing more than the title and MAYBE a poster. While I would never decry trailers which in and of themselves can sometimes be MORE entertaining than the movie their advertising (*cough* Suicide Squad *cough*), they invariable lead to expectations which can be either a good or bad thing for the finished product. This is one that I went in without knowing the slightest bit about it aside from Jeremey Renner’s face and cowboy hat being front and center, so hey! How bad could it be!? Let’s find out!!
The movie begins in the harsh wildness that is Northern Wyoming where we follow Cory Lambert (Jeremy Renner) who’s a US Fish and Wildlife Service agent that serves the Wind River Indian Reservation. During his regular duties of hunting predators in the snot freezing cold, he comes across the body of a local girl named Natalie (Kelsey Chow) who not only froze to death in the snow but seems to have been raped as well. With the help of the local sheriff Ben (Graham Greene) and a rookie FBI agent Jane Banner (Elizabeth Olsen) the three of them try to do what they can to find out what really happened to the girl and to bring her parents Martin and Annie (Gil Burmingham Annie Hanson) at least some degree of closure. Of course Cory, being a hunter, might have other plans that Jane or even Ben wouldn’t be aware of. Will Cory find the person responsible for the death of Natalie, and does he have a personal connection to this case that could be clouding his judgement? Will Jane survive in this harsh world long enough to realize how much she still needs to learn? Wait, why are we focusing on these two? Something seems a bit off about that…
Baby Driver and all the images you see in this review are owned by TriStar Pictures
Directed by Edgar Wright
Summer is in full swing and they’re bringing out the big guns! No, not Transformers surprisingly enough which is floundering at the box office. We’re talking about this latest Edgar Wright feature that every film critic has been waiting for! Everything about this movie looks great, from the trailers and casting all the way down to the soundtrack that brings to mind Scott Pilgrim in how it’s integrated into the narrative. Does this manage to be yet another entry in Wright’s sterling career, or is this car chase film a huge wreck waiting to happen? Let’s find out!!
The movie begins with the titular Baby (Ansel Elgort) waiting in a car and listening to his music while three bandits named Buddy, Griff, and Darling (Jon Hamm, Jon Bernthal, and Eiza González) are robbing a bank. Once the trio get back to the car, Baby proceeds to put The Transporter to shame by driving with as much skill and wacky collateral damage as the Blues Brothers could in their heyday; somehow managing to avoid the cops and get away scot free! It turns out that Baby’s been doing these kind of jobs for a while now as he’s under the thumb of a local mobster named Doc (Kevin Spacey) who recognized the kid’s skills and has been putting them to good use for some time now. Luckily for Baby, he’s just about to pay off whatever debt he owes to Doc and is ready to start his new life that will be free of crime and will hopefully involve a waitress at a local diner named Debora (Lily James) who he’s had his eye on for a while. Of course, nothing goes as well as Baby hopes it does and his chance to get out ends up digging himself even further in doing more jobs with even more erratic and dangerous criminals such as Bats (Jamie Foxx) who has it out for Baby right from the start. Can Baby find a way to break free whatever it is that Doc is continuing to hold over him? Will this next heist be the one that breaks his perfect driving record? Wait, did I just hear Handsome Boy Modeling School!?
Marvel vs Capcom Infinite and all the images you see in this editorial are owned by Disney, Marvel, and Capcom
So with the announcement of a new fighting game, particularly one that has as much fan service potential as this one, the number one question on everyone’s mind is who they’ll be adding to the roster. Well, since I have my own little platform to scream from, here’s my list of the ten characters they should add to the new game! Oh, and if you notice a lack of Capcom characters on this list, well you should probably read what I wrote about the game’s reveal trailer.
Honorable Mention: Agents of Shield Stage
Look, I love Coulson too, but the characters in this show don’t have enough going for them to take up a spot in this game. All together though, there’s definitely enough there for a really cool stage on the Globemaster where you could have Coulson and Melinda cheering on the action while Leo and Jemma are doing science stuff or whatever. That’d be pretty cool to see, and they’d be able to fit all sorts of Easter Eggs in the background for the big Agents of Shield fans out there! You’re not gonna be able to fit everyone from the MCU in here as playable characters, nor should you, but there are still plenty of ways for them to be a part of this game otherwise.
The Accountant and all the images you see in this review are owned by Warner Bros Pictures
Directed by Gavin O’Connor
Who is the Accountant? More importantly, why should I care? On the list of movies that I was looking forward to this year, this certainly isn’t one of them; not because the trailers looked BAD but because we’ve already got enough spy movies out there and we’re getting a Jack Reacher sequel next week that’s probably gonna be the best we can hope for this year. Still, there could be something here if Ben Affleck signed on for it, and I guess it’s POSSIBLE the premise of someone with high functioning Autism being a super solider could be done gracefully, though I kind of doubt it. Is this a fun and engaging action film to add to Ben Affleck’s increasing impressive résumé, or is he just desperate for something to get people to forget Batman v Superman, and he took the first crappy project that landed on his desk? Let’s find out!!
The movie is all about Christian Wolff (Ben Affleck) who is the enigmatic ACCOUNTANT! Who is THE ACCOUNTANT!? Well according to Treasury Agent Raymond King (JK Simmons) who will serve as our exposition-bot for this movie, he cooks the books for the most dangerous men on the planet and he needs to be stopped! What Agent King doesn’t know though is that he’s ALSO Batman with a much more lax murder policy and can certainly hold his own if he ever gets betrayed by one of his shady business partners. That doesn’t happen in the movie though. Instead, he’s hired as an accountant instead of THE ACCOUNTANT by Lamar Blackburn (John Lithgow) who has NO IDEA who he just hired, and has him look over his company’s book since a low level employee Dana Cummings (Anna Kendrick) found some irregularities. These irregularities by the way are enough for the person who CAUSED the irregularities (i.e. stole a few bucks) to start sending out murder squads against everyone because of reasons. Okay… well I guess THE ACCOUNTANT now has to fend off the bad guy’s henchmen (which include Jon Bernthal) and save Dana from being murdered… for looking at finical statements. Whatever. So just who is stealing money from the company and feels the need to send The Punisher to kill everyone who has ever looked at the company’s finances? Will THE ACCOUNTANT go out on too far a limb to save this woman he just met a few days ago and give Agent King the lead he needs to find him? Can someone please explain to me what the hell is going on here?