‘Molly’s Game’ Review

Michael Cera gives one of the years worst performances. All I will say is he’s suppose to be Toby Maguire. This movie still kicks ass.

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Molly’s Game is written and directed by Aaron Sorkin, and it stars Jessica Chastain as Molly Bloom a once promising Olympic skier turned high stakes poker game host.  I love poker, but poker movies can be very hit or miss for me. Turns out Molly’s Game is the best poker movie since Rounders, and of something would have gone a little differently, this would have been one of the best movies of the year. This whole thing is based off an incredible true story that deals with court cases, taking down the Russian mob, the poker underworld and so much more. I feel that’s why this movie works so well is because you sit there thinking, how on Earth could someone end up in these situations? How everything unfolds and the story in general is truly fascinating and I thought Aaron Sorkin did an incredible job.

Most people are familiar with Aaron Sorkin and his brilliant writing, from films like; The Social Network, Money Ball and A Few Good Men, Sorkin is one of the best writers in the industry. Molly’s Game is no different, the dialogue is fast paced, electric and very back and forth. I personally love how the characters talk in a Aaron Sorkin written project, you know real people certainly don’t have conversations like these, but it’s so fun to watch. The rat-tat-ta banter back and forth is so quick and witty and smart that it just sucks you right in. I feel like a story such as this could only be written and told by Aaron Sorkin, and the final product turned out really well. Now for the directing side of it, this is his first time directing anything, and it’s competent. I think one of the issues with the film is the directing and the film could have used say a David Fincher or someone Sorkin has worked with before to make this movie a little cleaner and all around better product. I think he certainly has a future with directing, but for his first time it went well enough, just when you’re writing and directing that can be a lot on your plate.

The performances throughout this movie are certainly what carry the film. They all do such a great job absorbing Sorkin’s incredible writing and dialogue, that well people are getting nominated for awards. Jessica Chastain shines as Molly Bloom. She’s such a great actress, she’s never really bad in anything to be perfectly honest, and she’s on top of her game in this. Not to mention they sexy her the hell up throughout the entire movie, and it’s funny because at the beginning of the film, she wears her “best dress” what at the time was an 88-dollar dress from JC Penny. She goes on to make millions and wear dresses that are more than some people’s rent on a monthly basis. Her journey is quite unique and special. Kevin Costner plays her father, who was her ski coach and also a clinical psychologist. A big theme throughout the movie is father/daughter issues and Molly always feeling powerless to men. That’s why she starts the poker game, because she wants to have power and control over very powerful men. It helps suppress her feelings towards her father, and makes her feel like she as achieved something. Costner is really good in the little screen time he gets, himself and Chastain have one remarkable father/daughter scene towards the end of the movie that was really emotional and it just tied the whole movie together. It’s just a really touching and fulfilling scene, that again is covered in incredible dialogue and it just really makes you live in that moment in the movie. The same can be said for Idris Elba who plays’s Molly’s attorney. They also have some rich dialogue scenes that pack an emotional punch. When he is reluctant to take her on as a client and reveals later than Molly is actually his daughter’s role model, Molly realizes that maybe all hope isn’t lost. I thought Idris gave one of his best performances in a while. He really did well with Sorkin’s script and he was just on top of his game. Michael Cera on the other hand, well he must have a good agent because I don’t know how he got this role.

The movie revolves around this court case, and the prosecutor wants information about the Russian mob that apparently had been playing in her games. When she tells them she didn’t know any of this, but she does have information on actors and directors and businessmen, she feels like she can’t ruin their lives and give up their secrets. She publishes a tell-all book and reveals some names and gossip about her time in the poker world, but not enough. Molly doesn’t want to flip on these people, even after everything she has been through, and would rather serve jail time. Everything really wraps up nicely at the end; I’ll just say that.

A lot of this film is narrated and I know some people can think that can be lazy of the writer to do, and some people actually hate narration in film. I don’t mind it what so ever so it didn’t bother me in Molly’s Game, and Sorkin actually found a way to pull it off in a really great way. For me, the biggest gripe I have with the movie, is one, it’s to long. That’s where the director thing comes into play again, because I think if someone else is directing they find a way to cut off some of the fat of this film. Trim in down about 20 minutes and then its just 2 hours, instead of almost 2 hours and 30 minutes. Secondly the poker scenes themselves were not great. This is a poker movie, and I felt the scenes that involved poker and a shit ton of money being won and lost could have been executed in a much better fashion. Now these are just small nitpicks, but again maybe another director has a better vision for those scenes, that were pretty crucial to the overall finish to the movie.

Overall, I enjoyed Molly’s Game, I love the sophistication of Sorkin’s writing, some of my favorite movies ever, and he has been behind the script. He just wants such encapsulating dialogue and it just keeps you intrigued. It does drag a little bit in the middle, but there isn’t an actual pacing problem to the movie, I just think that’s the lack of directing experience. Go for incredible performances and if you like to gamble this will put you in the mood to do just that.

Check ya later

Nate’s Movie Tour Review – Molly’s Game = 88/100

‘Thor: Ragnarok’ Review

Fun, colourful, full of laughs. Thor: Ragnarok is one of the best MCU movies to date.

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(DISNEY)
Minor spoilers – nothing that really wasn’t in the trailers!

So take everything you know about Thor in the MCU so far and throw it out the window. In the newest MCU movie, Thor: Ragnarok. everything we have really come to learn and understand about our beloved King of Asgard, is different. Thor’s hammer gone, his hair, also gone. His meat headedness is made an essential joke of the movie and overall we see Thor go through a transformation. The Thor franchise can finally rest easy, because the latest addition is a home run. The previous two installments in the franchise have been met with some critiques and most people believe them to be, two of the weakest MCU films. There’s a lot to love about this movie, and the tone of it, is something that is truly different from any MCU movie before it. I don’t want to say it’s a parody of a comic-book movie, but it certainly wants to be. Director Taika Waititi almost puts comedy before anything else in this movie, and I’m not saying that as a critique. Because with that being said, this has a ton of action, and some of the best shot action in the MCU in quite some time. This movie did for Thor what Captain America: The Winter Solider did for Captain America. It just made us fans realize how awesome and incredible this character can be. This is the Thor I’ve been waiting to see, the true God of Thunder showed up this time, and I didn’t even mind he didn’t bring his trusty hammer along for the ride.

So Thor gets his hammer broken, imprisoned, has to fight Hulk to the death essentially and then finds out he has a sister, Hela – who turns out to be the Goddess of Death, wants to kill him and hates his guts. All of this happens in a mere few days, so it’s pretty fresh for Thor still. This is the shortest MCU movie, but it certainly packs in a lot of stuff, the movie, I thought was paced beautifully. Everyone is playing the best versions of their characters and having a ton of fun doing so. That’s the best thing I can say about Ragnarok, it doesn’t take itself to seriously and it’s just a lot of fun. You are constantly laughing at jokes, and mesmerized by the action sequences. The movie opens up with a great scene and kind of leaves us with the last great “Old Thor” moment, because after that he evolves into the Thor we will be seeing for the rest of his time in the MCU.

The cast is spectacular and diverse and everyone is doing a bang up job. Chris Hemsworth like everyone already knows, rocks it as Thor, and this is his best work in the MCU to date. He’s fantastic and his comedic timing is off the charts. Considering the movie was apparently 80 percent improvised, which if that is the case, well done to the cast, because after watching it, it seems so unlikely because of how well timed, and how perfect the comedy and delivery is with each cast member. Cate Blanchett who plays Hela, Thor’s sister, is one of my favourite MCU villains. I know she was almost a generic “death and destruction” bad guy, but at the same time I thought she has a lot of backstory – that could still be uncovered, and I liked how she was related to Thor and Loki. She was funny, and menacing all at the same time, and was a handful for our heroes in the movie. We will see her again, which is nice, when she teams up with Thanos, and boy will that be a tag-team to remember. I know people have concerns about the villains in the MCU, and I even got into an argument on Twitter about this, I thought she was really fun, and a worthy villain and certainly one of the best in the MCU. People think otherwise because her character had bad dialogue and was poorly written and I didn’t think that was the case at all. Am I crazy for thinking she is a better villain than the Vulture? Please tell me I am not. Speaking of Loki, once again Tom Hiddleston rules as the Master of Mischief. I’ll say this, I’ve been a big fan of the character since the original Thor, and he’s always been good in this role. But in this movie, we get the best version of Loki. I think he needs to become a good guy from here on out, because I think he works best for him. He was the best part of this movie. I guess he serves as an anti-hero, because I don’t think he can truly become good, but he’s best used along side Thor, because their chemistry together is through the roof. I’m really interested to see where they take his character and his ark going forward. Tessa Thompson as Drunky it’s actually Valkyrie but she is a drunken mess the entire movie, so lets go with Drunky. Loved her in Creed, and she’s really fun in this role. She’s also a badass, the best drunken fighter since that dude in Game of Thrones. Her relationship with Thor was well executed and I think we have a new power couple on our hands. Obviously  Jeff Goldblum and Karl Urban knock it out of the park, that should surprised no one here, anything they are in, usually turns out to be pretty good. Given a few exceptions, but that doesn’t take away from their acting abilities. Goldblum was right at home in this role, and was at times just playing himself really, or what we all think he is. I can’t write this review without bringing up The Hulk. Honestly, the best part of The Hulk, is that each time we see him, it’s a better version. CGI and motion capture keeps getting better, so does movie making technology, so it only makes sense that Hulk keeps getting better. He looks so sleek, and like slimed down. We also get to see a new side, Hulk talking and being like Hulk the human. Which was really fun to watch, especially his scenes with Thor, just being two meatheads and picking on one another. The witty banter back and forth between those two was really impressive and so hilarious. Hats off to Mark Ruffalo because he was on top of his game in this and seemed to be really enjoying himself.

Overall the movie is fun, its super colourful, it’s full of laughs and one of my favourite MCU movies to date. This is a must see for any comic book movie fan, and they take Thor in a complete and new direction, one in which I really like. A lot happens to his character ark that I won’t get into because of spoilers, but I really loved his transformation throughout this 2 hour journey. My only little problem with the movie as a whole was at times, maybe there was too much humour. Where you needed a break because you just kept on laughing, and it takes you out of the movie a little bit, especially in moments of actual seriousness. We get to see the best versions of Thor, Loki and Hulk, so credit again to director Taika Waititi because that is a tremendous feat. This is the 17th MCU movie now, and you would think at this point, there was little room for surprises or making you feel and see something different, well this movie is all of that plus more. It’s getting great reviews for a reason, it’s just a ton of fun and a great popcorn flick. The MCU is in a really good place right now, and it will all come together soon enough when the band gets back together this May in Avengers: Infinity War, I can’t wait to see how it all plays out.

Check ya later.

Nate’s Movie Tour Reviews – Thor:Ragnarok = 90/100

Let’s Talk About That ‘Dark Tower’ Trailer 

Matthew McConaughey honestly looks to be the nicest villain in movie history.

(SONY)
The Dark Tower, something I really know nothing about. I know it’s based off the much beloved Stephen King novel. I know it’s coming out August 4th this summer and I know it stars a couple of real gems in McConaughey and Idris Elba. So when the trailer popped up online this morning I was pleasantly surprised at what I saw. After reading some of the Youtube comments, it looks like the books snobs will be out in full force for this one.

Idris Elba is some sort of gunslinger and it’s up to him to save both his world and ours. McConaughey looks to be playing “The Man In Black” who is trying to destroy both worlds. Honestly from what I saw from this trailer the action looks to be pretty dope. They really came up with some unique ways to reload your gun, and this being based off a Stephen King novel I expect a great story full of twists and turns. I’ve always felt that Idris Elba hasn’t got his just dessert yet, he’s such a talented actor, but hasn’t really been the lead in a big Hollywood blockbuster. Well this looks to be his chance, and I couldn’t be happier for the guy. I just hope this doesn’t turn out to be like The Lone Ranger.
Now for McConaughey. I’m not sure if I’m buying him as a bad dude. Like he’s never done that before and it just seems off putting. Mostly because he didn’t really change for it, he’s still talking like he always does, and I just wish either his voice would have been different or his appearance. Because when I saw this movie was coming out I didn’t know he was going to play the films baddie until I saw the trailer. So hopefully the man proves me wrong, it’s not like the man can’t act. So PROVE ME WRONG MATTHEW.
All in all this movie looks cool and it seems like a cool new universe to be a part of. With a stellar cast and some cool looking visuals I can get on board with this. It could be the last good movie of the Summer with an August release date. In the mean time I might get my hands on the book so I can march with those book snobs come August!
Check ya later.

Let’s Talk About That ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ Trailer 

Admit it, we’ve all wanted to go into the gladiator pit with a co-worker. 

(Marvel)

Are you not entertained?! Thor got a haircut and he’s going to throw down with The Hulk, need I say more. Well this was nice way to cure the Monday blues, I honestly thought they would wait to drop this trailer with the release of Guardians 2 next month, but hot damn, Easter came early. 

I left Thor:Ragnarok off my most anticipated list and now I feel like kind of a jackass for doing so. This trailer was amazing, it was probably better than the first two solo Thor movies to be honest. The bright colours, and weird looking aliens definitely gives this movie a real Guardians of The Galaxy vibe and that’s not a bad thing at all. Arguably the most successful solo franchise Marvel has going for them right now, so why not kind of use that style and vibe for the newest Thor outing. Like I didn’t even recognize Cate Blanchett in the role of the movies villain Hela, she looks fantastic! Maybe just maybe she will finally break the streak of god awful villains. So fingers crossed on that one, if not we at least get to see her crush his hammer which was pretty cool too see. We even got some Goldbloom action in this, and really anything with Jeff Goldbloom is okay in my books. The guy is a legend and I hope he gets enough screen time in this. 

Obviously the trailer didn’t show much, we really have no idea what the plot is or what’s really going on, but it’s a teaser so it’s meant to tease us. All we know is, Thor’s hammer gets smashed to shit, he gets a new dew and he’s going to throw down with his work buddy Hulk. Thor actually puts his helmet on in this, and we haven’t seen that since Adventures in Babysitting! I’m pumped for this movie, I almost forgot about it, but now I can’t wait for November. Which is going to be a stacked month with this and Justice League dropping. Seriously though the work friend line at the end of the trailer might be the funniest moment in the MCU so far, their throwdown should be incredible. So like I started this thing off with, I actually want Thor to drop “Are you not entertained?” in this movie, please make that happen Marvel. 

Check ya later.