‘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

The Lego Batman Movie Review

“DC, the house that Batman built. Yeah, what, Superman? Come at me bro. I’m your kryptonite.”

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Back in 2008, when the greatest Batman movie ever made, The Dark Knight came out I saw myself going to the theatres EIGHT times to watch it. It’s more than just a Batman movie; it’s a cinematic masterpiece. Since then WB has had a hard time topping it, with The Dark Knight Rises, and last years Batman v. Superman. Who knew that the latest installment in the Batman franchise, The Lego Batman Movie, would not only be the best Batman since The Dark Knight, but one of the best Batman movies ever made. There is a long-standing debate among hardcore nerds, who is the best actor to play the beloved Caped Crusader? One thing is for sure; we can all agree that George Clooney is the worst. Sorry George, but remember the Bat-nipples? Christian Bale is probably the best, but Ben Affleck is nipping on his heels right now, unless he decides to be a coward and leave the DCEU all together. Well now there’s a new name on the list and he seems to fit somewhere near the top and that’s Will Arnett who voices the aforementioned Batman in The Lego Batman Movie.

Critics and fans alike praised The Lego Movie, the 2014 blockbuster that grossed around 470 million dollars worldwide. WB knew they had a smash hit on their hands, and decided to milk this cash cow for everything it’s worth. Batman was one of the many standouts from The Lego Movie, and WB felt it was only fitting that he got his own standalone movie.

So here we are, The Lego Batman Movie is out and I’ll be the first to say that this movie is awesome! It’s fun, warm-hearted and I loved it to pieces (yeah, that’s a Lego pun). This movie is cool, if you’re a true Batman fan, and get every little easter egg and reference then you will only enjoy it more. Like the return of Batman’s greatest enemies, actually one of comics greatest villains, The Condiment King! (Google him, so you know I’m joking) But even if you don’t there are so many laughs to be had in this movie, which is why I wish I hadn’t be sitting in a theatre with 3 other people, because funny movies work best when you are in a packed house. There’s a scene towards the beginning of the movie, where Batman comes home after defeating some bad guys. So he does what I guess Batman does, he microwaves’ his leftover lobster thermidor, and watches it spin around and around in silence (there’s a great bit where he puts in 20 minutes instead of 2 and he calls himself stupid). He eats it alone, in silence yet again, and then when he’s done he takes out his electric guitar and shreds a nasty solo. Did I mention he’s sitting on a jet ski, floating in his pool; man Batman is just so cool. It was at this exact moment I knew I was going to love this movie. You might be thinking, “Cool, but what does it all mean?” It means this scene kind of summed up what this movie was all about. It’s about how alone Batman is, how he is afraid to reach out to others, he’s afraid of starting a new family, because of the tragic way he lost his mother and father at such a young age.

The moral of this story is simple. That teamwork always trumps working alone. It takes Batman the majority of the movie to figure this out though. Even after the new police commissioner, Barbara Gordon points out that Batman has been fighting crime in Gotham for decades now and that it’s actually worse off now then when he started fighting crime. That was kind of a WHOA moment for me, because I never really thought about Batman like that, he’s Batman, a bonafide badass. The Dark Knight, The Caped Crusader, The World’s Greatest Detective! When Commissioner Gordon calls out Batman for basically being bad at his job, it made me look at Batman in a whole new light. Speaking of fighting crime, this wouldn’t be a Batman movie, without his best pal Joker (Zach Galifianakis). Essentially the premise of the movie is this; Joker is pissed at Batman, because he refuses to tell him that he is his greatest enemy, and that he doesn’t even care for the Joker. It’s kind of like one person in a relationship saying “I love you,” and the other saying “Thanks.” All the Joker wants is for Batman to say three simple words, “I hate you.” He just can’t do it, because Batman doesn’t feel that way towards him, he doesn’t feel anything, he’s Batman, and he simply does not have any emotions. Batman’s and The Jokers relationship can be complicated, and it’s been beaten to death in the comics and movies, so this new interpretation of it was just really refreshing. So Joker ultimately gets fed up with repeatedly getting his heartbroken by Batman, time after time. So he unleashes hell on Gotham, to seek revenge on Batman, you know, that old chestnut. The Joker trying to destroy Gotham and defeat Batman chestnut.

Now lets talk about the best part of this movie, ROBIN! Voiced by Michael Cera, I found myself laughing at pretty much every line he had. Robin is a little flamboyant to say the least, and Michael Cera’s voice casting worked to perfection. From him picking out his costume, which he settles on ‘Reggae Man’ to only rip off the tight pants, and declares “Now I’m free, now I’m movin’, come on Batman, lets get groovin’!” Reluctant at first to bond with his new adopted son, Batman pushes Robin away whenever he feels that he is connecting with him on any level. Much like Batman, Robin is alone and just wants to be loved. He’s been an orphan from a young age, and now his dad is Batman. One thing I thought was hilarious, Robin was calling Batman Pedro (Spanish for Dad) the entire movie, and it was just so out of place, yet it worked so well. Seeing that relationship grow was cute to watch over the course of the movie. It’s tough to be a 28-year-old man, watching a Lego movie pondering life and tearing up over life lessons these Legos are trying to teach us.

Listen, this flick is just so endearing, there’s so much love in it. While this is a Batman movie, it’s not dark and brooding. The first 15 minutes of this movie will actually amaze you, considering it’s a Lego movie. Tons of action, loads of laughs, just an all around great time at the movies. The people behind it, understood the mythology behind the character, and were able to translate that onto the screen in a way that’s just not for kids, but for adults too. I was never laughing at Batman, or any of these other characters for being stupid, or out of place, but rather laughing with them on this incredible journey that this movie takes us on from start to finish. This is the best DC movie since The Dark Knight, and with everything that is going on over at WB right now, they needed this for their morale. Go see this movie, and if you have kids bring them, this is a batastic time!

Check ya later,

Nate’s Movie Tour Reviews — The Lego Batman Movie = 93/100