RICHARD JEWELL – Rated R – 2 hrs. 9 mins.

 

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DIRECTOR:  CLINT EASTWOOD

WRITERS:  Marie Brenner, Billy Ray

STARRING:  Paul Walter Hauser, Sam Rockwell, Olivia Wilde, Jon Hamm, and Kathy Bates

As we meet the meek and mild Security Guard Richard Jewell (Paul Walter Hauser), he is laser focused on getting back into law enforcement, but for the time being, he’ll settle for being a security guard at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta…

When Richard finds a suspicious backpack on the grounds, he notifies the police in the area of what he’s found, as he works feverishly to get the hundreds of people near the backpack a safe distance away.

When the package explodes, killing and injuring many in its path, this man who tried to save as many lives as possible, has now been labeled a terrorist, and a killer by the media, local law enforcement, and the FBI.

With no choice but to hire a lawyer, Richard reaches out to past fellow employee Watson Bryant (Sam Rockwell), in a desperate attempt to save his own life and reputation from the powers that be, and that of his mama’s too…

I give RICHARD JEWELL a rating between MUST SEE ON THE BIG SCREEN and WAIT AND CATCH THIS FILM ON DVD.   Who better to tell this story, than the man who has brought us such incredible films as SPACE COWBOY, MYSTIC RIVER, MILLION DOLLAR BABY, JERSEY BOYS, and a few other exceptional true stories, including SULLY and AMERICAN SNIPER – the one, the only Clint Eastwood!  This true story brings to light the real tragedy that occurs when someone is wrongly accused, and the suffering and torment that the media, and law enforcement can inflict, under the guise of justice.  Sam Rockwell is brilliant playing defense Lawyer Watson Bryant.  Kathy Bates is receiving accolades too for her small, but significant role as Richard Jewell’s Mother, Bobi Jewell.  And who else to play the POS FBI agent that is hell bent on bringing Richard to justice than St. Louis’s own Jon Hamm, who’s made a career out of playing these types of roles. The only deterrent for me throughout this film was the good, but eventually rather annoying character of Richard Jewell, played by Paul Walter Hauser.  Hauser’s quirky, yet undeniably loyal to law enforcement persona plays out well at first, but his portrayal of this vilified hero, begins to wain on my nerves by the end of the film.  It pains me to say this, as I’m sure Walker tried to recreate a real-life representation of the man himself, Richard Jewell, but I just found that Walker’s performance was bugging me profusely by this films end.  If you enjoy true stories that take you deep into real people’s lives, then by all means, please head to a theater this weekend and catch Richard Jewell on a big screen near you.  But if you are thinking that this film is going to be as entertaining as Sully or American Sniper, it’s not that goo, so you might want to just wait to catch Richard Jewell in the comfort of your home, once it hits on Netflix, or other streaming service.

Review of JOJO RABBIT – Rated PG-13 – 1 hr. 48 mins. 

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This Review is brought to you by Kathy Kaiser

JOJO RABBIT – Rated PG-13 – 1 hr. 48 mins. 

DIRECTOR:  Taika Waititi 

WRITERS:  Christine Leunens (Novel), Taika Waititi (Screenplay) 

STARRING:  Roman Griffin Davis, Thomasin McKenzie, Scarlett Johansson,  Sam Rockwell, Rebel Wilson, Stephen Merchant and Taika Waititi

Alas, we finally get to view a film that will literally strike at your funny bone, more than once, as we venture into Nazi Army training camp with young Jojo (Roman Griffin Davis), as he, and his imaginary friend, none other than the Fuhrer himself, Adolf Hitler (Taika Waititi), are attempting to turn him into a young man worthy of being a part of the German infantry…

Torn between his love for his friend Adolf, for his country, and for his single mother Rosie (Scarlett Johansson) too, Jojo becomes more and more concerned that his mother doesn’t seem quite as infatuated with the Fuhrer as he is, or with the war he is striving to be a part of…

When Jojo happens upon a young Jewish girl in their home, that his mother has chosen to keep from the outside world, Jojo doesn’t know which way to turn, as outing his mother isn’t really an option, nor is letting anyone find his new friend Elsa (Thomasin McKenzie), as Jojo now struggles with his loyalty to his beloved Germany, and for that matter, his imaginary friend Adolf too, bringing nothing but anguish to him, and on which way to turn…

I give Jojo Rabbit a rating of MUST SEE ON THE BIG SCREEN! :  I have been  looking forward to viewing any movie this year that could actually make me laugh out loud, and shed a tear a few frames later too, and by golly, who would have thought that a movie with a ten year old boy, day dreaming of Hitler, while keeping a Jew hidden from view would be “just the ticket”, and  incredibly, its true!  Young Roman Griffin Davis is hilarious, playing the “Hyle Hitler” smitten young German Jojo.  His innocence, mixed with his ideology for his country, and Hitler for that matter is literally fabricated throughout every inch of this film, but in a way, that it all seems genuine, and oh so real.  Johansson is also fabulous this time around too, playing Jojo’s single Mom, who wants to go through this life, doing only what is best for her son. Rockwell’s performance as German Captain Klenzendorf is sheer perfection too, as his time on screen isn’t significant, but just as vital to the story at hand.  I was happy to see Rebel Wilson try to extend her acting chops too, with her small, and almost crucial role.  But the best part for me, was Director Taika Waititi playing the “imaginary” Adolf Hitler throughout the film, as his visions and advice for young Jojo, just keep the laughs coming throughout.  Of all the films that are popping this year ~ Jojo Rabbit was one of the few films that I just couldn’t wait to view, and I am happy to report that every bit of it, met with my expectations going in, and that very seldom rings true.  Is the premise rather quirky, why yes, of course it is, but this is one of those rare films that manages to touch your entire spectrum of emotions, without making you linger on any of them for far too long, making JoJo Rabbit, once of this year’s best films for me, from start to finish!

THE BEST OF ENEMIES – Rated PG-13 – 2 hrs. 13 mins 

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This review is brought to you by Kathy Kaiser

You can also catch my reviews on the She Said He Said show on AM590 The Fan every Saturday morning at 11:30 a.m.

 

THE BEST OF ENEMIES – Rated PG-13 – 2 hrs. 13 mins 

DIRECTOR:  Robin Bissell 

WRITERS:  Robin Bissell – Based on the Book by Osha Gray Davidson

STARRING:  Taraji P. Henson, Sam Rockwell, Babou Ceesay, Wes Bentley, Anne Heche, Nick Searcy and Bruce McGill 

Based on the true-life story of Civil Rights Activist Ann Atwater (Taraji P. Henson) and the Exalted Cyclops of the Ku Klux Klan, C.P. Ellis (Sam Rockwell), as they face off in Durham North Carolina, circa 1971, amidst the issue of school desegregation.

I give THE BEST OF ENEMIES a rating of MUST SEE ON THE BIG SCREEN:  Talk about incredible performances…Taraji P. Henson and Sam Rockwell put it all out there, creating and presenting one very touching film.  I was truly moved by this true storyline, and the tragedy these two both faced within their respective lives.  I know all the ladies in attendance were moved, and I believe some of the men in the theater were too,  as you experience both Atwater and Ellis’s convictions to their “own kind”, as they embarked upon a fierce battle against one another, that ultimately transitioned into a life-long friendship, once they opened their eyes to the humanity, and humility that is in each and every one of us.  Add in the exceptional performances by Heche, Bentley and McGill, and you have a film full of perseverance, and conviction, that everyone over the age of 13 in this country should experience,  THE BEST OF ENEMIES will truly touch you, heart and soul ~ just like it did myself, and everyone else viewing the advanced screening, signified by the clapping of the entire theater audience, once it was through.  It is my hope that enough people venture out to see this film this weekend, that its sentiments will enlighten and empower us all, to look beyond the color of our skin, and open our eyes to the struggles facing our fellow man, thus allowing us to build a bridge of understanding, and compassion towards one another, each and every single day!

Check out the NEW TRAILER for VICE…You don’t want to miss this trailer!!!

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An American epic that blows the lid off what true power looks like.

Annapurna Pictures presents the first official trailer for VICE.

Written and Directed by Adam McKay, VICE stars Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Steve Carell, and Sam Rockwell.

VICE

In Theaters Nationwide Christmas Day

#ViceMovie

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VICE explores the epic story about how a bureaucratic Washington insider quietly became the most powerful man in the world as Vice-President to George W. Bush, reshaping the country and the globe in ways that we still feel today.

Director: Adam McKay

Writer: Adam McKay

Production Companies: Annapurna Pictures, Gary Sanchez Productions and Plan B.

Producers: Megan Ellison, Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Adam McKay, Will Ferrell, Kevin Messick

Cast: Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Steve Carell, Sam Rockwell, Jesse Plemons, Alison Pill, Lily Rabe, Tyler Perry, Justin Kirk, LisaGay Hamilton, Shea Whigham and Eddie Marsan.

Genre:  Drama/Comedy