Movie Reviews

Just Mercy (2019)

just-mercy-2019-movie-poster-reviewDirector: Destin Daniel Cretton

Genre: Drama

Runtime: 136 Minutes

Main Cast: Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Foxx, Brie Larson, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Rafe Spall, Rob Morgan, Tim Blake Nelson, Darrell Britt-Gibson

Plot: The real-life story of how a fresh out of University lawyer by the name of Bryan Stevenson worked to free a wrongly condemned prisoner on death row, blamed for the murder of a teenaged girl.

My Thoughts: I’ve ended up missing out on the last 3 secret screenings that my local cinema offers, so I was dying to make it to the first of the year! I’ve stopped checking their social media for the clues because they’re too obvious. If I want to go to a secret screening, I want to be surprised! My hunch was that it would be Queen & Slim and honestly, I’d never even heard of Just Mercy so I was really excited at the thought of knowing nothing about what I was about to watch!

I’m pointing out the obvious but Just Mercy is tough to watch at times. It’s horrible to know that even in the very late 80s, going into 90s, racism was still so strong. The entire cast does a good job here but it’s Michael B. Jordan and Jamie Foxx who are the standouts here, as the lawyer and death row inmate respectively. We’re with them both every step of the way and feel the same heartache and frustrations as they do.

It’s probably not the kind of movie I would deliberately seek out and watch which is why I love these screenings so much. As powerful as the story is (I cried more than once) it still felt quite dry in places, and it’s at least 20 minutes too long, although I don’t know where I would cut parts out.

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Best Bit: I loved the scene where Bryan managed to get the case re-opened at the supreme court. It was so suspenseful. I really thought for a moment that it was about to end horribly, and when it didn’t, I wanted to jump up and down with everyone else!

Worst Bit: I felt Brie Larson was totally underused. I understand why her character was there but she just didn’t…seem to actually do much? I’d have liked to have found out more about her, why she got into this line of business, what the fallout was, and so on.

Fun Trivia: The roadblock scene was not intended to be a night scene. The film crew was delayed for almost 4 hours due to storms and it pushed the filming back to nighttime.

My Rating: 3 and a half tickets to the Harper Lee museum which you really ought to visit…according to 50% of the characters in this movie.

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Movie Reviews

Long Shot (2019)

long-shot-movie-review-poster-2019Director: Jonathan Levine

Genre: Comedy, Romance

Runtime: 125 Minutes

Main Cast: Charlize Theron, Seth Rogan, June Diane Raphael, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Ravi Patel, Bob Odenkirk, Andy Serkis, Randall Park

Plot: Charlotte Field, the Secretary of State, is planning to run for President. Her team tells her that her speeches could do with more humour injected into them, and so when she runs into Fred Flarsky, a journalist that she knew when they were both younger, she hires him, not knowing that he has a crush on her.

My Thoughts: I’m really sorry if you happen to have this surname, but is it just me or does Fred Flarksy sound like the most made-up name ever? It sounds like you’re trying to hide who you’ve just spent all night with. His name was Fred…Flar…Flarsky. Fred Flarsky! This isn’t the start of a ranty review because I actually loved the movie, but I’ve been dying to say that!

Romcoms can be huge hits or misses, and on paper, Long Shot should have been one of the misses. It doesn’t bring anything new to the genre at all but it does everything so well that it’s a really enjoyable movie. Plus – who gave Seth Rogan the right to be so good looking?! Am I hormonal right now or not alone on this one?! The chemistry between him and Charlize Theron felt real and they were actually quite adorable together. By chance, I caught them both on the Graham Norton show just before going out and they really do gel well!

Like I said, there’s nothing here you haven’t seen before and it’s probably about 15 minutes too long. If you hate romcoms you aren’t going to like it but I think quite a few will be pleasantly surprised. The banter between Fred and Maggie (a member of Charlotte’s team) made me want to watch Veep – I fell behind around the start of Season 3, and I really need to pick it back up again.

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Best Bit: Charlotte having to deal with an extremely serious diplomatic affair whilst still high as a kite…normally I’m not a fan of this kind of scene in comedies but this was such an exception. It reminded me of when I was in College and we’d all turn up to our last Friday class a little drunk but trying to act sober (sorry, Mum).

Worst Bit: “…OH BOYYYYYY!” Okay, the joke did get funnier but at first, it was just kind of gross!

Fun Trivia: This is the fifth film collaboration between Seth Rogen and Randall Park, following Neighbors, The Interview, The Night Before and The Disaster Artist although the majority of these films, Rogen & Park don’t appear onscreen together.
I hate trivia like this, but I honestly couldn’t find much else!

My Rating: 4 out of 5 traditional Swedish folk outfits, which poor Seth Rogan was forced to wear…

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