REVIEW: Ford v Ferrari (2019)

Theatrical Release Poster – 20th Century Fox

The following is a review of Ford v Ferrari, also known as Le Mans ’66 — Directed by James Mangold.

James Mangold’s Ford v Ferrari tells the true story of the rivalry between Enzo Ferrari (played by Remo Girone) and Henry Ford II (played by Tracy Letts) in the lead-up to the 1966-edition of the French 24-hour race known as the ‘Le Mans.’ The film follows Carroll Shelby (played by Matt Damon), a former Le Mans winner and current automotive designer and engineer, and Ken Miles (played by Christian Bale), a testy but talented British race-car driver. Ford wants to beat Ferrari at his own game, so to speak, so he hires Shelby to design a racecar mighty enough to trounce the Italian rival, which had rejected Ford’s offer to purchase them. Shelby insists that Miles is the only man who understands the car they build together for Ford, but executives at Ford believe that Miles isn’t a company man, and they are prepared to derail the entire project to ensure that Shelby and his crew, none of whom are yes-men, follow their orders. Continue reading “REVIEW: Ford v Ferrari (2019)”

REVIEW: Klaus (2019)

Release Poster – Netflix

The following is a review of Klaus — Directed by Sergio Pablos.

This year it almost seems like Netflix is plotting to take over the entirety of the Academy Awards. In a couple of months, Netflix hopes to have films like The Irishman, Marriage Story, and Dolemite Is My Name earn nominations and possibly wins at the prestigious awards show. At the same time, Netflix has distributed some of the year’s most talked-about documentaries, so they should earn a nomination in that category as well. Netflix has plenty of frontrunners this year’s film awards season. If Sergio Pablos’ film has anything to say about it, Netflix might also earn a nomination in the animated feature film category for the very first time. Pablos’ Klaus isn’t just Netflix’s first true attempt to earn such a nomination, Klaus is also quite good. Continue reading “REVIEW: Klaus (2019)”

REVIEW: Midway (2019)

Theatrical Release Poster – Lionsgate

The following is a review of Midway — Directed by Roland Emmerich.

As the title indicates, Roland Emmerich’s latest film tells the story of the World War II ‘Battle of Midway,’ which, famously, was the subject of an Oscar-winning documentary from John Ford. The film tells the story of many individuals, but primarily the stories of Edwin T. Layton (played by Patrick Wilson), who worked as an intelligence officer, and Dick Best (played by Ed Skrein), a dive bomber pilot, both of whom were integral to the success of the American forces. Continue reading “REVIEW: Midway (2019)”

REVIEW: Apollo 11 (2019 – Documentary)

Theatrical Release Poster – NEON / Universal Pictures

The following is a review of Apollo 11 — A documentary directed and edited by Todd Douglas Miller.

Todd Douglas Miller’s Apollo 11 is, as you have probably already gathered from the title, a documentary about the 1969 Apollo 11 mission, which ultimately culminated in the spaceflight landing two men on the moon for the very first time in our history. It is arguably mankind’s greatest achievement, and the iconic words from Neil Armstrong are imprinted on the minds of every adult alive. In 2018, one of the year’s very best films, Damien Chazelle’s First Man, studied Armstrong’s private life and the sacrifice that he, his family, and many Americans made to reach the lunar surface. This year, Todd Douglas Miller has made a documentary that isn’t just an outstanding companion piece, but also one of the decade’s finest documentaries. Continue reading “REVIEW: Apollo 11 (2019 – Documentary)”

REVIEW: Hustlers (2019)

Theatrical Release Poster – STXfilms

The following is a review of Hustlers — Directed by Lorene Scafaria.

Based on Jessica Pressler’s New York magazine article “The Hustlers at Scores,” writer-director Lorene Scafaria’s Hustlers tells the story of how a group of fed-up female strippers drugged and robbed Wall Street money-men when they visited their club. The film stars Constance Wu as Destiny, a woman who strips to support her grandmother and pay off her debts. When she initially struggles to find success at the club she works at, Destiny teams up with the wildly successful, knowledgeable, and experienced stripper, Ramona (played by Jennifer Lopez), a single mother who takes Destiny under her wing — or, under her fur coat, so to speak (which is a reference to one of the most memorable scenes in the film) — and shows her the ropes. When the financial crisis of the late 2000s strikes, they come up with a new risky scheme to fleece potential customers. Continue reading “REVIEW: Hustlers (2019)”

REVIEW: Doctor Sleep (2019)

Theatrical Release Poster – Warner Bros. Pictures

The following is a review of Doctor Sleep — Directed by Mike Flanagan.

How do you please the fans of two very different masters of storytelling (i.e. Stephen King and Stanley Kubrick) when the storytellers’ understanding of The Shining differs so much that the author, Stephen King, once disowned director Stanley Kubrick’s extremely popular adaptation? How do you continue the story of The Shining on the big screen, when King and Kubrick’s endings are in conflict with each other? Those questions made the adaptation of Stephen King’s Doctor Sleep, a sequel to his hit novel The Shining, an incredibly daunting task exactly because audiences would expect it to also be a sequel to Kubrick’s beloved masterpiece. Mike Flanagan, a promising horror filmmaker who adapted Stephen King’s Gerald’s Game into a terrific Netflix film, was eventually chosen for the difficult task. Ultimately, I think Flanagan, who both wrote, directed, and edited Doctor Sleep, did an outstanding job. Flanagan has confidently united two clashing visions in this quite satisfying, but undeniably unnecessary sequel. Continue reading “REVIEW: Doctor Sleep (2019)”

REVIEW: Zombieland: Double Tap (2019)

Theatrical Release Poster – Columbia Pictures

The following is a review of Zombieland: Double Tap — Directed by Ruben Fleischer.

Belated comedy sequels scare me. They certainly don’t scare me as much as the flesh-eating living dead can, but whenever I hear about a sequel to a comedy that came out a decade ago, or longer, I get a chill down my spine. I watch these trailers with a concerned look on my face, and I’m always ready to cover my forehead with my palm if the trailer frustrates me. 2014’s Dumb and Dumber To was a terribly disappointing belated sequel to Peter Farrelly’s 1994 comedy classic, and Ben Stiller’s 2016 sequel to Zoolander might be one of the worst comedy sequels that I’ve ever seen. So when I pressed play on the first trailer for Zombieland: Double Tap, which has been released ten years after the original comedy hit came out, I was more worried than I was excited. To tell you the truth, I absolutely hated that trailer, which is exactly why I was so pleasantly surprised to see that Zombieland: Double Tap is one of the rare belated comedy sequels that actually works. Continue reading “REVIEW: Zombieland: Double Tap (2019)”