Tag Archives: Trumbo

Best & Worst Movies of 2015

2015 has been a good year for movies. With less than a week until 2016, I think it’s time to share my list of the best and worst movies of 2015.

Best Movies Of 2015

Star Wars: The Force Awakens & Brooklyn

If you asked me to choose between these two movies for top movies of the year, I honestly could not.  Star Wars: The Force  Awakens reminded me why I have been a fan since high school. It was everything that the first three films were and then some. Brooklyn was the perfect film. Fully formed characters, a plot that anyone can relate to, and of course, it takes place in my home town.

  Trumbo

Another surefire award winner, Trumbo is the story of screenwriter Dalton Trumbo (Bryan Cranston). One of the most respected and highest paid screenwriters in the 1940’s and 1950’s, Dalton Trumbo was part of the Hollywood Ten. Accused of being a communist, Trumbo is jailed and nearly forfeits his career.

Suffragette

Maud Watts (Carey Mulligan) is an ordinary woman who is pulled into the pre-World War I feminist movement in Britain. Choosing between her family and her new-found beliefs, Maud must make some hard decisions.  A reminder of why we still need the feminist movement, this film is a reminder of not just how far we have come, but how far we need to go.

Honorable Mentions Of 2015

Ricki and The Flash

Years ago, Ricki Randazzo (Meryl Streep) gave up the life of an ordinary suburban wife and mother to become a rock and roll singer. That plan has not worked out so well and Ricki must face the turmoil from her ex-husband and her children.

Pitch Perfect 2

Several years after the original movie, the girl are back.  When a performance does not go as planned and embarrasses the Bellas, Becca (Anna Kendrick) & Co must pull together and remind the rest of the world why they are the Barden Bellas.

Far From The Madding Crowd

Bathsheba Everdene (Carey Mulligan) has recently inherited her late uncle’s house and his fortune. Based on the book by Thomas Hardy, Bathsheba has no interest in marrying. But three men come forward who present her with a glimpse of what married life could be.

Worst Movies Of 2015

The Intern

In this new-age e-commerce film, Ben (Robert DeNiro) is a retiree with too much time on his hands. Jules (Anne Hathaway) is the owner of an online fashion company that is looking to senior interns. While the premise was interesting, the writing felt like it was lacking.

Macbeth

Macbeth (Michael Fassbender) is one of the most respected and well-known Shakespeare plays. That does not mean that it translates well to the screen every time. While the individual pieces of the film are fine, they don’t work together as  well as they should.

See you in 2016!

 

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Filed under Books, Feminism, History, Movie Review, Movies, Star Wars, William Shakespeare

Trumbo Review

Sometimes, when the voices of repression are gaining momentum, it takes one person with one voice to stop them.

In the recently released movie, Trumbo,  Dalton Trumbo (Bryan Cranston) is one of the most respected screenwriters in Hollywood. He has been married for quite a few years to Cleo (Diane Lane), who has given him three children. Their life is settled and happy.

But it is 1947 and Trumbo’s membership in the Communist Party is about throw a whole lot of turmoil his way. The  House Un-American Activities Committee is investigating any citizens who have either an interest or a membership in the communist party. Dalton is one of those caught in the net. He is eventually thrown into jail for contempt of congress. After leaving jail, Trumbo finds that he and the rest of the Hollywood Ten are blacklisted. They must work under pen names to be able to earn a living. While many in Hollywood want to know who is writing these movies, the secret of who is the screenwriter must be kept under wraps.

While this movie is a bit slow at points, it is nothing short of Oscar bait. Cranston’s performance alone is enough to add him to the short list of potential Oscar nominees for best actor. Adding in Helen Mirren as famed gossip columnist Hedda Hopper, David James Elliott as John Wayne, Dean O’Gorman as Kirk Douglas  & Michael Stuhlbarg as Edward G. Robinson (who is sure to win the Oscar for best supporting actor) only makes this cast and this movie that much better. The filmmakers have also done a nice job of mixing footage from the era with the scenes from the film.

The film is also an excellent reminder of the priceless value of the bill of rights and how quickly fear can be used to manipulate and control.

Do I recommend it? Absolutely.

Trumbo is presently in theaters. 

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Filed under History, Movie Review, Movies, Politics

History And Movies

We all remember the history books from our school days. The text was often bland, flat and devoid of the real story behind the facts.

Sometimes we learn more about our history not from a school history book, but from a fictionalized telling of that history.

Two movies are coming out soon that will bring history to life.

The upcoming movie Race (2016) is about Jesse Owens. In 1936, Jesse Owens, an African-American won four Olympic medals for track and field. The games were held in Nazi controlled Germany. He is still remembered today as one of the greatest athletes in Track and Field.

The other movie is Trumbo (2015). Dalton Trumbo was one most respected writers in the 1940’s. Then he was accused of being a communist. Blacklisted because of the accusation, he wrote under a pen name. Two of his films that he wrote while he was blacklisted, Exodus and Spartacus, are still remembered today as timeless classics.

Whether or not these films will be successful, only time will tell. But if the audience learns something, regardless of the box office receipts, then these films have succeeded.

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Filed under History, Movies