Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

The first Cineworld Unlimited Screening of the year and a joint production by Fox Searchlight Pictures and Film 4 which took me by surprise as not a UK based film. Starring Frances McDormand as Mildred Hayes, Woody Harrelson as Sheriff Bill Willoughby, Sam Rockwell as Officer Jason Dixon, John Hawkes as Charlie Hayes, Peter Dinklage as James, Lucas Hedges as Robbie Hayes, Abbie Cornish as Anne Willoughby, Samara Weaving as Penelope, Caleb Landry Jones as Red Welby, Clarke Peters as Abercrombie, Darrell Britt-Gibson as Jerome, Kathryn Newton as Angela Hayes, Kerry Condon as Pamela, Željko Ivanek as Desk Sergeant Cedric Connolly, Amanda Warren as Denise, Sandy Martin as Mrs. Dixon, Christopher Berry as Tony, Nick Searcy as Father Montgomery and was Written & Directed by Martin McDonagh.

I have seen this film advertised for a while and also saw that it has been nominated for a number of awards including several Golden Globes, so when Cineworld said it would be an unlimited film I booked this straight away but decided not to find out what the film was about before seeing it and reviewing it without know who was in it and what it was about, the title was intriguing as could’ve meant anything.

I was actually disappointed with the film as to me it has no start nor end of a story, you get bits and pieces during the film but many of the questions that are asked aren’t answered and you left wondering what happens and what did happen, the film itself taking away what is missing is actually pretty decent and Frances, Sam and Woody all produce good performances and there is nothing wrong with what is actually there just felt incomplete. The film goes quick which is normally a good sign and besides the story-line I can’t fault it, though I am surprised that this is up for several awards as I’ve seen far better over the previous 12 months which have not be nominated.

Would I watch again? Probably not but not because it’s a bad film but not really the Genre I do watch.

Rating – 6/10 just because it seems a lot of the film is missing.

2017 Top 5 Films

First off Merry Christmas to all as I write this on 25th December. With just 1 week left off the year I thought I do a post of my top 5 films off the year, I still have at least 2 more to see (Pitch Perfect 3 & The Greatest Showman) in the next few days but not sure if either will dislodge any of the films I have in my Top 5. I will have seen 87 films in 2017 after I see the 2 mentioned films.

I started on 2nd January (as this was a bank holiday last year) with Assassins Creed and currently I will end with the Greatest Showman on Saturday 30th December though I may see a film on the 31st as not planned this day yet. So here are my Top 5

5. Miss Sloane – Starring Jessica Chastain as Miss Sloane it follows a lobbyist who defects to a rival firm over the lobbying of a gun law and is brought in front of the senate to answer charges related to her practice at her previous firm but a Senator who was against the proposed Gun changes. Miss Sloane received many film award nominations including the Golden Globes

4. Beauty and the Beast – Disney Live action remake of the animation starring Emma Watson as Bella and Dan Stevens as their Beast (Prince). This is one of a very few that have made me completely lost in a film and I loved the chemistry growing between Bella and The Beast, the humour and the music worked well in the film and I’m sure this will be nominated for some awards too.

3. Lion – Nominated for 6 Oscars including best film it follows the true story of Saroo Brierley after getting lost whilst going with his brother to his job and ending up being fostered by an Australia couple and years later tries to track and finally succeeds in doing so and and finally reunites. The film is a moving story and anyone that watches it will find it both terrifying and moving. Dev Patel starred as Saroo and really made the role come to life.

2. Manchester By The Sea – This actually started as my number 5 before finally deciding it should be number 2, again it’s a moving film and sees a boy being looked after by his Uncle after his father dies and shows the ups and downs of the relationship and how both come to terms with the situation. Again it nominated for the Best Picture at the Oscars but also didn’t win. This is a film I think works better as you watch more as after I first saw it I didn’t take everything in it was only when starting write a review and rewatching the story in my head that it started to improve (i find the best films do this IMO). Casey Affleck I think came out of his brother’s Ben shadows in this film whilst Lucas Hedges showed what a talent he can become.

Now my top film off the year.

1. Hacksaw Ridge – I predicted this would be an Oscar winner but it ended up just a nominee in the Best Picture category. Starring Andrew Garfield as Desmond Doss a 7th Day Adventist who refused to hold a weapon during the Second World War and won the Medal of Honor for the courage he showed by rescuing over 75 men during one night on his own. Andrew’s performance is one of the best I’ve seen and this was an absolute fabulous film and is up in my top 10 of all time films now, it had everything a try story, plenty of action, guts and bloody parts and also a romance.

I could’ve chosen several other films that I think were good enough to be in my top 5 such as Moonlight which won Best Picture at the Oscars and even Hidden Figures. Other films I think deserve a mention are Wonder Woman probably the best DC film made along with Justice League, Gifted which I really enjoyed and of course it wouldn’t be me if I didn’t mention The Last Jedi the latest in the Star Wars Saga.

I look forward to beating this total next year and also to see what films are nominated for the Oscars as in the UK these films tend to come out in January.

Golden Globes

The nominations for the Golden Globes where announced last week and below are the Movie nominations. Normally I would give my recommendations but looking through the list over half of these films haven’t been released in the UK yet so no able to comment on any of these. I’m also not sure if these will have been released before the awards so not sure if I will do another post with my recommendations. I hope this isn’t the case with the Oscars as I did manage to watch all of them last year and the majority where Unlimited Screen with Cineworld too.

It does seem the UK is lagging a lot behind the US in a lot of the releases as for example Coco was released in the US at Thanksgiving (25th November?) but not due to be released in UK until 18th January a good 2 months after the US release. Another example was that Stronger is released on Home Media in the US just 10 days after the Cinema release in the UK.

Best Motion Picture – Drama
“Call Me by Your Name”
“The Post”
“The Shape of Water”
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy
“The Disaster Artist”
“Get Out”
“The Greatest Showman”
“I, Tonya”
“Lady Bird”
Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama
Jessica Chastain, “Molly’s Game”
Sally Hawkins, “The Shape of Water”
Frances McDormand, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
Meryl Streep, “The Post”
Michelle Williams, “All the Money in the World”
Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama
Timothée Chalamet, “Call Me by Your Name”
Daniel Day-Lewis, “Phantom Thread”
Tom Hanks, “The Post”
Gary Oldman, “Darkest Hour”
Denzel Washington, “Roman J. Israel, Esq.”
Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy
Judi Dench, “Victoria & Abdul”
Margot Robbie, “I, Tonya”
Saoirse Ronan, “Lady Bird”
Emma Stone, “Battle of the Sexes”
Helen Mirren, “The Leisure Seeker”
Best Director
Guillermo del Toro, “The Shape of Water”
Martin McDonagh, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
Christopher Nolan, “Dunkirk”
Ridley Scott, “All The Money in the World”
Steven Spielberg, “The Post”
Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy
Steve Carell, “Battle of the Sexes”
Ansel Elgort, “Baby Driver”
James Franco, “The Disaster Artist”
Hugh Jackman, “The Greatest Showman”
Daniel Kaluuya, “Get Out”
Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture
Mary J. Blige, “Mudbound”
Hong Chau, “Downsizing”
Allison Janney, “I, Tonya”
Laurie Metcalf, “Lady Bird”
Octavia Spencer, “The Shape of Water”
Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture
Willem Dafoe, “The Florida Project”
Armie Hammer, “Call Me by Your Name”
Richard Jenkins, “The Shape of Water”
Christopher Plummer, “All the Money in the World”
Sam Rockwell, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
Best Original Score in a Motion Picture
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
“The Shape of Water”
“Phantom Thread”
“The Post”
Best Screenplay in a Motion Picture
“The Shape of Water”
“Lady Bird”
“The Post”
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
“Molly’s Game”
Best Animated Film
“The Boss Baby”
“The Breadwinner”
“Loving Vincent”

The Oscars

Still to catch up with all the Oscar. Eww but it won’t be one that’s forgotten after the winner for the wrong award was read out for the award of the night – Best Picture 😱. Won’t do a big post but will just list winners a quick comment (can’t seem to find my previous blog with who I thought would win 🤔)

Let’s start with biggest and now most talked about.

Best PictureMoonlight – I had this as 2nd after Hacksaw Ridge, I thought was very good film that touched on a couple of tough subjects that aren’t often touched on in mainstream cinema.

Best Actor in a Leading Role – Casey Afflect (Manchester By The Sea) – Can’t argue with this though I had predicted Andrew Garfield to win

Best Actor in a Supporting Role Mahershala Ali (Moonlight) – Now I get confused by the term Supporting Role, Mahershala has performed well in both the Oscar Nominated films he appeared in but in Moonlight he was only in it for first half an hour or so. I had gone for Lucas Hedges as I thought he outperformed Casey in Manchester By The Sea.

Best Actress in a Leading Role Emma Stone (La La Land) – The card that was read in error for Best Picture! Can’t disagree as who I had predicted would win too, I thought this was the weakness category this year.

Best Actress in a Supporting Role Viola Davis (Fences) – This was I thought the hardest to decide on as all would’ve been worthy winners I did go for Octavia Spencer (Hidden Figures) but could’ve easily had gone for Viola as produced an outstanding performance opposite Denzil Washington.

Animated Feature Film – Zootopia – Now this does surprise me as I didn’t rate this film at all, I thought would’ve been between Moana and Kubo & The Two Strings. Goes to show how much I know lol

Directing – Damien Chazelle (La La Land) – Probably not surprising and deserved, I did go for Mel Gibson but many people told me that it’s unlikely as the Academy probably still not forgiven him.

Film Editing John Gilbert (Hacksaw Ridge) – This was my choice too as thought was the best film too and was superbly put together.

Music (Original Score) – Justin Hurwitz (La La Land) – In my opinion was only going to be one winner and this was it.

Music (Original Song) – City of Stars (La La Land) – My choice ahead of Audition (also from La La Land), I just thought Can’t Stop The Feeling was too mainstream. How Far I’ll Go from Moana would’ve been outside choice.

I can’t disagree really with any off the winners apart from Animated Film but that’s just my thought. The only disappointment I probably had was that Nocturnal Animals wasn’t up for Best Picture. One thing I have noticed and think it’s happened a few times, the films Nominated tend to be released in the last couple of months leading up to the awards, I might need to check for Oscar winnings in films released before the Summer.

The Golden Raspberries

Further to my post regarding the Razzies (or full title The Golden Raspberries) I thought I’ll find out more about these awards and write about them. I knew that they’re handed out around the same time as the Oscars for the Worst Movies/Actors etc. of the year.

The awards started in 1981 by John J B Wilson and Mo Murphy and was held in Wilson’s living room in LA and consistented of 7 awards (see below). The awards are called Raspberry in reference to blowing a raspberry at the industry, the awards are a raspberry on a film reel and painted gold.

Currently the following Awards are awarded. The top 7 are the original awards.

Worst Actor: 1980 to present
Worst Actress: 1980 to present

Worst Supporting Actor: 1980 to present

Worst Screenplay: 1980 to present

Worst Director: 1980 to present

Worst Picture: 1980 to present

Worst Supporting Actress: 1980 to present

Worst Screen Combo: 1994 to present

Worst Prequel, Remake, Rip-off or Sequel: 1994 to present, except 1996 and 1999

The Razzie Redeemer Award: 2014 to present – Becoming a respected artist after having been nominated for a Razzie

The winners of this year are listed in the Razzies post. Most winners don’t collect their awards but the following have collected their rewards in person – Bill Crosby (1988) won 3 awards and called out the organisation to present him with an award, he was awarded an award on Fox’s Late Show. Tom Selleck & Jack Feldman requested their awards in 1993. Paul Verhoeven was the first to go to the ceremony to collect his award in 1996. Brian Helgeland in 1998 who also won an Oscar the same weekend. J David Shapiro in 2001, Tom Green in 2002, Tom attended the ceremony and took home 5 awards. Ben Affleck in 2004, Ben was presented his award on Larry King Live and proceeded to dismantle the award, the award was then auctioned on eBay and fetched nearly $1000 which went to paying to hire the Ivar Theatre for the 2005 awards. Halle Berry also accepted her award at the ceremony and also won an Oscar the same weekend. Sandra Bullock in 2010 also collect in person at the ceremony and collected an Oscar the following night, J David Shapiro collected his second award also in 2010 and David Eigenberg in 2011 after winning the award contacted Wilson and informed him he had never won an award before.

Most winners (losers) seem to take the awards with a pinch of salt though they’re criticised as you can become a member of the board of voters for $40 and you don’t need to have watched the films to vote.

The Razzies

As per always The Golden Raspberries (Razzies) are awarded (now) the day before the Oscars for the Worst film/Actors/Actress etc. of the year, these have just been announced and the Wiiners (Losers) are below. I will find and blog more about the Razzies later.

Hillary’s America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party

Dinesh D’Souza [as Himself/Narrator] in Hillary’s America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party

The “Actress” Who Plays Hillary Clinton in Hillary’s America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party

Kristen Wiig / Zoolander No. 2

Jesse Eisenberg / Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

Ben Affleck & His BFF (Baddest Foe Forever) Henry Cavill / Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

Dinesh D’Souza & Bruce Schooley / Hillary’s America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Written by Chris Terrio and David S. Goyer

2014 Worst Supporting Actor nominee Mel Gibson, for his Oscar®-nominated direction of Hacksaw Ridge

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice = 4
Hillary’s America = 4
Zoolander No. 2 = 1

Hell or High Water

The last of the Best Picture Oscar Nominees that I needed to watch to complete these. Starring Jeff Bridges, Chris Pine, Gil Birmingham and Ben Foster it follows two brothers who carry out a series of Bank Robberies on the Texas Midlands Bank to save their family ranch.

Toby Howard (Chris Pine) and his ex-con brother Tanner (Ben Foster)  have started robbing branches of the Texas Midlands Bank which leads to two Texas Rangers – Marcus Hamilton (Jeff Bridges) and Alberto Parker (Gil Birmingham) to take on the case as the robberies are small amounts. Whilst Toby is at a nearby Diner Tanner robs another bank that wasn’t part of their plan and they have to change their plan a bit, they go to an Indian Casino where they change the stolen money into Chips where Tanner gambles a but whilst Toby sits at the bar then they exchange the Chips for Clean Money (cash and a Cheque to the Texas Midlands Bank), with the clear funds they head back to Texas and to an attorney where it’s discovered that the money they’re getting from the robberies is being used to pay the debt to the Texas Midlands Bank for the Reverse Mortage that was provided to their Mother who recently passed away, Toby is determined to pay this off for his Sons as they recently discovered Oil on the land.

Hamilton believes the last robbery was not planned and believes the brothers are going to rob another Texas Midlands Bank branch and stalks it out with Parker, whilst stalking the branch the brothers whilst on their way to this branch change their plan and decided to hit a bigger branch and divert to the new town, Hamilton whilst at the other branch believe now they’re going to skip this branch and attack another branch and they set off for this. The brothers arrive at the branch which is bigger then any of the other branches and when they rob this a customer sends a text saying the bank is being robbed, a guard and another customer pull out their guns and shoot at the brothers who return fire killing a couple of them, they flee to their truck but are ambushed but manage to escape but are chased by the locals, Toby is wounded but as they’re chased Tanner having managed to get some distance between them gets out a Semi Automatic Gun and fires at the locals forcing them to retreat this gives them time for the brothers to get to their other car which Toby gets in and drives away whilst Tanner draws the chasing locals and police including Hamilton. Tanner hides in a rocky outcrop shooting Parker, this enrages Hamilton who with a locals help circles round and shoots Tanner. Toby meanwhile goes to another Casino where again he swaps the stolen money for Chips and then gets a clean Cashier Check for the bank and takes this to the bank which clears the debt, he then puts the Ranch in a trust at the bank for his sons.

Later Hamilton who has now retired visits the Rangers office who has cleared Toby as a suspect as he has no record and no motive as the oil wells earn more a month then the total amount stole from the bank. Hamilton then visits the Ranch and speaks to Toby though implied doesn’t confess and implies that he did it for his sons, as Hamilton leaves Toby suggests they meet again to finish the conversation which is where the movie ends.

Whilst this is a good movie and feels like a modern Western it does remind me a bit of Thelma and Louise though is a different storyline. I believe the story has been done before though maybe just in a book as pretty sure I’ve seen/read about this poetic justice before where someone robs from a bank that’s done wrong by him before. Whilst it is a good Movie I’m not sure it is in the same league as the other Oscar Nominated Films. Chris Pine and Jeff Bridges performed excellently as always whilst supported well by Gil Birmingham and Ben Foster but these 2 were more supporting casts. You won’t be disappointed in watching this especially as is now out on Home Media.