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Archive for the ‘Margot Robbie’ Category

suicidesquadI should really be complaining about the plan that DC/Warner Bros has had for the DC Universe movies so far. I am a fan of this movie but the producers and marketing people committed the same sins in this film that they did in Batman v Superman.  For some reason the folks over at DC/Warner Bros are in a big hurry to try and catch up on Marvel in the comic book super hero movie chase.  I don’t get that because DC has better heroes, better stories and all they need to do is just take their time and they will be rolling in the dough.  Hopefully they will realize this because they can’t keep building up expectations and then fail to deliver on those expectations.

After the death of Superman, government officials are scrambling to try and decide how to protect themselves from their next meta-human attack.  ARGUS official Amanda Waller, played by Viola Davis (Prisoners,) creates a team of super villains called Task Force X specifically designed to be sent in to fight other Meta- humans or super natural forces.   The team consists of world’s best assassin Deadshot, played by Will Smith (Concussion,) the Joker’s Psychotic girlfriend Harley Quinn, played by Margot Robbie (Whiskey Tango Foxtrot,) a master thief Captain Boomerang, played by Jai Courtney (Terminator Genisys,) Killer Croc, a henchman with a physical deformity, played by Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Concussion,) a former gang banger with powerful ability to manipulate fire named El Diablo, played by Jay Hernandez (World Trade Center,) and archeologist June Moon who is possessed by a 3000 year old witch named Enchantress, played by Cara Delevingne (Pan.)  Waller has the entire group led by a Special Forces soldier named Col. Rick Flag, played by Joel Kinnaman (Safe House.)  Since he is a normal human he is guarded by a female Japanese swordsman named Katana, played by Karen Fukuhara in her debut role.  The group is sabotage before they get going because Enchantress temporarily escapes and releases her brother Incubus, played by Alain Chanoine (Immortals,) from his prison and begins to wreak havoc in Central City.  When Flag and Enchantress are sent to solve the problem, Enchantress escapes and uses her brothers’ power to build a machine to destroy the military’s of the world and put the people of it under their power.   Waller sends in the rest of Task Force X to save some important people in the city and destroy Enchantress.  If things weren’t bad enough, The Joker, played by Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club,) is running around screwing with Waller’s team trying to get his girlfriend back.

So here is the problem with not only this film, which I enjoyed, but Batman v Superman, which I loved, both movies have some amazing scenes that are spoiled by being shown in the multiple prerelease trailers that come out before the movies and the stories aren’t as strong as the action in the movies.  So I am left wanting more because the stories aren’t as good as the action.  Not so much for Batman v Superman, but definitely this film.  I think that the producers are in such a hurry to catch up to the Marvel Cinematic movies and its giant money making machine, that they are forgetting how Marvel got to where they are now.  Before there was The Avengers we had two Iron Man movies and one each for Captain America, Thor, and Incredible Hulk.  Now to be fair to DC, Iron Man 2 and Batman v Superman are the basically the same movie in that they both introduced many characters with a goal of opening up each universe.    But Marvel gave us four movies that introduced us to the films so when The Avengers happened we knew who they were so the movie didn’t have to waste time on delving into who they were and how they came to be.    Now if DC was smart, after Man of Steel, they did a solo Batman movie where he was dealing with Deadshot while focusing on The Joker and Harley Quinn.  That would have given us back ground on both.  Also we should have had a second Superman movie dealing with Lex Luthor and Doomsday.  Heck we could even have a Flash movie with Captain Boomerang as his bad guy.  So that way we could go into Suicide Squad and Justice League without the back story.  But that is not what happened.  Instead we get movies that are hurried with the story so we can get the DC universe started.  However I think that we are probably good now because we have been introduced to Batman and Superman, we will get a Wonder Woman movie before Justice League, and Suicide Squad should lead to a sequel as well as a Harley Quinn spin off.  It’s just a rough way to start a movie universe that I have been dying to have since I have always been a DC guy.

Suicide Squad’s focus was really on two of its characters, Deadshot, and Harley Quinn but for different reasons.  Deadshot was a focus because of Will Smith played him and he is a mega star.  Harley Quinn was the other because Harley Quinn has become a fan favorite and needed to be.   I thought Deadshot was developed nicely and Will Smith was Will Smith, which is usually a good thing and it was in this movie.  Margot Robbie, who played Harley, has been in several kick ass roles so far and she has been great in the two that I have seen, including this one.  I thought she did a great job of living up to the expectations of her character.  She was the required amount of smart, funny, sexual, and badass crazy.  If someone disagrees they are not aware of her character.

 

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One character that I am not totally sold on is Jared Leto’s version of The Joker.   This is by far the most disturbed of the Joker’s we have been given in the Batman movie world.    I feel that his character was thrown into this movie very much in the same way that Wonder Woman was thrown in to Batman v Superman.  However unlike Wonder Woman who stole the show, The Joker didn’t really sell it for me mostly because of the damn trailer issue again.  So I am willing to give him a pass for that reason.  Plus, lets face it, following one of the greatest acting performances we have been given i.e. Heath Ledger as the Joker in The Dark Knight, is a hard thing to do.  Leto did a good enough job to have me wanting to see more and if he didn’t I would be protesting loudly.

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Speaking of the Dark Knight, and I mean this world’s Dark Knight, I love me some Ben Affleck as Batman.  Even though it was three cameos’, two in the movie and one during the credits, it was fun to see him, ever so briefly.  Sure I am in major fan boy action right now but I am just so surprised at how awesome he is at being Batman.  There was also a brief cameo of the Flash capturing Captain Boomerang and I have to admit between that and the Justice League trailer I am looking forward to his movie as well.  Another character I liked in this film, and possibly the biggest badass of them all, was Amanda Waller.  She is a scary kind of evil in a good person body.  I hope we get to see more of her in future films.

One thing I do like about all of the DC movies so far is that they have no problems killing people off in them.  We know that Superman kills General Zod in the first movie, then Superman dies in Batman v Superman (yeah I know he is coming back,) and Suicide Squad kept it up by killing Incubus and having a hero sacrifice himself while doing it (I won’t say which one in case you haven’t seen it.)  We even had a sacrificial death of one member of the Suicide Squad to show that there are consequences for trying to escape.  I like this aspect of the DC Universe compared to Marvel.  Other than the death of a few bad guys, mostly at the hands of Iron Man, we haven’t lost a single hero in 12 Marvel movies, including the one where we were expecting a death, Captain America: Civil War.  I like how in the DC universe we may lose a hero we like.

Lastly I will say two things.  One, if you liked the previous two DC movies then I believe you will like this one as well, It is a fairly good movie.  The second thing I will say is that many people, ie asshole critics, have mentioned that these movies are darker than Marvel.  I know there are high hopes for the Wonder Woman movie to lighten it up but I will remind you of a few things.  Wonder Woman takes place during World War I, the bloodiest war of all time until World War II.  The other and more important thing is that Wonder Woman is working with the good guys and she still ends up leaving all of mankind because she considers us hopeless, again while working for the good guys (ok huge assumptions here but this is my guess.)  That movie won’t have a happy ending so the darkness of the DC Universe won’t change anytime soon.

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wtfWell this is a first for me and I don’t quite know how to feel about it, I am all conflicted. I can now say that there is a movie starring Tina Fey that I like because of Tina Fey.  I know it’s pretty amazing to think that.  Now this movie does have its faults but it really has nothing to do with Fey at all.  In fact I think that if this movie was directed by Spielberg and maybe written by Randall Wallace and this cast it could be an Academy Award worthy film.   But they didn’t so the movie is what it is which is a decent film.

Kim Baker, played by Tina Fey (Sisters,) is a low end network journalist who volunteers to head to Afghanistan in 2003 to cover the war there because all of the talented journalists are headed to Iraq to cover that war.  Once there Kim meets fellow journalist Tanya Vanderpoel, played by Margot Robbie (The Big Short,) and Iain MacKelpie, played by Martin Freeman (The Hobbit: Unexpected Journey,) who try to show her the ropes as well as show her all the places to party in Kabul. As she learns the ropes Baker realizes that she must take risks if her news stories are going to make it to the TV and she also learns that the Taliban and other insurgents aren’t the only dangers to her life and career.

As I stated above I really liked the cast in this film.  I was surprised by how well Tina Fey was doing in what really was a dramatic roll.  She was able to convey emotions and I saw her show happiness, sadness, betrayal, etc. all the things you are supposed to be able to do in a dramatic roll.  Her comedy was understated but surprisingly funny for me and maybe because there was an underlying tone of smartass to it but by no means was it over the top which has been her forte in past films that I haven’t liked.  Tina Fey did a great job in this film but she was not the only one.  As I said above the entire cast was great.  Both Robbie and Freeman were great as conflict journalists who seem to not only accept what was going on in Afghanistan but almost enjoy the chaos and the belief that no risk is too great to get on TV.  Freeman was great not only as the love interest but the calming influence of Fey’s character to kind of remind to stay grounded.  Also I wonder if Margot Robbie only plays gorgeous kick ass characters.  I haven’t seen her in Wolf of Wall Street but from the pictures I have seen she looks like her character is a party animal and she is cast as Harley Quinn in the upcoming Suicide Squad film and unless they mess up the character a lot, I know that character is kickass.  I’m not sure how good of an actress she is yet, but she is hot and I’m not sure I want to be stuck in an alley with her on the other side.   I loved how this movie showed a good view of the military, which surprises me, in the character of General Hollanek, played by Billy Bob Thornton (The Judge.)  He was probably the funniest character in the film and was fun to watch.  Also humorous was the character Ali Massoud Sadiq, played by Alfred Molina (Pete’s Meteor.)  He plays a character that is constantly hitting on Kay Baker and ends up getting in trouble time and time again and was quite funny, and believable as a Middle Eastern man. Overall the cast was a strong point of the movie.

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If the cast was a strong point then the story and direction were a little weak.  My biggest problem, and this probably isn’t on them but the producers, is that this film was marketed as a comedy and I get that when Tina Fey is the star.  But this movie is not a comedy.  This movie is much more dramatic then comedic with a little bit of action thrown in to the film.  This is a film that looks at the life of a war correspondent and what they have to do to get a story that is good enough to get on TV.  One of the good things this story showed was the constant frustration that Kim Baker was having in that she was risking her life to come up with stories that would get killed at the network and never see the light of day.  This of course would cause the journalists to take bigger and bigger risks in order to get a story and enhance their career without caring about the potential consequence.    One thing I wish the writers of the story did a better job of was showing how the near death experiences were like a drug for the journalists which lead them to go on more and more dangerous missions.  This idea was conveyed by Baker’s translator Fahim Ahmadzai, played by Christopher Abbott (A Most Violent Year.)  While I thought Abbot did a good job I wish he didn’t have to give the exposition about comparing the drug addicts to the journalists.   I would have enjoyed that journey.

Another problem I had was that the sound was jack up in the film.  I know I am losing my hearing but I couldn’t hear the dialogue so I would raise the volume on my TV and then the action would happen and my ears would bleed.  So I had to turn the TV down and turn on the subtitles. Maybe its because I have bad hearing but I think the movie could have had better sound for sure.

This is a good movie but could have been much better.  When you watch this film think of it as a drama first and you will enjoy the film a lot.  I like a Tina Fey film…never thought I would say that.

My movie review partner’s review of this movie can be seen by clicking here.

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the big shortWhen I got done watching this movie I went to the website for my credit cards and started reading the fine print on all of the contracts. I also decided that on my next day off I am going to go Barnes & Noble and look up personal finance books.  Probably start off in the …For Dummies section.  The Big Short is one of those movies that make you want to reexamine whatever aspect that these kinds of movies are dealing with in your life.  On a side note, if you are a bid Bernie Sanders for President fan then this movie validates your beliefs of Wall Street and capitalism as a whole.

In early 2006 stock investor Michael Burry, played by Christian Bale (Exodus: Gods and Kinds,) discovers that the housing market is about to collapse because of the way the big banks are selling too many bad mortgage loans called Sub-Prime mortgages.  He takes his money to the banks and buys short on these mortgages, basically he is buying insurance on these mortgage funds that when they fail he gets paid on them, he does it this because the banks are giving great odds on the insurance because mortgage funds have never failed. Jared Vennett, played by Ryan Gosling (The Ides of March,) gets wind of Burry’s plan and after investigating on his own, he looks for people to invest with in the same fashion and finds Mark Baum, played by Steve Carell (Bruce Almighty,) who investigates what Vennett has to say and when he confirms what he has said, invests money with him.  Another group of investors also do the same with help from Ben Rickert, played by Brad Pitt (Fury.)

Adam McKay, who was the director and co-writer on the film, did a great job of slowing down the movie to explain these complicated ideas to the movie going office.  The one I knew of before I even saw the movie was when he put the actress Margot Robbie (Wolf of Wall street,) in a bubble bath explaining the basic concepts of the mortgage bonds and sub-prime mortgages.  Oh if you don’t know who Margot Robbie is, she is portraying Harley Quinn in the new Suicide Squad movie.  Anyway, here is her bit in The Big Short.

They also used Chef Anthony Bourdain in another scene and some economist and Selena Gomez in another. Not only did these people break the fourth wall but Gosling’s character would sometimes break the fourth wall to explain something as his character.  He also was the voice over for parts of the movie serving the same purpose.  It seems like that is a lot of explanation but in reality it isn’t.  I’m no genius but I’m not a dummy either but when I was watching it on DVD I had a hard time following what they were saying when describing the concepts of everything so I had to turn on the subtitles so I can read what they were saying to understand what was going on.  My deafness didn’t help the problem either but reading the film helped.  This leads into the last thing I will say along these lines and that is you can’t be distracted and watch this movie, if you get up and deal with kids or bathroom breaks or drinks or whatever, you can easily lose track of the film and get lost.  If you want to enjoy this film you must not have any distractions, this is a thinking person’s movie.  Oh and this movie won the Academy Award for writing in 2015.

I like the performances of both Steve Carrel as Mark Baum and Christopher Nolan as Michael Burry.  In an interview Burry, who is the only actual person in this movie that is a non-fictional character as all the others are combinations of the actual people, had said that is son has Asperger’s Syndrome and Burry believed that his son got it from him and he believes he has it as well.  Nolan I would have assumed picked up on this as he does a wonderful job of portraying this genius with numbers who show the traits of someone who has the syndrome.  His performance is not as good as say Dustin Hoffman’s performance in Rain Man as an Autistic, but it’s up there.  Carrell’s performance is exciting because I have never seen him do a performance like this, even though he has been doing more of these rolls recently.  It was nice to see him with the inner conflict that his character had who was trying to save the world but in some degree he was saving it from people like himself.

The only thing I didn’t like about the film, and its nit picking here, is that it was a little too heavy handed with the showing of the effect of the common man by these evil Wall Street Bankers.   The scene that involved Mark Baum’s associates Danny, played by Rafe Spall (A Good Year,) and Porter, played by Hamish Linklater (42,) were looking at a newly developed neighborhood in Florida and Danny visits a house to find the owner who is 90+ past due on the mortgage and ends up talking to a renter who is shocked to hear that the home owner is behind even though the renter is making all the payments.  The guy, who is the picture of the blue collar working, starts acting all scared and asking Danny if he is in trouble and what should he do.   I don’t think we need to see this because the housing bubble crash happened less than 8 years ago and we all those who would watch this film know what happened and whom it affected the most.  But, like I said, this is nitpicking.

This is a great movie, and a somber movie, and if you have the focus and ability to sit for 2 hours and pay attention, you will understand this movie and enjoy it, and be a little more sad or angry depending on your politics.  Like I said at the top, if you love Bernie then this movie will reinforce your desire to tear down the system and embrace socialism.  If you are like me, you will not believe the system is broken but believes that the people who break the law should be punished, harshly, and therefore keep people from wanting to do this again.

If you want to see by movie review partners take on this movie click here.

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