First Man – Out of this World

First Man tells the story of Neil Armstrong and the race to the moon in the 1960s that culminated in the Apollo space missions which ultimately led to astronauts walking on the moon. It tells of the sacrifices everyone made on that selfless journey, some even sacrificing their lives. Based on the biography of Neil Armstrong, titled the same as the film, we get this story from Armstrong’s point of view. Known to his colleagues as a very quiet man, that is on display very well with Gosling’s performance.

I have a confession to make. I didn’t know much about Neil Armstrong before going to see First Man. Of course I knew he was the first to walk on the moon, we’re all taught that in school. What I did not know is that he had a daughter, Karen, who was two and a half years old when she died of a brain tumor. I mention this because I was not prepared. I was out of town, away from my family, of which I have a two and a half year old daughter. Seeing the raw emotion that Ryan Gosling was able to portray while going through that loss was shattering to me. I almost wept in the theater. I was not prepared. Interestingly enough, so quiet and reserved was Armstrong, that some of his closest work colleagues didn’t know he had a daughter either. He never spoke of her to them.

It is a testament to the acting in this movie that I could feel that type of emotion. This movie is good. I don’t mean the type of good that you would answer to someone when they ask you how the new Iron Fist season was. I mean it was really good. Ryan Gosling and Claire Foy will be nominated for Academy Awards. They have to be. Their performance definitely warranted such. Lucy Stafford, with this being her first movie, has a vital role and delivers an awesome performance despite her limited screen time. Jason Clarke, playing the role of astronaut Ed White, is quickly shooting up there as one of my favorite actors. He is a pure delight to watch on screen. His presence in movies almost demands you to pay attention. Buzz Aldrin is portrayed by Corey Stoll and he is fantastic in this role. He gets better and better every time I see him.

I highly recommend seeing this movie in the theater. There are a lot of visuals that are best seen on the big screen. Can you wait for DVD or BluRay? Yes, but this is definitely worth seeing while it is still at the movies.

Ryan Gosling top 10 Movies as Ranked by Rotten Tomatoes

First Man is out in theaters and it is a smash hit. Critics, and fans alike, are in love with Gosling’s performance as Neil Armstrong. He is poised to be nominated for some awards coming up and this isn’t his first brush with them. So with that, we take a look at Ryan Gosling‘s top 10 movies as ranked by Rotten Tomatoes.

 

1.

Drive

A mysterious Hollywood stuntman and mechanic moonlights as a getaway driver and finds himself in trouble when he helps out his neighbor.

2. 

The Nice Guys

In 1970s Los Angeles, a mismatched pair of private eyes investigate a missing girl and the mysterious death of a porn star.

3.

La La Land

While navigating their careers in Los Angeles, a pianist and an actress fall in love while attempting to reconcile their aspirations for the future.

4.

Half Nelson

An inner-city junior high school teacher with a drug habit forms an unlikely friendship with one of his students after she discovers his secret.

5.

First Man

A look at the life of the astronaut, Neil Armstrong, and the legendary space mission that led him to become the first man to walk on the Moon on July 20, 1969.

6.

The Big Short

In 2006-2007 a group of investors bet against the US mortgage market. In their research they discover how flawed and corrupt the market is.

7.

Blade Runner 2049

A young blade runner’s discovery of a long-buried secret leads him to track down former blade runner Rick Deckard, who’s been missing for thirty years.

8.

Blue Valentine

The relationship of a contemporary married couple, charting their evolution over a span of years by cross-cutting between time periods.

9.

The Ides of March

An idealistic staffer for a new presidential candidate gets a crash course on dirty politics during his stint on the campaign trail.

10.

The Believer

A young Jewish man develops a fiercely anti-Semitic philosophy. Based on the factual story of a K.K.K. member in the 1960s who was revealed to be Jewish by a New York Times reporter.

Tom Hardy Top 10 Movies as Ranked by Rotten Tomatoes

Venom came out in theaters this weekend. The reviews are in and they are not kind. It’s not all bad for Tom Hardy and company. The movies is poised to break records and it will surely result in a sequel. So with that, we take a look at Tom Hardy’s top 10 movies as ranked by Rotten Tomatoes.

1. Mad Max Fury Road Movie Poster

In a post-apocalyptic wasteland, a woman rebels against a tyrannical ruler in search for her homeland with the aid of a group of female prisoners, a psychotic worshiper, and a drifter named Max.

2. Dunkirk Movie Poster Redeeming Bad Movies

Allied soldiers from Belgium, the British Empire and France are surrounded by the German Army, and evacuated during a fierce battle in World War II.

3. Locke Movie Poster Redeeming Bad Movies

Ivan Locke, a dedicated family man and successful construction manager, receives a phone call on the eve of the biggest challenge of his career that sets in motion a series of events that threaten his carefully cultivated existence.

4. The Drop Movie Poster Redeeming Bad Movies

Bob Saginowski finds himself at the center of a robbery gone awry and entwined in an investigation that digs deep into the neighborhood’s past where friends, families, and foes all work together to make a living – no matter the cost.

5. The Dark Knight (Batman) Rises Movie Poster Redeeming Bad Movies

Eight years after the Joker’s reign of anarchy, Batman, with the help of the enigmatic Catwoman, is forced from his exile to save Gotham City, now on the edge of total annihilation, from the brutal guerrilla terrorist Bane.

6. Inception Movie Poster Redeeming Bad Movies

A thief who steals corporate secrets through the use of dream-sharing technology is given the inverse task of planting an idea into the mind of a CEO.

7. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy Movie Poster Redeeming Bad Movies

In the bleak days of the Cold War, espionage veteran George Smiley is forced from semi-retirement to uncover a Soviet Agent within MI6.

8. Warrior Movie Poster Redeeming Bad Movies

The youngest son of an alcoholic former boxer returns home, where he’s trained by his father for competition in a mixed martial arts tournament – a path that puts the fighter on a collision course with his estranged, older brother.

9. The Revenant Movie Poster

A frontiersman on a fur trading expedition in the 1820s fights for survival after being mauled by a bear and left for dead by members of his own hunting team.

10.London Road Movie Poster Redeeming Bad Movies

When five prostitutes are found dead in their community, residents of London Road in Ipswich, Suffolk come together to process the events and revitalize the community.

Venom – We recommend you see us

Venom movie review Redeeming Bad Movies

I went into this movie with pretty low expectations. It met every one of them. That is not a knock on this movie at all though. I, like many others, read a lot of the reviews prior to buying my ticket. The reviews are not kind. At all. You would think this was one of the worst movies ever made by reading some of the articles. Sometimes I wonder how much of it is just people trying to fit into the mainstream and echoing their own perceived approval.

Having said that, I really liked this movie. I went into it thinking it was going to be a not great movie, but fun. And I got exactly that. A good, not great, movie that was fun. Here is what surprised me though. When I heard that Michelle Williams was going to be in the movie, I thought of others movie she has done. The Greatest Showman, All the Money in the World, Manchester by the Sea. She plays pretty heavy roles. So I thought there was no way she can do a popcorn movie and it would be believable. I was wrong. I fully admit that. She looks like she is having fun and I think that comes across on the screen as well. We could have fun because she was too.

How about Tom Hardy? Does that man ever do a bad job? He has already shown he can do action (Mad Max: Fury Road, Inception) and comedy (This Means War) and drama (The Revenant, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy). Now we just get to see him have fun. I know we could nitpick the effects or the origin of Venom without Spider-Man, but this movie stood pretty well as a stand-alone. Of course by casting Hardy they guaranteed the funding, I also noticed his Executive Producer credit at the end. Have to keep the talent happy. But I feel like it worked. He delivered a really good performance and the movie’s opening weekend is quickly showing that it was worth the 100 million dollar gamble.

Overall though, will you like this movie? If you go in with low expectations and watch it just to be entertained, then yes, you will definitely like this movie. Is it worth the $14 price tag of a movie these days? Probably not. But if you want a fun date movie, this is right up your alley.

And one more thing, stay until around the middle of the credits.

A Star Is Born – A Song Is Stuck In Your Head

A Star Is Born Movie Review

First, let me just say…WOW. This movie was amazing. Bradley Cooper and Lady GaGa were out of this world fantastic. Sam Elliott was simply stunning. Dave Chappelle was great in the small part he played and I was surprised to see Andrew Dice Clay, but he was good too! Cooper plays Jackson Maine and GaGa plays Ally. They were meant for each other and nothing will stop them from meeting. Let me tell you, this movie never let up. It hooked you in the beginning with the characters and never let you go. There were parts I laughed at and there were parts where I cried.

A lot of people will talk about the music. It’s amazing, but where the Kristofferson/Streisand movie focused on the music this version let is stay part of the plot. The story is crafted really well and I could definitely see Cooper winning multiple awards here. He wrote the screenplay, gave a hell of a performance, sang the music, and directed the movie! He’s due at least one Academy Award, but definitely multiple nominations.

Lady GaGa hit it out of the park, which we all kind of knew she would. Her voice is a force of nature, and no one is going to keep her down. Her performance in this movie is on par with Cooper’s, and that’s saying a lot. She charms you from the beginning with her spunky attitude and we fall in love at the same time Jackson Maine does.

Should you see this movie? Definitely! Should you see it in the theater? You betcha. I had high hopes for this movie and it satisfied all of them. If you remember the original, I really felt like it was rushed into them meeting and falling in love. The pacing was pretty bad and parts that should have been drawn out were too quick and parts that could have been glossed over were stretched for some reason. This movie does not suffer that same fate.

Definitely see it. I don’t think you’ll regret it. The story itself is not original, and it is pretty predictable. But the movie has a part where Sam Elliott explains that music is the same twelve notes repeating. Every song is the same. It’s what the artist chooses to say in between those notes that make it unique. This movie definitely says what it wanted during those twelve notes.

Life Itself – This Is Us?

Life Itself

Want to see hit show This Is Us as a movie? The TV show’s creator Dan Fogelman gets you pretty close with his film Life Itself. A half hour into the film it slaps you in the face and you sit up and pay attention contemplating “have I seen a film grapple with authentic emotions in this way before?” If you have, it’s not likely you’ve seen it done by this caliber of acting. Starring an ensemble cast of people spanning generations and crossing continents, some of the best work easily belongs to Oscar Isaac and Olivia Cooke. So much more talent echoes through the film though, rarely is there a scene where something dramatic doesn’t come up.

Speaking of, Fogelman uses emotive plotlines and story throughout – so know that ahead of time and quit complaining about how shocked or surprised you are. Philosophy majors take note, though it falls flat sometimes, a motif of the movie lies in how we all tell our stories through varying lenses and people in our lives can be interpreted myriad ways, by us, themselves and others. A grand question in life – right up there with “better to have loved and lost or…never have seen this movie?”

Where it could have been fractured, the intense plot and emotional character driven acting resonates well enough even in the sequential way the movie is narrated. Life itself brings us to our knees, so when you leave the theater, remember its message to go farther and find love.