Here’s The Trailer for Molly’s Game


When was the last time Aaron Sorkin really did anything to justify his sterling reputation?  Yeah, he won an Oscar for The Social Network and he gave one of those annoying, “Daddy just won an Oscar so go to bed now, my daughter” speeches.  And then he was nominated for Moneyball.  Since he didn’t win, he was not allowed to use his daughter as a prop for a second speech.

He also gave us The Newsroom, a misogynistic television program that was so smug and tone deaf in its coastal elitism that it was probably a contributing factor to the election of Donald Trump.  Sorkin also wrote an “open letter” to his daughter after the election, one that pretty much read like a parody of limousine liberalism.

In short, if Sorkin’s going to continue to be known as a great whatever he is, he needs to start delivering.  His latest attempt will be Molly’s Game, which he not only wrote but directed as well.  That’s right — no longer will Aaron Sorkin have to deal with meddling directors saying stuff like, “But all your female characters are portrayed as being simpletons who need a man to save them and tell them what to do…”

On the plus side, Jessica Chastain and Idris Elba are in the movie.

On the other side … Sorkin’s gotta be Sorkin…

Here’s the trailer:

Here’s The Trailer for The Florida Project!

The Florida Project is the latest film from Sean Baker, who was responsible for last year’s acclaimed Tangerine.

The Florida Project, which was critically acclaimed at Cannes, has a much larger budget than Tangerine, a bigger star (in the form of Willem DaFoe), and some very real Oscar hopes.  Let’s just hope that A24 doesn’t get so busy promoting The Florida Project, Baker, and DaFoe that they end up forgetting about The Disaster Artist and James Franco.

Spread the wealth around!

Here’s the trailer for The Florida Project!


Here’s The Trailer For The Death of Stalin!

The Death of Stalin is not a film that’s been getting a lot of attention but, since it was directed and co-written by Armando Iannucci, I’m looking forward to seeing it.  Iannucci, of course, created both Veep and The Thick Of It and it should be fun to see him turn his satirical sights to death of one of history’s greatest monsters.

Incidentally, in high school, I wrote a short story about a history student who was haunted by the ghost of Josef Stalin and a host of other dictators.  Unfortunately, no one in the class knew who Stalin was so they didn’t really understand the story.  Oh well.  Story of my life…

Here’s the trailer for The Death of Stalin:

A Movie A Day #222: Secret Service of the Air (1939, directed by Noel M. Smith)

When a secret service agent’s investigation into a supposed counterfeiting ring instead leads to him discovering a plot to smuggle illegal aliens into the United States via airplanes, the agent ends up plummeting several hundred miles to his death.  Realizing that they need someone who can go undercover and infiltrate the smuggling ring, the Secret Service recruits Lt. Brass Bancroft (Ronald Reagan).  Bancroft is a war hero who is now a commercial airline pilot.  He is also good with his fists, has an innate sense of right and wrong, and a sidekick named Gabby (Eddie Foy Jr., giving a very broad performance as the movie’s comic relief).  But before Brass can win the trust of the smugglers, he will have to establish a firm cover story and that means allowing himself to be arrested on fake charges.  In order to save the day, Brass will have to first survive prison.

If Secret Service of the Air is remembered today, it is because it featured future President Ronald Reagan in an early starring role.  In the role of Brass Bancroft, Reagan gives a performance that can be best described as being amiable.  He may not be anyone’s idea of a good actor but he is likable, a trait that served him well when, 26 years later, he ran for governor of California.  As for the rest of the movie, it was obviously cheaply made but it is also only an hour long, which means that there is rarely time for a dull moment.  It plays out like as serial, with a new cliffhanger ever few minutes.  Though Reagan was dismissive in the film in his autobiography, Secret Service of the Air was enough of an unexpected success that he would play Brass Bancroft is two sequels.

A Movie A Day #221: Scorned (1994, directed by Andrew Stevens)

“In an hour, I promise, you’ll be able to beg in two languages.” — Patricia (Shannon Tweed) in Scorned

If anyone could pull that line off, it would be Shannon Tweed at the height of her Skinemax stardom!

In Scorned, Shannon plays Patricia, the beautiful wife of executive Truman Langley (Daniel McVicar).  Truman is desperate to land the Wainwright account, thinking it could be the key to getting a huge promotion.  To help him out, Patricia sleeps with Mason Wainwright (Stephen Young).  Truman gets the account but Alex Weston (Andrew Stevens, who also directed) gets the promotion.  After Truman kills himself, Patricia shows up at the Weston house, disguised as a tutor for their son, Robey (Michael D. Arenz).  Like clockwork, Patricia seduces not just Alex and Robey but Marina Weston (Kim Morgan Greene) as well.

Of the many direct-to-video films that Andrew Stevens and Shannon Tweed made together in the 90s, Scorned is one of the best.  Of course, Shannon Tweed looks good.  Of all the regular 90s direct-to-video vixens, Shannon was the sexiest.  What is often forgotten is that Shannon could also actually act and she shows that here with her ferocious performance.  Andrew Stevens does a good job too, giving an above average performance and, as a director, staying out of Shannon’s way.  He knows that everyone watching the movie is watching to see Shannon and this film does not disappoint.

It does stretch credibility that no one in the household realizes that Shannon is trying to destroy them but, then again, what parents would actually hire their hormonal, teenage son a live-in tutor who looks like this?

It is all about maintaining a healthy suspension of disbelief.


A Movie A Day #220: Entangled (1993, directed by Max Fischer)

There has been a car crash in Paris and now, David (Judd Nelson) is in the hospital, slowly recovering.  In flashbacks, it is revealed that David is an American writer who came to France after his first novel flopped.  He came to see his best friend, a womanizing photographer (Roy Dupuis), and ended up meeting and falling in love with the beautiful model, Annabelle (Laurence Treil).  Even as he worked on his second novel, he was consumed with jealousy over Annabelle.  Why was she sneaking off to a château owned by a mysterious and decadent businessman named Garavan (Piece Brosnan)?  Any why, while he is in the hospital, is his second novel published and credited to someone else?

Entangled is yet another 90s neo-noir starring Judd Nelson.  Laurence Treil was beautiful and often naked, which made it perfect for showings on Skinemax but the movie fails because, like so many others, it requires the audience to believe that Judd Nelson could not only write a book but get a model girlfriend as well.  That takes much more work than is portrayed in Entangled.  Early on in Entangled, Judd Nelson gropes a cardboard cut-out of George H.W. Bush and it is pretty much all downhill from there.  Not even Brosnan doing a good job as a sinister character can do much to save Entangled.

What could have saved Entangled?  Like so many of Judd Nelson’s direct-to-video movies, Entangled needed the calming hand of Judd’s co-star from Shattered If Your Kid’s On Drugs, Burt Reynolds!

Am I saying that Entangled would have been a better movie if Burt Reynolds had been given a role?

It couldn’t have hurt.

Action in the Alps: WHERE EAGLES DARE (MGM 1969)

cracked rear viewer

Alistair MacLean’s adventure novels, filled with muscular action and suspenseful plot twists, thrilled moviegoers of the 60’s and 70’s in such big budget hits as THE GUNS OF NAVARONE and ICE STATION ZEBRA. In his first foray into screenwriting, 1969’s WHERE EAGLES DARE,  he adapted his own work to the silver screen, resulting in one of the year’s biggest hits, aided by the box office clout of Richard Burton and Clint Eastwood . The film’s a bit long, running over two and a half hours, but action fans won’t mind. There’s enough derring-do, ace stunt work, explosions, and cliffhanging (literally!) to keep you riveted to the screen!

A lot of the credit goes to veteran stunt coordinator Yakima Canutt, in charge of all the action scenes as second unit director. Canutt staged some of the most exciting scenes in film history, from John Ford’s STAGECOACH to William Wyler’s BEN HUR, and certainly keeps things busy…

View original post 617 more words