Tag Archives: true story

Eddie The Eagle (2016) Review

Published by: Anthony Wallace


eddie-one-sheetBased on an inspiring true story, Eddie Edwards is determined to make it to the olympics all his life while growing up. After everyone’s touting him that he wouldn’t make it, he finds a friend in Bronson Peary who coaches him by his side. Together they prove to everyone that getting into the olympics is not all about the successes but the struggles getting there. The movie is directed by Dexter Fletcher and stars Hugh Jackman and Taron Egerton.

I was very much looking forward to ‘Eddie The Eagle‘ due to the fact that Taron Egerton is an up and coming actor who’s previous involvement in ‘Kingsman: The Secret Service‘ was  awesome. This time we find Egerton playing the role of a rookie ski jumper who’s able to get into the 1988 Winter Olympics with Hugh Jackman in a supporting role. This movie was really good and the direction by Dexter Fletcher added to it with the production as it took place in the 1980s. From the background music to old footage of the Olympics in 1988 you truly felt you were in that time period. And the performance by Egerton was great as he not only played Eddie Edwards figuratively but mentally as well.

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There were some great moments in the movie with one of them being when Eddie decides to try the 40 meter jump for the first time. He was successful with the 15 meter jump that he thought nothing would be different this time around. And of course when he attempts the jump it doesn’t turn out so well. It was the over-confidence of Eddie that made him crazy and inspiring to watch all at the same time. Some of the camera shots were from such great heights that as a viewer you get butterflies as he makes his descent. To imagine doing a jump from 40 meters is nothing in comparison to a 70 or 90 meter jump as we’ll see later on. It’s a dangerous sport that even the greatest ski jumpers have been known to take hard falls.

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As good of a performance we get from Taron Egerton we also get from Hugh Jackman. His portrayal as a former ski jumper who struggles with alcohol abuse was so good that he was able to balance the two very well. Both Egerton and Jackman had good chemistry together that towards the end of the film their characters found a mutual respect for each other. Nothing can be said about the acting as both of them did a really great job telling a story that found respect in the portrayal of Eddie Edwards in real life. There were some minor issues with the film as one of them being a scene where Eddie walks into a sauna where Slovakian ski jumpers stood bare naked. The scene was meant to be funny which it was when Eddie first walked in. However, as the scene went on there almost was a homosexual vibe where it almost became awkward. At the end of it your still not sure if it was implied that they were gay or if was the direction of the scene that gave it that effect.

With great direction and production by Dexter Fletcher, ‘Eddie The Eagle‘ is inspiring to the story of a rookie who’s dream of getting into the Olympics came true while proving everyone wrong. It was great seeing Taron Egerton paring with Hugh Jackman as we got to see two action stars come together and giving it their best. And before I forget, the movie does such a good job flowing with ease that the hour and 47 minute run-time went by like nothing. Had the movie been longer you wouldn’t have noticed because the pacing was superb. This is definitely a feel good movie anyone could enjoy as I highly recommend giving this a watch.

Rating: 7.5/10

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Race (2016) Review

Published by: Anthony Wallace


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It’s the dream of Jesse Owens to be the best runner in the world. As the 1936 Olympics is set to take place in Germany, Owens faces adversity when discrimination at home and politics overseas begins to build. With the help of Ohio Coach Larry Snyder, Owens proves to himself and his family that nothing will stand in his way from pivoting to greatness. The film is directed by Stephen Hopkins and stars Stephan James, Jason Sudeikis, and Jeremy Irons.

One of the great things we see in ‘Race‘ is the dual narratives about the discrimination at home between whites and blacks; while overseas it’s the Hitler regime readying to host the Olympics. The director, Stephen Hopkins, did an amazing job telling a story about the politics of race. Actor Stephan James who plays Jesse Owens was likable and you could sense the weight of politics on his shoulders when he is forced to make a decision to take part in the Olympics. Not taking its time to recognize how good of an athlete Owens is, much of the movie is centered on the Hitler Regime. You sense the animosity building as Germany prepares to host the games while holding hostility towards Jews and those of color participating in the event.

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Another good performance we get is from Jason Sudeikis as we get a sincere coach who believes deeply in Jesse Owens. Even when it looked like Coach Snyder couldn’t coach Owens in Germany, he did everything in his power to encourage Jesse in pursuing greatness. What I would’ve liked to have seen more of is Jesse having more of a challenge as he practiced under Coach Snyder. Right off the bat we are introduced to a talented athlete who had little to improve on. It’s great to see Jesse succeed but I’m sure in his life there were moments that tested him. However, on the flip side we see Jesse face the celebrity pressure when he puts his marriage at risk while on the road. But isn’t that we always see in these types of movies? No surprise there.

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Looking at how the movie was made, Hopkins did an amazing job with the editing and flow of the story. The attention to detail of what it was like for the U.S. Olympic Committee to vote to participate in Germany with contingencies in place. This is where Jeremy Irons comes in as Avery Brundage who’s behind the scenes as he butts heads with the Fuhrer’s hired gun. And this is where race comes into play with the politics of discrimination. There were moments when the weight of judgment were on the shoulders of Jesse that he almost fell under the pressure. Ultimately, Jesse would win four gold medals in the Olympics before returning home. A telling moment came when it turns out that the U.S. government didn’t recognize Jesse Owens for his successes until 1960; 25 years of unrecognized notoriety that is now being told.

A good story with some much valued history to appreciate, ‘Race‘ will win audiences with a compelling story. The movie may be overlooked due to its competitors; however, those who do catch the film will be impressed by Stephen Hopkins’ efforts and the performances by Jason Sudeikis and Stephan James.

Rating: 7/10

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The Finest Hours (2016) Review

Published by: Anthony Wallace


The_Finest_Hours_posterSet in 1952, an oil tanker is split in two off the coast of Massachusetts during a powerful storm as the crew rides the seas fighting to stay afloat. All the while Bernie Webber and three men from the Coast Guard set out to rescue the survivors of the sinking fleet. The movie is based on a true story and is considered one of the smallest rescue missions in Coast Guard history that saved 32 lives. Director Craig Gillespie helms the action drama along with stars Chris Pine, Casey Affleck, and Holliday Grainger.

The movie focuses on a sinking ship with Captain Ray Sybert (Casey Affleck) directing his guys to safety. We also follow Bernie Webber, played by Chris Pine, who gets engaged to marry Miriam and the risks that come with being in the Coast Guard as it takes its toll on their relationship. By going out to sea on the rescue mission it doesn’t guarantee that Bernie or his men will come back alive. There being transitions between scenes on the oil tanker and the Coast Guard helped to not slow down the pace as we are constantly watching drama unfold.

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It’s difficult to discern who had the better performance between Casey Affleck and Chris Pine because they both equally shared screen time. Both were solid in their roles although Affleck as Ray Sybert had more of an edge since he had to find ways to keep the stern of the ship afloat. In a situation where half the boat is gone and waves are pummeling the ship he was strong, calm, and determined that essentially got him and his crew saved. For Chris Pine, the story of him falling in love with Mariam which then leads them to getting engaged felt uneven at times. This would continue on as Webber must head out to sea which didn’t sit well with Mariam as she felt it was too dangerous. So much focus was put on their relationship that the narrative wasn’t as focused as it could have been.

Your engaged while watching the movie and are entertained by it as well. Many people may not know about ‘The Finest Hours‘ but if you stumble upon it and decide to catch it you will find it enjoyable to watch. Even though the movie may not linger in your mind for a very long time it just so happens to be a small story with just enough production value to recommend.

Rating: 6.5/10

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What do you guys think? Do you plan on watching ‘The Finest Hours’? Comment below and share your thoughts?

13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi (2015) Review

Published by: Anthony Wallace


MV5BMjU3OTQ5NDc3Ml5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwOTEwNTkxNzE@._V1_SX214_AL_It was September 11, 2012 when a U.S. compound in Libya was attacked by armed militants where a U.S. Ambassador and four others were killed. Based on a true story, Director Michael Bay takes on the Benghazi event and how it unfolded as six CIA Operatives bravely tried to rescue their fellow commarades. With uncertainty which Libyan citizens are to be trusted, the CIA feverishly try to gain footing on a battle that may not be won.

There has been so much speculation about the Benghazi story that even till this day we are finding out little by little of what actually led up to the attack. But leaving politics aside, we focus solely on the movie at hand. Michael Bay is very well known for making blockbuster action films such as ‘Bad Boys‘ (1995) and ‘The Rock‘ (1996) to the lesser received ‘Armageddon‘ (1998) which would mark the peak of his career. Since then it’s been a hit or miss over the last 15 years with so much effort put into the Transformers series where he’s held an iron grip. One thing he has going for him is that Bay can pull your attention from the start. He’s not shy in the amount of action he displays on screen. Which is why going into production on an action drama where there’s so much unrest in the Middle East is different from what we’ve come to see from Bay.

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For the purposes of this review we won’t need to reference the actors by name because most of the film is centered on a U.S. compound being attacked. The characters we follow all have some kind of likability to them and as is in all Bay films we get plenty of comic relief when it’s needed. Some of the action sequences are pretty intense with there being plenty of bullets to shed on screen. There are even some scenes that aren’t for the squeamish towards the latter end of the film. What’s done effectively is that when you assume things are cooling off your only to be fooled and the action picks right back up again. This happens a few times during the film which helps to carry things right along.

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There were a few problems with the movie and the first thing that will be mentioned is the runtime. At two and a half hours the movie had difficulties balancing the heavy action. There’d also be points where dialogue between characters would carry on way too long as we are waiting for something to happen. It’s not that we don’t like to see people converse about their families or stories from their pasts but a lot of the film struggles to balance it out. In what could’ve been a 90 minute affair it unfortunately turns into a drag out experience where your just waiting for the white flag to be raised. Also, for a movie that’s supposed to be taken seriously you get a lot of comic relief moments. It was a little bizarre to see a city go into turmoil to only see somebody watching a soccer game and not be phased by it; almost like it’s a norm. And finally, with so much going on and you trying to understand who is and who aren’t the good guys your left at times being confused.

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For those who are into action films you may find this appealing to watch even if it does have it’s fair share of problems like a bloated runtime. But with characters you come to like over time you do root for their survival and hopes that things will get better as the film goes on. Although Michael Bay has put out better efforts with more clarity in his films you kind of already know what to expect if your somewhat familiar with the Benghazi story. If not, some viewers may be put off by the back and forth chatter about how we got to this point. There’s plenty to admire in ‘13 Hours‘ but the execution is what hurts this experience which ultimately leads to a weak recommend.

Rating: 6/10

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