Tagged: Melissa Leo

The Big Short

Summary: When America’s banks collapsed a few years ago the world was told a lie. The world was told that nobody, not even the top financial experts, saw it coming. That was only partially true, yes the top financial experts didn’t see it coming, but some men did.

The Big Short tells the story of those men, men the world didn’t listen to. Michael Burry (Christian Bale) ran a small, but successful, financial firm and he saw the crash happening but due to the fact that he didn’t dress the way they did and liked to drum to Metallica in his office nobody really listened. The one person who did listen was Wall Street trader Jared Vennett (Ryan Gosling) who then went against the bank who he worked for and decided that this was a way to make money… betting against the bank. A misplaced phone call by him then tipped off Hedge Fund Manager Mark Baum (Steve Carrell) who then convinced Vennett to join him on his crusade against Wall Street.

The chain then kept going as eager young investors Charlie Geller (John Magaro) and Jamie Shipley (Finn Wittrock) found a copy of Baum’s flyer and also decide that can make money off what is happening. Not experienced in making the trades they need to do to do so they rope in retired banker Ben Rickert (Brad Pitt) to help them out.

Year: 2015

Australian Cinema Release Date: 14th January 2016

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: USA

Director: Adam McKay

Screenwriter: Charles Randolph, Adam McKay, Michael Lewis (book)

Cast: Christian Bale (Michael Burry), Tony Bentley (Bruce Miller), Anthony Bourdain (himself), Lyle Brocato (Casey), Steve Carrell (Mark Baum), Vanessa Cloke (Lucy), Rudy Eisenzopf (Lewis Ranieri), Peter Epstein (Paul Baum), Aidan Flowers (Young Michael Burry), Karen Gillan (Evie), Selena Gomez (herself), Ryan Gosling (Jared Vennett), Jeffry Griffin (Chris), Nick Hwang (Josh Medak), Jay Jablonski (Matt), Rajeev Jacob (Deeb), Tyler Kunkle (Doug), Colin Lawless (Nicolas Burry), Melissa Leo (Georgia Hale), Tracy Letts (Lawrence Fields), Hamish Linklater (Porter Collins), John Magaro (Charlie Geller), Byron Mann (Mr. Chau), Adepero Oduye (Kathy Tao), Wayne Pere (Martin Blaine), Brad Pitt (Ben Rickert), Margot Robbie (herself), Rafe Spall (Danny Moses), Ilan Srulovicz (Noah), Jeremy Strong (Vinnie Diesel), Richard Thaler (himself), Marisa Tomei (Cynthia Baum), Finn Wittrock (Jamie Shipley), Stanley Wong (Ted Jiang)

Runtime: 130 mins

Classification: M

 

OUR THE BIG SHORT REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

David Griffiths:

When director Adam McKay set about making The Big Short he must have wondered whether or not he could pull off this project. McKay had established himself as a comedy director, a great comedy director to be precise… the man who brought us movies such as Anchorman and Step Brothers etc, but still it was ambitious to decide to make a comedy-drama about the collapse of America’s biggest banks. After all the minuet details of how and why the banks collapsed is so technical and boring it would not only go right over the head of the average cinema goer, but also have a strong chance of making them lapse into some kind of a coma if you bothered to explain it properly. Yes The Big Short was an uphill battle all the way but somehow McKay has made this into one of the films of the year.

So how does McKay make this film work so well? The answer is simple. He does what so many filmmakers are scared of doing these days… and that is be creative. To put it into ‘banker speak’ he thought outside the box. Instead of having a series of long explanations of what exactly is happening with all the financial stuff McKay will allow the film’s story to pause for a moment while Margot Robbie (sitting in a bubble bath as herself) explains what is happening or he will cross to a celebrity chef comparing the market to bad fish. It sounds as strange as all hell… but it works and gets the point across in a way that the audience can understand without putting them asleep.

That being said it isn’t creative ‘gimmicks’ like that which make The Big Short work so well. No McKay is aided by a screenplay that is simply one of the best screenplays to surface out of Hollywood for a long, long time. While it expertly reveals a lot of the greed and shame of Wall Street it is also about strong characters and consists of some of the wittiest one-liners you are ever likely to hear. To the credit of the screenplay you actually come to know and love these characters. You feel sorry for Mark Baum and the personal tragedy that he has suffered in his life while you find yourself barracking for the likes of Michael Burry who are putting everything on the line and copping abuse for doing so. Even though so of the characters are quite unlikable, such as Jared Vennett, the screenwriters have been smart enough to get them to deliver the quips that make people laugh in a bid to make them at least a little likable. Yes the unthinkable happens in this film, you actually like bankers.

Of course that brilliant script also allows the actors involved to deliver some of the finest acting performances of the year. Steve Carrell showed us his serious side in Foxcatcher and here he once again revels in what is a demanding but emotional performance. If he takes an Oscar home for this performance he truly deserves it. Likewise Christian Bale who loses all of his Bruce Wayne good looks as he morphs into the hard rocking recluse Michael Burry so well that you forget who you are watching. The other true chameleon here is Brad Pitt who is completely unrecognisable as the bearded off-the-grid former banker Ben Rickert. These three lead an ensemble that makes this film truly memorable.

Sure a film about the banking world might not exactly make you feel like you want to rush out and purchase tickets at the box office, but like Wall Street and The Wolf Of Wall Street before it The Big Short is a ground-breaking film that shows a completely different side to the filmmaking skills of Adam McKay. Creative, original and hard-hitting The Big Short is a film that I’m sure I’ll be revisiting when I put together my Top 10 Movies of 2016 list.

 

Stars(5)

 

Adam Ross:

You can listen to Adam’s The Big Short review on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #161

 

Stars(4)

 

Average Subculture Rating (out of 5):  Stars(4.5)

 

IMDB Rating: The Big Short (2015) on IMDb

 

Other Subculture Entertainment The Big Short reviews: You can listen to our full Big Short Review  review on a The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #161. You can also read our The Big Short review on The Book The Film The T-Shirt.

Trailer:

Terminator Genisys

We take a look at the most popular movies and television shows online over the past week.

 

  1. Terminator Genisys (2015) – Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jason Clarke, Emilia Clarke, Jai Courtney
  2. Magic Mike XXL (2015) – Channing Tatum, Joe Manganiello, Matt Bomer, Adam Rodriguez
  3. Jurassic World (2015) – Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Ty Simpkins, Judy Greer
  4. Orange is The New Black (2013) – Taylor Schilling, Danielle Brooks, Taryn Manning, Emma Myles
  5. Inside Out (2015) – Amy Poehler, Bill Hader, Lewis Black, Mindy Kaling
  6. True Detective (2014) – Matthew McConaughey, Colin Farrell, Woody Harrelson, Rachel McAdams
  7. Ted 2 (2015) – Mark Wahlberg, Seth MacFarlane, Amanda Seyfried, Jessica Barth
  8. Games Of Thrones (2011) – Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey, Emilia Clarke, Kit Harrington
  9. Mad Max: Fury Road (2015) – Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult, Zoe Kravitz
  10. Minions (2015) – Sandra Bullock, Jon Hamm, Michael Keaton, Pierre Coffin
  11. Mr. Robot (2015) – Rami Malek, Carly Chaikin, Portia Doubleday, Martin Wallstrom
  12. Scream (2015) – Willa Fitzgerald, Bex Taylor-Klaus, John Karma, Amadeus Serafini
  13. Ant-Man (2015) – Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas, Corey Stoll, Evangeline Lilly
  14. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) – Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Jesse Eisenberg
  15. Legend (2015) – Tom Hardy, Emily Browning, Taron Egerton, Colin Morgan
  16. Sense8 (2015) – Aml Ameen, Doona Be, Jamie Clayton, Tina Desai
  17. Teen Wolf (2011) – Tyler Posey, Dylan O’Brien, Holland Roden, Tyler Hoechlin
  18. The Longest Ride (2015) – Scott Eastwood, Britt Robertson, Alan Alda, Jack Huston
  19. Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014) – Colin Firth, Taron Egerton, Samuel L. Jackson, Michael Caine
  20. Spy (2015) – Melissa McCarthy, Rose Byrne, Jude Law, Jason Staham
  21. London Has Fallen (2016) – Gerard Butler, Charlotte Riley, Morgan Freeman, Melissa Leo
  22. Creed (2015) – Sylvester Stallone, Michael B. Jordon, Tessa Thompson, Graham McTavish
  23. Max (2015) – Thomas Haden Church, Josh Wiggins, Luke Kleintank, Lauren Graham
  24. Jurassic Park (1993) – Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, Richard Attenborough
  25. Pretty Little Liars (2010) – Troian Bellisario, Ashley Benson, Lucy Hale, Laura Leighton

Olympus Has Fallen

Summary: When the White House (Secret Service Code: “Olympus”) is captured by a terrorist mastermind and the President is kidnapped, disgraced former Presidential guard Mike Banning finds himself trapped within the building. As our national security team scrambles to respond, they are forced to rely on Banning’s inside knowledge to help retake the White House, save the President, and avert an even bigger disaster.

Year: 2013

Australian Cinema Release Date: 18th April, 2013

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: United States

Director: Antoine Fuqua

Screenwriter: Creighton Rothenberger, Katrin Benedikt

Cast: Phil Austin (Vice President Charlie Rodriguez), Angela Bassett (Secret Service Director Lynn Jacobs), Freddy Bosche (Diaz), Lance Broadway (O’Neil), Gerard Butler (Mike Banning), Rick Chambers (himself), Dorothy Deavers (Mrs. Mosely), Aaron Eckhart (President Benjamin Asher), Shanna Forrestall (Mary Jane Fuller), Robert Forster (General Edward Clegg), Morgan Freeman (Speaker Trumbull), Cole Hauser (Roma), James Ingersoll (Admiral Nathan Hoenig), Finley Jacobson (Connor), Ashley Judd (Margaret Asher), Tory Kittles (Agent Jones), Shane Land (Agent Davis), Malana Lea (Lim), Melissa Leo (Secretary of Defense Ruth McMillan), Hamish MacDonald (himself), Dylan McDermott (Forbes), Sam Medina (Yu), Radha Mitchell (Leah), Kevin Moon (Cho), Sean O’Bryan (Rick Monroe), Lawrence O’Donnell (himself), Keong Sim (Lee Tae-Woo), Rick Yune (Kang)

Runtime: 119 mins

Classification:MA

Dave Griffiths’s ‘Olympus Has Fallen’ Review: Please check Dave’s review of ‘Olympus Has Fallen’ that is available on the Helium Entertainment Channel.

Other Subculture Media Reviews of ‘Olympus Has Fallen′: Check Episode #28 (available 18th April, 2013) of our The Good The Bad The Ugly Podcast for a more in-depth review of ‘Warm Bodies’.

Subculture Interviews for ‘Olympus Has Fallen’: Various interviews with cast members of ‘Olympus Has Fallen’ can be found here.

Rating: 3.5/5

IMDB Rating: Olympus Has Fallen (2013) on IMDb

Oblivion

Summary: On a spectacular future Earth that has evolved beyond recognition, one man’s confrontation with the past will lead him on a journey of redemption and discovery as he battles to save mankind.

Year: 2013

Australian Cinema Release Date: 11th April, 2013

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: United States

Director: Joseph Kosinski

Screenwriter: Joseph Kosinski, Karl Gajdusek, Michael Arndt, Arvid Nelson (graphic novel)

Cast: Zoe Bell (Kara), Nickolaj Coster-Waldau (Sykes), Tom Cruise (Jack), Morgan Freeman (Beech), Olga Kurylenko (Julia), Melissa Leo (Sally), Andrea Riseborough (Victoria)

Runtime: 125 mins

Classification:M

Dave Griffiths’s ‘Oblivion’ Review:

There seems to be some people out there that are wanting to give ‘Oblivion’ a wide berth simply because Tom Cruise is in it. If that’s the case for you then ask yourself the following questions. Would you not go and see a film because the lead actor was Jewish? When was the last time Tom Cruise made a bad movie?

The second question is really worth pondering, because the last average film that Cruise made was ‘Knight And Day’ and even that was passable and enjoyable. And once again Cruise has chosen well with ‘Ovlivion’ being so good it also proofs that Joseph Kosinski is certainly one of the best young directors going around at the moment.

Firstly, this is going to be a review that doesn’t give away any of the major twists or turns that the film takes. Even the fact that the trailer reveals that Morgan Freeman (‘Olympus Has Fallen’, ‘The Dark Knight Rises’) is in the film is a major spoiler that I wish I could have blocked out of mind before I saw the film.

‘Oblivion’ opens on a desolate Earth, an Earth that sixty years earlier was left broken and shattered after the it was attacked by a race of aliens known as Scavs. The Scavs blew up the moon and then stormed onto Earth and resulting nuclear war left Earth devastated.

Most of humanity has been shipped off to a new location but some ‘workers’ such as the effective team of Jack (Tom Cruise – ‘Jack Reacher’, ‘Rock Of Ages’) and Victoria (Andrea Riseborough – ‘Welcome To The Punch’, ‘Disconnect’) have been left behind in a bid to follow the orders of Command, a straight-forward woman named Sally (Melissa Leo – ‘Olympus Has Fallen’, ‘A Single Shot’). Their tasks include defending the large rigs that are being used to draw up water to be used at their new home and also repairing the droids that are used to protect the rigs from the marauding Scavs.

Just as it looks like Jack and Victoria are about to get their wish and be transported to their new home the sudden appearance of Julia (Olga Kurylenko – ‘Seven Psychopaths’, TV’S ‘Magic City’), a woman that haunts Jack in his dreams and also seems to pose more questions than answers.

Apart from a well-written and slick science-fiction film ‘Oblivion’ really does reveal the talents of Joseph Kosinski, a director who with just his second film has revealed that he is already capable of delivering a film visually looks equal t anything that James Cameron or Stephen Spielberg has delivered. Kosinski’s landscape shots look like something from ‘Dune’ while his droid vs Jack dog fights look like something from ‘Star Wars’. Kosinski showed with ‘Tron Legacy’ (which was his first work as a director) that he had talent, but it is ‘Oblivion’ that shows that he is set to become of the greatest directors of our time.

As far as ‘Oblivion’s’ story goes it will really mess with any audience member. Kosinski keeps back his all his twists and turns until the moment he wants to reveal to the audience exactly what is happening. There are some he breadcrumbs enough that you get a feeling something is suss, but it is rare in this film that you are ever likely to totally predict what is going to happen next, the fact that Kosinski is a good storyteller and also a very visual director just goes to show that one day he is going to make the perfect film.

As usual Tom Cruise puts in a solid performance as he plays a character that is made interesting by the fact that the audience is left asking more questions about him than is actually answered. On paper the idea of Tom Cruise and Olga Kurylenko should sound freaky (because of their ages) but together on screen they have the perfect chemistry. Andrea Riseborough also rises to the occasion and she plays the cold (yet filled with emotion) Victoria remarkably well. This could her big breakout movie that makes the world realise just how good she is.

If you love science-fiction then you are never going to be disappointed by ‘Oblivion’. It is one of the better science fiction films to have been released over the last few years and I can’t wait to see what Joseph Kosinski chooses to do next.

Other Subculture Media Reviews of ‘Oblivion′: Check Episode #27 of our The Good The Bad The Ugly Podcast for a more in-depth review of ‘Oblivion’. Please also check Dave’s review of ‘Oblivion’ that is available on the Helium Entertainment Channel.

Rating: 3.5/5

IMDB Rating: Oblivion (2013) on IMDb

Flight

Summary: In this action-packed mystery thriller, Academy Award® winner, Denzel Washington stars as Whip Whitaker, a seasoned airline pilot, who miraculously crash lands his plane after a mid-air catastrophe, saving nearly every soul on board. After the crash, Whip is hailed as a hero, but as more is learned, more questions than answers arise as to who or what was really at fault and what really happened on that plane?

Year: 2013

Australian Cinema Release Date: 31st January, 2013

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: USA

Director: Robert Zemeckis

Screenwriter: John Gatins

Cast: Michael Beasley (Officer Edmonds), Garcelle Beauvais (Deana), Ron Caldwell (Trevor), Don Cheadle (Hugh Lang), Dane Davenport (Derek Hogue), Brian Geraghty (Ken Evans), Peter Gerety (Avington Carr), John Goodman (Harling Mays), Bruce Greenwood (Charlie Anderson), Rhoda Griffis (Amanda Anderson), Tommy Kane (Mark Mellon), Ravi Kapoor (Dr. Kenan), Melissa Leo (Ellen Block), Bethany Ann Lind (Sheila), Justin Martin (Will), E. Roger Mitchell (Craig Matson), Piers Morgan (himself), Tom Nowicki (Len Caldwell), Conor O’Neill (Kip), Kelly Reilly (Nicole), Will Sherrod (Schecter), Gregory Marshall Smith (Greg), Jim Tilmon (himself), Adam Tomei (Fran), Tamara Tunie (Margaret Thomason), Nadine Velazquez (Katerina Marquez), Shannon Walshe (Tilda Banden), Denzel Washington (Whip Whitaker), Darius Woods (Young Will), Boni Yanagisawa (Camelia Satou)

Runtime: 139 mins

Classification:MA15+

Dave Griffiths’s ‘Flight’ Review: 

Look no further ‘Flight’ is the best disaster film that you are ever likely to see. Director Robert Zemeckis breaks his string of animation films (that have included ‘Polar Express’, ‘Beowulf’ and ‘A Christmal Carol’) with ‘Flight’, a film that centres more on its flawed hero rather than the actual disaster at hand.

The hero that Robert Zemeckis decides to concentrate on is long-time pilot Whip Whitaker (Denzel Washington – Safe House, Unstoppable) a drug-taking alcoholic who after a rough night on the substances with air-hostess Katerina Marquez (Nadine Velazquez – TV’S The League, TV’S Hart Of Dixie) ends up boarding a ill-fated jet-liner that literally breaks-up in mid-air. Despite being well under the weather Whip works frantically with his flight crew, Ken Evans (Brian Geraghty – Ass Backwards, Refuge) and Margaret Thompson (Tamara Tunie – Missed Connections, TV’S Law & Order: Special Victim’s Unit) to miraculously ‘crash’ the plane in such a way that they have minimal deaths.

While the media at first labels Whip as a hero (until they start to wonder why he isn’t allowed to talk to them), behind the scenes things are very different indeed. At first it seems that Whip union representative Charlie Anderson (Bruce Greenwood – The Place Beyond The Pines, TV’S Young Justice) is going to help him but soon Anderson realizes that this is going to turn into a defence case when it is discovered that Whip had both cocaine and alcohol in his system.

Anderson brings in lawyer, Hugh Lang (Don Cheadle – Captain Planet 3, TV’S House Of Lies) to defend Whip as he heads into an investigation led by the experienced Ellen Bock (Melissa Leo – Dwegons, The Necessary Death Of Charlie Countryman). But while Lang and Anderson try to help Whip clean up his life before the hearing he heads into a dangerous relationship with recovering addict Nicole (Kelly Reilly – Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows, TV’S Above Suspicion: Silent Scream) while drug dealer and close friend Harling Mays (John Goodman – Trouble With Curve, ParaNorman) is always lurking in the shadows.

Robert Zemeckis seems to break every rule of your typical ‘disaster’ movie. Firstly, the hero here is also the anti-hero, the audience is introduced to him in a scene that consists of full frontal nudity and drug use, he’s not your squeaky clean hero but such is the power of the script by John Gatins (Real Steel, Dreamer) no matter how dirty Whip’s life is you can’t help but want to see him come out of this hearing unscathed.

The second rule that Zemeckis breaks is that the film itself focuses around the hero rather than the disaster. The plane crash scene is nothing compared to the one in ‘Final Destination’ but that won’t let you disappointed because Zemeckis and Gatins get suspense out of this films in other ways – ways that include the audience wondering whether Whip will be able to clean up his life before the hearing and then the actual suspense as you wait for Whip’s all important answer during the hearing.

Adding to the power of ‘Flight’ is the terrific acting performances of its main cast. Denzel Washington really laps up getting the chance to play a somewhat unlikable character while Don Cheadle and Kelly Reilly are more than serviceable in their roles. John Goodman also backs up his recent good performances with a role that sees him mix comedy and drama together brilliantly.

Other Subculture Media Reviews of ‘Flight′: Check Episode #18 of our The Good The Bad The Ugly Podcast for a more in-depth review of ‘Flight’. Dave’s other review of ‘Flight’ can be found on the Helium Entertainment Channel

Rating: 4.5/5

IMDB Rating:Flight (2012) on IMDb