Tagged: Danny Pino

Summary: 
Film adaptation of the Tony and Grammy Award-winning musical about Evan Hansen, a high school senior with Social Anxiety disorder and his journey of self-discovery and acceptance following the suicide of a fellow classmate.

Year: 2021

Cinema Release Dates:  9th December 2021 (Australia), 22nd October 2021 (UK), 24th September 2021 (USA)

VOD Release Dates: TBA

Country: USA

Director: Stephen Chbosky

Screenwriter: Steven Levenson

Cast: Amy Adams (Cynthia Murphy), Mariana Alvarez (Mrs. G), Avery Bederman (Isabelle), Shane Berengue (himself), Gerald Caesar (Josh), DeMarius Copes (Oliver), Kaitlyn Dever (Zoe Murphy), Nick Dodani (Jared Kalwani), Hadiya Eshe (Cherise), Tommy Kane (Greg), Liz Kate (Gemma), Marvin Leon (Skye), Zoey Luna (Leila), Julianne Moore (Heide Hansen), Julia Chen Myers (Naomi), Danny Pino (Larry Mora), Ben Platt (Evan Hansen), Isaac Powell (Rhys), Swift Rice (Mr. Howard), Colton Ryan (Connor Murphy), Amandla Stenbeck (Alana Beck)

Running Time: 137 mins

Classification: M (Australia), 12A (UK), Pg-13 (USA)

OUR DEAR EVAN HANSEN REVIEWS

David Griffiths’ Dear Evan Hansen Review:

Often when I talk to people about my passion for musicals they tell me the reason they don’t share that passion is because they find musicals old-fashioned and non-relatable. When they use that excuse to me in the future my response is going to be “have you seen Dear Evan Hansen?”

If you want something modern and relatable then look no further than Dear Evan Hansen. Set in a modern day High School the film follows Evan Hansen (Ben Platt – Pitch Perfect) a student who is battling severe mental illness to the point where he struggles to even talk to other people, let alone trying to make friends and settle into a regular High School routine.

Instead Evan spends most of his days trying to avoid social interactions while watching his crush, Zoe (Kaitlyn Dever – Booksmart) from afar. However things take a big turn when Zoe’s brother, Connor (Colton Ryan – Uncle Frank) commits suicide. His grieving parents, Larry (Danny Pino – Cold Case) and Cynthia (Amy Adams – Arrival), find a letter on his body addressed to Evan, but as they start grilling him for information about their son Evan finds that he is unable to tell them the truth – that the letter was one of his ‘therapy’ letters that he wrote himself that Connor stole from him.

I think the thing that impressed me so much about Dear Evan Hansen is that while it sticks true to its musical roots it has a deep story that takes the audience into an event where it is obvious that there is not going to be a winner. I think many will see that the film is in the musical genre and just assume that it is going to be light and fluffy – that certainly isn’t the case and in no way can this film ever be accused of making light serious subjects such as suicide and mental illness.

Based on a Tony Award-winning stage show Dear Evan Hansen is a film that engrosses its audience in a way that will divide people. From my point of view I could see why Evan chose the path that he chose after the letter was discovered. I knew that it would it was murky path filled with danger for him but I understood it. But I can also see why others watching this film will almost hate Evan for what he does… I mean basically let’s face it he is blatantly lying and catfishing a dead teenager’s family.

Director Stephen Chbosky (The Perks Of Being A Wallflower) and screenwriter Steven Levenson (Fosse/Verdon) don’t try to protect Evan as a character. I’m sure at some point in the production of this film someone would have pointed out that the character and his actions might be viewed is apprehensible and perhaps something should be done to make him a ‘hero.’ That doesn’t happen though and in my view that makes this film so much powerful. To me one of the most powerful things about this film is the fact that as an audience you find yourself watching on being filled with suspense as you just know that the truth is going to be revealed at some time.

Musically the film also works. People have asked me to describe this film to them and I say it is pretty much Glee meets 13 Reasons Why. I thought I may struggle with the idea of people going through some of the darkest days of their lives and breaking out into song, but I didn’t. The songs match the film perfectly and if you stop and listen to the lyrics of tracks like Waving Through A Window and For Forever they only further enhance the emotions and feelings that the various characters are going through. In fact they become a valuable tool for the filmmaker to use to allow characters to reveal their inner thoughts to the audience.

Of course one of the biggest criticisms that has surfaced from people before they have even seen the film is the fact that 28-year-old Ben Platt plays a teenager here. I would be lying at times if it didn’t stand out at times throughout the film. At times it does look like there is a man-child attending a high school but Platt is so good in the role that you soon forget about it. The stars who steal the show here are Kaitlyn Dever and Amy Adams who are brilliant playing characters going through an extremely emotional event. I have said since first seeing Dever in Justfied that she is going to be a star and her performance here just further enhances my views on that. I found Dear Evan Hansen to be a strong and deeply meaningful film that explores some dark issues while taking its audience on an emotional journey. Sure the character of Evan and his action will divide audiences but isn’t that part of what cinema is meant to do – create discussions amongst its audience once the final credits have rolled?

Dear Evan Hansen might not be quite as powerful as Writing On Bathroom Walls but it is still an insightful and realistic look at what it is like for somebody to live with mental illness.

Dave’s rating Out Of 5

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Trailer:

The breathtaking, generation defining Broadway phenomenon becomes a soaring cinematic event as Tony Award winner Ben Platt reprises his role as an anxious, isolated high schooler aching for understanding and belonging amid the chaos and cruelty of the social media age.

Directed by acclaimed filmmaker Stephen Chbosky (The Perks of Being A WallflowerWonder), the film is written for the screen by the show’s Tony winner Steven Levenson with music and lyrics by the show’s Oscar®, Grammy and Tony-winning songwriting team of Benj Pasek & Justin Paul (La La LandThe Greatest Showman).

Featuring Grammy winning songs, including the iconic anthem “You Will Be Found,” “Waving Through a Window,” “For Forever” and “Words Fail,” Dear Evan Hansen stars six-time Oscar® nominee Amy Adams, Oscar® winner Julianne Moore, Kaitlyn Dever (Booksmart), Amandla Stenberg (The Hate U Give), Colton Ryan (Apple TV+’s Little Voice), Nik Dodani (Netflix’s Atypical), DeMarius Copes (Broadway’s Mean Girls) and Danny Pino (NBC’s Law & Order: Special Victims Unit).

Summary:  After a one-night stand, a successful married man finds himself entangled in a cunning police detective’s latest investigation.

Year: 2020

Cinema Release Dates: 6th May 2021 (Australia), 18th December 2020 (USA)

VOD Release Dates: TBA

Country: USA

Director: Deon Taylor

Screenwriter: David Loughery

Cast: Oakley Bull (Haley Younger/Haley Older), Mike Colter (Rafe Grimes), Sam Daly (Officer Stallman), Michael Ealy (Derrick Tyler), Kali Hawk (Micaela), David Hofin (Officer Lowe), Rasneet Kaur (Lira), Damaris Lewis (Tracie Tyler), Sabina Mach (Sabina), Compton Menace (Bumpy), Geoffrey Owens (Bill Cranepool), Danny Pino (Carter Heywood), Filipp Revega (Officer Mike), Kirill Revega (Officer John), Lance Stephenson (himself), Hilary Swank (Detective Val Quinlan), Tyrin Turner (Tyrin Abenathy)

Running Time: 102 mins

Classification: MA15+ (Australia), R (USA)

OUR FATALE REVIEWS

David Griffiths’ Fatale Review:

Back in the 1990s and early 2000s Hollywood went through a phase where it loved to mix ‘sex-up’ it’s crime thrillers. The result was classic films like Basic Instinct and of course every teenage boy’s dream – Wild Things. Of course though like all Hollywood phase for every sexy crime thriller that hit its mark there were another twenty that fell from the way-side… and you can find most of those ones in the DVD section of The Reject Shop these days.

To me, director Deon Taylor’s (Black And Blue) feels like a throwback to those films. The film centres around the seductive Detective Val Quinlan (Hilary Swank – Boys Don’t Cry) who ends up in bed with Derrick Tyler (Michael Ealy – Think Like A Man) when the two’s paths cross in the city of sin – Las Vegas.

What Derrick doesn’t tell Val is that he is married and she only finds that out about him when she is called out to the scene of an attempted murder that just happens to happen at the house of Derrick and his wife Tracie (Damaris Lewis – The Rewrite). The high-rolling Derrick is stunned that somebody has tried to murder him and he is beyond nervous of that fact that Val is now in contact with his wife.

The worst enemy of this film is its trailer. I’ll admit that I enjoyed Fatale as a film but having seen the trailer before I saw the film I had some of my experience spoilt by the fact that I already knew too much of what was going to happen. Deon Taylor and screenwriter David Loughery (Lakeview Terrace) have created a good crime thriller with all the right twists and turns to keep their audience guessing but sadly some of those reveals have already been revealed in the trailer.

Still as far as crime thrillers go Fatale does work pretty well. There is enough suspense to make you wonder about nearly every character that is in Derrick’s life while cinematographer Dante Spinotti (Heat) captures some wonderful shots of the opulent house (and its views) that a majority of the film was shot in.

What I also enjoyed about Fatale was the performances of its leads. Hilary Swank looked like she was having a hell of a fun time playing the dangerous vixen while Michael Ealy takes a huge step forward in his career with a performance that more than shows that he was ready to take over the leading man status on a film.Fatale is a guilty pleasure film. It is the kind of film that I found myself enjoying while I was watching but it is one of those films where people are going to give you a funny look when you admit to liking it. It has suspense, some great twists and turns but I would seriously consider avoiding the trailer before you head into the cinema to watch it.

Dave’s rating Out Of 5

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Fatale (2020) on IMDb

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