News of the World – Movie Review

TL;DR – A compelling ride through the 1890s with a man trying to his best in difficult circumstances    

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene

News of the World. Image Credit: Universal Pictures.

News of the World Review

There are few actors around that you know going in will always give their best performance no matter what film they are in. One of those few is Tom Hanks who gives his all even in movies that are not that great. Today we get to explore a film that puts him right in the centre of a world going through a difficult transition.

So to set the scene, we open in Wichita Falls, North Texas, 1870, on a cold a rainy night. Here we find a Captain Kidd (Tom Hanks) speaking with the fine folks of the town. They are cut off from most of society, so he lets everyone know the news of the time, like a local fever going around or river crossings being cut, for a fee of 10c. On the way to the next town he stumbles across a black man who had been lynched, and the young girl Johanna (Helena Zengel) who he was carrying. She had been taken in a raid by the ‘Indians’, and she had been brought back to what was left of her family. When some Cavalry riders arrive, we discover that Captain Kidd served with the Confederate Army in the Civil War. They tell him to take the girl to the next town, but things are never as easy as that.

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Movie Review – Green Book

TL;DR – When it is a Road Trip film it works really well, with two charismatic leads, as a social commentary film which it is desperately trying to be, well it fails dismally.      

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene

Green Book. Image Credit: Universal Pictures.

Review

As it gets close to February, I continue my yearly tradition of trying to see all of the Best Picture nominees before the Oscars ceremony. While this is the plan, it is rarely successful, however, I thought it best to at least see all the films with a strong chance of winning on the night. Well, this leads us to Green Book which is actually a very interesting film. For it is a film of two halves, one that works and one that doesn’t, and both of these halves are in direct competition with each other.

So to set the scene, it is in the early 1960s and Frank “Tony Lip’ Vallelonga (Viggo Mortensen) works for the Copacabana at night as a combination bouncer/maître d/driver. As well as this, Tony always finds an opportunity to make a quick buck “bullshitting” people. When the Copacabana closes for a couple of months for renovations Tony is left with very little money to keep his family going when he gets a call about a driving opportunity at Carnegie Hall for a Dr Shirley (Mahershala Ali), only to find that he is not a medical doctor but a musician, he is black, and that he is about to embark on a tour of the deep south. Tony needs the money, but he also has problems with African-Americans to the point that he threw out two glasses that African-American plumbers used when fixing the pips in his house. Well eventually Tony agrees to take ‘Doc’ Don Shirley on his tour, well only after Don called his wife Dolores (Linda Cardellini) to check if it was all right.   

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