Film Round-Up: Charlie’s Angels, Richard Jewell and Just Mercy
Well let’s go through some more films!
A reboot of the classic TV series with Kristen Stewart leading the trio of women spies. You know, I have to commend this film for trying to make this reboot far less trashy than its predecessors, as in we don’t have Kristen Stewart dancing in her underwear for the camera in a ‘feminist’ movie. It’s a shame then that this is nothing exciting or memorable. It has the odd funny line but none of the angels have any character. It’s relying on the personalities of the actors playing them to carry it through but as they aren’t big stars or have particularly vibrant personalities, on film at least, it is a bit of a bore. This is only further exposed with the cameos at the end who show more personality in their few seconds than the angels in the entire film. It’s not helped by the action either which is fine but nothing more than that. And for a movie which is all about the women, it’s a damn shame when everyone involved is outshined by the old man Patrick Stewart. Disappointing.
Richard Jewell is able to save lives when he correctly identifies a suspicious package which turns out to be a bomb but his life is turned upside down when he identified as the FBI’s top suspect. When did Clint Eastwood become the Republican Ken Loach? By that, I mean functionally good films, as in they have good acting, good story and do what they mean to do quite well but the message is so heavy-handed that you can’t feel like you can trust the message of the film or if what you’ve seen is accurate to life. Because that’s what Richard Jewell is. The acting is great, the story is great and you definitely have that rage about the mainstream media and the feds ruining Jewell’s life. But much like Sully, which this film is so much like I wondered if the hero pilot was going to show up at the end to form the Anti-Government Avengers with Jewell, it makes the villains so dastardly and evil that you barely believe them. This is an issue when it’s based on a real-life story. It’s worth mentioning that the Atlanta Journal have refuted the portrayal of Kathy Scruggs. If you can cope with obvious slant, you’ll find a well done movie like most of Eastwood’s work, it’s just a hell of a slant you have to deal with.
Bryan Stevenson moves to Alabama to try and free wrongfully imprisoned people on death row. Now, this is something spectacular. I know saying that the institutions in Alabama are racist and that there are quite a few innocent people on death row isn’t something especially new or novel but it does need repeating every so often. Also, when the execution is so good you can’t ignore it. Michael B Jordan proves once again he is one of the best actors around with his sensitive take on the defence attorney determined to free these people on death row. He’s also backed up incredibly well by Jamie Foxx who reminds people he can be a fantastic actor when given the right role. I absolutely love some of the early stuff where it’s suggested that Jordan’s character is privileged as he doesn’t get the different level of racism in Alabama than he would have experienced in Harvard. I do wish this was explored more as it’s something completely alien to me as a white guy but there is still an incredibly good and anger-inducing story about Stevenson trying to free Foxx’s Walter McMillan here that you should watch.