Dumb Money is supposed to educate viewers on how the stock market was overturned by amateur buyers who invested in the video store retailer GameStop, causing a disruption felt by Wall Street. The film is informative, though viewers are still required to know the basics of stock market culture before buying a ticket. However, what I find more interesting than the biographical intentions of Dumb Money is that director Craig Gillespie (I, Tonya) has made…
Golda kicks off a season of “Oscar bait”, movies that try very hard to make an impression towards the members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. As much as Guy Nattiv’s film may have been conceived from a good place, with the movie’s heavy use of make-up and prosthetics to transform Oscar-winner Helen Mirren into Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir, it’s hard for viewers to dismiss this possible pandering.
A biopic about the conception of the Flamin’ Hot Cheeto may seem like a watershed moment for pessimists who claim Hollywood is running out of ideas. But, I implore those movie goers to change their attitude and give Flamin’ Hot a shot, especially if they’re looking for a winning Father’s Day flick. The film’s messaging about integrity, determination, and self-encouragement is enough to crack the toughest nut.
Using his previous film, the embellished period thriller Operation Avalanche, as a stepping stone towards his latest feature, Canadian renegade Matt Johnson takes another crack at the biopic genre with BlackBerry. Director Johnson (co-writing with frequent collaborator/producer Matthew Miller) chronicles the rise and fall of the titular game-changing portable device that allowed users online access and exclusive text-based communication.
The biopic sub-genre has received frequent criticisms as of late regarding its formulaic structure and frequent round edges when chronicling and adapting someone’s life to the big screen. But, I don’t think I’ve seen a biopic as full of itself as Spinning Gold.
Directed by Marcel Sarmiento (The ABCs of Death [D Is for Dogfight], Faceless) and written by Gregory W. Jordan, The Royal is based on the true story of Willie Mays Aikens, a star hitter for the Kansas City Royals (and the Toronto Blue Jays!) who was sentenced to 20 years in prison for drug possession. Before his arrest, Aikens was one of the top sluggers in major league baseball, hitting a total of 110 home runs…
Terence Davies’ latest period biopic Benediction is comparable to his last feature, A Quiet Passion, though this movie is much better and says a lot more about its subject.
I liked The Eyes of Tammy Faye, but I loved the dynamic and on-screen chemistry between actors Jessica Chastain and Andrew Garfield. As infamous televangelists Tammy Faye Bakker and Jim Bakker, Chastain and Garfield are excellent and shine through their make-up and prosthetics with believable performances and vibrant personalities. We’re constantly having to remind ourselves that we’re watching a contemporary film; not the 2000-era documentary of the same name that serves as source material.
Though its measured pace and dialogue-heavy approach could turn off audiences seeking a more thrilling cinema experience, the European-produced Adventures of a Mathematician is an engaging and deeply human portrait of a fascinating moment in history.
Not very often do audiences receive a biopic as pointless and embarrassing as Creation Stories. Then again, the filmmaker could still benefit from a turkey like this. If they believe their biopic holds valuable nostalgia or fan service, ham-fisted qualities can be forgiven by movie goers, allowing the movie to even win Oscars. It worked for Bohemian Rhapsody.