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SIMPLE REVIEW: Kill the Messenger

Howdy people of the internet, time for another SIMPLE REVIEW where I tell you my thoughts on a film in a more condensed manner then my standard reviews, and today I’ll be discussing Kill the Messenger. Now before I went to see Chappie (review here) I went to see this film out of curiosity since the plot sounded interesting and I didn’t think the film would be in my local cinema for too long. So after watching it I’m ready to pass judgement.

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Here the story summary:

“A reporter becomes the target of a vicious smear campaign that drives him to the point of suicide after he exposes the CIA’s role in arming Contra rebels in Nicaragua and importing cocaine into California. Based on the true story of journalist Gary Webb.”

If Nightcrawler showed the corrupt side of journalism from the reporters, then this film showed corruption from the people being investigated. This film illustrated how dangerous and tricky the world of journalism can be when you’re reporting on a sensitive subject matter, and it gets more engaging because you know this film is based on true events. Gary is searching for the truth and has good intentions, however what he doesn’t realise is how his story involving the government is going to have serious repercussions as the government and media go on the attack and try their best to make sure that there’s no substance to his work. It was interesting to see how obsessed Gary got with the story and how the media went from being on his side to changing their opinions once some dirt was dug up on not only his sources but also his personal history. The film also goes to show how fickle the world of journalism can be. You can tell the truth, but without evidence you’re basically screwed and no matter how good your intentions are there will always be people out there trying to shut you down with threats, hearsay and other underhanded tactics. It really makes you want to stay away from this line of business because you can never really be safe.

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As for the cast I thought they all did well in their roles. Firstly, Jeremy Renner, he was SO good as Gary Webb. Now Renner is an actor I really like, whether it be The Town, Mission Impossible 4, American Hustle or The Avengers, he normally turns in a good performance, however, before now I had yet to see a film that I could say was “Renner’s film”, however this film is it. Renner does so well here showing why he is a force to be reckoned with acting with such flair, charm, aggression and drama, you really connect with this character once his world starts falling apart and he’s facing scrutiny from the media and fears for the safety of his family. The rest of the cast turn in good performances as well. Rosemarie DeWitt was really good as Susan Webb, she acted with a good amount of versatility and realsim.Ray Liotta was good as John Cullen but I wish I had seen more of him.Mary Elizabeth Winstead did really well as Anna Simons, she was smart, cautious and supportive, Oliver Platt was also pretty good as Jerry Ceppos, while Paz Vega was really gorgeous and cheeky as Coral Baca. And finally I enjoyed seeing Michael Sheen as Fred Weil and Michael K. Williams as “Freeway” Rick Ross.

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In conclusion Kill the Messenger is a pretty good film with a strong cast and an interesting story worth telling. While some of the story elements can get a little hard to follow at times due to a lot of jargon and some pacing issues, for the most part this is a great film that deserves your time.

Rating: 7.5/10

So have you seen this film and if so what did you think of it? Please leave your thoughts below and I’ll see ya on the next review, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on March 13, 2015 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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The Iceman Review

The Iceman cometh! I’m sorry had to get that out of the way. Anyway time to review another recent film and this one I’ve been wanting to watch for a while now, The Iceman. I’d read and heard interviews from Chris Evans and Michael Shannon about this film and when I saw the trailer I knew it was a film right up my ally. So I watched it on Friday and I have to say I was impressed and I’m gonna tell you why in this review.

When it comes to the plot The Iceman tells of the true story of Richard Kuklinski, the notorious contract killer and family man. When finally arrested in 1986, neither his wife nor daughters had any clue about his real profession.

I found story to be interesting and engaging from start to finish, now officially films based on true stories never stick to the facts completely without a few changes here and there, so I tend to look at these kinds of films just as good fictional pieces of work and in that regard this film succeeded. Richard Kuklinski’s story is a very unique one, he’s a man who is in a dangerous line of work, he kills without showing any emotion and collects his money from his employer afterwards like clockwork. Afterwards he goes back to his family and provides for them with his blood money, acting all friendly and approachable undeterred by what he’s done beforehand. I just love how in this film Richard can go from killing people so effortlessly to going home and providing for his family. Obviously everything don’t stay calm forever and things get complicated when the charade that Richard has starts to fall apart and you can see him panicking as the ground starts shrinking beneath his feet.

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When it comes to the cast they’re very good as bringing these characters to life and making us care about what’s going on. Michael Shannon as Richard Kuklinski. Shannon continues to prove that he’s an actor with all the right talents, the man is incredibly versatile but he’s great when he’s in these shady/villainous roles. Seeing Shannon get angry on-screen is truly scary and it is that level of skill that he has that makes him truly awesome. Also Winona Ryder as Deborah Kuklinski was also really good. Honestly I didn’t know she was still in films these days (besides in Star Trek), but she gave a convincing performance and she still looks hot these days which surprised me.

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Then there’s Chris Evans as Robert ‘Mr. Softy’ Pronge he was awesome, he was a shady character who came across Richard through varying circumstances and eventually the two end up working together. Evans continues to prove that he is a actor that can handle more dramatic and interesting roles, I loved his role in this film because it was so unexpected, suspicious and still a little funny at times. Now let’s talk about Ray Liotta as Roy DeMeo, Liotta was a right scary man. He was a gangster leader who was always in a position of power and was the person who told Richard what to do. Roy DeMeo was a person who looked like someone you didn’t wanted to get on the bad side of and Liotta really did well in his performance.

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Also David Schwimmer as Josh Rosenthal was really cool, this is probably the most different side of Schwimmer I’ve ever seen. He was so serious and convincing as one of DeMeo’s underlings and I was just so surprised at how well Schwimmer handled the material and was totally different from his comedy-based background that I know him from. I also liked the small contribution from James Franco as Marty Freeman, I thought he’d be in the film more but he wasn’t there for that long. And lastly Stephen Dorff as Joseph Kuklinski had some good screen time as Richard’s brother.

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In conclusion The Iceman was a very enjoyable film with a great dramatic tone and all the right elements of a good crime thriller. While the film played out a lot differently than I imagined I did enjoyed the story but I think the film largely succeeds thanks to the cast especially Michael Shannon as the central character.

Rating: 8/10 (The film’s good, worth a watch for Michael Shannon alone!)

So have you seen The Iceman and if so what did you think it? Drop me a comment below and tell me your thoughts. Until next time people, later on yo. 😀

 
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Posted by on June 9, 2013 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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