Sunday, March 31, 2019

Films That I Saw: March 2019



What is there to say right now about what I’m going through at this moment as it’s been life changing and exhausting? Well, all I can say is this. Fuck cancer. For the past few months, my father has been complaining about not being able to finish certain foods he’s eating and have been having stomach problems. My mother and I thought it had to do with his colon yet it earlier this month where we all got the news that he’s got cancer in his stomach. The news was a fucking punch to the gut as the whole family is also dealing with the fact that a longtime family friend was also suffering from cancer as she had been diagnosed earlier this year. Unfortunately, she died weeks after my dad’s diagnosis though she had chances to get better. It was unfortunate that she would be gone like that. Cancer is a cunt as it’s taken away a lot of people yet it hasn’t met someone like my father.

Immediately, my mother, my sister, and my brother-in-law took charge in having to create a new diet for him while I supplied the money through my EBT card to pay for what they needed. Having to go to Emory and drive my parents back home is now becoming a regular routine of sorts though last Monday was just fucking horrendous. We had to drive to Emory in Decatur and be at the hospital at 5:30 AM for his anesthesia and tests where the good news is that the cancer isn’t as bad as we thought it would be while it hadn’t spread into the body as it would take a few sessions of chemotherapy that would happen every two weeks as the first happened this past Thursday. I hadn’t slept on that Monday as I went home, my dad had been complaining about not being able to take a leak as it turned out the anesthesia had turned off his bladder as we had to go back later that afternoon where he now has to carry a catheter for a few days as the whole time at the hospital was nearly more than 12 hours. I ended up going to sleep once I came back home.

It’s exhausting yet it’s something I need to do as I have to keep my mother company as we both know how my dad is as he’s often indecisive, he talks too much, cares more about watching westerns and sports, talking about sports, and complain about this food and that food. He’s 73 yet cancer isn’t going to stop him. My mother, my sister, my brother-in-law, and I are doing what we can to help him fight this and so far it’s going well. He’s gaining weight and has reacted well to the treatment he’s receiving.


Due to these recent events in the month of March 2019, I saw a total of 26 films in 13 first-timers and 13 re-watches with only one film directed by a woman as part of the 52 Films by Women pledge. Not surprisingly due to these events as one of the highlights of the month has been my Blind Spot assignment in Weekend. Here are the top 10 first-timers that I saw for March 2019:

1. Us


2. Won't You Be My Neighbor?


3. Bullitt


4. Oliver Twist


5. Two or Three Things I Know About Her


6. Deadpool 2


7. The Green Ray


8. Ocean's 8


9. Captain Marvel


10. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom


Monthly Mini-Reviews

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom


I do like J.A. Bayona as I think he’s an amazing filmmaker that at least tried to do something different with the sequel to the 2015 film that revived the Jurassic Park franchise. It’s got moments that don’t work and at times have attempts at humor that seems forced in some parts. Still, it is a fun and adventurous film that does manage to be entertaining thanks in part to the performances of Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, and a brief appearance from Jeff Goldblum who should’ve had more to do other than talk. The film also has some nice technical moments such as a long one-shot sequence of Howard and Justice Smith stuck inside one of those rides from the previous film while Pratt is trying to get them out of there as they’re all underwater.

Life of the Party


I like Melissa McCarthy as I believe she deserves better and does have much more range despite some of the awful movies she’s in. This film which is another collaboration with her husband and director/co-writer Ben Falcone is alright as it’s about a housewife who is blind-sided by her husband who divorces her and leaves her for a real estate tycoon as she decides to go back to college to spend more time with her daughter. It’s an enjoyable and entertaining film that has McCarthy be a joy as she is surrounded with an incredible ensemble that include Maya Rudolph and Gillian Jacobs who get their own moments to shine.

Skyscraper


Dwayne Johnson needs to pick better projects otherwise I’ll keep continuing to call him the Crock as he’s become such a gullible little bitch lately. It’s a typical action film that is obviously a rip-off of Die Hard but in a taller skyscraper in China. While Johnson and Neve Campbell does provide some decent performances, much of the action is just uninspired as well as the stakes because of a bunch of criminals robbing a building and putting on fire to steal some shit. It’s just meh overall.

Top 10 Re-watches:

1. Goodfellas


2. Jodorowsky's Dune

3. Wreck-It Ralph


4. The Deer Hunter


5. Captain America: the Winter Soldier


6. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2


7. Ali


8. Hot Rod


9. The Naked Gun 2 ½


10. Big Fish


Well, that is it for March. I admit to not being sure what I will do next month as I have to drive my dad to chemo every two weeks as the first had been a success. I also have to help my mom out despite the fact that the pollen has arrived and it’s going to affect my allergies horribly. I still have some things I want to do as I’ve only started writing my next Auteurs piece on Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck as well as watch a couple of their films. Other than some films from my never-ending DVR list as I’m hoping to do some catching up on some films. It’s likely that my next Blind Spot will be The Gleaners & I as a tribute to Agnes Varda who sadly passed away this past Friday as she will be missed and certainly deserves a lot of adulation for her contribution to cinema. Until then, this is thevoid99 signing off…

© thevoid99 2019

Monday, March 25, 2019

2019 Blind Spot Series: Weekend (1967 film)



Based on the short story Le autopista del Sur by Julio Cortazar, Weekend is the story of a bourgeoisie couple who travel to France to collect an inheritance as they encounter a world where everything is falling apart. Written for the screen and directed by Jean-Luc Godard, the film is an exploration of two people with secrets from each other as they’re forced to see a world that is in total chaos as it would mark the end of a style of storytelling for Godard for more than a decade as it plays into his interest towards political and social matters. Starring Mireille Darc, Jean Yanne, Georges Staquet, Juliet Berto, Jean Eustache, Jean-Pierre Leaud, and Yves Afonso. Weekend is a chilling yet abstract film from Jean-Luc Godard.

A trip through the French countryside for a bourgeoisie couple becomes a nightmare due to a world that has gone to shit. That is the film’s overall premise as it explores the idea of what happens when society and morality have all fallen by the wayside just as a couple go on a trip to collect an inheritance with each having their own intentions for themselves. Jean-Luc Godard’s screenplay does have a traditional narrative structure yet it is told in an abstract style as it breaks down the fourth wall at times but also would blur the idea of fantasy and reality along with elements of surrealism as the couple would meet real-life figures in literature, history, or in politics. It all play into a world that is coming apart as this couple in Corrine (Mireille Darc) and Roland (Jean Yanne) are trying to understand what is happening yet are desperate to reach their destination that becomes more troublesome as they have to endure the chaos around them including traffic jams, deaths, and people angry at the world.

Godard’s direction is definitely stylish in its offbeat approach yet it is filled with some haunting visuals that play into this idea of a world coming undone. Shot on various locations in France, Godard captures a world that is outside of Paris that is full of wonders where he shoots a Corrine and Roland both at their apartment as Roland is driving his car recklessly with no regards for anyone. There are some long shots that occur throughout the film whether it’s in a wide and medium shot or in a close-up where Godard would have characters talk about what is going on around them or a historical figure pop up and say something that has some relevance to the chaos that is happening in France during the 1960s that would have these dire premonitions of what was to come in May of 1968. Even as Corrine and Roland find themselves unable to get a ride to town after their car had crashed at the beginning of its second act due to political affiliations.

Godard’s direction would include these long and gazing dolly-tracking shots for the film’s traffic jam scene in the film’s first act as it shows Roland Corrine trying to get through this road of death, destruction, absurdity, and confusion. The tracking shots definitely capture a lot of coverage while they would be briefly interrupted by jump-cuts of title cards that would also include a scene of a camera going slowly in circle for a music break. It is Godard breaking away from the confines of traditional narrative while following this bourgeoisie couple who are traveling to receive an inheritance as the third act is about them reaching their destination and an aftermath that is more troubling as it relates to their secrets from one another but also this inhumanity they had endured throughout their journey where they end up encountering a guerilla task force. It would play into the conflict involving social classes as well as this growing civil disobedience over what the world has become. Overall, Godard crafts a provocative and unsettling film about a bourgeois couple’s trek through France where they encounter a world that has completely lost its purpose.

Cinematographer Raoul Coutard does brilliant work with the film’s gorgeous cinematography that captures the vibrancy of the colors in the clothes that Corinne and other characters wear as well as the look of the locations that showcase a world that is coming undone. Editor Agnes Guillemot does amazing work with the editing as it is playful with its usage of jump-cuts but also its usage of repetition and montages to play into this sense of remorse or lack of it. The sound work of Rene Levert and Antoine Bonfanti is excellent for its approach to sound in the way car horns, trucks, guns, and everything would sound from afar or up close as it help add to the film tense atmosphere of the film. The film’s music by Antoine Duhamel is fantastic for its offbeat musical score that ranges from somber orchestral pieces as well as a disconcerting drum-based piece that is actually played on location while the film also feature elements of classical music.

The film’s superb cast feature some notable small roles and appearances from filmmaker Jean Eustache as a hitchhiker, Omar Blondin Diop and Laszlo Szabo as a couple of garbage men who both have something to say about the state of the world for Africa and Algeria, Ernest Menzer as a FLSO cook, Michelle Breton as the assistant cook, Jean-Pierre Kaflon as the leader of a guerilla faction known as the FLSO, Valerie Lagrange as the leader’s lover, Paul Gegauff as a pianist performing classical music for the music break sequence, Anne Wiazemsky and Michel Cournot as a couple of barnyard passerby with Wiazemsky also playing a guide, Georges Staquet as a tractor operator who argues with Roland, and Jean-Claude Guilbert as a vagabond who fights with Roland. Jean-Pierre Leaud is terrific in a dual role as the French Revolution leader Louis Antoine Leon de Saint-Just and as a man on a telephone who tries to stop Roland and Corrine from stealing his car.

Yves Afonso is fantastic as the literary character Tom Thumb who comments about the state of the world while Blandine Jensen is excellent in a dual role as the author Emily Bronte who never gives any straight answers and as a piano accompanist for the pianist. Juliet Berto is brilliant in a dual role as a fellow bourgeoisie that Roland and Corrine encounter and as a FLSO fighter. Finally, there’s the duo of Mireille Darc and Jean Yanne in great performances in their respective roles as Corinne and Roland Durand as this bourgeois couple traveling through France to collect an inheritance for Corinne as she is someone eager to get money for her own reasons while dealing with the chaos around her. Yanne’s performance as Roland is a man who is manic and impulsive with little regard for anyone due to his reckless driving and nonchalant attitude towards others where he and Darc both display this air of inhumanity as two people with ulterior motives for each other as well as become lost in a world that is far crueler than they are.

Weekend is a spectacular film from Jean-Luc Godard. Featuring a great cast, gorgeous visuals, an abstract narrative, and themes of a world becoming undone by class conflicts, social issues, popular culture, and the sins of the Western Civilization. It’s a film that is definitely confrontational but also unafraid in being absurd and offbeat as it is definitely one of Godard’s quintessential films as well as a fitting end to his widely-revered French New Wave period. In the end, Weekend is a phenomenal film from Jean-Luc Godard.

Jean-Luc Godard Films: All the Boys are Called Patrick - Charlotte et son Jules - A Bout de Souffle - The Little Soldier - A Woman is a Woman - Vivre Sa Vie - Les Carabiniers - Contempt - Bande a Part - (A Married Woman) - Alphaville - Pierrot Le Fou - Masculin Feminin - Made in U.S.A. - Two or Three Things I Know About Her - (La Chinoise) - Sympathy for the Devil (One Plus One) - (Joy of Learning) - (Tout va Bien) - (Letter to Jane) - (One A.M.) - (Number Two) - (Here and Elsewhere) - (Every Man for Himself) - (Passion) - (First Name: Carmen) - (Hail Mary) - (Soft and Hard) - (Detective) - (King Lear (1987 film)) - (Keep Your Right Up) - (Novelle Vague) - (Allemagne 90 neuf zero) - (JLG/JLG - Self-Portrait in December) - (For Ever Mozart) - (Historie(s) de Cinema) - (In Praise of Love) - (Notre musique) - (Film Socialisme) - (Adieu au Language) – (The Image Book)

© thevoid99 2019

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Us (2019 film)



Written and directed by Jordan Peele, Us is the story of a family who go on a summer vacation as their time of relaxation is shattered by the presence of their doppelgangers. The film is a psychological horror film that explores a family who meet people who look exactly like them but with elements that are totally different. Starring Lupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke, Evan Alex, Shahadi Wright Joseph, Tim Heidecker, and Elisabeth Moss. Us is an eerie and terrifying film from Jordan Peele.

A family travels to Santa Cruz, California for a summer vacation as their bliss is interrupted by people who are their doppelgangers as they would terrorize the family. That is the film’s premise as it’s really more about a woman who is still haunted by a traumatic event at the Santa Cruz boardwalk back in 1986 when she was a kid as she is convinced that her doppelganger is coming after her. The film begins with a sequence in 1986 where this young girl goes into a hall of mirrors place at the Santa Cruz boardwalk where she sees something and has been traumatized since. Jordan Peele’s screenplay does maintain this air of suspense and ambiguity as well as knowing when to use flashbacks as it relates to Adelaide (Lupita Nyong’o) when she was a child (Madison Curry). Going on a vacation with her husband Gabe (Winston Duke), their teenage daughter Zora (Shahadi Wright Joseph), and son Jason (Evan Alex). The first act is about Adelaide and the family arriving to Santa Cruz that is supposed to be fun as they also meet family friends in Kitty (Elisabeth Moss) and Josh Tyler (Tim Heidecker).

When Jason goes to the bathroom, he encounters something strange as it would set things up for what is to come later that night when Adelaide, Gabe, Zora, and Jason discover a family coming into their home as they’re wearing red jumpsuits, a glove in their right hand, and carrying a sharp pair of scissors. The second act isn’t just about Adelaide and her family dealing with their doppelgangers but also other doppelgangers who are trying to wreak havoc. Peele’s script doesn’t just play into Adelaide’s own memories from the past but also the intention of her doppelganger that also includes a warped version of the 1986 benefit event where 6.5 million Americans hold hands to form a human chain that was known as Hands Across America in an effort to fight hunger and homelessness.

Peele’s direction definitely echoes elements of 1980s horror but also elements of Alfred Hitchcock yet Peele aims for something that is atmospheric with a bit of social commentary and humor. Shot on location in Santa Cruz, California and nearby areas including Los Angeles, the film does play into this idea of a family summer vacation where there’s some shenanigans and other humorous moments. Particularly where Peele does play into Gabe trying to show his wife and kids the new boat he bought along with a moment of him in bed wanting to have some alone time with the wife. There are some wide shots in some of the locations including the film’s opening flashback sequence that includes a reference to a 1980s horror classic where the young Adelaide is with her parents (Anna Diop and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) are taking her to the Santa Cruz boardwalk where her father is drunk and playing games with Adelaide being interested in her surroundings leading to the hall of mirrors. Peele’s approach to compositions for these moments are straightforward with its usage of close-ups and medium shots including a family dinner early in the film with Adelaide, Gabe, and the kids.

Once the family meet their doppelganger, Peele does maintain this air of unease into what this family is facing as many of the doppelganger don’t really say a word as a matriarch’s doppelganger would crow into the sky as a way of communication. Yet, it is Adelaide’s doppelganger Red that is able to say something intelligible but with a speech that is chilling. During its second act when Adelaide and her family try to escape, there are these moments of dark humor when the Tylers meet their own doppelgangers where Peele reveal the home they live in is spacious and very modern in comparison to the more quaint and humble home of Gabe and Adelaide. The film’s third act is about the discovery of these doppelgangers and their habitats but also reveal some deep ideas about humanity and identity that also relate to this biblical quote from Jeremiah 11:11. Overall, Peele crafts an unsettling and provocative film about a family’s summer vacation that turns into a nightmare by their doppelgangers.

Cinematographer Mike Gioulakis does excellent work with the film’s cinematography as it is largely straightforward for many of the exterior scenes in the day while maintaining some low-key lighting and moods for scenes set at night including at the homes of some of the characters in the film as well as the hall of mirrors. Editor Nicholas Monsour does brilliant work with the editing as it doesn’t dwell too much into style in favor of something more straightforward in its presentation along with rhythmic cuts that don’t play too long into scenes with some long shots. Production designer Ruth De Jong, with set decorator Florencia Martin and art director Cara Brower, does fantastic work with the look of the home that Gabe and Adelaide live in along with the home of the Tylers and the hall of mirrors. Costume designer Kym Barrett does terrific work with the costumes as it is largely straightforward with the exception of the red jumpsuits the doppelgangers wear as well as the masks that Jason and his doppelganger wear.

Makeup artist Sabrina Castro does nice work with the look of the doppelgangers in how they’re different from their real selves including what is under the mask of Jason’s doppelganger. Visual effects supervisor Grady Cofer is superb for the look of the doppelganger in scenes with their real selves as well as some set-dressing and material shown on 1980s television in those times. Sound editor Trevor Gates does amazing work with the sound as it help play into the atmosphere of the film as well as small sound effects and such that also build in the tension of the suspense and drama. The film’s music by Michael Abels is incredible with its haunting usage of vocal choirs, bombastic orchestral arrangements, and other eerie pieces that definitely recall some of the work of Bernard Herrmann in his collaboration with Alfred Hitchcock in maintaining a mood and tone for the film as it is a major highlight. The film’s music soundtrack is a wonderful mixture of music ranging from pop, R&B, and hip-hop from acts such as the Beach Boys, N.W.A., Janelle Monae, Minnie Ripperton, Luniz featuring Michael Marshall, Koffee, and Noname with Eyrn Allen Kane and Akenya.

The casting by Terri Taylor is great as it feature some notable small roles from Cali and Noelle Sheldon in their respective roles as Kitty and Josh’s twin teenage daughters in Gwen and Maggie as well as their respective doppelgangers in Io and Nix, Anna Diop and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as Adelaide’s parents in the film’s flashback scenes as well as their doppelgangers, and Madison Curry as the young Adelaide as the young girl who encounters something terrifying in her own doppelganger. Tim Heidecker is superb as Josh Tyler as a guy who likes to drink and wear punk rock t-shirts where he is lazy while his doppelganger Tex is just a wild man that is sort of the opposite of Josh. Elisabeth Moss is fantastic as Kitty Tyler as a friend of Adelaide and Gabe who likes to drink and not do much as she plays the typical rich housewife while her doppelganger Dahlia is just fucking insane in terms of her facial expressions and physicality.

Evan Alex and Shahadi Wright Joseph are excellent in their respective roles as Jason and Zora as Gabe and Adelaide’s kids with Alex playing the young Jason who likes to wear a mask and do magic tricks while Joseph displays the trait of a typical teenager yet both prove that they can do some things and figure out how to outsmart their doppelgangers where Alex and Joseph both display a creepy vibe into their performances as their respective doppelgangers in Pluto and Umbrae. Winston Duke is brilliant as Gabe Wilson as a typical dad who likes to do silly things and listen to old music as there is a comic element to him but also someone who isn’t willing to take shit from his doppelganger Abraham who has a more intimidating presence due to his size and animalistic physicality. Finally, there’s Lupita Nyong’o in a phenomenal performance as Adelaide Wilson as Gabe’s wife who is still haunted by her childhood memories where she finds herself needing to protect her family while her doppelganger Red is just chilling in her physicality and in her speaking voice as it is truly a career-defining performance for Nyong’o.

Us is a tremendous film from Jordan Peele that features sensational performances from Lupita Nyong’o and Winston Duke. Along with its ensemble cast, riveting script, eerie visuals, intricate sound, and Michael Abel’s unsettling score. It’s a film that isn’t afraid to showcase its influences but also find ways to create a story that is willing to ask big questions about identity, race, and the faults of humanity. In the end, Us is a spectacular film from Jordan Peele.

Jordan Peele Films: Get Out

© thevoid99 2019

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Thursday Movie Picks: Private Eye




For the 12th week of 2019 as part of Wandering Through the Shelves' Thursday Movie Picks. We venture into the subject of private eyes as people who are hired to solve a mystery as it gets more intriguing as it goes on. It’s often films that are typical of neo-noir pictures as it play into murder or some kind of disappearance as here are my three picks as they’re all set in Los Angeles:

1. The Long Goodbye



From Robert Altman is an offbeat adaptation of Raymond Chandler’s novel that explores a detective trying to solve the suicide of his best friend whose wife had been recently murdered. It’s a film doesn’t play by the rules of what is expected in a mystery yet it features a career-defining performance from Elliott Gould as Philip Marlowe who is this private detective that is first seen at a supermarket trying to find the right cat food for his cat as he is more of an everyman than a traditional private detective. It’s a film that is a must for anyone that loves Robert Altman and Raymond Chandler as it also features an early film appearance from Arnold Schwarzenegger.

2. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang



Based on Brett Halliday’s novel Bodies Are Where You Find Them is Shane Black’s first film as a director in this high-octane yet humorous film about an actor and a gay private detective who both find a body as their situation worsens due to a series of misadventures. It’s the film that doesn’t play by the rules while not also afraid of being silly as it doesn’t just feature career highlights for its leads in Robert Downey Jr. and Val Kilmer but also give audiences a formal introduction to Michelle Monaghan who gets to steal the film a bit from her leads as Downey’s girlfriend.

3. Inherent Vice



Paul Thomas Anderson’s adaptation of Thomas Pynchon’s novel is probably a film that one wouldn’t expect a major film studio to fund or support no matter how unconventional and offbeat it is. Yet, it is a film that is already gaining a cult following as it is unlike any kind of detective film that stars Joaquin Phoenix as private investigator Larry “Doc” Sportello who is investigating a disappearance in 1970 Los Angeles during the Charles Manson trials where the tension between police and hippies is at an all-time high. Featuring this incredible score by Jonny Greenwood of Radiohead, a killer music soundtrack, and one of the finest ensembles ever captured in film that include Josh Brolin, Katherine Waterston, Eric Roberts, Jena Malone, Reese Witherspoon, Owen Wilson, Benicio del Toro, Hong Chau, Martin Short, Maya Rudolph, Joanna Newsom, Jeannie Berlin, Michael K. Williams, Sasha Pieterse, and Martin Donovan. It’s a film that takes a while to understand and get into yet it is clearly a film that only P.T. Anderson can unveil.

© thevoid99 2019

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Oliver Twist (1948 film)




Based on the novel by Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist is the story of an orphaned boy who joins a gang of pickpockets to escape a life of misery with the help of a criminal. Directed by David Lean and screenplay by Lean and Stanley Haynes, the film is a look of a boy trying to find a family and people to care for after leading a life of abuse of misery. Starring Alec Guinness, Robert Newton, Kay Walsh, John Howard Davies, and Anthony Newley. Oliver Twist is a touching and visually-astonishing film from David Lean.

The film follows the titular character (John Howard Davies) who is a young boy that had been raised in an orphanage as he would later join a gang of pickpockets where he learns the trade as a mean to survive and later finds kindness and compassion from an old rich man. It’s a film that explore a boy who had endured nothing but cruelty as he would escape these harsh environments and discover a world where there is this element of survival but also a world that can offer him so much more. The film’s screenplay by David Lean and Stanley Haynes, with contributions from Eric Ambler and Kay Walsh, follows this young boy who was born in an orphanage as his mother (Josephine Stuart) died just shortly after his birth asking an old woman to take care of the boy who would regretfully send him to an orphanage.

After being sent to work as an apprentice for the undertaker Mr. Sowberry (Gibb McLaughlin) and later running away after a period of abuse. Twist would go to London where he would meet a young pickpocket in the Artful Dodger (Anthony Newley) and an old man who trains them named Fagin (Alec Guinness). Fagin would provide Twist this need of companionship and brotherhood among these pickpockets until he is mistaken for a thief by an old rich man in Mr. Brownlow (Henry Stephenson) who would take pity in the young boy and show him a world that has a lot to offer other than riches. Twist is torn between two worlds as an associate of Fagin in Bill Sikes (Robert Newton) discovers more about Twist’s identity and would use it for selfish reasons much to the dismay of his girlfriend in the kind-hearted prostitute Nancy (Kay Walsh).

David Lean’s direction is definitely mesmerizing for the images that he creates as well as some images that are striking such as a wide shot of London that Twist and Dodger would see from a bridge on the way to Fagin’s hideout. Shot on Pinewood Studios in London to recreate 19th Century London, Lean would use the wide shots to get a scope of London in those times as well as the world that is London which is huge for a young boy like Twist. Though it is shot on the full-frame 1:33:1 aspect ratio, Lean does manage to get enough coverage of the places that Twist would go into such as the orphanage, the home of the undertaker, Fagin’s hideout, and Mr. Brownlow’s home as it each represent this world that is full of complexities and wonders that would fascinate Twist. Lean’s direction does emphasize on close-ups and medium shots as it play into the wonderment of Twist in his surroundings as well as the sense of the unknown into who he is as well as some secrets about his mother. Lean would create some unique compositions that play into the drama but also in some of the suspense as well as images that represent elements of symbolism into the plight of the characters.

Lean’s direction also play into the contrast of the two different lifestyles that Twist would endure as the home at Mr. Brownlow is spacious and full of knowledge but there’s also a warmth to it that can give the boy a chance of a future. It’s something totally different than what Fagin’s world is in as it’s dirty, cramped, and decayed yet there is an air of excitement into that world. The film’s third act that relates to Sikes and those who had taken care of Twist in the past where it play into the discovery of his identity as well as who is mother was and who her father is. Even as Nancy would find out the truth as she is eager to make things right as it lead to a confrontation involving Fagin and Sikes over Twist’s fate. Overall, Lean crafts a riveting and heartfelt film about a boy’s journey to find hope and kindness in a cruel world.

Cinematographer Guy Green does brilliant work with the film’s black-and-white photography with its stylish usage of lighting and shadows for many of the interior scenes set in the day and night as well as some exterior scenes set at night as it’s a major highlight for the film. Editor Jack Harris does excellent work with the editing as it is largely straightforward with a few dissolves and some rhythmic cuts to play into the drama and suspense. Set decorators T. Hopewell Ash and Claude Momsay do incredible work with the look of the homes from the spacious home of Mr. Brownlow to the more decayed world of Fagin. Costume designer Margaret Furse does fantastic work with the look of the decayed clothes that Fagin and his gang wears as well as the more posh clothes of Mr. Brownlow

Makeup artist Stuart Freeborn does terrific work with the look of Fagin from his nose and ragged hair to play into his dirty yet charming look. Sound recordists Stanley Lambourne and Gordon K. McCallum do superb work with the sound as it play into the atmosphere of the locations as well as in some of the sound effects in the film. The film’s music by Arnold Bax is amazing for its orchestral score that play into some suspense in some of the film’s bombastic string arrangements along with some low-key and playful pieces in the film.

The casting by Dennis Van Thal is wonderful as it feature some notable small roles from Hattie Jacques as a tavern singer, Josephine Stuart as Twist’s mother, Gibb McLaughlin as the undertaker Mr. Sowberry who takes Twist in as his apprentice, Michael Dear as a worker for the undertaker in Noah who insults Twist’s mother, Deidre Doyle as an old woman at the workhouse, Kathleen Harrison as the cruel Mrs. Sowberry who would keep a major secret from Twist in the hopes of great finances, Diana Dors as a maid for the Sowberrys in Charlotte, and Amy Veness as Mr. Brownlow’s warm housekeeper Mrs. Bedwin whom Twist becomes fond of. Ralph Truman and Francis L. Sullivan are terrific in their respective roles as Monks and Mr. Bumble as two men who both have selfish interests in Twist with Monks being a landlord of sorts for Fagin and Mr. Bumble being the one who sent Twist to Mr. Sowberry.

Anthony Newley is superb as the Artful Dodger as a young pickpocket who would introduce Twist to Fagin as well as be kind of an older brother of sorts to Twist as he also has an intense dislike towards Sikes. Kay Walsh is fantastic as the young prostitute Nancy who is also Sikes’ lover as someone that becomes concerned about Twist when she learns what Sikes is planning to do while discovering more about Twist’s true identity. Henry Stephenson is excellent as Mr. Brownlow as an elderly rich man who takes pity in Twist following a misunderstanding involving theft as he gets to know the boy where he has a realization about who the boy really is. Robert Newton is brilliant as Bill Sikes as this vicious criminal that is willing to use Twist for his own reasons as well as financial and such as he would learn more about Twist and where he comes from.

Alec Guinness is amazing as Fagin as this criminal who teaches young boys how to be pickpockets as he is a father figure of sorts for Twist despite his immorality towards the law while also being someone that does care about Twist. Finally, there’s John Howard Davies in an incredible performance as the titular role as a young boy who has known nothing but cruelty and abuse where he has enough of it and runs away where he learns how to survive through pickpocketing and later encountering a world of kindness and generosity where he’s torn between two ideals and two worlds only to realize that there are those that will use him for the worst kind of reasons.

Oliver Twist is a phenomenal film from David Lean. Featuring a great cast, gorgeous visuals, a rich music score, and a compelling story of family, survival, and kindness. It’s a film that definitely captures the spirit of Charles Dickens in his exploration of fate and identity. In the end, Oliver Twist is a sensational film from Charles Dickens.

Related: Oliver Twist (2005 film) - (The Auteurs #75: David Lean)

David Lean Films: In Which We Serve - (This Happy Breed) – Blithe Spirit - Brief Encounter - Great Expectations (1946 film) - The Passionate Friends - Madeleine (1950 film)The Sound Barrier - Hobson's Choice - (Summertime (1955 film)) – The Bridge on the River Kwai - Lawrence of Arabia - Doctor Zhivago - Ryan's Daughter - (Lost and Found: The Story of Cook’s Anchor) – A Passage to India

© thevoid99 2019

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Two or Three Things I Know About Her




Written for the screen and directed by Jean-Luc Godard from an article by Catherine Vimenet, Deux ou Trois choses que je sais d’elle (Two or Three Things I Know About Her) is the story of the life of a housewife who works as a prostitute to support her family as they live in a high-rise building in Paris. The film is the study of a woman dealing with an increasingly consumerist world that demands so much as it’s a film that explore many themes marking the start of a transitional period for Godard. Starring Marina Vlady, Anny Duperey, Robert Montsoret, Raoul Levy, Jean Narboni, and Christophe Boursellier. Deux ou Trois choses que je sais d’elle is a compelling yet unconventional film from Jean-Luc Godard.

The film follows the life of a housewife who at night works as a prostitute to pay off simple things such as bills and grocery for her family as they live in a high-rise building in Paris that is becoming dominated by ideas of capitalism and American products. It’s a film that is really an exploration about the increasing demands of modernism in Paris where this woman is struggling to get by as she has to prostitute herself to support her family where her husband works in a garage and listens to a ham radio about the Vietnam War. The film doesn’t really have a traditional narrative that follows the life of Juliette Jeanson (Marina Vlady) as she would comment about her own previous life before she and her family moved to Paris in this high-rise. Yet, much of the film features images of products, pictures of the Vietnam War, American pop culture, and references to books and films as it’s quietly narrated by Jean-Luc Godard who comments about the story he’s telling but also his growing disdain towards what Paris is becoming.

Godard’s direction does have elements of style in some of the compositions he creates yet much of his presentation is simple and emphasizes more on what is happening in and around Paris as it is a major character of the film. While Godard avoids many of the city’s famous landmarks in favor of places that are being built to display this modern version of the city that features lots of shots of big cranes and bridges and buildings being built. Godard would use wide shots as well as create careful compositions through his narration to showcase this ever-changing world that is losing its identity in favor of this bright and colorful world of American pop culture. Even in a scene where Juliette and a friend in Marianne (Anny Duperey) are doing a job with an American client in John Bogus (Raoul Levy) who is wearing an American t-shirt and such as he makes the two wear airline shopping bags on their heads.

There are also these moments that does stray from Juliette’s story where her husband Robert (Roger Montsoret) is listening to his ham radio while he’s in a scene talking to another woman (Juliet Berto) at a restaurant where a couple of men are reading books and such that relate to the political climate of the times. There are also these moments in the film where the fourth wall breaks as the actors would talk or look in front of the camera to answer certain questions from Godard who films them in a close-up or in a medium shot. Even as it add to this blur of reality and fiction but also this atmosphere that Godard is in where one can’t help but be overwhelmed by these surroundings and vast imagery of American products rampant all over the city. Overall, Godard creates a whimsical yet haunting film about the life of a housewife who supports her family as a prostitute in an ever-changing Paris filled with consumerism and modernism.

Cinematographer Raoul Coutard does brilliant work with the film’s colorful cinematography that captures the vibrancy of the locations and its colors as well as maintaining a look that is full of wonders in its modernist setting. Editors Francoise Collin and Chantal Delattre do excellent work with the editing as its stylish usage of jump-cuts and montages play into this sense of overwhelming images of modernism and a world where money and products become king. Costume designer Gitt Magrini does fantastic work with the costumes in the design of the dresses that the women wear as it add to the personality of the characters but also this pressure to be part of society because the clothes are what is fashionable. The sound work of Antoine Bonfanti and Rene Levert is terrific for its naturalistic approach to the sound as it add to this atmosphere of confusion and uncertainty while much of the film’s music soundtrack mainly features a classical piece by Ludwig Van Beethoven.

The film’s wonderful cast feature some notable small roles from Christophe Boursellier and Marie Boursellier as Juliette and Robert’s children, Juliet Berto as a young woman Robert talks to at a restaurant, Jean Narboni as a friend of Robert, Raoul Levy as an American client named John Bogus, and Anny Duperey as a young prostitute in Marianne who also deals with the demands of sex to support her own lifestyle. Roger Montsoret is superb as Juliette’s husband Robert as a mechanic who works at a garage to support his family as he becomes concerned with the state of the world including the Vietnam War. Finally, there’s Marina Vlady in an incredible performance as Juliette Jeanson as a housewife who copes with the increasing demands of her family’s new environment forcing herself to become a prostitute where she also deals with existential questions and such relating to her situation.

Deux ou Trois choses que je sais d’elle is a sensational film from Jean-Luc Godard. Featuring a great cast, Raoul Coutard’s vibrant cinematography, and its themes of Paris becoming modernized and driven by the ultra-consumerist world of American capitalism. It's a film that explore the life of a woman who is struggling to keep with the demands of modern society as the film would also mark a transitional period for Godard from straying from the conventions of traditional narratives in favor of exploring themes of politics and social issues. In the end, Deux ou Trois choses que je sais d’elle is a phenomenal film from Jean-Luc Godard.

Jean-Luc Godard Films: All the Boys Are Called Patrick - Charlotte et Son Jules - A Bout de Souffle - The Little Soldier - A Woman is a Woman - Vivre sa Vie - Les Carabiniers - Contempt - Bande a Part - (A Married Woman) - Alphaville - Pierrot Le Fou - Masculin Feminin - Made in U.S.A. - (La Chinoise) - WeekendSympathy for the Devil (One Plus One) - (Joy of Learning) - (Tout va Bien) - (Letter to Jane) - (One A.M.) - (Number Two) - (Here and Elsewhere) - (Every Man for Himself) - (Passion) - (First Name: Carmen) - (Hail Mary) - (Soft and Hard) - (Detective) - (King Lear (1987 film)) - (Keep Your Right Up) - (Novelle Vague) - (Allemagne 90 neuf zero) - (JLG/JLG - Self-Portrait in December) - (For Ever Mozart) - (Historie(s) de Cinema) - (In Praise of Love) - (Notre musique) - (Film Socialisme) - (Adieu au Language) – (The Image Book)

© thevoid99 2019

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Ocean's 8



Based on the characters by George Clayton Johnson and Jack Golden Russell, Ocean’s 8 is a spin-off film of the Ocean’s trilogy from the 2000s in which Danny Ocean’s sister Debbie leads a group of women to take part in a big heist at the Met Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Directed by Gary Ross and screenplay by Ross and Olivia Milch from a story by Ross, the film is a heist film in which eight different women take part in a heist as it play an event that is attended by celebrities where lots of riches are at. Starring Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Mindy Kaling, Sarah Paulson, Rihanna, Awkwafina, Helena Bonham Carter, James Corden, and Richard Armitage. Ocean’s 8 is an exhilarating and enjoyable film from Gary Ross.

After being released on parole from serving five years in prison over a con game gone wrong, Debbie Ocean (Sandra Bullock) teams up with her former partner-in-crime Lou (Cate Blanchett) with five other women to take part in a heist at the Met Gala that is hosted by actress Daphne Kluger (Anne Hathaway). It’s a film that is sort of a revenge film but it’s really a heist film that play into a group of women wanting to get rich and steal a diamond necklace that is worth more than $150 million. The film’s screenplay by Gary Ross and Olivia Milch follows Ocean’s plan to rob the Met Gala to get this ultra-expensive necklace from Cartier that is to be worn by Kluger yet knows she can’t pull this off by herself as she had a plan for this heist for years. Especially after what happened to her the night she got arrested and her then-lover in arts dealer Claude Becker (Richard Armitage) put her in jail.

The film does have a unique structure as the first act is about the planning of the heist where Ocean and Lou gather a group of people for the heist including the jewelry maker Amita (Mindy Kaling), the street hustler/pickpocket Constance (Awkwafina), the hacker Nine Ball (Rihanna), the disgraced fashion designer Rose Weil (Helena Bonham Carter), and an old friend of Ocean in Tammy (Sarah Paulson) who is a suburban mom that still fences good at her home. The second act is about the actual heist that takes place at the Met Gala where there is a lot that is happening but also things that do play into what isn’t being shown and where the players are at in the roles they’re in for the heist. The film’s third act is about the aftermath as well as a twist into the heist that revolves around other people who might know what happened.

Gary Ross’ direction is stylish as it play into the idea of the heist as he focuses more on the planning and the players involved as well as their contributions to this heist at the Met Gala. Shot on location in New York City, the film does use the locations as well as being able to shoot at the Metropolitan Museum of Art where the Met Gala is held annually as there is this element of realism that Ross would create in the direction that has characters be at the actual event with real celebrities. There are some wide shots in some of the locations in the city yet Ross would take great advantage of the interiors at the museum including scenes during the Met Gala where it is this lavish and enchanting world where the elite eat the finest foods and look at the rare pieces of art and jewelry. There are also some medium shots and close-ups that play into the characters interacting with one another as well as the attention to detail as it add to some of the intrigue as well as this need for repetition of certain scenes where there is something else that is happening that integral to the story.

Ross’ direction also play into some of the low-key events as it relates to Ocean’s own thirst for revenge towards Becker as well as her history with Lou and Tammy who also knew about Ocean’s affiliation with her brother Danny who is presumed to be dead. The status of Danny remains ambiguous as there’s a couple of cameos from members of his gang who appear yet the film does remain a women’s gang as it relates to the heist as well as an aftermath that raises question into how this necklace got stolen. Even as it also reveal more about Kluger’s role in the heist as someone who was a target but also seems to know more about what was going on. Overall, Ross crafts a witty yet adventurous film about a group of women stealing a diamond necklace at the lavish Met Gala.

Cinematographer Eigil Bryld does excellent work with the film’s cinematography as much of the exterior lighting in the daytime is straightforward with some low-key interior lighting for the scenes at the main base for the gang to the interiors of the Met Gala inside the Museum of Modern Art. Editor Juliette Welfling does brilliant work with the editing as it is stylized with its montages, jump-cuts, split-screens, and rhythmic cuts that help play into the film’s energetic and comedic tone. Production designer Alex DiGerlando, with set decorator Rena DeAngelo and supervising art director Chris Shriver, does amazing work with the look of the home base that Ocean, Lou, and the gang work at as well as the design of the presentation of the Met Gala in the middle of the museum. Costume designer Sarah Edwards does incredible work with the costumes as it is largely stylized to play into the personality of the characters including the gowns that they would wear at the Met Gala

Makeup artists Joanna and Louise McCarthy, along with hairstylist Liliana Meyrick, do fantastic work with the look of the gang with the disguise that Ocean would have as well as the hairstyle that Nine Ball and Weil would sport. Visual effects supervisors Jiwoong Kim, Vico Sharabani, and Asaf Yeger do terrific work with some of the set dressing for scenes at the Met Gala along with the 3D printing design of the jewels. Sound editor Paul Hsu does superb work with the sound as it is straightforward along with the mixes of the atmosphere of the Met Gala with its crowds. The film’s music by Daniel Pemberton does wonderful work with the film’s music with its mixture of electronic music along with playful organ backgrounds that add to the film’s energetic tone while music supervisors Gabe Hilfer and Devoe Yates provide a soundtrack of a wide array of music from Sammy Davis Jr., Eamon, the Notorious B.I.G., Kelis featuring Too $hort, Dorothy Ashby, Sofi Tukker with Nervo, Alisa Ueno, the Knocks, Patti Page, Amy Winehouse, and Nancy Sinatra.

The casting by Shayna Markowitz and Debra Zane is great as it feature cameo appearances from Elliott Gould and Qin Shaobo reprising their respective roles in Reuben Tishkoff and “The Amazing” Yen who were part of Danny’s gang. Other notable small roles include the quartet of Elizabeth Ashley, Dana Ivey, Marlo Thomas, and Mary Louise Wilson as four old ladies who were hired by Ocean for a crucial role in the heist, Nathanya Alexander as Nine Ball’s younger sister Veronica, and Dakota Fanning as a young starlet that Weil would be pictured with to rouse jealousy in Kluger. James Corden is terrific as the insurance fraud investigator John Frazier who plays a key role in the third act as someone trying to find out who stole the necklace as he suspects Ocean. Richard Armitage is superb as the arts dealer Claude Becker as a former lover of Ocean who betrayed her and put her in prison as he becomes a target for revenge as he would attend the Met Gala as Kluger’s date.

Awkwafina and Rihanna are fantastic in their respective roles as the street hustler/pickpocket Constance and the hacker Nine Ball with Awkwafina providing a comical and lively performance as Constance and Rihanna being low-key yet cool as Nine Ball. Mindy Kaling and Sarah Paulson are excellent in their respective roles as the jewelry maker Amita and the suburban mom/fence Tammy with Kaling providing some humor and determination as a woman desperate to leave the shadow of her family while Paulson is more straightforward as a woman secretly doing criminal stuff to fund her lifestyle as she would take a job working at the Met Gala to help with the heist. Helena Bonham Carter is brilliant as Rose Weil as a disgraced fashion designer whose is in serious debt as she is looking for a break as she joins the gang to pay off her debts but also revive her name as it’s a mixture of comedy and drama.

Anne Hathaway is amazing as actress Daphne Kluger as the host of the Met Gala who is full of herself and bitchy towards people as she is someone that is an obvious target but there’s a lot more to her as it play into a woman that is just dealing with the world she’s in. Cate Blanchett is incredible as Lou Miller as Debbie’s girlfriend/partner-in-crime who works at restaurants and such as she is eager to renew her relationship with Ocean as well as be someone is also a mastermind in the world of crime knowing that it can help her financially. Finally, there’s Sandra Bullock in a remarkable performance as Debbie Ocean as the sister of the famed thief Danny Ocean who had just been released in prison on parole as she is seeking revenge for the man that put her in prison but also hoping to get a major payday through the one thing she and her family are good at as it’s a performance full of charm and wit.

Ocean’s 8 is a marvelous film from Gary Ross. Featuring a great ensemble cast, fantastic locations, a cool music soundtrack, and lots of fun and exciting moments. It’s a film that never takes itself seriously while taking the time to create a heist as well as focus on the players who are involved. In the end, Ocean’s 8 is a remarkable film from Gary Ross.

Gary Ross Films: (Pleasantville) – (Seabiscuit) – The Hunger Games - (Free State of Jones)

Related: Ocean's Eleven - Ocean's Twelve - Ocean's Thirteen

© thevoid99 2019

Friday, March 15, 2019

Deadpool 2




Based on the Marvel Comics series by Fabian Nicieza and Rob Liefield, Deadpool 2 is the sequel to the 2016 film in which the titular character forms a team to protect a young mutant from a soldier with time-traveling capabilities. Directed by David Leitch and screenplay by Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick, and Ryan Reynolds, the film is an action-adventure comedy that has the titular character/Wade Wilson who is known for his profane language and thirst for violence as he decides to form his own team while causing all sorts of shit as he is once again portrayed by Ryan Reynolds. Also starring Morena Baccarin, Julian Dennison, Zazie Beetz, Brianna Hildebrand, Stefan Kapicic, T.J. Miller, Jack Kesy, and Josh Brolin as Cable. Deadpool 2 is a wild and adventurously insane film from David Leitch.

Following a tragic event that would shape the life of Deadpool, the titular character reluctantly teams with the X-Men to protect a young mutant only for the mutant and Deadpool to be put in prison where the young mutant is being pursued by a soldier with time-travel capabilities. It’s a film that plays into the rogue assassin dealing with his role as a man who gets paid to kill bad guys yet is coping with loss as well as uncertainty of what to do next until he tries to help this young mutant who learns he had been abused at the orphanage he was in where he takes his own brand vigilante justice in his own hands causing him to be arrested and without access to his powers. The film’s screenplay by Ryan Reynolds, Rhett Reese, and Paul Wernick doesn’t just explore Wilson’s own grief and his own need for meaning in his life while trying to protect this young boy but also create a void for his loss in a family while continuously surrounding himself with friends such as the bartender Weasel (T.J. Miller), the elderly roommate Blind Al (Leslie Uggams), and the taxi driver Dopinder (Karan Soni).

The script would have moments where Deadpool does break down the fourth wall as well as make claims that the film the audience is watching is a family film. Yet, it is a film about family as Deadpool has to protect Russell Collins/Firefist (Julian Dennison) who is troubled and is being pursued by this time-traveling soldier in Cable whose motivations is revenge. Yet, there is a lot more in what Cable is doing as it relates to his own personal mission as Collins is seeking a friend where he would turn to Deadpool but Deadpool is still dealing with his own personal issues to help out Collins until he becomes the mission to save him.

David Leitch’s direction is definitely playful as it add to the film’s offbeat and smarmy tone. Shot on location in British Columbia, Canada with the city of Vancouver being its main setting, the film does play into a world that has Deadpool struggling with loss where the film begins with him doing a suicide attempt while spoiling things that is to happen in the film. While there’s some wide shots in some of the film’s locations as well as scenes inside a mutants-only prison, much of Leitch’s direction is simple in its approach to close-ups and medium shots to play into the interaction with characters. Even in scenes involving Deadpool and his girlfriend Vanessa (Morena Baccarin) early in the film to the interactions with X-Men members Colossus (Stefan Kapicic), Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand), and NTW’s new girlfriend Yukio (Shioli Kutsuna) where there are these elements of humor and film references including the franchise Deadpool is a part of. Even in some of the film’s moments of violence as it has this element of dark humor that include Deadpool’s first encounter with Cable.

Leitch’s direction also play into the stakes as it relates to the unveiling of a major character in the film’s third act who would become a major threat to both Deadpool and Cable. Most notably as the latter’s motivation for revenge and his pursuit of Collins showcase what is to come as it’s not just Collins’ life that is at stake but also the future. There is also this element where Leitch does play with the elements of breaking down the fourth wall where it is obvious where many film sequels go as Deadpool also point out plot devices and such where it adds to the film’s offbeat and irreverent tone. Even in the film’s climax where Deadpool would get help from a few allies including a mutant with the power of luck named Domino (Zazie Baetz). Overall, Leitch crafts an exhilarating and comical film about a rogue mercenary who fights off against evil forces to protect a young mutant and his own future.

Cinematographer Jonathan Sela does excellent work with the film’s cinematography with its usage of bluish lights for some of the scenes set at night as well as in some of the daytime exteriors to help set a grim yet offbeat tone for the film. Editors Craig Alpert, Elisabet Ronaldsdottir, and Dirk Westfeldt do amazing work with the film’s stylized editing with its usage of jump-cuts, slow-motion cuts, and other rhythmic cuts that play into the film’s action and humor. Production designer David Scheunemann, with set decorator Sandy Walker and supervising art director Dan Hermansen, does brilliant work with the look of the mutants prison as well as the apartment Deadpool lives in as well as the home he shares with Blind Al and the orphanage that Collins lives in. Costume designers Kurt Swanson and Bart Mueller do fantastic work with some of the casual clothes that Wilson wears as well as the Deadpool costume and some of the clothes the people from his team wears.

Makeup designer Bill Corso does incredible work with the look of Deadpool/Wilson as well as the look of Cable and some of the mutants they meet. Special effects supervisor Mike Vezina, with visual effects supervisors Michael Brazelton, Dan Glass, Rohit Prakash Gujar, and Sean Konrad, does terrific work with the look of Cable with his mechanical arm and gadgets as well as the powers and looks of some of the mutants. Sound editor Mark P. Stoeckinger and sound designer Martyn Zub does superb work with the sound in the way gunfire and gadgets sound as well as the atmosphere of some of the locations. The film’s music by Tyler Bates is wonderful for its mixture of rock and orchestral music that play into the action, drama, and suspense while music supervisor John Houlihan creates an extremely fun soundtrack that feature music from Pat Benatar, a-ha, Peter Gabriel, DJ Shadow w/ Run the Jewels, Skrillex w/ Sirah, Cher, Dolly Parton, Air Supply, Alicia Morton, the Steve Miller Band, and Celine Dion.

The casting by Marisol Roncali and Mary Vernieu is great as it feature some notable small roles and appearances from Hayley Sales and Islie Hirvonen as Cable’s wife and daughter respectively from flashbacks, Luke Roessler as a young kid eating a cereal that Deadpool likes, Terry Crews as a mutant named Bedlam, Bill Skarsgard as an acid-vomit mutant named Zeitgeist, Lewis Tan as a cocky mutant named Shatterstar, Rob Delaney as a guy named Peter, Jack Kesy as a mutant inmate named Black Tom Cassidy who tries to intimidate Deadpool and Collins, Shioli Kutsuna as the mutant Yukio who is also NTW’s girlfriend, and Eddie Marsan as an orphanage headmaster who abuses Collins as well as being an anti-mutant extremist. Morena Baccarin is wonderful in her small role as Wilson’s girlfriend Vanessa as even though she is used as a plot device for the film, she does provide some touching moments that play into Wilson’s motivation to find meaning. Leslie Uggams and Karan Soni are amazing in their respective roles as Blind Al and Dopinder as a couple of Wilson's allies who both want to take part in helping Deadpool.

T.J. Miller is terrific as the bartender Weasel who tries to help Deadpool out as well as have his own weird encounter with Cable while Stefan Kapicic is superb in his voice-capture role as the X-Men mutant Colossus who is trying to get Deadpool to join the team and do some good. Brianna Hildebrand is fantastic as Negasonic Teenage Warhead as an X-Men mutant who can create sonic powers as her weapon as she is reluctant to have Deadpool be part of the X-Men. Zazie Baetz is excellent as Domino as a mutant whose power is luck as she is someone that can do things and always have good things happen to her as she is full of personality and charm that makes her a joy to watch. Julian Dennison is brilliant as Russell Collins/Firefist as a teenage boy who can throw fiery punches as he is someone that’s been abused and mistreated and is in need of a friend yet he’s unaware of what he is about to do due to the anger he’s attained through the abuse he’s suffered.

Josh Brolin is incredible as Cable as this time-traveling soldier who is more of an anti-hero than a typical antagonist as he is someone that is trying to go after Collins in this act of revenge yet is also someone that is carrying his own sense of loss and knows what Deadpool is going through. Finally, there’s Ryan Reynolds in a phenomenal performance as Deadpool/Wade Wilson as the rogue mercenary with a potty mouth as he is struggling with his own loss and existential crisis where he finds himself trying to protect a young mutant only to get lost further in his own issues where it’s a mixture of humor, anger, and drama that is one of Reynolds’ finest performances.

Deadpool 2 is a sensational film from David Leitch that features great performances from Ryan Reynolds and Josh Brolin. Along with its ensemble cast, witty dark humor, its ability to reference various plot points and get away with it, and a fun music soundtrack. It’s a film that never takes itself seriously where it does spoof sequels in some respects but also manages to showcase some substance as far as what is often expected from superhero films though it’s really more of an anti-superhero film. In the end, Deadpool 2 is a remarkable film from David Leitch.

David Leitch Films: John Wick - Atomic Blonde - (Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw)

X-Men Films: X-Men - X2: X-Men United - X-Men 3: The Last Stand - X-Men Origins: Wolverine - X-Men: First Class - The Wolverine - X-Men: Days of Future Past - Deadpool - Logan - X-Men: Apocalypse - (Dark Phoenix) – (New Mutants)

© thevoid99 2019