Movie Review: All the Money in the World (2017)

I’m back! To clarify: I took a little break from writing for a little over two weeks because I just didn’t have much energy, but now I’m here again! And hopefully I’ll be able to keep this shit up semi-regularly again. So yeah, let’s goooooo!

Disclaimer: I know this thing is based on a true story, but I will not base my review on how perfectly accurate to the real situation it may or may not be, but I will instead judge it as a movie… which it is. Disclaimer over.

Ladies and gentlemen… “All the Money in the World”.

Italy, 1973. Gail Harris (Michelle Williams) finds herself in a precarious situation after her son (Charlie Plummer) gets kidnapped one night. And we follow her as she tries anything to save her son, which includes trying to get help from her son’s billionaire grandfather (Christopher Plummer). So what we have here is part kidnapping thriller and part domestic drama, and for the most part I think it holds up well. The movie jumps between Gail’s struggle with her former father-in-law, and her son being stuck with the kidnappers. And both stories are pretty solid, with one half being a really fascinating character drama, and the other being a tense as hell thriller. The only issue I do have is that the pacing does suffer a little bit towards the middle. It doesn’t break the movie in half, but it does bring it down a little bit.

The characters in this are all pretty interesting and all bounce off of each other quite well. First up is Gail, played by Michelle Williams. A tough, yet also vulnerable woman trying her damndest to just get her son home safe and sound. She is a pretty interesting protagonist to follow, and Williams is great in the role. Next we have Christopher Plummer (R.I.P) as J. Paul Getty, the billionaire whose money the kidnappers want. He’s a stubborn old man who can often come off as a real son of a bitch, which makes him a wonderful counterpoint to Williams’ Gail, making for some interesting drama and character dynamics. And Plummer is just terrific in the role. Then we have Fletcher Chace, Getty’s number one guy. While not the most fleshed out character in the movie, he does make for a nice addition to the cast as a way of briding the gap between characters. And Wahlberg is really good in the role. And Charlie Plummer is an absolute standout as J. Paul Getty III, he is so god damn good in his role. We also get supporting work from people like Romain Duris, Andrew Buchan, Marco Leonardi, Giuseppe Bonifati, and more, all doing well in their respective roles.

The score for the movie was composed by Daniel Permberton, and I thought it was pretty good. It’s not exactly groundbreaking in any way, and I don’t I’m gonna remember it in a week, but overall it did work well within the movie itself, and I think it helped out the various scenes where it could be heard. There’s also a few licensed tracks used throughout, and those work pretty well too.

Based on a book by John Pearson, “All the Money in the World” was directed by Ridley Scott, and I think he did a damn good job with it. He clearly still has such a grip on how to really pull the viewer into a scene. From a basic enough wide shot to bits of action, the man has a masterful grasp of the film. And I don’t think I can go on without mentioning the mad lad’s reshoots. For any cave dwellers that might be unaware, this movie originally starred Kevin Spacey as J. Paul Getty, but after all the sexual assault/harassment allegations against him came out, the studio pulled the movie from a festival. Ridley Scott, being the marvelous jackass that he is just said “Delay the movie a few days and give me some money for reshoots”, after which he pulled in Plummer (and any of the non-predatory actors left) and reshot all the Getty stuff. And the mad son of a bitch pulled it off. So yeah, Scott is a god damn pro.

This movie has been pretty well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 79% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 7.2/10. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6.8/10.

While not within the upper echelon of Ridley Scott’s filmography, “All the Money in the World” is still a damn good biographical thriller. It has a really good story, good characters, great performances, pretty good music, and great direction. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “All the Money in the World” is an 8.42/10. So while flawed, I’d still say it’s worth buying.

My review of “All the Money in the World” is now completed.

Ridley Scott, you glorious madman.

Movie Review: Brokeback Mountain (2005)

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The wallpaper/poster says it perfectly, love is a force of nature. Seeing how some people know how to love unconditionally and how powerful true love can be it is no surprise that the people who made the poster chose it as the catchphrase for the movie. And while I have not experienced true love in that sense, I do believe that it exists. Anyone can experience it.

Cowboys and cowgirls… “Brokeback Mountain”.

This movie is about cowboys Ennis Del Mar (Heath Ledger, R.I.P) and Jack Twist (Jake Gyllenhaal) and the relationship they form that lasts over the years. It’s just that this is in the 1960’s and they both seem straight on the outside so they have to keep it secret among people. So we follow them to see how their realtionship evolve and how they try to solve their family problems. And while my description kind of sucks, the plot of the movie is fantastic! It is thoughtful and really heartbreaking. This is a plot that presents itself very well and decides to show off some great emotional weight. Is is interesting to see how their relationship evolves over the years and how they try to overcome different issues in their lives.

The characters in the movie all feel like they could be actual people. They are all really well-written and also to add on that, realistically written. And let’s get this out of the way, the acting is terrific in the movie. Heath Ledger is fantastic as Ennis, showing off that he was a great actor and not just a pretty face. And Jake Gyllenhaal as Jack is also terrific, and I am not just saying that because of Gyllenhaal being one of my favorite actors, he is truly great. They both show off a lot of emotions in the movie and they give truly heartbreaking and powerful performances. And every other actor in the movie are also great.

The score by Gustavo Santaolalla is fantastic. If Ledger and Gyllenhaal helped hold up the movie with powerful performances, Santaolalla helps hold it up with a powerful score. It is mainly based in acoustic guitar but manages to be more emotional than most scores that have a full orchestra playing. The score, while simple, shows off so many emotions in the way it sounds that it manages to make a simple shot of a landscape emotionally powerful. Also, if you don’t like country music then you will not like certain parts of the music in the movie because they are playing some country music occasionally in the movie. But I think all the music in the movie worked, especially the great score.

This movie is just gorgeous to look at. Ang Lee made a beautiful movie here with some breathtaking shots of the Wyoming landscape. After seeing this, I forgive him for making 2003’s “Hulk”. Also, this movie is apparently based on a short story by Annie Proulx. I have not read it, so don’t ask me what hte short story is like. But I bet that it might be good. I mean, if it translates this well into a movie.

This is a really well-received movie. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 87% positive rating with a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 87/100. Roger Ebert gave the movie 4/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,7/10. The movie also happened to win 3 Oscars in the categories of Best director, Best adapted screenplay and Best Original Score. It was also nominated for another 5 Oscars in the categories of Best Picture, Best Actor (Ledger), Best Supporting Actor (Gyllenhaal), Bes Supporting Actress (Michelle Williams) and Best cinematography. 

“Brokeback Mountain” is a terrific movie with an emotionally powerful story, terrific performances, a fantastic original score and some fantastic direction/camera work. Time for the final score. *ahem* My final score for “Brokeback Mountain” is a 9,86/10. Of course it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”
Seal of Approval

Review of “Brokeback Mountain” is done.

Yeehaw