Series Review: The Comey Rule (2020)

Politics, a clusterfuck of ideologies clashing. I will never find myself truly understanding it, but I’ll do my best. So anyhow, let’s talk about a political drama.

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 gents… “The Comey Rule”.

The story follows FBI director James Comey (Jeff Daniels) as he and his team investigate allegations of Russia attempting to meddle with U.S. politics leading up to and following the 2016 presidential election. So yeah, we’re dealing with sensitive shit here. And I honestly think the storytelling here isn’t great. And before you accuse me of some political bias, no, stop. The story here feels like it skims over a lot of details, like it only plays the “greatest hits” of those strange times. And even those moments feels rushed, so as to get onto the next one. There are admittedly moments I do like in the series, most relating to Comey’s reaction to certain events, and I was also never bored. But the storytelling feels incomplete and undercooked, making for an unmemorable and hollow experience, despite the potential for a great narrative.

The characters in this are whatever… yeah, that’s it. I don’t think they’re the most uninteresting necessarily, but like the story they feel slightly underdeveloped. Jeff Daniels plays Jeff Comey, a hard-working, kind, well spoken man who also happens to be the director of the FBI. He’s our main focal point throughout the very short series, and we do get to know him decently well, and he’s a pretty interesting character. And Daniels is great in the role. Brendan Gleeson shows up in this too playing Donald Trump (oh dear), and it’s uncomfortable how fucking good his performance is. We also get really solid acting from other people like Holly Hunter, Scott McNairy, Michael Kelly, Steven Pasquale, Shawn Doyle, Amy Seimetz, Oona Chaplin, Jonathan Banks, Brian d’Arcy James, Jennifer Ehle, and many more. So yeah, mediocre characters, great performances.

The score for the show was composed by Henry Jackman, and it was pretty good. It’s overall well composed and could fit in almost any drama… and that’s the issue here. It doesn’t stand out, it doesn’t say “THIS is the Comey Rule score!”. It just says “Drama!”. I love Henry Jackman, but just like any other person, you can’t always hit a homerun.

Based on “A Higher Loyalty” by James Comey, “The Comey Rule” was created, written, and directed by Billy Ray, and I have mixed feelings here. I am a fan of Billy Ray’s previous works, he’s made two movies I’d happily put in “best of the year” lists. I do however feel like this isn’t as strong as those. A lot of scenes are nicely helmed and have this beautiful cinematic quality. But then there are also times where Billy Ray wants to hammer home a point so hard that his imagery is a bit too abrasive. And let’s not talk about the inconsistent color grading. Sometimes it looks somewhat believable, if mildly exaggerated to create a beautiful cinematic image… but then there are times where it looks insanely artificial and bafflingly bad. I want to give them the benefit of the doubt that some of it came from rushed production… but it’s hard to tell.

This show has gotten mixed reception. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 64% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 58/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6.8/10.

“The Comey Rule” is a disappointing biopic that at times does entertain. It has a meh story, meh characters, great performances, pretty good music, and mixed directing/cinematography. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “The Comey Rule” is a 5.9/10. So while very flawed, I can still kinda recommend watching it.

My review of “The Comey Rule” is now completed.

*sigh*. So much missed potential.

Movie Review: Man on a Ledge (2012)

I am not very fond of heights. Sure, it could lead to a pretty awesome view or two, but overall I don’t see the purpose of being high up. Especially if shit gets fucked and you fall off that height. Just increases the chance of your death. So I’m gonna stay on the ground, thank you very much.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Man on a Ledge”.

Nick Cassidy (Sam Worthington) is a man on a ledge (hehe). And as people gather to witness this man’s apparent suicide attempt, police psychologist Lydia Mercer (Elizabeth Banks) gets brought in to try to talk him down. All while a heist is happening in the building across the street. So now we have our plot. And I’m just gonna say it, the idea behind this movie is actually really good. However the execution on the other hand is not that great. While not the worst execution of a plot ever, it is still really bland and convoluted, not making a lot of sense. It also lacks the tension that so clearly could be achieved from this premise. And the twists throughout are… not great. They often add to the convoluted aspect of the plot that I mentioned earlier, not making too much sense. So overall the plot is… meh.

The characters here are meh… there’s no other way to put it. None of them are particularly interesting. At least I didn’t want to hit them for sucking (so that’s something). Sam Worthington as an actor is the very definition of hit and miss… more often miss than hit. But to give credit where it’s due, his performance here isn’t bad, it’s fine. One of the better performances I’ve seen from him. Elizabeth Banks plays the police psychologist brought in to talk Worthington off the ledge (presumably through the window, rather than off the ledge towards the street). And she’s fine in the role. Jamie Bell plays Worthington’s brother, and he was fine in the role. Genesis Rodriguez plays Jamie Bell’s girlfriend in this and she isn’t very good in the role. Sure, the material she’s given isn’t great, but her delivery isn’t very good either. Edward Burns plays a cop who is on this case, and he’s fine in the role. Anthony Mackie plays a cop who also happens to be an old friend of Worthington’s, and he’s good in the role. Titus Welliver plays another cop who’s a douchebag, and he’s fine in the role. We also get Ed Harris as a businessman that is important to the plot, and while he isn’t in the movie too much, he’s great… he’s Ed fucking Harris… presumably collecting a paycheck. So overall the acting here is… fine.

The score for the movie was composed by Henry Jackman and it was fine (using that word a lot in this review). I am usually a big fan of Jackman’s work, he’s composed a whole bunch of scores that I’ve liked. But the stuff he did here was generic action-thriller stuff that you won’t remember in an hour. It’s just there and it’s… fine.

This movie was directed by Asger Leth who did a fine job. And by fine I don’t mean like a fine wine, but just… fine. His directing here doesn’t build a lot of tension, and it doesn’t give us any awesome shots, but it’s also not offensively bad. It’s just fine, passable directing that works for a bland action-thriller like this. The action scenes too, they’re okay, nothing memorable, but nothing awful.

This movie hasn’t been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 31% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 40/100. Roger Ebert gave it 2/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,6/10.

“Man on a Ledge” is an okay thriller. It has a meh plot, meh characters, okay performances, okay music, and okay directing. The main flaws with this movie is that nothing stands out in this movie… all of it is just passable. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Man on a Ledge” is a 6,12. While not great, it is maybe worth a rental.

My review of “Man on a Ledge” is now completed.

Meh…

Movie Review: The Mist (2007)

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What’s up, people? Time to continue “The Month of Spooks” with another frightening movie review. And it is the second time we are taking a look at a movie based on a story by author Stephen King. Now let’s not stand around and make fools of ourselves, let us move on to the review!

Ladies and gentlemen, do not enter… “The Mist”.

This movie follows artist David Drayton (Thomas Jane) as he and a bunch of other people get stuck in a supermarket because of a mysterious mist that brings out a lot of blood-thirsty creatures. So now they have to try to defend themselves inside of the supermarket. They have no idea what’s causing the mist and they have no idea where the creatures come from, all they know is that they have to survive. And was this survival story well executed? Yeah, I’d say so. Once again it is one of those situations of the idea not being original, but maybe the execution is done well enough. And I thought it was good. Not great, but good. I don’t know what to say really. I guess I can say that I thought it was pretty tense and suspenseful at times and I have to say that the ending is pretty tragic and maybe the best aspect of the plot. So yeah, good plot.

The characters in the movie are pretty much cookie cutter Stephen King characters. You have the main character dad who does art of some kind, you have the child, you have the elderly black guy, the religious nut and feel free to check off this list on your own. But how is the acting? It’s… good, I guess. Thomas Jane plays the main character of the movie and he does a fine job as the guy… except when he has to do somethign emeotional, then he kind of sucks. But I didn’t expect too much from him since I’ve never considered him that great of an actor. Andre Braugher plays the elderly black guy in the movie and he does a good job. The child actor who plays Jane’s son does a fine job, I have seen both worse and better child performances before, so I don’t feel that this kid adds or detracts anything from the movie. What was kind of fun though with the actors in this movie was how I saw a good amount of people who would later be in “The Walking Dead” which director Frank Darabont had a hand in. Jeffrey DeMunn, Laurie Holden, Melissa McBride and Sam Witwer all appear in this movie at some point and that was fun seeing since i like “The Walking Dead”. Anyway, that derailed a little bit. Uhm… acting was fine and the characters were meh.

The score for the movie was provided by Mark Isham and I have to say that so far it is the best part of the movie. It isn’t something I can see myself listening to again, but it’s definitely a good score that really fit the movie. And to be honest, there wasn’t really anything sticking out except for one track called “The Host of Seraphim” which appeared near the end of the movie. Every other tracks in the score was fine, but that track is, no joke, fucking amazing. Held up by an eerie & slowly building backing note and the gorgeous vocals of Lisa Gerrard, it is one of the reasons why the score for the movie holds the movie up so well. That track is just amazing and the score overall is pretty good.

Okay, so far the plot has been fine, the acting fine and the score good, but is there something great about the movie? Yes there is… the camerawork is pretty damn great. It perfectly fits the eerie and a little creepy mood this movie conveys and actually manages to capture some pretty great shots. And I have to say that some of the writing in the movie was pretty great, and I am mainly talking about certain pieces of dialogue. And something I noticed early on in the movie which is kind of cool is that we see Thomas Jane working on a painting/poster which appears to be Roland from Stephen King’s “The Dark Tower” books. As a fan of those books I just kind of thought that was a cool little easter egg.

This movie has gotten pretty good reception. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 73% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 58/100. Roger Ebert gave the movie 2/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,2/10.

“The Mist” is a real mixed bag of a movie. It has a decent story, decent acting, good music and fantastic camera work/directing. Time for my final score. Woaw, look at all that mist. What’s that in the mist? Wait, is that… Jeff? Oh my god, Jeff. Where have you been, asshole? Screw it! Do you have something for me? *Jeff gives envelope and disappears into the mist*. My final score for “The Mist” is a 7,99/10. I think it’s worth a rental.
Rent it

My review of “The Mist” is now completed.

Hearing Toby Jones tell someone to shut the fuck up is just magical.