Here’s Jack Blogathon 2017: A Few Good Men

Gill, from Realweegiemidget Reviews, is a huge fan of Jack Nicholson. To celebrate, she has invited bloggers to review as many Nicholson films as possible.Β A Few Good Men is my entry into her three-day celebration. Click on the banner below to head over to her site to see the rest of the blogathon entries for today.

A Few Good Men movie posterHere's Jack Blogathon 2017 BannerSynopsis
Navy defense attorney Daniel Kaffee (Tom Cruise), along with JoAnne Galloway (Demi Moore) and Sam Weinberg (Kevin Pollack), are assigned to prove that Harold Dawson (Wolfgang Bodison) and Louden Downey (James Marshall), two marines accused of murder, are innocent and were merely acting under orders.

Review
I will begin by saying courtroom dramas aren’t really my type of movie. I don’t find them very exciting and think more often than not they are fairly predicable. A Few Good Men is a perfect example of this. Story-wise, I didn’t feel invested in the case that the three attorneys were working on. And honestly, I didn’t care for Tom Cruise’s character, Daniel Kaffee. He is the skilled-but-arrogant character that Cruise played often earlier in his career but it doesn’t feel like he grows very much by the end of the film. His biggest step is actually taking the case instead of trying to make a deal and that happens fairly early. Which brings me to my next point: this movie feels too long. Although, that might be because I just wanted to get through the movie quicker since I wasn’t very interested.

The only thing that really kept me invested in this film was the cast. The main three, Tom Cruise, Demi Moore, and Kevin Pollak, had such great chemistry. Despite my lack of interest in Cruise’s character, I enjoyed his performance. He brought a lot of energy and emotion to the part. The same goes for Moore. Her performance was so emotionally driven that she made for a good counterpart to Cruise. The dialogue between Cruise, Moore, and Pollak felt very real and genuine. Kudos to Aaron Sorkin for writing such believable, and not too ridiculous banter, between the leads. Despite not being in the film for much time, Jack Nicholson is the standout of this movie. The final scene with Nicholson and Cruise battling it out in the courtroom was absolutely riveting and almost made up for the dullness of the rest of the film.

I thought A Few Good Men was OK 😐 My lack of interest in courtroom dramas aside, I found this to be somewhat enjoyable. Although I didn’t much care for Cruise’s character and felt it ran a little longer than necessary, the performances from all of the actors, especially from the main three and Jack Nicholson, kept my attention long enough to finish watching.

Trailer

Cast & Crew
Rob Reiner – Director
Aaron Sorkin – Writer
Marc Shaiman – Composer

Tom Cruise – Lt. Daniel Kaffee
Demi Moore – Lt. Cdr. JoAnne Galloway
Kevin Pollak – Lt. (J.G.) Sam Weinberg
Kevin Bacon – Capt. Jack Ross
Jack Nicholson – Col. Nathan R. Jessup
Kiefer Sutherland – 2nd Lt. Jonathan Kendrick
JT Walsh – Lt. Col. Matthew Andrew Markinson
Wolfgang Bodison – Lance Cpl. Harold W. Dawson
James Marshall – Pfc. Louden Downey
JA Preston – Judge Julius Alexander Randolph

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Lightning Review: 12 Angry Men

This review was originally posted by Cara on Silver Screen Serenade as part of the Resolutions 2016 series.

12 Angry Men movie posterSynopsis
One juror tries to convince the rest of the jury that the case is not as simple as it seems.

Review
12 Angry Men has been highly recommended to me by my uncle, who absolutely loves it. I haven’t been the biggest fan of courtroom dramas but since we like many of the same movies, I decided to give it a try. The entire movie takes place in a single room and what the film makers were able to accomplish with such a simple set up is very impressive. There is nothing shown of the actual trial, so as the audience, we don’t have any information about the case except for what the jurors tell us. As the movie progresses, we are given a piece here and a bit there as Juror #8 addresses his concerns about the evidence to the rest of the group. At the beginning, the vote is 11-to-1 for a guilty verdict so Juror #8 has a big task in front of him. Since the movie doesn’t change scenes, the tension is created by all of the different personalities of the jurors. Even though the film was 95 minutes long, the twelve jurors felt fleshed out simply by how they analyzed the evidence and what they said. The trial’s epilogue was very short and I would have liked to have seen what actually happened at the crime.

I thought 12 Angry Men was GOOD :-). It was suspenseful and dramatic. Despite my low affinity for courtroom drama, 12 Angry Men managed to keep my attention the whole way through.

Trailer

Cast & Crew
Sidney Lumet – Director
Reginald Rose – Writer
Kenyon Hopkins – Composer

Martin Balsam – Juror #1
John Fiedler – Juror #2
Lee J. Cobb – Juror #3
EG Marshall – Juror #4
Jack Klugman – Juror #5
Edward Binns – Juror #6
Jack Warden – Juror #7
Henry Fonda – Juror #8
Joseph Sweeney – Juror #9
Ed Begley – Juror #10
George Voskovec – Juror #11
Robert Webber – Juror #12

Lightning Review: Sicario

Sicario movie posterSynopsis
FBI agent Kate Macer (Emily Blunt) is recruited by Matt Graver (Josh Brolin) to assist in a task force trying to take down a drug lord who operates around the border of US and Mexico.

Review
Going into Sicario, I was expecting more of an action movie, not the crime drama that it was. I mention that because I think it skewed my expectations for the film. I thought it was going to be some action-filled, shoot-em-up fest. Instead, it is much more quiet and meticulous than that. There is action, and when the action happens, it really revs up and gets sensational. However, the film is composed mainly of the many quieter moments in between these high octane and intense scenes. A lot of time is spent with Kate Macer to get to know her and get inside her head. Emily Blunt does a great job. Although, as good as Blunt is here, Benicio Del Toro is the stand-out performance of the film. He is mysterious and you never know quite what is going through his head.

As I mentioned, the pace was slower than I was anticipating butΒ Sicario still did a fantastic job of keeping the tension. The audience is just as in the dark as Macer is throughout the film about what her purpose on the task force is. I constantly found myself excited to see what was going to happen next, especially when it came to Alejandro, Del Toro’s character. Cinematography isn’t something I bring up very often in a review but I would remiss not to mention it. This film has some breathtaking shots.Β  Every shot makes sure you can see everything you need to see and you are focused on what you need to focus on, whether it’s a broad shot from above or a close up. In terms of action, it does well to keep the action visible and in frame, even during the hectic moments. Sometimes it can be fun when a movie ends up being not what you predicted and still manages to be a fun ride.

Rating
4/5

Trailer

Cast & Crew
Dennis Villeneuve – Director
Taylor Sheridan – Writer
Johann Johannsson – Composer

Emily Blunt – Kate Macer
Benicio Del Toro – Alejandro
Josh Brolin – Matt Graver
Victor Garber – Dave Jennings
Jon Bernthal – Ted
Daniel Kaluuya – Reggie Wayne
Jeffery Donovan – Steve Forsing
Raoul Trujillo – Rafael
Julio Cedillo – Fausto Alarcon
Hank Rogerson – Phil Coopers
Bernardo P. Saracino – Manuel Diaz
Maximiliano Hernandez – Silvio
Kevin Wiggins –Burnett
Edgar Arreola – Guillermo


I’ve started expanding Drew’s Reviews to social media (slowly but surely).Β  First up is Google+! It’s the least used, I know, but I gotta start somewhere.Β  So if you want to get my reviews and other posts on Google+, follow me here.Β  Right now it’s pretty bare but I will slowly expand on it soon.Β  I hope to see you there! πŸ™‚

Cheers.