REVIEW: TRUE GRIT (2010)

CAST

Jeff Bridges (Tron)
Hailee Steinfeld (Batley Lethal)
Matt damon (Jason Bourne)
Josh Brolin (Planet Terror)
Barry Pepper (Battlefild Earth)
Dakin Matthews (Child’s Play 3)
Domhnall Gleeson (Star Wars: The Last Jedi)
Elizabeth Marvel (Lincoln)
J.K Simmons (Justice League)

Matt Damon and Hailee Steinfeld in True Grit (2010)Mattie Ross’s father was murdered by Tom Chaney when she was 14 years old. While collecting her father’s body in Fort Smith, Arkansas, Mattie asks the local sheriff about the search for Chaney. He tells her that Chaney has fled with “Lucky” Ned Pepper and his gang into Indian Territory, where the sheriff has no authority, so she inquires about hiring a Deputy U.S. Marshal. The sheriff gives three recommendations, and Mattie chooses Rooster Cogburn. Cogburn initially rebuffs her offer, not believing she has the money to hire him, but she raises the money by aggressively horse-trading with Colonel Stonehill.Jeff Bridges and Hailee Steinfeld in True Grit (2010)Texas Ranger LaBoeuf arrives in town, pursuing Chaney for the murder of a Texas State Senator. LaBoeuf proposes joining Cogburn, but Mattie refuses his offer. She wishes Chaney to be hanged in Arkansas for her father’s murder, not in Texas for killing the senator. Mattie also insists on traveling with Cogburn but he leaves without her, having gone with LaBoeuf to apprehend Chaney and split the reward. After being refused passage on the ferry that conveyed Cogburn and LaBoeuf, Mattie crosses the river on horseback. LaBoeuf expresses his displeasure by birching Mattie with a stick, but Cogburn eventually allows Mattie to accompany them. After a dispute over their respective service with the Confederate Army, Cogburn ends their arrangement and LaBoeuf leaves to pursue Chaney on his own. Cogburn and Mattie meet a trail doctor who directs them to an empty dugout for shelter. They find two outlaws, Quincy and Moon, and interrogate them. Quincy insists they have no information about the Pepper gang, but eventually Moon divulges what he knows; Quincy fatally stabs Moon, and Cogburn shoots Quincy dead. Before dying, Moon says Pepper and his gang will be returning for fresh horses that night.Jeff Bridges in True Grit (2010)LaBoeuf arrives at the dugout and is confronted by the Pepper gang. Cogburn, hiding on the hillside with Mattie, shoots two gang members and accidentally hits LaBoeuf, but Pepper escapes. However, Cogburn and LaBoeuf argue the next day, and the latter departs again. While retrieving water from a stream, Mattie encounters Chaney. She shoots him, but he survives and drags her back to Pepper, who forces Cogburn to leave by threatening to kill her. Pepper leaves Mattie alone with Chaney, ordering him not to harm her or he will not get paid after his remount arrives. Chaney tries to knife Mattie, but LaBoeuf appears and knocks Chaney out. They watch from a distance as Cogburn fights the remaining members of Pepper’s gang, killing two and wounding Ned before his horse is shot and falls, trapping his leg, whereupon LaBoeuf snipes Pepper. Chaney regains consciousness and knocks out LaBoeuf, but Mattie seizes LaBoeuf’s rifle and shoots Chaney in the chest. The recoil knocks her into a deep pit, where she is bitten by a rattlesnake. Cogburn cuts into her hand to suck out as much of the venom as he can, then rides day and night to reach a doctor, carrying her on foot after her horse collapses from exhaustion.Jeff Bridges and Hailee Steinfeld in True Grit (2010)Mattie’s left forearm is amputated due to gangrene from the snakebite. Cogburn stays until she is out of danger, but leaves before she regains consciousness. She never sees Cogburn or LaBoeuf again, despite writing a letter inviting Cogburn to collect the money she owed him. Twenty-five years later, she receives a note from Cogburn inviting her to a travelling Wild West show where he now performs. She arrives, only to learn that he died three days earlier. She has his body moved to her family cemetery. Standing over Cogburn’s grave, she reflects on her decision to move his remains, and about never having married, as well as the possibility of seeing LaBoeuf again.Josh Brolin and Hailee Steinfeld in True Grit (2010)The movie actually surprised all the hype I had, what an incredible film. The atmosphere, clothing, and the buildings reminded me of the old classic Hollywood westerns they used to make. I had a feeling of nostalgia watching the movie through the end. I felt transported to another time period of the old western. Hailee Steinfeld was amazing in the movie, I truly believe that this is her breakout performance. Matt Damon and Josh Brolin were as usual amazing. But the true star of the film has to be Jeff Bridges, in all respects. His performance showed much more experience, strength and power, the performance was pretty much unforgettable. Jeff Bridges handily reinvents the iconic role of Rooster Cogburn in the Coen brothers’ back-to-the-book-remake. I congratulate the Coen for bringing back the western genre, that Hollywood has ignored so much the last decade or so.

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REVIEW: CHE – PART TWO

CAST

Benicio Del Toro (Traffic)
Rodrigo Santoro (300)
Demián Bichir (Machete Kills)
Catalina Sandino Moreno (Maria Full of Grace)
Franka Potente (The Conjuring 2)
Norman Santiago (Animal)
Joaquim de Almeida (Fast & Furious 5)
Lou Diamond Phillips (Young GUns)
Yul Vazquez (Captain Phillips)
Matt Damon (Jason Bourne)
Benjamín Benítez (Tru Calling)

Benicio Del Toro in Che: Part Two (2008)The second part begins on November 3, 1966 with Guevara arriving in Bolivia disguised as a middle-aged representative of the Organization of American States hailing from Uruguay, who subsequently drives into the mountains to meet his men. The film is organized by the number of days that he was in the country. On Day 26, there is solidarity among Guevara’s men despite his status as a foreigner. By Day 67, Guevara, however, has been set up for betrayal. He tries to recruit some peasants only to be mistaken for a cocaine smuggler, and the Bolivian Communist Party, led by Mario Monje, refuse to support the armed struggle. On Day 100, there is a shortage of food and Guevara exercises discipline to resolve conflicts between his Cuban and Bolivian followers.Franka Potente, Carlos Bardem, Jorge Perugorría, and Juan Salinas in Che: Part Two (2008)By Day 113, some of the guerrillas have deserted, and, upon capture, have led the Bolivian Army to the revolutionaries’ base camp, which contained vast stockpiles of food, much-needed supplies, and intelligence identifying much of the group as Cubans. Much to Che’s disappointment Tamara “Tania” Bunke, Guevara’s revolutionary contact has botched elaborate preparations and given away their identity. On Day 141, the guerrillas capture Bolivian soldiers that refuse to join the revolution and are free to return to their villages. CIA and US Army Special Forces advisers arrive to supervise anti-insurgent activity and to train the Bolivian Army. On Day 169, Guevara’s visiting friend, the French intellectual Régis Debray, is captured at Muyupampa by the Bolivian Army along with two of Che’s last contacts with the outside world. A Bolivian airstrike then occurs against Che’s guerrillas on Day 219, driving them deeper into hiding. By this time, Che has split his forces; his best fighters travel with him in one column, while another column contains other personnel, including Tania, and carries much of the remaining supplies.Guevara grows sick and by Day 280 can barely breathe as a result of his acute asthma. Nevertheless, he continues to lead his group towards the other column of revolutionaries. On Day 302, the Bolivian Army wipes out the other column, killing Tania Bunke, Juan Acuña Ñunez, and several others in an ambush as they attempt to cross the Vado del Yeso after a local informant tells the Bolivian troops about the movements of the rebels. By Day 340, Guevara is trapped by the Bolivian Army in the Yuro Ravine near the village of La Higuera. Che is wounded and captured. The next day, a helicopter lands and Cuban American CIA agent Félix Rodríguez emerges to interrogate Che, but without success. The Bolivian high command then phones and orders Guevara’s execution. He is shot on 9 October 1967, and his corpse lashed to a helicopter’s landing skids and flown out.maxresdefaultIn a final flashback scene, Guevara is aboard the Granma in 1956, looking out over the ocean, as the Cuban Revolution is about to begin. He sees the Castro brothers alone at the bow of the ship; Fidel is talking and Raúl is taking notes. Guevara hands a peeled orange to one of his comrades and returns his gaze to the lone brothers before the scene fades to black.48e7YL8h9VUmu3JMgAeRRnIWvfKThe direction throughout is superb. Part two feels tightly edited despite its narrow focus and is able to communicate a great deal through images without the need for a narrator to spell things out for the audience. A very thought provoking and well done film.

REVIEW: THE GREAT WALL

 

CAST

Matt Damon (Jason Bourne)
Jing Tian (Pacific Rim: Uprising)
Pedro Pascal (Game of Thrones)
Willem Dafoe (American Psycho)
Andy Lau (A Simple Life)
Zhang Hanyu (Operation Red Sea)
Pilou Asbæk (Ghost In The Shell)

Matt Damon, Andy Lau, Tian Jing, and Cheney Chen in The Great Wall (2016)Searching for the secret of gunpowder, twenty European mercenaries have traveled to China during the reign of the Renzong Emperor (AD 1010–63). A few miles north of the Great Wall, they are pursued by Khitan bandits, who kill some of the men. Upon escaping, they seek refuge in a cave but are attacked by an unknown monster, leaving only William and Tovar alive, with the former having slashed off the monster’s hand. The two decide to bring the arm with them. The next day, they stumble upon the Great Wall and are taken prisoner by Chinese soldiers of a secretive military sect, called the Nameless Order, led by General Shao and Strategist Wang.Tian Jing in The Great Wall (2016)The Nameless Order is a Chinese military order commissioned by the Imperial Court of the Song Dynasty as a special division of the Imperial Army conceived for the sole purpose of repelling a horde of monsters called Tao Tieh who rise every sixty years. The commanding officers are shocked upon seeing the monster’s severed hand, as the Order believed the invasion was still a week away. Suddenly, a large wave of monsters attack the Great Wall, and the battalions are mobilized.Matt Damon and Pedro Pascal in The Great Wall (2016)The Nameless Order is divided into five special units: the melee-specialist Bear Troop, the acrobatic-specialist Crane Troop, the archer-specialist Eagle Troop, the siege engine-specialist Tiger Troop, and the horse-mounted Deer Troop. Losses are sustained on both sides before the monsters’ queen recalls her warriors. During the battle, William and Tovar are freed by Sir Ballard, a European who, like them, had ventured east twenty-five years ago in search of black powder and had been serving as an English and Latin teacher. William saves Peng Yong, a warrior in the Bear Troop, from the attacking monsters. William and Tovar’s battle skills earn the respect of General Shao and Commander Lin, leader of the Crane Troop.The Great Wall (2016)Later, William and Tovar meet Sir Ballard. The three foreign mercenaries discuss plans to steal black powder from the storeroom and flee while the soldiers are occupied in battle. Later, Wang meets William and explains the situation: the monsters that he fought were Tao Tieh, which originated from a green meteor that crashed into Gouwu Mountain two thousand years ago. The Chinese believe the Tao Tieh were sent from the gods to punish the Emperor for abusing his authority over the Middle Kingdom and its people. They attack northern China once every sixty years, an invasion for which the Order has been training for their entire lives.Tian Jing in The Great Wall (2016)During the night, two Tao Tieh reach the top of the Wall and silently kill several watchmen. Shao and Lin lead the Deer soldiers to investigate, but are ambushed. The Tao Tieh are slain but Shao, wounded beyond recovery, succumbs to his injuries and dies, leaving Lin to take command of the Nameless Order. Around this time, an envoy from the capital Bianliang arrives with an ancient scroll which suggests that the monsters are pacified by magnets. Wang believes that the stone William carried all this time enabled him to slay the Tao Tieh he fought before entering the Wall. To test the hypothesis, William suggests that they should capture a Tao Tieh alive and agrees to help. This results in his delaying his escape plans, which puts him at odds with Tovar who nevertheless delays his escape plan to assist William, much to Ballard’s chagrin.During the next attack, the Tao Tieh are numerous enough to cause Lin to resort to using black powder rockets, whose existence had been kept secret from the Westerners until now. They manage to capture a living Tao Tieh and prove the hypothesis. The monster is taken to the capital by the envoy. A short while later, a tunnel is discovered at the base of the Wall, which the Tao Tieh queen has used to lead her hordes to the capital. While Lin investigates, Tovar and Ballard try to escape and knock William unconscious for resisting. William is then arrested by the Chinese soldiers, and despite being saved by a statement from Peng Yong, is locked up in the Wall. Some distance away, Ballard betrays and abandons Tovar, but is himself captured by the Khitans, who inadvertently kill themselves and Ballard after carelessly igniting the powder. Tovar reclaims the horses but is recaptured by the Deer Troop. At the capital, the envoy shows their theory to the Emperor, but the Tao Tieh wakes up and signals to the Tao Tieh queen.Tian Jing in The Great Wall (2016)Knowing that the horde is approaching the capital, Lin orders the use of unstable hot-air balloons to follow the Tao Tieh. Before setting out for Bianliang, the capital, Lin passes word to set William free, with Wang telling him to tell the outside world about the danger about to come. However, William decides to stay and boards the last balloon with Peng and Wang. They arrive just in time to see Lin’s balloon crash-landing in the now destroyed capital, and save her from being devoured. They land safely in the Emperor’s palace, where Wang proposes an idea to kill the queen by tying explosives to the captured Tao Tieh and giving it meat to be delivered to the queen. While transporting, a horde of Tao Tieh breach the sewers. Peng Yong sacrifices himself to save the others.Matt Damon in The Great Wall (2016)With the Tao Tieh released, Lin and William climb the tower to shoot a black powder rocket and detonate the explosives. Wang sacrifices himself to buy time for Lin and William to move to the upper floors. Two of William’s arrows are deflected by the Tao Tieh queen’s bodyguards, but William throws the magnet into the horde, creating a gap in the shields and allowing Lin’s spear to breach the defenses. The queen is destroyed, and the rest of the horde is frozen solid. With the horde destroyed, William is given an offer, forgoing the powder to instead free Tovar, much to the latter’s annoyance. The two, guided by cavalry, begin their journey back to Europe as Lin, now the General, watches from the Wall. William says that he wants to go back, but jokes that he doesn’t trust Tovar going home alone.Overall, the plot is quite linear and simple and is centred around one important moment. Character development was welcoming, but not impressive and definitely not unexpected. The best part was not fulfilling the love sub-plot, even though I half expected this and I would have been really disappointed if it had happened. It was an enjoyable film with better effects than I expected and many other films, so give it a try. But be open minded and admire what is to be admired.

REVIEW: THOR: RAGNAROK

CAST

Chris Hemsworth (The Huntsman)
Tom Hiddleston (Kong: Skull Island)
Cate Blanchett (Lord of The Rings)
Idris Elba (Prometheus)
Jeff Goldblum (The Fly)
Tessa Thompson (Westworld)
Karl Urban (Star Trek)
Mark Ruffalo (Just Like Heaven)
Anthony Hopkins (Hannibal)
Tadanobu Asano (47 Ronin)
Ray Stevenson (Punisher: Warzone)
Zachary Levi (Chuck)
Benedict Cumberbatch (12 Years a Slave)
Rachel House (Eagle vs Shark)
Stan Lee (Avengers Asssemble)
Luke Hemsworth (Westworld)
Matt Damon (The Martian)
Taika Waititi (Green Lantern)
Clancy Brown (Highlander)
Sam Neill (Jurassic Park)

Cate Blanchett in Thor: Ragnarok (2017)Two years after the battle of Sokovia, Thor has been unsuccessfully searching for the Infinity Stones, and is now imprisoned by the fire demon Surtur in Muspelheim. Surtur reveals that Thor’s father Odin is no longer on Asgard, and that the realm will soon be destroyed in the prophesied Ragnarök, once Surtur unites his crown with the Eternal Flame that burns in Odin’s vault. Thor defeats Surtur and claims his crown, believing he has prevented Ragnarök.Mark Ruffalo, Tom Hiddleston, Chris Hemsworth, and Tessa Thompson in Thor: Ragnarok (2017)Thor returns to Asgard to find his brother Loki posing as Odin. Thor forces Loki to help him find their father, and with directions from Stephen Strange on Earth, they locate Odin in Norway. Odin explains that he is dying, and that his passing will allow his firstborn child, Hela, to escape from a prison she was sealed in long ago. Hela had been the leader of Asgard’s armies, and had conquered the Nine Realms with Odin, but she had been imprisoned and written out of history after Odin feared that she had become too ambitious. Odin subsequently dies, and Hela, released from her imprisonment, appears. She destroys Thor’s hammer Mjolnir, and when Thor and Loki attempt to flee through the Bifröst Bridge, she pursues them and forces them out into space to die. Hela arrives in Asgard, destroying its army and killing the Warriors Three; resurrects the ancient dead who once fought with her, including her giant wolf Fenris; and appoints the Asgardian Skurge as her executioner. She plans to use the Bifröst to expand Asgard’s empire, but Heimdall covertly steals the sword that controls the Bridge, and hides away with the rest of Asgard’s citizens.Thor crash-lands on Sakaar, a garbage planet surrounded by wormholes. He is captured by a slave trader named Scrapper 142, and sold to serve as a gladiator for the planet’s ruler, the Grandmaster, with whom Loki has already become ingratiated. Thor recognizes 142 as one of the Valkyrior, a legendary force of female warriors who were killed defending Asgard from Hela long ago. Thor is forced to compete in the Grandmaster’s Contest of Champions, facing his old friend Hulk. Summoning lightning, Thor gets the upper hand on Hulk, but the Grandmaster sabotages the fight to ensure Hulk’s victory. Still enslaved, Thor attempts to convince Hulk and 142 to help him save Asgard, but neither is willing. He soon manages to escape the palace and finds the Quinjet that brought Hulk to Sakaar. Hulk follows Thor to the Quinjet, where a recording of Natasha Romanoff makes him transform back into Bruce Banner for the first time since Sokovia.Chris Hemsworth in Thor: Ragnarok (2017)The Grandmaster orders 142 and Loki to find Thor and Hulk, but the pair come to blows and Loki forces her to relive the deaths of her fellow Valkyrie at the hands of Hela. Deciding to help Thor, she takes Loki captive to prove her goodwill. Unwilling to be left behind, Loki provides the group with the means to steal one of the Grandmaster’s ships. They then liberate the other gladiators who, led by Korg and Miek, stage a revolution. Loki attempts to betray his brother to gain a reward from the Grandmaster, but Thor anticipates this and leaves him behind, where Korg and the gladiators soon find him. Thor, Banner, and 142 escape through a wormhole to Asgard, where Hela’s forces are attacking Heimdall and Asgard’s citizens for the sword that controls Bifröst. Banner becomes Hulk again, fighting Fenris, while Thor and 142 battle Skurge and the resurrected warriors. Loki and the gladiators arrive to help, and the citizens board their large ship; a repentant Skurge sacrifices himself to allow their escape. Thor, facing Hela, loses his right eye and then has a vision of Odin that helps him realize only Ragnarök can stop Hela. While Hela is distracted, Loki locates Surtur’s crown and places it in the Eternal Flame. Surtur is reborn and destroys Asgard, seemingly killing Hela.Chris Hemsworth in Thor: Ragnarok (2017)Thor and the others escape with Asgard’s remaining citizens aboard the Grandmaster’s vessel. Thor, crowned king, decides to take his people to Earth. In a mid-credits scene, they are intercepted by a large spacecraft. In a post-credits scene, the Grandmaster encounters a group of his former subjects, who are still rebelling.Chris Hemsworth in Thor: Ragnarok (2017)Thor: Ragnarok finally gives Thor the solo film he deserves as one of the original Avengers, full of laughs and plenty of heart, the road to Avengers: Infinity War is nearly complete. I, for one, cannot wait.

REVIEW: PROMISED LAND

CAST

Matt Damon (Jason Bourne)
John Krasinski (License To Wed)
Frances McDormand (Fargo)
Rosemarie DeWitt (Poltergeist)
Scoot McNairy (Batman V Superman)
Tim Guinee (Iron Man)
Titus Welliver (Lost)
Terry Kinney (Billions)
Hal Holbrook (Wall Street)
Lucas Black (Legion)

Steve Butler (Damon) has caught the eyes of top management at his employer, Global Crosspower Solutions, an energy company that specializes in obtaining natural gas trapped underground through a process known as fracking. Butler has an excellent track record for quickly and cheaply persuading land owners to sign mineral rights leases that grant drilling rights over to his employer. Butler and his partner Sue Thomason (McDormand) arrive in an economically struggling Pennsylvania farming town whose citizens are proud of having family farms passed from one generation to the next. Coming from a town and a life very similar to that of the people he is now determined to win over on behalf of Global, Butler tells the story of how his own town died after the local Caterpillar assembly plant closed. The idea of a town surviving solely on family farms being passed down through generations as a viable economy is one that he can no longer accept. He claims to be offering the town its last chance. Butler spends some pleasant after-hours time with Alice, a teacher he meets in a bar.The community seems willing to accept Global’s offer, until an elderly, local high school science teacher, Frank Yates (Holbrook), who happened to be a successful engineer in his working life, raises the question of the safety of fracking during a town meeting. It’s decided that the people will vote in a few weeks whether or not to take the offer. After hearing about the vote, Dustin Noble (John Krasinski), an unknown environmental advocate, starts a grassroots campaign against Global, motivated by a tale of his family losing its Nebraska dairy farm after the herd died as a result of Global’s industry-standard fracking process. Butler begins to meet a great deal of resistance in town. Noble seems to be winning over nearly everyone, including Alice. One night Butler receives a package from Global that includes an enlarged copy of a photograph of dead cattle on a field that Noble said came from his family’s Nebraska farm. The enlargement shows that an object thought to be a silo is in fact a lighthouse, which are nonexistent in Nebraska, revealing that Noble fabricated his story and deceived the people. The picture was in fact from Lafayette, Louisiana, where Global is in the midst of a lawsuit over environmental complications that were probably caused by their fracking practices.Butler informs the town’s mayor of the deception, who in turn informs the rest of the town. He returns to the hotel to find Noble loading his truck, preparing to leave town. Noble accidentally reveals that he knows the picture with the lighthouse was taken in Lafayette (In real-life, there are no lighthouses in or even remotely close to Lafayette, LA either.). Butler realizes that the only way Noble could have known this is if he were also employed by Global, and that Noble’s job had been to discredit the environmental movement and, at the last minute, convince the town to vote in favor of Global’s offer. He arranged for Butler to receive the “confidential” photos and engineered the entire public relations effort. At a town meeting the next day, the citizens are prepared to vote on Global’s efforts to buy drilling rights to their property. Butler talks to them about how the barn in the picture reminds him of his grandfather’s barn. He reveals that Noble had manipulated them and is employed by Global. Butler leaves the meeting to find Thomason on the phone with Global. She tells him that he’s fired and that she is leaving for New York. Butler walks to Alice’s home and she welcomes him in.All in all, even if political/social/ecological issues regarding hydrofracking aren’t your forte, this film is a quality film that is captivating and deserves to have personal opinions set aside and enjoyed for its quality

 

REVIEW: BEHIND THE CANDELABRA

CAST

Michael Douglas (Traffic)
Matt Damon (Promsied Land)
Dan Aykroyd (Ghostbusters)
Rob Lowe (Austin Powers)
Debbie Reynolds (Halloweentown)
Scott Bakula (Chuck)
Boyd Holbrook (The Host)
Tom Papa (Bee Movie)
Nicky Katt (American Yakuza)
Cheyenne Jackson (United 93)
Paul Reiser (Aliens)
David Koechner (Anchorman)
Eddie Jemison (Izombie)
Garrett M. Brown (Kick-Ass)

In 1977, 18-year-old Scott Thorson (Matt Damon), who works as an animal trainer for films, meets Bob Black (Scott Bakula), a Hollywood producer, in a gay bar in Los Angeles. At Black’s urging, he leaves his adopted home in search of better-paying work. Black introduces Thorson to Liberace (Michael Douglas), who takes an immediate liking to the handsome younger man. Liberace invites the two backstage and then to his luxurious home in Las Vegas. Thorson observes that one of Liberace’s beloved dogs is suffering from a temporary form of blindness, and with his veterinary assistant background, informs the famous pianist that he knows how to cure the condition. After treating the dog, Thorson becomes Liberace’s “assistant” at the performer’s request. Thorson also becomes employed as Liberace’s stage chauffeur, driving a Rolls-Royce limousine onto the stage for Liberace’s grand entrances. Thorson moves in with Liberace and becomes his lover. At this point, Thorson says that he is bisexual because he is also attracted to women. Liberace is sympathetic, informing him that he wanted and tried to love women, but was exclusively attracted to men. He relates a story of a “divine healing” in which a “messenger” informed him that God still loved him.It gradually becomes clear that Liberace is trying to mold Thorson into a younger version of himself. He asks his plastic surgeon, Dr. Jack Startz (Rob Lowe), to transform Scott’s face to more closely resemble his own and makes an unsuccessful attempt to formally adopt him. Thorson soon turns to drugs as he becomes more angry and frustrated with Liberace trying to control him as well as Liberace’s obsession to publicly hide their romance at any cost. By 1982, Thorson’s increasing drug abuse and Liberace’s interest in younger men, including dancer Cary James (Boyd Holbrook), creates a rift that ultimately destroys their relationship. When Liberace begins visiting pornographic peep shows and suggests that they each see other people, Thorson becomes upset. Thorson retains an attorney to seek his financial share of the property by suing Liberace for over $100,000,000 in palimony. As a result, Liberace ends their formal partnership and involves himself with his most recent, and much younger, “assistant”. In 1984, Thorson’s palimony lawsuit starts where he gives details about his five-year romance with the entertainer, while Liberace flatly denies any sexual relationship.Not long thereafter, in December 1986, Thorson receives a phone call from Liberace telling him that he is very sick with what is later revealed to be AIDS and that he would like Thorson to visit him again. Thorson agrees and drives to Liberace’s retreat house in Palm Springs, where he and Liberace have one last, emotional conversation. Liberace dies a few months later in February 1987. Thorson attends Liberace’s funeral, in which he imagines seeing Liberace performing one last time with his traditional flamboyance, before being lifted to Heaven with a stage harness.Normally in biography films, they are not always the best in regards to actually getting to show the facts right of the person/s life. However this film just blew me away! It’s an interesting film about last ten years of Liberaces life.

 

REVIEW: COURAGE UNDER FIRE

CAST

Denzel Washington (The Equalizer)
Meg Ryan (Anastasia)
Lou Diamond Phillips (Young Guns)
Matt Damon (The MArtian)
Bronson Pinchot (Lois & Clark)
Seth Gilliam (Oz)
Regina Taylor (Children of The Dust)
Michael Moriarty (Troll)
Željko Ivanek (Heores)
Scott Glenn (Daredevil)
Tim Guinee (Iron Man)
Sean Astin (Lord of The Rings)
Sean Patrick Thomas (Save The Last Dance)

While serving in the Gulf War, Lieutenant Colonel Serling (Denzel Washington) accidentally destroys one of his own tanks during a confusing night-time battle, killing his friend, Captain Boylar. The US Army covers up the details and transfers Serling to a desk job.Later, Serling is assigned to determine if Captain Karen Emma Walden (Meg Ryan) should be the first woman to receive a (posthumous) Medal of Honor. She was the commander of a Medevac Huey that was sent to rescue the crew of a shot-down Black Hawk. When she encountered a T-54, her crew destroyed it by dropping a fuel bladder onto the tank and igniting it with a flare gun. However, her own helicopter was shot down soon after. The two crews were unable to join forces, and when the survivors were rescued the next day, Walden was reported dead.Serling notices inconsistencies between the testimonies of Walden’s crew. Specialist Andrew Ilario (Matt Damon), the medic, praises Walden strongly. However, Staff Sergeant John Monfriez (Lou Diamond Phillips) claims that Walden was a coward and that he led the crew in combat and improvised the fuel bladder weapon. Sergeant Altameyer, who is dying in a hospital, complains about a fire. Warrant Officer One Rady, the co-pilot, was injured early on and unconscious throughout. Furthermore, the crew of the Black Hawk claim that they heard firing from an M16, but Ilario and Monfriez deny they had one.Under pressure from the White House and his commander, Brigadier General Hershberg (Michael Moriarty), to wrap things up quickly, Serling leaks the story to newspaper reporter Tony Gartner (Scott Glenn) to prevent another cover-up. When Serling grills Monfriez during a car ride, Monfriez forces him to get out of the vehicle at gunpoint, then commits suicide by driving into an oncoming train. Serling tracks Ilario down, and Ilario finally tells him the truth. Monfriez wanted to flee, which would mean abandoning Rady. When Walden refused, he pulled a gun on her. Walden then shot an enemy who appeared behind Monfriez, but Monfriez thought Walden was firing at him and shot her in the stomach, before backing off. The next morning, the enemy attacked again as a rescue party approached. Walden covered her men’s retreat, firing an M16. However, Monfriez told the rescuers that Walden was dead, so they left without her. Napalm was then dropped on the entire area. Altameyer tried to expose Monfriez’s lie at the time, but was too injured to speak, and Ilario was too scared of the court-martial Walden had threatened them with and remained silent.Serling presents his final report to Hershberg. Walden’s young daughter receives the Medal of Honor at a White House ceremony. Later, Serling tells the truth to the Boylars about the manner of their son’s death and says he cannot ask for forgiveness. The Boylars tell Serling he must put down the burden at some point and grant him their forgiveness. In the last moments, Serling has a flashback of when he was standing by Boylar’s destroyed tank and a medevac Huey was lifting off with his friend’s body. Serling suddenly realises Walden was the Huey pilot.Truly compelling direction and very special character portrayal make this an extremely enjoyable, very dramatic movie.