Cert: 15 Runtime: 100 mins Director: John Francis Daley & Jonathan Goldstein Cast: Jason Bateman, Rachel McAdams, Kyle Chandler, Sharon Horgan, Billy Magnussen, Lamorne Morris and Jesse Plemons
Any of you fucking pricks move, I’m gonna execute every motherfucking last one of you!
Generally when you watch a Jason Bateman movie it isn’t good. Game Night came across my lap when I saw the trailer a few months back. It actually looked like a lot of fun and ever so slightly original. Once the initial reviews came out, it became even more alluring. So what is Game Night all about you ask? Max (Jason Bateman) and Annie (Rachel McAdams), whose free time revolves around couples game night gets kicked up a notch when Max’s charismatic brother, Brooks (Kyle Chandler), arranges a murder mystery party, complete with fake thugs and faux federal agents. So when Brooks gets kidnapped, it’s all part of the game…right? But as the six uber-competitive gamers set out to solve the case and win, they begin to discover that neither this ‘game’—nor Brooks—are what they seem to be. Over the course of one chaotic night, the friends find themselves increasingly in over their heads as each twist leads to another unexpected turn. With no rules, no points, and no idea who all the players are, this could turn out to be the most fun they’ve ever had…or game over.
Game Night moves at a quick clip and the central mystery never stops being interesting. Is it realistic? No. But I thought it was plausible enough that I didn’t have to start picking it apart. I was too busy having fun and even when you think you have this thing solved, it kicks up a couple of notches introducing new characters and some plot twists.What maybe surprised me the most about Game Night was that it had a slick sense of style. The car chase scenes aren’t amazing but for 2 directors primarily known for comedy, they more than get the job done. The scene transitions use nice visuals like a scale model of the neighbourhood, even the title cards introducing the studio were fun with the game pieces falling in the background. This movie was actually shot and filmed well despite being a comedy and that’s a rare accomplishment.
Jason Bateman is as consistent as you get for a leading man comedian and he holds up his bit of the movie with ease. Rachel McAdams is a constantly underrated talent, she’s funny here but as I mentioned above, her chemistry with Bateman is great and carries the movie initially. Kyle Chandler does a good job playing against type as Brooks. As I mentioned earlier as well, Jessie Plemons and Billy Magnusson were my two favourites in the supporting cast, they’re awesome. Game Night had some fun ideas, but I really wasn’t expecting anything great. Comedies are very hot/cold, what you think is funny, someone else might be rolling their eyes. I really loved the first Horrible Bosses and that’s what gave me some hope for this. Keep an eye out for all the amazing cameos too FYI.
Cert: 15 Runtime: 132 mins Director: Ridley Scott Cast: Michelle Williams, Christopher Plummer, Mark Wahlberg, Charlie Plummer, Romain Duris and Andrew Buchan
If you can count your money, you don’t have a billion dollars
The controversies behind All the Money in the World has over-shadowed Ridley Scott’s latest film. After the Kevin Spacey claims, Scott re-cast and shot all of Spacey’s scenes with less than two months before the initial release. Allegedly Christopher Plummer was always Scott’s original choice to play J.P Getty. Plummer shot all of the scenes in 9 days, but did you know Spacey only filmed for 10 days. Everyone’s intrigue of the re-shoots is what has driven many to the cinema. Enough of this backstory, what is All the Money in the World about you say?After the kidnapping of 16-year-old John Paul Getty III (Charlie Plummer) and the desperate attempt by his devoted mother Gail (Michelle Williams) to convince his billionaire grandfather (Christopher Plummer) to pay the ransom. When Getty Sr. refuses, Gail attempts to sway him as her son’s captors become increasingly volatile and brutal. With her son’s life in the balance, Gail and Getty’s advisor (Mark Wahlberg) become unlikely allies in the race against time that ultimately reveals the true and lasting value of love over money.
Ridley Scott has been on staggeringly good form since the flop of The Counsellor. All The Money in the World’s non-stop pacing is the driving force of the film. Whether or not all of the bells and whistles of this story were true, Scott is determined to keep you on the edge of your seat with suspense, even if you ultimately know where the story ends up. And luckily, this story is perfect for a cinematic experience. The true events are unfortunately tragic for many involved, but in the end it’s the character of J. Paul Getty that makes for a truly riveting character to watch. Ridley Scott’s slick direction and some excellent window dressing with the cinematography and the period piece trappings, the reason to see this is the excellent acting. The Plummer re-shoots are slightly visible to the trained eye, but you have to pay attention.The film does drag in the middle with the long run time. I was fully invested in this movie at around the 1hr mark and there was a point where it stopped being this breathtaking thriller and started to coast.
Michelle Williams is the heart of the film, it’s a powerhouse performance. She is on a hot streak of projects of late. She’s easily one of the top ten leading ladies working in drama right now and I think she could garner another Oscar nomination for her work here. I really liked Mark Wahlberg in this even if I was a little let down by his character. He’s very calm and collected and he’s equally at ease when he’s trying to comfort Gail or threatening communists. Christopher Plummer deserves a lot of praise. He totally inhabits this larger-than-life character and he’s interesting even at his most disgraceful. It’s hard to imagine another actor doing as good of a job, will he get another Oscar is the question now? All The Money In The World is another solid entry in Ridley Scott’s directorial library, even if it does tend to sensationalise certain moments of the real event.