Quick reviews: GOING IN STYLE / THEIR FINEST

going_in_style

(SUMMARY)

Joe (Michael Caine), Willie (Morgan Freeman), and Albert (Alan Arkin) are all retirees who depend on their pension funds to live comfortably. However, the company they worked for got bought out and those pensions got taken away by the bank. The three men, eager to get their money back for the sake of their families and health, plot to rob that same bank.

Directed by Zach Braff (GARDEN STATE [2004] and some episodes of TV show SCRUBS)
Written by Theodore Melfi (HIDDEN FIGURES [2016] and ST. VINCENT [2014])
Composed by Rob Simonsen (GIFTED [2017], STONEWALL [2015], and TV show LIFE IN PIECES)
Cinematography by Rodney Charters (TV shows THE SHANNARA CHRONICLES, DALLAS, and 24)

(REVIEW)

Fun fact: this is a remake of GOING IN STYLE (1979).

It’s funny and likable, so I really enjoyed myself.

Granted the movie doesn’t do anything particularly new. The story hits all the beats that a story like this would go for and doesn’t do anything particularly fresh or new. But ultimately, I would think that most people aren’t seeing it for anything ground-breaking, but just to see these great and timeless actors playing a young-man’s game and getting themselves into some wacky situations. But I think what elevates it above mediocre is that there is a lot of heart to the story. You see a genuine, fun connection between Joe and his granddaughter Brooklyn (Joey King), the weight of Willie wanting to see more of his family, especially when his two friends get him a watch with his granddaughter’s face on it. That was pretty awesome of them. And Arkin is hilarious as he tries to fight off advances from a borderline-crazy woman, Annie (Anne-Margret), who likes him. Some funny visuals, and probably one of the most intense and satisfying endings I’ve seen in a bit, I think it’s worth seeing in theaters.

My honest rating for GOING IN STYLE: 4/5

_____________________________________________________________________________

Their-finest-Quad-poster

(SUMMARY)

Set in World War II, Britain. Catrin Cole (Gemma Arterton) is climbing her way up in the film industry as a writer. Eventually, during Britain’s destruction at the hands of the Germans, the British Ministry of Information film team decides to put together a true story about the Dunkirk evacuation about two women who bravely set out in hostile waters to rescue British soldiers all in the name of boosting national morale. Working with veteran film writer Tom Buckley (Sam Claflin) and starring Britain’s finest, yet pickiest, actor Ambrose Hillard (Bill Nighy), they set out working through the destruction, their personal lives, and together to create a movie worthy of remembrance.

Directed by Lone Scherfig (THE RIOT CLUB [2014], ONE DAY [2011], and AN EDUCATION [2009])
Written by Gaby Chiappe, known for unknown television projects
Composed by Rachel Portman (A DOG’S PURPOSE [2017], RACE [2016], and MONA LISA SMILE [2003])
Cinematography by Sebastian Blenkov (MISS SLOANE [2016] and THE RIOT CLUB)

(REVIEW)

Before jumping in to the review, is anyone else tickled by the fact that we have two films about Dunkirk in the same year, the other being Christopher Nolan’s DUNKIRK (2017) due out this July? I mean, stars-aligned, this is pretty coincidental.

This movie’s going to hold a special place in my heart because it’s basically a fun glimpse into film making back in the 40’s.

But first and foremost, the cast is great. Nighy is hilarious and charismatic, commanding your eyes to focus on him seemingly without effort. But it doesn’t stop there. Arterton does a wonderful job as this talented woman eager to be seen as a creative equal and really stands her ground in a room of high and mighty men. It’s also pretty satisfying to see how respected she becomes by the end of the film, and how much her partners admire her and really listen and take in her ideas. She doesn’t run the show, by any means, but it’s still a nice character arch. And the way the film gets made, the techniques they used to make a beach scene seem full of soldiers and boats, when in actuality it’s just a mat painting on a sheet of glass with two guys in costume looking out at the ocean, it’s really something to watch and does trick the eye. Of course, there’s Nighy getting in the way of the shot to reveal how the illusion is created, making for probably one of the more memorable moments in the movie. Even though I think this movie will be touted as a comedy, there’s more than a few dramatic moments. Buildings get bombed out, people die and the audience sees the bodies, there’s a real emotional weight and heaviness that this movie isn’t afraid to show. I can’t say if this – or for that matter, the original book – are based on true events, but it feels like it could be, considering how much passion it feels like is being thrown into this movie as a whole. I wish I could go on and on about this movie, but the new batch of films are coming out and I don’t like being too far behind. This doesn’t have the widest of releases, but if you happen to see it in your area, I highly recommend it in theaters.

My honest rating for THEIR FINEST: 5/5

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5 thoughts on “Quick reviews: GOING IN STYLE / THEIR FINEST

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