Whale of a Tale Productions

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Mr. Right by Paco Cabezas, 2015

By no means is this a perfect film, but actually it is really fun and enjoyable. Certainly in the vein of Gross Point Blank. And once Anna Kendrick and Sam Rockwell get together the film really takes off, though Kendrick’s opening scenes don’t work quite as well (has she ever actually been drunk?). Still can’t believe this bombed cause it is a lot of fun, with some great action, and the scene with the knives is worth seeing the whole film.

Martha (Anna Kendrick) is waiting at home for her boyfriend, taking sexy pictures when he shows up with another girl, and then tries to get her into a 3 way. She is distraught and her girlfriend’s take her out partying, but she is a mess. Meanwhile a hit man (Sam Rockwell) shows up at a hotel room where a women has hired him to kill her husband, so he puts on his red clown and kills her. A hit squad is sent after him, though Hopper (Tim Roth) sees they are idiots so stays behind, and listens in as the hit man quickly takes out the whole team.

 

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Fences by Denzel Washington, 2016

A film adaption of August Wilson’s play bringing Denzel Washington and Viola Davis back to roles they playes in 2010 Broadway Revival. The story of a very angry man and his effect on his family. And though Denzel does manage to bring it out from the backyard where most of the story takes place, it does still feel like a play on film. Still it lets Viola Davis shine. And Denzel is good too, though I feel like he could have dialed it back a bit more for the screen vs the stage. And while interesting I disliked Denzel’s Troy so much that it is a hard watch at times. It is good, though not great, though Viola Davis deserves best actress.

 

Troy Maxson (Denzel Washington) is an angry, angry man living in 1950’s Pittsburg. He is a former Negro Baseball league player, barely getting by as a trash man. He has put in a conplaint with the union as all the white guys are drivers and the black guys hall trash. He works with best friend Jim Bono (Stephen McKinley Henderson who is awesome here) who he brings hone to hang in the backyard, where he is supposed to be building a fence for his wife Rose (Viola Davis). Troys son from a previous relationship Lyons (Russell Hornsby) comes over to borrow money, which pisses him off because he is not taking responsibility. And Troy won’t go see at a clun playing music. Meanwhile Troy and Roses son Cory (Jovan Adepo) is to be scouted for college football, but Troy refuses because of his experience in sports.

 

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The Eagle Huntress by Otto Bell (2016)

I can’t even believe that this documentary is not up for best picture at the oscars! This is such an amazing film. A great story, amazing vistas, such great characters! It is feel agood, and life affirming. And it is shot so well! This is an absolute must see! I loved it!

 

This is the story of Aishlopan a 13 year old Kazakh girl from Mongolia. Her father Nurgaiv is an Eagle Hunter. A position passed down only from father to son in the area for as far back as people can remember. Asholpan is brave and fearless, and her father decides to train her to be an Eagle Huntress. Other Eagle hunters disgree, but Nurgaiv’s father agrees!

 

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Loving written and directed by Jeff Nichols (2016)

How is this film not the lead contender for best picture?  Not only is it a true story, but it is such an important story in the history of civil rights in this country. And it is so well done, with such good acting. Not the best film I have ever seen, but certainly one of, if not the, best film of the year. I loved this film, and it is an absolute must see. Great from start to finish. It is unbelievable that this did not get nominated for best picture from though at least Ruth Negga got a nomination.

 

In Caroline County, Virginia in 1958, Interacial Marriage is illegal under anti-miscegenation laws. Richard Loving (Joel Edgerton) is a white brick layer who is love with the black woman Mildred Jetter (Ruth Negga).  Richard buys an acre a mile from Mildred’s families house and asks her to marry him. They go with her father to Washington D.C. and get married. They return to Virginia and hang their marriage certificate over their bed. Later when Mildred is pregnant someone tips off the police, and Sheriff Brooks (Martin Csokas) breaks into her parents house and arrests them. Richard is released in bail, but they refuse to let him bail out Mildred. They get a lawyer, and he has them plead guilty, amd they are given suspended prison sentances, on condition that they not return to Virginia together for 25 years.

 

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Silence by Martin Scorsese (2016)

The film that Scorsese has been trying to make for 25 years. It is a gorgeous film, and makes me want to watch some great Samurai films. Unfortunately for me the religious nature of the story left me dry. And it is brutally sadistic and gory. And the moment at the end seems fully false and guesswork. I guess this is all about faith for Scorsese, but to me it is the opposite. I just don’t believe the conjecture, and I honestly didn’t like the film.

 

Father Cristóvão Ferreira (Liam Neeson) in Japan watches as the Japanese torture his fellow priests as they have made Catholicism illegal in Japan. In Macau two Jesuit priests Sebastião Rodrigues (Andrew Garfield) and Francisco Garupe (Adam Driver), who were proteges of Ferreira learn that he has become an Apostate and has renounced his faith and has even taken a Japanese wife. Neither believes it, and resolve to go to Japan to find him and prove his fairh and bring him home. They enlist a drunken Japanese fisherman Kichijiro (Yōsuke Kubozuka) as their guide, and thry head to Japan and small fishing village.

 

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The Finest Hours by Craig Gillespie (2016)

I had wanted to see this film when it came out, but had decided to wait till Netflix DVD, especially since it got only a 63% on Rotten Tomatoes. Now having seen it, I wish I had seen it in the theater, so that I could have seen it in 3D, since it is a Disney film, and they didn’t release a 3D version on DVD. I actually really enjoyed this true story. In fact I liked it much better than almost all of the Oscar contenders that I have seen. It is a great story, has some interesting characters, great effects, plus it is a Cape Cod story which makes it even bettter for me! I highly recommend this film.

 

In 1952 in Chatham on Cape Cod, Coast Guardsman Bernard “Bernie” Webber (Chris Pine) meets the girl he has been corresponding with through letters. This is Miriam Pentinen (Holliday Grainger) and the two start seeing each other, and she asks him to marry her, at first he refuses, but then he agrees, but has to get permission from his commanding officer Daniel Cluff (Eric Bana) before they can Mary. Bernie doesn’t want to get married, because of the big storms likely coming, and knowing that men die. On the day Bernie has promissed to ask Cliff a big storm arrives, and 2 tankers manage to get torn in half off of Cape Cod, though only one had gotten a message out. The SS Fort Mercer has ripped in half, losing it’s Captain and 7 crew members, and it’s radio was knocked out. The ship has a 17 foot crack in the engineering section, so it though the bulkheads are holding, it is sinking. The unliked Chief Engineer Ray Sybert (Casey Affleck) takes command, and tries to ground the ship on sholes, by manually stearing it, while the crew mans the pumps.

 

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Hell or High Water by David Mackenzie (2016)

Honestly this year has made me so dissapointed by not the oscar hopefuls films of the year but critics and film ratings. In fact I can no longer believe Rotten Tomatoes at all. Especially with this film getting a 98%. I mean, seriously are you kidding me? This film is not a great film, nor even a good or compelling film. In fact it is borring film that amounts to 3 conversations, one between 2 brothers, one between 2 cops, then on between on brother and one cop. And it isn’t like the dialogue is so amazing. And being a racist cop does not automatically make a character compelling! And I am not a fan of Ben Foster, and he didn’t change my mind here. I was not at all impressed by this film. Sure one scene with an ornary waitress was enjoyable. And the ending is OK, but really does not make up for the rest! I can’t believe this film has gotten so much positive press! Of course I can’t believe most of the Awards hopefuls are getting the reviews they are!

Two brothers, Toby (Chris Pine) and his ex-con brother Tanner (Ben Foster) are robbing banks. All the banks are from Texas Midlands Bank, which has non-working security cameras. They take the stolen cars they use and bury them after each robbery.

Two texas Rangers are on their trail. The close to retirement and racist Marcus Hamilton (Jeff Bridges) and his half Native American half Mexican partner Albero Parker (Gil Birmingham). They get their first lead when Tanner robs a different bank with cameras across the street from a Diner.

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Arrival by Denis Villeneuve (2016)

Though I love sci-fi films, I had stayed away from this film because of my dislike of Amy Adams. And I wish I hadn’t stayed away, because I loved the film (though I do think another actress could have been better). While watching the film I did have some issues with film, but honestly the film answered those issues and by the end I understood why the choices had been made. And the film is obviously an homage to 2001 a Space Odyssey as the films of Terrance Malek (mostly in the photography of the flashbacks), and since I love those films it works for me. The science fiction story of this film just blew me away, and nakes this film a must watch.

 

The film begins with linguist Louise Banks (Amy Adams) dealing with her daughter slowly dieing from an incurable cancer over a period of years. Her husband has left her and she deals with alone, being with her on her deathbed in a hospital. Now Louise heads to her lecture on linguistics at university, not paying attention to all the students gathered around TV’s. And there are only 4 students in her class, and her lecture is quickly disrupted by phone calls and texts. 12 Alien Spacecraft have appeared around the planet at random places, large monolith like ships hovering over the Earth. When she returns home, US Army Colonel GT weber (Forest Whitaker) waiting in her house for her. They recruit her to act as a linguist in talking to the Aliens that have landed over Montana.

 

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The Girl on the Train by Tate Taylor (2016)

I was warry of this adaption of the novel of the same name by Paula Hawkins, mainly because the trailers reminded me too much of Gone Girl which I hated. Fortunately I was wrong. And after starting the film not liking the drunken and unreliable narrator played by Emily Blunt, i really got sucked in and felt sorry for her. This is a really great story and a good film, one of the best of the year in fact (though this year has certainly has not had the best filns).

 

Rachel Watson (Emily Blunt) is a mess and an alcoholic, riding the train every day. She is obsessed with a couple she watches from the train, Megan (Haley Bennett) and Scott (luke Evans). The couple lives 2 doors from her ex husband Tom (Justin Theroux) and new Wife Anna (Rebecca Ferguson)  amd their baby. Rachel is still onsessed with Tom, having ruined their marriage with drinking after they could not get pregnant. One night while on the train Rachel sees Anna cheating on her husband with another man, Kamal (Édgar Ramirez) and gets off the train to confront her, but is so drunk. She wakes up, covered in blood with almost no memory of the night, and Anna is missing.

 

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