HOLLYWOOD'S NEWEST MOVIES - REVIEWED & SUMMARIZED
Updated: Oct 15
Joker (2019) – Summary, Review (with Spoilers)
Best Joker Movie ever?? - Without doubt, the recently published Masterpiece is a absolute MUST-WATCH! But here are a couple of facts about this amazing movie:
Director: Todd Phillips Casting Director: Shayna Markowitz Three main Actors: Joaquin Phoenix, Robert de Niro, Zazie Beetz Synopsis: Arthur Fleck is an aspiring stand-up comedian who suffers from mental illnesses of which one of them is causing him to laugh uncontrollably when he gets nervous or uncomfortable. He is being looked down on and rejected by society, causing his life to spiral downwards and controlling his actions. In order to get noticed, seen or/and accepted he turns out-of control crime, dilutions and violence while becoming his alter ego and “The Joker” which seems to be the only possible role for him to strive and influence others in life. He causes a mass-movement in Gotham and becomes the infamous super-villain.
Personal Review: Absolutely phenomenal movie!!! The movie captured me immediately and managed to astonish me up until the end! Almost everything was just perfect: Acting!, Music, Camera movements & Cinematography, Casting and Directing Decisions, Props and Costumes, Make up!, Locations & Setting… I could go on and on… I absolutely loved the openness of the Story-line and the real effort of Film making to make the viewer think beyond what is shown on the screen and truly leave the theater in both – shock and full of thoughts what might was really going on in the “Joker’s” mind and reasons behind some actions, but always full of astonishment for the quality of the movie. I had many favorite scenes and felt like I wanted to re-watch the movie in just a week after I saw it to dig even deeper into it. (that very rarely happens to me!) It really keeps you guessing what the movie is about and what it means, and that’s the best thing about it. It’s about inspiring and trigger personal discussions and thoughts between people. Politics? Seeking Individuality? Repressing mental illness? Provocation? Society? Violence as tool to be famous/ seen? Breaking down on going crazy because of Childhood Trauma? Paranoia and Obsession? Shaping the world? Finding your Origin? The thin line between comedy and tragedy? Distrusting Society?
Joaquin gave a breathtaking and extremely memorable performance (update: and WON an Oscar!) and one for the books for sure. It was extremely raw, dark and real. Such a great character arch and the intensity and energy he gives into it and really let us (the viewers) deep dive, understand more about mental illness and look in more detail through the eyes of a mental ill person! It’s so important for us, humans to develop empathy and be able to look though other’s eyes and step into other shoes and mental illness is one of the hardest ones if you are not personally mental ill, but this movie just nailed it for me. He absolutely elevated the role organically & emerged into the role and made it easy for me to really get him, no matter how disturbed he might be. He lost weight to play this mentally not stable character and just nailed his performance in my opinion! For me, an iconic and unique stand-alone masterpiece. If this movie doesn’t get nominated for the upcoming 92nd Academy Awards I really don’t know what is! And here some interesting Interviews with Director Phillipp Todds about the 'Process of Making this Movie' and Joaquin Phoenix about the role and Behind the Scenes! :
Enjoy! And here's some more good interview's about the making/ background of the movie:
Director: Martin Scorsese Casting Director: Ellen Lewis Three main Actors: Robert de Niro, Al Pacino, Joe Pesci
Summary: This biographical thriller, based on the book ‘I heard You Paint Houses’, is a three hour and 29-minute true crime epic set in post-war America. It’s told through the eyes of WWII veteran Frank Sheeran (played by de Niro), a hitman who worked alongside some of the most notorious figures of the Italian mafia, like Russell Bufalino (Pesci).
Spanning several decades, the film chronicles one of the greatest unsolved mysteries in American history: the disappearance of legendary Union boss Jimmy Hoffa (played by Al Pacino) and offers a look at the inner workings of organized crime, its rivalries, and connections to mainstream politics.
Personal Review & Opinion: Scorsese managed a phenomenal come- back with this Master piece and one of his best films ever. Of course a Mafia-movie about Loyalty, Violence, Betrayal, Importance of Friendship & Family and The Meaning of Life. It’s a celebrational and sensational re-union of 3 legends and dream which almost never would have came true! All three Main Players are carrying a lifetime of work and it’s absolutely stunning to watch an absolute ACTING – MASTERCLASS. - Needless to say that everyone is bringing their A-Game out here. First thing I loved, - Acting was absolutely ON POINT and nothing to critique about. It is quite rare, but I LOVE movies where I stop focusing to critique the acting and ‘not worry’ about the quality of acting, because it’s just SO good and be able to relax & focus on evaluating other aspects of the movie like storyline, editing or cinematography. (which I usually never get to since I’m so focused on the Acting).
The other detail I enjoyed most was the Pacing: It had an extreme slow beginning/ start and felt like one of his ‘usual’ stereotypical mafia movies glamourizing this dirty mafia business and everything that comes with it, but as you keep going & continue to give it a chance, it just becomes better and better every continues single minute while crawling deeper and deeper into your emotional soul. He not only completely twisted and turned the usual picture of an almost perfect & charming mafia-life full of money, beauty, glam and expense but brought the “Real”, dirty Look on a Mobster-Life to view to the front, but managed to include challenging, but extremely important and truthful topics such getting older, “The Meaning of Life” and the Importance of real relationships with family and true friends. I just felt heartbroken watching this movie during it’s last 30 minutes and really must say he couldn’t dig deeper into “what could possibly go emotionally wrong with a Mobster”.
Especially dealing with most sensitive topics like “What’s the point of all this mafia-shit and risk taking, if there is no one there for me at the end of my life?”, got me as he was literally getting older in the movie, emphasizing not only the meaningless of life when you kill someone as Mafia-member, but also the meaningless of your own life as you grow older and realize you failed as a husband, a father and friend.
Director: Clint Eastwood
Casting Director: Geoffrey Miclat
Three main Actors: Paul Walter Hauser, Sam Rockwell, Olivia Wilde
Brief Summary: Based on a true story, American Security Guard ‘Richard Jewell’ saves hundreds of people’s life’s at a local country fair bomb/ terror- attack and after getting famous for that, he is getting falsely accused by journalists of having it set up and actually committed the crime to make it a more interesting story for the press to tell.
Personal Review & Opinion:
This Movie I as well saw at a premiere in Hollywood at the Chinese Theater and it was so inspiring to see and hear Clint Eastwood talk about his latest (and maybe even last) movie. I extremely enjoyed the truth-based story line and especially the performances of both main male actors: Paul Walter Hauser and Sam Rockwell. It really touched my heart and makes you develop such an empathy with this vulnerable, and completely innocent, almost child-like, big grown-up man. You literally feel the urge to fight against the unfairness of it all and hate the character of Kathy Scruggs (played by Wilde). In total, absolutely worth watching it, Eastwood is also an exceptional director, known for his meaningful projects he usually takes on.
Director: Andrea Berloff Casting Director: mostly Andrea Berloff herself Three Main Actors: Melissa McCarthy, Tiffany Haddish, Elisabeth Moss
Summary: ‘The Kitchen’ tells the story of 3 wives of Irish Mobsters who take over their husband’s business in New York’s ‘Hell’s Kitchen’ in the late 1970’s, after the FBI arrests their husbands and they need to spend their time in prison.
Personal Review & Opinion:
What I especially liked about this movie was the fact that it was women – dominated. Traditionally mafia movies are dominated by men since it’s set in a male-dominated world. BUT in this one they managed to switch roles and it is just inspiring how “they kick butt” and take over their husband’s business while the men are in prison. I loved the acting of all women, especially the vulnerability of Elisabeth Moss’ character and it was really inspiring and exciting to see them in person as I attended the Premiere of this movie in Hollywood with all Actors, Director and Producers in the room, talking live about the Highlights and Process of making the movie! It got surprisingly bad reviews on Rotten Tomatoes and other critique sites, but I personally really enjoyed it!