Tag: Ruth Wilson

See How They Run

A lot of times to start these reviews, I will talk about the title as an effective or ineffective tool, or how people might perceive the movie. This time it isn’t a joke. It is all honesty. See How They Run sounds like a horror film. It just does. Or maybe even a war film.

I would have never guessed a Comedy/Mystery movie. I certainly would never have guessed it was something Agatha Christie adjacent. What does that mean? You will soon find out.

You will also find out why this stacked cast, full of actors I love, did very little for me unfortunately throughout the picture.

This is most of the cast! Not even the biggest names! One or more of these characters might die!

In the 1950’s, there was TV and Movies, but let’s be clear, it wasn’t the top tier stuff we know about now. So what did people do? Well, there wasn’t a war, so they went to plays!

One popular playwright was Agatha Christie, whom you have heard of before. She wrote a lot of murder mystery plays, which had the audience guessing and sworn to secrecy that they wouldn’t spoil the ending of the play. After all, then people wouldn’t come and see them!

One play in particular, The Mouse Trap, was doing very well, and it got a lot of people excited about murder mysteries. It may have been even based on a real story. It is doing so well, a few people have the great idea to turn it into a film. People are watching films now, so why not let a lot more see it on a bigger scale? Great idea!

Until people start dying, who are associated with the film. No, this is not Scream 3. This is See How They Run. Now we have an Inspector (Sam Rockwell) and his rookie assistant (Saoirse Ronan) are going to try and find the killer. While also dealing with apathy and inexperience. And some intrigue, sure.

Also starring Shirley Henderson, Adrien Brody, David Oyelowo, Ruth Wilson, Reece Shearsmith, Charlie Cooper, and Harris Dickinson as a young Richard Attenborough.

See, I kept the biggest names hidden. Oh what a mystery that was!

This film is going for some sort of meta look on Agatha Christie plays, by having a murder mystery involved with the making of an Agatha Christie film. A real murder during fake murders! It is something that has been done before, so while feeling like it could be a unique look, it isn’t actually too unique. Now we have to compare it to just meta murder films and plays. At the same time, we have to compare it to actual Agatha Christie plays.

That is a lot of comparisons it needs to overcome. Unfortunately, it fails on those levels.

In terms of positives, I can say this movie is really well shot and costumed. It has a great visual look to it, and it is clearly using some good cameras and interesting scenes. I also think Ronan’s character was interesting, and that this one felt a bit more unique when compared to the majority of her other roles. Again, the spunky new cop who is smart and gets things figured out is not a new archetype either. It is just unique for her own body of work.

In terms of everything else, I am just left disappointed. From the eventual reveal, to the death scenes, to the jokes (this is a comedy, technically), and to even Sam Rockwell. I love Sam Rockwell. But much like his character didn’t want to be there, it felt like he didn’t want to be there either.

See How They Run is just a snooze. The jokes fall as flat as the bodies that eventual hit the floor. Its meta qualities don’t even feel like a unique enough reason to give it a watch out of curiosity.

1 out of 4.


Locke came out a few weeks ago but something about the title or the dvd cover just bugged me. Based on name and cover alone, I figured it was some sort of slow crime movie. Had to push it back. Too much energy to appreciate a slow crime movie.

The reason I finally decided to give it a shot is because I saw The Drop, and gosh darn it, Tom Hardy just keeps impressing me with the roles he has produced. He isn’t just some guy who can bulk up and do action scenes. He is an actor, so I want to see the man act.

Well, it turns out this movie is much better defined as drama. Not drama crime, not drama thriller, just straight up dramatics.

“Hell, I’d watch Tom Hardy just driving a car and talking on the phone.” – Locke’s director

Ivan Locke (Tom Hardy) is a construction foreman who lives and works about 90 minutes outside of London. It is late, another hard days of work, prepping for a huge cement pour job the next day. The biggest in all of England really. A lot of things can go wrong and he is one of the most qualified men to handle it.

You see, Ivan is a hard worker. He has been doing this job for a nearly a decade, he is reliable, a nice guy, a stand up citizen, someone who could do no wrong. His wife and son are waiting for him at home to watch a football match. But as he leaves work, he is heading for London, not for home.

You see, Ivan had a moment of weakness. Seven months ago he had a sexual relationship with a woman. It was incredibly uncharacteristic of him, but it happened. Even though he barely knows her, she is in London now undergoing a premature birth. So now he is trying to make things right. He is going to be with her and see the birth of his baby.

During this time, he had to email that he won’t be in at work tomorrow, one of the most important days. He has to call his wife and tell her of what is going on. He has to call the hospital as the woman is all alone and has no one else to talk to but him. And he has to help the work operation go off without a hitch with a lot of bosses getting mad at him.

The other characters are voiced by Olivia Colman, Ruth Wilson, Andrew Scott, Ben Daniels, and Tom Holland. But you know, we only get one face.

You will get no diversity in pictures from this movie. NONE.

At least from my point of view, Locke was everything that Cosmopolis wanted to be and more. Cosmopolis felt like a weird fantasy film thriller thing, with a lot of it taking place in a limo. It suffered from vagueness despite the good ending.

Locke takes out any vagueness and lays everything bare on the table in front of you, like one of those Nantaimori models.

Technically a type of bottle movie, but also a sort of one man show. Other movies like Buried or Brake feature one man as well, but those men are literally trapped in boxes versus Locke where he is trapped in a sort of moral quandary. The character Locke is very clear with his convictions and unwavering with his goals, and you can’t help to respect that despite his dickish act of betrayal.

It is hard to feel so attached to a character normally, but when truly watching this film you will feel like a silent passenger in the car with him. It is an extremely morally resonant film and one where you won’t necessarily know how to feel by the end.

4 out of 4.

Saving Mr. Banks

Before this week, I had never seen Mary Poppins. Classic movie sure, and I of course knew songs and scenes from it, but I never watched it in its entirety. Blame the parents. While watching the movie as an adult, I did find it very odd. The message was clear: money is evil, family is great, but why they chose to enforce that message in the 1960s was beyond me.

That was my main goal for watching Saving Mr. Banks: to figure out what the money and banks ever did to the Mary Poppins author. Oh, and to figure out why she was behaving like a huge bitch.

Dat Face Doe
I didn’t think anyone could be mean to a face like that.

Saving Mr. Banks is supposed to tell the true-ish story of Walt Disney (Tom Hanks) acquiring the rights to a film version of Mary Poppins, from the author P.L. Travers (Emma Thompson). Of course because it is a Disney movie about the creator of Disney, don’t expect that much actual truth in the movie.

The one thing that does appear to be truthful is that Travers was very very hard to work with. She was granted script rights, and she used the heck out of them. She didn’t want animation, didn’t want music, didn’t want Dick Van Dyke, didn’t want a lot of things. She was very peculiar over her character, and didn’t want Disney to mess it up.

Everything else that occurred in the film is whatever they wanted to say, presumably to rewrite history. For instance, Disney was a chronic smoker and he never hated it, despite it leading to his death. They made a few tiny references in the movie (a cough every once in awhile) but made sure they never showed him doing the deed. In fact, he had a line calling it a disgusting habit and one he was trying to quit. Riiiiight…

The movie is spliced with the tale of Travers’ early life, when she moved to the middle of no where with her family. She lived in a small house, but had a loving (yet alcoholic) father (Colin Farrell), and a quite annoyed mother (Ruth Wilson). Her stories were based on an actual nanny sent to clean up their home, after a few unfortunate events leaving it in disarray.

It should be obvious that most of her complaints with the original script, end up getting included in the final project. So something has to change by the end of the movie, but is it change that all parties actually agree on?

Also featuring Paul Giamatti as an optimistic driver (strange role for him), Bradley Whitford as the writer, and B.J. Novak and Jason Schwartzman as the song writers.

The Past
What? You didn’t want a farm story during a Mary Poppins movie movie? Too bad!

After watching the movie, I am unsure how much of it is true, and how much of it is just revisionist history. I mentioned a few discrepancies above, but I also don’t know if the back story on Travers’ early life is accurate. I loved the back story, loved it far more than the other part of the film. It was sweet and it was tragic. It made Mary Poppins make a heck of a lot more sense and give it a more powerful meaning. But given all the other changes, I can only doubt that the past problems are somewhat fabricated as well.

This film is also meant to be a pseudo-biopic for Walt Disney, but since it is such a small part of his wildly successful life, and full of inaccuracies, I wouldn’t be willing to label it as such.

My favorite actor from the movie is surprisingly Colin Farrell, playing the “real” Mr. Banks who needs saving. His performance was incredible, despite being a minor role. But hey, he has impressed me a lot over the last few years with a few of his role choices.

What this film taught me is that the real Travers was indeed really hard to work with, for potentially tragic yet inexcusable reasons. If our current pop culture network existed back then, there would have been tons of negative press thrown her way, with hardly any sympathizers.

Saving Mr. Banks itself will probably mostly just apeal to those who grew up with Mary Poppins in their lives and want to relive the magic in a completely different way.

Part of me was hoping at the end of the movie, when they did the premier of Mary Poppins, that they would show the entire film. You know, secretly turn it into a Double Feature. That would have been truly surprising. But Saving Mr. Banks on its own plays a relatively safe story: one that is very powerful, but also full of deceit.

2 out of 4.

The Lone Ranger

Sync up your William Tell Overture Finale folks, it’s The Lone Ranger time.

Although I never listened to the original radio series, or watched the TV series, or other movies, The Lone Ranger himself is pretty ingrained in American Pop Culture. A hero to the old American West, and a franchise that Jerry Bruckheimer has decided to take under his wing. After all, if it proves to be a success, he could release a new Ranger movie every three years, similar to his current Pirates of the Caribbean trek. Just think of how much money Johnny Depp will make from both franchises, too.

If explosions were dollar bills…

In Colby, Texas, the great American Railroad is coming through, bringing prosperity and happiness to the small town. Their goal is to connect the East with the West. John Reid (Armie Hammer), a district attorney from the big cities, is returning to his hometown to reconnect with his brother and brother’s wife, Rebecca (Ruth Wislon).

What poor John did not know, is that also on that train was famed bandit cannibal Butch Cavendish (William Fichtner), who is finally going to be hanged for his crime. There is also this Indian named Tonto (Johnny Depp), but he is a bit more mysterious. After a train robbery, Butch is back on the run, and it is up to John Reid, his brother, and a gang of lawmen to bring him back for justice.

Until something goes wrong. Terribly, deadly wrong. Somehow, John is saved, and Tonto explains to him that he is a spirit walker, who cannot be killed according to his beliefs. Tonto also wants to bring Butch to justice, so they team up to right wrongs and save the day! Speaking of trains, Tom Wilkinson plays Cole, the railroad tycoon, and Helena Bonham Carter a bordello mistress. Fun fact, this is the first time Carter and Depp have been in a film together that was not directed by Tim Burton.

Horse Man yo
It is also the first time Depp has worked with this horse.

After watching The Lone Ranger, I really just want to listen to famous, old classical music. Major props to Hans Zimmer for rocking out another great movie soundtrack, something I don’t bring up a lot in my reviews.

I will start with the negatives first. This movie is 149 minutes long. What! A lot of the film is set up, in order to introduce us to the character before he dons the mask, a little bit about Tonto, and a whole lot about his brother and his old town. It is necessary, I guess, but it could have easily been shortened. The film uses the method of unreliable narrator, as a much older Tonto is telling the story on how he first met John. The idea itself is a neat one (and allows for more crazy situations) but the method of delivery just feels hokey to me.

Thankfully, the positives far outweigh the negatives. Hammer and Depp have great chemistry. Tonto is not just a secondary character but an equally important one. They have the appropriate throw backs to the original series while also doing their own thing.

But the best part of the movie is by far the climactic train ending. The final chase is incredibly long, but so meticulously planned and detailed that it was hard to stop smiling the entire time. The director had many gorgeous shots of the landscape, like a classic western, including setting parts of it in the Monument Valley as a different type of throwback.

The movie will also give you plenty of screen time with Armie Hammer, who is currently rumored to be the new Ant-Man or Dr. Strange, upcoming heroes/movies Phase 3 of the Marvel Universe.

Although this film has had many negative reviews, I’d say give it a chance. Especially if you have three hours (movie and preview) to waste on these hot summer nights.


3 out of 4.