Tag Archives: Christopher Plummer

Knives Out (2019) Review

Time: 130 Minutes
Age Rating: 860940[1] Offensive language
Cast:
Daniel Craig as Detective Benoit Blanc
Chris Evans as Hugh “Ransom” Drysdale
Ana de Armas as Marta Cabrera
Jamie Lee Curtis as Linda Drysdale
Michael Shannon as Walter “Walt” Thrombey
Don Johnson as Richard Drysdale
Toni Collette as Joni Thrombey
Lakeith Stanfield as Detective Lieutenant Elliot
Katherine Langford as Megan “Meg” Thrombey
Jaeden Martell as Jacob Thrombey
Christopher Plummer as Harlan Thrombey
Noah Segan as Trooper Wagner
Director: Rian Johnson

When renowned crime novelist Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer) is found dead at his estate just after his 85th birthday, the inquisitive and debonair Detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) is mysteriously enlisted to investigate. From Harlan’s dysfunctional family to his devoted staff, Blanc sifts through a web of red herrings and self-serving lies to uncover the truth behind Harlan’s untimely death.

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Knives Out was one of my most anticipated films of 2019. I’m always interested in seeing what writer/director Rian Johnson does next, and with him going from Star Wars to a much smaller movie and especially a whodunit, I was already on board. However, you add on top of that an insane cast that includes Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Michael Shannon and more, and I’m absolutely going to be excited for it. Knives Out is not only one of the biggest crowd-pleasers of the year, it’s one of the best films from the year too.

Rian Johnson’s script is nothing short of fantastic. Talking about how and why much of it works so well is quite difficult without revealing important things, so don’t go in knowing too much. Even the non spoilerish aspects are best experienced for yourself. Thankfully the trailers do a good job at not revealing too much about the movie beyond the premise and setup. What I can say is that Knives Out is quite different from what you’d initially expect it to be at first. What Johnson did with the noire genre in Brick, he does with the whodunit here, modernising it, and adding some twists on it. I will need to watch it again to see if much of the reveals still hold up, but on first viewing I’m more than satisfied with where he took the story and characters. I genuinely was surprised at some of the twists that happened. It’s also a hilarious movie, with some great and memorable dialogue. At 2 hours and 10 minutes long, it has your attention from start to finish. Early on I can see people wondering where this movie is going. However, at a certain point, I think most audiences are going to be locked into the plot.

As previously mentioned, the cast is massive and they played their roles really well. Daniel Craig is instantly iconic as Detective Benoit Blanc, a private detective investigating the murder. His performance is definitely over the top, especially with the southern accent, he’s playing on detectives like Hercule Poriot. With this and Logan Lucky, Craig has been really showing that he has a solid comedic side to him that we don’t get to see often. There have been talks about having more movies featuring the character of Blanc, and I’d definitely like to see that. However one of the biggest surprises is that Craig isn’t even the main character. When I say that Knives Out is Ana de Armas’s movie, I’m not just saying that because she steals much of the movie, even though she does that. Her character of Marta is at the centre of the film, and without revealing too much of the movie, she’s ultimately Knives Out’s secret weapon, she’s going to take a lot of people by surprise. The cast making up the rich family at the centre of the mystery with Chris Evans, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Shannon, Don Johnson, Toni Collette, Katherine Langford, Jaeden Martell and Christopher Plummer are all great, and have plenty of moments to show off. They work well at both the dramatic and comedic parts. Some of them get to do more than others, like Martell out of them is really only noticed in a few scenes, but the rest of them do well to make themselves known. Out of them however, I’d say that Evans is the standout. Plummer as the murder victim at the centre doesn’t get a massive amount of screentime but he’s nonetheless a major part and is a presence felt throughout. Additionally Lakeith Stanfield and Noah Segan also work well in supporting roles as a detective and a police officer investing the murder along with Blanc, though I did want to see a little more from Stanfield.

Rian Johnson’s direction is still on point, and he’s got a fantastic handle on the whole film. When the first trailers came out from Knives Out, I noticed some people commenting that it looks like a tv show rather than an actual film. I can say that sitting in a theatre and watching the movie begin, that couldn’t be further from the truth, it was stunning to look at. It’s very much stylised, and like with Johnson’s debut with Brick, it throws back to the movies of the same genre that its clearly inspired by (in Knives Out’s case that of course being the whodunit).

With Knives Out, Rian Johnson shows once again that he’s one of the most unique and exciting filmmakers working together. It’s very well directed, and the script is outstanding, with some effective twists, fleshed out characters, and is much more than what you’d expect it to be at first. Add on top of that a fantastic cast who perform excellently (highlights being Daniel Craig, Ana de Armas and Chris Evans), and you have one of the best (and most entertaining) movies of the year. Definitely don’t miss it at the cinema.

All the Money in the World (2017) Review

Time: 133 Minutes
Age Rating: 2773-o[1] Contains violence, offensive language & content that may disturb
Cast
Michelle Williams as Gail Harris
Christopher Plummer as J. Paul Getty
Mark Wahlberg as Fletcher Chase
Charlie Plummer as John Paul Getty III
Romain Duris as Cinquanta
Marco Leonardi as Mammoliti
Director: Ridley Scott

ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD follows 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.

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I was aware about All the Money in the World in the lead up to its release, even before the controversy hit the film. As most people know, because of the sexual allegations against Kevin Spacey (who had already filmed scenes as J. Paul Getty), director Ridley Scott decided to reshoot his scenes with Christopher Plummer as Getty. This brought a lot more attention to the film, the question being raised often is whether Ridley pulled the reshoots off months before its release, the answer is yes. However, how is the movie on a whole? All the Money in the World is another solid movie by Ridley Scott with the great performances being the highlight.

I was interested in the movie from start to finish but I will admit that it took me a little while to get into it, it was a little slow initially. It is a pretty long movie at around 2 hours and 15 minutes, however looking back at the movie I’m not exactly sure what I would cut out. By the second half of the movie though I was fully into it. The film doesn’t just cover the whole kidnapping, it also goes into some depth about the Getty family through the use of some flashbacks. The film really got more intriguing as it went on. As for how accurate this movie is, I know that there are a few aspects that are inaccurate, especially in the third act, it was probably done to make the film more dramatic. I guess all the real events weren’t interesting, dramatic or captivating enough, so some changes were made. I think most of the film is accurate but it is hard to tell as it’s difficult to find facts. On the whole though, the story was done quite well.

Michelle Williams shouldn’t be overlooked amongst all the Spacey/Plummer controversy. She’s truly great and believable as a mother trying to get her son back and being faced with so many odds. Definitely worthy of a lot of praise. Despite being brought in at the last minute, Christopher Plummer is fantastic as J. Paul Getty. Along with actually being the right age to play Getty and not having extremely distracting makeup (unlike Spacey), acting wise he’s more appropriate. Plummer manages to ground Getty in reality and feel like an actual person instead of a character. Getty definitely is ruthless but has reasons for his decisions and Plummer was fantastic in every scene. Mark Wahlberg was also pretty good, he doesn’t stand out as much as some of the other performances but he does have his moments and still adds quite a bit to the movie as well. Charlie Plummer (no relation to Christopher Plummer) is Paul Getty III and while he doesn’t have too much to work with he did act very well with what he’s given. A performance I also don’t think should be overlooked is of Romain Duris, who’s one of the kidnappers of John Paul III and ends up befriending the captive. They have an interesting relationship that I didn’t expect. Overall all the acting is great and is one of the best parts of the film.

Ridley Scott is still to this day a great director and he does great work here again. Anyone worried about the reshoots shouldn’t be, they were seamless. If you showed the film to someone who never heard about the controversy, they wouldn’t be able to tell that reshoots happened. Besides, it’s pretty obvious that every single scene Christopher Plummer is in is a reshoot, none of that is distracting though. There was only really one scene that stood out involving a desert and green screen (which from what I could tell is the only way they could reshoot that scene), otherwise pretty much everything else is in place. The cinematography, lighting and colour pallet throughout the whole film were pretty good, although a little distracting at times with how it changes during some segments. Whenever the film needs to be tense, it is very tense, especially one hard to watch scene in the second half. The score by Daniel Pemberton was also quite good.

All the Money of the World definitely manages to pull off the reshoots and be an engaging thriller. Ridley Scott’s direction was great, the film was for the most part gripping and the performances were fantastic. I’m not sure if I would put this as being one of Ridley Scott’s all time best films but it is one of his best in recent years at the very least. It was a very different kind of movie for him and he pulled it off greatly. It is definitely worth giving a watch.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011)

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The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
Time: 158 Minutes
Age Rating: 860949[1] Acts of cruelty & rape, sexual violence & offensive language
Cast:
Daniel Craig as Mikael Blomvist
Rooney Mara as Lisbeth Salander
Christopher Plummer as Henrik Vanger
Stellan Skarsgard as Martin Vanger
Steven Berkoff as Dirch Frode
Robin Wright as Erika Berger
Yorick van Wageningen as Nils Bjurman
Joely Richardson as Anita Vanger
Director: David Fincher

After being successfully sued for libel by a wealthy industrialist, investigative journalist Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig) leaves his magazine Millennium and accepts an offer from Henrik Vanger (Christopher Plummer) to write the Vanger family history. What Henrik is most interested in learning however is what happened to his niece, Harriet Vanger, who he is certain was murdered by a member of his family in the summer of 1966. Mikael takes on the task and moves into a small cottage on the Vanger estate. Blomkvist eventually believes that her disappearance might have something to do with some serial killings that took place 20 years before she disappeared. He begins to decipher some of the clues Harriet has left behind and decides to get an assistant, computer hacker Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara), the woman who did the very thorough background check on him for Vanger. Together, they learn of some of the Vangers deep, violent secrets.

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I haven’t read the novels by Stieg Larsson or watched the original movies, but just from watching this movie, I should get around to looking at them sometime because of how much I loved this movie. David Fincher was the perfect director for this film, creating a chilling atmosphere and overall, a film that is always captivating and interesting with never a dull moment.

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Starting with a sleek, stylistic and dark opening animation which is accompanied with Trent Reznor and Karen O’s cover of Immigrant Song (Originally by Led Zeppelin) the film never lets up in being completely interesting. When you go into this movie, expect a dialogue driven movie, like Zodiac (another Fincher movie) but yet it is much more captivating. It is also worth knowing that this is a mystery movie that has a lot of details to take in. The film also mostly jumps between the perspectives of Lisbeth and Mikael before they meet about halfway into the movie. Despite the film being a bit long at 2 hours and 40 minutes I still was interested throughout the entire runtime. The film also concludes with a fitting ending that has me itching for the sequels.

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Rooney Mara was absolutely fantastic in this movie. From her performance alone, I can see that her character is extremely hard to portray but somehow, she pulls it off. Mara managed to really transform herself to become Lisbeth and on screen, she lives and breathes her. She has successfully managed personifies one of the most complex and interesting characters I have watched on screen. Daniel Craig is also really good here who also has great chemistry with Rooney Mara. Other actors like Christopher Plummer and Stellan Skarsgard are also really good in their roles.

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David Fincher’s films always look great and this movie is no exception. The locations in Sweden are well made and the film looks downright beautiful when it takes place in winter. Incredibly, some of scenes used CGI, when all of the film looked like it was filmed with none of that. The score by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross is also really good and sets the mood for the location, particularly in the snow.

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The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo proves again that David Fincher knows what he is doing behind the camera. It may not be the most pleasant film to watch but it is always eye catching with beautiful cinematography, a captivating tone and brilliant performances, mostly notable that being of Rooney Mara’s. It’s extremely hard for me to find any flaws in the movie and I’m looking forward to the sequels and I hope they get made.
9/10