Tag Archives: Michael C. Hall

The Report (2019) Review

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The Report

Time: 119 minutes
Age Rating: 2773-o[1] Violence, cruelty & offensive language
Cast:
Adam Driver as Daniel Jones
Annette Bening as Dianne Feinstein
Jon Hamm as Denis McDonough
Jennifer Morrison as Caroline Krass
Tim Blake Nelson as Raymond Nathan
Ted Levine as John Brennan
Michael C. Hall as Thomas Eastman
Maura Tierney as Bernadette
Director: Scott Z. Burns

FBI agent Daniel Jones (Adam Driver) performs an exhaustive investigation into the CIA’s use of torture on suspected terrorists. In the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, the CIA adopted new interrogation techniques.

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I heard about The Report for a little while, it was about an important topic about the report of the CIA’s use of torture, and had a lot of talented people involved with the likes of Adam Driver, Annette Bening and Jon Hamm. It’s turned out to be quite good and overall well made, if a slightly too procedural.

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The Report is a straight forward movie. When it comes to movies based on true events like this, there’s a certain kind of genre where it just seems to give cliff notes of information that could’ve been taken from Wikipedia. The Report is sort of that but out of those types of movies, it does this the best. It keeps you engaged to learn everything that’s happening, at least that’s what it did for me. There’s a lot of information being tossed at you, but even if you don’t remember everything perfectly, there’s enough there that you can grasp what’s going on. As you can probably tell already, it’s not an easy watch by any means, given the subject matter. Even outside the flashback scenes which features some torture, it can be maddening and frustrating hearing about all of what happened, and it’s meant to have you feeling that way. I’m not quite sure that The Report will hold up outside of the first viewing, still well made and all that, but after knowing everything it has to say, there’s not much point watching it again. I guess one problem with this movie is that while you’d expect the movie to not go into too much depth with many of the supporting players, you’d expect something with the lead character, that being Daniel Jones played by Adam Driver. It’s verbally expressed early on that Jones isn’t close with anyone, and you can really tell that he’s really committed to this case, but that’s all we learn from him. Not necessarily a bad thing mind you, they can sort of get away with that given the nature of the protagonist, and it’s not necessarily something that’s bothering you if you’re engaged with the rest of the movie.

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The Report has got a great cast who perform very well in their respective roles. Adam Driver continues to prove himself one of the best actors working today. As I said, the movie doesn’t really go into him as a person, but Driver’s acting overcomes that, and once again gives a very strong lead performance. The supporting cast with the likes of Annette Bening, Jon Hamm, Tim Blake Nelson, Ted Levine, Michael C. Hall, Corey Stoll and more all provide good performances too.

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I haven’t seen a film from director Scott Z. Burns (he made his last movie over a decade ago, which I haven’t seen), he’s mainly a writer for movies like Side Effects and The Bourne Ultimatum. He’s pretty good as a director, even if he doesn’t really have much of a distinct style. The cinematography is rather basic and not necessarily attractive or stylish, but I guess that fitted the tone and subject matter of the movie quite well.

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I wouldn’t say that The Report is a great movie, but it is an important movie for sure. It’s tightly written and directed and features some really good performances from its talented cast. Yes, it’s a ‘cliff notes’ movie, but it’s a very well made cliff notes movie. It gives you a generally good idea of what happened in an interesting and engaging 2 hour long movie. Definitely check it out when you can.

Game Night (2018) Review

Time: 100 Minutes
Age Rating: 860949[1] Contains violence, sexual references & offensive language
Cast
Jason Bateman as Max
Rachel McAdams as Annie
Kyle Chandler as Brooks
Billy Magnussen as Ryan
Sharon Horgan as Sarah
Lamorne Morris as Kevin
Kylie Bunbury as Michelle
Jesse Plemons as Gary Kingsbury
Michael C. Hall as The Bulgarian
Director: John Francis Daley, Jonathan Goldstein

Max (Jason Bateman) and Annie’s (Rachel McAdams) weekly game night gets kicked up a notch when Max’s brother Brooks (Kyle Chandler) arranges a murder mystery party — complete with fake thugs and federal agents. So when Brooks gets kidnapped, it’s all supposed to be part of the game. As the competitors set out to solve the case, they start to learn that neither the game nor Brooks are what they seem to be. The friends soon find themselves in over their heads as each twist leads to another unexpected turn over the course of one chaotic night.

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I wasn’t expecting much from Game Night to be honest. From the trailer is looked like it could be a fun but overall passable comedy. Also, although the directors were involved with writing Spider-Man Homecoming, they also did 2015’s Vacation, which from what was a real misfire of a comedy. However, Game Night was actually a lot better than I thought it would be. It was entertaining and funny throughout, and the performances by the cast and the work by the directors only made it better.

From start to finish, Game Night is really entertaining and not once misses a beat, it never feels slow or uninteresting. This movie takes so many twists and turns that you aren’t really expecting. Granted at times there are so many twists that I have a feeling I might need to rewatch the movie to make sure that they actually makes sense to a degree and if they’re not just throwing in twists for the sake of twists. Also, it is a comedy, so even though the movie gives you things to care about with the characters and the plot, it doesn’t forget what it is, and at times even pokes fun at itself. It doesn’t try to be anything more than what it is, which is a dark comedy. And on the comedy, Game Night is really funny, and its humour is really effective and works very well. On another note, there is another scene after the credits to stick around for, I’m just bringing this up because I missed it myself.

Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams are the leads and they are really good here, they share great chemistry and are quite believable as a couple. Jason Bateman does his usual comedic thing here and he is good at it and he’s good here but it’s Rachel McAdams who was actualy one of the stand outs of the movie, she was particularly good. The supporting actors was also really good, with a cast that includes Kyle Chandler, Billy Magnussen, Sharon Horgan, Lamorne Morris and Kylie Bunbury. Jesse Plemons is especially a scene stealer as a bit of an awkward neighbour of Bateman and McAdams’s, Plemons at times produced some of the biggest laughs of the movie.

The direction of this movie by John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein is particularly great and actually one of the most stand out parts of the movie. It’s very stylised and edited well together. The action sequences, when they happen are actually quite well directed. Apparently Francis Daley and Goldstein are going to direct The Flash movie and given their work here, I’m now totally on board for it. Cliff Martinez always makes very memorable and stand out scores and Game Night was no exception, it really added to the movie a great deal.

Game Night is actually a much better movie than I thought it would be, I had a lot of fun with it and don’t have too many problems with it. The cast was great, the direction by Francis Dalyey and Goldstein was surprisingly stylish and entertaining, the movie is pretty fun overall. Even if you might feel that the trailer doesn’t look all that good I still highly recommend giving Game Night a chance, I am sure that it’ll surprise you in how good it actually is.