Tag Archives: Peter Sarsgaard

Green Lantern (2011) Review

Time: 114 Minutes
Age Rating: 860940[1] Violence
Cast:
Ryan Reynolds as Hal Jordan/Green Lantern
Blake Lively as Carol Ferris
Peter Sarsgaard as Dr. Hector Hammond
Mark Strong as Thaal Sinestro
Angela Bassett as Dr. Amanda Waller
Tim Robbins as Robert Hammond
Temuera Morrison as Abin Sur/Green Lantern
Taika Waititi as Thomas Kalmaku
Director: Martin Campbell

Sworn to preserve intergalactic order, the Green Lantern Corps has existed for centuries. Its newest recruit, Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds), is the first human to join the ranks. The Green Lanterns have little regard for humans, who have thus far been unable to harness the powers of the ring each member wears. But Jordan, a gifted and cocky test pilot, may be the corps’ only hope when a new enemy called Parallax threatens the universal balance of power.

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2 years before the DCEU was started with Man of Steel, WB tried to create a DC cinematic universe with 2011’s Green Lantern. It had all the makings of a good comic book movie, you have a great cast including Ryan Reynolds and Mark Strong and on top of that, its directed by Goldeneye and Casino Royale director Martin Campbell. Green Lantern however ended up being way worse than it should be, it fails to entertain or interest on any level, and just feels like wasted potential in the end.

First thing to note is that Green Lantern has a very silly tone. It feels like WB was trying to replicate the Marvel films with DC, and with the MCU running a good few year at the time of GL’s release, that could very well be what happened. It’s quite comedic and ridiculous at some points oddly. Unfortunately despite the light and almost cartoonish tone, it’s not very entertaining, not even on a so bad it’s good level. On top of it being too silly, it’s also not very interesting. Despite it being an hour and 45 minutes long, Green Lantern drags a lot. I’m not sure what happened with the script. It just feels empty, they throw a lot of lore at you but none of it really sticks, there’s nothing about the way that the film told the backstory of the Green Lanterns that made me interested in them. Honestly they sound more interesting on paper than how it’s presented in the actual movie. There is no emotional connection to what’s going on, things just happen, and you watch them happen but you don’t care about any of it. By the end it didn’t feel like much has happened. There is a lot of wasted opportunities as well, for example a big part of the film is these Green Lantern rings which allow the people who use them to create anything they can imagine, however nothing that creative even comes of that. It’s such a shame that Green Lantern really doesn’t get much right, it’s not entertaining, it’s not interesting, it’s rather empty and feels much longer than it actually is.

There is a lot of talented actors here and many of the casting decisions are great. Unfortunately they aren’t enough to elevate the film in an immense way. Ryan Reynolds to be fair is actually a great pick for Hal Jordan/Green Lantern and Reynolds does his best with what he was given. He is however let down by the material given to him. The supporting actors with Blake Lively, Angela Bassett, Temuera Morrison, Taika Waititi and others are fine enough but really don’t give that great performances, it’s not on them though and they are fine enough. Mark Strong is a perfect casting choice for Sinestro but he’s not even the main villain, and he doesn’t get as much screentime as he should. I guess he was being set up to be a villain in later movies but as sequels didn’t happen he just feels wasted. He was really good in his scenes though. The actual villains were really bad. Peter Sarsgaard I’ve heard is a good actor and I don’t blame him for his performance here. In short he’s some random guy who gets a big head and powers and is over the top and goofy, terrible performance, again not putting this on Sarsgaard. He’s not even the main villain, it’s this CGI creature thing called Parallax. I’ve seen many bad comic book movie villains, from Nuclear Man, to Poison Ivy to Incubus. But I think Parallax is the worst comic book movie villain I’ve ever seen. The CGI on him was awful but also there’s absolutely nothing to the character and we don’t see too much of him anyway.

This film is directed by Martin Campbell but you wouldn’t be able to tell by watching the movie. The filming of the action sequences is fine enough but it’s not that great. It doesn’t help that the CGI is so awful it’s actually unbelievable, everything from the CGI suits, to the backgrounds, Parallax and beyond, everything looks bad. The decision to have the suits be CGI was particularly poor, they even gave Ryan Reynolds a goofy CGI eye mask. Nothing feels real and I know that most of what happens can’t be created in reality but they could’ve at least made it better so that the special effects don’t constantly feel artificial and fake.

I personally think that Green Lantern is the worst comic book movie of the 2010s thus far, though there are worse comic book movies that have been released overall. Some aspects are fine like most of the actors are well cast and do the best they can in their roles but they are ultimately let down by the writing and material given. The vast majority of the story aspects falls flat and all the potential with all these characters and the world is wasted. Not only that but it’s not even entertaining, even the technical aspects such as the CGI are astoundingly poor. Green Lantern was an unfortunate misfire and really didn’t work at all. Let’s just hope that the DCEU’s version of Green Lantern is solid (though it will likely be much better by default).

Jackie (2016) Review

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Time: 100 Minutes
Age Rating: 860940[1] Violence, offensive language and content that may disturb
Cast:
Natalie Portman as Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis
Peter Sarsgaard as Robert F. Kennedy
Greta Gerwig as Nancy Tuckerman
Billy Crudup as The Journalist
John Hurt as Father Richard McSorley
Director: Pablo Larrain

After her husband’s assassination, Jackie Kennedy’s (Natalie Portman) world is completely shattered. Traumatized and reeling with grief, over the course of the next week she must confront the unimaginable: consoling their two young children, vacating the home she painstakingly restored, and planning her husband’s funeral. Jackie quickly realizes that the next seven days will determine how history will define her husband’s legacy – and how she herself will be remembered.

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Jackie was a movie I was curious about. Along with Natalie Portman and the story about Jackie Kennedy, I heard a lot of great things about it. After seeing it, I can say that Jackie is overall a solid biopic with a decent plot, good direction and great performances, Natalie Portman’s of course being the standout. It might not be one of the all time best biopics but it is absolutely worth seeing.

This image released by Fox Searchlight shows Peter Sarsgaard as Bobby Kennedy, left, and Natalie Portman as Jackie Kennedy in a scene from "Jackie." (Bruno Calvo/Fox Searchlight via AP)

The story of Jackie is pretty good. The movie is a character study of Jackie Kennedy and it goes into the things and situations that Jackie Kennedy had to deal with and what she was going through emotionally and mentally after the assassination of her husband. It jumps between time, between the interview between Kennedy and the interviewer (played by Billy Crudup) and the past before and after the assassination (and even after that they jump times throughout the film as well). I felt like it was a unique way of telling the story and made things more interesting than just putting it in chronological order. As for accuracies to real life, I have no idea. It seems somewhat accurate from watching the movie but that’s all I can really say, I’m not a historian. The story didn’t exactly blow me away, it wasn’t one of the all time best biopics but the story overall is decent and worked very well for the movie.

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The highlight of this movie of course is Natalie Portman and I have to say, this is one of Natalie Portman’s all time best performances, she is absolutely incredible in this movie. Much of the movie is focussed on her and her reactions to all these situations. She expresses what Jackie Kennedy is feeling so well without even having to speak. She steals the show from everyone else. The supporting cast was also pretty good. Peter Sarsgaard is also really good as Robert Kennedy, Billy Crudup was also effective as the journalist interviewing Jackie Kennedy. John Hurt is also a nice addition as a priest, he was very effect. The scenes between him and Portman were some of the best in the film. Every actor worked for what they needed to in this movie.

This image released by Fox Searchlight shows Natalie Portman as Jackie Kennedy, and Billy Crudup in a scene from the film, "Jackie." (William Gray/Fox Searchlight via AP)

Directionwise this movie is good. The cinematography was fitting enough for the movie. Sometimes there are shots which are okay but not anything special. Other times the cinematography was truly great. The editing was a bit interesting, it jumps around in time in its scenes, which got a little bit jarring. I don’t know what it is meant to do but something about it really worked for me. The music by Mica Levi was a standout aspect of the film, it ranged from being dreamlike to being eerie, and it really helped enhanced the scenes.

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Jackie is a solid biopic about Jackie Kennedy which was pretty good overall, the highlight being the great performances, especially from Natalie Portman. You should watch the movie even just for Natalie’s performance honestly. The rest of the film is good in regards to its story, direction and acting from its supporting cast, but Natalie Portman really makes the movie. Definitely check out the movie as soon as you can.

R.I.P. John Hurt

22 January 1940 – 27 January 2017