GOLDEN GLOBES: TV PICKS

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Once again you can just cue into me singing “It’s the most wonderful time of the yyeeeaarrr…”
In case you haven’t guessed already.. it’s Awards season otherwise known as ‘My Happy Time’ ~ and the first big event is the Golden Globes this Sunday. It’s where the best of both the Film & TV worlds collide in one night. With so many categories, I’m breaking it up into two separate posts and of course, who I think the winner will be and what would be my pick – because they don’t always necessarily coincide with each other!!

TELEVISION

Best TV Series, Drama

The Crown
What a show this was. I couldn’t stop watching. The acting, the story – both all engrossing

Game of Thrones
This show took itself to a whole new level this year, and I loved every second of it even if Jon Snow coming back from the dead made me giggle for a sec.

Stranger ThingsMY PICK
Fantastic storyline of something so far-fetched, yet so made you think! I loved it. The fact the acting by kids was so strong here really made it all the better.

This Is Us
Is this show cute..yes..maybe a little to cutsey & sappy for me, but I will say it’s quite well written.

WestworldWINNER
There were times when I completely understood this show and others where I literally had no idea what the bejesus was going on. But you couldn’t help yourself to keep watching with the nagging feeling of “what if?” I think this one might steal the award just because of that.

Best TV Series, Comedy/Musical

AtlantaWINNER
While I haven’t watched all the episodes of this show yet, the ones I have seen I just love. I can’t stop laughing.

Blackish
I loved this show at the beginning, now I will say I just don’t watch it all that much anymore..Sorta went the Modern Family route for me.

Mozart in the JungleMY PICK
I LOVE this show. It’s so completely different and well done about a subject I really didn’t know much about, yet made me interested in and yes, laugh.

Transparent
See Transparent has never done ‘it’ for me. I know there are those that just love it. I was done after season 1, I just really didn’t like too many of the characters enough to go to the next season.

Veep
Kinda the same as above for this one. I love Julia Louis-Dreyfus humour, but this one never grabbed me enough to keep watching.

Best TV Miniseries or Movie

American Crime
This season of American Crime was mind-boggling. The best written and acted so far. I couldn’t get enough of each cliff-hanging episode.

The Dresser
While this featured a great cast I would have loved to see, I don’t have Starz channel as I cancelled cable, so was never able to see it.

The Night Manager
I still am not getting the appeal of this one. It wasn’t done plausably or even well. Sometimes I was just in awe of how ridiculous it really got.

The Night OfMY PICK
Another mind-blowing HBO min-series that just took what could have been just another murder storyline and gave it more twists than you could keep your jaw from dropping instead. Acting was top-notch to boot.

The People vs. O.J. Simpson: American Crime StoryWINNER
I mean what can you say about this fantastic mini-series that hasn’t already been said. So many things you’d either forgotten or never knew about, told & acted by a unbelievable parade of good writing and acting. Blew me away.
By far my hardest category to decide on.

Best Actor, Drama
Rami Malek, Mr. Robot
Just love Rami and this show. Rami helped keep it fresh for it’s second season.

Bob Odenkirk, Better Call Saul
While I loved this character on ‘Breaking Bad’, I couldn’t even get through the whole first season and to those that love it, kudos.

Matthew Rhys, The Americans
While the show has always been a hit or miss for me, as in I could skip a few eps., come back and still know exactly what was going on, I feel the same about it’s lead, Matthew Rhys.

Liev Schreiber, Ray Donovan
Love Liev and the first 2 seasons his character was so something different. Now it’s just rambling as is the acting somewhat.

Billy Bob Thornton, GoliathMY PICK/WINNER
Never have been Billy Bob’s biggest fan, but damn this role was cater-made for him. He is excellent as was the show.

Best Actress, Drama

Caitriona Balfe, Outlander
I’ve only ever been able to watch 2 eps. of this show considering it’s on a very pricey pay channel here, so I can’t really give a fair assessment of her acting.

Claire Foy, The CrownSLEEPER WIN
Oh Claire.. you are fantastic in this show. Simply sublime as the Queen herself might say. It’s so well written, cinematically beautiful and well acted. And you know us American’s love a good upper-class British show. Don’t anyone be surprised if she walks off with this award.

Keri Russell, The Americans
I mean who doesn’t like Keri Russell really now.. and I do, but she won’t be my pick or the HFP’s pick I’m guessing either.

Winona Ryder, Stranger ThingsMY PICK
Winona, Winona, Winona – I feel sometimes as if we’ve grown up together. And is essence we have and you are soooo good in this show. I’m so glad you’re back.

Evan Rachel Wood, Westworld WINNER
Same as the show, good acting here because sometimes you just wondered what in bejesus is she?! or WHO is she should be more the question 🙂

Best Actor, Comedy

Anthony Anderson, Blackish
I’ve adored Anthony Anderson for as long as I can remember. He started off doing drama, and segwayed into comedy as easily as could be. Not my pick, but I am so glad he is nominated as it’s nice to finally have some fresh faces in this whole category.

Gael Garcia Bernal, Mozart in the Jungle
I love this show and I love Gael in it. But can he pull off another surprise win here?? I would love it but I doubt it.

Donald Glover, AtlantaMY PICK/WINNER
Another first time, fresh nominee that I love. I’m going with a first timer here on this one because of the sarcastic brilliance of this show and his character in it.

Nick Nolte, Graves
I’m going to be honest – I’ve never even heard of this show. Sorry Nick!

Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent
As Jeffrey has won so many times for playing this character, I’d just love to see someone new win it again.

Best Actress, Comedy

Rachel Bloom, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
Rachel Bloom surprised us all with her win last year. Is there a repeat in tow?

Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
I kinda feel like Julia is the Meryl of TV comedy. 🙂

Sarah Jessica Parker, Divorce
While this show isn’t bad nor is SJP in it, I don’t think it’s going to grab a win.

Issa Rae, Insecure
I’ve not watched this one so truly can’t give it a nay or yay..

Gina Rodriguez, Jane the Virgin
While I think Gina Rodriguez is just adorable and I loved this show the first season, it waned very quickly on me during the second. Not saying she’s not still good in it, just haven’t watched in awhile.

Tracee Ellis Ross, BlackishMY PICK/WINNER
Tracee would be my pick. While I might not be watching the show all the time anymore, she should have been nominated and won like 2 seasons ago already!

Best Supporting Actor

Sterling K. Brown, The People vs. O.J. Simpson
This mini-series was just filled with fantastic acting and Sterling is part of that.

Hugh Laurie, The Night Manager
While I really thought TNM was a poorly done series, there were two standouts in it that made it somewhat bearable, and one of them was Hugh Laurie.

John Lithgow, The CrownWINNER
It’s rare that they get an American to play a Brit nowadays, but Lithgow as Winston Churchill is a brilliant piece of casting.

Christian Slater, Mr. Robot
I won’t lie. I kinda shook my head in disbelief when Slater walked away with this last year. I mean he’s good, but he’s not that good.

John Travolta, The People vs. O.J. SimpsonMY PICK
So yeah, I know people think it’s strange, but I’ve adored John Travolta since I was a child. yes, I admit and he’s done some really awful movies, but here, you can’t deny he was truly amazing.

Best Supporting Actress

Olivia Colman, The Night Manager
Remember I said there was two things that saved the Night Manager – Olivia Colman is part two of that.

Lena Headey, Game of Thrones
She’s always pretty damn amazing in this show. You can’t help but love to hate her character, but yet she still tugs at your heartstrings as she is just so flawed. Remember your show is only as good as your best evil person and she is truly fantastic at it time and time again.

Chrissy Metz, This Is Us
Again, I find the show just a little to sappy, but I admire and respect the writing and the characters are all well done. It’s a tough call which person from the show to say I like more..Chrissy or Mandy.

Mandy Moore, This Is Us
Again, between the two nominated here from this, I might actually pick Mandy because her transition to this character is pretty damn good.

Thandie Newton, WestworldMY PICK/WINNER
Thandie’s character here was the one I was never confused by. She was simply put ‘badass’

Best Actor, Mini-Series or TV Movie

Riz Ahmed, The Night OfMY PICK
This show also gave us some fantastic performances with the two nominees in this category just making this show a spectacular watch.

Bryan Cranston, All the Way
I didn’t watch this one.

Tom Hiddleston, The Night Manager
Really.. on this one. For those who me, I love and ADORE Tom Hiddleston – but there in points in time where I just rolled my eyes at some of not only the show, but his acting here. Sorry Tom.

John Turturro, The Night Of
Turturro knocked it out the park on this one. There just isn’t much else to say, you can’t be mad if he wins this one.

Courtney B. Vance, The People vs. O.J. SimpsonWINNER
Again, this show was just so good! Even though you knew what was going to happen, it held you and kept you coming back. Courtney Vance was one of the main reasons why.

Best Actress, Mini-Series or TV Movie

Felicity Huffman, American Crime
Always a strong actress, this seasons AC was so good and she went for it in this role.

Riley Keough, The Girlfriend Experience
Only the 3rd show on an expensive pay-per-view that I never have had or probably will.

Sarah Paulson, The People vs. O.J. SimpsonMY PICK/WINNER
Again, mind-bending performance from this series. Sarah for me in the shoo-in to win this one.

Charlotte Rampling, London Spy
I watched this show so long ago, I forgot I’d even seen it. But I swear it was 2015 when I did see it so I’m not really quite sure why it’s under 2016 noms. Rampling always gets roles she excels at. This was no different.

Kerry Washington, Confirmation
I remember the story so we already knew what happened, but unlike the O.J. story, I didn’t get the feeling of still wanting to watch. Washington was good, but I don’t see her winning this one.

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Review: “ENTOURAGE” (2015) Warner Bros.

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entourage
“The Boys are back in town” — Spread the word around — The Boys are back– The Boys are back…

From the first opening scenes I’m guessing most will know immediately whether or not they will enjoy this film as before the opening credits even roll out we are caught up in the middle of a huge celebrity filled party scene as “Vincent Chase” (Adrian Grenier) is on a multi-millionaire’s yacht celebrating the end of his 9 day marriage with his friends zooming over on a speedboat to join him with nary a girl who’s not supermodel beautiful in sight. Life’s clearly a bitch for these guys..
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Entourage – based on the very popular HBO series that ran for eight seasons, is a fun, fast-paced, energetic look at both sides of the Hollywood machine. Side 1: The glamorous side of fast cars, nice homes & copious amounts of sex; Side 2: takes a really good peek at what goes on in behind-the-scenes deals that go down just to get films made. At 104 minutes long, there is not a moment wasted in packing in a ton of stuff into this glittering ride of a movie. The party scenes are fun, the dialogue is sharp and biting and the actors inhabit their respective characters well.

So remember ‘Medellin’? The film fiasco that was portrayed on the series that almost put a halt to the career of Vinnie Chase. This film picks up from the that as we once again takes a look at the lives of movie star Vincent Chase, his agent (now studio executive) “Ari Gold” (Jeremy Piven) and his group of cronies “Eric aka ‘E'” (Kevin Connolly), “Johnny Drama” (Kevin Dillon) and “Turtle” (Jerry Ferrera) who surround him. This time, the boys are making Ari’s first blockbuster picture ‘HYDE’ with Vince being not only the lead actor but in the directors chair as well. Everything threatens to go off the rails when the movie goes over budget. To get more money for the production, Ari has to go and deal with difficult Texan financier “Larsen McCredle” (Billy Bob Thornton) and his son “Travis” (Haley Joel Osment). Meanwhile, E is dealing with multiple pregnancies, Turtle is trying to court UFC fighter Ronda Rousey, Vince is dealing with his relationship with Emily Ratajkowski and directing his first major film for Ari, and Drama is coping with his stagnant career and a leaked sex tape. It’s all light fun, accompanied by fast cars, LA icon sightings and an absurd amount of celebrity cameos that if you blink you just might miss one of them.
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With various plotlines moving throughout the film, the party scene that occupies much of the middle section of the film is fantastic and the script really starts to move at a faster, funnier pace. But it’s always Ari who brings the film together. He is by far the most compelling character in the film, always ranting and raving, shouting an incessant amount of profanity at his co-workers while dealing with crazy financiers. Piven is a true scene-stealer, spouting off as much as he can and having a lot of fun with the role. As for the other four principle stars, they’re great together, and while it might take you a moment to recognize child-star Haley Joel Osmont, he does really well in this unexpected character turn with perhaps the meatiest co-star role out of all the actors, getting the chance to portray an immature Texan kid overwhelmed by the celebrity lifestyle.
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While this film is far from a masterpiece by any means, it did keep me smiling throughout with some very funny moments, great dialogue and simply put – it just all works. It’s a good summer diversion that delivers everything you want from a movie like this.. a good time.

B-
@pegsatthemovies

Screening Monday, June 1st, 2015 at Pacific Grove Theatres courtesy of Warner Bros.
Nationwide release: Wednesday, June 3rd, 2015

Golden Globes: Part 2 ~ My 2014 TV picks for the winners

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golden globes tv 2

I did my film picks yesterday, so these are my TV picks and they are just that..MY PICKS! 😀 This is my favourite award show as it’s both Film & TV..I mean how can you go wrong with the best of both genres drinking it up at one awards show with Tina Fey & Amy Pohler hosting. Well the answer is you can’t. You might agree or even better, you might disagree ~ it’s all good. I’m afraid I’ve missed some of the net-only shows as I truly hate watching things on a laptop when I have a comfy couch & nice TV to watch on..ahhh well.. Still..I will warn you, I did pretty well last year with my picks and this year I think I’m going to do even better. So with that..I give you #peggyatthemovies 2014 Golden Globe TV picks! Cheers!

BEST DRAMA SERIES:
“The Affair”
Liked this show a lot. It’s a completely unique drama that shows 2 sides of the coin so to speak. But it also had some slower moving episodes in the beginning that I think made it harder for some to stick with it.

“Downton Abbey”
Well I mean..it’s Downton.. Even though some say it’s lost some of it’s initial charm, I tend to disagree. The 4th season might have been it’s slowest, but they set it up well for Season 5. And can we say Matthew Goode all together now. 😀

“Game of Thrones”WINNER
Ohhhhh Game of Thrones.. how you broke me with this last season. You killed off probably one of the most hated characters ever King Joffrey, and everyone cheered. Except you got one of our favs. Tyrion arrested for his murder and making his brother, Jaime Lannister, a good guy after all. And then dammit in one of the best scenes EVER, you killed Prince Oberyn. All the while Jon Snow & the Night’s Watch are doing there thing. You blew me away. Thank you!

“The Good Wife”
Will Gardner. oh Will Gardner, we miss you. But somehow the pain is lessened a tad bit by Finn Polmar (pssst Matthew Goode AGAIN). This plus fantastic performances by a stellar cast each and every week along with spectacular writing, make this show my 2nd pick.. I won’t be upset if it wins..nope..not at all.

“House of Cards”
I hear nothing but good things about this show. I’m seriously considering getting a Google Chrome stick or Amazon Fire just to be able to watch a show like this on my TV.

BEST COMEDY SERIES: – hard to judge category for me as I’ve not seen many of the shows so not picking a winner here.

“Girls”
Just never grabbed onto this show. Tried it a few times with different seasons, just never liked it all that much.

“Jane the Virgin”
This is the surprise fun show of the season. It’s a breath of fresh air. Cute, fun, appealing and wouldn’t it be fantastic to see the CW win an award as they’ve really come up from being the joke network in the past few years.

“Orange is the New Black”
I’ve only seen one episode.. it was fun, but makes it hard to judge here.

“Silicon Valley”
Haven’t seen it.

“Transparent”
Haven’t seen it.

BEST MINISERIES OR TV MOVIE:
“Fargo”
This series was good, but it was also a complete trip at times. Sometimes I loved it and sometimes I didn’t.

“The Missing”
This was a STARZ series. A channel I’ve never had. *sigh*

“The Normal Heart”
This was an emotional story for sure with top name talent in it. I can’t say I completely loved it though, but I definitely loved parts of it.

“Olive Kitteridge”
Haven’t been able to catch this yet as I get HBO once every few months to do just that. I will soon though.

“True Detective”WINNER
I just don’t think there was a question here of what show wins. This was such a dynamic and different story with characters like we’ve not really seen before. I loved it.

BEST ACTRESS (DRAMA):
Claire Danes – “Homeland
After a slow Season 3, Homeland got off to a bit of a rough start in the first 2 eps. of Season 4. Then it went blew the roof off and went WILD!! And this was in due part to Claire Danes bringing it back ‘home’ so to speak

Viola Davis – “How to Get Away With Murder”
I adore Viola. This show, not so much. After giving it 3 1/2 eps. I just didn’t find it interesting enough to keep watching. I found some of the characters really like-able. Sadly not Viola’s.

Julianna Margulies – “The Good Wife”WINNER
When does Julianna not bring it home on this show. She is fantastic week in week out. Yes, she’s won before..but deservedly so. Give it to her again.. please.

Ruth Wilson – “The Affair”
Loved Ruth in ‘Luther’ and liked her well enough here. Just not enough for a win.

Robin Wright – “House of Cards”
Once again, I haven’t seen this show though I hear she is fantastic in it.

BEST ACTOR (DRAMA):
Clive Owen – “The Knick”
I don’t have Cinemax so I never got to see this show. Clive is a pretty fantastic actor though and I’ve heard he brings it here.

Kevin Spacey – “House of Cards
Big fan of Kevin Spacey – haven’t seen the show.

James Spader – “The Blacklist” WINNER
I’ve adored James Spader for more years than I care to count. As I always say, you’re only as good as your villain and Spader brings it to these types of roles each and every time. ‘Red’ is not a good guy, but you can’t help but want him to come out ahead and that’s thanks to Spader’s performance.

Liev Schreiber – “Ray Donovan”
There were times during the 1st season of this show where I couldn’t decide if I loved it and it was the most brilliant new show or if I hated it and it was the worst new show. Season 2 made the decision for me as they kicked ass. Liev was amazing and I won’t be upset if he wins.

Dominic West – “The Affair”
Dominic West should’ve won for ‘The Wire’ years ago. He’s good here and still sexy as ever, but not my winner.

BEST ACTRESS (COMEDY):
Lena Dunham – “Girls”
I can’t say I like the show nor her character in it which is basically her. Sorry Lena.

Edie Falco – “Nurse Jackie”
Oh how I love Jackie..She’s been a mess, cleaned herself up, well kinda sorta, and all the while is the best nurse we all want if we’re ever in hospital. It’s also the last season so if she wins I won’t be mad.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus – “Veep”
I think Julia is one of the funniest people, but I just never took to much to this role or show. I like it..don’t love it.

Gina Rodriguez – “Jane the Virgin”WINNER
Because I love an underdog and Gina is so damn charming as Jane. This show is so fresh & new and wouldn’t it be nice to have someone new, different and exciting win an award like this on their first time out. Yes. it would be is the answer.

Taylor Schilling – “Orange is the New Black”
Wish I saw more of this show.

BEST ACTOR (COMEDY):
So I’m a fan of all of these actors. But I just haven’t watched enough of any of these shows to make a fair judgement – so I’m not going to. May the best man win.

Don Cheadle – “House of Lies”
Louis C.K – “Louie”
Ricky Gervais – “Derek”
William H. Macy – “Shameless”
Jeffrey Tambor – “Transparent”

BEST ACTRESS (MINI-SERIES OR TV MOVIE):
Maggie Gyllenhaal – “The Honorable Woman”
No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t get into this show.

Jessica Lange – “American Horror Story: Freak Show”
I remember S1 of this show..so good. Since then, well let’s just say it jumped the shark in Season 2 and never came back. Sorry Jessica..love you, but just can’t call it winner here.

Frances McDormand – “Olive Kitteridge”
Haven’t seen this yet.

Frances O’Connor – “The Missing”
Haven’t seen it.

Allison Tolman – “Fargo”WINNER
Allison was just fantastic in this show. Never had seen her before and within 2 eps I wanted to see more. And I can only hope she gets many more roles like this one.

BEST ACTOR (MINI-SERIES OR TV MOVIE):
Martin Freeman – “Fargo”
I’ve adored Martin Freeman since he played ‘Tim’ in the original version of “The Office”. Since then he’s been in so much and I’ve pretty much loved it all. And he was so good in this show. But there can be only one winner.

Woody Harrelson – “True Detective”
It’s a really really hard choice to pick between Det. Marty Hart and his partner because without one or the other, this show wouldn’t have been so completely amazing.

Matthew McConaughey – “True Detective” WINNER
Rust Cohle – just saying that should be enough to explain why I pick him as the winner. Mind-boggling performance.

Mark Ruffalo – “The Normal Heart”
Not my fav. character at all. I’m not Ruffalo’s biggest fan and he just didn’t do it for me here.

Billy Bob Thornton – “Fargo”
Billy Bob was pretty creepy good as the villain..at times..But it wasn’t consistent enough for me.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS:
Uzo Aduba – “Orange is the New Black”
Haven’t seen enough of it.

Kathy Bates – “American Horror Story: Freak Show”
I can’t here..just can’t. It made me sad to see Kathy play a head on a platter in the few eps. I saw last season before I just couldn’t watch anymore.

Joanne Froggatt – “Downton Abbey” WINNER
Joanne really sunk her teeth into her character this past season and her storyline was a tough one. Considering all this, she came off very convincing as it’s a different time/era and she pulled it off. I know it will be a surprise and long shot if she wins, but again the underdog in me picks her.

Allison Janney – “Mom”
I’ve tried with this show..but I just don’t find it all that funny. Though Allison looks great and is the best part about it, just not my pick.

Michelle Monaghan – “True Detective”
Such a great show, but when you have two leads such as Woody & Matthew doing magic with their roles, you’ve just really got to step it up.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR:
Matt Bomer – “The Normal Heart”WINNER
For me, Matt Bomer brought it in a big way to this role. He proved that he’s just not a pretty face but can bring it when it comes to hard-core acting performances.

Alan Cumming – “The Good Wife”
Alan is wonderful in this role. It fits him like a glove and I wish I could pick him..so let’s just say I won’t be mad if he wins!

Colin Hanks – “Fargo”
Colin was uhmmm..okay in this role. Just didn’t tie it up for me.

Bill Murray – “Olive Kitteridge”
Didn’t see it, but I know Murray was good..how do I know that? because he’s Bill Murray. end of story.

Jon Voight – “Ray Donovan”
Yeah Jon Voight is pretty damn good here and yeah he will probably win…but I’m sticking with my underdog pick.

REVIEW: “THE JUDGE” (2014) Warner Bros.

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Before I even start this review…I want to note that my heart & thoughts go out to Robert Downey Jr. who lost his mother this week and as he would usually be out promoting this film, instead he put out a beautiful tribute to her (http://www.eonline.com/news/583342/robert-downey-jr-s-mother-dies-read-his-moving-candid-tribute-to-elsie-ann-downey) in the wake of this movie opening, which in a weird twist of fate, has the plot starter of the loss of the mother bringing his character home for the funeral. #RIP

the judge

Now down to the movie here. I’m just gonna say I liked it and thought it told a good story.  Could the pace of it have been better..yeah..did it have some spots that lagged.. yeah..but it told a good story. As it started off I thought ‘oh no, another dysfunctional family film, I’ve just seen one of those last week and it wasn’t so good (see review https://peggyatthemovies.com/2014/09/20/review-this-is-where-i-leave-you-2014-warner-bros/) but then the story starts to unfold and it’s you realize it’s much more than that.

The film starts off with “Hank Palmer” (Robert Downey Jr.) who is a very good lawyer, (and I gotta say, wears a good cut suit like no other here), though possibly not really a ‘good’ man as he knows the people he is defending are all pretty much guilty, but he has a knack for making ‘reasonable doubt’ happen and makes a boatload of money doing it. In the middle of a big trial, he gets called home as his mother has passed.  He hasn’t been home nor spoken to his father since before law school as seems he had gotten into a few to many scrapes as a kid/teen and was shipped off to a more disciplinary school type deal.                                                   judge 3

Still Downey makes this character likable and you begin to remember that yes, before Iron Man, he was a really good dramatic actor,can carry & hold his own and that says a lot about him here because while he is still his fun self, he’s also much more. As we delve into the main part of the story here where Hank’s father, “Judge Joseph Palmer” (Robert DuVall) the ‘Judge’ of the small town in Indiana where all of this takes place, is arrested.  The prosecutor, “Dwight Dickham” played by Billy Bob Thornton, makes it clear that in many ways, Downey Jr. and his accused murderer father are actually kind of the bad guys here. It’s up to the jury to decide in a fun scene with Downey Jr., & Dax Shepard, who plays the country bumpkin lawyer hired because initially the Judge doesn’t want Hank representing him in this case but in reality, the court case is really secondary and there’s no big mystery to be solved. It’s first and foremost a father-son story, the main hook being whether or not Downey and his somewhat unfriendly, estranged father will be able to come to terms with each other, and not whether he’ll be convicted and go to jail. The success lies in the fact that ultimately you are rooting for these two guys to sort out their issues with each other, even if both are headstrong and often exasperating.  judge billy bob

With that in mind, this movie is not a complete success in all the way around. For one, the characters of his older brother, “Glen” (Vincent D’Onofrio) and his younger, somewhat mentally challenged younger brother “Dale” (Jeremy Strong) are almost completely irrelevant to the story for exception of a bit of background in that Glen serves a purpose as when they were teens he was a star baseball player and got in a car accident with Hank, who was driving while under the influence of basically everything, was injured and never could play again which led to the estrangement between father and son. The same thing could be said for the character of “Samantha” (Vera Farmiga) who plays Hank’s old girlfriend/new possible love interest with a kinda icky sub-plot of her daughter “Carla” (Leighton Meester) whom Hank has a torrid make-out scene with, but whom could possibly be his daughter.  All of this, plus a bit more even, are the lagging parts I previously spoke about and easily could have been cut-down which would have made this movie a much more manageable watch time-wise.  There are a lot of sub-plots going on here as Hank is going through a possible divorce, wants to see his daughter more, Duvall’s character has numerous things going on all over the place and to get into detail about them all would not only be time-consuming, but spoil the movie for you.  Needless to say, they all get woven in together quite well I think due to the fact you have strong actors playing the two lead roles who also mesh well together on screen and in this movie.

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I don’t think “The Judge” is going to win any awards and I’ve been wrestling with my own ‘grade’ of the pic.. because I think it does tell a good story, has the makings to do somewhat well at the box office considering the star power of the cast, and it has that ‘feel-good/tug at your heart’ thing going for it. It also has definite entertainment value and it does work on a lot of levels.  With all that going for it, it is far from perfect but yet, is a crowd pleaser. With that.. I’m giving it ….

Grade:  C+  (above average)

(See grading scale)

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