REVIEW: “THE GOLDFINCH” (2019) Warner Bros.

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Having been a huge fan of the book  “THE GOLDFINCH”, I was excited to see what they could do with the film as how does one adapt an almost 800 page Pulitzer Prize winning novel.
The short story is they don’t..and while I will acknowledge the effort made..they just don’t get it right.

We start with the beginning as a young Theo (Oakes Fegley) , is recovering in the art museum in the aftermath of the bombing that kills his mom. We are suddenly flipped to adult Theo (Ansel Elgort) in a hotel in Amsterdam, scrubbing blood out of his clothes.

And so continues the story of Theo and the magical painting of The Goldfinch that he took after being told by a dying old man Welty (Robert Joy)  and his young granddaughter Pippa played by (Aimee Lawrence) as a child, and (Ashleigh Cummings) as an adult, in the museum. He followed her into this room because of a fleeting crush moment, that will change his life forever.

And on we go, back n forth between adult Theo’s life and young Theo’s life..following what happens to him and the painting along the way. He is taken in by the Barbour family who don’t really know him or what to do with him. Nicole Kidman as Mrs. Barbour, is good later in the film when she ages..In between we meet his dad Larry (Luke Wilson) a compulsive gambler and drunk, and his girlfriend Xandra (Sarah Paulson) and his new best friend Boris, a Russian kid (Finn Wolfhard) is young Boris,  (Aneurin Barnard) is older Boris) who is seemingly his only friend after his dad drags him to Vegas.

The films is disjointed and all over the place. The book was a page-turner that kept you in suspense every step of the way. The film completely misses the mark on this. It’s blah, boring and terribly mis-cast in almost every role but young Theo. The accents they try to pull off are horrible and draw attention to the bad acting done by the two actors portraying Boris.  And while it is visually beautiful to look at, it’s mish-mash of story never comes together or makes sense enough for you to truly figure out what & why this is all happening.  The elements were all there as again, as the book keeps you on the edge of suspense to where you don’t want to put it down, whereas I just wanted this film to end as it was exceedingly long.

In the end, the film just could not deliver what the book could and did.

Grade: C-

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Media review screening: Tuesday, September 10, 2019 ~ Courtesy of Warner Bros.

‘THE GOLDFINCH” IS OUT IN THEATERS NATIONWIDE THIS FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 13, 2019 // WORLDWIDE RELEASE FOLLOWING.

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INSTA-REVIEW “AQUAMAN” (2018) Warner Bros.

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Two things I never thought I would see. 1. #NicoleKidman in a DC superhero movie or 2. Another DC superhero movie. 😁 okay kidding on the latter – but as most of already seen this with an early overseas debut..I will be quick about even the the film was so very very loooong.

#JasonMomoa is back as #Aquaman and sharing the screen with him is #AmberHeard as Princess Mera, who visits him on land to tell him he must accept his rightful role as ruler of Atlantis even though he is a half breed as his father Tom #TemueraMorrison is ‘surface dweller’ and his mother is a queen. #WillemDafoe is his mentor Vulko..and a terribly mis-cast #PatrickWilson is his half-brother King Orm.

There is so much backstory involved here, much of it so densely written you have a hard time following as they don’t actually make it enticing enough to do so. You have a lot of violence moth above ground and even including it’s very own underwater straight out of ‘Gladiator’ Coliseum battle.

The whole Atlantis concept is quite stunning and well done. A huge strong point of the film itself. But random characters like Black Manta #YahaAbdulMateenII aren’t played well except to let you know early on what #Aquaman2 will be about.

Momoa does single handedly save this one as best he can with a plot that is truly all over the place and much too long and drawn out. And by far, this is not a film for children in the slightest. So will I recommend it for DC fans – sure because they did finally bring something a bit new to the table.

Grade: C
@pegsatthemovies
Media Review screening Wednesday, Dec 19, 2018 – courtesy of Warner Bros.
“AQUAMAN” IS OUT WORLDWIDE AS OF FRIDAY, DECEMEBER 21, 2018

DAY 1 ~ COUNTDOWN TO THE OSCARS ~ BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

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Well, Well, Well.. here we are!! At that time of year once again where I give a countdown of my top Oscar categories. And though I’ve seen all the films presented this year, I will only be doing the top 6 categories due to a bit of a late start with the long holiday weekend we had and being deluged with rain. First up ~ Best Supporting Actress. I’m giving who I think the winner will be and what would be my pick. You might agree or even better, you might disagree 🙂
So with that..I give you Day 1 of #peggyatthemovies Oscar picks. Cheers!

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

Viola Davis, FencesWINNER
Let’s be honest here, she shouldn’t even be in this category, she should be in BEST ACTRESS.. So even though my pick is someone else, she is highly deserving of an award..just in a different category.

Naomie Harris, Moonlight
Liked her performance – just didn’t love it. Definitely worthy of a nom tho.

Nicole Kidman, Lion
Same here with Nicole, liked it – just didn’t love it and wasn’t all that different from everything else I’ve seen her do

Octavia Spencer, Hidden FiguresMY PICK
Now I called this when I saw the film back in November. The whole movie is wonderful with all really good performances and Octavia being the highlight of the three, she takes it here for me. She has been and is my only and clear choice from moment one.

Michelle Williams, Manchester by the Sea
Really, a blink of eye – seven minutes total on screen. And while the last scene with her and Affleck is the scene of the film.. still.

Thanks all for taking the time to give this a read. Let me know your thoughts on if you agree or disagree with my picks. Don’t forget to give this blog a follow or a follow on twitter as well @pegsatthemovies. Cheers!

GOLDEN GLOBES 2017 (Part 2) ~ FILM/ACTING PICKS

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Here we are with part two of my Golden Globes picks – this round is Film and Acting.
I’ve seen almost all the films presented this year, even the foreign ones – though yes, I’ve missed a few as there is only so much one human being can do! I also have a few categories where I just didn’t like any of the nominees enough to make a ‘MY PICK’. You might agree or even better, you might disagree ~ it’s all good.
So with that..I give you #peggyatthemovies 2016/17 Golden Globe picks! Cheers!

BEST PICTURE (DRAMA)

Hacksaw Ridge
Mel Gibson is riding the come back high with this decently done war film. While it’s war scenes are done very well, it’s riddled with a lot of cheesy storyline in the first hour.

Hell or High Water
While it’s good to see a film be remembered from earlier in the year, it really never struck me as Award material when watching.

Lion
A sweet and rather powerful story of a child’s journey into being a man, and finding not only his true story, but his family’s also.

Manchester by the Sea
While I didn’t dislike this film, it was monotonous and so slow for long periods throughout. I found the last 1/2 hr. to be the best as we finally found out what was going on.

Moonlight – WINNER
While watching this film, I couldn’t help thinking I’ve seen this story before..and we have – except it was done much better on the ‘The Wire’.

I just really don’t have a pick in this category as I didn’t truly love any of these nominees, so I’m just going with what I think will win.

BEST PICTURE (COMEDY/MUSICAL)

20th Century Women
Remember how I mentioned I hadn’t seen all the movies – this is the one that my screening is actually this Tuesday.

Deadpool
Funny, fun, fast and R-rated sheer entertainment made this a favourite of mine.

Florence Foster Jenkins
Not sure how there is a nom for this one, but hey, I guess they gotta fill up the category somehow.

La La LandWINNER
With an opening scene that is just truly beautiful and so well done, you would think the rest of the film to be just as good. It’s not. Mind you it’s a good watch, just a little to far-fetched, cutsey perfect for me.

Sing StreetMY PICK
Now this movie, sadly got missed by so many and IT’S SO SO GOOD!! I would pick this as best film of all the choices given to us as Globe nominees film wise, drama or comedy, on this one. Sadly, it won’t win and it’s so deserving.

Best Director

Damien Chazelle, La La Land
While Chazelle made one of my top fav. films ever with ‘Whiplash’, and again, he does a good job with the direction of this pic, it’s just not as gripping of a film.

Tom Ford, Nocturnal AnimalsMY PICK
Hands down my favourite film of the year. This film terrorized me in all the best ways possible. And it was made possible all by Mr. Ford.

Mel Gibson, Hacksaw Ridge
Again, he’s on the comeback-kid tour right now, and really did a spetacular job on the war scenes, but I don’t think he’s been forgiven enough to win his first time back.

Barry Jenkins, MoonlightWINNER
Gotta give it to Barry Jenkins for even getting this movie made. I know from being in a Q & A after the film, how hard they all worked. It just didn’t work that well for me. Many love it.

Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea
While the film was aesthetically pleasing, again I just can’t call it a ‘fav’ for me. And while I’ve really liked some of his other work, this one isn’t my pick.

BEST ACTOR (DRAMA)

Casey Affleck, Manchester by the SeaWINNER
I liked Casey in the film, I did. And having an insightful & humourous Q & A with him afterwards helped make me like the film just a bit more than I did. I just didn’t see it as an Award winning performance.

Joel Edgerton, Loving
Didn’t do it for me. Honestly, when was the last time you heard Edgerton actually speak with his native accent..yeah I can’t remember either and him trying to do the backwoods southern didn’t work for me.

Andrew Garfield, Hacksaw Ridge
Again, the accent thing bothered me here. Do I think the performance was bad, no. But it didn’t warrant an Award either.

Viggo Mortensen, Captain FantasticMY PICK
Mortensen has been pretty underappreciated in his career. I say we make that right here. Even though I know it won’t happen, it would be great to see.

Denzel Washington, Fences
Denzel..oh Denzel..how I adore you. You pretty much own every role you do.

BEST ACTRESS (DRAMA)

Amy Adams, Arrival
While I really enjoyed this film, one of the best Sci-Fi I’ve seen, she really shoulda gotten this nom for Nocternal Animals because thats where she really shined.

Jessica Chastain, Miss Sloane
I think Jessica is wonderful, though I did not see this film yet.

Isabelle Huppert, ElleMY PICK
Huppert simply put – blew me away in this one. I don’t think I’ve ever quite seen a performance like it, and probably never will again. Sadly, I’m guessing she won’t win.

Ruth Negga, Loving
I liked this performance so much once she started speaking and really putting forth as the first 30+ min she just really never said anything.

Natalie Portman, JackieWINNER
Yes, we all know they are going to give the award to Natalie. And while she was good here, she doesn’t even come close to Huppert.

BEST ACTOR, COMEDY

Colin Farrell, The LobsterMY PICK
Colin was so fantastic in this funny, bizarrely good film that he was hands down, best in category for me.

Ryan Gosling, La La LandWINNER
We all know Gosling was a Mouseketeer so yes, he can sing and dance etc.. And was really cutsey good here as well as the film was. Just not Award cutsey for me.

Hugh Grant, Florence Foster Jenkins
While his performance was one of the better spots in this film, it’s so far from Award worthy.

Jonah Hill, War Dogs
Clearly they were desperatly trying to fill up this category here. Did anyone see this film besides me at a free screening months before it came out? Yeah I’m guessing not – there is a reason for that.

Ryan Reynolds, Deadpool
I truly did love Ryan in this film – but again, Award worthy..nah..

BEST ACTRESS, (COMEDY)

Annette Bening, 20th Century Women
Dang on this one, my screening is Tues. night.

Lily Collins, Rules Don’t Apply
I was out of the country when this one came out and by the time I got back, it was gone out of theatres.

Hailee Steinfeld, The Edge of Seventeen
Cute film, cute performance – I do think there will be awards sometime in her future.

Emma Stone, La La Land
Yeah – I like Emma and another cutsey performance. That’s really all there is to it.

Meryl Streep, Florence Foster Jenkins
Okay again, do they just use Meryl every year as a filler for a supporting category. And while I think she is one of the greatest actresses of our time, it’s when she gets nominated year after year for this reason only that makes it tiresome.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Mahershala Ali, Moonlight
While I wasn’t the films biggest fan, if I had to pick a part that I liked, it was the first segment with this guy in it.

Jeff Bridges, Hell or High WaterWINNER
While I might not have seen awards coming for this movie, Bridges came through on this performance in a big way.

Simon Helberg, Florence Foster Jenkins
This character was cute & funny..at first..then it just wore on you.

Dev Patel, Lion
I’m a big Dev Patel fan and while the child actor might have stolen the show, he did bring it all t

Aaron Taylor Johnson, Nocturnal AnimalsMY PICK
Some think he doesn’t deserve this. I think he TOTALLY does. Sure his roles leading up to this have been sub-par, but thats what makes this one so good – he did a complete 360 and brought the ‘terrifying’ to this role in a most fantastic way. Anytime someone can surprise me with a performance this good, yes they deserve a nom.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Viola Davis, Fences
Viola has proved herself to be one of the most standout actresses in Hollywood. She most definitely deserves the nom here. Plus, if she wins, you know it will be one fun acceptance speech!! 🙂

Naomie Harris, Moonlight
Liked it – just didn’t love it. Definitely worthy of a nom tho.

Nicole Kidman, Lion
Same here with Nicole, liked it – just didn’t love it.

Octavia Spencer, Hidden FiguresMY PICK/WINNER
Now I called this when I saw the film back in November. The whole movie is good with really good performances, but she takes it here for me. She has been and is my only and clear choice.

Michelle Williams, Manchester by the Sea
Really, a blink of seven minutes total on screen..though the last scene with her and Affleck is the one what finally made me like the film better, still.

BEST SCREENPLAY

Damien Chazelle, La La LandPOSSIBLE WINNER
I think I’ve said my take on this film enough and while I think Chazelle has a fantastic career ahead of him, I

Tom Ford, Nocturnal AnimalsMY PICK
Having done a Q & A with Ford after the film really brought the ‘how’s & why’s’ insight into my fav. film of the year.

Barry Jenkins, MoonlightWINNER
Again, I completely commend Jenkins for even getting this film made. And I think it’s between him & Chazelle for who is the critical darling of the year.

Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea
Respect to the writing, though I might have enjoyed the process of it better as a book.

Taylor Sheridan, Hell or High Water
Well done for being remembered from earlier in the year. Worthwhile watch – not a win for me.

Best Animated Feature Film
While I saw all of these besides ‘Zucchini’ I just don’t have commentary for all of them. Just a pick.

Kubo and the Two Strings
Moana
My Life as a Zucchini
Sing
ZootopiaMY PICK/WINNER

Best Foreign Language Film
Have seen all but ‘Divines’ and I only have one hands down pick and what will hopefully be the winner!

Divines
ElleMY PICK/WINNER
Neruda
The Salesman
Toni Erdmann

Follow along to see what happens with my live tweets during the Awards at @pegsatthemovies

REVIEW ~ “BEFORE I GO TO SLEEP”

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Again, another movie where I saw it about 2 weeks ago but when it’s this bad, I almost feel like not writing a review because they sucked all the energy I had for it just watching!!  For the opening first minutes of this movie all I could think of was “50 First Dates” & “Groundhog Day” except this movie isn’t funny as those. Some even might say “Memento” but you can’t compare that fantastic movie even remotely to this one nor is it anywhere near as good as those even with a cast of actors that I truly like.

“Before I go to Sleep” is billed as a “British Crime Thriller” based on a 2011 novel, which I haven’t read as I try not to read the books before the movies nowadays as I literally don’t want to spoil it for myself.  But all I can say on this one is I really hope the book was better than the film because this movie did not “thrill” me in the slightest.

Basically it’s “Christine” (Nicole Kidman) as a woman who wakes up every day remembering nothing at all because, as she is told by her husband “Ben” (Colin Firth) that she had a traumatic accident in her past.  As he starts to fill in her life for her, flashes of her life appear to her and the minute Ben says “you can trust me” is the minute you know somethings up and it’s not what he’s telling her. Christine finds out she has connected with a “Dr. Nasch” (Mark Strong), a psychiatrist who starts to make her realize all is not what she is being told as she is recording things on a hidden camera as to what she remembers. People pop up like her best friend “Claire” (Anne-Marie Duff) whom she was told couldn’t handle being her friend anymore by none other than Ben himself.  BIGTS-0408-0758.tiffAs things start to become clearer she realizes not only did/does she have a son, but as Ben keeps giving her tidbits of her life through his version of it, she finds out pretty much NOTHING is as it seems including the actual realization of is he or isn’t he the real thing. The problem is this could be in some cases extremely suspenseful or thrilling, exciting, scary..you name it, but it’s not. Not one bit of it, Again, not only do you see it all coming, but the way it’s presented to you is agonizing almost in it’s approach. before I go to sleep 2

While I’m a big fan of Firth, somewhat Kidman, and definitely Strong, none of them do any type of exemplary performing here which is sad because we all know what all three of them are capable of. The best pairing in the film comes from Firth and Strong, not in their shared scenes but in their common murkiness, showing a bit of the possibility that either could be a friend or foe.

Grade: D

#peggyatthemovies

(see grading scale)