Tag Archives: Sharlto Copely

REVIEW: “TED K” (2022) Super LTD

One questions always arises as you begin to watch what might seem like another movie about a someone who did so much harm to so many. In essence, Ted Kaczynski was one of America’s first ‘domestic terrorists’. “TED K” is the latest in a slew of films based on one of America’s worst and longest active domestic terrorists. The film by co-writer/director Tony Stone’s biography of Ted Kaczynski, was known during the decades-long manhunt for him as “the Unabomber,” portrays him as a mathematical genius of a man whose idea that the outside world is encroaching on him and he has had enough, a self-perceived righteousness so to speak, to enable him to take action against everything and everyone who contributed to this.

Ted K’ begins with a prologue of basic details, most of what we already know – Kaczynski was a Harvard educated math genius who dropped out of society and moved to the Rocky Mountains in Lincoln, Montana, which as we know, is home to many of these nationalists groups and there has been found evidence that Montana was once selected “for the development of a white Aryan homeland to be used as a base of operation”. So it should come as no surprise this is where Ted picked to live off the grid. Following that, the opening sequence sets the stage as we see Kaczynski hiding in the forest while loggers tear down the forest around him, snow mobiles whiz by with vacationers on them – all feeding his imagination that modern technology, will be the end of humanity as it is and feels this is so wrong, that even though he wants no part of it, he finds himself bowing to it to carry out his ‘ideals’. All the while, trying to convince as many people as he can of the same philosophy.

That’s how the movie’s Ted Kaczynski, is played here by Sharlto Copley. But therein lies the danger here in doing this as Copley is actually so good at points, that the movie approaches the thin line of romanticizing not just the man, but in an odd way, what he stood for as well as you can’t deny some of his predictions ring with a bit of truth in today’s world. So instead of seeing him as the monster he was, you look at him as a flawed human being – when that is just not the case, but it is good acting. The showing of who this man is, how he holds grudges, erupts in rages to everyone from the phone company to verbally abusing his family, all the while begging them to send some money his way. For Ted it seems it was always someone else’s fault for what happens to him in life, and that, more than any of his crazy demands in his 25,000 word manifesto of which this film is based primarily upon, is what defines the man. The deluded thoughts of a man who considered modern technology to be evil and used a hit list to identify the targets for his homemade bombs – bombs by the way, that often injured unintended victims and not his intended targets.

And so it comes to the conclusion that we already know, but that still rings hard with the fact that under the threat bombing of another target, his manifesto makes it to the pages of the Washington Post, therein leading to his downfall after the longest manhunt in history, betrayed I’m sure in his own delusional mind, by his brother who recognized the writings. And so brings us to the end of this long chapter in life, sadly we were to see many more domestic terrorists come to fruition, and even just recently, almost lost our country to them – and maybe that is why it is important to sometimes still watch a film like this. Superbly acted, but also to keep us aware that all amongst us are not with us.

In the end, Ted was just a sexually frustrated misogynist who became a dysfunctional, delusional and dangerous man. Sadly, he won’t be the last.

Grade: C+

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Review Screening ~ Courtesy of Ginsberg/Libby PR

“TED K” premieres exclusively in theaters Friday, February 18, 2022

REVIEW: GRINGO (2018) STX Entertainment / Amazon Studios

Over the past few years, Nash Edgerton has bounced – possibly literally – between being a top-notch stuntman and a career as a burgeoning director. After a stack of shorts and a 2008 feature The Square, co-written with his more famous sibling Joel, he now steps things up with “GRINGO”, a comedy-thriller-esque type movie that looks sharp in the trailers.

With brother Joel Edgerton on board as one of the co-leads, Richard Rusk – alongside Charlize Theron as his co-conspirator Elaine Markinson and David Oyelowo as the trusty but naive, Harold Soyinka what you have here is a south-of-the-border caper with blood, guns and medical marijuana. As the film opens, crooked business partners Richard and Elaine – post-boardroom bonk – get a call from their Harold, screaming that he’s been kidnapped in Mexico.

That’s just the start – or rather the mid-point – of a twisty amoral adventure where no one is to be trusted and most are to be feared or so they like you to be – but you’re not. Flashing back and forth, the film fleshes things out..sort of. In the process of ditching their Chicago pharmaceutical firm to a conglomerate, Richard and Elaine are looking to cut ties with one of their more shady partners in the business of manufacturing medical marijuana.

Harold, the only good guy amid this nest of ever growing scumbags, and yes, even his wife Bonnie – played by Thandie Newton – is doing the dirty on him with no less that his own boss and supposed friend, Richard. Harold gets wind that he’s going to be out of a job and this is when he realises that his employers couldn’t care less about the fact he has been kidnapped, he sets out to turn the tables. But little is straightforward in a dense plot that also ropes in Amanda Seyfried and Harry Treadaway as tourists and Sharlto Copley as a mercenary with a conscience.
Double-crosses, cases of mistaken identity… just trying to keep up and make sense of what’s going on at this point, leaves you out of sorts with a plot that really isn’t going anywhere. The script is guilty of trying way to hard, to go into sub-Tarantino area – and completely not succeeding in this endeavour.

Performances vary: Theron’s foul-mouthed act wears thin very fast and honestly, I thought she would be a lot funnier than she was, Edgerton passes you by again, not speaking in his own voice (I’m really so very over this Joel), but Copley provides a few live wire moments. Oyelowo isn’t known for his comedic turns and you will see why here with a mostly blah performance with one or two ha! ha! moments by him. While it’s a pity talents like Seyfried and Treadaway are just a weird almost background note here, as their characters almost seem as if they were given something to do, they would be funny. This is one of those films where the trailer shows you all the fun, best moments of a film that’s not terrible, but very easy to forget.

Grade: C-
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Media Review Screening: Friday, February 23, 2018 ~ Courtesy of STX Entertainment
GRINGO will be release nationwide & UK on Friday, March 9, 2018 ~ Worldwide release throughout Mar/Apr

#peggyatthemovies ~ “REVIEW OF “MALEFICENT”

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As far as fantasy movies go, I gotta say I pretty much liked this one minus of course, one or two little things..”Maleficent” is basically the modern day ‘prequel’ of the age old fairy tale ~ ‘Sleeping Beauty’  The villainess (or is she??) “Maleficent” played well by the beautiful Angelina Jolie, who lived a wonderful happy life as a fairy child with wings in a beautiful land where nothing bad ever happened.. Until…of course it does.  She faces the ultimate betrayal as a young woman, by “Stefan” (Sharlto Copely) who not only breaks her heart, but steals from her the one thing that makes her who she is, all in the name of greed and to obtain power and control over kingdom and win the princess.  Which he succeeds at, but of course there is a price to pay hence the story of ‘Sleeping Beauty’ The King & Queen have a beautiful child together,” Aurora” (Elle Fanning), and “Maleficent” being whom she is now, a bitter fairy with unbridled powers, puts a curse on the newborn child that on her 16th birthday she will prick her finger on a wooden spindle and fall into a coma and only can be awakened by ‘true love’, which of course she no longer believes exists. 

The plot thickens as the years go by as it seems that “Maleficent” has a heart after all as she spies on the child who is growing up over the years in the care of 3 bizarre & irresponsible fairy’s, and realizes that the key to peace and possibly her own personal happiness, is after all, “Aurora”. She tries to break the spell which is now unbreakable..During all this time, the now “King Stefan” has made it his mission to destroy “Maleficent” and ensure his daughters safety.  Throughout these years “Maleficent” is accompanied by her ‘wings’ “Diaval” played by Sam Riley, who is so under-utilized here as an actor.  If you want to see what this guy is truly capable of, I suggest you watch “Brighton Rock”, “On the Road” or his stunning portrayal of Ian Curtis of Joy Division fame in “Control” and you will see what I am talking about.

Angelina Jolie is as good as you can be in bringing an animated character to life, and though most of the second act of this movie goes off half-baked somewhat with plot points that go nowhere and sorely lags a bit, but have no fear as it does pick up again in the finale portion of the movie. Still, it’s quite predictable in what the ending will be. The imagery of the fantasy land they live in is truly beautiful and stunning at times..it was probably my favourite thing of the whole movie.  Noteworthy ~ in a small but sweet part is Brenton Thwaites as “Prince Phillip”, I predict we will see much more to come of this young cutie pie, yes I just said cutie pie..:D  

Grade: C+

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