Film Review: LOGAN LUCKY (USA 2017) ***

logan luckyTwo brothers attempt to pull off a heist during a NASCAR race in North Carolina.

Director: Steven Soderbergh
Writer: Rebecca Blunt
Stars: Channing Tatum, Adam Driver, Daniel Craig

Review by Gilbert Seah

 Veteran director Steven Soderbergh, most famous for his OCEANS ELEVEN trilogy and for his Oscar winning ERIN BROCKOVICH and critically acclaimed films like KAFKA and THE LIMEY was supposed to have retired after his last film UNDER THE CANDELABRA . But after reading the script for LOGAN LUCKY, he was supposedly so enamoured that he decided to direct it. LOGAN LUCKY is a stylish crime caper, a sort of anti-OCEAN’s ELEVEN film without the glamour. Everything is seedy on LOGAN LUCKY, the props, the heist and life depicted in the film.

Soderbergh said of LUCKY LOGAN: “Nobody dresses nice. Nobody has nice stuff. They have no money. They have no technology. It’s all rubber band technology”.
The film involves two brothers. Trying to reverse a family curse (as lame as excuses come), siblings Jimmy (Channing Tatum), Mellie (Riley Keough), and Clyde Logan (Adam Driver) set out to execute an elaborate robbery during the Coca-Cola 600 race at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina during Memorial Day weekend. Simple though the plot might seem, the story is complicated by all the baggage brought on by the characters.

These are a few examples: (proving Soderbergh’s liking for the script)
Jimmy is separated and has a daughter that is entering a talent contest, which he should support. She performs John Denver’s famous song “Country Road”, in one of the film’s best scenes.

Clyde has lost his hand during the Iraq war. He still serves a mean martini as a bartender using only one arm, and his hand is sucked into the vacuum during the heist.

Special Agent Sarah Grayson (Hilary Swank) has a no-nonsense role as an investigator who hates tight alibis and coincidences

Warden Burns (Dwight Yoakam) as a 9-year old veteran who believes his prison to be the best and escapee proof.

Because of all these distractions, the film runs almost two hours. Though the story actually gets a bit convoluted and also a bit complicated at times, no one really cares, as Soderbergh always surprises with his style and dead-pan humour, reminiscent of KAFKA, my favourite film of his.

The heist segment is executed with a combination of more wry humour than suspense. The home made bomb form the film’s funniest part. Note that there are no exciting car races in this car race heist film.

The cast is impressive with well-known actors including James Bond 007’s Daniel Craig playing against time as a sprung convict, Joe Bang as well as 6 NASCAR drivers playing minor roles. Carl Edwards and Kyle Busch play West Virginia state troopers, Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano are security guards, Kyle Larson is a limo driver, and Ryan Blaney is a delivery boy. Everyone in the cast and crd appear to he having fun and the fun shows.

Not the best of the Soderbergh’s films, but LOGAN LUKCY is still an entertaining watch from a director who knows how to entertain, especially with a good caper comedy.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aPzvKH8AVf0

Also, Free logline submissions. The Writing Festival network averages over 95,000 unique visitors a day.
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Happy Birthday: Channing Tatum

channingtatum.jpgHappy Birthday actor Channing Tatum

Born: Channing Matthew Tatum
April 26, 1980 in Cullman, Alabama, USA

Read reviews of the best of the actor:

A GUIDE TO RECOGNIZING YOUR SAINTSA Guide to Recognizing your Saints
2006
dir. Dino Montiel
starring
Dianne Wiest
Robert Downey Jr.

The DilemmaThe Dilemma
dir. Ron Howard
Stars:
Vince Vaughn
Kevin James

Stop-Loss
2008
Directed by Kimberly Peirce
Starring
Ryan Phillippe
Joseph Gordon-Levitt

The EagleTHE EAGLE
dir. Kevin Macdonald
Stars:
Channing Tatum
Jamie Bell

FIGHTING Movie TrailerFighting
2009
dir. Dito Montiel
Starring
Tatum
Terrence Howard

GI JOE Movie PosterG.I Joe: The Rise of Cobra
2009
dir. Stephen Sommers
Starring
Dennis Quaid
Sienna Miller

PUBLIC ENEMIES Movie PosterPublic Enemies
2009
dir. Michael Mann
Starring
Johnny Depp
Christian Bale

DEAR JOHN Movie PosterDear John
dir. Lasse Hallstr m
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Amanda Seyfried

MOVIE POSTERTHE VOW
dir. Michael Sucsy
Stars:
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Channing Tatum

MOVIE POSTER21 JUMP STREET
dir. Phil Lord
Chris Miller
Stars:
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Channing Tatum

MOVIE POSTERMAGIC MIKE
dir. Steven Soderbergh
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MOVIE POSTERGI JOE 2: RELATIATION
dir. Jon M. Chu
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MOVIE POSTERHAYWIRE
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Stars:
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Ewan McGregor

MOVIE POSTERSIDE EFFECTS
2013
dir. Steven Soderbergh
Stars:
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Channing Tatum

MOVIE POSTER10 YEARS
2012
dir. Jamie Linden
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Rosario Dawson

MOVIE POSTERWHITE HOUSE DOWN
2013
dir. Roland Emmerich
Stars:
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Jamie Foxx

MOVIE POSTER22 JUMP STREET
2014
dir. Phil Lord
Christopher Miller
Stars:
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MOVIE POSTERTHE LEGO MOVIE
2014
dir. Phil Lord
Chris Miller
Stars:
Chris Pratt

MOVIE POSTERSHE’S THE MAN
2006
dir. Andy Fickman
Stars:
Amanda Bynes
Laura Ramsey

MOVIE POSTERSTEP UP
2006
dir. Anne Fletcher
Stars:
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Jenna Dewan-Tatum

SEE TOP 100 CHANNING TATUM PHOTOS

2012

Abs

and Alex Pettyfer

and Amanda Bynes

and Amanda Seyfried

and Bruce Willis

and Charlyne Yi

and Dog

and Elton John

and Ewan McGregor

and Gina Carano

and Girlfriend

and Gretchen Weiners

and Ian Somerhalder

and Jamie Bell

and Jenna Dewan-Tatum

and Jonah Hill

and Katie Holmes

and Lasse Hallstrom

and Marlon Wayans

and Rachel McAdams

and Shia LeBeouf

and Sienna Miller

as Captain America

as Duke

as Pauly D

as Peter Pan

as Pretty Boy Floyd

as Tom Brady

at Airport

Bald

Beach

Beanie

Black and White

Body

Butt

Calvin Klein

Capricho

Casual

Collage

Dancing

Details

Ears

Eyebrows

Eyes

Face

Fashion

Feet

Goatie

GQ

Hairstyle

Handsome

Hat

Headshot

High School

Hot

in 21 Jump Street

in Coach Carter

in Dear John

in Fighting

in GI Joe

in Haywire

in Magic Mike

in Public Enemies

in She’s the Man

in Step Up

in Stop Loss

in The Dilemma

in The Eagle

in The Vow

Leather Jacket

Lips

Measurements

Model

Mustache

Naked

Nose

On Set

on SNL

On the Street

Photo Shoot

Profile

Red Carpet

Ripped

Sexy

Shoes

Smile

Style

Suit

Tattoos

Teeth

Topless

Underwear

Vanity Fair

Vogue

Wallpaper

Wedding

Workout

Young

Movie Review: HAIL CAESAR! (2016)

Deadlines to Submit your Screenplay, Novel, Story, or Poem to the festival: http://www.wildsound.ca

hail_caesar_poster.jpgHAIL, CAESAR! (USA 2016) ****
Directed by Joel and Ethan Coen

Starring: George Clooney, Josh Brolin, Scarlett Johansson, Alden Ehrenrich, Ralph Fiennes, Tilda Swinton, Frances McDormand, Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill

Review by Gilbert Seah

The Coen Brothers remain in top form.  They etch out a film almost annually, with almost each one a critical hit.  Their films are an annual event many moviegoers now look forward to.  Their best films include TRUE GRIT, FARGO, NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN and BURN AFTER READING, and all their films share the Brother’s keen sense of humour.  HAIL, CAESAR! like BURN AFTER READING is pure comedy and this one is a worthy tribute to the Hollywood dream-making machine.  It has the feel of a farce yet, it total respects the Hollywood studio system, for all its faults and errors.

The lead character is a Hollywood studio fixer by the name of Mannix, subtly portrayed by Josh Brolin, in the kind of role he has mastered.  He is a dead serious character you do not want to mess around with.  Or you will get slapped around like his main star, Baird Whitlock (George Clooney) did, before being told to then go out and act like a star.  The film begins with Mannix in a confessional box, pouring his heart out to the priest.  Mannix is shown to be a decent man, one that respects other human beings, despite their faults and one who loves his wife and kids.  He is the backbone of America and the one that make sense in the Coen film.  Which is required – or all else will go to nought and the film degenerates into nonsense.  Of all the sins confessed, the one that affects him the most is his cigarette smoking.  He has promised his wife (Alison Pill) to cut down and is unable to do so.  The plot generally follows Mannix around while things in the Studio fall apart, while being offered a smoke most of the time.  Mannix fixes things, hilariously yet credibly, and that is the basic premise of HAIL, CAESAR!  While all these are going on, he is wooed for a better paying, better hours job at Lockheed Incorporated.

The things that can go wrong provide most of the satire and entertainment.  A famous actress, DeeAnna Moran (Scarlett Johansson) is pregnant and her image is about to be ruined.  A famous cowboy actor, Hobie Doyle (Alden Ehrenreich) is unable to utter his lines to the satisfaction of his director Laurentz (Ralph Fiennes).  Tabloid columnist sisters (both played by Tilda Swinton wearing different hats) want a scoop trying to dig in dirt about star Whitlock.  The most jarring problem is Whitlock being kidnapped by a groups of disgruntled scriptwriters who want their far share of the dough.  Mannix has to sort them all out.

All these problems provide ample opportunity for hilarity – Coen Brothers style.  And they keep the laughs coming with twists in the story as they know best.  The brains behind kidnapping turns out to be communist Burt Gurney (Channing Tatum).

The Brothers play plenty of homage to old classics.  There is a spectacular swimming Busby Berkley swimming number, Esther Williams style as in MILLION DOLLAR MERMAID, a one-take musical gay-type musical number with no dames to the tune of “No Dames”with nods to ANCHORS AWEIGH and Rogers and Hammerstein’s song “There is Nothing like a Dame” from SOUTH PACIFIC and scenes that could be taken right out of William Wyler’s BEN-HUR, just to name a few.

The Brothers have also assembled quite the impressive all-star cast, though some on the list only appear for a few minutes in a scene or two.  The Jonah Hill character seems present just to utter the line  “It’s all part of the job, Miss.”  Fiennes and Johansson are only present for two scenes while Frances McDormand has only one as a chain-smoking editor who gets chokes by the film reel in the editing room.  For whatever they do, they leave the audience wanting for more.  Relative newcomer Ehrenreich steals the show as the cute cowboy who eventually helps Mannix instead of the other way around.

Great directors have made films about the passion in the making of movies.  Fellini had 81/2, Truffaut LA NUIT AMERICAINE, Almodovar BAD EDUCATION and the Coen Brothers HAIL, CASEAR!.  Everything comes clear as to what the Coens are up to by the end reel.  There are elements that don’t work that well or are overdone, but or the most part HAIL, CAESAR! is quite the movie, especially for the moviebuff.  HAIL, CAESAR is a minor classic but a major delight!  I would see it again.

 

Also, Free logline submissions. The Writing Festival network averages over 95,000 unique visitors a day.
Great way to get your story out: http://www.wildsound.ca/logline.html

Deadlines to Submit your Screenplay, Novel, Story, or Poem to the festival:http://www.wildsound.ca

Watch recent Writing Festival Videos. At least 15 winning videos a month:http://www.wildsoundfestival.com

 

 

 

 

Movie Review: The Hateful Eight (2015)

THE HATEFUL EIGHT (USA 2015) Top 10 *****
Directed by Quentin Tarrantino
Starring: Channing Tatum, Samuel L. Jackson, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Kurt Russell, Walton Goggins, Tim Roth, Zoe Bell, Michael Madsen, Bruce Dern

Review by Gilbert Seah

Review now embargoed until Dec. 24th
 

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gnRbXn4-Yis