Oppenheimer Was Petrifying But Excellent!

Popping along to my local Showcase Cinema yesterday to see the much hyped new Christopher Nolan film – Oppenheimer, I was concerned about the three hour duration. Would I be able to keep my eyes open in a dark room for this long? Well, I definitely remained fully awake as this film was nothing less than an eye-opener.

In A Nutshell

Robert Oppenheimer studied in Cambridge (near me) and went on to be a leading light in Quantum Physics. He was asked to set up a research project that would ultimately develop an atomic bomb which would be actually used towards the end of the Second World War.

Seeing such enthusiasm for making this bomb really made me feel awkward. The fact that it was a race and they seemed to treat it like a game was a difficult aspect to handle.

However, the acting was magnificent and the story was thoroughly explored. Great actors were brought in to play people such as Truman (Gary Oldman) and Einstein (Tom Conti). Matt Damon came in as the guy in charge of the Manhattan Project and worked side by side with Oppenheimer. His acting was also to a high standard.

I was a little let down by the casting of Robert Downey Junior – Iron Man – in this as Lewis Strauss. He was his usual wooden self and this role would have been acted better by someone like Leo DiCaprio or even Ben Affleck.

Bright Lights

The last time I saw Cillian Murphy was in ‘A Quiet Place 2’ with Emily Blunt. It was great to see them reuniting under Christopher’s direction. I thought Cillian gave a stable and well rounded performance as Oppenheimer. He stayed consistently in role as a convincing scientist with a complicated situation playing on his mind.

Emily Blunt was Kitty, his wife, and showed up at key moments during the narrative. She was a league above the rest in this film. In my opinion her acting was gritty, sarcastic and utterly convincing. She is not quite up to Kate Winslet’s and Cate Blanchett’s level of chameleon transformations but she did incredibly well.

For me, Christopher needs a Best Director Oscar and Cillian a Best Actor nod. Emily should at very least pick up a Best Supporting Actress as she was limited by the fact her character was only in about half an hour of the film.

Squirming In My Seat

The moment they tested the bomb I winced. The idea that they went ahead and blew up something – even though they didn’t know if it would set the atmosphere alight and destroy the whole world – startles me. I cowered in my seat when the painfully bright light shone across New Mexico and was later followed up by an ear-splitting bang.

The subject matter was very sad in that this development in history led to the awful destruction of two Japanese cities. It also led to the Cold War. Was it necessary?

Despite the subject being very gritty, the Oppenheimer movie itself was cleverly written, expertly directed and powerfully acted. Go see this magnificent film now!

Check out my previous write-up of The Little Mermaid and perhaps consider following my little blog for future similar content.

Dungeons and Dragons – Review

When I was a kid I used to love the cartoon version of Dungeons and Dragons. Dungeon Master with his white hair and red cloak, was filled with mystery. I used to totally immerse myself in the adventures of a random group of people who were transported to a magical world by a roller coaster. My Dungeons and Dragons review is taking a look at the new Hollywood movie, ‘Honour Among Thieves’.

It first caught my attention when I saw the cast being interviewed on daytime TV. It was interesting to see a varied cast, including Rege-Jean Page from Bridgerton and the always funny but slightly arrogant Hugh Grant.

What’s It All About?

A gaggle of characters had been getting paid big bucks to steal things from unassuming rich people. Led by Edgin (Chris Pine), the group were about to do their last challenge when some of them were trapped in a chamber and taken off to jail.

Our story begins with Edgin and Holga (a feisty Michelle Rodriguez) pleading their innocence in some kind of monster court. Without giving too much away, they end up on an adventure together. High Grant’s character is no longer their ally and has, in fact, taken Edgin’s daughter to bring up as his own.

As you can imagine, there is a lot more to this but I don’t want to get into spoiler territory.

Things I liked

– The heart of the story was good. I felt the connection and warmth between the characters. You don’t always get that with an action movie.

– The storyline made sense and was a mix of adventure and comedy. I found lots of parts very funny due to the witty script.

– I actually came out wanting more. That is very rare for me when it comes to fantasy movies like this.

– The stunts were good and there was a good balance between drama and action. Not too much action but just enough.

A Few Considerations

– I felt there could be more dragons involved as they only popped up briefly.

– Where was the Dungeon Master? I was kind of looking forward to his bit.

– Although Rege’s character was important he was very much a guest. I would like to see his role embellished in future.

Final Thoughts

As a throwback to my youth I found myself wanting to try out this cheeky film. To be honest, I wasn’t sure what to expect. It is fair to say I was definitely pleasantly surprised.

I found the movie funny, entertaining and satisfying in terms of full circle story. My Dungeons and Dragons review covers some of the positives but there are many more. I would recommend having a look at this film if you get the chance.

If you like this kind of fantasy film you may also be interested in my The Last Of Us Review. This was another action drama that had me hooked. Please comment your thoughts and consider following my blog for future book, TV and film reviews.

A Man Called Otto – Film Review

As I have mentioned previously, I am trying to go to the cinema more often than usual, especially as so many award nominated movies emerge. Following my review of Empire Of Light, I decided to pop along to my local movie theatre and check out ‘A Man Called Otto’ today.

What Drew Me To This Character-Orientated Movie?

Tom Hanks was promoting ‘A Man Called Otto’ on the Graham Norton Show the other Friday when it first caught my imagination. Apparently an adaptation of a Swedish novel – ‘A Man Called Ove’ by Fredrik Backman – this story was about an older man who was rather miserable and full of spite. Some new neighbours moved into his street and tried to soften his character slightly. The premise was interesting and I knew Tom would portray the lead role brilliantly.

Otto protected a little street like this.

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 97% audience score

A Sweet Narrative

Otto had lost his wife recently and was pushed out of his job, taking a severance payout and entering retirement reluctantly. He lived in a street where the parking was protected and he made sure that only those with permits dared to park in his street.

The neighbours knew that he did his daily ‘rounds’ and tried to engage with him despite his sour mood. The reason for this grumpy attitude was exposed later in the story. Needless to say he had a fairly harrowing backstory.

A family moved in and started to offer him food parcels and company. Marisol (played by Mariana Travino) was superb as a chatty, pregnant neighbour who wouldn’t take no for an answer and was determined to bring a smile to his tired face.

Recurring Theme

While Otto was constantly trying to find ways to kill himself and join his wife beyond the grave, amusing circumstances disturbed his plans and kept him busy. Marisol worked hard at bringing some fun into his world and giving him something to care about.

A set of challenges faced by other neighbours made his life more difficult still. Otto’s narrative was wonderfully outlined by a good script and careful direction. Tom’s wife, Rita Wilson, persuaded him to make the movie version of the book and she also came on board as producer. Similarly his real-life son – Truman Hanks – who played a younger version of Otto, did a brilliant job. He was the spitting image of his famous father.

Things I liked about it

– Incredible acting by the lead actors

– A flowing storyline with carefully placed nuggets of information that enhanced the narrative.

– Clever direction with emotional flashbacks.

– It had moments of real humour.

In A Nutshell

I laughed and cried whilst watching this wonderful story unwind. Hanks was amazing in this role and Mariana deserves an Oscar for supporting actress too. In my opinion, it was really well written and the different elements fitted together superbly.

I would give this movie a five star review and totally recommend going to the cinema to see it. Now I will have to go and read the original book.

If you found this review helpful, please comment below and consider following my blog for future book and TV reviews as well as environmental articles. A recent TV review I wrote, which might grab your attention, was focused on House of the Dragon.

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