Movie Review: Sufragette

Mans inhumanity to man has defined the human condition for centuries. The sick disease many evil people have where they can only feel good about themselves if they make others feel worse or if they can feel superior to other people is one of the biggest plagues of humanity. To think that a short 95 years ago in this country, women finally got the right to vote and in Saudi Arabia this right only came about this year, 2015 is unbelievable. In many other countries around the world, the right to vote came many years after 1920. All of this of course is completely insane and its hard believe how backwards and stupid the beliefs about women have been for so many hundreds of years. The world for women has in fact greatly improved since the 1920’s but the plight and suffrage of women continues to this day with lower salaries for the same work and other injustices that still exist.

This movie is about what it takes to change the backwards thinking of the world and some very stupid and evil people who were responsible for slavery and the suffrage of women. This movie takes place in England in 1912 and shows the horrible conditions of many women working for a textile company. The working conditions and payment for women during this time were horrible and over time the right to vote and the improvement of their lives was the paramount goal of the woman’s suffrage movement in the 1920’s. England gave women the right to vote completely in 1928, a full 8 years after the United States and the struggle during this time involved blowing up mail boxes, houses, protests and many arrests and even torture of women in prison. As a result extreme measures were taken by the Women’s Suffrage movement that involved placing bombs in mail boxes and even in houses. One desperate method to get the attention of the King of England even involved the suicide of a woman named Emily Wilding Davidson who killed herself during a horse race by throwing herself in front of a charging horse. Video of Emily Wilding Davidson Suicide.

In the end, after many years of very little or no improvement, the Woman’s Suffrage movement finally resulted in more equality for women and giving women the vote in 1928 for England and 1920 for the Unites States, but the price that was paid for this equality was very high.

The actress Carey Mulligan does an outstanding job as lead actress in this movie as does Helena Bohnham Carter . The character she plays in this movie gets divorced and actually loses her child to an adoption that was pushed through by her husband only because as a women during this time she had no legal rights to her own child. I was surprised to see Merrill Streep in this movie in a relatively small role as the leader of the Suffrage movement in England in the 1920’s and she was also excellent in her part.

I highly recommend this movie.

Suffragette IMDB


Movie Review: Trumbo

As an avid screenwriter I was at first very surprised that I never heard of Dalton Trumbo before because he could be just about the most awarded and prolific screenwriter in the history of Hollywood. Unfortunately for him his political views made his screenwriting career far more difficult than it should have been and his unique talent for writing great movies like “Roman Holiday” and “Spartacus” came towards the end of a very dark period where he was blacklisted like so many others in Hollywood. During this blacklisting period, Trumbo had to use other writers names or make up names so that his name was not credited with the movie to avoid the boycotting of the movies or lawsuits. Trumbo also worked for very minimal wages for a number of years writing scripts or fixing bad scripts for very low budget producers.  One of the great things about historical movies like this is that you learn about incidents and people and history that you would never have known about otherwise.  We all knew how blacklisting was in the 1950’s but after watching this movie you have a greater appreciation for how bad it was for so many people and how many lives were ruined by having their livelihood taken away by something so unjust and unfair.

Several people were jailed for believing in Communism during this blacklisting era including Dalton Trumbo and several of his friends, one friend was played very well by Louis CK , which eventually dies of lung cancer. Its depressing to realize that due to the fear of Russia, Communism and the Cold War that the United States Constitution and more specifically freedom of speech was completely forgotten in order to persecute, jail and ruin the lives of so many good people.

What most people also did not know is that the actor Edward G. Robinson was involved with the so called Hollywood 10 and he betrayed  all of them them in the end to save his own career and avoid jail time.  Another part of history was the verve that reporters and gossip columnists at the time like Hedda Hopper showed in their zeal to go after Communists and ruin their lives and careers, almost as if she enjoyed destroying other people.

Over time the witch hunt of the McCarthy era waned and eventually actors like Kirk Douglass and directors like Otto Preminger slowly began to have the courage to not only re-hire great writes like Dalton Trumbo but even publish their names as the screenwriters of their movies.

There are many great scenes and revelations in this movie, including several scenes in this movie involving John Wayne going after Communists and trying to ban them from Hollywood and another scene where Trumbo calls out Wayne asking him, “so where did you serve during World War 2”. It was also interesting to see that over time Trumbo adopted to the habit of writing his screenplays in the bathtub and due to the stress of much less money and incredible overwork he tended to ignore his family which caused great conflict with them, most especially his older daughter. Diane Lane had a small role in this movie as Dalton Trumbo’s wife and seems somewhat miscast int his role but Brian Cranston was excellent in his performance and Trumbo and will very likely receive an Academy Award nomination for his role as Donald Trumbo. John Goodman is also very good in this movie as the producer of bad movies and employed Trumbo many times to provide him with an income during this period when he was blacklisted.

One huge flaw but typical problem with this movie is the constant and never ending smoking in almost every scene. The good thing about this is at least they show that one of Dalton’s close writer friends died of lung cancer, so at least they try to show the other side of that disgusting coin. One day perhaps, all smoking will be banned from movies but it sure seems that we are all a long way from that day.

I highly recommend the movie Trumbo and predict it will be nominated for a best picture Oscar.


Trumbo IMDB

Movie Review: Creed

Its hard to believe that Rocky 6, which had the title “Rocky Balboa” is now almost 9 years old.  In that movie, Rocky’s Adrian had died and in this movie, there is no more Paulee.  I find it depressing that Stallone has decided to kill off all the great characters that made Rocky such a great movie when it came out in 1976, almost 40 years ago and won best picture.  The reason for Adrian dying in the last movie was supposedly because no one would believe that she would stand by and watch her 60 year old husband fight again.The reason for Paulee leaving us was because of cancer which is a later subject of this movie as well.

When Rocky Balboa came out, most critics were very surprised that it was such a good movie mainly because Rocky 4 and 5 were mostly bad movies, Rocky 5 generally agreed to be a very bad movie.  The quality of the writing, story and acting in this movie is similar to Rocky Balboa and I was happy to see that the quality of these Rocky movies has been maintained.

The movie “Creed” follows the same formula of Rocky Balboa of showing real boxing footage using HBO films and commentators and having writing and a believable story line that is a quality as high as the original Rocky.  The movie Creed, which is the 7th installment in the Rocky series is the first in the franchise that was not written by Stallone himself as the decision was made for this latest installment, to inject some younger blood into to the dialog and story line.

The actor Michael B. Jordan does an excellent job as the star of this movie and you have to admire the shape he got in for the work out and intense fighting movies in this movie.  He is a very good actor, which marks probably the first time in the Rocky franchise that an actor of his caliber has been in a Rocky movie. The fight scenes as well as the scenes of him working out and catching chickens, which is a reference to the second Rocky movie, were very well done and very convincing. There was also no doubt in some of the fight sequences that some of the actors including Jordan took some very bid shots to the head and the body as the fight scenes were extremely well done and convincing.

This movie also has a very well done love interest for Adonis Creed, the illegitimate son of Apollo Creed. His girlfriend is a lounge singer Adonis meets in his apartment in Philadelphia. I thought it was rather unusual that the movie did not explain the complete story of Apollo’s lost son until about 70% into the movie, but overall this story-line worked and so did this movie.

Stallone is definitely showing his almost 70 years in this movie as he looks every bit of 70 years and perhaps a bit older.  His performance in this movie is equally as good as it was in Rocky Balboa.  At the end of this movie the door is left wide open for a Creed 2, but given the quality of this latest Rocky movie I look forward to another movie about the life of Rocky Balboa.

I highly recommend this movie.


IMDB Creed