Entries in Adam Driver (4)

Sunday
Dec312017

Star Wars: The Last Jedi- review

 

“Star Wars: The Last Jedi” (2017)

Directed Rian Johnson

Starring Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Adam Driver, Mark Hamill

Running Time 152 Minutes, Rated PG-13

3.5 Mitch’s out of 5

Mitch Hansch/movieswithmitch.com

 

The eighth episode in the Star Wars saga is tidy, efficient, has a few moments of surprise, and a few scenes that drop the jaw.  Rian Johnson (Looper) directs “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” to a pleasant if not outstanding outing.  One can assume that these films will come out well no matter what, but that just isn’t the case; sorry Ewan McGregor. So, one should be appreciative of a good product such as The Last Jedi; it’s just that I want to come out the theater forever changed, I want these films to have imprinted on the outcome of my life, and I don’t think that’s too much to ask, but Santa couldn’t make it out to that far away of a galaxy.

 

The Resistance is dwindling and putting all their chips into finding the in hiding Master Luke Skywalker which Mark Hamill gets to reprise for more than just 30 seconds of screen time this time around.  Rey (Daisy Ridley) has found the Last Jedi, and the film goes into one of its many “odes” (carbon copy plot points) as Luke eventually trains her as Yoda did for him on a different lightly inhabited remote planet.  Adam Driver is giving a Master Class in brooding as Kylo Ren with his dark side and Domhnall Gleeson is utterly delightful as the sniveling General Hux.  

Some of the exotic locales don’t work for me as much, (cough, cough, the casino), but some of the twists do work for me (cough, cough, I’m not giving away any of the twists dummy).  The force is strong with girl power in this one, as Rey, General Leia (R.I.P. Carrie Fisher), and newcomers to the series Vice Admiral Holdo (Laura Dern) and the spunky Rose Tico (Kellie Marie Tran) have the biggest effects when it comes to the fate of the galaxy in this one.  

To channel Yoda;  good enough, this time around it is..hmm.

Matthew 20:16

 

Friday
Dec222017

Logan Lucky- review

 

“Logan Lucky” (2017)

Directed by Steven Soderbergh

Starring Channing Tatum, Adam Driver, Daniel Craig

Running Time 158 Minutes, Rated PG-13

3 Mitch’s out of 5

Mitch Hansch/movieswithmitch.com

 

Director Steven Soderbergh is back.  After his short self imposed early retirement, which I didn’t believe in much anyways the Oscar winning director is back and that’s a good thing.  Soderbergh puts a rural spin on his most commercially successful films; Ocean’s 11, 12, and 13 with “Logan Lucky”.  Channing Tatum and Adam Driver are the ‘unlucky’ Logan brothers who decide to take back something for themselves with a heist during the Charlotte Motor Speedway.

 

Breezy is a good way to describe this film, but I would say it’s even better described as cool glass of lemonade on a very hot day.  It won’t do more than quench your thirst for that moment, but for its nearly two hour running time, I was quenched.  Shout out to Daniel Craig playing bigger comedically than I’ve seen him do before. Also, was it just me, or did Tatum put on a few pounds for this role?  That’s commendable commitment in what turned out to be on deaf ears as this film did nothing at the box office.  

Consider yourself lucky and watch this film.

Matthew 5:6

 

Tuesday
Jan102017

Silence- review

 

“Silence” (2016)

Directed by Martin Scorsese

Starring Andrew Garfield,  Adam Driver,  Liam Neeson

Running Time 161 Minutes, Rated R.

4.5 Mitch’s out of 5

Mitch Hansch/movieswithmitch.com

 

At this screening I noticed a handful of people walking out before it was well over.  Most of the time that is an example of a poorly made film, but not always.  Martin Scorsese’s latest, “Silence”, is an example of the latter.

Scorsese has been trying to make this epic film about faith for the last 20 years.  There is a true testament of faith just in that.  His faith in this project bears us the viewers great fruit; while the fruit of “Silence” may not be that delicious to the senses, it is quite sustaining.  Here is a film that Scorsese has crafted with a precise nature, and while 2 hours and 40 may seem long, this is deliberate in the way that your faith will be tested time and time again and while there can peace and joy in it there is also endurance that is needed.

Adapted from Shūsaku Endō‘s novel by Scorsese and Jay Cocks (“Gangs of New York”, “Age of Innocence”), “Silence” is the true story of two Portugese Jesuit Priests, Father Rodrigues (Andrew Garfield) and Father Garupe (Adam Driver) who in 1636 travel to Japan in search for their mentor Father Ferreira (Liam Neeson) who has gone missing and is rumored to have apostatized, denouncing one’s faith.  Japan is enemy territory for Christians, and being caught with any semblance of its faith is punishable by death.  Smuggled into Japan by a very flawed Japanese man Kichijiro (Yôsuke Kubozuka), Rodrigues and Garupe are instant outlaws but are blessed to find a village of some secret Japanese Christians whose living their beliefs in secret is showed to be very hard.  The arrival of the Fathers give the villagers hope but in one of the many complexities that Scorsese delves into, we gather from Rodrigues’ prayers that he is concerned that they are putting their faith in tactile objects such as rosary beads and straw crosses instead of having it in their hearts, minds, and soul.  

 

Eventually Rodrigues and Garupe split up, and we follow Rodrigues as he is eventually captured by the Inquisitor (Issei Ogata) who will and does take the lives of Christians but would rather give you time to think it over so you can denounce the faith and be set free.  Freely admitting from his earlier mistakes, the Inquisitor says that they don’t kill off villagers first making them martyrs but instead, he focuses on getting the Priests to denounce their faith for the villagers to see.  Father Rodrigues is left captured while he watches those who have taken up his faith tortured and executed.  It is excruciating as Rodrigues holds fast to his belief in God even though his prayers are answered with only silence, but the practical and maybe moral decision of saving those with the act of stamping your foot on a bronzed image of Christ can’t be denied.

Andrew Garfield, who has taken up two devout Christian believers this year with “Hacksaw Ridge” and “Silence” impresses me even more in this.  Starved literally and in faith, his portrayal is of a man of God that can’t hear Him and is left to hold onto his beliefs as greatly as he can.  If it were up to me Kubozuka’s sinning Kichijiro should be nominated for Best Supporting Actor.  Kichijiro is Scorsese’s depiction of Man, who keeps failing over and over and needs unlimited forgiveness.  There is such beauty when Father Rodrigues glows in his letters about how time spent with Kichijiro and his resurgence of faith; like God’s love for his lost sheep.  

Beautiful and tragic to look at,  Rodrigo Prieto’s cinematography holds you tight when shots of the ocean and beaches are present, and the score is perfect in it’s use of simple nature sounds to fill the screen.  

Ultimately the film boils down to God knowing what’s in your heart and where our soul stands on that ground. The ending is tense and delivers more in a meditation of faith than I could have ever of grasped.  

Dear Scorsese, 20 years well spent.   

P.s.  As a Christian (gasp!), these are the type of films that should be mandatory for stretching and challenging one’s faith walk.  Sure, recent based films like “The Young Messiah”, “Risen”, “God’s not Dead”, “Miracles From Heaven”, and “War Room” have their place and their audience but all too often those films give way to less talented storytellers.  Having cinema greats such as Scorsese is immeasurable, and for me my faith is fed so much more with a film like “Silence” rather than “Miracles from Heaven”.  

Mark 16:15

 

Thursday
Apr212016

Midnight Special- review

 

“Midnight Special” (2016)

Directed by Jeff Nichols

Starring  Michael Shannon,  Joel Edgerton,  Kirsten Dunst

Running Time 112 Minutes, Rated PG-13

2 Mitch’s out of 5

Mitch Hansch/movieswithmitch.com

 

It’s these type of films that make me want to stop film reviewing.  Not be cause they’re so gosh-darn awful, no, because they ultimately make me feel stupid.  Jeff Nichols is an extremely smart and thoughtful filmmaker who is one of the rare ones who takes the time to challenge the viewer.  Watching his latest, “Midnight Special, a sci-fi heavy on the intrigue and light on the sci-fi, I feel as if this challenge has overmatched me.  I was blown away from both of Nichols’ previous efforts in “Take Shelter” and “Mud”, but in “Midnight Special” I was left more than a tad frustrated as I tried to wade through all the never-ending vagueness that for this viewer, built up to nothing rewarding.

A young boy named Alton (Jaeden Lieberher) is unique to say the least.  Alton wears goggles to keep bay powerful beams of light shooting from his eyes and he can also intercept radio transmissions.  His father Roy (Michael Shannon) has reclaimed him after having him raised in a cult like congregation called The Ranch where the boy is thought by some to be a messiah.  Roy is driven to bring his son a specific place at a specific time that Alton deciphered and that’s all that matters.  Roy has the help of his old hometown friend Lucas (Joel Edgerton) and eventually Alton’s mother Sarah (Kirsten Dunst) but is being hunted down by both zealots from The Ranch and every branch of the government assisted by a green NSA agent played by Adam Driver.

 

Question builds upon question producing curiousness but never evoking substance. When Alton’s powers are elicited it’s definitely neat and puzzle worthy but for what and for why.  I do appreciate a slow burn heady genre piece that is usually littered by morons but when the pieces are put together in a big visual finale I was nowhere closer to understanding why we were putting the pieces together in the first place.   The acting is the film’s saving grace.  Nichols veteran Michael Shannon is his consistently strong self portraying a father who knows his son is beyond him but is relentlessly committing to his parental duties.  Edgerton brings some well needed softness, Driver brings some even more needed flashes of awkward humor and Lieberher holds himself up very well for a thespian of his age.  

The acting isn’t enough for “Midnight Special” to bring out something special.