The Jamestown Gazette is pleased to bring our readers insightful and informative reviews of some of the nation’s most popular, current films. Jared Hill’s past commentary and reviews will be archived at Jamestown Gazette’s website, www.jamestowngazette.com.
Director: Scott Cooper
Starring: Johnny Depp, Benedict Cumberbatch, Joel Edgerton, Jesse Plemons, Sienna Miller, Dakota Johnson
If you have any doubts about Johnny Depp being cast as James “Whitey” Bulger, don’t – Johnny’s just fine. Black Mass is based on the true story, a story that also inspired The Departed (2006) in case you’re familiar. This film however, is in-depth and actually based on Bulger’s life. Judging by performance, the more “realistic” character Depp played is surprisingly not far off from Jack Nicholson’s rendition as Frank Costello. The traits they share: ruthlessness, resourcefulness, intelligence, unrelenting, unforgiving, cold, calculating and downright scary. He became the Machiavellian drug kingpin of South Boston, an American Gangster who worked for the FBI, or as the film clearly shows, had the FBI working for him.
Director: M. Night Shyamalan
Starring: Kathryn Hahn, Deanna Dunagan, Peter McRobbie, Ed Oxenbould, Olivia DeJonge
The Visit, perhaps one of the most intriguing films to come out in 2015, delivers in its expectations. The original thriller by M. Night Shyamalan is an absolute nightmare, in a good way. Becca and her little brother Tyler get sent off to visit their mother’s estranged parents. What begins as a heartfelt journey into their mother’s past via documentary filmmaking quickly turns into “Night of the Living Crazy Grandma.” The Visit is playful and fun, is well-shot with great scenery, provides good suspense and features “Nana”, the most terrifying grandmother of all-time. Get your popcorn ready, because Nana and Pop Pop are playing around.
Netflix Suggestion of the Week:
Director: Jon Stewart
Starring: Gael García Bernal (as Maziar Bahari), Kim Bodnia, Jason Jones
Jon Stewart makes his directorial debut in his referential film Rosewater, which re-enacts the struggle of journalists, and the crime of bearing witness during the corrupt dictatorship of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s regime in Iran. For simply recording events in front of him, Maziar Bahari, was imprisoned and tortured for a total 118 days. Jon Stewart, best known for his political commentary has created a film that is truly humbling and makes a statement about just how important freedom of the press really is. Journalists serve a purpose. Their role in society is all too under-appreciated and unrecognized. Maziar Bahari sacrificed himself for his people and his profession, and his story even speaks volumes about the state of our own free press, the mass media.