Straight Outta Compton
This film was set in 1988 and chronicles the then groundbreaking events that brought hip-hop to pop culture. It is also a peek behind the scenes at the culture of sex, drugs and thug life.
It tells the story of the mercurial rise of the hip hop industry and gangsta rap. Front and center is the story of the young Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, Easy-E, DJ Yella and MC Ren. (Dr. Dre and Ice Cube co-produced the film along with Tomica Wright, Matt Alvarez and F. Gary Grey who was also the Director.)
The film does not hold back as it reveals the good, the bad and the ugly. It is intense and still relevant to today’s music scene and the influence it brings with it. Run time is 2 hours, 36 minutes that simply flew by.
The film has been nominated for an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay. It had also been nominated for the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture (but did not win). Also the Critics Choice Award for Best Acting Ensemble and numerous other industry awards of recognition.
The Finest Hours
This film is based on the book of the real events of a 1952 US Coast Guard rescue mission in Chatham, Mass. A team of three, lead be Chris Pine as team leader Bernie Webber, are ordered to conduct a rescue of the remaining crew of 30 on an oil tanker cracked in half by a massive winter storm.
The tanker’s Captain is killed during the accident and there is a fair amount of chaos until the Ship’s Engineer, played by Casey Affleck, comes up with a plan to keep the ship afloat until they can be rescued. Lots of angst and tension until they are obviously rescued.
Concurrently the rescue team somehow managed to overcome seemingly impossible conditions, the loss of their compass and still manage to find the tanker.
Meanwhile, back on shore, Holliday Grainger plays the local outsider, Miriam, and the love interest to Webber. She causes a stir within the close knit community. Ultimately the community pulls together to help the overloaded rescue boat find its way home.
Most critics are raving about this movie. Charlotte Rampling is nominated in the Academy Awards Best Actress category for her performance as the wife in this story. Tom Courtenay plays her husband. Together they are the textbook couple in their Senior years in domestic bliss when suddenly the wife discovers her husband was once engaged prior to their 45 year marriage and upcoming anniversary event.
This news slowly builds to a boil within the Rampling character. I must admit Rampling delivers a powerful performance with the minimum use of words and replaced with just her eyes, a look and the twitch of her mouth.
The actor’s chemistry is excellent and was a strong contribution to making the storyline work. But the film seemed to drag on too long and the turmoil, while understandable, seemed too much ado about nothing.