Movies: The Mule, The Quake, Mary Queen of Scots

The Mule

First, some facts.  This film is Clint Eastwood’s 40th film as a director and he is also the lead actor in the movie.  His resume includes acting in more than 60 movies.  He is 88 years old.

In The Mule, Eastwood plays an aging down and out horticulturist who is also a drug runner.  Alison Eastwood plays the daughter.  Bradley Cooper is the DEA agent.  Dianne Wiest plays the ex-wife.  Micheal Pena plays another DEA agent.  Laurence Fishburne plays yet another DEA “special” agent.

There is a another list of actors playing the bad guys really well, including Robert LaSardo, Andy Garcia, Noel Gugliemi, Manny Montana, Ignacio Serricchio, Loren Dean, Eugene Cordero and Victor Rasuk.

It is rated R for language throughout and brief sexual nudity.  The genre is Drama, Mystery & Suspense.  Mostly, it is Eastwood playing Eastwood.  If you are a fan of his work, you are likely to like this one too.

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The Quake

This film is a sequel to the 2015 Norwegian disaster film The Wave.  (Well worth seeing if you have not seen it.)

In this edition, Oslo is the target of a massive earthquake.  A geologist played by Kristoffer Joner finds evidence of an immanent quake and tries to warn authorities and loved ones.

The cast is quite compact.  Along with Joner, Ane Dahl Torp plays the wife.  Jonas Hoff Oftebro plays the son, Edith Haagenrud-Sande is excellent as the young daughter.  (All played in The Wave.)

Fact check:  Oslo was hit by a 5.4 earthquake in 1904.  The epicenter runs directly through the center of Oslo (quite similar to the faults in California).

All said, if you are a fan of natural disaster films, this is well done.  Lots of suspense, tension and angst.

It is rated PG-13 for intense sequences of peril and destruction, injury images and brief strong language.  The genre is listed as Action & Adventure, Drama, Mystery & Suspense.  It runs 106 minutes.  Norwegian with English subtitles.

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Mary Queen of Scots

This is the story of Mary Stuart, the Queen of France at 16 and widowed at 18.  She returns to her native Scotland and reclaims her throne.  It’s strong points include drama and grandeur, generally accurate account of historical events, and a fascinating peek behind the curtains of history that most of us know little about.

The cast is impressive.  Saoirse Ronan plays Mary Stuart brilliantly.  Margot Robbie morphs into Queen Elizabeth.  Joe Alwyn is perfect as Robert Dudley.  Jack Lowden plays Lord Darnley.  Guy Pearce has a very good bit part.  There are a bunch of Earls, Lords and such.  Over 100 actors in total.

Overall, the film seems generally accurate with history along with a fair amount of creative liberty.  The cinematography is beautiful.

It is rated R for some violence and sexuality.  We do not feel it is appropriate for children.  It is listed as a Drama with a run time of 112 minutes.

Lots of chatter for the upcoming awards season, especially in the acting categories.

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