From Oppenheimer to A Compassionate Spy, This Cinematic to Documentary Pairing Tells All

Whether Ted Hall is truly a hero, a spy or just a person in A Compassionate Spy, what we learn is that he’s pretty much America’s unsung hero.

A Compassionate Spy Movie PosterThere is one plot hole in Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer which needs its own story to tell all. Someone leaked the plans on how to make a nuclear bomb to the Russians! While the film went one way to figure out who is to blame, this documentary deftly examines why Ted Hall instigated the deed. Steve James’ A Compassionate Spy nicely helps us understand what motivated him to do so.

Instead of comparing him to Dr. Strangelove aka How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, what this film does is examine why this scientist passed on nuclear secrets to the enemy. The Cold War was beginning and to understand why he did it requires understanding the times, and Saville Sax’s involvement in the whole matter. He was part of Hall’s plans to share the information. He was worried his country might turn into another type of Nazi Germany.

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Charting the Rise and Fall of the Blackberry in a Near Perfect Biopic

What makes this movie special is in how it celebrates the victories and the impact the Blackberry had. It’s a shame it couldn’t adapt with the times.

Blackberry Movie PosterPlaying May 5th at the Chicago Critics Film Festival (tickets) before opening worldwide May 12th.

Jay Baruchel must love playing the underdog. I’ve seen a lot of movies he’s starred in, and these characters may seem meek at first, but by the end, they’ve come out on top in one way or another. In Blackberry, he’s Mike Lazaridis, the father of the smartphone, and what I see is a person being pushed around by greedy b*astards. Had he partnered with other people who were just as visionary, I’m sure this device might have evolved with the times instead of becoming a relic of early century.

Although his company, Research in Motion, created the first generation of smartphones, what’s presented in Matt Johnson‘s film is about three figures who led this research house through all its ups and downs. That is, not everyone has a good sense for business, and I believe that was key to this company’s eventual demise. However, this movie is not about what they did. Instead, it’s about how he and Doug Fregin (played by Johnson) would struggle to be the true heart of the company, while another individual attempts to usurp them. If this plot sounds familiar, that’s because we’ve seen it in The Founder (movie review).

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Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis Puts Only The Essential Life in the Spotlight.

Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis looks at this musician’s life through the eyes of The Colonel’s (Tom Hanks) and we have to wonder if this man had any compassion at all.

Elvis (2022 film) - WikipediaSpoiler Alert

Biopics about musicians are often sanitised for the big screen. Bohemian Rhapsody (review link) was more about Freddie Mercury, more than the band from a third-person perspective. Conversely, Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis looks at this musician’s life through the eyes of The Colonel’s (Tom Hanks). It sometimes vilifies rather than objectifies his role in making this man a star.

Even this villain who managed this singer (Austin Butler) throughout the decades admits to his problem. We get little sympathy for the devil.

Anyone who followed Elvis’ career or was part of his inner circle knew Colonel Tom Parker was trouble. Even though he helped turn the teen from Tupelo, Mississippi into a superstar, the stuff he held back on (or didn’t allow him to partake) may have dimmed this superstar’s light by a little. The spotlight is back because of the award-winning performances between Hanks and Butler. The film is really about their relationship first and the music second. Any tidbits of actual history are marginalised. This performer was upset because he wasn’t given the respect he so deserved during his time in Hollywood.

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[Fantasia 2019] The Stardust Brothers are Back and Where to Find Them

The Stardust Brothers originally released in 1985 and to obtain the music, fans have to import it from Japan or subscribe to a service from this country.

The Stardust Brothers on StageFirst off, it must be said that The Stardust Brothers have no relation to Ziggy, and nor are they firmly rooted in 80s nostalgia. Instead, what we get in The Legend of the Stardust Brothers (星くず兄弟の伝説) is a movie that’s simply bonkers. In what I found is a sprinkling of inspiration from Spinal Tap, a weighty nod to The Blues Brothers and a zaniness from The Beatles’ A Hard Day’s Night.

Here, two relative unknowns–a crooner Shinga (Shinga Kubota) and a punk rocker Kan (Kan Takagi) from rival pop bands–are paired into a hilarious manzai synthpop singing duo. To understand their rise to fame is far too gonzo and all I have to say is that this film is an experience–beginning with a black and white sequence until colour is splashed on screen–about these two parading their music to unimpressed lounge patrons. Where they are performing is ironic, and if the audience they are singing to care, I’d be surprised if they get an ovation. As any band will tell you, life after that initial moment of fame is different.

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The Dirt on The Dirt: The Mötley Crüe Biopic

Mötley Crüe had their share of individual problems. To compress nearly thirty years of their time into a 108-minute film is simply not possible.

The Dirt on Mötley Crüe PosterSay what you will about the lads from Mötley Crüe–Tommy Lee, Mick Mars, Vince Neil, Nikki Sixx–but after watching The Dirt on Netflix, I felt rebellious again! I wanted to thrash it up and relive those glory days. Yes, I listened to a lot of heavy metal back then. Plus, the ’80s to ’90s was a memorable time in music history. We went from punk rock to heavy metal to grunge. To say what’s next this style of music, who knows.

This heavy metal band’s sound was toned down when they entered their glam phase and I’m thankful I had Judas Priest’s hard-hitting edge to counterbalance. The Crüe gang had another thing coming with the rockstar lives they led; not every telling moment and scandal was revealed.

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