The Post (2017): Eerily Relevant (Review)

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The Post is a biopic that deals with a governmental coverup and a president who bans reporters from the Washington Post from the White House and it seems eerily relevant. Despite being set in the early 1970’s, the film feels all too familiar. With the current climate in America and a POTUS that screams about fake news at the drop of the proverbial hat, the film seems almost prophetic.

Co-written by Liz Hannah  and Josh Singer and directed by repeat Oscar winner Steven Spielberg (owner of no less than three golden statues) The Post covers a time period of American history where scandal erupted within a tight window, encapsulating the Vietnam war as well as Watergate. The country was reeling from student protests and ever increasing numbers of young men were being sent into a war that was unpopular with the public. 

Spielberg’s biopic drama takes a leaf from other films dealing with this time period in America like “All the President’s Men” and has more than a little in common with the 2015 “newspaper film” Spotlight. All these films deal with coverups and a government, or powerful agency, trying to keep the truth from the public.

At its base, The Post is about Kay Graham (played by Meryl Streep), the first female publisher of a huge brand name newspaper. It is also about freedom of the press, the right to protect sources and how the press serve the people and not the government. (Something the current POTUS seems to have either forgotten or never learned.)

Apart from the story itself, the film benefits from two masters interacting seamlessly in their scenes together. Streep and co-star Tom Hanks work brilliantly as examples of just how actors should work with one another. Their characters mesh perfectly and it is not too much to say that one could watch these two read their laundry list and still be enthralled.

There are a number of familiar faces in this film: Bob Odenkirk and Alison Brie from “The Disaster Artist” and Michael Stuhlbarg (from “The Shape of Water“). Pat Healy, Carrie Coon and Sarah Paulson are part of a cast that includes “Hostiles” actor Jesse Plemons. Spielberg has gathered a group of highly capable artists to deliver his take on the 1970’s threat to the American press. 

The Post is trotted out like a thriller, all tense music and heightened emotions, and one does feel the tension behind the “true” storyline. Hanks and Streep prove that “less is more” with their wonderfully restrained performances, as does Odenkirk.

Everyone plays their parts perfectly and the sets, along with the costumes, throws one right back into the late 1960’s and early ’70’s. This is a film that works brilliantly on many different levels.

Spielberg’s direction, the performances of his cast and the story itself literally come together for a perfect Oscar sweep: Best Film, Screenplay and performance can almost be seen as fait accompli. Streep and Hanks for the top award and Odenkirk for best supporting actor seems likely with a few nods to the rest of a more than capable cast.

The Post may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it is a solid 5 star effort that keeps the audience glued to the screen. At just under two hours the movie cracks on with a pace that may not be adrenaline charged throughout but it definitely does not drag or bore.

The film will hit cinemas with a limited release on 22 December and a broader run 12 January 2018. Check this one out, it is an obvious Oscar contender and it manages to tick all the right boxes.

Jimmy Kimmel Live! Bob Odenkirk, Kendall Jenner & Kiefer Sutherland

 BOB ODENKIRK, JIMMY KIMMEL

Jimmy Kimmel Live! started, as per usual, with a monologue. First Jimmy introduced his guests: Bob Odenkirk, Kendall Jenner and “musical” guest Kiefer Sutherland.  The  guest musician was, once again, Robert Randolph who sat in with Cleto and the Cletones.

The monologue included “drunk” Donald Trump, Fox “news” reporting on the many illnesses of Hilary Clinton (Did they not see the pickle jar?) and HBO’s 11th season of Hard Knocks. The HBO series is narrated by Liev Schreiber, who was mentioned by Odenkirk later. Schreiber is another Emmy nominee for his Showtime series Ray Donovan.

This was followed by Jimmy doing an advertisement (in the future) for “Death Alert.”

Next up was  Miles Brown from  Black-ish  who taught Jimmy’s  77-year-old Aunt Chippy about the intricacies of Pokemon Go.  It was funny and cute.  Chippy did use a lot of expletives in her speech, making it quite colorful and Miles actually comments on it at one point.

There was even some “Pokemon Go Bullying” and a smart phone theft.

Bob Odenkirk was first up and they talked Emmys. Odenkirk is up for an Emmy for Better Call Saul the highly successful spin off of Vince Gilligan’s Breaking Bad. Bob won an Emmy years before for his work on Saturday Night Live.

The Better Call Saul star did a comedy riff about the “Emmy Village” and how all the nominees are staying there. It was quite funny although the audience was a bit slow to catch on to some bits. The Liev Schreiber gag was funny as was the Kevin Spacey one. Odenkirk managed to give Tim Conway a mention.

Jimmy gave Odenkirk a Kardashian quiz, which he failed abysmally. Clearly Bob is not bothered nor impressed by the reality TV stars. Thankfully, he was off stage when Kendall Jenner arrived for her time with Jimmy.

Jenner was there to talk about scoring the September cover of Vogue, quite a big thing actually, and we learned that she lives across the street from Kimmel. He asked her to babysit and she invited herself over for a meal.

KENDALL JENNER, JIMMY KIMMEL
Kendall Jenner

Kendall came out looking beautiful in a gold camisole, no bra, and a black skirt. They spoke about the Vogue shoot and how “sick” she felt in the Gucci outfit that is featured on the cover. Kendall revealed that she is a compulsive cleaner and Jimmy asked her to clean his house.

(It is interesting that in her childhood memories of running track, in middle school, Jenner still refers to Kaitlyn as her father.)

Kiefer Sutherland was the final guest. There was no interview, Sutherland performed the single “Can’t Stay Away” from his album “Down In A Hole.” More “rock-a-billy” than country the song was good, if not a little short on vocals, and the performance was a bit too busy.

Still, the Designated Survivor star clearly enjoyed what he was doing and the band was impressive. Sutherland can sing but he needs to be less athletic and focus on the lyrics and wowing the audience with his charm.

Overall, his performance was a five star win just for his enthusiasm alone. It will be interesting to hear more songs from the album.

Jimmy Kimmel Live! airs on ABC.

Better Call Saul: Greetings From the Set Teaser (Video)

Better Call Saul: Greetings From the Set Teaser (Video)

Better Call Saul sent a greetings card of sorts from the set in the form of a video behind-the-scenes teaser and it was posted not only on AMCs Internet site but on their official YouTube channel titled, AMC. The only people who may not know who Saul Goodman is have either been hiding under a rock for the last six years or never felt the urge to watch Breaking Bad (2008 – 2013) on television or Netflix, or even iTunes. Bob Odenkirk played the savvy lawyer to Bryan Cranston’s Walter White, aka Heisenberg and Aaron Paul’s Jesse Pinkman a sort of three muskateers scenario without out the fourth unless counting Giancarlo Esposito’s Gus Fring as the temporary additional musketeer.

Sarah Silverman Hosts SNL and Pays Tribute to Hero Joan Rivers

Sarah Silverman Hosts SNL and Pays Tribute to Hero Joan Rivers

Sarah Silverman made a triumphant return to Saturday Night Live (SNL) playing host and paying tribute to her hero Joan Rivers. It has only come to light recently that the 43 year-old stand up comic, actress and writer was dumped unceremoniously via fax, a sort of old fashioned version of being fired by text, from the show back during the male dominated part of the franchise in the 1990’s. What is interesting about her being “let go” is the reasoning behind it.

Fargo Episode 2 the Quirkiness Continues to Work

Fargo Episode 2 the Quirkiness Continues to Work

AMC’s small screen version of Fargo continues to work, it’s high level of quirkiness is still evident in episode 2 and despite its slow pace, the show is rapidly becoming an almost addictive experience. Perhaps the public is ready for a new type of Twin Peaks with an almost somnambulistic delivery of plot twists and turns. It has to be said, however, that despite the slowness of the show’s theme, the cast assembled for the series are hitting high notes that will most definitely resonate with the audience.