Posts Tagged ‘Based On A True Story’

blackmassheader2It has been a while since the last time I did a Based On A Truesday Story (a play on the words Tuesday and True Story), but I had to bring it back for a special movie. This past Friday, Black Mass, the film about one of South Boston’s most notorious gangsters in James “Whitey” Bulger was released into theaters. The film stars Johnny Depp (Donnie Brasco) stars as the notorious gangster himself as it looks at how Whitey got the push he needed in the game thanks to corrupt FBI agent John Connolly (Joel Edgerton).  It takes you deep into South Boston as Bulger goes on a rampage as he becomes one of the most powerful gangsters and second on the list of the FBI’s most wanted men behind Osama Bin Laden. The film is based on the book of the same name by former Boston Globe writers Dick Lehr and Gerard O’Neill and it looks at what Kevin Weeks, Steve Flemmi, and John Martorano had to say about Bulger. The film also stars Dakota Johnson (50 Shades Of Grey) as Lindsey Cyr, Benedict Cumberbatch (The Imitation Game) as Billy Bulger, Kevin Bacon (Footloose) as Charles McGuire, Peter Sarsgaard (Jarhead) as Brian Halloran, Rory Cochrane (Dazed And Confused) as Steve Flemmi, David Harbour (The Equalizer) as John Morris, Adam Scott (Step Brothers) as FBI Agent Robert Fitzpatrick, Corey Stroll (This Is Where I Leave You) as Fred Wyshak, Julianne Nicholson (August: Osage County) as Marianne Connolly, W. Earl Brown (Scream) as John Martorano, Jesse Plemons (Observe And Report) as Kevin Weeks, Juno Temple (Killer Joe) as Deborah Hussey, and the film was directed by Scott Cooper (Out Of The Furnace).

black massAs with every film that is based on a true story, there are always those who doubt how true each event is and whether or not Hollywood expressed their creative liberty with some of the film. Kevin Weeks, one of the men depicted in the film recently spoke out on the film calling it fiction. He commented on Johnny Depp’s performance of Bulger and how it was written saying, “The only resemblance to Whitey’s character was the hairline. The funny thing is, Whitey’s look didn’t really change at all, just his clothes. It’s like we were stuck in a time warp. And the mannerisms—the way that Whitey talked to us—he never swore at us. In all the years I was with that man, he never swore at me once.” He later commented on a scene in the film that was depicted in Miami when a deal was being made to take out an important figure. Weeks says, “That never happened. In fact, I didn’t know about Roger Wheeler’s death until the Callahan murder. So just by having me be there giving Halloran the money, they have involved me in a conspiracy to kill Roger Wheeler. I’ve been libeled. I wasn’t involved in that at all, so I have a big problem with that. I just don’t know where they get the right to put events in there that did not happen.” There is also a very cool article from Time Magazine that describes what was fact or fiction about some important events in the film. In the film, they claim that the violence increased once Bulger’s son died. While it’s true that his son did die, they claim that he had ordered several hits before then with Weeks telling The Daily Beast, “Whitey was violent long before his son’s death.” Nevertheless, I thought Johnny Depp’s performance was masterful and that he was the best part of the film. I do feel that they made Flemmi and Weeks minor characters in the film than what they probably were in real life. The film itself was good, but Edgerton and Depp absolutely steal the show. One of my favorite elements of the film was the cinematography because they take some amazing shots of the city of Boston and Southie. Overall, my final grade for the film is a B=+

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straight-outta-compton--Long-Sleeve-ShirtsYesterday I ventured to the movie theaters to see a film that I had been waiting for someone to make for a very long time. It had been a while since I did a Based On A Truesday (play on the words True and Tuesday) Story post and I figured Straight Outta Compton was the perfect piece to return with. The film is about the rise and fall of one of the greatest hip groups in the world in N.W.A. It was the group that featured the greatest rappers Compton had to offer at the time in Dr. Dre (played by Corey Hawkins), Ice Cube (played by O’Shea Jackson Jr.), Eazy-E (Jason Mitchell) DJ Yella (Neil Brown Jr.), and MC Ren (played by Aldis Hodge). The group changed the way rap was done back int he late 80’s to ealry 90’s and the film chronicles their struggle to put Compton on the map to their rise to fame and eventual downfall. The film also stars Paul Giamatti (American Splendor) as Jerry Heller, Marlon Yates Jr. as The Doc, R. Marcos Taylor (Dead Man Down) as Suge Knight, Keith Stanfield (The Purge: Anarchy) as Snoop Dogg, Carra Patterson (Why Did I Get Married Too) as Tomica Wright, Marcc Rose as Tupac, Mark Sherman as Jimmy Iovine, and the film was directed by F. Gary Gray (Friday).

watch-straight-outta-compton-n-w-a-biopic-movie-red-band-trailer-videoThis has to be by far the movie of the year or at least one of the greatest biopics ever made on the history of this earth. I literally had goosebumps while I was watching the film remembering the rise of rap.Hip Hop and what a beautiful thing it was to watch. I think every guy did a good job playing the role they were given especially Ice Cube’s son O’Shea Jackson Jr. who was given the role of a lifetime. The only complaint that I have about the film is the fact that they diminished MC Ren’s role in all of this like he wasn’t that important of a person in the group. I feel like MC Ren had more of a role in the beginnings of the group, but his role in the film is minimal at best. I get it hat the most important ones out of all of them were Dre, Eazy, and Ice Cube who all enjoyed major success in life. The one thing the film reminds you is how sad it was that we never had the N.W.A. reunion that we all deserved as it was about to be set up until Eazy-E passed away. Everyone from top to bottom did an amazing job in this film as it felt so real and you almost felt like you wee there at the exact moment in time that it was happening. I did want to also mention that R. Marcos Taylor did an amazing job capturing who Suge Knight was and I don’t know who Marcc Rose is, but will someone sign him up for a Tupac biopic already cause it was scary how much he looked like Tupac. This film deserves to be an Oscar contender and if it’s not then we all know the Academy had no idea what there jobs are. I am going to give the film an A+ for a final grade because it kicked so much butt it kicked ass.

download (5)For this week’s based on a truesday (play in the words True and Tuesday) story, I decided to go international for the next film and something in the history of my heritage. It is always important in my opinion to know where you came from in order to better understanding its full history. Maria de Medeiros (Pulp Fiction) was a Portuguese actress who gained some fame for playing Bruce Willis’s girlfriend in Pulp Fiction. Sh decided that she was going to get into directing as well and she decided to direct our film for today called Capitães de Abril or April Captains in English. It’s the story of some captains who were sick and tired of all the bloodshed in the colonial wars that they decided to overthrow the government. On the night of April 24Th into the 25TH, Captain Maia (Stefano Accorsi) and many others carried out a peaceful coup of the Portuguese government that would forever change the history of Portugal, but it wouldn’t be easy. The film also stars Joaquim de Almeida (Fast Five) as Gervásio, Frédéric Pierrot (Young & Beautiful) as Manuel, Fele Martínez (Open Your Eyes) as Lobão, Manuel João Vieira (I’ll See You In My Dreams) as Fonseca, Marcantonio Del Carlo (Saber Amar) as Silva, Emmanuel Salinger (Kill By Inches) as Botelho, Rita Durão (Second Hand) as Rosa, and Ricardo Pais (Moura Encantada) as the overthrown President Marcelo Caetano. 

400px-Capitaes_de_Abril-P08-1I do not know how much of the film is factual and how much of it is fictionalized for dramatic purposes, but my father sure as heck remembered a lot of the events that happened as my father lived through the matter in 1974. He definitely remembered the radio announcements that went over the air and the military cadences that played on the air during that time. I thought overall the movie was really good and there were moments when it had me cheering Viva Portugal throughout the actual Coup. Its incredible that they were able to do it without having to use violence and you can see these guys had enough of it. The beginning of the film shows the many causalities of the colonial wars which was unfortunately the natives that were suffering through this. You can definitely notice some of the overdubs in the film as our main actor is Italian and not Portuguese and if you can get passed the idea of subtitles then you should be fine. You are going to need them unless you speak Portuguese. Overall, Maria de Medeiros did  fantastic job for a film that she was passionate about releasing because it is history that needs to be told in Portuguese culture. The film is however not available for streaming on Netflix, but you can get it delivered to your door if you do that. I am going to give the film an B+ for a final grade only for the little technical errors.

 

jimi 2It has been a while since the last time I did a Based On A Truesday Story (play on the words true and Tuesday) film for all of you and for years I have been waiting for this film to come out. I had heard for years that there was going to be a film on the legendary Jimi Hendrix and that Andre Benjamin (Outkast) was going to play him in the film. Well in 2013, they released the biopic Jimi: All Is By My Side which showcases the years from the day he was discovered by Linda Keith (Imogen Poots) who was Keith Richards (Ashley Charles) girlfriend, in a club in New York to his time in London where he cut his teeth with the Experience. It also touches heavily on the subject of his relationship with Kathy Etchingham (Hayley Atwell) which was both hot and controversial as well. The film also stars Andrew Buckley (Skeletons) as Chas Chandler of The Animals who went on to manage Jimi, Robbie Jarvis (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix) as Andrew Loog Oldham, Burn Gorman (The Dark Knight Rises) as Michael Jeffery, Danny McColgan (Deadbook) as Eric Clapton, Oliver Bennett as Noel Redding, Tom Dunlea as Mitch Mitchell, Ger Duffy (Love/Hate) as Paul McCartney, and the film was written and directed by John Ridley (Undercover Brother). 

jimiKathy Etchingham whose relationship with Jimi Hendrix the film was primarily based off of has said the depiction of the film was “absolute nonsense” and she even had a quote on Jimi. The quote read, “I want him to be remembered for what he was – not this tragic figure he has been turned into by nit-pickers and people who used to stalk us and collect photographs and ‘evidence’ of what we were doing on a certain day. He could be grumpy, and he could be terrible in the studio, getting exactly what he wanted – but he was fun, he was charming. I want people to remember the man I knew.” The one problem that I have with the film is that for the whole entire film, you do not get to see Jimi Hendrix sing, it’s as if he is an instrumentalist. The only time you actually get to see him play and sing is a cover of a Beatles song towards the end of the film. That was kind of an aggravating thing for me during the film. Otherwise, I thought the film was kind of good insight into how things happened and we get to see what Jimi was like and let me say that Miss Hayley Atwell looked absolutely fabulous in the film. One thing that they claim int he film is that Eric Clapton bitched out of jamming with Jimi when he saw how good he was. How much of any of this is 100% true, I do not exactly know hence the reason they say Based On A True Story and why my post is called Based On A Truesday Story. I definitely suggest checking it out to see what influenced Jimi and the various interactions he had plus Andre Benjamin does a phenomenal job acting wise. I am going to give the film a B+ for a final grade only because of the singing issue I had.

bronson titleIt has been a while since we last did a Based On A TRUEsday Story (a play on the words True Story and Tuesday) and since Tom Hardy is coming out with Mad Max: Fury Road in May, I figured I would watch one that caught my eye on Netflix. The film is called Bronson and it’s a fictionalized biographical look at England’s most notorious prisoner Michael Peterson (Hardy) who was renamed Charlie Bronson by his bare knuckle boxing promoter after he decided that he didn’t like Michael’s name. He is born to a middle class family, but the man is just out of control and it affected him his whole life as he lands himself in prison for most of his life where he spent 30 years of it in solitary confinement. It’s the wild and crazy tale that he tells from his perspective and it truly is wild and insane. The film also stars Kelly Adams (My Last Five Girlfriends) as Irene, Luing Andrews (The Oxford Murders) as Hysterical Screw, Katy Barker (Here Lies) as Julie, Amanda Burton (Peak Practice) as Charlies Mum, Andrew Forbes (Incognito) as Charlies Dad, Matt King (RocknaRolla) as Paul Daniels, James Lance (Marie Antoinette) as Phil, Hugh Ross (Trainspotting) as Uncle Jack, and the film was directed by Nicolas Winding Refn (Only God Forgives). 

bronsonYou are all probably wondering how much of this film is factual and how much of it is exaggerated and that is a good question. What apparently is true is that he was a troubled prisoner often getting into fights with fellow inmates and prison guards as he was moved around through about 120 different prisons in Her Majesty’s Prison System and was referred to by the press as the most violent prisoner. This is apparently him in his own words, “I’m a nice guy, but sometimes I lose all my senses and become nasty. That doesn’t make me evil, just confused.” Tom Hardy is beginning to be one of my favorite actors around and he puts on one hell of a performance as the loose cannon. The film is dark and very violent at times and I have to say that the real Michael Peterson must have been one hell of a guy to study. It’s hard to believe that someone was as crazy as this guy, but nevertheless the style of the film is also different. There are times when Tom Hardy is on stage performing in front of a crowd as he tells his story as it balances out between that and the actual scenes themselves. If you want to check out some great work from Tom Hardy then check out this film. I am giving it an A- for a final grade.

wonderlandFor today’s Based On A Truesday Story, we are looking at a film that I consider to be one of Val Kilmer’s best performances of the early 21ST century in the film Wonderland. In the 1970’s, John Holmes (played by Val Kilmer)was considered to be one of the first “Porn Stars” and he instantly became a legend having sex with over 14,000 women and having a legendary member whose size is still debated today. That was the 70’s and in the 80’s, John was a shell of his former self battling drug abuse problems that rattled his life. Due to the drug problems, John Holmes was in the center of a murder investigation for the Wonderland Murders along with famous club owner and suspect Eddie Nash (Eric Bogosian). Four people were killed and 1 survived a brutal attack and the story of what happened before the murders and during is told in two different perspectives with one being Holmes and the other being David Lind (Dylan McDermott). The film also stars Kate Bosworth (Still Alice) as Dawn Schiller, Carrie Fisher (Star Wars) as Sally Hansen, Josh Lucas (American Psycho) as Ron Launius, Tim Blake Nelson (The Incredible Hulk) as Billy Deverell, Janeane Garofalo (Mystery Men) as Joy Miller, Natasha Gregson Wagner (Lost Highway) as Barbara Richardson, Christina Applegate (Don’t Tell Mom The Babysitters Dead) as Susan Launius, Lisa Kudrow (Friends) as Sharon Holmes, Faizon Love (Friday) as Greg Diles, and the film was directed by James Cox (Highway).

wonderland 2In the film, you see something from each character’s perspective whether it an event that happened or the actual event itself. For Kate Bosworth, this was a real gritty role for her to play the girlfriend of John Holmes during the worst years of his life. As I said before, this was one of my favorite roles that had Val Kilmer in it and he was coming out with unique films at the time like The Salton Sea and Spartan. He totally engulfs the role of a junkie and a man who can’t even tell if he believes what he spews out of his own mouth. The editing of the film is where it is at as they mix footage of real newspaper articles, real news broadcasts, and they mix it in with the film almost creating a music video style approach to the editing at times. The acting in the film is absolutely superb from all angles and everyone in the film and the story is amazing. They could have done a biopic on John’s entire life, but they picked an event that was gritty and shocking. The scene when they go in for the attack is absolutely brutal and it even features an unwanted appearance from Paris Hilton. It still amazes me that the case went unsolved, but we all know how it ends for Johnny Wadd. I am giving the film an A for a final grade.

pain and gainFor this week’s Based On A Truesday (play on True and Tuesday) Story we are looking at another film that is just hard to believe that it’s based on a true story. We are looking at the film Pain & Gain which was released in 2013 and it starred Mark Wahlberg (The Fighter), Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson (Hercules), and Anthony Mackie (Captain America: Winter Soldier) as a crew of bodybuilders. Daniel Lugo (Wahlberg) is a bodybuilder in Miami, Florida who is sick and tire of having the perfect body, but not having any money. One day after accepting a certain client at his gym named Victor Kershaw (Tony Shalhoub), he decided to rob the man along with his two buddies Adrian Doorbal (Mackie) and Paul Doyle (Johnson). The trio plan to kidnap the man and extort him for all the money the man has. Will they get away with it or are they going to get caught? The film also stars Ed Harris (The Rock) as Ed DuBois, Rob Corddry (Hot Tub Time Machine) as John Mese, Bar Paly (Non Stop) as Serena, Rebel Wilson (Pitch Perfect) as Robin Peck, Ken Jeong (The Hangover) as Johnny Wu, Michael Rispoli (Kick-Ass) as Frank Griga, Peter Stormare (22 Jump Street) as Dr. Bjornson, and the film was directed by Michael Bay (Transformers).

rockThe story is at times hard to believe that something like this would occur, but according to the poster it’s based on a true story. As far as deciding what is true and what is not true int he film, The Guardian.com interviewed the real Victor Kershaw and his real name is Marc Schiller. According to Schiler, the personalities of all the members of The Sun Gym Gang were wrong as he states, “Since they decided not to talk to me they got the personalities of all the main characters wrong. I knew all these guys.” According to Schiller, Lugo was not a likeable person like how Wahlberg portrayed the character in the film. He states, “In reality Lugo was a very difficult person to like. He almost had a neon sign on his forehead that said: ‘Don’t Trust Me.’ He was a conman and that is all he knew. After my kidnapping, in the warehouse, he would go into wild mood swings, one minute a nice guy and the next a raving lunatic. You never knew which Lugo you were dealing with.” He goes on to talk about how Mackie’s character was really a sadist and you find out who really masterminded it all and you can read that here. One of the things I like about the film is that the fact that every character narrates certain parts of the film like they get to tell a little bit of their sides of the story. You can definitely tell that it’s a Michael Bay directed film just by the tones in the film and the types of shots that they used. It’s very reminiscent of the Transformers franchise and that is okay I guess. I really enjoyed the film especially the dark humor in it. I am going to give the film an B+ for a final grade. It’s available to view on Netflix as we speak.