“Battle Of the Sexes”…based on the real life event of 43 years ago (this week!!)- the tennis match between Billie Jean and promoter Bobby Riggs, who was 3 decades past his tennis prime. 50 million watched on TV. It was the most watched TV event since the moon landing. Emma Stone and Steve Carrell star. She’s great but Carrell BECAME Riggs- even looking like him. Oscar great. Sarah Silverman co-stars as Billie Jean’s manager. Elisabeth Shue plays Riggs’ wife.
Millennials may be shocked by the out and out sexism but nothing is exaggerated. It WAS that way- complete with leering sports commentators. And yes, no one batted an eye when a cigarette company sponsored a women’s tennis league. It’s a powerful story. At the time, Billie Jean was also dealing with her sexuality - which she knew could be a career killer. It’s a real history lesson. Sometimes I think movies can be the best way to teach history. Great performances, great story and AWESOME music!!!!
“Kingsman: The Golden Circle”.. I didn’t see but Cope did, along with his 13 year old daughter, Caylee, who loved the original so much, she saw it 7 (!!!) times. Caylee says it’s too long (2 hours and 20 minutes) but LOVED the addition of the Kingsmen’s American counterpart. Channing Tatum, Halle Berry and Jeff Bridges join the sequel, along with Julianne Moore as the villain. The Cope was especially impressed with Elton John’s role and yes- he even has a fight sequence. Cope says director Michael Vaughn is a master at choreographing fight sequences and says these are the best since “Kick Ass”, which starred Cope’s brother, Nicholas Cage.
“Stronger”… based on the real life story of Jeff Bauman, whose legs were blown off at the Boston Marathon bombing. Jake Gyllenhaal plays the very likeable boyish Jeff, who was only there to try to win back his on-again-off-again girlfriend. We not only learn his story but the story of the man who rescued him- the man in the cowboy hat who wheeled him away to safety in a wheelchair..one of those seared-into-our-memory moments. Bauman never asked to be a hero- he’s just a Costco employee who loved his girl and liked hanging with his drinking buddies.
Jake Gyllenhaal is great but the one who really stands out as Oscar bait is British actress Miranda Richardson who plays his mom. Incredible!! There are some gruesome moments but director David Gordon Green (“Pineapple Express & “Our Brand Is Crisis) lightens it with quite a few humorous moments.
The start is slow but it becomes a gripping, inspiring story, which at its heart, is a love story. Oh- director David Gordon Green guests on “Sonstein Sunday” this week at 7 AM.
“Shot”….22 years after the debut of “ER”, Noah Wyle returns to the ER, not as a doctor, but as a gunshot victim: a stray bullet gunshot in L.A.
Shot in real time for the 1st hour, this film splits the screen to show us how this event impacted the victim, his estranged wife and the gunman, a bullied Hispanic teen. In the end, it’s about redemption.
The story is nothing new, but using real time and a split screen is effective and fresh from director Jeremy Kagan, who guests on “Sonstein Sunday” @ 7:15 am.