Snapshots - #37: It, Breathe, Mark Felt – The Man Who Brought Down the White House

It (2017), (♦♦♦♦): Four inseparable friends in middle school bond with other three newcomers. They all have in common that they are bullied by the same people. Over the course of one summer they'll fend off bullies and face a centuries-old demon in the form of a clown, named Pennywise, whom has been disappearing kids and terrorizing the town of Derry, Maine, every twenty-seven years since the town was founded.
Based on Stephen King's novel of the same title, It is a movie with a smart script and a sympathetic ensemble of nerds that deliver light humor, and deep thrills. It doesn't hurt that each and every character has his or her own arc, thus one gets to know their motivations and fears before Pennywise enters head on into the picture.
In a nod to 1980s movie classics such as The Goonies, and the Brat Pack ensemble, the newest adaptation of It takes place at the end of that decade, when it seems, at least from the Hollywood perspective, that every kid harbored a genius insi…

The Ides of March (♦♦♦♦½)

Democrat congressman Mike Morris (George Clooney) is running a campaign to win the presidential primaries in Ohio. Despite his idealism, he is the underdog in the race. Morris has a great support team with Paul Zara (Philip Seymour Hoffman) as his campaign manager and Stephen Meyers (Ryan Gosling) as press secretary.

Stephen is loved by friends and foes alike; he is handsome and charismatic, the camera loves him. What better guy to take off the race? When Morris’ political rival’s campaign manager, Tom Duffy (Paul Giamatti), tempts Stephen to come to work for him, Stephen temporarily considers it setting in motion a chain of events that will change the course of the election.

This is the best movie of the year thus far. It is a strong 4 rating, leaning dangerously towards 5. I really liked this film, not only due to its contemporary resonance, but to the tremendous performances delivered by the entire cast. As you may have inferred by now, I love Ryan Gosling; he is no doubt the most gifted actor of his generation. This movie is a great addition to his already impressive resumé.

George Clooney directs, produces and co-writes the script, but it is his acting that makes this movie worth your while. This is his best performance since Michael Clayton. Marisa Tomei owns her rather minor role as sneaky journalist Ida Horowicz, who befriends politicians to get stories. Seymour Hoffman and Paul Giamatti, great actors in their own right, have personality clashes in their roles as campaign managers. Last, but not least, is Evan Rachel Wood, another gifted young actress, who as Molly Stearns--daughter of Jack Stearns, chief of DNC--almost brings congressman Morris to his knees, or did she?

George Clooney was asked in an interview why he chose young actors for this movie and he replied that because they were cheaper. They may have been cheap but they were great.

Impressive piece of storytelling. This is a great movie even if you disagree with its premise.