Snapshots - #35: Marshall, American Made, The Glass Castle

The movies…
Marshall (♦♦♦♦): Black lawyer Thurgood Marshall (Chadwick Boseman) is entrusted by the NCAAP to defend a black chauffeur (Sterling K. Brown) in Greenwich, CT, who has been accused of rape by his white employer. As Marshall is not allowed by the judge as legal counsel because he doesn't hold a CT license, he engages, reluctantly on both sides, the service of Jewish insurance lawyer Sam Friedman (Josh Gad), whom, with Marshall's help, will have to acquire criminal defense experience in a matter of months. But as the case is tried in court, it becomes evident that it is anything but cut and dry. Powerfully acted by Chadwick Boseman, Josh Gad, and Sterling K. Brown in the leading roles, Marshall treads a fine line between inspiring legal thriller and drama. On both counts it delivers in spades. Based on a true story, with race and bigotry fueling public opinion, before the apogee of the Civil Rights Movement, this accused black man is doomed from the start. A full century…

The Conjuring (♦♦♦♦)

Rhode Island, 1971. The Perron family buys an old property from a bank at an auction. They happily move to the country, but they couldn't have predicted their charming property was possessed by a demonic entity feeding on their fears.

Enter Ed and Lorraine Warren, a couple of demonologists who help the Perron family at the mother's request. The entity becomes so malevolent that Ed and Lorraine must perform an exorcism on a family member to rid them of the incubus for good.

Did I like The Conjuring? I say it was very good and free of cheap tricks so used in the genre to make the audience jump from their seats. It was effective and scary, more psychologically so than most of the movies meant to do so. Let me say that The Conjuring is the typical example of why I avoid this kind of movies.

My mother kept interrupting the showing and for once I was grateful; I don't think I would have been able to watch the entire film without feeling a bit apprehensive without my mother's interruptions. I'm way too sensitive to that topic.

The screenplay and the acting were noteworthy, particularly Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson as the determined ghosts hunters Lorraine and Ed Warren, Ron Livingston and Lili Taylor as the Perron spouses, Joey King (Ramona and Beezus) and Mackenzie Foy (Breaking Dawn Part II) as two of the Perron kids.

In summary, The Conjuring raises the bar regarding what these movies are able to achieve. It's not on the same level as The Exorcist or Poltergeist but it's definitely above average.


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