I can honestly not think of a single film series where there have been four fantastic installments in a row, except Toy Story. Before seeing the most recent of them, I, like many, was concerned about where the story would go. Toy Story 3 felt like a perfect sendoff for the franchise so I was concerned that they were just doing another one for a cash grab.
I was wrong, however, because Toy Story 4 is another heart warming installment in the series with great character growth, animation and laughs.
Directed by Josh Cooley, the film follows Woody (Tom Hanks) who is still dealing with the departure of Andy in the previous film pretty heavily.
When his new kid, Bonnie, literally makes a toy out of a spork, which she names Forky (Tony Hale), Woody makes it his mission to protect him to ensure her happiness.
However, this becomes difficult when Forky is separated from them on a family trip and, upon looking for him, Woody is reunited with the long lost Bo Peep (Annie Potts), who has certainly changed a lot since Woody, and the audience, saw her.
The two then work together to rescue Forky and bring him back to Bonnie, before she and her family leave them behind.
Accompanying this story is, once again, the animation and comedy, which are all spot on.
Animation continues to get better and better every year, and it looks especially stunning in Toy Story 4. Along with this, the comedy is also fantastic with new characters Ducky and Bunny (Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele), and Duke Caboom (Keeanu Reeves) being particular highlights.
It is with the character development of Woody, though, that the film truly shines, with Woody having what is probably his best arc out of any of the films.
Many of the new characters have great arcs as well, including the film’s villain (if you can even call her that) Gabby Gabby (Christina Hendricks).
However, this also ties into the one issue I have with the film.
This being that, even though Woody, Bo, and other characters’ arcs are fantastic, characters like Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen) and many more of Woody’s friends feel a bit underdeveloped and underused.
Otherwise, Toy Story 4 is another great installment in the franchise, and it will be interesting to see if it continues or if this is the final one for real this time.
Naughty Dog is one of, if not my absolute, favourite video game studios.
The first game I played on the PlayStation 3 was Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune and I have kept up with that brilliant series as it has continued over the years.
But, I think we can all agree that Naughty Dog’s undisputed masterpiece is their 2013 game The Last of Us, created by Neil Druckmann and Bruce Straley, which was remastered for the PlayStation 4.
The tale of Joel and Ellie travelling across a post-apocalyptic America is the height of video game storytelling, with many emotional and heart bounding scenes.
There were numerous times I cried during my first play through, even in the first 20 minutes, which is something no video game has ever done for me.
Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson both give enthralling performances as the two lead characters, with the game following their growing father-daughter bond in both its positive and negative consequences for the two.
This culminates in an ending that is so morally ambiguous that it makes the simple line of “Okay” crushing.
It is not just Joel and Ellie though because almost every other character is exceptionally written.
From Joel’s partner in crime Tess (Annie Wersching), to his estranged brother Tommy (Jeffrey Pierce), to the paranoid Bill (W. Earl Brown), to brothers Henry (Brandon Scott) and Sam (Nadji Jeter), and many more, the characters of The Last of Us are some of the best in video game history, with Joel and Ellie right at the top.
The story accompanying these characters is also enthralling, which shows how amazing the writing is because the story could have easily become very cliched.
There are so many zombie games out there, many with save the world plot lines, so it would have been easy for The Last of Us’ story to fall into this cycle of mediocrity.
However, with the game focusing on the fantastic growing relationship of its two leads, and having a new type of zombie never seen before, the game jumps over the mediocrity scale by a wide margin and leaving it completely in the dust.
Having the source of the infection be the very real Cordecyeps Fungus was a stroke of genius and it makes for some incredibly scary enemies to fight.
Speaking of, the gameplay in The Last of Us is also amazing and accompanies the brutal story well with its likewise brutal conflict.
Fighting Clickers, Runners, Stalkers, and Bloaters throughout is a constant nerve wracking experience.
This culminates in a flooded basement segment some time into the game that is absolutely terrifying the first time you play it.
But it is not just the infected that you have to worry about because people are even more dangerous and, whether you go in using stealth or go guns blazing, it is almost always an intense experience trying to take them out.
Although, it is probably best not to go in all guns blazing on Grounded Mode because, if you try to do that, you will die… a lot.
Seriously, Grounded is an incredibly difficult mode to beat the game on.
I must have died around 100 times in the final, brutal combat sequence of the game.
What makes the combat of The Last of Us so satisfying though is its intensity.
You can just feel every punch that Joel dishes out.
Also, when you play as Ellie during the winter segment, which is my favourite level of the game, she is realistically much weaker than Joel, making gameplay a lot harder, as you have to think of new ways to get around or kill enemies.
Helping the intensity of the combat is the reward of it you feel from scavenging and then crafting from various materials, creating Molotov cocktails, nail bombs, smoke bombs, and med kits to help you throughout the game.
The supplies needed to make these things are also fairly spread around throughout, adjusting the quantity based on the level of difficulty you are playing at.
Upgrading your weapons is also fairly handled, based on how much you scavenge as well.
Materials to build weapons is not the only thing you can find scavenging though, because there are also various notes and pieces of information that create side stories about people trying to survive in the outbreak.
One of these stories is about Ish, who I didn’t find much about on my first play through but on subsequent ones, where I made sure to scavenge, he became a very fleshed out character, even though we don’t meet him in person.
Accompanying this fantastic level of story telling and gameplay is the incredible soundtrack by Gustavo Santaolla, who deserves just as much praise as Druckmann, Straley, and the rest of the creators for adding to the game.
All of this combines to make The Last of Us an emotionally intense experience that is, without a doubt, my favourite video game of all time.
Accompanying this masterpiece in the Remastered addition is the DLC, Left Behind, which mostly details the last happy moments shared between Ellie and her best friend Riley.
Just like the main game, Left Behind is fantastic and a worthy addition to the story.
So, as you can expect, I am incredibly excited for the sequel, which will be released tomorrow.
Unfortunately, a lot of story details were leaked about the game and I accidentally stumbled across one of these spoilers the other day.
I don’t know if what I saw is true or not but, even if it is, I won’t allow it to taint my experience of the game.
And whether I end up loving, hating, or even having mixed feelings about the sequel, The Last of Us will remain an incredible experience for me that I will constantly find myself replaying for many years to come.
Have you ever wondered how Disney films would be if they were turned into anime?
Well, wonder no longer because Hayao Miyazaki’s 2008 film, Ponyo, is basically an anime version of The Little Mermaid.
Okay, in all honesty that’s probably simplifying things a little to much because, despite reminding me of The Little Mermaid, with its similar plot, the two films are very different.
Miyazaki’s film follows the titular Ponyo (Yuria Nara), a goldfish that is the daughter of a sea wizard (George Tokoro) and a sea goddess (Yūki Amami), who runs away from her overbearing father, only to be rescued by a five-year-old boy, Sōsuke (Hiroki Doi).
Upon being taken away by her father, Ponyo decides she wants to stay with Sōsuke so uses magic to transform herself into a human and goes to live with him.
And this is where The Little Mermaid similarities end, as Ponyo then follows the effect her decision has on Sōsuke’s seaside town, although not enough in my opinion.
This is one of my problems with Ponyo as it makes a point to depict what happens because of her going to live with Sōsuke but kind of ignores the consequences.
If this had happened in real life it would have been disastrous but the characters all act like it is just an everyday occurrence.
It was also not made very clear why some of the apparently world ending stuff was about to happen because of Ponyo’s decision.
Also, everyone in the film seems oddly accepting of her once being a fish.
I know this film is primarily directed towards children but these plot holes and inconsistencies really bothered me while watching it.
Still, these issues did not ruin the film because Ponyo is still a lot of fun.
The animation and music are great, as with all of Myazaki’s films and the characters are all likeable.
Ponyo is also really funny as well, with a few of the jokes that came towards the end leaving me in stitches.
I also liked the bond between Ponyo and Sōsuke, which was really sweet.
Overall, I would say Ponyo is the weakest Miyazaki film that I have seen so far.
However, this says a lot about the quality of his films, considering I still consider his weakest to be a good film.
After two, agonizing months of delay because of Covid-19, Chapter 129 of Attack on Titan, “Retrospective” has finally been released.
Thankfully, it was more than worth the wait.
In my opinion, “Retrospective” is the best chapter since Chapter 123, “Island Devils”, delivering intense action, a new Titan form, and emotional deaths.
Let’s start with those deaths first; Theo Magath and Keith Shadis.
After temporarily defeating the Yeagerists and helping the alliance escape on the ship with the plane, Magath goes to take out a Marleyan ship to stop the Yeagerists from following them.
It is here that he is saved by Shadis, who earlier blew up a train with enemy reinforcements to save the alliance, and was the mysterious man seen in the window in Chapter 126, as predicted.
The two enter the ship, planning to blow it up to stop the Yeagerists, exchanging names before they sacrifice themselves.
These two deaths are very emotional and incredibly fitting for both characters.
Shadis spent his entire life being a bystander, yet in his last days he took a stand, saving both his recruits’ lives and the alliance’s.
He went out a hero and the world may never know it.
As for Magath, his realization that he would have been happy if had just let the warriors have normal lives is tragic.
Not only this, but his death came as a huge surprise to me.
I was honestly expecting Magath to make it to the end because I thought he would be the one to vouch for the Eldians to the rest of the world if they stopped Eren.
But, nope, that is not what Hajime Isayama is going for here.
This makes me excited because it probably means Isayama isn’t going down the predictable route of just having the alliance defeat Eren and suddenly be accepted by the rest of the world.
Isayama has some trick up his sleeve and I cannot wait to see what it is.
As for the rest of the chapter, it was likewise great.
The action was incredibly intense, with Reiner and Annie taking a beating from the Thunder Spears, the scouts going ballistic on the Yeagerists, and Falco finally transforming into the Jaw Titan and, boy, does he look awesome.
The Jaw Titan has a track record of really great designs; first Porco looked fantastic and now Falco.
It is also kind of funny because Falco’s Titan resembles a Griffin and he has often been linked with birds, like during his introduction in Chapter 91.
I also liked how Isayama stayed consistent with how Titan Shifters don’t have a lot of control when they first control as, like Eren did, Falco attacks his allies after the Yeagerists are fought back.
Thankfully, Magath was there to cut him out or Pieck probably would have been done for.
However, this is where my few criticisms of the chapter come in.
The part where Magath cuts Falco out of his Titan felt like it was missing a few panels and therefore came across as bit jumpy in structure.
Another criticism I have, although this one could easily turn out not be a criticism, is Gabi shooting Floch.
He is shot by her when he goes to destroy the ship with his Thunder Spear, however, if he is dead here then it is a really terrible way for him to go out.
Floch had absolutely no build up with Gabi, so him being killed by her does not fit into his character arc at all.
Sure, his last lines being that he would save Eldia is very fitting but who kills him is not.
This said, I really doubt Floch is dead because Gabi hit him in the shoulder and he fell in the ocean, and if Isayama was really going to kill Floch he would probably have him get shot in the head.
Although, this does make me scared that Floch is going to sneak onto the ship and kill one of the alliance, probably Jean, Hange or Connie.
Until we know for sure if Floch is dead or not though, I will not be holding his potential death against the chapter.
If Floch is dead then it significantly lowers my opinion of “Retrospective” but if he isn’t then I think Gabi shooting him is fine.
If anything, I am interested in how Isayama will end the final chapter for this volume.
He could do something with Floch, Kyomi, Eren, the possibilities are endless here.
In a recent interview, Isayama said he projects the story only have about 5% left before it is completed and this lines up nicely with my prediction that it will end at Chapter 138.
However Isayama ends the story though, if Chapter 129 is any indicator, I’m sure he can do it right.
Made before the creation of Studio Ghibli, Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind is one of Hayao Miyazaki’s first films, and foreshadows many of the themes that would appear in his future ones.
The story takes place on a post-apocalyptic earth where humanity is in a state of constant war, either with the giant bug-like Ohm from the Sea of Decay, or with each other.
Nausicaä (Sumi Shimamoto) is a princess living in the Valley of the Wind who hopes for peace, communicating with the Sea of Decay and the Ohm in search of a solution.
However, her attempts for peace are quickly shattered by an invading army that gets her peaceful valley embroiled in the wars that plague the landscape.
From here, the story kicks off with Nausicaä trying to put an end to the fighting, interacting with numerous characters on all sides of the conflict, revealing the films themes about the horrors of war and environmentalism.
These would later become staple themes for Miyazaki.
Nausicaä herself is a pretty great protagonist with some especially enjoyable moments towards the end of the film.
My favourite character though would have to be Lord Yupa (Goro Naya), a wise and respected warrior and adventurer who, although serving a minor role, steals every scene he is in.
As for the animation of Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, it is great for 1984, laying a template for what Studio Ghibli would go to create.
The film does have a couple of issues though, mainly with the Giant Warrior and the Tolmeikan.
The Giant Warrior is hyped up for quite a bit of the film and, while it does serve a role thematically, its presence at the end is incredibly minor, despite all of its buildup.
As for the Tolmeikan, their actions during the credits scene left me pretty confused, especially in how some of the crimes they commit in the film is never really addressed again.
Also, the film makes a point of introducing an animal companion for Nausicaä but it has no point other than being cute.
And then there is Nausicaä’s character design, oh boy.
I remember my jaw dropping in the first twenty minutes of the film when the wind blew her skirt up to reveal her bare bottom for all the world to see!
Thankfully, after doing some research, it does appear that Nausicaä is actually wearing pants.
They are just the exact same color as her skin and have a butt impression, so, whenever we get a low angle shot of her, it appears she is wearing nothing under her skirt when she actually is.
However, I had no idea about this when watching the film so there were numerous times when her skirt flew up that left me feeling pretty uncomfortable.
Why they didn’t change the coloring of her pants is baffling to me because, even knowing this, it ruins some scenes because of what it looks like.
Despite these issues though, Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind is still a very well done anime film that laid the groundwork for the fantastic films Miyazaki would make in the future.
Created by Jonathon Nolan and Lisa Joy, Westworld is a series that I have been invested in right from the beginning.
As soon as it started airing I was hooked.
I loved season one and, even though season two gets a lot of criticism, I personally think it is just as good as the first with some of the show’s best episodes.
And now we have season three, which was… okay?
I put a question mark there because I am genuinely unsure of how to feel about this season.
It certainly wasn’t bad but, unlike the other two seasons, there were very little standout moments that had me on the edge of my seat.
Season three honestly feels like an entirely different show and that is not exactly a good thing.
The story picks up with the setting changing from the titular Westworld park to the outside world, where Dolores Abernathy (Evan Rachel Wood) is beginning her plans to take over all of humanity with a Host Charlotte Hale (Tessa Thomspon) at her side.
Enter Aaron Paul’s character, Caleb Nichols, who is recruited by Dolores to help with her revolution.
However, at the same time, the mysterious Engerraund Serac (Vincent Cassel) revives Maeve (Thandie Newton) with the intention of using her to take down Dolores… oh, and Bernard (Jeffrey Wright) and William (Ed Harris) are in this season too but they really don’t matter.
I’ll start by saying that I liked the roles Dolores, Charlotte, Caleb and Maeve had in this season.
While their stories aren’t anything spectacular they are still enjoyable, with Caleb being a welcome addition to the cast.
There are also a few surprise returns from minor characters that are well used.
But then there are Bernard and William who, as I said, don’t really matter.
They honestly felt like afterthoughts this season, which is such a shame because they are among the series’ best characters.
I especially don’t like how William’s story appeared to end.
Thankfully, there is one great scene with Bernard in the final episode, although I wish this scene had more build up to it happening.
Then there is the action, which seems to fluctuate in quality across the season.
For example, there are some fights that are very good in the final few episodes.
However, there is a fight with Ashely Stubbs (Luke Hemsworth) in the second episode that was just atrocious in quality.
One thing I can definitely praise the season for though is Ramin Djawadi’s score because it is amazing, as always.
Along with this, the CGI is also well done.
The season is surprisingly short too, with only eight episodes compared to the original two seasons’ ten each.
I actually got to the final episode not realizing it was the finale so I was pretty surprised when I learnt that it was over.
All in all though, season three is still pretty good overall.
But, with its story having almost no epic moments, some characters being mishandled, and a few action sequences being laughable, it does fall miles short of the first two seasons.
The opening scene of Grand Blue, directed by Shinji Takamatsu and based off the manga by Keni Inoue, is quite the bait and switch.
As Iori Kitahara (Yuma Uchida) heads to his uncle’s diving shop, we expect a light hearted slice of life story as he learns to dive… only for us all to be met with the sight of a bunch of naked men (with their privates thankfully covered) drinking like there’s no tomorrow, revealing Grand Blue for the racy comedy that it is.
This was quite the shock for my Anime Club, which burst into laughter at the reveal.
I’m pretty sure the person who chose this show deliberately mislead us about what the show was about so we could make the most out of the surprise.
I thought Grand Blue would be 100% about diving going in but it’s actually only about 10%.
The other 90% is spent on nudity, alcohol and sexual jokes that never fail to get a laugh.
Following the opening scene, the anime follows Iori’s misadventures with the diving club.
Among these characters are the practically nudist Shinji (Hiroki Yasumoto) and Ryujiro (Katsuyuki Konishi), and Iori’s cousins Nanaka (Maaya Uchida) and Chisa (Chika Anzai), who is both Iori’s and Nanaka’s crush.
Speaking of, incest seems to just be an accepted thing in this anime but it is thankfully played for laughs most of the time, so, whenever Nanaka is shown to be in love with her sister, it gets a laugh rather than a cringe.
Along with these characters, there is also the extreme anime nerd Kohei (Ryohei Kimura), who Iori drags into friendship kicking and screaming.
Their antics are of special hilarity, with many of the faces they pull reminding me of the Titans from Attack on Titan.
However, although these characters are hilarious, they can be especially hard to root for at times, considering the things they do.
From exposing Chisa to a crowd to try and win a beauty pageant, to trying to get one of their friends’ girls to break up with him so he will be single like them, Iori and his friends are first rate jerks.
If the way that they went about doing these things wasn’t so hilarious, I would probably despise them.
Thankfully, the humor saves them.
As for the animation it is solid, being nothing spectacular but serviceable.
The music is the same, except for the opening that shares the name of the anime, which I would always find myself singing to.
The best thing about it though, as I have already stated, is definitely the top notch humor.
The rest of Grand Blue is serviceable but the jokes will have you laughing so hard that your sides hurt, which makes it definitely worth a watch.
With Covid-19 still at large, the university anime club that I belong to has been forced to meet on Discord to watch and discuss shows.
One of these anime was Usagi Drop, directed by Kanta Kamei and based off the manga by Yumi Unita, and, boy, is this a wholesome one. Usagi Drop follows Daikichi Kawachi (Hiroshi Tsuchida), an everyday guy who, upon arriving at his grandfather’s funeral, learns, much to his surprise, that his grandfather had a six-year-old illegitimate daughter named Rin (Ayu Maatsura).
With most of his family scorning Rin and wanting nothing to with her, Daikichi decides to take care of her.
But, with little to no experience in handling children, he is in for one heck of a struggle.
From here, the anime kicks off, expanding on the growing relationship between Rin and Daikichi.
Their bond is great and they grow so much from it that, at times, I wondered who exactly was supposed to be the parent here, Rin or Daikichi?
Like them, the other characters are also good, with Daikichi’s family slowly coming to love Rin, and the two befriending a mother, Yukari Nitana (Sayaka Ohara), and her son, Kouki (Noa Saki).
Daikichi and Yukari’s friendship is especially great, with the two having fantastic chemistry to the point that I actually wanted them to end up together.
Backing up these characters are the constant adorable and funny moments, along with the animation, which in every episode, before the opening, takes on a unique style.
The music is also good, delivering many cheery and feel good moments for the anime.
Overall, Usagi Drop is a heartfelt show that any aspiring parent would enjoy watching… just don’t read the manga.
No, seriously, DON’T.
I heard about the manga a few episodes in and looked it up after finishing the anime.
It was the worst decision I could have made because it taints the entirety of Daikichi and Rin’s father-daughter relationship.
Spoilers for the manga (you shouldn’t read it though), but the story actually ends with Rin, now 16, admitting her feelings for Daikichi after the two learn they actually aren’t blood related and the two enter a romantic relationship.
It makes Usagi Drop feel like a grooming story and I honestly don’t know what Yumi Unita was thinking.
Thank god the anime didn’t adapt the ending and left Daikichi and Rin’s relationship as a father-daughter one that we can all love.
It is because of this that the anime remains great, just so long as you don’t think of the manga’s ending while watching it.
Coming into the Tokyo Ghoul anime adaptation, I knew I was pretty sure I was going to be in for a rough time, given its infamous portrayal of Sui Ishida’s original manga.
Thankfully, I found season one and √A to be good adaptations.
Granted, they both had a lot of problems but, overall, I think they are both be pretty decent.
This was not the case for the Tokyo Ghoul: Re adaptation, this time directed by Odahiro Watanabe.
Studio Pierrot really dropped the ball here.
There is so much wrong with this anime that I do not even know where to begin.
How about I start with how they packed 179 chapters into just 24 episodes?
This was a phenomenally bad idea because of much they had to cut or outright skip just to get to the end.
Events from the manga that had such an impact came and went so fast that they left no impact at all.
Not only this, but the anime adapts Re as if √A never happened, so the people who only watched √A would have been thoroughly confused watching.
Along with this, it’s clear that the people adapting the manga had only a surface level understanding of the manga.
Key traits of characters that deliver hidden messages, like Kaneki rubbing his chin when he lies are missing entirely.
The animation is also terrible, with the fights lacking any substance whatsoever.
To make matters worse, it’s not just the fight animation that sucks but the regular animation as well.
Just compare how the characters look when comparing Re to the first two seasons.
The characters in Re just look so bland and lifeless.
Something is also wrong with the color, which just looks dreary, and not in a good way.
Coming back to the characters though, they are terrible adaptation as well, with much of their development cut or changed for some reason.
When Kaneki realizes he killed hundreds, possibly thousands of innocent people when he became the dragon he barely reacts to it, unlike the manga where he breaks down.
How are we supposed to get attached to a character who shows no emotion after they learn they have accidentally become a mass murderer?
And then there’s Tooru.
Even though I didn’t like Ishida turning him from a likeable character into a psychopath in the manga, I can at least admit that it was done well.
In the anime, it’s awful.
Tooru is normal one moment and completely sadistic the next.
His transformation was obviously cut for censorship reasons, as was much of the violence to the point that characters who look barely injured die, when in the manga they died from extensive injuries.
Probably the worst part about this anime, though, is not the stupid changes, awful pacing, or terrible animation, but just how boring it all is.
I really had to struggle to get through the second half of the adaptation, which just shows how bad it is.
Whenever I read the manga, I often feel exhilarated but, when watching the same scenes in the anime, I feel nothing but boredom because of how poorly adapted it is.
Almost every single aspect from the manga is downgraded into dumpster quality.
However, there are a few saving graces that stop the adaptation from being a complete disaster.
The music and the voice acting are still good, and there are some funny moments (although this should be credited to Ishida and not the anime).
Also, the two openings, “Asphyxia” and “Katharsis”, are actually very good, showing way more effort than √A’s opening “Munou”, which was just bad.
And that’s it.
The music, voice acting, a couple of funny moments, and the opening.
Those are the only good things about this anime that stop is from being the worst.
Everything else about it is a spectacular failure.
People say Tokyo Ghoul should get the Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood treatment and their right because Tokyo Ghoul deserves so much better than what Studio Pierrot gave it.
Sadly, if we ever do get another adaptation, I doubt it will be anytime soon.
And until we do (if we ever do), we will be stuck with this awful adaptation of Tokyo Ghoul: Re as its anime sendoff.
Well, on the plus side, Ishida recently revealed he is working on a new manga so we have that to look forward to, at least.
On July 27, 1996, a pipe bomb resulted in two deaths and injured over a hundred people in the Centennial Olympic Park.
An investigation was quickly launched but the man who discovered the bomb, Richard Jewell was hailed as a hero for his actions… until he wasn’t.
When news that Jewell was the FBI’s number one suspect leaked to the media, they jumped on it and, soon enough, Richard Jewell was number one on everyone’s suspect list.
Just one problem: Jewell really was a hero.
He had nothing to do with the bombing and his actions probably saved the lives of hundreds of people.
Yet, his life was destroyed by flawed, one-track mind FBI investigating and media reporting that both threw integrity out the window.
This is the true story that Clint Eastwood’s 2019 film Richard Jewell tells, and it is incredibly compelling.
I had heard of Jewell’s story before but I only knew the basics.
After watching the film, I looked up how much of the story was true and most of it is.
The finer details are shocking, with the efforts the FBI and media took to prove Jewell’s guilt being, quite frankly, disgusting.
This disgust that I felt was helped by the extreme sympathy I felt for Jewell, who is played brilliantly by Paul Walter Hauser.
I recently watched interviews with Jewell and it is a spot on portrayal that is right up there with 2019’s best performances.
He is not the only one because Kathy Bates, as Jewell’s mother, Bobi, and Sam Rockwell, as Jewell’s lawyer, Watson Bryant, are both fantastic.
The structure of the film is also great, with it admittedly starting out a bit slow, but picking up in momentum once the bombing occurs.
All of this combines to create a shocking and great film, but one with a very big problem that holds it back from being one of 2019’s best.
This is the portrayal of certain characters, specifically Kathy Scruggs (Olivia Wilde) who plays the journalist who breaks the story about Jewell being a suspect.
She is portrayed in the most negative light possible, with her appearing to not care about the bombing deaths, only wanting a good story out of it, and trading sex for information.
While it is true that Scruggs was part of the media that slandered and demonized Jewell, her initial portrayal as irredeemably cruel feels a lot like the media’s initial portrayal of Jewell and thus hypocritical.
Thankfully, the film does go about showing she later regrets her actions, but the film’s message of not painting someone out to be a monster is slightly tainted by it doing this very thing.
Despite this, Richard Jewell is still Clint Eastwood’s best film in a long while.
With fantastic performances and a gripping true story, it raises good questions about the morality of certain parts of the media and authorities.