Kate Winslet

Triple Niner, uh I’m sorry, did I catch a niner in here?

Dirty cops, the Russian Mob, a detailed heist that involves killing a cop to create a diversion. Through in an all-star cast and you should have the recipe for an incredible and intense film. One that could truly be remembered as one of the greats. Triple 9 has all these ingredients, but are they cooked properly? Well, let’s talk about that.

Triple 9 is directed by John Hillard, the guy that did Lawless, and was written by Matt Cook, I have no idea what else he wrote. It has one the most talented casts I have ever seen assembled, Casey Affleck, Chiwetel Ejiodor, Anthony Mackie, Aaron Paul, Clifton Collins Jr, Norman Reedus, Gal Gadot, Woody Harrelson, and Kate Freaking Winslet. If that is not a list line up, I do not know what is.

The film follows a crew of corrupt cops and criminals who are being sent on heist missions by the Russian Mob, led by Irina Vlaslov (Winslet) whose husband and head of the mob is locked up abroad. Irina uses her sisters (Gadot) ex-husband Michael (Ejiofor) to steal what she needs to free her husband. When a final mission is deemed undoable, the crew decided the only way to pull it off is to cause a distraction by killing a cop (Affleck) which will send all officers on a triple 9 (roll credits) leaving them free to run their final heist. Unfortunately when your crew is full of criminals, no twist is left unturned.

Again that sounds like a great pitch right? Unfortunately it is not a great film. In fact, it is pretty boring. And unnecessarily slow! Don’t get me wrong, when the action gets going, it is pretty fun to watch, but there is so much unneeded wasted screen time in between. Most of these characters are also pretty poorly written. Leaving the audience with no one they really want to root for, seeing is how they are mostly all scumbags. Sure they have their redeemable qualities here and there, and reasons for doing what they do. But in the long run, you just don’t like them.

That’s not to say that the cast did not do incredibly well. If there is one major positive about this film it is that the cast is all on point with one minor exception. Woody Harrelson, who is great in his own right, plays the character a little too, Woody like. If that makes any sense. He is just a bit over the top and it something he has been doing a lot. I don’t know if this is a director’s decision or his own, but come on Woody, just be great, don’t be cartoony.

But again, everyone else is spot on with the roles they are given. Ejiofor keeps you enthralled all film long and Casey Affleck has such a unique ability to disappear into roles. Something his brother has never really been able to do. You always know you are watching Ben Affleck, but with Casey you always see the character. Anthony Mackie is a top tier talent, and incredible in here. I love watching him onscreen. Kate Winslet is Kate; I didn’t even realize it was her until I sat down to write this. That’s how good she is.

Speaking of this cast, let’s talk about one thing, real quick, I’m getting a little side tracked. But this film literally has Falcon, Baron Mordo, Scud, Tallahassee, Batman’s little brother, and Wonder Woman all in the same film. That is a little crazy. But speaking of Wonder Woman, walking into this I was really hoping that this would be the performance that sold me on Gadot as Wonder Woman. Unfortunately, it was not. Not that she was bad; she was good at being hot and delivering 3 lines. But nothing of substance.

All in all Triple 9 was kind of a letdown. It is obviously not the worst movie I have ever seen, it had its ups. But unfortunately not as high up as I had anticipated it. Maybe wait to catch this one on FX, or USA or something like that. Not something you need to shell out the cash for.

An action cop drama with little action, and a boring story. Great cast, fun performances, but ultimately a letdown. Especially as a follow up to the directors previous film, Lawless. Action scenes are fun, and well done, but everything else from dialog, to story, to character development falls flat. I’m giving it a Jeebus score of 2.4.

The Jeebus Score explained

The Jeebus score is out of a possible 6 points. Films are giving a max of 1 point each for Entertainment Value, Story/Writing, Performance, Direction, and Casting. There is also a possible bonus up to .5. Any film between 2.5 and 4 is considered a good film. 4-5 is a great film. Anything over 5 is an incredibly amazing film. To get a perfect score of 5.5 a film will pretty much have to be The Empire Strikes Back or The Godfather.

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Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs stars Ashton Kutcher as the title character, wait, no, that’s not right, that was 2013. Steve Jobs is the 2015 version of the film! While Kutcher did a phenomenal job (pun intended) portraying the mind behind Apple, he did not have the amazing team that this film has behind it. Steve Jobs stars Michael Fassbender, Magneto himself, as Steve Jobs, with Kate Winslet, Jeff Daniels, and Seth Rogen as Steve Wozniak in a film directed by Danny Boyle and written by Aaron Sorkin. Like I said, Kutcher didn’t have the team.

This film was plagued by all sorts of setbacks. Going into pre-production with David Fincher set to direct, and Christian Bale to play jobs, it hit its first set back with Fincher leaving. Then Bale decided to pass on the project. Boyle came in and wanted DiCaprio to star. Who eventually passed. Bale came back and accepted the role, then left the project months later. With Jessica Chastain, Ike Barinholtz, and Scarlett Johansson all vying for roles they all eventually dropped and passed. Sony then dropped the project all together and Universal picked it up with started negotiations with Natalie Portman to join the project. She then passed. Eventually its current cast was set and production was finally underway. I never thought the film was coming.

But now it is here, and by here I mean limited release here. It is only playing in I think 2 theaters here in Dallas. Last weekend it was just 4, 2 in New York and 2 in LA. So we have a little wider release this week, and then a full wide release will hit theaters October 23.

Question is, is did all the drama affect the movie? How is it? Well in going to tell you. Unlike its Kutcher counterpart that selected random event throughout Steve Jobs’ life, this film focuses on 3 events. 3 separate days. The days leading up to his 3 biggest announcements, and all the drama and planning that went on behind the scenes.

First off, yes, it is freaking amazing. At first I was bothered by Magneto playing Jobs. Because I did not see Jobs. I saw Fassbender. Almost with a little mixture of Robert Downey Jr. in there. I know, weird. But that’s all I could focus on. But as the film plays out, Fassbender begins to disappear. You get over it, and you can see Steve Jobs. In the performance. The character becomes too much to ignore and you forget about the actor, and you see a character. Not necessarily the person, but you see the character. And it is astonishing. This is another performance I would chalk up to the Best actor category. Not a winner, but a nominee.

Everyone else is incredible in their roles. Honestly, even though I knew it was Kate Winslet, She was immediately gone into the part. And Seth Rogen is little bit of his normal self, mixed in with a great performance. But the second nominee for this film is of course Jeff Daniels. Between the Martian and Steve Jobs that guy better take home the damn supporting actor statue. True story.

The way it is filmed is a work of art in and of itself. Danny Boyle perfectly adapts Sorkin’s script. Especially filming act 1 in 16 MM, Act 2 in 35 MM, and Act 3 in digital. As Jobs brings out the next evolution of technology, the film grows with you. It may sound like a gimmick, but it works in this instance perfectly. And Sorkin is at his best with this script. This is a walk and talk, dialog heavy film. And it flushes out every single character beautifully.

The only real negatives on the film would be the neatness that a few things get wrapped up. But in a film adaption that is going to happen. Especially with a project like this. But it still leaves the door open that maybe not everything is tied up perfectly, but perhaps settled for the time being.

Steve Jobs can become his own genre of film. While Jobs itself was not fantastic, it was entertaining for Kutchers performance. And now, this film is a remarkable top tier film. I’m giving it a Jeebus score of 4.2. Go out; go see it next week when it goes wide. But what say you Jackass Nation? Are you an Apple User? Did you enjoy Jobs? Are you excited for this film? Sound off in the comments below, and remember, it is what it is.

The Jeebus Score explained

The Jeebus score is out of a possible 6 points. Films are giving a max of 1 point each for Acting, Entertainment, and Casting, and a max of .5 for Dialog, Cinematography, and Direction. There is also a possible bonus up to .5. Any film between 2.5 and 4 is considered a good film. 4-5 is a great film. Anything over 5 is an incredibly amazing film. To get a perfect score of 6 a film will pretty much have to be The Empire Strikes Back or The Godfather.