Traditional Westerns have fallen out of favor in recent years, though the values they espouse remain timeless. Writer/director Jared Moshe’s “The Ballad of Lefty Brown” may fit the mold of a Western but with one distinct difference: it focuses on the overlooked sidekick rather than the standard hero.
Moral codes like integrity and loyalty, however, remain at the forefront. In fact, it was this code of ethics in particular that drew Peter Fonda (“Edward Johnson”) and Tommy Flanagan (“Tom Harrah”) to the film.
For more about “The Ballad of Lefty Brown” directly from Bill Pullman (“Lefty Brown”), Fonda, Flanagan and Moshe themselves, take a look below:
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Battle of the Sexes is based on the 1973 real-life tennis match between Billie Jean King (Emma Stone) and Bobby Riggs (Steve Carell). While the event itself is significant, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that a 29 year old player triumphs over a 55 year old. The meaning is derived from the context the time period provides King’s personal life and professional career.
During the years leading up to the match, female tennis players on tour made 1/8 of the men’s earnings. Arguments for the disparity ranged from the need to pay men more as the household breadwinners to the fact that the women weren’t as competitive. This film is about more than a single tournament; Battle of the Sexes shows how fundamental King is to the feminist movement. It’s not a matter of being better than the men, but equal to them. King’s triumph on the tennis court is analogous to that of women everywhere.
King personal life is a challenge as well. She has to conceal her homosexuality through marriage to an inexplicably understanding husband in order to retain her place on the professional tennis circuit. Exposure can end her career. As with 2015’s Carol, the time period contributes to the gravitas of the story.
Battle of the Sexesstrives to balance the personal and professional aspects of King’s career within the the movie’s runtime. Yet, neither storyline feels complete through no fault of the actors. Stone is as solid as expected. Carell and Sarah Silverman (Gladys) are particularly impressive.
Battle of the Sexes also stars Andrea Riseborough, Natalie Morales, Bill Pullman, Alan Cumming and Elisabeth Shue. It was directed by the husband and wife team Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris.
For more about themes in Battle of the Sexes and eagle eye details to watch for, take a look below:
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All film photos are courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation / Fox Searchlight.
When INDEPENDENCE DAY came out 20 years ago it was groundbreaking. It was the first time we saw the White House get destroyed on film, along with a host of other International landmarks. The effects were at the top of their class and the movie was nominated for two Academy Awards, winning in the Visual Effects category.
INDEPENDENCE DAY: RESURGENCE picks up in real time 20 years later. Roland Emmerich returns, helming this film as creator/writer/director with Dean Devlin partnering up again. Although Will Smith did not return, Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman, Vivica A. Fox and Judd Hirsch are all back, joined by Liam Hemsworth and Singaporean actor Chin Han who was named by CNNGO (a subsidiary of CNN) as one of Asia’s 25 Best Actors.
INDEPENDENCE DAY: RESURGENCE is the type of movie where you get exactly what you expect. It’s not plot driven and despite the actors’ fine pedigrees, no one will be winning any awards for their work. However, it’s the quintessential popcorn movie where you go for two hours of mindless entertainment. So often we look down on movies that seek to entertain, but it’s not a bad thing. With busy lives and horrors in the news, a bit of fluff entertainment is exactly what hits the spot sometimes.
For more about INDEPENDENCE DAY: RESURGENCE, including some eagle-eye details to watch for and behind-the-scenes information about what it was like on set, take a look below…