Miss Sloane, Alien: Covenant, Jawbone The Film Review


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Miss Sloane, Alien: Covenant, Jawbone

Mark Kermode joins Jane Hill for a look at the week's cinema releases, including Miss Sloane, Alien: Covenant and Jawbone.


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Hello and welcome to the film review on BBC News. So, we have a political

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thriller called Miss Sloan. We have Alien: Covenant, the latest in the

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ongoing alien franchise. And Jawbone, written by and starring

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Johnny Harris. Miss Sloan and even you looking at the poster, I wanted

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to like this, because you think it is Washington, it is the West Wing.

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You are in with the intrigue. The story is that Jessica is a lobbyist

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becomes embroiled in a battle between people who want controls on

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guns and people who want to sell more guns. She is enlisted by people

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who say we are trying to make guns seem more popular and we want to get

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guns to appeal to women and she laughs out of the ring. The next

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thing is she is approached by the other side fighting for restrictions

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and she decides that she will throw in her lot with them and they want

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her because of her very powerful, and that has to be said, cynical, we

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have lobbying. It has to be said, cynical, we have lobbying. Here's a

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clip. What is the best indicator of voting intention? Grassroots action

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aimed squarely at soliciting donations. That means any petition,

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not clicks in cyberspace. Nonprofits have to report on their findings.

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While you are out there hustling, I was work influential senators who

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can deliver votes. That is our second prong. Author is identifying

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who held sway in target states. Employers, workers groups, do not

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just waltz into an office and make your case. Find out who the senator

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trusts. Convinced that person to make your case. That is how we win.

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Does she take no prisoners? That is it exactly. As you have seen, a very

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strong supporting cast is. I wouldn't have this feeling the same

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you did. I like the subject matter, I liked the cast, like the director

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and I came out thinking it is not as good as it should be. The whole is

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less than the sum of the parts. There is something about it which

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keeps you at a distance. I never completely believed in these

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characters. One of the things about it is it has a plot which is full of

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twists and turns and there is a certain point at which the twists

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and turns start to defy credibility. That said, it is done with gusto and

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Jessica Chastain is worth watching. The subject matter is interesting

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and is timely and it ought to be more gripping than it is. Like you,

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I wanted it to be great. I came out thinking, it is OK, but I wanted it

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to be more than OK. However, it makes sense, which is more than can

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be said for Alien: Covenant, which is the next instalment in the

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ongoing alien franchise. A fan? No. I am a chicken. There is no way. The

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first alien film is a horror movie, the second one is a war film. Alien

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three was a mess. Then the prequels. Prometheus from having dialogue that

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was different from alien. In alien space truckers, they are talking

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about things you can relate to. In Prometheus they were talking about

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the nature of God. This is a Prometheus sequel, rather than an

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alien prequel. You have alien truckers in space, they get a

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signal, they arrive at a new planet which looks like a new Eden. It is

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actually a living hell. What they do all the time is to talk about

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poetry, about art, about life, about God in a manner nobody talks. We

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have a greatest hits reruns of the famous moments from alien, but don

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speeded up in a way that means they make no sense. There is no question

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that Ridley Scott is a visual stylist, but he is only as good as

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his script. With Alien: Covenant, the script is very weak. There is a

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famous story that when Vincent Ward was going to do alien three and he

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wanted it to be the name of the rows in space, this is the da Vinci code

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in space. As someone who loved the original movie, because it was

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ruthless, stripped down and I loved this sequel because it is a war

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movie, this is very much like a massive amount of pontificating and

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holding forth and it makes no sense whatsoever. I know people don't

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necessarily go to these movies for it to tie up the loose ends, but

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there were moments when a character says so little of this makes sense,

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I laughed out loud. You have made me laugh as well. I am a little more

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hopeful about your third choice. You're right. Jawbone, it is a

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boxing movie. I had nothing about boxing other than what I know from

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the movies. This is a body struggling with alcoholism. He is on

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the South bank in London and he is a drunk. He lives in his mother's

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flood, he is in danger of being evicted. His life as a mess. He goes

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to his old gem which is run by Ray Winston, he gives him a look that

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tells you everything about the history. Ray Wilson says you can

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train here, but no alcohol and no talk of unlicensed games. He needs

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money and the next thing he is having a meeting with Ian McShane. I

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think I can get you your money. I tell them I have an ex-champion with

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Minjee Lee is looking for a fight. Jimmy, you were one of the bravest

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kids I ever saw. The thing I don't know is what kind of Nicky are in

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now. So, if you take this, it's on your back, whatever happens up

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there, you're on your own. I know. I'm up for it. Right, I'll make the

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phone call. Now, I thought this was really intriguing. I went in and not

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knowing much about it other than it was a boxing movie. I thought what

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it did was it really into the story. You believe in this character, a

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belief in his dejection, his addiction and his struggle to redeem

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himself. There is a moment when he first the gym and Ray Winston looks

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at him in a way that tells you everything. There are wonderful

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scenes with Michael Smiley who is a terrific actor. It is not about what

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they say, it is about what they do not say. Cinematography has changed

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in a long time since raging Bull and this pursuit on the receiving end of

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punches. I have never been to a boxing match in my life. This had

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the smack of authenticity and it had heart. It felt it was a story being

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told by someone who really believed in all of this and it engages you.

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It makes you care. It is not fantastically original, but it is

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done in a way that seems very honest, very authentic, very moving.

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As somebody who is not a boxing fan, I found it very gripping. Some great

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British talent in there as well. Ray Winston walks on water for me. It is

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an understated role and he plays beautifully. Michael Smiley, a

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terrific actor, really brilliant screen presence, there are moments

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between him and Johnny Harris in which it is to do with the weight

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they look at each other. Everything is set in the eyes, in the gesture,

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in the way they hold their heads. It was a real pleasure to see it,

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because it was a textured film and it takes an idea we have seen it

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done. Boxing is in movies a lot because it is a spectacular sport

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anyway. This adds something to it. In the end it is not a boxing movie,

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it is about someone overcoming their demons. About overcoming addiction

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and dealing with alcoholism in a way that is honest and truthful very

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engaging. Blessed are you, you have brought me Woody Allen. I love Woody

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Allen. I love the Jazz, the new work, the banks, the neurosis. It is

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all there. The way Manhattan looks, it is one of those films you should

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see on a cinema screen. This is a new transfer from four K. You think

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of the jokes, the characters, but this looks brilliant. The

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combination of visuals and George Gershwin and from the beginning, he

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is a writer trying to describe how he feels about the city. People talk

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about the classic period Woody Allen. I am a huge fan of love and

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death, but the idea of Manhattan back on the big screen, I haven't

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seen it rejected since it first came out. 1979 when a Canadian. The idea

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of Synod projected, it is a beautiful film. I didn't know it was

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being rereleased. Speaking of big screens. I am interested in the DVD

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this week because it is La La Land, which I enjoyed hugely. Doesn't it

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needed to be seen on a big screen, the wonderful opening shot, the

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dancing, the sunshine? I have seen it on the big screen and the small

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screen. I have to say, it worked both times for me. In fact, oddly,

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when I saw on the small screen I was in her comfortable conditions

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because they were not people talking around me. I really like it. The

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opening sequence which is so beautiful. I think Emma Stone is

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terrific. Some people have complained and said there is not a

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memorable June in that film. What are they talking about? It made me

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happy. You leave with a song in your heart. I still love the ending. I

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would spoil it, but it was spot on. They do it really very well. It is a

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musical in the same way that Manhattan is kind of a musical as

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well. Sort of. A film with music in it and it is glorious. Thank you

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very much. A reminder that you can find much more from News and reviews

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from across the BBC online. You can find all our previous programmes on

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the BBC I play.

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