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Movie Review: Trumbo

What is Malcom’s Dad up to now!? -Steven Richard K

 

What: Dalton Trumbo is a screenwriter in the 40s who also happens to be communist so he gets blacklisted.

Who: John McNamara. Wrote a bunch of TV stuff.

Director: Jay Roach. Uh oh. Hmm. He 3 Fockers and 3 Austin Powers’ under his belt.

Bryan Cranston as Trumbo. He is great. Breaking Bad was the best. Once I rode on a roller coaster with Frankie Muniz but that’s a story for another day.

Okay. This movie has some good stuff and some not so good stuff.

The Good:

The performances. Bryan Cranston is great. He acts the shit out of this one. He will probably get a best actor nom for this one. Louie CK is in this, which I did not realize and he plays a version of himself and he does it well. John Goodman and Stephen Root are much appreciated as well.

The story of Dalton Trumbo is cool. He had an interesting life and had some ups and downs.

It made me want to find out more about Trumbo and his movies. I’ve never seen Roman Holiday and now I want to. I’ve never seen Exodus and I should check it out. I’ve never seen Sparticus and I love Kubrick and now I really have to!

There is some real life flashback footage and some new footage made to look old which was done in a cool way.

At the end of the movie they showed a bunch of pictures of the real life people involved in the film which was really cool to see. I want to watch a documentary about Trumbo now (which I think was on Netflix for a while but expired recently).

The Bad:

This is not a good movie. This movie is all over the place and I feel like if I didn’t know this was made by TV people I could have guessed it. You don’t need to jump all over the place to tell a story.
Randomly, Louie’s character has cancer bee tee dubs. Felt shoved in there.

It’s a good thing Trumbo had a young daughter early on so he could explain things to her (and us).

If you can’t pay the carpenter and your husband doesn’t have a job why are you having an addition put on to your house? It was just so that when Dalton comes back with a check just at the moment the carpenter was asking to be paid for the work they were doing you would look silly?

Like an hour and half in all of a sudden he’s a bad dad. Maybe we could focus on all the other stuff going on instead of shoe horning that one in there and fixing it.

This could have wrapped up like a dozen times. I wanted it to end sooner.

So. Many. Cuts. We all don’t have A.D.D., you can stay on something for more than a second.

Lots of whining.

Other thoughts:

We’re kind of in a secret cold war with the Russians right now, is this pro communist, or no? It didn’t get too harpy on communism but it did make patriotism for the sake of flag waving look silly. Is this in defense of free speech? In today’s internet culture where mob mentality and people’s sense of right and wrong is changing and people are becoming more sensitive to language being used. I love Jon Ronson. I wanted an excuse to share this Ted Talk. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wAIP6fI0NAI)

Lots of smoking in this movie. Curious how much money Altria contributed to produce this movie?

It was the 1950’s. When Trumbo popped a Benzedrine (prescribed by a doctor) his wife gave him a dirty/ suspicious look. That would not have happened.

Liked the idea that the studio bought a gorilla suit so they needed a gorilla movie. Mister Bismuth as often thought about purchasing a “sketch grade gorilla suit” and writing sketches for our headliner show to include a gorilla for some reason.

Did JFK really speak on the news in reaction to a movie Trumbo wrote basically destroying the blacklist? Really? Did that really happen? Did it? I can’t find it. I’m looking for it and I can’t find it.

Nice using movie clips of better movies in this movie to make it seem like a better movie than it was.

Trumbo is in select theaters now.

TLDR: 2/5. This is not a good movie but Cranston delivers a good performance. I wanted him to be in a better movie. If this comes on Netflix instant maybe watch it but don’t get your hopes up.

Steven Richard K is the host of the Search for a Cohost podcast (www.searchforacohost.com) and a member of the sketch group Mister Bismuth. Follow Steven on Twitter@StevenRichardK.

If you’re interested in Movie Pass click here to get Steven the referral credit.

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About Steven Richard K (150 Articles)
This is a place for me to put things that I wrote.

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