Adamantium Bullet – Reel World Rants, Rumors, And Reviews
30Mar/17

Review: HIDDEN FIGURES, LA LA LAND, and HACKSAW RIDGE

The incredible untold story of Katherine Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe) - brilliant African-American women working at NASA, who served as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in history: the launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit, a stunning achievement that restored the nation’s confidence, turned around the Space Race, and galvanized the world. The visionary trio crossed all gender and race lines to inspire generations to dream big.

> When Taraji P. Henson signed on for the lead role, she met with the real-life Katherine Johnson, who was 98 years old, to discuss the character she was about to portray. Henson learned that Johnson had graduated from high school at age 14 and from college at age 18, and was still as lucid as anyone years younger. After the film was screened for Johnson, she expressed her genuine approval of Henson's portrayal, but wondered why anybody would want to make a film about her life.

> Producer Pharrell Williams also oversaw all musical elements, and the soundtrack.

> On the day that the scene was filmed in which Paul Stafford (Jim Parsons) is speaking to the NASA engineers in the Space Task Group office about needing to develop the math for re-entry, there was an extra face in the crowd. Mark Armstrong, son of Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong, had been invited by actor Ken Strunk to have a cameo appearance in the scene, and joined the other actors representing the NASA engineers.

J Bryant

AngieBee

The story of Mia (Emma Stone), an aspiring actress, and Sebastian (Ryan Gosling), a dedicated jazz musician, who are struggling to make ends meet in a city known for crushing hopes and breaking hearts. Set in modern day Los Angeles, this original musical about everyday life explores the joy and pain of pursuing your dreams.

> According to composer Justin Hurwitz, all the piano performance featured in the film was first recorded by pianist Randy Kerber during pre-production. Ryan Gosling then spent two hours a day, six days a week in piano lessons learning the music by heart. By the time filming had begun, Gosling was able to play all the piano sequences seen in the film without the use of a hand double or CGI.

> Emma Watson turned down the role of Mia due to scheduling conflicts with Beauty and the Beast (2017), while Ryan Gosling turned down the role of the Beast in that film to appear in this one. Coincidentally, both are musicals.

> Was at one point set to star Miles Teller and Emma Watson. Teller was dropped from the project in favor of Ryan Gosling, while Watson dropped out to pursue other projects. Teller previously starred in director Damien Chazelle's first feature Whiplash (2014).

> John Legend, singer and pianist, had to learn how to play the guitar for his role.

> The express lane freeway ramp used for the opening number, “Another Day Of Sun”, is the same stretch of freeway as used for the iconic "bus jump" sequence from Speed (1994), where a 50-foot section of the ramp was digitally removed using CGI to create the gap the bus must jump over.

J Bryant

AngieBee

HACKSAW RIDGE is the extraordinary true story of Desmond Doss [Andrew Garfield] who, in Okinawa during the bloodiest battle of WWII, saved 75 men without firing or carrying a gun. He was the only American soldier in WWII to fight on the front lines without a weapon, as he believed that while the war was justified, killing was nevertheless wrong. As an army medic, he single-handedly evacuated the wounded from behind enemy lines, braved fire while tending to soldiers and was wounded by a grenade and hit by snipers. Doss was the first conscientious objector awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.

> Corporal Desmond Doss was a member of the Army's 77th Infantry Division. Known as the "Liberty Division" for their distinctive insignia of a gold Statue of Liberty on a blue background, the 77th fought at Guam, Leyte (Philippines), and Okinawa. One of its units, Company C of the 306th Infantry Regiment, left the US in 1944 with 203 officers and men. By war's end in August 1945, just 13 of the original members were left. The 77th fought alongside the Marines, and a newspaper article during the war described how the division's soldiers fought so well at Guam that they earned the ultimate compliment: the Leathernecks nicknamed their Army counterparts the "77th Marine Division." Famed war correspondent Ernie Pyle was killed by an enemy sniper while covering the 77th on Ie Shima, a small island off the west coast of Okinawa. The 77th was part of the Allied force that occupied Japan after hostilities ceased.

> When asked how many lives Desmond Doss saved, he approximated 50. However individuals that witnessed the heroic event said it was closer to 100. The mutual agreement was reached at approximately 75.

> The film received a 10-minute standing ovation at the Venice Film Festival in September 2016.

> James Horner was originally meant to compose the musical score; he had previously collaborated with Mel Gibson on THE MAN WITHOUT A FACE in 1993, BRAVEHEART in 1995, and APOCALYPTO in 2006. After Horner's sudden death, John Debney (composer for Gibson's THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST in 2004) was chosen as the film's composer. Debney's completed score, however, was rejected and he was likewise replaced by Rupert Gregson-Williams for the final cut.

> Vince Vaughn's involvement featured his first visit to Australia. During filming, he explored Sydney and its attractions and made headlines when he participated in a public climb of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

> The USELESS KNOWLEDGE portion of this review was provided by IMDB.

J Bryant

AngieBee

Posted by J. Bryant

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