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Soderbergh’s ‘Logan Lucky’ Is A Heartland Heist Worth Watching

logan lucky

Logan Lucky was directed by Steven Soderbergh, the man behind the Ocean’s 11 films and Magic Mike. It features hilarious characters, farfetched schemes, and a leisurely pace that will take some by surprise, but like its band of robbers, it’s a film that’s easy to underestimate.

It’s no secret that Hollywood has shown little interest in bringing stories about the American South to mainstream audiences over the last decade or two, to the point where Pixar’s Cars 3 was their chief cultural representation in Summer 2017 until Logan Lucky came along, a heist film with the trappings of a tentpole that also happens to be based on an original screenplay, albeit by someone who appears to be invented, with the pseudonym “Rebecca Blunt” as their credit.

Put simply, Logan Lucky is indeed another movie about an outlandishly competent crew pulling off an impossible crime from Soderbergh, but it’s also a deconstruction of his own work, to the point where the film actually references the Ocean’s 11 movies by branding this film’s crew as “Ocean’s 7-11.” It’s one of many jokes that hits home in a film that takes aim at subverting your expectations for a fast and clean crime romp.

The big plan is to rob the Charlotte Motor Speedway during a high-profile Nascar race, conveniently where one of the characters recently lost his job and is now looking for a way to improve his sympathetic financial situation. The titular Logan siblings consist of Clyde (played by Adam Driver), an Iraq War vet who lost his arm and is now a bartender, Mellie (played by Riley Keough), a quietly dignified hairdresser, and Jimmy (played by Channing Tatum), a divorced and out-of-work dad sharing custody with his ex-wife and high school sweetheart (Katie Holmes) from when he was the quarterback until a leg injury ruined his chances of going to the NFL.

logan lucky

There are many other interesting and vibrant characters along the way, of course, including a high-energy Daniel Craig as Joe Bang, the demolitions expert the Logans need to break out of jail on the day of the race. For what is at times a pretty slow-paced film, the development of the heist in question is actually a bit rushed, specifically with how this major set piece is placed in the second act of the movie instead of the third. It’s an odd structural decision that does well to make Logan Lucky stand out in a frankly overcrowded genre.

Most importantly, Logan Lucky manages to be about more than hi-jinks and funny moments. There’s a wealth of heart and authenticity in this screenplay and how it treats its location, characters, and subject matter. It’s not condescending, but it’s also not pandering, and best of all, it’s pretty entertaining for a movie where most of what’s happening is impossible to believe. It’s only major flaws are in how some long stretches of the film feel quite a bit too long and meandering, which is sure to make many in the audience wonder why more of the film wasn’t cut for a leaner experience. But what we do get from Logan Lucky is plenty to chew on, regardless.

Grade: B+


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2017 Movie Power Rankings

2017 Movie Rankings

It took a while, but I’m finally ready to unveil my movie power rankings for 2017, which will be updated as I continue to watch more films throughout the year. With this list, you can briefly glimpse my favorite movies of any given year and how they compare.

Below are my rankings so far, with some of them linked to either a written review or Cinemaholics podcast episode.

Go on…2017 Movie Power Rankings

‘The Circle’ Is Broken In More Ways Than One

The Circle

In The Circle, our world of disruptive technology from social media to search engines has been conveniently consolidated into one uber-corporation called, you guessed it, The Circle, a simple name for what is strangely a shallow, unimaginative invention representative of what our near-future might be ruled by. Sharing through technology. Although…isn’t that already a reality?

Rather than take us through the implications of our world’s current affair with technology, the fictitious Circle and its inner leaders want to remove all privacy from the world in an effort to create true transparency. If you’re wondering “why” they want to do that, well, this movie clearly wasn’t made for your curious mind. “Sharing is caring” the employees echo to their leader, Eamonn Bailey (Tom Hanks), who advocates a master plan that has all of the absurdity of a 70s paranoia thriller without any of the logic or intelligence.

Go on…‘The Circle’ Is Broken In More Ways Than One

2017 Summer Movie Preview – Cinemaholics

The Cinemaholics Podcast has never been this summer movie peviewy. Will, Maveryke, and I take a close look at our most anticipated releases from May to August and from from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and Spider-Man: Homecoming to Wonder Woman and Baby Driver.

We also unpack some huge DCEU rumors involving The BatmanThe FlashWonder Woman, and Suicide Squad 2. Then we finish things out by doing mini reviews for Going In StyleSmurfs: The Lost Village, and Teen Titans: The Judas Contract.

EMAIL US YOUR FEEDBACK & QUESTIONS: cinemaholicspodcast [at] gmail.com 

Go on…2017 Summer Movie Preview – Cinemaholics

2017 Oscar Predictions – Now Conspiring

oscars

With the New Year comes new changes to our podcast. Jon Negroni is starting a new podcast called Cinemaholics, leaving Maria as the new host of Now Conspiring. Not to worry! We are all still here, talking about our silly lives and all the things we love about movies. This week, Adonis tells everyone about the new play he is in and the gang discusses the main Oscar Nominations and who they think will take the golden statue home.

Question of the Week: What is your Oscar pick for Best Picture?

Go on…2017 Oscar Predictions – Now Conspiring

‘Silence’ and ‘The Young Pope’ Review – Now Conspiring

silence

This week on the podcast, Jon and Will got together to talk about a lot of religious entertainment material, including the new HBO series, The Young Pope, last year’s Last Days in the Desert, and then our featured review, Silence, the latest film from Martin Scorsese. Also, we kicked things off with a brief look at some 2017 movies we’re excited about that aren’t superhero flicks.

Question of the Week: Which 2017 movie are you looking forward to the most?

Go on…‘Silence’ and ‘The Young Pope’ Review – Now Conspiring

The Pixar Detectives: Here’s Every Animated Movie Coming Out In 2017


This week, we Pixar Detectives (Jon Negroni and Kayla Savage) took a close look at the animated movies coming out in 2017, and our live audience helped us decide which movie to be most excited about!

To catch our show live (and win our weekly giveaways), be sure to tune in to Super News on Facebook every Wednesday at 7:00 P.M. Pacific Time.

Thanks for watching, and here are all of the movies we talked about:

  1. The Boss Baby – March 31
  2. Lego Batman Movie – February 10
  3. Despicable Me 3 – June 30
  4. Cars 3 – June 16
  5. Coco – November 22
  6. The Emoji Movie – August 4
  7. Captain Underpants – June 1
  8. Blazing Samurai – August 25
  9. The Nut Job 2 – August 18
  10. The Lego Ninjago Movie – September 22
  11. Animal Crackers – January 13

Enjoy the show! And if you have any suggestions for future episodes and prizes, please let us know in the comments below.

Thanks for reading this. Seriously. You can subscribe to my posts by clicking “Follow” in the right sidebar. 

Or just say hello on Twitter: @JonNegroni

 

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