GREEN JEANS MOVIE REVIEW: Last night, I saw “Trumbo,” which stars Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad [TV series], Malcolm in the Middle [TV series]), Michael Stuhlbarg (Cut Bank, A Serious Man), Diane Lane (Man of Steel, Inside Out), Helen Mirren (Monsters University, The Queen), Louis C.K. (Louie [TV series], American Hustle), Alan Tudyk (Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, Frozen), John Goodman (Raising Ariona, Monsters Inc.), Elle Fanning (Super 8, We Bought A Zoo), Stephen Root (No Country for Old Men, Finding Nemo), Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Lost [TV series], The Bourne Identity), David James Elliot (JAG [TV series], The Stranger I Married), and Dean O’Gorman (The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Almighty Johnsons [TV series]). It is directed by Jay Roach (Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, Meet the Parents) and is written by John McNamara (Aquarius [TV series], Fastlane [TV series]), being based on the book by Bruce Cook. Based on true events, this film follows one of Hollywood’s top screenwriters, Dalton Trumbo (Cranston), as he is blacklisted for being a Communist in 1947. Banned by many studios for his political beliefs, Trumbo writes a bunch of screenplays under different names so he can make a living.
Communism…well…it is not what I prefer to be living in. According to Dalton Trumbo, however, it is the best way of life. Guys, I want to tell you that I wanted to like the film. I really, really did. With such an amazing group of people being penned down to star in it, including our favorite “Breaking Bad” alum, Bryan Cranston, I wanted to enjoy this movie. But the thing is, I couldn’t. This release has several issues with it that outweigh its pros, and throughout the whole experience I was questioning why they would choose to write or do certain things that happen in the picture. Let’s begin this review with the story, which contains all of my problems. The plot of this whole flick is rather interesting, judging by the trailer, but the way it is executed onscreen is appalling. The entire flow of this whole story line is like a roller coaster. We would get some scenes where the blacklist is actually discussed and then we would switch over to something random and, at times, unnecessary. The whole point of this picture is to show us how Trumbo struggles with being blacklisted in the business, but after viewing this piece of cinema, I did not retain a single drop of that problem. It wasn’t focused on enough! This movie jumps from one story element to the next, most times without reason. One minute he is talking with his friends about finding a way to get back into the business and then the next he is arguing with his daughter over birthday cake. Half of it is filler, and I agree with Captain Critic (who watched this with me) when he told me that it was a one-and-a-half hour experience that was stretched into two hours. It wasn’t slow, it was just dull. Another issue I found with the story was Trumbo’s take on Communism. When he discussed Communism, I thought he was a Republican. He argued that free speech needed to be kept and that Congress was taking away too many rights. What kind of Communist thinks that way!? Has he been to Soviet Russia? If anything, government has all of the power in a Communist world. It was like the writer was trying to teach me how Communism was good. Thankfully, he didn’t preach this for the whole runtime. Otherwise, I would have given this a far worse grade than what I am currently giving it. Finally, my last complaint for this story is how time effects our characters. It is more of a nitpick, but it is too obvious not to list in my review. Trumbo has three children in this film, all of whom are far too young to be his (Trumbo looks like their grandfather). This story is supposed to take place in a twenty year time span. When Trumbo goes to prison for one year, he tells his oldest daughter, who looks like she is eight, goodbye. Once he gets back, she seems to have grown ten years! How can one year do that much to one character? The funny thing was, the other kids looked the same (I am laughing as I type this right now). Once a few more years pass, the other kids hit a massive growth spurt, aging what seems to be ten years in a span of five. They look older than their eldest sister, who still looks the same. The way the writer and director handled this situation of age was unforgivable. Pushing away from its problems, the best thing that this movie had to offer was the acting. Everyone did a great job, and I never thought of Bryan Cranston when I saw Trumbo onscreen. Cranston performed fantastically. I loved the setting of this release, being set in the mid-40’s to early 70’s. The clothing, lingo, and style of old settings always suck me into a feature. In terms of what was good about the plot, I will say that there were some interesting moments, just not enough to balance out the bad ones. To be honest, I felt that most random scenes I talked about earlier were just to get the R-rating. For the most part, this is not a bad movie (as in rating wise), but sometimes the writer will interject a scene with a bunch of cuss words for no apparent reason that ends up breaking the flow of the entire scene at hand. I don’t understand his motive. Overall, this was a disappointment of a release, even though I had no expectations of it. I would ask of people to pass on this if they are interested, because you will be let down. FINAL SCORE: 65%= Burnt Popcorn
Here is the trailer: