Molly's Game Film
I thought this movie was Hub-worthy
This film was originally due to be released in the last week of 2017. Anticipating its theatrical release, because I had already read the book, and wanted to see what the Screenplay’s variance from the novel would be.
I believe it was the filmmakers’ intention to leave this controversial film until the end of the year. As I’m learning, the film doesn’t have to be a “Blockbuster,” in order to be well-liked by the MovieViewers. Other titles who are worth consideration in the “Most Controversial” category would include Wind River and Thank You for Your Service.
It would be a hard choice to choose which one would win this Pineapple Award category award. I thought Molly’s Game was a Hub-worthy movie, due to the following reasons:
- There are many stellar performances by Academy Award Nominee Jessica Chastain, Golden Globe Winner Idris Elba and Academy Award Winner Kevin Costner.
- The topic was controversial when it originally happened in 2004, but the topic still applies today, with the current happenings in 2017 regarding sexual harassment. Beginning with Harvey Weinstein, and ending with Matt Lauer’s firing, and numerous people and stories in between.
- This film is how a woman uses her business and common sense to succeed from nothing into something, by means of running a private, high-stakes Poker game among the Hollywood Elite.
- The movie was written and directed by Aaron Sorkin. Who was notable for A Few Good Men as one of his first screenplays.
The book provided a great storyline
Admittingly, I had seen this movie trailer for a few months now, as current Trailer Playout has 2 versions of this movie (Freeman, Weekly Movie Assignments, 2017). There was enough told in the Trailer, that the MovieViewer would want to see this movie for Jessica and Idris alone. Which is how I felt when I saw The Mountain Between Us, starring Kate Winslet and Idris Elba. He is a very multi-talented actor, which some of the roles are varied from Thor’s Heimdall character.
Usually, if a book is written in the first person, I tend to stay away from reading that point of view. This book is an exception to my rule. Found and purchased at the local Barnes & Noble, and written by Molly Bloom, it tells how the story came to be, through her naïve eyes. It is concise, funny, and true. I found myself relating to Molly, and I laughed out loud more than once.
Be forewarned: Once you get started reading this novel, you’ll be reading for a few hours. I finished about 40% of the novel, in one rainy afternoon. I actually had to put this book down, and pace it out, as the saying goes. I didn’t want to finish it too soon.
TrueFact: With many book to movie tie-ins, my Premiere Night audience members had a really positive reaction to Trailer version #2 of Fifty Shades Freed.
how Aaron took the idea and turned it into a good screenplay
Molly will do anything to make money in Hollywood, so when her accidental meeting with Reardon gives her the opportunity to learn with him and his business buddies, Molly is smart to learn and stick it out for two years, in order to play with the Billionaire Boys. She starts off as Reardon’s personal assistant, and is smart enough not to get involved with their “playboy antics,” and gradually proves her worth to Reardon.
- Upon reading the Real version (the novelization), I thought it was kind of funny that Reardon taught Molly quickly, and then disappeared from her life as a Teacher. It dawned on me that Reardon was also one of the people behind Molly’s descent, as far as stories play out, and if you’re reading in between the lines.
- As I compose this PreHub, I’m wondering if Reardon will make an appearance in the film (Quick answer: Yes, he does.) And, if he does, which actor will be playing him? (Quick answer: Jeremy Strong as Dean Keith, not as Reardon, as the book goes). He is definitely a new type of character, allowed inside the Billionaire Boys Club, with the brains to make The Game happen. Sam and Cam are the other two business partners per the novel, but they make no appearances in the film, as the film is centered on Molly and her defense attorney, Charlie Jaffey, played by Idris Elba.
For those people in the audience who didn’t know that the book exists, and thought that the film as making fun of itself, when Charlie says to Molly “I bought your book,” or to those people who choose to see the Movie instead of reading the book, then you’ll have mixed reactions to the Feature film. I’m sure you will enjoy reading my MovieNotez:
- I was surprised to see Graham Greene play Judge Foxman. He’s the judge who’s good but fair, by Charlie’s assessment, and the screenplay cuts back and forth from the Courtroom scene, into the rest of the story.
- A great casting call of using Michael Kostroff as Louis Butterman, Molly’s first attorney, whom she consulted with, to make sure that she was running The Game legitimately. He’s also referred to as “Butterball.”
- I was also surprised to see Jon Bass casted as Shelly Habib, one of the Habib brothers that Molly has as one of the NY players. One of his last performances was in Baywatch, as Ronnie, the Jewish kid whom Mitch takes a chance on, and hires onto the Baywatch team, who has an immensive crush on CJ.
- Lots of memorable faces seen in this film, as parts of the Real version, and some of the LA table players’ faces will also seem familiar. And, what would New York be without the Street Food Vendor?
how will this film will affect Hollywood Peoples
Throughout reading the book from Molly’s outsider viewpoint, some of the inner relationships were explained by Molly, by running The Game. She really was on a personal basis with not only actors, celebrities, but the people behind Hollywood (Directors, Attorneys, Producers).
Later on, when she’s ousted from The Game by Tobey Maquire, who wants to take control of the game and thereby controlling other people whom he’s loaned money to (Mr. Harlan Eustice in the Reel version), Molly then decides to leave Los Angeles and move to New York, as her boyfriend Drew (who did not appear in the Reel version) always wanted to visit New York City. The Screenplay does use this relocation in its plotline, but Tobey Maquire is called “Player X,” in the screenplay, and played by Michael Cera. That’s where the similarities end, because Tobey’s Shufflemaster is created differently in the film: he loaned it to Molly on a weekly basis for $200, which would deal the cards more efficiently, whereas in the Reel version, Molly had the Shufflemaster installed when she created the “Mancave” atmosphere at the Hotel.
Trailer version #2 showed Molly running The Game from her car, and carrying loads of cash. As re-iterated, all she has is her name. And lots of privileged information about the Players from not only the Los Angeles game, but the New York game. Which the actual Molly used as a trading chip with Federal Law Enforcement Officers, to reduce her sentence (time served in Federal prison), regardless of the Reel outcome.
On the film’s Opening Weekend, I have not seen much coverage on how the Reel version affected Hollywood Peoples. I believe everyone is now focused on Harvey Weinstein’s covering up of the Harassment Scandal, as per Imdb Pro’s headlines.
My Premiere Night Movie Experience
The renovation has been completed at one of my local theatres! The computerized marquee has been replaced with computer monitors, embedded into wall, above each auditorium, displaying each auditorium’s Movie Information via a Powerpoint looking slideshow. Remember, in the Reel version of Molly’s Game: “spreadsheet.” In the Real world, it’s “Slideshow.”
This is good news for patrons, as the theatre was at 75% capacity on the first showing of this movie. The screenplay was smartly written, with the use and delivery of dialogue, that one uncle could be heard in the Rafters, laughing and chuckling throughout the film.
Upon exiting the film, there was not a lot of postFilm Discussion that is normally heard between audience members, so there was really no way to judge the Audience’s Reaction. I’m hoping they were able to follow the story, due to editing techniques, as there were a few jumps in the timeline. The majority of the audience didn’t even stay for the Ending Credit Roll, if one uses this to determine audience satisfaction.
a Great start into 2018
Thank you for reading this week’s column and giving a good start into 2018!
This week’s upcoming features include 7 new features:
1. A Demon Within
2. Acts of Violence
3. Condorito La Pelicula
4. Paddington 2
5. Proud Mary
6. The Commuter
7. The Post
I’ll be on a Double Movie Assignment at two different theatres this week: Pearlridge West Theatres 16 and Dole Cannery 18, so hoping to see you at either location. Please don’t mind if I zip past you on the way out the door and onto the next gig. Aloha, Pam
© 2018 Pam Freeman