The Death of Stalin (2017)
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It revolves around the power struggle that occurs at the death of Stalin in 1953, a man who had an iron grip on Russia for 30 years and enforced his will with terror, often randomly.
So when the sycophants who surround him are suddenly bereft of his soul, they are all jockeying for power while finding it very difficult to do the one thing that would get you tortured and killed as long as they can remember – independent thinking, or even making suggestions for that matter. A simple show of hands vote becomes a hilarious demonstration of group think. They all have a collective case of Stockholm Syndrome when it comes to Stalin, still afraid of a man who is dead.
Jeffrey Tambor is doing his character Hank from the 90s sitcom “The Larry Sanders Show”, and Steve Buschemi, as Nikita Khrushchev, doesn’t look like any picture of Khrushchev that I ever saw at any point in his life. Plus he’s basically doing his “funny looking guy” schtick from Fargo, and yet it all works.
When Lavrenti Beria, head of the secret police and probably responsible for untold terrors, gently tells Stalin’s daughter that she needs to leave Russia because people who are strange like she is don’t live very long, it is practically a sweet intimate moment that runs counter to everything we know about the guy.
This is a bleak yet hilarious comedy built around real events. I’d highly recommend it. There’s no avoiding truths rapidly passed over in this depiction of chaos following the death of an evil dictator. Stalin had charm…to those who were not his subjects and were never a threat to his authority. He fooled many so-called intellectuals in the West but everyone around him knew the truth, and, most managed to tip-toe over eggshells in order to stay alive.
To thrive in such an environment requires a certain kind of callous ruthlessness…perfectly depicted with suitable crass humour here. The cast is perfectly chosen…each very accomplished actor adding their particular star dust. There’s more than a single sittings’ content in this film which deserves another viewing. Impressive and engaging story-telling based on real life events. Bravo all.
User 1 Review:
Yup, 5 damn stars. Great production. A wonderful cast that seemed to be uncredited going in. Heartfelt (if you don't get choked up, you may have a future as a modern Republican. Most of all - really funny. Genuinely good-spirited laughs that may share the "county" of corny but not the zip code. The writers showed quite a bit of care in its construction. A special pat on the back to Hugh Grant for literally "acting his age" and quickly becoming a major "leading" character actor (his invention?) at age 59. I had a blast watching Paddington 2 with both my wife and 30 year old daughter! *Yes, I did see Paddington the first. If memory serves P2 represents a big leap forward in quality and direction. Unusual for Hollywood and so, so welcome!Chris TraynorWayne, New Jersey
User 2 Review:
The lovable character, Paddington bear is back for a cash-grabbing sequel that has zero heart put into it, and solely is intentional about making money. I am happy to report, this is not the case with Paddington 2. It's a heartfelt story of a mistaken identity and a crime but still is as heartfelt and lovable as it's predecessor. I thought that they changed the personalities of Judy and her brother Jonathan a little too much as to show how they are growing up, but other than that, I liked the movie quite a bit. Definitly a rare type of sequal.
User 3 Review:
Paddington 2 is one of those hilarious, nonsensical, unrealistic family comedies that is delightful to watch (Mary Poppins comes to mind). It's SO DAMN GOOD, and probably even better than the first one! Paddington is earning money to buy a book for his Aunt Lucy - when the book is stolen, and he is wrongly suspected and arrested! The movie is extremely well done and EXTREMELY FUNNY! I really like how there is practically nothing crude in the movie - unlike many other so-called "children's" movies. Probably one of my favourite movies - and definitely one of my favourite sequels.
User 4 Review:
My daughter and i are big fans of the Flash. So happy to see a Lego movie dedicated to him! My daughter thought the representation of the Flash in this movie was much better than in Justice League. The storyline was fun too. I hope to see more Flash Lego appearances!