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  • Writer's pictureStrictly Films

News of the World; Grade: B

News of the World tells a story about a civil war veteran named Captain Kidd (Tom Hanks), whom travels place to place to deliver news from around the world to townspeople. They pay about a dime to hear Captain Kidd to tell the news, as his charming personality elevates the stories within the words on the newspaper. Captain Kidd while traveling discovers a small child named Johanna (Helena Zengel), who speaks a Native American language, as she appears to be lost. Johanna has an aunt and uncle across the country, as it’s Captain Kidd’s responsibility to bring her to their home. Witness an unusual friendship be born, while also experiencing an exciting journey as well.

The Cinematography t’was pretty good, quite a visually stunning film. I also really enjoyed this one shot in the beginning, as Johanna pleads an Native American tribe to stop as she can come along with them, as the visual across the way featuring the Native Americans, felt reminiscent to a moving portrait. I thought that shot was extremely cool, beautifully done, love the colors as well. The Score was solid as well, simple yet effective music indeed.

The cast all in all was pretty good as a whole. Tom Hanks playing Captain Kidd played a pretty good performance, as he was a pretty fitting casting choice as this older gentleman that has an outgoing personality that is perfect for storytelling. I liked Captain Kidd as a character, nice gentleman that is briefly dealing with grieving over the lost of his wife, but keeps it mainly inside and not let his emotions get the best of him. Fairly written character arc as well, as Johanna really changed Captain Kidd as in a way restructured his main purpose for his own life. Helena Zengel playing Johanna played a pretty good performance as well, as this was an impressive child performance. Johanna as a character was likable, even if she was a bit rough you understand why that is as she lost her own parents and even her own tribe in which she did called them family as well. All Johanna really needed was a parental figure that loved her and didn’t think about her involvement with the Native Americans, in which these people didn’t find much liking towards them. Her friendship with Captain Kidd made Johanna a more complete person, as she soon matured and found a sense of happiness as well.

Flaws with News of the World consist of some pacing issues here and there, while also one scene in particular during a dust storm that felt odd. I believe my issue with the scene is the aftermath, as the characters simply forgotten about the entire thing, as no questions were asked by Captain Kidd.

Paul Greengrass and Tom Hanks reunite from their smash Oscar nominated hit Captain Phillips back in 2013. I was truly excited for this film, I’m a bit of a Paul Greengrass fan as I like his films, also a fan of Mr. Hanks’ films as well. News of the World delivered my expectations, as this was an enjoyable adventure.

The story itself t’was well written, from delivering an exciting adventure while also trying to tear some strings in your heart as well, as it’s properly balanced. The journey alone t’was exciting as I was truly invested in how these characters will reach their destination, as they encounter some troubles along the way. But it was also a meaningful journey itself, as the characters within this journey rediscover themselves as human beings, as the bond they shared really better themselves. There’s also a solid sense of humor in this film, creating some enjoyable laughs including our main characters and their interactions with each other and to those that follow a life of pure ignorance.

There’s this one scene where Kidd and Johanna encounter an unusual town, where they only hear news of the chief of the town itself, as Kidd shines light for the people and shares a story from a small town in Pennsylvania. It almost feels as relatable as today’s society, where a certain group doesn’t want to hear anything outside their own circle, as they want to maintain controlling their own townspeople, as they want no part in hearing anything other than their own ideas... Well that’s a scary thought SHEESH! Fun adventure, effective emotional moments, some nice comedic moments, and likable characters... This film has plenty to offer, as I enjoyed my experience with it.

Overall, News of the World t’was a solid film. I recommend checking this one out, definitely a nice film for a fun theatrical experience. I’ve had an unusual experience with News of the World itself at my own theater. While partaking in I believe the first eight minutes of the film... All of a sudden it cut to black, as the alarm went off claiming the audience needs to evacuate to the nearest exit. I didn’t think much of it at the time, I didn’t think I was in great danger or anything, probably some jerk off lit off a match or something. While exiting the theater, the security guard alerted the people “FALSE ALARM, YOU CAN GO BACK TO YOUR MOVIE!” I headed back to my theater, as we waited a good twenty minutes for the movie to be restarted again. As the movie restarted, an employee handed me and the other people in the theater a free movie ticket. Well would you look at that? A good movie and a free ticket... There’s nothing unusual about that. -Mitch Smietana

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