Of Tammy Faye
Man Of God
(RLJ/both 2021 Blu-rays)
B/B- Sound: B Extras: C+ Films: B/B-
time for awards season, two films about the American Nightmare and
some of those who actually survive it...
Eyes Of Tammy Faye
(2021) is a dramatic film that shares its title with a documentary of
the same name (whose producers co-produced this film) that expands
what the documentary so well covered and is one of the best films of
the year with Jessica Chastain in a tour de force performance playing
the real life woman of the title from her late school years until it
all ended. A major character study worthy of the best 1970s films,
raising this above a mere biopic, it is stunning work from an actress
who already has proven to be one of the most underrated and best
her as husband Jim Bakker is Andrew Garfield, who also goes all out
transforming himself into the man who helped her get to where they
got and all the ins and outs of that. Underrated and underestimated
himself, his work here is stunning and a great match for Chastain, a
duo with extremely convincing chemistry and he is as award-worthy as
the script is excellent, directing smooth, periods captured
perfectly, history pretty accurate and some moments are dead on
darkly funny and even bold, though I cannot get into that without
ruining the film. Vincent D'Onofrio is also amazing as Jerry
Falwell, putting more blame on him as a bad person and de facto
political force than Milos Forman's The
People Vs. Larry Flint
did, also addressing more on how the Religious Right got so
explicitly involved with the Republican Party.
The Bakkers lived a rich life at one point and for a good while, the
gaudiness turned out to be a gilded cage for all involved and left
them vulnerable (though much of it was their faults, especially his)
to people who pretended to be their friends, but turned on them (as
expected by those who knew better) and that is just the beginning of
the true story this film tells so well.
some of this might be 'a little goes a long way' for some and others
familiar with the story (with or without the documentary) that it
might not impress them as well. However, the script manages to add
little items even to that to do more with it all, so everyone should
give this one at least one good look, especially since it should be
one of the top awards season films.
only extra is the A
featurette, but it is a half-hour long and very well done. You can
also read about the documentary on the subject in our review at this
Man Of God
(2021) comes from the same era with some of the same media, but in
this case, it is about the true story of the final days of infamous
serial killer Ted Bundy in jail on death row for what still remains
some of the most horrific crimes ever committed. A new FBI agent
(Elijah Wood, a star who is always an underrated actor) decides to
try taking on a job everyone around him thinks is useless: get Bundy
(Luke Kirby, solid in a thankless role) to talk.
killer refuses to talk to any feds, but Bill Hagmaier (Wood) thinks
he might be able to get something done with a new approach and angle
in what became the earliest version of profiling. Of course, we all
know this from the best fiction and documentaries on the subject, but
it was very, very new territory then and the script (based on actual
documentation) shows how influential and imitated his work became.
Now everyone knows it.
a film like this can be talky, repetitive and poor, but despite some
flaws and limits in the set-up and the fact that we have seen some of
this dozens of times before, the acting here brings it to a different
area and the directing is better than you'd expect. It may not be
remembered at awards time (partly due to its subject matter,) but it
is actually one of the year's better films and worth a look for all
Behind The Scenes featurette is the only extra.
1080p 1.85 X 1 digital High Definition image on Tammy
is a good looking shoot with subtle differences throughout to mark
various eras of time, never afraid to push color and impresses well
1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on Man
has some soft stylizing and more than a little archive footage from
the period, usually analog video, so expect some limitations in
playback, but it is consistent and looks fine otherwise.
discs offer DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mixes that are well
recorded, edited and mixed, but Tammy
has the more active soundfield, while Man
does a great job of delivering its dialogue-based script.