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860. A Time to Kill

Published October 6, 2018

Title: A Time to Kill Director: Joel Schumacher Year: 1996 Run time: 2hrs 29m

“John Grisham’s bestseller A Time to Kill hits the screen with incendiary force. Sandra Bullock, Samuel L. Jackson, Matthew McConaughey and Kevin Spacey portray the principals in a murder trial that brings a small Mississippi town’s racial tensions to the flashpoint. Amid a frenzy of activist marches, Klan terror, media clamor and brutal riots, an unseasoned but idealistic young attorney mounts a stirring courtroom battle for justice.”

Live blog

2:57 - Trying to remember if I’ve read this one or not. I think maybe not. 8:17 - Pubs always so smoky in older films. 11:43 - It’s all just so hot and sweaty, even just sitting at a desk. Incredible place. 19:41 - Is that Keifer too? What a cast! 22:40 - “Now I’m gonna make a statement, I want you all to get these vans out of here.” 24:32 - He maybe shoulda considered the money beforehand? 27:03 - “help him decide” ugh, corruption. 34:38 - Early doors for egos to butt heads. 38:07 - Mystery Woman of the Courthouse would also be a good title. 39:55 - I love her. “I’m on the way up, now’s a really good time to be grabbing me.” 45:14 - There are legit membership forms for these crazy groups? 55:41 - There’s just no money, how is this gonna work? 1:01:07 - Ooh, okay, ease off on the money troubles. Love a good battle of wits. 1:01:45 - “Ellen Roark, brilliant law student.” Great way to introduce yourself. 1:14:05 - Death penalty conversations don’t seem right for over lunch. 1:15:42 - “I’m writing it down,” she says, pointing at her head. I wish I could do that! 1:22:42 - She peeked! 1:30:28 - Worst pep talk possible. 1:43:13 - Very interesting about how much or little can be said about the things they did in the first place. 1:59:31 - I bet real court cases are very boring but on TV, they are interesting. 2:00:16 - “Don’t be me. Be better than me.” 2:08:54 - Can’t believe the wife is only just coming round to his way of thinking. 2:23:31 - Keep forgetting to type things.

Conclusions

Second film in a row with Sandra Bullock in, what do you mean I have an obsession? This film has an incredible cast - Bullock, Jackson and McConaughey make a formidable team. There’s some Kevin Spacey in there too, of course. Awkward but you can’t rewrite history. Thankfully, his is a pretty inconsequential piece of the puzzle.

I thought maybe I had read this book, it felt familiar, but I don’t know that I have. I certainly didn’t know what was going to happen as it was going along. It felt like the story took a while to get going, but from about halfway through, I was utterly gripped and by the end I was forgetting that I was supposed to be making Film Watch notes as well as actually watching the movie.

Difficult subject matter, controversial in places, but intriguing throughout with some brilliant performances and a fab cast.

Rating: 5/5

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