A highlight from Episode 316: NCR Movie Club - KING RICHARD (2021)
Welcome to episode three 16 of no challenges remaining. I've Ben rothenberg. This is going to be an installment of the NCR movie club, something I've wanted to get going for a long time talking about movies that are about tennis and the movie we're talking about on this installment of the interior movie club is one of the big movies that's coming out this fall in the world, not just in the tennis space, but in the whole Oscar race movie, buzzy, you know, Oscar season kind of movies, king Richard, the story, the biopic about Richard Williams, who was the patriarch of the Williams family, the father of Venus and Serena Williams, origin story for their profess careers. And I'm very delighted to be joined for this topic by David of Aki and CR's Dutch lowlands and Caucasian highlands correspondent who's also a major cinephile in his own right, David. Thank you for being on here. Thank you for having me. Once again, finally, we can talk about movies. I know. We can hopefully do a lot more of this. You'll be a regular part of what I'm hoping will be a robust and rich into our movie club experience going forward. So we're talking about king Richard, which comes out on November 19th in theaters and on HBO Max streaming in the U.S., probably other streaming services I'm hoping in other countries. Can Richard is directed by reynaldo Marcus green, written by Zack baylen for the screenplay and stars Will Smith as Richard Williams ingenue Ellis as Williams, John bernthal's Rick Macy, Sinai Sidney as Venus Williams and Demi singleton as Serena Williams are the main principal cast. This movie was notably made with the collaboration of the Williams family with Venus Williams Serena Williams and their older sister isha price, all serving as executive producers for the movie. This is a movie that is pretty faithfully based on a true story of what the Williams challenge was doing during the time frame of roughly 1991 to 1994 during the time which they moved from their base in Compton California to Florida to start really intensify, I think they're training at the Rick Macy academy. David and I have both attended advanced screenings of king Richard. So we know that happens to this movie and we're going to discuss the whole arc of the movie, including the ending. I don't think this isn't really a movie that can be spoiled quote unquote per se, if you know the history of the Williams family, this chapter of their history at least, you probably know most of the plot details will happen this movie. But if you want to stay unspoiled, clean for the movie, you can wait until after you've watched the movie to listen to this episode. And I think we both would recommend the movie, people to watch certain, if you're interested in tennis enough to listen to NCR, then I think you're very much in the target demo. I think a lot of also non tennis fans were really appreciate this. So we're not going to do too much in terms of spoiler alert. There is one dramatic sequence in the movie, which I don't believe is as factual or certainly not as part of the lore. Anyway, we'll put it forward before that section and you can probably skip ahead like a minute or so in the episode if you want to skip that moment and we get to that if you want to avoid learning about that cinematic sequence. But big picture, David first before we get into the specifics like that, you saw this movie, what did you think of king Richard? As a movie. It was good. It was very good, I thought. As a tennis fan, as a movie fan, I think all the boxes were hit properly, and I think when you just saw it, which was before me, you immediately tweeted out something like you're gonna like it to the world. Yeah. And I agree. Fully, because it's just a very good movie. It's nice and long. It has great performances. It looks great. Yeah. And early shout out by me to Robert elswit, the cinematographer. My one of my favorites, the man who shot my favorite movie of all time there will be blood. Also, that this movie, so just an extra kind of a great piece of information about this movie for a movie lovers. Great performances, as I said, Will Smith obviously at the center of it. The girls playing Venus and street and I did an unbelievable job. I thought, especially the girl who plays Venus and I mean, we can say that now it's more about Venus than it is about Serena. The movie. There's so much tennis in it, which is also great for us. Much more than I expected to be fair. It's very technical. There's a lot of training footage and open stance and wrist action and snap the wrist and that kind of thing. Like, all that stuff is in there, which again surprised me, but I was happy to see, for sure. So that was wonderful and there was much in it. Like so many episodes from about three years that the movie is about, yeah. I mean, what did you think? I really enjoyed it too, like you said, I walked out of the theater and made a tweet saying you're gonna like this and I fully believe it almost everybody who watches this movie if not everybody will like it. As a movie, it's just a good movie. It's a really pleasing cinematic experience. It's a crowd please and kind of movie. It's a positive movie all in all it's a success story. It's a true story. It's a feel good movie, big picture for sure. And it has great performances. And it's a very well shot cinematic movie, like you said, like, it's a good movie. It's a well acted movie. It's a well written movie. It's punchy. It's got like from a pure movie perspective. Really, really high mark. And I go in this, knowing that I'm one of the toughest possible audiences for this movie. Being just on a factual level, being someone who is a tennis reporter who is a student of tennis history, especially this kind of era of tennis history. I mean, I grew up as a huge Williams sisters fan when they were first coming on tour. My tennis origin story I have told people before. But the moment I first got really into tennis, was watching Venus Williams make her run at the 97 U.S. open to the final. That was like the first tennis story that captured me and you know read all the literature and stuff about that. So I know a lot about this part of even this is before they were in the spotlight really. I've read a lot, I've read Serena's book about this time, which definitely covers this chapter on the line. I've read Rick Macy's book, I've read Richard Williams book, you know, and all the contemporaneous coverage. So I definitely have factual quibbles with parts of this movie and we'll get into those in terms of we'll do a section of the movie gets right where it gets wrong, what it leaves out that could be important. We'll get to that. But I think from a pure cinematic, what do you think of this movie? Very fresh tomato here. I think that it's like a really, really solid movie. And we'll deserve the praise it gets. Go ahead, David. Yeah, I mean, for sure. And also the casting.