Director: Richard Laxton
Starring: Helena Bonham Carter, Dominic West .UK. 1h 30m
This glamorized TV movie is the love child of director Richard Laxton, who cleverly used a poignant part of life and relationship between Liz Taylor and Richard Burton to highlight their turbulent relationship and striking personalities.
Set in 1983, the film revolves around Burton and Taylor as they attempt to join forces to star in Noel Coward’s stage play “Private Lives”. After years of marriage, their own addictive personalities and the pressures from the press, they begin to lose their stubborn protective barriers and find some kind of path to recovery together.
Continue reading Burton and Taylor (2013)
Director: Vlad Yudin .
Starring. Rich Piana. USA. 1h 38m.
The world of body building has it’s heroes and villains, those huge names that belong to huge men that inspire others to build better bodies, and then there are the bad guys who cheat and disgrace the sport. Rich Piana rose to fame as sitting neatly between the two, he openly admits to using steroids to get to his impressive size, but advocates that there is a safe and heathy way to do this, however this is costly and ultimately he paid the price for this way of life, but Rich wasn’t just about living the physique, he was, or arguably still is a message about striving for the best within.
Continue reading Rich Piana Chronicles (2018)
AKA Le Mans ’66
Director: James Mangold
Starring:Christian Bale, Matt Damon, .USA. 2h 15m
For someone who isn’t into cars or racing all that much I have really enjoyed the small number of racing biopics that have hit the big screen in recent years. With so much energy from director James Mangold as he explores the run up to Le Mans 66 and the epic battle between two powerful car manufacturing giants from either side of the pong, he digs deep into the psyche’s of the less credited geniuses behind their success. Maybe it’s the drive and passion behind the vehicles which is more cerebral than the end race but I feverishly awaited this after enjoying Rush (2013), both movies are handsome looking and thrilling in their humanity but for die hard fans of the racing world, there’s nothing much new to enjoy but for the outsiders looking in, the film kicks into top gear and does a good job in keeping it there through to the bitter end. Continue reading Ford vs Ferrari (2019)
Director: Cédric Kahn
Starring: Stefano Cassetti .France/Italy/Switzerland. 2h 4m
Based on: Je te tue. Histoire vraie de Roberto Succo assassin sans raison
by Pascale Froment.
What exactly is a criminal? Someone who goes above and beyond to get what he wants with little regard to anyone else or the law, or a totally feckless loser who just stumbles from mess to another? Cedric Kahn manages to paint a detailed picture of a man who crosses both of these descriptions and still manages to be both comical and highly dangerous in his escapades.
In this brilliant, slightly polished adaptation of real events, a bizarre criminal anti hero is etched out as Cassetti masquerades as Roberto Succo, a mixture of Jesse James, Hitler and Norman Bates, he argues about art, nationality and politics along the way. Mr Succo, esconded form prison five years after being convicted for the murder of his parents in 1981. His death defying run of fun saw him elude police in three different countries for 2 years, spending his time woeing girls, sightseeing, killing, raping, burgling and fucking up the odd bank job. The movie is generally detested by the French police for its alleged glamorisation of a real-life killer, but it’s a testament to the accuracies within the film and highlights how useless they were to allow him to carry on for so long. Continue reading Roberto Succo (2001)
Director: Ian Bonhote.
Writer: Peter Ettedgui UK. 1h 41m
Having lived through the mastery and magic of McQueens stunning artistry until his untimely tragic death, I felt as robbed as anyone who was inspired by the brilliance that McQueen brought into the world. After reading several books and watching numerous documentaries about him and his beguiling muse Isabella Blow (another character I hold close to my heart), I thought I really knew it all, but this thought provoking film brings so much more raw emotion and in depth background to the surface, including very personal testimonies from those who lived and worked so very closely to the legend. Continue reading McQueen (2018)
Director: Skip Kite
Starring: Walt Kissack, Gary Sharkey, Ada, Lewis. UK. 1h 24m
Peter Sutcliffe has had a terrible reputation for a long time, and despite his feelings of remorse in this latter years public opinion hasn’t changed much. This drama is supposed to take you into the mind of one of the UK’s most notorious serial killers, using real archive footage it pieces together the biggest manhunt as well as dramatising Peters inner thoughts while he attempts to reflect internally. Continue reading Pe+et / Peter (2011)
Director: Brian M. Cassidy, Melanie Shatzky
Starring: Various, all cast as themselves .USA. 1h 08m
Asylums, homes, and other residential institutions are some of the least known places to the masses, more films and documentaries are made about prisons as there’s some sense that we know what life inside is like. The common perception is that the inmates of other houses don’t have interesting tales to share with us. The Patron Saints, is a stark reminder of the life and stories are still alive in the oldest generation and through this challenging piece of work I found a new respect for those who we should praise more than others in their golden years. Continue reading The Patron Saints (2011)
Director:Ross Hockrow, Gary Cohen
Starring: Eddie Hall, Hafthor Bjornsson, Brian Shaw, Zydrunas Savickas UK. 1h 25m
Back in the blistering 1970’s Arnold Schwarzenegger amazed us with Pumping Iron (1977), the summer of late/early 70’s was to be his final Olympia but the grimy insight into the back stage world of body building really fueled another generation. And while the sport is similar this vein of the weight lifting community is alive and thriving and this, much like Pumping Iron is an introduction to it’s hero and champions.
Born strong identifies the four strongest men on the planet and their journey to qualify for the Arnold Strongman Classic. This arm of the sport isn’t about aesthetics but in creating a body that is incredibly powerful, each of the men weight at least 400 lbs and while they are able to pull a train they can’t put on their own sock or at times successfully wipe their ass. Continue reading Born Strong (2017)
Director: Jeff Unay.
Starring. Joe Carman, Callie Carman, Mia Carman, Delanee Carman, Kira Carman, Norinda Reed, Clayton Hoy, Vernon Beach. USA. 1h 21m.
I have to admit that I didn’t really research this movie, and just assumed it was the Wrestler of the MMA universe, just a movie filmed in a documentary style about a fighter returning to regain some glory, but it wasn’t really until a candid scene where the protagonist Joe Carman is arguing with his father, that I realised… these people really aren’t’ acting and shit just got real!
So this awkward and insightful movie follows Joe, who allows cameras film his return to glory, the blue collar worker who breaks his promise to his family and begins his training to get back into the ring and unleash his unique brand of MMA destruction, the only problem is that Joe is 40 and is not only risking his health and life, he’s risking everything for a sport that has moved on without him. One scene sums it up, Joe is in the parking lot, turning a huge tire over and being spotted by a guy as he manhandles the rubber, “How old are you, 24? “Joe responds wistfully, “Oh I wish I was 24 again“. Continue reading The Cage Fighter (2018)
Director: Pablo Larrain
Starring: Natalie Portman, Billy Crudup. USA. 1h 40m
There’s a time when a country is on the verge of a historic event and during the run up it’s common to look back at the achievements or disasters, but with the verge of a new president this raw and varnished portrait of Jackie Kennedy arrived at a reverent time.
Concentrating on the events from the point of Jackie the film revolves around the shooting of her husband , the world was shocked but the world was talking politics, talking about men and often Jackie was totally ignored, considered a bystander having everyone assume her feelings and emotions at the time and for years after. Pablo Larrain set himself a massive challenge with his first English language film, he’s taken on a task which could offend a country but his subtle hand and sympathetic eye has assured this film will be warmly welcomed. With an event this large the film is able to jump around to and fro but encompasses the tragic and lonely situation that Jackie was left in. Continue reading Jackie (2016)