Category Archives: Costume Drama

Der Hauptmann / The Captain (2017)

Director: Robert Schwentke
Starring: Max Hubacher, Frederick Lau, Bernd Hölscher, Waldemar Kobus, Alexander Fehling, Samuel Finzi. Germany. 1h 50m

Here is another chilling nightmare from the German home front, as the end of the war begins to loom into reality and defeat is imminent, a lone German runs deep into the woods while being chased by some overprivileged soldiers blowing horns and taking pot luck shots at him. The man manages to evade death and recapture and eventually stumbles on an abandoned car and uniform of a high ranking officer.

This crystalline black and white brutal masterpiece, possible shot in this style inspired by Spielberg’s Schindler’s List (1993) shows that the talented director Schwentke has gone back to basic and delivered something beautifully stark and somewhat monstrous. Continue reading Der Hauptmann / The Captain (2017)

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Pe+et / Peter (2011)

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)

Gotti (2018)

Director: Kevin Connolly
Starring: John Travolta, Kelly Preston, Pruitt Taylor Vince, Spencer Lofranco, William DeMeo .USA. 1h 50m

The gangsters paradise seems to have had its heyday with bold releases such as Goodfellas (1990) and Casino (1995), the amazing rag to riches backstories, garnished with riches and savage beatings really enthralled audiences, I was one of many who assumed that this release might just make the holy trinity of awesomeness, but who was I kidding, John Travolta as the Teflon Don!? I want to say that this abysmal movie is The Room (2003) of mobster movies but the room is so bad it’s good, it has some charm and is incredibly memorable where as this crumpled lackluster effort is easily forgettable and it pains me to have to write a review. Continue reading Gotti (2018)

Jackie (2016)

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)

A Field in England (2013)

Director: Ben Wheatley Writer:Amy Jump

Starring: Julian Barratt, Michael Smiley, Reece Shearsmith, Ryan Pope and Richard Glover. UK. 1h 30m

A Field In England came out at a time when I was only just discovering how amazing Ben Wheatley is,  after Sightseers (2012), Down Terrace (2009) and Kill List (2011) it was easy to see that he was quite a phenomenal director in his own write,  and I especially admired his edition of the Dark Arts in kill List which seem to appear in a lot of his titles,  and for quaint little twists that bound each kill victim together, maybe one day if he was related to another Wheatley  who had mystified his audiences with the dark hearts back in the 70s??!!

But now he’s taking  an historical turn with this unique black and white drama, Instead of speaking about the black hearts he’s going back to the original source,  a group of men wandering around the English countryside during the civil war, after walking away from a battle; an act that they could easily have been hung for,  they managed to hook up with a devout and cruel necromancer and fall under his dark spells, O’Neill (Smiley)  terrorises the rest of the men and provokes them into helping him find a stash of treasure,  while under the influence of hallucinogenic mushrooms. Continue reading A Field in England (2013)

Limehouse Golem (2017)

Director: Juan Carlos Medina. Original Book : Peter Ackroyd
Starring: Bill Nighy, Olivia Cooke, Eddie Marsan, Douglas Booth, Daniel Mays. UK. 1h 49m

Lessons can be learnt from this gloomy victorian epic, it has all of right elements but it just lacks that little je ne c’est quoi. Characters fall flat and the mystery becomes boring and repetitive. Within the elaborate stages and cliche back streets of London, before the time of Jack the Ripper there was the Limehouse Golem, a mysterious killer who slaughtered at will for his audience.

John Kildare (Nighy) is thrown at the case as the powers that be believe the killer can’t be found, so he’s the fall guy, so without any backup and being dangled in front of the media and disapproving public he is forced into action, sparing their prized detective for other simpler cases, but Kildare jumps into the case, almost becoming obsessed; using his brilliant meticulous mind and working with his close friend Officer Flood (Mays) the two are an alternative Holmes and Watson. Continue reading Limehouse Golem (2017)

1922 (2017)

Director:Zak Hilditch .
Starring. Thomas Jane, Molly Parker, Neal McDonough. USA. 1h 48m.

This hot and melting messy murder film is quite an interesting brooding moralistic thriller. At first the rocky love affair between Wilfred Jane) and his feisty wife Arlette (Parker) is something on parallel to a Tennessee Williams play,  but it’s no secret that he’s planning to kill his wife for her land and cash, but it doesn’t seem plausible until he slowly bullies his son, Henry into helping him hold her down and slit her throat in a torrid gurgling bloody mess. He disposes of her corpse down the well soon after then the rats appear, crawling in and out of her corpse, the scene shocks him but he has some cleaning up to do and a lot of police dodging, until the Henry discovers that his teenage true love is pregnant and he has to escape the town and the two go on the run leaving Wilfred alone on the farm with the ever present rats for company.

Continue reading 1922 (2017)

Brimstone (2016)

Director: Martin Koolhoven
Starring: Dakota Fanning, Guy Pearce, Kit Harington, Carice van Houten  USA 2h 28m

Holymoly! I actually bothered to watch the trailer for this as Guy Pearce has actually become an amazingly versatile and seasoned actor who astounds me more and more as his career grows, and he has a particular edge to him when playing “the bad guy” and it was very evident that he is the ultimate bad ass in this film and continued to out do himself until the very end. Also there was a consolation prize that Datkoa is mute in the movie (sadly not all of it) but a majority and actually had to act which was a mad change. Continue reading Brimstone (2016)

Silence (2016)

Director: Martin Scorsese.
Starring: Andrew Garfield, Adam Driver, Tadanobu Asano, Ciarán Hinds, Liam Neeson. USA/Japan. 2h 41m.
Based on: Silence by Shūsaku Endō
Remake of : Os Olhos da Ásia (1996) and Silence (1971)

Probably something that should have been released closer to Easter there was a slightly early release for the Scorsese epic Silence that sees two young Portuguese Jesuit priests follow their beloved leader to Feudal Japan when news that he’s turned his back on his faith and is now living as a Japanese citizen. Sebastião Rodrigues (Garfield) and Francisco Garupe (Driver) leave without much consideration for their safety as Christianity has been outlawed and all followers of the faith are  being punished/killed in Japan . After hellish introduction scenes, the torturing of christians continues throughout which is used a tool to pluck the heartstrings. The two priests are; at first harboured by a few loyal converts who live on the fringe of society, mostly to protect themselves as they secretly live as Christians, but not content with living in a communal shed (with a priest’s hide). Rodrigues is obsessed with leaving, finding Father Cristóvão Ferreira  (Neeson) and discovering the truth, could his teacher and personal hero really have denounced christ to save himself and now be living in Japan as a citizen? But on embarking out into the world they are soon captured and the truth isn’t quite what he was expecting. Continue reading Silence (2016)

Młyn i krzyż – The Mill and the Cross (2011)

the-mill-and-the-cross

Director : Lech Majewski
Starring : Rutger Hauer, Michael York, Charlotte Rampling. Poland/Sweden. 1h 36m

It’s always interesting for a art nut like myself to discover something about an era of art, an artist or in some cases just one single painting being extracted in the wonderful world of cinema. It’s not like someone ever sits down to paint something that’s going to take weeks or months or even years for the sake of painting, yet when you find out the details behind some of the epic masterpieces it can be quite breathtaking and you need to look at the painting again. While I’m hugely into art and it’s history, I’m still in two minds weather these make good movies or not!? Continue reading Młyn i krzyż – The Mill and the Cross (2011)