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Inside Llewyn Davis (2013)

inside llewyn davis

Inside Llewyn Davis (Drama, Music 2013) (15) D: Ehan and Joel Coen: P: W: Joel and Ethan Coen: C: Oscar Isaac, John Goodman, Justin Timberlake, Garret Hedlund, F Murray Abrahm 1h 44m. USA. 

Synopsis: A week in the life of a young singer as he navigates the Greenwich Village folk scene in 1961.

A traumatic and emotional week in the life of a folk singer called Llewyn Davis (Oscar Isaac) in this melancholic twilight hazed film.  Its simplistic, thought provoking and heavily sprinkled with the Coen Brothers special blend of unusual characters and situations. The pathetic Llewyn is subjected to a run of shitty luck. Starting out crashed on a friends sofa his luck continually finds new lows past rock bottom, he loses his friends cat, has a foul run in with his ex, pisses off a ton of people and makes a ton of bad decisions while dragging his sorry ass from sofa to sofa via the freezing back streets all in the pursuit of becoming a world famous folk singer superstar, there are several injections of authentic live performances throughout..
The Coens have given some hints that the film is loosely based on a concept of something that could have happened to Dave Van Ronk, a similar Greenwich Village folk singer/songwriter from the 6-s

Hiding between all the rejection and tense situations there is a suggestion that Llewyn might actually have some talent, this is summed up in one quiet but magnificent scene, when he meets a goatee faced F. Murray Abraham’s in a small cameo who after hearing Llewyn play, candidly sums up the matter as “I don’t see any money in it..” this is just another knock down of many for Lleywn who by this time is taking it all in his stride. Along the way he meets an aggressive jazz player Ronald Turner (John Goodman), who gives his much useless rambling advice and mocks the suicide of a former partner of Llewlyn and everything to do with folk music, there is a pivotal names hulk who supplies an alleyway beat down, a righteous do good singer/soldier and a hairy aloof Johnny Five (Garrett Hedlund) who just doesn’t give a shit.

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With many intertwined themes running throughout, the most obvious the cat or cats who are lost and found that seems to spark subtle changes in luck but for every step forwards there are two steps back.

It brings together significant elements from the early ‘60s scene through the missed opportunities and run of bad luck of one mild mannered and beaten down folk singer, it seems that his downfall is merely a catalyst for the Greenwich scene. The un-named sacrifice.

Skilfully filmed with a grand cast and exceptional script, even if your not into folk music, there isn’t enough singing to turn this into a musical. It’s bleak yet funny having a complex back story smartly embroidered all over. It’s charming as well as being dark, another triumph for the Coens.

You are certain to miss much during the first viewing and it’s a charm the second time around.

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Rating : 10/10

R: A Serious Man (2009) O Brother Where Art Thou? (2000) Nebraska (2013) This must be the place (2011)

Q: “Folk singer with a cat, you queer?”
“Your like king Midas’s idiot brother”
“This will interest you”

BS: I really adore a simple scene where Llewyn is in the car with the cat on his lap, and him and cat move together throughout the scene..
OST: Live singing by Oscar Isaac throughout!
L: Musicians in film, Musicians on film, Road Trips, Cats on Film,
5B: John Goodman, Coen Movies
DGI: Knock a shot for all of Llewyn’s bad luck.. I’m sure he could do with one too.

 

 

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The Iceman (2012)

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The Iceman (Crime, Biography, Drama, Thriller 2012) (15) D: Ariel Vormen: W: Morgan Land (screenplay), Anthohny Bruno (book): C: Michael Shannon, Winoa Ryder, Ray Liotta, Chris Evans 1h 46m. USA.

 TAGLINE : Loving husband. Devoted father. Ruthless killer.

 Synopsis: The true story of Richard Kuklinski, the notorious contract killer and family man. When finally arrested in 1986, neither his wife nor daughters have any clue about his real profession.

Luke warm and sentimental melodrama of a heartless serial killer Richard Kuklinski. The original story of this ruthless mob based killer could write the most chilling and gritty crime film by simply details a disturbing childhood, and the various stone cold assassinations he preformed during the four decades that he killed over 100 people in many grisly ways. Unfortunately film encapsulates a mushy warm non eventful drama version in which Kuklinski emerges as a compulsive murderer who’s pussy whipped by the mob but takes on the role of their very own terminator to fulfill his need to kill.

Michael Shannon gives a solid performance in a character that is only similar to w Kiklinski, this doesn’t develop or grow as the movie plods through the timeline missing out most gruesome details.

Starting out not with the traumatic childhood but instead the life of Kuklinski as a quiet mild mannered decent guy, falling in love with Deborah (Winona Ryder) later to become his wife and mother of his two daughters. He keeps his psychotic dealings from her while his violent streak sparks interest in the mob namely wise guy Roy Demeo (Ray Liotta) who gets Kuklinski into the distribution of porn movies for him then doubling up his wages through hit jobs. Soon he is out whacking people in partnership with Robert Pronge (Chris Evans) who is the tutor showing him how to freeze bodies and dispose of them later so the cops can’t determine the time of death.

There are various déjà vu scenes throughout detailing hints of a troubling childhood, possibly pointing blame in that direction. The odd change in haircut and clothing gives a hit of the times but there isn’t really any attention to details in this, no bother to link it with other historical events. The brutal slayings, family drama, mob bravado and dirty night clubs is a reminder of Goodfellas (1990 ) but without the depth in the characters, wit, or catchy soundtrack and it has no hint of the black comedy of other gangster style movies.

Iceman

Great attention is paid to Kuklinski’s character throughout, after all this is a movie about him, but the sinister nature of the iceman is translated into a the many stony faces Shannon, not giving much emotion or depth when dealing with killings or his family, makes the film stagnant. There is a lot more going on with the mob politics which is important but the interesting aspects about Kuklinski lie more within the beast inside the man, He kills people, a lot of people but there are only a few scattered death scenes, a montage or two would have been fierce, instead we are presented with an opaque peep into what we already know. If there is a movie to be made of this real life devil then it will deal with coarse details of the murders, and what happened outside of his mob instructions, real flashbacks of his antics as a child and more emphasis on the duality of his adoration of his family and his ability to switch that off in a second then back on again. He was cold but he had character a lot of it, but it’s lacking in this film.

Yet this film does demonstrate an accurate timeline of events, the acting is good throughout but it’s just lacking that kick to the gut, that real shock and horror of events. It is certainly effective and is one of the better serial killer recounts.

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Rating : 6/10

R: Bundy: An American Icon (2008), Ed Gein (2000), Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986), Drifter: Henry Lee Lucas (2009)

Q: Mr Kiklinski, do you have any regrets about the things you’ve done?

BS: Ending Sequence where Michael Shannon re inacts part of the Iceman Tapes is the best acting in this film. He immiates Kuklinski perfectly.

L: Selected Serial Killer Films,

5B: Michael Shannon, Winoa Ryder

DGI: Chug a beer for every murder.

Isolation (2005)

Isolation

(Horror, Thriller, Gore. 2005) (15) D/W: Billy O’Brien C:  Sean Harris, John Lync, Marcel Iures.  1h 35m. UK / Ireland.

On a remote Irish farm, five people become unwilling participants in an experiment that goes nightmarishly wrong.

TAGLINE : A horror film set on a lonely farm in rural Ireland.

 

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Well I don’t remember how I came about finding this flick, but it has two of my al time favourite UK actors in it and both were very hot to watch.. oh man!! It’s a keeper, just for Sean Harris and John Lynch visuals.

I do vaguely remember seeing this previewed on another DVD possibly Unearthed or the Decent and it looked terrible, I only recognised the movie from one of the final scenes..  I thought trailers were supposed to turn you onto a movie, make it look dazzling and schit? If they showed Sean Harris making out and John Lynch’s birthing scene the movie would have been higher on my to buy list!

The movie revolves around an out of work farmer, Dan (John Lynch)  and the use of his farm by scientist unknown  to breed a more fertile bovine, he’s Irish but he’s not f*cking lucky at all, he is kept in the dark  over many aspects of the “project”.

Along with all these problems Dan has a young couple (Sean Harris and Ruth Negga) intruding on his laaand (oh wait he’s not from Somerset.. ) * ahem * on his land.. To the viewer it’s clear that the couple are on the run, to Dan they are just going to get him into trouble with the unknown powers, but he’s not a monster, he lets them stay, that kind act might have been a curse in disguise. Still Dan’s main concern is the livelihood of his herd.. although to be fair I only remember seeing one cow in the entire movie!

Things are wrong from the get go in this dark, biological nightmare of a movie, two people are bitten by an unborn calf.. bitten!!!  Mind you the little fekker gets swung around by the legs and over the head of Dan on entry into this world! Is this honestly common practice?? WOAH!

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Then things get weird (if that wasn’t weird enough) There is a vigorous dose of gore and yucky moments, Cronehberg would be proud of the viral creatures, sliding around and biting folk. There are various arms up cows A$$es, strange cuts and bites, autopsies, vomiting, blood and guts, at least there was enough to make a little gore queen like myself squeal with delight!

 

A dose of Sean Harris and John Lynch makes me happy and get the old juices flowing, both are really great actors who aren’t afraid to get dirty for their work and it pays off. To be honest I don’t think nay shy actors fair well in such films.

While being a frim Reality Checked Drama, a Biological Sci Fi Breakdown and a Gore Bursting Virus movie, Isolation holds true to the modern British horror genre, it is a good movie, it doesn’t open up any new doors for any of the aforementioned genres but it does touch on a possible future crisis. I know a lot of conspiracy theorist, vegans and those sensitive to genetically modified foods/crops/herds will see this as a harsh bite of reality that we might have to face.

I have to give this movie huge thumbs up for using animatronics and not GCI, I really love when films do this, CGI can work at times but for this style of gore and horror you really need to see something with substance. We need to bring back blood soaked, repulsive, textured monsters and look and feel real man!

R: Squirm (1976), Slither (2006), Shivers (1975), Growth (2010), Ruins (2008), Bug (2006), Splinter (2008) ß do you see a pattern emerging here, infection movies all with one word titles…

7/10

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Iron Man 2 (2010)

IRON MAN 2
(Action, Remake, 2010) (12AD : Jon Favreau W : Stan Lee, Justin Theroux S : RDJ, Mickey Rourke, Don Cheadle  2h 4m. USA.

Tony Stark has declared himself as Iron Man and installed world peace.. or so he thinks, He soon realises that not only is there a mad man out to kill him with his own technology but there’s something more, he is dying.

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This was a bit pants.. for a 2 hour movie, it was filled with 20 minutes of story, 100 minutes of RDJ and Scarlet Johansson on full GODMODE!  Oh and and 4 minutes of RDJ crying about his dad! ROLL credits!

It seems Tony Stark has saved the entire planet by building one suit and is too cute to be prosecuted or beaten by anyone. I’m not quite sure how he has saved us all with one suit but we are forced to believe that he has.  We are also led to believe that some random Russian guy is just as awesome as his but because he lost his dad and Russian he’s evil.. and has bad hair extensions. Humm there is a lot about Tony dealing with life, lets face it he shouldn’t really have a lot to worry about but has to make up some drama, Pepper Pots stresses over everything far more than in the last movie, Mickey Rourke is like a Science Boyka and is just getting things did under the supervision of Sam Rockwell (T : Originally approached to play Iron Man) and there are some explosions and stuff going on.

It really could have been an hour shorter but I think when they are planning some kind of trilogy the movies are kept to a similar length, I suppose the punters would get peeved if the first movie was 2 hours and the second only an hour, but if the middle story is a bit shorter with an epic third I’m sure we will all live. Everyone knew this was being shoe horned in to help push the Avengers I don’t’ think we would have taken it as offensive if this was condensed. OK Rant over..

I was right about a couple of things in my predictions; there was a kind of sidekick, that was easy to guess from the first movie the whole writing of the Black Widow into the film was pants but I suppose it needed to lead directly into the Avengers which might be why this is such a crap Ironman movie but an OK superhero movie.  I do often wonder why there were no other super hero references in the previous movie or even in this one.. just a bit of Hulk on the news or sommit!?

I felt that a majority of the movie was spent on us watching RDJ fuck around and the plot was shoe horned in with little explanation or thought. Maybe this should have been RDJ Man 2?

Q:  “Fallaces sunt rerum species” RIron Man (2008 ), Avengers (2012 )

 6/10

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