Director: Mike Leigh
Starring: Roy Kinnear, Maxine Peake, Neil Bell, Philip Jackson, Pearce Quigley, Neil Bell .UK. 2h 34m
Political riots just aren’t what they used to be, it seems like only yesterday innocent people were being shot with rubber bullets and tear gassed for arguing against the poll tax. WIth the Tories finally getting their wish to ban protesting it feels all that more poignant to remember our rights to speak out against matters we feel are unjust and wrong.
Continue reading Peterloo (2018)
Director: Robert Redford
Starring:Robert Redford, Brit Marling, Stanley Tucci, Nick Nolte, Shia LeBeouf, Julie Christie, Susan Saradon, Chris Cooper, Terrence Howard, Richard Jenkins, Anna Kendrick, Brendand Gleeson, Sam Elliot, Stephen Root. USA. 2h 5m
Robert Redford isn’t a stranger to the director’s chair, however as much as The Company You Keep is a solid well made thriller and definitely is robust with ideas, philosophy and heavy drama, it’s just not as exciting as it could have been.
There’s a lot of interesting story to get through, but there’s not a lot of on screen action to enjoy. Hanging it’s narrative on ideas of what happens to freedom fighters and activists; after their youthful antics, when they are all settled as respectful members of society. Slowly unwinding mentally and regretfully of the bank robberies and murders of the past, do they just settle into the society they were fighting against or does the fight never end?
Continue reading The Company You Keep (2012)
Director: Kristian Levring.
Starring. Mads Mikkelsen, Eva Green, Eric Cantona, Mikael Persbrandt, Douglas Henshall, Michael Raymond-James, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Jonathan Pryce.USA/Denmark/South Africa. 1h 32m.
Westerns have long been a tough genre for me, I grew up watching them with my mother and grandfather and I really started to hate them. I suppose any entertainment that makes the adults lose interest in how cute you are will do that to a child’s psyche.. the only entertainment was playing with Gramps while he slept through some of the classics. Later on in life, when I got over the trauma, I rediscovered Spaghetti Westerns and I started to accept the genre back into my life, unless there’s a Mexican revolution a haunting Ennio Morricone soundtrack and less white people attempting to make believe that America has always been white, then the better things start to get. I’ve loved the reassurance of darker and more graphic horror westerns such as Seraphim Falls (2006), Brimstone (2016) and the almost instant cult classic Bone Tomahawk (2015), which have won me over. But without having a mythical foe or a revolution, there’s a striking grasp of The Salvation which has a more believable story of two immigrant brothers just trying to get ahead in the wild west and meeting ugly adversity.
Continue reading The Salvation (2015)
Director: Bennett Miller
Starring: Steve Carell, Channing Tatum, Mark Ruffalo, Vanessa Redgrave, Sienna Miller, Anthony Michel Hall .USA. 2h 14m
My first viewing of Foxcatcher was quite surreal, I was more mesmerized by how different the cast looked, Carell’s beak nose and Ruffalo’s hairline are almost mystical, so much great effort went into the prosthetics and character development. This high level of glamour is only a part of a riveting tale of shocking depravity, orchestrated by a filthy rich individual pulling the strings in his own dangerous game, involving the USA Wrestling entry into the 1988 Olympic games. Continue reading Foxcatcher (2014)
Director: Jamie M. Dagg
Starring: Jon Bernthal, Christopher Abbott, Imogen Poots, Rosemarie DeWitt, Odessa Young, Jared Abrahamson .USA/Canada 1h 35m,
For the most part this dark neo-noir thriller takes two distinctive strong men and the troubles that surround them, highlights their strengths and weaknesses, then crash them together in the mist of a brutal cash for murder in a small American town and watches the fireworks blow them apart in a spectacular and emotive fashion.
A puzzling stranger sends bloody shock waves through a close knit community, after committing three brutal cold blooded murders. In the wake of the devastation of the remote and bleak Alaskan town, a tightly wound drifter Elwood (Abbott) checks into a motel run by Sam (Bernthal) a former Rodeo star, having retired he is making ends meet with this new venture to motel keeping but he’s a deeply troubled soul. Continue reading Sweet Virgina (2017)
Director: Fernando Di Leo.
Starring. Henry Silva,Woody Strode, Adolfo Celi, Mario Adorf , Luciana Paluzzi Italy. 1h 35m.
Following on from Caliber 9, De Leo hits back with another violent manhunt movie.
After a shipment of drugs vanishes a rather charming syndicate boss Corso (Cyril Cusack) settles down two confidants and describes the mood for them, David (Silva) and Frank (Strodey) listen patiently while they are given clear instructions to travel to Italy, where they are to act as American as possible in order to gain the attention of their target, both men speak the language fluently and are more than capable of finding the man suspected of being responsible for the missing drugs and making him suffer. A local assistant, Eva will be waiting on them hand and foot and aiding their mission but the blundering idiot they are sent after might not be quite as useless as everyone suspects.
Continue reading Italian Connection / Hired to Kill / La mala ordina (1972)
Starring. Jean Reno, Ryoko Hirosue, Michel Muller, Yoshi Oida. Writer: Luc Besson.France/USA/Japan. 1h 34m.
This film is so cute and annoying! There’s so much I really adore about it but in equal parts it really grates on my nerves. I get the bigger picture of it being a charming heartwarming comedy action film but some of the characters and sets up are just too gross and I find myself not being able to cope with the overload.
Continue reading Wasabi (2001)
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)
Director: José Padilha
Starring: Joel Kinnaman, Samuel L Jackson, Michael Keaton, Gary Oldman, Michael Kenneth Williams, Abbie Cornish . USA. 1h 57m
It’s taken me a long time to watch this as I have such a deep connection with the original film, for me Robocop is a saint and I was almost insulted that anyone would dare to remake the movie, but this is a very loose remake that pretty much relies on you having seen the original too get make sense of some of the benial content. But don’t take my low rating as a sign that I am a total fangirl of the Verhoeven classic, I have taken a lot of energy to think outside of my little box.
In this rendition of the tragic life of Alex Murphy (Kinnaman), he’s a brilliant righteous cop who is on a questionable case that keeps giving him and his partner Lewis (Williams) the slip. Continue reading Robocop (2014)