Hell or High Water (2016) Film Review

Tanner (Ben Foster) and Toby Howard (Chris Pine) are a couple of guys whose deceased mother’s ranch is about to be foreclosed on by the bank, and they’ve just found oil. Desperate, they start robbing banks. They are chased by close to retirement Marcus Hamilton (Jeff Bridges ) and his partner Alberto Parker (Gil Birmingham), a couple of law enforcement men (not sure on which department) who are stubborn.

If you want to see one of those slow-moving films with a whining violin soundtrack that sounds a bit like Warren Ellis (ah! Lookie here, the soundtrack is by Warren Ellis and Nick Cave!), with men who talk slow and have that slow, Texas smarts, this is the film for you. It’s a good film, possibly a great film, though not a really original film. While I didn’t mind watching it, I’d sooner have re-watched No Country for Old Men.

Hell or High Water was nominated for Oscars for Best Motion Picture of the Year, Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role (Jeff Bridges), Best Original Screenplay and Best Achievement in Film Editing, as well as nominations for Golden Globes for Best motion Picture – Drama, Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in Motion Picture (Jeff Bridges) and Best Screenplay – Motion Picture. It was also nominated for BAFTAs for Best Supporting Actor (Jeff Bridges), Best Screenplay (Original) and Best Cinematography.


Star Trek Beyond (2016) Film Review


Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) is approaching the birthday that will make him older than his father ever was, and it’s having an effect. He’s unhappy, and thinking about a change. But then another mission calls and things get exciting and he’ll just have to leave his pesky emotions behind. A bit glib? Yeah, sorry. I just can’t say that I really get Star Trek. It is probably because I’ve never really watched it, and I can see the various reasons why it is loved by many, and this script is quite funny and has a lot of awesome explosions and running scenes and all of the stuff I like in an action film. I should have enjoyed this a lot more than I did, but as it happens, I spent a lot of time urging the film to just hurry up.


Horrible Bosses 2 (2014) Film Review


After their adventures in the previous instalment, Dale (Charlie Day), Kurt (Jason Sudeikis) and Nick (Jason Bateman) decide to go into business for themselves with the Shower Buddy a kind of car wash for your shower. When Bert Hanson (Christoph Waltz) and his son Rex (Chris Pine) cause them to become hugely in debt, they devise a ridiculous kidnapping and extortion plan which they attempt, but give up when things don’t go to plan. Unfortunately for them, Rex has decided that it is a far better plan and blackmails them into going through with it – with him as a partner. And it gets ridiculous.

I just had a look at what I thought about he first film – I felt that it wasn’t enough story for a full film, but it was ok. Perhaps that is why I liked this one more – perhaps it had more plot, or something. At any rate, I did quite enjoy this one, with all of it’s filthy humour, and it was good to get a few callback characters like Dean ‘MF’ Jones (Jamie Foxx), Dave Harken (Kevin Spacey) and Dr Julia Harris, D.D.S. (Jennifer Aniston).

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (2014) Film Review


Jack Ryan (Chris Pine), a war hero who was badly injured rescuing his colleagues, is recruited to the CIA as an analyst. When he is sent to Russia on a mission by handler Thomas Harper (Kevin Costner) to look into the affairs of Viktor Cherevin (Kenneth Branagh) things get messy. They only get messier when his wife, Cathy Muller (Keira Knightley) turns up.

It’s exciting and Jack Ryan is a great character. There was tonnes of action, all the stuff I love. Running and shooting and the like. I even didn’t mind Keira Knightly, though I’m still far from a fan. Wonderful to see Kenneth Branagh back – I haven’t seen him for ages!


This Means War (2012) Film Review


FDR (Chris Pine) and Tuck (Tom Hardy) are spies. FDR is a womaniser who has no inclination to get attached. Tuck has a son with his ex-wife and doesn’t trust women anymore. Then there is Lauren (Reese Witherspoon), a woman who moved following her heart, but the relationship ended and now she sees him with his perfect finance everywhere. Somehow, she ends up dating both, however for them, it is a competition.

Surprisingly enough, I hated this film. Why on earth did I think that names like Tom Hardy and Reese Witherspoon would be enough to save this dog of an idea? Firstly, am I really watching (another) film where the woman is the ‘prize’? Secondly, I’ve been taught from watching films that spies are professionals who save us from the bad guys (okay, that’s clearly my issue) and yet these two are using all their resources to get laid. Thirdly, rooms of men creepily watching the dates… really creepily… Oh, for crying out loud. What was I thinking watching this? People… MAKE BETTER FILMS!

Not surprisingly, Reese Witherspoon won a special mention award from the Alliance of Women Film Journalists for Actress Most in Need of a New Agent for this film.


The Rise of the Guardians (2012) Film Review


What happens when Pitch, the bogeyman, decides to take over the world to make every child scared of the dark by taking away their belief in the magical characters that make their lives better? The Guardians must assemble – Santa (called North, a massive, Russian, knife wielding dude voiced by Alec Baldwin), the silent Sandman, the Tooth Fairy (Isla Fisher) and the Aussie Easter Bunny (Hugh Jackman). Not only battling Pitch (voiced by Jude Law), the Guardians must welcome the new and reluctant Guardian, Jack Frost (Chris Pine).

It’s a really good kids film. It’s beautiful, even when watched in 2D on a television. There is some good humour, a splash of emotional schmaltz and a pretty cool storyline. If you are around kids and need something to watch, this is a decent watch with quite a few laughs.

The Rise of the Guardians was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Animated Feature.