Captain Stanley (Ray Winstone) is a British man living in the middle of the hot, harsh outback with his wife, Martha (Emily Watson). He has captured two notorious outlaws, the ‘simple’ Mike Burns (Richard Wilson) and his brother, Charlie (Guy Pearce). Stanley makes a deal with Charlie for him to find his even more wicked brother, Arther (Danny Huston) and bring him in, or else he and Mike will hang for the rape and murder of the Hopkins family. Charlie accepts the deal, leaving Mike in jail, but it is not a smooth process on either end, and has many tragic consequences.
It is a very hard film; beautiful but harsh scenery, an amazing and torturous soundtrack by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis, and strong, painful performances, most notably from Ray Winstone. There is no hope for anyone. This country will destroy them, whether it the indigenous culture destroyed and seeking some kind of vengeance, the legacy of white settlement made up of criminals or
the harshness of the land itself, there is no hope. I wouldn’t recommend this film if you are feeling a bit down. It’s tough, but wonderful.
You know Hercules, Ancient Greek legend, son of Zeus, he did these twelve near impossible labours and was just pretty awesome? So, what if it went a little differently – like that Hercules (Dwayne Johnson) was not actually the son of Zeus, but let everyone believe it to raise the price of his services? (Although he’s also still a good guy, don’t get that side of things wrong. Noble as.) What’s more, he didn’t complete the twelve labours alone – he had the top fighter and seer Amphiaraus (Ian McShane), his mate from school Autolycus (Rufus Sewell) , a slightly nuts feisty thing, Tydeus (Aksel Hennie), Atalanta (Ingrid Bolso Berdal) the Amazon warrior and his nephew Iolaus (Reece Ritchie) who is the storyteller who creates the legend. Then what happens if he gets hired to help Lord Cotys (John Hurt) to teach his men to protect themselves, and Cotys has a daughter and grandson, but nothing is what he expects?
Of course I loved this. It’s a fairly decent twist on Hercules, it has Dwayne Johnson in it, and I love him, and the rest of the cast is pretty tops too. There’s humour, violence and some fabulous slow mo action. Oh, and I’d recommend paying attention during the cool animated closing credits – you get to see how the twelve labours were completed by the team working together.
Based on a John Le Carr novel, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy follows retired spy George Smiley (Gary Oldman) as he attempts to discover which top ranking of MI6 is a Soviet Spy.
It’s an amazing cast: Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Tom Hardy, Mark Strong, John Hurt, Ciaran Hinds, Kathy Burke and Benedict Cumberbatch just to mention a few. I just wish I’d seen it in the cinema. It is relatively slow-moving, with not a lot of action, and I found at home that my attention kept drifting and I didn’t really follow it all. None the less, it was clearly an extremely good film that should have kept my attention. I blame me on this one.
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy was nominated for Oscars for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role (Gary Oldman), Best Writing, Adapted Screenplay (Bridget O’Connot and Peter Straughan) and Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score.
In a bid to combat global warming, a chemical was released into the air. It worked too well, killing all life on the planet except the people and animals who were on the Snowpiercer, a very long train with an eternal engine that moves non-stop. The lower class of the rear carriages are sick of being fed protein jelly, and start a revolt against the upper classes in a bid for survival.
I was very surprised to like this film as much as I did. It is extremely violent, a very ugly violence, but it is just a bit more than an action film set on a train. Perhaps it is because it is a South Korean production, or based on a French graphic novel. Some of the performances were quite good, but many were pretty average. I think if you are after a slightly depressing film with stunning shots and graphic violence, this could be the film for you. Oh, and did I mention Tilda Swinton? No? Wow. What a magnificently horrid character.
Rob Roy MacGregor (Liam Neeson) is the head of a clan in 1712, Scotland, living in idyllic happiness with his wife, Mary (Jessica Lange) and their sons. But he is at the whim of the powerful classes, most notably English Lord Montrose (John Hurt), his manservant Killearn (Brian Cox) and the evil Cunningham (Tim Roth). MacGregor needs to find a way to retain his honour in the face of adversity.
It came out in 1995, the same year as Braveheart, and there are clearly a lot of similarities. I love it, even though I question the lack of Scottish actors (especially with a few of the very dodgy accents), though certainly the main cast is extremely strong and drive the story. Revisiting this was extremely interesting, and what I noted the most was the extremely strong script – often, entire conversations, entire moods and conflicts were summed with one perfect line. Wonderful. I am unsure on the historical accuracy, but it is a fantastic film.
Rob Roy was nominated for an Oscar for Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Tim Roth).
Lou is the oldest of three sisters living in rural Australia. Her mother is trying to make a life for them now that their father has left and she places a lot of responsibility on Lou while she works (and sometimes as she parties a bit). Then, her father-in-law is brought to the house to stay. He is suffering from Alzheimer’s and there are no current places in nursing homes for him. He starts to believe that Lou is his wife and he is a young man courting her, but not in a creepy way.
Lily Bell Tindley playing Lou is fabulous. And John Hurt is wonderful as the elderly man. But I could not get past several key parts of this. Why would this woman take in the father of the man who abandoned her? This was not explained to my satisfaction. Also, why would the nurse/social worker allow him to be taken to an extremely isolated property without any medical care? Why would the mother then leave her young daughters to take care of this strange man?
It is a beautiful film, but it is pretty hard to avoid beauty when filming the Australian outback. I wanted to like this – I always want to like Australian films,
but with so many flaws in the writing, it just annoyed me.
First, there was a book by Graham Greene then a movie in 1947 and then this, the 2010 remake of the film. It follows a sociopathic gang member, Pinkie (Sam Riley) who marries Rose (Andrea Riseborough), a waitress who witnesses some violent acts. Her old boss Ida (Helen Mirren) sees the danger Rose is in and tries to help her.
I was bored throughout this film. I didn’t find any connection to Pinkie at all, he was just a prick and I wanted him gone. Rose was alright but her naivety annoyed me. And even the violence was tedious. Then only thing I really enjoyed about the film was the set and costume design – Brighton in the 60s looked awesome, and the outfits of the Mods and Rockers were very cool.
How have I not watched this film previously? It has everything I like in a film – action, excitement, it’s an adaptation of a comic book, it’s funny and it is absolutely stunning. What a fool I am.
The plot – sort of (it’s really quite complex). There is a portal that leads to another world that the Nazis try to open up. The Americans manage to get in the way and stuff it up for them, but a thing has escaped – a small, red boy with a tail and a bit stone arm thing and horns. Hellboy. Skip to sixty years later. Hellboy’s ‘Dad’, Trevor ‘Broom’ Bruttenholm (John Hurt) the scientist involved in raising him – is not too well. Hellboy (Rob Pearlman) is a big boy now and, with a team including a strange and quite gorgeous aqua creature man, fights other mysterious creatures and tries to stay hidden. Then the bad guys return.
Oooo, exciting, fun, racey, brilliant fun. And there is more. Rock on, Hellboy.
I remember promising myself after watching Dancer in the Dark that I would be very careful of watching films by Lars von Trier. It was such a difficult film, so incredibly painful and horrible. Melancholia is not as heart wrenching, but it is certainly an extremely emotional journey. If you let it be.
The film starts with a series of ultra slow, beautiful images which were wasted on my small television screen. Then we meet Justin (Kirsten Dunst) and her new husband Michael (Alexander Skarsgard) in a stretch limo that is struggling to negotiate a narrow and windy road; it’s amusing, but seems like a very clunky metaphor for a failing relationship. Finally, they arrive at the party and everything seems fabulous. The bride and groom are laughing and socializing. There are awkward moments with her parents and boss, but it seems perfectly normal until it gradually becomes clear that she is suffering from some kind of debilitating depression and that their relationship is not all it is set up to be. Justine winds up staying with her sister Claire (Charlotte Gainsbourg) and brother-in-law John (Kiefer Sutherland).
On top of this, there is a mysterious new planet, Melancholia (the name being a metaphor being one I appreciated a lot more than the stretch limo) which has been hiding behind the sun. It has emerged and appears to be heading toward Earth.
It is certainly a beautiful film that I wish I’d seen in the cinema; it is almost impossible to get a good sense of the beauty of the cinematography on a small screen. I often find that films with character such as these who are quite annoying and make poor decisions, I get very annoyed. But instead, with Melancholia, I was drawn in and wanted to know more.
I have become totally obsessed with the opening sequence. I find it totally hypnotising and mesmerising. I even found it on youtube to watch whenever I like. Here it is: