Harvey Milk (Sean Penn) was a gay activist in San Francisco who ran numerous times for official position and once in, fought for the rights of the gay community until his life was cut tragically short.
As with all biopics, I’m aware that some license is taken with the telling of the story. But this is an important film which came at a time when same sex marriage was starting to be legalised across the Western world. None-the-less, there are still ongoing battles for the rights of our fellow humans, and while we may feel that things are mostly pretty good, it’s important to recognise and honour those who fought to gain these rights in the past. And to hope that these rights are not stripped away.
Milk won Oscars for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role (Sean Penn) and Best Writing Original Screenplay (Dustin Lance Black) and was nominated for Best Motion Picture of the Year, Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role (Josh Brolin), Best Achievement in Directing (Gus Van Sant), Best Achievement in Film Editing, Best Achievement in Costume Design and Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score.
If you haven’t heard the spoilers for the end of this film, I’m not going to be the one to tell you. I’ll just leave it at wow. Thanos (Josh Brolin) the bad guy is back and wants to do bad stuff. And everyone is there to stop him. The usual Avengers, the Guardians of the Galaxy, the lesser-known Avengers. So many superheroes. And I just kind of lost focus. Who was doing what? Have you guys met before? Why do you not like her or him, and should I care that you are doing whatever you’re doing?
I’m sure heaps of people loved this film. I just lost interest… back off, one story at a time. (Although given that I have this personal gripe that if there are that many super-powerful folks, why don’t they all just drop everything when one of them is having a massive battle? Where were you all when Wakanda was threatened, or Asgard or, um, the Dr Strange world? So, when they do actually all come together and it doesn’t really work for me, perhaps I should acknowledge that and keep that in mind next time I watch a film with only one or two superheroes… probs will just keep complaining, though).
Kate (Emily Blunt) is an FBI agent who is dealing with horrific situations happening around the US/Mexico border relating to the drug gangs and the police. She is enlisted into a task force to go into Mexico and try to follow several leads to resolve the situation, but her idealism and belief that she is able to make a difference is challenged at every step.
This is a horrible film- extremely good in many ways, but just awful and violent, and maddening and I just wanted it to end. I wouldn’t recommend this film to a lot of folks because I found it very hard to watch, but I think if you don’t mind feeling outraged at the world and angry that things can be so unjust, you might like it. I am in two minds about the end – I feel as though it suddenly became quite a Hollywood film when it had the chance to be more… I’m not sure if real is quite the right word, but different. Though maybe a more real story would be too long for a film.
Sicario was nominated for Oscars for Best Achievement in Cinematography, Best Achievement in Sound Editing and Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score.
It’s small town USA in the mid-eighties. A couple of brothers, asthma-sufferer Mikey (Sean Astin) and muscle-bound Brand (Josh Brolin) are coming to terms with the fact that they are about to be torn away from their friends unless they can come up with a whole heap of money. Then Mikey finds a treasure map, and him and his mates set out on the journey of a lifetime. There’s Chunk (Jeff Cohen), an overweight kid with a huge heart, Mouth (Corey Feldman) the smartarse of the group and Data (Jonathan Ke Quan), the inventor who sometimes manages to get his inventions to work. Brand ends up accidentally joining them, as do Brand’s crush, Andy (Kerri Green) and her mate Stef (Martha Plimpton). Then they come across a family of bad guys and… watch out!
Oh, I was so fearful of watching this… what if it didn’t hold up? What if I ended up *gulp* hating the Goonies? Fear not. It was as fabulous as I remember. Yes, slightly over-written, and overly sentimental, but great. I watched it at a free outdoor screening in a park and it was just ace. A warm enough night, a whole heap of people revisiting their childhood, and a whole heap of kids discovering the Goonies for the first time.
And for an extra-special blast of the past, go check out Cyndi Lauper’s “The Goonies R Good Enough” clip – it’s all Goonies – and 80s wrestlers!
Based on the wonderful book Into Thin Air by John Krakauer, Everest tells of the tragic story of one season where several expeditions fell into tragedy. It follows two of the main adventure tourist groups who work together to reach the mount despite having to compete with a variety of other groups. Then they are hit by some disastrous weather and many of the climbers die.
It had been several years since I read the book, so I couldn’t quite remember the fates of the various different characters. None-the-less, I knew bad things were going to happen, and this did not make things any less tense. Plus, the cinematography is spectacular – I am aware that it is a combination of computer graphics and real shots, but it was just stunning. Oh, and the variety of different actors with their fabulous New Zealand accents – I loved that bit!
When out hunting, Llewelyn Moss (Josh Brolin) comes across a group of dead bodies at what was a drug deal gone bad. He tracks down the money to take he and his wife, Carla Jean (Kelly MacDonald) to a different life, initially unaware that he is being hunted down by psychopathic killer Anton Chugurh (Javier Bardem). Meanwhile, Ed Tom Bell (Tommy Lee Jones) is following, trying to make sense of what he sees.
This film is totally and utterly brilliant. Tense and scary with the odd edge of humour, weighed down by morality and the lack of morality. I expect a lot of the Coen Brothers, and more often than not, they produce solid, strong, good films. Every now and then, they chuck out perfection. Big call, I know, but I’m putting it out there.
No Country for Old Men won Oscars for Best Motion Picture of the Year, Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role (Javier Bardem) Best Achievement in Directing (Ethan and Joel Coen) and Best Writing, Adapted Screenplay (Joel and Ethan Coen) and was nominated for Best Achievement in Cinematography (Roger Deakins), Best Achievement in Film Editing, Best Achievement in Sound Mixing and Best Achievement in Sound Editing.
It’s post World War 2 in Los Angeles. Gangsters are rising across the country. LA is being taken over by Mickey Cohen (Sean Penn). The police are corrupt, and their hands are tied by legal restraints while Cohen takes over every racket possible. The chief of police Chief Parker (Nick Nolte) decides he needs to go to great lengths to beat Cohen, and commissions Sgt. John O’Mara (Josh Brolin) to pull together a squad of police who will work beneath the radar to destroy Cohen’s business interests, therefore ensuring not only his demise, but reducing chances of another gangster coming in to take Cohen’s place. The Gangster Squad they set about cleaning up the city.
There is some clichéd predictability (most notably the fact that Sgt Jerry Wooters (Ryan Gosling) starts as a corrupt playboy who only joins the squad after an innocent shoeshine is killed in front of him and he wants to right this wrong), but generally, it’s a good concept. I have to admit, though, it just didn’t grab me. There was not a lot of emotional connection to the characters, so I didn’t care who lived or died. The tension wasn’t all that great either, and when there was tension, it was resolved quickly and easily. It’s a fun film and worth a watch, but I felt that it really could have been much more.