In 2010, disaster struck BPs Deepwater Horizon drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico. It ‘blew out’, causing the death of eleven workers and spilling an estimated 4.9 million barrels of oil. This film is the dramatisation of these events, with Mark Wahlberg as worker Mike Williams, Gina Rodriguez as worker Andrea Fleytas, Kurt Russell as rig boss Jimmy Harrell, and John Malkovich as BP executive Vidrine. It’s an amazing film, one that totally passed me by in the cinema. It has all of the explosions and excitement of a good action film, but with a tragic and plausible plot.
It starts like a fairly dull, normal day for the workers returning to the rig, dealing with the handover and the pressure being put on them by the executives who just want the pumping to start. Then, when things go bad, it’s all about survival. It’s tricky from here, because audiences are used to heroes in action films, and Wahlberg is such an action hero type actor. Consequently, I don’t know how much is accurate to the actual events and how much is modified for good audience viewing. I think as long as the audience are aware of the potential artistic licence, it’s a film worth watching.
Deepwater Horizon was nominated for Oscars for Best Achievement in Sound Editing and Best Achievement in Visual Effects and for a BAFTA for Best Sound.
Oh, these films that I avoid watching because I think they are one thing, then I watch and discover with glee that they are something totally different, totally better… This is one of those guys.
The basic story, based on true events, is of two boxing brothers – Micky (Mark Wahlberg) and Dicky (Christian Bale). Micky is on the up-and-up, being trained by his brother. His brother, meanwhile, is living off his one great success in the ring, and tells everyone that the camera crew that are following him are documenting his comeback. In reality, the documentary is about life on crack, as Dicky is an addict. They have a close family with a dominant mother, a submissive father and seven opinionated sisters who don’t seem to do much more than hang around the house a lot. And then in comes Charlotte (Amy Adams), a bar tender who starts a relationship with Micky and clashes with the family.
So, my preconception was that it was another boxing film and I’ve seen enough of those. Though, to be fair, there is something about boxing films that so often works. I don’t know why; I don’t like watching boxing or any of those kinds of fighting sports. (I also don’t really like watching any sport… but anyhow) This is a great film. It’s surprisingly funny but also has parts that are completely depressing. I’m not a massive fan of Christian Bale – I find him quite intense and a little scary, to be honest. But he is fabulous in this – just amazing.
The Fighter won Oscars for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role (Christian Bale) and Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role (Melissa Leo) and was nominated for Best Motion Picture of the Year, Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role (Amy Adams), Best Achievement in Directing (David O. Russell), Best Achievement in Film Editing and Best Writing, Original Screenplay (Scott Silver, Paul Tamasy, Eric Johnson, Keith Dorrington).
Imagine if you had an idea for making a comedy feature film where a good guy marries a great woman and takes on her two children, and then the father, who’s a bit of a wild guy, comes back and they both want to be head of the family. I expect someone probably would say to you ‘hey, it’s not that original, and I think that most of the jokes would be pretty average’. And imagine if you said ‘oh, but I can get Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg’ and they responded with ‘yeah, but will they do anything good with this?’ Now imagine that you responded saying ‘Nah, let’s do something good instead’. The world would be a better place.
It’s not the worst comedy I’ve ever seen, but jeepers creepers, it’s a stinker. I’m sure that it will make a lot of people a lot of money, and there may be some people who love it. In the cinema I was in, there were kids in front of me who were so bored they started playing games on their phones. I think I may have watched their gameplay for a good four or five minutes and was far more entertained.
Based on a true story, this follows bodybuilder Daniel Lugo (Mark Wahlberg) and his two sidekicks, Paul Doyle (Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson) and Adrian Doorbal (Anthony Mackie) as he attempts to become rich of the back of his extremely unpleasant personal training client Victor Kershaw (Tony Shalhoub).
I wonder how much of the story has been changed to make this film. The violence is quite unpleasant, but as long as you can get through that, it’s extremely funny. The characters are insane, extremely unbelievable and over-the-top, but fabulous. And then Rebel Wilson turns up, and she’s just doing so darn well. And Ed Harris. And Ken Jeong. It’s a pretty darned funny film.
Phil (Steve Carell) and Claire (Tina Fey) have been married for some time, have small children, and find that they barely have energy to have their date nights, even though they clearly enjoy each other’s company. But when close friends tell them they are splitting, news that strikes out of the blue, they decide to make a big effort and go into town (New York, that’s the town) for a special dinner. When they can’t get a table at an exclusive restaurant, they pinch someone elses reservation. Hint: if you are going to do this, make sure that the people who’s reservation you take are not attempting to bribe anyone, and you don’t spend the night on the run for your life. Even if you do end up spending time with a shirtless Marky Mark.
I love Steve Carell, I love Mark Wahlberg and I especially love Tina Fey. How could I not love this film? It’s funny, ridiculous, but mostly extremely funny. And I could watch it over and over. Just ace times.
Two young men enter the police force in South Boston. One is a young kid who has been groomed by local Irish gangster Frank Costello (Jack Nicholson) to be an insider in the force. The other, Billy (Leonardo DiCaprio) is an honest guy with a bad family background, who is supposedly booted from the force and turns to crime, but is actually deep undercover. The only people who know that he is undercover are his two police contacts – Dignam (Mark Wahlberg) and Queenan (Martin Sheen).
This is based on the Hong Kong film Infernal Affairs, and is almost exactly the same, shot by shot. So much so that I wondered if I had already seen this – but it is that I watched Infernal Affairs only recently. Yes, it is a good film, but it’s not the type of good film that is really worth watching two identical versions of. Even if the language is different. The Departed won a whole heap of awards including Oscars, and I wonder if there was any acknowledgement of Infernal Affairs or if it has been forgotten along the way. Jack Nicholson was nominated and won a series of awards for his performance which I really cannot understand as I thought his performance was very average. Mark Wahlberg, however, was amazing and absolutely deserved the recognition he got.
The Departed won Oscars for Best Achievement in Directing (Martin Scorsese), Best Achievement in film Editing, Best Motion Picture of the Year, Best Writing, Adapted Screenplay (William Monahan) and was nominated for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role (Mark Wahlberg).
It had been so long since I’d seen the film. All I could remember was that it was fabulous. It did not disappoint – such magnificent performances, excellent scripting, wonderful costume and set designs. It is amazing.
Boogie Nights is the story of the rise of Dirk Diggler (Mark Wahlberg) a young and extremely well-endowed man who forged a career in the adult film industry. Led by one of the top producers in the field, Jack Horner (Burt Reynolds in one of the film world’s greatest comeback roles) and taken under the wing of actress Amber Waves (Julianne Moore), Diggler achieves stardom in the porn world. But, for all of the players, the partying, drugs and money have a finite life. Especially when the industry is turned on its head with the introduction of video.
I’m such a whinger about long films – I truly believe that most film stories can be told in ninety to a hundred minutes, and that going above this is rarely worth it. Boogie nights is two-and-a-half hours long, and not a moment is wasted. If every long movie was as good as this, I’d stop complaining. I promise.