Friday, November 23, 2018

Widows


Director: Steve McQueen

Starring: Violet Davis, Liam Neeson, Brian Tyree Henry, Daniel Kaluuya, Michelle Rodriguez, Elizabeth Debicki, Cynthia Erivo, Robert Duvall, Colin Farrell

The Hollywood film version of the TV series by Linda la Plant, lacks both depth and characterisation despite some good actors left to make their best of a poor and meandering script. A female heist movie set in Chicago, about a group of desperate women, led by Veronica (Violet Davis), left in dire financial trouble by their robber husbands and partners, who are killed in a botched robbery planned by Veronica’s husband and criminal mastermind, Harry Rawlings (Liam Neeson). After Veronica finds a notebook outlining the gang’s next job, instead of selling this to other criminals she convinces her fellow widows, Linda, a harried single mother (Michelle Rodriguez), Alice the emotionally fragile trophy wife (Elizabeth Debicki), and Belle (Cynthia Erivo) a moonlighting babysitter, to do the robbery on their own. Now this is where the UK series is left behind as the plot thickens to involve political intrigue with corrupt politicians (Robert Duvall and Colin Farrell), killer henchmen (Brian Tyree Henry and Daniel Kaluuya) and a dog (Olivia) . Sub plots and clichéd incidentals give the movie an unintentional comedic experience , but otherwise, this is the worst movie I have seen this year.

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(Video Courtesy: 20th Century Fox by Youtube Channel)

Thursday, November 8, 2018

The Old Man & the Gun

Director: David Lowery

Starring: Robert Redford, Casey Affleck, Sissy Spacek, Danny Glover, Tom Waits.

Based on a true story of a serial bank rubber now enjoying his eventide years, Forrest Tucker, (Robert Redford) continues the criminal habits of his lifetime. Now a septuagenarian, and on the run from his latest stick up caper, he meets (Sissy Spacek), and together they form a loving relationship. Aided and abetted by partners in crime, Tom Waits and Danny Glover, Forrest is compelled to rob banks. Casey Affleck is the cop determined to put a stop to his nonsense before someone gets hurt, but as time passes. He develops a sneaking admiration for the elderly rascal. The languid narrative gives ample time to ponder the aging process of the once beautiful faced, matinee idol. Look oput for Lowery’s pastiche of Arthur Penn’s Bonnie and Clyde, when the two main characters get to know each other in the café.


Video Courtesy: FoxSearchlight Published by Youtube Channel)

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Bohemian Rhapsody


Director: Bryan Singer (finished by Dexter Fletcher)

Starring: Rami Malek, Gwilym Lee, Joseph Mazzello, Ben Hardy, Lucy Boynton

A sanitized version of the story of Queen and Freddie Mercury (Rami Malek), charts their rise in 1970, through the successful years, then their inevitable break up, before a triumphant return at Live-Aid. This could have been a very unique, gripping, and complex saga, but instead the audience is presented with a shallow drama. The movie has a soundtrack from the original band which makes the bio-flick difficult to dislike but sadly the script is bereft of anything new or insightful about the iconic vocalist. Convincing performance from Malek makes the film almost credible in places but otherwise the plot is thin on detail and full of clichéd montages. Good visual performances from Gwilym Lee as Brian May, and Joseph Mazzello makes a credible John Deacon, but Ben Hardy is pail as Roger Taylor. The villain, Paul Prenter (Allen Leech) is Freddie's personal manager, who insinuates himself into the role of Freddie's personal manager, and systematically engineers Freddie out of the band to pursue a solo career. Without support of Mary Austin (Lucy Boynton) and Queen, the singer inevitably becomes engulfed in a self-destructive mess of drugs, drink and partying. The final 20 minutes is however, worth the price of the cinema ticket, and faithfully depicts Queen's set at Live Aid.


(Video Courtesy: 20th Century Fox Published by Youtube Channel)


Thursday, September 13, 2018

Christopher Robin


Director: Marc Forster

Starring: Ewan McGregor, Hayley Atwell, Jim Cummings, Brad Garrett, Mark Gatiss

Christopher Robin (Ewan McGregor) has all grown up and left behind his woodland friends in the Hundred Acre Wood. Now, married to Evelyn (Hayley Atwell) with a daughter, Madeline (Bronte Carmichael), Robin is slave to the city in post-World War II London. Meanwhile Poo Bear (Jim Cummings) awakens from a long hibernation to find himself alone in the woods. He decides to seek out the help of his friend Christopher and find Piglet (Nick Mohammed), Eeyore (Brad Garrett), Rabbit (Peter Capaldi), Tigger (Jim Cummings), Owl (Toby Jones) and Kanga. (Sophie Okonedo). Once reunited, they set to overcome the real Heffalumps and Woozles. Delightful movie with as much for the kids as adults. Not quite up to the saccharine sweet of Paddington, but none the less, a real treat for fans of A A Milne. The animation of Winnie the Poo is spectacular.



(Video Courtesy: Walt Disney Studios Youtube Channel)

Sunday, September 9, 2018

BlacKkKlansman


Director: Spike Lee

Starring: John David Washington, Laura Harrier), Adam Driver, Topher Grace, Robert John Burke, Jasper Pääkkönen

A rich hard edged, dark and bitter comedy about contemporary America set in the 70s, and based upon Ron Stallworth’s book Black Klansman: Race, Hate, and the Undercover Investigation of a Lifetime. It tells the story of Stallworth (John David Washington ) as a black rookie cop in the mid-1970s, who, desperate to get promoted is assigned to infiltrate an event hosted by the Colorado College Black Student Union featuring a speech by Kwame Ture (formerly, Black Panthers, Stokely Carmichael). Somewhat conflicted the eager rookie later contacts the local Ku Klux Klan branch office on his own initiative and attempts to sign up. Reluctantly his superiors allow the sting to go forward with Flip Zimmerman (played brilliantly by Adam Driver), going in undercover as, Ron Stallworth. Against all odds the rouse comes together as the real and under cover Stallworth convince the local chapter of the Organisation (KK) he is genuine and trustworthy. The undercover Stallworth meets some opposition especially from the suspicious Felix Kendrickson (Jasper Pääkkönen), but over comes all to become the Grand Wizard of the KKK, David Duke’s (Topher Grace). valued confidant. Menacing as the story becomes, the one drawback (for me) is the use of stereotypes used to portray the bigots in this contemporary satire. That aside, it is compulsive viewing and a stark reflection of the history of North America, past, present and, if we are not careful, the future of the Land of the Free. This is an intelligent and thought-provoking movie from Spike Lee.



(Video Courtesy: Movieclips Trailers Published on Youtube Channel)


Friday, August 31, 2018

Book Club


Director: Bill Holderman

Starring: Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen, Mary Steenburgen), Diane Keaton, Craig T. Nelson, Don Johnson, Andy Garcia, Richard Dreyfuss

If they ever made a modern equivalent of a ‘carry-on movie’, this is it. So obvious you can see the punch lines coming thick and fast yet the movie will have you laughing out loud and in tears for the duration. Superbly performed by a sterling cast of Hollywood greats, this is a movie which can only grow on you. Four old friends bound together by lifelong experiences: Vivian (Jane Fonda), a successful hotelier and cougar who devours men for fun, crusty federal judge Sharon (Candice Bergen), a confirmed cat-and-chardonnay divorcée; effervescent chef Carol (Mary Steenburgen), desperate to reignite the spark in her marriage to husband (Craig T. Nelson); and widow Diane (Diane Keaton), devoted to her two grown daughters, meet regularly each month in a book club. When libertine, Vivian brings Fifty Shades of Grey for closer scrutiny, the event sets in motion sensual reawakening’s among the four mature ladies to hilarious effect. The movie never loses a comedic beat, with each scene is filled with humour, no matter the discussion or situation. This is an enjoyable female friendship movie, which is highly recommended.



(Video Courtesy: Paramount Pictures Youtube Channel)

Friday, June 15, 2018

Incredibles 2

Director: Brad Bird
Voices: Holly Hunter, Craig T. Nelson, Sarah Vowell, Huck Milner, Eli Fucile, Catherine Keener, Samuel L. Jackson, Bob Odenkirk, Jonathan Banks, Brad Bird

Time to take our grandson (aged three) to “Incredibles 2.” Now comic book hero movies are not my most favourite film genre but needs must when it’s a birthday treat. (for him not me). On the positive side, I had no previous knowledge of what had proceeded and therefor carried no baggage of expectation. It was just a question of would he last the two hours the film runs, and could I stay awake. Delighted to report the Disney/Pixar movie, came through on both accounts.

Set in a time when Superheroes have become outlawed, a telecommunications mogul, Winston Deavor (Bob Odenkirk) devises a publicity campaign to popularize superheroes again in the hope to change the law. He and his sister Evelyn (Catherine Keener), hatch a plan to use the adventures of Mrs. Incredible, Elastigirl (Holly Hunter), to engage public support. Mr. Incredible meantime confined to home, comically struggles to run a household consisting of a teenager, a 10-year-old boy, and baby Jack-Jack coming to terms with his super powers. All played out as an evil villain, “The Screenslaver, is on the loose in the city, hypnotizing people into violent acts through the use of a computer screens. Elastigirl to the rescue but despite early success, heralded in the media, something is not quite right. Great voiceovers with some funny dialogue but the movie is not a patch on Toy Story however, it was no less enjoyable.


(Video Courtesy: Disney-Pixar Transmission Films Youtube Channel)