Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Infidel

Director: Josh Appignanesi
Starring: Omid Djalili, Richard Schiff, Archie Panjabi, Igal Naor
Not quite to the level of the satirical pen of Johnny Speight and ‘Til death us do part’ but under the circumstances which prevail today with PC etc., not a bad effort for all that. Foul mouthed Mahmud Nasir (Omid Djalili ) is a moderate Muslim, father and general foul mouthed, couch potato. Happy to let the world go by he also yearns for his youth and the eighties. The apple of his son’s eye is local beauty and daughter of a much-feared, unjovial, fatwa-friendly imam who holds Mahmud in very low regard. Keen to do the right thing by his family Mahmud is beginning to adopt a more religious attitude when by chance he discovers a family secret. Seems he was adopted and is Jewish? What to do? See the movie and find out because it is well worth the experience. The witty screen play was written by David Baddiel and comes across as a high amusing comedy which deals well with contemporary issues. Omid Djalili, as the challenged Mahmud is immensely funny, as is Richard Schiff (Whitehouse), the Jewish cabbie, Lenny, who tries to help. Worth the watch

Saturday, August 14, 2010


This shaggy dog story is based on Brad Anderson's comic strip and tells the story of Marmaduke (voiced by Owen Wilson). The big, slobbering Great Dane, with the grace and pose of a cart horse is made for slap stick and there is plenty opportunity in the movie. Marmaduke’s family are on the move from Kansas to Orange County, California and Marmaduke and co, are naturally apprehensive at the prospect of meeting new friends and settling in. A coming of age movie designed for younger children it is definitely a feel good movie with a few canine laughs up its sleeve. Not the finest example of animal talking genre but not that bad for all that.

Monday, August 9, 2010

The disappearance of Alice Creed

Director and writer: J Blakeson
Starring: Gemma Arterton, Martin Compston, and Eddie Marsan

This is a scary, dark and clever thriller. Vic (the marvellous Eddie Marsan), and his younger accomplice Danny (Martin Compston), plan to make a load of money by kidnapping a millionaire’s daughter (Alice Creed - Gemma Arterton) and holding her for ransom. The simple but dastardly plot goes a rye when Alice proves a challenging hostage and brings out the best and worst in her captors. One of the most endearing aspects to this movie is the writer finds so many credible ways for fate and treachery to make the situation increasingly precarious. This alone will assure the movie get cult status. The film does contain some graphic violence and nudity and with only three speaking roles and basically two sets, a lot of dramatic weight falls on the shoulders of the actors and they completely deliver.
If you liked Shallow Grave and Deathtrap, then this is a movie for you.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Tomorrow, When the War Began

Writer and Director: Stuart Beattie

Starring: Caitlin Stasey, Rachel Hurd-Wood, Lincoln Lewis, Deniz Akdeniz, Phoebe Tonkin, Chris Pang, Ashleigh Cummings and Andy Ryan.

A movie based on John Marsden’s inspiring novel of the same name tells the story a group of high school teenagers (Ellie, Homer, Lee, Kevin, Corrie, Robyn and Fiona) who discover their hometown of Wirrawee deserted on their return from a bush camping trip. Their pets are dead or dying and the telephone lines have been cut the kids assume the country has been invaded by a foreign power. The kids take action against the invaders and what follows is a riveting adventure that reminded me of the ABC Minors and the Saturday morning pot boilers of the 60s. Lord of the Flies meets the Survivors in this coming of age movie.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Cairo Time

Writer and Director: Ruba Nadda
Starring: Patricia Clarkson, Tom McCamus, and Alexander Siddig

Mark (Tom McCamus), is a UN official working in Gaza. He arranges to meet his wife Juliette (Patricia Clarkson) in Cairo for a three week vocation but at the last minute he is unavoidably delayed. Mark arranges for his close friend and former security officer, Tareq (Alexander Siddig), to be her escort. Despite the awkward situation Kismet and the beautiful and exotic city of Cairo conspire to bring the lovers together. Well written and well acted the movie is quite breath taking. Photography of the Cairo cityscape will hold you spellbound and the score by Irish composer Niall Byrne is a perfect complement for this modern love story. Cairo Time is smart, compelling and appropriately sad at its finale.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The killer inside me

The Killer Inside Me
Director: Michael Winterbottom (24 Hour Party People, In This World, A Mighty Heart)
Starring: Casey Affleck, Kate Hudson, and Jessica Alba
Based on the novel by Jim Thompson this neo-noir styled, psychosexual thriller will have you fixed to your seat or running out of the cinema for fresh air. The movie tells the story of a small-town, stalwart, deputy sheriff Lou Ford (Casey Affleck) who is faced with mounting problems. Son of a local doctor the mild mannered lawman presents with a gentle disposition and innate sense of politeness. Not all may be as it seems. As he begins to investigate a crime, he perpetrated, the bodies start to accumulate as suspicion begins to fall upon himself. This man has a dark and deep secret which comes to goriest technicolour on a screen near you. Winterbottom pulls no punches to deliver an unflinching psychological portrait of fetishistic sexuality and submerged brutality let loose, but graphic as this is the movie is, it lacks warmth. Good performances from Affleck as Lou; Kate Hudson as Amy Stanton his girlfriend; and Jessica Alba, the town prostitute Joyce Lakeland, whose liaison with Lou triggers the unthinkable. The Killer Inside Me is stylish and beautifully shot but does contain disturbing brutal violence, aberrant sexual content, and graphic nudity. Not for the faint hearted and in my opinion there is a better movie in the same genre "Red Rock West," starring the late, great Dennis Hopper.