Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Man on a ledge

Director: Asger Leth

Starring: Ed Harris, Sam Worthington, Elizabeth Banks, Jamie Bell, Genesis Rodriguez, Ed Burns

A complex edge-of-seat thriller, part psychological pot boiler, and part heist movie, it is full of tension with a clever script that creates an intricate web of deceit comprising elements that include grand theft, corrupt cops, revenge and redemption. Drama, action, relationships and humour are all within. Nick Cassidy (Sam Worthington) is an ex-cop and wanted fugitive who climbs out onto the ledge of New York's Roosevelt Hotel, 21 stories above Madison Avenue. He appears to want to end it all and calls for the recently disgraced New York Police Department negotiator Lydia Mercer (Elizabeth Banks). Reluctant at first the police eventually concur but when she tries to talk him down, the negotiator realizes Cassidy might have a powerful ulterior motive. Worthington holds the film together beautifully, while Banks gives one of her best recent performances as the troubled police negotiator who is asked to make a leap of a judgment call. The movie is a ripping yarn with never a dull moment and worth watching to the last reel.

Shame

Director: Steve McQueen

Starring: Michael Fassbender, Carey Mulligan, James Badge Dale, Nicole Beharie.

A film about sex addiction and set in modern New York. Professional Brandon (Michael Fassbender) is addicted to casual sex, prostitutes and porn but thinks he is a normal guy with a robust sexual appetite. The unexpected arrival of his damaged sister Sissy (Carey Mulligan) forces him to realise that he might have a problem. This is a provocative and compelling film, which is beautifully acted and emotionally revealing. Not for the fainthearted.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Nosferatu (1922)

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier , Spy

Director: Tomas Alfredson

Starring: Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Tom Hardy, Mark Strong, Ciarán Hinds, John Hurt, Benedict Cumberbatch

This is a Hollywood version of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy adapted from John le Carré‘s novel. The 1979 seven-part BBC series is a more faithful version of the book, but the movie is good and well worth seeing on the big screen. A complicated plot which does require your full attention so may not suit the back-seat neckers and popcorn munchers but great viewing none the less. Set during the Cold War in 1973, the head of the British, MI6, Control (John Hurt) is convinced there is a Russian mole at the top of the secret committee (the Circus). Before an internal investigation can get underway, Control and his right-hand man George Smiley (Gary Oldman) are disgraced and given early retirement . After Control dies, Smiley is recalled to find the mole. The more he uncovers the more complex things become. A well told story full of clues which needs your full attention but the effort is well compensated. Impeccable performances from Gary Oldman and the rest of the cast, this is undoubtedly, one of the best movies of 2012. Great characterization and definitely not to be missed.

The Artist

Director: Michel Hazanavicius

Starring: Jean Dujardin, Berenice Bejo, John Goodman, James Cromwell, Penelope Ann Miller

This is a playful and lightly melancholic tale about Hollywood’s silent movie days. Set in the era when talkies were just beginning , George Valentin (Jean Dujardin) is a silent star of the silver screen. Vain is an athletic star that specializes in swashbuckling romantic adventures but also has an eye for the girls. At the premier of his latest movie, the married star takes a fancy to a pretty girl in the crowd, Peppy Miller (Berenice Bejo). George decides to give her a break with a small role in the forth coming Valentin silent production. The luddite, Valentin rejects the threat of talkies and despite encouragement from the Studios boss Al Zimmer (John Goodman), the actor continues in his doomed venture. Valentin’s failure is complete after his long suffering wife, (Penelope Ann Miller) leaves him and the stock market crashes. In deep despair trashes his personal effects and sets fire to the prints of his films. Overcome by the flames Valentine is eventually saved by his performing dog. All this at a time when Peppy Miller’s infectious youthful appeal rockets her to stardom. Will she abandon her defeated benefactor in his hour of need ? Well you need to see the movie to find out. Exquisitely made with winning performances this is a silent movie worth seeing.