Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Drop

Director: Michael Roskam

Starring: Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace , Michael Aronov , James Gandolfini, John Ortiz, Matthias Schoenaerts

A love story set in a cinema noir crime thriller in modern Brooklyn. Mild mannered Bob Saginowski (Tom Hardy) is the barman in his cousin’s pub. Merv (James Gandelfini) was once a the head of his own crime crew but due to some unspecified debt no longer owns Merv’s Bar but instead manages it for Chovka (Michael Aronov), a local Chechen crime lord. The working man’s bar is used to warehouse for dirty money. Bent on revenge Marv plans to get even by arranging to have the bar robbed during a big drop. Meantime Bob meets and falls for Nadia (Noomi Rapace) after he finds an abused pit bull puppy in her trash can. The dog belongs to Eric Deeds (Matthias Schoenaerts) a local thug who was once the boyfriend of Nadia and proceeds to menacingly stalk Bob. When Merve’s bar is robbed Detective Torres (John Ortiz), begins to take an interest as Chovka is suspicions Merv and Bob may have been involved. Things come to a head when the big drop from the Super Bowl Sunday is planned and the mystery of the complex characters unfold. Not for the faint hearted but a good movie none the less. Excellent performances from Tom Hardy (possible Oscar Nominee) and the late James Gandelfini.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Pride

Director: Matthew Warchus

Starring: Paddy Considine, Ben Schnetzer, Dominic West, Bill Nighy, Imelda Staunton

In 1984 Margaret Thatcher took on the miner’s union resulting in a national strike for almost a year. During which a bitter conflict between mining communities and the forces of law took place. A group of gay activists in London decide to give their support to the striking miners and their families after Mark Ashton (Ben Schnetzer) and his friend Mike Jackson (Joseph Gilgun) reason gays and striking miners claim three common enemies: the government, the police and the tabloids. They decide to support the strike and start fundraising. They are invited to Dulais, a small mining village in the valleys of south Wales, to hand over the monies to the strikers and their families. Not all goes well as the motley crew come face to face with a resentful and suspicious members of the Working Men’s Club. The local union rep Dai Donovan (Paddy Considine) and Cliff (Bill Nighy) a shy schoolteacher, extend a wavering hand of friendship as Hefina (Imelda Staunton) the village matriarch, and Sian James (Jessica Gunning) slowly rally the community to accept the visitors. The classic tale of opposites attract blossoms into an enjoyable feel good movie based on fact and joins the ranks of Brassed Off and the Full Monty. A good cast, great script, fab music which will have you laughing and crying in no time. A must see.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet (3D)

Director: Jean-Pierre Jeunet
Starring: Kyle Catlett, Callum Keith Rennie, Helena Bonham Carter, Niamh Wilson, Judy Davis

An adaptation of Reif Larsen’s, The Selected Works of TS Spivet, this is a gentle satire of American life. Young genius, TS (Kyle Catlett) lives in Montana and after he wins a top award from the Smithsonian museum for his ground breaking invention he secretly leaves home on a precarious journey to collect the prestigious "Baird Prize". TS’s twin brother has died and his retro cowboy dad (Callum Keith Rennie), eccentric scientist mum (Helena Bonham Carter), and super-normal sister (Niamh Wilson) are all sensitized to the vulnerability of the young ten year old. Once the crafty head of the Smithsonian Institute (Judy Davis) realizes the situation she plans to exploit the boy for her own ambitions. A fine family adventure beautifully shot but not a patch on Amélie.