We're excited to present a great new set of boards to classic movie fans with tons of new features, stability, and performance.

If you’re new to the message boards, please “Register” to get started. If you want to learn more about the new boards, visit our FAQ.

Register

If you're a returning member, start by resetting your password to claim your old display name using your email address.

Re-Register

Thanks for your continued support of the TCM Message Boards.

X

Kyle Kersten was a true friend of TCM. One of the first and most active participants of the Message Boards, “Kyle in Hollywood” (aka, hlywdkjk) demonstrated a depth of knowledge and largesse of spirit that made him one of the most popular and respected voices in these forums. This thread is a living memorial to his life and love of movies, which remain with us still.

X

Jump to content


Photo

From the Last 25 Years


  • Please log in to reply
1124 replies to this topic

#1 LawrenceA

LawrenceA

    Micklewhite

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 18,288 posts
  • LocationSouff London

Posted Yesterday, 11:28 PM

300: Rise of an Empire - More cartoonish historical warfare from a graphic novel by Frank Miller. The story runs concurrently with that of the first film from 2006. The Persian god-king Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro) is laying waste to the Greek city-states, focusing on Sparta, whom his forces meet at the Battle of Thermopylae. In this film, Xerxes's chief general and commander of all of Persia's navy, the beautiful but deadly Artemisia (Eva Green), brings her fleet of hundred of ships and thousands of warriors to do battle with the much smaller forces of the Athenians, lead by war hero Themistokles (Sullivan Stapleton). Much CGI hacking, slashing and bleeding commences. Also featuring Jack O'Connell, Hans Matheson, Callan Mulvey, David Wenham, and Lena Headey.

 

Original director Zack Snyder doesn't return this time, although he co-wrote the script. Director Noam Murro tries his best to mimic the style of the first film, although this one looks cheaper, and the greenscreen sets more obvious. With much of the action set at sea, digital seaspray is constantly "splashed" onto the camera lens, but rather than adding to the reality of the shots, it makes them cheesier. Stapleton does his best as the hero, but he pales compared to the uber-macho posturing of Gerard Butler in the first film. Eva Green, on the other hand, has a hoot chewing up the scenery as the delectably evil Artemisia. I wasn't a fan of the first film, either its style or content. Those are both continued here, with the cartoon blood splattered across the screen like a slow-motion Jackson Pollack [sic] painting, and the history seeming as if it was written by a hormonal teenage boy raised on video games. If not for Eva Green, and some of the production design, I would rate this even lower.   5/10

 

300-Poster1.jpg



#2 LawrenceA

LawrenceA

    Micklewhite

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 18,288 posts
  • LocationSouff London

Posted Yesterday, 09:03 PM

3 Days to Kill - Overlong and overly sentimental action flick. Ethan Renner (Kevin Costner) is a veteran assassin for the CIA, operating throughout Europe. After a major operation involving the attempted neutralization of bad guys known as the Albino (Tomas LeMarquis) and the Wolf (Richard Sammel) goes wrong, Ethan learns that the cold that's been bothering him is actually lung and brain cancer, and it's terminal. Ethan returns to France in hopes of reconnecting with his daughter Zooey (Hailee Steinfeld) from whom he's been estranged. Her mother Christine (Connie Nielsen) reluctantly agrees when she learns of Ethan's dire prognosis. When Christine leaves for three days and charges Ethan with watching Zooey, he agrees, despite Zooey's rebellious nature. Things get more complicated when Vivi (Amber Heard) shows up on the scene. She's another CIA killer, a cold-blooded seductress with an offer for Ethan that he can't refuse: finish the job of killing the Albino and the Wolf, as well as their henchmen, and she'll give him an experimental drug that may cure his cancer.

 

This is another Euro-thriller action-fest from writer-producer Luc Besson, this time teaming with director McG. The result is slick-looking but not very inspired or original. It's 2 hour runtime is padded out with Ethan's sappy bonding moments with both his daughter and a family of Mali-born refugees squatting in his apartment. Some of the action scenes are well done, but they never rise to level of, say, Taken, the gold-standard for these kind of aging-movie-star-beats-up-Eurotrash movies.  6/10

 

3-days-to-kill-review-costner.jpg



#3 LawrenceA

LawrenceA

    Micklewhite

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 18,288 posts
  • LocationSouff London

Posted Yesterday, 05:38 PM

This Is Where I Leave You - Dysfunctional family dramedy starring Jason Bateman as Judd Altman, a radio show producer who has just discovered that his wife (Abigail Spencer) is sleeping with his boss (Dax Shepard). As if that wasn't enough, he finds out that his father has died, and as a final wish, Judd and his siblings must return to their hometown and sit shiva in accordance with Jewish tradition, despite their father's espoused atheism. The other characters include quick-to-anger oldest brother Paul (Corey Stoll) and his wife Annie (Kathryn Hahn); sister Wendy (Tina Fey), stuck in a loveless marriage and still pining for high school sweetheart Horry (Timothy Olyphant); impulsive youngest brother Phillip (Adam Driver) who brings his much older girlfriend (Connie Britton); and mother Hillary (Jane Fonda) a serial over-sharer and author. They laugh, they cry, they fight, they grow, etc. Also featuring Rose Byrne, Debra Monk and Ben Schwartz. Some of the characterizations are good, and there are some funny scenes involving Fonda, but most of this is TV-level fare.  6/10

 

siebentage.jpg



#4 LawrenceA

LawrenceA

    Micklewhite

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 18,288 posts
  • LocationSouff London

Posted Yesterday, 04:07 PM

They Came Together - Absurdist parody of romantic comedies from writer Michael Showalter and director David Wain. Over dinner at a restaurant, couple Joel (Paul Rudd) and Molly (Amy Poehler) tell their friends Kyle (Bill Hader) and Karen (Ellie Kemper) how they met, and their tale is told via flashback. Every possible rom-com trope and cliche is hit, from the characters to the meet-cute to the plot developments. Also featuring Christopher Meloni, Jason Mantzoukas, Colbie Smulders, Ed Helms, Max Greenfield, Melanie Lynskey, Ken Marino, Michael Ian Black, Kenan Thompson, Jack McBrayer, Zak Orth, Michael Murphy, and a handful of surprise cameos. Wain and Showalter, the duo behind the cult film Wet Hot American Summer, manage to find the inherent ridiculousness in much of the rom-com dynamic. This film isn't as funny as their older film (which I love), but it has its moments, including a few that had me in tears from laughter.   6/10

 

they-came-together-poster-2.jpg



#5 LawrenceA

LawrenceA

    Micklewhite

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 18,288 posts
  • LocationSouff London

Posted Yesterday, 01:43 PM

The Theory of Everything - Biographical drama stars Eddie Redmayne as world-renowned physicist Stephen Hawking. The film begins in his university days, when he's on the edge of making his first major breakthroughs, but also when he begins to show the first symptoms of his impending neuro-muscular disease. He falls in love with fellow student Jane (Felicity Jones), who refuses to leave him even after his diagnosis. Given only a short time to live, Hawking does as much work as possible, and even fathers children with now-wife Jane. But when he lingers on much longer than anyone expected, and his physical condition continues to deteriorate, the stress begins to wear on Jane. Also featuring Simon McBurney, David Thewlis, Harry Lloyd, Adam Godley, Charlie Cox, and Emily Watson.

 

I was not really looking forward to this. While in some circles it received accolades and high praise, in others it was dismissed. I'm also not a fan of Redmayne, and I had already seen a fine screen telling of Hawking's early years in the BBC TV movie Hawking starring Benedict Cumberbatch. In the end, I didn't hate it, but I also wasn't blown away. Redmayne is fine, but he gets to use physicality for the most part. In the earlier scenes he gets by with his easy smile and general resemblance to the real Hawking. I thought Jones was very good, though, in a complicated role that can stretch the audience's sympathies. I also found it odd that this was the second film I've watched, back to back no less, featuring Emily Watson as the lead girl's mother. This was Oscar nominated for Best Picture, Best Actress (Jones), Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Score, while it won the Best Actor Oscar for Redmayne. It's also one of the 1001 Movies to See Before You Die.   7/10

 

homepage_TheTheoryofEverything-2014-1.jp



#6 LawrenceA

LawrenceA

    Micklewhite

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 18,288 posts
  • LocationSouff London

Posted 25 May 2017 - 10:20 PM

Testament of Youth - Released on the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I, this true story tells of the life of Vera Brittain (Alicia Vikander), a young Englishwoman of proper breeding who is determined to attend Oxford University, against the wishes of her parents. She spends her time with her brother Edward (Taron Egerton) and his university classmates Victor (Colin Morgan) and Roland (Kit Harington), the last of which she falls in love with. He gives her the confidence to apply to university, and she is accepted. But then the War breaks out, and Roland, Edward and Victor all enlist. Vera decides her time would be better utilized as a Red Cross nurse. The War ends up changing everyone's lives irrevocably. Also featuring Emily Watson, Dominic West, Miranda Richardson, Niamh Cusack, and Hayley Atwell.

 

Based on Vera Brittain's book, this is an emotionally devastating look at the horrible cost of the War on an entire generation of British men and women. Vikander is very good, and does an able job with the accent. Egerton, Morgan, and Harington are all fine as well. The production design is detailed and evocative, and I enjoyed the use of natural light in many scenes. This failed to make much of a splash in awards season, which is a little surprising. Fans of British historical films and those with an interest in WWI, or even just tragic romances, will find something worth seeing here. Recommended.  8/10

 

testament-poster.jpg?w=800



#7 LawrenceA

LawrenceA

    Micklewhite

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 18,288 posts
  • LocationSouff London

Posted 25 May 2017 - 07:55 PM

Tammy - Lazy, unfocused road comedy stars Melissa McCarthy as Tammy, who has just been fired from her fast-food job and discovered that her husband (Nat Faxon) is having an affair with the next door neighbor (Toni Collette). Tammy decides to leave town, and she reluctantly agrees to take her grandmother Pearl (Susan Sarandon) since she has a car and a lot of ready cash. Pearl is a hard-drinking pill-popper, and along with Tammy, the two raise hell on their aimless trip across the country. Also featuring Allison Janney, Gary Cole, Mark Duplass, Kathy Bates, Sandra Oh, Sarah Becker, Ben Falcone, and Dan Aykroyd. This was McCarthy's show all the way, with her not just starring, but also producing and co-writing with her husband Ben Falcone, who also directed. The duo don't seem to know what to do with all of this creative control, though, and the result is very disappointing. The jokes are cheap and obvious, often crass, but with little shock and nearly no wit. Sarandon is pretty good as the grandmother, playing a character with gray hair and a little less spring in her step. The rest of the cast of dependable players are wasted, though. This earned two nominations at the Golden Raspberry Awards, for Worst Actress (McCarthy) and Worst Supporting Actress (Sarandon).  4/10

 

tammy_a.jpg



#8 LawrenceA

LawrenceA

    Micklewhite

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 18,288 posts
  • LocationSouff London

Posted 25 May 2017 - 05:27 PM

Swelter - Low-rent modern western starring Lennie James as Bishop, the sheriff of a small desert town on the border of Arizona and Nevada. Four strangers pull into town one day: Cole (Grant Bowler), the group's leader; Stillman (Jean-Claude Van Damme), a tough guy with his own code; Boyd (Josh Henderson); and Kane (Daniele Favilli), the psycho younger brother of Cole. They were all involved in a botched casino heist a decade ago, and while the four of them were sent to prison, a fifth member of the gang escaped, and with the money. The foursome thinks it's in this small town, and they think the sheriff knows more than he's saying. Also featuring Alfred Molina as the drunk town doctor, and Catalina Sandino Moreno as the sheriff's girlfriend. Co-starring Courtney Hope, Freya Tingley, Abby Miller, Guy Wilson, and Tracey Walter.

 

A lot of this looks really cheap, with badly lit digital photography making scenes look like some kid's YouTube video. I'm not sure why James, Molina, or Moreno agreed to be in this. I know a job's a job, but still. Maybe it was tempting to sort of be in a western. Van Damme is also wasted in a minor supporting role, which is sad since this is the kind of thing where he's usually the hero or at least the lead villain. Of course, he's front and center in all of the advertising material.    4/10

 

Swelter-2014.jpg



#9 LawrenceA

LawrenceA

    Micklewhite

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 18,288 posts
  • LocationSouff London

Posted 25 May 2017 - 02:00 PM

Super Duper Alice Cooper - Canadian rock documentary profiling the life and career of Vincent Furnier, a preacher's son born in Detroit and raised in Phoenix who, along with some high school buddies, formed the band Alice Cooper in the late 1960's, which would go on to be one of the biggest rock acts of the 1970's. Furnier, the lead singer of the band, eventually legally changed his name to Alice Cooper, and the stage persona became solely identified with him. The band naturally bristles at this, and Cooper goes solo, where he continued to find success. The movie also covers his battles with alcoholism and drug addiction. The movie is comprised of still photos and vintage TV and film footage, narrated by current interviews with the participants. The end effect is mostly agreeable, although the film's last third seemed rushed, and a couple of his best known songs were not heard or seen performed. It's still a good look at the life of this Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, and this is coming from someone who isn't much of a fan of the music.   7/10

 

 

20140415_054527_alice_500.jpg



#10 LawrenceA

LawrenceA

    Micklewhite

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 18,288 posts
  • LocationSouff London

Posted 24 May 2017 - 08:16 PM

Stonehearst Asylum - Old-fashioned Gothic horror from producer Mel Gibson and director Brad Anderson. In 1899, young doctor Edward Newgate (Jim Sturgess) arrives at the title location, a massive mental hospital located in the Scottish wilderness. He is greeted by the sinister Mickey Finn (David Thewlis), head of security, who ushers Dr. Newgate into the office of Dr. Lamb (Ben Kingsley), the head of the institution. After a long first day of touring the facility and being the guest of honor at a strange banquet, Newgate gets restless late at light and wanders the corridors, eventually finding a basement full of prison cells holding even more patients. However, these inmates, led by Dr. Salt (Michael Caine), claim to actually be the rightful staff, and that Dr. Lamb, Mr. Finn and all of the others Newgate has met thus far are actually the patients, who have recently taken over the asylum. Newgate must play his cards close to the vest, biding his time to come up with a plan to free the basement prisoners without being discovered. Newgate is assisted by beautiful patient Eliza Graves (Kate Beckinsale), who wants safety for everyone. Also featuring Sinead Cusack, Jason Flemyng, and Brendan Gleeson.

 

If you haven't guessed, this is based on Edgar Allen Poe's short story "The System of Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether." The period detail is well realized, with atmospheric sets and rich costume design. The performances are generally good, with Thewlis a stand-out as the malignant Finn, and Cusack sympathetic as one of the basement prisoners. This was originally entitled Eliza Graves, which seems to place more emphasis on Beckinsale's character than the script or the released film does. Despite the high quality of the production, and the caliber of those involved both in front of and behind the camera, this appears to have barely been distributed in the US.   7/10

 

Hysteria-affiche-300x300.jpg



#11 LawrenceA

LawrenceA

    Micklewhite

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 18,288 posts
  • LocationSouff London

Posted 24 May 2017 - 05:36 PM

Still Alice - Heartbreaking drama follows Alice (Julianne Moore), a brilliant linguist and university professor who, at the relatively young age of 50, is diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease. She tries to cope as best as she can, but of course it proves to be a burden to her ambitious  doctor husband (Alec Baldwn), as well as her 3 grown children (Kate Bosworth, Hunter Parrish, and Kristen Stewart). Also featuring Seth Gilliam, Shane McRae, and Stephen Kunken.

 

The movie is told in a straightforward, no-nonsense fashion. Moore is very good, onscreen in nearly every scene, and ably projecting the fear, anger, and confusion of the illness. One stylistic touch that works is having Moore in focus in the foreground while her surroundings are out of focus, communicating the sense of growing detachment from those around her. Stewart is also good as Alice's youngest daughter Lydia, a struggling actress who shows the most strength in confronting the disease. I've always found Alzheimer's to be a terrifying illness, and there is a history of it in my family. I also worked a bit in a dementia/Alzheimer's ward, which will leave an impression on you. So the story hit me on an emotional level, despite the surface simplicity of its "disease-of-the-week" scenario. Moore, after 3 previous nominations, finally and deservedly won the Best Actress Oscar. Recommended.  8/10

 

127847-4d1c3-82903907-m750x740-u03735.jp



#12 LawrenceA

LawrenceA

    Micklewhite

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 18,288 posts
  • LocationSouff London

Posted 24 May 2017 - 02:39 PM

Spring - Low-key, unique blend of romance and monster movie. Evan (Lou Taylor Pucci) is a directionless young man who decides, after a series of bad events, to travel to Italy. He makes his way to a beautiful coastal town where he meets beautiful local Louise (Nadia Hilker). He falls in love, and gets a job with an elderly vintner (Francesco Carnelutti). Evan and Louise seem to have a sweet romance building when she starts exhibiting some strange behavior. Louise admits to having an illness, but the truth is something beyond the realms of reality. Also featuring Nick Nevern, Chris Palko, Jonathan Silvestri, and Jeremy Gardner.

 

I haven't seen anything quite like this one before, a tender romance mixed with a bizarre creature story. Pucci is excellent, as is Hilker, an actress that I've seen recently on a TV series where she wasn't quite as impressive. The effects, used sparingly, are largely well done, although some of the CGI used is lower grade. This isn't a thriller, or a gory horror-fest, so anyone going in with those expectations will be disappointed. This was the second feature for writer Justin Benson and directors Benson and Aaron Moorhead, after 2012's Resolution (which I have not seen), and I look forward to their next, The Endless due later in 2017.   7/10

 

spring-chat__medium.jpg



#13 LawrenceA

LawrenceA

    Micklewhite

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 18,288 posts
  • LocationSouff London

Posted 24 May 2017 - 12:02 PM

Space Station 76 - Retro-Sci-Fi parody that fizzles out rather quickly. Set in deep space in the title location, a rest stop for passing starships, the film follows the lives of several of the crew members: newly arrived Jessica (Liv Tyler) who upsets the routines of her fellow workers through no real fault of her own; Captain Glenn (Patrick Wilson) the alcoholic boss of the station who is stuck in a depressed funk after his last second-in-command (and secret lover) has left the station; Misty (Marisa Coughlan) and Ted (Matt Bomer), a married couple whose relationship has hit a rocky patch, and who are struggling to raise their daughter Sunshine (Kylie Rogers). All of these domestic dramas play out as an impending possible catastrophe barrels their way. Also featuring Jerry O'Connell, Kali Rocha, Matthew Morrison, and Keir Dullea.

 

Here's another case of all the right ingredients being present, but something went wrong in the preparation and the end result is a tasteless flop. The attention to detail in the production design, costumes and even hairstyles is expert, with many little touches that evoke the science fiction of the 1970's, from the feathered hair to the flared pants, even the wallpaper. The performers, too, seem game, but the script is just toothless and weak.   5/10

 

 

space-station-76-competition-header.jpg



#14 LawrenceA

LawrenceA

    Micklewhite

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 18,288 posts
  • LocationSouff London

Posted 23 May 2017 - 10:08 PM

Son of Batman - Animated DC Comics superhero flick that falls a bit short. After the seemingly-immortal Ra's al Ghul (voice of Giancarlo Esposito), head of the League of Assassins, is apparently killed by Slade Wilson, aka Deathstroke (v: Thomas Gibson), al Ghul's daughter Talia (v: Morena Baccarin) takes her 10-year-old son Damian (v: Stuart Allen) to stay with his biological father, Batman (v: Jason O'Mara). Batman had been unaware of the child's existence, but he reluctantly agrees to watch the kid, who proves to be a hand full. Having been trained as assassin since birth, the young boy sets out on his own to avenge his grandfather's death, while Batman investigates a series of incidents involving mutated opponents. Eventually, their two cases converge, and Batman decides to make Damian the latest incarnation of Robin, as the two set out to stop Deathstroke and save Talia. Also featuring the voices of Xander Berkeley, Sean Maher, and David McCallum. I found the animation basic-to-poor, with highly sexualized and exaggerated design on the Talia character. The storyline was blah, and I was more annoyed by young Damian than anything. Deathstroke, who was one of the better villains in DC comics of the 1980's, is poorly used here, and Gibson was a bad choice for voice actor. The eventual revelation of the master plan is ridiculous even for comic book standards. All-in-all, this was a marked decline in quality compared to the previous few DC animated films.   6/10

 

 

Son-of-Batman.jpg



#15 LawrenceA

LawrenceA

    Micklewhite

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 18,288 posts
  • LocationSouff London

Posted 23 May 2017 - 08:30 PM

The Skeleton Twins - Indie dramedy about brother and sister Milo (Bill Hader) and Maggie (Kristen Wiig), who have been estranged for 10 years. After Milo, whose boyfriend has dumped him, makes a suicide attempt, he's sent to stay with Maggie and her husband Lance (Luke Wilson). Maggie, too, is battling depression, and the spark has gone out of her marriage. She's been flirting with her hunky diving instructor (Boyd Holbrook), while Milo tries to reconnect with Rich (Ty Burrell) with whom he had a rocky relationship in the past. Milo and Maggie try to help each other through their troubles via humor and shared experiences. Also featuring Kathleen Rose Perkins and Joanna Gleason.

 

Hader and Wiig, who had been longtime colleagues on Saturday Night Live, get to stretch themselves dramatically, and both prove up to the challenge. They both play complex, interesting characters, with Hader really shining as the sarcastic wouldbe actor Milo. This isn't a comedy, let alone an SNL type farce, but rather an often dark character study with some humorous moments, such as an extended lip-synch scene done to Jefferson Starship's "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now".   7/10

 

 

skeleton-twins-poster.jpg


  • Marianne likes this

#16 LawrenceA

LawrenceA

    Micklewhite

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 18,288 posts
  • LocationSouff London

Posted 23 May 2017 - 05:46 PM

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For - Nearly 10 years later comes this follow-up to the 2005 film based on the graphic novels of Frank Miller, who once again co-directs with Robert Rodriguez. Various stories illustrate the lives of the denizens of Basin City, known by the residents as Sin City. Johnny (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is a hotshot gambler who comes to town to try and teach a lesson to the corrupt Senator Roark (Powers Boothe). Private investigator Dwight (Josh Brolin) gets manipulated by Ava (Eva Green), the ultimate femme fatale. Exotic dancer Nancy (Jessica Alba) plots revenge against the man who killed her surrogate father (Bruce Willis). And lantern-jawed psychopath with a heart of gold Marv (Mickey Rourke) just wants to let off some steam. Also featuring Rosario Dawson, Dennis Haysbert, Jamie Chung, Christopher Meloni, Jeremy Piven, Stacy Keach, Ray Liotta, Juno Temple, Alexa Vega, Marton Csokas, Jaime King, Julia Garner, Jude Ciccolella, Christopher Lloyd, and Lady Gaga as Bertha.

 

The film retains the previous look: mostly B&W with occasional splashes of color, shot mostly against green-screen, with a lot of shadow and light play, resulting in a style like film noir on LSD. The cast is good, with Rourke once again the stand-out, and accolades also going to Eva Green in a flesh-baring role. Due to the decade in between films, some of the cast has changed, such as Haysbert replacing the deceased Michael Clarke Duncan, Jamie Chung replacing Devon Aoki, and Josh Brolin replacing Clive Owen. Other roles are virtually cameos, such as Liotta, King, and Piven, with Willis only appearing sparingly as a ghost. The cartoonish, over-the-top quality will certainly be off-putting to some viewers, but if you can sync with the film's wavelength, this is a lot of fun, if less so than the first film. This would prove to be the final substantial feature film role for Powers Boothe.   7/10

 

sincity-damekill.jpg



#17 LawrenceA

LawrenceA

    Micklewhite

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 18,288 posts
  • LocationSouff London

Posted 23 May 2017 - 03:21 PM

'71 - Taut thriller set in Belfast, Ireland in 1971, during the height of "the Troubles" between the IRA and the British government and military forces. Jack O'Connell stars as Gary Hook, a new recruit in Her Majesty's Armed Services. Straight out of boot camp he's assigned to a regiment stationed in Northern Ireland. On his first day in the field, he and his comrades are securing an area when a riot breaks out, and Gary is separated from his fellow soldiers, who bid a hasty retreat, leaving Gary "behind enemy lines". He's chased through back alleys and bombed out lots by trigger-happy IRA gunmen. The rest of the film details his efforts to remain alive, as well as those who help him, and others on his own side who betray him. Also featuring Sean Harris, David Wilmot, Richard Dormer, Paul Anderson, Charlie Murphy, Martin McCann, Barry Keoghan, and Corey McKinley.

 

Unlike most films about the Troubles, this one doesn't pick sides, depicting both good and bad among both the Irish and the British ranks. O'Connell is good in a largely non-verbal role, and Sean Harris has become one the best villains in turn-of-the-millennium British cinema. I also liked young McKinley as a boy who decides to help Gary reach safety. Director Yann Demange makes his feature debut here, and he does a very good job ratcheting up the tension, and there's one very well done bombing scene that sticks with the viewer.   7/10

 

seventy_one_ver2.jpg



#18 LawrenceA

LawrenceA

    Micklewhite

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 18,288 posts
  • LocationSouff London

Posted 23 May 2017 - 01:17 PM

Selma - Civil rights history lesson vividly realized by director Ava DuVernay and writer Paul Webb. Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. (David Oyelowo) travels to Alabama to help with black voter registration in the racist, violent Deep South. He and his efforts are battled on all sides, from the local authorities, to the state government, the FBI, and even other black activist groups who call for violence in the face of oppression. King is determined to use non-violence to achieve his goals, thereby setting an example for the entire world and generations to come. The prodigious cast includes Carmen Ejogo as Coretta Scott King, Tim Roth as George Wallace, Tom Wilkinson as Lyndon Johnson, Giovanni Ribisi, Andre Holland, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Colman Domingo, Tessa Thompson, Common, Lorraine Toussant, E. Roger Mitchell, Dylan Baker, Wendell Pierce, Stephan James, Lakeith Stanfield, Stephen Root, Cuba Gooding Jr. Alessandro Nivola, and Oprah Winfrey as Annie Lee Cooper.

 

Oyelowo is outstanding as King, projecting his inner strength and dignity, as well as his gift with oratory. Some of the other casting is a bit odd, like Wilkinson as LBJ and Baker as J. Edgar Hoover, but Roth was surprisingly effective as George Wallace. The subject matter guarantees controversy no matter how well or evenly-handled it is, but I thought the filmmakers did an excellent job of depicting the time, place and struggles that were fought. Some of the edits seemed a bit abrupt, and I wonder if there's a longer version somewhere on the cutting room floor. This was nominated for the Best Picture Oscar, and it won the Oscar for Best Song, a rousing soul-meets-rap number entitled "Glory" performed by John Legend and co-star Common.  Recommended.   8/10

 

selma.jpg?w=549&h=216


  • film lover 293 likes this

#19 LawrenceA

LawrenceA

    Micklewhite

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 18,288 posts
  • LocationSouff London

Posted 22 May 2017 - 10:42 PM

The Salt of the Earth - Extraordinary documentary from directors Wim Wenders and Juliano Ribeiro Salgado. The film profiles Brazilian photographer Sebastiao Salgado, world-renowned for his haunting B&W images from all corners of the globe. The movie is part biography, part nature film, part anthropology tract, part history lesson, and never less than engaging. Much of the running time is taken with stills of Salgado's photos as he narrates, in a pleasant voice, the story behind the pictures. He starts out his career with an eye for the wonder of man and his works, but over time he focuses on more sobering subject matter, such as African famines and massacres, and the pitiful lives of refugees around the world, which would break the spirit of the strongest of men. He finds renewal in the natural world and its preservation. This was nominated for the Best Feature Documentary Oscar. Recommended.   8/10

 

the-salt-of-the-earth-inexarchia.gr__0.j


  • Bogie56 likes this

#20 LawrenceA

LawrenceA

    Micklewhite

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 18,288 posts
  • LocationSouff London

Posted 22 May 2017 - 07:28 PM

St. Vincent - Indie dramedy from writer-director Theodore Melfi. Vincent (Bill Murray) is a grouchy, lonely man who drinks too much and has a gambling problem. When he gets new neighbors, he agrees to babysit young boy Oliver (Jaeden Lieberher) since his single mom Maggie (Melissa McCarthy) works double-shifts at a local hospital. Desperate for money and not above using and exploiting people for it, Vincent also warms to the kid and teaches him some dubious life lessons. Vincent also has a regular thing with pregnant Russian stripper and prostitute Daka (Naomi Watts), and a loan shark (Terrence Howard) breathing down his neck. Also featuring Chris O'Dowd, Kimberly Quinn, Nate Corddry, Donna Mitchell, Scott Adsit, Reg E. Cathey, and Ann Dowd.

 

This has a lot of the standard indie film moments of forced quirkiness and "learning life lessons", and if I were to rate this movie on the story alone, it wouldn't very high. However, the performances from Murray, McCarthy, Lieberher, and Watts are all enjoyable, and raise this above the pack.   7/10

 

 

St-Vincent-Poster.jpg






0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users