In the closing week of May 1940 the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) and many thousands of allied soldiers were left standard on the beaches of Dunkirk entirely surrounded by the German Army. Facing a highly organised and efficient army and bombs dropping from the air, the Allied troops waited for rescue. Dunkirk is the telling of Operation Dynamo, which led to the rescue of over 300,000 Allied troops.
Wednesday, 26 July 2017
Led by the brutal Colonel (Woody Harrelson) the last remnants of humanity look to save their species and destroy the apes, before the apes win the war and take over. The war heavily hits Caesar as he loses something dear to him which sends him on the path of revenge.
Friday, 21 July 2017
Shortly after Sofia Coppola’ success at the Cannes Film Festival (where she won best director) her latest effort was the target of criticism for the removal of a black slave character from the story (the character featured in both the 1971 original and the novel). Sofia’s defence was that she didn’t wish to half arse such a serious topic (slavery) and thus focused on the isolation white Southern women felt during the years of the American Civil War. It does seem questionable that a black character would be excluded entirely from a picture set during a war where slavery was the main reason for the fighting, but Coppola’s view of the novel does not deal with that aspect of the war.
Sunday, 16 July 2017
It seems to be the case that every year a horror movie is released to much critical acclaim but a lot of audience distain. Granted there might be a sense of an audience unwilling to be tested or broaden their horizons but mostly it’s because the studio incorrectly advertised the film and sold a different product to what the audience got. It happened with The Witch and now it happened with It Comes at Night. It perhaps does the film a disfavour even if the box office proceedings were boosted by the film’s questionable advertising.
Tuesday, 11 July 2017
Claire (Teresa Palmer) is an Australian tourist taking pictures of Berlin’s GDR architecture. She meets a dashing Berliner named Andi (Max Riemelt) and the pair immediately hit if off. Claire goes out looking for Max the next day, and the pair have a one night stand. After the night of passion, Claire wakes up to find her locked in his apartment. She stays another night, assuming being locked in the apartment was an accident, but when it happens a second time it turns out Andi has dark motivations. With no means of contacting the police or shouting for help, Claire must outsmart her captor.
Wednesday, 5 July 2017
Baby (Ansel Englort) is a getaway driver for criminal King-pin Doc (Kevin Spacey), and he only needs one more job to be straight (Baby stole Doc’s car several years back and has been in his debt ever since). After completion of the job that’s set him straight, Baby tries to cope with normality. He finds a job and quickly falls for the lovely Debora, but it transpires being straight doesn’t necessarily mean he is finished as Doc needs Baby to do another job.
Friday, 30 June 2017
There’s a great number of people in the world who are very much set in their ways and, in the film industry, this is no more pronounced that at the Cannes Film Festival. Okja, the Netflix produced film which was in competition at the Cannes film Festival was booed when the Netflix logo appeared on screen (though eventually the film received a standing ovation). As much as I appreciate the French film industry for its quality pictures and being the birth place of cinema I feel the 36 month limit placed on streaming service serves is as much as a refusal to get with the times as it is a bid to protect the industry and the country’s spectacular reputation for theatres and cinema.
Sunday, 25 June 2017
Currently, the McLaren Formula One is at the foot of the Championship table with engine problems being the woes that fall upon the team and drivers. So, with the McLaren team is such a dire position it seems ideal to go back to a time when the iconic McLaren name was in the ascendency. Directed by Roger Donaldson, McLaren follows Kiwi racing car driver and designer Bruce McLaren from growing up in his small town in New Zealand to designing World Championship winning racing cars.
Bruce McLaren is painted as a determined, hardworking and talented figure in the world of motorsport, finding success in many different formulas and racing categories. The time he devoted to the sport was so great it must have impacted his family life though the movie does not investigate this. Whilst, a look into the man’s family life may have opened him up on an emotional level (thereby adding more depth to the film) the areas that film does investigate is very interesting even if some understanding of engineering may be required.
Due to the limited resources available (the sport was still in its infancy in the 60s) director Roger Donaldson combines reconstructive footage with archival footage and interviews, this works reasonably well but the reconstructive footage does feel like it served more as padding than anything greatly informative. What’s also interesting to note is how the drivers and mechanics shrugged off the death of fellow racing drivers. This inaction and belief that death was part of the sport contributed significantly to the high number of fatalities in the era. Sadly, however, the film doesn’t go into great depth regarding the effect the high death toll had on Bruce McLaren.
The climax of the documentary is undoubtedly high emotional, but thrills and quality of material available means McLaren isn’t on a par with Senna.
George Best was football’s first celebrity, many dubbed him the Fifth Beetle for his supreme good look and massive female fanbase. Not only was he supremely good looking but he was an incredible football player, one of the best of his generation, a generation that included the likes of Pele and Eusebio. The documentary, simply titled Best, speaks admirably about the talents of George Best, but it’s not a documentary that spends the entire timewaxing lyrically about how the ball was glued to his feet. Instead it’s a very honest and very moving documentary about a sportsman who threw away his talent because of deadly addiction to alcohol. What’s striking is the friends of George Best not only blame the man himself, but themselves, they feel they did not do enough to turn him away from drink.
Comparisons to the Bobby Moore, whose life was also discussed in a documentary could easily be made, and both are refreshingly honest, yet respectful documentaries. George Best is an endlessly fascinating subject, a great talent ruined by drink and a celebrity lifestyle and the film serves as a warning to celebrity culture and the hounding by press and fans. Making use of archival footage and talking heads, the Best documentary lives up to its name becoming one the finest documentaries on the sport. People can chuckle how George Best may have spent his money on booze, birds, fast cars and squandered the rest but it was a lifestyle never made him happy. A sad documentary about a wasted talent.
Tuesday, 20 June 2017
Southern Fury tells the intertwining stories of the Lindel brothers, Mikey (Johnathon Schaech) and JP (Adrian Grenier), who had only each other to rely on growing up. As adults, JP found success as the owner of a construction company, while Mikey became a small-time mobster, mired in a life of petty crime. When Mikey is kidnapped and held for a ransom by ruthless crime boss Eddie King (Nicolas Cage), JP turns to the brothers' old pal Sal (John Cusack), a plain clothes detective for help – IMDB.
Tuesday, 13 June 2017
Thursday, 8 June 2017
Tuesday, 6 June 2017
The island of Themyscira is situated somewhere on Earth (not sure where) and it is protected from the horror of the World of Men by a bubble. This island is populated by an Amazonian tribe which consist entirely of women. They have lived peacefully for thousands of years until an American pilot Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) crash lands on the island, and he is followed closely by a German contingent. A battle ensues and the Amazon tribe are then forced to face the outside world and the war raging in it. Upon hearing of the war to end all wars, Diana (Gal Gadot) fears that the god Ares has risen again, and leaves the island of Themyscira seeking to destroy him.
Khaled (Sherwan Haji) emerges from the soot ready to start a new life in Finland after escaping Syria and the brutal Civil War. Upon arrival he announces himself at the Migrant Detention centre so that his application for asylum to Finland is processed. The application is rejected, however, and whilst living on the streets he meets Finnish restaurant owner Wikström (Sakari Kuosmanen) who befriends him.
Friday, 2 June 2017
In today’s modern era nobody really has anything as archaic as a VHS player so Samara’s been less busy than usual. That is until Gabriel Brown (Johnny Galecki) buys one of those VHS player things and watches the type inside. The type is cursed and Gabriel gets a phone call saying that he’ll die in seven days. Meanwhile, Julia (Matilda Lutz) is seeing her boyfriend off to college but within a few weeks he becomes estranged, and a desperate skype call from a mysterious girl alerts Julia that something is wrong. So she packs her bags and goes to see him and finds herself caught up in a deadly curse but for her things are little different than usual.
Thursday, 1 June 2017
Back in 2003 people wondered how good can a movie about a theme park attraction be? The answer was pretty good as Gore Verbinski set sail on what would be major lucrative franchise which would yield great booty for Jerry Bruckheimer and Disney. Verbinski was the helmsman for the first three movies and despite him disembarking the franchise in 2007, the franchise did not sink at the box office. The choppy seas of directors was not an issue either as the fifth film retains much of what made the original films quite appealing to an audience as whole.
Gloria (Anne Hathaway) is an alcoholic, and out of a job. After her constant drinking and lying, her boyfriend, Tim (Dan Stevens) kicks her out of the house leaving Gloria with no choice but to return to her home town. There she finds her parent’s bare and uninhabited house and by chance happens to bump into an old school friend named Oscar (Jason Sudekis). Meanwhile in Korea, there’s a giant monster rampaging through Seoul and it quickly dawns on Gloria that the two are connected.
Wednesday, 24 May 2017
Upon hearing news of her brother’s apparent suicide, Clover Catto (Ellie Kendrick) returns home to a house devastated by a recent flood and a distant father (played by David Troughton). At home, Clover tries to cope with the loss of her brother but her distant and difficult relationship with her dad makes processing that loss a painful task.
Thursday, 18 May 2017
This week’s Thursday Movie Picks (about The Renaissance), hosted by Wandering Through the Shelves, has an entirely unintentional link. That link is Orson Welles, he starred in two of the films I selected and in the final pick Welles starred in another film adaptation of the famous Scottish Play.
Wednesday, 17 May 2017
Alien Covenant is set 10 years after the events in Prometheus and is about the ship named The Covenant which is on a colonization mission to the planet Origae-6. However, the crew are woken by a solar flare, which kills their captain, leaving Bully Crudup’s Christopher Oram in charge. By chance, the ship intercepts a message from a nearby planet which offers the crew everything they need to survive. Following the deadly accident in their sleeping pods, the crew decide not to go back to hyper-sleep and decide instead to investigate the nearby planet where everything imaginable goes wrong.
Saturday, 13 May 2017
Over the last decade the way movies are being distributed has changed, the biggest change is that companies like Netflix and Amazon (who offer their content on demand) are now starting to produce their own films some of which are not released in cinemas. Netflix have managed to secure Adam Sandler, who can be a massive box office draw, to a four film deal. Sandy Wexler is the third film of the four film deal (his second with director Steven Brill) and once again its poor, but on the plus side, it’s better than the previous Netflix produced efforts.
Sunday, 7 May 2017
It was quite a surprise when the little-known Guardians of the Galaxy became one of the most highly rated Marvel films since the Superhero movie boom in 2008. Since then Guardians of the Galaxy has been my favourite superhero movie thus far so the second was highly anticipated. In the sequel, the Guardians of the Galaxy are still working together and their latest mission sees them handing over a series of super powerful batteries in exchange for Gamora’s (Zoe Salanda) sister, Nebula (Karen Gillian) who is held captive by the Sovereign race.
Friday, 28 April 2017
Last year the BBC conducted a poll where David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive was voted the greatest film of the 21st century. Naturally this got the attention of people from different walks of life, all with different levels of interest in cinema. What people have to understand is that film critics (who like films in funny languages with weird writing down the bottom) will not select an ordinary film as the greatest. That’s the attitude you will have to take when watching Mulholland Drive, it is not an ordinary film.
Thursday, 27 April 2017
I must admit that I was pretty sniffy towards Passengers. I mean they took the rather cynical move of casting the two most popular, young and attractive actors in the leading roles. All the casting crew did was just pick two of the most popular actors have done with it. Still it was a little unfair that I turned my nose up because it turned out to be a rather enjoyable film.
Thursday, 20 April 2017
Wednesday, 19 April 2017
When Raw premiered at the London Film Festival there were reports of people fainting in the aisles and vomiting in the toilets. Whether this is true or not, the media attention the film received was positive from there on…who wouldn’t want to see the film that made people faint and throw up? In actual fact this sort of attention does the film a disservice because it’s so much more than simply being a French Cannibal Horror film with vomit inducing gore.