A small group of IRA members take an English soldier captive and attempt to trade him for one of their own who is being held hostage elsewhere. During his captivity, the soldier, named Jody (Forest Whitaker) befriends one of his captors, a man named Fergus (Stephen Rea), and makes him promise that, should Jody not survive his ordeal, then Fergus must track down Jody’s partner, Dil, and tell her Jody was thinking of her when he died. Whilst the hostage negotiations don’t turn out necessarily as anyone expected, Fergus still finds himself tracking Dil down, but he didn’t expect to fall for her himself. Continue reading
This review was originally written for French Toast Sunday, as part of my USA Road Trip series.
When his wife suffers a boating accident and is thrown into a coma, wealthy land-owner Matt King (George Clooney) finds himself having to deal not only with his wife’s tragedy, but also their two daughters, an important land deal and some revelations about his wife’s life. Continue reading
Richard Phillips (Tom Hanks) is the captain of the Maersk Alabama, a container ship heading around the Horn of Africa. En route they are set upon by four Somalian pirates, led by Muse (Barkhad Abdi). He and his cohorts are after money – more than the ship is carrying – and begin to search for the crew of the ship, who are hiding in the engine room whilst Phillips is held hostage on the bridge. Continue reading
Last night, American Hustle won the BAFTA for Best Original Screenplay and that got me thinking: “How the hell did American Hustle win the BAFTA for Best Original Screenplay?” I’ve also been contemplating “Why is American Hustle nominated for Best Director at so many awards shows, including yesterday’s BAFTAs and the upcoming Oscars?” They’re questions I can’t really fathom an answer to because, as far as I can recall, it wasn’t a very good film, and the main aspects that let it down were the direction and the script. Continue reading
Newly engaged virginal couple Brad and Janet (Barry Bostwick and Susan Sarandon) are heading to visit their scientist friend, Dr. Scott (Jonathan Adams) when their car breaks down during a storm. They head to a nearby castle, where they find themselves becoming embroiled in a bizarre party/science experiment/orgy/clusterfuck. Continue reading
In the old west, a gang of outlaws led by Pike Bishop (William Holden) attempt to pull one last job and rob a bank. However, things do not go according to plan (when do they ever?) and a bloody shootout ensues, during which some of Pike’s men are injured or killed, and the loot they obtain is found to be worthless. The guys set out to make another big score, but find themselves hampered by one of their former members, Deke Thornton (Robert Ryan) being forced to chase them down. Continue reading
The Oscar nominations were recently announced and, as usual, I’ve seen precious few of the films that were mentioned. As in, of the nine Best Picture nominees, at the time of nomination I had only seen two (American Hustle and Gravity, neither of whom I’m particularly fussed about winning). Well, now I’ve seen four, as I saw Wolf of Wall Street recently too (potential review pending). And, not to put too big a spoiler on my opinions of this film, but as far as I’m concerned those other five pictures I’ve still yet to see will need to be pretty damn phenomenal if they’ve got a chance of beating 12 Years A Slave. Continue reading
I recently appeared on the As You Watch podcast with Nick of the Cinematic Katzenjammer and Vern of Vern’s Video Vangaurd [sic] and Vern’s Video Vortex (unfortunately their co-host, Joe of Two Dude Review, was unable to make it). The show, which was a ton of fun, was dedicated to one of my favourite actors working today, Michael Shannon. We each gave our top 3 Michael Shannon performances, but I felt that didn’t scratch my Shannon itch, so I’ve compiled my list of his films instead. This is a completely different list to that of the podcast (though there’s some crossover) so be sure to check the podcast out on the link above.
Why is Shannon one of my favourite actors? Well, he’s really great at playing complex characters – usually ones that are either potentially insane or devoted and driven by some moral compass that leads to powerful, passionate performances from even his smallest roles. He improves anything he’s involved with – even disappointing efforts like Man of Steel, and is always an interesting presence on screen. Now remember, this is a list of his best films, not necessarily his best roles, he just happens to be in them somewhere… Continue reading