In Sheffield in 1984, Jimmy and Ruth are struggling to make amends. When she discovers she is pregnant, they make the decision to do the decent thing; get married and get an apartment together in the nearest block of flats. Their parents meet and life goes on, until the threat of a nuclear war between Russia and America begins to intensify, culminating in a bomb being dropped on the nearby military base. Does that sound like a spoiler for the end of the film? Well it isn’t. The bomb gets dropped roughly a quarter of the way through this film, after which we follow the fallout – both nuclear and otherwise – the survivors must endure. Continue reading
Two blog relays in a matter of weeks? Yep. This time around the topic at hand is superhero movies, which is only fitting seeing as it was created by Lambcast-regular and host of the FilmWhys podcast (upon which I’ve appeared no less than three times so far) Bubbawheat from Flights, Tights and Movie Nights. The aim of this quest is to determine the best 10 superhero movies of all time. Here are the rules, as defined on Bubbawheat’s original post: Continue reading
After three parapsychologists are kicked out of their university, they set up shop as the Ghostbusters, an elite force who will assist in any supernatural goings-on that may be bothering you. When a portal appears in the refrigerator of a particularly attractive client, the guys have their work cut out for them in working out what is going on, and how they can stop it.
After work one day, site foreman Ivan Locke (Tom Hardy) gets in his car and heads home. However, a split decision at a junction threatens to spin his life apart, as instead of going to see his wife and kids, he opts to resolve another matter, all on the night before the biggest day of his career. Where is he going? What effect will it have? And why is this seemingly good, regular guy willing to potentially throw so much away? All will become clear as we journey with Ivan, never leaving him or his car. Continue reading
In a small town in Massachusetts in 1987, young Henry (Gattlin Griffith) lives alone with his fragile mother, Adele (Kate Winslet). She hasn’t been the same since the boy’s father left, and her depression has intensified to the point of her becoming a shut-in, only venturing away from the house once a month to collect groceries. On one such trip they encounter Frank (Josh Brolin), who has just escaped from prison and is in need of somewhere to lay low before he catches the next train out of town. Adele reluctantly helps Frank – who quietly yet forcefully insinuates harm will come to them if they do not help – but due to it being a holiday weekend and a lack of trains, Frank is forced to stay with this fractured family, and soon finds himself and Adele getting closer than he had intended. Continue reading
In a retirement home, a 121-year old man – claiming to be the only white survivor of the battle of Little Big Horn – is being interviewed about the habits of the Native Americans. Instead he recounts his life story, starting when he was ten years old and, after his family’s wagon trail was attacked, when he and his older sister were taken in by a tribe calling themselves the Human Beings. We see the boy – originally called Jack Crabb until the tribe renames him Little Big Man – undertake many adventures, becoming embroiled with the likes of a devout Christian couple, a snake oil salesman, Wild Bill Hickok and General Custer along the way.
Ray (Kevin Costner) was brought up a baseball fan, but after falling out with his father and heading off to college, he’s now found himself owning a farm in Iowa with his wife Annie (Amy Madigan) and young daughter Karin (Gaby Hoffmann). All seems to be well, until Ray hears a voice in the cornfield, and has a vision of a baseball field in its place. So begins a story of faith, family and ambition, that will lead Ray down paths he never knew existed – or were even possible.If I were to lay out the entire plot of Field of Dreams – which I’m not going to do because that’s an insane level of spoiling, and it’s already been done on Wikipedia – the story would read as a wildly fantastical one, with many unexpected supernatural elements. It would also probably come off as deeply unsatisfying. You see, within this movie that is ostensibly about a man not wanting to throw his life away – as he believes his father did – there lies a lot of questions, and precious few answers. The origin of the mysterious voice Ray hears in the field, how it is talking to him and where exactly the owner is are all plot strands never entirely tied up, and many more have been added by the end of the film, yet if you’re searching for answers you’re not only looking at the wrong film, but you’ve entirely missed the point of this movie. Continue reading
This review was originally written recently for Blueprint: Review, and is also my selection for August for my Blind Spot pick.
Before I get into this review, I feel it’s only fair I give you a glimpse into my brief history with French New Wave cinema. As with David, whose review of another Truffaut film, Shoot the Pianist, posted yesterday, I’m not a huge fan, however, I’ve seen fewer films from within the period than he has, so there was a greater potential for me to like this film. To date, I’ve only really seen two New Wave classics, Godard’s Breathless (written by Truffaut) and Resnais’ Last Year at Marienbad. I hated them both, and even went back to re-watch Breathless (also known as A Bout de Souffle) and in fact hated it more the second time around. My problems with these films are many and varied, but essentially I find the characters to be so dislikeable that I genuinely don’t want to spend any time with them, and they all suffer from an abundance of style over substance, more so than any other films I could mention. Marienbad is particularly frustrating, given the complete absence of anything resembling a cohesive plot. I’ve heard arguments praising its open-ended narrative, allowing the viewer to read all sorts of insights into the film, but I see it as laziness on the part of the writer, or potentially an inability to write two adjacent scenes at all. Basically, what I’m trying to say is that Jules et Jim didn’t have much of a chance to begin with, even though I went in with as open a mind as I could manage.
Today is my birthday. Well, technically, as I’m writing this, tomorrow is my birthday, but I’m scheduling this post ahead of time, so I’m not wrestling with WordPress on my actual birthday. It’s all pointless anyway, because by the time you’re even reading this it could be the day after my birthday, or the week, or even next year, in which case it’s my birthday again, doesn’t time fly? Anyway, I thought I’d use this day as a mini-announcement for a List I’ve aided to my many projects upon this site.
Celie and her younger sister Nettie are being raised by an abusive father in southern USA, near the start of the 20th Century. They have just lost their mother, and so far their father has taken the two children he raped into Celie and killed them in the woods. Now, though, their father’s eye has begun to wander onto the blossoming Nettie, so Celie is married off to a widowed man who needs a wife to take care of his house and his three unruly children. This new man turns out to be just as bad as Celie’s father, and it doesn’t help when he spends all his time pining for a lost love, in the form of Shug Avery.