Collateral Beauty

Howard Inlet (Will Smith) was a high-flying, smooth-talking New York marketing whizz, until two years ago when his six year old daughter died. He returned to work eighteen months later, but his understandable change of character has left him shut down and closed off to all around him. His work has suffered, and the business he co-owns with best friend Whit (Edward Norton) may go under unless something can be done. After hiring a private investigator, Whit – along with colleagues Simon (Michael Pena) and Claire (Kate Winslet) – discover that as part of his recovery process Howard has written letters to the entities of Love, Death and Time, so the trio decide to hire actors to portray these facets of the world and confront Howard, in an attempt to prove he is crazy so he’ll be forced to sign his ownership of the business over to them.
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Sedmikrásky (Daisies)

Two girls, both named Marie (Jitka Cerhová & Ivana Karbanová) decide that since the world has gone bad, surely they must be allowed to as well. Thus initiates a series of increasingly anarchic and madcap escapades as the two wreck havoc wherever they go.
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The Birth of a Nation

This review was originally written as part of my USA Road Trip series for French Toast Sunday.

Two families – the Stoneman family from the North and the Southern Cameron clan – are friends with one another, with clear romantic interests between males and females on both sides. However, when the American Civil War breaks out the families find themselves in opposing camps. Both suffer losses until a Cameron son ends up being cared for by the Stoneman daughter in a Northern hospital when the war ends. All looks to be well until President Lincoln is assassinated, at which point everything becomes more racist than could possibly be imagined.
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Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!

Three scantily clad go-go dancers go drag racing in the desert when they encounter a young couple. Varla (Tura Satana), the leader of the dancers, challengers the man (Ray Barlow) to a race and, when it appears he will win, she runs him off the road. The two start fighting, after Varla goads him into hitting her, and she soon kills him, forcing them to kidnap his bikini-clad girlfriend Linda (Susan Bernard). When the girls stop at a petrol station, they hear of an isolated house inhabited by a wheelchair-bound old man (Stuart Lancaster) and his two sons, Kirk (Paul Trinka) and his mentally handicapped but physically impressive young brother, known only as The Vegetable (Dennis Busch). Apparently somewhere in that house there is a large sum of money, which Varla will stop at nothing to acquire.
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Insurgent

In a nonsense dystopia where people are separated into groups based on their personalities, four people are on the run as fugitives from the state, after rebelling in the previous film. These people are Tris (Shailene Woodley), her love interest Four (Theo James), her brother Caleb (Ansel Engort) and a dick called Peter (Miles Teller). They’ve been hiding out amongst the forgiving and generally pleasant Amity faction, but when Peter sells out the others, Caleb heads back to his home in Erudite, leaving Tris and Four to go on the run, passing from faction to faction in an attempt to raise an army against the evil Erudite, led by Jeanine (Kate Winslet) and her army of Dauntless, led by Eric (Jai Courtney) and Max (Mekhi Phifer).  insurgent-xlarge Continue reading

Robot Overlords

This review was originally written for Blueprint: Review.

After robots from space have taken over the Earth, the surviving humans are forced to remain inside their homes indefinitely, being monitored by flashing implants behind their ear. If they go outside, they are killed. However, four kids accidentally find a way to turn off their implants, and see it as an opportunity to firstly find one of their number’s missing father, and possibly end the robo-tyranny forever.
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Killing Season

This review was originally written for Blueprint: Review.

Almost twenty years after the US intervened in the Serbian/Bosnian conflict, two opposing veterans run into one another in the mountains of Georgia. One of them, American Colonel Benjamin Ford (De Niro) has become a recluse, living out his days away from his son (Ventimiglia) and his family, but bears a constant reminder of the war by way of the shrapnel still lodged in his leg. The other, Serbian soldier Emil Kovac (Travolta), initially seems friendly, but soon shows his true intentions.
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