Two men must spend 4 weeks together maintaining a lighthouse on an isolated island in the late 19th century. Sounds pretty straightforward, right? There’ll be some butting of heads as their personalities clash and cabin fever sets in, but eventually they’ll either become friends, lovers, or they’ll kill each other, but however it turns out, the story will be clear and everything will be resolved, yes? After all, the film is called The Lighthouse, and the primary job of a lighthouse is to reveal what would be otherwise hidden and dangerous, so calling a film The Lighthouse when it’s actually a near-impenetrable sack of confusion would be ludicrous!Continue reading
Tag Archives: Willem Dafoe
The English Patient
A disfigured English-speaking man (Ralph Fiennes) is being cared for by a nurse (Juliette Binoche) in Italy during World War 2. Whilst being moved his condition worsens, so she cares for him in the ruins of a monastery where they are joined by some bomb disposal technicians (Naveen Andrews and Kevin Whately) and a thumb-less Canadian (Willem Dafoe). All the while the man struggles to remember who he is, recalling his past sharing an affair with a British woman (Kristen Scott Thomas) married to one of the man’s colleagues (Colin Firth).
This review was originally written for Blueprint: Review.
John Wick (Reeves) has suffered a loss. His wife (Moynaham) recently passed away, but after her funeral Wick is delivered a final gift from her, in the form of the most adorable beagle puppy ever. It’s like it was created in an adorable puppy factory. Anyway, this gift was intended as something for Wick to focus on instead of his grief, something to drive him past this unbearable experience and continue on with his life, so when he runs foul of low-life Russian gang member Iosef (Allen) with an eye for Wick’s vintage Mustang, and Iosef beats up Wick, steals his car and kills the dog, needless to say some vengeance is very much on the cards.
Born on the Fourth of July
After signing up and heading to war, the action skips straight over boot camp and the green-horn period – Stone covered all that in Platoon three years earlier – and drops us straight into the now Sergeant Kovic’s Second tour of Vietnam in 1967. These sequences are atmospheric and well-realised, but they’re less impressive than almost any other war film. It’s a good thing then that this film isn’t really aiming to show an accurate, visceral depiction of warfare, instead focusing on the disillusionment of volunteers, the effects that warfare can have on those who fight it, and the disconnect between the soldiers and the families they’ve left behind. For when Ron is discharged – in a wheelchair, with the promise that he’ll never use his legs again (though his main concern is being able to use what is between those legs) – he discovers that his brother doesn’t believe in the war, and his friends that stayed home became prosperous and affluent, whilst he had everything taken away from him.
The cats is full of familiar faces from anyone who’s watched Platoon – alongside Tom Berenger’s Marine recruiter is Willem Dafoe’s similarly paralysed veteran, and John C. McGinley turns up for a very small role (as do Wayne Knight and Tom Sizemore).
The film takes a very long time (145 minutes) to put across some fairly simple ideas. The first 90 minutes are thoroughly predictable, and there were very few surprises in the last hour either. Tom Cruise isn’t bad in the role, but as ever he always does better when he isn’t front and centre (Magnolia, Tropic Thunder), and I couldn’t shake the feeling that he was desperately pursuing an Oscar. Though he was nominated, it’s no surprise that it went instead to Daniel Day-Lewis for My Left Foot, and I’d still have been happy had it gone to fellow nominees Robin Williams or Morgan Freeman, for Dead Poet’s Society or Driving Miss Daisy, instead of Cruise.
It’s worth watching if you’re a Stone or Cruise completist, but there’s little new here, and what there is still won’t surprise, or impress you.
Choose life 5/10