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Careful What You Wish For (2015)
A tweaked copy of 'Body Heat' made for teenagers, watch the original to see how the grown-ups do it
If you're a boy teenager with a hard-on, go for it - enjoy the shower scene, especially.
If you're a juvenile looking for mild mental stimulation with one eye on another screen, it's passable.
If you're as old as I am then you'll quickly suss this is a regurgitated plot based on the classic film 'Body Heat' (1981) with William Hurt and Kathleen Turner. I continued watching just to see how close to the wind they sailed. And yep, I suggest you cut your losses and immerse yourself in the original.
Plus ça change ...
John Wick (2014)
Worrying representation of the gratuitous violence in Hollywood today
Sickeningly violent involving long sequences of Keanu Reeves shooting people in the face. Character sympathy is attempted by smashing the skull of his pet dog and placing it in front of his unconscious face as a wake up vision of loveliness.
It is a sad indictment of the attitude of Hollywood producers these days that they pander to the most base instincts of it's audience, subliminally nurturing violent streaks in disaffected youth. Focus is placed on the heavy artillery and preparation for a killing spree.
You couldn't find a better mainstream film to feed to disturbed teenagers on the cusp of walking into a school and shooting dead their fellow students.
Oh, and the music will give you a headache.
The Saratov Approach (2013)
You need blind faith to endure this Rasputin v. Tintin mush
Be highly aware that the positive reviews written here are driven by the religion of the writers.
The score is truly appalling, ill-fitted to the context, almost constant throughout the film and extremely irritating.
The narrative is cardboard cut-out in it's execution and as convincing in it's delivery as the fable that the founder of the Latter Day Saint movement, Joseph Smith, was directed to golden plates buried near his home by an angel. (Oh, and the angel repossessed the plates before they ever saw the light of day - convenient eh?).
If you want to watch a couple of preppies handcuffed to a radiator for 90 minutes, be my guest.
The Counselor (2013)
So miserable I started thinking Scott was projecting his grief
Disjointed, hollow, depressing and thoroughly miserable, this was a huge disappointment given the director and actors involved.
I really began to think at one point that Scott must have been affected so badly by the suicide of his brother during the making of the film that he subconsciously projected his emptiness into his work.
I so wanted some character sympathy to be shown but there was none. I so wanted some redeeming plot twist to occur, but it just fell deeper into a black hole of despair.
There was no-one, nothing to cling to in an effort to pull you out of the quicksand of nothingness. Just nothing.
And if you read all of this, then you might just find meaning in the diatribe spouted by the meanest muvverfukker on the phone to Fassbender as he puts the last nail in the coffin of hope.
Not recommended whatever mood you're in.
Pap - more like how a junior doctor ends up after a 72 hour shift !
Doctor 'What's the blood pressure?' Nurse 'High' First warning sign this film is aiming low.
Gawd how the packaging of tripe movies these days is so clever you get drawn in with great expectations. Attractive marketing techniques may just about help this movie break even, but as for value for money - you'll be sheared.
There is no 'action' to speak of, and the protagonist at the end of a dreary yawnfest looks like a junior doctor after a triple shift in a London A&E clinic. Laughable. The sound track at the end credits is quite nice, I'll give it that.
Engaging look at the underbelly of Hollywood written, acted and produced by two anti-establishment bright sparks
I love films which have an independent, rebellious nature, seemingly untainted by the power of the Hollywood factory.
The story is of two struggling writers in Hollywood weaving their own experiences into the first script they hope to sell. The comic consequences of being broke, the heartbreak caused by a heartless harlot and the testing of their friendship all provide great food for thought.
Tyler McGee and Cameron Fife have their hand in every stage of this film - producing, writing, acting the leads, editing and original music.
Malcolm Goodwin directs brilliantly as well as acting and editing, making for a very close collaboration with all involved.
The result is a very tight script, excellent storyline and great score. The direction keeps the pace as snappy as the dialogue and Goodwin and the cameramen use lots of natty techniques to enhance what would otherwise be simple talking-head scenes. Really impressive, especially considering filming was completed within a few weeks for under $50k!
The skill of the actors is captivating, everyone keeps the scenes totally believable, showing that budgets are irrelevant when you have a strong cast, good story and skilled technicians.
A terrific cock-a-snook at the Hollywood establishment and highly recommended.
The Challenger (2013)
Mesmerizing performance by William Hurt
Recent revelations of the Lyndon Johnson taped conversations exposing the sabotage by Nixon of the Vietnam peace talks in 1968 had me reeling at the extent to which the pursuit of power and money causes politicians to cover up the facts, even if it costs lives.
Feynman was the critical independent factor which foiled such attempts when the Challenger exploded during take off in January 1986.
This factual account reveals Feynman was by chance adopted onto the investigative commission over the Challenger disaster at a time when he was critically ill. Unlike the rest of the commission members who had other agendas, Feynman approached the problem objectively and, through his popular demonstrations of physics for which he'd become famous, had the skill and passionate commitment to reveal the truth to the public. As he wrote in his report, 'For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled' Throughout this gripping drama you are taking the part of the underdog, frustrated at the increasing knowledge that the commission members, bar one or two, were driven by political agendas which meant the truth was trying to be covered up. Feynman represents the common man, and as such makes you part of the battle to foil the exasperating corruption.
William Hurt is magnificent playing Feynman, depicting non-conformist behaviour which is only tolerated because of his brilliance. I found his nuances of expression fascinating and wonderfully representative of how we, the public, would have reacted when faced with pompous authority attempting to control our behaviour. Brilliant stuff, and all the more telling because it is true.
A Dangerous Method (2011)
Watching Knightley getting spanked ...
Perhaps it is just me, a female with a yawning boredom of sex depicted on screen and even less interested in the machinations of privileged men who in the early 20th Century saw women as secondary beings.
But watching Keira Knightley getting spanked was not my idea of psychoanalysis other than to give her what she deserves for being such a hammy actress.
Jung and Freud thought autism was caused by bad parenting, their only avenue to solution when sex could not be held accountable. Temple Grandin who suffered years of psychoanalysis ("put the 'o' in, it sounds better" to quote Freud) can testify eloquently to that having found her own cure!
To verdener (2008)
Excellent example of how religion thrives on the indoctrination of children and the tyranny of stupidity
A true story of the painful experience suffered by a good girl wanting to do right by her family whilst it dawns on her that the religious sect she was born into places a doomsday belief above simple humanity.
She and her family are subjected to sentencing by a cabal of men who are called 'elders' whenever they stray from the path of Jehovah. Wrong doers who smoke, fornicate or receive blood transfusions risk being expelled from the chosen few who believe a happy life will be theirs after Armageddon.
The strong irony of adulterous men being forgiven is in stark contrast to the wrath shown towards a teenage girl who loves her family deeply and wants to please them, yet is exposed to the normal temptations of an adolescent.
We need more films such as this in a world where increasing religious fanaticism and evangelism are threatening the intelligent evolution of man and women kind.
The girl on whom the film is based gives her stamp of approval by making a very brief appearance.
The saddest thing of all is the excruciating loneliness suffered by those who are expelled from a tightly enclosed religious sect and treated as though they are dead. What a compassionate bunch of nitwits!
Albert Nobbs (2011)
Strangely haunting and McTeer is mesmerising
When I first saw McTeer I was captivated by an Oscar worthy performance. The nuances in her expressions spoke a thousand words and I found myself eager for her to break cover in her secret battle against the iniquities of master and servant.
Close is a little too closeted for the viewer to empathise completely. Her naivety is frustrating compared to McTeer's emancipated demeanour.
The premise of the film is engaging and creates a suspense which held my attention throughout, although I was too optimistic in my expectation for a comeuppance denouement. Rather the viewer is satisfied that the secret battle for female emancipation continues despite the tragedies along the way.
Beautifully filmed with glorious attention to detail, Albert Nobbs is a story that comes back to haunt you.