Snitch is an effective, efficient thriller “inspired by true events”. Yet after watching the film you get the impression “inspired” has provided license to focus more on the fictional elements and less on the factual. The true story more complex and ambiguous would struggle to fit into this simple straightforward narrative. The film explores what would a father do to save his son from 10 years in prison. If the father is Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson the answer is simple he’ll risk everything. As he says early in the film “I’ve been rolling the dice my …Read More
What’s terrifying about the premise in The Call is the sad reality that this type of assault is not too far from today’s headlines. Early in Brad Anderson’s (The Machinist, Series 9) new film Jordan (Berry) the 911 operator receives a call from a terrified young girl trapped in a house whilst a man breaks in to assault her. This scene is expertly shot and performed and promises a film that might be a superior thriller. But the decision to cultivate more of a horror theme particularly in the last third turns the film into a formulaic …Read More
Who wants to see a film that’s shot in black and white, is slow moving and its second part is like a silent film? If the answer is yes then you will be richly rewarded with Tabu. The Portuguese director Miguel Gomes has made a strange poetic film.
A Portuguese film in two parts “Paradise Lost” and “Paradise.” The bizarre short prologue transports us to a strange world where an intrepid explorer mourning a lost love gets eaten by a melancholic crocodile in Africa. The crocodile reappears throughout Tabu and accept for concluding that it represents …Read More
Bikini’s, guns, sex and drugs. This is provocative filmmaking that immerses the Disney princesses into the world of enfante terrible Harmony Korine.
In terms of Korine’s work Spring Breakers makes a huge leap forward establishing him as the most provocative director in the American mainstream. What is so striking about Spring Breakers is the absolute conviction with which it embraces the strangeness of its world, it is unapologetic. James Franco embodies this; his Alien is a part time rapper, drug dealer, gangsta with gold plated teeth. He proclaims “big booty that’s what life is all about, I …Read More
In its short life this film has undergone several name changes. For its debut in Toronto it was entitled Writers, then it got changed to Stuck in Love to now A Place for Me. Personally I prefer Stuck in Love. Bookended by the thanksgiving holiday it’s an amiable diverting film about a family of writers and their experience of love over the course of a year.
Poor William Borgen’s (Kinnear) is having trouble writing after his wife (Connolly) left him for another man. He is having a “friends with benefits” relationship with his neighbour Tricia (Bell). To …Read More
This movie has a very simple driving force. How can we top what came before? Already Ironman has produced some sensational visceral action and now Star Trek shot in IMAX 3D delivers a non-stop juggernaut of wall to wall action. JJ Abrams new film is a lot of fun, an all-out assault on the senses. It fulfils the intent to do “Star Trek like Star Wars.” But it doesn’t get everything right, for all its technical wizardry Abrams seems content to present a story short on anything new to say.
Abrams continues his appreciation of Spielberg with a …Read More
Compelling, real and featuring great performances. Essentially a film about the choices we make and the impact that has on the people close to us. Where Blue Valentine Derek Cianfrance’s earlier film dissects a marriage in deadfall, Pines focuses on fathers and sons and the ties that bind from one generation to the next. Can you break from the cycle? A lot of handheld camera work, improvisation and jumpy editing propel the film. Cianfrance’s background in documentary filmmaking shines through. He has the eye of Malick combined with the performance edge of Lumet. …Read More
Intelligent cinema is a rare commodity in today’s Hollywood cinema. Writers get short shrift and actors are asked to do less talking and more running generally. At 76 Robert Redford ‘s best film in year’s works on several levels, it recalls the films of Sydney Pollack and Sidney Lumet, whose commitment to story, character and performance identified them as great filmmakers of their time. 30 years ago this film would be a production from a major studio today it’s an independent film.
The price you pay for keeping secrets is explored here, 70’s political idealism against today’s youthful …Read More
My first cinematic introduction to the Pinochet dictatorship in Chile was the Costas Gavras film Missing. From an American point of view it told the story of the murder of a writer and the attempts by a father and wife to uncover the truth. Gavras educated an 18 year old filmgoer about human rights abuses and the role the CIA played in the military coup of 1973. It was cinematic and melodramatic at times but it left an indelible impact. “No” takes place 15 years later and is intentionally less concerned with presenting the horrors of the …Read More
Its blockbuster season and Marvel studios are straight out of the gate. Iron Man 3 will make a fortune. Tony Stark is back trying to avoid the pitfalls of the third film in the franchise. Shane Black has been recruited to freshen up the franchise. Black one of the highest paid and best action screenwriters in the 80s (Lethal Weapon) and 90s (Last Boy Scout) largely delivers. His comic edge makes this an enjoyable outing that infrequently reaches the heights of the original but improves on the second film. He even gives henchmen one-liners. …Read More