Monthly Archives: June 2015

A Week In Film #346: Rinsing the Flix

The Prince title screen
The Prince
This time out the traps Brian A Miller appears to have smutty Polaroids of John Cusack and Bruce Willis in his possession, as well as Jason Patric’s Vegas marker, because that’s the only possible reason for their presence in this dumb, tedious flick. Bonus must-punch-self-in-face points for having 50 Cent turn up. OH JOY.

Severe Clear title screen
Severe Clear
One of the better spate of on-the-ground Afghanistan/Iraq war docs, this time shot by a US Marine officer during the push to Baghdad, and turned into a feature by Kristian Fraga.

The Rise title screen
The Rise (AKA Wasteland)
What first seems like a run-of-the-mill Lock, Stock… geezers-style movie is quickly subverted into something else a whole lot more interesting. Luke Treadaway in the lead puts down his marker as someone to watch, as does writer-director Rowan Athale.

He Who Dares: Downing Street Siege title screen
He Who Dares: Downing Street Siege
Execrable on all levels, this coked-up, self-satisfied Paul Tanter/Simon Phillips shit is amongst the worst tax write-off movies I’ve ever seen, with almost no effort to make it in any way artistically or narratively coherent.

Calvary title screen
Calvary
Priest is threatened, he meets some people, gets a bit pissed off, stuff happens. From John Michael McDonagh, with Brendan Gleeson, Kelly Reilly, Chris O’Dowd, Aidan Gillen, Dylan Moran, M Emmet Walsh, Domhnall Gleeson, Killian Scott.

Comes A Bright Day title screen
Comes A Bright Day
Modest but accomplished – a high end jeweller’s is held up, just as a young lad who works as a concierge at a nearby posh hotel pops in on an errand. That’s pretty much it. With Craig Roberts, Imogen Poots, Tim Spall, Geoff Bell, Kevin McKidd and Josef Altin. Confident drama from writer/director Simon Aboud.

Clubbed title screen
Clubbed
Blue collar worker Mel Raido becomes a bouncer, finds camaraderie on the door, gets accused of something serious. Not earth-shattering, but pretty decent. With Colin Salmon, Shaun Parkes, Maxine Peake, Natalie Gumede and Scot Williams, directed by Neil Thompson from a script by real-life bouncer and martial artist Geoff Thompson.

Homefront title screen
Homefront
Ex-DEA agent Jason’s Statham is forced on the defensive when a meth gang he busted years back discovers his new identity. Mid-level Stath actioner (based on a Chuck Logan novel adapted by Sylvester Stallone), something of a box officer bomb, but not terrible by any means. Directed by Gary Fleder, with Winona Ryder as a crankhead, James Franco as a drug manufacturer.

A Week In Film #345: Docs & spooks

We Steal Secrets: The Story Of Wikileaks title screen
We Steal Secrets: The Story Of Wikileaks
Alex Gibney’s documentary about Julian Assange and Wikileaks.

Jack Strong title screen
Jack Strong
Marcin Dorociński plays Polish army officer and CIA spy Ryszard Kukliński in Władysław Pasikowski’s based-on-real-events Cold War thriller. So-so.

McCullin title screen
McCullin
Straightforward documentary by David and Jacqui Morris on war photographer Don McCullin.

A Week In Film #344: Rough with the smooth

Assault On Wall Street title screen
Assault On Wall Street
Hold onto your hats – it’s an Uwe Boll joint! But to be fair, it’s really nowhere near his worst. That’s not to say it;’s good, though. Dominic Purcell is a security guard who goes postal when the banking crisis wipes out his family’s savings just when they need it to pay his wife’s medical bills. Eric Roberts, Keith David and Edward Furlong all add a certain amount of gravitas anything Boll-related simply does not deserve.

Breakout title screen
Breakout
Low grade genre business from hack journeyman Damian Lee, with Brendan Fraser as an eco protester who has to bust out of gaol to rescue his kids, who have witnessed a murder in the forest and are now being pursued by gunmen Dominic Purcell and Ethan Suplee.

Sin title screen
Sin
Gary Oldman’s paying-for-the-divorce movie, in which he’s a bad guy persecuting cop Ving Rhames. Terrible. Directed by Michael Stevens (who had an associate producer credit for The Thin Red Line) from a script by one-time Madonna paramour novelist Tim Willocks.

At Close Range title screen
At Close Range
Rural Pennsylvanian crime family ruled by dad Christopher Walken implodes when his brutality estranges son Sean Penn. Early James Foley feature, based on the real life Johnston family.

Jurassic World title screen
Jurassic World
Fun reboot of the Michael Crichton reanimated dinosaurs franchise, with Chris Pratt enjoying himself as a slacker raptor trainer, and Bryce Dallas Howard out of her comfort zone as an operations manager forced on the run in inappropriate heels. A big budget triumph for indie director Colin Trevorrow.

A Week In Film #343: Newness

Blood Ties title screen
Blood Ties
Strong seventies-set crime drama, compellingly put together by director Guillaume Canet, focusing on the relationship between two brothers – emotionally drained cop Billy Crudup, and recently released from prison criminal Clive Owen, as well as the collateral damage they have on third parties, like Marion Cotillard. Beautifully assembled, and avoids most of the most overused tropes.