Monthly Archives: September 2015

A Week In Film #359: Eighties feel

Jade title screen
William Friedkin directs Joe Eszterhas’ script about a driven ADA (David Caruso) investigating a brutal high profile murder, and coming into contact with mysterious woman Linda Fiorentino. Less classy than it thinks it is.

Flashback title screen
Affectionate look back at the sixties from an eighties perspective, with repressed young FBI agent Kiefer Sutherland given the task of bringing in ageing hippie fugitive Dennis Hopper, wanted for a prank involing vice president Spiro Agnew twenty years earlier. It’s a road movie, a buddy movie, a fun movie. By Franco Amurri.

Rubble Kings title screen
Rubble Kings
Engaging look at gang life in The Bronx in the 70s, and how they came together for a Warriors-style peace summit, by documentarist Shan Nicholson.

The Package title screen
The Package
Weary army veteran Gene Hackman escorts deserter Tommy Lee Jones back from West Berlin, only for it to go tits-up and all conspiracy thriller. Lacks thrills. Directed by Andrew Davis.

Without A Clue title screen
Without A Clue
Not wholly successful Conan Doyle pastiche, with Ben Kingsley as a Dr Watson who is the real investigatory powerhouse, inventing Sherlock Holmes and hiring drunken actor Michael Caine to be him. By Thom Eberhardt.

Sightseers title screen
Ben Wheatley’s masterful exploration of mundanity and murder, with odd couple Steve Oram and Alice Lowe going on a road trip across the Midlands and northern England.

Sometimes In April title screen
Sometimes In April
Affecting drama about the Rwandan genocide seen through the relationship of two Tutsi brothers caught up in it on different sides (Idris Elba and Oris Erhuero), from Raoul Peck.

The Presidio title screen
The Presidio
San Francisco city cop Mark Harmon clashes with former Army buddy and now provost marshal Sean Connery over murders connected to an army base. INconsequential but time-passing genre thriller from Peter Hyams.

A Week In Film #358: Fat week

Outlander title screen
Astronaut Jim Cavieziel crash-lands into iron age Norway, and must fight a Grendel-like monster. Enjoyable genre fare from Howard McCain.

Chinatown title screen
Forget it, Jake.

The Two Jakes title screen
The Two Jakes
Meg Tilly, Madeleine Stowe and Harvey Keitel join nicholson in the second part of the planned Gittes trilogy.

Miracle Mile title screen
Miracle Mile
Anthony Edwards is late for a first date with Mare Winningham on the very night nuclear war breaks out.

Pineapple Express title screen
Pineapple Express
Stoner comedy by David Gordon Green, with Seth Rogen, James Franco and Danny McBride having a very bad day.

The Enforcer title screen
The Enforcer
Feisty prosecutor Humphrey Bogart tries to bring down a gang boss. Sophisticated noir told in fractured flashbacks by Bretaigne Windrust.

1971 title screen
Documentary about political activists who burgled the FBI’s Media, Pennsylvania office and helped expose COITELPRO and other shenanigans.

Europa Report title screen
Europa Report
Ambitious low budget SF film about a search-for-life mission to Jupiter’s moon Europa, by Sebastián Cordero and featuring Christian Camargo, Anamaria Marinca, Michael Nyqvist, Daniel Wu and others.

Dressed To Kill title screen
Dressed To Kill
Brian De Palma hides his influences.

Non-Stop title screen
Some alcoholic sky marshal FULL NEESON business from Jaume Collet-Serra, who also did Unknown with Sir Liam.

A Week In Film #357: Catholic tastes

12 Angry Men title screen
12 Angry Men
Jury service probably isn’t this interesting.

The Deadly Game title screen
The Deadly Game AKA All Things To All Men
Flawed hard boiled bent cop drama, with Rufus Sewell, Toby Stephens, Leo Gregory and Gabriel Byrne in a convoluted tale of double cross and corruption. Self-funding director George Isaac is not without moments of flair, though – just in dire need of a decent script editor.

The Killing Room title screen
The Killing Room
A ‘when-psychological-experiments-go-wrong’ type flick, in the vein of Das Experiment and Die Welle, this time based on the MK Ultra programs.

The Internship title screen
The Internship
Two hour long corporate video for Google, with Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn playing Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn. Directed with no great discerning by Shawn Levy.

Kingsman: The Secret Service title screen
Kingsman: The Secret Service
Swish spy parody by the Matthew Vaughn-Jane Goldman team, adapted from the Mark Millar/Dave Gibbons comic, with Taron Egerton as the working class kid selected to join a very special spook outfit. Strong cast includes Sam Jackson, Colin Firth, Mark Strong, Michael Caine, Sofia Boutella, Samantha Womack, Geoff Bell, Sophie Cookson and Mark Hamill.

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels title screen
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
Michael Caine and Steve Martin as conmen on the French Riviera.

A Week In Film #356: Doubles

The Punisher (2004) title screen
The Punisher (2004)
Thomas Jane as revenge-oriented Marvel costumed nut job Frank Castle. A decent enough fist, but not really psycho enough. Jonathan Hensleigh’s directorial debut after various blockbuster scripts (Die Hard With A Vengeance, Armageddon); he later directed the next Frank Castle, Ray Stevenson, in 2011’s Kill The Irishman.

No Country For Old Men title screen
No Country For Old Men
The Coen Brothers’ Cormac McCarthy adaptation is engaging enough, but it didn’t really astonish me. Feels a bit of a retread of Blood Simple. Josh Brolin makes a good fist of the rubbish protagonist.