Monthly Archives: November 2017

A Week In Film #472: Waged docs

Danny Says title screen
Danny Says
Joyful documentary about music PR Danny Fields, with lots of stories about 60s and 70s bands. Good stuff from director Brendan Toller and producer Pamela Lubell

El Fin De ETA
Straight-forward paling heads-style doc by Justin Webster about the winding down of the armed Basque independence campaign. Worth going back over.

Sound City title screenSound City
Fun look at a grimy Californian recording studio, directed by Dave Grohl at his most enthusiastic fanboy.

A Week In Film #471: On the ‘Flix

Backtrack title screen
So-so psychological thriller from Doug Anthony All Stars accomplice Michael Peroni, with a dewy-eyed shrink (Adrien Brodie) returning to his childhood home in a bid to shake off a recurring waking nightmare. With Bruce Spence and Sam Neill.

Captain Phillips
Tom Hanks directed by Paul Greengrass, Barkhad Abdi as a Somali pirate. Quite watchable.

Security title screen
Utterly shit VOD mashup of Die Hard and any thriller about bad guys trying to eliminate a witness, set in a shopping centre, with Antonio Banderas a special forces vet recently hired as a mall cop throwing a spanner into the works when bad guy level boss Ben Kingsley comes to sow some mayhem.

Run All Night title screenRun All Night
Minor Full Neeson, with His Liamness a soaked former mob enforcer dragged back into the game when his striving-to-be-straight son Joel Kinnaman gets caught up in some gangland shenanigans. Enjoyable turns from Ed Harris, Vincent D’Onofrio, Common and Bruce McGill, directed by Jaume Collet-Serra.

A Week In Film #470: Anniversaire on a G string

The Boys
Very watchable early 60s courtroom-set social comment from Sidney J Furie, with a nice line back-and-forth structure as a foursome of young Teddy Boys (Dudley Sutton, Tony Garnett, Jess Conrad and Ronald Lacey go on trial for a murder of a night watchman.

Arrowhead title screenArrowhead
Interesting low budget Australian SF thriller, with hints of Moon and The Martian and Pitch Black, slightly obscured by an unnecessarily convoluted presentation which misdirects with a shoddy-looking prologue. Decent promise shown by writer/director Jesse O’Brien though, and Dan Mor (from Underbelly: The Golden Mile) is fairly compelling in the lead.

Choke title screenChoke
Inconsequential fluff derived from a Chuck Palahniuk novel about a sex addict with mummy issues (Sam Rockwell). Some decent actors – Anjelica Huston, Kelly Macdonald, Brad William Henke – but no great vision from director Clark Gregg.

The Merry Gentleman title screen
The Merry Gentleman
Rather decent, snail-paced drama about a friendship that develops between a newly single woman (Kelly Macdonald) and an ascetic assassin (Michael Keaton). A pleasingly unflashy directorial debut for Keaton too.

A Week In Film #469: Hallowe’en

The Little Vampire title screen
The Little Vampire
Really fucking terrible adaptation of a book series about an American kid transplanted to Scotland who befriends a vampire. Seriously, nothing to recommend. I was rather astounded when I realised it was directed by Uli Edel, who did Der Baader Meinhof Complex and Last Exit To Brooklyn.

6 Days title screen
6 Days
So-so take on the 1980 Princes Gate Iranian Embassy siege, and subsequent storming by the SAS. Mark Strong turns the mournful eyes up to 11 as the police negotiator, but it’s Jamie Bell as the soldier in charge of the assault who impresses most, with virtually no dialogue. Directed by To a Fraser.

Wheelman title screen
In the vein of The Driver, Drive, The Transporter et al, here with ex-con Frank Grillo forced to work as a getaway driver for never-seen clients setting up heists through a middleman in order to pay off a debt. Jeremy Rush conducts some excellent chase sequences, and there is a mild twist to it which keeps things interesting.

The Duel title screen
The Duel
Modern Western from Kieran Darcy-Smith, with Liam Hemsworth as a Texas Ranger gone undercover in a remote frontier town under the thrall of a sinister preacher (Woody Harrelson). Not great, but something a little different.

Black Hawk Down title screen
Black Hawk Down
The more times I see it, the more distasteful it seems, despite some strong performances and action sequences.