The Magnificent Seven (2016)
Somewhat pointless remake, which doesn’t managed to improve upon the original in any area. Still sort of watchable from Antoine Fuqua.
Kill The Irishman
Solid, workmanlike mid-Western Irish mob knock-off of Goodfellas and the rest, with Ray Stevenson as ex-longshoreman turned bomb-fond gangster Danny Green in 70s Ohio, taking on the Italian crime syndicate and for a long time winning. Directed with brio by Jonathan Hensleigh.
Playwright David Hare riffs on le Carré, and in Bill Nighy as veteran security officer Johnny Worricker has a domestically-oriented protagonist if not the equal of Smiley (of course not!) certainly not unworthy of interest.
Too much is taken up with setting up the universe, and letting us know that This Is Not The Circus, even though it really, really is, in a budget-buy kind of way. The plot’s a bit half-baked, but there’s a nice cast – Ralph Fiennes as a Blairish dick of a PM, Rachel Weisz as a mysterious neighbour, Ewen Bremner as an ex-spook put out to pasture as a journo, Saskia Reeves as an untrustworthy politician. Decent enough though.
Leslie Norman’s 1958 version of Operation Dynamo, with much of the focus on the ‘little boats’ and the men who took them to the beaches and back – here stoic newspaperman and self-absorbed company owner Richard Attenborough. John Mills represents the Tommies trying to get home in one piece.
Turks & Caicos
Hare and Nighy take their Worricker world over to the Caribbean on Auntie’s shilling – the same sort of thinking that landed us with Miami Twice and White Ghost. It’s not bad, but the inclusion of the likes of Christopher Walker and Winona Ryder does rather piss on the chips of the more subtle work done in its predecessor – plus it’s streaked through with incredibly bourgeois liberal wankery.
Salting The Battlefield
The Worricker Trilogy rounds off with our silver-maned hero finally making it safely home… Or does it?
For the sake of a propaganda drive a B-17 crew has to make One Last Trip before its crew is rotated out – will they survive the hell of a daylight bombing run? Nice ensemble war movie stuff with Matthew Modine, Eric Stoltz, Sean Astin, Harry Connick Jnr et al, directed in an old fashioned style by Michael Caton-Jones.
Went The Day Well?
Quality wartime propaganda from Graham Greene and Cavalcanti, with a bunch of English villagers (including Thora Hird) routing the treacherous Boche, who have had the audacity to impersonate honest British soldiers in a dastardly invasion plot.