White Boy Rick
So-so based-on-a-real-story drama about a young drug dealing gun runner in 80s Detroit. A case of director Yann (’71, Top Boy, Dead Set) Demange’s reach most certainly not exceeding his grasp. Strong cast includes Matthew McConaughey, Richie Merritt, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Bruce Dern, Piper Laurie, RJ Tyler and Jonathan Majors.
Charlie Wilson’s War
Dislikably manipulative movie lauding dislikable and manipulative American policy hawks and cynical politicians using Afghanistan as their playground. Mike Nichols directing from Aaron Sorkin’s script, with Tom Hanks, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Julia Roberts and Amy Adams.
White House Down
Fun modern remix of Die Hard, with Channing Tatum as a blue collar schlub taking on terrorists targeting the President’s ends; fun turns from Jamie Foxx, Jimmi Simpson and Kevin Rank are rounded out by more straight performances by James Woods, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Jason Clarke. Roland Emmerich directs from James Vanderbilt’s script.
Where it went wrong for Neil Marshall – trying to mash together too many things without having a solid script in place, it would seem. Mad Max, Escape From New York, The Crazies, Assault On Precinct 13, Aliens, The Warriors… All thrown into the blender, but without a coherent vision or a tight enough narrative, it’s just scenes slid up to each other, plot points in search of characters to initiate them, and stunts seeking reason. A shame – a strong cast (Rhona Mistra, MyAnna During, Alexander Siding, Adrian Lester, David O’Hara etc) is wasted.
Bryan Singer’s Freddie Mercury/Queen biopic (as completed by Dexter Fletcher) is certainly watchable, and listenable, but very definitely a PG, vanilla, sanitised, jumbled-about version of the truth. Still, Rami Malek is committed in the lead role, and Tom Hollander has a nice cameo as lawyer-turned-manager Jim ‘Miami’ Beach.