Free State Of Jones
Serious-minded historical business about a soil-scratcher from Mississippi who leaves the Confederate Army during the Civil War and leads an insurrection against slavery. With Matthew McConaughey, Mahershala Ali and Gugu Mbatha-Raw, directed by Gary Ross.
Being George Clooney
Fun documentary by Paul Mariano, interviewing various dubbing artistes around the world responsible for rerecording the silver-maned Hollywood star’s lines into their own languages.
Murder, My Sweet
Dick Powell plays against his usual light musical-comedy type to be the first big screen Philip Marlowe in a particularly hardboiled noir helmed by Edward Dmytryk, based on Raymond Chandler’s novel Farewell, My Lovely.
Marlowe is hired to locate a missing girlfriend by recently-released con Moose Malloy (Mike Mazurki); soon the trail is littered with red herrings and corpses.
Theo Who Lived
Affecting documentary about a brassic American journo who tried to report on the Syrian Civl War, but who was kidnapped by local Al Qaeda affiliate the Al Nusra Front virtually immediately after reaching the Turkey-Syria border.
Whilst much of it is simply Theo Padnos recounting all that happened to him during the course of his two year ordeal – involving a good deal of torture, and ending with a good deal of PTSD – there are also disorientating little reconstructions, and well-placed little pieces of VT which add context and depth. Director David Schisgall is to be commended on this powerful film.
Not terrible drama about Nick Leeson bringing down Barings Bank, with Ewan McGregor in the lead, Anna Friel as his unsuspecting wife, with roles for Tim McInnerny, Lee Ross and Nigel Lindsay. Perfunctory direction by James Dearden, best known for being Basil’s son, directing Pascali’s Island and for making the TVM which was refilled as Fatal Attraction.
Oliver Stone makes an interesting story seem unbelievable by throwing in showy shit for no real reason. Joseph Gordon-Levitt broods a lot as the NSA contractor, Melissa Leo, Zachary Quinto and Tom Wilkinson do some solid impersonating, with the best roles going to Rhys Ifans and Timothy Elephant as a fictional pair of blood-curdling CIA sabre-rattlers.