Tag Archives: In The Loop

A Week In Film #533: N00bian princes

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Female close protection officer Noomi Rapace bodyguards a bratty American teen, but is soon on the run from unknown assailants. Underwritten whilst also exposition-heavy, but not without its pleasures. Directed by Vicky Jewson.

Death Wish (2018)
Eli Roth and Joe Carnhan update the Michael Winner vigilante revenge classic, and it’s sleek if not outstanding. With Bruce Willis, Vincent D’Onofrio, Elisabeth Shue and Dean Norris.

The Gunman
Second spin for Pierre Banlieu 13 Morel’s actioner about an ex-special forces humper-turned-private sector black bag merchant (Sean Penn) facing assassination nearly a decade after a soured hit job persuaded him into quiet retirement.

Some decent chase and fight scenes, a decent cast (Jasmine Trinca, Javier Bardem, Mark Rylance, Ray Winstone, Idris Elba), but by no means watertight.

Not great live-action-and-CGI-carton business, grimly hitting its focus-grouped beats (slacker human, childish animated animals, striving to ‘grow up’, silly villains, etc). Just about watchable. With James Marsden and the voices of Russell Brand, Hugh Laurie and Hank Azaria, directed by Tim Hill (credits include a Muppet movie, a Garfield movie, an Alvin movie…)

In The Loop title screenIn The Loop
Armando Iannucci’s Stateside The Thick Of It reboot, with idiot minister Tom Hollander and spineless SPAd Chris Addison vainly trying not to precipitate an inevitable war. With Peter Capaldi, Gina McKee, David Rasche, Mimi Kennedy, Anna Chlumsky and James Gandolfini.

Pacific Rim
Goes on a bit. Well, a lot. Soldiers don massive robot suits to fight aliens attacking Earth through a rip in the space/time continuum or something. Much less enjoyable than it thinks it is. Idris Elba is pretty much the only thing going for it. Okay, well Burn Gorman and Charlie Day as feuding comic relief scientists are alright too. Not the best I’ve seen from Guillermo del Toro.

American Psycho title screenAmerican Psycho
Mary Harron has a fair crack at Bret Easton Ellis’s yuppie satire, with Christian Bale fully committing as unhinged rich asshole Patrick Bateman.

Unsuccessful attempt to make a Heat-like heist movie from Steven C Miller (one of those young unknown directors who pep up their unremarkable low budget genre flicks with small bit parts for big name stars like Nic Cage, John Cusack or – as here – Bruce Willis,; bit parts which are then chopped up and expeditiously edited throughout the whole movie). A convoluted plot with silly twists undermines the odd well-framed scene. The cast (Chris Meloni, Dave Bautista) do seem committed though.

A Week In Film #141: Somalia, Norway, Winehouse

The Departed
More in the quest for the perfect Irish-American crime film; Scorsese’s for-hire helming of the US remake of Infernal Affairs, with Leonardo DiCaprio and Matt Damon as Boston boys both deep undercover and on opposite sides of the law. Still feels like the world’s longest trailer to me, but I’ve warmed to it.

In The Loop
Another viewing of Armando Ianucci’s big screen The Thick Of It reboot – never has war waged on a false pretext been funnier!

A Week In Film #026: Springing into action

Uncommon Valor title screen

Uncommon Valor
Gruff ex-military man Gene Hackman assembles a dysfunctional team of Vietnam vets (and Patrick Swayze) to spring his son and other MIAs from a Laotian prison camp. For all its right wing swagger, it’s still a well made, well acted film with moments of excitement and pathos.

An Evening With Kevin Smith 2: Evening Harder title screen

An Evening With Kevin Smith 2: Evening Harder
The less excellent follow up to the excellent original Q&A DVD featuring the foremost directorial proponent of the ‘Kevin Smith style’, Kevin Smith, this time in front of audiences in Toronto and London.

Sold Out: A Threevening With Kevin Smith title screen

Sold Out: A Threevening With Kevin Smith
The ‘better than 2, not as good as 1’ more-raconteur-than-auteur flick from Kevin Smith, taped in New Jersey on his birthday.

Redacted title screen

Rather dull and flat reimagination of American servicemen committing abuses in Iraq. Director De Palma’s choice to play it out through the ubiquitous eyes of cameras – soldiers’ camcorders, CCTV, a documentary filmmaker’s lens, night vision lenses, a covert insurgent camera – does little to pep things up, though there are two distinctly visceral moments which prove memorable. De Palma struggles with the material as much as he did with Casualties Of War, and the British TV movie The Mark Of Cain covered similar ground to much greater effect.

Pitch Black title screen

Pitch Black
Very good SF thriller about a space ship which crashlands on a far off, inhospitable planet, and the attempts of survivors to escape from it in the face of some very unfriendly locals. Introduces iconic shiny-eyed antihero Riddick (Van DERV), and features celebrity Scientologist Cole Hauser as a deliciously amoral bounty hunter.

The Chronicles Of Riddick: Dark Fury title screen

The Chronicles Of Riddick: Dark Fury
Rather dull animated spin-off from Pitch Black which fills the narrative gap between that film and its sequel, Chronicles Of Riddick.


In The Loop
Armando Iannucci’s foul-mouthed television paean to the moral vacuum at the dark heart of modern politics,The Thick Of It, retooled to a feature length analogue of the dodgy dossier scandal with the addition of some Americans and various actors from the TV series being assigned to different characters. Enjoyably unhappy.