The Siege Of Jadotville
Jamie Dorman is an Irish career soldier sent to the Congo with a small contingent of peacekeepers; they are caught in the middle of a crossfire of realpolitik and incompetence (with much blame being laid at the feet of Conor Cruise O’Brien – Mark Strong).
Richie Smyth handles the action scenes pretty well, but the political background is rather more skirted over. Funny seeing coked-up Swedish James Bond Michael Persbrandt as UN Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjold. Jason O’Mara (lead in the US remake of Life On Mars) plays second fiddle to Dorman as his more experienced, world-weary sergeant.
A Perfect Day
So-so comic drama about a trio of Western aid workers (Tim Robbins, Benicio del Toro and Mélanie Thierry) and their local translator (Fedja Štukan) and their efforts to remove a rotting corpse from a village well in war-torn post-break up Yugoslavia. Not strong enough in either the pathos or ridiculousness departments to be considered a classic, but certainly watchable stuff from director Fernando Léon de Aranoa.
Absorbing wartime drama about Dutch gangster, opportunistic local Nazi party member and all-round collaborationist scumbag Dries Riphagen (Jeroen van Konigsbrugge). A very interesting story, though not sure how accurate director Pieter Kuijpers has made it.
Another strong one from Joel Edgerton (writing and producing as well as starring), here as a good Aussie cop who makes a big mistake. Tom Wilkinson is his more jaded, more grey-around-the-edges old mentor who tries to protect him, Jai Courtney the fresh faced rookie who smells a rat. Decently directed by Matthew Saville, with decent (if more minor) parts for Melissa George and Sarah Roberts.
The Trials Of Cate McCall
Just another drama about a troubled, driven lawyer whose home life is falling apart, working on a case where nothing is as it seems. Has the feel of a worthy but turgid pilot; The Verdict meets Primal Fear, and not really as interesting as either. Kate Beckinsale puts in some work, but it’s such a hackneyed story it’s not really salvageable; plus it’s got something of a mean, reactionary streak to it.
Fun, silly, trashy stuff from British Hollywood emigre Iain Softley, responsible for pairing up Jonny Lee Miller with Angelina Jolie as a pair of computer geeks who (with fellow hacking chums Matthew Lillard, Renoly Santiago, Laurence Mason and Jesse Bradford) find themselves in over their heads and out on the lam (etc etc etc). Fisher Stevens, Lorraine Bracco and Penn Jillette make a fine trio of baddies. Wendell Pierce is the Fed on their heels.
Jim Henson, a bunch of Muppets, Jennifer Connelly being all moody teenager, and David Bowie wobbling his big ball around – what’s not to like?