Seriously, how could two Tom Hardy’s go wrong? The actor behind the Mad Max revival, or the ridiculously fun role of Bane on The Dark Knight Rises, and he was absolutely perfect in Nicolas Winding Refn’s early masterpiece, Bronson. Joining with writer/director Brian Helgeland, Hardy has crafted two performances behind the supposedly legendary Kray Brothers, two siblings that ran the criminal underworld in Britain throughout the late 60’s and early 70’s. What is immediately apparent, is that these men may have been interesting back then, but their story has become derivative and the performances don’t fare much better. Continue reading
Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy’s debut feature may be among the most frustrating film in years, for a select group of film-goers. Those select film-goers being the general public, but this movie seems to have been made for a specific type or person, the Arthouse snob. The Tribe is a beautifully shot and authentic feeling european film that harkens back to the silent era mixed in with the harsh reality of now. Make no mistake, The Tribe is, on the surface, an incredibly pretentious film, but it also stays increasingly fascinating over the course of the 2 hour and 20 minute running time. It turns out that making a movie using only Ukraine Sign Language isn’t as off putting as it sounds. Continue reading
The single take or one shot sequence, or whatever you want to call it, has been a consistently celebrated use of filmmaking to create a sense of reality or hyper-realism. The single take has been around almost as long as filmmaking actually has. From Hitchcock to this film, it has consistently gained more and more love from the critics and audiences themselves. But of course, the next logical conclusion from creating a small one take sequence to one that’s even longer is finally making a movie all in one uncut sequence. It takes a lot of discipline, but with a number of rehearsals and dedicated cast & crew, it can create a seamless feeling throughout the entire film. And that’s what Victoria does effortlessly. Continue reading
Jacques Audiard has created visceral, yet deep films that stay with you. He first came to worldwide attention with the intense A Prophet – an effective and heart-wrenching film about the underworld of prison and it’s corruption on humanity. What was a stunning drama led to the melodramatic romance, Rust and Bone. While I didn’t find myself interested in a romance between a bare-knuckle boxer and a killer whale trainer, audiences ate it up and a large saving grace was the performances from Matthias Schoenaerts and Marion Cotillard. Now Audiard is back with his Palme D’or winning Dheepan – what might be his best film to date. Continue reading
“Keep your melodrama out of my action” I could hear myself yelling in my head as SPL 2: A Time for Consequences introduced a daughter that needs a bone marrow donor, a man who needs his nephew, a man who needs a heart transplant, and a whole lot of fates crossing paths. Yet, by the end of the 120-minute runtime, I was enamoured by its willingness to be more than just good action. Between canvases of blood and bone is an intricately detailed web of ridiculousness that somehow cascades into itself to create a perfectly wound action film.
Gangster films will never die. From 1932’s Scarface to this year’s Black Mass, outlaws have reigned on the silver screen, and in recent years, the small screen too. Breaking Bad became one of television’s highly praised TV series and that’s because of the rise of the anti-hero. There probably hasn’t been a better time to bring a monumental figure of real life crime to the big screen. Most audiences would know James “Whitey” Bulger from Jack Nicholson’s portrayal of a mobster that resembled “Whitey”, in The Departed. And thankfully, Johnny Depp brings something different to the role; unfortunately, it’s not complimented by the majority of the work in Black Mass.
In the last few years, we’ve received dozens of female led comedies. Chief among them Bridesmaids, the Kristen Wiig starring comedy that demolished the box office and created a movement of movies made for women, by women, for the most part. Returning with another film, the director of Bridesmaids, Paul Feig reunites with his muse, Melissa McCarthy (also from Bridesmaids and Feig’s follow-up The Heat) for a send up of the male heavy spy genre. For fans of McCarthy, you will not be disappointed. This is a fun, energetic movie with emphasis on the fun, unfortunately it also suffers from a fair amount of flaws.