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Film

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Brad Pitt stars in this run of the mill gangster revenge flick, distinguished only by a couple of imaginative cinematic flourishes,  and an interesting sound track. Pitt plays an enforcer, hired by the Mob to restore order after three amateurs hit a Mob organised card game.  That’s pretty much it plot wise. Killing Them Softly does have it’s moments, the slow motion sequence when the Ray Liotta gets whacked is effective, and the film has an intersting look, with a washed out colour palette accompanied by an off-beat…

Denzel Washington puts in a solid performance as Whip, a brilliant but flawed airpline pilot, in this tale of a man trying to make peace with himself. Within five minutes of the film starting, we’ve pretty much got the low-down on the darker side of his character – Whip is an air hostess banging, coke snorting, alcoholic with a failed marriage. His has a couple of redeeming features, mainly an easy charm, and his ability to land an aircraft upside down, after it suffers a catastrophic mechanical failure.…

Documentary about a long forgotten American protest singer, Rodriguez, who having failed to sell even ten records in the US, turns his back on music to live an impoverished life in Detroit. Unbeknownst to him, his two seminal albums from the early 70’s, become huge hits in South Africa, making him a bigger star there than even the Rolling Stones or Elvis. The film documents two dedicated South African fans, who spend the best part of a decade, tracking him and de-bunking the…

A retro horror film, reminiscent of Hammer films from the 70’s, although this plays it’s homage to Italian, rather than English, horror from that period. Set in a sound studio, specialising in making soundtracks for Italian horror flicks, the film follows  the arrival of a new sound engineer from England, played by Toby Jones, who, not long after his arrival, begins to notice that things are not quite what they seem. Toby Jones, who can normally be counted on to put in a decent performance,…

I had relatively low expectations going into this, as, despite the Oscar Nominations and the Golden Globe wins, it is after all a RomCom.  Or is it?  Actually, here’s a film that turns that genre on it’s head, and does something wonderful with it. Pat Jr, played by Bradley Cooper, suffers from bi-polar, and newly released from a mental facility, returns to his parents home and starts to re-build his life.  It soon emerges he has ALOT of problems.  He is riddled with a deep obsession about his absent…

Wonderful film of a young girl and her volatile, but loving father, who live in a free spirited community in Southern Louisiana.  Set against an ecological disaster, the community lose almost everything as the waters rise, never to fall again. The two central characters are both completely new to acting, not that you’d know it, as they give wholly convincing performances.  Eight year old Quevenzhane Wallis who plays Hushpuppy, is the youngest ever contender for Best Actress Oscar. Dwight Henry,  also conveys a convincing portrait of an angry…

Tarantino’s back with a full on assault on the senses with a rip roaring movie that combines Western, comedy, horror, action film, and romance. Django: Kill white folks and they pay you for it? What’s not to like? Black humour (literally), great performances from his leading actors (Jamie Foxx, DiCaprio and another wry turn from Christopher Waltz), a chance for some cult actors to return to the big screen (Don Johnson and an unrecognisable Samuel L Jackson), plus a bucket load of gore, sassy 70’s soundtrack…

Of course, Daniel Day-Lewis is superb in this. He should be, after all, he only makes a film every couple of years or so, and it’s clear that alot of thought and preparation goes into every role he takes. He looks a shoe-in for Best Actor Oscar, and if he wins, would become the first actor to win three nods in the Best Actor category, and rightfully claim his place up there with Hollywood’s best, De Niro, Hoffman, Nicholson and Brando. In this, he…

Not dissimilar in places to Homeland, this film features a strong central female character, operating in a male dominated CIA.  The film spends a lot of its initial 157 minutes chronicling the process of intelligence gathering, including torture, that lead to an eventual breakthrough in the decade search for Bin Laden.  Along the way we see a CIA under pressure to deliver, but precious little in terms of character development or back story, which makes for a very un-involving first half. It’s only after an intel break through…

“It’s the best bad idea we’ve got” Ben Affleck in winning form in this true story of the CIA using unusual means to extract American captives from post revolutionary Iran. The film is wonderfully paced, ratcheting up the suspense, but also injecting humour along the way, particularly from John Goodman, as the ebullient Hollywood producer. The film skillfully blends archive footage with contemporary action. As someone who remembers the news reports in the late 70’s of the  revolution and the emergence of…