The question is, can master of style over substance Michael Mann (Heat, Miami Vice) overcome the worst movie title this decade as well as make computer hacking gripping and exciting? The answer is – no. So instead he churns out a third-rate Bond movie in his his favourite cop-show format.
“Despair not, one of the thieves was spared; presume not, one of the thieves was not.” (Saint Augustine)
In a small church on the West coast of Ireland, a man comes into the confessional and tells of his abused childhood at the hands of a paedophile priest; and that in seven days he’s going to kill his confessor (Brendan Gleeson – Troy, In Bruges), precisely for being a good man.
Gleeson’s Father James Lavelle then has a week in which to settle his affairs; a week in a toxic parish of cynicism, disillusion and despair which tests his own faith to the limit. Continue Reading
The superior thriller of 2014, Gone Girl is a dark, twisty, psychological study of the worst seven-year itch imaginable. Abduction, sex, murder and revenge; trial-by-media and satire on America’s dark heart, this one has it all.
Gone Girl will have you on the edge of your seat for the first hour, until the biggest plot turn of the decade hits you for six; then it’s a tense white-water ride into a twisting canyon in which every scene threatens disaster for the lead characters.
Add career-defining performances from Ben Affleck (Armageddon, The Town) and Rosamund Pike (Jack Reacher, The World’s End) to a script that is impossible to second guess, and Gone Girl is a genuine must-see. Continue Reading
Michael Mann’s Gothic horror sees an Einsatzkommando unit taking over a keep in a Romanian village only to awaken an evil far greater than Hitler’s Nazis. Commander Jurgen Prochnow (Das Boot) quickly realises the Keep was a fortress built to hold something in; something the greed of his men release and pay with their lives.
Based on a horror pulp novel by F. Paul Wilson, The Keep was an unlikely early project for the American director of Manhunter, Heat, Miami Vice and The Insider. But, since his stated fascination is for the nature of evil, this tale of supernatural evil versus Nazis suited his nascent style very well. Whatever you admire about Michael Mann, subtlety is not the first quality that comes to mind. Continue Reading
I hate to say this but Daniel Craig has poor form with his movie choices. Invasion, Cowboys and Aliens, now Dream House; a supernatural-horror-mystery-thriller, re-cut by the studio without the director, where the cast disowned it as simply not good enough.
Daniel Craig is hotshot book editor Will Atenton, who decides to drop out of the Manhattan rat-race (boo-hoo) to spend more time with his family (Rachel Weisz and twins Taylor and Dee Dee Geare) and yet still write a novel (mutually incompatible activities).
Their all-American clap-board house in Connecticut has chilly neighbours, random trespassers and was where a family had been murdered five years earlier – supposedly by the father who’s just been released from a psychiatric hospital. Already you know this won’t end well… Continue Reading
No, I am not going to give Tarantino the satisfaction of quoting his full, childishly immature, mis-spelt title. It’s bad enough I sat through his childishly immature World War II comic-book pantomime.
Here’s a talented director, as proven by Reservoir Dogs and the under-valued masterpiece Jackie Brown. So why can’t he keep a script or his direction on the rails? As for this attempt to re-invent the WWII movie as a pulp comic-book, I just despair. Continue Reading
In Nick Murphy’s thrilling ghost story, Rebecca Hall plays Florence Cathcart, a ghost hunter, alias fraud hunter, who makes a living exposing fake séances. Florence is mourning her dead fiancé, a soldier in the war, to whom she sent a letter weeks before he died, saying that she no longer loved him. Her repeated efforts to prove that the afterlife is make-believe are in atonement for her cruelty.
When Robert Mallory (Dominic West) requests her services at Rookwood boarding school, Florence insists that the case will be as clear-cut as its predecessors, but on visiting the school, she realises that there is more to this case than meets the mortal eye… Continue Reading