Category Archives: Drama

STOCKHOLM (2019): New Trailer From Ethan Hawke, Noomi Rapace, Mark Strong…

Stockholm (2019), Ethan Hawke
Stockholm (2019), Ethan Hawke

Stockholm is the the strange but true story of the infamous 1973 hostage crisis in Stockholm, Sweden. The very one that gave rise to the psychological phenomenon known as ‘Stockholm syndrome’.

Written / directed by Robert Budreau; key cast includes Ethan Hawke, Noomi Rapace, Mark Strong…

I’m interested in the humour in Hawke’s performance and Rapace’s character’s emotional journey.

Christopher Heyerdahl, Bea Santos, Thorbjørn Harr, John Ralston, Mark Rendall, Gustaf Hammarsten and Hanneke Talbot also star.

Stockholm Release Dates

Happy Film Loving

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THE MAN WHO KILLED DON QUIXOTE (2019): New Trailer From Adam Driver, Jonathan Pryce, Olga Kurylenko, Stellan Skarsgård…

The Man Who Killed Don Quixote (2018), Adam Driver, Alacran Pictures

Directed by Terry Gilliam, The Man Who Killed Don Quixote is an adventure / comedy / drama starring Adam Driver, Jonathan Pryce, Olga Kurylenko and Stellan Skarsgård.

At the centre of the story is Toby (Driver), a disillusioned advertising executive who’s pulled into a world of time jumping fantasy when he’s mistaken someone else. Gradually Toby becomes unable to tell dreams from reality…

I’d say that peculiar is the right word for this trailer. I’m interested because of the hints of humour, the cast and because I want to find out whether by the end, I’ll actually want Don Quixote killed. Perhaps I’ll find him charming.

Joana Ribeiro, Jorge Calvo, Bruno Sevilla and Jordi Mollà also star.

The Man Who Killed Don Quixote Release Dates: April 10th, 2019 (US)…

Happy Film Loving

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INSTANT FAMILY (2018): The Things I Liked…

Instant Family (2018), Mark Wahlberg, Rose Byrne, Paramount Pictures
Instant Family (2018), Mark Wahlberg, Rose Byrne, Paramount Pictures

After seeing the trailer for Instant Family several months ago in 2018, I really wanted to get excited about it because the story looked like a great one and because I like both of its main stars, Mark Wahlberg and Rose Byrne. Having previously seen Wahlberg in the Daddy’s Home movies and finding myself not fully loving them, I’m really glad to confirm that Instant Family is definitely not that.

Directed and co-written by Sean Anders, Instant Family is a comedy / drama based on the true story of the ups and downs faced by a couple who foster / adopt three children all at once. 

Things were looking good for this movie within the first few minutes. Firstly, the editing. I really appreciate the fact that I didn’t find myself wishing I could fast forward any of the scenes. Second, the relationship between the central couple played by Wahlberg and Byrne. Last but not least, the dynamic and banter between Octavia Spencer and Tig Notaro’s characters is another definite key highlight.

I found myself laughing during Instant Family more than I expected to. An especially memorable moment being the scene at the dinner table with the pair of closed eyes. I was of course also moved by the beautiful moments of familial love and the truth of some of the experiences of children and teenagers in the foster care system.

Watch Instant Family because it’s good, very likely better than you expect and it’s definitely – as a fellow film lover predicted, more grounded than the Daddie’s Home films.

Happy Film loving 

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THE IRISHMAN (2019): New Trailer From Joe Pesci, Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Harvey Keitel…

The Irishman (2019), Netflix
The Irishman (2019), Netflix

Joe Pesci, Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Harvey Keitel are the stars of new biography / crime / drama The Irishman.

Directed by Martin Scorsese, the story centres around a mod hitman’s recollection of his possible involvement with the slaying of Jimmy Hoffa.

The names of everyone in this movie is enough to get any serious movie fan very excited – and excited I certainly am. I also have to congratulate the creative mind behind the decision to have the shell float in the place of the letter I. I admit to yelping with delight at the beauty of the execution, especially when De Niro’s name came up. Then I had rewind to watch it again in case I imagined the whole thing; and a third time so I could actually listen to the dialogue.

No actual footage has even been released bur I’m convinced that Autumn has never seemed so very far away.

Anna Paquin, Jack Huston, Bobby Cannavale, Ray Romano, Jesse Plemons and Stephen Graham also star.

The Irishman Release Dates: Autumn 2019…

Happy Film Loving

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THE KID (2019): New Trailer From Ethan Hawke, Chris Pratt, Vincent D’Onofrio, Dane DeHaan…

The Kid (2019), Ethan Hawke, Lionsgate Movies
The Kid (2019), Ethan Hawke, Lionsgate Movies

Ethan Hawke, Chris Pratt, Vincent D’Onofrio and Dane DeHaan are the stars of The Kid.

Directed by D’Onofrio, The Kid is a biography / western about a young boy forced to go on the run whilst trying to save his sister from his villainous uncle. On his journey he finds himself increasingly entwined in the lives of Sheriff Pat Garrett and Billy The Kid…

I’m not overly familiar with the Sheriff Pat Garrett and Billy The Kid story but I am aware of that Billy is an outlaw and I’m interested mainly because of Hawke and Pratt. My fingers crossed for a pleasant surprise.

Leila George, Adam Baldwin, Jenny Gabrielle and Tait Fletcher also star.

The Kid Release Dates: March 8th, 2019 (2019)…

Happy Film Loving

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WIDOWS (2018): The Things I Liked…

Widows (2018), Liam Neeson, Viola Davis, 20th Century Fox
Widows (2018), Liam Neeson, Viola Davis, 20th Century Fox

Directed by Steve McQueen (Shame 2011); starring Viola Davis, Colin Farrell, Daniel Kaluuya, Liam Neeson and Robert Duvall, Widows is without a doubt very well acted and devoid of any dull moments. There are one or two unexpected turns I enjoyed and everyone performs very well in McQueen’s crime / thriller, a story about four women in need of a way to survive after their husbands’ criminal activities leave them in massive debt.

I’ll start by say that I generally appreciate the quality in movies where everything isn’t overly explained. I like moments where the audience is trusted to connect the dots and make sense of things. Widows is a movie that has a handful of such moments which are well executed. Yet, I’d also say that the ending aside, McQueen’s film feels oddly incomplete somehow.

The feeling of incompleteness comes first from not knowing enough of the back story of some of the characters. We get to know a fair amount  about a few key players but I was certainly left wanting when it came to Cynthia Erivo’s very intriguing Belle, for example.

Widows (2018), Cynthia Erivo, Michelle Rodriguez, 20th Century Fox
Widows (2018), Cynthia Erivo, Michelle Rodriguez, 20th Century Fox

There are also questions I had pertaining to one or two of the dead bodies and how they were disposed of. You may be reading this and be thinking: The brown notebook, silly! And you wouldn’t be wrong by saying that. Nevertheless, I still wanted to be fully convinced by how the story played out especially when it came to the widows’ turn to criminality. Unfortunately, even though I came close to being convinced, I just wasn’t – not completely.

It may may well be that I’ve seen far too many television crime dramas / thrillers that show just the right amount in order for me to buy a story wholeheartedly. Either way I’m now of the mind that Widows may have been better suited to a miniseries format. That way it wouldn’t feel quite so heavily edited and somehow incomplete. There’d certainly be more time for me to get to know a greater number of the characters in a more satisfying way.

Every one performs well but my favourite performance in Widows is delivered by Farrell. I really enjoyed watching his super entitled politician’s son character and listening to what sounded like a very convincing accent. Elizabeth Debicki also delivered some fun turns I wanted more of. 

Overall, Widows may not be my favourite McQueen movie but it definitely isn’t bad either. Perhaps you’ll find that it couldn’t possibly be more complete.

Happy Film Loving 

THE HIGHWAYMEN (2019): New Trailer From Kevin Costner, Woody Harrelson, Kathy Bates…

The Highwaymen (2019), Woody Harrelson, Thomas Mann, Kevin Costner, Netflix
The Highwaymen (2019), Woody Harrelson, Thomas Mann, Kevin Costner, Netflix

In new crime / drama The Highwaymen, Kevin Costner and Woody Harrelson are two police officers who have come out of retirement to catch infamous bank robbing outlaws Bonnie & Clyde.

Directed by John Lee Hancock; additional key cast includes Kathy Bates, Thomas Mann, Kim Dickens, John Carroll Lynch…

I haven’t watched a Bonnie & Clyde movie for a long time and I definitely don’t remember the story focusing mainly on the officers trying to catch the outlaws. As such, I’m rather looking forward to this seemingly fresh perspective.

I also didn’t realise I’d missed seeing Kevin Costner in a movie until I saw him here. How can I not miss him when I loved his character in Hidden Figures (2016) so much?

W. Earl Brown, David Furr, and Brian F. Durkin also star.

The Highwaymen Release Dates: March 29th, 2019 (US)…

Happy Film Loving

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AT ETERNITY’S GATE (2019): The Things I Liked…

At Eternity's Gate (2018), Willem Dafoe, CBS Films
At Eternity’s Gate (2018), Willem Dafoe, CBS Films

There’s plenty of beauty in director Julian Schnabel’s At Eternity’s Gate, a biography / drama about highly celebrated artist Vincent Van Gogh. The beauty lies first and foremost in the stunning cinematography, but also in the dialogue, editing and musical score.

As a big fan of colour and light, there’s certainly plenty of it to take in and enjoy  in Schabel’s movie; whether it’s the scenes in nature that Willem Dafoe’s Van Gogh is mesmerised by, or the beautiful blue of the jacket on the artist’s back.

Thanks to Schabel’s great execution, I enjoyed At Eternity’s Gate in its entirety. Even the heartbreaking moments that highlighted the truth of just how challenging Van Gogh’s experience of life must have been. The moments of suffering he endured made me sad and simultaneously grateful that he, at the very least had one of the most loving brothers anyone could ever wish for.

So engaging and immersive is the viewing experience of At Eternity’s Gate that it felt as though I was often there with Van Gogh; whether running with him through the beautiful vistas, laying down to take in the beauty of the sky and surrounding nature or even during his most tormented periods. Periods when there was next to zero colour in his days.

Watch At Eternity’s Gate because you appreciate visual art. Watch it to learn some truths about Van Gogh and for the mesmerising footage of an artist at work. By the very end, you may even be inspired to take  a trip to Amsterdam for the  Van Gogh Museum; or perhaps pick up some paint and brushes.

Time for me to look up Schnabel’s other films.

At Eternity’s Gate also stars Rupert Friend, Oscar Isaac, Mads Mikkelsen, Mathieu Amalric, Niels Arestrup…

Happy Film Loving 

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