Category Archives: No Spoiler Reviews

THE INTERVIEW (2014): When It’s Meant To Be…

The Interview (2014), Seth Rogen, James Franco
The Interview (2014), Seth Rogen, James Franco

Despite the hackers, I’ve watched Seth Rogen and James Franco’s The Interview and had a great time. I particularly loved the scenes with Kim Jong-un (Randall Park) and his Korean accent.

The Interview (2014), Randall Park,
The Interview (2014), Randall Park,

Fans of the lead Actor’s (Rogen and Franco’s) long standing movie bromance are bound to be very happy indeed. Especially if they accept that Franco’s character is really supposed to be that dim. Otherwise, like myself at first, Franco’s Dave Skylark may seem a tad over the top.

Rogen, Franco, Randall Park, Diana Bang and Lizzy Caplan all play their parts beautifully – along with some welcome surprise appearances from Franco and Rogen’s famous friends.

The Interview (2014), Seth Rogen, James Franco, Diana Bang
The Interview (2014), Seth Rogen, James Franco, Diana Bang

Having already paid the film my full attention and had fun, in true movie fan style, The Interview will now be one of those movies I have playing in the  background (nstead of music) as I do other things.

Happy The Interview 🙂

G

THE EQUALIZER (2014): ‘Badassery’ Denzel Washington Style

The Equaliser (2014), Denzel Washington
The Equaliser (2014), Denzel Washington

Director Antoine Fuqua and Denzel Washington’s The Equalizer makes me think of Taken (2008) and Taxi Driver (1976). It’s unsurprising since all three films feature young girls who end up in very unfortunate predicaments, but luckily for them, an individual takes it upon themselves to do everything they can to make things right.

I love stories like this because not many who find themselves in such precarious situations are as lucky. Seeing ‘baddie’s’ get what they deserve is always fun to watch. I mean, I can’t  even begin to tell you how happy I was at the end of Bryan De Palma’s Carrie (1976). 🙂

The Equaliser (2014), Denzel Washington, Chloë Grace Moretz
The Equaliser (2014), Denzel Washington, Chloë Grace Moretz

If you’re familiar with Washington, let’s face it, there a few who aren’t, then you know you’re in for a fun ride. Laced with action, good dialogue and Denzel style ‘badassery,’ The Equalizer will keep you entertained.

One of the most memorable moments for me is the swift move with the gun at Pushkin’s warehouse. It’s so very quick but certainly just as impressive each time I hit the replay button. I also love the music that starts at approximately 1 hour 45 minutes.

Watch it because it’s good.

Happy Film loving 🙂

G

GONE GIRL (2014): It’s Long But Definitely Worth It

Gone Girl (2014), Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike
Gone Girl (2014), Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike

1) I’d heard a lot of good things about Gone Girl. 2) I want to keep up with this Ben Affleck renaissance that’s been plenty discussed since Argo (2012). 3) Gone Girl is based on a successful book…

All these are reasons I knew I’d watch David Fincher’s latest. Mr Fincher himself is of course another reason.

Written by Gillian Flynn and very well acted by its stars, Rosamund Pike especially and Ben Affleck. You’ll be left impressed and probably more than a little scared if not more careful.

Having seen it, I count myself amongst the wowed. I don’t feel the same disappointment some have expressed at the ending. For me it felt just right somehow.

This is a brilliant mystery/ drama/ thriller of a movie. Regardless of the inherent darkness of the story, you’ll have no regrets. Just don’t make the same mistakes as the characters. I.e. Be sure to communicate with your partner when things are bothering you.

Happy Film Loving 🙂

G

THE GOOD LIE (2014): Such A Beautiful Ending!

The Good Lie (2014), Ger Duony, Emmanuel Jal, Kuoth Wiel
The Good Lie (2014), Ger Duony, Emmanuel Jal, Kuoth Wiel

Set in Sudan and the united states, Director Philippe Falardeau’s The Good Lie follows the journey of Sudanese refugees given the chance to resettle in America, away from civil war in their home country.

Carrie, a feisty, strong and fiercely independent employment agency counsellor, played by Reese Witherspoon is one of the first people they meet when they arrive in the US, and you’ll be glad they did.

This is a beautiful, dramatic and humorous tale about friendship, survival, sacrifice, and family. There’s a chance that The Good Lie will have you reflecting upon the true value of unexpected kindness from perfect strangers.

For those yet to see The Good Lie, I’m excited for you to find out how the title is touched upon in the telling of this beautiful story. the two songs at the end are sublime!

Happy The Good Lie 🙂

G

Learn more about the ongoing crisis in Sudan and the Philanthropic Initiative of The Good Lie Film

THE INTERVIEW (2014): Why Does It feel like Hackers Just Stole my Christmas Present?

The Interview (2014) Seth Rogen, James Franco
The Interview (2014) Seth Rogen, James Franco

First the New York city premier of Seth Rogen and James Franco’s film, The Interview (2014) was cancelled. Now Sony confirms that the film has been pulled from overall release, thanks to a threat of terror upon cinema goers from the hackers responsible for a cyber attack on Sony Pictures.

People are talking about how outrageous it is that Sony would bow down to threats of terror and what all this means for freedom of expression. It isn’t great. But the overall answer seems simple to me. I doubt that Sony had any plans to cancel release… until the top three cinema chains in the U.S. pulled out of showing the films at all.

Without the necessary distribution network in place, there isn’t much choice. Maybe things would have been different if Sony had their own chain of cinemas.

As a massive movie fan and an advocate of the comedic work of Rogen and Franco, I’m hugely disappointed. Somehow though, I get the feeling that this is not the end of The Interview. As Judd Apatow put it…

“This only guarantees that this movie will be seen by more people on earth than it would have before. Legally or illegally all will see it.”

With that note…

Happy The Interview, someway, somehow 🙂

G

Updates:

Sony will release The Interview online

More detail on the decision for non-release BBC Entertainment & Arts News.

MAGNOLIA (1999): Chaos Masterfully Organised

Magnolia (1999), Philip Seymour Hoffman
Magnolia (1999), Philip Seymour Hoffman

Paul Thomas Anderson’s Magnolia (1999) is the reason the name ‘Denise’ will never be the same again. It’s all thanks to a memorable line delivered by Tom Cruise as the infamous misogynist Frank T.J. Mackey.

The delivery of the ‘Denise, Denise, Denise the piece’ line may be somewhat comical, but the comedy of it is in no way the only thing that stays with you once the film ends.

Cruise’s performance is so good that it resulted in a Best Supporting Actor Golden Globe win. Add Philip Seymour Hoffman, William H. Macy, plus so many other great talents to the cast list of an already well written piece and you have more than a winner.

Magnolia (1999), Julianne Moore
Magnolia (1999), Julianne Moore

Magnolia is the first film that really made me pay attention to all the times in the future when the highly skilled Julianne Moore is listed as a cast member. There are plenty of great scenes to enjoy. I particularly adore the drugstore scene from which the above still was captured. So good!

Magnolia (1999), Tom Cruise
Magnolia (1999), Tom Cruise

Anderson’s film is very well executed and focuses in on several relatable life themes including one that reveals what can happen in adulthood when a young person’s support system badly fails them.

The theme that resonates most with me is regret. An important topic so expertly explored that Magnolia is a brilliant reminder for me to do all that I can to avoid it.

Make time for this affecting work of narrative artistry and you’ll see just why it has been described as epic.

Happy Magnolia 🙂

G

AMERICAN BEAUTY (1999): Forever Brilliant

American Beauty (1999), Kevin Spacey
American Beauty (1999), Kevin Spacey

For every film lover, there’s at least one or two – perhaps even three films that come immediately to mind whenever they‘re asked that inevitable question. ‘What’s your favourite film?’

My answer is always without hesitation, Director Sam Mendes’ 1999 Oscar winning film debut, American Beauty.

American Beauty (1999), Annette Bening
American Beauty (1999), Annette Bening

I’m yet to watch another film more perfect. Such a beautifully crafted story with excellent dialogue, symbolism and a healthy dose of truth and black humour.

It’s a brilliant commentary on suburbia and life in the classic American small town. American Beauty offers plenty of potentially useful information about the human condition.

There’s a strong theme on the difference between what people work hard to project versus the actual truth. The most interesting version of this is the exterior proclamations of the person who internally actually hates themselves.

As a result of this film, Annette Bening, Kevin Spacey, Chris Cooper, Writer Alan Ball, Director Sam Mendes and more, including the great Cinematographer Conrad L. Hall are forever in my mind, synonymous with brilliance.

American Beauty (1999), Kevin Spacey, Chris Cooper
American Beauty (1999), Kevin Spacey, Chris Cooper

I know one person who called American Beauty boring. Not quite sure what to say to that. Except maybe that it’s unlikely they actually really watched it.

Happy American Beauty, my favourite film. 🙂

G

SNATCH (2000): More Of The Witty, Fast And Clever

Brad Pitt isn’t the only big name star in Snatch (2000), Guy Ritchies follow up to Lock Stock & Two Smoking Barrels (1998). Benicio Del Toro and Dennis Farina make two more very welcome stateside additions.

Snatch (2000), Brad Pitt, Jason Flemyng
Snatch (2000), Brad Pitt, Jason Flemyng

Snatch is a fun British gangster film with fast, witty dialogue delivered by engaging characters. To reference just three, a ‘dodgy Russian’, loud Jewish American and a bunch of well organised Irish Gypsies. You can expect plenty including clever antics, a few not so clever, but very entertaining antics and some ‘healthy’ double crossing for good measure.

Snatch and Lock Stock have been criticised for being all surface and no substance. That may be true to a degree, but sometimes surface is exactly what you need. What ever you decide, I’ll promise you this, you won’t feel anywhere near as cheated as you probably did after watching the last two instalments of the Hangover (2009) trilogy. Believe me!

Snatch (2000), Jason Statham, Brad Pitt, Stephen Graham
Snatch (2000), Jason Statham, Brad Pitt, Stephen Graham

Watch it if only to see Brad Pitt’s interpretation of a version of the Irish accent and Benicio Del Toro being brilliant and as effortlessly cool as always. Did I already say that the last 20 minutes is super?

Happy ‘surface and no substance’ 🙂

G