Category Archives: No Spoiler Reviews

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.

Watch it because it’s good.

Happy Film Loving

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 highly anticipated film, The Interview (2014) was cancelled. Now Sony confirms that the movie 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 personally doubt that Sony had any plans to cancel release… that is until the top three cinema chains in the U.S. pulled out of showing the film at all.

Without the necessary distribution network in place, there isn’t really any 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 certainly 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.

And with that note…

Happy Film Loving

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 for me 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 love 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 resonated 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 precisely why it’s 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’, a loud Jewish American and a bunch of well organised Irish Gypsies. You can certainly expect plenty including clever antics, a few not so clever but very entertaining antics and some ‘healthy’ double crossing for good measure.

I’ve heard some criticise Snatch and Lock Stock for being ‘all surface and no substance‘. That may be true to a degree, but sometimes surface is exactly what you need for your movie fix. What I can pretty much promise you about Snatch is 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 Snatch 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? No? Well, ‘The last 20 minutes in super‘.

Happy ‘surface and no substance’ Film Loving

G

LOCK STOCK AND TWO SMOKING BARRELS (1998): Brilliant British Film

Lock Stock And Two Smoking  Barrels (1998), Nick Moran
Lock Stock And Two Smoking Barrels (1998), Nick Moran

Brother, mother, any other sucker!

Super wordplay. Just one of the the things I love about this movie.

Set in London’s East End, Lock Stock & Two Smoking Barrels is very entertaining, thanks to the excellent dialogue and incessantly funny male banter.

Lock Stock And Two Smoking Barrels (1998), Nick Moran, Jason Statham, Dexter Fletcher, Jason Flemyng
Lock Stock And Two Smoking Barrels (1998), Nick Moran, Jason Statham, Dexter Fletcher, Jason Flemyng

From writer / director Guy Ritchie, the film fits comfortably into the comedy / crime genre. There’s no shortage of well crafted characters, some of whom you’d count yourself very lucky to never encounter.

If you’re a seasoned film fan, It may be hard to not have Quentin Tarantino pop into your mind; for reasons including but not limited to the highly quotable dialogue and brilliant soundtrack.

Watch it!‘ That’s my recommendation

Lock Stock And Two Smoking  Barrels (1998), Vas Blackwood
Lock Stock And Two Smoking Barrels (1998), Vas Blackwood

Because if you don’t I’ll kill ya.

Just playing, of course. I’m simply quoting the great character pictured above.

Happy Lock Stock & Two Smoking Barrels 🙂

G

THAT AWKWARD MOMENT (2014): The Good Things

That Awkward Moment (2014), Zac efron, Michael B. Jordan, Miles Teller
That Awkward Moment (2014), Zac Efron, Michael B. Jordan, Miles Teller

The following are three of the best things about Zac Efron’s That Awkward Moment (2014). A story about twenty-something friends living and dating in New York. It’s definitely not a perfect movie – for reasons including, ironically, awkwardness. But these snippets of dialogue are indeed memorable. I’ve even found myself quoting one or two to friends.

1) ‘New York’s charm is that you’re surrounded by things you can’t have’. ‘New York’s charm is it makes you think you can have them’. 

Having been there myself and experienced the energy, I can confirm that both statements are true.

2) ‘Jason. You weren’t there for me. On a day when I really, really needed you. And being there for someone when they need you, that’s all relationships are, Jason. That’s all they are’

Delivered whilst perfectly composed and with all pauses mid-sentence only working to make the statement more impactful in the moment – regardless of how simple the idea and words may be.

3) ‘Guys, in High School I was voted as most likely to have the best eyes’ 

My favourite! This one line makes me giggle every single time.

Happy That Awkward Moment 🙂

G

INCEPTION (2010): Only If Other Films Would Stay Away From The Music

Inception (2010), Leonardo DiCaprio
Inception (2010), Leonardo DiCaprio

Part of what makes Christopher Nolan’s Inception (2010) so very good, is Hans Zimmer’s brilliant musical score.

Unfortunately, since the the film’s release, seemingly far lesser movies keep using it. I say ‘seemingly far lesser’ because I can’t actually see myself ever watching any of the offending titles.

I admit, I’m probably too attached to the original film and music, but all the trailers I’ve seen that use the Inception score really don’t look very promising. If they did, I wouldn’t be writing this.

You only have to watch the following Airborne (2012) trailer to see and understand.

Eeewwww indeed! To help get that gross Airborne taste out of your mouth, here are two fantastic Inception trailers…

Inception Trailer 1

Inception Trailer 2

Happy Film Loving 🙂

G