Monday, 11 February 2019

Polar (2019)



Directed by Jonas Akerlund and written by Jayson Rothwell Polar (2019) is a neo-noir movie based on a comic series of the same name.

Exceptional bloodthirsty and violent with more claret than a French vineyard! It has a great wee twist towards its conclusion that probable a sequel is to follow. Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen is absolutely brilliant as the man looking forward to collecting his pension, and not  from the Department of Work and Pensions! 

Hated by the critics but loved by home viewers. Catch this outrageous movie on Netflix. 


Monday, 4 February 2019

Mary Queen of Scots (2018)


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After watching this splendid modern version of Mary Stewart's brave fight for her rightful claim for the English throne you realise the similarity between big Theresa May and Elizabeth 1st, conniving, nasty and self opinionated except that Elizabeth does not quite seem as bad even if she did have Mary’s head removed. You’re also notice that the English attitude towards Scotland and its people has not changed very much in the interim period.



Based on the John Guy award winning historical biography My Heart is My Own: the Life of Mary Queen of Scots and directed by Josie Rourke on her feature film debut, (Rourke background is in theatre direction) This version is a lot more detailed than the 1971 film of the same name but it has its critics and historical faux pas. As we all are aware the Queen of the Scots never actually met the Queen of England and although Saoirse Ronan’s Scottish accent is absolutely pitch perfect, Mary was said to have a French accent but neither detracted from my enjoyment of the movie, a little poetic licence is always allowed in historical movies.

Alongside some cracking Glencoe scenery is some notable acting. Not just Saoirse Ronan as Mary and Margot Robbie as Elizabeth but also David Tennant who played the evil Protestant cleric John Knox and Martin Compston as Marys protector and eventual third husband. Its a very enjoyable slice of history where the two hour running time speeds to its conclusion, in my opinion, far too quickly.

Friday, 1 February 2019

In the Fade (2017)




The German actress Dianna Kruger ( Inglourious Basterds 2009, Anything for Her 2008) won a Best Actress Award at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival for her role in this Faith Akin written and directed movie In the Fade. Kruger plays Katja Sekerci who’s Kurdish/German husband Rocco (Numan Acar, who you may have seen in the TV series Homeland or perhaps The Great Wall 2016) and son is killed in a terrorist attack. An attack said to be based on 2004 Cologne bombing when Neo-Nazis detonated a nail bomb in a busy Turkish neighbourhood. Although the police are certain the killing is motivated by Rocco’s drug trafficking past whereas Katja is convinced that it’s the work of a German Neo-Nazi cell.

This very well composed movie follows the trials and tribulations of Katja as she deals with her personnel problems following the obliteration of her family and the hunting down of those responsible for the atrocity and importantly justice for her husband and her 6-year-old son. A gripping, timely movie, that at its heart has a cautionary tale of racist violence that modern day Europe is very well aware of. 

Wednesday, 30 January 2019

Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get far on Foot. (2018)



John Callahan was best known for two things, a cartoonist that specialised in macabre subjects including disabilities and the fact that he himself was a quadriplegic resulting from a very serious car accident at the age of 21 following a heavy bout of drinking.

Gus Van Sant based his screenplay on the book of the same name written by Callahan. The biopic stars Joaquin Phoenix, an actor I’m not always keen on but in this role he is ideally cast. This dark comedy is not always an easy watch mainly because of Phoenix portrayal of this far from perfect character and his struggle with both his deformity coupled with his fight with alcohol but certainly a man you can’t help admire at times. There’s a grand supporting cast, which includes Jonah Hill, Rooney Mara, and a great cameo from Jack Black.  You can catch this movie on Amazon Prime.     

Tuesday, 29 January 2019

Roma (2018)



A stand out movie on so many levels, primarily because it’s the first time that a movie distributed by a streaming service, in this case Netflix, has been nominated for the Best Picture at the Academy Awards. With its nine other nominations it’s only the second non-English language film to have ever receive so many.  

Written and directed by Alfonso Cuaron this is said to be a very personnel movie based on his childhood. This Mexican film is based on a middle class family living in Mexico City in the 1970’s. The narrative is told mainly through the eyes of one of their domestic maids Cleo (Yalitza Aparicio). This engrossing story will have you hooked from the beginning and keep you engaged right through to the closing credits, which in all honesty come round far to quickly. It’s certainly a film that puts your faith back in the movie industry.