White Boy Rick (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

White Boy Rick (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
White Boy Rick is based on a true story of a drug dealing gun totting 15 year old, dragged deep into a world of crime by the FBI.  It’s solid stuff – with Matthew McConaughey delivering yet another strong performance.  But for all it’s grit and dirt it’s the very workman like delivery that lets the film down.  In more solid hands this could have been a really interesting film but as it is it’s more diverting than essential.

Best Bit: Getting close with the girl

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Black Mass, American Gangster, New Jack City

 


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Blog: All Things Film – The Christopher Nolan Three-Hour Patience-Tester (2014) Reviewed

Blog: All Things Film – The Christopher Nolan Three-Hour Patience-Tester (2014) Reviewed

All Things Film Blog Other Cr*p Uncategorized

Co-writer and director Christopher Nolan follows up his half-arsed, ultra-boring Dark Knight Rises with this confounding and dumb 2001: A Space Odyssey rip-off. Eventually, everything is ripped off, right down the silky smooth organ soundtrack, through to the milkshake Juicy Fruit black holes that make little sense. I’m sure somewhere in Nolan’s mind he’s being inventive and shit, but with Interstellar he’s basically repeating the same ancillary notes that Kubrick perfected the first time.

Of course Matthew McConaughey is back on track after Dallas Buyers Club and all that. In Interstellar, I can imagine him on set looking just as confused as they day he finished reading the script. Severe liberties are taken with space, time and travel; classic, textbook fucking Nolan behaviour to arrive at an ending we knew was coming a mile off, but with a million variations on clunky and prolonged exposition. Patterns are emerging in anything he’s attempted to fart out since The Prestige; that ever-rising orchestral score to underpin no fewer than three juxtapositions.

With Interstellar it all comes to a head, as he orgasms on screen having managed to finally do it with two sets of characters in two different periods of time, connecting through black magic, watches (a trademark Nolan MacGuffin) and books.

I fucking hated this morbidly obese 170 minute long film, and hated it more with each passing hour. There’s a scene where Anne Hathaway, Matt’s co-pilot, advises him that one hour spent on a new planet they’d arrived at will equate to seven years back on Earth.

After sitting through this shit I know exactly what she means.

Author: Andrew Mackay
To hear more on this review (and others like it) make sure you download the Filmsploitation podcast! 

Blog: Interstellar – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Man did the though of this film leave me cold.  A trailer that did little for me and hype that bordered on ridiculous. It felt like the 5 star reviews had already been written.  But a week or so away from the release, sitting down to watch the film I have to say- for the most part the hype was right. This is astounding filmmaking. It’s not perfect – the Nolan’s script is lacking once again with terrible on the nose dialogue and large chunks of plot dump, the ending is pure Spielberg at it’s worst and the film because of it ends up being longer than it needed to be.  HOWEVER this is a film that demands to be seen on the big screen (the biggest you can find actually) , has visual FX that create some of the most believable worlds ever seen on screen and has note perfect after note perfect performance.  Oh and the sound.  Just… wow. So overall whilst not the 5 star classic certain reviewers would have you believe, Nolan delivers probably the best 4 star movie ever and is back on form after the lacklustre Dark Knight Rises.

Best Bit: Matthew McConaughey delivers the goods once again.

Buy, Rent, Stream, Borrow: Buy

If You Liked this Try: Inception, The Dark Knight, Insomnia

 

Author: Phil Hobden

Blog: Grosse Point Geek – Intersteller Reviewed

Blog: Grosse Point Geek – Intersteller Reviewed

A Blog Grosse Point Geek Uncategorized

Director: Christopher Nolan, Actors: Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Wes Bentley, Jessica Chastain, Casey Affleck, John Lithgow, Michael Caine, Matt Damon.

In the near future, Earth is dying, food resources are running low and mankind is now no more than a caretaker population awaiting the inevitable coming apocalypse.

However, hope lies in the discovery of a wormhole near Saturn that leads to another galaxy, wherein it is postulated that there may be Earth like planets that could potentially re-home the human race.

Naturally the wormhole has to be explored – so NASA recruits former air force pilot Cooper (McConaughey) and three scientists (including Hathaway) to boldly go and see what’s on the other side, however things do not go as planned and the team find themselves up against everything from a giant black hole, to the laws of space time and the perils of exploring strange new worlds.

Putting it mildly – Christopher Nolan is one of the best directors working today – thus far all of his films have been imaginative, well plotted and most of all extremely clever – rare traits which are sorely lacking in many of today’s modern blockbusters (the films of Michael Bay being a notable example).  So I am very happy to report that Interstellar is no exception.

Nolan once again proves to be a story teller of immense talent and intelligence, weaving a plot that twists and turns whilst cleverly throwing in proper scientific theory, which refreshingly never insults its audience but instead makes one fully concentrate and  think properly about what is unfolding on screen.

It’s also technically flawless – with VFX that serve the film rather than take it over completely. In addition Jonathan Nolan’s script is pitch perfect, with nary a clunky line to be heard.  Finally the cast is universally excellent –  McConaughey continues his stunning run of form with a wonderfully understated performance of real depth and breadth, Michael Caine is fantastic as the NASA scientist who persuades Cooper to take on the mission and there are also superb turns from Damon (in a small but pivotal role) Jessica Chastain, Casey Affleck and Anne Hathaway.

One thing I will say is that if you are expecting a slam bang space adventure akin to Armageddon or Star Trek, then Interstellar isn’t the film for you. For a start its very long (3 hours), takes its time to get going, is slow in parts  and features some mighty plot twists and mind bending science that may not be for all tastes. However if you like a movie that is brilliantly made, challenging and most of all damned intelligent, then this will be right up your alley.

Don’t miss this one folks

 
Author: Will Strong 

 

Blog: Dallas Buyers Club – A Quick Capsule Review

Blog: Dallas Buyers Club – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
It wasn’t that long along that Matthew McConaughey’s name above a film poster meant piss poor romantic comedy.  No more.  Dallas Buyers Club sees McConaughey not just at his best but marking himself out as one of the best actors working today and in a film that also included a career best performance from Jared Leto that’s saying something.  Dallas Buyers is a superb film, one of 2014’s must see movies.

Best Bit: McConaughey, gives a career best performance.

Rent, Borrow, Buy, Stream: Buy

If you liked this try: Wolf Of Wall Street; Saving Mr Banks; 12 Years A Slave

Grosse Point Geek: The Five Best Actors Working In Films Today

Grosse Point Geek: The Five Best Actors Working In Films Today

A Blog Grosse Point Geek Uncategorized

Since the dawn of motion pictures  one of the major factors that studios have relied upon to score a box office hit is the presence of a well known, popular, marquee actor. However, in latter years  former titans of the multiplex, such as Tom Cruise or Harrison Ford,  have seen their attraction wane significantly, and as a result  less well known performers are being used who not only don’t cost as much, but also bring a significant degree of quality to proceedings  as well.

Now there many superb actors out there but to list them all would take forever, so I have compiled a list  of what I think are 5 of the  best  working in films today.

All of them charismatic, natural performers,  unafraid to stretch themselves by taking on risky roles, always effortlessly seeming  to hold the audiences attention, and somehow bringing that little something to every film in which they appear.

* * * * *

MV5BMjEyMTEyOTQ0MV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNzU3NTMzNw@@._V1_SY317_CR9,0,214,317_George Clooney

Initially appearing in nonsense such as One Fine Day and Batman and Robin, Clooney has consistently defied the odds by refusing to take on parts that solely rely on his looks and instead giving gritty performances in the likes of Syriana and  Michael Clayton. Along the way there have been some misfires – directorial efforts such as Leatherheads and Confessions of a Dangerous Mind were met with mixed reactions.

However by  choosing to work with talented filmmakers such as The Coen Brothers,  Alexander Payne and Jason Reitman, Clooney has managed to create a body of work that shows him as both a proper movie star and a talented performer.

Best Role: CIA Agent Bob Barnes in Syriana – a quiet, superbly understated performance that rightly won him a best supporting actor Oscar.

* * * * *

MV5BMTA2NjEyMTY4MTVeQTJeQWpwZ15BbWU3MDQ5NDAzNDc@._V1_SX214_CR0,0,214,317_Bryan Cranston

Utterly brilliant as meth dealing chemistry teacher Walter White in TV’s  Breaking Bad  – Cranston is now fast becoming one of the hardest working and most sought actors in films today.

Soon to be seen in Gareth Edwards’ Godzilla reboot, he was the best thing about 2012’s Total Recall remake, very good as the tragic garage owner Shannon in Nicholas Winding Refn’s Drive (2011) and fantastically barbed as the acerbic CIA chief in Argo (2012). A natural actor with bucket loads of talent  – one gets the feeling that the best is yet to come from this guy.

Best Role: What else? – Walter White in (the never to bettered) Breaking Bad.

* * * * *

MV5BMTEwNjE0Njg2MTReQTJeQWpwZ15BbWU3MDEyODM1ODc@._V1_SY317_CR1,0,214,317_Tom Hiddleston

The fan’s favourite after completely stealing The Avengers, Thor and its sequel, as the scheming Loki. He was also very good in Steven Spielberg’s War Horse and is currently receiving great notices for his role as a vampire  Jim Jarmusch’s Only Lovers Left Alive. Superb in everything he’s been in – Hiddleston somehow manages to be an incredibly magnetic screen presence and if he keeps it up could end up going down as one of the best actors this country has ever produced. Currently shooting Guillermo Del Toro’s upcoming Crimson Peak – surely a Loki spin off movie isn’t far away.

Best Role: Loki  (naturally)- delivering hilarious one liners, bitchy put downs or just effortlessly upstaging Hemsworth and Hopkins  -he made for one of the best screen baddies since Palpatine in Star Wars.

* * * * *

MV5BMTk0NjM2MTE5M15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwODIxMzcyNw@@._V1_SX214_CR0,0,214,317_Michael Fassbender

First coming to prominence as  jailed IRA terrorist Bobby Sands in Steve McQueen’s Hunger (2008), this guy has consistently impressed in just about everything he’s been in since. Successfully managing to give strong performances in smaller films such as Fish Tank and Shame, he also managed to shine in big budget blockbusters like X-Men First Class (as the young Magneto) and Prometheus.

More recently he was nominated for an Oscar for his terrifying turn as the vicious slave owner Epps in 12 Years a Slave  and will soon to appearing again as Magneto in Bryan Singer’s mega budgeted X-Men: Days of Future Past.

Best Role: Now everyone cites Shame as the film that put him on the map – however for me it was as the android David, in Ridley Scott’s Prometheus where Fassbender impressed the most. Managing to be subtly cool and quietly funny,  he owns  every scene he is in. Ok the film divided audiences and critics alike (I lost track of the amount of heated texts Phil Hobden and I exchanged on this one) but without doubt he is the best thing in it by a mile.

* * * * *

MV5BMTg0MDc3ODUwOV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMTk2NjY4Nw@@._V1_SX214_CR0,0,214,317_Matthew McConaughey

Currently riding high after his best actor win at the Oscars last month, and seemingly able to do no wrong – it certainly wasn’t always this way.  Initial promise shown in A Time To Kill, Contact and Amistad was soon squandered by appearances in low brow (but high grossing) rom coms such as Failure To Launch and How To Lose A guy in 10 Days.

This all changed spectacularly in 2011 when McConaughey staged what can only be described as the greatest movie career comeback in living memory.  Fondly known as the “McConaughnaissance” – out went the forgettable crappy  comedies of old and in came several of the most outstanding performances ever seen in modern cinema.

Unbelievably, in  just 3 years he’s starred in no less than 7 films, one highly acclaimed TV series (True Detective), and gone from being a likeable(ish) B list movie star to a bona fide brilliant actor that has Hollywood at his feet.

Indeed, he’s been so good of late, that its extremely hard to pick which one of his recent 7 roles he has impressed the most in.

He was terrifying in Killer Joe, as a murderous and somewhat perverted cop (I’ve not looked at chicken drumstick the same way since), stole all of his scenes in his extended cameo in The Wolf Of Wall Street, was hilarious as the egotistical leader of a troupe of male strippers in Magic Mike, and deservedly won the Academy Award for his frankly outstanding performance as an AIDS victim in the Dallas Buyers Club.

The problem with McConaughey is that he’s had such a good run of luck you worry where he goes from here –without doubt the big test will be Chris Nolan’s Interstellar (due later this year), which has major potential to be a total sci fi classic. All eyes will be on him and Nolan to see if they can deliver –  personally I wouldn’t bet against it.

 Autor: Will Strong

 

Review: Dallas Buyers Club (Cinema)

Review: Dallas Buyers Club (Cinema)

Other Cr*p Uncategorized

The Review:  Bull rider Ron Woodruff waits in the wooden wings for his shot to break the eight second record, and as he waits, he has two young temptresses in the shadows, screwing them alternately. He peers through the wooden slats at the current rider, who’s having his ass kicked by the bull. Ron finishes and clasps his hands together, ready for the challenge.

The real challenge comes a day after the bull ride. An electrician by day, Ron receives a shock that lands him in hospital. The doctors deliver another nasty shock.

It’s difficult to know if this opening sequence is precisely the moment Ron acquired HIV – worse still, might this have been an occasion where he’s passed it on. We may never know.

Set in 1985 Dallas, Texas this extraordinary film charts the story of Woodruff’s realisation, character dismantling disease; a time when rednecks like Woodruff and, indeed, society at large thought the AIDS virus to be exclusively passed around by homosexuals and sharing of needles. When a redneck is hit by this news, it has major repercussions with his friends and his community. His trailer home is daubed “faggot blood” as he’s out trying to steal the wonder drug drug AZT.

Dallas Buyer’s Club could easily play as a companion piece to How to Survive a Plague – a documentary from 2013 that takes the same route regarding AZT; a drug, it transpires, that is deeply toxic, but a perfect antidote to big pharma’s slack response to the ever growing epidemic.

Ron is played by Matthew McConaughey – it must be said, with fierce career-defining gusto – having clearly lost as much weight as Cristian Bale did for The Machinist. He’s a charming, passionate and humorous fellow dealt an exceptionally shitty hand by fate; a doomed slap in the face that could, unbeknownst to anyone who knew him at the time, affect absolutely anyone. In his quest for acquiring AZT illegally, he’s given the heads up by an orderly of a struck-off doctor in Mexico who’s set up shop trying anything to find ailment-prohibiting drugs with limited success. Ron takes a big risk smuggling these back to Dallas to start The Club of the title; $400 per month membership for real results in halting the AIDS process. And all of this is a true story.

Dallas Buyer’s Club is a masterpiece. Directed by relative unknown Jean-Marc Vallée, and written by newcomers Craig Borten and Melisa Wallack, the movie packs a hell of an emotional wallop. It’s gloriously understated in its direction and blissfully subtle in all the right places. The script is superb and stuffs so much plot into its perfectly reasonable 110 minute run-time. McConaughey – for all his previous romcom nonsense here is a revelation; a bold, daring middle-finger to the stereotypes of old; it’d be curious to see how the fans of his previous work take to a story like this. Especially when he happens across the paths of pre-op transvestite Rayon; a drug-taking wild-at-heart liberal who sets up the club with him.

Rayon is played by Jared Leto and Leto in this movie is a revelation; his performance is Earth-shatteringly astonishing. If ever he found work drying up on the silver screen, then he could easily migrate to drag/stage work anywhere in the world. But beyond the make-up and behind the frilly exterior beats the heart of a truly dismantled, beautiful monster. Leto turns in the performance of a lifetime as Rayon; at once sweet and endearing, and yet wild and rambunctious on his collision course to the inevitable with his drug use. If Leto doesn’t win Best Supporting Actor this year the Oscars, it’d be a crime; possible a crime as big as the FDA committed two decades ago in halting a perfectly legal, comfortable, non-toxic drug to help alleviate the HIV/AIDS sufferer’s ailments.

And so, with that – a mere three days in to 2014 – we have the best film of the year so far <!> in Dallas Buyer’s Club; a film so taut, stuffed to the gills with career-best performances in a movie that will have you laughing beer through your nose and socking you in the stomach and heart alternately.

It is a masterpiece and you absolutely must check it out, if, for no other reason, than to marvel at Jared Leto and Matthew McCounaghey’s performance. Oh, who am I kidding, you’ll be marveling at EVERYONE’S performance – on and off screen. It’s absolutely brilliant

Reviewed By: Andrew MacKay

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Review: The Wolf of Wall Street (Cinema)

Review: The Wolf of Wall Street (Cinema)

All Things Film Blog The Blogs

The Review:  As a huge Scorsese fan I was waiting with baited breath for the fifth collaboration between Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio, The Departed and Gangs of New York were excellent, The Aviator and Shutter Island less so. The latest offering is based on the true story of Jordan Belfort, a young self starter who is working his way through the pecking order to become a stockbroker, Jordan passes his exams and his first day as a fully certified broker turns out to be Black Monday where the Stock Market crashed and the company he worked for went under.

Desperate to pursue his dreams, Jordon starts off by selling Penny Shares, low return investments to everyday folk and pocketing a hefty 50% commission. A chance meeting sees Jordan partner up with Donnie Azoff (Jonah Hill) and they start their own company which grows at alarming rates. Now he is getting some recognition and a bit of a reputation, Forbes Magazine dub Jordan “The Wolf of Wall Street” due to his dubious methods of suckering people into parting with their money, this only spurs him on and leads to a queue of people wanting to work for him.

Lavish lifestyles, drugs and shady deals can only continue for so long without consequences which Jordan may find out when the FBI start looking into his dealings.

From the dwarf tossing opening scene Scorsese has the viewer hooked, the cinematography is lavish, the dialogue is crisp and sharp and at the centre is DiCaprio turning in possibly his best ever performance. Jordan is young, brash, determined and unapologetic and would happily sell his grandmother some useless stock as long as he got his money off the back end, characters like this are supposed to be vile and repulsive but DiCaprio’s Jordan oozes charm and sincerity and is incredibly likable especially the way he whips his workers into a frenzy each day which is reminiscent of a preacher at a church service .

Jonah Hill proved he could act in a serious film with his Oscar nominated performance in Moneyball, here, he is the perfect foil for DiCaprio’s Jordan. Donnie idolizes Jordan and will do anything to be successful, he also shares Jordan’s love of all things narcotic which leads to probably the funniest moment you will see this year.

Scorsese nods to fellow directors by casting them in the film, there are parts for Spike Jones, Jon Favreau and a fantastic performance from Rob Reiner as Jordan’s father. Apart from the two main leads, the Walking Dead’s Jon Bernthal, The Artist’s Jean Dujardin, and our very own Joanna Lumley relish in their roles without forgetting a possible Oscar baiting cameo from Matthew McConaughey.

Don’t waste your money on American Hustle; see how it should be done as The Wolf of Wall Street marks a return to form of one of the greatest living directors while its main stars deliver career best performances in one of the funniest and engrossing films of the year.

Reviewed By: Matt Duddy

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