Sunday, 25 June 2017

Sports documentary double bill



Currently, the McLaren Formula One is at the foot of the Championship table with engine problems being the woes that fall upon the team and drivers. So, with the McLaren team is such a dire position it seems ideal to go back to a time when the iconic McLaren name was in the ascendency. Directed by Roger Donaldson, McLaren follows Kiwi racing car driver and designer Bruce McLaren from growing up in his small town in New Zealand to designing World Championship winning racing cars.

Bruce McLaren is painted as a determined, hardworking and talented figure in the world of motorsport, finding success in many different formulas and racing categories. The time he devoted to the sport was so great it must have impacted his family life though the movie does not investigate this. Whilst, a look into the man’s family life may have opened him up on an emotional level (thereby adding more depth to the film) the areas that film does investigate is very interesting even if some understanding of engineering may be required.

Due to the limited resources available (the sport was still in its infancy in the 60s) director Roger Donaldson combines reconstructive footage with archival footage and interviews, this works reasonably well but the reconstructive footage does feel like it served more as padding than anything greatly informative. What’s also interesting to note is how the drivers and mechanics shrugged off the death of fellow racing drivers. This inaction and belief that death was part of the sport contributed significantly to the high number of fatalities in the era. Sadly, however, the film doesn’t go into great depth regarding the effect the high death toll had on Bruce McLaren.

The climax of the documentary is undoubtedly high emotional, but thrills and quality of material available means McLaren isn’t on a par with Senna.

3/5

George Best was football’s first celebrity, many dubbed him the Fifth Beetle for his supreme good look and massive female fanbase. Not only was he supremely good looking but he was an incredible football player, one of the best of his generation, a generation that included the likes of Pele and Eusebio. The documentary, simply titled Best, speaks admirably about the talents of George Best, but it’s not a documentary that spends the entire timewaxing lyrically about how the ball was glued to his feet. Instead it’s a very honest and very moving documentary about a sportsman who threw away his talent because of deadly addiction to alcohol. What’s striking is the friends of George Best not only blame the man himself, but themselves, they feel they did not do enough to turn him away from drink.

Comparisons to the Bobby Moore, whose life was also discussed in a documentary could easily be made, and both are refreshingly honest, yet respectful documentaries. George Best is an endlessly fascinating subject, a great talent ruined by drink and a celebrity lifestyle and the film serves as a warning to celebrity culture and the hounding by press and fans. Making use of archival footage and talking heads, the Best documentary lives up to its name becoming one the finest documentaries on the sport. People can chuckle how George Best may have spent his money on booze, birds, fast cars and squandered the rest but it was a lifestyle never made him happy. A sad documentary about a wasted talent.

4/5
 

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Southern Fury



Southern Fury tells the intertwining stories of the Lindel brothers, Mikey (Johnathon Schaech) and JP (Adrian Grenier), who had only each other to rely on growing up. As adults, JP found success as the owner of a construction company, while Mikey became a small-time mobster, mired in a life of petty crime. When Mikey is kidnapped and held for a ransom by ruthless crime boss Eddie King (Nicolas Cage), JP turns to the brothers' old pal Sal (John Cusack), a plain clothes detective for help – IMDB.

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

The Mummy


 
In present day London, a Crossrail construction team discover a thousand-year-old tomb which holds the graves of the crusader knights who captured a large ruby from ancient Egypt, this ruby is an important part of an ancient ritual. Meanwhile, Nick Morton (Tom Cruise) his mate, Chris Vail (Jake Johnson), and Jenny (Annabelle Wallis) uncover the ancient tomb of Princess Ahmanet (Sofia Boutella) and unleash an unparalleled evil upon man kind.

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Thursday Movie Picks


Welcome to Thursday Movie picks, hosted by Wandering Through the Shelves, this weeks’ theme is all about movies that go well together.

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Wonder Woman is Not Blunder Woman


The island of Themyscira is situated somewhere on Earth (not sure where) and it is protected from the horror of the World of Men by a bubble. This island is populated by an Amazonian tribe which consist entirely of women. They have lived peacefully for thousands of years until an American pilot Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) crash lands on the island, and he is followed closely by a German contingent. A battle ensues and the Amazon tribe are then forced to face the outside world and the war raging in it. Upon hearing of the war to end all wars, Diana (Gal Gadot) fears that the god Ares has risen again, and leaves the island of Themyscira seeking to destroy him.

The Other Side of Hope

Khaled (Sherwan Haji) emerges from the soot ready to start a new life in Finland after escaping Syria and the brutal Civil War. Upon arrival he announces himself at the Migrant Detention centre so that his application for asylum to Finland is processed. The application is rejected, however, and whilst living on the streets he meets Finnish restaurant owner Wikström (Sakari Kuosmanen) who befriends him.

Friday, 2 June 2017

Rings


In today’s modern era nobody really has anything as archaic as a VHS player so Samara’s been less busy than usual. That is until Gabriel Brown (Johnny Galecki) buys one of those VHS player things and watches the type inside. The type is cursed and Gabriel gets a phone call saying that he’ll die in seven days. Meanwhile, Julia (Matilda Lutz) is seeing her boyfriend off to college but within a few weeks he becomes estranged, and a desperate skype call from a mysterious girl alerts Julia that something is wrong. So she packs her bags and goes to see him and finds herself caught up in a deadly curse but for her things are little different than usual.

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell no Tales/Salazar's Revenge




Back in 2003 people wondered how good can a movie about a theme park attraction be? The answer was pretty good as Gore Verbinski set sail on what would be major lucrative franchise which would yield great booty for Jerry Bruckheimer and Disney. Verbinski was the helmsman for the first three movies and despite him disembarking the franchise in 2007, the franchise did not sink at the box office. The choppy seas of directors was not an issue either as the fifth film retains much of what made the original films quite appealing to an audience as whole.

Colossal



Gloria (Anne Hathaway) is an alcoholic, and out of a job. After her constant drinking and lying, her boyfriend, Tim (Dan Stevens) kicks her out of the house leaving Gloria with no choice but to return to her home town. There she finds her parent’s bare and uninhabited house and by chance happens to bump into an old school friend named Oscar (Jason Sudekis). Meanwhile in Korea, there’s a giant monster rampaging through Seoul and it quickly dawns on Gloria that the two are connected.

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

The Levelling



Upon hearing news of her brother’s apparent suicide, Clover Catto (Ellie Kendrick) returns home to a house devastated by a recent flood and a distant father (played by David Troughton). At home, Clover tries to cope with the loss of her brother but her distant and difficult relationship with her dad makes processing that loss a painful task.

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Thursday Movie Picks - The Renaissance


This week’s Thursday Movie Picks (about The Renaissance), hosted by Wandering Through the Shelves, has an entirely unintentional link. That link is Orson Welles, he starred in two of the films I selected and in the final pick Welles starred in another film adaptation of the famous Scottish Play.

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Alien: Covenant


 
Alien Covenant is set 10 years after the events in Prometheus and is about the ship named The Covenant which is on a colonization mission to the planet Origae-6. However, the crew are woken by a solar flare, which kills their captain, leaving Bully Crudup’s Christopher Oram in charge. By chance, the ship intercepts a message from a nearby planet which offers the crew everything they need to survive. Following the deadly accident in their sleeping pods, the crew decide not to go back to hyper-sleep and decide instead to investigate the nearby planet where everything imaginable goes wrong.

Saturday, 13 May 2017

Sandy Wexler


Over the last decade the way movies are being distributed has changed, the biggest change is that companies like Netflix and Amazon (who offer their content on demand) are now starting to produce their own films some of which are not released in cinemas. Netflix have managed to secure Adam Sandler, who can be a massive box office draw, to a four film deal. Sandy Wexler is the third film of the four film deal (his second with director Steven Brill) and once again its poor, but on the plus side, it’s better than the previous Netflix produced efforts.

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Guardians of the Galaxy 2


It was quite a surprise when the little-known Guardians of the Galaxy became one of the most highly rated Marvel films since the Superhero movie boom in 2008. Since then Guardians of the Galaxy has been my favourite superhero movie thus far so the second was highly anticipated. In the sequel, the Guardians of the Galaxy are still working together and their latest mission sees them handing over a series of super powerful batteries in exchange for Gamora’s (Zoe Salanda) sister, Nebula (Karen Gillian) who is held captive by the Sovereign race. 

Friday, 28 April 2017

Blindspot 2017: Mulholland Drive (SPOILERS)

Last year the BBC conducted a poll where David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive was voted the greatest film of the 21st century. Naturally this got the attention of people from different walks of life, all with different levels of interest in cinema. What people have to understand is that film critics (who like films in funny languages with weird writing down the bottom) will not select an ordinary film as the greatest. That’s the attitude you will have to take when watching Mulholland Drive, it is not an ordinary film.

Thursday, 27 April 2017

Passengers

I must admit that I was pretty sniffy towards Passengers. I mean they took the rather cynical move of casting the two most popular, young and attractive actors in the leading roles. All the casting crew did was just pick two of the most popular actors have done with it. Still it was a little unfair that I turned my nose up because it turned out to be a rather enjoyable film.

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Thursday Movie Picks: A Disappearance


A new week means a new Thursday Movie Picks. This week is all about disappearances. This is gonna be short and sweet. 

Make sure to check out - http://wanderingthroughtheshelves.blogspot.co.uk/

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Raw


When Raw premiered at the London Film Festival there were reports of people fainting in the aisles and vomiting in the toilets. Whether this is true or not, the media attention the film received was positive from there on…who wouldn’t want to see the film that made people faint and throw up? In actual fact this sort of attention does the film a disservice because it’s so much more than simply being a French Cannibal Horror film with vomit inducing gore.

Monday, 17 April 2017

Their Finest



Back in the 1930s and 1940s movie studios used to hire women to write women’s dialogue, they never got any credit for dialogue as the male screenwriter usually retained all of the credit. However, when war arrived on the shores of Britain many men were called up to arms, leaving many male dominated jobs (factory work and script writing) left unfilled unless they were taken by women. Catrin Cole (Gemma Arterton) took on such a role, helping pen the next great British film to inspire the nation. The fictional film is about the Dunkirk evacuation, and the ‘true’ story of the two women who boarded their ship to assist in the Dunkirk evacuation. For Catrin, life on the studio set is rife with casual sexism, but Catrin slowly gets the respect of her co-writers, particularly Tom Buckley (Sam Claflin).

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Beauty and the Beast


You all know the story; when the Prince (Dan Stevens) refuses to accommodate a traveller in need he is turned into a beast as a punishment for all his selfish deeds but still has a chance to change. If he does not find love before the final petal falls off the rose he will be cursed for all eternity, living life as a beast. The world forgets about him bu when Maurice (Kevin Kline) is kidnapped by the beast his daughter, Belle (Emma Watson), offers to replace him. Imprisoned, Belle attempts to escape but in her bid to escape Belle is cornered by wolves, and rescued by the beast who injuries himself in the process. Belle tends to his injuries and pair begin to feel affection for one another. The village, however, get wind of Belle's capture and rush to storm the castle.

Friday, 7 April 2017

Graduation

Romeo Aldea’s (Adrian Titieni) daughter, Eliza (Maria Dragus), is well on the way to studying at the prestigious University of Cambridge. Romeo wants what is best for his daughter (to leave Romania), but Eliza is attacked and injures her wrist days before her final exams. Without top marks, Eliza cannot attend university in the UK, however an alternative plan has been offered that will ensure Eliza's place at Cambridge, but this dishonest course of action goes against everything Romeo had tried to teach Eliza.

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Thursday Movie Picks: Car/Racing Movies


As motor racing is a sport (don’t look at me like that! It bloody well is a sport) any fictional movie about racing won’t be quite as exciting as a true moment of sporting greatness. Perhaps, that’s why my picks are either based on true stories or are documentaries. Make sure to visit - http://wanderingthroughtheshelves.blogspot.co.uk/

Monday, 3 April 2017

Get Out


Jordan Peele and Keegan Michael Key are best known for their work on their sketch show, Key and Peele, which is on Comedy Central (I know this because I see it advertised when I watch Friends for the 1000th time). Key has starred in many supporting roles in multiple movies and the pair starred and wrote the enjoyable Keanu. This time Jordan Peele is in the directing chair (Key makes a small cameo appearance) helming one of the best reviewed films of the year thus far.

Friday, 31 March 2017

The Handmaiden

Loosely based on the novel Fingersmith by Sarah Walter, director Park Chan-Wook moves the story from Victorian England to Korea under Japanese Imperial control where a conman, under the alias Fujiwara, tries to con the rich heiress Lazy Izumi Hideko (Kim Min-hee) out of her illustrious inheritance. He enlists the help of Sook-hee (Kim Tae-ri) but Izumi Hideko and Sook-hee begin to become close, and their feelings for one another begin to complicate the con.

Thursday, 30 March 2017

Blindspot: A Streetcar Named Desire and The Apartment

I forgot to watch one of  the blindspot selected films last month, so here's two for the price of one

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Thursday Movie Picks: Underdogs

 
When I think of underdogs I normally go straight to sport so each of these picks will be related to sports. You will also notice that each of these picks are based on true stories because, as commentators frequently say “you can’t write scripts like this”. Because who would have imagined that Leicester City would defy 5000-1 odds and pull off the greatest achievement in the history of team sport by winning the Premier League. Who would have thought Japan would beat two-time world champions South Africa at the 2015 Rugby World Cup to win their first Rugby World Cup game for almost 25 years? It’s true…you can’t write scripts like this.