Review: Out Of The Furnace (2013)

Out Of The Furnace

Out Of The Furnace, Scott Cooper’s follow-up to the award-winning Crazy Heart, boasts a all-star ensemble cast and accurately barbed, but not much else. This revenge thriller, if you can call it that, suffers from a conventional, extremely plain narrative that trudges along drearily, flinging cliches every which way, but never offers anything meaty enough to sustain its lengthy run time, nor its deserving-of-better cast and the qualities it emits through its production credits. Continue reading “Review: Out Of The Furnace (2013)”

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Review: American Hustle (2013)

American Hustle

The third part in his own self-proclaimed reinvention (one that’s so far brought with it The Fighter and Silver Linings Playbook, two Academy Award winners), American Hustle finds David O. Russell at his most playful, tackling the infamous ABSCAM scandal – a hugely publicised FBI sting into political corruption – with a tremendous amount of wit, vigour and vibrancy. While certainly not without its faults, it’s a film that’s more often than not massively entertaining, and a constant platform for spectacular performances and outlandish 70s fashion. Continue reading “Review: American Hustle (2013)”

Review: The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

Eight years after the grisly events that resulted in the death of Harvey Dent, Batman is nowhere to be seen and the city of Gotham has become a place of peace and mutual co-operation under the Dent Act. However, when a ruthless madman named Bane (Tom Hardy) rises from the darkest depths of the world and begins to take advantage of the city’s new-found order, Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) is forced to call upon Wayne Enterprises’ virtuoso Lucius Fox (Morgan Freeman), Continue reading “Review: The Dark Knight Rises (2012)”

Third And Final Trailer For The Dark Knight Rises

Warner Bros. Pictures have released the third and final trailer for The Dark Knight Rises – one that promises a more dramatic, emotionally resonant entry into the latest, inherently murky Batman franchise.

Written and directed once more by the partnership of Christopher Nolan and Jonathan Nolan, The Dark Knight Rises finds Batman (Christian Bale) hunted by the Police Department after taking the fall for Harvey Dent’s demise. However, Continue reading “Third And Final Trailer For The Dark Knight Rises”

Review: The Fighter (2010)

David O. Russell’s new film, The Fighter, is about a dysfunctional family based on the boxer Mickey Ward’s turbulent life.

The Fighter tells the story of boxer “Irish” Micky Ward’s (Mark Wahlberg) who’s attempts at a boxing career are always met with failure. Trained by his drug-addicted brother, Dicky, and managed by their manipulative mother, Alice, Micky struggles to escape his tight-knit family and carve a successful life of his own.

Dicky’s dramatic fall from grace and the fractured shards of his dysfunctional family spur Micky forward, tearing him down, yet building him up at the same time, leading him to girlfriend Charlene and a career-move to LA.

Shepherded by Wahlberg’s Micky and Bale’s Dicky, The Fighter builds its dynamic around the family, choosing to focus on the families relationship, rivalry and manipulation, rather than the boxing itself, which is seen as a form of escapism, for Micky in particular.

Wahlberg and Bale each inhabit their respective characters absolutely, their personaes played against one another to represent two brothers struggling against the odds to make a name for themselves in the world.

Amy Adams embodies Charlene with a magnificently arresting force, striving to free Micky from the cycle of exploitation and anxiousness he’s been stuck in for years, allowing him to reach his full potential.

Melissa Leo is boorish in her rendering of Alice; exploiting and disrupting Micky and Dicky’s quest for stardom and freedom as mother/manager Alice. She’s one of those women from hell, all cigarettes and chicanery.

Russell’s direction is wonderful, mixing docu-style with intense, evasive cinematography, constructing everything with a perfect sense of naturalism and vivid energy.

Disappointedly, the script doesn’t, at times, match up to the strength of the direction and performances. It fails to find the right balance between boxing film and family psychodrama, making it difficult for viewers to fully invest in the characters’ lives; never quite reaches the heights its premise is destined for.

The Fighter is a well-directed, powerful film, with some truly sublime performances, regretfully let down by an often poor and in-cohesive script.

68th Annual Golden Globe Awards: Winners

Best Motion Picture – Drama

  • The Social Network

Best Performance By An Actress In A Motion Picture – Drama

  • Natalie Portman – (Black Swan)

Best Performance By An Actor In A Motion Picture – Drama

  • Colin Firth – (The King’s Speech)

Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy

  • The Kids Are All Right

Best Performance By An Actress In A Motion Picture – Musical Or Comedy

  • Annette Bening – (The Kids Are All Right)

Best Performance By An Actor In A Motion Picture – Musical Or Comedy

  • Paul Giamatti – (Barney’s Version)

Best Performance By An Actress In A Supporting Role – Motion Picture

  • Melissa Leo – (The Fighter)

Best Performance By An Actor In A Supporting Role – Motion Picture

  • Christian Bale – (The Fighter)

Best Animated Feature Film

  • Toy Story 3

Best Foreign Language Film

  • In A Better World

Best Director – Motion Picture

  • David Fincher – (The Social Network)

Best Screenplay – Motion Picture

  • The Social Network – (Aaron Sorkin)

Best Original Score – Motion Picture

  • The Social Network – (Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross)

Best Original Song – Motion Picture

  • You Haven’t Seen The Last Of Me – (Burlesque)

16th Annual Critics’ Choice Awards: Winners

Best Film

  • The Social Network

Best Director

  • David Fincher – (The Social Network)

Best Actor

  • Colin Firth – (The King’s Speech)

Best Actress

  • Natalie Portman – (Black Swan)

Best Supporting Actor

  • Christian Bale – (The Fighter)

Best Supporting Actress

  • Melissa Leo – (The Fighter)

Best Young Actor/Actress

  • Hailee Steinfeld – (True Grit)

Best Acting Ensemble

  • The Fighter

Best Original Screenplay

  • The King’s Speech – (David Seidler)

Best Adapted Screenplay

  • The Social Network – (Aaron Sorkin)

Best Cinematography

  • Inception

Best Art Direction

  • Inception

Best Editing

  • Inception

Best Costume Design

  • Alice In Wonderland

Best Makeup

  • Alice In Wonderland

Best Visual Effects

  • Inception

Best Sound

  • Inception

Best Animated Film

  • Toy Story 3

Best Action Film

  • Inception

Best Comedy Film

  • Easy A

Best Film Made For Television

  • The Pacific

Best Foreign Language Film

  • The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

Best Documentary Film

  • Waiting For Superman

Best Score

  • The Social Network – (Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross)

Best Song

  • If I Rise – (127 Hours)