Review: The Killing Of A Sacred Deer (2017)

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After receiving awards attention for The Lobster, Colin Farrell reunites with its director Yorgos Lanthimos for The Killing Of A Sacred Deer, a pitch black comedy that puts a modern twist on a Greek myth. Steven (Farrell), a cardiac surgeon, leads an idyllic suburban life with his wife, Anna (Nicole Kidman), and their two kids Continue reading “Review: The Killing Of A Sacred Deer (2017)”

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Review: Dead Man Down (2013)

Dead Man Down

Niels Arden Oplev, the Danish director behind the first cinematic interpretation of Stieg Larsson’s Millenium novel trilogy (David Fincher’s version followed two years later), makes his English-language debut with Dead Man Down, a revenge thriller that unfortunately fails to triumph over innumerable weighty issues, namely screenwriter J.H. Wyman’s by-the-numbers script, pacing issues and an irritatingly dour mood. Continue reading “Review: Dead Man Down (2013)”

Isabelle Huppert Joins Dead Man Down

Isabelle Huppert (I Heart Huckabees) has landed a supporting role in Dead Man Down, Deadline has revealed.

Huppert, who will next be seen in two Cannes-bound films: Michael Haneke’s Amour (Love) and Hong Sang-Soo’s In Another Country, will star opposite Colin Farrell (Fright Night), Noomi Rapace (Babycall), Dominic Cooper (An Education) and Terrence Howard (Crash) in the crime-thriller.

The film, which is scheduled to shoot in May, centers on a crime lord’s right hand Continue reading “Isabelle Huppert Joins Dead Man Down”

Review: Fright Night (2011)

Fright Night is a bold, bright and fresh remake of Tom Holland’s much loved, and classically supernatural horror. The film centers on Charley Bewley (Anton Yelchin): an awkward teenage boy who has it made with a hot-as-hell girlfriend (Imogen Poots), devoted mum (Toni Collette) and independent American lifestyle. When mysterious Jerry (Colin Farrell) moves next door, it’s up to Charley to protect his family and rid the Nevada dessert of a deadly vampire clan.

While Fright Night may be as unnecessary as remakes come, it benefits from its refreshingly honest level of self-awareness, as well as the numerous Continue reading “Review: Fright Night (2011)”

Review: Horrible Bosses (2011)

For Nick (Jason Bateman), Kurt (Jason Sudeikis) and Dale (Charlie Day), the only thing that would make the daily grind more tolerable would be to grind their intolerable bosses into dust. Quitting is not an option, so, with the benefit of a few-too-many drinks and some dubious advice from a hustling ex-con, the three friends devise a convoluted and seemingly foolproof plan to rid themselves of their respective employers…permanently. There’s only one problem: even the best laid plans are only as foolproof as the brains behind them.

While the premise for Horrible Bosses starts off as a simplistic and mundane everyday comedy, it quickly (and welcomely) develops into something far more devilish and sinister. Screenwriters Michael Markowitz, John Francis Daley and Jonathan M. Goldstein may not bring a whole lot of plausibility or realism to the table, and you may find yourself scratching your head at the film’s outlandish ideas, but their zealous efforts go towards creating something bold, eccentric and ahead of the game.

The central trio of Bateman, Day and Sudeikis is what really bolsters this comedy. Their characters are vastly different but gel so well together, bouncing off one another with an incredible charm and quick wit. Bateman has sharpened his skill to deliver a raw comedic performance, and Sudeikis is solidly on-from. Out of the three though, it’s Day who truly stands out, doing so at every available opportunity. His rapport with Aniston in particular is expertly acted.

In terms of the bosses, and in that respect the main supporting cast, Kevin Spacey owns his role. Obviously in performance euphoria, he rabidly shoots off abuse like he’s been waiting his whole career to play this slave-driving psycho. Though shamefully kept in the background, Colin Farrell entirely embraces his less than flattering physical transformation, along with a daft vocabulary and racist sensibilities. As for Jennifer Aniston, she has finally been cast against type as the nymphomaniac Dr. Harris, dropping one hysterical vulgarity after another. Rachel Green is no more, and Aniston has a whole lot more to offer as an actress than most cinemagoers have been led to believe. She has, for better or worse, well and truly shed her good girl image.

As a director, Gordon fares very well. On the back of his outstanding documentary The King Of Kong: A Fistful Of Quarters, Four Christmases was a clear career misstep. To Horrible Bosses, however, he has brought unabashed zany humour, immersive interspersed drama and an offbeat directing style: techniques clearly built up during his time spent making documentaries and working on veteran television comedies, such as 30 Rock. In short: a perfect mix for welcomely off-kilter comedy film.

The two most noticeable flaws of Horrible Bosses, however, are that it never fully measures up to its outrageously dark premise, and that it ends up feeling borderline offensive at times. The film does provide elements of dark comedy, finding humour in scenes of death, mutilation and drug use, but it’s played all too cosily and light-hearted, never evoking the desired reaction. Also, however fun it is to watch Dr. Harris sexually harass Dale and hear how much Kurt wants to sleep with every living female, it often comes across as crass and degrading, and can be uncomfortable to watch.

That said, Horrible Bosses is still frequently hilarious, with laughs arriving both hard and often once the film finds its feet, thanks in no part to the sharply written script and enthusiasm evident in the well selected cast. There are even times when it sets itself up as a new favourite for the workplace comedy genre in the vein of Office Space or Anchorman: The Legend Of Ron Burgundy, but it ultimately falls short and feels miles away from its courageously crazy premise. Nevertheless, it’s a well-intended and laugh-out-loud comedy worth a chance.

Review: The Way Back (2010)

Peter Weir’s latest is a long-gestating film adaptation of Slavomir Rawicz’s The Long Walk: The True Story Of A Trek To Freedom.

The film centres a Polish lieutenant (Jim Sturgess) tortured by the Russian secret police and sent to a Siberian gulag on trumped-up charges who, along with several other falsely incarcerated men, travels 4,000 by foot to freedom.

Weir’s adaptation is a captivating film, using a tale of survival to explore deep, meaningful themes of existence and morality.

The cinematic vision compliments these moral explorations, the rough terrain symbolising the harshness of human existence and the trials we must face throughout our lives.

Sturgess proves his worth as the Polish leader, while Ed Harris and Colin Farrell each provide canny turns as criminals seeking redemption and worthwhile meaning.

Saoirse Ronan, in a walk-on part as 14-year-old Polish girl , who brings out the compassionate side of each character before succumbing to the torturous landscapes.

The main downfall is the distance kept between viewer and character. We are kept at arms length throughout the film, preventing one from becoming entirely engaged and emotionally involved with the hardship unravelling on screen.

The Way Back is a riveting and visually beautiful film that makes you question your own morality, but it’s overly long running time and poor character development results in it failing to achieve it’s full potential.