From the Archives: Calvary (2014)

With apologies for a slight cheat, but some family commitments have got in the way of this week’s planned post, so instead, here is one from the archives – Calvary (2014).

  • Director – John Michael McDonagh 
  • Starring – Bredan Gleeson, Chris O’Dowd, Kelly Reilly, Domhnall Gleeson
  • Writer – John Michael McDonagh
  • Year – 2014
  • Running Time – 101 Minutes

Calvary-Gleeson

Right from the very first line of Calvary it is abundantly clear the direction that writer/director John Michael McDonagh (The Guard) is heading. With him, we travel on a short, but eventual trip, to spend eight dark and bleak, though at times hilarious, days in Sligo, a small town in Ireland.

Here we are introduced to Father James Levelle (Brenden Gleeson), the local troubled-priest, who whilst holding confession, hears the chilling news that his confessor plans to kill him the following Sunday, therefore giving him eight days to get his house in order. Whilst this could have been the premise for the latest Taken film, instead what we get is a note-perfect, darkly black and emotive character drama, focusing on the inner workings of a small town Irish community. (more…)

The Rover (2014)

  • Director – David Michod
  • Starring – Guy Pearce, Robert Pattinson, Scoot McNairy
  • Writer – David Michod (Story, Screenplay), Joel Edgerton (Story)
  • Year – 2014
  • Running Time – 102 minutes

 

the-rover-2

How far would you go and for what?

Have you ever woken up at night, not quite sure where you are or how you got there?  Well, this is a very similar feeling to the opening of The Rover, when director David Michod who previously brought us the Australian powerhouse Animal Kingdom, throws us straight into the middle of the unforgiving Australian outback and straight into the repercussions of a robbery gone wrong.

Set ’10 years after the collapse’ The Rover paints a picture of an unsettling, dangerous and diverse future, where survival depends on uneasy and temporary alliances.  Material positions are limited, hard to come by and what you have, you guard and defend with your life.  Visual clues litter the landscape, which hint at what may have led to ‘the collapse’ but the true nature is never explained, nor is it needed.  What is important is the present; the past does not matter and the future uncertain. (more…)

Lockout (2012)

  • Director – James Mather and Stephen St Leger
  • Starring – Guy Pearce, Maggie Grace and lots of others that I won’t spoil…
  • Written – James Mather, Stephen St Leger and Luc Besson
  • Year – 2012
  • Running Time – 96 mins
 

Die Hard in Space 

Ok, so lets begin with the plot, as much as it is.  It is the year 2079 and criminals from all nationalities (however still under the watchful eye of the USA) are now being locked up in space on board vessels such as Maximum Security 1 (M.S.1).  The most serious criminals are kept in stasis for the length of their sentence. For some inexplicable reason the US Secret Service lets the President’s daughter  Emilie Warnock (Maggie Grace) visit M.S.1 as part of a research project into the potential adverse affects of stasis.  During her visit the prisoners escape and she gets Taken (see what I did there…..) hostage.  In swoops Guy Pearce, a CIA agent who has been wrongly accused of espionage and given the opportunity to break into M.S.1, free Ms Warnock and clear his name all in one fowl swoop. Game on.

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Punch-Drunk Love (2002)

  • Director – Paul Thomas Anderson
  • Starring – Adam Sadler, Emily Watson, Philip Seymour Hoffman
  • Written – Paul Thomas Anderson
  • Year – 2002
  • Running Time – 95 mins
 

They say that every one has a book in them.  If that is true then I reckon every movie star has at least one good film in them and Punch-Drunk Love is Adam Sandler’s one good film.  I remember listening to UK film critic Mark Kermode before he planned to watch Sandler’s horrendously double-acted Jack and Jill, he stated that as low as Sandler has sunk of late he still goes into each of his new releases remembering that Sandler was in Punch-Drunk Love.  This gives him hope, for a short time anyway. (more…)

Rock of Ages (2012)

  • Director – Adam Shankman
  • Starring – Tom Cruise, Catherine Zeta Jones, Alec Baldwin, Russell Brand, Diego Bonetta and Julianne Hough
  • Written by – Justin Theroux, Chris D’Arienzo and Allan Loeb
  • Year – 2012
  • Length –  123 mins
 

I was a rock child of the 80s.  I used to go to gigs in my denim jacket covered in studs and patches, I grew my hair long (bordering on mullet style on one special occasion) and had posters of Guns n Roses, Europe, Bon Jovi and Def Leppard on my wall at home.  Therefore I was always going to love this movie, no matter how bad it was.   I suspect that most others will not.

Deep down I think everybody wants to be a rockstar; I know I do.  I used to dream of performing in front of thousands of adoring fans and living the rock and roll life.   Sadly though the closest that most of us will get to this is performing air guitar in front of a mirror at home or singing in the shower.  That is of course unless you are Tom Cruise (more…)