Viewed – 09 March 2013 DVD
My American readers may not be aware of 70s Brit TV show The Sweeney, starring John Thaw and Dennis Waterman, and to be honest neither am I really. Yet I understand it had quite a following and had a reputation for being hard-hitting (for the time). So a modern interpretation, albeit for the big screen seemed a good idea.
Hard man Brit actor Ray Winstone plays Regen, a tough cop who takes no s*** and calls everyone a slag. He is joined by younger side kick Carter (Rapper Plan B) an equally tough talking cop with a troubled background. After a jewelry store robbery leaves an innocent woman dead, these tough cops begin an investigation, whilst the suits of their department breathe down their neck over their questionable methods of law enforcement.
I was skeptical going into this. I like Winstone but have found many of his appearances disappointing – he’s everyone’s favorite cockney geezer but sometimes he’s not let off the leash. That couldn’t be further from the truth here, with him in full throttle A special mention must go to Plan B (stupid name aside) who makes for a worthy co-star and has some great moments. Plot-wise this is basically a story of cops, car chases and geezers but some developments really struck a cord – giving Winstone more to do than just crack skulls.
My only real negative is that the villains were little more than stereotypes, and I found their motives somewhat unclear. Yet along with a sharp, tinted and stylish sheen and expertly handled action sequences (with a Heat-like shoot out in Trafalgar Square) … this was still much more than your usual Brit thriller.
First class entertainment.
Verdict: 5 /5
- ‘The Sweeney’ review: Words hard to crack (sfgate.com)
- ‘The Sweeney’: Grim, glowering Ray Winstone a standout in cop drama (seattletimes.com)
- The Sweeney (myfilmsandbooks.wordpress.com)
It baffles me some times, as a movie fan the amount of highly regarded movies I just haven’t seen. With the current buzz surrounding the Anthony Hopkins starring Hitchcock, I still have yet to view classics such as The Birds and Vertigo. Only the other night I noticed that the cult favorite 300 was on TV, so have recorded it for some future viewing, as have I the two previously mentioned movies. Will I actually get around to them? Who knows. Sometimes life gets in the way, work, personal stuff, you name it! Hell, even video game playing with the completion of such titles as Mass Effect 3 and DMC: Devil May Cry in my recent past.
Over the years I have been ticking off those movies from the ‘films I must see before I die’ list in my head, and finally got around to the likes of 2001: A Space Odyssey, The Godfather, Casablanca (erm, expect a review of this one soon, just out on Blu-ray) and Some Like It Hot. There are possibly many more if I was to put my mind to it, and trawling the likes of IMDB’s top 250 would be a good start. So apart from the aforementioned movies, what is out there, past, present, classics etc I still would like to see some day, hmm…
A quick list I think…
12 Angry Men
Cool Hand Luke
There Will Be Blood
The Wicker Man
… I could go on but for now I’ll stop there. You can expect some if not all of the above to get full reviews on this site in the months (years?) to come as I do intend on seeing them, eventually. For now back to blogging and watching stuff that’s probably not as good.
Viewed – 15 February 2013 DVD
Has to be said, director Steven Soderbergh has been one of the more prolific film makers of recent years, sometimes churning out several movies a year. He is also one of the most versatile, now dipping his toe in the espionage thriller sub-genre with this latest offering.
Newcomer and former MMA (mixed martial arts) champion Gina Carano stars as a highly skilled Government agent who during a mission in Barcelona is set up by her own people, and is soon out seeking revenge. Nothing all that original but for a cool-as-ice performance from the very sexy Carano, showcasing some impressive skills in several gritty and realistically-shot fights. Realism is the key word here and Soderbergh delivers a very well made movie that shoots the action like a documentary film maker but sprinkles events in an assured, stylish sheen. It’s a unique approach but helps this movie gain its own identity.
Support from the likes of Ewan McGregor, Michael Douglas and Antonio Banderas are good but nothing all that special. Clearly this is a showcase for Carano who proves herself not only a believable action star but also a likable screen presence, and I for one will be keeping my eye on her. Fast, slick and very enjoyable.
Verdict: 3.5 /5
- Soderbergh: Artistic Talent Gone Haywire (hammeringshield.wordpress.com)
- Steven Soderbergh: Movies ‘Don’t Matter As Much Anymore Culturally’ (movieline.com)
- I’m Going To Miss Steven Soderbergh (thoughtcatalog.com)
Viewed – 12 January 2013 DVD
Steve Carell (40 Year Old Virgin) plays Dodge, an easy going insurance salesman whose wife runs out on him during the run up to a meteorite hitting the planet. As chaos erupts and everyone starts making their final arrangements, Dodge stumbles upon Penny (Keira Knightley) an equally unlucky in love British girl. Soon they are taking to the road in hope of being with those that they love.
This is a likable romantic comedy that suffers from a bit of personality disorder. The first half seemed quite broad comedy, with a few crude gags and bizarre characters. Then it changed, got more serious and meaningful, and became all the better for it. The scripts is quite sharp with some good lines (“I want you to be my last”), and the performances are decent with Knightley, usually annoying, proving quite charming for a change. Also the concept is believably done … with some good observations, saying much on how we really might act during an apocalypse.
As a refreshing take on end of the world movies this proved interesting and at times quite touching, but seemed a bit too slight overall to really shine. Still, a passable night’s viewing.
Verdict: 3 /5
Just a quick post to wish all the visitors to The Movie Report a great Christmas. Hope Santa was good to you!
Of the gifts I received this year, I had a set of Sony blue tooth ear phones, Kelly Clarkson greatest hits cd, the best of Family Guy on DVD, the official Scarlett Johansson calendar, Mad Men season 5 on Blu-ray as well as clothing, smellies etc.
Thank you to everyone who got me things and hope you like what I got you!
Ho ho ho.