Well I’ve reached letter L, so that means six more movies under my belt. As you’ll be aware for F I went with Alfred Hitchcock forgotten classic ‘Frenzy’, and then for G I gave the original Swedish version of ‘The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo’ another watch. Damn, that’s a great story with a stand out performance from Noomi Rapace, and yes I must watch that new Dragon Tattoo movie that came out recently with Claire Foy in the lead role. Next up was H where I went with a Harry Potter movie as previously reviewed, which was er… ok. Following this for I was the brilliantly mind boggling ‘Interstellar’ from Christopher Nolan, an intricate sci-fi movie that remains a real tear-jerker for me (that scene with Matthew McConaughey watching the video messages!). Then we came to J which was the blockbuster classic and still a favourite, ‘Jurassic Park’. That music! That T-Rex attack! Still so effective.
I’ve just now for K finished watching ‘Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang’ a movie from writer/director Shane Black starring Robert Downey Jr that’s very much like Black’s other murder/mystery action comedy The Nice Guys, and whilst it’s not the easiest movie to follow plot-wise … the dialogue, likeable characters (including a super-sexy Michelle Monaghan) still made for a great time.
I have a working list I’m picking from and some titles on that list are getting swapped in and out, and yes that June 30 end date is nearing ever closer so I really need to get moving. I’ll of course, report back again soon.
By the time the sixth entry in a popular franchise rolls around, you’d be forgiven for expecting things to get a bit lazy. Tom Cruise has now cemented himself as the biggest action star since Schwarzeneggar with a does-his-own-stunts calling card to rival Jackie Chan, but can another outing keep on upping the anti? Let’s see… Cruise returns as super agent Ethan Hunt who this time is given the job of tracking down three nuclear bombs that have fallen into the hands of black market dealers. He must stop them falling into the hands of The Apostles, what remains of Rogue Nation’s The Syndicate to prevent a global catastrophe. However when a mission takes an unexpected turn, Hunt and his team (including series regulars Simon Pegg & Ving Rhames) find the odds stacked against them – just how it should be.
Ok so having to stop nuclear bombs falling into the wrong hands is probably as generic a plot as it gets and with the return of Rogue Nation’s sleepy-talking villain, this initially felt like it was going through the motions. Yet it soon dawned on me that this time it was less about the mission and more about Ethan Hunt; the man, his methods and his dilemmas, constantly haunted by that fateful decision he made three movies back to send his wife (Michelle Monaghan) into hiding. The story handles this aspect that’s only ever been hinted at in previous movies, very well indeed and proves the movie’s beating heart in place of set piece after set piece. Yet along with the return of Rebecca Ferguson’s assassin ‘Elsa’ we still get tons of action, car chases, roof top chases, fights and a helicopter chase sequence that has to be seen to be believed.
The pacing stumbles occasionally, not helped by some copy and paste sequences that aren’t quite as good as we’ve seen before (another bike chase?), yet the movie makes up for this in strong performances and memorable character moments that made me love the camaraderie between Hunt and his agents. Six movies into the franchise this may be a different kind of Mission Impossible but by this stage that’s a good thing.
I don’t think it can be argued, that we live in scary times. That also can’t be argued for world history either, but in our modern society, it’s still difficult to accept that such atrocities like 9/11 are even possible. Aren’t we supposed to be more sophisticated than that? Apparently not and one such terror incident, the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing is another example of senseless violence in the name of extremist viewpoints and hate. This latest from acclaimed director Peter Berg (Lone Survivor, Deepwater Horizon) once again stars his go-to actor Mark Wahlberg as a demoted Police officer on security detail at said marathon when a series of bombs are detonated.
Wahlberg is probably one of the most likable and watchable A-list stars around and I for one enjoy his performances even if he’s not really going to give say, Tom Hanks cause for concern. He’s the ideal everyman and well cast in this ensemble piece that gives us several characters to latch onto as events unfold (with appearances from Kevin Bacon, John Goodman and Michelle Monaghan). Berg’s direction is slick and gritty, offering up a mix of traditional and hand-held camera work for added intensity, a pounding score and an unflinching eye for detail and tense moments. The scene in the car involving a Chinese guy and a terrorist is particularly unbearable. The movie itself is eye-opening to what went on and how things played out was fascinating, occasionally shocking and well… humbling.
I’ll never understand the evil that people can inflict on society in the name of their beliefs and it’s something that seemingly has no end or answer. This was a suitably harrowing watch at times, even if it fails to have anything new to say (leaving the terrorists motives under-explored) … but in our current times, I’d still recommend this.
Taken me a while to review this and it seemed the most interesting choice on Netflix as I was perusing titles suitable for both my mother and father to watch at same time … so anything particularly violent or with sex in it is usually out the window. This 2007 drama stars Casey Affleck and Michelle Monaghan as a 30 something couple who are also private investigators. They get hired by the dysfunctional family of a recently kidnapped girl after the Police fail to produce leads. Will they manage to find the girl when the authorities could not?
Based on a novel by Dennis Lehane and Directed by Ben Affleck, who has increasingly made a name for himself as a director with titles like the Oscar-magnet Argo … this I feel is his most assured and meaningful film, with a real-world relevance in reflection to those missing children headlines we hear about. Co-starring Morgan Freeman as a world-weary Police Chief (isn’t he always?) and Ed Harris as a special agent Casey turns to during his investigation, this has decent performances across the board. Although taking a while to warm to, Ben’s younger sibling proved a believable and watchable lead and well, I’m a fan of the gorgeous Monaghan who again proves convincing. It doesn’t gloss over the more harrowing aspects of child abduction neither. For a movie watched with my parents, the language was stronger than I felt necessary, but that’s my only sticking point.
The story had plenty of twists and turns, keeping me guessing throughout (although I got lost a little) and even when I thought I had it figured out, pretty much guessing one of the bad guys early on … the final morality-punch was a surprise, leaving me thinking ever since. Well worth checking out.
Following up what was one of the most gripping and rewarding sci-fi movies in years in the shape of the award winning Moon, director Duncan Jones had a lot of expectation weighing heavy on his shoulders. Starring one of my favourite actors, Jake Gyllenhaal as Captain Colter Stevens (great movie name there!) who finds himself on a train that’s about to fall victim to a terrorist bomb threat. Given only eight minutes to discover what happens before his conciousness is transported back to the military facility housing a top-secret project called The Source Code, Captian Stevens must continually, groundhog day-like revisit the train and identify the culprit to prevent any further devesation.
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