Dark Waters


Viewed – 18 July 2020 online rental

Following a series of unexplained cattle deaths on a farmer’s land in West Virginia, an attorney becomes involved in a case of chemical pollution and cover up that has him go up against a powerful and respected corporation that threatens his career and his health. Based on a shocking true story of the life-threatening chemical ‘c-8’ found in Teflon amongst other products, this follows the fifteen year battle against a seemingly untouchable industry giant.

sticking it to the man…

Mark Ruffalo, these days best know for playing Bruce Banner / The Hulk in The Avengers, is perfectly cast and delivers one of his best performances. I really got behind his character’s passion and drive and Ruffalo hammered home every emotion. He is aided by the often underrated Anne Hathaway as his wife, who proves very convincing as a woman struggling to cope with her husband’s obsession. Also on hand is Tim Robbins (remember him?) and a bizarre-sounding Bill Pullman. This was fascinating, filled with detail and investigation. As more and more was uncovered, the more powerful and heart-wrenching the movie got and as it drew to it’s conclusion I was rather affected. Yes, it seems some companies really do think they’re above the law and are too big to answer for things that they do.

Director Todd Haynes has delivered a gripping movie with several strong performances that really made this viewer think. Also, despite the magnitude of the case, it was presented in an easy to follow story that rarely got bogged down in the details. Check it out.

Verdict: Recommended

Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy


Viewed – 16 July 2014  DVD

I had wanted to see this much talked about comedy for a while.  I have a liking for Will Ferrell, that former Saturday Night Live comedienne who proved so likable and funny in the popular yuletide hit ‘Elf’.  So sitting down to this was quite enticing.  Farrell plays Ron Burgundy, a TV channel anchor in the seventies who see’s his chauvinistic, macho persona in jeopardy when he falls for a pretty and ambitious reporter (Christina Applegate).

anchorman

From the off it’s clear this may have been a fun sketch on SNL, but does it hold up to a full length movie?  Not really.  Burgundy as a character is a limited ‘gag’ that’s been done before and his surrounding news team, featuring the likes of Paul Rudd and Steve Carrell are equally limited in their appeal.  The pairing of Farrell & Applegate works well enough as they make for fun rivals, but after a while the forced humour and the general gooning and pratfalls gets tired.  The idea just isn’t all that special, and despite obvious enthusiasm from the cast – the general feeling I was left with was of a simple gag milked for all it’s comedic value, of which there was only very little.

That being said it’s not like this isn’t funny.  Farrell gets some good moments (his encounter with Jack Black, his descent into self-loathing), and a showdown between rival news teams with cameos by Tim Robbins and Ben Stiller proved quite funny.  Overall though, this was a movie trying to be a lot funnier than it clearly was.

Verdict:  2 /5