Monthly Archives January 2014

Out of the Furnace

Out of the Furnace - poster quadDirector: Scott Cooper

Writers: Brad Ingelsby, Scott Cooper

Cast: Christian Bale, Casey Affleck, Woody Harrelson, Willem Dafoe, Forest Whitaker, Sam Shepard, Zoe Saldana

Cert: 15

Running time: 116mins

Year: 2013

   

The lowdown: A cast to kill for flesh out this taut thriller from the director of Crazy Heart. Christian Bale is a buttoned down steel worker suddenly faced with the rotten side of life when Iraq veteran brother Casey Affleck finds himself in deep with the wrong crowd. Woody Harrelson intimidates both characters and the audience as an Appalachian crime boss spat out of the darkest corner of a mountain, while Willem Dafoe, Forest Whitaker and Zoe Saldana offer first rate support. Bruising, melancholy, but memorable.

Out of the Furnace - Affleck, bare knuckle fightingOut of the Furnace - Bale, Saldana

The full verdict: From the pre-credit scene when Woody...

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Lone Survivor (2013)

Lone Survivor Quad Poster - WahlbergDirector: Peter Berg

Writer: Peter Berg

Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Ben Foster, Emile Hirsch

Cert: 15

Running time: 121mins

Year: 2013

The lowdown: His career not sunk by Battleship, writer/director Peter Berg puts in hard yards to redeem himself with the based-on-true-events Lone Survivor. Mark Wahlberg again demonstrates a commitment to physically gruelling cinema as one of four Navy SEALs caught deep behind Taliban lines in hostile Afghanistan in 2005, enduring a lifetime of punishment as he fights his way out. As politically conservative and enamoured of military hardware as all Berg’s movies, but as bruising survival cinema it is gripping.

Lone Survivor - Wahlberg, gunLone Surivor - Wahlberg, Hirsch running

The full verdict: Although unapologetically gung-ho, Lone Survivor is a corrective to Battleship and Berg’s 2007 film The Kingdom, ...

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The Wolf of Wall Street

The Wolf of Wall Street posterDirector: Martin Scorsese

Writer: Terence Winter

Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Matthew McConaughey, Kyle Chandler, Rob Reiner, Jean Dujardin, Joanna Lumley, Margot Robbie, Cristin Milioti

Cert: 18

Running time: 180mins

Year: 2013

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The lowdown: Martin Scorsese once again proves he’s Hollywood’s most dazzling movie magician with a drug and sex fuelled cautionary tale of corporate greed that is a blast to watch but you wouldn’t want to live there. DiCaprio delivers an astonishing, vanity-free performance as grade-A scumbag Jordan Belfort, a stockbroker who makes Gordon Gekko look like Robin Hood...

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12 Years A Slave

12 Years A Slave - Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, quad posterDirector: Steve McQueen

Writer: John Ridley

Cast: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch, Lupita Nyong’o, Paul Dano, Paul Giamatti

Cert: 15

Running time: 133mins

Year: 2013

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The lowdown: Extraordinary, compelling and appalling, 12 Years a Slave sets the bar high for cinema in 2014. Recounting the true story of Solomon Northup, a free African American kidnapped and sold into slavery in the Louisiana of the antebellum South, it may stand as the definitive cinematic statement on the slave experience. An electric cast headed up by Chiwetel Ejiofor as Northup and including Michael Fassbender and Benedict Cumberbatch, vividly bring this tragic chapter in America’s history to life.

12 year a slave - Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender12 Years A Slave - Chiwetel Ejiofor, Paul Giamatti

The full verdict: After the hollow Hunger and the farcical Shame British director Steve...

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The Best Films of 2013

Welcome to the first Electric Shadows Annual Top 10.

We’ve seen hundreds of films this year.

Dismissed those unworthy – yes, we’re particularly looking at you Diana, The Big Wedding, To The Wonder and Olympus Has Fallen.

Salute those worthy of attention and worth an evening of your time – Cloud Atlas, Mud, Lincoln, The Look of Love.

And present here the ten films we thought were the must-sees, the standouts, the cream of the silver screen in 2013.

Don Jon Poster10. DON JON
Joseph Gordon Levitt whips out his outrageously large talent with a knockout directorial debut… that he also wrote… and stars in. As uber-confident swordsman Jon Martello (“Don” Jon to his awed friends), a hit with the ladies but more interested in online porn, he offers a bare-naked depiction of the modern male...

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2013 – Rewind and Re-View

With the calendar now reading 2014, what better time to look back at movies in the year that was 2013?

Beginning with…

WORST FILM – OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN
2013 Review - Olympus Has Fallen
In any normal year Diana would have been hands-down the worst film 2013 birthed sideways. But, this was the year Gerard Butler decided he could do “Die Hard in the White House” with Olympus Has Fallen. The result was a Daily Mail fever dream of rampaging foreigners, scheming politicos and justified torture. Even worse was the fact the film made money.

BEST “I’VE SOMETHING IN MY EYE” MOMENT – CAPTAIN PHILLIPS
930353 - Captain Phillips

Spoiler alert – look away now if you haven’t seen Captain Phillips. And go see Captain Phillips...

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Last Vegas

kinopoisk.ruDirector: Jon Turteltaub

Writer: Dan Fogelman

Cast: Michael Douglas, Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman, Kevin Kline, Mary Steenburgen

Cert: 12

Running time: 105mins

Year: 2012

The lowdown: Imagine you live in a perfect world where the Hangover sequels don’t exist. Last Vegas would be an amusing belated follow-up, without the pain of Zach Galifianakis’ ego-fuelled manchilding. Messrs. Douglas, De Niro, Freeman and Kline are the four lifelong friends off to LV for one last MIA weekend. The gags don’t creak too audibly, aided by the chemistry fizzing off the four leads. Double down and take a chance on this likeable chuckler.

K72A9812.CR2Last Vegas - De Niro, Steenburgen

The full verdict: Last Vegas looks like four Hollywood legends goofing off on their image. Which it is.
But, in these belt-tightening times, it’s also a good ni...

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