Monthly Archives January 2016

Bowie’s Big Screen Best

Merry-Christmas-Mr-Lawrence---David-Bowie,-Ryuichi-Sakamoto

Over twenty credited movie roles on his IMdb page testify to David Bowie’s impressive body of film appearances.

Not that he was an actor of extraordinary range. Although displaying a similar to aura to Jeremy Irons, it is difficult to imagine Dead Ringers or Die Hard With A Vengeance with the superstar in those roles.

Bowie’s big screen company was more along the lines of Brad Pitt or Keanu Reeves. Actors whose performance ability is relatively narrow, but can be electrifying on the big screen when used effectively.

His first credited big screen appearance was in The Man Who Fell To Earth. Ostensibly playing an alien, the kaleidoscopic film can be read as a pretty accurate reflection of experiences the coke and excess addled Bowie was then going through.

Later roles would include Jare...

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Spotlight (2015)

Spotlight-posterDirector: Tom McCarthy

Writer: Tom McCarthy, Josh Singer

Cast: Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber, Stanley Tucci

Cert: 15

Running time: 128mins

Year: 2015


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What’s the story: Boston, 2001. The Spotlight team, investigative journalists at The Boston Globe, uncover decades of child abuse and cover-up within the local Catholic Archdiocese. What will it take to bring the truth to light?

Spotlight---Michael-Keaton,-Rachel-McAdams,-John-Slattery,-Mark-Ruffalo,-Brian-D'Arcy-JamesSpotlight---Michael-Keaton,-Rachel-McAdams

What’s the verdict: Spotlight opens in 1976 at Christmas time. But, there’s scant reason to be merry in this sober, shattering account of abuse in the Catholic Church.

A journalism film on par with The Insider, Salvador or, yes, All the President’s Men, this is also a lament/clarion call for factual reporting in an age of opinion...

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The Hateful Eight

The-Hateful-Eight-posterDirector: Quentin Tarantino

Writer: Quentin Tarantino

Cast: Kurt Russell, Samuel L. Jackson, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Walton Goggins, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, Bruce Dern, Demian Bichir

Cert: 18

Running time: 167mins / 187mins Roadshow (Overture and Intermission)

Year: 2015



What’s the story: In wintry 19th century Wyoming, a bounty hunter is taking a woman to the hangman’s noose. A blizzard forces them and two fellow travelers into a waystation convenience store, where four others are also seeking shelter. But, are the others also after the bounty?

The-Hateful-Eight---Kurt-Russell,-Samuel-L-JacksonThe-Hateful-Eight---Kurt-Russell,-Jennifer-Jason-Leigh,-Tim-Roth

What’s the verdict: Over two decades on from Reservoir Dogs, Quentin Tarantino threatens to do a total 360 and ape his masterpiece debut. A bunch of ne’er-do-wells holed up in one claustrophobic location...

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Creed

Creed-PosterDirector: Ryan Coogler

Writer: Ryan Coogler, Aaron Covington

Cast: Michael B. Jordan, Sylvester Stallone, Tessa Thompson, Phylicia Rashad, Tony Bellew

Cert: 12

Running time: 133mins

Year: 2015 



What’s the story: Almost 40 years after Rocky Balboa’s first fight with Apollo Creed, the Italian Stallion finds himself coaching Creed’s illegitimate son Adonis. But a shot at a championship title is just one of the challenges the two must face.

Creed---Stallone,-Jordan,-shadow-boxingCreed---Jordan,-Stallone,-in-the-ring

What’s the verdict: Rocky Balboa has always been a superhero. And like fellow heroes Bond and Batman, Balboa too has walked a path from gutsy realism to camp gaudiness.

Stallone’s 2006’s Rocky Balboa was a successful attempt to put grit back in the glove, and Fruitvale Station director Ryan Coogler goes the full Casino Royale with a continu...

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The Revenant (2015)

The-Revenant---posterDirector: Alejandro González Iñárritu

Writer: Alejandro González Iñárritu, Mark L. Smith, Michael Punke (source novel)

Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Will Poulter, Domhnall Gleeson, Forrest Goodluck

Cert: 15

Running time: 156mins

Year: 2015



What’s the story: 1823, the Great Plains of the American Midwest. Following an attack by warriors of the native Arikara tribe, a company of fur trappers flee across the harsh terrain for the safety of their fort. But, matters turn even darker when Hugh Glass, their guide, is mauled in a bear attack.

The-Revenant---Leonardo-DiCaprio,-gunThe-Revenant---Tom-Hardy,-Will-Poulter

The full verdict: Alejandro González Iñárritu is better with bears than with birds. After the teeth-grinding self-satisfied Birdman, he delivers a survival movie guaranteed to have you cancelling that Lake District camping trip.

Not that ...

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