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Sunday, 7 August 2011

Film Review - Donnie Brasco

Release: 1997
Director: Mike Newell
Starring: Al Pacino, Johnny Depp, Michael Madsen, Anne Heche

Johnny Depp's moustache, heheh. This one of those all-time great crime movies, but with such top 10 competition from the likes of Goodfellas and Usual Suspects, it seems to often be forgotten.

Depp plays a cop in deep deep cover with the mob under the alias of Donnie Brasco, and uses Al Pacino as his "in" to Michael Madsen's organisation. The two form a deep bond, and Pacino treats him like family. He's certainly no Godfather in his film, more just like a lackey, but he has pride.

So deep undercover is he that his wife and children barely know who he is, and he ends up commiting crimes with them and offering ideas how to expand the empire.

There's a real sense of tension throughout the whole film, as one wrong move could see him exposed. I won't spoil the ending, but it's amaaaaazing


Thursday, 28 July 2011

Film Review - Dirty Dancing

Release: 1987
Director: Emile Ardolino
Starring: Patrick Swayze, Jennifer Grey

A classic and no doubt. Patrick Swa-Hay-Zee as my compatriot Stiggy would say it. Swayze is great in any film he is in. I realise this was a chick flick, but it was still cool.

At a family holiday camp in the 50s, Jennifer Grey plays Baby, a young woman with her family who falls for the camp's dancing instructor, the sexy Swa-Hay-Zee. Grey leaves the holidaymakers part of the camp and experiences another world when she joins the dancers in their off-duty sexy fun time. A bunch of sweaty people doing the most suggestive dancing ever seen, especially for the 50s. It's an awakening for Grey in many ways, and Swa-Hay-Zee teaches her what he knows.

Some rather adult themes in the film, so it's definitely not for the whole family, but it's a very decent chick flick.

The most famous line of the film, "Nobody puts Baby in the corner.." was a real F**K YEAH moment


Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Film Review - Dinner For Schmucks

Release: 2010
Director: Jay Roach
Starring: Steve Carell, Paul Rudd, Zach Galifianakis, Jemaine Clement, Stephanie Szostak, David Walliams

Steve Carell is in one of his more zaney roles in this one, and may be too much for some to handle. His performance is meant to make you cringe. I could watch Paul Rudd is anything, no matter how awful.

It has a wonderful supporting cast full of scene stealing, particularly The Hangover's Zach Galifianakis as Carell's psychic nemesis. Jermaine from Flight of the Conchords is particularly amazing.

I cringed the whole way through, but was elated for the final 20 minutes as everything reached it's hilarious conclusion. Not a comedy to simply write off.


Film Review - Devil

Release: 2010
Director: John Erick Dowdle
Starring: Chris Messina, Caroline Dhavernas, Bokeem Woodbine

Four people are trapped in a lift, one of them is the Devil. One by one they're being murdered.

The static location of the lift was offset well by the maintenance crew and police trying to figure it out and stop it, which prevented it from getting a bit dull.

It was a good thriller and an interestingly fresh concept. I enjoyed this a lot more than I expected I would


Film Review - Deadline

Release: 2009
Director: Sean McConville
Starring: Brittany Murphy, Thora Birch

Ugh.. I liked Britanny Murphy, and this was one of her final films. Shame it's not good.

It's a supernatural thriller and then it's not, and then it tries to be too clever and it just doesn't work. When a twist doesn't make sense, it's just a slap in the face to anyone who's suspended disbelief and engaged themselves in the plot and characters.

It's nearly a clever thriller, but just poorly executed


Film Review - Collateral

Release: 2004
Director: Michael Mann
Starring: Tom Cruise, Jaime Foxx

Took me a couple of years to get around to this one, but boy it was class. Tom Cruise is a great villain, and always plays his roles to perfection. Jaime Foxx is a likeable taxi driver who just happens to take on the fair that will change his life, and then another who will potentially end it.

The cinematography is really interesting, and has that 28 Days Later look from being filmed on DV cameras I believe rather than big Hollywood machines, so it more resembles security camera footage and all the more realistic and frightening.

Mann directs great action sequences, and this film is full of them. It also has great suspense, and is best described as an action thriler.

The club scene with the Paul Oakenfold soundtrack was particularly memorable. The song is called Ready Steady Go (Korean Style) and if you listen to it I guarantee it will be stuck in your head.

This had me hooked from start to finish


Film Review - Chasing Liberty

Release: 2004
Director: Andy Cadiff
Starring: Mandy Moore, Matthew Goode

Mandy Moore is the President's daughter, and so the most well protected girl in the world. All she really wants is her freedom. She is constantly surrounded by secret services, until she runs off with Matthew Goode. Unbeknownst to her, Goode is also secret service and is given the task of protecting her.

The two travel around Europe in a romantic and comedic fashion. The scenes in Venice were particularly good. The main supporting roles are the two secret service agents on their heels trying to bring them in, and it's nice seeing their relationship blossom as a subplot.

A satisfying teen romantic comedy