Showing posts from February 16, 2014

Review: Crash

A multi-character film supposedly examining racial relations and tension in modern day L.A. In characters perhaps superficially inspired by Gavin Newsom and current Fox News hottie Kimberly Guilfoyle, Brendan Fraser and Sandra Bullock are an LA District Attorney and his wife, whose car is stolen by gangbangers Ludacris and Tate. Terrence Howard is an African-American TV director who earns his wife Thandie Newton’s scorn when he doesn’t do enough to stand up to the clearly racist cop (Matt Dillon) who pretty much molests her in an unnecessary shakedown. Ryan Phillippe is Dillon’s shocked partner, whilst Keith David is the cautious police captain. Don Cheadle plays a cop who is sleeping with his Hispanic partner, played by Jennifer Esposito. Shaun Toub plays an increasingly frustrated Persian immigrant who blames a well-intentioned Mexican locksmith (Michael Pena) for his store being robbed. Pena, a loving and hard-working father, also gets the evil eye from Bullock w…

Review: Narc

Jason Patric is an undercover narcotics cop brought back into the fold after a past disgrace (something involving the death of an unborn child). His job is to find out the reason behind another cop’s slaying, and in this task he is to partner up with the dead cop’s former partner, Ray Liotta, a widowed man seemingly on the edge of literally foaming at the mouth, but also a cop who tends to get results. The thought homicide captain Chi McBride has in using Patric is that Patric’s descent into the seedier side of life means he probably has a few scummy contacts that might help in solving the case. But will partnering the troubled Patric with the clearly seething, violent Liotta do more harm than good? Patric’s wife (Krista Bridges) certainly has her concerns about her husband returning to such territory. Busta Rhymes has a small but pivotal role as a gangbanger who might know what happened to Liotta’s former partner.

One of the better cop flicks of the last decade or so, and one of the …

Review: Hitchcock

A biopic not so much of Sir Alfred Hitchcock in totality, but instead focusing on the inspiration for and making of his most infamous film, “Psycho”. Actually, that’s not entirely accurate either. The film mostly centres on the relationship between Hitchcock and the most important person in his life and career. Dame Helen Mirren plays his wife and collaborator Alma Reville, who is being wooed by screenwriter Whitfield Cook (Danny Huston), who worked on Hitchcock’s “Strangers on a Train”. Meanwhile, she’s worried that the randy old Master will try and make it with his two female stars Janet Leigh (Scarlett Johansson) and Vera Miles (Jessica Biel). The Master is also having a helluva time getting anyone interested in his disturbing film project, even Alma thinks it’s disgusting. Nonetheless, she is his biggest supporter and helps wherever she can. Toni Collette plays an office assistant named Peggy, Kurtwood Smith plays a humourless censorship board guy, James D’Arcy plays nervous leadi…

Review: Lay the Favourite

Rebecca Hall stars as former stripper Beth Raymer who heads to Vegas with ambitions to become a cocktail waitress, but finds that she has a knack for numbers. Bruce Willis is Dink, a somewhat stressed but amiable gambler who has his own sports bet operation he thinks Raymer would be a perfect fit for. She even becomes his good luck charm, though Dink’s demanding wife (Catherine Zeta-Jones) becomes instantly jealous. Vince Vaughn plays a shonky rival gambler who operates out of New York, Joshua Jackson plays a nice guy who falls for Beth, Laura Prepon is the girl who first introduces Beth to Dink, Corbin Bernsen plays Beth’s loser dad, Frank Grillo plays one of Dink’s employees, and John Carroll Lynch plays a loser gambler.

Beware any film from a name director that features Rebecca Hall, Bruce Willis, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Vince Vaughn...that you’ve never heard of. True to form, this 2012 film from the respected Stephen Frears (“Prick Up Your Ears”, “The Grifters”, “High Fidelity”

Review: The Sound of Music

Cheerful Maria (Julie Andrews) leaves the convent due to uncontrollable merriment, and takes on the job of governess to the seven Von Trapp children, evil little buggers who match in Satanic lock-step (OK, so the youngest girl is awfully cute, but the rest...Stay back, demon spawn!). Their mother has died, and their humourless father Capt. Von Trapp (Christopher Plummer) has no idea how to cope with them, so treats them like military school students or something. However, with a song in her heart and an insufferably doe-eyed expression of saccharine-drenched sunshine on her face, Maria manages to brighten the children’s spirits, and even the stone-faced Captain seems to slowly thaw. Meanwhile, their secure life in Austria is under constant threat of Nazi invasion and occupation. Eleanor Parker plays The Baroness, the Captain’s would-be Bill interest.

Live long enough and if you’re into movies and reviewing as much as I am, you end up watching movies you once promis…