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Posts tagged ‘Action’

Five Fingers for Marseilles (2017)

Directed by Michael Matthews

5 stars

In the bleakly beautiful Eastern Cape, in the dying days of the apartheid regime in South Africa, five boys grow, play and live a marginalised existence in the tiny township of Railway, built in the hills above the fading whites-only town of Marseilles. Calling themselves the Five Fingers (gentle storyteller Pastor; chubby Pockets; Luyanda, nicknamed Cockroach; the band’s leader, Zulu; and his fierce younger brother Tau, the Lion) they dream of an end to their oppression, eager to varying degrees for the moment where they can take direct action.

When a shakedown of the township’s population by corrupt cops gets out of hand, that moment comes all to soon. Tau shoots dead two policeman, and flees from his home. Read more

The Equalizer (2014)

Directed by Antoine Fuqua

3 stars

Bob (Denzel Washington) leads a quiet, disciplined, solitary life. He rises before his alarm clock tells him to; eats little but healthily; is a mentor to his colleagues at the vast hardware store where he works; and befriends waifs like Russian prostitute Teri (Chloë Grace Moretz). If troubles arise, he tries to deal with them in calm, conciliatory way.

And when that fails, he kills – efficiently and very brutally. Read more

The Dead Lands (2014)

Directed by: Toa Fraser

4 stars

Two Maori tribes meet at the site of an ancient battle, ostensibly to allow the visiting tribe to honour the remains of their dead ancestors, and thus pave the way to peace between the clans. But the leader of the visitors, Wirepa (Te Kohe Tuhaka), desecrates the bones (in a scene of scatalogical graphicness that prefigures the gore to come) and blames his host’s son, Hongi (James Rolleston), for the insult. Read more

Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

Directed by: Anthony Russo and Joe Russo

3 stars

Continuing the story of the 95lb weakling who wished he was a 240lb hero, The Winter Soldier gives the good captain (Chris Evans) another semi-solo outing from his Avengers home. Read more

X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)

Directed by Bryan Singer

2 stars

Like a 1970s fun-fair, X-Men: Days of Future Past comes lumbering into town, on to our screens and off pretty quickly, too, or there’s no justice.

The plot is both convoluted and simple: things are bad for the X-Men in the future, with a repressive regime soldiered by large flying robots called Sentinels hunting them down in their mountain-top hideaways. The only chance to get out of this predicament is to send the Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) back to 1973 where he can get the younger versions of the X-Men to prevent naughty mutant Raven/Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) from assassinating small, slightly evil scientist Dr. Trask (Peter Dinklage, looking serious but never scary) to prevent him from perfecting said Sentinels. Read more

Unforgiven (2013)

Directed by Lee Sung-Il

5 stars

It’s hard to describe in words just how good Unforgiven, Lee Sung-Il’s remake of the 1992 Clint Eastwood movie of the same name, is. The earlier movie was no mean achievement, winning four Oscars including Best Picture and Best Director. This Japanese remake won’t repeat that, because that’s not how the Academy works – and perhaps it’s fair in that Eastwood’s movie forms the very broad shoulders on which this film stands. But the new version climbs up there and doesn’t put a foot wrong. Read more

Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)

Directed by: Joe Johnston

2 stars

1942, New York.  Puny, asthmatic Steve Rogers (Leander Deeny) wants to join the army but is repeatedly rejected, until a refugee German scientist Dr. Erskine (Stanley Tucci) spots him at a recruiting station and decides he’s just what the army needs for its top secret weapons program.  So he’s injected with bright blue serum and the power output of a large part of the city, and emerges stronger, taller and much better looking (and now “bodied” by actor Chris Evans). Read more

Sleepless Night (2011) 
Nuit Blanche

Directed by: Frédéric Jardin

4 stars

Two armed robbers steal a shipment of cocaine from the men delivering it to night-club owning crime lord José.  One of the robbers is stabbed and, worse for him, is identified as Vincent (Tomer Sisley), a police Lieutenant.  The next afternoon, his son is snatched by José, who wants his coke back. Read more