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Posts tagged ‘America’

Mother! (2017)

Directed by Darren Aronofsky

3 stars

Middle-aged, unnamed poet (Javier Bardem) and his equally nameless, half-his-age wife (Jennifer Lawrence) inhabit a huge rural home that’s just the wrong side of creepy. He struggles ineffectually with writer’s block while she puts all her efforts into fixing-up the house where – it is more than hinted – his previous family was wiped out in a property-gutting conflagration. Read more

The Reach (2014)

Directed by Jean-Baptiste Léonetti

2 stars

“He’s paying a thousand dollars a day” says the sheriff (Ronny Cox) of the small Mojave Desert town to Ben (Jeremy Irvine), a sad, serious tracker who’s just said goodbye to his off-to-college girlfriend. Read more

The Judge (2014)

Directed by David Dobkin

4 stars

Hot-shot criminal lawyer Hank Palmer (Robert Downey Jr.) leaves his Chicago law-practice, his long-suffering, newly-unfaithful wife, and his sweetly precocious daughter (Emma Tremblay) to return to his family home in small town Indiana for his mother’s funeral. 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

Bad Santa (2003)

Directed by: Terry Zwigoff

2 stars

Starring Billy Bob Thornton, and produced by, amongst others, Harvey Weinstein, and Joel and Ethan Coen – with all that talent, the real Christmas miracle on display here is that Bad Santa is so bad.  It veers between sentimental comedy and feel-bad film, with TV-movie lighting (its colour-palette spans the pastel-pink to muddy-brown gamut of the shopping-mall world in which it is set) and, sadly, generally weak acting.  Read more

Essential Killing (2010)

Directed by: Jerzy Skolimowski

3 stars

Three Americans patrolling across what seems to be the Afghan desert are killed by a confused, frightened (and perhaps unwilling) man (Vincent Gallo) who is then fired on and captured by the patrol’s helicopter support. The temporarily deafened man is processed by his captors (chained, head shaved, dressed in orange) and treated to what are euphemistically known as enhanced interrogation techniques. Read more