A “sparrow” is the term for a Mata Hari style secret agent, trained to seduce men in pursuit of secrets. Ballerina Dominika Egorova (played by Jennifer Lawrence) is inducted into this life by her uncle Vanya (I know, I know; the Chekov references could be subtler), a spymaster, when her ballet career is cut short by a serious injury. Trained at spy school by the cynical Matron (Charlotte Rampling) and directed by General Korchnoi (Jeremy Irons), Dominika is soon thrust into the cut and thrust world of espionage.
The best thing about this movie is the opening scene. We meet Hercule Poirot and his unique personality, and moustache in the middle of avoiding a religious war at Jerusalem’s Wailing Wall, and things are off to a great start. The story flows and so does the action, and before we know it, we find ourselves along with Poirot on the Orient Express from Istanbul to London.
Wind River is no Hollywood crime thriller. The plot has some genuinely unexpected turns and the acting is fine, but the star is really the mountain landscape, which is striking beautiful yet clearly dangerous. As the main character says: “Luck is for those in the city; here you either survive or surrender.”
This low-budget black and white movie shows off the prodigious directorial talent of Jacques Tourneur, who by this stage had already made the classic “Cat People” (1942) and the haunting “I Walked with a Zombie” (1943). Set in the English countryside, the film begins with the mysterious death of an agitated Professor Harrington (played by Maurice Denham), a psychiatrist who has been investigating paranormal beliefs in some of his patients who practice witchcraft and devil worship.
Ethan Hawke takes on the role of Bruce Kenner, a detective in small town Minnesota who investigates a case of serious child abuse. The victim, Angela (Emma Watson), isn’t quite ready to speak to him as she is hiding out at the local priest’s home. Slowly more details emerge, as Kenner gets help from psychologist Dr Raines (David Thewlis), who uses regression as a tool to unlock hidden memories.
This is the first feature from actor Jordan Peele, who both wrote and directed it. His acting career has veered between comedy and more serious fare, such as his role in the hard-boiled TV series Fargo. For his debut movie he has chosen horror as the genre, laced with just a touch of comedy to relieve the tension. Overall this is a terrific film, certainly one of the best, and most thoughtful, horror films to appear in the last few years.
Never Go Back has very little going for it. With an utterly unremarkable script at the core, and not helped by the directing, cinematography, music or acting, this is a disappointing fail for Cruise, who also produced the movie. Let’s hope he never goes back to Reacher, it’s not worth it.
I can’t say the idea of a Korean horror movie automatically puts a film very high on my viewing list; I have seen enough Korean movies to have learnt that they can have a certain je ne sais quoi though: a kind of wacky weirdness that if, a fairly big if…, but if it clicks, it works. The Wailing is one of those.
I saw the first Now You See Me movie on a plane and was pleasantly suprised. Sure it was a bit silly but it was also just good fun and had a cast-with-chemistry and enough plot to keep you interested. A bit of a guilty pleasure if you will.
Now You See Me 2 brings more of everything – more action, more plot, more twists, and a couple new characters.
What if someone would be able to harness the immense potential energy of Earth spinning in space and redirect that energy to open a wormhole… where would that wormhole lead? A different space, a different time, a different universe in the multiverse, or all of the above…?
Indeed, that sounds like geek material. But wait, it actually is a love story!