Between his alchololism, domestic violence, homophobia and antisemitism, Mel Gibson has not made a lot of friends the last decade or two. Aptly his new film Blood Father starts in an AA meeting where we meet him as Link, a man who has done his time in jail and is now living an isolated life as a tattoo artist trying to stay out of trouble.
If you put George Clooney, Julia Roberts and Jack O’Connell together, directed by Jodie Foster, you’d be right to be expecting a pretty decent film. And indeed, Money Monster is just that: a pretty decent film. George Clooney is Lee Gates, loudmouth host of ‘Money Monster’, a TV show where he dances and prances around making wild predictions about the markets and advocating his latest stock picks with great arrogance and fanfare. During a live show, viewer Kyle Budwell manages to slip onto the set, quickly turning it into a gun-waving, bomb-vest packing hostage situation.
Now You See Me 2 (5/10)
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.
Cafe Society (7/10)
Woody Allen has now made 51 movies, and so by now we have a rough idea what to expect. In his twilight years his recent movies continue to attract top notch actors, and his ear for conversation remains as sharp as ever. The humour may not these be quite as a laugh put loud funny as in his “early, funny films” as he noted in “Stardust Memories’ but he can still write a good one-liner.
The Jungle Book (7/10)
Remaking a classic is always risky. It’s inevitable that people will compare the new version with the original, and often find the original better: if the original wasn’t any good it probably wouldn’t have been a classic to begin with, and some rose-tinted nostalgia may also come into play.
The new Jungle Book puts the original story in a new cover, in more ways than one.
Firstly, it is not an animation but a live action movie. Secondly, the atmosphere is decidedly darker throughout.
The Shallows (5/10)
Who would have thought that surfing on your own on a strange beach in a foreign land in shark infested waters could possibly go wrong? A medical student (Blake Lively) thinking of giving up her studies is on vacation in Mexico (the film was actually filmed in Australia) and heads off to a secluded beach that has a personal connection for her. After the only other two local surfers leave she decides to stay in the water, and quickly discovers who is top of the food chain in the area.
When CIA agent Bill Pope gets killed on assignment, an experimental technology is used to transplant his memories to someone else to try and find ‘The Dutchman’. The recipient of Bill’s memories is convict Jericho Stewart, a violent criminal with limited self control and no stop-button. He is however a very suitable candidate for the procedure, as his violent character is due to a brain disorder which has left part of his brain unused his entire life, making it an ideal bit of grey matter to transplant these memories into. As the memories start to trickle into Jericho’s awareness, they also start to influence his personality.
Davis (Jake Gyllenhaal) loses his wife in a car accident in the opening scene of Demolition. As his once seemingly perfect life falls apart, his behaviour becomes more and more erratic. Davis has started writing complaint letters to a vending machine company since one of their machines malfunctioned in the ICU where his wife died. In these letters he discloses personal information – irrelevant for the complaint at hand, but piquing the interest of customer service rep Karen (Naomi Watts). Karen tracks him down and they connect.
The Colonia Dignidad (‘Colony of Dignity’) was a religious cult in Chile, led from 1961 by Paul Schaefer, a fugutive from Germany following accusations of child molestation. The Colonia Dignidad was shrouded in secrecy, with up to 300 residents living in the colony behind barbed wire, working mainly as farmers, and never allowed to leave the colony. Whilst trying to portray an image of peace and order to the outside world, over the years it has become clear that the colony suffered daily incidents of torture, (child) rape, and other forms of physical and mental abuse as a means of ‘spiritual growth’.