It is 1917, WWI, trench warfare continues between the English and the Germans in the flatlands of northern France. Lance corporal Tom Blake (Dean-Charles Chapman) is ordered to deliver a letter to the front-line warning of a German ambush they are about to run into and 1600 lives are at risk, including Blake’s brother’s. To deliver this message he has to cross the occupied French countryside but he is assured the Germans have already retreated as part of their ambush plan.
The movie takes us back to the early 1960s when Ford Motor Company had a reliable image, but sales and profits were slumping a bit – the ‘new generation’ wasn’t looking for reliable cars, they wanted something more fun, more sexy, more exciting…
A movie poster headlining Scorsese, De Niro, Pacino, and Pesci means you instantly know you are in for a mobster movie. How different from other mafia movies it is though. Instead of a thrill ride or glorification, we experience the mundanity, if you will, of everyday violence, murder, extortion, bribery, fraud and a variety of other felonies through the eyes and memories of the Irishman. A character study reflecting on life and loyalties, loss and loneliness, and pain and penance.
Man vs Frozen Wilderness has been done before of course. Leonardo di Caprio tries to survive the South Dakotan winter, and bears, in The Revenant; Liam Neeson fights the Alaskan cold, and wolves, in The Grey; we don’t exactly know where Mads Mikkelsen is, but he is trying to survive the cold, and polar bears, somewhere in the Arctic circle.
Dad ‘Rowdy’ Ricky (Nick Frost) ran the World Association of Wrestling and was one of the biggest names in UK wrestling, his wife Julia (Lena Heady) was also a wrestler. They raised their three kids to become professional wrestlers as well. The oldest, Roy aka Zebra Kid, was the least successful and, like his father before him, ended up in prison early in his adult life. The other two, Zak (Jack Lowden) aka Zak Zodiac, and Saraya (Florence Pugh) aka Britani, had great promise. Since the UK wrestlings scene had little prospects of a financial future, the family set their sights on the US.
Neeson plays Nels Coxman, a snowplough driver who loses his son to a drug overdose. Convinced his son wasn’t a druggie, Coxman sets out to find out what happened and soon finds himself in a world of drugs, turf wars, and revenge. He takes no prisoners and the body count steadily increases as the plot thickens and bad guy The Viking (Tom Bateman) turns up the heat to find him.
Directed by Jen McGowan, Rust Creek shows that it doesn’t necessarily take a big budget to tell an engaging story. There are two heroes in this movie: the protagonist Sawyer (Hermione Corfield) and the cinematography (Michelle Lawler) showing off the Kentucky wilderness whilst telling a story in pictures.
Billy (Joe Cole, Green Room) is a drugged up, hard-partying, small-time boxer who fights his days away in Thailand until his poor life choices end him up in a local prison. Clearly, this is not the kind of prison you would ever want to find yourself in. As soon as Billy enters the prison it is clear that his jail time is going to be about survival over anything else.
The best thing about the movie A.I. Rising is its poster. Clearly an attempt to ride on the coattails of the infinitely better Ex Machina, these two movies don’t deserve to be mentioned in the same paragraph, but there you go, I just did.
The opening scene of this movie about the true story of Operation Martin, and of Jan Baalsrud in particular, puts us straight in the middle of the action. It’s WWII, 1943, and twelve saboteurs have been sent from England into occupied Norway to take out a German air control tower. Something has gone wrong in the planning and they mistakenly make contact with a Nazi collaborator instead of the local resistance. Before they have the chance to salvage their plan, the Nazis have caught up with them and captured eleven of them.