Archives

Criminal (5/10)

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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.

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Demolition (5/10)

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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.

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Colonia (6/10)

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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’.

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Race (6/10)

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After watching the fun Eddie the Eagle the other day, I thought I’d give another Olympic biopic a go. The story of Jesse Owens is one of the rise of an impressive athlete who had to endure and fight racism at home in the US to make it to the 1936 Berlin Olympics. 1936 may have been before WWII, but the nazi regime was already well established including their Racial Cleansing policies.

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Eddie the Eagle (7/10)

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This movie about how a little boy with big ambitions became Eddie the Eagle may be light fare but it is also admirably successful in what it aims to be: an underdog-comes-out-on-top feel-good movie.

Eddie (Taron Egerton) has had a dream from a very young age: to compete in the Olympics. It took him decades of hard work to get there. You might expect that hard work to be about someone becoming a world class athlete at their chosen sport – but no that’s not Eddie. He’s not really an athlete at all, and he isn’t committed to a specific sport to shine in either – yet he will achieve his Olympic Dreams.

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Midnight Special (7/10)

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A seemingly estranged father (Michael Shannon) appears to kidnap his own son from what turns out to be a cult and takes him on the road… But why? And where are they going? And why was the boy revered by this cult?

The details slowly emerge as the chase progresses and we learn more about the boy, Alton, and certain powers he seems to posess. But we never quite understand them, and the director (Jeff Nichols) keeps playing with the audience’s understanding of what may be going on.

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13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi (7/10)

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‘Directed by Michael Bay’ has sort of become synonymous with sexy visuals of violent action, cheap thrills and/or mega explosions. This movie has those elements, but it’s trying to be more as well.

The story is well-known as it was reported extensively by global media at the time: the 2012 attack on a US diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, and a nearby secret CIA compound (which clearly wasn’t quite ‘secret’ enough…).

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The Wave (aka Bølgen) (6/10)

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If you are in the mood for a popcorn disaster movie, The Wave will do the trick. There are a couple unique elements to this movie. The first is that it is a Norwegian disaster movie rather than a Hollywood one, and the second is that the disaster at hand isn’t one that has been the subject of a movie before (I think). For the rest, it is -very- standard disaster movie fare – but well made and an easy watch.

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Eye in the Sky (9/10)

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“Eye in the Sky” is not the first film to tackle the moral issues associated with drone warfare – “Good Kill” was one, “Unmanned” another, but it is the best so far. Helen Mirren plays a British colonel leading a complex military operation involving Somalian terrorists. The operation unfolds unexpectedly and she has to decide what to do next under the all too watchful eyes of her immediate boss (Alan Rickman) and a cast of meddling politicians, all anxious to cover their own backsides and avoid taking morally complex decisions at all costs.

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Mustang (7/10)

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Five girls live with their grandmother in a small Turkish village, enjoying a seemingly carefree existence with friends and school. It soon becomes clear they are too carefree for their local environment: when one day they play and frolic with some boys from school by the seaside, a nosy neighbour tells on them to their grandmother.

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