Starred Up (8/10)
Jack O’Connell plays Eric, a 19 year old convict, who gets ‘starred up’ – meaning he gets ‘promoted’ from juvenile detention to adult prison – in his case 2 years early due to his extremely violent behaviour.
There is no other backstory – we join when Eric arrives in the new prison and experience first hand how he endures and persists in this prison – the same one his father has already been in for 14 years.
Cheryl strayed from the path after her mother’s death and to find her way again she decides to hike 1100 miles to redemption along the Pacific Crest Trail.
It really is a roadtrip movie – well a hiking journey movie – and Cheryl’s experiences along the way are small, focusing on the here and now – be it meeting men she is not sure she can trust, various animals, or kind strangers. The storytelling is interspersed with flashbacks allowing us to learn a bit more about who she is and why she is on this hike.
It has been a long while since there has been a science fiction movie with this level of grand ambitions. The Director, Christopher Nolan, lists various movies that have inspired him for Interstellar, including Metropolis, 2001: A Space Odyssey and Blade Runner. For me the more obvious comparison however is with Contact.
Jack O’Connel is the strong lead in ’71. He plays a British soldier, Gary, expecting to be stationed in Germany, but instead his unit ends up ‘helping’ in Belfast. Early in his deployment he accidentally gets separated from and then abandonded by his unit in a Belfast ghetto, leaving him to find a way to survive amongst ‘the Troubles’.
The Congress (4/10)
The Congress sets out a future where live actors are no longer needed – Hollywood will just ‘scan’ the people they want and from there on in their digital alter-egos will do all the work.
A potentially interesting concept, with Robin Wright, Harvey Keitel and Paul Giamatti. Halfway through the movie switches style from live-action to animation, which turns out to be a defining love-it-or-hate-it moment. It didn’t work for me, and you lose interest in a concept and storyline that seems to go from interesting to silly in a matter of a couple of minutes…
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (6/10)
The first installment was extremely slow, the second film was great, but not long into this third movie you have had enough of this long-drawn-out storyline. Let’s hope someone cuts this down to size to one 3 hour movie in the coming years to salvage this prelude to The Lord of The Rings for future generations…
The Raid: Redemption & The Raid 2: Berandal (8/10)
The Raid (2011) follows a special forces team entering an apartment block in Jakarta to arrest a crime boss when things go haywire…
To be honest, there isn’t much more to the plot than that – once things do go haywire the action starts – and great action it is.
Primer What happens if it actually works? 2004Drama, Science Fiction, Thriller Click an icon to see more Overview Friends/fledgling entrepreneurs invent a device in their garage that reduces the apparent mass of any object placed inside it, but they accidentally discover that it has some highly unexpected capabilities–ones that could enable them to do and […]