Monthly archives "February 2014"

Non-stop *



Run Time: 110 mins         Cert: 12A


Synopsis: During a Transatlantic flight, an air marshal (Neeson) is taunted by an unknown terrorist who is threatening to kill passengers on the plane.


Liam Neeson returns with yet another terrible turgid thriller, after the dire Taken and Unknown movies.


As in those previous films, the actor grunts and squints by yelling in his instantly recognisable Irish brogue. Neeson has become the John Wayne of action films using the set up and plot with the same limited acting range. It is hard to believe that 20 years ago this is the same person that made the classic cult flick Darkman and the unforgettable  Schindler’s list. He is not the only one to blame for this the whole cast phone in their performances including an underused high profile performers including House of Cards Corey Stoll, Boogie nights Julianne Moore and even recent Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o from 12 Years A Slave.


The direction is sloppy and the whole pace of the piece is grossly mishandled by director Jaume Collet-Serra, who showed such promise with the chiller Orphan. The script is full of plot holes and involves mostly Neeson typing away at his pager, which becomes incredible tedious as anyone would expect. Even worse gives away the whole whodunnit plot with in the first 10 minutes the film. Not even that but the actual twist in the plot does not make any sense.


Lazy, boring and frustrating will make most audiences feel like they have encountered jet lag for 110 minutes.


Reviewed by Paul Logan


Newsreel (W/e 23rd February 2014)


Infamous cinematographer Roger Deakins will not be returning for James Bond 24.


Ride Along sequel on the way.


Avatar sequels to be shot in 4K.


A Good Day to Die Hard’s Jai Courtney will play Kyle Reese in the Terminator reboot.


The Fantastic Four reboot is to star Michael B Jordan, Jamie Bell, Kate Mara and Miles Teller.


Meryl Streep is to play Emmeline Pankhurst in the drama Suffragette.


Will Smith is set to star in an adaptation of Marcus Sakey’s sci-fi/superhero novel Brilliance.


The Expendibles 3 director Patrick Hughes, is in talks to helm The Raid, a big screen English language remake.


Marvel Studios has started looking for a director for Doctor Strange including Mark Andrews, Jonathan Levine, Nikolaj Arcel & Dean Israelite.


The Lego Movie 2 is set to be released on May 26, 2017.


The Man From U.N.C.L.E movie set for January 16, 2015 release.


The Lego Movie continues to build on success as it keeps the top spot of the U.S. Box-office.

Newsreel (W/e 16th February 2014)



Channing Tatum is working on the script for Magic Mike 2.


Star Wars Episode VII will reportedly shoot for May to September.


Chris Pratt & Danny McBride are rumoured for the Knight Rider movie.


Darren Aronofsky has won a battle against Paramount over the final cut of Noah.


John Singleton is set to direct the long in-development Tupac Shakur biopic.


Michael Keaton has confirmed that he is in talks with director Tim Burton about returning for Beetlejuice 2.


The Best Film at the BAFTAS is awarded to 12 Years A Slave.


The Lego Movie blocks the competition at the. U.S. Box-office.


R.I.P. Shirley Temple.

Newsreel (W/e 9th February 2014)


Pamela Anderson & Mike Tyson are in talks to star in Werner Herzog’s adaptation of DBC Pierre’s prize-winning novel, Vernon God Little.


Tom Hardy is in talks to star in the Whitey Bulger biopic, Black Mass with Johnny Depp.


Walt Disney Pictures is developing a live-action/CG adaptation of the classic animated series, Chip ‘n Dale Rescue Rangers.


Jesse Eisenberg is set to star as Lex Luthor & Jeremy Irons will play Alfred in the Zack Snyder untitled Superman/Batman movie.


Liam Neeson to reteam with Martin Scorsese for Silence.


Chris Pratt has confirmed that he will star in Jurassic World.


Bruce Willis & M. Night Shyamalan are to reunite for Labor Of Love. Let’s hope this renews their careers.


The Lego Movie builds it’s way to the top spot at the top spot at the U.S. Box-office.


R.I.P. Philip Seymour Hoffman


Inside Llewyn Davis *****





Run Time: 105 mins                  Cert: 15


Synopsis: Joel and Ethan Coen’s latest film follows a week in the life of 1960s folk musician Llewyn Davis (Oscar Isaac). 


The film begins in February 1961 when folk musician Llewyn Davis (Oscar Isaac) is drifting from place to place following the death of his music partner. Over the next week, the audience follows the character as he attempts to gain recognition.


The story has a number of twists and remains interesting throughout. Oscar Isaac gives an entertaining and believable performance and remains likeable despite his increasing frustration and anger. The ginger cat proves to be a good accessory on his journey and provides both entertainment and comedy.


With her dark hair and aggressive nature, Carey Mulligan’s performance is much darker than her previous roles but works well. Justin Timberlake is pleasant to watch as her mild mannered and unsuspecting partner Jim, while John Goodman threatens to steal the show as obnoxious ageing musician Roland.


Isaac, Timberlake and Mulligan all sing live during the movie and perform to a high standard in that respect. The music is reminiscent of the 1960s folk scene and adds realism to the story.


The film’s abrupt ending doesn’t conclude anything and leaves the viewer with more questions than answers. Despite this, a well written story and top performances make “Inside Llewyn Davis” a masterpiece that is not to be missed.


Reviewed by Lesley Logan

August: Osage County ***




Run Time: 120 mins                      Cert: 15


Synopsis: Following the death of Beverly Weston (Sam Shepard), his family gather at the house he shares with his wife Violet (Meryl Streep) in rural Oklahoma. 


The movie begins when ageing alcoholic poet Beverly Weston (Shepard) hires a young native American woman named Johnna (Misty Upham) to look after his drug addicted wife Violet (Meryl Streep). He disappears soon after and is later found dead, prompting his family’s return to attend his funeral and provide support for his wife.


The initial 30 minutes are long, drawn out and could easily have been cut. The film then becomes more interesting as we explore the relationships between the family members. Julia Roberts gives a great performance as eldest daughter Barbara, a woman clearly at the end of her tether with those around her. Middle daughter Karen (Juliette Lewis) is self-centred and irritating while Ivy (Julianne Nicholson) is likeable but flat.


While not Oscar worthy, Streep’s performance is entertaining and hilariously over the top. Violet shows the harsh realities of addiction and her brutal honesty fuels the story by providing comedy and scenes of intense conflict.


In terms of the male cast members, Charles (Chris Cooper) and Little Charles (Benedict Cumberbatch) have a good father-son dynamic that is enjoyable to watch, while Ewan McGregor gives a decidedly average performance that portrays the cliched “mid life crisis” and sports a poor American accent.


Despite the writer’s attempts at adding twists to the story, none of the characters’ revelations are likely to surprise the audience and the ending is disappointing.


Reviewed by Lesley Logan

American Hustle: *****



Run Time: 138mins
Cert: 15


Synopsis: In 1978 two con artists Irving Rosenfeld (Bale) and Sydney Prosser (Adams) cut a deal with FBI agent Richie DiMaso (Cooper) to help him catch other offenders in return clemency. However, Irving’s loose-cannon wife Rosalyn (Lawrence) threatens to derail the plan.


The movie is loosely based upon an FBI operation called Abscam. In 1978, where they recruited a convicted con artist, Melvin Weinberg assist them in their pursuit of two stolen paintings. Through continued collaboration with the art and insurance fraud expert, the organization’s operation evolved into an investigation of political corruption. To pull off the operation, Weinberg created a fake company, “Abdul Enterprises,” funded by two wealthy Arab sheiks. The term “Arab scam” became “Abscam.”


David O’Russell has decided to rename the characters in this true life event. So Melvin Weinberg becomes Christian Bale’s Irving Rosenfeld. Similar in tone to Goodfellas and Wag The Dog. Rosenfeld narrates the crazy story with a resentful and self obsessed point of view.

In fact all the characters in this story appear to be obsessed with themselves some way or another. DiMaso (Cooper) only worries about his career, Rosalyn (Lawrence) worries about her lifestyle, Sydney worries about being herself and Carmine worries about his image. Only DiMaso’s boss (the fantastic Louis CK) appears to be more grounded and less worried himself.


The film is clearly influenced by the works of Martin Scorsese and Paul Thomas Anderson especially by Goodfellas and Boogie Nights with the sweeping camerawork and funky soundtracks.


The performances are spectacular with Bale, Cooper and Adams all playing off each other with exquisite comic timing. In particular Lawrence cements her current can-do-no-wrong status in an extraordinary scene, just shows she is no passing fancy and is hilarious in a comical scene, which uses McCartney’s classic Live and Let Die to great effect.


The pace is slow to start, however given time is a wonderful enthralling piece of filmmaking at it’s best. After the disastrous I Heart Huckabees, O’Russell has regained his status as one of the best independent directors of his generation.


Reviewed by Paul Logan