BABY DRIVER (15)
D: Edgar Wright
Tristar/Media Rights Capital/Working Title/Big Talk (Nira Park, Tim Bevan & Eric Fellner)
🇬🇧 🇺🇸 2017
W: Edgar Wright
DP: Bill Pope
Ed: Paul Machliss & Jonathan Amos
Mus: Steven Price
Ansel Elgort (Baby), Kevin Spacey (Doc), Lily James (Debora), Jamie Foxx (Leon 'Bats' Jefferson), Jon Hamm (Jason 'Buddy' Van Horn), Eiza Gonzalez (Monica 'Darling' Castello), Jon Bernthal (Griff)
Possibly the coolest film of 2017, starring newcomer Ansel Elgort as the title character, a getaway driver for a group of criminals headed by kingpin Doc, who uses a rotating crew to carry out various robberies, with Baby being the only constant member, a quiet teenager with a huge love of music, making his speedy getaway to the accompaniment of his iPod's playlists.
In-between his trysts with the mob, he strikes up a romance with diner waitress Debora and dreams of a life away from crime, but always gets sucked back in by the overbearing kingpin.
The story does get quite messy in the final act, but the first two-thirds of the movie are quite excellent, especially the opening car chase.
The film was a massive sleeper hit in 2017, with many critics naming it amongst their favourite films of the year.
BAD BOY BUBBY (18)
D: Rolf de Heer
Roadshow/Fandango/SAFC (Rolf de Heer, Domenico Procacci & Giorgio Draskovic)
🇦🇺 🇮🇹 1993
W: Rolf de Heer
DP: Ian Jones
Ed: Suresh Ayyar
Mus: Graham Tardiff
Nicholas Hope (Bubby), Claire Benito (Mam), Ralph Cotterill (Pop), Carmel Johnson (Angel), Paul Philpot (Paul)
An awkward and disturbing black comedy from Australia, focusing on a mentally retarded man-child who had spent the entirety of his 35-year-old life trapped in a room by his incestuous mother who has convinced him that the air beyond the walls is poisonous.
Upon figuring out the truth and murdering his parents, he escapes to the world outside, which he finds as strange as the people find him.
Due to the nature of the story and the minimalistic style in which it's filmed, it would be an easy film to dismiss, but it would be appreciated by those who like things a little weird, particularly fans of David Lynch, since the film practically aspires to be an Australian version of Eraserhead.
BAD LIEUTENANT: PORT OF CALL NEW ORLEANS (18)
D: Werner Herzog
First Look Studios/Millennium/Saturn (Stephen Belafonte, Randall Emmett, Alan Polsky, Gabe Polsky, Edward R. Pressman & John Thompson)
W: William M. Finkelstein
DP: Peter Zeitlinger
Ed: Joe Bini
Mus: Mark Isham
Nicolas Cage (Terence McDonagh), Eva Mendes (Frankie Donnenfield), Jennifer Coolidge (Genevieve McDonagh), Val Kilmer (Steve Pruit), Brad Dourif (Ned Schoenholtz)
It's a misconception that this 2009 movie is a remake of Abel Ferrara's similarly titled 1992 film. The only common ground the two films share are that they centre around a corrupt policeman, and even the director of this, Werner Herzog, has debunked any connection between the two films.
Nicolas Cage delivers his last truly great performance in this character study, in which he plays Terence McDonagh, a one decorated police officer following his heroics in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
Even the opening scene shows McDonagh to be morally ambiguous and following his promotion he becomes addicted to narcotics, gambling and other legally questionable vices.
Eva Mendes provides good support as his prostitute girlfriend, but other cast members are practically cameo appearances.
Like the 1992 movie, it doesn't make for particularly pleasant viewing, but it's certainly worth watching for Nicolas Cage's performance alone. It's unfortunate that his career was on a downward spiral following this.
BAD MOMS (15)
D: Jon Lucas & Scott Moore
STX/Huayi Brothers (Bill Block & Suzanne Todd)
W: Jon Lucas & Scott Moore
DP: Jim Denault
Ed: Emma E. Hickox & James Thomas
Mus: Christopher Lennertz
Mila Kunis (Amy Mitchell), Kathryn Hahn (Carly), Kristen Bell (Kiki), Christina Applegate (Gwendolyn James), Jada Pinkett Smith (Stacy), Annie Mumulo (Vicky)
Wrist-slashingly unfunny chick flick, in which a workaholic mum has enough of being responsible, so acts the tramp with her girl mates, but we can't judge her badly because the film has a villain in the shape of Christina Applegate who is a bitch for no particular reason.
When Hollywood lobbied for more female empowering films is this really what they had in mind? The comedy is non-existent, stepping carefully so much as not to offend any demographic, except for men because fuck men. Men are scum, except for the hot Latino guy because he's hot. Hollywood bullshit which causes more damage than it does good.
The worst performance in the film easily belongs to Jada Pinkett Smith, who thinks she can just walk onto a set, read some lines and call it acting. The films only redeeming feature comes in the credits, where the movie's stars sit with their real life mothers on a couch and discuss their relationship. A rare tender moment in a total car crash of a film.
Bad Moms = Bad Movie.
BAD SANTA 2 (18)
D: Mark Waters
Miramax/Broad Green/Media Talent Group/Ingenious (Geyer Kosinski & Andrew Gunn)
🇺🇸 🇨🇦 🇬🇧 2016
W: Johnny Rosenthal & Shauna Cross [based on characters created by Glenn Ficarra & John Requa]
DP: Theo van de Sande
Ed: Travis Sittard
Mus: Lyle Workman
Billy Bob Thornton (Willie Soke), Tony Cox (Marcus Skidmore), Kathy Bates (Sunny Soke), Brett Kelly (Thurman Merman), Christina Hendricks (Diane), Ryan Hansen (Regent), Jenny Zigrino (Gina)
This sequel to the 2003 black comedy is more of the same jokes, which really do push the boundaries of political incorrectness and bad taste.
A decade after his last heist, Willie Soke (Thornton) has hit rock bottom, hitting the bottle hard and is contemplating his own suicide when he receives a letter from his old partner in crime, the diminutive Marcus, who claims he's hatched a plan for a robbery which will net the duo in access of $2 million.
Upon their arrival in Chicago for their plan to take effect, Willie is reunited with his equally repugnant mother, the real brains behind the plan.
Many of the jokes are recycled from the first film, only with the volume turned up and quite possibly more disgusting. There are some very funny moments however (depending on your sense of humour), which save this from being just another cash-in sequel.
It doesn't quite capture the Christmas spirit like the original film did in its final moments, this is just a little too grubby for that.
BAD TIMES AT THE EL ROYALE (15)
D: Drew Goddard
20th Century Fox/TSG (Drew Goddard & Jeremy Latcham)
W: Drew Goddard
DP: Seamus McGarvey
Ed: Lisa Lassek
Mus: Michael Giacchino
PD: Martin Whist
Jeff Bridges (Father Daniel Flynn / Dock O'Kelly), Cynthia Erivo (Darlene Sweet), Dakota Johnson (Emily Summerspring), Cailey Spaeny (Rose Summerspring), Lewis Pullman (Miles Miller), Jon Hamm (Seymour Laramie Sullivan / Dwight Broadbeck), Chris Hemsworth (Billy Lee)
Agatha Christie meets Quentin Tarantino for this dark mystery-thriller, set at a seedy motel which straddles the California-Nevada border, where various characters spend the night during an undisclosed date in the late 1960's, and the timelines overlap and various events are seen from different perspectives as the film presents each character's backstory as separate chapters (rather than a traditional three act structure).
The ensemble cast here are simply excellent. Jeff Bridges, dependable as ever, is introduced as Father Flynn, a preacher with a memory problem. The second guest is Darlene Sweet (Cynthia Erivo), a struggling backup singer with dreams of fame. The two arrive at the hotel at the same time, and waiting in the lobby is Seymour Laramie Sullivan, an obnoxious vacuum cleaner salesman insistent on lodging in the motel's Honeymoon Suite. They're (eventually) met by shady concierge Miles Miller who almost immediately declares the El Royale "no place for a priest". The fourth guest of the evening is mysterious hippy Emily Summerspring... and it's with her character's story that the events of the night begin to unfold, culminating in the introduction of Billy Ray (Chris Hemsworth), a Charles Manson-type cult leader with a taste for violence.
Critical reception for the film has been mixed, with many harshly dubbing it a knockoff Tarantino thriller, which I personally disagree with. It may have taken some inspiration from films like Pulp Fiction, but it certainly doesn't plagiarise them and has more than enough originality to stand on its own two feet. The script always keeps you guessing, the direction is stylish, the cast are great and the production design is amongst the best you'll see from 2018 releases. A tad too long, perhaps, although I really don't think there's a moment which could have been cut.
Most definitely checking in for.
THE BALLAD OF BUSTER SCRUGGS (15)
D: Joel Coen & Ethan Coen
Netflix/Annapurna (Joel Coen, Ethan Coen, Megan Ellison, Sue Naegle & Robert Graf)
W: Joel Coen & Ethan Coen
DP: Bruno Delbonnel
Ed: Roderick Jaynes
Mus: Carter Burwell
PD: Jess Gonchor
Cos: Mary Zophres
Tim Blake Nelson (Buster Scruggs), James Franco (The Cowboy), Liam Neeson (The Impresario), Tom Waits (The Prospector), Zoe Kazan (Alice Longabaugh), Bill Heck (Billy Knapp), Grainger Hines (Mr. Arthur), Jonjo O'Neill (The Englishman), Brendan Gleeson (The Irishman)
This 2018 Western anthology from the Coen Brothers presents itself as a storybook of six various stories, each running approximately 25-30 minutes long, set in the Wild West frontier with a central theme involving death.
The opening vignette stars Tim Blake Nelson as the title character, a singing gunslinger who makes enemies during a dispute over a card game. The following episodes feature James Franco as a down-on-his-luck cowboy who resorts to robbing banks and Liam Neeson as a travelling showman whose act becomes increasingly less popular.
The longest (& arguably best) episodes come after the halfway point of the movie, the first of which stars Tom Waits as a grizzled gold prospector who discovers an untouched valley, where he painstakingly seeks his fortunes, followed by "The Gal Who Got Rattled", starring Zoe Kazan as a woman travelling on a wagon train to Oregon, where the death of her brother leaves her penniless and alone.
The final story is set aboard a stagecoach, where the five passengers share stories with each other, and it's arguably the weakest of all six tales, ending the movie on a rather disappointing note.
As with all these types of movies, everyone will have their favourite segment, since they are all of varying quality- all shaggy dog tales in the Coen Brothers' usual style, but they all have an authentic feel about them, as though they are all genuine Old West folk tales.
A special mention also has to be made for Bruno Delbonnel's exquisite cinematography, thoroughly deserving of an Oscar nomination (at least), since all the stories are marvellously captured, particularly the vast vistas of the forests and desert.
Over 20 years in the making, the Coen Brothers originally penned the stories as separate films, before deciding to put them all together with their usual blend of drama, mystery and black humour.
Released on streaming service Netflix, it received a limited theatrical run at selected arthouse cinemas and is certainly worth catching on the big screen.
BALLISTIC: ECKS VS SEVER (15)
D: Kaos (Wych Kaosayananda)
Warner Bros/Franchise (Elie Samaha, Chris Lee & Wych Kaosayananda)
THE BANK JOB (15)
D: Roger Donaldson
Lionsgate/Mosaic/Relativity Media/Skyline (Charles Roven & Steven Chasman)
W: Dick Clement & Ian La Frenais
DP: Michael Coulter
Ed: John Gilbert
Mus: J. Peter Robinson
Jason Statham (Terry Leather), Saffron Burrows (Martine Love), Richard Lintern (Tim Everett), Keeley Hawes (Wendy Leather), Stephen Campbell Moore (Kevin Swain)
The Bank Job is a pleasant surprise of a heist movie and was much better than I believed it had every right to be, mostly due to a strong script and competent performances.
Based on some true events, the crime unfolds in 1970's London. Terry Leather is a former criminal turned straight, but with his car dealership struggling, he is approached by old flame Martine Love, who has a foolproof plan to rob a Baker Street bank, all under the auspices of her doing some dirty work for the government to locate some scandalous photographs which a militant civil rights activist is using as blackmail material for maintaining his freedom as he goes about his criminal activities.
The heist itself is pretty much the same as other films of the ilk, but the aftermath is where it peels itself apart from similar movies.
Jason Statham does a good job in the lead role and Saffron Burrows makes a good femme fatale in the context of this plot. Keeley Hawes is also impressive in what amounts to be a very small role.
A very entertaining caper which could easily have been just another Italian Job wannabe.
BASIC INSTINCT 2 (18)
BATTLE: LOS ANGELES (12)
BATTLE OF THE SEXES (12)
D: Jonathan Dayton & Valerie Faris
Fox Searchlight/Decibel/Cloud Eight (Christian Colson, Danny Boyle & Robert Graf)
🇬🇧 🇺🇸 2017
W: Simon Beaufoy
DP: Linus Sandgren
Ed: Pamela Martin
Mus: Nicholas Britell
Emma Stone (Billie Jean King), Steve Carell (Bobby Riggs), Andrea Riseborough (Marilyn Barnett), Sarah Silverman (Gladys Heldman), Bill Pullman (Jack Kramer), Alan Cumming (Ted Tinling)
This story was previously screened as a television movie in 2001, starring Holly Hunter & Ron Silver, and despite having budgetary restrictions, it presented a much better version of the story than this bigger budget film does.
Released in a year when disparity between gender pay was under scrutiny, it probably made good business sense to revisit this true story from the 1970's, where the world number 1 female tennis player Billie Jean King faced Bobby Riggs in what was meant to be an exhibition match to showcase the superiority of the men's game. The match was of huge importance to King, who had been campaigning for equal prize money for many years leading up to the match and it won't come as a surprise who won the actual match.
Unfortunately, this film pays more attention to the politics than the match itself, and despite very good performances from both Emma Stone and Steve Carell, it feels like little more than a preachy sermon on modern social justice issues and how chauvinistic men were in the 1970's, rather than promoting equality in sports & entertainment.
D: Seth Gordon
Paramount/Contrafilm/Montecito (Ivan Reitman, Michael Berk, Douglas Schwartz, Gregory J. Bonnan & Beau Flynn)
W: Damian Shannon & Mark Swift [based on the television series created by Michael Berk, Douglas Schwartz & Gregory J. Bonann)
DP: Eric Steelberg
Ed: Peter S. Elliott
Mus: Christopher Lennertz
Dwayne Johnson (Mitch Buchannon), Zac Efron (Matt Brody), Alexandra Daddario (Summer Quinn), Jon Bass (Ronnie Greenbaum), Priyanka Chopra (Victoria Leeds), Kelly Rohrbach (CJ Parker)
Baywatch is not a good film, but neither was the series, despite being a television staple throughout the 1990's.
Set on the sun-kissed beaches of Emerald Bay, where Lieutenant of lifeguards Mitch Buchannon oversees the safety of the visitors and is forced to take on three new Baywatch lifeguards, including obnoxious Olympic swimmer Matt a Brody, who he clashes heads with.
The lifeguard team soon uncover criminal affairs happening on their watch, but with limited judicial powers they take matters into their own hands to save their beach.
The humour here is very infantile, but as an easy, cheesy watch it's not the worst film in the world. The part fits Dwayne Johnson surprisingly well, but Zac Efron's "acting skills" stretch as far as flexing and sulking.
If you're looking for two muscular guys going topless at regular intervals or a bit of suntanned T&A, you've come to the right place. If you're after comedy, watch something else.
A BEAUTIFUL MIND (15)
BEAUTY & THE BEAST (PG)
D: Bill Condon
Disney/Mandeville (David Hoberman & Todd Lieberman)
W: Stephen Chbosky & Evan Spiliotopolous [based on the 1991 screenplay by Linda Woolverton & the fairytale by Jean-Marie LePrince du Beaumont]
DP: Tobias A. Schleissler
Ed: Virginia Katz
Mus: Alan Menken; Tim Rice & Howard Ashman
PD: Sarah Greenwood
Cos: Jacqueline Durran
Emma Watson (Belle), Dan Stevens (The Beast / The Prince), Luke Evans (Gaston), Kevin Kline (Maurice), Josh Gad (LeFou), Ewan McGregor (Lumiere), Ian McKellen (Cogsworth), Stanley Tucci (Cadenza), Emma Thompson (Mrs. Potts)
Disney studios seem to be quite content churning out live action version of their famous animated classics, with Alice In Wonderland, Cinderella and The Jungle Book all having big budget makeovers, to varied effect.
The 1991 version of Beauty & The Beast made history by being the first animated film to be nominated for a Best Picture Oscar, so to say that this live action update had big shoes to fill is an understatement.
Visually, the film ticks all the right boxes, with outstanding production design, costumes and visual effects which really bring the fantasy world to life, but aside from the technical aspects the rest of the film is a bit of a disappointment, failing to have creative licence with the material in the same way some of the studio's other adaptations have and settles on being a practical shot-by-shot update with occasional moments being a little more family-friendly. All the famous songs from the 1991 film are reinvigorated with live action choreography, but it's really just the same song and dance.
The real issue with the film is the casting, particularly Emma Watson, whose performance as Belle is far too preciously smug to make the character enchanting, elegant and overwhelmed by her whole experience. Everyone else from the ensemble is fine, but their characters are underwritten to allow Belle to have the lion's share of the screen-time.
Disney enthusiasts will enjoy this more than Joe Public, but even the most ardent Disneyphile would agree that the animated classic is head and shoulders above this. It just feels a little too corporate and safe.
BEFORE THE DEVIL KNOWS YOU'RE DEAD (15)
D: Sidney Lumet
Capitol/Unity/Linsefilm/Funky Buddha (Michael Cerenzie, Brian Linse, Paul Parmar & William S. Gilmore)
W: Kelly Masterson
DP: Ron Fortunato
Ed: Tom Swarthout
Mus: Carter Burrell
Philip Seymour Hoffman (Andy Hanson), Ethan Hawke (Hank Hanson), Marisa Tomei (Gina Hanson), Albert Finney (Charles Hanson), Rosemary Harris (Nanette Hanson), Michael Shannon (Dex), Amy Ryan (Martha)
Sidney Lumet's final film before his death is directed with the vim and vigour associated with the films he made much earlier in his career, despite the veteran director being in his eighties when the film was shot.
Taking its title from a traditional Irish proverb, Kelly Masterson's debut screenplay focuses on two brothers, both in financial difficulty, who plot to rob their parents' jewellery store in what they believe will be a victimless crime.
The film uses a non-linear narrative to crank up the tension, and the ensemble of performances are all excellent, especially Philip Seymour Hoffman and Ethan Hawke as the criminal siblings. The only disappointment is the final scene, which doesn't quite tie up all the loose ends.
D: Timur Bekmambetov
Paramount/MGM/Lightworkers (Sean Daniel, Joni Levin & Duncan Henderson)
W: Keith Clarke & John Ridley [based on the novel by Lew Wallace]
DP: Oliver Wood
Ed: Dody Dorn & Richard Francis-Bruce
Mus: Marco Beltrami
Jack Huston (Judah Ben-Hur), Morgan Freeman (Sheik Ilderim), Toby Kebbell (Messala), Nazanin Boniadi (Esther), Rodrigo Santoro (Jesus)
Why remake a classic? Well, aside from the obvious financial gains it has to be noted that Lew Wallace's novel was a successful stage production, as well as finding life as two silent films before the epic 1959 production made its bow and swept the Oscars. It also has to be said that this "re-imagination" draws just as much inspiration from Gladiator, Spartacus and other films cut from the same cloth, but the overall result is still a complete disappointment.
The bare bones of the story remain intact, a Jewish prince becomes an enemy of the Roman Empire and is sold into slavery, crosses paths with Jesus on his journey for revenge and the whole film is geared towards the chariot race finale which was the iconic scene of the 1959 film.
Every aspect of the production pales in comparison to the Charlton Heston version, and though lots of money has been thrown at it, the acting is not much above pantomime standard and the CGI fails to impress. A Twilight love story is also unwelcomely crammed in just to tick the box for a teenage girl demographic.
A truly pointless exercise. If you want to watch Ben-Hur, watch the 1959 version. Embrace the classics rather than feed the greed of big Hollywood studios. They don't care about art anymore, they just want your money.
BEVERLY HILLS COP (15)
BEYOND THE LIGHTS (12)
D: Gina Prince-Bythewood
Relativity Media/Homegrown/Undisputed Cinema (Stephanie Allain, Reggie Rock Bythewood, Ryan Kavanaugh, Amar'e Stoudemire & Sharon Tomlinson)
W: Gina Prince-Bythewood
DP: Tami Reiker
Ed: Terilyn A. Shropshire
Mus: Mark Islam
Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Noni Jean), Nate Parker (Kaz Nicol), Minnie Driver (Macy Jean), Danny Glover (Capt. David Nicol), Machine Gun Kelly (Kid Culprit)
This small independent film from 2014 isn't without its flaws, but is certainly carried by two strong lead performances who make a very likeable on-screen couple.
The plot follows Noni Jean, a pop singer whose career is practically ruled by her overbearing mother. On the cusp of huge breakthrough success, she is saved from a suicide attempt by a young police officer with political aspirations and the two embark on a romantic relationship which could affect both of their professional journeys.
Gugu Mbatha-Raw really steals the show here with her breakthrough film performance, performing her own singing in a role which was tailored for her to keep her native British accent.
It does feel a little like a version of The Bodyguard for a younger, more modern audience, but it is quite well done and the performances make the characters realistic, even during the scenes which are a little unconvincing.
The overall theme about being true to oneself overrides the rather unrelatable one about the pressures of fame which occupy the first half of the movie.
BIG DADDY (12)
D: Dennis Dugan
Columbia (Allen Covert & Jack Giarraputo)
W: Steve Franks, Tim Herlihy & Adam Sandler
DP: Theo Van De Sande
Ed: Jeff Gourson
Mus: Teddy Castelluci
Adam Sandler (Sonny Koufax), Cole Sprouse / Dylan Sprouse (Julian McGrath), Joey Lauren Adams (Layla Maloney), Jon Stewart (Kevin Gerrity), Leslie Mann (Corinne Maloney), Rob Schneider (Nazo)
Adam Sandler cranks his manchild act up to complete jerk in this puerile comedy aimed at the lowest common denomination of audience.
Sonny Koufax is a college dropout who thinks that adopting an infant child will impress his girlfriend, but it only proves how immature he is as he goes about his usual business with no paternal nous at all. This could have been a new spin on Three Men & A Baby, but instead just goes for fart humour.
For some reason, Big Daddy is considered amongst Adam Sandler's best works, but I really didn't like it. I guess I just demand more intelligence from movies, comedy or otherwise.
HERO 6 (PG)
THE BIG SICK (15)
D: Michael Showalter
Amazon/Filmnation (Judd Apatow & Barry Mendel)
W: Kumail Nanjiani & Emily V. Gordon
DP: Brian Burgoyne
Ed: Robert Nassau
Mus: Michael Andrews
Kumail Nanjiani (Kumail Nanjiani), Zoe Kazan (Emily Gardner), Holly Hunter (Beth Gardner), Ray Romano (Terry Gardner), Adeel Akhtar (Naveed)
The Big Sick offers a breakthrough role for Pakistani-born comedian Kumail Nanjiani, who plays himself in this partly autobiographical rom-com, in which he embarks upon a romance with grad student Emily Gardner, where they are met not only with culture clash obstacles, but a mysterious illness which leaves Emily comatose.
Emily's parents travel to the big city to watch over their daughter's state of health and become charmed by Kumail's personality.
The film is practically a 21st century twist on Love Story with more focus on humour, and though the dialogue feels like it was written by Buzzfeed staff, there are many charming moments and some good performances, particularly from Holly Hunter and Ray Romano as Emily's parents.
It's not a surprise that many critics are naming The Big Sick amongst their favourites of 2017.
BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA (15)
D: John Carpenter
20th Century Fox (Larry J. Franco)
W: W.D. Richter, Gary Goldman & David Z. Weinstein
DP: Dean Cundey
Ed: Mark Warner
Mus: John Carpenter
PD: John J. Lloyd
Kurt Russell (Jack Burton), Kim Cattrall (Gracie Law), Dennis Dun (Wang Chi), James Hong (David Lo Pan), Victor Wong (Egg Shen), Kate Burton (Margo Litzenberger)
A comic-book style fantasy adventure which, by all rights, probably wouldn't have been made at all had it not been conceived in the 1980's.
Kurt Russell does his best John Wayne impression as a roguish, wisecracking truck driver who finds himself caught up between rival Chinese gangs in San Francisco's Chinatown, culminating in a showdown with an ancient wizard who abducts a pair of women with the intention of marrying them to give him even greater power.
It's all a rather silly and incredibly cheesy attempt to emulate and capitalise on the success of the Indiana Jones movies, but it has moments of thrilling action and hilariously ridiculous comedy, in a style which could have only been got away with in the 1980's.
A flop during its cinema run (possibly because it was released the same week as Aliens), it did go on to have huge cult success when it hit the home video market. I don't consider it demonstrative of director John Carpenter's best work. It is good fun though.
BILLY ELLIOT (15)
BILLY LYNN'S LONG HALFTIME WALK (15)
D: Ang Lee
Tristar/Studio 8/L Star Capital/Film4 (Marc Platt, Ang Lee, Rhodri Thomas & Stephen Cornwell)
🇺🇸 🇬🇧 🇨🇳 2016
W: Jean-Christophe Castilli [based on the novel by Ben Fountain]
DP: John Toll
Ed: Tim Squyres
Mus: Mychael Danna & Jeff Danna
Joe Alwyn (Billy Lynn), Garrett Hedlund (Staff Sgt. David Dime), Kristen Stewart (Kathryn Lynn), Chris Tucker (Albert), Steve Martin (Norm Oglesby), Vin Diesel (Shroom), Makenzie Leigh (Faison Zorn)
A complete misfire from a director who can produce so much better. Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk is an absolute dirge which attempts to highlight PTSD of a marine returning back to the United States after a tour of duty in Iraq.
Presented as a hero with his unit as the halftime entertainment of a football game, Billy Lynn begins to suffer flashbacks of the conflict overseas, but that doesn't stop him fucking a cheerleader for no reason whatsoever.
Though this broke new ground of the filmmaking process (photographed at 120 fps) and there are moments which are visually striking, neither the story nor the characters are particularly engaging, the marines are portrayed as mindless meatheads and the anti-war sentiment doesn't come across at all. It's little wonder that this film bombed heavy at the box office.
Long, disappointing and pointless.