Film Friday #178

Locke (2013)

Construction Manager, Ian Locke (Tom Hardy) is what you would call a very practical man. He is dedicated to his job as well as his family and everything in his life is very, very black and white. The night before the biggest concrete pour of Locke’s life, he rings his wife and his manager and tells them both he will not be home as he has made a very important decision that will take him to London for the night and change the course of his life forever. As the night goes and Locke drives towards the capital, he makes and takes call after call enabling us not only to piece together what has lead to his fateful decision while learning what has made him the man he is. For a 90 minute film that is essentially just Tom Hardy in a car talking in a Welsh accent, Locke packs a massive emotional punch. And while it might sound quite serious and gritty, which it kind of is, it also has great moments of humour that break the tension. Hardy, as always, disappears into the role and gives an intense and gripping performance and proves conclusively that he has the chops to carry an entire film. I would highly recommend going to see this knowing as little about it as possible so you can enjoy slowly discovering just what Locke has been up to. An undiscovered gem. 4/5

It didn't take Ian long to realise that he was constantly going to be mistaken for a Shoreditch hipster in London

It didn’t take Ian long to realise that he was constantly going to be mistaken for a Shoreditch hipster in London

Transcendence (2014)

Doctor Will Caster’s (Johnny Depp) dream is to create an artificial intelligence with the capability to combine a machine’s superior processing power with a human conscience and emotions. Unfortunately for him, not everyone is as keen and a group of anti-technology terrorists blow up his colleagues experiments and give him radiation poisoning. As he is dying his wife and fellow scientist, Evelyn (Rebecca Hall) comes up with the idea of uploading his consciousness, which she does with the help of their colleague, Max Waters (Paul Bettany). The terrorists are not impressed with this idea and come after Evelyn, who uploads “Will” onto the Internet to keep him safe. With unlimited power and resource, Will sets Evelyn up to build an underground research lab where he can work on solving the world’s problems… but when he starts mind-melding some of the locals it all gets a bit dodgy and the terrorists, Max, the FBI (I think it was the FBI) must combine forces to stop him. Oh my god this movie was boring. It felt like it went on and on forever. The storyline was crap, Depp was crap, the action bits were a bit crap and both Morgan Freeman, who appears as a scientist, and  Cillian Murphy, who appears as an FBI agent are chronically underused. I can’t imagine what it cost to make this pile of poo but if it was more than a pound it was completely waste of money. 1/5

Do you ever get that feeling like someone is watching you

Do you ever get that feeling like someone is watching you

Blue Ruin (2013)

Dwight (Macon Blair) lives in his car. He scavenges through bins for food. He breaks into people’s houses to use their showers. And he keeps himself to himself. When he discovers a piece of news related to something terrible that happened in his past it sets him off on a campaign of revenge that can only end in total destruction. Before I saw Blue Ruin I had only seen its very vague trailer and I had no idea what to expect. As I watched the film not much changed. There was never a moment where I managed to predict what was going to happen next, which is a fabulously unusual thing since most mainstream movies are so predictable. If you are able to make it through a very slow start, the end payoff of this thriller (?) is electric and well worth it. I also loved how the narrative came full circle and how well Blair manages to capture Dwight’s odd mixture of determination and fragility. He comes across as a man who might fall apart at any second. I don’t think it would have been a bad thing if a little more time was given to Dwight’s back story though. This is another one where knowing less will definitely enhance your experience of the film so avoid detailed reviews and just go and see it. 3.5/5

Hiding out in Dalston was not going to be a challenge for Dwight

Hiding out in Dalston was not going to be a challenge for Dwight

Wall Street (1987)

Ambitious stockbroker, Bud Fox (Charlie Sheen), will do anything to get to the top, which is why he is desperate to get a deal in front of business mogul, Gordan Gekko (Michael Douglas). When he gets a tip from his airline worker dad (Martin Sheen), he manages to convince Gordon to take a chance on him and finds himself pitched into an exciting new life of booze, women and more money than he can imagine. There’s a catch though. Gordon expects him to spy on companies to get insider information that will enable him to have an unfair advantage in the market. As Bud gets deeper and deeper in, the risks get bigger and bigger and eventually his dad’s company is on the line. Can he trust Gordon or his loyalty only guaranteed as long as Bud brings in the cash. Unsurprisingly Wall Street is super, super 80’s – power suits, big hair and lashings of cheese. But while, Wall Street, is pretty predictable Douglas and Sheen are both fun to watch and the story is pretty compelling. Nowhere near as good as The Wolf of Wall Street though. 3/5


And on the right you’ll see my ego, which is just about as tall as the Empire State Building


  1. Going to watch Blue Ruin today and I caught Locke a couple days ago. Locke is an insanely good film, Hardy is so unfathomably strong and the unique premise is executed perfectly! Awesome post!

  2. I loved Blue Ruin! Glad that you did as well! Locke is on my radar and I keep hearing great things about it!

    1. Abbi

      You should definitely go and see Locke. It probably cost about twenty grand to make but it’s so gripping.

      1. That would make it even more impressive!

  3. I am so sad to hear Transcendence was bad. I see very few movies in theaters (like maybe once a year) and I was actually considering seeing this one at the theater. Oh well, thanks for your honesty;)

    1. Abbi

      If you’re only going to see one movie in the theatre please don’t make it Transcendence. You can do so much better!

  4. Looking good. I would like to see Locke, it sounds excellent. Transcendence looks like a real waste!

    1. Abbi

      I think you’d really enjoy it. It’s a real antidote to all the Hollywood flash.

      1. Sold! Will keep my eyes peeled!

  5. Now I’m even more pissed off that I missed out on Locke – really wanted to see that. :-/ Yeah – Wall Street is very dated. Watched that a couple of years ago. Wolf of Wall Street is so much better. : )

    1. Abbi

      It’s funny how some movies really work in their time period but are kind of irrelevant outside it. I won’t pretend you didn’t miss out on Locke but it’s one that won’t lose anything by being watched on a small screen.

  6. I still haven’t seen Transcendence, though I will likely change that at some point. But I agree on the other three, more or less. I don’t think we need to know all that much more about Dwight’s history. We get hints. He couldn’t make life work following his parents’ death and chose to disappear. I do think Blue Ruin makes some mistakes though, so I believe a 3.5 about right for that flick.

    You already know how much I like Locke.

    And I too think Wall Street decent but overrated.

    1. Abbi

      I really wouldn’t bother with Transcendence. It was utterly dreadful.

      1. That is what everyone says. But … I have a need to see new movies and judge for myself. I’m in hurry, mind you, but the odds I stay away from it forever are slim, no matter all the warnings against it. 🙂

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