Film Friday #252

 Sicario (2015)

Kate Macer (Emily Blunt) is an FBI agent who specialises in kidnapping cases. After she and her team make a grisly discovery during a raid her determination to get a shot at the drug cartels involved is greater than ever which is why she agrees to be seconded onto a special task force lead by Matt Graver (Josh Brolin).From the word go the objective of the operation is unclear and mysterious especially the role of outside consultant, Alejandro (Benicio Del Toro) and Kate, who is a stickler for procedure, is horrified by Graver’s brutal and questionable methods. As the operation progresses she soon realises that not only is she in way over her head but that her role and motivations for participating might not be compatible. Sicario is dark, gritty and gripping from start to finish. While it is interesting watching director, Denis Villeneuve, explore the core theme of how much bad is acceptable in order to achieve a “good” outcome and how long it takes heroes to become villains along with the ultimate question of what it is that drives us, it’s the performances at the centre of the film that elevate it. Blunt is outstanding as always and brings real humanity and relatability to a character who could have come across as very unsympathetic. Brolin is also great as the seemingly casual but ultimately utterly ruthless Graver and Kenneth Kaluuya, is a standout in a supporting role as Kate’s partner. Ultimately it is Del Toro though who absolutely steals the show playing the tortured and conflicted, Alejandro. Every time you think you have figured him out he brings something more. While the writing certainly has a role to play when it comes to creating such a layered character it’s hard to imagine anyone else interpreting him so well. I did think there were a few minor pacing issues but it’s well worth a watch. 3.5/5

What do you mean I forgot my bra again?

What do you mean I forgot my bra again?

Crimson Peak (2015)

Edith Cushing (Mia Wasikowksa) is an aspiring novelist and independent spirit who lives with her successful businessman father (Jim Beaver) and dreams of literary success. When she meets British inventor and baronet, Thomas Sharp (Tom Hiddleston) she’s not immediately sold and her father even less so but as they spend more time together love blossoms. After tragedy strikes, Edith marries Thomas and returns to Cumberland with him and his mysterious sister, Lucille (Jessica Chastain). As Edith explores the Sharpe’s crumbling mansion, Adderalll Hall, she is haunted by a serious of dark apparitions who appear to be warning her that something sinister is afoot. What are Thomas and Lucille hiding? Why can’t Edith enter certain parts of the house and why is Lucille so keen to keep force feeding her tea? Director Guillermo Del Toro is known for his dark atmospheric films and Crimson Peak is no different. Adderall Hall looks absolutely incredible, both beautiful and breathtakingly creepy and the attention to detail is spectacular. By setting it on a red clay mine Del Toro is able to imbue every scene with blood imagery so effective that it’s almost on par with De Palma’s Carrie. I also have to mention that the costumes, particularly Wasikowska’s are gorgeous. However style cannot completely compensate for substance and Crimson Peak is both slow and somewhat predictable. While Wasikowska, Hiddleson and Chastain all give good performances this highlights the fact that the supporting performances, particularly from Charlie Hunnam as Edith’s doctor and potential rival suitor, are weak by comparison. Not up to the high expectations I had going in. 2.5/5

Lucille's flaps had long since frozen cold just like her black heart

Lucille’s flaps had long since frozen shut just like her cold black heart

R.I.P.D. (2013)

When police detective, Nick (Ryan Reynolds) is killed by his boss, Hayes (Kevin Bacon) while chasing down a suspect he is faced with the choice of being judged immediately or going through a type of purgatory by doing a 100 years as an officer in the Rest In Peace Department (R.I.P.D.). The R.I.P.D.’s main role is to round up the dead who have returned to the land of the living where they turn into mutants as soon as they eat… for reasons unknown. Nick accepts the assignment in the hope that he’ll be able to reconnect with his wife but he finds himself trapped in the body of an elderly Chinese man and saddled with an old West Sheriff called Roy (Jeff Bridges) as a partner. As Nick and Roy investigate an artifact that will allow the dead to take over the Earth Nick realises things are very different when you’re dead and in the meantime Hayes is not only scheming on Nick’s wife he might be about to unleash the apocalypse. There are bad movies and then there is R.I.P.D. This is quite possibly in the top five most terrible films I have ever seen. While Ryan Reynolds may not be known for making the best career choices both Jeff Bridges and Kevin Bacon have had epic careers so god knows what the two of them were paid to appear in this steaming turd. The story is incomprehensible, the script is flatter than a witches tit, the CGI is embarrassingly amateurish and the pace is crepuscular. No. Just No. I watched this movie so that you don’t have to… please do yourself a favour and avoid like the plague.

“Who are we shooting at?”
“The director of this movie!”

Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001)

Bridget Jones (Renee Zellweger) is a perpetual singleton who drinks too much, smokes too much and is almost guaranteed to make a tit of herself in almost any situation, which isn’t helped by the fact that her mother is permanently trying to set her up – most recently with, Mark Darcy (Colin Firth), a family friends’ seemingly boring son. You see Bridget has a crush on her boss, Daniel Cleaver (Hugh Grant), a notorious womaniser and while her mind is telling her no, her body is most definitely telling her yes. As Bridget wrestles with love, her career, her underwear and most importantly herself she’ll have to make a series of decisions not only about what and who she wants but also who she is. On the face of it Bridget Jones’ Diary is a pretty bog standard romantic comedy that shouldn’t have been particularly memorable, however Zellweger so beautifully encapsulates the character of Bridget that it has become a classic of the genre enjoyable even to someone like me who generally hates romcoms. While Bridget is almost always the architect of her own demise she makes the kind of decisions and follows the kind of thought patterns that anyone who has felt a little bit less than perfectly elegant has and it’s so easy to put yourself in her shoes. It’s also an excellent vehicle for Firth to play the initially po-faced Mr Darcy with warm and humour and for Grant dive into the kind of posh bad-boy role he was born to play. This is fare of the lightest variety but when it comes to a bit of feelgood romance you can’t do much better. The perfect girls night in classic and just as good as the book. 3.5/5

WINE!

Hahaha… WINE!

26 Comments

  1. Hated RIPD. haven’t seen S (really want to) or CP (no desire) and I wasn’t the biggest fan of BJD back in the day. maybe one of these days, i’ll give it another shot!

    1. abbiosbiston

      It’s probably worth another watch. It really is a classic.

      1. Ill add it to my list…

      2. Btw, does it fit ur genre choice?

        1. abbiosbiston

          I would say probably not as it follows a pretty classic romantic comedy formula even if Bridget is a bit of a challenging heroine.

  2. I liked BJD more than you. One of those films that puts you in a good mood. Sicario is one of those films I’ll probably get round to renting. Crimson Peak sounds so disappointing. What a shame. As for RIPD. Wow. I was reading your description wondering what the point of the film was. Thanks for the heads up. You should do a list of the worst ever films. I’d be curious which ones beat it o the top. Movie 43?

    1. abbiosbiston

      Oh it definitely gives you a warm fuzzy feeling. The friend I saw Crimson Peak with liked it a lot more than I did so don’t let me put you off. I think Eat, Pray, Love and This Means War would be right up there on my list.

      1. I wasn’t going to watch RIPD but now I won’t for sure. Especially because I detested Eat Pray Love and didn’t like This Means War.
        What do you think of Shallow Hal, Sex and the City 2 or Chain of Fools?

        1. abbiosbiston

          I can see the humour in Shallow Hal but I HATED Sex and the City 2. I haven’t seen Chain of Fools.

          1. Don’t watch, I’m fairly sure you won’t like it. I think I will write a post of the worst films ever seen, it’s much easier than writing ones about you love.

  3. I haven’t seen any of these. 😦 I’m most interested in Sicario, I thought the director’s last couple of movies were really good and can’t go wrong with Emily Blunt. I’ll definitely take your advice to avoid R.I.P.D.

    1. abbiosbiston

      I really enjoyed Villeneuve’s Prisoners and I completely agree on Emily Blunt. She is amazing. I hope you get to see Sicario soon!

  4. MIB

    Crimson Peak really seems to be polarising opinion – I’ve not seen such diverse views for a film I quite a while. I suppose that is a cross to bear when you have a popular reputation like Del Toro has.

    1. I haven’t read any great reviews for it, but most are rating it less than I did it would seem

    2. abbiosbiston

      In certain circumstances I can accept style over substance… I mean I am a massive Baz Luhrmann fan… but here there just was not enough to keep me fully engaged. I did enjoy some of Del Toro’s other films though and he has an amazing eye so I am hoping for better in the future.

      1. MIB

        Looks to me like Del Toro is another director who should return to his home country and make films HE wants to make and not what Hollywood thinks he should make. :-\

        1. abbiosbiston

          That’s a very apt observation.

  5. Good to see more love for Sicario! I agree with you mostly on Crimson Peak, though I seem to be the only one who didn’t think it was predictable!!

    1. abbiosbiston

      I am looking forward to seeing what Villeneuve does next. I guess how predictable Crimson Peak would seem would depend to some extent how much Gothic literature you’d been exposed to.

      1. Yeah that’s the thing I haven’t read much of that stuff at all

  6. Lol–I was entertained by RIPD.💁🏼

    1. abbiosbiston

      I’m glad someone was! Lol!

  7. RIPD sounds so awful, it’s hard to believe that it’s actually a real movie and not a parody or something.

    1. abbiosbiston

      I can’t believe it even got made!

  8. HAHAHA oh wow, R.I.P.D. really didn’t do it for you! It seems Crimson Peak let a lot of people down. Pity.

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