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
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
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.
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