Irish production with an ex-boxer working for a local drug family, who falls afoul of them when he fails to carry out a hit.
Torn by his loyalty to the family against that to his autistic son, our man, possessing no more than your average intellectual oomph, makes some decisions that upset all and sundry and he finds himself on the receiving end of everyone’s disdain and running from just about everyone and everything.
Gritty drama with good performances all round, and the dreariness of the environs add to the allure and sense of hopelessness of the central character’s plight. There is some violence depicted, and while in keeping with tone of the story, we still wince at some of the blows as rough justice is meted out on a bloke who screws up badly.
Overall, a little depressing and we’re left with a sense of wondering really what it’s all for, yet not a bad movie by any means.
This recent Netflix release has Jackie Chan and Pierce Brosnan locking horns over a bombing that takes out the former’s daughter. Expecting a typical Jackie romp, this one turned out to be anything but, and, albeit there’s a modicum of chop-socky in there, it’s all part of a quite classy action thriller.
Pierce-baby is an Irish politician with some nasty friends and Jackie-boy reckons he’s behind it all anyway, so resorts to a few Rambo-like shenanigans to expose the skullduggery. Lotsa intrigue, double-cross and general mayhem as we pick apart the threads and the bad guys finally get their just desserts, as they always do.
Both leads aging gracefully and this is nicely woven into the proceedings with Chan at 66 handling the rough and tumble pretty well considering he still does all his own stunts.
Good screenplay, not as predictable as most, and we garner a few mixed emotions when the good guys prove to be just as brutal as the baddies, Jackie excepted of course. Well worth a look if you’re a fan of the genre.
Making up for lost time with Netflix!
This one focuses on Jan and Antonina Żabiński, proprietors of the Warsaw Zoo and their exploits in hiding Jews during WWII. Kicking off with the German invasion in Sept 1939, following through to eventual liberation by the Russian Army and the aftermath, it depicts how 300 people passed through the zoo on their way to freedom and how the Żabińskis managed to cover it all up, fooling the occupying German forces and in particular, one nasty supposed colleague who proves to be just as much of an a**hole as the other Germans.
Nicely shot period piece with excellent performances all round especially by American actress Jessica Chastain, in the role of the aforementioned wife. Doesn’t descend into brutality like some of its ilk and we’re left with a sense of gratified success which is heightened by the fact the Żabińskis only ever lost two of their guests and that was after they had left the zoo.
Well worth a look if you’re looking for something to stream on a winter’s night, 8/10
WWII piece centred around Marcel Marceau and his time with the French Resistance, smuggling Jewish orphans out of France. And all under the nose of one Klaus Barbie, the butcher of Lyon.
Now, this review carries a warning: the movie contains some of the most tense scenes I’ve ever seen on film. It is brutal in its depiction without being bloodthirsty and much is left to the imagination, yet there is an obvious and a sublime horror generated by the portrayal of atrocities carried out by Barbie against the Jewish population of Lyon.
Jesse Eisenberg is brilliant as the mime Marceau, and German actor Matthias Schweighofer suitably vicious in the Barbie role. Supporting cast are all well-appointed and nicely contribute to creating the intensity such a movie needs to adequately convey its concept and message.
Awesome cinematography as Marceau and kids trek through snow-covered forest by night with Barbie and his Nazis hot on their tail.
Ed Harris cameos as General Patton at both the opening and the close of proceedings to set scene and round off in style.
Only the third time I’ve done this but I’m slapping a 10/10 on this one.
I'm a movie nut from way back with my first ever being The Hallelujah Trail from 1964. Ever since being mesmerized by the giant screen, the darkness that went on forever & the infernally uncomfortable seats + having to stand for God Save the Queen, I've been enticed ever since to duck into a theatre whenever I can for a few hours of escapism. My favourite movie of all time is Schindler's List, one of only two movies I've ever cried in (the other was Bambi when I was 6!) & I'm a sucker for a damn good comedy; Dumb & Dumber, The Hangover & Death at a Funeral stand out. I'm also a musician and work in IT. I have 4 grandchildren who also seem to enjoy their movie excursions with grandad. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.