REVIEW: NEVER LET ME GO

CAST

Keira Knightley (The Hole)
Carey Mulligan (An Education)
Andrew Garfield (The Amazing Spider-man)
Izzy Meikle-Small (Snow White and The Huntsman)
Ella Purnell (Kick-Ass 2)
Charlotte Rampling (Melancholia)
Sally Hawkins (Godzilla)
Andrea Riseborough (Birdman)
Domhnall Gleeson (Ex Machina)

The film begins with on-screen captions explaining that a medical breakthrough in 1952 has permitted the human lifespan to be extended beyond 100 years. It is narrated by 28-year-old Kathy H as she reminisces about her childhood at a boarding school called Hailsham, as well as her adult life after leaving the school. The first act of the film depicts the young Kathy, along with her friends Tommy and Ruth, spending their childhood at Hailsham in the late 1970s. The students are encouraged to create artwork, and their best work gets into The Gallery run by a mysterious woman known only as Madame. One day, a new teacher, Miss Lucy quietly informs the students of their fate; they are destined to be organ donors and will die, or “complete”, in their early adulthood. Shortly afterward she is sacked by the headmistress, Miss Emily for sharing this revelation with the children. As time passes, Kathy falls in love with Tommy, but Ruth and Tommy begin a relationship and stay together throughout the rest of their time at Hailsham.In the second act, Kathy, Ruth and Tommy, now teenagers, are rehoused in cottages on a farm in 1985. They are permitted to leave the grounds on day trips, but are resigned to their eventual fate. At the farm, they meet former pupils of schools similar to theirs, and it is revealed that they are all clones. They also hear rumours of the possibility of “deferral” – a temporary reprieve from organ donation for donors who are in love and can prove it. Tommy becomes convinced that The Gallery at Hailsham was intended to look into their souls and that artwork sent to The Gallery will be able to confirm true love where it is present. The relationship between Tommy and Ruth becomes sexual, and jealousy causes Kathy and Ruth to break their friendship. The lonely Kathy leaves and becomes a “carer” – a clone who is given a temporary reprieve from donation as a reward for supporting and comforting donors as they are made to give up their organs. Tommy and Ruth’s relationship ends.In the third and final act, 10 years later, Kathy is still working as a carer, and has watched many clones gradually die as their organs are harvested. Kathy, who has not seen Ruth or Tommy since the farm, discovers Ruth, frail after two donations. They find Tommy, who is also weakened by his donations, and drive to the sea. There, Ruth admits that she did not love Tommy, and only seduced him because she was afraid to be alone. She is consumed with guilt and has been searching for a way to help Tommy and Kathy. She believes that the rumours of “deferral” are true, and has found the address of the gallery owner, Madame from Hailsham, who she thinks may grant deferrals to couples in love. Ruth dies on the operating table shortly afterward.Kathy and Tommy finally begin a relationship. Tommy explains to Kathy that he has been creating art in the hope that it will aid deferral. He and Kathy drive to visit Madame, who lives with the headmistress of Hailsham. The two teachers tell them that there is no such thing as deferral, and that Tommy’s artworks will not help him. They explain that the purpose of The Gallery was not to look into their souls but to investigate whether the “all but human” clones even have souls at all; Hailsham was the last place to consider the ethical implications of the donor scheme. As they take in the news on their return journey, Tommy breaks down in an explosion of rage and frustration, and he and Kathy cling to each other in grief. The film ends with Tommy dying on the operating table. Kathy is left alone, waiting for her donations which will begin in a month. Contemplating the ruins of her childhood, she asks in voice-over whether her fate is really any different from the people who will receive her organs: after all, “we all complete”.This is an excellent film, one of the best of the 2010, and not to be missed by those who appreciate depth and literary quality.

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REVIEW: AN EDUCATION

CAST

Carey Mulligan (Drive)
Peter Sarsgaard (The Cell)
Dominic Cooper (Dracula Untold)
Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl)
Alfred Molina (Spider-Man 2)
Emma Thompson (Junior)
Olvia Williams (Dollhouse)
Cara Seymour (The Savages)
Sally Hawkins (Cassandra’s Dream)
Matthew Beard (The Imitation Game)
Ellie Kendrick (Game of Thrones)

In 1961 London, Jenny Mellor is a 16-year-old schoolgirl preparing for Oxford University when she meets a charming older man driving a Bristol 405, David Goldman, who pursues her romantically. He takes her to concerts, clubs and fine restaurants, easily charming and manipulating her parents into approving of the relationship. Later, Jenny discovers that David is a con man who makes money through a variety of shady practices. She is initially shocked but silences her misgivings in the face of David’s charm. Jenny’s parents invite Graham, a boy Jenny knows from Youth Orchestra, to Jenny’s birthday party but David arrives and Graham goes home. A few days later, David takes Jenny to Paris as a birthday gift, where she loses her virginity to him. When David proposes marriage, Jenny accepts and leaves school. However, she later discovers David is already married. When she reveals her discovery to David, he drops out of sight. Jenny despairs, feeling she has thrown her life away but, with the help of her favourite teacher, resumes her studies and is accepted at Oxford the following year.The screenplay is by Nick Hornby and, like all his books, he takes a low-key drama about quite ordinary people and turns it into a really witty and gripping story. The acting is superb on all fronts. All the other aspects of the film, such as the music and the portrayal of the 1960s setting (which looks really great on Blu-ray) are really well done. No one aspect of the film is absolutely amazing, but I thought the fact that every component of it is such high quality makes it an excellent and very watchable film. .

REVIEW: DRIVE (2011)

CAST
Ryan Gosling (Half Nelson)
Carey Mulligan (Wall Street 2)
Bryan Cranston (Godzilla)
Albert Brooks (This Is 40)
Oscar Isaac (Ex Machina)
Christina Hendricks (Mad Men)
Ron Perlman (Hellboy)
John Pyper-Ferguson (Caprica)
The unnamed driver (Ryan Gosling), who lives in an Echo Park, Los Angeles apartment, works repairing cars and as a part-time movie double. Managed in both jobs by auto shop owner Shannon (Bryan Cranston), the duo also provides a getaway driver service. With Shannon organizing the events, the driver gives criminals only five minutes to perpetrate robberies and reach his car. After meeting his new neighbor, Irene (Carey Mulligan), the driver soon becomes close to her and befriends her young son, Benicio (Kaden Leos), while Irene’s husband, Standard Gabriel (Oscar Isaac), is in prison. After her husband is freed, Irene still asks the driver to visit them.
Shannon persuades Jewish mobsters Bernie Rose (Albert Brooks) and Nino (Ron Perlman) to purchase a stock car chassis and build it for the driver to race. Irene’s husband, owing protection money from his time in prison, is beaten up by Albanian gangster Cook (James Biberi), who demands that Standard rob a pawnshop for $40,000 to pay the debt. The gangster gives the young boy Benicio a bullet as a symbol that he and his mother are in danger. The driver, concerned for the safety of Irene and Benicio, steals a Ford Mustang and offers to act as the getaway driver for the pawnshop job.
While waiting for Standard and Cook’s accomplice Blanche (Christina Hendricks) to complete the heist, the driver sees a custom Chrysler 300 pull into the parking lot. Blanche returns with a large bag, but Standard is shot in the back several times and killed by the pawnshop owner. The driver flees with Blanche and the money. They are pursued by the Chrysler, which bumps them but skids in the fast turns and eventually spins out. Eluding the other vehicle, the driver hides with Blanche in a motel. Learning that the bag contains a million dollars, yet the TV news reports the robbery as no money stolen, the driver threatens to beat Blanche, forcing her to admit she and Cook planned to re-steal the mysterious money with the Chrysler. Minutes later, two of Cook’s men ambush them in the motel room, killing Blanche and injuring the driver before he manages to kill them both.
At the auto shop, the driver’s arm is bandaged from the shotgun pellets; Shannon offers to hide the money, but the driver refuses. He hunts down Cook in a strip club, smashes his fingers with a hammer, and threatens to kill him, forcefeeding him the bullet that was given to Benicio; Cook reveals that Nino was behind the robbery. The driver decides to return the million but Nino dismisses the offer and instead sends a hitman (Jeff Wolfe) to the driver’s apartment building. Entering the elevator with Irene, the driver encounters the hitman and spots his pistol. The driver kisses Irene and then brutally beats the hitman to death. Irene exits horrified and stunned.
In his pizzeria, Nino reveals to Bernie that the money was stashed at the pawn shop by a low level Philadelphia wise guy from the “East Coast mob” and since anyone tied to the robbery could lead the East Coast Mafia to them, they need to kill everyone involved. Bernie warns Nino that nobody steals from the Italian Mob. Nino becomes angered and explains how the Italian Mob has, in part due to his Jewish heritage, continually marginalized and insulted him. At the end, he convinces Bernie to follow his plan. Bernie then proceeds to murder Cook with cutlery from the restaurant, as he is the sole witness to their agreement. After Shannon refuses to divulge the whereabouts of the driver, Bernie kills him at the auto shop with a straight razor from his collection of killing tools.
The driver, disguising himself with a rubber mask from his stuntman job, follows Nino from the pizzeria to the Pacific Coast Highway and T-bones Nino’s car onto a beach, then chases him from the wreck to the ocean and drowns him. The driver goes to meet Bernie at a Chinese restaurant. He makes a phone call to Irene to tell her he is leaving, saying that meeting her and Benicio was the best thing that ever happened to him. At the restaurant, Bernie promises that Irene will be safe in exchange for the money, but warns the driver must always be on the run. At his car, the driver gives Bernie the money but Bernie attempts to kill him, stabbing him in the stomach. The driver survives and fatally stabs Bernie in the neck, then drives away, abandoning the money bag alongside Bernie’s body. Irene knocks at the driver’s apartment, but gets no response. The driver is shown driving away into the night, closing the film.
This is one of the most impressive movies I have ever seen and I will explain why. The cinematography in this movie is flawless with beautiful long lasting shots that really add to the dark vibe running through the movie and car sequences filmed better than any other movie I have seen. The story is also a huge plus in this movie and despite the movie being a decent length it does a great job at introducing the main characters and through fantastic screenplay you can understand the characters and their motives, the pacing is spot on as well which really helps with immersion and I was engaged through out the movie. Also through Ryan Gosling’s fantastic performance and brilliant direction by Nicolas Refn you learn so much about the “the driver” played by Gosling through facial expressions and hand gestures that tell you how he feels in a certain situation whether it be very panicked, calm or angry and he is also a likeable character as well despite him saying so little. Other great performances in this movie from Bryan Cranston as always, also great performances from Albert Brooks and Ron Perlman who play convincing villain’s and also think Carey Mulligan was great in this movie as well. But the most impressive thing in this movie is how nothing feels fake whether it may small irrelevant things like what a character may say or action they do usually through violence you can see this has a genuine effect on a character and it is something they don’t enjoy doing but have no choice specially with the one the villain’s Albert Brooks and Gosling as well. lastly I want to mention the score which is very 80’s like but is very catchy and also has meaning through out the movie as well. Overall this movie doesn’t gloss over anything whether it may the violence or anything else this movie is hugely entertaining movie and engaging movie which by far deserves a 5/5 in my opinion and despite it not being for everyone. if you like slower paced movies which are thrilling, violent, dark, extremely engaging and have compelling characters this is for you

REVIEW: WALL STREET 1 & 2

CAST
Charlie Sheen (Hot Shots)
Michael Douglas (Ant-Man)
John C. McGinley (Highlander 2)
Hal Holbrook (Lincoln)
James Karen (Hercules In New York)
Tamara Tunie (Flight)
Martin Sheen (The West Wing)
Terence Stamp (Superman 2)
Daryl Hannah (Kill BIll)
Sual Rubinek (Memory Run)
In 1985, Bud Fox (Charlie Sheen) is working as a junior stockbroker in New York City at Jackson Steinem & Co. He wants to work with his hero, Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas), a legendary Wall Street player. After calling Gekko’s office 59 days in a row trying to land an appointment, Bud visits Gekko on his birthday with a box of Gekko’s favorite, contraband Cuban cigars. Impressed at his sheer boldness, Gekko grants Bud an interview. Bud pitches him stocks, but Gekko is unimpressed. Desperate, Bud provides him some inside information about Bluestar Airlines, which Bud learned in a casual conversation from his father, Carl (Martin Sheen), the union leader for the company’s workers. Intrigued, Gekko tells Bud he will think about it, but also that he “[looks] at a hundred deals a day,” but “[chooses] one.” A dejected Bud returns to his office. However, Gekko places an order for Bluestar stock and becomes one of Bud’s clients. Gekko gives Bud some capital to manage, but the other stocks Bud selects lose money.
Gekko gives Bud another chance, and tells him to spy on British CEO Sir Lawrence Wildman (Terence Stamp) and discern Wildman’s next move. Bud learns that Wildman is making a bid for a steel company. Through Bud’s spying, Gekko makes big money, and Wildman is forced to buy Gekko’s shares off him to complete his takeover. Bud becomes wealthy, enjoying Gekko’s promised perks, including a penthouse on Manhattan’s Upper East Side and a trophy girlfriend, interior decorator Darien (Daryl Hannah). Bud is promoted to a senior stockbroker as a result of the large commission fees he is bringing in from Gekko’s trading, and is given a corner office with a view. He continues to maximize inside information and use friends as straw buyers to provide more income for him and Gekko. Unknown to Bud, several of his trades attract the attention of the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Bud pitches a new idea to Gekko: buy Bluestar Airlines and expand the company, with Bud as president, using savings achieved by union concessions and the overfunded pension. Even though Bud is unable to persuade his father to support him and Gekko, he is able to get the unions to push for the deal. Soon afterward, Bud learns that Gekko plans to dissolve the company and sell off Bluestar’s assets in order to access cash in the company’s pension plan, leaving Carl and the entire Bluestar staff unemployed. Although this would leave Bud as a very rich man, he is angered by Gekko’s deceit and racked with the guilt of being an accessory to Bluestar’s impending destruction, especially after his father suffers a heart attack. Bud resolves to disrupt Gekko’s plans, and breaks up with Darien when she refuses to go against Gekko, her former lover.
Bud devises a plan to drive up Bluestar’s stock before manipulating it back down. He and the other union presidents then secretly meet with Wildman and arrange for him to buy controlling interest in Bluestar at a significant discount. Gekko, realizing that his stock is plummeting, dumps his remaining interest in the company on Bud’s advice. However, when Gekko learns on the evening news that Wildman is buying Bluestar, he realizes that Bud engineered the entire scheme. Bud triumphantly goes back to work at Jackson Steinem the following day, only to be arrested for insider trading.
Sometime later, Bud confronts Gekko in Central Park. Gekko berates him for his role with Bluestar and accusing him of ingratitude for several of their illicit trades. Following the confrontation, it is revealed that Bud has turned state’s evidence and was wearing a wire to record his encounter with Gekko. He turns the wire tapes over to the authorities, who suggest that he may get a lighter sentence in exchange for helping them make a case against Gekko. Later on, Bud’s parents drive him down FDR Drive towards the Supreme Court Building downtown to answer for the crimes he committed under Gekko’s influence. Carl tells him he did right in saving the airline. The film ends with Bud going up the steps of the courthouse, knowing that while he is likely going to prison and his career is ruined, he now has a clear conscience.
This is a great movie, and well captured by Stone, who himself had a father who was in the business and wanted to make a “business movie”, to look at the bad guys of the system, and how people’s simple needs often outweigh what they feel is right.
CAST
Michael Douglas (Traffic)
Shia LaBeouf (Eagle Eye)
Carey Mulligan (Drive)
Josh Brolin (Planet Terror)
Frank Langella (Masters of The Universe)
Jason Clarke (Terminator Genisys)
Charlie Sheen (Rated X)
Eli Wallach (The Godfather- Part III)
Susan Sarandon (Tammy)
In 2001, Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas) is released from prison after serving eight years for insider trading and securities fraud. Seven years later, Gekko is promoting his new book Is Greed Good?, warning about the coming economic downturn. His estranged daughter, Winnie (Carey Mulligan), runs a small, non-profit news website and is dating Jacob Moore (Shia LaBeouf), a top proprietary trader at Keller Zabel Investments (KZI). Jacob is a protégé of managing director Louis Zabel (Frank Langella), and is trying to raise money for a fusion research project which would create massive amounts of clean energy for the world. Jake is also financially assisting his mother (Susan Sarandon), who has begun a new career selling real estate.
When the recession of 2008 hits, Keller Zabel’s stock loses more than 50% of its value. Louis Zabel tries to arrange a bailout for KZI from other Wall Street banks but is blocked by Bretton James (Josh Brolin), head of rival firm Churchill Schwartz, which Louis Zabel had refused to bail out eight years earlier. Zabel kills himself by jumping in front of a subway train because he cannot handle the stress and embarrassment of losing his company.
A distraught Jacob proposes marriage to Winnie, who accepts, then attends a lecture given by Gordon Gekko and introduces himself afterward. Gekko tells him that Keller Zabel’s collapse started when rumors of the company having toxic debt started to spread. Jacob and Gekko arrange a trade: Jacob will try to reconcile Winnie’s and Gekko’s relationship, and Gekko will gather information to destroy Bretton’s career to seek revenge for Zabel’s suicide.
Jake, aided by Gekko, learns that Bretton James profited from the Keller Zabel collapse. In revenge, Jake spreads rumors about the nationalization of an African oil field owned by Churchill Schwartz. The company loses $120 million, but Bretton offers Jake a job, impressed by his initiative. In his new position, Jake convinces Chinese investors to fund the fusion research by Dr. Masters (Austin Pendleton) he has been supporting. Bretton is impressed even more.
Jake attends a fundraiser with Winnie and pays for a seat at a table for Gekko priced at $10,000. Gekko confronts Bretton about what he did to him and also to Zabel. Bretton mocks him that no one cares what Gekko knows or thinks anymore. Gekko also bumps into Bud Fox (Charlie Sheen), and they discuss their shared experience going to jail. Gekko then follows Winnie outside, where she explains why she blames him for everything that went wrong, particularly her brother Rudy’s suicide. Gekko claims he paid for the best therapists and even paid off a drug dealer to stop selling to Rudy, who died from an overdose. Winnie forgives him somewhat.
As the economy starts to crumble, Bretton and business mentor Julius Steinhardt (Eli Wallach) advise federal regulators what drastic actions must be taken. Jake’s mother continues to come to him for large sums of money. Winnie then announces to Jake she is pregnant with a boy. After riding motorcycles together, Bretton reveals to Jake that the Chinese investment is going into solar panels and fossil fuels instead of fusion research, leaving Jake furious and feeling betrayed.
Gekko proposes a solution, using a $100 million trust fund account in Switzerland, which Gekko set up for Winnie in the 1980s, to fund the research and save the company. She signs the money over to Jake, who then entrusts it to Gekko to legitimize the funds for investment in the fusion research company. However, the money never arrives, and Gekko betrays his daughter and Jake by leaving the country with Winnie’s $100 million. Jake realizes that Gekko has been using him to get the money in the account for his own gain. Winnie then tells Jake to leave, no longer trusting him. Gekko is now in London, running a hugely successful hedgefund-like financial company, capitalized by the $100 million. Jake travels there to propose one last trade: Winnie gets her money back, and Gekko can participate in his grandson’s life. Gekko, however, refuses.
Jake pieces together everything from Keller Zabel’s collapse to the economic bailout of Bretton’s company and gives the information to Winnie, telling her that revealing it will bring her website publicity and credibility. Winnie runs the story, and Bretton James is exposed. The investors, including Steinhardt, promptly abandon Bretton and go to Gekko on the back of his $1.1 billion return as Bretton finds himself under intense legal scrutiny by the government. Jake has successfully reunited with Winnie in New York, when late one night Gekko appears and tells them that he deposited $100 million into the fusion research’s account anonymously. He apologizes to them. One year later, Gekko is seen at his grandson Louis’s first birthday party, along with Jacob’s mother and Jacob and Winnie’s friends.
Not quite as good as the first Wall Street, but good enough in presenting a quintessential villain as an expository mouthpiece for the many failings of Western capitalism.

REVIEW: PUBLIC ENEMIES

CAST
Christian Bale (Batman Begins)
Johnny Depp (Dark Shadows)
Marion Cotillard (The Dark Knight Rises)
David Wenham (Van Helsing)
Jason Clarke (Dawn of The Planet of The Apes)
Christian Solte (Road To Perdition)
Stephen Dorff (Blade)
Channing Tatum (G.I. Joe)
Carey Mulligan (Wall Street 2)
Emilie De Ravin (Roswell)Giovanni Ribisi (Ted)
Billy Crudup (Watchmen)
Shawn Hatosy (Alpha Dog)
Lili Taylor (The Conjuring)
Leelee Sobieski (Roadkill)
After killing Charles Floyd (Channing Tatum), FBI agent Melvin Purvis (Bale) is promoted by J. Edgar Hoover (Crudup) to lead the hunt for bank robber John Dillinger (Depp). Purvis shares Hoover’s belief in using scientific methods to battle crime, ranging from cataloging fingerprints to tapping telephone lines.
In between a series of bank robberies, Dillinger meets Billie Frechette (Cotillard) at a restaurant and woos her by buying her a fur coat. Frechette falls for Dillinger even after he reveals his identity, and the two become inseparable.
Purvis leads a failed ambush at a hotel where he believes Dillinger is staying, and an agent is killed by Baby Face Nelson (Graham), who escapes with Tommy Caroll (Garrett). Purvis requests that Hoover bring in professional lawmen who know how to catch criminals dead or alive, including Texan Charles Winstead (Lang).
Police arrest Dillinger and his gang in Tucson, Arizona, after a fire breaks out at the Hotel Congress, where they are staying. Dillinger is extradited to Indiana, where Sheriff Lillian Holley (Taylor) has him locked up in the Lake County Jail in Crown Point. Dillinger and other inmates use a fake gun to escape. Dillinger is unable to see Frechette, who is under tight surveillance. Dillinger learns that Frank Nitti’s (Camp) associates are unwilling to help because his crimes are motivating the FBI to prosecute interstate crime, which imperils Nitti’s bookmaking racket, thus severing his connections with the Mafia.
Carroll goads Dillinger into robbing a bank in Sioux Falls with Baby Face Nelson. During their escape, both Dillinger and Carroll are shot, and they have to leave Carroll behind. The group retreats to the Little Bohemia Lodge in Manitowish Waters, Wisconsin and realize their haul is significantly less than Nelson said it would be. Dillinger hopes he can free the rest of his gang from prison, including Pierpont (Wenham) and Makley (Stolte), but Red Hamilton (Clarke) convinces him this is unlikely.
Purvis and his men apprehend Carroll and torture him to learn the gang’s location. Purvis organizes an ambush at Little Bohemia. Dillinger and Hamilton escape separately from the rest of the gang. Agents Winstead and Hurt (Frye) pursue Dillinger and Hamilton through the woods, engaging in a gunfight in which Hamilton is fatally wounded. Trying to escape, Nelson, Shouse, and Van Meter hijack a Bureau car, killing Purvis’ partner Carter Baum (Cochrane) in the process. After a car chase, Purvis and his men kill Nelson and the rest of the gang. Hamilton dies that night. Dillinger meets Frechette, telling her he plans to commit one more robbery that will pay enough for them to escape together. When Dillinger drops her off at a tavern he thinks is safe, she is arrested. Frechette is beaten during interrogation to learn Dillinger’s whereabouts, which she does not reveal; Purvis and Winstead eventually arrive and intervene. Dillinger agrees to participate in a train robbery with Alvin Karpis (Ribisi) and the Barker Gang, intending to flee the country the next day. He receives a note from Billie through her lawyer, Louis Piquett (Gerety), telling him not to try to break her out of jail.
Through Zarkovich, Purvis enlists the help of madam and Dillinger acquaintance Anna Sage (Katić), threatening her with deportation if she does not cooperate. She agrees to set up Dillinger, who she believes will come to hide out with her. Dillinger and Sage see Manhattan Melodrama at the Biograph Theater. After the film, Purvis signals other agents upon seeing them leave. Dillinger spots the police but is shot before he can draw his gun. Winstead listens to Dillinger’s last words. Purvis goes to inform Hoover of Dillinger’s death. Winstead tells Frechette, still incarcerated, that he thinks Dillinger’s dying words were, “Tell Billie for me, ‘Bye bye Blackbird'”. Billie sheds a tear – ‘Bye Bye Blackbird’ was the song the houseband was playing when Billie and Dillinger first met each other and danced together in a dinner-club. The closing text reveals that Melvin Purvis quit the FBI in 1935 and died by his own hand in 1960, and that Billie lived out the rest of her life in Wisconsin following her release in 1936.
 Depp at his best. Not too be underrated,  A really enjoyable film.