REVIEW: CENTURION

 

CAST

Michael Fassbender (X-Men: Apocalypse)
Olga Kurylenko (Hitman)
Dominic West (Punisher: Warzone)
Liam Cunningham (Game of Thrones)
David Morrissey (Blitz)
JJ Feild (Last Orders)
Noel Clarke (4.3.2.1.)
Riz Ahmed (Venom)
Ulrich Thomsen (The Thing)
Imogen Poots (Need for Speed)
Paul Freeman (MMPR: The Movie)
Rachael Stirling (Snow White & The Huntsman)
Peter Guinness (Sleepy Hollow)

Michael Fassbender in Centurion (2010)Beginning in 117 AD, the narrative opens with a Roman soldier fleeing across a snowy landscape, saying: “My name is Quintus Dias. I am a soldier of Rome, and this is neither the beginning, nor the end of my story.”Dominic West and Olga Kurylenko in Centurion (2010)The Romans have been unable to fully conquer Britain, meeting the fiercest resistance in the north, reaching a harsh stalemate that’s lasted a gruelling twenty years. The Picts of Alba are engaging in a guerrilla campaign against the Roman forts along the Glenblocker line and the Gask Ridge at the southern border of the Scottish Highlands. At the Roman outpost of Pinnata Castra, Pictish warriors led by Vortix and Aeron force surprise and kill the entire garrison, taking only one survivor for questioning, the second-in-command, Centurion Quintus Dias, because he can speak the Pictish tongue. Dias is brought before the Pictish king Gorlacon, who has united the northern tribes. Dias is brutally interrogated, but two weeks later escapes on foot.However, a messenger dispatched by the fort’s commander has reached Gnaeus Julius Agricola, the Roman governor of Britannia, who wants to obtain favour with the Roman Senate, hoping to secure a transfer back to the comforts of Rome. He dispatches the Ninth Legion, under General Titus Flavius Virilus, to eradicate the Pictish threat and provides him with a female Celtic Brigantian scout called Etain. As the legion marches north it encounters Dias and rescues him from his pursuers, saving his neck just in the nick of time.Dominic West in Centurion (2010)Etain betrays the legion to King Gorlacon by leading them into an ambush where, surprised by a rolling legion of massive flaming pitch-wood ‘boulders’, they are easily annihilated. The wounded general is captured. Dias is one of the few survivors, along with the legionaries Bothos, Thax, Brick, Macros and Leonidas (a Greek), and Tarak (a mere cook). They set out to rescue general Virilus and, after a few days’ travel, they find him at Gorlacon’s village and sneak in at nightfall. However, they are unable to break his chains and he orders them to leave him and get back to Roman territory. During the attack, Thax, taking shelter in Gorlacon’s hut, suffocates the king’s young son, who had spotted them, to prevent him crying out.The next morning, Gorlacon burns his son’s body on a funeral pyre and forces General Virilus to fight Etain in single combat. Etain, who as a child witnessed her parents brutally raped and slaughtered by the Romans; and now on a vendetta, kills him with a spear through the heart. Gorlacon then sends her after the fleeing legionaries at the head of a small group of mounted warriors, including Vortix and Aeron, to seek revenge for his son’s death.Imogen Poots in Centurion (2010)The seven Romans plan to travel north (away from Roman territory) to throw the Picts off their trail, then head west, and then back south. After several days’ pursuit, the Picts being excellent trackers, continually catch up with the fugitives, who jump off a cliff into a river to escape them, (although Tarak, who had broken his foot, is killed before he can jump). Macros and Thax become separated from the others. Dias and his group camp for the night, while their trackers set up camp across the river. Dias and Brick launch a night raid on the enemy camp, killing two men and severely wounding a third, from whom they discover that they are being pursued because of the death of Gorlacon’s son, which scoundrel Thax had kept secret. However, Etain has launched her own attack on the Romans’ campsite. Dias and Brick return to their camp to discover Leonidas dead and Bothos severely wounded.Michael Fassbender in Centurion (2010)Macros and Thax are now running from a wolf pack. Thax pretends to fall, with the wolves in close pursuit, and cries out to his comrade for help. Macros returns to help him and a traitorous Thax hamstrings him to prevent him from standing, allowing Thax to escape while the wolves attack and devour Macros. Dias, Bothos and Brick find a hut in the forest belonging to Arianne, a Pictish exile accused of witchcraft who has learned Latin from the soldiers at a nearby Roman frontier outpost. She shelters them, providing food, and medical attention for Bothos. When Etain and her warriors arrive the following day, Arianne confronts her while the Romans hide in her grain store under the floorboards. The next morning they leave Arianne, who provides them with enough food to travel to the outpost. Arianne, having become fond of Dias, is saddened to see him go; left again to her solitude.Olga Kurylenko in Centurion (2010)They find the outpost abandoned, with an order pinned to a post saying that the Roman troops have retreated south, by the orders of the Emperor Hadrian. Seeing Etain and her warriors approaching and fed up with running, they set up a defensive position inside the fort. Brick is killed, but the three Romans kill Vortix, Aeron, and the rest of the Picts, with Dias ending the fight by killing Etain.Centurion (2010)Taking the Picts’ horses, Dias and Bothos continue southwards and en route are reunited with Thax. Upon reaching Hadrian’s Wall, which is now under construction, Thax, afraid that he will report his dishonourable actions, threatens Dias and they fight, with Dias overpowering and choking Thax to death. Bothos, joyfully riding towards the Romans, is mistaken for a charging Pict (because of his pelted tunic instead of armour) and is shot by an archer. Dias is outraged and crestfallen at the worthlessness of it all. He reports to Agricola, who is concerned that news of the legion’s annihilation might cause other tribes to rise up against them. He is also fearful of his record and status being tainted by a military failure, and decides that the Ninth Legion’s fate should remain a mystery and that Dias must be silenced/killed. Centurion (2010)Dias, however, manages to foil the attempt on his life by Agricola’s daughter Druzilla, although he is badly wounded in the thigh during the fracas. Disgusted at their treatment of their own ‘heroes’ and disillusioned by their ‘true colours’, he knocks Druzilla unconscious with a punch then escapes from the camp and returns to where he realises “he belongs”, back to Arianne in the forest. As the weakened Dias lies in her arms by the stream, his life in her hands once again, he and Arianne kiss. The film ends with Quintus Dias adjusting the narrative of the film’s opening line: My name is Quintus Dias. I am a fugitive of Rome, and this is neither the beginning, nor the end of my story.”UntitledNeither side is portrayed as the “good guys” or the “bad guys”, and to me, that brought a sense of realism with it. This is a bloody film, with heads rolling and a plethora of fighting, so don’t bring the kiddies. I watched it On Demand, but I might go see it again in the theater.

REVIEW: BLITZ

CAST

Jason Statham (Hummingbird)
Paddy Considine (The World’s End)
Aidan Gillen (Game of Thrones)
David Morrissey (The Reaping)
Zawe Ashton (Nocturnal Animals)
Luke Evans (Dracula Untold)
Mark Rylance (Dunkirk)
Joe Dempsie (Game of Thrones)
Christina Cole (Hex)
Ian Hughes (Power Rangers Ninja Steel)
Ned Dennehy (Good Omens)

Jason Statham in Blitz (2011)A serial killer is targeting police officers in South East London. After two police constables are shot dead and Chief Inspector Bruce Roberts (Rylance) is bludgeoned to death, the hunt for his identity begins. Sergeant Porter Nash (Considine) is transferred to the South East London branch of the police to head the investigation, even though Nash is an outsider and widely ridiculed by his fellow officers for being openly gay. To his surprise he finds an unlikely ally in the hot-headed, gruff Detective Sergeant Tom Brant (Statham), who has a history of violent incidents.Jason Statham in Blitz (2011)While the investigation is ongoing, PC Elizabeth Falls (Ashton) is visited by a friend, a young gang member nicknamed Metal, who is afraid his gang might have actually killed someone. Promising him to look into the situation, Falls contacts Detective Inspector Craig Stokes (Evans), who agrees to help if Falls goes on a date with him. One of Brant’s informants, Radnor (Dennehy), points Brant and Nash towards a man named Barry Weiss (Gillen) who recently bragged about setting a police dog on fire, “for practice”. Although Brant and Nash visit Weiss’ flat, they cannot immediately find any evidence against him. Brant does recognize Weiss as the man he beat up in a fight in a billiard hall a year earlier. Unknown to either of them, Radnor decides to conduct an investigation of his own and eventually discovers the seemingly abandoned car where Weiss keeps the trophies of his kills, confirming that Weiss is the killer.Jason Statham in Blitz (2011)Meanwhile, Weiss contacts a newspaper reporter, Harold Dunlop (Morrissey), to make sure his murders get enough coverage in the press. Weiss promises to keep Dunlop updated about his murders and declares he wishes to be known as Blitz. Soon after, Dunlop is also contacted by Radnor who is interested in selling his information for a high price. Although Radnor leads Dunlop to Weiss’ car, he is killed by Weiss before he can disclose Weiss’ name. Dunlop then alerts the police to the car, but they find it empty. Brant and a fellow police constable come to realize that all of Blitz’s victims so far have been police officers who have arrested Weiss in the past and that PC Falls is most likely the next victim. Falls, after coming home from her date with Stokes, is attacked by Weiss but saved by Metal, who is killed in the ensuing struggle. Before Weiss can attack Falls again, the police arrive.Jason Statham and Paddy Considine in Blitz (2011)Brant and Nash decide to release a picture of Weiss to the media to flush him out, which eventually, after a lengthy chase, leads to Weiss’ capture. There is no concrete evidence against Weiss however, so after 48 hours and an interrogation which does not yield results, the police are forced to let Weiss go. Exasperated, Brant and Nash devise a plot to trick Weiss, knowing that Weiss will want to take revenge on Brant for the billiard hall fight. Weiss infiltrates the funeral of Chief Inspector Roberts, dressed in Roberts’ uniform which he had stolen after murdering him. During the service, Brant leaves, followed by Weiss. Brant leads Weiss to the top of a parking garage, only to reveal that Brant and Nash had switched places along the route. Surprised by a hidden Brant, Weiss is overpowered and relieved of his gun. Explaining that they will never find enough evidence to convict Weiss legally, Brant concludes that they are now in a convenient situation: since Weiss is dressed as a police officer, and Brant has Blitz’s gun, they can shoot him with his own gun, and it will look as if Weiss was just another of Blitz’s victims.Jason Statham in Blitz (2011)Nobody is going to be winning any awards for this one, but it was an entertaining watch. .

 

HALLOWEEN OF HORROR REVIEW: THE REAPING

 

CAST

Hilary Swank (Million Dollar Baby)
David Morrissey (Blitz)
AnnaSophia Robb (Soul Surfer)
Idris Elba (Thor)
Stephen Rea (V For Vendetta)

Katherine Winter (Hilary Swank) and colleague, Ben (Idris Elba), investigate and disprove claims of miracles. In Louisiana, Katherine receives a call from a friend, Father Michael Costigan (Stephen Rea), who says that his photographs of her have developed burn marks that when assembled, form a sickle-like symbol, a possible warning from God, which she ignores. She meets Doug Blackwell (David Morrissey), a teacher from the nearby town of Haven, who asks Katherine to find out why Haven’s river has turned red. The locals believe this is a biblical plague caused by a girl, Loren McConnell (AnnaSophia Robb), who they believe killed her older brother in the river. They travel to Haven where Katherine meets Loren and has a vision of her turning the river red. Meanwhile, Ben witnesses dead frogs seemingly fall from the sky. Doug invites them to spend the night at his house, since the town doesn’t have a motel. That night as they’re about to eat dinner, they encounter flies and disease, which kills off local cows. Later that evening, Katherine explains to Doug at his wife’s grave why she left the church; five years ago, she was an ordained minister. After a drought while doing missionary work in the Sudan with her husband and daughter, the locals sacrificed her family, believing they were the cause. That night, Katherine and Doug have sex.Test results from the river prove it to contain human blood. The citizens meanwhile are shaving their children’s heads, due to an outbreak of lice. Ben and Doug try to get the mayor to evacuate the town, but he and his staff are struck down with boils.Katherine calls Father Costigan, who explains that he has researched a Satanic cult which sacrifices every second-born to create a child with “the eyes of the Devil” to bring them power. He also states that an angel, who cannot be harmed by the cult, will destroy them. He insists that Loren is the devil child, while Katherine is the angel. Suddenly, a supernatural force burns Costigan’s room, killing him. Katherine goes to the McConnell house where she finds the cult’s sacrificial chamber. There, she finds Loren’s mother, who pulls out a gun and kills herself. Katherine grabs a knife and proceeds outside to find locusts everywhere as well as a small posse come to kill Loren, which Ben and Doug followed. Suddenly, the locusts attack and kill the posse members; Doug runs away and falls in the blood-filled river; Katherine locks herself in the house; Ben hides in a crypt, where he discovers skeletons and bodies of sacrificed children. He calls Katherine, when Loren appears outside.Katherine hurries after Ben, but finds him dead. She confronts Loren as darkness falls and fireballs shoot from the sky. Katherine is about to kill Loren, when they share another vision. The cult, along with Doug, are shown trying to kill Loren, who was a second-born child. Loren escaped and her brother Brody stabbed her, but her wound miraculously healed, and Brody died. Katherine realizes that Loren is innocent and that she is the angel God sent. The townsfolk surround them as Doug tells her that God is protecting Loren, and only an ordained servant of God like Katherine can kill her. He explains that they invited Katherine to investigate the plagues because they hoped she would join them, since she had turned her back on God like they did. Katherine refuses, reminding them that they had sacrificed generations of second-borns, leaving a town of firstborns. Suddenly fire rains down on the town, killing everyone, including Doug.Later, as they drive away, Loren tells Katherine that she is pregnant. As this is her second child, Katherine realizes that her son, whose father is Doug, is the prophesied demonic child.It has a good story and some good acting talent on show, the effects especially for the plaques are very well done. It does start a little slow but it soon builds up to a great ending with a few twists along the way. Perfect for an evenings entertainment.

REVIEW: GOOD OMENS

Michael Sheen and David Tennant in Good Omens (2019)

Starring

David Tennant (Mary Queen of Scots)
Michael Sheen (Passengers)
Anna Maxwell Martin (Motherland)
Jon Hamm (Baby Driver)
Josie Lawrence (Humans)
Lourdes Faberes (Knightfall)
Adria Arjona (Life of The Party)
Michael McKean (This Is Spinal Tap)
Jack Whitehall (Bad Education)
Miranda Richardson (Sleepy Hollow)
Mireille Enos (Hanna TV)
Yusuf Gatewood (The Originals)
Brian Cox (Rise of TPOA)
Reece Shearsmith (Stag)
Nina Sosanya (Marcella)
Ned Dennehy (Peaky Blinders)
Ariyon Bakare (Rogue One)
Frances McDormand (Fargo)
Derek Jacobi (Gladiator)
Benedict Cumberbatch (The Grinch)
Steve Pemberton (Psychoville)
Mark Gatiss (Game of Thrones)
Nick Offerman (The Lego Movie 2)
Daniel Mays (The Bank Job)
Sian Brooke (Sherlock)
Simon Merrells (Legends of Tomorrow)
Susan Brown (Game of Thrones)
Paul Kaye (Anna and the Apocalypse)
David Morrissey (The Walking Dead)

Michael Sheen and David Tennant in Good Omens (2019)Once upon a time, Good Omens was considered unadaptable. Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett’s sprawling, 400-page fantasy novel was notorious within the film and TV industries. Screenwriters turned their noses up at the project, and various attempts over the years to bring page to screen ended in disappointment. However, an adaptation of the unadaptable proved to be Pratchett’s last request to his co-author before he died in 2015, and Gaiman set about writing the screenplay for what would become an epic six-part BBC/Amazon co-production.Michael Sheen and David Tennant in Good Omens (2019)So first things first: was the unadaptable, well, adaptable, after all? The short answer is, yes. Gaiman — also showrunner on the series — has pulled off a colourful, quirky, funny, poignant (although not entirely flawless) feat. One might even suspect there’s been a spot of divine (or devilish) intervention… The true triumph is the casting. Michael Sheen shines (quite literally, in some scenes) as the angel Aziraphale, a celestial field agent who teams up with his opposite number, the stylish demon Crowley — played with a Bill Nighy-esque swagger by David Tennant — in order to prevent Armageddon.Michael Sheen and David Tennant in Good Omens (2019)It’s this pairing that proves to be the beating heart of the series. Crowley and Aziraphale have been on Earth since the very beginning, and in their own ways they’ve both “gone native”. Aziraphale owns a Soho bookshop, and likes gravlax salmon with dill sauce. Crowley drives a pristine 1926 Bentley and listens to Queen. They’ve formed a professional agreement not to meddle in each other’s affairs, and in their spare time they’ve enjoyed a series of rather nice clandestine lunches. Every time either actor appears onscreen, you can almost hear the costume department’s (and fandom’s) squeals of joy. David Tennant in snakeskin boots! Michael Sheen with artfully tousled bleached hair! A tartan bow tie! Tennant also sports appropriately flame-red hair (not in the books, but worth it for Doctor Who fans’ realisation that the Tenth Doctor finally got his wish) that frequently changes style. In one particularly memorable moment during episode one, Crowley disguises himself as a bobbed-haired nanny, a Satanic crossover between Nanny McPhee and Mrs Doubtfire.good-omensHe and Aziraphale have a teasing, love/hate relationship that fans of the book have shipped for almost two decades. Gaiman has since promised that “the TV series gets deeper into Crowley and Aziraphale’s relationship,” and some viewers will be hoping that that will translate into a burgeoning romance. Certainly in episode one, Aziraphale seems rather overexcited at the prospect of he and Crowley becoming joint “godfathers” to the infant Antichrist, whose arrival on Earth threatens to catalyse the apocalypse. Gabriel has bright purple irises in the series, a nod to Elizabeth Taylor’s legendary lilac eyes according to the show’s companion book, The Nice and Accurate Good Omens TV Companion. However, as anyone who’s worn thick coloured lenses for Halloween and lived to tell the tale will know, the effect is rather distracting and painful to look at, as are Crowley’s reptilian yellow eyes (thankfully hidden away under trendy shades for much of the show). Gabriel barely appears in the book, and he’s a welcome and much-needed addition to the series: someone to put the proverbial heat on Aziraphale.Michael Sheen and David Tennant in Good Omens (2019)Various sets are also new for the TV show: Heaven is now a vast corporate headquarters, while Hell resembles an overcrowded basement office. A rather gloomier version of The IT Crowd, if you will. Some of the show’s special effects can feel a bit hammy (think Russell T Davies-era Doctor Who with a couple of rubber frogs thrown in), but the scene depicting the entrances to both Heaven and Hell features a pretty cool bit of cinematography, including a mirror effect and an upside-down Tennant. However, despite the addition of characters like Gabriel, much of the show remains doggedly faithful to the books. Reams of dialogue are almost word-for-word during episode one, to the extent that there are certain moments and scenes where one feels that the show’s pace has been sacrificed in favour of preserving the ‘voice’ of the book. Of course, it’s understandable given the circumstances — Gaiman has spoken about the pressure to protect Pratchett’s narrative creations in his absence. For example, he made sure that one of Pratchett’s characters, the 17th century witch Agnes Nutter, remained in the show despite calls to replace her (and an expensive, explosive period shoot) with a series of woodcuts.good-omens-key-art-600x314In Agnes’s case, it makes sense to preserve her: her spookily accurate prophecies drive much of the plot and predict the present-day apocalypse. But there are chunks of God’s narration (voiced by Oscar-winner Frances McDormand) that feel a bit laboured. Some sections, like the bit about demons’ talents for “lurking” around graveyards, must have read well on the page in that distinctive Terry/Neil voice, but in reality they fall rather flat — much like a certain angel’s misguided attempts to pull a rabbit out of a top hat at a children’s birthday party. At the end of the day, however (and according to Agnes Nutter, there aren’t many more days left), the series is a love letter to the book, combining Gaiman and Pratchett’s brilliant characterisation and quippy jokes with vivid, gorgeous sets and memorable costumes.

 

 

REVIEW: THE OTHER BOLEYN GIRL

CAST

Natalie Portman (Thor)
Scarlett Johansson (Lucy)
Eric Bana (Hanna)
Jim Sturgess (Across The Universe)
Mark Rylance (Wolf Hall)
Kristin Scott Thomas (Mission Impossible)
David Morrissey (Basic Instinct 2)
Benedict Cumberbatch (Doctor Strange)
Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything)
Juno Temple (Horns)
Andrew Garfield (The Amazing Spider-Man)
Alfie Allen (Game of Thrones)

King Henry VIII’s (Eric Bana) marriage to Catherine of Aragon (Ana Torrent) does not produce a male heir to the throne; their only surviving daughter is Mary (Constance Stride). Thomas Howard, Duke of Norfolk (David Morrissey) and his brother in law Thomas Boleyn (Mark Rylance), plan to install Boleyn’s older daughter Anne Boleyn (Natalie Portman), as the king’s mistress. They hope Anne will bear him a son. Anne’s mother, Lady Elizabeth Boleyn (Kristin Scott Thomas), is disgusted by the plot. Anne eventually agrees to please her father and uncle. Anne’s younger sister, Mary Boleyn (Scarlett Johansson), marries William Carey (Benedict Cumberbatch), even though his family had asked for Anne’s hand.

While visiting the Boleyn estate, Henry is injured in a hunting accident, indirectly caused by Anne, and, urged by her scheming uncle, is nursed by Mary. While in her care, Henry becomes smitten with her and invites her to court. Mary and her husband reluctantly agree, aware that the king has invited her because he desires her. Mary and Anne become ladies-in-waiting to Queen Catherine and Henry sends William Carey abroad on an assignment. Separated from her husband, Mary finds herself falling in love with Henry. Anne secretly marries the nobleman Henry Percy (Oliver Coleman), although he is betrothed to Lady Mary Talbot. Anne confides in her brother George Boleyn (Jim Sturgess), who is overjoyed and proceeds to tell Mary. Fearing Anne will ruin the Boleyn family by marrying such a prominent earl without the king’s consent, Mary alerts her father and uncle. They confront Anne, annul the marriage, and exile her to France.

Mary becomes pregnant. Her family receives new grants and estates, their debts are paid, and Henry arranges George’s marriage to Jane Parker. When Mary nearly suffers a miscarriage, she is confined to bed until her child is born. Norfolk recalls Anne to England to keep Henry’s attention from wandering to another rival. In her belief that Mary exiled her to increase her own status, Anne successfully campaigns to win Henry over. When Mary gives birth to a son, Henry Carey, Thomas and Norfolk are overjoyed, but the celebration is short lived, as Anne whispered to Henry that the baby was born a bastard, which infuriates Norfolk. Henry then has Mary sent to the country at Anne’s request. Shortly after, Mary is widowed. Anne encourages Henry to break from the Catholic Church when the Pope refuses to annul his marriage to Queen Catherine. Henry succumbs to Anne’s demands, declares himself Supreme Head of the Church of England, and gets Cardinal Thomas Wolsey to annul the marriage.

Anne’s schemes drive Henry to the breaking point, and in a fit of rage, he rapes her. A pregnant Anne marries Henry to please her family and becomes Queen of England. Despite the birth of a healthy daughter, Elizabeth, Henry blames Anne for not producing a son, and begins courting Jane Seymour (Corinne Galloway) in secret. After Anne suffers the miscarriage of a son, she begs George to have sex with her to replace the child she lost, because if anyone found out about the miscarriage, she would be burned as a witch. George at first agrees, realizing that it is Anne’s only hope, but they do not go through with it. However, George’s neglected wife Jane witnesses enough of their encounter to become suspicious. She reports what she has seen and both Anne and George are arrested. The two are found guilty and sentenced to death for treason, adultery and incest. Distraught by the news of the execution of George, his mother disowns her husband and brother, vowing never to forgive them for what their greed has done to her children.

After Mary learns that she was late for George’s execution, she returns to court to plead for Anne’s life. Believing that Henry will spare her sister, she leaves to see Anne right before the scheduled execution. Anne asks Mary to take care of her daughter Elizabeth if anything should happen to her. Mary watches from the crowd as Anne makes her final speech, waiting for the execution to be cancelled as Henry promised. A letter from Henry is given to Mary, warning her not to come to his court further, and implicitly revealing his decision to execute Anne after all. Ten days after Anne’s execution, Henry and Jane are married, Norfolk is imprisoned, and the next three generations of his family are executed for treason. Mary marries William Stafford (Eddie Redmayne) and they have two children, Anne and Edward. Mary takes an active role in raising Anne’s daughter Elizabeth (Maisie Smith), who grows up to become Queen of England, and reigns for 44 years.

An interesting take on the story of the Boleyn sisters (who did both have a relationship with Henry), and if it encourages more people to find out about the real historical events then in my opinion that can only be a good thing. Henry’s relationship with Anne changed England through his break with the catholic church, and is both fascinating and tragic.

REVIEW: DERAILED (2005)

CAST

Clive Owen (Sin CIty)
Jennifer Aniston (Just Go With It)
Vincent Cassel (Black Swan)
Melissa George (A Lonely Place To Die)
Giancarlo Esposito (Ali)
RZA (G.I. Joe Retaliation)
Xzibit (XXX 2)
Addison Timlin (Little Sister)
David Morrissey (Basic Instinct 2)
Georgina Chapman (Match Point)
David Oyelowo (The Cloverfield Paradox)
Giancarlo Esposito (Breaking Bad)

Charles Schine (Clive Owen), is an advertising executive. His marriage to Deanna (Melissa George) is deteriorating, and his daughter Amy (Addison Timlin) suffers from diabetes, requiring expensive medication. Charles’s story is being written down by an unidentified man in a prison cell. On a commuter train, Charles encounters an alluring woman named Lucinda Harris (Jennifer Aniston). She is a married financial adviser. The two show each other photographs of their respective daughters and begin to talk. A mutual attraction develops, and the two begin meeting frequently. Ultimately, they decide to consummate their affair and wind up in a seedy hotel. An armed man—later identified as Philippe LaRoche (Vincent Cassel)—bursts into the hotel room, beats Charles, and brutally rapes Lucinda. Charles and Lucinda agree not to report the crime, as they do not want their spouses to learn of the affair. Shortly after, Charles is blackmailed by LaRoche, who threatens to kill his family if he does not pay $20,000, which Charles promptly pays. A month later, the attacker calls again, this time demanding $100,000.

Charles explains his situation to Winston (RZA), an ex-con who works as a repairman in his building and whom Charles had earlier befriended. Winston offers to scare off LaRoche for ten percent of the payout. Charles agrees and embezzles the money from his company. He and Winston travel to the meeting location specified by LaRoche, intending to get the drop on him. However, before they can act, Winston is shot and killed. LaRoche appears and takes the money, leaving Charles to dispose of the body. Afterwards, Charles is questioned by detective Franklin Church (Giancarlo Esposito) about Winston’s murder. Later, Charles receives a call from LaRoche who claims that he will kill Lucinda if Charles doesn’t deliver the $100,000. Charles takes the money from an account meant for his daughter’s medical treatment and makes the payoff.hqdefault

The next day, Charles stops by Lucinda’s company to ask to see her and is introduced to the real Lucinda Harris. The woman he met on the train is identified as Jane, a temp who had worked there briefly. He goes to Lucinda’s apartment, which he realizes is actually in the process of being rented out. Seeing that Lucinda’s photograph of her daughter was actually a cut out of a stock picture in a brochure, Charles realizes Jane was in on the scam. He tracks her down and sees her kissing LaRoche. Determined to retrieve his stolen money, he follows Jane’s moves and sees that she is seducing another unsuspecting businessman (David Morrissey). He rents a room in the same hotel where Jane, LaRoche, and their partner Dexter (Xzibit) set him up and awaits them as they snare their new target. Jane and the businessman go to the room, but Charles knocks LaRoche unconscious before he can follow them. Charles breaks in and demands the return of his money. A gunfight ensues, and everyone is shot but Charles, who watches Jane die. Charles, while in his rented room, is cleared by the police near the crime scene. As he leaves the hotel lobby, the continued investigation has all contents from the hotel safe laid out on the front desk. Charles casually identifies his briefcase, which still contains his money, and quietly leaves the hotel.Derailed-2005-film-images-648d925b-10f3-4fdd-841b-ab8c727c77fCharles is later accused by his boss Eliot (Tom Conti) of stealing money from the company, and he is arrested for embezzling the $10,000 that he paid Winston and is sentenced to six months of community service, teaching in a prison. During one of his classes, he comes across the story about him written on one of the students papers. The unknown writer instructs him to go to the laundry room. There, Charles finds LaRoche, who survived the gunfight. LaRoche threatens to continue to disrupt Charles’s life, but Charles reveals that he has planned the encounter. He produces a shank, which Winston had given him, and stabs LaRoche to death. As Charles leaves, he encounters Detective Church who indicates that he knows LaRoche killed Winston. While Church suspects Charles of killing LaRoche, he lets him return to his family, where Charles reconciles with his wife and daughter.I found the story line original and, at times, truely frightening. Jennifer Anniston is excellent, as is Clive Owen. The added plot twists only add to the film. One of the best thrillers I have seen- well worth a watch.

 

REVIEW: WELCOME TO THE PUNCH


CAST

James McAvoy (X-Men: Apocalypse)
Mark Strong (Kick-Ass)
Andrea Riseborough (Birdman)
Johnny Harris (Snow White and The Huntsman)
Daniel Mays (The Bank Job)
David Morrissey (The Reaping)
Peter Mullan (Trainspotting)
Daniel Kaluuya (Johnny English Reborn)
Jason Flemyng (Rob Roy)
Elyes Gabel (Game of Thrones)

The film opens with our lead character London City Detective Max Lewinsky chasing a gang of thieves making their getaway on motorcycles after a bank heist, eventually Det Max gets shot in his right thigh by the leader of this gang and the criminal mastermind Jacob Sternwood. we then go further in time exactly three years from that incident, Sternwwod’s son is in way over his head and he is bleeding from a bullet wound after a heist gone wrong in the end he gets busted in the airport and taken away to a hospital, this calls for his father Jacob to go back to London in order to help his son escape and settle the score with whoever framed his boy but detective Lewinsky is eager to get his revenge by any means necessary and the hunt starts.

With a good supporting cast that involves Andrea Riseborough, David Morrisey, Peter Mullan, Daniel Mays, Johnny Harris and a Cameo from Jason Flemyng besides a very good Marc Strong as the cold blooded killer yet the kind of villain that you’d sympathies with, it’s James McAvoy who steals the show with a stellar performance.

This is an action film so let’s talk about the gunfights, yeah it’s set in London and yeah we know that cops in London don’t use guns but in this movie something happens and the authorities are forced to use firepower i won’t go deep in this matter because i might spoil the movie for you, anyway the action junkies wont be disappointed with this it’s got a lot of shootouts, a good final shootout that reminds us of the excellent video game Max Payne(bad film), in fact in this film i don’t know what is it with the characters but i find most of them extremely trigger happy, American like trigger happy not the usual gunfights from the UK.

Overall this is a very watchable action flick that brings us back the nostalgia of the 80’s and the 90’s with good performances from the whole cast and good job by the director.