REVIEW: PERCY JACKSON & THE LIGHTNING THIEF

CAST

Logan Lerman (Fury)
Brandon T. Jackson (Fast & Furious)
Alexandra Daddario (Texas Chainsaw)
Jake Abel I Am Number Four)
Sean Bean (Game of Thrones)
Kevin McKidd (Dog Soldiers)
Steve Coogan (Tropic Thunder)
Melina Kanakaredes (CSI: NY)
Rosario Dawson (The Denfendors)
Dylan Neal (Arrow)
Erica Cerra (Power Rangers)
Stefanie von Pfetten (Decoys)
Ona Grauer (V)
Serinda Swan (Smallville)
Conrad Coates (Tron Legacy)
Ray Winstone (Elfie HOpkins)
Uma Thurman (Kill BIll)
Joe Pantoliano (The Matrix)
Pierce Brosnan (The World’s End)
Julian Richings (Cube)
Catherine Keener (8mm)
Annie Ilonzeh (Arrow)
Bonita Friedericy (Chuck)
Marie Avgeropoulos (The 100)
Natassia Malthe (Elektra)
Chelan Simmons (Final Destination 3)
Maria Olsen (Paranormal Activity 3)

In New York City, Zeus and Poseidon meet at the top of the Empire State Building, where Zeus reveals that his master lightning bolt has been stolen and accuses Poseidon’s demigod son, Percy Jackson, of the theft. Poseidon reminds him that Percy is unaware of his true identity, but Zeus declares that unless his master bolt is returned to Mount Olympus before the summer solstice, in two weeks’ time, war will be waged between all the gods.Percy is a 16-year-old boy who appears to his peers to be dyslexic and has a unique ability to stay underwater for a long time. While on a school trip to the local museum, Percy is attacked by Alecto, a Fury disguised as his substitute teacher, Mrs. Dodds who demands the lightning bolt. Percy’s best friend, Grover Underwood, and his Latin teacher, Mr. Brunner — both of whom appear disabled — help Percy and scare off the fury using a pen from Brunner. Grover tells Percy to use the pen, and Percy discovers it is a sword. Upon learning of the Fury’s reason for the attack, Brunner has Grover take Percy and his mother Sally to Camp Half-Blood, leaving behind Sally’s abusive husband, Gabe Ugliano. However, the three are attacked by a minotaur that appears to kill Sally, who is unable to enter the camp. He uses his sword to fight the Minotaur, without initial success. Percy kills the minotaur with its own horn, then faints from shock.Three days later, Percy wakes up in the camp. He learns he is the son of Poseidon, Grover is a satyr and his protector, and Brunner is the centaur Chiron, also initially disguised. Chiron suggests that Percy go to Mount Olympus to convince Zeus of his innocence. Percy begins training to use his demigod powers, which include water manipulation and using water to heal. He also meets other demigods, including Annabeth Chase, daughter of Athena; and Luke Castellan, son of Hermes. Percy is visited by a fiery apparition of his uncle Hades, who reveals that Sally is with him in the Underworld and that he will return her safely if Percy hands over the lightning bolt. Defying Chiron’s orders, Percy decides to go to the Underworld, joined by Grover and Annabeth. They visit Luke, who gives them a map showing the location of three pearls belonging to Hades’ wife, Persephone, which they can use to escape the Underworld. They are also given a pair of winged sneakers Luke stole from his father and a shield Luke describes as his favourite.The trio heads out, locating the first pearl at an old garden center before they suddenly encounter Medusa, who tries to kill them until decapitated by Percy; they take her head with them for later use. They locate the second pearl in the Parthenon in Nashville; Percy uses the winged shoes to take it from a statue of Athena. However, they are then confronted by the Hydra, which Grover turns to stone and kills using Medusa’s head. The third pearl is located at the Lotus Casino in Las Vegas, where the three eat lotus flowers and forget their reason for being there. They stay in the casino for five days until Poseidon speaks in Percy’s mind, helping Percy return to his senses. Percy frees Grover and Annabeth from the effects of the flowers and they flee, discovering that the casino is run by the Lotus-Eaters, and they had been keeping people captive since ancient times. With all three pearls, Percy, Grover, and Annabeth head into the Underworld, the portal to which is located in Hollywood.In the Underworld, they meet Hades and Persephone. Though Percy tells Hades that he does not have the lightning bolt, Hades finds it hidden inside Luke’s shield, revealing that Luke is the lightning thief. Persephone knocks Hades unconscious with the lightning bolt to get her revenge on him for imprisoning her for all eternity and hands the bolt to Percy. However, because they only have three pearls, Grover remains with Persephone to allow Percy’s mother to leave. Percy, Annabeth, and Sally teleport to the Empire State Building but are attacked by Luke, who wants to destroy Mount Olympus to secure the demigods’ place as the new rulers of Western Civilization. After a fight across Manhattan, Percy defeats and apparently kills Luke and returns the lightning bolt to Zeus, who forgives Percy and allows Poseidon to briefly speak with his son. The film ends with Percy and Annabeth reuniting with Grover, furloughed from Hades and sporting a new pair of small horns that designate his promotion to senior protector. Percy and Annabeth are reunited, and they nearly kiss but Annabeth tricks Percy and they continue to train. In the post credits-scene, Ugliano is kicked out of the apartment. He decides to get a beer but finds a note from Percy saying that he should not open the refrigerator. He breaks the lock anyway and is turned to stone and killed by Medusa’s head inside, though this occurs off-screen as the movie fades to black.A fun movie,  I  enjoyed the plot, action, fabulous cast and special effects, looking forward to watching the second one.

 

Advertisements

REVIEW: LONDON BOULEVARD

CAST

Colin Farrell (Fantastic Beasts)
Keira Knightley (The Hole)
David Thewlis (Wonder Woman)
Anna Friel (Limitless)
Ben Chaplin (Lost Souls)
Rasy Winstone (Elfie Hopkins)
Velibor Topic (Robin Hood)
Eddie Marsan (Sherlock Holmes)
Sanjeev Bhaskar (The Zero Theorem)
Stephen Graham (Snatch)
Ophelia Lovibond (4.3.2.1.)

The film opens with Harry Mitchel (Colin Farrell) (convicted of grievous bodily harm under never-explained circumstances) leaving prison. He is propositioned by his friend and former partner-in-crime, Billy Norton (Ben Chaplin), to live in a nice “acquired” apartment, but on condition he work for Billy’s criminal boss. On his way to a “welcome back” party, Mitchel saves a woman, Penny (Ophelia Lovibond), from being mugged. At the party, Billy propositions Mitchel again. Mitchel is told by Billy and their contact, Danny (Stephen Graham), that his sister, Briony (Anna Friel), is in the basement, and he “saves” her from being raped by a drug addict. Mitchel meets Penny for a drink elsewhere, and she offers him a job to help her friend, a reclusive famous “retired” young actress, Charlotte.Mitchel goes to a train station to visit his friend Joe, a blind homeless Big Issue salesman and gives him a knife to protect himself. The next day, Mitchel meets Charlotte (Keira Knightley) and her friend, Jordan (David Thewlis). Charlotte is constantly hounded by the paparazzi perpetually stationed outside her home, taunting and photographing anyone who enters or leaves. Mitchel is offered the job to “assist” and Jordan gives him a tour of the mansion, including a collection of paintings that look like Francis Bacon’s studies on Velazquez screaming Popes and a garage full of Charlotte’s ex-husband Tim’s cars. At his apartment, corrupt police Detective Bailey (Eddie Marsan) visits Mitchel and tells him to avoid Billy and forces a small bribe from Mitchel.Mitchel talks to Billy about Detective Bailey, whom Billy cannot stand. Joe is mugged, then brutally beaten by two 16-year-old footballers from the estate and left for dead; and one of the boys takes Joe’s knife. At the hospital, Dr Sanji Raju (Sanjeev Bhaskar) lets Mitchel visit Joe, who wants Mitchel to avenge his death. The next day, Billy tells Mitchel that he knows about the car collection and that his boss wants to steal them. At Joe’s funeral, Dr Raju tells Mitchel that he wants to date Briony, which Mitchel accepts. Mitchel goes to the pub and asks Danny to find out as much as he can about the two footballers. That night, Mitchel is kidnapped by Billy and taken to his boss, Rob Gant (Ray Winstone), who insists that Mitchel collect money for him. Charlotte and Mitchel escape from the paparazzi to her mansion in the countryside. Charlotte mentions to Mitchel that something happened to her in Italy, which is implied to be a drug overdose. Jordan reveals to Mitchel that in this incident she was raped by a drug addict, who never got caught but is currently on life support after overdosing on quaaludes, administered by Jordan.Gant threatens Detective Bailey to stop him making Mitchel pay bribes. Later that evening, Mitchel and Billy meet Gant in a garage, where Gant shoots a black man, whom Gant was led to believe by Billy to be one of the Nation of Islam members who beat up Mitchel and scared off Billy while earlier collecting for Gant. Gant yells at Billy, but Mitchel protects Billy and yells at Gant, who claims Mitchel said to kill anyone. Gant tells Mitchel he is now an ‘accessory’ to the killing, and to meet him at Criterion Restaurant the next night, for an unknown arrangement. Charlotte tells Mitchel she loves him. Later, Mitchel and Gant meet and Gant assigns Mitchel to collect money in Streatham, Clapham and Kennington. Gant reveals that the main mugger-footballer has a future and is being scouted by professional teams, and implies that Mitchel had best leave him alone. Mitchel tells Gant that if he were a gangster, Gant would be the first person he would kill and would take everything Gant has, but claims he is not a gangster and walks away. Gant, to put Mitchel in trouble, waylays the doctor who owns Mitchel’s apartment and after Gant rapes him, he orders his henchmen, Fletcher (Matt King) and Beaumont (Nick Bartlett) to kill him. Mitchel learns who the footballer is and follows him into a tunnel, planning to shoot him, but has a change of heart at the last moment, and lets the young man walk away unaware.250947_originale_bgMitchel visits Charlotte and tells her that he loves her; the two sleep together. Mitchel sees Billy’s van and attacks Billy, who says that Gant sent him to kill Mitchel; he warns Mitchel to look for “a big Bosnian fucker”. Mitchel borrows one of Charlotte’s husband’s Rolls Royces and confronts Billy at a pub. He beats Billy, who says Gant will kill everyone whom Mitchel loves, and Mitchel steals the money Billy collected for Gant. Mitchel meets his sister at a restaurant in order to persuade her to get out of the country so that she is out of Gant’s reach. He gives her a train ticket and money, but she belittles his worry and ignores the warning. Mitchel and Jordan find Billy’s dead body in the front garden of Charlotte’s home, and the Bosnian, named Storbor, standing outside the gate. Mitchel asks Jordan to help him kill Storbor and the two follow Storbor to a nightclub where they meet him and the drug addict from the party named Whiteboy (Jamie Campbell Bower). In the final scenes of the film, the story is resolved as Mitchel and Gant each race to prevail over the other.3250a32f2194437980f996afa955b2d1Absolutely stunning must-see movie for people, who really can appreciate good drama/thriller kind of movies.

REVIEW: THE SWEENEY (2012)

CAST

Ray Winstone (Elfie Hopkins)
Plan B (Adulthood)
Hayley Atwell (Agent Carter)
Steven Mackintosh (Kick-Ass 2)
Paul Anderson (The Revenant)
Alan Ford (Snatch)
Damien Lewis (Homeland)
Caroine Chikezie (Eragon)
Ed Skrein (Deadpool)

Flying Squad officers Detective Inspector Jack Regan (Ray Winstone) and Detective Constable George Carter (Ben Drew) arrive at the scene of a warehouse robbery; four armed men are attempting to steal gold bars. After Regan and Carter capture the robbers, Regan takes some of the gold bars to give to his informant Harry (Alan Ford). Detective Chief Inspector Ivan Lewis (Steven Mackintosh) from Internal Affairs starts to scrutinise Regan’s activities, unaware that Regan is having an affair with his estranged wife, Flying Squad officer Nancy Lewis (Hayley Atwell).Regan receives information about a planned robbery on a private bank, but he has to cease surveillance when an armed robbery at an insignificant jewellers places £200,000 of jewellery in the hands of a dangerous criminal, and one civilian dead. Regan suspects that his long-time adversary Francis Allen (Paul Anderson) is responsible, but cannot contradict Allen’s alibi that he was out of the country. After evidence links violent Serbian criminal Makin Trebolt (Kevin Michaels) to the crime Regan is forced to release Allen.When the private bank is robbed the Flying Squad arrives in time to confront the heavily armed robbers, against the orders of their boss Detective Chief Inspector Frank Haskins (Damian Lewis). After a long chase and shootout the robbers escape, with Makin deliberately shooting Nancy dead in front of an incapacitated Regan. A grieving Inspector Lewis uses the shootout as justification to suspend the entire Flying Squad. Determined, Regan obtains a fake badge and illegal weapon and interrogates a local thug, who unexpectedly confesses that Allen paid him to fake his alibi. Before he can share this information with Carter, Regan is arrested and jailed.Working separately, Carter tracks down and interrogates a robber wounded in the shootout, who reveals that Makin is planning to escape via a boat named Pegasus. Shortly after the armed Carter is arrested at gunpoint, only for Haskins to intervene in the hopes of saving Carter’s career. Despite this, Haskins is unwilling to hear what Carter discovered until the latter spots the name “Pegasus” in the Flying Squad’s notes: the name of Allen’s boat.With a firm connection between Allen and the crimes, Haskins arranges for Regan’s release, and Regan and Carter head to the docks to intercept Makin and Allen. Allen and Makin manage to escape via car, the two cops pursuing; the chase eventually leads to a trailer park where both vehicles crash. Carter exits the vehicle and tries to fire on Makin and Allen as they attempt to flee, only to be struck by their vehicle. Makin points his weapon at the wounded Carter, but is fatally shot by Regan. Regan then points the gun point blank at a heavily injured Allen, telling him “you’re nicked,” before lowering the gun. Some time later, Regan returns to the now reactivated Flying Squad offices, reinstated. He and the rest of the Squad leave on a case, with Inspector Lewis watching Carter and Regan as they go.Performances are pretty wooden, as you would expect from a gung-ho police drama. Ray Winstone is…Ray Winstone. Always good to see Hayley Atwell.

REVIEW: HUGO

CAST

Asa Butterfield (Ender’s Game)
Chloe Grace Moretz (Kick-Ass)
Ben Kinglsey (Iron Man 3)
Sacha Baron Cohen (Alice Through The Looking Glass)
Ray Winston (Elfie Hopkins)
Emily Mortimer (Lars and The Real Girl)
Helen McCrory (The Woman In Black 2)
Jude Law (Spy)
Michael Stuhlbarg (Men In Black 3)
Christopher Lee (The Hobbit)
Frances de la Tour (The Lady In The Van)
Richard Griffiths (Harry Potter)
Michael Pitt (Murder By Numbers)

In 1931, 12-year-old Hugo Cabret (Asa Butterfield) lives in Paris with his father (Jude Law), a widowed, but kind clockmaker who also works at a museum. One day his father finds a broken automaton, a mechanical man designed to write with a pen, at the museum, and he and Hugo try to repair it, his father documenting the automaton in a notebook. When his father is killed by a fire at the museum, Hugo is forced to live with his resentful, alcoholic uncle Claude (Ray Winstone), and made to learn how to maintain the clocks at the railway station of Gare Montparnasse. When Claude goes missing for several days, Hugo continues to maintain the clocks, fearing that he would be sent away as an orphan by the vindictive Station Inspector Gustave (Sacha Baron Cohen) if Claude’s absence is discovered. Hugo attempts to repair the automaton with stolen parts, believing it contains a message from his father, but the machine still requires a heart-shaped key that his father could not find.Hugo is caught when stealing from the toy store owner Georges (Ben Kingsley), who looks through his father’s notebook and threatens to destroy it. Hugo encounters Georges’ goddaughter Isabelle (Chloë Grace Moretz) who offers to help get the notebook back. Hugo learns Georges has forbidden Isabelle from going to the cinema, and introduces the medium to her as his father had done for him. As their friendship grows, he shows her the automaton, and is surprised when Isabelle inadvertently reveals she wears the key as a necklace given to her by Georges. When started, the machine draws out a scene that Hugo recognizes from his father’s description of the film A Trip to the Moon. Isabelle identifies the signature, that of a “Georges Méliès”, as her godfather. She sneaks Hugo into her home, where they find a hidden cache of more imaginative drawings of Méliès, but are caught by Georges, who banishes Hugo from his home.Hugo and Isabelle go to the Film Academy Library and find a book about the history of cinema that praises Méliès’ contributions. They meet the book’s author, René Tabard (Michael Stuhlbarg), a film expert who is surprised to hear that Méliès may still be alive, as he had disappeared after World War I along with nearly all copies of his films. Excited at the chance to meet him, René agrees to meet Isabelle and Hugo at Georges’ home to show his copy of A Trip to the Moon, hoping it will invigorate Georges. On the scheduled night, Georges’ wife Jeanne (Helen McCrory) tries to turn them away, but René compliments Jeanne as Jeanne d’Alcy, an actress in many of Méliès’ films, and she allows them to continue. As the film plays, Georges wakes up at the sight, and Jeanne finally convinces him to cherish his accomplishments rather than regret his lost dream. Georges recounts that as a stage magician, he had been fascinated by motion pictures and used the medium to create imaginative works through his Star Film Company, but was forced into bankruptcy following the War, closing his studio and selling his films to be turned into raw materials. He laments that even an automaton he made that he donated to a museum was lost. Hugo recognizes this is the same automaton he has, and races to the station to retrieve it. He is caught by Gustave, who has learned that Claude’s body was found some time ago, and threatens to take Hugo to the orphanage. Georges arrives and tells Gustave that he will now see to Hugo, adopting him as his son.Some time later, Georges is named a professor at the Film Academy, and is paid tribute through a showcase of his films recovered by René. Hugo joins in with his new family as they celebrate, while Isabelle starts to write down Hugo’s story.Martin Scorcese’s Hugo is one of the best cinematic experience, I’ve had in years.  The visual effects, cinematography, art direction, just technically superb. Finally a smart, awe-aspiring family film, which are really rare nowadays. A definite surprise coming from legendary director, Martin Scorcese, who’s known for movies with a lot of swears, violence, drugs and other adult-themed subjects.

REVIEW: THE DEPARTED

CAST

Leonardo DiCaprio (Django Unchained)
Matt Damon (Jason Bourne)
Jack Nicholson (Batman)
Mark Wahlberg (Ted)
Martin Sheen (The West Wing)
Ray Winstone (Elfie Hopkins)
Vera Farmiga (Bates Motel)
Anthony Anderson (Transformrs)
Alec Baldwin (Mission Impossible 5)
Kevin Corrigan (Superbad)
James Badge Dale (Iron Man 3)
David O’Hara (Braveheart)
Mark Rolston (Eraser)
Kristen Dalton (Tango & Cash)
J.C. Mackenzie (Dark Angel)

As a child, Colin Sullivan (Damon) had been introduced to organized crime by Irish-American mobster Frank Costello (Nicholson) in the Irish neighborhood of South Boston. Over the years, Costello grooms him to become a mole inside the Massachusetts State Police, until Sullivan is accepted into the Special Investigations Unit, which focuses on organized crime. Before graduating from the police academy, Billy Costigan (DiCaprio) is recruited by Captain Queenan (Sheen) and Staff Sergeant Dignam (Wahlberg) to go undercover, as his family ties to organized crime make him a perfect infiltrator. He drops out of the academy and does time in prison on a fake assault charge to increase his credibility.

Each man infiltrates his respective organization, and Sullivan begins a romance with police psychiatrist Madolyn Madden (Farmiga). Costigan is seeing her under the terms of his probation, and they begin a relationship, too. After Costello escapes a sting operation, each mole becomes aware of the other’s existence. Sullivan is told to find the “rat” and asks Costello for information to identify the informer.

Costigan follows Costello into a porn theater, where Costello gives Sullivan an envelope containing personal information on his crew members. Costigan chases Sullivan through Chinatown. When it is over, neither man knows the other’s identity. Sullivan has Queenan tailed to a meeting with Costigan on the roof of a building. Queenan orders Costigan to flee while he confronts Costello’s men alone. The men then throw Queenan off the building to his death. When they exit, Costigan pretends he has come to join them. Television news reveals that crew member Delahunt (Rolston) has been an undercover cop, working for the Boston Police Department. Dignam resigns rather than work with Sullivan, who he suspects is the mole after he is asked why he had Queenan followed.

Using Queenan’s phone, Sullivan reaches Costigan, who refuses to abort his mission. Sullivan learns from Queenan’s diary of Costello’s role as an informant for the FBI, causing him to worry about his own identity being revealed. With Costigan’s help, Costello is traced to a cocaine drop-off, where a gunfight erupts between Costello’s crew and the police, which results in most of the crew being killed. Costello, confronted by Sullivan, admits he is an FBI informant. Costello tries to shoot Sullivan, but Sullivan shoots him multiple times. With Costello dead, Sullivan is applauded the next day by everyone on the force. In good faith, Costigan comes to Sullivan for restoration of his true identity and to be paid for his work, but notices the envelope from Costello on Sullivan’s desk and flees, finally realizing Sullivan is the enemy. Fearing retaliation, Sullivan erases Costigan’s records from the police computer system.

Sullivan is unaware that Madolyn had an affair with Costigan when she tells Sullivan that she is pregnant. Later, Sullivan finds her listening to a CD from Costigan containing incriminating recorded conversations between Costello and Sullivan. Sullivan unsuccessfully attempts to assuage her suspicions. He then contacts Costigan, who reveals that Costello recorded every one of their conversations, that Costello’s attorney left Costigan in possession of the recordings, and that Costigan intends to implicate Sullivan. The two agree to meet at the building where Queenan died.

On the roof, Costigan catches Sullivan off-guard and handcuffs him. As Costigan had secretly arranged, Trooper Brown (Anderson) appears on the roof as well. Shocked, Brown draws his gun on Costigan, who attempts to justify his actions by exposing Sullivan as Costello’s mole. Costigan asks Brown why Dignam did not accompany him as Costigan had requested, but Brown does not answer. Costigan leads Sullivan, his hostage, to the elevator. When it reaches the ground floor, Trooper Barrigan (Dale) shoots Costigan in the head, then shoots Brown, and afterward reveals to Sullivan that Costello had more than one mole in the police. Sullivan then shoots and kills Barrigan. At state police headquarters, Sullivan identifies Barrigan as the mole and has Costigan posthumously given the Medal of Merit. At Costigan’s funeral, Sullivan notices that Madolyn is tearful. As they leave the gravesite, Sullivan attempts to talk to her, but she ignores him. When Sullivan returns to his apartment, he is ambushed by Dignam, who shoots and kills him as he enters.With its clever plot, excellent acting and expert direction, The Departed is without doubt a brillaint film.

REVIEW: BEOWULF

CAST

Anthony Hopkins (Westworld)
Angelina Jolie (The Changeling)
Ray Winstone (Elfie Hopkins)
Crispin Glover (Alice In Wonderland)
Robin Wright (Forrest Gump)
Sebastian Roche (The Originals)
John Malkovich (Red)
Brendan Gleeson (Troy)
Costas Mandylor (Saw V)
Dominic Keating (Heroes)
Alison Lohman (Big Fish)
Fred Tatasciore (Hulk Vs)

Set in 507, Beowulf is a legendary Geatish warrior who travels to Denmark with his band of soldiers, including his best friend, Wiglaf. They meet King Hrothgar, who needs a hero to slay Grendel (Crispin Glover), a hideously disfigured troll-like creature with superhuman strength. Grendel attacks Heorot, Hrothgar’s mead hall, whenever the Danes held a celebration, and Hrothgar has been forced to close the hall. Upon arriving, Beowulf becomes attracted to Hrothgar’s wife, Queen Wealtheow, who reciprocates his interest.Beowulf and his men celebrate in Heorot to lure Grendel out. When the beast attacks, Beowulf engages him unarmed and naked. During the fight, Beowulf discovers that Grendel has hypersensitive hearing, which is why he interrupts Hrothgar’s celebrations – the noise they make is physically painful to him. After his eardrums are ruptured by Beowulf, Grendel attempts to escape. Beowulf restrains Grendel and severs his arm with the door. In thanks for freeing his kingdom from the monster, Hrothgar gives Beowulf his golden drinking horn, which commemorates Hrothgar’s victory over the mighty dragon Fafnir.In his cave, the dying Grendel tells his mother what was done to him, and she swears revenge. She travels to Heorot and slaughters Beowulf’s men while they are sleeping. Hrothgar tells both Beowulf and Wiglaf, who had been sleeping outside the hall during the attack, that it was the work of Grendel’s mother. She is the last of the Water Demons, who were thought to have left the land. Beowulf and Wiglaf travel to the demon’s cave to slay her. Beowulf enters the cave alone and encounters the demon, who takes the form of a beautiful woman. She offers to make him the greatest king who ever lived, in exchange for a son to replace Grendel and Hrothgar’s drinking horn.Beowulf agrees to the deal and returns, claiming to have killed her. Hrothgar, however, realizes the truth. He indirectly tells Beowulf that, much like him, Hrothgar was seduced by her, and Grendel was the result of their tryst. Hrothgar crowns Beowulf king, much to the dismay of his royal advisor, Unferth, who was hoping to take the throne. Hrothgar then commits suicide by jumping from the castle parapet onto the beach below. A wave momentarily engulfs Hrothgar’s body, there is a golden flash underwater, and the body is gone.Years later, the elderly Beowulf is married to Wealtheow. Over the years they had grown apart, husband and wife in name alone. Beowulf takes a mistress, Ursula, but his tryst with Grendel’s mother has left him sterile. One day, Unferth’s slave Cain finds the golden drinking horn in a swamp near Grendel’s cave and brings it back to the kingdom. That night, a nearby village is destroyed by a dragon, which leaves Unferth alive to deliver a message to King Beowulf: the dragon is Beowulf’s son born to Grendel’s mother. Removing the horn has voided the agreement between Beowulf and Grendel’s mother, who has now sent their son, the dragon, to destroy his kingdom.Beowulf and Wiglaf go to the cave once again and Beowulf enters the cave alone. When Grendel’s mother appears, Beowulf gives her the golden horn, but she refuses to stop the attacks. The dragon flies straight towards Beowulf’s home, threatening Wealtheow and Ursula. Despite his age, Beowulf goes to great lengths to stop the monster, even severing his own arm. Eventually, he kills the dragon by ripping its heart out. A mortally wounded Beowulf watches the dragon transforming into a humanoid body and being washed out to sea. As Wiglaf approaches him, Beowulf tries to tell the truth about his affair with Grendel’s mother, but Wiglaf insists on keeping his legacy intact. Beowulf then dies.As the new king, Wiglaf gives Beowulf a Norse funeral. Grendel’s mother appears and gives Beowulf a final kiss before his burning ship sinks into the sea. Wiglaf sees the golden horn in the sand while Grendel’s mother floats in the sea, looking at him seductively. The movie ends ambiguously with Wiglaf holding the horn and staring back at her.The plot isn’t much to write home about. The acting is variable – Robin Wright-Penn is fine, Hopkins is his usual reliable self, Ray Winstone is suitably heroic as the heroic, self-aggrandising Beowulf, and Crispin Glover is just brilliant as Grendel. Grendel is a lovely creation, oozing slime and blood, and wracked with pain. It’s entertainment. And I was royally entertained.

31 DAYS OF HORROR REVIEW: ELFIE HOPKINS

CAST

Jaime Winstone (Kidulthood)
Aneurin Barnard (Ironclad)
Rupert Evans (Hellboy)
Kate Magowan (Stardust)
Kimberley Nixon (Black Death)
Gwyneth Keyworth (Misfits)
Will Payne (Fright Night 2)
Steven Mackintosh (Kick-Ass 2)
Ray Winstone (The Departed)

Image result for elfie hopkinsElfie Hopkins tells the story of twenty-two-year-old slacker (Jaime Winstone), a “wanna-be” detective, set in a sleepy hunting village. She is a stoner and an animal lover, and haunted by the death of her mother and surrounded by her broken father and alcoholic step-mother, Elfie seeks solace and inspiration from the old school detectives in The Maltese Falcon and Chinatown. She entertains herself, along with her geeky best friend, Dylan (Aneurin Barnard), by investigating the villagers and upsetting everyone with their imaginative allegations. Elfie’s mundane existence is thrown for a spin with the arrival of a family of trendy city dwellers, the Gammons.
Image result for elfie hopkinsThe Gammons weave tales of adventure and seduce the villagers with offers of exotic hunting holidays around the world. It is not long before the villagers are flying off to the four corners of the world. Elfie, despite her best efforts, is not free to the Gammons’ charms, but soon smells a rat. Elfie and Dylan begin investigating the Gammons’ life. Bloody violence and pandemonium soon starts to rage in the village and it is no longer just the blood of animals. Elfie discovers the villagers are not making those flights and when she finally uncovers the truth, it is darker than she could have ever imagined.Image result for elfie hopkinsThis quirky little British film is as much about the title character coming of age and overcoming the complexes brought on by a fraught family history as it is about horror represented by the seductive evil of the creepy Gammon family who move in to the small village where she lives. Overall a film which I would heartily recommend to a discriminating viewer of horror films who would like to see something a bit more subtle to it.