This Week’s Films (13/07/14)

The Help

Blitz (2011)Blitz

Tough, uncompromising and totally un-PC cop Brant (Jason Statham) joins forces with Officer DC Porter Nash (Paddy Considine) to hunt down a serial killer (Aiden Gillen) who has been targeting police officers. This fast-paced action-thriller is a raw, gritty tale of moral ambiguity, outsiders and the sacrifices the police make to keep crime off the streets.

Verdict: 7/10

What Doesn't Kill YouWhat Doesn’t Kill You (2008)

Brian (Mark Ruffalo) and Paulie (Academy Award® nominee Ethan Hawke, Best Actor In a Supporting Role for Training Day, 2001) are two lifelong friends who grew up like brothers on the gritty streets of south Boston. They started early as street thugs living by the criminal code, doing petty crimes and misdemeanors that grew increasingly more serious. Eventually they fall under the sway of organized crime boss Pat Kelly (Brian Goodman). As Brian becomes increasingly lost in a haze of drugs and ‘jobs,’ he consistently disappoints his loyal wife (Amanda Peet) and their two sons. Torn between the desire to be a good husband and the lure of easy money, Brian must make the hardest choice of his life.

Verdict: 7/10

Mala Noche (1986)Mala Noche

With its low budget and lush black-and-white imagery, Gus Van Sant’s debut feature Mala Noche heralded an idiosyncratic, provocative new voice in American independent film. Set in Van Sant’s hometown of Portland, Oregon, the film evokes a world of transient workers, dead-end day-shifters, and bars and seedy apartments bathed in a profound nighttime, as it follows a romantic deadbeat with a wayward crush on a handsome Mexican immigrant. Mala Noche was an important prelude to the New Queer Cinema of the nineties and is a fascinating time capsule from a time and place that continues to haunt its director’s work.

Verdict: 6/10

The EnforcerThe Enforcer (1951)

A district attorney is determined to bring a criminal kingpin to justice and break up his murder-for-hire operation.

Verdict: 8/10

The Help (2011)The Help

The #1 New York Times bestseller by Kathryn Stockett comes to vivid life through the powerful performances of a phenomenal ensemble cast. Led by Emma Stone, Academy Award®-nominated Viola Davis (Best Supporting Actress, Doubt, 2008), Octavia Spencer and Bryce Dallas Howard, The Help is an inspirational, courageous and empowering story about very different, extraordinary women in the 1960s South who build an unlikely friendship around a secret writing project — one that breaks society’s rules and puts them all at risk. Filled with poignancy, humor and hope — and complete with compelling, never-before-seen bonus features — The Help is a timeless, universal and triumphant story about the ability to create change.

Verdict: 9/10

BellissimaBellissima (1952)

Oscar® winner Anna Magnani (The Rose Tattoo) stars as a screen-struck mother, convinced that her daughter’s star potential is her ticket to a better life, in a performance that Hollywood legend Bette Davis called “brilliant, uninhibited and full of volcanic, earthy power. ” Risking everything in pursuit of her dream, Maddalena (Magnani) finally arranges a screen test for her child, only to realize the cruel reality beneath the shimmering veneer of the filmmaking industry.

Verdict: 8/10

The Hunt for Red October (1990)The Hunt for Red October

Based on Tom Clancy’s bestseller, directed by John McTiernan (Die Hard) and starring Sean Connery and Alec Baldwin, THE HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER sweats with high-tech anxiety and the tension of men who hold Doomsday in their hands. A new technologically-superior Soviet nuclear sub, the Red October, is heading for the U.S. coast under the command of Captain Marko Ramius (Connery). The American government thinks Ramius is planning to attack. A lone CIA analyst (Baldwin) has a different idea: he thinks Ramius is planning to defect, but he has only a few hours to find him and prove it – because the entire Russian naval and air commands are trying to find him, too. The hunt is on!

Verdict: 8/10

A Bronx TaleA Bronx Tale (1993)

Gangster Sonny is the big man in the Bronx neighborhood of an Italian small boy named Calogero. A shooting witnessed by the boy (nicknamed C) is the starting point of a lasting bond between the gangster and the boy. Father (bus driver Lorenzo), however, disapproves. C grows up under the wing of both men, torn between his own natural honesty and his fascination with Sonny. C’s neighborhood cronies get involved in theft, use of guns, and racial fights. When C falls for an African American girl, things don’t get any easier. C’s leap to manhood is marked by tragedy, but also by his recognition of the many faces of love.

Verdict: 8/10

The Headless Woman (2008)The Headless Woman

A bourgeois woman is driving alone on a dirt road, becomes distracted, and runs over something. In the days following this jarring incident, she is dazed and emotionally disconnected from the people and events in her life. She becomes obsessed with the possibility that she may have killed someone. The police confirm that there were no accidents reported in the area and everything returns to normal until a gruesome discovery is made. Lucrecia Martel’s third feature after the acclaimed La Cienaga and The Holy Girl examines the intricacies of class status and the role of women in a male-dominated society.

Verdict: 7/10

DaybreakersDaybreakers (2009)

Two-time Academy Award® nominee Ethan Hawke plays Edward Dalton, a researcher in the year 2019, when an unknown plague has transformed the world’s population into vampires. As the human population nears extinction, vampires must capture and farm every remaining human, or find a blood substitute before time runs out. However, a covert group of vampires makes a remarkable discovery, one which has the power to save the human race.

Verdict: 6/10

Titan A.E. (2000)Titan

A reluctant young hero holds the key to the future of mankind in the palm of his hand in this eye-popping, sci-fi adventure. In the year 3028 the Drej, a vicious alien race, has destroyed earth. Fifteen years later a young man named Cale learns he possesses a genetically encoded map to the Titan, a spaceship that holds the secret to the salvation of the human race. With the Drej in hot pursuit, Cale blasts off with the crew of the Valkyrie in an attempt to find the Titan before the Drej destroy it – and with it, mankind’s last chance for a home of their own. Featuring an all-star voice cast that includes Matt Damon and Drew Barrymore and an edgy, out of this world soundtrack, Titan A.E. is an intergalactic thrill ride for a new generation.

Verdict: 5/10

The HoursThe Hours (2002)

The story of how the novel “Mrs. Dalloway” affects three generations of women, all of whom, in one way or another, have had to deal with suicide in their lives.

Verdict: 8/10

Insidious: Chapter 2 (2013)Insidious

How deep into the darkness will you go to discover the truth? The terrifying sequel to Insidious follows the haunted Lambert family as they seek to uncover the mysterious childhood secret that has left them dangerously connected to the spirit world. They must rely on familiar allies to exile the demons that follow them and unearth the secret before the evil continues its deadly rampage. Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne and Barbara Hershey reprise their roles in the film directed by James Wan (Insidious, The Conjuring).

Verdict: 4/10

Essential KillingEssential Killing (2010)

In an award-winning performance (Best Actor, Venice Film Festival), Vincent Gallo (Buffalo ’66) plays Mohammed, a Taliban fighter captured by the US military in Afghanistan after a violent desert attack goes awry. While being transported to a secret detention center in Europe, the vehicle crashes and he suddenly finds himself free. But his newfound freedom quickly disappears as he is relentlessly pursued in a snow-blanketed forest by an army that does not “officially” exist.

A critically acclaimed, thinking-man’s action thriller from director Jerzy Skolimowski (The Shout), ESSENTIAL KILLING tells the story of one man’s struggle for survival, where morality has no place as he confronts the necessity to kill in order to survive.

Verdict: 4/10

Deconstructing Harry (1997)Deconstructing Harry

Suffering from writer’s block and eagerly awaiting his writing award, Harry Block remembers events from his past and scenes from his best-selling books as characters, real and fictional, come back to haunt him.

Verdict: 6/10

Follow Dave

Dave Brown

I was born in Barnsley, South Yorkshire, England and have always been a bookworm and enjoyed creative writing at school. In 1999 I created the Elencheran Chronicles and have been writing ever since. My first novel, Fezariu's Epiphany, was published in May 2011. When not writing I'm a lover of films, games, books and blogging. I live in Barnsley, with my wife, Donna, and our six cats - Kain, Razz, Buggles, Charlie, Bilbo and Frodo.
Follow Dave
Pin It

Leave a Comment