Directed By Ron Howard
Howard’s Rush is something to be admired, it’s how a blockbuster should be made, not devoid of brains and high octane, accompanied with a beating heart. John Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) and Niki Lauda (Daniel Bruhl) are rivals on and off the track. Hunt is a charismatic,chain-smoking womanizer who goes to any extremes for victory including risking his life and the lives of those around him. Lauda is the opposite, he is calculated, cold, intelligent and believes consistency is the key to success. This makes for an interesting social dynamic between the two, one of which is the film’s trump card, the rivalry verges on arch-nemesis, their spats are perpetually entertaining and their relationship grows over time, making for a wholly satisfying conclusion.
Though admittedly Ron Howard is the pioneer of this great film, From his shot choices and tension he conjures from every racing scene, to the heart he manifests from the films two leads and its inch perfect pacing. Much has to be attributed to Hemsworth and Bruhl who turn in great performances, which is probably comforting to those Hemsworth skeptics, this lad does have acting chops, even though im still skeptical on his shelf life.
Rush definitely exceeded my expectations, its one of those rare blockbusters which has everything and never refuses to die, or wither. You neither have to know about Formula 1 or the inside-outs of the motorsports, you just need to have a heart, though i cant promise tears, but perhaps a cardiac arrest might be on the agenda.
Rating - 4.5/5
billy bob thornton
Whilst Martin Freeman is most recognizable as the face of Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit or the sleuth’s side-kick in the acclaimed Sherlock, Fargo produced by none other than the Coen Brothers (based on their film of the same name) finds him in his most irrefutable role yet, he is simply splendid. He plays Lester, an unsuccessful insurance salesmen who is not only repressed by his environment who can’t catch a break. His bumbling disposition and submissive personality make him a figure of emasculation, at least in the eyes of his wife, family and in the surrounding community, and Freeman turns in a performance with enough humor yet gravitas, to make Lester come to life and entertain us for an hour.
Lester then meets Lorne played by Billy Bob Thornton who plays a mysterious man who offers him a resolution to his problems, what happens next is something no one could predict. Fargo is a black-comedy as much as it is a thriller, and the balance is almost perfect, although i think the writing on occasions could be tighter but it definitely hits more than it misses . This episode is a great introduction, it’s pacing is fast but not so fast as to alienate the audience, there is enough blood and gore to appease any human being and it’s odd, which wholly works in its favor.
The first episode was enough to keep me anticipating the second, and this is off the back of me finishing True Detective, so take what you like from that.
Rating - 4/5
Directed By Mike Judge
What’s so bad about being average? Well for Joe there couldn’t be anything worse, the military have selected him to take part in a suspended animation experiment on the basis of his normality. The experiment which is scheduled to last a year, happens to last 500 years after the army base is demolished and the experiment is forgotten about. He awakes to see a future dystopia, the average IQ has rapidly plummeted, everyone is an imbecile. Water has been replaced with Gatorade, the judicial process has become like a Saturday night gameshow, one of which has been directed by James Wan and Joe played by the delightfully like-able Luke Wilson is suddenly the smartest person in the world.
Idiocracy succeeds in its satire of society from our excessive consumerism, to our ignorance of climate change and most poignantly capitalism and our apathetic attitude towards education and the intellectual. It creates an extreme hyperbole future which is scarily believable and presents the audience with a reality which is justified by the conception of ourselves and the trajectory of society.
The problem with Idiocracy is it’s rarely funny and at times just too dumb for its own good, not even the talented Wilson can stop this one from being shamelessly unfunny. Of course it has it’s bright spots here and there in regards to its humor from Upgrayedd The Pimp to its probing technological and evolutionary satire which on occasions is tummy tickling, but these great moments are clouded out by lazy dialogue and perverse jokes that rarely hit the spot. Even Terry Crews’s best Andre 3000 impersonation couldn’t distract me, yes Terry Crews is a highlight, as oppose to Dax Shepard whose turn as the lovable fool, ends up being the film’s weightiest burden.
Idiocracy is a worthwhile watch, with a lean running time and strong enough writing to warrant anyone’s attention, whether you join its cult following depends on your susceptibility to lethargic American humor.
Rating - 3.1/5
robot and frank
Directed By Jake Scheier
Frank suffers from the later stages of dementia, sick of the ten hour round trip each week and reluctant to put his father into care, he brings him a robot helper, who he does not take kindly too, until he learns that its presence can be both beneficial for his health and more importantly profitable. Though this isn’t a movie that takes the cliche route of criticizing technological advancement, though it does wade mildly on occasions. Robot And Frank is a movie about companionship and its importance during the later years of life. It’s moving on occasions, unapologetically whimsical, hilarious and wonderfully human.
There isn’t very much to like about Frank, he is egotistical, hedonistic and a poor father who has spent much of his adult life inside of prison after a string of botched burglaries, despite this he is considered one of the best, and in his old age, very little has changed. Whilst some turn to gardening in their old age as his robot friend suggests, the only thing that keeps Franks mind awake is theft and he’s a master of manipulation, especially when it comes to his robot friend, who proves to be a useful counterpart to his dastardly deeds. Though we root for Frank, and much is too do with Frank Lagella’s performance, he is simply marvelous and adds sheds of depth to his character as he experiences his first real companionship of his life and adds real pathos to the film, especially its heartbreaking ending.
Robot and Frank is one of the best movies I have sat down and watched this year, which is all the more surprising considering it slipped totally under my radar, how could anyone fails to enjoy this one.
Rating - 4.3/5