#BigRonFilmReviews: Reblogged

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Life of Crime (2014)

70s set comedy-drama in which John Hawkes and Mos Def find themselves in a pickle after kidnapping Jennifer Aniston when husband Tim Robbins (doing an excellent bastard) refuses to pay up.

It’s Elmore Leonard adaptation so everyone is trying to fuck eachother over and work the angles but it’s not a patch on movies like Jackie Brown, Out of Sight or  Get Shorty.

Decent enough cast delivering perfectly reasonable performances and a solid premise but it feels very derivative. This makes me think American Hustle meets A Life Less Ordinary only not as good as either. 

Some of Mark Boone Junior’s bungling idiocy is amusing enough and as previously mentioned Tim Robbins’ arsehole is enjoyingly obnoxious but there’s not a great to like or dislike.

Average.

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Into the Storm (2014)

You know Twister from 1996? Yeah that in 2014.

Sometimes you go and watch a movie to prove to yourself that you already know exactly how it plays out… this is the case here. I saw everything coming a mile off, who would die, who would end up a selfless hero, who we might not have seen the last of.

The story centres around Richard Armitage and his two sons (one of whom is separated from him in standard disaster movie fashion) and a group of Stormchasers with an indestructible car and their encounters with some pretty inclement weather.

This takes far too long to get going, there’s 15 mins of scene setting character grounding I could not have cared less about and just wanted them to cut to the (storm)chase. When it does get going trucks, planes and people get thrown about like ragdolls, the visuals for which are pretty cool. Although if you’ve seen Gravity you’ve seen the high water mark for stuff flying through the air.

The above comments aside it’s not hard to watch, and this is just middle of the road meh-ness.

That’s the biggest tornado I’ve ever seen.”

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The Rover (2014)

A couple of days ago I caught the movie Night Moves and hated it. My dislike was driven by a lack of dialogue, shots of nature and too little happening. The complaints could be made about this movie yet my reaction is completely different for three reasons.

1) This has an interesting premise. It’s is an Australian Western revenge movie of sorts set 10 years after ‘the Collapse’. A kind of less campy post apocalyptic Mad Max. It’s very atmospheric, it’s filthy dirty and desolate. You can feel the heat and taste the dust.

2)  The characters are intriguing. Guy Ritchie is a ruthless Clint Eastwood style figure on a mission to try and get his car back and Robert Pattinson is a Lennie-esque simpleton with whom an unlikely alliance is formed.

The Villains are great too, I love Scoot McNairy, he’s kind of weird looking and his name is wonderful. There’s even a place for Keithy Fucking George from Chopper.

3) When something does happen, it’ really happens, the silence and quiet is broken by usually by shocking and vicious violence.

This is great, Aussie’s do a grimy mix of violence and gallows humour really well. If you’re a fan of say Chopper, Animal Kingdom, Two Hands, Snow Town or the Proposition there’s a strong chance you’ll be into this. Guy Ritchie gives a huge performance despite delivering so few lines, they should start an Oscar category for Eye acting.

This is in my top ten somewhere for this year so far.

"If you don’t have $300 you can fuck off!".

"I want my car back!".

"Stop fucking whispering. i’ll fuckin kill ya!".

You should never stop thinking about a life you’ve taken. That’s the price you pay for taking it”.

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Sin City: A Dame to Kill For (2014)

Great Gifs but not my thing Filmwise. Review here

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Night Moves (2014)

Kelly Reichardt is a well thought of Director…. why?

I managed to get through Wendy & Lucy but it was tough going. Meek’s Cutoff I could not finish. Those movies were big on slow single shots, pregnant pauses, shots of nature and wildlife and lingering silences. Unfortunately this one is exactly the same.

Jessie Eisenberg and Dakota Fanning are uncharismatic and kind of a drag, Peter Sarsgaard more fun, he is irresponsible and a of bit loose canon. The three of them are Eco-terrorists and want to blow up a dam. I guess it’s like Damnbusters only much more boring, tedious and dull.

The script for this movie was written on one piece of A4, they didn’t even have to use both sides. The gaps in conversation can be measured in minutes not seconds. One of the longest scenes with dialogue is about buying fertilizer.

I like dialogue, I like witty banter and interplay, I like characters, IO do like visuals and atmosphere too but this needs more substance. There are good actors here given nothing to do or say, even the fucking explosion was understated!!!!

Is this meant to be cerebral? Am I missing the point? Is it too clever for me??? Possibly, I look forward to a real critics thoughts.

I absolutely do not get Reichardt’s films. She and say Michael Bay are at opposite ends of the scale, Bay’s movies are mindless, over the top and brash. Reichardts are sparse and dull - if they made a film together it would probably be a masterpiece.

I watched Let’s be Cops the other night, it was essentially mindless shit but it was much more enjoyable than this snorefest.

I usually put quotes I liked or that represent how good or bad the movie might be but with this I’ll leave it blank for aforementioned reasons.

Gah!

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film2014:

199) The Proposition (2005)

A lawman apprehends a notorious outlaw and gives him nine days to kill his older brother, or else they’ll execute his younger brother.

9/10 - Continuing my string of Australian films, after Wake in Fright, Romper Stomper and Mystery Road, comes this ultra-violent outback Western from Nick Cave. There is something about the Australian Outback that makes for such uncompromising films, it’s dusty, bleak and hopeless. In fact, I’ve struggled to find a positive Australian film (See also: Snowtown, Animal Kingdom, Chopper), it is arguably due to the types of films I’m choosing, but the landscape lends itself to a particular style of storytelling that is very compelling. It’s slow, methodical and well executed. 

The film was shocking to say the least. It seemed like there was no filter to what was put out on screen. Violent act matched and followed by another violent act, but all within the context of era (1880’s) and relevant to the story. It felt honest, convincing and authentic, it gave me the kind of feeling similar to when I watched 12 Years A Slave - A slightly sickly one, but I was ultimately engrossed in the film. I can’t comment on this in relation to other Western films, but it has made me want to check out Clint Eastwood’s Unforgiven, to which this film is quite often compared.

Well worth a watch, and don’t be put off that it has Ray Winstone in it. He actually plays a British person, no Aussie accent here, and before he was doing the annoying Bet365 adverts he was actually quite a good actor.

film2014:

194) Get Shorty (1995)

A mobster travels to Hollywood to collect a debt and discovers that the movie business is much the same as his current job.

7/10 - I hadn’t even heard of Get Shorty until the other day. I was at a Pub Quiz and the question came up regarding the sequel. I was lost. It didn’t help that on our table it was described to me as ‘that film that had Steve Carrell in it' (thinking of Get Smart). It was such a slick movie, I expected the humour to be on the same level as Twinsbut Travolta elevated this film to level I didn’t expect. It’s a slick satire of mob movies and does a great job at poking fun at Hollywood. Overall, it’s a very off-beat and funny movie that I wish I had seen sooner. Need to watch Be Cool now…

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Tracks (2014)

The True Story of Robyn Davidson’s 1700 mile trek across Australia with just four camels and her trusty dog for company.

I got two things wrong here, I thought it was going to be like a 1920s piece starring Saorise Ronan, what i’ve actually got is a 1970s almost hippy free-spirited movie starring Mia Wasikowska that’s very much in the Into the Wild wheelhouse (but is nowhere near as good).

The huge vistas of this movie are a stark contrast to what is an understated movie. As you might expect this movie has a lot of walking, camels and camels walking in it. We get a good perspective of how harsh the Australian outback is and how hardy the people that live there are but this is 100% a character piece.

It’s the stroy of an stubborn yet admirable woman, more at home in nature than with others.

This is a triumph of the human spirit movie that is better than it’s synopsis might suggest but for me was a little too slow (and dull). Others will like it.

"You’re plan is ridiclulous!"

"…DIckheads!"

"Ya must be mad girlie!"

"You wanna die out there or something?"

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Adult World (2014)

Aspiring poet Emma Roberts is pushed out into the adult world by her Father and reluctantly gets a job in a pornoshop called “Adult World”.

This is decent coming of age stuff, there’s no high drama or tragic incidents in here just evolution of character with a few smiles. In many ways it reminded me of The Way Way Back from last year in or Adventureland from a few years ago.

The pornoshop stuff is very subtle, I mean there’s very little sex or nudity but there’s plenty of fun to be had with customers buying material, a drag queen working there etc etc. Decent fish out of water stuff.

Throughout the movie Roberts is pursuing her favourite conceited poet played by John Cusack - who seems an arse but perhaps isn’t and maybe just maybe she’ll end up fancying fellow clerk Evan Peters??

I find myself liking Emma Roberts more and more and this is probably the best Clerks based move since… well… Clerks.

Nothing amazing and probably inferior to all the movies i’ve name-checked above but perfectly enjoyable.

"Welcome to the Adult World"

"Sexual preference! Age, fetish, race, size!"

"He rents porn to stay faithful to her. Until Jesus takes her"

"It’s Crack!"

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Vampire Academy (2014)

Think Twilight Hogwarts meets Mean Girls and Underworld.

This does the extraordinary people in ordinary situations thing. This world has it’s own lore. There is a kind of class system and Royalty different with types of vampire and immortal - all with funny names I can’t pronounce nor be bothered to look up.

The acting is piss poor, Gabriel Byrne should no better and Nikki from Blue Bloods looks unlikely to kick on,

Cheesy and violent with slowmo matrix arse kicking. This references Twilight several times - which just made me wish I was watching……. Twilight.

Avoid.

"Back of bitch he’s mine now"

"BFFs"

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Locke (2014)

Yep great decision to wait for DVD on this one. A movie set almost entirely in a car with Tom Hardy making phone calls.

Hardy is a good man in a bad situation. He’s trying to do the right thing by everyone but upsetting then all. He’s in his way to London from Birmingham and trying to manage several life dramas whilst simultaneously organising a big concrete pour. Yep, I can’t make this film sound any better than that.

The dialogue is poor, the plot weak and the stuff with the imaginary dead Father awful.

Tom Hardy does his best with the material, his Welsh accent is pretty good but no performance was ever going to be enough to save this turkey.

To be positive it is very short and this is best film about concrete ever but that’s like being the tallest dwarf or the best smelling tramp. Who cares?

"… something about concrete!"

"Start rounding up some cowboys and ring me back"

"How could I love you?"

"Are you wearing a fucking red nose?"

"Donal, don’t trust God when it comes to concrete"

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cinema-snaps:

Alien (1979) Dir. Ridley Scott

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Chef (2014)

John Favreau is a talented Chef having a creative crisis. With a famous Food critique in for dinner he wanted to cook adventurous haute cuisine unfortunately restaurant owner Dustin Hoffman advises him to play safe….. cue terrible review and a career meltdown and food truck road trip recovery.

This is a voyage of discovery. The story of a lost soul finding the right path professionally, with his Son and personally. The more astute among us will probably observe that Chef’s longing for artistic freedom is likely a metaphor for his own filmmaking. This is return to a low budget character piece with his buddies roped in rather than blokes in metal suits smashing stuff up.

This is good. Favreau on form is a hell of a thing, he’s a charismatic guy, his humour is subversive and he’s great here. If there’s one thing we know about him it is that he writes good characters. The back and fore between him, John Leguizamo and Bobby Cannavale is fantastic.

The technophobe stuff around Twitter and Youtube is good fun and the meltdown scene itself is over top brilliance. It has meta gags about his own weight gain and and Robert Downey Jr rocks up and absolutely kills it for five minutes. And as for Sofia Vergara’s accent? Dang!

This is a feel good movie and I found it charming. Killer Hip Hop sample soundtrack too. Just don’t watch it when hungry - I could eat a dead cats arse right now.

"OK. Good talk. Let me get back to work".

"His dramatic weigh gain can only be explained by the fact….. he’s eating all the food sent back in his restaurant"

"Holy shit! Chef Big dawg up all night cookin!".

"Yo Big Dawg! Fuck Twitter!"

"Its fucking molten!"

"Pissed on a stick. Came in. Laid it on me 5 seconds ago"

"I’m afraid that was left ambiguous"

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Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

Crazy colourful marvel goodness. review here

(via stealthcrispies)

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Let’s Be Cops (2014)

Much better than Ride Along but not as good as The Heat

Review here