With films in the Mid 80s through to the 90s such as Romancing the Stone, The Back to the Future Trilogy, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Forrest Gump and Contact filmmaker Robert Zemeckis was pretty untouchable, a master visionary with the Midas touch, a director who defined those times with exciting, bold film-making, great storytelling and colorful characters that we all love so well….
His latest ALLIED a WWII movie that’s more keeping with Casablanca rather than the violent brutal Tarantino pic Inglorious Basterds is an absolute treat – Zemeckis delivers on every detail, from the character’s costumes down to the general atmosphere of the times, whether it be the sand dune Nazi occupied Casablanca to the devastation of war torn London, as a filmmaker he keeps his sets simple yet pleasing on the eye making each scenario in the movie more believable – along for the ride are two accomplished actors Brad Pitt who plays intelligence officer Max Vatan and Marion Cotillard a French Resistance fighter named Marianne Beausejour, both finding themselves in Morocco paired up with one assignment to kill a German Ambassador who is stationed there and that’s where the fun and games really start – Brad Pitt is terrific, he absorbs his character that goes from a confident spy to slightly unhinged and carrying self doubt as the story slowly unfolds, the is the Pitt of old he’s in fine form, not only bringing the best out of himself but managing as he always seems to do by getting the best out of his co-star and in Allied Marion Cotillard is the perfect foil, she’s the glue that binds the movie together, there’s something exciting about a movie star on top of their game and this French actress is certainly that, she carries the elegance of an 1940’s movie siren, dazzling the screen with a comfortable ease, her acting in the film’s finale is both haunting and powerful and throughout the film she gives a performance that’s worth the ticket fee in itself – Overall: Robert Zemeckis Allied is an attention-driven, old school romantic thriller with plenty of twists and turns, some gorgeous photography and a dark finale that in my opinion was required and executed superbly – let’s hope it’s not too long before we see the brilliance that is Robert Zemeckis behind the camera once more….
Nowhere near as magical as its 2013 original but the introduction of the energetic Lula May played by the bubbly & hilarious Lizzy Caplan and Daniel Radcliffe’s turn as Walter Maybry allows film-maker Jon Chu enough intrigue & thrill to pull this sequel out of the bag – and although in my opinion the film contains way too much CGI, not enough practical magic and maybe Daniel Radcliffe’s creepy demeanour was a little underused I still found enough in this sequel to enjoy, have lots of fun with and look forward to a possible third outing for The Four Horseman ★★★½
The Interview (2014/5) – Movie Review ★★★★
“They Hate us caus they Ain’t-us”
Director: Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg – Cast: James Franco, Seth Rogen, Lizzy Caplan, Randall Park, Diana Bang and Charles Rahi Chun – Synopsis: The Interview follows Dave Skylark and Aaron Rapaport as two friends running a TV show in the US called “Skylark Tonight” interviewing celebrities who usually spout trashy & outrageous nonsense – the show somehow manages to catch the eye of a certain North Korean leader Kim Jong Un who as it turns out is big fan of the show and grant the pair a one on one interview, upon hearing of this the CIA recruit Skylark and Rapaport to help assassinate the Korean Leader and that’s when the fun really begins Verdict: as you may know The Interview has become a movie shrouded in controversy, and just like a script from a Hollywood movie it all started with Sony axing the film from its planned Christmas schedule due to hacking threats (possibly the North Koreans?) which immediately saw a whole host of celebrities including George Clooney and the President of the United States taking to social media & many news outlets to decry the decision calling Sony weak and asking them to reconsider – it only took a few days for Sony to capitulate, with the FBI now involved in tracking these hackers a statement was put out that The Interview would return to the festive schedule and be shown in selected cinemas after all ! Overall: As a fan of Rogen and Franco’s style of brainless, moronic, insanely daft humor I had high hopes for this film their latest big screen pairing and by it’s end credits boy was I not disappointed – if you dislike gross-out comedy satires that produce the side splitting laughs but also in turn make you reach for the vomit bag, and your only thinking of watching the film due to the nonsensical over the top attention it’s received then you may want to reconsider – The Interview is made of the blackest of humor, some may even call the film distasteful and maybe it is – but overall it’s a well executed, tongue in cheek comedy that centers around a subject matter that shouldn’t be funny but really is, and that all due to it’s great material, it’s high tempo and a superb cast that includes a delicious turn by Randall Park playing Kim Jong Un who’s not only uncanny in resemblance to the North Korean leader but his camp & creepy portrayal makes his performance one of the true comic highlights of the year – if you have loved Rogen & Franco’s past movie pairings in Neighbors, This Is the End and Pineapple Express then I am pretty confident you will love The Interview it’s a comedy that will tickle you senseless, make your eye’s stream like a river and make your belly bounce till it hurts – the scenes that include that Eminem interview, Rapaport’s insertion, Kim Jong Un’s seduction of Skylark including the basketball come orgy and the tank ride, every moment on screen that included Sook played by the fabulous Diana Bang and each and every Franco smile, grimace and utterly stupid sentence spoken make The Interview one of 2014’s finest comedy achievements and one I can not wait to re-watch !!