Jeremy Brock

Jeremy Brock

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How I Live Now Review


Excellent

Remarkably bleak for a teen movie, this drama keeps us gripped as it throws its characters into an odyssey that's seriously harrowing. Gifted filmmaker Macdonald (The Last King of Scotland) and a fine young cast make sure that we feel every punch of emotion along the way. And the premise itself gets our minds spinning in unusual directions.

Set in the present day, violent uprisings are growing in Europe as 16-year-old Daisy (Ronan) heads from New York to Britain to spend the summer with her Aunt Penn (Chancellor) on a farm in rural Wales. A sullen loner, she tries to avoid her three chirpy cousins: the quiet genius Eddie (MacKay) is her age, while the more adventurous Isaac (Holland) is 14 and the younger Piper (Bird) is clingy and annoying. Then while Penn is away on business, the violence spreads to the UK, which descends into martial law. The cousins are divided and sent into care. But they promise to meet back at the farm, which is going to be an epic journey for Daisy and Piper if they can escape from their new home.

The story is told from Daisy's perspective, complete with glimpses into her troubled thoughts, dreams and nightmares. We're never sure why she is so deeply fearful of everything around her, but Ronan brings out her fragile mental state beautifully, then takes us along as Daisy is pushed to the limits and must find the inner strength to go forward. As a result, the other characters remain less-defined, although MacKay and Holland bring layers of interest to Eddie and Isaac. As Daisy's companion, Bird is much more present on-screen, and we're as irritated by her as Daisy is.

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The Eagle Review


Good
This beefy tale of male bonding is framed by a story loosely based on historical accounts from the 2nd century. The plot may be corny sentiment, but the movie is rousing entertainment, with two engaging leads.

In 140 AD, Marcus (Tatum) arrives in Britain, the far end of the Roman Empire, where he's charged with fending off local insurgents. But he has a secret agenda: to reclaim the golden eagle of the missing ninth legion, which was led by his father. As he recovers from a battle injury, his uncle (Sutherland) buys him feisty slave Esca (Bell). And then when they hear rumours about the eagle's whereabouts, Marcus and Esca set off to Caledonia to retrieve it. And when they meet a savage Seal prince (Rahim), Esca must become the master.

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Brideshead Revisited Review


Excellent
The palatial estate sits languid against the landscape, the massive family home looking as much like a museum as a manor. Within its walls are secrets kept silent for far too many years, a lineage forged in lies, deception, and an unflappable faith in God. For the Flytes, Brideshead reflects their own insular existence -- self contained, complete with its own ornate chapel and religious iconography. But for anyone outside the clan, such opulence shields wealth of a different, disturbing kind. And should one revisit the famed locale, they too will find themselves lost in its amoral allure.

When we first meet middle class student Charles Ryder (Matthew Goode), he is leaving his distant father for Oxford. Instantly, he is thrust into a world of privilege, and the seedy sphere of influence surrounding fey fop Sebastian Flyte (Ben Whishaw). Over the course of the school year, they become inseparable in ways that suggest something other than simple companionship. Fate finds the pair spending the summer at Sebastian's family home, known as Brideshead. There, Charles meets two women who will figure prominently in his future -- the staunchly Catholic matriarch Lady Marchmain (Emma Thompson) and Sebastian's glamorous sister Julia (Hayley Atwell). Over the next few years, everything about Brideshead, from the people to the place itself, will haunt Charles' attempt to forge an identity for himself, as well as guide what he really wants out of life.

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The Last King Of Scotland Review


Excellent
It's very seductive when the popular and powerful want to welcome you into their inner circle, and none is more susceptible to the charms than the brash and reckless new doctor Nicholas Gerrigan.

Of course, it's an especially dangerous proposition when the king of the popular crowd happens to be Ugandan dictator Idi Amin, at the cusp of his meteoric rise to vicious despotism.

Continue reading: The Last King Of Scotland Review

Driving Lessons Review


Weak
As with many young stars before him, Rupert Grint finally strikes out from his Harry Potter series to see if he has the chops to be anyone but Ron Weasley. Jeremy Brock's Driving Lessons offers him a more dramatic role compared to the comic-relief label that his character in the Potter films often is stamped with. It's a shame that the screenplay and filmmaking doesn't pursue the movie with the same integrity Grint attempts to instill into his character.

Ben Marshall (Grint) has been born into a house of piety. His father (Nicholas Farrell) is an English vicar and his mother (Laura Linney, of all people) preaches and speaks The Word with more holier-than-thou sentiment than her husband ever even considered. Ben's father is aloof to the fact that his wife is also being "visited" by a younger priest that works at his church. These things could be the explanation behind Ben's peculiar behavior with girls and other schoolmates, but his mother insists it's that he isn't doing enough in the community. To rectify this, Ben is somewhat forced into weed-pulling servitude to Evie Walton (Julie Walters), a washed-up theater actress who speaks with brash wit and blunt obviousness. As expected, what first starts out as awkward employer/employee relations turns into warm friendship and blossoms when Ben accompanies her to a small reading in Edinburgh, where Ben drops his V-card and, in theory, learns what life is really about.

Continue reading: Driving Lessons Review

The Last King Of Scotland Review


Excellent

It's very seductive when the popular and powerful want to welcome you into their inner circle, and none is more susceptible to the charms than the brash and reckless new doctor Nicholas Gerrigan.

Of course, it's an especially dangerous proposition when the king of the popular crowd happens to be Ugandan dictator Idi Amin, at the cusp of his meteoric rise to vicious despotism.

The Last King of Scotland is a biography told like a coming-of-age drama. Nicholas, played by James McAvoy - think of him as sort of a Ewan MacGregor Lite - is a brand-new doctor in 1971 Scotland who impulsively flees a stifling future and heads to Uganda, where he arrives just after a coup installed beloved soldier-of-the-people Idi Amin, played by Forest Whitaker, as president. Nicholas is meant to provide aid at a remote, overworked rural clinic, where he makes a bee line for the older -- and married -- Sarah (Gillian Anderson).

Continue reading: The Last King Of Scotland Review

Charlotte Gray Review


Very Good
Ever go to a movie solely for the stars? It may not be anything particularly inventive, but watching some of your favorites onscreen can be worth the price of admission. Charlotte Gray, unfortunately following in the plotline footsteps of this year's Divided We Fall, holds this kind of talent appeal through stars Cate Blanchett and Billy Crudup.

Charlotte Gray (Blanchett), a Londoner, joins the French Resistance after her pilot boyfriend gets shot down over France. When a fellow female spy is caught on her first drop-off assignment, Charlotte stays with local rebellion leader Julien (Crudup) and takes care of two Jewish boys whose parents have been captured. Meanwhile, she continues to meet with her contact to find ambush points for Julien.

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Mrs. Brown Review


Very Good
Judi Dench earned an Oscar nod for her spot-on portrayal of the troubled Queen Victoria (two years before winning an Oscar for repeat royal performances as Queen Elizabeth in two 1999 films). In the 1860s, Victoria was inconsolable after the death of her beloved husband, so she sends for hubby's favorite horsemaster, Mr. Brown (Connolly). Brown succeeds in bringing her out of her coccoon of misery, but not without drawing the attention of a nosy press and nearly toppling the monarchy in the process. The socio-political side of Mrs. Brown is not so well-realized as the emotional side of the relationship between Brown and Victoria, a gut-wrenching analysis of station and the politics of the heart.
Jeremy Brock

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Jeremy Brock Movies

How I Live Now Movie Review

How I Live Now Movie Review

Remarkably bleak for a teen movie, this drama keeps us gripped as it throws its...

The Eagle Movie Review

The Eagle Movie Review

This beefy tale of male bonding is framed by a story loosely based on historical...

Brideshead Revisited Movie Review

Brideshead Revisited Movie Review

The palatial estate sits languid against the landscape, the massive family home looking as much...

The Last King of Scotland Movie Review

The Last King of Scotland Movie Review

It's very seductive when the popular and powerful want to welcome you into their inner...

Advertisement
Driving Lessons Movie Review

Driving Lessons Movie Review

As with many young stars before him, Rupert Grint finally strikes out from his Harry...

The Last King of Scotland Movie Review

The Last King of Scotland Movie Review

It's very seductive when the popular and powerful want to welcome you into their inner...

Charlotte Gray Movie Review

Charlotte Gray Movie Review

Ever go to a movie solely for the stars? It may not be anything...

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