While this biopic has the standard sumptuous production values of a British period drama, it's also a lot more complex than expected. For his directing debut, Andy Serkis recounts the life of a man who is so genuinely inspirational that he never needs to crank up the sentimentality. Characters burst with personality, and the events unfold with some unexpected complications that make the movie strikingly edgy. It also, of course, looks gorgeous.
This is the story of Robin Cavendish (Andrew Garfield), who travels to Kenya in 1958 with his pregnant wife Diana (Claire Foy) on tea-plantation business and is stricken with polio, paralysed from the neck down and needing a ventilator to breathe. They move back to England, where Robin gets increasingly annoyed by his life in hospital. So he convinces Diana to take him home, against the doctors' advice, and gets his inventor pal Teddy (Hugh Bonneville) to design a chair with a built-in respirator so he can get out and about. This is a revolution for him, and he becomes an advocate in helping severely disabled people like him find independence from hospital care so they can life their lives.
Continue reading: Breathe Review
Racing through the final years of Doris's troubled life in typically episodic biopic fashion, the teleplay introduces us to an aging but still feisty woman who doesn't suffer fools gladly and manages her sprawling estate and her finances with an iron fist. When a butler delivers cantaloupe that is chilled incorrectly, Doris fires him on the spot.
Continue reading: Bernard And Doris Review
Sorry, folks, I don't buy it. Do I need to be shot into space to review Apollo 13? A movie should stand on its own whether you're familiar with the subject, whether you're fond of the topic in question, or whether you're a member of the demographic that the film is about or is targeted at. If it especially appeals to a certain group (and what film doesn't?), well, good for you. But I'm going to review whatever I want -- and if you don't want to hear what a white guy in his late 20s has to say about cinema, well, that's just to bad.
Continue reading: Bridget Jones's Diary Review
Well, throw enough money at something and it's bound to change people's minds. In fact, that seems to be the operating assumption for the entirety of this sequel, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, a lackluster follow-up to the mildly enchanting original.
Continue reading: Bridget Jones: The Edge Of Reason Review
Down on his luck novelist Jack Manfred (Clive Owen, handsome and angular as a young Sean Connery) is forced to make ends meet by taking a job at a high stakes casino. He's a croupier, or dealer, operating with cold precision. He sizes up gamblers who line up as the roulette wheel to try their luck.
Continue reading: Croupier Review
Pronounced "sahn TEEVE," the film is based on a Robert Louis Stevenson tale about a Napoleonic Era French captain named Jacques St. Ives (Jean-Marc Barr) who is captured by the British during the war, sent to P.O.W. camp in Scotland, and falls in love along the way, of course. The object of his affection is a local girl (the forgettable Anna Friel), who lives under the protection of her mother (Miranda Richardson), a woman who is having a dalliance with the stiff prison camp boss (Richard E. Grant), who is oddly enough receiving lessons in the ways of love from our very own, very Frahnch St. Ives.
Continue reading: St. Ives Review
As if that weren't enough, Alfie, stricken by "the love that dare not speak its name," is constantly at war with his emotions and his sexuality, and he is painfully infatuated with the bus's driver, Robbie (Rufus Sewell). As the annual play draws near, a new rider, Adele (well-played by Tara Fitzgerald) shows up, and Alfie decides to cast her as the virginal lead in Wilde's controversial Salome.
Continue reading: A Man Of No Importance Review
Accents are hardly the biggest problem with this movie, though. It's a dull-as-a-Nerf-ball script that makes Ordinary Decent Criminal far less than ordinary. It's almost painful sitting through its rote heist vignettes and endless expository scenes in between them. A bunch of IRA rhetoric doesn't add anything to Spacey's cryptic criminal, who just wants to help out his family while avoiding a fearsome prosecutor.
Continue reading: Ordinary Decent Criminal Review
In the ill-advised Trauma, Firth tries his hand at, of all things, a psychological horror movie. His Ben wakes from a coma to discover that his wife has been killed in a car crash. He tries to get his life together in the creepiest apartment complex on earth, only to be haunted by a variety of visions, snoopy cops, and a plague of ants. Oh, and Mena Suvari lives down the hall.
Continue reading: Trauma Review
Gangster No. 1 feels like pieces a bunch of other, better movies slapped together -- GoodFellas' musical selections, the violence from American Psycho and Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, a dash of any Quentin Tarantino or Guy Ritchie style of editing, Malcolm McDowell in a performance recalling A Clockwork Orange. Some of it's fun, but it just isn't original or creative.
Continue reading: Gangster No. 1 Review
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