Steven Robertson

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The Comedian Review


Good

There's some interesting material in this dark British drama, but it's so relentlessly grim that we are never able to connect with anyone on-screen. It doesn't help that all of the characters are pretty unlikeable. And the improvised story itself feels oddly bleak and aimless. Honestly, for a movie called The Comedian, you'd think there would be a few laughs. 

The title character is Ed (Hogg), an insurance salesman who is trying to get his stand-up career up and running. But his abrasive routines leave audiences cold. Then he discovers that he has at least one fan, Nathan (Stewart-Jarrett), and they begin a slow-burning romance that's complicated by the fact that Ed is also attracted to his flatmate Elisa (Lasowski). Or maybe it's just that he wants everyone to love him. Which isn't likely to happen since he's such a grump. And as his life spirals into darkness, he refuses the help of the few people left who care about him.

Yes, it's pretty difficult to engage with a central character who's such a moody idiot. Even when he's the life of the party, he lashes out with insults and aggressively wallows in self-pity. Hogg has proved before how adept he is at this kind of abrasively internalised performance (see White Lightnin' if you dare), and he skilfully lets us see glimpses of the fragile man inside. By contrast, Stewart-Jarrett is kind and charming, while Lasowski adds an earthy tenderness in the way she reacts to Ed's behaviour.

Continue reading: The Comedian Review

Brighton Rock Review


Good
Repositioning Graham Greene's 1938 novel to 1964, screenwriter Joffe directs his first feature with a vivid visual flair. Although it's so dark and harsh that none of the characters are even remotely sympathetic.

Pinkie (Riley) is a young member of a Brighton gang that becomes rudderless when its leader is killed by rival mobster Colleoni (Serkis). Second in command Spicer (Davis) tries to take charge, but Pinkie starts escalating things, avenging his boss' death in a way that creates a violent tit-for-tat. He also becomes vulnerable to murder charges. As he romances a young witness (Riseborough) to make sure she doesn't say anything, he angers her boss (Mirren) as well as both Colleoni and his righthand man (Hurt).

Continue reading: Brighton Rock Review

Brighton Rock Trailer


Pinkie Brown might be young but his reputation as a fierce and brutal criminal precedes him in many circles. When Pinkie commits a revenge killing, an innocent bystander named Rose sees Pinkie's gang take the victim away. In a ploy to learn how much Rose knows Pinkie attempts to seduce the young girl. Pinkie finds himself falling for Rose but how sure is he that she won't speak to the police and more so, how can Rose trust a murderer who might make her the next victim.

Continue: Brighton Rock Trailer

Joyeux Noël Review


Good
Whoever was in charge of distribution for Christian Carion's Joyeux Noël should be shamed out of the business. The reason is simple: for a film almost strictly about the Christmas spirit and human connection, there's no way it will fare well since the audience has gotten over that feeling a solid 2 months ago. Where a film like The Family Stone could get away with being released at another time, part of Joyeux Noël's pull is that it taps into that united feeling we get at Christmas and New Year's. However, this is not to say that Carion doesn't know how to make a good movie.

It's the First World War, and the British, French, and Germans are all held up at a front in France, where the Brits and the French are determined to send the Germans home. Earlier, three brothers from Scotland are told that they will be going to Glasgow for military training. Palmer, the oldest and an Anglican priest (Gary Lewis), is apprehensive while his younger brothers, Jonathan and William (Steven Robertson and Robin Laing, respectively) can't wait to go out and defend their country. The French commander, Lieutenant Audebert (a great Guillame Canet), tries to keep his soldiers morale up after a small massacre in the trenches from a German gunner. Meanwhile, the German leader, Horstmayer (Daniel Brühl), attempts to find a way to get out of the fight with his honor intact.

Continue reading: Joyeux Noël Review

Rory O'Shea Was Here Review


OK
One way to deal with disability is courageously but, as this film and its principal character demonstrate, when splashy bravura is used to mask anger, pain and unacceptance, courage may not be what's being expressed. Of course, one can always point out that the fully-abled are in no position to know or to judge the cries for help that come from being confined for life to a wheelchair. That aside, the title character of the drama takes self-assertion dangerously close to the realm of self-destruction.

The assisted living home in Dublin, known as the Carrigmore Home for the Disabled, contains a cross-section of impairments, from mild to the barely functional. In the case of Michael Connolly (Steven Robertson), who has grown up there, his cerebral palsy binds him to a wheelchair and to a speech impediment that makes verbal communication all but impossible.

Continue reading: Rory O'Shea Was Here Review

Steven Robertson

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Steven Robertson Movies

The Comedian Movie Review

The Comedian Movie Review

There's some interesting material in this dark British drama, but it's so relentlessly grim that...

Brighton Rock Movie Review

Brighton Rock Movie Review

Repositioning Graham Greene's 1938 novel to 1964, screenwriter Joffe directs his first feature with a...

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Brighton Rock Trailer

Brighton Rock Trailer

Pinkie Brown might be young but his reputation as a fierce and brutal criminal precedes...

Joyeux Noël Movie Review

Joyeux Noël Movie Review

Whoever was in charge of distribution for Christian Carion's Joyeux Noël should be shamed out...

Rory O'Shea Was Here Movie Review

Rory O'Shea Was Here Movie Review

One way to deal with disability is courageously but, as this film and its principal...

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