Showing posts with label Bryan Cranston. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bryan Cranston. Show all posts

Monday, 19 May 2014


Sixty years after his debut screen appearance, Godzilla is back on our screens in his second American guise. For anyone who remembers the 1998 Roland Emmerich version, this news may legitimately cause trepidation. My interest in the picture came about when I heard that the new film was to be directed by second time director Gareth Edwards. For nearly half a decade since Edwards’ first film, I’ve been telling anyone I can get my hands on to watch his film Monsters. That movie was outstanding; an ultra low budget monster-thinker which Edwards wrote, directed, shot and edited himself besides doing all of the FX work in his bedroom. In comparison to that movie, Godzilla is a let down.

Things start well with an interesting and attractive titles sequence which gives a slight spin on the traditional Godzilla back story. The film postulates that the atomic tests of the 1950s were in fact not tests at all but an elaborate attempt to destroy the gigantic titular beast. Fast forward several decades and we find Joe Brody (Bryan Cranston) hard at work as the supervisor of a Japanese Nuclear Power Plant. Brody is concerned by strange seismic patterns which are unlike any earthquake he’s seen before. In fact he’s convinced there are no earthquakes at all.

Sunday, 11 November 2012


Shedding light on the incredible true events of the 1979 Iran Hostage Crisis, Director Ben Affleck stars as CIA evacuation specialist Tony Mendez. After the US Embassy in Tehran is stormed by Militants in 1979 and more than fifty staff are taken hostage, six manage to escape into the custody of the Canadian Ambassador where they remain hidden for weeks while the State Department and CIA try to figure out a way of extracting them from the most watched and most anti-American city in the world. Mendez has the idea of creating a fake movie and giving himself and the six hidden embassy staff fake identities as Producers, Scriptwriters and the like, on a location scouting assignment before simply flying out of the country. The idea is met with scepticism by the CIA and State Department as well as the hidden six but with no other viable options, Mendez is given the green light.

Despite co-writing Good Will Hunting with Matt Damon in the mid 90s, Ben Affleck soon became known for his celebrity relationships and mediocre performances in overblown and critically disappointing films such as Pearl Harbor and Armageddon. It came as a surprise to many then that Affleck’s Directorial debut Gone Baby Gone was as good as it was and he then followed this up with another critical success The Town in 2010. With Argo, Affleck is now three for three and seems to be going from strength to strength as a Director.

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Total Recall

Based on the short story by Philip K. Dick which was the inspiration for the 1990 film of the same name, Total Recall takes place after a chemical war at the end of the twenty-first century. Following the fallout, only two areas are left habitable on Earth; The United Federation of Britain (UFB) and The Colony (the landmass of Australia) which is where the workers are forced to live. Each day they must take “the fall”, a kind of superfast lift which takes them through the centre of the Earth and joins up the two habitable areas. One of these workers is Douglas Quaid (Colin Farrell) who wakes up from a reoccurring dream about trying to save a woman from synthetic cops. Upon waking he is comforted by his wife Lori (Kate Beckinsale) but feels as though he is meant for something more. Quaid discovers Rekall, a company which can implant false memories and decides to check it out. This decision creates a ripple effect and leaves Quaid unsure of whom he is and why people, including some of those closest to him want him dead.

I saw Paul Verhoeven’s original 1990 film again recently and having now seen both cannot make up my mind as to which one is better. Although they have a similar plot and share themes they are two very different films, made for different times.

Monday, 18 June 2012


"... I don't sit in while you're running it down. I don't carry a gun. I drive"
A Hollywood stunt driver / part time wheelman for L.A’s criminals (Ryan Gosling) gets embroiled in a crime that puts him on a collision course with the Mob after taking a job in order to protect perhaps the only two people in the world that he has any feelings for. The cool and unflappable Driver seeks out those who have wronged him and attempts to save his own and his love interest’s lives.

This was easily one of the top 10 best films of 2011 and possibly inside my top ten of the last several years. The film and its central character are effortlessly cool and both have become both instant classics and cult favourites. Although the film’s time period is never specified it seems to have a foot both in the present and in the 1980s. The style, design and music reminded me of the video game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City as it has that kind of 80s Miami almost art deco style-stucco style. The colour palette is beautiful and dominated by the colour gold, perhaps in a nod to its L.A setting and also the Driver’s nostalgic view of L.A with its strong silent movie stars and dames in need of rescue. The whole film has a very Noir feel to it. The gold is most noticeable in Gosling’s wardrobe as he sports golden shoes and a fantastic gold scorpion jacket. More subtlety though the sun kissed L.A streets also glisten gold.

Thursday, 26 April 2012


A married woman (Gwyneth Paltrow) stops off in Chicago on her way back from a business trip in Hong Kong to engage in extra marital activities with an old boyfriend. When back home in Minneapolis she feels ill and believes she has contracted a cold while away. It turns out to be something much more serious though when she suffers a fit and is rushed to hospital. Unable to save her, doctors inform her husband (Matt Damon) that she has passed away and medical examiners begin tests to figure out what the deadly virus is. Meanwhile people all over the world are contracting the virus and it soon becomes clear that there is an epidemic on a global scale. WHO epidemiologist (Marion Cotillard) travels to Hong Kong to try to find the source of the infection and Disease Control boss (Laurence Fishburne) sends field agent (Kate Winslet) to Minneapolis to get a grip on events there. In a final strand to the story, blogger (Jude Law) is informing millions of his readers about Government cover-ups and conspiracies but has an agenda of his own.