Showing posts with label Casey Affleck. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Casey Affleck. Show all posts

Saturday, 15 September 2012


Norman (Kodi Smit-McPhee – The Road) is an eleven year old boy living in a small Massachusetts town famous for hanging a Witch three hundred years ago. Norman is unpopular at home and ridiculed at school because he believes that he can talk to ghosts. After being approached by a creepy old man about averting the ‘curse of the Witch’, Norman accidentally raises a horde of zombies from their graves before enlisting their help along with that of his sister Courtney (Anna Kendrick), friend Neil (Tucker Albrizzi), Jock Mitch (Casey Affleck) and school bully Alvin (Christopher Mintz-Plasse)in sending the Witch back to her grave.

The first of three hotly anticipated horror/comedy/stop motion kids films we’ll see in the coming weeks and coming three years after Laika’s success with Coraline, ParaNorman begins with a flourish which sets it up to be an interesting and funny family film. Unfortunately it runs out of steam after about fifty minutes when the jokes dry up and the predictable plot takes over from what had been a fun, film which takes a surprisingly candid look at death.

Thursday, 26 January 2012

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford

2007 was a very good year for Westerns with 3:10 to Yuma, There Will be Blood and No Country for Old Men all joining The Assassination of Jesse James in being released in that year. While Jesse James is a good film, I believe that it is the weakest of this quartet.

The film focuses on the last few years of the life of famed Outlaw Jesse James, played by Brad Pitt. Pitt is joined by a strong ensemble cast which includes Sam Rockwell and Casey Affleck as James’ assassin, Robert Ford.

The first thing that needs to be said about this film is that as with many modern takes on the Western, it looks stunning. Vast open plains are shot with a fantastic use of natural light and artificial light is superbly used during a scene in which the James Gang attack and rob a train during the night.

The acting is also top notch. Rockwell plays his oft seen ‘crazy guy on the edge’; Affleck is well cast as the young, impressionable Robert Ford who is out to prove himself to his idol, Jesse James, who Pitt plays perfectly. He has the audience on the edge of their seat, guessing about his next move and when his mostly quiet and thoughtful Outlaw will next burst into anger like a bullet from a six-shooter.

One of the problems with the film is that because you know that it is about an assassination you are waiting for it to come for the entire film and as a result the rest of the plot just washes over you. When the assassination finally does come it is well played but the final act of Ford’s life after the shooting I felt was only skimmed over.

In the end, the film lacks Yuma's punch, No Country's madness and There Will Be Blood's tension but overall this is a film that is well worth watching, if only for the performances of Affleck and Pitt and the beautiful countryside in which it is filmed.