Showing posts with label Dermot Mulroney. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dermot Mulroney. Show all posts

Sunday, 3 March 2013


When I first heard that one of my favourite directors was leaving his native Korea to make an English language film I was excited but also as worried as when I heard Spike Lee was remaking Oldboy. My worry grew when earlier this year Kim Ji-woon’s US debut The Last Stand failed to live up to his back catalogue. In Stoker though, director Park Chan-wook has created a film which I believe can sit happily alongside his previous films. Stoker is unmistakably a Park Chan-wook film and he has lost nothing in translation. It is as dark and stylish as you’d expect from the director of Thirst and I’m a Cyborg and features a typically bold and beautiful colour palate.

Following the death of Richard Stoker, his enigmatic younger brother Charlie (Matthew Goode) comes to stay with his wife Evelyn (Nicole Kidman) and teenage daughter India (Mia Wasikowska). Uncle Charlie was previously unknown to India as he was never mentioned by her father. India is slow to accept Charlie into the family but a tender bond slowly forms between the two cold and indecipherable people. India remains apprehensive though and Charlie’s motives for the sudden visit remain unclear.

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Big Miracle

Based on a true story, Big Miracle is about the efforts in 1988 to save three Grey Whales from drowning in frozen seas of Point Barrow, Alaska, one of the most northerly inhabited settlements on Earth. Anchorage based reporter Adam Carlson (John Krasinski) is reporting from Barrow when he spots a small gap in sea ice through which three whales are struggling to breathe. Once his story gets national coverage, thousands of reporters, National Guard and Greenpeace activists including Rachel Kramer (Drew Barrymore) descend on Barrow to cover the story and help set the whales free.  

Although billed as a family film, for me this feels like the next generation disaster movie. We’ve already seen a shift from the terrorist style movies of the 90s towards the 2012 environmental type movies and this feels like the next step. Throughout the film I was constantly reminded of Deep Impact and Independence Day. There are several intertwining stories with overlapping characters, families watching the proceedings on TV, reporters from all over the world lined up in that tracking shot which you always get, enemies coming together, several love stories, tragedy to open the third act and surprising international cooperation saving the day. If you substituted the whales for a meteor or alien invasion then you have the exact same disaster film which everyone has seen before.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

The Grey

I read somewhere the other day that in the last three years, Liam Neeson has had more number one movies than Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Matt Damon, George Clooney or Denzel Washington. This is down to movies such as The Grey. It is a no nonsense stupid action movie that draws in the teenage and young adult audience like a chav to a velour tracksuit.

Neeson plays John Ottway, who is employed by an oil company to kill wolves in the wilds of Alaska. During a flight back to Anchorage, the plane crashes, killing most on board but leaving a few survivors to fend off the isolation, bitter cold and a pack of ravenous wolves who seem hell bent on killing everyone. Joining Ottway in his quest for survival are a bunch of typical action movie characters; there’s a cocky, arrogant man who learns cooperation is better than going it along, an annoying, say what you think guy, a geeky type with glasses and a notepad and a few more cliché characters who have the task of speaking briefly with Neeson before being eaten alive. 

Fight for survival

The freezing Alaskan landscape creeps into the audience during the film. It feels very cold! You feel like the actors were really there, freezing their bits off. A faulty multiplex heating system also helps add to the cold feeling so I have our local Cineworld to thank for the freezo-vision.

The animatronic and CGI wolves look quite realistic and behave in a menacing way throughout. The human actors are also quite good and there is an unexpected emotional scene just after the crash which surprised me. It was really good.

The plot is fairly formulaic. It is obvious that the men will be picked off one by one until there is only one left, and I bet you can’t guess who that one will be? This being said, the ending was very satisfying. The film happily wastes 117 minutes of your life and goes along at a decent pace. There are some silly bits and plot holes and it is extremely annoying when Neeson, who is obviously in the wolf’s den, almost turns to camera and says “I’m in the fucking wolfs den!” But other than this, The Grey is thoroughly enjoyable.