Showing posts with label Don Cheadle. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Don Cheadle. Show all posts

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Iron Man 3

With Iron Man 3 Marvel Studios found themselves in a somewhat precarious situation. Coming off the back of the super hit superhero extravaganza The Avengers, they had a lot to live up to and in a sequel to the poorly received Iron Man 2, they had some damage to undo. Stuck between a team of superhero rocks and an iron suited hard place they’ve managed to pull it out of the bag once more and produce a thoroughly entertaining action movie which is in my view, the best Iron Man movie to date.

Our arrogant, former playboy hero Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr) is now settled with his live in girlfriend Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow). While Potts manages Stark Enterprises, Stark himself tinkers in his basement on new designs and upgrades for his Iron Man suit. Unwanted flashbacks to the events at the close of The Avengers movie provide a distraction to his work and coupled with insomnia he begins to lose focus on what really matters in the life of Stark, instead focussing on his alter ego. With his dedication to Iron Man reaching addictive levels he finds he needs to focus when a new menace threatens the world in the form of shady terrorist The Mandarin (Ben Kingsley) and a small army of indestructible men whom he has at his disposal.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013


Prime Oscar bait Flight is Director Robert Zemeckis’ return to live action following more than a decade producing animated and computer generated movies. The movie tells the story of a crashed aircraft and the following weeks for its functioning alcoholic pilot (Whip Whitaker) Denzel Washington. Whip is a well trained and long serving pilot who has got by all throughout his adult life despite being drunk and stoned everyday. On the morning of the fated flight he is seen drinking beer and vodka and snorting cocaine and even drinks vodka during the fifty minute flight. Despite some miraculous instinct and skill which manages to save many lives Whip is due in front of a tribunal with a failed toxicology report hanging over his head.

It’s fair to say that Flight is one of the weaker of the Oscar season films and the intense crash and admirable Washington performance are all that separate it from mediocrity. The movie is full of religious babble, poorly chosen music and a code era ending which make the excellent opening instantly forgettable and sets up an hour and a half which passes the time but does little to induce much of an emotional response past the odd laugh and one tense moment.

Friday, 18 January 2013

Boogie Nights

Written and Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson (The Master, Punch Drunk Love) Boogie Nights is a story of talent, fame, success and excess set in and around the San Fernando Valley during the late 1970s and early 1980s. The script focuses on the rise and fall of Dirk Diggler (Mark Wahlberg) a young porn star known for his physical similarities to Michael Fassbender. Diggler is spotted while working at a nightclub by famed porn Director Jack Horner (Burt Reynolds) and soon becomes a star of the adult entertainment world. With the help of a select crew and actors, Horner attempts to go beyond making pornography and tries to create movies which people will stay to watch when they’ve ‘completed the task in hand’. With the aid of his adept crew (William H. Macy, Philip Seymour Hoffman) and on screen talent (Julianne Moore, Heather Graham, John C. Reilly, Don Cheadle) Horner’s films become actual movies and the stars get rich.

This is the forth of Director Paul Thomas Anderson’s six feature films I’ve seen and unsurprisingly it is excellent. Anderson creates a wonderfully vivid and detailed world which changes gradually with the story. The characters are well written and the soundtrack is perfectly chosen. Anderson’s films have a tendency to attract awards recognition and even this story of sex, drugs and moustaches picked up three Oscar nominations including nods for Anderson (screenplay) as well as Julianne Moore and Burt Reynolds. In fact Anderson’s six films have thus far picked up seven acting nominations at the Oscars. Here the acting is superb from the top to the bottom of the cast.

Wednesday, 5 December 2012


A surprise winner of Best Picture at the 78th Academy Awards, Crash features an intertwining narrative set over two days in Los Angeles. Not to be confused with David Cronenberg’s 1996 film of the same name (as I did), the movie features a series of stories, each with a theme of racism. A large ensemble cast that includes the likes of Don Cheadle, Matt Dillon, Sandra Bullock, Thandie Newton, Brendan Fraser and Terence Howard compete for screen time but each is given just enough to serve their purpose.

I’ve never felt an urge to watch Crash and only really did so as part of my Best Picture Series. While it isn’t a bad film, I’m more than a little surprised it won film’s top award in 2005. Unusually for me I’ve only actually seen one more of the Best Picture nominees from that year, Capote, which itself was fine but not what I’d consider film of the year quality. Crash’s win may come down to the fact that 2004 was a poor year for film as it is one of the weakest Oscar winners I’ve seen so far.