Showing posts with label Jeremy Irons. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Jeremy Irons. Show all posts

Monday, 13 May 2013

Dead Ringers

I watch David Cronenberg films for one reason and that is to have my eyes opened. Whether it is through the gore of an early film like Scanners or the beauty of a more recent movie like A Dangerous Method, his visuals are always striking and his themes, challenging. Few film makers can claim to have been as influential as Cronenberg while also avoiding the trappings of mainstream Hollywood and whatever he turns his attention to, something weird and unique will invariably be formed. Dead Ringers is his 1988 film which looks at the connection that twins share; biologically, mentally and physically. It straddles the gap between body horror and beautiful cinematography but was made firmly during his body horror era. For the director it is a somewhat restrained film but one which runs deep with ideas although doesn’t boil over into all out gore.

Elliot and Beverly Mantle (Jeremy Irons) are brilliant gynaecologists and identical twins. Working out of their Toronto office, the two men specialise in fertility and their methods are both effective but daring. The twin’s lives are blurred by their frequent interchanging. The two impersonate each other at dinners, awards ceremonies and even with women. Early on in the film, the brothers begin to share the life of an actress called Claire Niveau (Geneviève Bujold) and when the quieter Beverly begins to fall for her, his more aggressive brother Elliot suspects that her presence is harming their relationship.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

The Lion King

A few months ago I took part in a blogathon/questionnaire type thing in which one of the questions was ‘Which ten classic movies haven’t you seen?’ Among my answers were the likes of Citizen Cane, Casablanca and North by Northwest (which I’ve since seen) but by far the biggest response to this question came from people who couldn’t believe that I hadn’t seen The Lion King. So when a friend at work (who was equally shocked) offered to lend me a shiny Blu-Ray copy I had to take it and give it a go.

Mixing a coming of age story, Hamlet, Bambi, parts of Genesis (the ridiculous stories, not band) and anthropomorphic animals, The Lion King is about a young Lion called Simba who was set to ascend the throne after the death of his father but was halted by his evil Uncle Scar. Wandering for years in the wilderness he learns about the world with the help of a Warthog named Pumbaa and a Meerkat called Timon before rising to the challenge of deposing his wicked Uncle.

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Kingdom of Heaven

"I once fought two days with an arrow through my testicle"

Ridley Scott directs an all star cast in a story about the Crusades and in particular the 12th Century battles in which Muslims attempted to recapture the city of Jerusalem from the Christians. Balian (Orlando Bloom) is a blacksmith in rural France. A Knight (Liam Neeson) visits him and informs him that he is his father. After Balian kills a Priest who mocks his dead wife, Balian is given the chance to join the Crusades in the Middle East. While there he learns the ins and out of the Politics and Religion of the region and ends up in a prominent position in the defence of the Holy city of Jerusalem against a Muslim invasion.

This was the second Ridley Scott film I watched today having watched Alien for the first time this morning. Kingdom of Heaven is not anywhere near as good as that. The first thing I’ll say is that the sets looked sumptuous and were well dressed. The costume also looked good and the special effects were on the whole excellent, despite the odd dodgy shot. The acting was also generally quite good. Charisma vacuum Orlando Bloom was actually alright but still far from the screen presence that a role like this requires. He is joined by a fantastic cast which includes Eva Green, Jeremy Irons, David Thewlis, Brendan Gleeson, Michael Sheen, Ghassan Massoud and an almost unrecognisable Edward Norton. Had I not looked at the cast beforehand I honestly wouldn’t have known he was in the film. Marton Csokas was a bit of a let down on the acting front.