Showing posts with label Marisa Tomei. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Marisa Tomei. Show all posts

Monday, 9 July 2012

Before the Devil Knows You're Dead

"Andy... that's Mom and Dad's store"

Two brothers (Phillip Seymour Hoffman & Ethan Hawke) in very different situations but both desperately in need of money decide to rob their parents Jewellery store. As you’d expect the heist goes wrong and leaves one family member dead while the others try to come to terms with the consequences.

I don’t want to give anymore away than that as spoilers are like a minefield with this film. It is presented in a non linier way with scenes chopping back and forth through the narrative, often from different perspectives. It’s never difficult to follow though. While the back and forth storytelling was interesting I didn’t feel that the different points of view made a difference. I had never heard of this movie and was recommended it by our building’s concierge. As a result I didn’t know what to expect but I was pleasantly surprised when the excellent cast popped up on screen. Each time a new character came on screen I was thinking “ooh its Hoffman, ooh it’s Hawke. Ooh Albert Finney’s in this. And Rosemary Harris. Ahh, Marisa Tomei (with her contractual topless scenes). Cool, Amy Ryan. Ah, nice one it’s Michael Shannon”. The cast is excellent. The film however isn’t.

Thursday, 17 May 2012

The Ides of March

"All the reporters love you. Even the reporters that hate you still love you"

The Ides of March is a political thriller set during the Democratic Primary in Ohio in which Governor Mike Morris (George Clooney) is running for the Party’s nomination for President. His team includes Campaign Manager Paul Zara (Philip Seymour Hoffman) and young up and comer Stephen Myers (Ryan Gosling). Myers is convinced that Morris is the man to lead the country but receives a tempting job offer from rival Campaign Manager Tom Duffy (Paul Giamatti) which opens up a torrent of problems for all involved.

The film is full of twists, turns and surprises and kept me glued throughout its fairly short 101 minutes. Clooney’s Morris felt like a Candidate too good to be true to me, being pro choice, atheist, pro alternative energy and with plans for free college education. He was a candidate with the sort of policies that appealed to me. To be honest, knowing what I do of American Politics, his platform felt a little unrealistic but I’d vote for him. As well as a candidate I was on board with, the film kept my interest up as I never knew which direction it would turn next. It felt like a good episode of The West Wing crossed with a crime mystery.

Friday, 4 May 2012

The Lincoln Lawyer

Successful LA defence attorney Mickey Haller (Matthew ‘Mahogany’ McConaughey)  lands a career case, the defence of a young millionaire playboy Louis Roulet (Ryan Philippe) who has been accused of attacking and beating high class prostitute Regina Campo (Margarita Levieva). Roulet claims his innocence and argues that he’s being set up. The film follows the case as twist follows twist, right up to the very end.

I’ve never been that into courtroom dramas (unless Fangshaw Standon is presiding/providing) but this one kept me interested for most of the time although to be honest I was never invested enough in the characters to really care which way the film came down on. I mainly kept with it just so I could find out at the end. After the initial twist, it is fairly obvious how things are going to go and it’s just a matter of how and when. Various side stories intertwine to create a deeper more complex story and this generally works well but Haller’s ex wife and child were only really there for one reason late on and felt a bit ignored. Calling the film The Lincoln Lawyer seemed like a bit of a stretch. Unless I’m missing something it is because Haller owns a Lincoln and drives from one place to another in it. I think he works in it once but it seems a bit flimsy to name an entire film after the car that the protagonist drives. The car didn’t play that big a role in the film.