Archive for September, 2015

18th September
2015
written by Adam

James ‘Whitey’ Bulger (Johnny Depp), a boy out of Boston’s South Side and brother to state senator Billy Bulger (Benedict Cumberbatch) would arrive in the 1970’s and 80’s as one of the most infamous and violent criminal masterminds wanted by the FBI; however, before he was a wanted man, Bulger was actually an informant to the FBI and fellow Southie agent John Connolly (Joel Edgerton). Outlining some of ‘Whitey’s’ more memorable stops along the way, this is the story of his rise to power and eventual fall. blackmassDirected by Scott Cooper, the ensemble weight of this piece is a massive bunch although in actuality each of the individual parts are deceptively light; appearances from Kevin Bacon, Peter Sarsgaard, Rory Cochrane, Jesse Plemons, Dakota Johnson, Corey Stoll, Julianne Nicholson, the list goes on, are all important but still quite superficial. Meanwhile the relationship between Depp, Edgerton, and Cumberbatch does go further but doesn’t entirely dig perhaps as deep as possible; instead, large gaps of time are left open in the narrative leaving the audience to fill in their own blanks; and, while Depp melts into the skin of Bulger all too seamlessly, it still remains somewhat of a mystery as to how the monster was made. Nonetheless, still the frontrunner for this week’s biopic race, Black Mass is worthy of your attention and rated R.

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18th September
2015
written by Adam

Based on actual events, a group of mountain climbing expeditions on Mt. Everest in 1996 were met with tragic results in the midst of a massive snow storm; despite the deadly conditions, some lived to tell the tale, this is their story. Everest An ensemble piece starring Jason Clarke, Jake Gyllenhaal, Josh Brolin, Keira Knightley, Robin Wright, Emily Watson, and Martin Henderson, this audio visual barrage and overload is Directed by Baltasar Korm├íkur shot with impossible and vertigo inducing camera work by Salvatore Totino. While not a traditional narrative story the film hits its stride as an experience and a transport to one of the harshest natural environments on the planet, a place where few will ever truly go. Somber in totality, there are moments of happiness and hope, but let’s not fool anyone, this is not the feel good hit of the year but rather a humbling look to nature’s power and our insignificance in the greater scheme of things. Worth seeing on IMAX 3D for the maximum effect, Everest is rated PG-13.

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18th September
2015
written by Adam

During the cold war political positioning between the Soviet Union and the United States was fought on many levels, one such level was intellect, or more specifically the game of chess. At the center of this particular battle, American chess prodigy Bobby Fischer (Tobey Maguire) and Russian chess master Boris Spassky (Liev Schreiber); veritable pawns for their respective countries. However, in the case of Fischer, his strongest opponent may have in fact been his own mind, battling for national pride and his own personal reasons, this is his story. pawnsacrifice Directed by Edward Zwick, this biopic character study piece seems to be a familiar story in light of last year’s The Theory of Everything, and A Beautiful Mind from 2001, the tale of a tortured genius. Sadly, this go round, while surface paranoid behavior and mania is apparent, true clarity as to what made Fischer tick never completely comes into focus. Performances from the ensemble all round are rich, including work from Peter Sarsgaard and Michael Stuhlbarg (Fischer’s handlers of sorts). Score by James Newton Howard hits a generally nice tone although, one or two cues do stand out a little sore, perhaps intentionally? Compelling and telling story, not so much, interesting character study, mostly, worthy of a matinee, okay. Pawn Sacrifice is rated PG-13.

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