Archive for January, 2018

19th January
2018
written by Adam

Based on actual events, 12 strong tells of the first Special Forces team deployed to Afghanistan after 9/11. Lead by Captain Mitch Nelson (Chris Hemsworth), this group of twelve would infiltrate the war torn country, win the support of Afghan warlord General Dostum (Navid Negahban), and cripple the Taliban with terrible losses in a matter of three weeks– an unprecedented and amazing feat that would impact each warrior for life. Recounting their battles and political jousting, this is their story. Directed by newcomer Nicolai Fuglsig and Cinematography by Rasmus Videbæk, this visual smorgasbord of military engagement doesn’t ask for tremendous emotional swings from the ensemble or the viewer, but does offer up a compelling narrative that pulls the viewer in to caring about the characters, even though the initial setup lacks creativity and originality. Not shying away from carnage and things that go boom, 12 Strong delivers concussive blow after blow to the viewer for just over two hours, this is after all a war movie, those with lighter stomachs might opt for lighter faire. Meanwhile, the ensemble thoroughly engages their killer eyes all the while bringing a bit of humanity to the insanity of the situation as a whole. Plunging a bit didactic in act three, the sentiments and terrors of war are not to be lost on the audience, perhaps there are more artistic ways to convey the message? Still, a strong contender for your matinee dollar this weekend. 12 Strong is rated R.

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12th January
2018
written by Adam

Former cop turned life insurance salesman, Michael MacCauley (Liam Neeson), is tasked into sleuthing out a fellow passenger on a commuter train by a mysterious woman (Vera Farmiga) with a sinister plan. But what are the driving forces behind this plan and just how far will all parties go to ensure their own success? Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra this ridiculous romp feels like the cross bred result of a film straight out of the Taken franchise and a flash back to 1994’s Speed, which is to say, it’s good to see Liam Neeson getting the opportunity to really stretch his abilities #sarcasticeyeroll. But, despite the lack of originality quotient running hot, the film still somehow manages to engage the audience in a moderately compelling manner just the same; then again, that could also be the inducing and effective musical score of Roque Baños, tough call. Perhaps best considered a Saturday matinee type film when it winds up on cable in the next few weeks, sometimes one just has to set their bar low in order to be pleasantly surprised. The Commuter is rated PG-13.

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12th January
2018
written by Adam

A few years after WWII fashion designer Reynolds Woodcock (Daniel Day-Lewis), a man who is loved and feared by many in the industry takes a profound interest in a waitress named Alma (Vicky Krieps). Alma becomes Reynolds lover, muse, and eventually wife, and, aside from his sister Cyril (Lesley Manville), she appears to be one of the only women who really understands and can possibly tame him. A tangled mess of neurosis, hubris, and arrogance, with a dash of food poisoning to bring a couple together, but can it also tear things apart?Written and Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, this uneasy examination of a wildly passionate artist being matched by an equally talented spark serves as the carrier to what is being touted as Daniel Day-Lewis’s final performance; a performance that is not necessarily his most dynamic but perhaps his most controlled and metered performance, with great power comes great control. Larger than Day-Lewis though it’s Krieps delicate, detailed, and inspired performance that truly shines. Paired with scoring from Johnny Greenwood that melds liquid piano flavors and costume design by Mark Bridges that weaves fine threads into finer gowns Phantom Thread stands as a definite art piece which may thematically prove hard for conventional audiences; but, for the cinephiles, more satisfying. Worthy of your cinema dollar, Phantom Thread is rated R.

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