Captain Phillips

120px-Film-stripFirst film in a couple of weeks as we’ve been to that many gigs. Actually, we were heading to the Ramones/Andrew WK concert, but discovered we were a ticket short. I passed the one we had on at a loss to someone else and we went to see a film instead. Not very rock and roll, but we were both pooched and fancied a comfy seat rather than a loud concert.

Captain Phillips

“They’re not here to fish.”

Plot-in-a-nutshell: Pirates take over ship populated by unarmed merchant seamen

See it if you like: tension and real life drama

Short review as it’s past my bedtime and I have work in the morning! Simple point to make is that Tom Hanks is superb in this – as good as I’ve ever seen him – and supported by an equally excellent cast.

Now, it’s “based on a true story” so without reading up on the tale in detail it’s always hard to know how close to the real story we’re sticking. What’s important for your spending money is “is it enjoyable”? In this case – yes. Yes it is.

It takes about fifteen minutes to get going, and from that point on it really is tense.

To be as spoiler-free as possible, the only thing I’ll tell you about the ending is that it doesn’t drag on. It would be easy to make is ridiculously schmaltzy, but director Paul Greengrass seems to have decided where the story ends and stops the film at that point. Sensible decision.

Good cast, good film, enjoyable visit to the cinema.

Filth

120px-Film-stripOne film this week due to the times available. In fact, it was last week and I’ve only had a chance to type things up! So only a very brief review of:

Filth

“Don’t start something you cannae fucking finish.”

Plot-in-a-nutshell: corrupt policemen descends down a drug-fuelled helter-skelter

See it if you like: off-the-rails, slightly weird black comedies

Being based on a novel by IrvineTrainspotting” Welsh, it’s no surprised that Filth is full of drugs, violence, sex and bad language. And that it’s based in Scotland. The aforementioned student favourite is going to be an inevitable comparison, but other than the simplest of themes there’s little else to link the two.

Two different directors have taken two different works by the same author and made two very different films.

One thing I want to make clear about Filth, though, is that it is far from the comedy that the trailers will have you expecting. It’s much darker, weirder and unsettling. It’s also too long and gets a bit boring before it reaches its conclusion.

Fair play to James McAvoy for taking the main role of dodgy copper Bruce Robertson (David Tennant had signed up, but had to drop out when shooting dates changed and conflicted with other commitments). It’s a nasty character to play, and a difficult one as Robertson himself increasingly loses touch with reality.

It’s just a shame that, overall, the film just doesn’t hold interest. It’s difficult to watch in places, though I’m sure others would find it far more so than a desensitised individual like myself found it. I do think that the trailers are partly to blame, leading you to expect one type of film and then being slemmed sideways by something utterly different.

Gillian really wanted to see this, I was just curious. Both of us left disappointed.

Great cast, wonderful performances, but a drawn-out plot that just didn’t satisfy.

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How the zombie TV hit inspires German and European audiences

AMC’s The Walking Dead is unarguably the best zombie apocalypse series to date. The show’s plot, setting, and character development made it one of the most-watched television series nowadays. The hype reached global proportions—audiences across Asia and Europe are tuned in to the show’s developments from its first season. It has a huge fanbase particularly in Germany, where it was found by the RTL Group that the first season had 17.2% and the second one had a 16.2 % average when it comes to audience share, defeating the epic fantasy series Game of Thrones which only scored 10.8% in its first season. Fans are now excited for the fourth one, especially since the TV series sometimes deviates from the storyline of the comic strip it was adapted from. It’s this unpredictability that makes viewers want more.

There’s no question that the most compelling character in the show is Merle, and he unwittingly uttered the perfect life quote ever: you have to play the hand you’re dealt. This is especially true in any endeavour, whether we’re being literal (like if we’re at a poker table), or thinking in a profound manner. Come to think about it, even Germany’s Marvin Rettenmaier (who emerged as champion in PartyPoker’s World Poker Tour last year) knows how to make the best out of a bad hand. We should have the same philosophy; there’s bound to be pit stops as we go through our everyday routines, and whether we get the equivalent of a losing card or a royal flush, it’s up to us to deal with it. Even Merle survived the loss of his hand and his brother’s absence—surely we can take inspiration from his resilience.

A more in-depth analysis of the famous quote was provided by a personal blog, JShirk: The Point of Impact. He contradicted the quote by saying it’s no longer applicable in this day and age, saying that it takes hard work to re-deal. According to him, one should hone skills and put in effort in order to become a pro. Besides, nobody gets to the final table of the German Poker Tour by sheer luck—it takes hard work, passion, and exceptional strategic skills to get that far.

What should we expect in the fourth season of the show? The Walking Dead will return in October 13th, with new characters joining our beloved cast. Vincent Martella (the voice behind Phineas of Disney’s Phineas & Ferb), Christian Serratos (of Twilight), and Lawrence Gilliard, Jr. (of The Wire) are the new additions to the show. Will the fourth season start on a positive note? Screen Crush tells us not to be too optimistic—producer Scott Gimple said that there may not be hope for the survivors.

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