Tag Archives: Cillian Murphy

Rum Diary / In Time

By إبن البيطار (Own work) [GFDL (www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia CommonsTwo films for the first time in a while. It should have been three, but despite battling traffic (and a slightly dodgy sat-nav) to get to the cinema in time I arrived to find out that the performance of Tintin I had aimed for wasn’t on. Not for the first time has Cineworld’s web site lied to me. Boo. So, McDonald’s for dinner and then back across the car park for the first of two films.

The Rum Diary

“We’re out of rum.”

Plot-in-a-nutshell: Alcoholic writer arrives in Puerto Rico, gets involved in local (dodgy) politics. Weirdness and mild amusement ensues.

See it if you like: Slightly weird, off-kilter dramas and/or Johnny Depp.

If you know of Hunter S. Thomson then you’ll know what to expect. Slightly off-centre characters, a touch of illegal drugs and a vat of alcohol form the basis of this entertaining story. Set in 1950’s Puerto Rico, Depp plays Kemp – a reporter brought in from the US to work for the slowly dying local rag.

Disillusioned and drunk, Kemp wants to write about what’s wrong with Puerto Rico. His editor, on the other hand, wants fluffy pieces about bowling alleys and sandy beaches. Unwittingly, Kemp ends up embroiled in one of the very corrupt escapades he despises.

Buddied up with a completely brain-fried Swede (Moburg played by Giovanni Ribisi) and a burnt-out photographer (Sala – Michael Rispoli), he soaks up the island, gets arrested, meets the girl of his dreams, annoys an underworld boss and rails against the bringing-down of the newspaper he was brought in to work for.

There are a handful of genuinely laugh-out-loud moments, and sadly the funniest of these is in the trailer. Other than that, it’s just continually amusing. Largely this is due to the performances from the cast as a whole. The dialogue is poetic and insightful in places, while quick-witted in others. A genuinely nice mix.

It is also, however, a little slow going and the last act does feel a bit “cludged together” just to get the story done.

I did enjoy it, but I don’t think it’s the rolloer-coaster ride of hilarity the trailer made it out to be.

In Time

“Don’t waste my time”

Plot-in-a-nutshell: Time is now currency. Run out and you die. Have loads and you’re effectively immortal.

See it if you like: Sci fi thrillers with a twist, and not having to use your brain too much

I love the premise for this film. When you reach 25 years of age, a little clock kicks in on your arm giving you a year to live. Every second on that clock is currency which can be used to buy things. On the downside when it hits zero, your heart stops. In the meantime, your body doesn’t age.

But how is this currency controlled? What happens when people realise they’re running low, or if they manage to amass a fortune? In Time gives its answers to these questions along with a story of what happens if one man, Will Salas (Justin Timberlake), tries to level the playing field a little.

This isn’t a brain-bender along the lines of Total Recall or Inception. It’s a far simpler and the premise isn’t explored beyond the fact that the world simply is like that. No history, no major twists. The overall theme would likely appeal to all those 99% protesters – isn’t it a little unfair that so many people struggle and suffer while a small percentage have the vast majority of the wealth?

Salas, living in the ghetto just getting by day to day as his job tops up his time, finds himself the beneficiary of a windfall. A hundred years. He decides to use it to get into the more exclusive districts and find out who’s controlling all this time. After all, someone’s making a profit from people “timing out”.

He ends up paired up with excessively-skinny waif Sylvia (Amanda Seyfried – seriously, could get legs be any thinner and still carry her weight?) while being chased by Time Keeper Leon (Cillian Murphy) as he fights to expose the high-end corruption that’s costing ordinary people their lives.

It’s a nice enough popcorn movie with some decent action sequences and, as I said, a great premise. It’ll never be a classic but I don’t think it’s trying to be.

Certainly not  waste of time.

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Bounties, Dragons and Shanks

Maintaining my mayorhood of the local CineWorld (courtesy of FourSquare), I squeezed in three films before rush hour yesterday: Perrier’s Bounty, How To Train Your Dragon and Shank.

Perrier’s Bounty

“Dorty. Like a bag of carrots”

Plot-in-a-nutshell: Young man owes money to dangerous Irish gangland boss. Of course things go from bad to worse…

This film is a prime example of why low-budget, independent cinema should be supported and celebrated.

Michael McCrea (Cillian Murphy) is a young gambler who owes Perrier (Brendan Gleeson) a grand. He has till 10pm to pay up otherwise he’ll have two bones broken. His choice. And digits don’t count. A pair of rather scary gangland types are out to make sure he doesn’t have other ideas.

Of course, this being a mild Lock, Stock… clone things don’t go quite as planned. Violence definitely ensues, paths cross, a dying father (Jim Broadbent) makes an appearance and a woman gets involved (a rather hot one in the guise of Natalie Britton). And it’s funny.

There’s a mild bit of narration which is definitely worth paying attention to. It plays a part in a twist which takes place with the very last line of dialogue. This tiny attention to detail sums up the movie. It’s careful, well-paced, funny, clever and hugely entertaining.

It isn’t the best film ever, but it’s definitely a “must see”.

How To Train Your Dragon (3D)

“Trolls exist. They steal your socks. But only the left ones. What’s with that?”

Plot-in-a-nutshell: A young Viking discovers there there are things about the dragons his village has been fighting that nobody else knows…

Straight to the point with this one before I go any further: DO NOT MISS THIS FILM. It is simply superb. Clever, funny, well-animated, beautifully-presented and with very good use of 3D. Yes, it’s actually worth spending the extra to see the film with daft glasses on.

The opening sequence is a great introduction to the scenario and the characters – and the delightfully stupid-looking sheep. If I have one quibble it’s that I didn’t realise Vikings had faux-Scottish accent, but I’ll forgive the film-makers on the basis that otherwise this is one of the best films I’ve seen in a long time.

This quality beginning is maintained for the entire running length of the film. There isn’t a low point in the entire movie. It’s perfect scene after perfect scene. The pacing is spot on, the heart-warning parts aren’t mawkish and the action is fast-paced and exciting.

I could throw hyperbole at you for another four paragraphs or just make it easy – GO SEE IT.

Yeah. That was better.

Shank

Plot-in-a-nutshell: Street urchin’s brother is killed so he goes out to get revenge on the lad who did it.

Starting off well, Shank goes into a quick decline with indecipherable dialogue, a linear script and annoying cut-scenes. Set in London (2015), where the economy has collapsed, crime run rife and gangs rule the streets we’re introduced to Junior (Kedar Williams-Stirling) and his band of homies who earn a crust by stealing “munchies” (food) and sell it on to a dealer.

It took me a good 10-15 minutes to get my head around the verbals, with the “yo, me homies, blud” dialogue being rather hard to decipher. Oh, except for Craze (Michael Socha) who’s from the north so just spends his time asking people to fight him. Of course.

The plot, what there is, is incredibly linear. More so than some of the RPGs I’ve played on handhelds. Meet one person, do something, get info, go see next person, do something, get info… Aptly, a few of the cut scenes are done in the form of computer games – some better than others.

Shank tries, but really not hard enough. It gets significantly worse when the gang of girls join in towards the end, sounding like a coked-up bunch of Grange Hill rejects, screaming at each other and ending every sentence with “yeah”. It’s like watching a bunch of chavs fighting only without the entertainment value of some of them hopefully being killed.

After the previous two films I saw today, this was a hell of a let-down. While Perrier’s Bounty is a prime reason to support independent films, Shank undermines this. A valiant attempt, I suppose, but it falls very far short of quality.

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