Posts Tagged ‘colin farell’

widows

In modern day Chicago, when a team of robbers, headed by Harry Rawlings (Liam Neeson) are killed after trying to escape their latest brazen robbery,  they leave their wives with a mountain of debt, and no way to pay it off.  Harry’s wife, Veronica (Viola Davis) finds a book of Harry’s past robberies and one that he was planning.  The job will score Veronica five million dollars, she’s got to round up the other men’s wives, Alice (Elizabeth Debecki) Linda Michelle Rodriguez) and a potential driver Belle (Cynthia Erivo) and convince them that this is a job worth doing.  Veronica’s got to pull of the heist in the midst of a political campaign where two candidates, Jamal Manning (Bryan Tyree Henry and Jack Mulligan (Colin Farrell) pledge to clean up this part of Chicago, but are both corrupt themselves.  Does Veronica convince her fellow widows to join her?

There’s a certain amount of ironic humor when in the first scene, Liam Neeson is passionately kissing Viola Davis, but that’s not the worst thing about this movie.  There’s the old cliché about one last job or one last case, there’s a totally unnecessary subplot about the corrupt politicians, tangents that don’t belong, and a plot twist that adds nothing to the enjoyment of this film.  In fact, other than the female robbers, this movie has precious little new to say.  The screenplay was co-written by Gillian Flynn of Gone Girl fame, or should I say infamy, that accounts for the unlikable characters.  This film really had a good premise but it was executed terribly.

The acting in a word is awful.  Liam Neeson picks up another check going through the motions as an angry middle aged victim/anti-hero.  Viola Davis is a good actress shoehorned in a bad role and she wears only one expression a deep scowl.  Michelle Rodriguez is not a good actress, who doesn’t do much here except try to out grimace Voila Davis.  Cynthia Erivo gave a wonderfully nuanced performance in Bad Times At The El Royale doesn’t show much subtlety here, she punches a heavy bag here, to show how tough she is.  Only Elizabeth Debecki shows a little ability to modulate her character, but it doesn’t really matter.  Colin Farrell plays a corrupt Irish American politician while trying to hide his Irish brogue.  Robert Duvall yells a lot, and thinks its acting.  He used to be a good actor.

A lot of the blame for the failure of this film goes to Steve McQueen. He directed and co-wrote this film. I loved 12 Years a Slave, but this film has a lot to apologize for.  The pacing of Widows is awful, the action scenes are perfunctory, and the performances are horrid, by the time all the elements of the story came together, it was too late to care.

Widows:  Deserves To be buried.

roman j israel

Roman J. Israel (Denzel Washington) is a partner in a small law firm in Los Angeles, his partner William Jackson, handled the courtroom appearances while Roman handled the behind the scenes legal briefs. After William dies, Roman is recruited by one of William’s former students, George Pierce. (Colin Farrell)  Roman has an idea for a class action lawsuit which will revolutionize plea bargaining, George wants nothing to do with that idea.  Roman also enquires about a job with another job with another acquaintance of Williams’s, Maya (Carmen Ejogo) who rejects his offer, saying that she and others who work there are only volunteers.  Roman has nothing left to do but work with George.

George assigns Roman a client named Derrell Ellerbee (DeRon Horton) who is accused of killing a store clerk.  Derrell accuses his partner in the robbery Carter Johnson, (Amari  Cheatom) but Derrell only shares this information with Roman.  After going to meet with Maya at her organization to give a pep talk, and having his ideas scoffed at by the younger generation,  Roman is mugged by a man who wants money.  Roman has a choice, do something unethical and reap immediate rewards, or stay true to his ideals, and struggle to pay the bills?

This is a dull movie that muddles along with a meandering plot, uninteresting characters, and has such trouble generating  a spark, that it can’t even bring itself to create a genuine love story. Maybe it’s because Denzel Washington is 19 years older than Carmen Ejogo, whatever the case, their relationship is clumsy.  The ending is syrup y sweet, to cover a much more dramatic ending, which should have been the way the movie ended.

After such a powerful, magnetic performance in Fences, it’s quite an adjustment to see Denzel Washington play such a meek, mild-mannered character.  Roman is described as a savant Coli Farrell’s character, maybe Denzel was trying to play someone with Asperger Syndrome, like Christian Bale did in the Big Short.  There was something disconcerting about Washington’s performance, lie he was trying to have a restrained performance.  Colin Farrell wasn’t bad, but he ended up playing a bland character in the end, and the character should have been more ruthless.  Carmen Ejogo is another victim of bad writing, is she a friend of the Washington character, is she a love interest?  Is he a mentor to her?  The vagueness of the script led to her weak performance, and she also had trouble maintaining her American accent, she is British.

The direction is also weak, Dan Gilrpy wrote this movie and directed it, which is apparently one too many jobs for hi.  The pacing is very slow and by the time the story gets interesting it’s 3/4th of the way over, if the viewer is still awake by then, it’s ok for about 20 minutes with a lackluster ending.  He doesn’t get any good performances, and there is nothing eye-catching about any scenes.

Roman J. Israel:  Feed This Roman to the lions.

The Lobster

David’s (Colin Ferrell) wife has fallen out of love with him, so he goes to a hotel to meet a new partner.  If he can’t meet a partner in 45 days, he will be transformed into an animal, and sent away.  David chooses to be a lobster.  David meets other men who are desperately trying to meet women, like the Lisping Man (John C Reilly) and the Limping Man, (Ben Wishaw) who meet women with varying degrees of success.  David meets a woman called The Biscuit Woman (Ashley Jenson) who will do anything to please him, but he’s simply not interested.  Every evening, the guests in the hotel are invited to go into the wilderness and hunt The Loners, a group of people who live in the wilds alone with no partners.  If the guests tranquilize a loner with their dart gun they are given an extra day to stay at the hotel and find a partner.  David is no good at hunting, but realizes time is flying and he must find a woman quickly.  He inexplicably chooses the Heartless Woman, (Angeliki Papoulia) who after a short time, kills David’s dog, Bob.(Ryac,Jaro)  David cannot live with this woman one second longer, but where can he go in a society as rigid as this one, and will he ever find true love?

It’s anybody’s guess what the lobster is about but it seems to be about finding love in a repressive society, and being a non-conformist in a society that stresses conformity above all.  Because all the characters are repressed, love is expressed in the most mundane, pedantic, unromantic way, that even love, the most joyous of all emotions loses all its magic.  The hotel guests seem like those poor people on those singles cruises, desperate to find love in the worst way, and they do find it in the worst way. There were a lot of good ideas in this film and some humor, but the film is presented in such a hyper dramatic avant-garde way, that it soon becomes as joyless as its characters.  More humor would have definitely made this film more enjoyable, and less of an endurance test. The ending is so abrupt, and ambiguous that the viewer is left to decide how the movie should end.

Colin Ferrell delivers his lines in a droll, deadpan way, but it wears thin after a while, and soon the viewer is pleading for just a hint of emotion, anything to show he’s alive, and he gained a lot of weight, so he looks like a middle aged loser with nothing left to lose.  Rachel Weisz similarly delivers her lines with the joy of somebody reading a phone book, and is saddled with reading some sophomoric voice-over narration, surely she can do better this this role.  John C. Reilly is wasted here as a simpering wimp with a lisp.

The director apparently thinks he’s Fellini reborn, but he isn’t.  When the first shot is a shot of a woman shooting a donkey, the viewer knows he’s in for two hours of arthouse hell, and there are many strange scenes here.  Tranquilized people stacked like cordwood after being shot with dart guns, people voguing in the woods, the strangeness doesn’t end. The music especially makes this movie much darker than it should be, even what should be the joyful moments in this film are punctuated by foreboding, ominous classical strings.  The actors deliver their lines just as the director wants them to, and the pacing is uneven.  The film is much too long at nearly 2 hours, this premise could have been neatly wrapped up in an hour and a half.   The Lobster won three awards at Cannes.

The Lobster:  Left me crabby.

 

Seven-psychopaths

Marty (Colin Farrell) is a screenwriter who has writer’s block, he’s got the title written, Seven Psychopaths, and nothing else.  Marty’s friend, Billy, (Sam Rockwell) is anxious to help him write the screenplay.  Billy and his assistant, Hans  (Christopher Walken) kidnap dogs and then bring them back to unsuspecting owners for a reward, but the latest dog they kidnap brings them trouble.  The Shih Tzu belongs to a mob boss named Charlie, (Woody Harrelson) and this mob boss loves his dog, enough to kill for it.  To make matters more hectic for Marty, Billy puts an ad in the paper for psychopaths and their stories, for source material.  Marty gets some source material, but finds most of the psychopaths closer to home.  Does Charlie catch up to Billy and Hans?  Does Marty and Billy finish the screenplay?

I did not like Seven Psychopaths.  Even at its best, which is a satire of gangster-type movies, it is extremely derivative of the king of the genre, Quentin Tarentino.   Tarentino’s movies are hyper-violent blood-soaked revenge fantasies, but they always seem to make me laugh.  Seven Psychopaths is like a pale impression of a Tarentino movie, cool music, lots of foul language, bushel-baskets of bloody violence.  But it seems to be like Tarentino’s little brother, in movie terms, everyone associated with the movie is trying a little too hard, the writer/director, and the actors.  They are all trying a little too hard to make this movie funny.  Sometimes the effort pays off, more times than not, it doesn’t.  Sometimes the subplots, are more interesting than the main plot, and the movie has way too many characters, and some weird interrelationships. I have to say, I did like the ending, which I did not expect, because it came out of left field, but it was a nice way to end the movie.

The acting is ok  Colin Farrell is playing an Irish screenwriter, which is not much of a stretch for him, because he’s Irish and he’s an actor.  He plays a straight man, he’s a pacifist, and he’s reacting to the craziness surrounding him.  Christopher Walken has the same delivery in every movie and it’s almost become self-parody.  I will not give away too much about Walken’s character, but suffice to say it is hard to believe that he’s this type of character. Sam Rockwell has a penchant for overacting, and he does not disappoint in this movie, he tries really hard to steal every scene in the movie, and after two hours, the over the top delivery gets tiresome.  Woody Harrelson is good as usual, he plays a cool, laid-back-killer, whose detachment makes the performance

The direction shows a few flourishes, and the pacing is slow, so the direction is nothing noticeable, unlike Tarantino.  The writing is flawed, sometimes very good, sometimes very bad, marred by loads of violence, and bad language and a little nudity, all become substitutes for actual plot, which is never a good idea.

With graphic language and violence and some nudity, this movie is not a good idea for kids.  With a title like Seven Psychopaths did you really expect it to be a family film?

Seven Psychopaths.  Either crazy good or crazy bad, not enough of either.

Movie Review: Total Recall (2012)

Posted: August 19, 2012 in Drama
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It is sometime in the future.  Douglas Quaid (Colin Farrell)lives in a small apartment in the United Federation of Britain with his wife, Lori (Kate Beckinsale).  Douglas works in a factory that makes robotic police forces for the government.  The government faces terrorist attacks by a armed resistance group headed by a man called Matthias (Bill Nighy). Douglas is bored with his life, and one of Doug’s co-workers, McClane (John Cho) tells Doug to go to a company  called Recall and have a memory implanted.  Doug decides to do it.  Before he can get the memories implanted, the Recall employee says that Doug is already a spy.  Doug rushes home to Lori, and Lori tries to kill him?  What exactly is going on here?  Is Doug really a spy?  Is this part of a recurring nightmare Doug is having?  If Doug is a spy, is he spying for the government or the resistance?

This is a re-make of the 1990 Arnold Swartzennegger movie of the same name.  Yet the movie seems smaller, less grandiose than the original.  The over the top nature of the original fit the larger than life star of the original, Arnold, and it all worked.  Colin Ferrell certainly cannot fill the oversized shoes of Arnold and doesn’t try.  He tries to give a more cerebral take on the role of Douglas Quaid, the problem is there is not much plot here, what plot there is resembles a run of the mill terrorist movie, rather than a sci-fi movie about implanted memories.  Kate Beckinsale is back in full kick ass mode, on the heels of her four Underworld movies.  I still like her best in Serendipity.  I wish she had done more romantic comedy, although I did like Kate in Van Helsing.  Jessica Biel is nothing more than eye candy in this movie, which is what she was intended to be.  Ultimately the re-make is too much shooting, chasing, explosions, and not enough sci-Fi.

Total Recall.  They should recall the writers who wrote this clunker.