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False Controversy over Luke McCormick

In response to the recent stories being run about the controversial appointment of Luke McCormick as club-captain for Plymouth Argyle, I consider an alternative view on the matter. Read More…

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Adaptations & The Hollywood Remake

Morten Tyldum's adaptation of Jo Nesbø's crime thriller Headhunters (2011) is already in line for an English language Hollywood remake.

Morten Tyldum’s adaptation of Jo Nesbø’s crime thriller Headhunters (2011) is already in line for an English language Hollywood remake.

Hollywood’s capitalistic nature encourages studios and producers to guarantee box-office success, choosing “safe bets” and leaving the really original and ambitious projects exclusively to a select few directors firmly established within the industry, such as James Cameron and Christopher Nolan. In an attempt to ensure profit popular novels are often adapted and already popular foreign films from world cinema may be remade in English. Read More…

Lawless

Following the success of The Proposition (2005), Nick Cave turns to director John Hillcoat to bring his equally harrowing tale to the screen. Away from Australian outback and into 1920s America, Lawless follows the true tale of bootlegging brothers. This dark story is more than your simple gangster blockbuster – with Hillcoat reproducing many ideologies that were present in The Proposition; presenting an outlaw hero and toying with very un-Hollywood ultra-violence.

Having already worked with some of the biggest names available, Hillcoat was always more than capable of bringing the best out of Lawless’ A-list cast. Completing a hat-trick of partnerships with Guy Pearce, he casts him as the vile, grease slickened special agent from Chicago. Similarly to Winstone’s Captain Stanley in The Proposition, Pearce’s Charlie Rakes, and most of the British colonials on their conquest of the frontier in westward expansion, share unorthodox methods in ridding the new country of law-breaking citizens. However, Rakes’ over the top hands on approach and the film’s approving display of the outlaws causes him to become the intrusive villain.

At the head of the Bondurant Brothers is Forrest. Tom Hardy’s cardigan covered performance excellently captures the hefty hillbilly, displaying his usual calm, quiet and grunting nature alongside the powerful explosions of his true force; as Hardy’s physique still boasts the hulk-like appearance of Bane.

Lawless is a refreshing piece of work from Hollywood. Its bold choice to allow Hillcoat to create such an expensive film branded with an audience restricting 18 certificate, delivers a far more satisfying picture for the paying cinemagoers.

The Proposition

Ray Winstone offers one of his best performances yet as Captain Stanley, offering a risky and unorthodox proposition to a notorious outlaw with promise of clearing his name. Guy Pearce stars as the outlaw, Charlie Burns, the brother of his proposed bounty. Motivated to civilize the barren land, even if his methods are not, soon enough a revengeful and protective tone emerges from the captain’s actions. Read More…

Melancholia

Lars Von Trier’s acclaimed follow up to Antichrist begins with a gorgeous montage, which sets the tone for this stunning piece of filmmaking. Typically the celebrated director artistically foreshadows the catastrophic events that later arrive in the narrative and establishes the bleak tone from the off. Revealing the film’s conclusion at the beginning immediately sparks a sense of dread towards the ending. This is an “end of the world”, disaster movie like no other. Acting oppositely to similarly premised films, the pacing is slow; highlighting the inevitability of what’s to come and the impossibility to prevent it. The slow build up to the climatic destruction doesn’t add a thrilling suspense; instead it creates a far more effective harrowing tension. Read More…

Dredd 3D

In a bid to stay true to its source material, the 2000 AD comic, this high octane and brutal adaptation remains a gruesome gore-fest throughout. The morality of Mega-City One’s violent gangs is of pure evil. The masses of felons that run amok within its walls outnumber the Judges significantly and understand that their crimes can therefore escape judgement. They control the blocks without fear or thought of the consequences of their actions. The dark setting of this story is foretold in a ten-page comic prequel that focuses on the genesis of Dredd’s terrifying antagonist.

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The Elephant Man

David Lynch’s heartfelt drama is based on the life of Joseph Merrick and exhibits exploitation, acceptance and disability. Read More…