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Movie reviews
#1
Review a movie, tell us what you liked or disliked?
An eye for an eye
#2
Transformers: Age of Extinction
I went to see this film with a guy who loved the Transformers films, for a date. I'd had a really, really crappy day filled with meetings and talking about budgets/conversion analysis. The guy I was seeing also kept talking about how much property he owned and about his job, I did a lot of listening during the trip to the cinema and waiting for the film to start.

Luckily, Transformers: Age of Extinction turned out to be JUST what I needed after the day I'd had. I'd lost all mental capacity to handle complex plot devices and character development, luckily this film had neither. Instead I was treated to the repeated vision of explosions and special effects. It also stopped the guy I was with from talking anymore about the new car he was getting and his bonus structure. If you are a creative person who enjoys bright flashes of colour and a constant "this is so serious, this is the end of everything. Again. With BIG FUCKING ROBOTS YEAH" soundtrack, you'll love this movie. It's also get endless rewatchability value because I can't remember the character's names or ultimately what they were doing.
Troll the respawn Jeremy!
#3
This is Tom Ford's second film the first one being "A Single Man". Like his first film is is beautifully photographed and extremely well acted by among others, Amy Adams and the ever watchable Jake Gyllenhaal who play a divored couple.

At the beginning of the film Susan Morrow (Adams) receives a manuscript of a book written by Edward Sheffield (Gyllenhaal). It is a violent tale of the abduction of a man, Tony Hasting (also played by Gyllenhaal) his wife and daughter. The book is played out on screen in graphic detail. The film is overlong running at almost two hours and I felt that it coud beve been reduced somewhat but Tom Ford indulges himself almost to the point of style over substance.

The score behind the film was also great, it added to the drama and the intensity of the performances on screen. Overall, Nocturnal Animals was a harrowingly depressing film with outstanding performances all-round even if the film's narrative felt disjointed. Would I recommend it? Well, yes with reservations. Don't go to see it if you in an already depressed state.
"You can be young without money but you can't be old without money"
Maggie the Cat from "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof." by Tennessee Williams
#4
I saw this on my TV this week and I was impressed. I suppose that it could be described as a romantic drama that on the dramatic side, covers on the dark side, one of the blackest and shameful periods of English history; the slave trade.

The writer, Amma Asanti, has based her story on an unsigned painting that used to hang in Kenwood House in the north of London that depicts Dido Elizabeth Belle, the illegitimate daughter of a Royal Navy captain, John Lindsay, and an African woman named Maria Belle, and her half-cousin, Lady Elizabeth Murray. What is interesting is that in the painting, Belle is places physically on the same level as her half cousin, something that implies a social equality almost unthinkable in the late 18th century. What I wonder is the meaning of that finger to her face and the slightly enigmatic look and the meaning of Elizabeth's hand on her waist?

[Image: Dido_Elizabeth_Belle.jpg]

John Lindsay leaves Belle in the custody of his parents Lord and Lady Mansfield, Lord Mansfield being the Lord Chief Justice of the time, where she finds out that her social status is too high to dine with the servants but too low to dine with her “family” and their friends.

As Lord Chief Justice, Mansfield had to deal with several cases involving the slave trade including the infamous “Zong” case where the captain and crew of the “Zong” had deliberately packed the slaves in such cramped conditions that many of them became ill and/or died. Bearing in mind the economic value of his cargo and its worthlessness in that condition, the Captain ordered the crew to throw the slaves, chained together, overboard and then claimed in Court that it was a necessary measure as there was a shortage of water and the lives of the crew were more important. The owners of the ship were claiming that the insurance company should pay for the loss.

It is not hard to imagine Belle’s confusion as she lived in the height of luxury, being waited on by black servants but at the same time not being accepted in to society. It is a complex portrait of a woman struggling to define her identity, caught as it were, between stairs in terms of social custom and protocol.

The situation is complicated when the question of marriage arises. Should, could she marry a member of the nobility, a marriage of financial convenience as the custom of the time or should she accept the idea of marrying someone actually for love with someone who has no social status at all?

And then Asante brings up the idea of Belle’s possible influence on Lord Mansfield in his judgement on the “Zong” case. Mansfield is an idealist and a pragmatist who reviles the slave trade but is torn between upsetting the Establishment and the still highly profitable slave trade on which the British economy relies.

The cast is uniformly good but there are stellar performances from Tom Wilkinson as Lord Mansfield and the beautiful and talented Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Belle. Gugu Mbatha-Raw is a British actress of South African descent who I saw on stage in “Nell Gwynn” at the Globe Theatre last year. The film is very handsomely mounted and photographed in beautiful, elegant surroundings and I’m sure that had I seen this in a cinema there would hardly have been a dry eye in the house. As it was, I saw it by myself at home so I could contain my sniffles to myself!
"You can be young without money but you can't be old without money"
Maggie the Cat from "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof." by Tennessee Williams
#5
Looking the Movie.
[Image: MV5BNmEwZmM2MTgtYmIxMy00MWZkLTk1NWItYzc5...00_AL_.jpg]

www.imdb.com/title/tt4552118
You may remember this series that ran for about two seasons and then was snuffed. It portrays 3 gay guys of varying ages who've come together as friends in San Francisco, and I believe at first they probably shared a flat or something. At least two of them did. One's a software engineer and game programmer, another one is an artist and one is nothing much to begin with ( a waiter or an actor?) but finally opens a restaurant, if I recall. The series is about their adventures in San Francisco, dating or not dating, and trying to find that pearl that will make their whole existence shine (in their eyes, and the eyes of the world, and mostly in the eyes of rejecting families).

But it's a Grindr world of meaningless and incessant hookups and so on. Patrick is scared of a relationship and is almost a virgin at the onset. Agustín, the failed artist is a bit of a one-night stand 'whore', as for Dom the wannabe restaurateur, he finds a relationship of sorts with someone much older who he both indulges and also rejects on account of the man's past history. Age differences do have their drawbacks.

Patrick embarks on a complicated two-men relationship dating both his British boss, played by Russell Tovey (who he believes is a cheater as he's himself in an alleged committed relationship with Jon) and Richie a young hairdresser of Latino heritage whose coming out is still a bit difficult.

Patrick has his own skeletons in the cupboard as it appears that his mother has left him with some of her ideals that he can't live up to.

The series was an interesting portrayal of modern gay society in a town that doesn't discriminate and where gay life can be pursued practically unfettered. But how do you fit it? How do you discover which gay man you are in a city where there are so many opportunities and yet so little appetite for lasting relationships?

In the movie, which, I think, you need to have seen the series first to understand,, the lives of some of the characters get a bit of closure, and closure seems to be the theme.

Agustín, after much humming and ha-ing has decided to get hitched to his boyfriend. In the meantime (between the series' end and the film) marriage has become legal in the United States and the characters contemplate what a new perspective (albeit a daunting one) marriage is. Up to now, gay men have been used to casual non-commital sex, relationships that fail and falter, and also periods of fleeting happiness. This generation of gays has not yet come to the point where they're thinking of giving all the hedonism up for a more sedate and contemplative life, but it's beckoning, now that they've had their glut of sex, drugs and STIs.

Suffice it to say that Patrick having messed up both his ongoing relationships in San Francisco left the city to go and take up a job in Denver, Colorado, where he's been living like a hard working monk. No sex or relationships for him, but work, work and more work. The occasion of Agustín's wedding is what brings him back to San Francisco and also what makes him re-connect with his old group of friends but also drags him back to the problems he fled, and rekindles the yearning to find that one perfect relationship that LOOKING was all about in the first place.

There are many scenes in which the characters have doubts and also a kind of bashfulness that is both melancholy and wistful but also quite beautiful and human. These could be straight guys, it wouldn't be any different. They are sensitive and many instances of the film are both reflective and moving. It's well written. It's well directed.

I found the film more profound, in some ways than the series, and also the acting was particularly good on the emotional level and retrained in the way it was played out. Of course it is not surprising that it was directed by Andrew Haigh who also gave us the sensitive Weekend.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1714210/

I can't tell you how it ends as that would be a big spoiler, but I enjoyed this long and ultimate episode of their search for their own version of a life worth living.
#6
Thanks, [MENTION=18457]LONDONER[/MENTION]. I bought this film and have not had a chance to watch it yet, which is something I would probably do with my partner one of these cold winter nights. Thanks for your review.
#7
princealbertofb Wrote:Thanks, [MENTION=18457]LONDONER[/MENTION]. I bought this film and have not had a chance to watch it yet, which is something I would probably do with my partner one of these cold winter nights. Thanks for your review.

Thanks. I think you will enjoy it as much as I did, at least I hope you will. Let us have your comments once you've watched it. I had just one caveat but I'll leave it to you to see if you pick it up.
"You can be young without money but you can't be old without money"
Maggie the Cat from "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof." by Tennessee Williams
#8
[MENTION=18457]LONDONER[/MENTION], there have been a series of very interesting programmes on BBC Radio four about the presence of free black men and women quite early in history, and their lives or their descendents after that. There were a few in port cities like Liverpool, from what I've retained of the programme.
#9
princealbertofb Wrote:[MENTION=18457]LONDONER[/MENTION], there have been a series of very interesting programmes on BBC Radio four about the presence of free black men and women quite early in history, and their lives or their descendents after that. There were a few in port cities like Liverpool, from what I've retained of the programme.

Bristol was a major port in the slave trade and even now still the Bristolians have a concience about it. They can't get over the fact that the prosperity was founded on such a dispicable trade.
"You can be young without money but you can't be old without money"
Maggie the Cat from "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof." by Tennessee Williams
#10
I think Bristol may have been another focus of this series of programmes.
Britain's Black Past on BBC Radio Four, quite a treasure trove of information and history.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b07yvszg...des/player
The episode on Dido Belle:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b07x2zd4
The episodes are 15 minutes long.


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