Tag: jude law

MOVIE REVIEW | Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (1997)

midnight-in-the-garden-of-good-and-evil-poster

“I’ve only been here three days and it’s just a shooting, but give it time, okay. This place is fantastic. It’s like Gone With the Wind on Mescalin.”

Based on the movies of his I’ve seen as a director, Clint Eastwood doesn’t make grand, luscious movies.  Sure, he can make big movies, like the companion pieces of Flags of Our Fathers and Letters From Iwo Jima.  But even at their biggest, they’re still gritty and dirty and free of pomp.  He’s a director with a reputation of coming in before schedule and under budget.  Which is why it’s so inexplicable that he made a movie built so entirely on excess, as Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.


John Cusack is John Kelso, a journalist sent to Savanah, Georgia to write a story for the society papers about a famous, annual party, thrown by local antiques dealer, the flamboyant Jim Williams (Kevin Spacey).  Given a crash course in the ways of the South, Kelso meets a parade of colourful characters.  Including Williams’ blustery lawyer, Sonny Seiler (Jack Thompson), drag queen and lounge singer Lady Chablis (Chablis Deveau), and shit kicking rent boy, Billy Hanson (Jude Law). (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | Spy (2015)

Spy

“You really think you’re ready for the field? I once used defibrillators on myself. I put shards of glass in my fuckin’ eye. I’ve jumped from a high-rise building using only a raincoat as a parachute and broke both legs upon landing; I still had to pretend I was in a fucking Cirque du Soleil show! I’ve swallowed enough microchips and shit them back out again to make a computer. This arm has been ripped off completely and re-attached with this fuckin’ arm.”

With Bridesmaids, Paul Feig made one of the funniest movies of the last decade.  Yet, with all that goodwill, it still took me a long time to get around to watching The Heat.  And it turns out, with The Heat, Paul Feig made another really funny movie.  The premise was bigger and broader, but he proved to be up to the task of combining comedy and action.  So this time around, when Feig had another movie in the cinemas, I put my reservations about the seemingly goofy premise aside, and was quick to see Spy.


While handsome CIA spy and man of mystery Bradley Fine (Jude Law) gets to wear the tux and infiltrate the high society parties of international super villains, his desk bound partner, Susan Cooper (Melissa McCarthy) does just as much work while receiving none of the glory.  But when Fine is shot and it’s revealed that the real identities of every major CIA spy has been revealed to the bad guys, Susan’s anonymity becomes an asset.

Much to the chagrin of super spy Rick Ford (Jason Statham), Susan is chosen to go into the field to track down some missing nukes.  With Rayna Boyanov (Rose Byrne) in her sights, and the lascivious Italian Aldo (Peter Serafinowicz) as her ally, Susan goes after Sergio De Luca (Bobby Cannavale).   Then it’s a globe trotting adventure of intrigue and action as Susan takes on the bad guys, while proving she’s up to the task of taking on bad guys.

Here’s the thing about Spy, Paul Feig has made a proper, actual spy movie.  There are gadgets, and action, and shoot outs and plenty of really cool set pieces.  But the problem is, all of that spy and action stuff leaves very little room for Spy to be funny.  It made me laugh more than few times, but they were individual moments that were basically just standalone, random jokes.  They were jokes in spite of the movie, not a part of it.

There was one unexpected aspect of Spy though that I really liked.  Susan isn’t an inept character who succeeds despite her ineptitude.  There’s no dumb luck or hilarious misunderstandings that lead to unlikely victories.   Susan is a smart, capable character who succeeds because she’s smart and capable.

While I love Ghostbusters, the news of Paul Feig making an all women reboot, starring McCarthy hasn’t really made me care either way.  I know he’s a good enough writer and director that it won’t be terrible.  I just don’t think it needs to exist.  The ho-hum blandness of Spy makes my anticipation of the new Ghostbusters even more ambivalent.

Spy
Directed By – Paul Feig
Written By – Paul Feig

MOVIE REVIEW | Black Sea (2014)

Black Sea

“I lost my family because of this job.”

If, out of the blue, you were to ask me opinion of Jude Law, I probably wouldn’t have much to say.  As an actor, he’s not someone I willingly seek out, or someone I actively avoid.  If you asked me how many Jude Law movies I’d seen in my life, I’d probably remember two or three.  But a search of the Bored and Dangerous archives shows that I have written about no less than eight Jude Law movies in the last year or so.  Thinking about that, I realise that I don’t not remember him because he’s not good.  I don’t remember Jude Law because he’s pretty great at disappearing into a role and making me remember the character, not the actor.  So now that I have come to the realisation that I’m a fan of his work, I had to track down his latest, Black Sea.


Fired from his job as a submarine pilot for a marine salvage company, Robinson (Law) is drinking with fellow sackees Kurston (Daniel Ryan) and Blackie (Konstantin Khabensky).  Kurston has heard the story of a sunken U-boat off the coast of (European, not American) Georgia, full of Russian gold.  Kurston knows a man who might be able to finance a salvage mission, while Blackie knows a man who can sell them their own sub to go after the gold. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | ***REMAKE WEEK*** Alfie (2004)

Alfie (2004)
“I don’t depend on nobody. Nobody depends on me. My life’s my own.”

Why remake Alfie?  It’s not as if the Michael Caine starring original was full of special effects that would look amazing with a post 2000 update.  Some might argue that social politics in regards to sex haven’t even changed all that much to make those aspects of the original all that dated.  If anything, with such an iconic lead performance to live up from Caine, a remake is just setting itself up to fail.  So, does the 2004, seemingly pointless remake of Alfie uncover a point to its existence?


Moving the setting to America, but keeping the titular character’s nationality jauntily English, Alfie (Jude Law) is sleeping his way around New York, ditching women as soon as they show any signs of seeking commitment.  There’s adorable girl next door Julie (Marisa Tomei), who should be the girl of his dreams.  But it’s his best friend’s girlfriend, Nia Long as Lonette, who really floats his boat. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | ***REMAKE WEEK*** All the King’s Men (2006)

All_the_kings_men

“Listen to me, you hicks! Lift up your eyes and look at God’s blessed and unfly-blown truth. This is the truth! You’re a hick. Nobody ever helped a hick but a hick himself.”

2006, a time when America was balls deep into the reign of a president in the pockets of oil companies and any other corporation who might be able to make a few bucks out of war in the Middle East.  I’m sure for the movie studio, making a movie about political corruption, based on a famous novel that had already been turned into a classic movie, seemed like a sure thing.  Add to that an all star cast, and I’m sure it surprised more than a few people when it ended being a $42million loss.  Well, it turns out, All the King’s Men is better than the box office receipts would have you believe.


Sean Penn is Willie Stark, an altruistic everyman who only wants the best for his state of Louisiana.   When the current administration, represented by Tiny Duffy (James Gandolfini) notice he’s gaining grass roots support, they decide to embrace his popularity and make him one of their own.  One step ahead, Willie double crosses Duffy and sweeps the next election, becoming the most popular Governor in the state’s history…  For the time being. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | A.I: Artificial Intelligence (2001)

a-i

“Stories are not real! You’re not real!”

You’d be hard pressed to find two more notorious directors who gained their notoriety for more different reasons than Steven Spielberg and Stanley Kubrick. With Jaws, Spielberg made the world’s first blockbuster, and since then, he’s gone to be the most profitable director of all time. Along with Alfred Hitchcock, Spielberg might be the most recognisable name behind the camera in the history of cinema, a director who even the most casual movie viewer knows. Then you have Stanley Kubrick. While Spielberg makes ‘moves’, Kubrick made ‘films’. Highbrow stuff that only a tortured genius and perfectionist could make. He even made a trashy Steven King book into a cinephile classic.


When Kubrick died and it was announced that Spielberg would be talking over one of his passion projects, movie snobs were not happy. How could this crowd pleasing hack possibly understand the depths of a story that a genius like Kubrick found so fascinating?   Here’s the thing, I’m kind of on the fence with both directors. Spielberg is an undeniable genius who can make crowd pleasing, mass appeal stuff, that still has real heart. Movies like E.T, Schinderl’s List, Jaws and the first three Indiana Jones movies. But he’s also made painful syrup, like Catch Me If You Can, The Terminal and War Horse. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | Hugo (2011)

hugo
“Maybe that’s why a broken machine always makes me a little sad, because it isn’t able to do what it was meant to do… Maybe it’s the same with people. If you lose your purpose… it’s like you’re broken.”

I love Martin Scorsese. He might be the greatest film maker living and working today. He’s definitely my favourite film maker living and working today, or ever. And while I liked Hugo when it came out a few years ago, I always felt like I didn’t give it enough attention at the time. It didn’t stick with me, and because I’m a super fan, I blamed myself, not the movie. Usually this blog is all about movies I’ve watched for the first time, but I’m making a rare exception here, because Scorsese is the best.


With a mother (presumably) killed in the Great War, young Hugo Cabret (Asa Butterfield) lives with his clock making father (Jude Law) in 1920s Paris. But because kids can’t become heroes in movies without first becoming orphans, his dad dies in a museum fire and Hugo is left in the care of is drunkard uncle (Ray Winstone). Living within the walls of a grand railway station, Hugo does his uncle’s job of keeping the many clocks running, while his uncle abandons him to go drink. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | ***SODERBERGH WEEK*** Side Effects (2013)

side-effects-film
If he sticks to his filmic retirement, which is very unlikely for someone so prolific, Steven Soderbergh’s career might have ended with the pretty awesome Behind the Candelabra, but unfortunately, since that was TV movie on HBO, his last cinematic release will be a little more forgettable, way less necessary, and way more reactionaryily dated as more time passes. That movie is Side Effects.


Martin Taylor (Channig tatum) is released from prison, and his first port of call is to visit his wife, Emily (Rooney Mara) in some variety of nut house. The cause of Martin’s incarceration never gets much more attention, but Emily’s nut baggery sure does. She’s suffering from some sort of severe depression, and after being released from, hospital, she deliberately drives her car into a concrete wall at high speed. This time when she’s released, her psychologist, Jonathan Banks (Jude Law), tries some anti-depressants on her, including the new to market, not fully tested, Ablixa.

Soon, the titular side effects cause a devastating incident and the movie takes a weird new direction for the second half. It’s no longer about the patient and her treatment, it becomes more macro, looking at the entire American pharmaceutical industry, its practices and its not so great impact on the world. Who’s to blame when these things go wrong, who’s benefiting from the current system, who are the real victims. Or is that what movie’s about? Because later, Side Effects turns into a pretty standard investigative thriller.

On top of that, there’s Katherine Zeta Jones as Law’s colleague and Mara’s ex-therapist, and the ultimate pariah, peddling her pharmaceutical wares for profit, with any wellness for patients a happy coincidence at best. Her character doesn’t add nearly as much as her icey bitch performance, which is up there as one of the movie’s highlights.

Mara is established early on as the probable main character, but as it progresses, Side Effects becomes more and more the story of Jude Law’s psychologist. Which is good, because he delivers the best performance in the movie, by far. Tatum is great, but his minor role means he’s not given very much to do. Mara is perfectly fine, but I feel like I’ve just seen her in too much recently and am a little burned out on what she does. That’s probably unfair, if anything, I’m just burned out on her based solely on the pretty terrible Ain’t Them Bodies Saints.

As far as targets go for a movie like this, pharmaceutical companies are up there with the softest, like tobacco and gambling. Even as detached as I am from America and this world, I know the pharmaceutical industry is an easy one to attack if you want to get your audience on board with your grandstanding and issue bating. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing to base your movie on, I’m just saying that to me, Side Effects seemed to think it had more teeth than it did.

Side Effects
Directed By – Steven Soderbergh
Written By – Scott Z. Burn