It’s 2005, and Operation Red Wings have been tasked with tracking down and eliminating Taliban leader Ahmad Shah. Navy Lieutenant Michael P. Murphy (Taylor Kitsch), Navy Hospital Corpsman Second Class Marcus Luttrell (Mark Wahlberg), Petty Officer Second Class Matthew G. Axelson (Ben Foster) and Petty Officer Second Class Danny P. Dietz (Emile Hirsch) are picked…
Yes. Yes, okay. Let’s see where this goes.
Savages is curious, in that it’s not the sort of film you might associate with the often solemn, politicised pictures of Oliver Stone. In contrast, this is a lively, breezy crime-thriller, buoyed by a sunny tone, some very dark humour, and – a few bland leads aside – some very memorable characters.
The opening film for this year’s Edinburgh International Film Festival, it would be difficult to claim that William Friedkin’s Killer Joe was an obvious selection. Populated by grim people doing some pretty grim things, it’s a dark drama with both a sexual and violent edge. There’s levity, sure – in fact, there’s quite a lot of laughs – but it’s safe to say this isn’t an easy going crowd pleaser. Yet that’s just what makes it such a brilliant choice. You’ll never look at Matthew McConaughey or southern fried chicken in quite the same light again.
Who knew that sci-fi films were allowed to be set outside New York City? Every timeworn trope of the ‘alien invasion’ genre beloved of Cold War screenwriters has hurdled the Iron Curtain and descended on Moscow for The Darkest Hour, a virtually irredeemable mess of contrived clichés, crap CGI and Cyrillic cignage. And some things that don’t begin with C (as well as some others that do which we can’t mention here – looking at you, Bekmambetov).
Have you ever thought, we mean really thought, about Sean Penn? We have. And lo and behold one of us thinks he’s of the Parker fountain Penn of Hollywood, and the other thinks he’s just the biro that the dog has chewed and oh god someone call the vet, it’s choking.
Once upon a time there was porn – good, ole’ fashioned, plotless porn that seemed destined to forever roam the private nether-regions of the entertainment industry alone. But smut desperately desired to be taken seriously, and Hollywood needed a harder…edge. It took one dexterous stroke of genius to bring the two concepts to simultaneous, mainstream fruition, and it wasn’t Sheen the Machine, nor was it one night misspent in Paris, but instead the reflexively novel idea of making films about (porno) films…
Vince Vaughn used to be a comedy god- up there with Ben Stiller, more marketable than Will Ferrell, less cheesy than Owen Wilson. But lately, we have realised that he is less comedy hits, more comedy misses and much less likeable on screen. Whatever has happened to everyone’s favourite funny man? We look at the rise and oh so calamitous fall of this fast talking, wedding crashing comedy supremo.