Sunday, April 21, 2013


 Crime thriller

James McAvoy: Simon, an auction house employee
Vincent Cassel: Franck, an associate
Rosario Dawson: hypnotherapist Elizabeth Lamb

It’s never much fun when you realize you’re being jerked around when you make an honest effort to sort things out for yourself. When filmmakers resort to that kind of manipulation, it’s time to walk out which I did.

This is an example of the twists and turns, the flashbacks and reversals one has to cope with: in one scene Simon takes the time to shoot and kill three bad guys but then it turns out he just imaged that and they are still alive wanting to kill him. But we the audience have no way of knowing it was all in his head so you take it at face value only to be yanked back with the reveal. You soon begin to feel like a puppet on a string.

Not surprising Ralph’s Rule of Redundancy applies:
“Any film where one person takes on more than 2 key positions (Danny Boyle is Writer, Director and Producer) has a major shortcoming: the absence of independent critical judgement that results in something less than it might have been.”

 for sexual content, graphic nudity, violence, some grisly images and language.

  • The revolver Simon uses has just 6 cartridges yet fires off a dozen rounds in the garage.
  • Gasoline ignites between 500°F and 540°F so firing a bullet at a trail of gasoline will not set it ablaze.

Friday, April 19, 2013



Ryan Gosling: motorcycle stunt driver Luke Glanton
Eva Mendes: his former girlfriend Romina
Ben Mendelsohn: auto repair shop owner Robin
Mahershala Ali: Romina’s live-in boyfriend Kofi
Bradley Cooper: rookie Police Officer Avery Cross
Rose Byrne: his wife Jennifer
Ray Liotta: Detective Deluca
Emory Cohen: 17-year-old AJ Cross
Dane DeHaan: 17-year-old Jason Glanton

This ambitious undertaking begins well enough with entwined stories of a street-wise carnival star and an upcoming rookie police officer. Characterized by excellent performances although not a very original story it was satisfying enough until the on-screen title “15 years later” appeared.

From this point on the story is a muddled confusing affair with only the most tenuous link to what had proceeded before it. This “third act” serves only to extend the running time to well past two hours and twenty minutes for no discernable reason.

for language throughout, some violence, teen drug and alcohol use, a sexual reference.

Jason purchases a used Hondo motorcycle for cash and gets no papers in return, no registration, no sale receipt, nothing. It simply does not happen that way.

The title comes from the English translation of the Mohawk word for Schenectady (where these events took place) as “the place beyond the pine plains”.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


Sports drama

Harrison Ford: Brooklyn Dodgers General Manager Branch Rickey
Chadwick Boseman: baseball player Jackie Robinson
Nicole Beharie: his girlfriend Rachel
Andre Holland: sports writer Wendell Smith
Christopher Meloni: Booklyn Dodgers Manager Leo Durocher
Lucas Black: short stop Pee Wee Reese
Jonh McGinley: play-by-play announcer Red Barber
Alan Tudyk: raciest Phillies Coachr Ben Chapman
With unwavering commitment one man set out to make a change: Branch Rickey could see the future of baseball and did something about it. Fortunately one man was up to the challenge: Jackie Robinson. Rickey had the courage of his convictions and Robinson, well he had the courage.

This mostly true story of their struggle makes for an entertaining  insight into the ways of sport. Characterized by excellent acting throughout and close attention to period detail (except for one instance noted below) it runs a tad long at two hours and twenty minutes. The racist language might be disturbing to some.

for thematic elements including language.

This is one of my classic all-time favourite nitpicks: at the end of the telephone conversation Branch Rickey hangs up and Leo Durocher is left listening to the dial tone. In reality the dial tone is only heard after picking up the phone before dialling. That’s why it’s called a dial tone.