Category Archives: Films

The Place Beyond The Pines – Film Review

The Place Beyond The Pines

The Place Beyond The Pines is an excellent gritty independent American film focussing on real-life rather than the usual Hollywood blockbuster fairy tales.

Luke [Ryan Gosling] is a mid-twenties young man trying to put his life together after having a good youthful time and now trying to get his old girlfriend back Romina [Eva Mendes] whom he genuinely loves.

Unbeknownst to Luke he has become a father and this gives him more incentives to reconcile with Romina and have a solid family unit. Unfortunately she has moved on and is in another relationship with another man and this creates more tension in Luke’s mind.

Luke cannot accept she has moved on and even though she didn’t tell him he had become a father he naturally cannot accept another man looking after his child.

As Luke is new in town he hasn’t got a lot going for him, but as a very good and competent motorcyclists he decides to rob banks after his new employer Robin Van Der Hook [Ben Mendelsohn] the owner of a mechanical car repair garage reveals that he used to rob banks in order to get by years ago and suggests this to Luke so he can help fund his child’s life, and in a way reconnect in a relationship with Romina.

The film is intense and despite Luke’s mistakes you feel that Romina should give him another chance, though her new man naturally would feel deeply unhappy with that decision.

Another aspect of the film that pushes the boundaries is the focus on race and as we know America still has deep divisions with racial problems. So the fact that Romina is Hispanic, her new man Kofi Kancam [Mahershala Ali] is black and Luke is white from a working class background, it is quite a mixture that in some parts of America wouldn’t accept.

It doesn’t take many bank robberies before the local police start to investigate and try and apprehend this criminal. Corruption is rife in the local police and police officer Avery Cross [Bradley Cooper] who wants to solve these series of bank robberies in order to get promoted and clean-up his patch is on Luke’s back.

The film captures this three way battle; Luke wanting to prove to Romina that he’s a changed grown man, Romina rejecting his advances and doesn’t want anything to do with him and Avery who is desperate to get Luke and move-up the ranks fast.

The film portrays a side of America we don’t often see, the under privileged, the day to day getting through life, but this film grabs these social issues many experience, not just in America.

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Kill The Messenger – Film Review

Kill The Messenger

Kill The Messenger is based on a true story about the American government who were exposed in dealing with the importation of cocaine to help fund the CIA’s operation in Nicaragua, Central America.

Gary Webb [Jeremy Renner] a Pulitzer Prize award winning journalist with the Mercury News Tribute blows the lid of this scandal after a meeting with the wife of drug dealer Norwin Meneses who was due to face trail. She gave Gary Webb a transcribed document from the US Department of State conversion about these cocaine deals on behalf of the CIA operation in the Central American country.

Since the fall of the Cuban President Fulgencio Batista’s rule in 1959, which led to Castro and the Communist gaining power, American foreign policy was to quash any communist uprising or socialist political parties from gaining power in basically America’s backyard.

During the 80’s Communism or extreme left views was gaining power in Nicaragua and America decided that they had to be stopped, so through the CIA the political parties and paramilitary groups most famously The Contras were funded to fight the Marxist Sandinistas regime. To help fund these expensive anti-Communist operations and projects they needed some serious money. Americans thirst for cocaine had skyrocketed since the late 60s and 70s that it would make the vast amounts required to keep Communism and the old Soviet Union [USSR] from gaining any more land in the Americas, as Cuba was more than enough held in Communist hands and supported by arch-rivals the Soviet Union now Russia.

Unfortunately while Gary Webb thought he had a story of mass public importance and credibility, taking on the American government especially the CIA was to have a disastrous effect not only on his career but also on his family.

The American government sought to discredit him and his documents of the CIA and American government’s involvement in importing millions of dollars of cocaine in its pursuit of fighting communism in Nicaragua.

While this tactic worked against Gary Webb, it was years later that the truth eventually came out about the CIA’s involvement in cocaine trafficking in a 400 page CIA report acknowledging their involvement and operations at that time in Nicaragua.

Gary Webb wrote a series of published articles about his findings, which eventually was made into a book called Dark Alliance: The CIA, The Contras, and the Crack Cocaine Explosion.

Nick Schou wrote Kill The Messenger: How The CIA’s Crack-Cocaine Controversy Destroyed Journalist Gary Webb, which this film is based on.

 

 

 

Filth – Film Review

Filth Film [Two]

Filth is a controversial film – due to the fact that the slang word for the police is ‘pig’ and from the outset the film’s image sets up the story of one policeman’s journey, mainly of destruction.

From the opening scene we meet the main character that the film is based around Detective Bruce Robinson [James McAvoy], who is a rather unkempt, smoking, snorting and generally dirty looking man.

Right from the start you are bombarded with scenes of dirty filthy sex, which escalates into drug taking by blackmailing with threats of arrest from the local drug dealers.

Blackmail extends to having sex with borderline minors to lonely and desperate housewife’s, which are his colleagues he’s trying to out do in the race to get the promoted job at his police station.

You are left in shock and while laughing you’re thinking ‘Am I really witnessing this extreme story’ and another more worrying thought, ‘This has probably happened’ amongst police officers worldwide.

There are very funny scenes one in particular concerns a Christmas party that gets drunkenly silly but hilarious as it includes a photocopier machine taking the best or biggest penis photocopy picture and the winner is unexpectedly rewarded with a fellow female colleague called Size Queen [Polly McIntosh]. Let’s just say it isn’t all cracked-up to be!

You get beyond the middle of the film and waiting for some more outrageous shenanigans, but instead you get to the root cause of this outlandish behaviour and the consequences of this destructive lifestyle.

You get some rather psychedelic scenes of people with animal masks on that keeps you wondering what the relation to these characters and inner thoughts of Detective  Bruce Robinson are, as he sits in his psychiatrists Doctor Rossi’s [ Jim Broadbent] room for his periodic anti-psychotic drug treatment. Though they are his demonic thoughts and fears concerning a family tragedy sometime ago.

The hopes of his job promotion slowly slips due to him being investigated and despised by Detective Superintendent Amanda Drummond [Imogen Poots] trying to undermine and cause complete havoc amongst his fellow police officers.

Having tried to do a good deed that didn’t go to plan Detective Bruce Robinson now demoted to Constable is left feeling rather low, which ends in just a shocking twist as he lived!