Mean Dreams – Film Review

Mean Dreams

Mean Dreams is a film about lost innocence amongst two teenagers who come from different backgrounds, but are struggling to maintain an existence in the countryside of the Northern territory of North America.

When new neighbours move into the small country house, it consists of single father Wayne Caraway (Bill Paxton), who is a police officer and rather violent, which is vented-out on his daughter Casey Caraway (Sophie Nélisse).

Youth has a curosity attached to it and this often leads to trouble, especially in the case of country boy Jonas Ford (Josh Wiggins).

When Jonas sees Casey he makes contact and slowly a rather innocent relationship ensues, but her father isn’t happy with this connection and later-on ends in a fight between her father and Jonas.

Mean Dreams – Official Trailer

Unfortunately Jonas isn’t going to listen to Casey’s father and finds-out why her father seems menacingly uptight – he’s a corrupt police officer.

Not only finding-out that Wayne is involved with crime, Jonas then finds a bag full of money and complicates his life by stealing it.

Jonas convinces Casey to runaway with him, and he has an idealistic notion of surviving on this money, as he falls in love with Casey.

Well, not only witnessing a police officer committing a criminal act and then profiteering; but stealing these ill-gotten gains isn’t the wisest of decisions and Casey knows all to well what her father is capable of.

The people that are left behind and not running is Jonas’ farming family who are put under-pressure for Jonas to return, with the cash.

But this thriller is well worth the watch as the cat-and-mouse game between Jonas and Wayne ensues.

Sadly, this was one of the last films Bill Paxton made before his death in 2017.

But, this is probably one of his best roles and played Wayne Caraway in a very harrowing way. Often you think he’s in the same room as you, and wait for his hand to rest on your shoulder – giving you goosebumps.

Mean Dreams is available on Amazon PrimeVideo

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Hell and High Water – Film Review

Poster Photograph

You will burst into laughter within the first thirty seconds of watching Hell and High Water, which is supposed to be a drama rather than a comedy.

To really get to the point of Hell and High Water, this line sums it up – delivered by a Texas farmer sitting in the town’s diner amongst his fellow farmers.

Long enough to watch the banks robbing-me for over thirty years

The Texas attitude and dry heat is finely depicted, together with the Texas drolling accent.

Hell and High Water Trailer

Hell and High Water is a good old fashion bank robbery film, which has the payback attitude that actually stems-back to The Great Depression era of the 1920s and 30s Amercia; when many people including the weathly lost everything and suffered miserably, which is what banks have been doing ever since – being protected by the government to steal from the masses!

The bank robbers are two brothers Tanner (Ben Foster), who is the eldest and has just got out of prison and Toby Howard (Chris Pine), who has been struggling in the dusty fields they call home.

Everything that is on the otherside of the tracks comes to an end, and justice becomes only an inch away, with lead Texas Ranger investigator Marcus Hamilton (Jeff Bridges), who takes his job seriously, but at the pace of an exhausted rattlesnake.

The end of the film is rather poignant and without spoiling it, you just have to watch Hell and High Water.

You will not be disappointed with Hell and High Water, as it has been well-crafted and perfectly delivered by all that star in this film.

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.

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!