The Arrival

This looks like a real SF movie. It lands this Remembrance Day.

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Movie Nights

Watched a couple of flicks that are worthy of your time.

Green Room

green-room-poster

Starring the late Anton Yelchin and Patrick Stewart. One of the weirdest Star Trek crossings with Stewart playing a thoroughly repellent SkinHead leader and Anton as a member of a low level punk rock band. A murder occurs, the band members are a witness, and Stewart tries to cover up the murder and lay the blame on the band. A real gritty violent thriller with several tense sequences which include pit bull attack dogs. Definitely worth a watch.

Bittersweet seeing Yelchin here who died recently and suddenly in a horrific and freak car accident. He has a King connection with his role from Hearts In Atlantis.

 

Birdman

Birdman Movie Poster

Michael Keaton gives a virtuoso performance as an actor known best for a superhero role trying to prove he is capable of greater things while his inner demons tear down his ability to diffferentiate between reality and fantasy. Keaton heads a great cast with Ed Norton and Emma Stone as fellow standouts.

The direction of this movie is so fantastic that it becomes distracting because there are so many uninterrupted shots that made me focus on catching when the next cut would show up.

Love the ending as it is one that is open to interpretation.

Holmes, Sweet Holmes

I made a determined effort to see Ian McKellen in Mr. Holmes before it disappears from the cinema and I’m sure glad I did.

Once again, Ian McKellan proves the best special effect is, and always be, an extraordinary actor. McKellan deftly switches between Holmes of two time periods – one a frail 93 year old battling senility and the other – a still old but still very hearty 60 something year old. The depth and complexity of emotions he can convey with a look or slight tilt of the head or a tic or a …. well you get the idea – is astounding.

One cool thing the movie introduced to me that I was not aware of previously, had to do with a musical instrument – the glass hormoncia. It is played like a keyboard but sounds like a flute. It makes a most haunting sound.


Laura Linney does well here but the boy – Milo Parker – gets the showy role and acquits himself admirably.

This is very much a character study and a study of regrets so don’t go in expecting a big mystery to be solved. Do go in to see a master actor at work. You will thank yourself afterwards.

I would love see to see McKellen reprise the role of Holmes in a more traditional manner.

Rogueriffic!

We – ‘we’ being the missus, my son and I, caught the latest Mission Impossible movie – Rogue Nation – over the weekend.  Easily my favorite of the franchise even it was the least spectacular in scope as the film makers decided to go for intimacy this time.

And it pays off big time.

Rogue Nation harkens back to the team concept of the TV show and avoids any type of global catastrophe storylines. Simon Pegg and Tom Cruise play off of each other to great effect and Pegg’s Benji makes Cruise’s Ethan all the more human and relatable for it. Cruise not only plays Ethan Hawke as a more grounded character emotionally but physically too. Cruise, whom I’ve never been a big fan of as an actor, is a bona fide action/movie star and, given he’s in his fifth decade, you have to respect his work ethic in how he approaches these pictures and the shape he keeps himself in to keep doing them.

The script is tight, smart and deftly written. You are never sure of the loyalties of some of the characters but the script avoids cliches. Alec Baldwin’s head of CIA character could easily sail through the flick playing an one note pompous blowhard but he is given a nice arc – with a clever and funny pay off – and is positioned to become part of the IMF family in the next installment if the creators so decide to do so.

Speaking of a more grounded Hawke, he runs into several scenarios where outside aid is needed and it comes in the form of this picture’s biggest find – rouge MI6 agent Illsa Hunter played by Swedish star – Rebecca Louisa Ferguson Sundström – billed simply as Rebecca Ferguson. She brings an allure and energy to the role that will surely see her vault to the top of movie studio lists for action stars and comic book heros.

Ferguson is the complete package. She’s a terrific actress and has the look of a classic movie star. (She reminds me of Ingrid Bergman.) Definitely one to keep an eye out for.

Five flicks in and the IMF franchise is running stronger than ever.  Highly recommended.