Tag Archives: Anthony Mackie

The Hurt Locker Review

An immediate tension grips The Hurt Locker, ahead of the curve in how thrillers hope to understand modern warfare. Fast cuts, grainy footage and a close-up piece of the action clutch the heart and eyes of the audience who can do nothing but watch a humanitarian crisis. Director Kathryn Bigelow is good at that, and it is a necessary factor for The Hurt Locker, possibly its most important. The false alarms, the second glances and split-second decision-making are at the core of an extremely tense and nervy feature that hopes to hold out against a barrage of modern filmmakers trying to have their say on prevalent American warfare.

Continue reading The Hurt Locker Review

Pain & Gain Review

Big burly action is what Pain & Gain offers with its successful call-backs to the glory days of big-budget action entertainment. A dying breed this sort of film may be, it does not stop Michael Bay from turning in another expectedly explosive bit of work. The American Dream, in one way or another, will chew up and spit out whoever it can. Daniel Lugo (Mark Wahlberg) was one such man. His belief in fitness as the future of the country and as part of his own personal American Dream is a fascinating self-made rise and fall. Daniel Lugo is of the Jordan Belfort category in the sense that he is a self-made man that will stop at nothing to fulfil his goal as a freewheeling, charismatic businessman.

Continue reading Pain & Gain Review

Million Dollar Baby Review

While the passionate, rose-tinted glasses of Hollywood has conjured up much love for the fictional and real heroes of the boxing world, Million Dollar Baby strives to strike down with some harsh, cutting realism. Its grim and dingy aesthetics capture the tepid grey tones of director Clint Eastwood, but at least this time they have a reasonable purpose. Sweat, blood and tears throw themselves around the walls of a gym, providing Eastwood and company with the opportunity to build themselves as fighters, and as people. Distant emotions make themselves uncomfortable almost immediately, and as Million Dollar Baby pushes its stars towards an inevitable reconciliation of fighting and fears, the emotional strain on them all comes to the centre of the stage. 

Continue reading Million Dollar Baby Review

Half Nelson Review

We must appreciate those few teachers that can leave an impact on us during our times of need and education. Their attitude or confidence, the belief they have in you to succeed, is necessary to how we shape our formative years. My English teacher and university lecturers were influential on my decisions, choices and actions. Half Nelson wishes to convey the importance of role models in the sphere of education. Director Ryan Fleck dares to imply that their life lessons may be more important than the curriculum they teach. We are given scope to the problems they hide from their students, for while their issues are tearing them apart, they are set and focused on helping those they are instructed to teach and inspire.

Continue reading Half Nelson Review

The Woman in the Window Review

Wanting to coast along on its Alfred Hitchcock influence, The Woman in the Window does little to separate itself from Rear Window. That is fertile ground to harvest from, and if done right then there is certainly room for characters within this Joe Wright-directed piece to flourish and grow. Here is the shut-in neighbour, nosey not out of interest for others but out of boredom. She uncovers a potential murder and must work from home (like all of us have done for the past year) to solve a potential case of crime. You may know these narrative beats inside out, but it is what The Woman in the Window does with them that brings out the most interest of all. Not much is the answer, but bless them for trying.  

Continue reading The Woman in the Window Review

Falcon and the Winter Soldier Review

The endgame of Avengers: Endgame has finally received clarity. Truthful, real intentions of Marvel are now upon us. They have spun an ending that impacted not just the audience, but their way of working too. Why slow down content and production when you can schedule enough television programming to never have a lull in content? Efficiency does not equal artistry. The machine trundles on, no signs of breakdown are clear just yet, and Falcon and The Winter Soldier is another product of that sturdy, strong, metallic grey vehicle. It is sleek, finely tuned, and utterly devoid of life or spirit. Interest wanes quickly with this one, and the façade of unique vision in WandaVision was at least a brief comfort. There’s no time for that with Falcon and The Winter Soldier.

Continue reading Falcon and the Winter Soldier Review

Captain America: The Winter Soldier Review

Where Encino Man looked to adopt a caveman to the modern world, did they believe they would have any impact on the formation of Captain America: The Winter Soldier? In its brief opening, Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) produces a list of culture he should experience now that he finds himself awakening in the flourishing modern metropolis of 2014. An exciting time to be alive, or so I’m told, Captain America: The Winter Soldier wishes to cement itself as a strong, independent bit of the Marvel Cinematic Universe puzzle and that it does, with fumbling style and ineffective grace, but a wholesome core and good competent fun making up for it.

Continue reading Captain America: The Winter Soldier Review

8 Mile Review

My knowledge and personal interest of one Marshall Mathers is extremely limited. All I know is that I, or he, is the real Slim Shady. Should one of us stand up, we’d answer a pressing question to one of his prominent works. That is not, to any degree, what 8 Mile is about. While rap is not entirely my cup of tea, there is no need to feverishly deny the acceptable notes Eminem can manage. Music to be Murdered By was hilariously poor, but that tainted formula is far removed from the scene director Curtis Hanson wishes to demonstrate. A dark, gritty camera style presents the underground rap scene, the preparation necessary, and the opportunities found within, presenting leading man Jimmy Smith Jr. (Eminem) with the opportunity to express his creative flair.  

Continue reading 8 Mile Review