Gangsters never truly retire, not in films anyway. Arrested? Absolutely. Killed? Most certainly. But retire? Not a chance. Goodfellas would be a different film had Henry Hill announced a successful and peaceful retirement. Grit and determination were needed for his rise up and out of the mafia lifestyle. The same goes for British crime. Guy Ritchie features do not end with “and then he retired to a life in Malia,” as Snatch would feel rather different had it done so. Even those that retire, like Ray Winstone’s Gary Dove in Sexy Beast, after retiring, is pulled right back in. Presumably, the case would be the same for Layer Cake’s protagonist, a pre-Bond Daniel Craig, as an unnamed cocaine dealer trying to get out in one piece.
Adapting the life and talent of Bob Dylan to the biopic genre was an inevitability. It is hard to see how anyone could stop it from happening. For all the failed markups of The Beatles, The Beach Boys and the big names around the 1960s, pulling off a dissection of The Voice of a Generation is no small feat. I’m Not There plays with the format of traditional detailing. Dylan defines a meaning or passage of time for so many people, spread across generations. To adapt that correctly, no one man can portray Dylan, and that is what director Todd Haynes gets right with I’m Not There. As Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again plays through the opening credits and the passages of time cross the screen, I’m Not There springs to life.
With a blue raincoat, tatty red hat and a fondness for marmalade, how harmless can Paddington really be? He hides dark secrets and darker intentions. No sane being would trust this beastly bear. He has burrowed his way into the hearts and minds of a generation for no other reason than being bright, colourful and forgettable. He is a tapeworm of massive proportions, and all Paddington, the first in the series from director Paul King offers, is the chance to see him grow and grow and grow. His tragic background jerks the heartstrings of an audience so hard their debit cards fall to the feet of plushie, kid-friendly sized dolls of the blue-coated beast. We must not give in. But why, why should we be so defensive against this harmless, charming bear?