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January was an impossible act to follow but there were still a few good films.  This is what I saw: 

Inherent Vice: the incoherent plot is both the best and the worst thing about Paul Thomas Anderson’s detective thriller.   It looks good and has a great dream like tone but ultimately it left me cold.INHERENT VICE

Trash: Written by Richard Curtis and directed by Stephen Daldry.  showing a more gritty side of Rio concentrating on the backstreets and favelas.  Often darkly funny but ultimately uplifting and rewarding.Trash

Jupiter Ascending:  The thinly written and poorly conceived characters are a waste of Mila Kunis and Channing Tatum.  Ultimately rubbish but enough fun to get away with it.jupiter ascending

Selma: It is criminal that it has been more than more than 50 years since Martin Luther King’s most famous speech.  On the other hand it is fitting that the film is so good.  David Oyelowo is sensational in the lead role.Selma David Oyelowo

Focus: Will Smith and Margot Robbie are likable leads in this con man comedy drama, but the plot is flimsy and the twists signposted.  Fun but forgettable._87C7066.dng

Fifty Shades of Grey:  Groundbreaking erotic thriller about a BDSM relationship, sadly NO! It is a dull and vanilla love story with laughable dialogue, to put it another way Pretty Woman with less edge.fifty shades of grey

Blackhat: Michael Mann is back with a cybercrime thriller.  A solid and enjoyable film let down by a disjointed final act.  A good film but not amongst Mann’s best.blackhat

Project Almanac: Teenage time travel movie that isn’t afraid to refer better films of the genre.  Let down by clichéd characters and a plot that offers nothing new.ProjectAlmanac

The movie of the month is:selma-movie-poster (1)

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As film fans we all have our favourite directors. When talking about a movie I am going to see, if someone asks me the usual question “who’s in in it” I tend to tell them who directed it before answering the question that is actually asked. There are certain directors that I would go and see just about anything they make, top of my list has always been Martin Scorsese. Quentin Tarantino, Kathryn Bigelow (yes, I am the person who saw The Weight of Water) and Christopher Nolan would also be part of the exclusive club. When a new film is announced I will look it up online and check back from time to time to see what’s happening. Is it in pre production or have they started shooting, who is in it, who will be writing the script? I will watch the trailer online as soon as it hit’s the internet, then eventually the movie will open and I will go and see it within a few days of opening.Martin Scorsese Quentin Tarantino Kathryn Bigelow Christopher Nolan

But something strange has happened recently, I suddenly realised that I had a new must see director. Not that strange in itself, but it came out of nowhere in 2008 I went to see the feature début of an actor turned director that had sat on the shelf for over a year. The movie was Gone Baby Gone the director Ben Affleck. I loved the film and praised Affleck to have the sense and restraint to not cast himself. Two years later he cast himself in his next movie The Town. I went with a certain trepidation, this was unfounded. Although never a bad actor, he has never been a great actor and was still living in the shadow of Pearl Harbor, Jersey Girl and Gigli, however in The Town he was really good. Following these two movies I found myself really looking forward to Argo, going out of my may to see a preview screening two weeks before its release. My enthusiasm was rewarded with one of my favourite movies of the year.ben affleck directing argo

And so the anticipation begins. Until today I had heard nothing of Affleck’s next project when I followed a link from IMDB to the Entertainment Weekly. The short article was actually about Affleck dropping out of a movie called Focus about a con artist and his young female protégée (Kristen Stewart). The reason given clashes with future directing projects “including the thriller Tell No One and an adaptation of Dennis Lehane’s Live By Night”.

For those who don’t know Tell No One is a novel by Harlan Coben that was filmed (in French) in 2006 by actor turned director Guillaume Canet (best know in the English speaking world as Étienne in The Beach). Telling the story of a man who was prime suspect in his wife’s murder. Eight years later the case is reopened following two further murders. He then receives an email suggesting his wife is alive. In the great tradition of innocent men in movies, he goes on the run to clear his name and find is wife. Great performances from François Cluzet and Kristin Scott Thomas in the first of a series of French movies she has made. I have nothing to go on about the Affleck movie other than the title of the movie so am not sure if it is the same story but assume it will be. While I don’t see the point in a remake of such a recent and good movie but am sure Affleck would handle it well.tell no one

Dennis Lehane’s Live By Night only came out within the last few months and I know nothing about it. A quick look at the synopsis tells me it is about “A small-time thief in 1920s Boston”. More important than the plot, is what has gone before it, Dennis Lehane’s previous novels that have been adapted into films are: Mystic River, Gone, Baby, Gone and Shutter Island.Dennis Lehane’s Live By Night

It is interesting that at given Hollywood’s frequent failure to adapt novels that Affleck seems to not only favour them (his first two movies were based on novels and his third on an article in LA Weekly), but do such a good job of adapting them. Whatever his next movie is, and I hope both these projects get off the ground I am sure to see Ben Affleck’s next movie and given his performance in Argo and The Town I would be happy to see him appear in them.

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