12th Dec2017

Stronger (Film)

by timbaros

stronger-side-lff17-1004Jake Gyllenhaal is very good in a true story of a man who was severely injured in the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013 in the new film ‘Stronger.’

Gyllenhaal plays Jeff Bauman, a young man who lives with his alcoholic mother Patty (played by Miranda Richardson) and is in a quasi relationship with Erin (Tatiana Maslany). ‘Stronger’ sets the scene (we know what is going to happen) by Jeff proving to Erin that their on-again and off-again relationship is back on again as he tells her that he will be at the finish line when she finishes at the Boston Marathon. On the day of the marathon, Jeff is there, near the finish line when he, along with several other people, become victims of the bomb attacks by brothers Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who planted two bombs along the route. Jeff is severely injured and loses both of his legs, and it’s a long and difficult process that sees him through a few highs, and many many lows, as he deals not just with having to learn to live with no legs, but also to deal with the relationships around him. Erin still loves him, but is it true love or does she really feel sorry for him? Then there’s his mom, who is relishing in his new found fame, enough so that she can’t contain her excitement when Jeff is asked to be on The Oprah Winfrey show. And Jeff, at times, feels very sorry for himself, collapsing in the bathroom in just trying to perform the simplest tasks we all take for granted. What remains constant in his life is the friendships he has with his mates – they don’t treat him any different and even get him into trouble, just like the old days. But Jeff is, as the title suggests, ‘Stronger,’ and will overcome what life has thrown his way.

Gyllenhaal is really gunning for an Oscar nomination for this movie. It’s just another role in which Gyllenhaal excels in playing a man who has to deal with adversity in the wake of tragic events, and who has to overcome a lot just to get to the other side. He might not get one as he’s missed out on a Golden Globe nomination. If ‘Stronger’ were a bit better perhaps it would be showered with awards. Richardson, as his mother Patty, is just a caricature of a Bostonian mother hen, while Maslany is a bit too over confident and at times too bossy in her role as the girlfriend. And ‘Stronger’ has way too many red, white and blue rah rah rah moments. It’s a bit too much when Jeff is wheeled onto a crowded basketball arena in his wheelchair – a moment that he can’t take in and we can’t really quite believe. And while I don’t know if this film is 100% factual, at the end where lots of people come up to him and thank him and tell him their personal stories is a lump in your throat moment. ‘Stronger’ details Jeff’s injuries, both physical and emotional, and his relationship with Erin in a film that is both touching, sentimental, dramatic and inspirational, but could’ve been better. Gyllenhaal is the best thing in the film. He can take roles on, and be successful, dramatically changing, when he needs to, his appearance, or by just being himself. It’s the Gyllenhaal way.

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23rd Mar2017

Nocturnal Animals (DVD)

by timbaros

nocturnal_animals_375043-2Nocturnal Animals is a haunting thriller that’s dark and very troubling

Tom Ford’s highly anticipated second film, Nocturnal Animals, is both brilliant and confusing, no thanks to it’s three stories in one arc.

Amy Adams is art dealer Susan Morrow (Amy Adams) who lives high above the Hollywood Hills in a seemingly loveless marriage to her philandering husband Hutton (Armie Hammer). One day she receives a book called Nocturnal Animals written by her ex-husband Edward Sheffield (Jake Gyllenhaal, in one of his best performances in years). It’s been 19 years since they broke up, well actually Susan broke it off with him, and she hadn’t heard or seen of him since then. So it’s bit unusual for her to receive a book from him, knowing that he’s been a struggling writer all his life. While her husband is away on one of his many business trips, she settles down to read the book. It’s then that Nocturnal Animals the book becomes a whole second movie, a second movie so brilliantly written, acted, and told that it should’ve been the movie that is Nocturnal Animals.

The book is a tale of revenge, rape and murder, brutal and in your face and it’s directed wholly at Susan. While it’s obvious it’s a work of fiction, it’s brutal and horrific. The book as we see play out tells the story of fictional character Tony (Gyllenhaal) with his wife Laura (Isla Fisher) along with what could be (or not) their daughter – this plot point is not very clear, driving in Texas when they’re menaced by a gang of rednecks led by Ray Marcus (Aaron Taylor-Johnson in a performance you will never forget and for which he won a Golden Globe). The menacing turns much much worse, but only towards the women, and it’s too much to give away here to explain what happens to them. Suffice it to say you will be on the edge of your seat while this story is unravelling.

Nocturnal Animals also replays the beginning of the relationship between Susan and Edward – how they met on a New York City sidewalk, then had a loving relationship, only for Susan to drop him (it’s not clear why she leaves him).

All of this is played out in just under two hours. Nocturnal Animals is a haunting romantic thriller with tension throughout, but it’s also a bit of a letdown after the brilliant A Single Man. Adams doesn’t have much to do except read the book in which the most exciting scenes of the film play out. A couple plot points are head scratching – a phone call Susan makes to her daughter – a real daughter or it she a hallucination due to Susan’s lack of sleep – (nocturnal), and Edward’s grudge for 19 long years – really? Nocturnal Animals is a movie that is so cruel and cynical, a story so much about disloyalty and especially about revenge, and it becomes very very violent, and very very dark, and Ford dedicates it to his husband Richard and their son Zach. A bit narcissistic if you ask me.



Nocturnal Animals (DVD + Digital Download) [2016] (DVD)

Director: Tom Ford
Starring: Amy Adams, Jake Gyllenhaal, Armie Hammer, Michael Shannon
Rating: To Be Announced

Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal star in this thriller adapted from Austin Wright's novel. Years after leaving her first husband, Susan Morrow (Adams) receives a letter asking her to read the manuscript of his first novel. Although worried that reading the book may unearth unpleasant memories long forgotten, Susan reluctantly begins to read. His story revolves around Tony Hastings (Gyllenhaal) and his family as their summer holiday to a cottage retreat turns violent following a confrontation with a mysterious man. As Susan reads on, she becomes convinced that the book is a veiled threat from her ex-husband and is forced to confront some dark truths about her past. The cast also includes Isla Fisher, Michael Shannon, Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Armie Hammer. The film was nominated for two Golden Globe Awards, winning for Best Performance By an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture (Taylor-Johnson), nine BAFTAs, including Best Director (Ford), Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Leading Actor (Gyllenhaal) and Best Supporting Actor (Taylor-Johnson), and an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor (Shannon).

New From: £4.95 GBP In Stock
Used from: £3.15 GBP In Stock

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13th Mar2017

Nocturnal Animals (DVD)

by timbaros

nocturnal_animals_375043Nocturnal Animals is a haunting thriller that’s dark and very troubling.

Tom Ford’s highly anticipated second film, Nocturnal Animals, is both brilliant and confusing, no thanks to it’s three stories in one arc.

Amy Adams is art dealer Susan Morrow (Amy Adams) who lives high above the Hollywood Hills in a seemingly loveless marriage to her philandering husband Hutton (Armie Hammer). One day she receives a book called Nocturnal Animals written by her ex-husband Edward Sheffield (Jake Gyllenhaal, in one of his best performances in years). It’s been 19 years since they broke up, well actually Susan broke it off with him, and she hadn’t heard or seen of him since then. So it’s bit unusual for her to receive a book from him, knowing that he’s been a struggling writer all his life. While her husband is away on one of his many business trips, she settles down to read the book. It’s then that Nocturnal Animals the book becomes a whole second movie, a second movie so brilliantly written, acted, and told that it should’ve been the movie that is Nocturnal Animals.

The book is a tale of revenge, rape and murder, brutal and in your face and it’s directed wholly at Susan. While it’s obvious it’s a work of fiction, it’s brutal and horrific. The book as we see play out tells the story of fictional character Tony (Gyllenhaal) with his wife Laura (Isla Fisher) along with what could be (or not) their daughter – this plot point is not very clear, driving in Texas when they’re menaced by a gang of rednecks led by Ray Marcus (Aaron Taylor-Johnson in a performance you will never forget and for which he won a Golden Globe Award). The menacing turns much much worse, but only towards the women, and it’s too much to give away here to explain what happens to them. Suffice it to say you will be on the edge of your seat while this story is unravelling. Michael Shannon is very good as cop who is tasked with the investigation of the events (he, instead of Taylor-Johnson, was nominated for an Oscar).

Nocturnal Animals also replays the beginning of the relationship between Susan and Edward – how they met on a New York City sidewalk, then had a loving relationship, only for Susan to drop him (it’s not clear why she leaves him).

All of this is played out in just under two hours. Nocturnal Animals is a haunting romantic thriller with tension throughout, but it’s also a bit of a letdown after the brilliant A Single Man. Adams doesn’t have much to do except read the book in which the most exciting scenes of the film play out. A couple plot points are head scratching – a phone call Susan makes to her daughter – a real daughter or it she a hallucination due to Susan’s lack of sleep – (nocturnal), and Edward’s grudge for 19 long years – really? Nocturnal Animals is a movie that is so cruel and cynical, a story so much about disloyalty and especially about revenge, and it becomes very very violent, and very very dark, and Ford dedicates it to his husband Richard and their son Zach. A bit narcissistic if you ask me.

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06th Nov2016

Nocturnal Animals (Film)

by timbaros
50805_AA_4609_v2F Academy Award nominee Amy Adams stars as Susan Morrow in writer/director Tom Ford’s romantic thriller NOCTURNAL ANIMALS, a Universal Pictures International release. Credit: Merrick Morton/Universal Pictures International

50805_AA_4609_v2F
Academy Award nominee Amy Adams stars as Susan Morrow in writer/director Tom Ford’s romantic thriller NOCTURNAL ANIMALS, a Universal Pictures International release.
Credit: Merrick Morton/Universal Pictures International

Tom Ford’s highly anticipated second film, Nocturnal Animals, is both brilliant and confusing, no thanks to it’s three stories in one arc.

Amy Adams is art dealer Susan Morrow (Amy Adams) who lives high above the Hollywood Hills in a seemingly loveless marriage to her philandering husband Hutton (Armie Hammer). One day she receives a book called Nocturnal Animals written by her ex-husband Edward Sheffield (Jake Gyllenhaal, in one of his best performances in years). It’s been 19 years since they broke up, well actually Susan broke it off with him, and she hadn’t heard or seen of him since then. So it’s bit unusual for her to receive a book from him, knowing that he’s been a struggling writer all his life. While her husband is away on one of his many business trips, she settles down to read the book. It’s then that Nocturnal Animals the book becomes a whole second movie, a second movie so brilliantly written, acted, and told that it should’ve been the movie that is Nocturnal Animals.

The book is a tale of revenge, rape and murder, brutal and in your face and it’s directed wholly at Susan. While it’s obvious it’s a work of fiction, it’s brutal and horrific. The book as we see play out tells the story of fictional character Tony (Gyllenhaal) with his wife Laura (Isla Fisher) along with what could be (or not) their daughter – this plot point is not very clear, driving in Texas when they’re menaced by a gang of rednecks led by Ray Marcus (Aaron Taylor-Johnson in a performance you will never forget). The menacing turns much much worse, but only towards the women, and it’s too much to give away here to explain what happens to them. Suffice it to say you will be on the edge of your seat while this story is unravelling.

Nocturnal Animals also replays the beginning of the relationship between Susan and Edward – how they met on a New York City sidewalk, then had a loving relationship, only for Susan to drop him (it’s not clear why she leaves him).

All of this is played out in just under two hours. Nocturnal Animals is a haunting romantic thriller with tension throughout, but it’s also a bit of a letdown after the brilliant A Single Man. Adams doesn’t have much to do except read the book in which the most exciting scenes of the film play out. A couple plot points are head scratching – a phone call Susan makes to her daughter – a real daughter or it she a hallucination due to Susan’s lack of sleep – (nocturnal), and Edward’s grudge for 19 long years – really? Nocturnal Animals is a movie that is so cruel and cynical, a story so much about disloyalty and especially about revenge, and it becomes very very violent, and very very dark, and Ford dedicates it to his husband Richard and their son Zach. A bit narcissistic if you ask me.

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02nd May2016

Demolition (Film)

by timbaros
Jake Gyllenhaal as "Davis" in DEMOLITION. Photo by Anne Marie Fox. © 2016 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation All Rights Reserved

Jake Gyllenhaal as “Davis” in DEMOLITION. Photo by Anne Marie Fox. © 2016 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation All Rights Reserved

A man loses his wife in a terrible car accident and has a hard time coping in the new film ‘Demolition.’

Jake Gyllenhaal gives another excellent performance as Davis, an investment banker who works for his father-in-law’s firm. He and his wife Julia (Heather Lind) have a very comfortable life, a beautiful house and perhaps everything they have always wanted. However, all this is shattered when while driving in Manhattan, their car is hit side-on, it’s an accident that leaves Julia dead and Davis shaken and broken up. As the days go by after the accident, David can’t seem to cope and can’t even open up to those around him, including his father-in-law Phil (Chris Cooper) and mother-in-law Margot (Polly Draper). His parents come to stay with him but they can’t seem to help him cope either. But Davis has his own way of coping; he sends a complaint letter to the vending machine company in the hospital where his wife died because the M&M’s he bought didn’t fall down. Davis doesn’t stop at just one, he sends a successive chain of letters, all very confessional about his life and about his late wife. He confesses in these letters questioning if he really did love Julia, and he questions the decisions and choices he has made in his life. These confessional letters catch the attention of the vending machine company’s customer service manager Karen Moreno (Naomi Watts). She calls him to discuss these letters and eventually they meet and they both form an unlikely connection, with the help of Karen’s androgynous son Chris (Judah Lewis.) But Davis is still not coping, his behavour becomes very erratic and aggressive, both at work and elsewhere where he starts dismantling objects around him, including the toilet doors and computer at work and items at home. He also volunteers to be a part of a crew tearing down a house, and enlists Chris to help him demolish his house as well. But David eventually realizes that something was missing in his marriage, something to do with him, but it’s too late, Julia is gone forever.

‘Demolition’ is another triumph for Gyllenhaal, who has yet turn in a bad performance. As Davis, Gyllenhaal is on the verge of a massive breakdown, starts demolishing everything in sight, and yet can’t realize he’s lost the most precious thing to him in life. Director Jean-Marc Vallée, who directed Matthew McConaughey to an Oscar in ‘Dallas Buyers Club’, and Reese Witherspoon to an Oscar nomination for ‘Wild,’ knows a thing a two about showcasing his performer’s talents. The rest of the cast are stellar, especially Cooper as the aggrieved father and Watts as the single mother trying to cope. A flop in the U.S., don’t expect ‘Demolition’ to be winning an awards, but it’s worth seeing for Gyllenhaal’s performance alone.

‘Demolition’ is in UK cinemas on Friday.

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06th Feb2016

Everest (DVD)

by timbaros

EverestIn 1996, dozens of people tried to get to the top of Mount Everest. Some succeeded, and some died trying. The gripping and realistic ‘Everest’ recounts, in dramatic fashion, this event.

There were quite a few expeditions on Mount Everest in May 1996, and they all had one goal, to get themselves, and their clients (who paid $65,000 eacg), to the top of Mount Everest, and it was up to the expedition leaders to make this happen. Rob Hall was the leader for Adventure Consultants, and he happened to have Jon Krakauer on his team (journalist Krakauer, who was on an assignment for Outside magazine, would go on to write ‘Into Thin Air’ – a book about the disastrous events that took place on the mountain during this climb ). Hall was also responsible for 7 other clients. The Mountain Madness expedition was led by Scott Fischer, who also had 8 clients, including Sandy Hill Pittman, a very wealthy New York Socialite who was, at the time, the wife of Robert Pittman, the founder of MTV. In addition to the clients, several sherpas (local people who are hired by the expedition companies to carry supplies and food up the mountain, and to fix the ropes and ladders to make it easier and quicker for the clients to get up – practically getting everything in place for the climb) were part of the teams as well. Of course most of Hall’s and Fischer’s clients were not professional mountain climbers, they climbed mountains as more of a hobby, and expected to reach the top of Mount Everest because of the huge amount of money they paid. One of Hall’s clients was a postman (Doug Hansen). Another was a doctor from Texas (Beck Weathers). Also on Hall’s team was Yasuko Namba, a Japanese woman who had climbed six of the Seven Summits. And Hall and Fischer knew that it was good for their businesses to have their clients actually make it to the top. So along with these two expeditions groups, other groups of people trying to climb the mountain at the same time were from South Africa, France, Tibet, and 13 members of a Taiwanese team.

sq_everest

But the weather gods were not smiling on Hall and Fischer and their clients during this climb. And this is the story that ‘Everest’ the film successfully and gloomily brings to life. We are introduced to the teams six weeks prior to the start of their expedition. Hall (played by Jason Clarke) is from New Zealand who leaves his pregnant wife (Keira Knightley) behind to go to work. Fischer (Jake Gyllenhaal) is the adventurer with a laid back attitude. Beck Weathers (Josh Brolin) says goodbye to his wife (Robin Wright) in Texas to try to accomplish the almost impossible task of getting to the top of Mount Everest. Doug Hansen (John Hawkes) meets up with the gang in Nepal, as does Sandy Hill Pittman (Vanessa Kirby), which is the starting point for all expeditions. It is in Nepal where the teams get to know each other and bond, but it’s when they get to base camp that the adventure, and danger, begins. Base Camp is already at such a high altitude (17,600 feet), that climbers need to be acclimatized so their bodies can get used to the high altitude. It’s also where the operations for the expeditions take place, led by Helen Wilton (Emily Watson). ‘Everest’ takes us with them on the journey of these teams climbing the mountain. But first they need to navigate the Khumbu ice fall, soaring ice towers and crevasses so deep that there really is no bottom. Camp I and Camp II are where the teams stop to rest, perhaps spending a few days here. But it’s the Lhotse Face that is one of the most challenging bits on the mountain. It’s a 3,600 foot wall of ice that they have to climb to reach Camp III, an altitude where most climbers need to use bottled oxygen just to breath. But it’s above 26,000 feet, right below Camp IV, which is called “The Death Zone” because it’s where humans cannot survive for long. If climbers have survived as high up as Camp IV, then it’s full throttle ahead to reach the summit, usually at midnight so that the teams can reach it before noon, that if they survive the heavy gusts of wind, and the Hillary Step, a 40-foot tower of ice and rock on an exposed part of the mountain that becomes a human traffic jam for people getting to the top, as well as coming back down. But it’s the climb back down that is hardest. The climbers are exhausted, some suffering from high altitude conditions, but it’s the lucky ones who can make it down on their own, and it’s these people who have to decide whether to save the almost dead or leave them behind to save their own lives. As recounted in ‘Everest’, Hall and Fischer’s teams encountered a major storm on their way down, but it was not the only mistake that took place on that climb. Besides too many people on the mountain, Hall took Hansen up to top way past the agreed time. And the search for them cost another climber his life. Fischer was not in the best of shape as he was climbing to the top, and had a much harder time going down. And a storm overtook the climbers, which turned out to be unexpected and deathly. And it’s reenacted in ‘Everest’ to extreme detail; high winds, blowing snow, climbers struggling just to survive, dead bodies littered here and there, and almost blacked-outconditions. ‘Everest’ also recounts Weather’s struggle for survival, Hall’s loyalty to his client, and the operations team realizing that there is nothing they can do for the people trapped on the mountain.

‘Everest’ successfully, and grippingly, tells the story of the people who survived the mountain that fateful year. And while there have been a few books and one television movie made about this event, ‘Everest’ is based on the book by Weathers ( Left for Dead: My Journey Home from Everest (2000)), recollections from some of the survivors, as well as satellite phone conversations between the climbers, their families, and base camp. And the actors who portray the real life characters are superb. Josh Brolin has his best role in years as Weathers, a man who amazingly was left for dead on the mountain but somehow survived. Jason Clarke as Rob Hall is excellent – he’s determined to get his clients to the top and at the same time determined to get back home to see the birth of his first baby. Emily Watson as Wilton, the base camp operations coordinator, is concerned, and then doomed, after she realizes that a few lives have been lost on the mountain. And John Hawkes as postman Hansen gives us a portrait of a man who wants to be there but is not experienced in any way to climb the mountain. Luckily Knightley’s role is not on the mountain (can you actually see her playing someone who is climbing Mount Everest?), she plays Hall’s wife back at home, and there’s nothing she can do to help him. Gyllenhaal’s role as Fischer is relegated to a few scenes, mostly up on the mountain – he’s far from being the star of the movie. Director Baltasar Kormakur (2 Guns, Contraband), working from a script by William Nicholson and Simon Beaufoy, takes us with the teams on their journey, and it looks all too realistic. While there are lots of characters to keep track of (the all important Sherpas are virtually ignored), especially when they are all wrapped up – it’s a bit hard to tell who is how, ‘Everest’ brings to the big screen the real life 1996 Mount Everest disaster. Eight people eventually died during this expedition. ‘Everest’ was shot at a high elevation on the trek to Everest in Nepal, in the Italian Alps and at Cinecitta Studios in Rome, and Pinewood Studios in the UK. It can be experienced in IMAX 3D as well as standard 3D and 2D. ‘Everest’ is a true epic adventure that will take your breathe away.

‘Everest’ is now available to buy on DVD.



Everest [DVD] (DVD)

Director: Baltasar Kormákur
Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Josh Brolin, Sam Worthington, Keira Knightley, Robin Wright
Rating: Suitable for 12 years and over

Like new condition. Comes with original artwork. Shipped direct from the UK. All discs 100% QA checked for read errors before dispatch. DVD case may show some signs of previous use. Disc may have some minor light surface scratches which will not affect pl
New From: £2.03 GBP In Stock
Used from: £0.09 GBP In Stock

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18th Sep2015

Everest (Film)

by timbaros

EverestIn 1996, dozens of people tried to get to the top of Mount Everest. Some succeeded, and some died trying. The gripping and realistic ‘Everest’ recounts, in dramatic fashion, this event.

There were quite a few expeditions on Mount Everest in May 1996, and they all had one goal, to get themselves, and their clients (who paid $65,000 eacg), to the top of Mount Everest, and it was up to the expedition leaders to make this happen. Rob Hall was the leader for Adventure Consultants, and he happened to have Jon Krakauer on his team (journalist Krakauer, who was on an assignment for Outside magazine, would go on to write ‘Into Thin Air’ – a book about the disastrous events that took place on the mountain during this climb ). Hall was also responsible for 7 other clients. The Mountain Madness expedition was led by Scott Fischer, who also had 8 clients, including Sandy Hill Pittman, a very wealthy New York Socialite who was, at the time, the wife of Robert Pittman, the founder of MTV. In addition to the clients, several sherpas (local people who are hired by the expedition companies to carry supplies and food up the mountain, and to fix the ropes and ladders to make it easier and quicker for the clients to get up – practically getting everything in place for the climb) were part of the teams as well. Of course most of Hall’s and Fischer’s clients were not professional mountain climbers, they climbed mountains as more of a hobby, and expected to reach the top of Mount Everest because of the huge amount of money they paid. One of Hall’s clients was a postman (Doug Hansen). Another was a doctor from Texas (Beck Weathers). Also on Hall’s team was Yasuko Namba, a Japanese woman who had climbed six of the Seven Summits. And Hall and Fischer knew that it was good for their businesses to have their clients actually make it to the top. So along with these two expeditions groups, other groups of people trying to climb the mountain at the same time were from South Africa, France, Tibet, and 13 members of a Taiwanese team.

AA44_TP_00035R

But the weather gods were not smiling on Hall and Fischer and their clients during this climb. And this is the story that ‘Everest’ the film successfully and gloomily brings to life. We are introduced to the teams six weeks prior to the start of their expedition. Hall (played by Jason Clarke) is from New Zealand who leaves his pregnant wife (Keira Knightley) behind to go to work. Fischer (Jake Gyllenhaal) is the adventurer with a laid back attitude. Beck Weathers (Josh Brolin) says goodbye to his wife (Robin Wright) in Texas to try to accomplish the almost impossible task of getting to the top of Mount Everest. Doug Hansen (John Hawkes) meets up with the gang in Nepal, as does Sandy Hill Pittman (Vanessa Kirby), which is the starting point for all expeditions. It is in Nepal where the teams get to know each other and bond, but it’s when they get to base camp that the adventure, and danger, begins. Base Camp is already at such a high altitude (17,600 feet), that climbers need to be acclimatized so their bodies can get used to the high altitude. It’s also where the operations for the expeditions take place, led by Helen Wilton (Emily Watson). ‘Everest’ takes us with them on the journey of these teams climbing the mountain. But first they need to navigate the Khumbu ice fall, soaring ice towers and crevasses so deep that there really is no bottom. Camp I and Camp II are where the teams stop to rest, perhaps spending a few days here. But it’s the Lhotse Face that is one of the most challenging bits on the mountain. It’s a 3,600 foot wall of ice that they have to climb to reach Camp III, an altitude where most climbers need to use bottled oxygen just to breath. But it’s above 26,000 feet, right below Camp IV, which is called “The Death Zone” because it’s where humans cannot survive for long. If climbers have survived as high up as Camp IV, then it’s full throttle ahead to reach the summit, usually at midnight so that the teams can reach it before noon, that if they survive the heavy gusts of wind, and the Hillary Step, a 40-foot tower of ice and rock on an exposed part of the mountain that becomes a human traffic jam for people getting to the top, as well as coming back down. But it’s the climb back down that is hardest. The climbers are exhausted, some suffering from high altitude conditions, but it’s the lucky ones who can make it down on their own, and it’s these people who have to decide whether to save the almost dead or leave them behind to save their own lives. As recounted in ‘Everest’, Hall and Fischer’s teams encountered a major storm on their way down, but it was not the only mistake that took place on that climb. Besides too many people on the mountain, Hall took Hansen up to top way past the agreed time. And the search for them cost another climber his life. Fischer was not in the best of shape as he was climbing to the top, and had a much harder time going down. And a storm overtook the climbers, which turned out to be unexpected and deathly. And it’s reenacted in ‘Everest’ to extreme detail; high winds, blowing snow, climbers struggling just to survive, dead bodies littered here and there, and almost blacked-outconditions. ‘Everest’ also recounts Weather’s struggle for survival, Hall’s loyalty to his client, and the operations team realizing that there is nothing they can do for the people trapped on the mountain.

AA44_D017_00771_R_CROP

‘Everest’ successfully, and grippingly, tells the story of the people who survived the mountain that fateful year. And while there have been a few books and one television movie made about this event, ‘Everest’ is based on the book by Weathers ( Left for Dead: My Journey Home from Everest (2000)), recollections from some of the survivors, as well as satellite phone conversations between the climbers, their families, and base camp. And the actors who portray the real life characters are superb. Josh Brolin has his best role in years as Weathers, a man who amazingly was left for dead on the mountain but somehow survived. Jason Clarke as Rob Hall is excellent – he’s determined to get his clients to the top and at the same time determined to get back home to see the birth of his first baby. Emily Watson as Wilton, the base camp operations coordinator, is concerned, and then doomed, after she realizes that a few lives have been lost on the mountain. And John Hawkes as postman Hansen gives us a portrait of a man who wants to be there but is not experienced in any way to climb the mountain. Luckily Knightley’s role is not on the mountain (can you actually see her playing someone who is climbing Mount Everest?), she plays Hall’s wife back at home, and there’s nothing she can do to help him. Gyllenhaal’s role as Fischer is relegated to a few scenes, mostly up on the mountain – he’s far from being the star of the movie. Director Baltasar Kormakur (2 Guns, Contraband), working from a script by William Nicholson and Simon Beaufoy, takes us with the teams on their journey, and it looks all too realistic. While there are lots of characters to keep track of (the all important Sherpas are virtually ignored), especially when they are all wrapped up – it’s a bit hard to tell who is how, ‘Everest’ brings to the big screen the real life 1996 Mount Everest disaster. Eight people eventually died during this expedition. ‘Everest’ was shot at a high elevation on the trek to Everest in Nepal, in the Italian Alps and at Cinecitta Studios in Rome, and Pinewood Studios in the UK. It can be experienced in IMAX 3D as well as standard 3D and 2D. ‘Everest’ is a true epic adventure that will take your breathe away.

Off
19th Jun2015

Accidental Love (Film)

by timbaros

TN_00261“Accidental Love,” shot in 2008 but not released until now, is not as bad as expected considering it’s been on the shelf for 7 years.

Why did it take this long to be released? During the making of the film, when it was called “Nailed”, “Accidental Love” encountered financial difficulties (production was shut down four times in 2008 as the crew was not getting paid). After several production delays, Director David O. Russell (American Hustle, Silver Linings Playbook) disassociated himself from the film. He then quit and the studio took over and finished the film, but it’s a film that almost hits the nail in the head in it’s humor and story.

Rollerskating waitress in a small Indiana town Alice (Jessica Biehl) literally has a nail fly into her head at a local restaurant just as her boyfriend, percentage quoting policeman Scott (James Mardsen) is proposing to her. Alice isn’t insured so the local hospital won’t remove the nail from her head, which causes her to have extreme mood swings. And she’s too old to be insured under her parents (Beverly D’Angelo and Steve Boles). Even the local town veterinarian, her Aunt Rita (Kirstie Alley), tries to take the nail out but is unsuccessful. So after seeing a campaign commercial on television about their local Congressman Howard Birdwell (Jake Gyllenhaal) who urges his constituents to visit him in Washington, D.C., anytime, Alice does just that. She’s accompanied by other people who aren’t insured but who have strange and unusual medical injuries (including a man with a long-term erection and another man with an introverted arse). They meet with Birdwell, and eventually Alice and Birdwell fall for each other, but in between this we are treated to a funny plot that involves a murderous female Representative (Catherine Keneer) and her loyal assistant (Paul Reubens) who are pushing for a bill to fund a base on the moon, (but what is obviously needed more is more money for healthcare), girl scouts who are promised a visit by Shakira, and Birdwell who takes part in an all-male Shaiman Circle to find his inner man. Yes, this all takes place in the film’s 100 minute running time.

The humor in “Accidental Love” is quite hit or miss – jokes about men’s baskets and bowel movements – “It’s like a fantastic number 2, “litter the movie. But the film’s cute and original opening sequence (Americana at 100% full speed – Chevy’s, drive-in restaurant, hamburgers, shakes) set to the tune of “Mr. Sandman” does not sustain itself throughout the film. “Accidental Love” gets sillier and sillier and less funny, continuing until it’s cute but predictable, and unbelievable (Alice gives a speech to Congress) ending. It’s a film that pokes extreme fun at the lack of universal healthcare in America, and it’s quite fun to watch. “Accidental Love” was co-written by Russell (who appears in the credits as Stephen Greene) and Al Gore’s daughter Kristin.

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02nd Jan2015

Enemy – Film

by timbaros

Jake Gyllenhaal’s last film, Nightcrawler, was a critical and commercial success, earning him some of the best reviews of his career. His new film, Enemy, won’t.

Actually, Enemy is a strange movie. It’s a Canadian-Spanish film that was released in the U.S. in 2013 to generally good reviews, but only took in $3.4 million at the box office. It’s a psychological thriller, gripping, yet a bit silly. But it’s an original story, loosely based on a 2002 novel called The Double, which would’ve been a more appropriate name to call it. You see, Gyllenhaal plays two characters in the film; one is Adam Bell – a college professor/lecturer who lives in an almost unfurnished apartment (even his mother tells him ‘how could you live in a place like this’) with a pretty part-time blond girlfriend Mary (Melanie Laurent). Gyllenhaal also plays Anthony Claire, an actor (who goes by the name Daniel Saint Claire), who lives in a glamorous high rise with his blond pregnant wife Helen (Sarah Gadon). How do these two characters meet? One of Adam’s fellow teachers recommends a film to Adam that he recently saw called Where There’s a Will There’s a Way. Upon watching the film, Adam recognizes the actor playing a bellman – and the actor looks just like him! So Adam becomes obsessed on finding and actually meeting this guy – his double! And they do meet, in a motel room. But in keeping with Gyllenhaal’s shy Adam Character, he gets nervous and bolts out of the room. Eerily enough, one day Anthony follows Mary to work, and then he goes to Adam’s apartment and tells him that he’s going to be him for a night (and to sleep with his girlfriend), and that Adam will be Anthony for the night.

Confusing? Yes, a bit. But we never learn why Anthony wants anything to do with Adam and his girlfriend. What does he gain out of it? A night away from his pregnant wife? And Adam, who appears to be afraid of his own shadow, can he perform the charade and be Anthony for the night, and fool Anthony’s wife?

The best part of Enemy is the gripping soundtrack. It knaws at the viewer to expect an even more gripping scene is coming up. Yes, there gripping scenes come up, but it’s all for naught as the final scene has something to do with a spider, a spider that is seen in a previous scene in the film that felt a bit out of context. Gyllenhaal is fantastic in both roles (of course he is) and the two female co-stars are also very good, as is Isabella Rossellini in her too brief role as Adam’s mother. But Enemy is a bit of a let down when it all adds up. But both Jake, and the city of Toronto where this film was shot, look good.

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07th Feb2014

Prisoners – DVD

by timbaros

images-97Two young girls are snatched right outside their homes and their parents, along with the police, frantically try to find them in the very dramatic and highly suspenseful new film Prisoners.

The two girls are the daughters of two couples, one white couple, the Dovers – Keller and Grace (an amazing Hugh Jackman and Mario Bello) and the other a black couple, the Birches, Franklin and Nancy (Terrence Howard and Viola Davis). The girls were last seen playing outside of their homes on Thanksgiving day while a mysterious R.V. van was seen parked in their neighborhood earlier that day. Once both families realize the girls are missing, they notify the police and band together to search the surrounding area, including the woods, for them. The police investigation, headed up by Detective Loki (Jake Gyllenhaal), is quick to find the van and it’s driver Alex Jones (Paul Dano), but there is no sign of the two girls. After attempting to run away from Loki, and not doing a good job of it as all he does is smash his car into a tree, Jones is quickly arrested and held for 48 hours. Jones has child kidnapper written all over his face: he has long hair, with glasses too large for his face, he is extremely introverted, and just very scary-looking, but he continues to admit that he had nothing to do with the kidnappings. Keller Dover thinks otherwise. He knows in his gut that Jones is quilty, and once Jones is released after not being charged, Keller gets obsessed and follows him everywhere. Then one night after he sees Jones trying to strangle a dog near his home, he kidnaps Jones and takes him to a run-down apartment building that Keller’s father once owned. Keller ties him up and repeatedly beats him, asking for the whereabouts of the two girls. Franklin Birch reluctantly helps Keller and for a few days both of them continue to beat and torture Jones, but Jones continues to not say anything helpful. In the meantime, at a candlelight vigil for the girls, Loki notices a young man acting funny. The man sees that he was noticed, and he drops his candle and runs away. Loki goes after him but loses him. Could this be the guy who kidnapped the girls? Loki gets just enough information about this guy to find out who he is and where he lives. He is finally captured and taken into police custody, but he grabs Loki’s gun in the interrogation room and shoots himself in the mouth. Is this the end of the investigation? Meanwhile, Keller continues to be very angry at Loki for not doing enough in the investigation, and blows up after he catches Loki following him. So who kidnapped the two girls? Are they still alive? Why doesn’t Loki do more to search for Jones? As for Jone’s aunt who he lives with, Holly (Melissa Leo), why doesn’t she seemed too concerned for Alex’s whereabouts? Why did Keller Dover meet detective Loki the day after the girls went missing and not on the night they were searching for them? And the one question I really want to know the answer to: Why were the dirty dishes from Thanksgiving still in the kitchen a few days after the girls went missing? Didn’t they have other family members/friends who could’ve helped with cleanup for the distraught parents?

The problem with Prisoners is that it raises more questions than it answers. There are several plot holes in the film, especially in the last 30 minutes of the film when the resolution of the mystery of the disappearance of the two girls take place. But then more questions come up. Why didn’t Alex Jones speak up? What was the Aunt’s reasoning behind what she did? Why wasn’t Grace Keller upset that her husband went missing? And my question: Why was this film close to two hours and twenty six minutes long? When Prisoners is at its conclusion, it is not really concluded as there is one major character who is missing and had not been found by the end of the film. Will he be found? We will never know.

The performances in Prisoners are what save it from being a really bad film. Hugh Jackman is incredible as the father of one or the missing girls. The horror on his face when he realizes that they are missing is so real, so emotional, so raw. He is the star of this film and it won’t surprise me if he gets nominated for a Best Actor Academy Award. His performance overshadows all other performances in this film and is his best performance ever. Paul Dano is also excellent as the creepy Alex Jones who seems to be hiding something but won’t/can’t say what it is. Also his best performance ever. Viola Davis as Nancy Birch is also very good as the mother who is in pain, longing for her daughter to return, as does Maria Bello as Nancy Birch. All other performances in this film are just okay. Gyllenhaal as Detective Loki gives an under the radar performance, not his best role, as does Terence Howard as Franklin Birch and Melissa Leo as Holly Jones. But fault is given to write Aaron Guzikowski for his long winded script and to director Denis Villeneuve for not realizing that the story he is trying to tell falls apart as the film goes on.

28th Sep2013

Prisoners – Film

by timbaros

hugh_jackman_in_prisoners_38370Two young girls are snatched right outside their homes and their parents, along with the police, frantically try to find them in the very dramatic and highly suspenseful new film, Prisoners.

The two girls are the daughters of two couples, one white couple, the Dovers (Keller and Grace, played by an amazing Hugh Jackman and Mario Bello), and one black couple, the Birches (Franklin and Nancy, played by Terrence Howard and Viola Davis). A mysterious R.V. was seen parked in their neighborhood earlier that morning, and the girls were last seen playing outside of their homes on Thanksgiving Day.

Once both families realize the girls are missing, they notify the police and band together to search the surrounding area, including the woods, for them. The police investigation, headed up by Detective Loki (Jake Gyllenhaal), is quick to find the van and it’s driver Alex Jones (Paul Dano), but there is no sign of the two girls. After attempting to run away from Loki, and not doing a good job of it as he smashes his van into a tree, Jones is quickly arrested and held for 48 hours. Jones has child kidnapper written all over his face: he has long hair, with glasses too large for his face, he is extremely introverted, and just very scary-looking, but he is adamant that he had nothing to do with the kidnappings. Keller Dover thinks otherwise. He knows in his gut that Jones is guilty, and once Jones is released after not being charged, Keller gets obsessed and follows him everywhere.

Then one night after he sees Jones trying to strangle a dog near his home, he kidnaps Jones and takes him to a run-down apartment building that Keller’s father once owned. Keller ties him up and repeatedly beats him, asking for the whereabouts of the two girls. Franklin Birch reluctantly helps Keller and for a few days both of them continue to beat and torture Jones, but Jones continues to not say anything helpful. In the meantime, at a candlelight vigil for the girls, Loki notices a young man acting funny. The man sees that he was noticed, and he drops his candle and runs away. Loki goes after him but loses him. Could this be the guy who kidnapped the girls?

Loki gets just enough information about the guy to find out who he is and where he lives. He is finally captured and taken into police custody, but he grabs Loki’s gun in the interrogation room and shoots himself in the mouth. Meanwhile, a search of his house reveals an unusual collection of snakes, and graffiti all over. Is this the end of the investigation?

Meanwhile, Keller continues to be very angry at Loki for not doing enough in the investigation, and blows up after he catches Loki following him. So who kidnapped the two girls? Are they still alive? Why doesn’t Loki do more to search for Jones who has been missing for days? As for Jones’ aunt whom he lives with, Holly (Melissa Leo), why doesn’t she seemed too concerned for Alex’s whereabouts? Why did Keller Dover meet detective Loki the day after the girls went missing and not on the night day they went missing? And the one question I really want to know the answer to: Why were the dirty dishes from Thanksgiving still in the kitchen a few days after the girls went missing? Didn’t the family have other family members/friends who could’ve helped with cleanup for the distraught parents?

The problem with Prisoners is that it raises more questions than it answers. There are several plot holes in the film, especially in the last 30 minutes when the resolution of the mystery of the disappearance of the two girls take place. But then more questions come up. Why didn’t Alex Jones speak up? What was the Aunt’s reasoning behind what she did? Why wasn’t Grace Keller upset that her husband went missing? And my question: Why was this film close to two hours and twenty six minutes long? When Prisoners is at its conclusion, it is not really concluded, as there is one major character who is missing and had not been found by the end of the film. Will he be found? We will never know.

The performances in Prisoners are what save it from being a really bad film. Hugh Jackman is riveting as the father of one or the missing girls. The horror on his face when he realizes that they are missing is so real, so emotional, so raw. He is the star of this film, and it won’t surprise me if he gets nominated for a Best Actor Academy Award. His performance overshadows all other performances in this film and is his best performance ever. Paul Dano is also excellent as the creepy Alex Jones, who seems to be hiding something but won’t/can’t say what it is. Also his best performance ever.

Viola Davis as Nancy Birch is also very good as the mother who is in pain, longing for her daughter to return, as does Maria Bello as Nancy Birch. All other performances in this film are just okay. Gyllenhaal as Detective Loki gives an under-the-radar performance, not his best role, as does Terence Howard as Franklin Birch, and Melissa Leo as Holly Jones. But fault is found with writer Aaron Guzikowski for his long-winded script, and to director Denis Villeneuve for not realizing that the story he is trying to tell starts becoming unbelievable as the film goes on, and on, and on.

WATCH THE TRAILER HERE