05th Feb2017

Deepwater Horizon (DVD

by timbaros

dwh_d42_12682_r_crop-credit-david-leeIn what is the best action dramatic thriller you’ll see so far this year, ‘Deepwater Horizon’ delivers on all levels. It’s also very inspirational and heartbreaking as we all know it’s a true story.
On April 20th, 2010, eleven men were killed when their drilling rig off the coast of Louisiana exploded, creating the worst oil spill in history. ‘Deepwater Horizon’ tells the events leading up to the disaster, then the actual explosion, and it’s aftermath and impact on the lives of the people who survived, and is also a tribute to the men who lost their lives.

Directed with much intensity by Peter Berg, a former actor turned director (2013’s Lone Survivor), and starring Mark Wahlberg as the real life Mike Williams – the Transocean chief electronics technician who worked for the company that owned the rig. Williams was the man who was overseeing the rig’s computers and electrical systems at the time of the explosion. ‘Deepwater Horizon’ shows, in detail, how family man Miller was in a race to save as many of the crew as possible, while putting his own life in danger. He also has a wife Felicia (Kate Hudson) and daughter back home he desperately wants to get back to.

On that fateful day, the Deepwater Horizon, an ultra-deep-water, advanced oil rig owned by the Swiss company Transocean and leased by British Petroleum, was drilling deep in a well named Macondo. What’s ironic is that when the explosion occurred executives from British Petroleum (who chartered the rig) were present because the drilling for oil was 43 days and $50 million behind schedule. John Malkovich plays Donald Vidrine, a BP executive who was there to push the men to complete drilling the well as soon as possible. Against the wishes of Deepwater Horizon’s installation manager Jimmy Harrell (Kurt Russell, very effective and in one of his best performances ever), Vidrine orders the crew to perform negative pressure tests (an attempt to lower the pressure inside the well to ensure that the well can withstand that pressure without any leaks). These tests were the catalyst to what happens next; mud, oil and water starts seeping out of the drills, intensifying and then stabilising, but then tragedy strikes. And when it does, everyone is caught off guard, including Andrea Fleytas (Gina Rodriguez), the 23-year old woman who helped operate the rig’s navigation machinery. The BP executives are shell-shocked, and them and the crew scramble for lifeboats that would lead them to safety, while some men were caught up in the deadly flames. There are harrowing scenes of explosions, fire, and survival that will take your breathe away, and very emotional scenes at the end that will have you reaching for a tissue.

‘Deepwater Horizon’ excels in the way the story is told and shown; we are witness to the emotional and physical impact of the explosion, and we get to experience it with the flames and the crackling of the metal as it comes crashing down. This is thanks to special effects (and the pulsating soundtrack which adds to the intensity) that don’t even look like special effects – the explosion and flames are that intense, so intense that you can practically feel the heat come off the screen. And while some may blame the film for being about one man’s heroic efforts to save everyone (with Wahlberg in action star mode, perhaps maybe a bit too much), Mike Williams did save lots of lives and this is indeed his story, and this film is the chance to tell that story, and it does so extremely well. Berg’s human centred approach to the story brings us closer to the lives of the people who were caught up in the disaster – it’s the human element to the story that is the takeaway – the survivors as well as the dead.



Deepwater Horizon [DVD] [2016] (DVD)

Director: Peter Berg
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Dylan O'Brien, Kurt Russell, Kate Hudson, Gina Rodriguez
Rating: Suitable for 12 years and over

New From: £3.38 GBP In Stock
Used from: £2.91 GBP In Stock

Off
02nd Oct2016

Deepwater Horizon (Film)

by timbaros
  • dwh_d42_12682_r_crop-credit-david-leeIn what is the best action dramatic thriller you’ll see so far this year, ‘Deepwater Horizon’ delivers on all levels. It’s also very inspirational and heartbreaking as we all know it’s a true story.

On April 20th, 2010, eleven men were killed when their drilling rig off the coast of Louisiana exploded, creating the worst oil spill in history. ‘Deepwater Horizon’ tells the events leading up to the disaster, then the actual explosion, and it’s aftermath and impact on the lives of the people who survived, and is also a tribute to the men who lost their lives.

Directed with much intensity by Peter Berg, a former actor turned director (2013’s Lone Survivor), and starring Mark Wahlberg as the real life Mike Williams – the Transocean chief electronics technician who worked for the company that owned the rig. Williams was the man who was overseeing the rig’s computers and electrical systems at the time of the explosion. ‘Deepwater Horizon’ shows, in detail, how family man Miller was in a race to save as many of the crew as possible, while putting his own life in danger. He also has a wife Felicia (Kate Hudson) and daughter back home he desperately wants to get back to.

On that fateful day, the Deepwater Horizon, an ultra-deep-water, advanced oil rig owned by the Swiss company Transocean and leased by British Petroleum, was drilling deep in a well named Macondo. What’s ironic is that when the explosion occurred executives from British Petroleum (who chartered the rig) were present because the drilling for oil was 43 days and $50 million behind schedule. John Malkovich plays Donald Vidrine, a BP executive who was there to push the men to complete drilling the well as soon as possible. Against the wishes of Deepwater Horizon’s installation manager Jimmy Harrell (Kurt Russell, very effective and in one of his best performances ever), Vidrine orders the crew to perform negative pressure tests (an attempt to lower the pressure inside the well to ensure that the well can withstand that pressure without any leaks). These tests were the catalyst to what happens next; mud, oil and water starts seeping out of the drills, intensifying and then stabilising, but then tragedy strikes. And when it does, everyone is caught off guard, including Andrea Fleytas (Gina Rodriguez), the 23-year old woman who helped operate the rig’s navigation machinery. The BP executives are shell-shocked, and them and the crew scramble for lifeboats that would lead them to safety, while some men were caught up in the deadly flames. There are harrowing scenes of explosions, fire, and survival that will take your breathe away, and very emotional scenes at the end that will have you reaching for a tissue.

‘Deepwater Horizon’ excels in the way the story is told and shown; we are witness to the emotional and physical impact of the explosion, and we get to experience it with the flames and the crackling of the metal as it comes crashing down. This is thanks to special effects (and the pulsating soundtrack which adds to the intensity) that don’t even look like special effects – the explosion and flames are that intense, so intense that you can practically feel the heat come off the screen. And while some may blame the film for being about one man’s heroic efforts to save everyone (with Wahlberg in action star mode, perhaps maybe a bit too much), Mike Williams did save lots of lives and this is indeed his story, and this film is the chance to tell that story, and it does so extremely well. Berg’s human centred approach to the story brings us closer to the lives of the people who were caught up in the disaster – it’s the human element to the story that is the takeaway – the survivors as well as the dead.

Off
24th Jan2015

The Gambler – Film

by timbaros

images-329Mark Walhberg proves again that he is one of the hardest working men in Hollywood by starring in yet another film – this one is called “The Gambler.”

Wahlberg is Jim Bennett, a college lecturer who also has a gambling problem (hence the name of the film). Bennett doesn’t gamble small, he gambles big, and ends up owing a couple powerful people huge amounts of money. He owes $260,000 to the owner of an illegal Chinese gambling hall, and another $50,000 to a loan shark. So Bennett decides to get advice from another loan shark – Frank (John Goodman). Bennett meets Frank in a man’s bathhouse – with Frank wrapped up in a towel. Ladies, if you ever wanted to see John Goodman half naked, then this film’s for you. With no other way to get the money he owes, he decides to ask his rich mother for money (a very tired and unglamorous looking Jessica Lange). She reluctantly gives him the money, literally handing him a bag of cash right outside the bank, and giving him an ultimatum that he better pay his debts with the money or she never wants to see him again. So what does Bennett do? He takes the money, and instead of paying back his debts, he decides to take one of his students – Amy (Brie Larson) and gambles all the money away. One last hope for him is if he can get one of his other students, who happens to be a star on the college’s basketball team, to fix a game. Needless to say,and either way, Bennett is screwed.

The Gambler is a remake of the 1974 film of the same name which starred James Caan which got very good reviews. This version will not be as lucky. While Wahlberg is good, we’ve seen this type of movie plot before oh so many times: lonely man with a problem who romances a much younger woman and then tries to redeem his life. However, nothing can redeem this movie. The scenes between Walhberg and Lange and Wahlberg and Goodman look forced. Wahlberg is not believable as a literature professor, his character looks too gruff and unprofessional – he even ridicules some of his students in class. Lange is not at her best, but John Goodman does do a good job in the few scenes that he is in (towel or not). Director Rupert Wyatt brings nothing new to the theme of the movie, we’ve seen it all before. So don’t gamble with your time and money to see The Gambler.

Off
21st Jun2014

Lone Survivor – DVD

by timbaros
91QfltWjqOL._SL1500_On June 27, 2005, the war in Afghanistan claimed the lives of 20 soldiers, the worst single day loss of life for the Naval Special Warfare personnel since WWII. There was one man who survived – Marcus Luttrell. Lone Survivor tells his story.
Luttrell was part of the Navy Seals Team 10 who were sent into the Afghanistan mountains to capture a Taliban leader in a mission called Operation Red Wings, an operation that was intended to disrupt local anti-Coalition Militia activity and to contribute to regional stability and assisting in the Afghani Parliament elections to be held three months later.
Luttrell was one of four men who were dropped into a remote mountainous area in the Kunar province, near the Pakistan border to kill or capture Ahmad Shah, a Taliban leader who was believed to be hiding in those mountains and who the previous week was responsible for the murder of several marines.
Lone Survivor, based on the 2007 book by Luttrell (and Patrick Robinson) called Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10, was the lone survivor of the four-man team who were sent into practically unknown territory only to be ambushed in a covert mission that could be described as harrowing and nightmarish. Lone Survivor is not only excellent and one of the best films of the year, but is also one that will make you feel for these soldiers and what they go through, their acts of heroism, courage, with death being an imminent conclusion.
Wahlberg plays Luttrell, Taylor Kitsch is Michael Murphy, Emile Hirsch is Danny Dietz, and Ben Foster is Matt “Axe Axelson. Eric Bana plays their commanding officer Erik Kristensen – the officer who is responsible for the mission called Operation Red Wings.
It was on that day on June 27th, 2005 that the four-man reconnaissance and surveillance team boarded a helicopter to be dropped into a remote mountainous area in the Kunar province, Afghanistan, near the Pakistan border. Almost as soon as the four men are dropped into the mountains,  they are discovered by three goatherders (with their goats and a dog). Instead of killing them, the men let them go (Rules of Engagement won’t allow them to kill them), even though they realize that the goatherders will more than likely alert anyone in the village below that they were in the mountains. They attempt to use their radio but it doesn’t work. So immediately they realize that they are compromised and that they need to move position, and fast. They then use their satellite phone to reach Kristensen, but the line is very poor. Back at the base, Kristensen has a gut feeling that his men are in trouble, so he sends two Blackhawks to rescue them. Meanwhile the four men are in a rush to move position, and in their rush Axe hurts himself. Soon, the men are ambushed from all sides. Gunfire falls on them like rain. They are outnumbered, and are driven deeper into unknown and treacherous terrain. What happens in the rest of the film is heartstopping. One by one each man gets more hurt, and terrifyingly one of the Blackhawks that is sent to rescue them gets shot down by the Taliban in the mountains, with 16 men on board, all losing their lives, including Kristensen. It is at this point that you have to remind yourself that this is a true story, all of this happened in real life.
With nowhere to go, the men continue to run, to run away from what must be dozens and dozens of Taliban men looking out to kill them. And each man gets more and more injured, from getting shot at by the Taliban, as well as by falling off cliffs and landing very hard, crushing bones and giving themselves concussions. As they continue to try and use their radio in an attempt to contact anyone anywhere to help them, they start realizing that they are completely outnumbered and face only one prospect, death. The bullets and the blood and the men, who at this point are struggling just to survive, gets even more tense when Murphy, in a situation he knows he won’t come out alive from, runs up a hill to get a connection on his SAT phone which would advise the Operations team back at the base of their position. But of the four men, only Luttrell survives, first by burrowing into a ditch, and then by being picked up by an Afghan who was not loyal to the Taliban. And of course we know that Luttrell survives to write the book on which this movie is based on.
Lone Survivor is a movie so tense, so dramatic, so unreal that it is hard to believe that it is a true story. Thanks to Luttrell and the book he wrote, he was able to tell this story of survival against the face of the enemy. As Luttrell, Wahlberg is a revelation. Having proven himself as an actor in previous films including Boogie Nights and most recently The Fighter, Wahlberg is fantastic as Luttrell, so good that it is hard to imagine anyone else playing him. Kitsch, Foster and Hirsch are all also very excellent as Luttrell’s fellow Navy Seals. The sequences where the men get shot (and eventually killed) are so real, so sad. Director Peter Berg, known for mostly doing television work (Chicago Hope and Prime Suspect) really cuts his teeth here with this very serious subject matter. Berg also wrote the script, after having been given the book by his production partner. Berg has said that the reason he decided to make this was because “Marcus wrote a book that, as much as it’s about 19 people being killed on a tragic day in Afghanistan, is about brotherhood, sacrifice and team commitment.”
Fittingly, Second Class Petty Officer Matthew “Axe” Axelson and Gunner’s Mate Second Class Danny Dietz were awarded the Navy Cross, Lieutenant Michael Murphy was awarded the U.S. military’s highest decoration, the Medal of Honor, while Lieutenant Commander Erik Kristensen was awarded the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart. All men received their awards posthumously. Leading Petty Officer Luttrell would also go on to receive the Navy Cross. All deservedly so.

 



Lone Survivor [DVD] (DVD)

Director: Peter Berg
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Eric Bana, Ben Foster, Taylor Kitsch, Emile Hirsch
Rating: Suitable for 15 years and over

LONE SURVIVOR
New From: £1.20 GBP In Stock
Used from: £0.01 GBP In Stock

03rd Sep2013

Pain & Gain – Film

by timbaros

 

pain_gain_36239

In the 1980’s, three men, two who were personal trainers affiliated with the Sun Gym in Miami, kidnapped, tortured and murdered several people. One of those kidnapped was the client of one of the two men. Pain & Gain tells this story.

Daniel Lugo (Mark Wahlberg) is hired by Sun Gym owner John Mese (Rob Corddry), who is impressed with Lugo’s enthusiasm (and good looks), and hires him to do personal training and to help increase membership to the gym. One of Daniel’s clients is the very wealthy Victor Kershaw (Tony Shalhoub). Unfortunately for Kershaw, after going to a motivational seminar, Lugo hatches a plan to kidnap, extort and torture Kershaw, take all of his possessions, and leave him for dead, and enlists fellow personal trainer Adrian Doorbal (Anthony Mackie) and ex-convict Paul Doyle (Dwayne Johnson) to help.

Pain & Gain is loosely based on this true story, with loosely being the key word. Up until when the kidnapping takes place, Pain & Gain promises to be a Boogie Nights-style crime movie, with the hot Miami sun, a lot of muscle on show, and Wahlberg in the lead role. But Pain & Gain all too quickly falls apart, with scenes that are mind-numbingly stupid and a plot that suspends belief.

Once Kershaw is successfully kidnapped (after one failed attempt by the bumbling trio), he is locked up in his own warehouse in the middle of what looks to be downtown Miami. The kidnappers have Kershaw send his family out of the state, and make him sign over his possessions to them. They then attempt to kill him, unsuccessfully a couple times, but then think they have succeeded after running him over in broad daylight in the middle of busy downtown (conveniently with no one in sight).

The boys stupidly fail to check whether or not he is dead, and Kershaw survives, manages to go to the hospital, and tries to get his life back. Meanwhile, the boys are living in Kershaw’s house, spending his money, and befriending all of his fellow wealthy neighbors, with not one of them really questioning Kershaw’s whereabouts (another plot point we are expected to believe: can they all be that gullible?). They also take over his businesses, treating his employees with more respect then Kershaw ever did.

Meanwhile, Kershaw is in the hospital, and no one believes his story (really?), so Kershaw hires a private investigator (Ed Harris) to uncover the truth of his ordeal, who eventually unravels the trio’s misdeeds. The boys continue with their crime spree by attempting to rob an amoured car (which goes very wrong), and attempt another kidnapping which also goes horribly wrong when they accidentally murder the intended victim and his wife in Doorbal’s own house. The walls cave in on the boys and they are eventually caught, and at the end we are supposed to believe it happened this way, either fact or fiction.

Wahlberg, who has been in five films in the past two years, has picked a bad film to be in this time. Wahlberg produced and starred in the 2010 Oscar-nominated film The Fighter, and was most recently seen in 2 Guns (with Denzel Washington). And after starring in Ted, Wahlberg could do no wrong, but this film is all wrong. Sure, there are lots of scenes with his shirt off so he can show off his great physique, and he is believable throughout; it is just that the script that is very bad.

The other actors are fine, with Johnson playing the very dumb body builder, Paul Doyle, though it is hard to believe that a character as dumb as him could be in a gang that pulls off crimes like these. (Johnson’s character is actually a composite of a two actual members of the gang.) Pain & Gain could have been a much better and more realistic film if the director Michael Bay and the writers would’ve stuck to the actual true story, and not Hollywood-ized it. But Bay’s directorial style, where there are way too many car explosions and parts of the plot that are put in for convenience and not necessity, does not add up to a believable story.

Doorbal and Lugo ended up receiving death sentences for their crimes, and Johnson’s composite real lifers received eight years each as they testified against Doorbal and Lugo.