2 Sep 2016

LOVEFILM: AUGUST '16.


ST. VINCENT ...

Oh-oh! Another Melissa McCarthy film. We hadn't realised that when we reserved it or, ordered a while ago now, had we?

Though here playing a single working mom in a 'straight' role rather than the loutish 'fat and clown-like' roles we are more accustomed to, it was still something of a relief that McCarthy had a relatively little (if well enough acted) part to play in this endearing film (one of my favourites of 2016) that had me both laughing out loud as well as shedding a tear ... or two.

The kind of caustic middle-aged not quite elderly man you'd dread looking after your kids - his education of Oliver (wonderfully played by Jaeden Lieberher) involves the breaking of a nose, gambling and a friendship with a 'lady of the night' - and yet can't help but love, Bill Murray is fantastic in a film that, OK, so you know how it will pan out, is nevertheless well worth the watch. TT

Good little tearjerker. Bill Murray is superb as a life weary hard drinking, gambling broke Vietnam veteran who ends up looking after Oliver. Newly arrived next door, Oliver is with his mother; divorcing Oliver's father and the subject of a custody battle. Grumpy old man and nervous misfit child soon learn the mutual advantage of each others company and a firm friendship begins. Oliver's school project then elevates both to recognise aspects of themselves that were always there and permits them both to shine. There are saints among us! NJT

LUTHER ...

Being autobiographical, a film I was going to enjoy ... or not. Being about the idealistic monk who infamously posted his thesis on a Cathedral door (as Mr T explained, pre-FaceBook, they were all at it), a film I was going to enjoy ... but I wasn't putting money on it.

Dialogue was a bit clunky at times, the CGI images of mid-15th century Eisleben, Germany, could have been better and, on a personal note, I could have done without the 'mother and crippled daughter' scenes and more of Luther's relationship with his wife, a run away nun, but overall a film I very much enjoyed as well as learnt from. TT

Joseph Fiennes as the little boy from Eisleben who went on to shift the pattern of christian thought and practice in Germany and throughout Europe. Opening from the moment of his commitment to serve his God up to the Augsberg Confession the film does a nice job a rattling through the key events of his life and refreshingly so; historical accuracy not being sacrificed for anyone undue romanticism and with good reference to the politics, economics and government of central Europe of the period.  Fiennes portrays Luther's own internal struggles with ferocity and Peter Ustinov in his second last film, gently portrays Frederick III, Luther's patron and protector. NJT


GRANDMA ... 

Ooh! Lily Tomlin as an eccentric 'rough around the edges' grandmother. This ought to be good.

A short Indie film the likes of which we sadly get to hear relatively little of here in the UK. With its central theme of a young woman who seeks out her grandmother needing $600 for an abortion some might be put off BUT, largely played out as a 'road trip' movie, Grandma has so, so much more to offer. TT


Lily Tomlin plays the misanthropic gran on the title who doesn't 'have any anger problem' but honestly declares her 'asshole' problem.  Good storytelling film in a series of vignettes along one day as she revisits her own regrets in pursuing enough finance to pay for her granddaughter's abortion. Tomlin is a powerful figure, vulnerable and sassy all at once in pursuit of her granddaughter's best interests finds that she can confront some of her own cynicism and disappointments, regrets and losses.  Great dialogue, not least the conversation with the father of the child who proves feckless.  A film of and featuring the works of De Beauvour, Friedan and Greer. NJT

On loan not from LoveFilm but a friend, Mr T watched this film by himself ...

EYE IN THE SKY ...

So, with all the wonders of technology, the surveillance of a small but deadly terrorist cell leads to the possibility to wipe them all out in one swift drone strike.  Helen Mirren, the officer in charge of operations with decisiveness in her hands but only up to a point.The objective set out is a capture mission and not a strike and she must depend upon the Cobra committee chaired by Alan Rickman, sitting secure in Westminster to provide authority.  As the stakes ramp up, the tension builds and sits against the rules of engagement applied the decision moves higher and higher through the ranks of power... and then...  

So a study on the ethics of war and the processes by which decisions are made to take life and calculate collateral, there is no law that covers each and every context. NJT


11 comments:

Kelly said...

I've only seen the first one and, quite honestly, the only thing I can remember about it was that Melissa McCarthy's role was not her usual comedy. I'm not a great fan of Bill Murray, so that might be partly why it wasn't memorable for me.

The others all look interesting in one way or another. I'll have to check them out more closely.

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

All of these have some good actors in them and all intrigue me in one way or another. I'm glad that Melissa McCarthy is playing more of a straight role and I would love to see a broader range of her acting abilities.

Brian Joseph said...

Eye in the Sky sounds interesting. The ethical and other implications surrounding modern warfare is something that we are rightfully exploring in modern fiction and films.

Nikki-ann said...

I quite fancy seeing Eye in the Sky. Was it Alan Rickman's last film?

LL Cool Joe said...

I've just seen Melissa McCarthy in the film "The Boss" which at times was funny. I am a fan of hers, but I have the feeling I may grow bored by her if all her films become predictable. I haven't seen any of the ones you've listed.

Gina R said...

Can't say any of these were on my radar but it sounds like you enjoyed yourselves... always a plus!

Neal Terry said...

Nikki-Ann, yes it is his last film

Natasha Hill said...

I just watched Eye in the Sky last week, and cried! It was so heart-wrenching and I found myself on the edge of my seat just trying to keep up with everything. It definitely covered the morals and ethics of war quite brutally I thought. - Tasha

Literary Feline said...

I am so out of the loop. I haven't heard of any of these.

The Bookworm said...

I'm a fan of both Bill Murray and Melissa McCarthy so that one sounds good. I do enjoy a good indie film and the Grandma one looks interesting too.

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