Tag Archives: 2012 Film

The Master (2012); Review Link.

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The good people at film/TV/literature website, The Artifice, were kind enough to publish my review of Paul Thomas Anderson’s highly anticipated The Master. I guess I was pretty late to the game with it as it was released two months ago, but I was unable to catch it in its initial run. Determined to see it on the cinema screen, I had to wait until Camelot Outdoor screened it last weekend to finally catch the best film of 2012 the way it was meant to be.

Check the review out over HERE.

Killing Them Softly (2012)

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Where to begin on Killing Them Softly? This is a good film. Maybe even a great one. But there is plenty that hampers it. Perhaps a brief synopsis will help but not a lot really happens so maybe it won’t. The film initially centres around Frankie (played by up-and-comer Scoot McNairy) and Russell (Aussie Ben Mendelsohn who actually gets to play it Australian) as a pair of young crims, the latter a dog walking heroin addict, who rob a poker game that has more consequences both expected and not for everyone involved. Enter Brad Pitt’s hitman, Jackie Coogan, often seen conversing with mafia spokesperson Richard Jenkins and enlisted old-schooler, Mickey (James Gandolfini). They’re here to do a job but times are tough. Set to the backdrop of the 2008 Presidential election campaign, Killing Them Softly is ultimately about economics. Or at least it wants to be.

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Argo (2012)

Argo is the third film by Ben Affleck, the actor now deep into a parallel career as a director and proving not only be a virtual natural at the job, but clearly that he takes it seriously compared to some other peers of his who have attempted the same thing in recent years. Affleck is heading towards George Clooney and Sean Penn territory; David Schwimmer and Helen Hunt are not for example. One of the reasons his potential seems to be being realised has a lot to do with his screenplay choices, and Argo is no exception; a true story based around the rescue of six US Diplomats from Tehran during the 1979 Iran hostage crisis by CIA operative, Tony Mendez. Not exactly “lite” material, but one with the mixed potential to be either an intelligent adult thriller or ham-fisted flag waving cliché. So where does Affleck take it? Under the guidance of producers Clooney and Grant Heslov, thankfully – and not surprisingly – it is the former. The plot; extending to the fact that Mendez’s plan for the attempted rescue is to impersonate a Hollywood producer looking to film a B-grade sci-fi turkey in Iran, also gives the director plenty of flexibility to add humour and satire into the mix and ultimately that element allows it to become the crowd pleaser Affleck clearly saw the potential of it being.

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UPCOMING: Lawless; Gangster Squad

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HBO’s Boardwalk Empire is a show I have yet to see one full scene from, but it’s success is having a lingering effect on studios and screenwriters it seems. Last week saw the debut of two trailers for upcoming films showcasing the same gangster noir milieu as the award-winning TV drama. By all means this is not a new genre of course, and in 2009 Michael Mann possibly re-energized the trend itself with his flawed take on John Dillinger’s escapades, Public Enemies. That film was released before Boardwalk even aired, and it felt more like a biopic than a straightforward genre piece. The two films set to be released in the second half of this year definitely have a more self-contained concept much like James Mangold’s 3:10 to Yuma remake did as a Western. It is fair to say then, Boardwalk specifically has gotten the execs in Hollywood clambering to bring the latest genre flavour of month to the forefront; and that would be gangsters of the Tommy Gun variety. Given that the trend has allowed studios to reel in some high-profile actors and directors onto each project as well, I thought I’d showcase them here which doing so may or may not become a trend of my own.

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