Sunday, 20 February 2011
In the debut of our feature, 'DVD Rack' we pick 5 old films we watched this week for your consideration.
THE MACHINIST: With Christian Bale lapping up the awards and critical praise for his dedication to 'The Fighter' let's look back at the first film that Bale gave 100% to mentally and psychically. Portraying an insomniac who has severe problems with weight and anxiety, Bale gave a career performance to begin his with every twist and turn. Dark, haunting but full of meaning, expect nothing but incredible film-making. The less said the better, because you must see.
FOUR BROTHERS: With Mark Wahlberg pulling as much punches as Christian Bale in 'The Fighter'. It's only right we look back to one of his best. Years back Wahlberg was trying hard to shake that Marky Mark tag but still with films like this everyone began to really warm to the hot actor. Wahlberg teams up with his brothers Garrett Hedlund ('Tron: Legacy') and rap and R&B's respective best, Andre 3000 and Tyrese to avenge the death of their foster mother. John Singleton directs a gritty but moving, and violent but funny piece. Terrence Howard also delivers an effortlessly excellent performance. The soundtrack is a class in it's own and the action scenes could even give Michael Mann a green eye. Speaking of eyes you may even shed a man tear or two. From the opening credits, thumping drums of Marvin Gaye's, 'Trouble Man' where Wahlberg drives in an old American classic through the frozen, foggy lonely Detroit streets you know this is going to be something.
INVICTUS: Matt Damon has recently displayed his versatility in 'True Grit' but if you thought this was the first time that Damon showed his range then you'd be wrong. Matt's portrayal of South African Springbok rugby star Francios Pienaar showed incredible dedication. The leading man bulked up and even dyed his hair a suspect Bros, blonde in a superb performance in Clint Eastwood's compelling epic. Still it was Morgan Freeman's long-awaited, highly anticipated, legendary, Oscar worthy performance as Nelson Mandela that defined the picture 'Invictus'. This utterly uplifting, incredibly inspiring story of how Mandela used the Rugby World Cup to help unite his people is pure poignancy and gold for the silver screen. Cinematic beauty from the struggle to the success, start to finish.
SHANGHAI KNIGHTS: Now for something completely different. With all the Western buzz surrounding 'True Grit' how about a different take? In the sequel to the smash comedy, 'Shanghai Noon', Jackie Chan steps into John Wayne's spurs (sort of) and again shows us impossible moves, incredible fighting and hilarious but genius set-pieces. This film is set in old foggy London, with a thrilling, electrifying climax at Big Ben. If that wasn't enough, stepping into Chris Tuckers buddy role, Owen Wilson owns his scenes with his trademark charm and wit. What a rush.
FEARLESS: Still if you like your martial arts a little more serious then how about Jet Li's last epic? From the fighting to the cinematography and the score, to the scenes of old China, this film is beautiful. With an incredible journey both spiritual and gruelling, what results is a poignant message. A traditional film which pays proper and due deserved homage to the craft of martial arts. Unlike many of the Hollywood re-hashes that are chopped up these days. Jet Li shows he really is a bonafide actor with a genuine performance of depth and character, showing the change between an emotionally driven man and one at peace. TIM DAVID HARVEY.