Wednesday, 18 January 2012


Our 'DVD RACK' feature over the next fortnight is a two part special in honor of Leonardo DiCaprio and Clint Eastwood-the greatest actor and director of the moment-and their long-awaited, highly-anticipated collaboration on this weeks new film 'J. Edgar'. Today we take a look at some of Leo's greatest works, but stay tuned next week for Part 2, Clint's and the review.

SHUTTER ISLAND: The already legendary actor, furthered his greatness with two more career defining roles in 2010. Two films released in the space of six months which were among the stars best. Leo collaborated with classic director Martin Scorsese for the fourth time and after ten years of classics ('Gangs Of New York', 'The Aviator', 'The Departed') the director and his new De Niro muse may have made their best with 'Shutter Island'. This film really is one of the greatest films of the last decade. This film is that good. 'Shutter Island' evoked every chilling and demented aspect of it's novel and Scorsese's direction alongside The Band's, Robbie Robertson's soundtrack selections gave this dark psychological horror the chilling backdrop it needed. The film featured excellent support from Ben Kingsley to Michelle Williams but the best came from born-to-be-a-cop Mark Ruffalo and the character of the films set was just scarily perfect as well. From every mist of fog to clouded minds this film scared the hell out of you when there was nothing behind you. It's all in the mind here as DiCaprio takes his trademark conflicted, troubled man acting to the next, timeless, legendary level. A character development we would see more in his summer smash with Christopher Nolan but not like we witnessed in this Scorsese epic that cuts right through to the bone.

INCEPTION: In undoubtedly the movie of 2010 Leonardo DiCaprio assembles a team of dream thieves to 'incept' an idea into Christopher Nolan's favourite scarecrow Cillian Murphys mind. Expect incredible action, thrills and twists and turns while DiCaprio and his team go within dreams. This supporting cast/'The Dark Knight Rises' all step it up a level, especially the charming Tom Hardy and the riddling Gordon-Levitt. Again Nolans cinematography is captivating, his brothers script compelling and Hans Zimmer's score classic by any standard. This film is one part 'The Matrix', one part 'Memento' but overall very much it's own film. With shifts in gravity you'll never see better fighting scenes and Leonardo DiCaprio plays the conflicted man lamenting lost love again so well just like he did in 'Shutter Island'. As a matter of fact DiCaprio may have made two of his best films this year. As for Christoper Nolan's greatest, 'The Dark Knight' still reigns supreme but with 'Inception' Nolan hasn't told a better story since 'The Prestige'. Simply one of the best cinematic experiences you could ever dream up.

ROMEO + JULIET: Leo once again displays his youthful looks but mature mind as he bares his soul over the silver screen, still he has some talented company. John Legizamo is one of the business' most talented, underrated all-round actors. He's a great character actor but can lead too and although Baz Luherman's 'Romeo + Juliet' was best known for it's modern take and it's Romeo (Leo DiCaprio) and Juliet (Claire Danes) but arguably as Tibult, Leguizamo along with Harold Perrineau as Mercutio stole the show. Just check the adrenaline fuelled petrol station first act. As soon as he stubs out his cigar with his steel-capped heel and draws his sword, (or his gun), with all his charm and cocksure confidence he owns everybody, the moment and the movies best moment. Truly a theatrical moment, played up the right way. BANG!

THE BASKETBALL DIARIES: In one of Leonardo DiCaprio's youngest and greatest performances he gives us a brutally honest take on the effects of drug abuse in sports and the youth. This is no floppy haired 'Titanic' sweet tale. it's a movie drowned in darkness with the uplifting hope of redemption. Sure basketball is a back-story here but it's not the real issue that needs to be addressed. With great support from Mark Wahlberg and Juliette Lewis this movie slam dunks all over Hollywood shine and censorship. It takes the problems of youth out of bounds and lays it all out on the floor. Brave, bold and beautiful.

BLOOD DIAMOND: Forgive the slightly dodgy South African accent, for this is one of leading actor Leonardo DiCaprio's most defining performances. Epic, horrifically moving and thrillingly though-provoking it's... who really packs the punch however with his powerful passion. More Hollywood pictures should look at this genuinely concerned canvas for future references. As this movie captures the beauty of South Africa but the ugly truth's of it's blood diamonds that are lapped up by the Western world without consideration or care. They haven't, don't and probably won't make films like this again.


CATCH ME IF YOU CAN: Join Tom Hanks on a hot pursuit of one of DiCaprio's finest all-round performances on a true story that you have to see to believe. With an iconic Sinatra assisted airport scene that seems to have inspired new Christina Ricci T.V. show 'Pan Am' and countless airline commercials this movies legacy still lasts.

THE AVIATOR: Exploring the dark recess of the human psyche, this is Leo's best turn as a troubled man in turmoil. The story of aviation pioneer Howard Hughes is directed perfectly by Scorsese and portrayed by DiCaprio with just dignity, respect and excellence. Truly a modern classic.

THE DEPARTED: Scorsese, Boston, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, Mark Wahlberg, Martin Sheen, Ray Winstone, Vera Farmiga, Alec Baldwin and of course Leo...need we say anymore? TIM DAVID HARVEY

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