Tag Archives: leonardo dicaprio

Review: Out Of The Furnace (2013)

Film Title: Out of the Furnace
Director: Scott Cooper.

Cast: Christian Bale, Casey Affleck, Woody Harrelson, Zoe Saldana, Forest Whitaker, Willem Dafoe.

Certificate: 15.

With only 2009’s CRAZY HEART to his name, Scott Cooper’s OUT OF THE FURNACE struggles to disguise its relatively green writer-director. What could have been an intelligent, tense revenge thriller unfortunately soon unravels as a redneck version of TAKEN; a paint by numbers and completely unremarkable affair that signposts any shock tactics from a mile off. However, with Ridley Scott and Leonardo DiCaprio (originally set to direct and star) onboard as producers, it’s hardly surprising it attracted such impressive talent.

After a tragic car accident puts Russell Baze (Christian Bale) behind bars, he returns to a place where everything is fundamentally the same, but inescapably different. His younger, Iraq-serving brother Rodney (Casey Affleck) seeks solace in physical bouts, while girlfriend Lena (Zoe Saldana) is far more standoffish than hoped. But Rodney’s addiction to the boxing ring is more than just a hobby as he finds himself sucked into a dangerous world of underground fighting, headed by the nefarious Harlan DeGroat (Woody Harrelson). When little bro mysteriously goes missing and local police chief Wesley (Forest Whitaker) is slow to act, Russell decides to take matters into his own hands. Continue reading

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Not Quite A Haiku Review: The Wolf Of Wall Street (2013)

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Leonardo DiCaprio loves the crack.
But it’s ok because it’s only pretend.
He becomes Arnie Grape again.

Twice Oscar nominated Jonah Hill.
He wanks over former Aussie soap stars.
The Academy like that shit.

Matthew McConaughey is the man.
His money chant won’t leave your head.
Mark Hanna definitely needs bongos.

HOW IS MARGOT ROBBIE 23?!
She definitely makes me question my sexuality.
Her accents ain’t too shabby.

Disregard your moral compass, y’all.
This won’t make you desperate for drugs.
Just don’t throw any dwarves.

VERDICT: 5/5

What I’m Watching – January 2014

This list only includes films I watched for the first time this month. My most recent viewing is the top entry.

The Croods (Dir: Kirk DeMicco, Chris Sanders, 2013) **

Inside Llewyn Davis (Dir: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen, 2013) ****

The Wolf Of Wall Street (Dir: Martin Scorsese, 2013) *****

Only Lovers Left Alive (Dir: Jim Jarmusch, 2013) ****

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (Dir: Kenneth Branagh, 2014) **

Out Of The Furnace (Dir: Scott Cooper, 2013) ***

Dallas Buyers Club (Dir: Jean-Marc Vallée, 2013) ****

12 Years A Slave (Dir: Steve McQueen, 2013) *****

American Hustle (Dir: David O. Russell, 2013) *****

The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty (Dir: Ben Stiller, 2013) *****

Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (Dir: Adam McKay, 2013) ***

Review: The Great Gatsby (2013)

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***THIS REVIEW WAS ORIGINALLY POSTED HERE FOR THE HOLLYWOOD NEWS ON MAY 16TH, 2013***

Director: Baz Luhrmann.

Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, Carey Mulligan, Joel Edgerton, Elizabeth Debicki, Isla Fisher, Jason Clarke.

Running Time: 142 minutes.

Certificate: 12A.

SynopsisYale graduate Nick Carraway (Tobey Maguire) moves next door to the mansion of a mysterious millionaire renowned for his lavish parties. Spending time in Long Island brings him closer to cousin Daisy (Carey Mulligan) and her husband, Tom (Joel Edgerton), but other eyes are watching Daisy from afar.

The fictional Long Island setting of West Egg plays host to F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Jazz Age tale of the price of obsession. The roaring twenties are a paradoxical time of cheap alcohol and family pride, with the constant debauchery a platform for temptation. Luhrmann sure wants us to enjoy the party, but it’s only when the revelry is over that his adaptation becomes any fun. Continue reading

Review: Django Unchained (2012)

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DIRECTOR: Quentin Tarantino.

CAST: Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kerry Washington, Samuel L. Jackson, Walton Goggins, James Remar, Laura Cayouette, Don Johnson.

SYNOPSIS: When German bounty hunter Dr. King Schultz (Waltz) promises Django (Foxx) his freedom on the capture of the villainous Brittle brothers, the slave finds the perfect opportunity to search for his lost wife, Broomhilda (Washington). When their paths cross plantation owner Calvin Candie (DiCaprio), the pair must make a choice between sacrifice and survival.

More sprawling, cross-country epic than nonstop, gun blazing shootout, Django Unchained is a perfect marriage of slave story and spaghetti western that allows Tarantino to make the most of his signature anachronistic embellishments. Reeking of 70s panache from the opening old-school Columbia insignia, the combination of mashed-up soundtrack, obvious homages and riotous one-liners easily coalesce in a film that necessitates multiple viewings. Continue reading

2012 National Board Of Review Award Winners

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Beasts Of The Southern Wild and Zero Dark Thirty are riding the crest of a rather awesome wave right now. Yeah, someone really did use that saying in a conversation with me once. But let’s leave Sussex sensibilities behind for a minute and focus on Bigelow and Zeitlin.

Things are going pretty swimmingly for the pair, with Bigelow fresh off her NYFCC win, Zeitlin winning yet another accolade for his direction and both receiving prizes for their leading ladies.

It’s great to see Looper receiving Best Original Screenplay, but the money’s still on Moonrise Kingdom, especially when the Academy seem to keep sci-fi offerings reserved to the technical fields. But I’m definitely keeping my fingers crossed for more Rian Johnson nominations and it’s brilliant to see it make their top ten, as it’ll definitely make my list of the best 2012’s had to offer.

Talking of their top ten, indie offerings sit alongside Oscar frontrunners, with The Perks Of Being A Wallflower getting a very deserved mention.

Check out the full list of winners below: Continue reading

Baz Sure Does Love His Shiny Anachronisms

The trailer for Baz Luhrmann’s Gatsby has finally arrived and it is every bit as debauched and impressive as you’d expect. But that doesn’t mean we’re exposed to a great deal of substance underneath the glitz and glamour.

Coming December 2012 in 3D which is bound to be so colourful it’ll make your eyes bleed, The Great Gatsby is another adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel of the pursuit of The American Dream. With DiCaprio the only actor I can see embodying the titular Gatsby, the December release date looks like a clever bid by Warner for some Awards recognition.

While it is yet to be seen whether Carey Mulligan will play Daisy quite as mad as Mia Farrow in Robert Redford’s 1974 version, it’s a welcome change to see Tobey Maguire head back to something a little more serious after his Spidey excursions.

With a busy Christmas release slate for DiCaprio in the form of Django Unchained and The Great Gatsby, it’s up to you to decide whether Luhrmann or Tarantino have injected more ‘cool’ into their respective projects. Jay-Z, Kanye and Jack White may pale in anachronistic comparison to the first Tarantino trailer.