Friday, September 25, 2015

Films, just for the record

I turned 64 on Wednesday. I've become one of the millions of subjects of The Beatles' "When I'm Sixty-Four". I don't know what being 64's supposed to feel like, but I don't think the song paints an accurate picture of me. I feel like I'm 34.

However, I've always had a rubbish memory. At least, certain aspects of my memory have always been iffy. So this blog's one way of remembering things. My photos are another. I have for a long time wished I kept a journal of the books I read and the films I see. But even when I have that regret, I do nothing to rectify the situation. Perhaps I forget to do something. Anyway, in order to help me remember the films I've seen since September 2011, I write about them here. So...

Three more really good films Grace and I have seen in the past couple of weeks. And we'd not heard of any of them, so they were all the more a pleasant surprise. Firstly, Locke. (The following description is full of spoilers!)
"The day before he must supervise a large concrete pour in Birmingham, construction foreman Ivan Locke learns that Bethan, a colleague with whom he had a one-night stand seven months previously, has gone into premature labour. Despite his job responsibilities and although his wife and sons are eagerly awaiting his arrival home to watch an important football match, Locke decides to drive to London to be with Bethan during childbirth. Locke never forgave his father for abandoning him as a child, and he is determined not to make the same mistake.
Over the course of the two-hour drive from Birmingham to London, Locke holds a total of 36 phone calls with his boss and a colleague, Donal, to ensure the pour is successful, with his wife Katrina to confess his infidelity, his son, and with Bethan to reassure her during her labour. During these calls, he is fired from his job, kicked out of his house by his wife, and asked by his older son to return home. He coaches his assistant Donal through preparing the pour despite several major setbacks, and has imaginary conversations with his father, whom he envisions as a passenger in the back seat of his car. When he is close to the hospital, Locke learns of the successful birth of his new baby."
It's a really cleverly constructed film. Tom Hardy is the only actor, all other characters being just the other voices in his phone calls. The BMW he's driving is the only setting.


Next, Butterfly on a Wheel (aka Shattered).


This is a tense drama with a sting in the tail, brilliantly played by Brosnan, Butler and Bello, with direction to match. 
"Chicago residents Neil Randall and his wife, Abby Randall have the perfect life and a perfect marriage. With their beautiful young daughter, Sophie, they are living the American dream... until today. When Sophie is suddenly kidnapped, they have no choice but to comply with the abductor's demands. The kidnapper, Tom Ryan, a cold and calculating sociopath, takes over their lives with the brutal efficiency of someone who has nothing to lose.

In the blink of an eye, Neil and Abby's safe and secure existence is turned upside down. Over the next twenty-four hours they are at the mercy of a man who wants only one thing: that they do his bidding. It soon becomes clear that Ryan's demands are all the more terrifying because he doesn't want their money. What he wants is Neil and Abby's life, the life they have built over 10 years, to be systematically dismantled and destroyed, piece by piece."
We watched An Unfinished Life last night. Again, a good story, some terrific acting from the distinguished cast, and really worth watching.
"Stoic and heartbroken, Einar Gilkyson quietly lives in the rugged Wyoming ranchlands alongside his only trusted friend, Mitch Bradley. Then, suddenly, the woman he blames for the death of his only son arrives at his door broke, desperate, and with a granddaughter he's never known. But even as buried anger and accusations resurface, the way is opened for unexpected connection, adventure, and forgiveness."

We're really lucky to have the large and oft-changing DVD library in the marina. We've had very few disappointments over the years here. 

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