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thedevilinme

thedevilinme

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My 1000th film review!

Reviews written

since 13/05/2008

2140

Waste Land (DVD) 05/02/2016

Modern art is crap - quite literally

Waste Land  (DVD) Star – Vik Muniz Genre – World Cinema > Documentary Run Time – 100 minutes Certificate – 18 Country – Brazil Oscars – 1 nomination Amazon – £7.23 DVD Awards – 27 Wins & 10 Nominations = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = You know my thoughts on modern art and they are not favorable, and most of you probably agree with me. Some of its OK but most of its crap - and the artist know it. But if rich people are prepared to pay 50 grand for plastic bags full of rubbish or stuffed livestock then good luck to them. So why am I watching a subtitled Brazilian documentary about modern art then? Well it’s Oscar nominated and free on Film4 so why not? I’m glad I did. It centers on the likeable Brazilian working-class boy made good, Vik Muniz. After escaping the favelas of Sau Paulo he is now a world renowned artist who lives in Tribecca, New York and sells his work for tens of thousands of dollars all around the globe. His style of work is intelligent and worthwhile, using every day objects to build portraits of other objects or human beings, so when viewing the work close up you see the surprise of what’s it’s constructed from and then stand back and literally see the bigger picture. Muniz has done two films before, one about the build up to the World Cup involving 10,000 footballs in his art work and another about Rio de Janiero. This time he pitches up at ‘Jardim Gramacho’, Rio and the worlds largest landfill site, his plan to make art with the ‘catodores’ , the manual ...

Selma (DVD) 05/02/2016

Oscar chasing biopic that falls flat for me...

Selma (DVD) Star – David Oyelowo Genre – Biopic > Drama Run Time – 128 minutes Certificate – PG 13 Country – USA Awards – 55 Wins & 83 Nominations Oscars – 1 Win & 1 nomination Amazon – £5.00 DVD £8.99 Blue Ray = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = Jade Pinkett-Smith’s recent controversial comments over no black actors being nominated for the Oscars this year has loosened a few elderly white men’s tuxedo collars, the type of people in the Academy who do the voting. There is no doubt there was racism in the bad old days of The Academy Awards and Hollywood in general but things have improved so much in the last three decades with some saying its gone too far the other way with black actors getting politically correct Oscars. The idea that Cuba Gooding JR. is Oscar material is a stretching it some yet he bagged one for Jerry Maguire playing a black stereotype, as did Denzel Washington in Training Day. Perhaps the real problem is they are cast to play black stereotypes or where the actor has to be black, as is the case here in Selma, British actor David Oyelowo as Martin Luther king here, and so seen in so few serious roles. But closer inspection of the new Hollywood millennium reveals black actors picked up 12 Acting Oscars and 23 nominations in the last 15-years. They also received a further 11 nominations and 5 Oscars for Music and writing. The trouble started with Selma at the 2015 Oscars. It’s an ‘issues’ film and an ‘adaptation’ of Martin Luther Kings famous black rights march ...

Don't You Know Who I Am?: Insider Diaries of Fame, Power and Naked Ambition - Piers Morgan 05/02/2016

Piers completes the journey up his own annus horiblis

Don't You Know Who I Am?: Insider Diaries of Fame, Power and Naked Ambition - Piers Morgan Create the hype but don't ever believe it. So, if you're the latest media type forced to fall on your moral sword over trying to report the truth of the scandalous war in Iraq (Morgan sacked by the Mirror Group who had shares in an arms company), what would Britain's youngest ever tabloid editor do next, apart from the usual TV cameos and newspaper columns. Being Britain's most hated journalist meant opportunities would be few and far between. The answer, of course, was to write a brilliant book, The Insider, an editor's account of what it was like to have the ear of the rich and famous and how to transpose that valuable gossip and cheap scandal into tabloid format, but keep the right people onside by slagging off the peasants. It's a superb read and fascinating stuff, the gap between the story and the gossip revealed in intriguing detail. I mean, what are these famous people like? We only know them from the tabloid tales. What an amazing job it would be to edit a national newspaper. But one day you burn all your bridges (like the Americans did with Iraq's river crossings so Halliburton could rebuild them all for ten times as much) and so you have to go. Saddam outlived his usefulness to the west when he was weak and so did Piers Morgan. Not that I'm comparing the two, mind. So if literature was the chosen career how about bringing his diary up to date and completing the journey up his own ass by writing a book about his attempt to become a celebrity, the very people ...

Safety Not Guaranteed (DVD) 05/02/2016

Time to high five some Lo-Fi!

Safety Not Guaranteed (DVD) Star – Mark Duplass Genre – Sci-Fi > Indie > Comedy Run Time – minutes Certificate – 18 Country – USA Awards – 7 Wins & 18 Nominations Amazon – £3.99DVD £8.99 Blue Ray = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = If cinema is our ultimate escapism then time travel is The Movies ultimatum escapism. It allows anything to happen in a movie. Let’s face it. We all love time travel movies. This endearingly oddball and original indie sci-fi on the very same subject is based on an original classified ad that first appeared in American publication called Backwoods Home Magazine in 1997. It was written as last-minute filler by John Silveira, an employee of the magazine, the joke going nationwide and later featured on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (1992), and eventually developed into a screenplay, the ultimate concept movie sound bite. Cast Aubrey Plaza ... Darius Lauren Carlos Lauren Carlos ... Young Darius Basil Harris Basil Harris ... Restaurant Manager Mary Lynn Rajskub Mary Lynn Rajskub ... Bridget Jake Johnson Jake Johnson ... Jeff Karan Soni Karan Soni ... Arnau David Schultz David Schultz ... Coworker (as David Leo Schultz) Jeff Garlin Jeff Garlin ... Mr. Britt Mark Duplass Mark Duplass ... Kenneth William Hall Jr. William Hall Jr. ... Shannon Alice Hung Alice Hung ... Shift Manager Plot The Quote ‘Star Wars Stormtroopers don't know anything about lasers or time-travel. They're blue-collar workers’. Pretty twentysomething Darius Britt (Aubrey Plaza), a ...

Operation Northwoods 05/02/2016

Could America be involved in 911?

Operation Northwoods First question: what is “Operation Northwood” and why is it up on Ciao? Well it’s the title of an intriguing document recently released under the US Freedom of Information Act, written by the US American intelligence services in the early 1960`s, that lays out a theoretical plan to make it look like Castro’s Cuba ( ironically the home of Guantanamo Bay) had attacked America, so the USA could fight back and remove the growing communist threat from the tiny island, blockaded by the US. The document is extensive and the plan was suggested to JFK by the CIA as a serious possibility-to the point where the Joint Chiefs of Staff were about to sign off on it no less-to try and resolve this scary situation, a Russian nuclear incursion on to communist Cuba that took the planet to the brink of World War 3. http://abcnews.go.com/US/story?id=92662 An under stress US Intelligent services felt that if they could covertly attack US civilians and buildings on mainland Florida, using petrol tankers, aircraft and snipers to cause mass casualties, they could then hit the blockade of ships, putting Cuba in the frame, the US then justifying a first strike on the Russian missile trucks and troops in Cuba by gaining popular US public opinion. Where have we seen that before? In that heated and tension ridden scenario of the nuclear crisis you can hardly blame them for planning such Machiavellian plots. They had also planned to kill Castro with an exploding cigar, but as Michael Moore memorably ...

Big Game (DVD) 05/02/2016

What the elk is going on here?

Big Game (DVD) Star – Samuel L Jackson Genre – Action Run Time – 110 minutes Certificate – PG13 Country – USA Awards – 1 Nominations Amazon – £9.99 DVD £6.99 Blue Ray = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = So, Finland’s most expensive movie ever made ($8.5 million) anyone, subtitled and starring Samuel L Jackson? Now that’s a big fish out of water! This quirky concept movie is from Jalmari Helander, he of the rather mischievous and enjoyable comedy horror ‘Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale’. Both films star a big chunk of the same Finnish cast and Onni Tommila, who plays the hero kid in both movies, is the real life son of Jorma Tommila who plays Oskari's father, in this movie. They also play father and son in Rare Exports. But if you saw that movie you won’t really get a feel for this movie as it’s more Hollywood than Finnish, and there are no demonic father Christmases. In fact it’s hard to put this film in any particular box and because of that it didn’t do much money, considered a flop, a bit like SLJ and Tarnatino’s pastiche new movie. Cast • Samuel L. Jackson as William Alan Moore, President of the United States • Onni Tommila as Oskari Jorma Tommila as Oskari’s father • Felicity Huffman as The Director of the Central Intelligence Agency • Victor Garber as Vice President of the United States • Ted Levine as General Underwood • Jim Broadbent as Herbert, a former CIA operative and advisor. • Ray Stevenson as Secret Service Agent Morris • Mehmet KurtuluÅŸ as Hazar, a CIA operative ...

Michael Vaughan: Time to Declare - My Autobiography - Michael Vaughan 05/02/2016

The Vaughn Identity!

Michael Vaughan: Time to Declare - My Autobiography - Michael Vaughan Most of the time there are only two types of cricket autobiographies in the shops - the boring ones that reel off the player’s stats and triumphs and try not to offend fellow pros by being too opinionated (Monty Panesar), and the ones that let it all hang out because the player left the sport acrimoniously (Nasser Hussein), the latter books the most enjoyable. Michael Vaughn’s, on the other hand, is somewhere in-between, starting off like Monty’s monotonous drone and ending up with a Nasser Hussein flourish, listing his memorable achievements but also having a subtle dig at his detractors during his short but relatively short illustrious international career for an England captain, the man that bought home the Ashes after a twenty year wait... Since that triumph cricket books can’t be dismissed anymore and the sport back on the front and back pages, Marcus Trescothick’s rather self-pitying book actually winning the Telegraph Sports Book of the Year in 2008 because of. There’s no chance of Vaughn’s book winning 2010 as the result has already been announced and the head judge, the anvil headed John Inverdale, gave it to Brian Moore, his fellow rugby commentator on the BBC. I have met Michael a couple of times and he is the lads lad and surprisingly opinionated as he is tall, 6ft, 3 inches of cheeky confidence, not befitting his public image, a man always in a rush to talk to more important people. But he stuffed the Aussies and so he can act how he likes from now on in as ...

Entourage Series 5 (DVD) 05/02/2016

The Chase is over?

Entourage Series 5 (DVD) Star – Jeremy Piven Genre – Comedy Run Time – 1minutes Certificate – 15 Country – USA Amazon – £6.50 DVD Awards – 3 Wins & 15 Nominations = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = According to Entourage producer Mark Wahlberg, the show was initially conceived when his assistant asked if he could film Wahlberg and his friends around L.A, calling them "hilarious." Other reports credit Eric Weinstein, Wahlberg’s mate, with the idea of filming the actor's group of friends larking about. Apparently they were quite the hellraisers back in the day. Whatever the reason the show is based on Mark Wahlberg and his Boston crew when the young actor broke Hollywood, Adrien Grenier as Vincent Chase movie superstar. How ever it came about I am glad it did as this show filled a big hole in my HBO addiction when shows like The Wire. Breaking Bad and The Sopranos ended. Although on the surface it’s a teenage twentysomething w**k fantasy of girls, money, friends and cars in Hollywood it’s much more than that for a mature crowd. I’m more interested in the writing than the male bonding. It’s a mix of the brilliant Larry Sanders Show and Curb your Enthusiasm and surprisingly accurate on how the Hollywood movie system runs, so say the insiders who watch it. They love all the industry in-jokes and the celebrity cameos always fun. It’s not a show that stops to explain plots and jokes, which is also a plus. Its rare comedy shows run this long in America and if you are also short of a boxset fix or ...

Shame (DVD) 05/02/2016

A naked full frontal of Michael Fassbender then girls?

Shame (DVD) Star – Michael Fassbender Genre – Drama County – UK Certificate – 18 Run Time – 101 minutes Awards – Golden Globe nomination Blockbusters – £3.50 per night Amazon – £7.00 DVD (£18.00Blue Ray) --------------- --------------- --------------- ---- Shame is one of those films that really annoys me, a so-called ‘intelligent drama’ that is hyped up in the broadsheet media (and seemingly wins plenty of awards for that hype alone), and they make you feel guilty and ignorant if you didn’t get it. But when you actually sit down and watch it, you are left feeling decidedly cold and irritated by the whole experience. The British entertainment press seemed genuinely surprised when Shame didn’t receive one single Oscar nomination, and for once I applaud The Academy on their nomination list as there is nothing remotely profound or interesting here. In fact I’m quite surprised they didn’t machine gun it with awards as it’s normally the sort of boring drama they love. It’s directed by 1999 Turner Prize winner Steve McQueen, now dabbling in mainstream film, his previous arty short film installations giving him the confidence to make proper movies, ‘Hunger’, about the IRA Hunger strikes pretty good, the first British director to win the Caméra d'Or (first-time director) Award at Cannes, coupled with a BAFTA, an impressive hatrick. Here he again hooks up with Michael Fassbender, the man of the moment, the smoldering Irishman who came to our attention in Hunger, tipped to be the next Daniel ...

Nightcrawler (Blu-ray) 05/02/2016

"If it bleeds it leads'

Nightcrawler (Blu-ray) Star – Jake Gyllenhaal Genre – Drama Run Time – 117 minutes Certificate – 18 Country – USA Awards – 40 Wins & 109 Nominations Amazon – £4.99 DVD £6.90 Blue Ray = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = Quote ‘Do you know what fear stands for? False Evidence Appearing Real’. Just as we don’t want to admit we all played a big part in the credit crunch recession by taking out the loans and credit cards after the bankers used slight of hand to magic up the credit, we also get the media we deserve. Those cruel violent images are there because we subliminally demand it. The News of the World went bust because rival predatory media took down the paper by using our voice erroneously saying we hated the paper. Again, we get the news we deserve and secretly loved that papers exposes. Donald Trump could well be president on his anti immigration rhetoric because most poor white people in America don’t like Muslims and that majority opinion suppressed by the media and so he is their irrational voice. CNN made its name and fortune from revolutionary 24 hour rolling news during the Gulf War as we all tuned in to follow the death and destruction, Ted Turner selling huge volumes of commercials all day and all night as the smart missiles went down chimneys and hulking 4 star US generals prodded clipboards and expensive satellite images with very important sticks. Nightcrawler gets right to the essence of that voyeuristic human hypocrisy and the media, Jake Gyllenhaal brilliant in the lead ...

The Kite Runner (DVD) 05/02/2016

The Mullahs want our souls... the Communists tell us we have none

The Kite Runner (DVD) "There is only one sin, only one. And that is theft. Every other sin is a variation of theft... When you kill a man, you steal a life. You steal his wife's right to a husband; rob his children of a father. When you tell a lie, you steal someone's right to the truth. When you cheat, you steal the right to fairness". --------------- --------------- --------------- Afghanistan has to be the unluckiest country on the planet. Its not gifted with oil, gas or minerals, but cruelly surrounded by countries overloaded with just that, but still looking like a shell crater from the Middle Ages, Russia and then America doing their very best to keep it that way. Its the very fact it has nothing that makes it so valuable. We wish the West were there right now to bring democracy and progress but you suspect it's just to keep it passive and broken to stop it and its Russian neighbours aspirations for that oil and gas. It has always been the unlikely prize of the region, Afghanistan the juxtaposition of supreme power to control the whole energy rich region for whoever wins that country over. Many like to randomly attack immigration to the west from places like this but if we left them alone they would be quite happy to stay in this surprisingly beautiful land. The Kite Runner, from the acclaimed book by the Afghan writer Khaled Hosseini, charts the recent history of this troubled country through the fictional experiences of two young boys, one a Pashto and one a Hazare, but the countries ...

Amy (2015) (DVD) 05/02/2016

Chasing Amy

Amy (2015) (DVD) Star – Amy Winehouse Genre – Documentary Run Time – 128 minutes Certificate – 18 Country – U.K Oscars – 1 nomination Awards – 22 Wins & 35 Nominations Amazon – £6.99DVD £7.99 Blue Ray = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = So ‘Amy’, the 2015 Oscar nominated documentary that probes and prods the life of one of our truly talented singers, a Rolls Royce voice but in a Ford Cortina chassis that is Amy Winehouse. Adele has long since filled the void of the supreme vocalist talent of these shores and Amy all but forgotten but my word she could sing. I was not a fan of Amy or her music in any way but IÂ’m not one to slag of someone because I don’t particular like their thing and this girl deserves all the plaudits and awards she got. I didn’t even criticize her drink and drugs lifestyle as that’s what generally happens to people born with a God given talent but no training to deal with it. Fame doesn’t take prisoners and spits you out when you are done and leaves you a twitching corpse. It wants everything you have and to lay it on the line. Amy was already done when she died at that infamous age of 27. Amy is not from the ruling classes or the beautiful people so extremely vulnerable to that cynical and manipulating industry that earns just as much from their stars on the way up as on the way down. The 'gobby' daughter of a North London cabby is not expected to make her mark in the world and so that working-class guilt trebles the pressure if they succeed. Living her early life ...

Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation (DVD) 05/02/2016

This is what Bond used to be in the good old days...

Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation (DVD) Star – Tom Cruise Genre – Action Run Time – 131 minutes Certificate – PG13 Country – USA Awards – Wins & Nominations Amazon – £8.42 DVD £14.99 Blue Ray = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = There is no doubt the Bourne and Mission Impossible movies saved the Bond franchise from possible extinction. Pierce Brosnan and his invisible car nonsense had made Bond look silly and bereft of ideas and the more realistic Matt Damon cerebral all action Jason Bourne was wiping the floor with 007 in the spy genre. The Mission Impossible franchise had also outflanked Bond and all but become the Bond franchise in style, humor and invention with the always classy Tom Cruise giving everything to make it work. The Bond people had to react and did, cherry picking the winning ingredients and magic from both franchises and bad boy Daniel Craig was created, yet all three franchises able to co-exist. If you get the spy action movie genre right you have endless plots, beautiful girls and glamorous places to pull on for ever more. Bond has lasted 50-years and so why can’t Mission Impossible, somewhat surprisingly into its 20th year with Cruise. Rogue Nation is a direct sequel to MI4: Ghost Protocol and only Ving Rhames from the original MI film appearing in all five. The MI franchise is notable in that each of the five films have purposely employed five different directors to keep it fresh, Christopher McQuarrie, the man who worked with Cruise on Valkyrie, Jack Reacher and Edge of Tomorrow, the ...

What Were Your Sporting Highlights of 2015? 05/02/2016

Coe, Stokes, Jose and the mighty Cobblers!

What Were Your Sporting Highlights of 2015? A is for Athletics and although Addidas have pulled their huge sponsorship of the IAAF after the recent drug controversies the same German sportswear behemoth have stayed with the equally corrupt FIFA and Cycling world body over the years. The Russians have been running a state doping program and Kenya, Turkey and Jamaica doing pretty much the same thing with their deliberate ignorance over drug testing. Team Russia was being run like the mob with athletes forced to dope and then hand over money from their winnings to buy the drugs and feed the corrupt lab officials. Lord Coe, as number two at the IAAF, sat back and allowed the number one, Pappa Massata Diack, your typically corrupt black African sports administrator (presumably why he got the job), do his thing and then make his move to be number one, just like Coe used to press the gas on theb last curve in his glorious running career. Coe outing Diack from number two early would have ended his push for the top job and so you can’t blame him for using his running tactics. Seb will try to clean the sport up, doping wise, but he does have a problem over Nike, who he was paid $100 grand a year as a consultant for three decades, and seem to smooth the way for the World Athletics championship to be held in Oregon, Nikes headquarters. One more negative story and he will have to resign. There is a feeling Adidas want to dump the sport on NIKE as there is a lot more to come out and Nike could be seriously hurt by it as their big ...

Ilo Ilo (DVD) 05/02/2016

The salaryman

Ilo Ilo (DVD) Genre – World Cinema > Drama Run Time – 100 minutes Certificate – 12 Country – Malaysian Awards – 27 Wins & 13 Nominations Amazon – £10.70 DVD £7.29 Amazon Marketplace = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = The dislike of Immigrants in the west is generally based on skin color and stereotypes where is in the Far East its based on social class of the countries the immigrants are coming in from. We need to feel better than other people to get through the day and so find our targets, hence the bizarre bullying of red headed kids at school. In Singapore, the country in this movie, the government is pretty tough on migrants and Singapore utilizes their small island state. In the bad old days pretty much every migrant worker used to have to leave the island at 6pm unless they have digs in the country. Singapore recently cut the limit to just 100,000 in the construction industry because so many foreign workers were coming into to build the forest of skyscrapers as Singaporeans didn’t like the work as it’s was too dangerous. It often happens when a poor country gets richer the locals no longer want to do the crap jobs. But governments can’t resist stoking up resentment of them to win votes even though they know how critical migrant labor is, especially as they run the healthcare and general services to the locals that are complaining the most. Ilo Ilo is a region of the Philippines, the country where the bulk of the domestic workforce comes from in Singapore. Many ...
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