Thursday 22 January 2015

Film: Starred Up

A troubled young man is transferred from juvenile detention to adult prison where he finds himself being shown the ropes by another inmate, who just happens to be his Father.

This UK prison drama was lauded by critics and even scooped a few awards but besides one or two decent performances this is pretty run of the mill stuff.

Attempts at rehabilitation consist of joining some sort of peer group where the members repeatedly vent their anger and then come out high-fiving each other as if to say prison life ain’t that bad.

More background on the main characters may have helped but what we are left with is a series of violent incidents leading to a pretty unsatisfactory conclusion.

Starred Up is available on all the usual formats now.

Ric’s Rating: Dodgy.   

Tuesday 20 January 2015

Film: American Sniper

The Hangover’s Bradley Cooper delivers a superb performance as Navy Seal Chris Kyle in this true story from director Clint Eastwood.

The patriotic Kyle decides to enlist and after intensive training is soon deployed to Iraq where he is used as a specialist sniper. His role is to protect ground forces but the highly trained Kyle decides that he must help his less experienced colleagues on the ground. A series of incidents follow, each very intense and harrowing.

These events coincide with Kyle attempting to maintain a healthy relationship with his wife and young family but during periods of time at home he is still consumed by the war.

Can he leave the fighting to others after putting in 4 tours of duty and can he adjust to life back in normal society?

I knew nothing of Chris Kyle prior to seeing this film and there is no doubt that increased my enjoyment of it. It is easy to find out details of this high profile soldier but if you don’t already know then steer clear until after seeing this.

Doubts have emerged regarding the authenticity of events as presented here but regardless of that this is a film that grips from the start and doesn't let go.

American Sniper is in cinemas now.

Ric’s Rating: Highly Recommended.