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Good Kill Team Ethan Hawke, January Jones, Zoë Kravitz, Jake Abel, Bruce Greenwood, Peter Coyote,

Good Kill: follows a former fighter pilot turned drone operator as he struggles with the morality of killing people from 7,000 miles away. A wide variety of opinions on drone warfare are expressed through the torn protagonist, the objectionable (token female) co-pilot, indifferent Colonel, and pro war Generation Kill meatheads – the opinions however are all just dumped on the table for balance, and never really used or explored further. The Colonel (Greenwood) absolutely steals his scenes with an intense and assured performance (he also gets all the best lines); Hawke on the other hand struggles to truly convey inner conflict and remorse, leaving his character less sympathetic than he needed to be. The biggest let down is that the story doesn’t really go anywhere, there’s no consequences, and very little changes between the start and end of the movie – it’s just strike after strike after strike. There’s also a crowbarred in in family melodrama; an unexplored love story; pointless policeman side, and plenty driving up the Vegas Strip – just to perk the visuals up. As you’d expect from Andrew Niccol, this feels well shot and directed, and although it looks great, there’s a lot of dry yellows and cold turquoise filter to ‘moody up’ the settings. Good Kill is less impressive, ambitious, or thought-provoking than Niccol’s previous works like Lord of War, In Time, Gattaca etc. Overall, it boils down to a simplistic “drones are bad… mkay. The CIA is also bad… mkay” overly liberal, and somewhat empty, undergrad political statement.

Score: 4/10

“Drones aren’t going anywhere. In fact, they’re going everywhere.”

Good Kill Drone Cam Ethan Hawke, January Jones, Zoë Kravitz, Jake Abel, Bruce Greenwood, Peter Coyote,

 

Now You See Me 01 Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Isla Fisher, Dave Franco, Mark Ruffalo, Mélanie Laurent, Michael J. Kelly, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, José GarciaNow You See Me: four lowly street illusionists/magicians are brought together to become the world’s most infamous magic show. Unfortunately, this film is just as obsessed with the special effects as it is with telling what’s quite an interesting story. Every time there’s a big trick or set-piece the camera starts whirring around in a physically-impossible, mind-bending and distracting manner. The plot is very entertaining, lots of humour and the story takes some major twists and turns before arriving at a surprising conclusion. The acting’s all solid, but in a film with Eisenberg, Harrelson, Fisher, Ruffalo, Laurent, Caine and Freeman – you shouldn’t don’t expect much less. In a time of infinite re-boots, re-makes and superhero movies – Now You See Me feels surprisingly fresh and different – big cast, and a great story, although spoilt by some flashy direction.

Score: 7/10

Now You See Me 02 Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Isla Fisher, Dave Franco, Mark Ruffalo, Mélanie Laurent, Michael J. Kelly, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, José Garcia

GODFATHER 01 Francis Ford Coppola, Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan, Richard S. Castellano, Robert Duvall, Diane Keaton, John Cazale, Talia Shire, Abe Vigoda, Al Lettieri, Lenny Montana, Al Martino, Alex Rocco,The Godfather: first of three movies based on Mario Puzo’s tale of the Sicilian Mafia in New York, circa 1945-1955. There’s no denying that certain aspects of the film are great: it’s littered with original, shocking, powerful, and iconic scenes; there’s page after page of beautifully written dialogue (monologues and large conversations); the cast is truly monumental, and almost everyone is outstanding in their character’s portrayal. My biggest problem with The Godfather is that the sound mix is atrocious and – worse still – some character’s accents are so thick and/or non-enunciated that I watched the entire film with subtitles, in order to make any sense of some characters. Another flaw in the movie is that it could have been edited down, a lot; there’s entire sections of the film that have minimal impact on the story, but drag on and refuse to end (wedding, Sicily…). The direction’s OK – although editing is fairly rough – and the score really adds a punch to the movie. Perhaps this suffers from the ‘Chinatown Effect’ in that a mixture of lifelong hype, and the movie’s impact being far greater when it was released, that modern audiences are left a little cold and short-changed after seeing it. The Godfather feels like a great film diluted down into a good film, but ‘best film of all time’… sit your guinea-wop ass down in front of the tube, put on Godfellas, and tell me this is better – if ya do, ya’ll be sleeping with the fishes, see?

Score: 6/10

GODFATHER 02 Francis Ford Coppola, Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan, Richard S. Castellano, Robert Duvall, Diane Keaton, John Cazale, Talia Shire, Abe Vigoda, Al Lettieri, Lenny Montana, Al Martino, Alex Rocco,