A now-aged mob hitman reflects. A stunning revisiting of themes preoccupying Scorsese throughout his career; gang life, organised crime, Catholic guilt. Sombre and melancholy, and Ellroy-like in its alt-history approach to the American 20th century. A technical, dramatic and stylistic marvel, with fine performances all around, none less than from Pesci, who’s revelatory here. Hugely recommended.
A biography of Rudy Ray Moore, focusing on the making of his film Dolemite. A swaggering movie with a heart, focusing – like its scriptwriters’ Ed Wood – on an upbeat try-hard outsider – with affection for the exploitation underbelly of Hollywood. As a star showcase, it reminds us how good Eddie Murphy is when he’s backed with the right material.
A presidential hopeful’s nomination campaign is derailed by his philandering. Smart observational true-life political drama clearly in love with the likes of All The President’s Men. While it doesn’t quite grapple with its protagonist’s weaknesses, the film is nevertheless professional, skilful and well-crafted throughout. Recommended.
A widow investigates an insurance company; a complicated web of financial fraud unravels. Superficially similar to The Big Short and Vice in its mix of drama, comedy and mockumentary, The Laundromat offers a clear and accessible primer to the Panama Papers scandal, and to Mossack (Oldman) and Fonseca (Banderas), both gleeful at its heart.
A travelogue of the Pacific Rim, with fictionalised elements, incorporating Hawaii, Tahiti, New Zealand, and Australia. A glossy production, typical of its era, presenting a glamorized and stereotypical view for American viewers, while showcasing the Cinerama format. Dated and/or charming, depending on your level of indulgence.
A documentary about Hollywood’s most recognizable stuntman and movie henchman. A crowdfunded production made with affection and respect for its subject. Inevitably for fans, but nevertheless fascinating, not least because the film gives a rounded picture of Leong’s work, life, and personal struggles. Recommended.
A dramatisation of the immediate aftermath of the 1963 Kennedy murder. A well-made re-enactment, packed with detail and character actors, though necessarily plotless, and somewhat redundant as a consequence. Effectively shows the chaos of unforeseen situations though.