An arrogant and jaded Las Vegas stage magician has to find himself again after being sacked. Inconsistent but intermittently fantastic comedy; its perfunctory redemption arc story is bolstered with some great gags and a dark undercurrent throughout. Alan Arkin, as ever, steals the movie.
Tag: James Gandolfini
Crimson Tide (1995, dir. Tony Scott)
A submarine captain and his new second-in-command clash during a military crisis. Excellent testosterone-fuelled drama, making full claustrophobic use of naval service underwater tropes. Superior technical credits and a rousing score supplement the crew of capable character actors.
Zero Dark Thirty (2012, dir. Kathryn Bigelow)
A dramatisation of the hunt for and killing of Osama Bin Laden. Sober and focused, with an eye for detail and on the selling of its version of events as truth through the use of faux documentary techniques, this works as an intelligent thriller throughout.
The Taking of Pelham 123 (2009, dir. Tony Scott)
A ruthless crew hijacks a New York subway train. Glossy but stirring second remake of the 1970s Walter Matthau/Robert Shaw classic. Inevitably the movie is opened up to the story’s detriment, but this is nevertheless an exciting and well-played flick.