#239: Detroit

Detroit - Silver Screen SnobsDisney tries banning publishers it doesn’t like only for it to backfire incredibly, more and more men are being outed as sexual abusers in Hollywood and Tom and Dave review Detroit, a true story directed by Kathryn Bigelow. Also: Good Time, Brigsby Bear, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, Mindhorn.

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The Fast and the Furious (2001) – Best Point Break remake ever


This may be news to no-one, but I’ve only just caught up with this franchise, so humour me. Let me first lay some cards on the table: I’m a Point Break tragic. Kathryn Bigelow’s 1991 surfing bank-robber bromance was the first M15+ film I ever saw, so for that reason alone it holds a special nostalgic place in my heart. The excitement at the time was immense. It had M rated violence! Boobs! Guns! Swearing! It’s been a great relief to find that throughout the many re-watches I’ve undertaken since that fateful soft-drink fueled sleepover (yeah, I was 10, that’s what cool kids did), it still holds up. Taut, stylish bank robbery sequences, a foot chase that was unrivalled in cinema until Casino Royale, and that bit where Keanu shoots his gun in the air and goes ‘ahhh.’ Patrick Swayze was never more watchable than when he inhabited the the hippy-guru-criminal-mastermind persona of the enigmatic Bodhi. And Reeves? What better way to utilize the actor’s perpetually stoned and bewildered persona by having the plot dictate that he impersonates a Californian surfer dude? ‘Vaya con Dios, Brah.’ Brilliant. Everyone just pretend he’s acting. Then, of course, there’s Gary Busey. Let off the chain as FBI agent Angelo Pappas, he leaves behind a trail of destruction and endlessly quotable dialogue: ‘I’m so hungry I could eat the ass end out of a dead rhino.’ Continue reading →

Zero Dark Thirty

The fallout of the September 11th attacks have created a mixed bag in the cinema world. Dramas that focus on smaller, family stories (World Trade Centre, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close) have sat awkwardly alongside sprawling political thrillers and combat films (Green Zone, The Hurt Locker). What Kathryn Bigelow achieves with Zero Dark Thirty is something altogether grander. An intense character study wrapped in a detective story disguised as a political thriller. She shuns conventional wisdom regarding pacing and utilises the near three-hour running time to carefully and succinctly lay out one of the greatest man-hunts of all time.

Zero Dark Thirty depicts the attack on the world trade centre by not visually depicting it at all. The film opens a title card of the famous date after which the screen remains black and the audio track is filled with frightened 911 callers. By resisting the urge to show the famous proverbial “money shot” of the towers crumbling, thereby buying audience sympathy for her manhunters right away, Bigelow and co. demonstrate an even hand that will guide the rest of the narrative. In condensing nearly ten years of international police work, the film makers wisely move quickly through the first few years before slowing events down as the search nears conclusion – the infamous compound assault unfolding in real time. Continue reading →

Episode 12: Zero Dark Thirty, Flight

Zero Dark ThirtyZero Dark Thirty, the dramatisation of the hunt for Osama Bin Laden, is our feature review this week along with another new release, Flight, Robert Zemeckis’ first live-action film since Cast Away. The AACTA awards are covered plus new Bluray releases. Also reviewed: 10 Things I Hate About You, Commando, Shane, The Life Of Emile Zola, The Expendables 2.

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