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The Untouchables – A Retrospective Look

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I watched this in honour of Sean Connery who sadly passed away the day before. It must be 10 years since I have watched this, and I had forgotten how brilliant it actually was.

What is often overlooked with ‘The Untouchables’ is just how emotional it is in parts, from Ness (Kevin Costner) meeting the mother of a girl blown up by a cafe bomb to the touching climax between Ness and Stone (Andy Garcia). It is a film that is genuinely upsetting to see the end, you would be quite happy to spend more time with these people.

It is also undoubtedly a film about friendship and that is where the late great Sean Connery stands out from the cast. As supposedly past it beat cop Malone, he strikes as a man of lonely isolation, just trying to get through every shift alive. He is at first suspicious of Ness but soon warms to what Ness is trying to achieve and there the bond between the two starts. Malone’s relationship with Stone gets off to a less auspicious start but by the end of the film, the relationship produces one final emotional wallop that we all deeply feel. Throw in accountant Oscar Wallace, played for the comic relief by Charles Martin Smith and we have four disparate men bonding over their end goal, to catch and see justice brought again crime lord Al Capone, (played with menace by Robert DeNiro).

There is so much to admire here, some of the setpieces are simply astonishing, the stakeout and subsequent battle on the Canadian border are sensationally choreographed, and a homage to the Odessa Steps sequence from Battleship Potemkin is nerve shreddingly executed. The violence is brutal and shocking at times and as stated previously the deaths are graphic and in one particular case deeply moving.

Kevin Costner was a star on the rise at this point, with big hits like ‘Field of Dreams,’ ‘Dances With Wolves,’  ‘JFK’ and ‘Robin Hood’ to come, he is excellent as the clean-cut family man Ness. A young Andy Garcia is impressive as the sharpshooting Stone, but this is Connery’s film. It’s an exceptional performance filled with guile, wisdom and what is apparent from the get-go, anger. He would win an Academy Award for this film and few could argue against it.

Its an incredibly neat and tidy film, it never outstays its welcome or gets too bogged down in courtroom showdowns. It’s gritty and powerful and a reminder of just how good an actor and phenomenal screen presence Connery was. It doesn’t get much better than this.

This review is dedicated to the memory of Sir Sean Connery 25/8/1930 – 31/10/2020 – A true screen icon

FILM RATING

My name is Dominic Holder and I like to promote the beauty and wonder of Cinema in my writing. I spend a lot of time promoting the power of Cinema as a tool of wellbeing to anyone and everyone. I love all kinds of films but in particular I am a devoted fan of Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks, John Williams, Star Wars, Disney and Marvel. My love of Cinema stems from a trip as a 4 year old to local cinema in Bolton to watch a Star Wars/Empire Strikes Back double bill, it was the first in a series of life changing moments, I knew from the moment the Imperial Star Destroyer engulfed the screen at the start of A New Hope I was hooked. Thankfully nearly 40 years later I still get excited and still find escapism and happiness within this wonderful medium.

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Crime

Netflix’s Bodies Review: Stephen Graham’s Mind-Twisting Series Related To Dark?

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Netflix's Bodies

If you are a fan of time travel, crime, and mind-bending suspense then Netflix’s Bodies is perfect to binge-watch this weekend. Directed by Haolu Wang and Marco Kreuzpaintner, Bodies is based on DC’s graphic novel by Si Spencer – who has been tributed in the first episode. The story follows four detectives in four different timelines and they discover a naked man’s body with one eye gouged out, surprisingly it’s the body of the same person in different timelines!

Shira Haas and Stephen Graham

Shira Haas and Stephen Graham in Netflix’s ‘Bodies’

The 8-episode series parallelly shows four detectives – DS Hasan (Amaka Okafor) in 2023, DS Whiteman (Jacob Fortune-Lloyd) in 1941, DI Hillinghead (Kyle Soller) in 1890, and DC Maplewood (Shira Haas) in 2053 twisted in the same case discovering facts that are beyond their understanding. DS Hasan from the year 2023 discovers that the case she has been working on has happened before, not once but twice decades ago. Much to her suspicion, the evidence aligns with her own case which leads her confused more than ever.

Stephen Graham is not limited to one timeline, his intense performance deepens the storyline, leaving viewers jumpy. Amaka Okafor, Shira Haas, Kyle Soller, and Jacob Fortune-Lloyd’s distinctive acting and effective dialogue delivery are appreciated but Fortune-Lloyd deserves a standing ovation for his shining performance. Graham and Soller’s costumes and makeup are on point in the show.

Jacob Fortune-Lloyd

Jacob Fortune-Lloyd as DS Whiteman in Bodies

With each episode comes mind-blowing twists that keep you on edge all the time. Each detective’s personal story and connection to people close to them adds more depth to their character and the choices they make. Even till the end of the last episode, the series holds your attention profoundly. Different timelines connected to one another may cause confusion at first but it only adds more fun to the story that leaves us in shock.

Now, if it reminds you of Netflix’s other popular German series Dark, directed by Baran bo Odar, then we can’t blame you. Bodies and Dark are not related to each other but they draw strong parallels to one another and it’s mainly due to different timelines, time travel, and hard-to-understand relations between the two characters. Although characters in Bodies are not connected to each other deep and twisted like in Dark but you need to keep a close eye to understand their connection. Dark, starring German actors Louis Hofmann and Lisa Vicari, is Netflix’s one of the most popular supernatural twists series and it is safe to assume that Bodies is no less than the 3-season German series.

Time portal in 'Dark' vs 'Bodies'

Time Portal in ‘Dark’ vs ‘Bodies’

Stephen Graham’s Bodies is a mind-bending, thriller series full of brilliant performances. Its captivating narrative and depth keep the viewers engaged and entertained.

Bodies is available to stream on Netflix.

FILM RATING
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Crime

Killers Of The Flower Moon: Scorsese Expertly Crafts A True American Tragedy

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Martin Scorsese directing a Western crime drama starring Leonardo Dicaprio and Robert De Niro, a combination like that would immediately make this project the most highly anticipated movie of the year for most movie lovers. I have been looking forward to this project ever since it was announced to be happening in 2017, and 6 years later it is finally here.

 

Killers of the Flower Moon is based on the non-fiction book of the same name by David Grann and is adapted by Eric Roth. It also stars Lily Gladstone, Jesse Plemons, Brendan Fraser, and John Lithgow alongside De Niro and DiCaprio. Martin Scorsese has been delivering top-quality cinema for almost six decades now and although I didn’t love his last feature The Irishman, expectations were still high from this project, which also happens to be his first western.

Robert De Niro and Leonardo DiCaprio in “Killers of the Flower Moon,” coming soon to Apple TV+.

Killers of the Flower Moon is set in the 1920s in the oil-rich lands of the Osage in Fairfax, Oklahoma. Ernest Burkhart (Leonardo DiCaprio), a World War 1 veteran with no prospects arrives in town to live with his uncle Bill ‘King’ Hale (Robert De Niro), who claims to be a friend to the Osage people. Ernest falls in love with an Osage woman Mollie (Lily Gladstone), who sees through his greed, but a genuine romance eventually blossoms between the two.

 

The plot thickens when Mollie’s family starts dying under suspicious circumstances and they struggle to find justice through the local authorities. Gladstone’s performance is elegant and powerful and she shows her ability to act through her eyes for most of her screen time. She is subtle and often silent, but she makes sure to convey the exact emotions that her character is going through. Robert De Niro as Uncle Bill does what he does best. Scorsese always seems to manage to bring out the best of him. He is calculative, cunning and sharp and shines as the scheming businessman. DiCaprio also gives one of his career-best performances as the charming underling of King Hale.

 

Though the story is about the murderers, it keeps the romance between Mollie and Ernest at its center and for the first two acts, their relationship is the primary driving force of the narrative. The third act focuses more on the investigation and the consequences of the killings. The direction is masterful throughout and it follows similar themes from Scorsese’s previous works like greed, betrayal, and murder. The cinematography is also one of the finest of the year, with the sheer scale of the canvas a sight for sore eyes. The production design and costumes are also stellar.

Robert De Niro and Jesse Plemons in “Killers of the Flower Moon,” coming soon to Apple TV+.

A lot has been said about the runtime of the movie, which goes over the 200-minute mark, but it never feels too long. There are stretches that feel slow and could have been edited to make it crisper, but the run-time was not a major issue for me. I did feel that the screenplay did not provide enough perspective to the viewer, especially about some of the characters’ motivations. Some of the depth feels unexplored. Jesse Plemons was massively underused, while Brendan Fraser and John Lithgow feel wasted. I also felt that there was scope for blood and violence and the script also holds back on language.

 

Killers Of The Flower Moon is A True American Tragedy that further cements Martin Scorsese as one of the greatest filmmakers of all time. He shows off his craftsmanship and delivers a riveting Western epic that is self-reflective, thought-provoking and thoroughly captivating. AppleTV and Paramount have a masterpiece on their hands with knockout performances and masterful storytelling.

Killers of the Flower Moon releases in cinemas on October 20. 

FILM RATING
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Crime

The Kingpin of Gotham Has Arrived | The Penguin – Teaser

The Penguin is an upcoming American television miniseries created by Lauren LeFranc for the streaming service Max. Based on the DC Comics character Penguin, it is a spin-off from the film The Batman that explores the Penguin’s rise to power in Gotham City’s criminal underworld.

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Genre:

Crime, Drama, Fantasy

Release Date:

2023

Director:

Max

Cast:

Collin Farrell, Clancy Brown, Cristin Milioti,

Plot Summary:

The Penguin is an upcoming American television miniseries created by Lauren LeFranc for the streaming service Max. Based on the DC Comics character Penguin, it is a spin-off from the film The Batman that explores the Penguin’s rise to power in Gotham City’s criminal underworld.

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