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In Bruges streaks into the lead

What can I say, this is one of the best films I’ve seen in the last few years; funny and mischievous with some poignant moments thrown in.

The story of a young ‘bad lad’ hiding in Bruges after a shooting that went wrong back in England. He has a minder, played by Brendan Gleeson, who has the lucky job of keeping him out of trouble. The story that unfolds is of their time together in the city, the relationship that develops between them and how they set about carrying out the job they discover they have been set by their ‘boss’ (Ralph Fiennes).

Colin Farrell is excellent, playing the wayward lead with wit and charm. As a Colin fan, I would have to say this is his best performance to date. His character manages to insult everyone in Bruges and leave a trail of destruction behind him yet you can’t help but feel affection for him.  Ralph Fiennes is fantastic as the criminal boss content on teaching Colin’s character a lesson for his mistake. A very comical performance.

Gleeson too is brilliant, playing a cynical yet somewhat philosophical criminal who looks after his rogue ward in a touching way.

The film is fairly slow paced but highly engaging as you will laugh the whole way through. The humour swings between subtle and crude and there are so many ‘laugh out loud’ moments. I have seen the film a few times and laugh more each time!

This is a must see film – hilarious and at times moving.

Meabh’s Rating: 89%

MIZ average: 87%

In Bruges

bruges

I don’t know what I expected from In Bruges. Probably some sort of clichéd ‘Lock Stock’ movie with gangsters, guns and lots of bad language. However what you get is a genuinely hilarious movie with genuine emotion and some great twists. You do get lots of bad language.

The 2 main characters get ‘sent away’ after a job gone wrong and are told to await further instruction from their boss. They get sent away to the picturesque town of Bruges much to the delight of the Brendan Gleeson half of the partnership. Farrell on the other hand is bored to death…. At this stage the movie appears to be an ‘odd couple’ comedy. However it soon develops, and just as you start to like the characters, the real reason they are sent to Bruges emerges. Cue drug deals gone wrong, depression, dilemma, drama and dwarfs… All the D’s.

This is Colin Farrell at his best… basically playing a version of himself.

This movie also has one of the funniest lines I’ve heard in a movie, but I’ll let you discover it yourself.

Tony’s rating: 85%

Trading Cliches?

As a child from the 80s I’m surprised Trading Places bypassed me.    Watching it in my 20s, I’m afraid I found this movie quite tiresome.  I have never been a big Eddie Murphy fan so perhaps this was part of the problem.  His voice just grates on me.

Trading Places is a comedy romp (lots of boobs on display) with hideous 80s fashion and top 80s stars.    On paper I should have loved this film.  A skinny Dan Akroyd plays an unbelievably pompous wall-street type, Jamie Lee Curtis is a hooker with a heart (the phrase ‘body off Baywatch, face off Crimewatch’ comes to mind – sorry!), a charming Denolm Elliot as a posh English butler and Eddie Murphy is his usual crude hyperactive self as a hobo turned high-rolling stockbroker.   Throw in the age-old debate of nature versus nurture and you have yourself a comedy full of social clichés.

I’m sure I would have loved this film had I watched it in my early teens, but I wouldn’t hurry to see it again.

Ruth’s Rating 60%
MIZ Average: 70%

Trading Up… Our December Movie moves in to the lead

This is a weird one to review. To start off I should say, if you haven’t seen this film, take it with a pinch of salt. If you took it seriously, you’d be offended the whole way through by the class discrimination and racism!

However, taken lightly, as intended, its fun and charming with ‘life lessons’ thrown in.

 

It’s a heart warming and enjoyable tale of a down and out man who, through a twist of ridiculous fate, gets to switch lives with a rich business man. The transformation we see in both men as they realise what the others’ life is like is both interesting and entertaining.

 

Set at Christmas, this is a feel good family film with a quirky funny edge to it. It highlights the stupidity of prejudice in a way that is easy to understand for viewers of all ages.

 

Definitely one of those ‘classic’ films everyone should see.

 

Meabh’s Rating: 80%

MIZ Average rating: 75%

And finally…. Shutter Island completely reviewed! 66%

Whilst my fellow bloggers could see the ending of this movie a mile off, I was not blessed with such foresight (maybe that’s because my usual movie of choice is a happily-ever-after romcom which, let’s be honest, does not really require much in terms of thinking!).  I got drawn into the plot from the beginning and just hoped DiCaprio’s character was not going to suddenly wake up at the end, only to find the whole escapade had been a bad dream.  I hate when films end with a cop-out . I will let you decide if Shutter Island did or did not.

 

Perhaps not the best Scorsese-DiCaprio partnership but I enjoyed it, especially the intense dream-like sequences where DiCaprio is tortured with images of his past.  I also appreciated the constant suspense the film generated, reminiscent of Hitchcock thrillers.  However, without DiCaprio in the lead role, I think this would have been a lesser film.  He is so watchable and, in my opinion, pitched the intensity of his character just right.

Ruth’s rating: 70%

MIZ Final Average Rating: 66%

December - Trading Places!

Well- What can I say… As with the majority of Eddie Murphy movies, Trading Places is a ‘tad’ predictable- however Murphy’s infectious laugh and the inclusion of an adorably randy gorilla, mean that this movie warms the cockles of the heart.

As a devout Dan Ackroyd- disliker, I feel Trading Places casts Dan Ackroyd in an unusally favourable  light (usually I would like to punch his head in but in this case I genuinely feel sorry for him). He’s a snobby stockbroker with little-man-syndrome but a cruel bet between the company directors spurs the decline of Ackroyd into a penniless nomad with a slightly transexual looking Curtis hanging off his arm.

Yes there is no dramatic plot, and yes there is no major development throughout the movie, but its about self-discovery, selflessness and acceptance, AND its set with a slightly grubby Christmas background to add a festive feel.

The emphais on racial and class discrimitation is very heavy handed, and at times made me cringe, but its set in the 80’s so you sort of overlook it!! 

I think its also very important to point out that I never failed to be mistified by, and in awe of, the chisled physique of Jamie-Lee- Curtis (a shame really that it goes downhill from the neck up…).She has a nack of using any excuse to strip off and get her boobies out.

Oh checkout ‘Pretty Womans’ cuddly Ralph Bellamy- no so much a ‘goody’ in this movie :(

 

 Lucy’s rating: 70%

Another late Shutter Island review….

This movie is a successful collaboration of all the best bits of previous movies.  Bits of ‘The Sixth Sense’, ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’, ‘The Silence of the Lambs’ and even the very recent ‘Inception’ shone through. 

But that’s not a bad thing – it just meant that I wasn’t as blown away by the many twists and turns as I should have been.  The movie was definitely stylish.  Scorsese managed to capture the beautiful dreamlike scariness of the island – as ironic as that seems.  DiCaprio has definitely reached leading man status and he succeeds in drawing the audience in to his horrific experience.

 

A popcorn movie!

Joanne’s rating: 75%

MIZ average rating: 69%

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