Pirates would give their souls for the
Ultimate Book Worm Prize!
Plugging my latest competition. If you haven't entered, why not? All good pirates would give their souls for a Kindle PaperWhite. Something to read with for the rest of eternity.
NORMAN: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer ✪✪✪ Opened May 25th
I'm torn with this. I've been a Richard Gere fan since An Officer and a Gentleman and, of course, Pretty Woman He rarely lets us down and still beyond handsome at 67. This film though is not fantastical, although it tries its darnedest to be whimsical.
It's a kind of a heist film but with Gere playing Norman a hapless fixer who seems to serve no purpose in life except to introduce people to each other in order to pitch his financial schemes.
While all the characters are well drawn and it's an interesting idea, everything doesn't pull together at the end and you are left thinking 'so what?' Possibly that was the message of the film, but I don't think film audiences want to think that after coughing up hard-earned bucks. Plus with Gere as Norman, they've gone to great measures to uglify him, so we can't even count on that.
So this is more the rise and tragic fall of a film that could have scaled above the pack but is only okay.
Norman Oppenheimer is a small time operator who befriends a young politician at a low point in his life. Three years later, when the politician becomes an influential world leader, Norman's life dramatically changes for better and worse. Starring Richard Gere, Lior Ashkenazi, Michael Sheen, Steve Buscemi, Hank Azaria and Directed by Joseph Cedar.
PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES ✪✪✪ ½ Opened May 25th
Honestly I thought, why are they are going back into these rough seas yet again? Oh yeah, Hollywood gold!
Why build a whole new ship when you can raise the one sitting on the ocean floor to sail away again? This is the new Hollywood of raising shipwrecks and pleasure cruisers from the bottom of the barrel to make money. So the invite to the preview didn't fill me with great anticipation.
However I was surprised to find that indeed there was a fresh wind breathed into these ragged sails and the film certainly floats. (Excuse all the puns but a reviewer has to have a little fun occasionally.) The producer Jerry Bruckheimer has commented on sailing this little black pearl once more, that if they went again with the franchise they needed to take it back to its swashbuckling roots and bring back the fun and romance that had sorely slipped beneath the waves after the first film.
Norwegian directors Espen Sandberg and Joachim Rønning achieved this by sticking to what we loved about the first: pace, humor and some pretty scary characters. Javier Badem playing evil undead Captain Salaza,r and his crew with their waving CGI hair, cracked faces and ghostly limbs and faces, certainly will give the younger ones nightmares. Jeffrey Rush is back as Captain Barbossa and of course Johnny Depp and his crew, including the monkey. Brenton Thwaites, the young Queensland actor plays the lead Henry Turner. His mainsail is certainly on the rise in Hollywood after appearing in Son of a Gun (filmed in WA), Malifecent, Gods of Egypt and The Giver.
All in all, a good blockbuster film with some seriously great stunts and CGI. Climb aboard, don't over analyze and you'll enjoy the ride. Oh, and in case you're wondering, yes, there's a number six sailing to a cinema near you in the future!
Thrust into an all-new adventure, a down-on-his-luck Capt. Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) feels the winds of ill-fortune blowing even more strongly when deadly ghost sailors led by his old nemesis, the evil Capt. Salazar (Javier Bardem), escape from the Devil's Triangle. Jack's only hope of survival lies in seeking out the legendary Trident of Poseidon, but to find it, he must forge an uneasy alliance with a brilliant and beautiful astronomer and a headstrong young man in the British navy. Also Starring Geoffrey Rush, Brenton Thwaites and Kaya Scodelario. Previous films 2003, 2006, 2007, 2011.
THE SENSE OF AN ENDING (not reviewed) Opened May 25th
I didn't get to this one but it looks good and is based on a novel.
A man becomes haunted by his past and is presented with a mysterious legacy that causes him to re-think his current situation in life. Starring Michelle Dockery, Charlotte Rampling, and Emily Mortimer. Directed by Ritesh Batra
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