Friday, September 23, 2011

Movie: Layer Cake (3.5/5 stars) (2004)

Layer Cake is marginally a gangster movie, even though the gangsters in it don't think of themselves as gangsters - they are businessmen who happen to deal in cocaine etc...

Staring Daniel Craig as an unnamed protagonist (billed as XXXX in the credits) being pulled on all sides by many hostile forces, Layer Cake is a superbly crafted, cleverly written, somewhat sanitized view into the English underworld. Along with Craig is a solid list of supporting actors, all excellent in their roles. George Harris plays Morty, a likable and friendly gangster with a nasty temper who is XXXX's link to the criminal world. Colm Meany plays Gene, a long time toughie who is super-loyal to their drug-lord boss and Michael Gambon, playing Eddie Temple, an even higher-up, scary, gangster who pokes his fingers in to stir things up. Along with them is a long, long list of smaller roles, almost always funny and entertaining.

Music, directing, acting, writing are all finely polished here. There is little to fault the movie on and I found myself entertained the entire way though. I have a thing against drug movies, but even so, it is hard not to like this. The plot is constantly twisting and finely knotted at the end and one gentle tug unravels it all in front of your eyes for a satisfying climax. I am surprised I've never watched it before now and only got it through a friend's recommendation. Well worth your time.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Movie: Bridesmaids (4.5/5 stars) (2011)

Kristen Wiig plays "Annie", a bride's best friend and her life just isn't going the way she wants it to. It opens with a sex scene which is completely crude, embarrassing and ridiculous, but hilarious as well, which sets the scene for the rest of the movie. The humour is very similar to what you see in "The 40 Year Old Virgin", which I found equally funny and worth watching, although be aware of the crude factor, which is high in both movies.

The big indicator that the movie was great was discussing it all the way back from the movie theater in the car and re-living some of the funniest scenes in the movie. I live 20 minutes away from this particular theatre (Lower Hutt btw) as well, so we aren't talking 5 minutes!

Both Rose Byrne and Chris O'Dowd are great in their supporting roles - consistently funny and great on the screen.
Well worth your time to watch - I enjoyed it from start to finish!