Posts Tagged ‘crime’

In a nutshell: East London meets Wild West

Popcorn rating: 4/5

They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions. And you’ll certainly be left with that lasting impression after watching Wild Bill.

British actor Dexter Fletcher’s first stint in the director’s chair sees Charlie Creed-Miles play the aforenamed anti-hero. Bill Hayward is out on patrol after eight years in prison for a list of convictions as long as a shopping list.

Bill comes home to find the same hoodlums running the estate and his sons Dean, 15, and Jimmy, 11, fending for themselves after their mum ran off to Spain. At first his natural instincts kick in and Bill wants to make a similar escape to Scotland, but surprising his sons and even himself, he soon finds himself well equipped to be a dad and even commits to a low paid job over the perks of crime. However, it isn’t long before his old gang and Social Services at his neck and chaos commences…

Sure, Bill wants to change, or at least escape from his old life, but there are insurmountable obstacles in between him and that fresh start. Fear not though; this is no misery saga. Fletcher weaves his magic with storytelling, somehow managing to merge comedy with a gritty drama that evolves throughout its runtime.

Although Wild Bill is set in troubled neighbourhood in east London some tense scenes are deliberately filmed in a Western style adding to the story’s unique charm. Also look out for an extended cameo by Andy Serkis, who is currently busy working on The Hobbit.

Ultimately, Wild Bill reminds you that hope can be found in depths of despair and although you can’t expect the happiest of endings that leaves you feeling good.

Reviewer: David Morgan

In a nutshell: Hollywood’s take on Larsson’s dark masterpiece

Popcorn rating: 4/5

Who would have thought a series of novels by a late Swedish author could have caused such a stir?  More than 20 million people have read Stieg Larsson’s Millennium trilogy and the original films proved to be among Sweden’s most successful.

Now it’s Hollywood’s turn at the girl with that tattoo, with David Fincher in the director’s chair.

Many have questioned the purpose of remaking The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.  The 2009 original directed by Niels Arden Oplev was critically acclaimed and of its place . The remake will therefore no doubt spark a debate about our reluctance to read subtitles.

Nevertheless, Fincher is a perfect fit for the dark yet captivating subject matter, channelling his experience from his previous thrillers like Seven and Zodiac.

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo tells the story of disgraced journalist Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig) as he investigates the disappearance of a teenager some forty years ago.  He is aided by the enigmatic computer-hacker Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara) in the seach to uncover secrets which will ultimately threaten their lives.

A word of advice is needed for those new to the Millennium story – be prepared.  The core of the film is a classic ‘whodunnit’ but there’s a darker edge to the film with many scenes of sexual violence. This is an important addition, helping to shape the plot and characters, but it is graphic and abhorrent.

Indeed, the original name for the story is Men Who Hate Women and the book’s themes were inspired when a teenage Larsson witnessed a rape and was too frightened to intervene.

But this should not put anyone off because the film features redemption on many levels, particularly for anti-hero Lisbeth.  The character, one of cinema’s most interesting in years, is played almost perfectly by newcomer Rooney Mara.  It is almost on a par with Noomi Rapace’s groundbreaking portrayal in the Swedish versions.

Mara introduces a vulnerable side to Lisbeth – a welcome new dimension to the damaged character. Daniel Craig also works hard to hang up his 007 tuxedo to play an everyman.

Although it’s a little jarring and confusing to see Americans playing Swedish characters it’s worth suspending your disbelief as this is worthy adaptation.

Reviewer: DavidMorgan