Film Review: Three billboards outside Ebbing Missouri

I so wanted to be able to say that Martin McDonagh has performed a hat trick with his most recent feature film.

Thankfully, I can. Mr McDonagh has written and directed one of the best films of 2017, with the actress Frances McDormand, giving a powerhouse performance, and almost certainly ensuring an Oscar nomination for her role.

This is a dark comedy, but its not one for beginners to the genre. Ms McDormand's character, Mildred Hayes, will have you laughing one second and tearing up the next. The drama in this film is real and palpable and you can almost touch the emotions happening up there on the screen.

Sam Rockwell is almost unrecognisable in this film, as the policeman Dixon, who at first glance seems simple enough, but there are many layers to his character that are revealed throughout. If the Academy has any clue as to what constitutes a masterly performance, he'll be up there holding the statuette alongside Ms McDormand.

Similarly, Woody Harrelson, Abbie Cornish, Cale…

To Possess or impersonate

For every sci-fi and supernatural series out there, there are at least one or two instances of a character being possessed by someone else or something else. Or someone doing a fine job of impersonating someone else.

So here, is a list of some of the standout performances. Major spoilers ahead. You have been warned!

In True Blood, there were some "skin walkers" those who could take on the form of another person. Which meant the actor portraying Sam Merlotte, (Sam Trammell) had some extra work when he had to give the realistic portrayal of when his half brother - Tommy was pretending to be him.

And of course there was the stunning performances by the late great Nelsan Ellis, when his character Lafayette, was possessed by first whatever Maryann was into, the witch Marnie, a young black girl from the past, Jesus's family member, Sookie's late father, he was consistent and impressive with all the extra characters he took on during the show's tenure.
And let's not…

TV Series Review: Strike

For as long as there have been mysteries, there have been people to solve them. Private detectives, police people, consulting detectives, army types, Mi5, Mi6, spooks, G-Men, CIA, its easy to get lost in the myriad of them all.

Which makes it all the harder for a new one to stand out from the rest.

Cormoran Strike, ex-army, fits the bill of the usual with an interesting character and mysterious backstory that gets tantalisingly dripped out and sprinkled in with the case of the week, but what makes this character different and stand out from the rest, for me at least, is his sense of humour.

Plenty of detective films/series have one, but sometimes it just the plot with the comedic elements, or the characters themselves.

Not both, like this one. And another element that goes hand in hand - the humanity. Both Strike and his new receptionist/assistant, Robin Ellacott - have it, but not overly so, or barely showing.

Its a real person, people that they're portraying here and that is ref…

Film Review: The family Fang

Dysfunctional families have long since been a staple of the cinema, the history of film is littered with them, for the very good reason that they're popular, funny, entertaining, and occasionally one or two made with a few teary moments that really do cut to the bone and make some interesting observations that stick with you long after the credits have given their moment of much needed relief.

This one, is most definitely of the latter, an unique film among others that definitely deserves some accolades.

Jason Bateman for directing and starring in a story that involves a concept that is both divisive and debate worthy.

A family that creates and participates in 'art pieces' - ordinary situations that have a dark spin to provoke a response.

Jason Bateman and Nicole Kidman are the siblings to parents Christopher Walken & Maryann Plunkett (in the flashbacks, Jason Butler Harner & Kathryn Hahn) and in present time, they're both getting on with their lives, with vary…

Article on those who scare

There are plenty of scary characters out there in the films and tv series. They can be the good guys or the bad guys, or even both. Not just in the horror genre, but in the rest as well.

But there is a smaller grouping, those of the characters that really make your hair stand on end, shivers down your spine and make you properly tense until they meet a satisfying end that ensures that they won't suddenly make a comeback later.

Within this group, there are some actors who portray them, who manage to not only to scare the viewers, but also their fellow actors on set. Despite them being the ones that know full well how the story ends and if their characters live to fight another day.

So, let's honour a few of those who have the presence to wet the pants of those on set.

The late (great) Heath Ledger. While on set, Michael Caine (a screen veteran) hadn't yet met Mr Ledger before, so when he comes to the penthouse and performed, Mr Caine was frightened to an extent that he forg…

Film Review: Dunkirk

Searching this title on IMDb last night, returned more than one match. Not all that surprising really, the evacuation at Dunkirk, if not just a great turning point in World War II, definitely had its impact on not only the soldiers, but the people back at home, also embroiled in the conflict.

Invasion was a very real fear for the Allies, especially after so many countries were invaded and taken by the Germans before and after Poland was and war was officially declared.

England stood very much alone and having allied soldiers - English, French, Indian - trapped on the beach in Northern France, they were in very real trouble. Understating things by a lot, but yes.

Making a film about this event, seems more and more obvious, all the usual tropes and wanted elements of the story are there, and to make it better, its based on a true story.

I had very high expectations going into the film and they were all met. Christopher Nolan proves once again he is a master behind the camera, and at cho…

Film Review: War on Everyone

The current trend nowadays leans towards a politically correct and less offensive frame of mind. The benefits are massive, we don't offend, we aren't insensitive to different races, cultures, religions, ways of thinking.  There are those from a previous generation who still feel its okay to do that, but aside from an orangeman in a white house, not many have a public sphere to shout their opinions. 
That said, like the comedian Omid Djalili has said in this video, from 9.51 to 10.08 its still funny. 

And like other quality black comedy films, War on Everyone is not there to offend, but to make people laugh with the lunacy and madness of it all.  John Michael McDonagh, the man behind such films as Ned Kelly, Calvary and The Guard has created a mad rush of mayhem and chaos as only he can. And he doesn't disappoint with this one.
The two leads, Alexander SkarsgĂ„rd and Michael Pena portray Terry and Bob respectively, two corrupt cops in Albuquerque, New Mexico, who's blat…