Leonardo DiCaprio

The Wolf of Wall Street – A Review

the wolf of wall street

Now, I’ve been looking forward to The Wolf of Wall Street for some time. Leonardo DiCaprio is one of the most consistently brilliant actors working today. The ongoing internet amusement over his lack of an Oscar (a subject on which I have partaken myself)  is a testament to the injustice of it, and there is a sense, a real sense, that this at last could be his meal ticket.

The film itself has had criticism from some junctures on the basis that it glorifies the main character’s hedonistic behaviour. But given that it’s an adaptation of real events, there’s little which can be done surely. Besides, I don’t want my films to be a moralising headache. I can take my own messages, thank you very much.

Not to mention that this is Martin Scorsese we’re talking about. And The Wolf of Wall Street has been described as Wall Street meets Goodfellas. So…yeah

Read on…

The Great Gatsby – A Review

the great gatsby

The Great Gatsby is, for me, one of those books which I read at a very formative point in my life, and which deeply affected my view of fiction, art and the world in general. In short, I loved it. It reached me in a rare way that opened my mind to the true potential of fiction and prose, which made me dream.

So Baz Luhrmann’s film adaptation always had some scarily big shoes to fill. And it was, probably, always doomed not to quite live up to that initial experience. But fortune favours the bold, after all.

Read on…

Django Unchained – A Review

django unchained

Before I start this review, I reckon it’s worth highlighting that I am far from a sold up, Kool-Aid drinking member of the Tarantino cult. Yes, I thought Pulp Fiction was genius, but sadly its a height that he hasn’t really scaled since. It was Kill Bill which broke the illusion for me — a tiresomely long two-film epic, desperately light on plot and looking like a four hour masturbatory fight scene.

But, I am delighted to say that Django Unchained has me convinced once again.

The film follows title character Django (Jamie Foxx), a slave who after being bought and freed by dentist-turned-bounty-hunter Dr King Schultz (Chistopher Walz) becomes a bounty hunter himself in order to find his wife, Broomhilda (Kerry Washington). That quest leads the bounty hunters to Broomhilda’s owner Calvin J. Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio) in a typically Tarantino-style violent encounter.

I know, it sounds completely bananas. But it works, beautifully, largely due to top quality acting. Leonardo DiCaprio is someone whose acting talent I have felt has been waiting for an opportunity to bloom. I have high hopes that his title role in The Great Gatsby later this year will see such a blooming, and they’ve only been increased in the light of Django.

Samuel L. Jackson’s turn as Candie’s house slave was also an excellent performance. Variously sympathetic and detestable, it was another performance to really use all of his talent and abilities. And not a single motherf**king snake was seen.

It was definitely a violent film; gunfights slick with blood, and a key plot point revolving around gladiator-style slave deathmatches. That said, there wasn’t really any sense of glorification, and it seemed to portray the grittiness of the times without letting it weigh too heavily on the story.

I really can’t find a fault with it. It was fun, engaging, and a pleasure to watch. If Tarantino did more of this and less self-indulgent nonsense, I could see myself joining his legion of adoring fans. The interesting thing will be seeing how it stands up against Lincoln in dealing with broadly similar themes from a (hopefully) different perspective.

But I would definitely recommend Django Unchained. It reminded me that film can be serious and entirely entertaining at the same time.

Inception Review…

So, I saw inception on Saturday. And I wrote a review on the way home. I was going to post it on here, when I’d edited it up on Sunday morning, and left a Facebook status to that extent. But, as they say, the best made plans of mice and men, often go awry.

When I woke on Sunday, I found a Facebook message from Tony Lee (head honcho of Pigasus Press and DVD reviewer for TTA Press’ magazines), inviting me to instead submit the review to science-fiction magazine-website The Zone. So I did.

So if any of you want to know how good Inception was, then please take a look at my newly-published review, on the site!