Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

This is a superb movie. Truly superb. Gary Oldman leads an all star cast and takes us on a gradual climb through John Le Carre’s story. There is a mole in the circus, or so the Controller (played by John Hurt) says. It is up to Smiley (played by the aforementioned Oldman) to find this mole who is selling secrets to the Russians.

The movie builds slowly and unravels magnificently, a spy thriller at its best. We are brought into this world and gripped by its intrigue. With a cast that includes Mark Strong, Ciaran Hinds and Collin Firth, it is a stylish and exciting watch. This is a work of art and should not be missed.

Midnight in Paris

Do not suppose you have to like Paris to enjoy this movie, although it did bring to me a sense of nostalgia that I never thought I’d have upon seeing the familiar sights again.

That said, Woody Allen did a great job on this. Owen Wilson is the screenwriter and aspiring novelist looking for meaning in the streets of Paris, while trying to convince his fiancee, played by Rachel McAdams, of the charm of the city. One night, on one of his walks, he discovers a mystique that allows Paris to become his own. We are transported to a moment that our protagonist has declared to be his ideal time and place, and from here he finds adventure, romance, and a better understanding of the desires that prompt us to want to escape out of ourselves. Even for just a moment.

With an all star cast of very likeable characters, it is escapism at it’s best, and perfectly set in gay Paris!

Warrior

I suppose some are sceptical about going to see a fight movie, considering we had The Fighter last year. You would be foolish to judge too soon.

This movie is more about mixed martial arts as opposed to strictly boxing, although the movie does not focus on this. The story revolves around two brothers and their estranged father, played wonderfully by Nick Nolte. The brothers both enter the mixed martial arts tournament, called Sparta, to win the prize money, although for different reasons. The younger brother, a hot blooded young man with anger issues, fights to win and does it well, while his elder brother is the underdog. A physics teacher with a family to support and without the killer instinct required to go up against world class champions.

This movie has a lot of heart. In my humble opinion, Nick Nolte stole the show with powerful performances that left you shaken. He is on point as the recovering alcoholic father trying to win back the affections of his sons while trying to make sure they succeed.

This movie is recommended, if only to see how the greats do it.

Captain America: The First Avenger

This is an origins movie, like so much of Marvel’s latest ventures. It links it with some of its other successful franchises (Ironman), just like it did with the movie Thor, to give us the idea of how it all works.

It works well. Based in the 1940s during the war with Germany, it sees the real bad guy as the organisation Hydra, as opposed to the historical Hitler, although all based in Germany. Chris Evans is in good form as the all American Hero. His rise from Geek to hunk was impressive and might set many a female heart aflutter with just one glance.

Hugo Weaving as Red Skull did not disappoint, doing what he does best with precision and style. For all super hero buffs out there, be relieved and thrilled in equal measure. Especially with an ending that puts us straight into the 21st century and also into the beginnings of a possible sequel!

Transformers; Dark of the moon

First of all, i have to say, it didn’t suck.

Considering how disastrous the last one was (apparently it did well in the box office), this more than made up for it. There was bad ass robot action, wonky accents on the little ones, and enough destruction to rival any that Micheal Bay and Spielberg may dream up again. Shia le Beouf was acceptably annoying, but we could take it. This revamp was a treat for sci fi enthusiasts and those with Transformer action figures stashed somewhere safe.

Though, the biggest success was the casting of the Burberry and Victoria Secret supermodel, Rosie Huntington Whitely. Apart from the fact that she looked awesome and was allowed to keep her British accent, once we got a look at those (wtf??) lips, au naturel by the way, we promptly forgot the other one that was fired for being that annoying. I forget her name. She could do the job, and she did it well.

This movie was over two hours long. Optimus Prime and the Autobots had Megatron and the Deceptocons to deal with, as well as a new threat in the form of Sentinel Prime, rescued from the dark of the moon, only to betray his human and robot counterparts with nefarious schemes of his own.

The action was packed. Bombs blew up buildings, humans were spontaneously combusted, and alien weapons were given to the puny humans to wield, with pleasurable results.

Worth a watch, if just to see things blow up. With the original cast joined by John Malcovich, Patrick Dempsey, and Ken Jeong (Hangover & Hangover II), it’s kinda fun.