I've seen a few movies in the past few days,
thought I would share my thoughts on my New Year flicks.
The Last Samurai, (2003). 7/10
Directed by Edward Zick and starring Tom Cruise
this is a pretty damn good movie. Although at times you get the feeling that the
film is trying too hard to epic, sweeping and grand the film does manage to tell
an interesting story and provides more than one exciting battle sequence (a
ninja attack on the Samurai village is excellent). The story is familiar to
anyone who has seen Dances With Wolves. Tom Cruise plays an embittered US
Captain whom is hired by the Japanese empire to train their army to take on
the Samurai rebels. However the army is forced into combat too early and are
easily defeated. Cruise is captured by the Samurai and through time he grows to
respect his captors. Cruise is good and I also liked Billy Connelly, even though
his Irish accent was deplorable. The real star for me was Ken Watanabe as the
lead Samurai. An outside bet for a supporting actor nomination I would think.
Overly familiar and forced the film may be, but the quality of the battle
sequences, the intriguing story and some fine acting make for a fun time at the
A Night at the Roxbury, (1998). 7/10
Based on a pretty funny SNL skit, A Night at the
Roxbury sees the Butabi brothers Doug (Chris Kattan) and Steve (Will Ferrell)
trying to get into the hottest nightclub in town. They are of course pathetic
losers and are turned away every night by the bouncer (Michael Clarke Duncan).
They finally get in and hilarity ensues as they try to set up their own club.
This film was ripped apart by critics upon release, but like another film that
was given similar treatment, Tommy Boy, I thought this was funny stuff. It's a
light and well written comedy. I picked this up for the Will Ferrell factor and
he not only stars, but also writes. One to check out if your a fan of SNL or
In America, (2003). 9/10
This is an amazing little film. Touching and
incredibly charming. Jim Sheridan wrote this film with the help of his
daughters. It is based on many of his experiences when he was an illegal
immigrant in New York during the 80's. The movie is however based in a
contempary setting and is told from the perspective of a little 12 year old
girl. She and her family have left Ireland and moved to New York as a fresh
start. The parents recently lost a son to a brain tumour, so the move is as much
to move on from this tragic incident as it is to launch the fathers hopeful
stage acting career. They move into a crappy Hells Kitchen apartment and try to
get by. Things are complicated when the mother becomes pregnant and things get
Whilst it might sound like this is a dark and
gritty film that is doing the film a disservice. The film is as much about
hope as it is about hardship. The acting in the film is universally brilliant,
special mention must go to the two small girls, they are just amazing. I also
like Paddy Considine as the father. He has an amazing scene with Djimon Hounsou,
who plays their neighbour who initially is reclusive, but grows close to the
family. Incidentally I would like to think that Hounsou could be in with a shout
of a supporting actor nomination.
There are enchanting moments littered all through
this film and it lifts the heart at many times. The ending is tearful, but at
the same time immensely hopeful. My call as the dark horse of this years awards
season, In America deserves to be seen by as big an audience as
"Are you seeing planes? Is your name Tattoo?
Because I swear to God, you're living on Fantasy Island!"
Chris Kattan as Doug Butabi in A Night at the
Outgoing mail is certified Virus
Checked by AVG anti-virus system (http://www.grisoft.com).
Version: 6.0.557 /
Virus Database: 349 - Release Date: 30/12/2003