Yes they look innocent but wait until they do the ‘internal bleeding’ dance by jumping up and down on the dying bodies of their enemies.
An strange mixture of fairytale, realism, innocence and violence. This fantasy-drama tells the story of teenagers Violet (Alexia Kepel) and Daisy (Sairose Ronan) who work together for their boss as contract killers number 8 and 9 respectively. The lower the number the more people they have killed.
However their next job is an unusual one, they need the payment to be able to buy the new Barbie Sunday dresses (every girl wants one apparently) but the man they have been sent to kill (James Gandolfini) seems to want to be killed. It confuses them and they want to find out why. Even more confusing he’s nice to them and bakes them cookies.
There are worse complications: killers from a rival crew have also been sent to kill him and will be arriving soon, and ominously the lethal killer No.1 is lurking nearby to make sure they get the job done.
An enjoyable film, well acted and different enough from the norm to be interesting and the naivety of the girls often sets up some unexpected events. I did feel there could have been a bit more to it though. There’s a lot of set-up and then it just ends. It also seems to be aching to tell you something more about Violet’s previous partner Rose, but never actually does, leaving you to guess. Having said that each of the main protagonists discovers something about themselves that they didn’t know before, and has changed in some way by the time the films ends.
Mickey (Amy Adams) and Gus (Clint Eastwood) keep a close eye on the action. The title of the film refers to how some otherwise great hitters in baseball can struggle with a curve ball.
Slow and predictable are good words to describe this relationship-drama. That said it’s also a very well made film with impressive acting and a focus on human relationships. It just falls down because there is a general lack of drama or any events that provoke a strong emotion.
Gus Lobel (Clint Eastwood) is a retired baseball player now working as a baseball scout. His eyesight is failing him and his position is under threat from a young whizzkid (Matthew Lillard) who uses a computer based scouting system. Concerned about this, his boss Pete (John Goodman) persuades Gus’s daughter Mickey (Amy Adams) to join him on his next scouting trip. They currently have a tempestuous relationship but as well as helping Gus (not that he wants her help but being his daughter she too is an expert on baseball) it’s a chance for them to get closer.
For Adams it’s also an opportunity to find a potential love interest in another scout, Johnny (Justin Timberlake). Sadly here in likeable but ineffectual mode. Credit to Timberlake though because realising it’s not possible to to shoehorn a song in (Southland Tales, Bad Teacher etc), he does get some dancing in. “Are you sure you haven’t done this before?” asks Adams. “Never” says Timberlake looking suspiciously competent.
5/10 The good is balanced out by bad for an average mark.
It says something about the Tube that no one takes much notice when you dress up as a dog.
The story of Tim (Domhnall Gleeson) who uses his special gift of being able to travel back in time to engineer the perfect relationship with his dream girl Mary (Rachel McAdams).
I started watching this with a sense of dread – worried it could be another Groundhog Day. Don’t get me wrong, that was a good film at the time but several films have since copied the concept and I don’t think I could have stomached another one.
Fortunately Tim can go back in time whenever he wants, cleverly sidestepping the dull repeating-the-whole-day-again thing. Also since his method of time travel – finding a dark place, clenching his fists, and picturing the event in his life that he wants to go back to – is clearly ridiculous, you never take it seriously enough to question it. However having said that, there was a beach walk that Tim takes with his father (Bill Nighy) towards the end of the film. This was clearly repeatable at any time. So why not any other meeting with his father? (you’ll know what I mean if you’ve seen the film).
It’s clever and funny, and being a Richard Curtis film, has a fairly safe warm feel to it. However there is an edgier side too, with the spectre of addiction, illness and the death of loved ones creeping in. There are flaws though : in the final section there was just too much cloying sentimentality between Tim and his father. Also after Tim and Mary have children much of the fun goes out of the film – although being cynical you could say this mirrors real life.
Not perfect but funny, warm, and intriguing. 7/10