Triple 9 (2016)

Triple 9
Director: John Hillcoat
Writer: Matt Cook
Cast: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Casey Affleck, Anthony Mackie, Woody Harrelson, Aaron Paul, Kate Winslet, Gal Gadot, Norman Reedus, Teresa Palmer, Michael Kenneth Williams, Clifton Collins Jr.
Seen on: 21.5.2016

Plot:
Michael (Chiwetel Ejiofor) used to be in the special forces, but now he works as a private contractor. And currently he’s been contracted by Irina (Kate Winslet) who runs the Russian mob in Atlanta. Although Michael is not particularly happy with his assignment, she forces his hand to pull off an impossible heist. Together with his crew, a mix of dirty cops and professional criminals, they realize that the only chance they have to pull it off is if they kill a cop as a distraction for their heist. But things don’t go as planned.

Triple 9 was one of the quietest releases ever, especially considering cast and crew involved in the film. After having seen it, though, it seems pretty clear that they simply didn’t want to waste any more money on a movie that fails in almost everything.

triple9 Continue reading

Lawless (2012)

Lawless
Director: John Hillcoat
Writer: Nick Cave
Based on: Matt Bondurant‘s novel The Wettest Country in the World
Cast: Shia LaBeouf, Tom Hardy, Jason Clarke, Jessica Chastain, Guy Pearce, Mia Wasikowska, Dane DeHaan, Gary Oldman
Part of: /slash Filmfestival (it was the surprise movie)

Plot:
In the depression era, the Bondurant brothers, Jack (Shia LaBeouf), Forrest (Tom Hardy) and Howard (Jason Clarke), are successful bootleggers who have an understanding with the local police and a very good reputation. But then a new deputy – Charlie Rakes (Guy Pearce) – enters the scene. When Rakes doesn’t get what he wants, the pressure rises for the Bondurants. At the same time Jack, the youngest and softest, desperately wants to prove his worth and starts business with the mobster Floyd Banner (Gary Oldman).

Lawless was really great. Basically my only point of contention is that Gary Oldman was in it for a few minutes only (you can never have enough Gary Oldman).

Continue reading

Red Dead Redemption: The Man from Blackwater (2010)

Before they showed The Road at the /slash Filmfestival, they showed John Hillcoat‘s short movie Red Dead Redemption: The Man from Blackwater.

Plot:
John Marston (Rob Wiethoff) is a cowboy who used to be a bandit but is now hunting his fromer partner in crime.

Red Dead Redemption is a computer game and the movie was made from the in-game engine. That goes a long way explaining the disjointed nature of this short film, but unfortunately it doesn’t make it any better.

Continue reading

The Road (2009)

[The first movie of the /slash Filmfestival.*]

The Road is John Hillcoat‘s adaptation of Cormac McCarthy‘s book (which I’ve reviewed here). It stars Viggo Mortensen, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Charlize Theron, Robert Duvall and Guy Pearce.

Plot:
A man (Viggo Mortensen) and a boy (Kodi Smit-McPhee) make their way through a post-apocalyptic landscape. All the plants and animals have died, it’s cold and dirty and they are hungry and all alone. But a promise the man made to his wife (Charlize Theron) keeps them going, trying to reach the coast.

The Road is a good movie with some faults. It lacks the claustrophobic intensity of the original but replaces them with great cinematography and generally good performances.

Continue reading