Glassland (2014)

Glassland
Director: Gerard Barrett
Writer: Gerard Barrett
Cast: Jack Reynor, Toni Collette, Will Poulter, Michael Smiley, Harry Nagle
Seen on: 2.4.2020

Plot:
John (Jack Reynor) is a taxi driver. He lives with his mother Jean (Toni Collette). Jean is an alcoholic and John doesn’t really know how to take care of her anymore. After he has to bring her to the hospital and the doctors inform him of how bad her state really is, he know that he will have to get her sober. But programs that could help require money, money he doesn’t really have.

Glassland is a small film in the best way: it doesn’t need much to tell its story and it tells it well. Unfortunately, the film steps out of its own perimeter and tries to go big in the end – and that just doesn’t really work. Still, up until that part, it’s very much worth seeing.

The film poster showing Jean (Toni Collette) leaning against John (Jack Reynor), Shane (Will Poulter) standing behind them.
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Come to Daddy (2019)

Come to Daddy
Director: Ant Timpson
Writer: Toby Harvard
Cast: Elijah Wood, Stephen McHattie, Garfield Wilson, Madeleine Sami, Martin Donovan, Michael Smiley, Simon Chin, Ona Grauer
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 22.9.2019
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Plot:
Norval (Elijah Wood) doesn’t have a great life. He lives with his mother, struggles with alcoholism and his life just doesn’t seem to go anywhere. That’s when a letter from his father reaches him – the father he hasn’t seen since he was a kid. He asks Norval to come for a visit, so he packs his bag and sets off, hoping to reconnect. But when he sees Gordon (Stephen McHattie), it quickly becomes obvious that the bonding that Norval was hoping for probably isn’t going to happen. And then things get worse.

Come to Daddy starts off okay and then gets increasingly more boring and I grew ever more disinterested in any of what was happening, especially since it is a film that is very invested in toxic masculinity. No, thank you.

The film poster showing the drawing of a glass of whiskey with two ice cubes. the top of the ice cubes are the cliffs in a lake with a house overlooking it.
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Free Fire (2016)

Free Fire
Director: Ben Wheatley
Writer: Amy Jump, Ben Wheatley
Cast: Enzo CilentiSam RileyMichael SmileyBrie LarsonCillian MurphyArmie HammerSharlto CopleyBabou CeesayNoah TaylorJack Reynor
Seen on: 17.9.2017
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Plot:
Bernie (Enzo Cilento) and his brother Stevo (Sam Riley) are meeting with IRA guys Chris (Cillian Murphy) and Frank (Michael Smiley) and their American contact Justine (Brie Larson). They are preparing for a weapons deal mediated by Ord (Armie Hammer) who got them in touch with South African arms dealer Vernon (Sharlto Copley) and his group – Martin (Babou Ceesay), Harry (Jack Reynor) and Gordon (Noah Taylor). But things quickly go sideways and turn very bloody.

Free Fire starts off strong enough, but after a while it becomes so repetitive, it loses all tempo and becomes nothing but dreary.

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Rogue One (2016)

Rogue One
Director: Gareth Edwards
Writer: Chris Weitz, Tony Gilroy
Cast: Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Alan Tudyk, Donnie Yen, Wen Jiang, Ben Mendelsohn, Guy Henry, Forest Whitaker, Riz Ahmed, Mads Mikkelsen, Jimmy Smits, James Earl Jones, Daniel Mays, Geraldine James, Warwick Davis, Michael Smiley
Part of/Sidequel/Prequel to: Star Wars
Seen on: 18.12.2016

Plot:
There are rumors that the Empire is building a great new weapon, called the Death Star. The Rebel Alliance has caught wind of that and hatches a plan to steal the plans for that weapon as they heard that there was a structural weakness that they may use to destroy it. They believe that Jyn (Felicity Jones) may be the key to success as her father (Mads Mikkelsen) seems to be involved with the planning. But Jyn hasn’t seen her father in 15 years and she’s also not all that interested in helping the Alliance. But they do reach a deal and Jyn finds herself accompanying pilot Cassian (Diego Luna) on the mission.

I will probably never be super excited about Star Wars – it’s just not my franchise. But I did enjoy Rogue One a whole lot, despite a couple of lengths it suffered from.

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The Lobster (2015)

The Lobster
Director: Yorgos Lanthimos
Writer: Yorgos Lanthimos, Efthymis Filippou
Cast: Colin FarrellRachel Weisz, John C. ReillyBen Whishaw, Léa Seydoux, Michael Smiley, Olivia Colman, Ariane Labed, Angeliki Papoulia, Jessica BardenAshley Jensen
Seen on: 15.2.2015

Plot:
David (Colin Farrell) was recently divorced. As a single person, he has to check into the Hotel and find a new suitable partner in 45 days. If he doesn’t, he will be turned into an animal – like his brother was turned into a dog – and if nobody is there to take him in, he will be set loose in the woods surrounding the Hotel. So David tries to find somebody who is like him, but that’s easier said than done.

My history with Lanthimos’ movies has been mixed so far but The Lobster might be his best film yet. It’s certainly his most accessible film, although it is still very, very weird and not easy to get into, and my personal favorite.

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A Field in England (2013)

A Field in England
Director: Ben Wheatley
Writer: Ben Wheatley, Amy Jump
Cast: Reece Shearsmith, Michael Smiley, Julian Barratt, Richard Glover, Peter Ferdinando, Ryan Pope, Sara Dee
Part of: /slash Filmfestival

Plot:
A group of soldiers, among them alchemist Whitehead (Reece Shearsmith), flee from a battle in the English Civil War into a seemingly empty field where they are captured by O’Neil (Michael Smiley) who is looking for gold and wants to use Whitehead for that. But things are not at all simple in that field.

Ben Wheatley’s movies and I, we don’t have a very loving relationship. But I think that I might have likes A Field in England even less than Kill List. I didn’t think that was possible but this movie was just crappy.

afieldinengland

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The World’s End (2013)

The World’s End
Director: Edgar Wright
Writer: Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg
Cast: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Paddy ConsidineMartin Freeman, Rafe SpallEddie MarsanRosamund PikePierce Brosnan, Bill Nighy, Michael Smiley, Steve Oram, Alice Lowe, David Bradley, Julia Deakin, Reece Shearsmith, Peter Serafinowicz, Mark Heap, Ben Whishaw (at least I’m pretty damn certain it was him)
Part of: The Cornetto Trilogy
[Here are my reviews of the other two movies in the trilogy.]

Plot:
When they were still young and living in Newton Haven, Gary King (Simon Pegg) and his friends Andy (Nick Frost), Peter (Eddie Marsan), Ollie (Martin Freeman) and Steven (Paddy Considine) tried themselves at a pub crawl and came short. 20 years later, Gary is still obsessed with the idea of finishing and convinces the old gang to come. But things are a little weird in Newton Haven – weirder than in other small towns.

Since I love both Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, I was very worried that it this film wouldn’t be able to fulfill my expectations. But fortunately it did. It was awesome.

The-Worlds-End

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Re-Watch: Shaun of the Dead (2004)

Shaun of the Dead
Director: Edgar Wright
Writer: Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg
Cast: Simon Pegg, Nick FrostKate AshfieldLucy Davis, Dylan MoranPenelope Wilton, Peter Serafinowicz, Rafe Spall, Bill Nighy, Jessica Hynes, Martin Freeman, Tamsin Greig, Matt Lucas, Chris Martin, Rob Brydon, Joe Cornish, Mark Gatiss, Michael Smiley, David Walliams, Julia Deakin, Reece Shearsmith
Part of: The Cornetto Trilogy

Plot:
Shaun (Simon Pegg) spends his life between his dead-end job, his best friend Ed (Nick Frost) and his girlfriend Liz (Kate Ashfield). Liz is frustrated with his complacency. But things get severely shaken up when there’s a zombie outbreak. As soon as Shaun realizes, he tries everything to save the ones he loves.

Shaun of the Dead is not only one of the best zombie movies I’ve ever seen, it’s just one of the best movies ever, period. And this re-watch proved it to me again.

shaunofthedead

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Kill List (2011)

Kill List
Director: Ben Wheatley
Writer: Ben Wheatley, Amy Jump
Cast: Neil Maskell, MyAnna BuringMichael Smiley, Emma Fryer
Part of: /slash Filmfestival

Plot:
Jay (Neil Maskell) is an ex-soldier who has been home for a while. Things are not good with his wife Shel (MyAnna Buring), their money is running out and the tension is rising. When their friend and Jay’s army buddy Gal (Michael Smiley) offers Jay the possibility to take a well-paid job, Jay reluctantly agrees. They get hired by a mysterious client to assassinate three people. But things get very weird really quickly.

Kill List is an excellent film until they start to turn the film into one giant mindfuck. I’m unimpressed by mindfucks for mindfucking’s sake. This one’s no exception.

[SPOILERS]

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