Saturday, 19 August 2017

August 20 2017
Logan Lucky

The overload of films releasing, along with the endless festivals, sometimes makes it hard to catch up with them all in time for a Thursday review. This week I give you two (of the many more!) that have just hit the cinemas. Neither is deep and meaningful, nor are they groundbreaking movie-making, but both are a jolly good entertainment in their own right.  
Logan Lucky
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Length: 119 min
© Roadshow - much fun is to be had with the 
unlucky (bogan!) Logan family. 
The Logan family are a bunch of West Virginian rednecks, noted for their bad luck. Jimmy (Channing Tatum) has just been fired, brother Clyde (Adam Driver) lost his arm in Iraq, and sister Mellie (Riley Keogh) works in a low paid hairdressing job. Determined to turn things around they decide to execute a daring robbery at the nearby Charlotte Speedway on the day of a big Nascar race. To help with logistical details they need Joe Bang (Daniel Craig) - but he's serving time in jail! There is a lot to like in this whacky comedy featuring likable everyday characters who are not really criminals at heart. With dry humorous dialogue, zany plot points like sink holes under the Speedway and breaking people into jail, this film works a treat. There's some good car-racing sequences, an energetic soundtrack, and a superb comic performance from Daniel Craig, who is so far from his Bond stereotype as to be almost unrecognisable!  This good-natured, easy-going caper is unpretentious and a delightfully fresh take on the heist genre. 
4 - highly recommended! 

Director: Amanda Sthers
Length: 91 min
© Studio Canal - I disagree with those
 who bagged the film!  I got major 
enjoyment from it!
Seems some folks are being very unkind to this romantic class comedy, starring Toni Collette as Anne, the snobbish younger wife of ageing Bob (Harvey Keitel). The wealthy couple are temporarily residing in Paris, and when a dinner party requires an extra person, Anne orders their Spanish maid Maria (Rossy de Palma) to fill the gap. Masquerading as a mysterious royal personage, Maria draws the attention of Irish art dealer David Smiley, and the ensuing romance flabbergasts and infuriates Anne. Yes, there are some trite stereotypes, and possibly a number of unbelievable happenings. Indeed the film is trying to make fairly blatant commentary on the scruples and attitudes of the upper classes, but despite any faults I got intense enjoyment out of this amusing and touching story. Collette and Keitel play very well off each other, but the standout performance comes from de Rossy, a most unusual looking woman (an Almodovar favorite), whose Maria is full of so much joy in life, she makes the malcontented wealthy look like a bunch of totally dysfunctional idiots! There are several obvious themes about physical appearance, deception, and money not buying happiness, but the unexpected ending will have you pondering and wondering who, if anyone, in the film is a person of true integrity.  
3.5 - recommended! 

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