Thursday, 14 April 2016

Bin Bag Peace and Three Movies

Not everything in the village is cosy all of the time.
You know that I don't report the unsavoury.
Real life can be so ugly.
Anyhow do you remember the owner of the previously black binned bagged windowed house in the village? The one that gave me a good shouting at after I had given him a piece of my mind about his staffies? Well The Prof sold him some eggs when I was out last Sunday. I suspected quite rightly that the guy had no idea that I lived in the same cottage, so he and indeed I looked rather surprised when he knocked on our door last night wanting more.
I wondered just how the meeting would pan out but decided immediately that it would serve no purpose getting shirty again, so I told him I did indeed had eggs to sell.
to be fair he held out his hand and said he was sorry that "gotten off on the wrong foot" and I shook it saying we both said what we had wanted to say. I also gave him an extra goose egg to seal the deal.
Neither of us needed an enemy in a village of 300 people.

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Three Movies in three days !
A Science- Fiction thriller, a true life drama and an Icelandic Comedy.....a nice eclectic mixture for sure.......I wanted to see Helen Mirren's " Military drone thriller too but it's not out until Friday!

Midnight Special, I understand, had received rave reviews, so I was interested in seeing this homage to all of those Hollywood alien-visiting-Earth movies which seemed so prolific in the 1980s.
Midnight Special starts with two men and a small boy called Alton hiding away in a country motel. The boy, we know from snippets of tv news, has been abducted from a ranch housing a strange religious cult, a cult which see him as some sort of divine conduit to salvation.
Slowly ( very slowly) we learn that his abductors are indeed the boy's biological father Roy ( Michael Shannon) and Roy's best friend Lucas ( Joel Edgerton) who realise that the child needs to meet up with his own kind  at a certain spot across the Southern States of America. It is suggested, but not made explicit, that the child is indeed an alien.
Midnight Special poses more questions than it answers, and although the twists and turns of the narrative are intriguing, I was rather frustrated by what was not being said.
The audience does not understand how father and son ended up in the cult's ranch or just how the boy's mother ( Kirsten Dunst)  came to desert him. We understand nothing of the motivation of the pivotal character of Lucas nor it is explained just how and why Alton became " possessed " by the "alien" in the first place.
All these gaps, left me rather let down even though the  somewhat clever ( but fairly unsurprising) twist at the end made a change from ET going home.
Nice performances, some nice tense scenes and the lovely Joel Edgerton made it a pretty ok 7/10


Spotlight is a worthy and meticulous movie, I have to say that from the get-go. It's a faithful depiction of the lengthy and detailed investigation by The Boston Globe's Spotlight Team of investigative reporters into the sexual abuse of hundreds of the city's schoolchildren by 90 catholic priests over a period of a generation.
Well acted ( Michael Keaton and Paul Ruffalo are particularly good as two of the lead reporters) and forensic in detail, this movie is a compelling watch , a fact compounded by the fact that the reporters took on the power of the entire Catholic Church, an organisation that actively covered up the abuse and was complicit in allowing it to flourish and continue.
9\10

Hrútar (UK title "Rams") was my final film and this Icelandic "comedy" turned out to be the oddest of choices for it turned out to be less of a comedy and more a rather stark and at times moving tale of sibling love and rural degeneration.



This film starts with a charm of the Irish, for we are introduced to two aging sheep farmers who live in adjoining farmhouses on a bleak Icelandic mountain. Gummi () has not spoken to his brother Kiddi () for forty years. The pair communicate sporadically through notes taken between the two farms by Kiddi's sheepdog but when the dreaded disease "scrappie" appears in the valley and their beloved flocks are ordered to be culled, the brothers need to set aside old slights to save the few remaining sheep hiding in Gummi's basement.
It all sounds rather charming, and to be honest it is!, but the film is not a comedy as I would define one. True there are some sparking scenes between the two old men, especially when Kiddi collapses in the show after drinking and Gummi takes him to the local hospital scooped up by the bucket of a tractor digger, but the film is really a melancholic and rather beautiful study of two isolated individuals who have only two passions......a love of sheep and a shared family history.
8/10

35 comments:

  1. I've seen Spotlight, and quite enjoyed it but I haven't seen the other two, that last one sounds quite delightful :-)

    If you want to see something completely different go and see Eddie the Eagle, it must be the feel good film of the year up to now for me, we both came out of the cinema grinning.

    I'm loving our year of the cinema.

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  2. "You know I don't report the unsavoury". Eh? What's savoury about dog-do-dos?

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  3. been a good week so far for you; when does the prof return home?

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  4. Hubs and I saw Spotlight . . . excellent . . .
    The acting was excellent . . . that The Globe broke the story . . . YES! That it HAPPENED . . . beyond dreadful!

    I think the Goose Egg sealed the deal . . . very nice . . .

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  5. Glad to hear there is peace in the village

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  6. 'Midnight Special' - I do so want to see it but it's currently showing at such darned awkward times. Still, I'm very intrigued and am wondering how I can fit it in.

    'Spotlight' - I'm with you absolutely.

    'Rams' - I passed on my chance to see this (now gone), as any film which has as a central focus, animals of whatever type, is too fragile a territory for my emotional well-being. But I am aware of its having received many thumbs-ups.

    (And I join in a collective sigh of relief that a previous animosity is buried - and hope it stays that way).

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  7. Glad to hear you have shaken hands and decided to start over ... Having just watched -- and enjoyed -- the Icelandic 'Trapped' not so long ago -- I can imagine the strangeness of 'Rams'.

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  8. I love that amicable peace making with the bin bag man John. Living as I do on the edge of a small village and being married to someone who was born here, I know that feuds can spring up over much less than yours did - and last for generations in the mists of time.

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  9. I always feel so queenly when I grace someone with one of my goose girls' eggs, everyone thinks them ever so special. My boys will eat a whole one in a flash! Last summer I made deviled goose eggs...

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    1. I have never eaten a goose egg, none around here.
      If you made deviled eggs with them, one that could have been a dinner, right ? Or a scotch egg dinner for John.

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  10. I saw Rams at our local "foreign" film series. I'm still puzzling over the end.

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    1. In the great scheme of things the sheep were the most important part of both mens lives but the ending reenforced that it was brothers and family which was the most important

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  11. You're a 'bigger' man than me.

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  12. 'Eye in the sky' does look good. Just not sure whether to see it at the cinema or just wait for the Bluray to come out.
    They're building a new Cineworld just up the road, so maybe then I'll go to the cinema more often.

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    1. Much as I love Helen Mirren, her acting in Eye in the Sky came down to scowling and under the breath cursing Not her fault; it was a severely limited role. Still, it is definitely worth seeing for it's representation of modern warfare. Even if they can see real people on the monitor, those in charge cannot afford to care about civilian casualties any more than they ever have.

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    2. If it's as good as Zero Dark Thirty or American Sniper then I'll be satisfied.

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  13. I'm impressed. That's generous of you.
    You gave him an extra goose egg to seal the deal.

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  14. The bin bag man can't be all bad if he wants to buy free range eggs!

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  15. We go to the movies twice a year. We're already over our allotment for 2016. We can borrow from our future, just like the US government. I think we're up to 2026.

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  16. Always your movie write ups, John. I'm constantly on the look out for anything Scandinavian (movies, TV, chairs), so thanks for the review of the Icelandic sheep flick. I have no interest in aliens or outer space, so I'll give the sci fi one a miss. Everyone in Boston has already seen Spotlight - glad you liked it.

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    1. Have you seen the series Occupied (Norway) ? I am watching it now on Netflix and I am a somewhat obsessed by it. Besides a great story line the scenery is spectacular !

      cheers, parsnip

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  17. Good on both of you for the peace-making. And the prof, who unwittingly brought it about.

    I love your movie reviews, John. I feel like I've been, and saved 90 minutes of my own time in the bargain. (Yes, I'm not a big movie fan, but I love stories.)

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  18. "...gotten off on the wrong foot" ... "Gotten"? You should have told him to eff off until he learned to speak English.

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  19. Peace is peace especially in a town of 300. Nice that he extended the hand first.

    cheers, parsnip

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  20. It sounds like the beginning of a beautiful relationship - you and the ruffian Staffie man. I guess you sometimes get lonesome when Chris is away. The ruffian will be round for more "goose eggs".

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  21. I like that you and Bin Bag Man shook on it; you'll become great friends yet. I would love to see the movie Rams. You write a great review, John. xx

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  22. 'Spotlight' is on my to see list for sure....having been an alter boy I was fortunate not to have had any direct inappropriate contact with a priest. My friend wasn't as fortunate.

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  23. i really liked spotlight. what a good outcome with the egg buyer!

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  24. My husband would love Midnight Special, but I would probably see My Big Fat Greek Wedding.

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  25. I'll remember that bit about, "both of us have said what we wanted to say." I like it and might find it comes in handy in the future. :)

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  26. I think you should recommend the goose egg gambit to bring peace to Syria!

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  27. Spotlight is a movie that I really want to see...it has gotten so much hype. I am curious.

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  28. Mark Ruffalo, not Paul. He (and I) are Bernie for President supporters.
    Love movies. Don't get watch as many as I used to. Sad.

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