Lawless

Brotherly Love – ★★★★½

As far back as I can remember, I always loved gangster movies. Lawless is the latest offering from John Hillcoat, penned by Nick Cave and starring Tom Hardy, Shia LeBeouf and Jessica Chastain. Following the lives of the Bondurant brothers out of Franklin County, Virginia it ticks all the boxes.

Prohibition is in full swing and the Bondurant brothers are making plenty of moonshine. Jack (Shia LeBeouf) narrates the tale of how he and his brothers Howard (Jason Clarke) and Forrest (Tom Hardy) ran a lucrative bootlegging operation not prepared to toe the line or lie down for any man. The main man in particular is special detective Charlie Rakes played by Guy Pearce. Pearce obviously channelled Christopher Lloyd’s Judge Doom character from Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, as at times he is a pantomime villain with ticks and accents, while menacing enough in most scenes to give the character credence.

Read More

The Dark Knight Rises

As sometimes happens, the two of us had differing opinions on something, in this instance the final part of Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy. Rather than argue about who gets to publish their review over email (it has happened before!), we will just post the two reviews.

We’d put them side by side if layout constraints didn’t exist but as Nigel’s name comes first alphabetically (?!), his kicks things off and looks mainly at the pros while Páraic’s deals with some more of the cons of the summer’s biggest film. The combined Spooool score is ★★★½.

While we’ve both done our best to ensure there are no major spoilers in either review, you may still be better served to go and see the film before we go on…

Review #1 – Nigel’s take

A job well done – ★★★★

Read More

Warrior

Punching above its weight - ★★

A montage set to Beethoven pretty much sums Warrior up. Ridiculous.

People are comparing it to Rocky and this is easy to see with Nick Nolte reprising the role of Mickey. Nolte is probably the best thing about Warrior turning in an intense portrayal of a recovering alcoholic trying to atone for his undoubtedly troubled past. Read More

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Richman poorman beggerman thief - ★★★★

I’d say Tinker Tailor yadda yadda suffered from what I like to call the Black Swan phenomenon where by the studio puts so much into advertising the film just to get everyone in and doesn’t really let them in on the real gist of the film because if they knew that they probably wouldn’t go and see it anyway. With Black Swan people were promised a ballet film with Natile Portman, who wouldn’t love that , Natile Portman’s hot so that’s the blokes sorted and her indoors can look at the pretty girls dancing while what they really got was a mind fuck of a movie from the genius mind of Darren Aronofsky. Read More