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The Rat who is made of Stainless Steel


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Film Reviews: The Guest (2014), Captain America 2 (2014), and Only God Forgives (2013)
Movies
stainsteelrat
The Guest (2014). Written by Simon Barrett and directed by Adam Wingard. The film starts with a man (Dan Stevens) running along a road. It then switches to the Peterson family house. The two children leave for school, and the father leaves for work. The mother is surprised by the doorbell. She answers the door to a man calling himself David, a friend of her son who was killed in the Iraq war. I'm wondering if I watched a different film to the critics who mostly loved this. For me this was just a silly by-the-numbers thriller. OK, it was nicely shot, and had a somewhat above average 80s sounding soundtrack, but that was it. If you like silly by-the-numbers thrillers, as most of the critics seem to, then by all means give it a whirl. 2/5 (Poor)

Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014). Based on the Marvel comics and directed by Anthony Russo and Joe Russo. Following on from the previous film, Steve Rogers/Captain America (Chris Evans) is now working for S.H.I.E.L.D. He and Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) are tasked with freeing the crew of a ship that have been taken hostage. Regular readers will know I'm not a fan of superhero films. Captain America isn't much of a superhero either - he's strong and has a shield (is that it?!). But with a lack of other things to watch I thought I'd give it a spin - the previous film just about scraped entertaining. For me this was more of the same. The uneven pacing and long running time (136 minutes) are made up for by reasonable characters and some above average moments. I'm sure I don't need to tell you that if superhero films are your thing then you'd probably enjoy it. 3/5 (Average)

Only God Forgives (2013). Written and directed by Nicolas Winding Refn. The film is set in Bangkok. Two American brothers run a kickboxing club, which is a front for drug smuggling. The older brother, Billy (Tom Burke), has a thing for underage prostitutes, and during what appears to be a drug fuelled high he kills a prostitute. The police catch him and bring the prostitute's father. A police lieutenant (Vithaya Pansringarm) leaves the father with Billy to enact his revenge. Only God Forgives is a curious film, featuring the director of Drive and also the leading actor from Drive, Ryan Gosling. There are definite parallels to Drive, with a brooding main character and very stylish visuals. But Refn turns stylish up to eleven, and it inevitably drowns out a lot of of other things. The style mostly consists of long lingering sequences where characters stare at things... and stare at things... and stare at things. Also like Drive there are violent and gory moments. Overall it's a mixed bag, as you can probably tell. Although that what there is of story is good, it's significantly tempered by the overly stylistic nature of the film. Equally, if you liked Drive and like lots of staring, this is the film for you. 3/5 (Average)
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