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The Business [DVD] [2005]
The Business [DVD] [2005]
Dvd ~ Danny Dyer
Offered by DVDBayFBA
Price: £2.98

11 of 16 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Is this the English Goodfellas?, 17 Nov 2006
This review is from: The Business [DVD] [2005] (DVD)
I'm going to take a look and some of the key elements of the film:

The film follows 10 years in the life of our (anti) hero Frankie, during which he becomes a reluctant drug runner. And as this decade happens to be the 80's we get a plethora of music; from Adam and the Ants to OMD, Duran Duran to Loose Ends. It's good stuff, but there's a problem with it; it's played out of sequence. Blondie, OMD and the Knack are all featured towards the end of the film (end of the 80's) when they were all released in very early 80's. The same happens with Duran Duran. Planet Earth (1981?) is played during a hold-up (film date of 1987?).

So, what's the 80's soundtrack supposed to be doing? Is it reflecting the hits of the day or providing atmosphere? If it's the former, then it's got its dates all wrong. If it's the later then what's the point of the (clichéd) incidental music? To see how music can provide atmosphere AND signal the exact time then perhaps Nick Love should've watched Goodfellas more closely.

There is none. At all. The tension between the 4 gang members is not developed, the resentment between the new boy (Frankie) and the Sammy (one of the gang) doesn't get above simmering point. The femme fatale radiates no sexual charge and played without charm or humour. Her partner (Sammy) is presumably supposed to be the unhinged Joe Pesci character. Sadly, they got the casting all wrong as he looks like Ronald McDonald (as one of the Sarf Lahndan lads says ) and he's about as threatening as the hamburger wielding clown, too.

Uniformly awful. I liked Danny Dyer in Human Traffic, but he's a one trick pony. All he does is the cockney geezer. A role in Eastenders surely beckons.

Threadbare, to say the least, it goes AWOL in the last 30 minutes.

Well, they got this mostly right. Lots of Ellesse and Sergio Tacchini tracksuits. But what about the hair? Why didn't any of the lads have wedges or mullets?

Shouting swear words isn't a script. It's just a night down the pub. Don't get me wrong, a good swear is sometimes appropriate and (still) shocking. Just watch an episode of The Sopranos.

End credits
We're given a one sentence biography under a photo of the character to show what they went on to do. Cringingly unfunny.

So, is this the English Goodfellas? Nope. It has none of the class or style. None of the visceral, feral energy. None of the illicit excitement. We don't feel the allure of the money, the power, the drugs, the women, the guns, and the cars. The Business is an empty experience beneath a smart Sergio Tacchini tracksuit.

So, if you want to watch a film that charts the rise and fall of a reluctant villain, watch The Godfather. If you want to see how the drug trade brings down a working class criminal then you have to watch Goodfellas. If you want to see drugs, violence, power, money in the sun, then Scarface is the one for you. And if you want to see a proper, classy, English gangster movie check out the sublime Sexy Beast. It's got a cracking, crackling script, a ferocious turn from Ben Kingsley, a vulnerable Ray Winstone and a reptilian Ian McShane. And it's set in Spain, too. Nice one.

The Machinist [DVD] [2004]
The Machinist [DVD] [2004]
Dvd ~ Christian Bale
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: £6.34

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 3 reasons to watch this movie, 30 Aug 2006
This review is from: The Machinist [DVD] [2004] (DVD)
The cinematography. Colours are washed out of each frame more effectively than a biological detergent (or the bleach that Reznick compulsively washes his hands with). The effect provides a potent symbol of the netherworld between sleep and consciousness that Bale's character now resides.

The soundtrack. An homage to Bernard Hermann that echoes the roiling emotions of our tormented lead character.

Christian Bale. Probably not since De Niro played La Motta has an actor so completely changed his physique to perform an acting role. You'll find yourself mesmerised by Bale's appearance, which is the apotheosis of the sneering American Pyscho or the muscular Batman.

The Machinist is a strange, itchy sort of a film whose denouement replaces edgy paranoia with melancholia.

24: Season Two DVD Collection [DVD]
24: Season Two DVD Collection [DVD]
Dvd ~ Kiefer Sutherland
Price: £18.20

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hold on's 24 season 2, 4 July 2006
What do you like to see in your TV thrillers? Exciting shootouts, brutal fist fights, exploding helicopters and dramatic plot twists? This has got it.

How about political machinations and presidential pardons? Check

A nuclear bomb, civil unrest and the world on the brink of a global war? Check

But what else has it got, you ask. Well...survivalists and red necks. Mountain lions and domestic violence. Punch ups in hospital car parks and wedding plans going awry. Darlene from Roseanne and the bloke from Saw. The returns of the evil Nina and the conniving Sherry. George Mason showing a compassionate side. Kim in loads of trouble (mainly from men with guns). Lots of men with stony faces and gravely voices. And lots of gruesome torture scenes

At the centre of it all the mayhem is Kiefer Sutherland's Jack. A character who brutalises the bad guys in a manner that would make Dirty Harry wince.

Wonderful entertainment, more like one of those fat thrillers you see in airport bookstores than a TV show. If you've not seen it, I'd urge you to watch the first couple of episodes. You'll be totally hooked...

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