Posts Tagged ‘David Denham’

Clarke’s Catastrophe

Greenland

Director: Ric Roman Waugh

Cast: Gerard Butler, Morena Baccarin, Roger Dale Floyd, Scott Glenn, Hope Davis, David Denham

Film Rating: 7.5 out of 10

Angel has Fallen director Ric Roman Waugh reunites with his star Gerard Butler for the latest doomsday disaster film Greenland. The hunky Scottish actor Gerard Butler who become a household name after the smash hit 300 and then went onto star in the Fallen trilogy plays American structural engineer John Garrity who is trying to reconcile with his wife Allison Garrity played by Homeland star Morena Baccarin (Deadpool, Spy) who both live a comfortable life in suburban Atlanta.

That comfortable life is shattered into a million pieces when John and Allison have been selected to survive an extinction event after a Comet called Clarke’s Comet hits Earth and breaks up into a million asteroids which demolish cities and towns across the planet. The Garrity’s only chance of survival is to head towards a secret government facility to house survivors located in Greenland. The only problem is how to get there.

To add to John and Allison’s woes their young son Nathan played by Roger Dale Floyd is diabetic and cannot be without his insulin injections which proves difficult when the entire family get separated and Nathan gets kidnapped by some desperate hillbilly’s Ralph and Judy Vento played by Hope Davis (Proof) and David Denham (Logan Lucky, 13 Hours).

In the meantime the world is literally going to hell in a handbasket as fiery asteroids start striking the earth and the Garrity’s need to reunite at Allison’s father’s ranch in Knoxville. Allison’s father Dale is played by Scott Glenn (The Bourne Legacy, The Paperboy). Fortunately once the family gather there John confesses to his father-in-law that he hasn’t been the best husband.

Whilst Greenland’s doomsday scenario could be the metaphor for a broken marriage, the rather lacklustre script by Chris Sparling is fortunately punctuated with some dramatic action sequences including the airport chaos sequence and the asteroid crushing car sequence on an American interstate.

Greenland is great entertainment and doesn’t pretend to be anything superb. It’s a good old fashion disaster movie in the tradition of director Mimi Leder’s Deep Impact and Michael Bay’s 1998 smash hit film Armageddon. Greenland is worth seeing on a big screen and is a reasonably enjoyable action disaster film which certainly needs cinematic support in these uncertain times when audiences are not rushing back to cinemas in a hurry.

It did help that the star Gerard Butler did broadcast a preview message thanking South African audiences for supporting Greenland in cinemas. With that being said, audiences should watch Greenland – it’s an exciting two hour family adventure film which gets a rating of 7.5 out of 10.

The Hillbilly Heist

Logan Lucky

 

Director: Steven Soderbergh

Cast: Channing Tatum, Adam Driver, Daniel Craig, Katie Holmes, Hilary Swank, Riley Keough, Seth MacFarlane, Brian Gleeson, Jack Quaid, Sebastian Stan, Katherine Waterson, David Denham

Director Steven Soderbergh has an inventive filmography including Contagion, Side Effects and the Oscar winning films Traffic and Erin Brockovich.

He returns to the big screen with the redneck caper film Logan Lucky starring Channing Tatum and Adam Driver as unfortunate West Virginia brothers Jimmy and Clyde Logan who together with their younger sister Mellie played by Legendary singer Elvis Presley’s granddaughter Riley Keough (Mad Max: Fury Road, Magic Mike) who concoct a plan to steal cash from the Nascar Speedway during a major Racing event in Charlotte, North Carolina.

In order to break into the air locked vault of the cash rich Speedway, the Logan brothers enlist the assistance of incarcerated Joe Bang wonderfully played in a stand out (possibly Oscar worthy) performance by James Bond star Daniel Craig who obviously was desperate to breakout of  the 007 image.

Which is what makes Logan Lucky all the more fascinating. Soderbergh’s uncanny ability to assemble a really good cast to tell an extraordinarily clever story almost rival’s that of the cinematic auteur Woody Allen in his comic films like Café Society.

Except that Logan Lucky is a far cry from the glamourous Golden age of Hollywood of Café Society. Logan Lucky is an exceptionally funny film and almost bizarrely told with a deadpan sense of timing that makes the heist which they seemingly pull off even more unbelievable.

In order for Joe Bang to assist the Logan brothers he has to enlist the help of his own two hillbilly brothers Fish and Sam Bang, superbly played by rising stars Jack Quaid (son of Meg Ryan and Dennis Quaid) and Brian Gleeson (The Eagle, Snow White and the Huntsman) son of Brendan Gleeson.

The unbelievably stupid Bang brothers unlike the Logan brothers feel that committing a crime would be immoral but when the lure of big cash is promised their assistance is secured unequivocally.

What follows is an ingenuous heist film centred on the Nascar Car Racing Event in Charlotte, North Carolina, in the South, below the Mason-Dixon Line where the Southern drawl is pronounced and patriotism to the American flag is unwavering.

With Soderbergh’s trademark use of cameo appearances of big stars including Seth MacFarlane, Katie Holmes, Sebastian Stan and Oscar winner Hilary Swank (Boys Don’t Cry, Million Dollar Baby) as FBI Special Agent Sarah Grayson who post-heist desperately tries to catch the culprits only to land up at a West Virginia bar being served by a one armed bartender, Logan Lucky is a character driven film about ordinary citizens wanting to better themselves in a semi-impoverished backwater.

Audiences would have to watch Logan Lucky to enjoy Channing Tatum, Adam Driver and an excellent Daniel Craig in a hillbilly heist comedy about outback losers who plan on getting back at the system which has kept them downtrodden and unemployed. Highly Recommended viewing for those that enjoyed the Ocean’s Eleven Trilogy without the glamour.

Logan Lucky gets a film rating of 7.5 out of 10 and is immensely enjoyable.

Benghazi Backlash

13 Hours: Secret Soldiers of Benghazi

thirteen_hours_the_secret_soldiers_of_benghazi

Director: Michael Bay

Cast: John Krasinski, Pablo Schreiber, James Badge Dale, Toby Stephens, David Denham, David Costabile, Matt Letscher, Alexia Barlier, Max Martini, Dominic Fumusa, Pablo Schreiber

Bad Boys and Transformers director Michael Bay turns to more recent geopolitical turmoil in the excellent and absorbing film 13 Hours: Secret Soldiers of Benghazi about the deadly attack on an American temporary diplomatic post in Benghazi in Libya on the night of 11th September 2012. This attack had such devastating consequences both diplomatically and politically that the Americans were forced to re-evaluate the postings of their diplomats abroad.

thirteen_hours_the_secret_soldiers_of_benghazi_ver4

Comic actor John Krasinski beefs up in his first action role as Jack Silva a married man who does one last security mission abroad for a contract security company in Benghazi only to survive a horrendous night in which the worst possible attack occurred.

Other security personnel in 13 Hours include James Badge Dale as Tyrone Woods, Pablo Schreiber from Orange is the New Black as Kris Paronto along with David Denham as Dave Benton and David Costabile last seen in Showtime’s Billions as the commander of the security forces, Bob. Audiences should also look out for Toby Stephens (Die Another Day) as a Global Response Staff officer Glen Doherty.

What becomes apparent in 13 Hours, is that the Americans grossly underestimated the security situation in Libya post the fall of Gaddafi, who was toppled in a civil war in October 2011, the result of which was a sweeping tide of change across North Africa and the Middle East, now referred to as the Arab Spring. The American ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens, played by Matt Letscher in the film, was actually killed in the attack on the Benghazi compound by a group of heavily armed extremists.

Director Michael Bay sets the scene in Libya post Gaddafi as a powder keg, a dangerous power vacuum which occurred following the Libyan dictator’s death resulting in a stock pile of weapons being seized by warring militia groups who constantly battled each other on the streets of Benghazi and Tripoli.

13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi is based upon the book 13 Hours by Mitchell Zuckoff and is a riveting and controversial account of what actually took place in the chaotic events which lead to the vicious attack on the American Compound and the adjoining annex by a group of Islamic militants.

As a visual documentary of recent history, 13 Hours naturally comes off as an American tale of bravado and patriotism against a foreign enemy which is far more complex, lethal and indistinguishable. What the film does point to especially concerning the current conflict in Syria and the collapse of an ordered government in Libya is the cause of the dramatic influx of migrants to Western Europe from war-torn countries in North Africa and the Middle East mainly due to their geographic proximity.

In the tradition of the excellent Lone Survivor, 13 Hours is a riveting action film retelling a very recent historical event whose geo-political ramifications go far beyond the borders of Libya.

As 13 Hours points out, the Benghazi attack was a tragic American diplomatic event questioning who was really responsible for the security of American citizens in such a dangerous city when the threat matrix had been severely under estimated. Recommended viewing and sure to provoke ample discussion.

Source: Libya

 

 

 

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