2 good films and a dud


Hub face and I have seen a few films recently.

Captain Phillips was excellent. I'd heard good reviews of this film but even taking into account my expectations, I was blown away. I had wondered how it was possible to tell the story of a container ship being taken over by Somalian pirates and make it taut and thrilling throughout, but they managed it.

The film starts with Captain Phillips getting ready to go to work - packing a bag and driving to the airport with his wife, who drives the car back after he catches his flight to his ship. We see he's a fastidious man - he wipes his feet when he gets onto the ship, runs security checks as he goes about his walk around the deck and keeps a firm eye on his crew's coffee breaks. We go back and forth to Somalia, where a bunch of impoverished looking men are urged to hijack a large boat by their bosses. A crew is picked, weapons are chosen and off they go into the blue in two small boats with outboard engines. We know before we watch the film that pirates are going to successfully board the ship, and when they do the helplessness and fear of the captain and crew is palpable. The captain and crew indulge in some skullduggery to hamper the pirates' progress throughout the ship, during which two of the invaders become injured. Captain Phillips eventually becomes separated from his crew and ship. He's despatched into a large lifeboat with his armed captors, who are heading for Somalia. The action plays out with a terrified Captain Phillips and a crew who are unravelling mentally and physically. It's fair to say the tension remains high throughout. Of course I'm not going to give away the ending, but just before the credits roll there is a piece of acting so fine and so utterly heartbreaking both myself and my husband were in floods of tears. It sounds like a spoiler, but isn't. You'll see what I mean if you watch it. And I urge you do. It's the best film I've seen in a long time.


American Hustle is well acted, but totally pointless. The most interesting part of the whole film is in the opening scenes when Christian Bale is gluing on a hair piece and artfully combing his thinning hair into place. I have no idea why this film has been nominated for a ton of awards. It's a temporary relief from the burden of boredom, but somewhat like eating rice cakes - it gives you something to do but you soon realise you feel entirely empty. Watch it out of curiosity if you must, but don't expect much. All filler, no killer.


Last Vegas is bloody hilarious. Douglas' character Billy is an old man who's marrying a woman half his age. Freeman's character Archie is being mollycoddled to death by his worried son. De Niro's character Paddy is wasting away in a dressing gown after the death of his wife. Kline's character Sam is in a long, but excitement and lust free marriage. When Douglas announces he's getting married, they come up with the idea of throwing him a bucks night in Las Vegas. The actors' chemistry is wonderful and there's a love interest in the form of Mary Steenburgen, but who will get the girl? Expect plenty of jokes about old age and some of the wittiest one-liners I've heard in years, as well as some hilarious 'old men in Vegas' nightclub shenanigans. Hubby and I were crying with laughter at several points. I'd watch it again in a heartbeat.

What have you seen recently?