Showing posts with label War. Show all posts
Showing posts with label War. Show all posts

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Brothers Movie Review

Brothers Movie Review starring Tobey Maguire, Jake Gyllenhaal and Natalie Portman

Director: Jim Sheridan

Release Year: 2009

Running Time: 105 minutes

Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Tobey Maguire, Natalie Portman, Carey Mulligan

"Brothers" was based on a film directed by Susanne Bier known as "Brødre".  This American version however was directed by Irish director Jim Sheridan.  An interesting film that looks into the effect the war in the Middle East has had on one family. Undoubtedly "Brothers" brings out some excellent performances, certainly from Tobey Maguire who gives one of, if not, the best performance of his career.

Sam Cahill (Maguire) has a nice family, married to Grace (Natalie Portman) with two young daughters. He is in the Marine Corps and is often stationed in Afghanastan. Sam is respected by all, especially his parents.  However, his brother Tommy (Jake Gyllenhaal) is the total opposite.  A failure in life and just out of prison he comes back to the family causing rifts.  With Sam heading back out to Afghanistan, questions are answered on how difficult it is for families with loved ones who are serving in the military and ultimately the effect it can have on everyone involved with quite devastating and unpredictable outcomes. 

Movie review, rating, trailer and photos of Brothers

The storyline is interesting, because it involves real life situations.  It makes the film very relateable.  The flow of the storyline however, is rather ragged and dismantled.  This is to show how lives like this are in real life.  It is not easy for any person involved when a loved one is going out to fight for his country abroad.  The storyline in "Brothers" enables the viewer to construct their own thoughts on events and connects to them at an honest level.  The rough feel to the plot gives the movie an incredible sense of realness.  One discrepancy in the plot is that due to its non-flowing nature, if it was not for the excellent performance provided by those involved, there would be nothing linking scene to scene, or, relationship to relationship. 

Movie review of Brothers (2009)

The three leads in the film take full advantage of excellently thought out characters. Maguire shows a darkness in his depiction of Sam, something that has not been seen before by the former Spider Man actor.  Credit is thoroughly deserved for his role - the changes in personality he shows for what his character has been through make for excellent viewing.  Both Portman and Gyllenhaal back up Macguire's terrific performance with excellent portrayals themselves.  Both adding varying dimensions to their characters. 

"Brothers" is a solid film to watch.  However, we cannot help but think that without the great performances from the cast this film would have suffered.  There is no real climax to come by the end of the film and at certain points the plot becomes very predictable.  The film survives on the backbone of the strong performances provided by the lead cast members that make this film much better than average.

M+F Rating: 7/10

Reviewed by M+F Reviews.

Monday, 3 March 2014

Welcome to Sarajevo Movie Review

Welcome to Sarajevo review, trailer, photos and rating.

Director: Michael Winterbottom

UK Release Date: 21st November 1997

Running Time: 103 minutes 

Starring: Stephen Dillane, Woody Harrelson, Marisa Tomei, James Nesbitt

 If you are familiar with any of Michael Winterbottom's films then you will certainly know "Welcome to Sarajevo".  It was filmed shortly after the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina which saw the mass murder of many innocent civilians.  Sarajevo became a city of war where no one was safe as snipers waited on rooftops and where mortars and landmines were common place. "Welcome to Sarajevo" is based on the book written by journalist Michael Nicholson called Natasha's Story.

The film follows Michael Henderson (Stephen Dillane) as he reports with his cameraman, Gregg (James Nesbitt) on the atrocities in Sarajevo.  The group of journalists including American, Flynn (Woody Harrelson), risk their lives to cover the murders of innocent civilians around the besieged city.  To their frustration, their reports hardly make the news back in their respective countries leading Henderson to search for a different outlook to show what is going on.  After finding an orphanage that is keeping children safe within the city, Henderson gets more involved than what he thought he would have after formed a bond with one of the children.

Welcome to Sarajevo based on the book, Natasha's Story by Michael Nicholson. Review, rating, trailer and photos.
Dillane and Nesbitt as Henderson and Gregg in Welcome to Sarajevo

"Welcome to Sarajevo" is a hard hitting film that holds no punches in its seriousness to portray the war in the former Yugoslavia.  Entwining real footage of the siege alongside scenes filmed in Sarajevo the movie has a sense of authenticity about it that is so important in a film of this magnitude.  Winterbottom is able to really portray the horror, death and desperation of the war and the Western's ignorance of the issue choosing to make the main news headline about the divorce between Princess Anne and Mark Phillips rather than the suffering and killing of innocent people in Sarajevo. 

The cast are brilliant in the film and are able to hold together the movie to make it sincere.  Dillane does very well in the lead role as Henderson and has a good on screen relationship with Nesbitt and Harrelson.  This helps the film as it means the the story can shine through which makes the film more like a real life documentary rather than a movie.  However, it seems to tell the story in a relatively short space of time leaving its affect to come up short compared to other films that highlight genocide like "Hotel Rwanda" (2004).  

Winterbottom's "Welcome to Sarajevo" is good film telling the happy-ending story of Michael Henderson. Along the way it challenges the role of the outside world on the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina which is important.  If it did not do this, it would not make people think about their actions or lack of during the siege and this is a great way film and cinema can be used - to provoke emotions and ask questions.  It is a good film that will keep you gripped throughout while portraying the terrible acts that were committed during the early 1990's.

M+F Rating: 7/10

Reviewed by M+F Reviews.