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The Afternoon ShowRTÉ One, Weekdays, 4.00pm

Movies, Movies, Movies!

Friday, 16 November 2007

It's Friday, and Michael Doherty, our movie mogul, is spilling the popcorn on what's the tops and what's the flops in the cinema's now!

AMERICAN GANGSTER (16)   

Courtesy: Universal Pictures
Starring: Denzel Washington, Russell Crowe
Director: Ridley Scott

Verdict
The third pairing of Scott and Crowe (and the second outing for Crowe and Washington), American Gangster is one of the few major movies of the year to actually live up to the hype. Washington is terrific in the real-life role of Harlem crime lord Frank Lucas, while Crowe excels as the hard-boiled (but scrupulously honest) detective determined to bring his criminal empire to its knees. Beautifully shot in a 1970s/sepia style by Harris Savides, the movie is a triumph for Scott and his two leads, but there are strong supporting performances, too, from the likes of Josh Brolin, Chiwetel Ezifor and the great Ruby Dee. I smell Oscars.

Trivia
The real Richie Roberts and Frank Lucas were major consultants to director Ridley Scott on the New York set of this film.  (Source imdb)


BEOWULF (12A)   

Courtesy: Warner Brothers
Starring: Ray Winstone, Brendan Gleeson
Director: Robert Zemeckis

Verdict
Zemeckis applies his bag of digital tricks (first seen in Polar Express) to the ancient epic tale of the hero Beowulf who slayed the demon Grendel and liberated a nation. Though the 3-D glasses and the digital jiggery-pokery might keep the teenagers amused, and the strong cast (Angelina Jolie and John Malkovich also appear) will make a few headlines, it's hard to see this one attracting too many bums on seats.

Trivia
Angelina Jolie admitted in an interview that when she saw how her character looked, she was shocked to see how nude she really was; to the point that she said she was reluctant to allow Brad Pitt and her children to see the movie. (Source imdb)


THE JANE AUSTEN BOOK CLUB (PG)
 
Courtesy: Sony Pictures
Starring: Maria Bello, Emily Blunt
Director: Robin Swicord

Verdict
File this one under Girlie Movie of the Week as a group of Jane Austen enthusiasts find their relationships mirroring those of their literary idol. It's all a tad contrived (six novels, six couples) but the cast, also including Kathy Baker, Lynn Redgrave, Jimmy Smits and Hugh Dancy, is first rate. 

 

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