Tag Archives: Barkhad Abdi

Good Time (2017) Review

Time: 101 Minutes
Age Rating: 860949[1] Violence, offensive language, drug use & sex scenes
Cast
Robert Pattinson as Constantine “Connie” Nikas
Jennifer Jason Leigh as Corey
Ben Safdie as Nick Nikas
Barkhad Abdi as Dash
Buddy Duress as Ray
Director: Ben Safdie and Josh Safdie

After a botched bank robbery lands his younger brother in prison, Constantine “Connie” Nikas (Robert Pattinson) embarks on a twisted odyssey through the city’s underworld in an increasingly desperate—and dangerous—attempt to get his brother Nick (Benny Safdie) out of jail. Over the course of one adrenalized night, Connie finds himself on a mad descent into violence and mayhem as he races against the clock to save his brother and himself, knowing their lives hang in the balance.

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I had been hearing some pretty good things about Good Time for a while, it received a 6 minute standing ovation at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival. Much of the praise was focused towards the direction and Robert Pattinson’s performance. So I was definitely excited for what I was going to watch. I’m happy to say that Good Time definitely lived up to all the hype and praise and deserves a lot more attention than it’s been getting.

Good Time is a very straightforward movie, Robert Pattinson has to save his brother in one night and from start to finish it delivers. However, the way they did it was so fantastic. First of all, it feels very realistic and gritty, from the story to the dialogue and characters. The movie despite its title isn’t really a “good time” (it is however a good time in the sense that it is a good movie), it is quite dark and there aren’t many bright spots, even the main character isn’t really likable at all and does some very questionable things. I have to give the Safdie Brothers credit for sticking with this approach because it made the movie better. This movie is 1 hour 40 minutes long and honestly that was the perfect length, the film takes place just over a night and it really benefited from that. The film keeps you riveted from start to finish and there is a constant sense of urgency and tension. I won’t say much about the plot, honestly it’s better going in not knowing a lot about the plot.

Just like Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson has shown how great of an actor he is post Twilight and should be taken seriously. Putting the general perception of him aside, Pattinson is fantastic here. His character doesn’t have many redeeming qualities, he is very manipulative towards pretty much everyone he encounters and goes to some low levels throughout the movie. The only thing keeping us kind of rooting for him is his connection with his brother. Robert Pattinson is absolutely transformative, not once do you think that this is the guy from Twilight, you just see the character, which is one of the highest compliments that one can give to a performance. Pattinson deserves a lot of praise for his performance here and I hope we get to see more of his talents in future films. Ben Safdie (who’s also one of the directors of the film) plays Pattinson’s mentally challenged brother and although he doesn’t have a massive amount of screentime he was great. Other supporting actor performances from actors like Jennifer Jason Leigh and Barkhad Abdi are good for the short screentime that they have and they all contribute and add to the movie. However aside from all that, it is really Robert Pattinson who gets to shine the most.

This is the fourth film that The Safdie Brothers directed together and the first film I’ve seen of theirs and I can say that they are definitely very talented after seeing Good Time. The night-time scenes in particular are so well filmed, a stand out aspect being the use of colour, they were so well utilised. There is particularly also a sequence which takes place in an amusement park which was directed very well. The film has a constant sense of urgency and the way it was directed and edited really added to that. Throughout the movie there is a lot of close up shots of people’s faces (maybe a little too much) which I guess is done to make things feel claustrophobic, it may be annoying for some people but I was fine with it. The music was also excellent, the use of synth really did add to the film and is used so well, often adding to the sense of urgency.

Good Time was one of the most pleasant surprises of 2017. It has a very gritty, realistic and dark story, great direction from the Safdie Brothers and featured an excellent lead performance by Robert Pattinson, which is one of the best performances of the year (and unfortunately didn’t get enough praise). I can’t wait to see more films from the Safdie Brothers, they’ve definitely shown that their talents with this movie. I also feel like it could possibly benefit from rewatches and I can’t wait to revisit it. Good Time is definitely worth a watch and more praise, at least more praise than its been getting.

Grimsby (2016) Review

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Time: 83 Minutes
Age Rating: 860949[1] Violence, offensive language, drug use, sexual material & content that may offend.
Cast:
Sacha Baron Cohen as Norman “Nobby” Butcher
Mark Strong as Coddy/Commander Sebastian Graves
Isla Fisher as Jodie Figgs
Rebel Wilson as Dawn Grobham
Penélope Cruz as Rhonda George
Gabourey Sidibe as Banu
Annabelle Wallis as Lina Smit
Ian McShane as Commander Ledford
David Harewood as Black Gareth
John Thomson as Bob Tolliver
Ricky Tomlinson as Paedo Pete
Johnny Vegas as Milky Pimms
Scott Adkins as Lukashenko
Sam Hazeldine as Chilcott
Barkhad Abdi as Tabansi Nyagura
Director: Louis Leterrier

Dimwitted Nobby (Sacha Baron Cohen) lives in an English fishing town with his loving girlfriend (Rebel Wilson) and nine children. For the last 28 years, he’s been searching for his long-lost brother Sebastian (Mark Strong). When the two finally reunite, Nobby finds out that his sibling is a top MI6 agent who’s just uncovered a sinister plot. Wrongfully accused and on the run, Sebastian now realizes that he needs Nobby’s help to save the world and prove his innocence.

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I was cautiously optimistic about Grimsby. It had the talent of Sacha Baron Cohen and Mark Strong and the director has made some decent movies. However Sacha Baron Cohen can be very inconsistent with his comedy. Still, I was willing to give it a chance. This movie unfortunately didn’t really do it for me. There were occasionally a couple of okay and mildly amusing moments, and the action and Mark Strong were actually good. But for the most part it was just annoying and unfunny.

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I knew going into this movie that it would just be a dumb silly comedy with out there gross and offensive jokes, however even knowing all that, I didn’t like this movie. The movie really wasn’t that funny but what’s worse is that this film tries way too far at times to be funny. I found myself fast forwarding a lot of the scenes, mostly through the scenes where they kept going with a joke which was never funny in the first place. The ‘highlight scene’ of the movie involves elephants, and it constantly felt like they were trying too hard. Was it disgusting? Yes. Was it funny? No. Some of you probably heard that this movie had a Donald Trump AIDS joke and yes its there. But like most of the other jokes, its forced and they made a badly CG (like utter crap CG) Donald Trump, so its not even worth going to the movie to see that. Now there were some jokes that did work but for every 1 funny joke, there were at least 10 unfunny jokes. I couldn’t care about any of the characters as well or what was going on (though I feel like that wasn’t what they were going for). I will say this, the movie wasn’t boring. Instead it was annoying and occasionally obnoxious.

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Sacha Baron Cohen is talented but here he was annoying. It didn’t help that his character was so clueless, like borderline Chris Hemsworth in Ghostbusters 2016. That kind of role needed to be handled right to make it work well and it’s not handled well here. Mark Strong is by far the best part of the movie, though I wonder if that’s because I liked him in other movies. Everyone else really doesn’t anything much, Isla Fisher, Rebel Wilson, Penelope Cruz, Ian McShane and Barkhad Abdi have done much better in the past, it makes me wonder why they are here. I mean I know Rebel Wilson stars in dud comedy films but what is Ian McShane doing here?

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The director of this film is Louis Leterrier, who has done some action movies with Now You See Me, The Incredible Hulk, The Transporter and Clash of the Titans. Because of this, the action scenes are actually pretty good and are entertaining. There are a couple of segments where its done in first person and its done well. However I will say that this movie does have a lot of lazy CG at times.

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The one thing I will say about Grimsby is that it will definitely get a reaction out of people, positive or negative. This film has a couple mildly amusing jokes, enjoyable action scenes and Mark Strong. Aside from that however, this film was just annoying to sit through. If you really want to see this movie, at least go in knowing what you’re in for. I didn’t like it even though I knew what sort of movie it was. But hopefully plenty of other people can enjoy it.

Eye in the Sky (2016) Review

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Time: 102 Minutes
Age Rating: 860940[1] Violence and Offensive Language.
Cast:
Helen Mirren as Katherine Powell
Aaron Paul as Steve Watts
Alan Rickman as Frank Benson
Barkhad Abdi as Jama Farah
Jeremy Northam as Brian Woodale
Iain Glen as James Willett
Director: Gavin Hood

EYE IN THE SKY stars Helen Mirren as Colonel Katherine Powell, a UK-based military officer in command of a top secret drone operation to capture terrorists in Kenya. Through remote surveillance and on-the-ground intel, Powell discovers the targets are planning a suicide bombing and the mission escalates from “capture” to “kill.” But as American pilot Steve Watts (Aaron Paul) is about to engage, a nine-year old girl enters the kill zone triggering an international dispute, reaching the highest levels of US and British government, over the moral, political, and personal implications of modern warfare.

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Eye in the Sky is a movie that I was interested in ever since I heard about it, because of the talented cast and the premise, which sounded quite interesting to me. Unfortunately not enough people went to see this movie in the cinemas, I myself only saw it when it was released on DVD. After seeing it, I wished I saw it earlier. Eye in the Sky is a very solid tense and thrilling movie. The acting was great from its talented cast and the film jut overall was directed well. It’s not very special, but it is well worth a watch.

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This film is very effective at making things tense. Something that I really liked about this movie is that there are also a lot of moral dilemmas that these characters are experiencing. Also this movie doesn’t really take a side as to what the right decision is, it lets the audience think about it themselves, which is so much more effective. Even the ending doesn’t give a definitive answer as to what the right decision was. You should probably know before watching Eye in the Sky that this is not really an action movie, there’s like only one scene of action, but that’s it. Go into this movie expecting a tense thriller with moral and ethical dilemmas instead of an explosive action blockbuster film.

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The cast for Eye in the Sky is really talented with Helen Mirren, Aaron Paul, Barkhad Abdi, Alan Rickman (in his final film appearance, he was particularly great in this movie) and other actors part of the cast. All of these actors are truly great in their roles and they get to have great moments in the film. All these actors really embodied the viewpoints and stances that their characters have on their situation. The characters felt like real people and the actors helped convey that and a key part in that happening.

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Eye in the Sky is shot and directed pretty well overall. As I mentioned earlier, there aren’t many action scenes in this movie but the few action scenes that are actually there are directed very well. The film is quite tense and thrilling and part of the contributing factor was how this film was directed. Even the conversations between people were made to feel quite intense, the tension never stops.

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Eye in the Sky is a very tense and overall effective thriller that really works well at keeping the audience’s attention. The solid direction, and the great acting from the very talented cast was great and all combined to make an overall good movie. The film isn’t anything hugely monumental or special but it’s still quite a good and riveting thriller, that I personally enjoyed watching. Definitely check out Eye in the Sky when you get a chance. It’s an underappreciated and overlooked movie that needs more attention.