Archive for the ‘Movie Reviews’ Category

Image courtesy of google images.

Image courtesy of google images.

Raise your hand if you’ve seen Peaky Blinders. Good. Those of you who haven’t, raise a hand, slap yourself really hard around the chops and read on.

If ambitious gangsters in vintage get-up (oh come on, how many beards still cling for dear life to the sweaty faces of London commuters) is not enough to tickle your fancies then let me put it like this;

Through the smoke and grime of cobbled Birmingham 1919, a young man strides confidently toward a better life. A better life in most of our books wouldn’t entail broken bones, stolen guns, hidden cargo, paying off the coppers and falling in love with an agent of the crown but then we’re not Thomas Shelby. Fuelled by dangerous ambition and unwavering loyalty, the entire Shelby family bash, beat, bribe and burn their way into history as the formidable Peaky Blinders. Set to the tune of Nick Cave, The White Stripes and the Arctic Monkeys, they stomp onto the scene bare-knuckled, waistcoated and ready to fookin ‘av ya! What ensues is a gangster misadventure of such stonking proportions that ‘The Sopranos’ is rocking in the corner, weeping into a red and white tablecloth.

Image courtesy of Google images.

Image courtesy of Google images.

Cillian Murphy (Thomas Shelby) brings a quiet ferocity from underneath his peaked cap whilst single-handedly commanding his ever-growing empire. Although he may look like a cherub, a darkness lurks beneath the piercing blue eyes and chiselled jaw which could make the devil himself look like a children’s party entertainer. Continuously torn between empathy and horror, it is often difficult to decide whether one is with him or against him. Im going with the former just to be on the safe side. Suffice to say he is utterly magnificent.

Image courtesy of Google images.

Image courtesy of Google images.

I never thought I would describe dear sweet Sam Neill as a malicious psychopath who makes one simultaneously itch and shiver with heebie-jeebies but by jove he’s done it and with a resplendent moustache to boot. Inspector Campbell might be the smoothest barbarian that ever lived but underneath his lilting Oirish accent and perfectly tailored suits oozes a slimy narcissist who would sell his own Mother for a seat at the table.

Image courtesy of Google images.

Image courtesy of Google images.

Aunt Polly played by Helen McCrory matches Tommy Shelby in savvy and calculating ambition and almost out-ranks him on occasion.  A powerhouse of determination, Aunt Polly marches through the streets like a General commanding an army crushing those who dare to fall beneath her boots. ‘Dont fook with the Peaky Blinders,’ she commands through swirls of cigarette smoke. Without a doubt she is one of the most formidable women on television.

Image courtesy of Google images.

Image courtesy of Google images.

I cant even begin to describe Tom Hardy.

Image courtesy of Google images.

Image courtesy of Google images.

We may only be bystanders to this extraordinary tale but nevertheless we lose ourselves in the carnage of every ferocious battle, in each moment of victory or loss and in every struggle that The Peaky Blinders face with the enemy, each other and themselves. Its dark, its sensuous and its very, very funny. Watch it, watch the fook out of it. And then go completely bonkers because Series 3 isn’t out until October. Grr.

Image courtesy of Google images.

Image courtesy of Google images.

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It’s 1931, in deepest, darkest Franklin County and the Bondurant brothers; Howard (Jason Clarke) the goggle-eyed, drunken and rowdy eldest, Forrest (Tom Hardy) the hulking, pouting, indestructible middle brother and Jack (Shia LaBeouf) the clumsy, eager and impulsive runt are comfortably riding out the Depression by brewing, selling and plying the authorities with their own special brand of pungent moonshine.

Operating on the back of their feared reputation, the brothers mercilessly protect their turf until the slippery and supercilious entrance of Special Deputy Charlie Rakes threatens to uproot their pursuit of the American Dream. Thereafter follows a rumpus tale of their fight for survival littered with pretty ladies, malicious villains and ferocious punch-ups.

Based on a true story, our protagonist is not, somewhat surprisingly, Tom Hardy but Shia LaBeouf who, as Jack Bondurant, attempts to bypass his brothers authority and become the gangster he’s always fancied; the type who sits behind the wheel of his flash motorcar clad in a tailored suit, his hat cocked over one eye, a burning cigar hanging permanently from his lips, his fingertips blackened from thumbing countless dollar bills. Forrest (Hardy) lurks moodily in the background, uninterested in the ostentation, ever-ready for an opportunity to bloody his knuckles in the interest of protecting his beloved moonshine.

Despite LaBeouf’s expressive performance as the passionate and ardent youngster, it is Tom Hardy who still manages to steal the show. His southern drawl pours from his pouting lips with the correct stodginess and subtlety providing ones ears with a rather pleasant sensation. There is nothing more exasperating than an Englishman attempting to replicate an American accent, or vice versa. However, Hardy seems to have succeeded; despite replacing the majority of the script with pensive snorts and melodic grunts. Whether he’s hulking in the background, sulkily peering from beneath his hat or punching the life-force from some dastardly enemy prior to removing their testicles and mailing them to the cops, one can not help but be drawn to him at all times.

After truly murdering the Queens English with a horrifyingly exaggerated performance as King Edward VIII in ‘The Kings Speech,’ Guy Pearce has finally returned to superb villainous form. Special Agent Charlie Rakes is a foul, pompous, bow-tie sporting, heinous individual who appears to be suffering from copious psychosexual issues which manifest themselves in moments of sadistic violence. Moreover, his hair-do, a truly magnificent creation, appears to part precisely at the mid-point of his brow and spreads, in a stupendously lubricious manner to his temples akin to the parting of the Red Sea. This greasy artistry only seems to add to the skin-crawling sensation that Mr. Pearce so brilliantly brings to his character.

So, if a good gangster romp, with a boisterous, knuckle-dusting storyline, a dash of eccentric hilarity and an appearance from the ever suave Gary Oldman is right up your dark alley, this is the movie to while away your evening. Those with a delicate disposition may wish to hide in their popcorn at particular moments; you have been warned.