Thursday 27 December 2007

The Terminal (2004) - ickleReview (TV)

Tom Hanks plays a citizen from a former Soviet republic which suffers a military coup while he is in the air on his way to New York. The airport immigration authorities do not allow him to leave the terminal building because his country is no longer recognized. He is not allowed to fly home either so he ends up living in the international transit terminal where he finds a way to earn a living and becomes a celebrity amongst the airport staff. Catherine Zeta-Jones plays the air hostess love interest. Steven Spielberg directs.

According to IMDb:

Inspired by the story of Merhan Nasseri, an Iranian refugee. In 1988, he landed at Charles de Gaulle Airport near Paris after being denied entry into England because his passport and United Nations refugee certificate had been stolen. French authorities would not let him leave the airport. He remained in Terminal One, a stateless person with nowhere else to go. He has since been granted permission to either enter France or return to his own country. He instead chooses to continue to live in the terminal and tell his story to those who will listen. Reportedly, his mental health has deteriorated over the years. When given the opportunity to live in France, he refused because the documents did not name him as "Sir, Alfred", and he claims to have forgotten his native Persian language. Reportedly, he left the terminal in August 2006 to be hospitalized for an unspecified illness.

Nugget: a good film with a loveable performance by Tom Hanks, although you can pretty much learn everything you need to know about the film from the effective trailer.

Tuesday 25 December 2007

Office Space (1999) - ickleReview (DVD)

Funny movie set in an office with quirky characters and some great catchlines.

Nugget: I'm gunna go ahead and suggest you watch this.

Friday Night Lights (2004) - ickleReview (HD)

Superlative sports movie about a smalltown high school (American) football team from Odessa, Texas. The Permian Panthers are the focus of the whole town. Alumni and former players follow the team with gurt intensity, expecting them to have a perfect season and win the state championship. 20,000 watch their home games, played on Friday night under the floodlights. The head coach, Gary Gaines (Billy Bob Thornton), is paid a $60,000 salary - higher than the school principal. The quarterback Mike Winchell (Lucas Black) is not the star of the team. He learns his playbook with the help of his crazy mother. Football is his best chance of going to college. The team's hopes rest upon running-back Boobie Miles (Derek Luke), destined for greatness, a stellar college career, and the NFL. The full-back, Don Billingsley (Garrett Hedlund), whose main job on the team is to block for Boobie, is overshadowed by his intimidating and violent father, Charles (Tim McGraw), who has done nothing with his life since he was part of a state championship team and hates to see his son fumble the football.

The film is based upon the book by H. G. Bissinger, a journalist who stayed in Odessa for a year to experience the 1988 football season by living amongst the players and townsfolk. A remarkable story with brilliantly shot, exciting action sequences and (rare for a sports movie) a compelling off-the-field plot to match.

Nugget: it's worth going the extra yard to see this.

Saturday 8 December 2007

Sicko (2007) - ickleReview (HD)

Michael Moore documentary about the health care system in the USA. He compares the American system of private health insurance with the socialized health care (free at the point of need) in Canada, the UK, France, and Cuba. He meets a number of US citizens, including 9/11 volunteer rescue workers, who have been denied service by their health insurance companies or cannot afford to pay the hospital and doctors' bills. In the US, health care is not universal and is not free. The health insurance companies want to make profits, even if that means denying their clients access to treatments that could save their lives. It's no wonder such a system lets people down. This system was introduced by the Nixon administration in 1971 and Hillary Clinton failed to deliver the reforms that she promised when she was Bill's First Lady. And now she's running for president - on that record?

Moore has seemingly heeded criticism of his earlier films, particularly Fahrenheit 9/11, when he appeared too prominently (for some) in front of camera. In Sicko, he doesn't feature until 45 minutes in. His confrontational stunts are also less gimmicky, but I won't spoil any of them for you by revealing what they are. To have the greatest impact, it's best not to know too much about the content.

Nugget: certainly back up to the standard of Roger & Me and Bowling for Columbine.