Helen Mirren In Graham Greene’s BRIGHTON ROCKAugust 31, 2011
On Demand Weekly provides new movie reviews of hot movies on demand and from the POV of watching from the comfort of your home. Today’s review: BRIGHTON ROCK (IFC Films).
BRIGHTON ROCK On Demand
By Chris Claro
In his adaptation of Graham Greene’s BRIGHTON ROCK, writer-director Rowan Joffe resets the noirish story of a low-level hood named Pinkie to early-60s England, against the background of the Mods vs. Rockers riots that gave rise to both the hippie and the skinhead movements. With the time shift, Joffe is able to take advantage of the styles and music of the era while reinforcing the timelessness of Greene’s violent tale of murder and deceit.
Sullen, violent, but oh-so-seductive Pinkie Brown (Sam Riley, CONTROL) finds himself in trouble after accidentally killing a member of a rival gang. To prove his innocence, Pinkie insinuates himself into the life of waitress Rose (Andrea Riseborough, HAPPY-GO-LUCKY), confiding in her about the murder and convincing her to marry him. Rose, under Pinkie’s hypnotic spell, does so, over the objections of Ida (Helen Mirren, RED), who sees Pinkie as the sociopath he is. True to the film’s noir roots, complications ensue and things end badly.
BRIGHTON ROCK is an odd duck: a middling thriller that almost seems more concerned with its production design than its modest story. True, the thin ties and period cars and Dave Clark Five tunes ground the film, but they also detract from a generally well-acted tale which calls to mind the moral dilemmas faced by characters in such contemporary stories of guilt and retribution as A SIMPLE PLAN and BEFORE THE DEVIL KNOWS YOU’RE DEAD.
As in those films, the slow build toward an inevitably dark conclusion saps BRIGHTON ROCK of some of its suspense, but Joffe compensates by coaxing strong performances from his actors. The Riley’s brooding Pinkie emanates a sinister sexiness that’s catnip to the naive Rose. Riseborough stands out as Rose, who becomes more mature and aware of herself even as she refuses to see Pinkie as anything but misunderstood.
Prime Suspect (VOD Hidden Gem)October 21, 2011
Media savant T Tara Turk goes deep inside cable TV to reveal Video On Demand's Hidden Gems so even the busiest of our readers can get the most out of On Demand TV. Tell Tara what VOD shows you think deserves her attention.
PRIME SUSPECT (VOD Hidden Gem)
With all the hoopla going on for the Fall about women, tv and comedies, I’m a bit unclear about why there’s no cheer behind some of the dramas with fantastic women behind them. I’ve already told you that nobody does crime like the Brits (maybe because they’ve been around longer and have very little sunshine thus causing the macabre to be a regular mood - that’s my scientific theory) and sometimes I even like it when we take their shows and make them our own. For instance, I can’t imagine Prime Suspect being anything other than what it is: complex, gritty, sarcastic and stylized.
I’m a fan of Maria Bello (except for that weird bit she did replacing Rachel Weisz - Mrs. Bond - for THE MUMMY: TOMB OF THE DRAGON EMPEROR) maybe because I’m partial to ER alums (jury is still out on Noah Wyle and Falling Skies but at least I’m still deliberating) but I think she’s spot on as Detective Jane Timoney. Aside from the added pressure of following in the great Helen Mirren’s footsteps as the original Jane Timoney, Mario seems to fit Mirren’s American Prada boots just fine.
Jane doesn’t not exactly have the best life - a squad that borderline hates her, a boyfriend with an inability to stand up to his nice-nasty ex-wife, a nasty smoking habit and a tendency to always go the rough way on her cases (in the first episode, she gets her tush handed to her by a suspect in a way I’ve much seen on TV).
Episode Four: Great Guy; Yet Dead has Jane suspecting the wife in a murder of a guy that everyone seemed to like. Not above stripping down to her gun and bra in a dressing room to interrogate the wife, Jane trudges through her life and her cases in a way that I think would make Columbo proud. She’s more purposeful yet still a bit haphazard which makes the show interesting.
5 New Movies On Demand to Watch: December 2014December 04, 2014
Kat Ashy (On Demand Weekly)
On Demand Weekly's Kat Ashy (@KatDoesLife) goes through all the new movies each month for her New Movies On Demand Preview.
Kat’s Top Five Movies On Demand:
5. THE HUNDRED-FOOT JOURNEY, Premieres December 2 - FAMILY PICK
This foodie masterpiece starring Dame Helen Mirren is a surefire way to satisfy your December gluttony.
PG, Drama, Helen Mirren, Om Puri, Manish Dayal, Charlotte Le Bon
4. THIS IS WHERE I LEAVE YOU, Premieres December 16 - DYSFUNCTIONAL FAMILY PICK
Holidays breed familial insanity so why not watch this dysfunctional bunch that includes Tina Fey, Jason Bateman, and Jane Fonda.
R, Comedy/Drama, Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, Jane Fonda, Adam Driver, Rose Byrne, Corey Stoll, Kathryn Hahn, Connie Britton, Timothy Olyphant, Dax Shepard
3. THE MAZE RUNNER, Premieres December 23 - TEEN PICK
Young Adult Dystopia fiction will not die! And in this case it’s a good thing since THE MAZE RUNNER is essentially a New Age Lord of the Flies.
PG-13, Action/Sci-Fi, Dylan O'Brien, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Kaya Scodelario, Will Poulter, Patricia Clarkson
2. THE SKELETON TWINS, Premieres December 16 - INDIE PICK
Putting Kristin Wiig and Bill Hader together as estranged twin siblings is a genius move. Whoever casted this deserves a pie.
R, Drama, Kristen Wiig, Bill Hader, Luke Wilson, Ty Burrell
1. GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, Premieres December 9 - TOP PICK
We are Groot! The biggest blockbuster of the summer is finally On Demand and if you didn’t catch it in theatres you must watch it now. In the Marvel universe, Chris Pratt stars as the charismatic Star-Lord who helms a team of vigilante criminals that include a ruthless assassin, an overly literal behemoth, a crazed raccoon, and a talking tree. With its 70’s soundtrack and “don’t give a shit” attitude GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY reigns supreme as the most entertaining film of the year.
PG-13, Action/Adventure, Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Bradley Cooper (voice), Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel (voice), Lee Pace, Michael Rooker, John C. Reilly, Glenn Close, Benicio Del Toro
That’s December team! Be sure to read what other great movies premiere On Demand this month below.
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