Archive for the ‘Brendan Gleeson’ Tag

The Village (2004)   1 comment

village

In an isolated colonial village, people live, work, play, and love harmoniously.  They’re civilized and rational.  The citizens work hard and the village prospers.  For some reason, the people never leave.  No one goes out to explore or hunt or just find out what’s beyond the city limits.  Why?  Well, it seems the village is under constant siege by large, carnivorous creatures.  As long as they stay within the confines of their little town, the villagers are safe from their ravenous attacks.  Oh that.  Sure, that sounds reasonable.  When jealousy and violence rear their ugly heads, the townsfolk finally have an excuse to cross the border into Monsterville where those we don’t speak of dwell.

vol

Not this guy.

Hi.  *raises hand*  I have a few questions.  No one ever tries to go over the wall?  What’s wrong with the teenagers in this town? They never have to go outside to get more livestock or wood for a new building?

all out

“All out of lobster bisque.”

General implausibility aside, I like this film.  I like seeing a happy, reasonable, positive society.  I understand the desire to grab my kid and my dog and live on top of a mountain.  Some days are like that.  That said, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t do it.

The cast in THE VILLAGE has some serious acting chops.  Sigourney Weaver, William Hurt, Joaquin Phoenix (who I usually dislike), Cherry Jones, ❤ Brendan Gleeson <3, Judy Greer, and in small parts, Michael Pitt and Jesse Eisenberg all made me believe.  Adrien Brody’s Noah, a man-child with a sweet soul, steals a few scenes, but Bryce Dallas Howard shines.  She and Phoenix share great chemistry.

ivykiss

It’s a terrific part.  Howard’s Ivy Walker shows compassion and love along with wisdom.  She’s a blind girl who can take care of herself.  She does the right thing, but is kind when others don’t.  She’s brave.

ivy

James Newton Howard wrote a fantastic score for THE VILLAGE.  M. Night Shyamalan wrote, produced, and directed the film. He took some slack for the film, but it made a profit.  He even has a small cameo.  Star cinematographer Roger Deakins worked on THE VILLAGE.  It took 300 craftsmen to build the town modeled after Andrew Wyeth’s paintings.

THE VILLAGE, Bryce Dallas Howard, Joaquin Phoenix, 2004, (c) Buena Vista

I know there are some plot holes, but I don’t care.  THE VILLAGE tells an entertaining story and I love seeing such a strong, sympathetic, female character.

ivytear

haunty

Stonehearst Asylum (2014)   2 comments

stonehearst

Based on a short story by Edgar Allen Poe, STONEHEARST ASYLUM follows a medical student, Edward Newgate (Jim Sturgess) from Oxford University to the titular sanitarium in 1899.  There, he meets Eliza Graves (Kate Beckinsale), a beautiful and refined woman who seems out of place in the rural institution.

eliza

“…making love to his tonic and gin.”

He falls for her instantly and all that impartial doctor stuff flies out the barred windows.  Newgate also meets Dr. Silas Lamb (Ben Kingsley), an enlightened doctor who doesn’t hold with the treatments (read torture) the medical establishment favor for mental patients at the time.  Lamb is far more progressive and humane than Newgate expects and the two men become close.

kingsley

“And how long have you been Scott of the Antarctic?”

Odd events and strange noises prompt Newgate to take an unauthorized tour of the basement and his discovery changes everything.

oh hi

“Oh, hi.”

Brad Anderson directs his stellar cast professionally.  It’s hard to miss with Beckinsale, Kingsley, Michael Caine, Sinéad Cusack, Brendan Gleeson, and David Thewlis.  The actors live up to their reputations and the atmosphere is eerie, gothic, and shrouded in fog.  I like this film a lot.  It’s more of a thriller than a horror, but the asylum setting and thoughts of bedlam keep it scary.  They could have done more to keep up the suspense, but the lead and character actors play off each other well.  There’s wonderful chemistry between Beckinsale and Sturgess and Kingsley and everyone.  He’s terrific.

ben

“I’m terrific.”

STONEHEARST ASYLUM is a throwback of sorts and I mean that in a good way.  The character-driven story builds naturally and Poe and screenwriter Joe Gangemi throw in a few twists to keep us guessing.  I was drawn into the story and cared about the players.  With a lot of modern horror resorting to jump scares and shaky cameras, this film with it’s intelligent dialogue and sensible characters stands out.  If you like classic horror films with a bit of a modern twist, you’ll like this one.

caine

“They’re all out of crullers.”

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