Over thirty years have flown by since Tony Scott’s 80s hit Top Gun took to the skies, and we’ve seen Tom Cruise transition from an exciting rising talent into the ultimate movie star he is today. The long-awaited sequel sees him reprise the leading role of Pete ‘Maverick’ Mitchell, now serving as an instructor in the US Navy.Continue reading “DVD review: Top Gun: Maverick”
Todd Phillips is known for directing the acclaimed Hangover trilogy, and although he adds his comedic bromance flavourings again, he is now taking on much weightier material in crime-drama War Dogs. Loosely based on the book Arms and the Dudes by Guy Lawson, the plot follows two twenty-something friends who become international arms dealers working with the American government. David Packouz (Miles Teller) is struggling to make ends meet, working as a masseuse in Miami. At an old school mate’s funeral, he reunites with former high school best friend Efraim Diveroli (Jonah Hill), who appears to be making a real go of his life having left town a few years earlier. Eager for the taste of success, he agrees to work for him, joining the firm to buy and sell guns and make a fortune.
Boxing has been very good to cinema over the years, and has become a sub-genre in its own right, providing the canvas to tell triumphant tales that revolve around the squared circle. The latest effort of this ilk, based on the remarkable true story of former world champion Vinny Pazienza, is Bleed for This, written and directed by Ben Younger. Oozing with style, swagger and success, Vinny (Miles Teller) had it all but always wanted more. After teaming up with troubled trainer Kevin Rooney (Aaron Eckhart) and reaching the top, a tragic accident stops him in his tracks and leaves him close to paralysation. Going against doctor’s orders and the advice from everyone around him, Vinny refuses to throw in the towel.
An intense, edge of your seat, drama about jazz music would appear about as plausible as a feel-good flick in a funeral parlour but that’s exactly what director Damien Chazelle achieves with ‘Whiplash’. Music school drummer Andrew Neimann (Miles Teller) is young and impressionable, determined to be the next big sensation of the jazz scene. Standing in his way is intimidating conductor/mentor Terence Fletcher (J.K. Simmons) whose exceptionally high standards lend him extreme methods of coaching. Are his unorthodox teaching techniques necessary means to an end or is he bitterly blocking the threshold to stardom because he himself feels he has underachieved?