Happy St. Paddy’s Day – Jekyll Centurion In The Grey Bruges

Well no green beer for me this year but I thought I’d highlight some films from my favorite Irish actors.

The Grey

 

The Grey (2012) – Rated R

After narrowly surviving a deadly plane crash in the Alaskan wilderness, a band of oil riggers must battle the elements — and a pack of wolves.

Obviously, Liam Neeson kicks serious butt. He currently stars in Non-Stop which was a lot of (nonsensical) fun AND The Lego Movie (as Good Cop/Bad Cop) which was even more fun. While I enjoy his action movies, The Grey is not actually the survival story the trailer would have you believe. Instead it’s a wonderful existential treatise on life and death disguised as a survival movie.

Jekyll

Jekyll (2007) – TV-14

In modern-day London, Dr. Jekyll’s last living descendant believes he can control his dark side, but a secret society has other plans for him.”

James Nesbitt is a favorite Irish actor of mine, mostly for this British miniseries. He is just fine as Jekyll but the first time you see him as Hyde, you’ll be hooked. He currently stars as Bofur in The Hobbit movies.

In Bruges

In Bruges (2008) – Rated R

After a job goes wrong in London, two hit men are ordered to lay low at a bed-and-breakfast in Bruges, Belgium, until their boss contacts them.”

In Bruges features two of my favorite Irish actors. When he isn’t getting into trouble, Colin Farrell is quite the charmer and Brendan Gleeson is always good, usually better than his material deserves. In Bruges is absolutely hysterical, an understated gem from the folks that made Seven Psychopaths (also hysterical)

Centurion

Centurion (2010) – Rated R

In 2nd-century Britain, a famed centurion and a handful of Roman soldiers try to survive behind enemy lines after Pict tribesmen decimate the platoon.”

I really enjoy Liam Cunningham in everything. Lately I’ve caught him as Davos in Game of Thrones but that obviously isn’t on Netflix. Netflix does stream Centurion, in which Liam has a supporting role. Not only that but it has Michael Fassbender in a starring role. In spite of that, the movie is stolen by Dominic West as General Virilus and Olga Kurylenko as Etain.

 

Dead Man Down – Dead Man Down!

Dead Man Down is currently available on instant Netflix

Dead Man Down

 

Dead Man Down (2013) – Rated R

This taut crime thriller stars Colin Farrell as a brutal gang enforcer who falls for a woman bent on exacting revenge on his boss. Via seduction and blackmail, the woman persuades the gangster to help her achieve a bloody payback.

I wanted to like this movie. I really, really did. Back in spring, when it came out, Carolina Cinemas served a Dead Man Down cocktail for a few weeks. Frozen Peach Nehi, white wine, and fresh fruit garnish – all served in a Dead Man Down cocktail glass. They were tasty and I have four of the martini glasses in my house, mostly used when my wife and I split a frozen Smirnoff cherry limeade. Still I ended up missing the film in theaters.

Dead Man Down is, like the drink I had, very very pretentious. It tries hard and puts ‘important’ pregnant pauses in the dialogue and significant glances to let you know important connections are happening. Unfortunately it doesn’t gel at all well. My wife gave up about halfway in.

Another problem is that Noomi Rapace’s character, Beatrice, is consistently referred to as ‘monster’. This is because of how she looks after her car accident. The neighborhood kids constantly taunt her with it and the word is etched into her door. The problem with this is that it’s not at all realistic. Beatrice has some significant facial scarring but it’s just a few thin scars on her face that don’t really mar her attractiveness. It reminds me of the recent Beauty and the Beast adaptation where the only thing ‘beastly’ was that the character had tattoos.

Dead Man Down isn’t awful – it just isn’t a taut crime thriller, it is more a romance with thriller overtones.