Jeffrey Winston Aidoo
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Blog Entries by Jeffrey Winston Aidoo

Film Review: Spring Breakers

(0) Comments | Posted 4 April 2013 | (14:15)

Spring Breakers is an uncouth and unapologetic look at the hedonistic world of the annual Spring Break holiday, where college students head to Florida to let loose. The film has been promoted with a fanfare of trailers and posters which accentuate the sexuality of the four main "good girls, gone...

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Film Review - The Paperboy

(0) Comments | Posted 14 March 2013 | (20:43)

Director Lee Daniels follows up his critically acclaimed masterpiece Precious with a very different endeavour in the form of The Paperboy. Based on a 1995 novel by Pete Dexter, the film is a story of murder, sex and race, all set against the backdrop of the Deep South in late...

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Film Review - Broken

(0) Comments | Posted 8 March 2013 | (14:45)

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Broken is the debut feature from award-winning theatre director Rufus Norris, who has successfully helmed the West End revival of Cabaret and most recently London Road at the National Theatre. An adaptation of a Daniel Clay novel, Broken focuses on three families...

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Film Review - Robot And Frank

(0) Comments | Posted 7 March 2013 | (06:44)

Frank and Robot is a quirky little film from first time director Jake Schreier. The film is set in the future and unsurprisingly centres on Frank (Frank Langella), a retired jewel thief who is losing his memory, living on his own in a remote New England community. Enter onto the...

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Film Review: Flight - Denzel Washington's Perfect Landing

(1) Comments | Posted 28 January 2013 | (15:58)

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It's been a long 12 years since director Robert Zemeckis has been at the helm of a genuine live-action film. Since Cast Away in 2000, the director has chosen to fully immerse himself in the world of animation and motion capture, with fine efforts...

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Film Review: The Sessions - A Film As Emotionally Detached as the Subject Matter

(0) Comments | Posted 13 January 2013 | (08:04)

The Sessions is a film that epitomises Hollywood; let's take the real life story of a polio-stricken man, living with an iron-lung who is desperate to lose his virginity, and subsequently employs the services of a sex surrogate. Only in Hollywood could one attempt to turn this unfortunate situation into...

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Film Review: Django Unchained - A Question of Entertainment vs Enlightenment

(15) Comments | Posted 7 January 2013 | (10:21)

Quentin Tarantino has never really played by the rules during his career in film making. From his early films, which have since become modern classics such as Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction, to his recent work such as Kill Bill and Inglourious Basterds, even Death Proof. Tarantino has proved he's...

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Film Review: Red Hook Summer - Spike Lee's Love Affair with Brooklyn Continues

(7) Comments | Posted 2 January 2013 | (20:46)

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(image: www.redhooksummer.com)

If you think Ben Affleck's love affair with Boston is a bit obsessive, you clearly haven't heard of Spike Lee. The director's new film Red Hook Summer continues his stories called The Chronicles of Brooklyn, following on from films such...

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Review: Life of Pi - One Boy, Three Religions - Believable?

(1) Comments | Posted 21 December 2012 | (12:32)

Based on the story about a Indian boy stranded on a boat with a Bengal Tiger, Yann Martel's 2001 hugely popular book Life of Pi has sold over seven million copies worldwide. As with the majority of popular novels, Hollywood eyed a film version. However for a hugely descriptive book...

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Film Review - Jack Reacher

(11) Comments | Posted 19 December 2012 | (17:31)

Jack Reacher is a tough guy, a loner and according to Lee Child's novels of which the character is featured; he's 6' 5" and built like a WWE wrestler! Enter Tom Cruise, arguably the only actor in Hollywood standing 5' 7" with the tenacity, skill and sheer screen presence to transcend the physical description and authentically embody such a mammoth character.

Child's ninth Jack Reacher novel One Shot is the basis of director Christopher McQuarrie's film and centers on a seemingly straight forward case involving a sniper randomly killing innocent people. Jack Reacher is mysteriously asked by the alleged perpetrator to cast an eye over the case, as it transpires the pair served in the Iraq War together. Whilst it becomes clear that all is not as it seems with the case, a well developed and intriguing narrative is delivered which is nothing less than expected from director Christopher McQuarrie; creator of the classic film The Usual Suspects.

Cruise plays this role in a no-nonsense, matter of fact way which really allows him to shine as Reacher. He swaggers through the film with the confidence and authority of a 6'5" WWE wrestler and delivers a believable, genuinely entertaining performance, full of character, wit and good old-fashioned justice. With classic lines such as "I mean to beat you to death, and drink your blood from a boot". You can't help but to enjoy watching Reacher kick and punch his way to the truth. His portrayal of the elusive army veteran who lives in the shadows and only surfaces to right some wrongs and beat down a few bad guys, conjures up a real old school feeling to the film but it's firmly seated in the 21st century thanks to the direction and vision of McQuarrie.

The director paints a poignant picture right from the outset as the sniper gets to work in picking off his victims and this sets a very dark, gritty tone for the film that pulls no punches when demonstrating how nasty the bad guys really are, including a literally hard hitting scene involving a poor unsuspecting young lady. McQuarrie deals with the action sequences with much flair and finesse and there are a number of high octane car chases which will keep the action junkies happy. There are also some superb fight scenes in which Reacher demonstrates his superior hand to hand combat style, whilst comically predicting the outcome of an imminent five on one battle to the unsuspecting bad guys.

Whilst the plot is relatively straightforward with a few twists thrown in for good measure, the performances of the supporting cast adds to a well constructed film. British actress Rosamund Pike (Wrath of the Titans) puts on her finest American accent and delivers a solid performance as Helen Rodin, the defense attorney / potential love interest working alongside Reacher to prove the sniper's innocence. Fellow Brit David Oyelowo (The Last King of Scotland) also puts in an accomplished performance as tough, confident detective Emerson who investigated and arrested the sniper.

Perhaps the stroke of genius was casting the veteran director Werner Herzog (Grizzly Man, Rescue Dawn) as the film's big boss bad guy. Just the sight of his menacing face brought raptures of laughter and applauds from the audience. Maybe not the reaction that you would expect in seeing the main villain on the screen but the sentiment was appropriate, as the audience was just so excited to see the beloved director in such a dramatic, surprising role. Herzog certainly didn't disappoint and delivers a chilling performance as Russian criminal overlord, the Zec. My only criticism would be he was seriously underused and deserved even more screen time with Herzog. It was great to see Robert Duvall (Crazy Heart) pop up later on in the film, and he puts in a commendable stint as one of Reacher allies.

All in all Jack Reacher is another notch on Tom Cruise's action hero belt and demonstrates why he is still one the most bankable action men in Hollywood. The combination of Cruise and McQuarrie alongside an excellent supporting cast delivers a sharp, entertaining and thoroughly enjoyable action thriller which will no doubt be the first of many Jack Reacher...

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