Daily Archives: September 15, 2016

Deepwater Horizon – Peter Berg


I had some trepidation when I ordered tickets to this one but it had Mark Wahlberg and it was about one of the worst oil spill disasters in history and maybe, just maybe they would do a good job. I was sadly disappointed. Although they do try in a minor way to pin this on British Petroleum there is absolutely no message here about environmental issues or the irresponsibility of the oil industry to prevent these kinds of situations. Instead it is literally all about the night of the blow out and the desperate acts of the men and women on the rig to escape. The film is very confusing. Dialogue is hard to make out over the simulated din of the machines, you have no idea who the characters are, what their roles are, what the relationships are between the workers or why the disaster happened at all.  No attempt is made  to explain how all the systems on board would fail simultaneously. And the film is loud, wear ear plugs if you go. The attempts at escape are also very confusing and we have two hours of screaming, shouting, explosions, fire and gross injuries. I left the film feeling angry and stressed and I usually can handle an action film like Jason Bourne but this was literally just stupid. If you get the impression I was not impressed you are picking up the right vibes. Stay away or if you must watch it – wait for it to show up on Netflix or iTunes.

Goldstone, Director — Ivan Sen


Yes I know the picture looks like a traditional American Western but this is really anything but. Instead it’s an Australian police drama set today in the desert of the Australian outback. It is the second film from Aussie director Ivan Sen about a indigenous federal detective who arrives in the desert and woe begotten town of Goldstone. He is there to track down a missing Chinese girl that he suspects of being a victim of human trafficking. Goldstone harbours a very private and protective mining operation that is causing pollution and local violence by its miners. The company also imports indebted Chinese girls to serve as prostitutes and has bought off the town’s mayor and many of the local indigenous population. Besides our hero (who is himself a deeply flawed individual) there is a local cop who has been keeping his eyes closed but who is essentially a good cop. A murder and finding of the missing girl’s body gets the story rolling ending in a bloody gun fight between the good and bad guys. The indigenous detective appears in an earlier film – Mystery Road – which I fully intend to watch next week. The story is exciting and while not really Oscar worthy is definitely worth seeing. I have become a big fan of Australia cinema and this film did not let me down. If there is an award worthy aspect to this film that puts it in a class by itself, it’s the cinematography which is absolutely stunning. The shots of the desert taken with drone mounted cameras take your breath away. Seriously.