6:00 PM, 29th May, 2010
It’s the 21st century, but in this version the ancient Greek gods are back, along with various monsters, and they’re not happy – Zeus’s (Bean) lightning bolt has been stolen.
Percy (Lerman) is sixteen years old, dyslexic and suffers from ADHD; but it turns out he’s a demigod, the son of one of said gods. Hmmm, dyslexic and ADHD? Obviously congenitally inherited… sorry, I digress. To make things even worse he’s the number one suspect for having nicked Zeus’s lightning bolt. And as if all of the above wasn’t bad enough, Percy’s mother (Catherine Keener) has suddenly disappeared.
Percy is caught between angry, battling gods and he and his friends – another demigod and a satyr, a kind of woodland god with equine features – embark on a cross-country adventure to recover Zeus’s lightning bolt, save Percy’s mother and solve a mystery.
The movie is an adaptation of the first novel of Rick Riordan’s “Percy Jackson And The Olympians” series. It is rollicking good fun, and doubtless there will be sequels, so make sure you see this, the first of the series. Will this give hope to Harry Potter addicts, that there will be life after The Deathly Hallows?
8:00 PM, 29th May, 2010
This is a small movie with performances as big as the American West at its heart.
The lives of great country singers tend to be on the messy side and Jeff Bridges delivers an extraordinary piece of acting as the fictional musician placed in an actual 1987 musical universe: from the lurid depiction of playing in bowling alleys and bars, but being unable to get through a set without heaving outside; to reciting his age as a refrain and settling onto a barstool as a broken man with nowhere to go. The chorus of his signature song observes that “falling feels like flying... for a little while.”
Bad Blake (Bridges) is a bloated, depressed musician whose former sideman Tommy Sweet (Farrell) has rocketed to stardom while his own fortunes have sunk into an alcoholic haze of grubby honky-tonks and meaningless one-night stands. When they reunite, Sweet is deferential and embarrassed by their switched fortunes and maybe his own glossy Nashville makeover.
Through constant infusion of cigarettes and alcohol, Bad has reduced himself to a barely functioning mess. Yet the outstanding performance of Bridges depicts not only the physical impact but the spiritual loss of his decline, and he will have you rooting for his redemption. He is well supported by Robert Duvall, who plays Bad’s hometown bartender and confessor with casual perfection, and by Maggie Gyllenhaal as Jean Craddock – a journalist and single mother who persists with Bad beyond his wariness, distance and blackouts for his innate intelligence, scruffy charm and Southern courtliness. They ease into an affair that could easily inspire a catalogue of country songs on its own.