Inherit the Viper

Josie and Kip

So near yet so far, Inherit the Viper could almost be a Paul Schrader-esque tale of pitiless redemption, à la Taxi Driver or First Reformed. We get both of those things – little pity and a lot of redemption – but who it’s meant to be directed at is never quite clear. There are two leads. Margarita Levieva as Josie Conley, who we meet selling a pill to a local woman in the out-of-the-way town where her family are the go-to people for drugs. Opioids like “Oxy” are their current hot seller. Next thing we or Josie knows is that the woman is dead in the toilet of the bar – she’s OD’d. … Read more

Valley of the Gods

Josh Hartnett, Bérénice Marlohe and Keir Dullea

Valley of the Gods. What the hell was that? At around an hour in, Lech Majewski’s film starts to look like it’s developing a plot. But until then it’s been a series of scenes/scenarios/situations that don’t seem to be very connected at all. In one we meet John (Josh Hartnett), a would-be writer trying to hash something out in the desert where the spirit of the Navajo are said to roam. In another a mute beggar on the street called Wes Tauros (John Malkovich), that rare thing – a beggar with a butler (Keir Dullea). Tauros is in fact not a beggar but the richest man in the world. In another a man … Read more

Wrath of Man

H with a gun

Wrath of Man is director Guy Ritchie and actor Jason Statham’s fourth collaboration since they both broke through in 1998’s Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. It’s a remake of the 2004 French movie Cash Truck and opens with the Metro Goldwyn Mayer logo emblazoned in orange lettering against a hazy cityscape. All very 1970s is the initial impression. And it turns out to be a correct impression since what we get with Wrath of Man is a cut and shut of two 1970s staples – the bank heist movie and the revenge thriller. The joys of a Statham film come largely in having our expectations satisfied. He’s a trans-cinematic presence, reliably Statham, … Read more

I Come with the Rain

Josh Hartnett

A movie for every day of the year – a good one 23 August Beginning of the Philippine Revolution, 1896 On this day in 1896, the Cry of Pugad Lawin, or Balintawak, took place. It marked the opening phase of the revolution in the Philippines against Spanish colonial rule, and refers to the skirmish between the Katipunan secret society – under Andres Bonifacio – and the Civil Guard loyal to the colonising power. The actual date of the “Cry” is disputed; it used to be officially marked on 26 August but since 1963 has been officially remembered on this day, when Katipuneros gathered in the Kalookan area and tore up their tax certificate, … Read more