REVIEW: SILENCE – Spider-man and Kylo Ren go to Japan to find Ra’s Ghul.

Martin Scorsese’s new film apparently took 20 years to make or more accurately he wanted to do it for twenty years or something. Anyway the adaptation of Shusaku Endo’s amazing novel is faithful, perhaps overly so. Large slabs of prose are Terrence Malicked onto the soundtrack, but at the same time Scorsese also literally renders paragraphs, often risking silliness. The story often slides towards Christian propaganda and one wonders how Mel Gibson would have dealt with it. And how critics would have looked at the film if he had.

Hacksaw Ridge actor Andrew Garfield does some more blinking as the priest who with Adam Driver goes looking for Liam Neeson and proselytize to the heathens in Japan. The persecution that follows provides a stations of the cross for the priest who enters his crisis of faith. There’s some dodgy CGI and some wonderfully inventive direction. But the ambiguity of the novel has its hand tipped with a clumsy last shot and dedication.

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ARKHAM – H.P. Lovecraft turns his jaded eye toward Oscar hopeful and moving civil rights drama Selma.

Many are the horrors that have been projected upon the silver screen in the fetid darkness of the movie house, many the insane disgusting terrors that have sent audiences shrieking into the starless night, many the perverse sadistic twisted eldritch tales that confound belief and set the soul a-shiver but none have frozen my blood quite so deeply as the terrifyingly unspeakable nightmare that is Selma.

Set in the beautiful and peaceable environs of the southern states of this our United States, all seems well with the world. The races are sensibly separated and all know what beholds their duty and station. But a dark terror is lurking and a crazed leader with a hypnotic voice and baleful stare is elected ‘KING’ of his dusky brethren and with his twisted obsession and murderous need for ‘equality’ leads the benighted masses, gripped in his insane folly towards confrontation with the restrained and peaceable forces of law and order. A wonderful Tim Roth is the hero of the piece who is the Governor of the land of Alabama. Tom Wilkinson plays the President Lyndon Johnson, who fain would stall the black man in his fatal designs but who is weakened by his perverse love of a familiar demon (unseen) called Ladybird!

However, Oscar-worthy would be the performance of David Oyelowo as the infernal charismatic leader whose gentle cadences are but a covering for foul and depraved intentions. Fortunately, the Oscars is one of the few institutions which maintain strict segregation in accordance with the sensible strictures of the color bar.

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DALLAS BUYERS CLUB: REVIEW- This is Philadelphia Texas style. With the McCon-formation continuing (I now actually expect Matthew McConaughey to be good!) and here following the Christian Bale plan diet, McConaughey plays Ron Woodroof, a rodeo loving, hard drinking, hard working guy with an eye for the ladies, who finds out he’s HIV positive.

This is the Eighties and he’s given thirty days to live and not much hope beyond experimental drugs being pushed through the system by unscrupulous drug companies and a desperate medical community. Fortunately, he seeks out a struck off doctor (played by a brilliant Griffin Dunne) in Mexico, who with a regimen of vitamins and proteins manages to prolong Ron’s chances. Ron decides to start smuggling the drugs into the US and helping fellow sufferers, pocketing a healthy profit along the way. 

Ron is a fantastic character. A homophobic tough guy, spit in your eye type who nevertheless has a code. His thinness gives him that carved out of wood feel. The fragility rendered by the disease is offset by the lean mean intensity of his will to survive. His transformation via his friendship with transvestite Rayon (Jared Leto) is credible and moving, even though at times the film draws its lines of bad versus good with too heavy a pencil. Jennifer Garner is also given the somewhat thankless task of playing the witness who fills up at the apposite moment.