The Drop (Michaël R. Roskam 2014)

the-drop-tom-hardyand so anyway it turn out that the best thing about The Drop (2014) is not that we get to see James Gandolfini in action one last time, nor is it the reminder of quite how good a writer Dennis Lehane is, nor is it the way that it confirms that the sole motivation left to men in contemporary cinema is protecting or revenging their dogs, as in Equilibrium, I Am LegendThe Rover, John Wick (and presumably John Wick 2) and the Fast and Furious franchise (let’s face it, Paul Walker was basically Vin Diesel’s adorable little stray), as well as Human Target on the telly, no, the best thing about The Drop is every single scene in which Tom Hardy picks up young Rocco (or Mike, as he would have preferred to call him) and it becomes  impossible to decide which is the cutest puppy of all…

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Brick Mansions (Camille Delamarre 2014)

MV5BOTI0ODQ2MzY5NF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNTcxNzQxMTE@._V1_SX640_SY720_and so anyway it turns out that the best thing about Brick Mansions (2014) is not that it has a piece of good old-fashioned Jean-Claude Van Damme-style hasty exposition about the origins of Lino to explain why someone with a French accent lives in a Detroit ghetto (and then dubs David Belle badly anyway), nor that a film so vastly inferior to its source, Banlieue 13 (2004), has the audacity to insist that ‘different methods can produce the same result’, but that it helped answer a question posed by the old episode of Orange is the New Black I saw just before it – yes, it is actually possible for something to be more depressing than a Tori Amos tribute band…

Hours (Eric Heisserer 2013)

Hours.poster.croppedand so anyway it turns out that the best thing about Hours (2013) – a film in which Paul Walker must hand crank a battery recharger every 3 minutes or less for several days in order to keep his prematurely-born daughter alive in a ventilator while Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath rage outside the deserted hospital – is the bit when Vin Diesel, sporting a prosthetic nose that makes him look like Nicole Kidman, rocks up in an old Detroit muscle car fitted out as a hovercraft to drop off James Franco, who races into the hospital to save father and infant by gnawing off his own arm, though I confess my eyelids did get a little heavy about seventy-five minutes into the movie and so I can’t swear this is exactly how it ended…