At The Movies This Week, 17th January 2014
At The Movies
Delivery Man ★★★
Director: Ken Scott
Cast: Vince Vaughn, Chris Pratt, Cobie Smulders
Based on his original French film “Starbuck”, director Ken Scott brings his original film in American form. David Wozniak (Vince Vaughn) is constantly getting himself into really bad situations, including a scheme that leaves him owing money to some people who are not to be messed with and is also failing at his job and then his girlfriend Emma (Cobie Smulders) announces she’s pregnant.
But he lands in more trouble when he finds out he has accidentally dispersed too much of his seed at a New York fertility clinic with the result that he is now the father of 533 children. 142 of his 533 biological children then band together to dispute to know his identity. David then goes seeking out each of the 143 in an attempt to try to make their lives a little bit better.
Vince Vaughn is back with his likable man-child persona at first but his role turns into more serious as the film goes on. Vaughn actually delivers what is a heartfelt performance.
Vaughn also has some amazingly fun chemistry with Chris Pratt who plays his best friend. Pratt on his own provides a lot of the major comic relief in the film which is most needed. Don’t expect your typical Vince Vaughn film here.
“Delivery Man” is one of the feel-good films of the year and is worth a look at.
12 Years A Slave ★★★★★
Director: Steve McQueen
Cast: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch, Brad Pitt
“12 Years A Slave” is based on the real story of Solomon Northup (played by Chiwetel Ejiofor), a family man and a free man who earns a living in New York as a carpenter and playing the fiddle. When he’s asked to go to Washington for what looks like what would be a profitable and worthwhile gig, he can’t pass it up, but it turns out to be a trick and he then finds himself in chains after what is a drug-induced sleep. He is then sold into slavery in Louisiana.
As his abductors see it Solomon needs putting back in his place and knows where he stands. The whip is brought out whenever he brings up freedom as a man and becomes less of the man who he was before each time he is whipped. The violence is harshly pictured by McQueen, the camera lingers on his skin which is torn apart to reveal white flesh and red blood.
There is more imagery used throughout the film. Men and women are forced to bathe together and to stand together naked to be inspected. Families are torn apart including Northups by slavery.
Solomon is inevitably and soon sucked into the middle of domestic politics and is forced to make choices that question how far he is willing to go.
For every day that passes over the course of the 12 years he is a slave, Solomon is fighting a personal battle to retain some sense of himself and who he was.
Benedict Cumberbatch plays a plantation owner, who sees Solomon’s talent and tries to help him to some extent. Michael Fassbender is also brilliant in his role and threatens to take the film from the main star. Paul Giamatti makes an appearance as one of the abductors, playing against what is his usual kind of role. The true star of the film is Chiwetel Ejiofor. His performance as Solomon is stunning and unforgettable and will undoubtedly earn him an Oscar nomination.
With a powerful script, beautiful soundtrack and horrifying imagery, “12 Years A Slave” is a heart-breaking film that will even make the hardest of men shed a few tears.