The Little Things: Film Review

The Little Things

Having Denzel Washington, Rami Malek, and Jared Leto – three Oscar winners – in one movie would make you think that it’s a sure-fire hit, so I went in with high expectations for The Little Things – and came away rather disappointed.

The film, set in the ’90s, begins with Joe ‘Deke’ Deacon (Washington), a Deputy Sheriff from the Bakersfield area, who is sent to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, his old workplace, to collect evidence for a case. He meets new detective Jimmy Baxter (Malek) who invites him along to a murder scene, which has striking similarities to an old serial murder case Deke was unable to solve. Deke takes leave from his job so he can help Baxter solve it.

The Little Things, written and directed by John Lee Hancock, made me think of ’90s crime thrillers like Seven, Kiss the Girls, and The Bone Collector (another Washington movie) as well as TV procedurals like True Detective so it never stopped feeling unoriginal and familiar. It started off so promising but plateaued shortly after Albert Sparma (Leto) came into the picture because it became less about them working the investigation – finding clues and suspects etc – and more about them being obsessed with nailing this creepy guy; it just didn’t have much of a murder-mystery vibe to it or a ton of substance. I had hoped it was all building to a really cool mind-blowing twist so the final act was anticlimactic and the ambiguity of the ending didn’t do it for me. There are some interesting revelations along the way but not enough to properly reel me in.

Washington is stellar in the lead role. Deke looks tired and defeated and he’s mentally tortured, troubled and could perhaps use some professional help. His partnership with Baxter makes for an unlikely buddy duo but I liked how the two very different men – one who takes an old school approach to the investigation while the other is new – came together to form an alliance for a common cause. While Deke is haunted by his past, Baxter is consumed by the present case and the frustrating inability to nail down Sparma.

There was a lot of uproar on Twitter when Leto got nominated for the Golden Globes and Screen Actors Guild awards for his transformative role and I don’t get what all the fuss was about. Sure, it’s not an amazing performance, but it doesn’t warrant that reaction. Leto looks very different, having lost a ton of weight to give him a skeletal-looking face, in addition to dark, sunken eyes, dodgy teeth, and very greasy hair that looks like it hasn’t seen shampoo in a long time. He changed his voice and line delivery too to make him successfully come across like a sinister weirdo.

Given the top-tier cast and the strong beginning, it’s a real shame The Little Things became such a let down.

Available to rent at home via premium video-on-demand platforms from Thursday 11th March

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Roman J. Israel, Esq: Film Review

When Denzel Washington was nominated for a Golden Globe for Roman J. Israel, Esq, I was surprised because I didn’t even know the film existed. I had heard nothing about it and its release has been pretty much swept under carpet in the UK, and I understood why when I watched it.

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Fences: Film Review

fences

I had been wanting to see Fences for ages because it was so infuriating writing awards show coverage without being fully qualified to make an opinion but now I have seen it and can officially say Viola Davis and Denzel Washington deserve all the awards recognition coming their way.

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Top Films for February

20th

You know what time it is! It’s the start of February which means it’s time to look forward to the cinema releases this month brings! There are quite a few awards season favourites finally coming our way as well as some high-profile sequels, such as Fifty Shades Darker, which I have deliberately missed off (I’m not that bothered about seeing it).

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Oscar nominations 2017: Hits, Misses & Shockers

la-la

For those of you who have been living in a hole, the Oscars nominations were announced today and while it was generally surprise-free – this was the first year in the past few where you could easily predict the frontrunner – there were still a few interesting twists, snubs and additions.

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The Magnificent Seven: Film Review 

mag7

I’m not a massive fan of westerns and I wasn’t enthusiastic about such a revered classic like 1960’s The Magnificent Seven being remade. However, those issues wouldn’t have mattered if it was a great film but it’s simply okay and basically a shoot em up by numbers.

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Top Films for September

bridget

How is it September already?! I can’t believe it’s here but there is an impressive slate of films heading your way this month, so I had to expand my usual five-six recommendations to eight and I could have even included more. There is THAT much cool stuff coming up.

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Top Films for February

feb1

Flight

Denzel Washington stars in his Oscar-nominated role of a pilot who manages to land a plane when the system fails. He is hailed a hero until it is discovered that he was under the influence of alcohol during the flight, which is illegal so he has to stand trial. Don Cheadle plays his defence lawyer in what seems like a hard-hitting drama about morals. Released: 1st

 

feb2

Hitchcock

Anthony Hopkins stars as the famous horror director, Alfred Hitchcock, in this look at his life, his work and his marriage during the filming of the classic horror, Psycho. If you have seen the BBC1 drama “The Girl”, which is similar but on the set of The Birds, you will know that Alfred was a weird and creepy man. Helen Mirren has been Oscar nominated for her supporting role as his wife Alma. Scarlett Johansson and Jessica Biel also star. Released: 8th

 

feb3

Wreck-It Ralph

This looks like a quality Disney animation. It is completely original as it set in the world of arcade games meaning there are plenty of pop culture references. Ralph is fed up of being a villain in his game so he escapes and tours other games until he finds where he belongs. The trailer makes it look incredible! John C Reilly voices the lead and is joined by Jane Lynch and Sarah Silverman. Released: 8th

 

feb4

This is 40

I CANNOT wait for this! It been released in the US for ages. This is the “sort of spin-off sequel” of Knocked Up and revolves around the marriage of Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann. If you remember what they were like in the original movie, just imagine how dysfunctional their marriage is now that they are pushing 40. Judd Apatow is a genius, so as long as it is as good as the first one, I’ll be happy. It co-stars Megan Fox, Jason Segel, Chris O’Dowd and Lena Dunham. Released: 14th

 

feb5

Mama

I thought I would throw in a horror to mix it up a bit. This genuinely looks petrifying though AND it stars Oscar nominee Jessica Chastain, so it must be good, right?! Annabel (Chastain) and Lucas take on his young nieces after they had been left alone in a forest for five years. Naturally, they are going to be a bit messed up but it seems they brought something into the house with them… Released: 22nd

 

I have deliberately missed out Hansel & Gretel, A Good Day To Die Hard, Warm Bodies and Cloud Atlas. These are all “big” films for this month but they just look so bad and I have no inclination to see them at all.