Tag Archive: Ridley Scott


During a manned mission to Mars, Astronaut Mark Watney (Matt Damon) is presumed dead after a fierce storm and left behind by his crew. But Watney has survived and finds himself stranded and alone on the hostile planet. With only meager supplies, he must draw upon his ingenuity, wit and spirit to subsist and find a way to signal to Earth that he is alive. Millions of miles away, NASA and a team of international scientists work tirelessly to bring “the Martian” home, while his crewmates concurrently plot a daring, if not impossible rescue mission. As these stories of incredible bravery unfold, the world comes together to root for Watney’s safe return.

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Exodus: Gods and Kings, the story of one man’s daring courage to take on the might of an empire. Using state of the art visual effects and 3D immersion, Scott brings new life to the story of the defiant leader Moses (Christian Bale) as he rises up against the Egyptian Pharaoh Ramses (Joel Edgerton), setting 600,000 slaves on a monumental journey of escape from Egypt and its terrifying cycle of deadly plagues.

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The Counselor is a cautionary tale about greed in the dangerous drug world of the Mexican cartel.  A rich and successful lawyer, the Counselor (Michael Fassbender), has everything that he wants including a beautiful fiance, Laura (Penélope Cruz). However, he decides to enter the world of drug dealing with the help of Reiner (Javier Bardem) who introduces him to a middle-man known as Westray (Brad Pitt). Westray tries to caution The Counsellor on the extreme retribution he will face from the cartel if something were to go wrong. The counsellor moves ahead any way. When the courier for the cartel is killed and drugs stolen, the connection is made back to the counselor. The timing of his drug deal and directly bailing out the courier seem like too much of a coincidence.  Now he is forced to flee with his fiance before the cartel catches him.

When you have a movie with so many talented actors, how it can easily fall apart?  Michael Fassbender’s roles in Shame and Promethus had garnered a lot buzz and everyone was excited to see him a film with a screenplay by  Cormac McCarthy and with director Ridley Scott.  He gave a decent performance but we do not get much character development for the counselor.  Greed usually does not need an explanation but it is interesting to see the counselor pursue a drug deal when he is planning on marriage and possibly starting a family.  Javier Bardem’s portrayal of Reiner was a flashier version of Raoul Silva, but without the gay overtones.  The weird hairdo and the deep orange tan can be distracting at times but Reiner is pretty funny.  I liked his recap of his girlfriend, Malkina (Cameron Diaz), performing a sex act on his car.  You can see the bewilderment and fear in his eyes at the revelation.  Cameron Diaz’s shifty performance as Malkina was the highlight of the film for me.  As a self-assured gold digger, Malkina is quick to take advantage of Reiner and his friends for her own gains.  She turns out to be the most interesting character in the film.  Rounding out the supporting cast was Brad Pitt as Westray.  The wise, all-knowing middle man tries to counsel the lawyer and quite vividly on the all the horrid things he could expect from the cartel.

The pacing of the film was a little slow and the action for the film was wasted on the trailer.  The psychological edge was lost because the audience is forewarned on what the cartel will do if betrayed.  The ending reveal(s) were actually a pleasant surprises that tied up all the unanswered questions: who actually stole the drugs and what happens to Laura?  I think the collective hype that the lead actors and the screenwriter brought to the film, with the notable exception of Cameron Diaz, may have set the expectations too high for The Counselor.

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