Absolute Power (1997)

Director – Clint Eastwood

Starring – Clint Eastwood, Gene Hackman, Ed Harris, Laura Linney, Judy Davis, Scott Glenn, Dennis Haysbert, E.G. Marshall, Kenneth Welsh, Richard Jenkins, Mark Margolis, Alison Eastwood, Kimber Eastwood


What’s it all about? – So you’re robbing this big house and while you’re in the vault someone comes home.  You shut yourself in the vault and discover it has a two-way mirror so you can see what’s going on. You see a woman almost get raped and as she defends herself she gets shot and killed.  You can’t give yourself up, even though you recognise the guy who was going to rape the woman.  It ends up being you vs. the President!

Notes & Scribbles

  • Based on the novel by David Baldacci.
  • Really excellent supporting cast.
  • Linney plays Eastwood’s daughter, even though two of his daughters appear in the film.
  • I liked Clint’s beard disguise for his White House tour.

F/X (1986)

DirectorRobert Mandel

StarringBryan Brown, Brian Dennehy, Diane Venora, Cliff DeYoung, Mason Adams, Jerry Orbach, Tom Noonan, Angela Bassett


What’s it all about? – Film special effects guy gets hired to fake a mobsters death and is then framed for his murder. Obviously he uses his FX know-how to help clear his name.

Notes & Scribbles

  • He really let himself get sucked into that situation, didn’t he?
  • Clever little insight into some of the special effects that were used in films.
  • Want to see the sequel now, but I wonder what a remake would look like with the advances in make-up and special effects these days.
  • Good moustache by Brian Dennehy
  • Watched this on YouTube thanks to the free wi-fi in Madrid airport.

Safe House (2012)

Director – Daniel Espinosa

Starring – Ryan Reynolds, Denzel Washington, Robert Patrick, Brendan Gleeson, Sam Shepard, Vera Farmiga, Joel Kinnaman, Liam Cunningham, Ruben Blades


What’s it all about? – When a story starts with a young agent in his first post, you just know things are not going to go smoothly.  Reynolds is the ‘housekeeper’ of the safe house where Denzel is placed and questioned.  After the house is attacked they go on the run, where they have one or two trust issues, not only with each other, but with pretty much everyone.

Notes & Scribbles

  • In one scene Tobin Frost shaves off his beard and cuts his hair down to look like Denzel Washington.
  • Reynolds, who I’ve predominantly seen in comedic roles, fared pretty well up against the legend that is Denzel.
  • Some good scenes in the shantytown areas of Cape Town.

Robot & Frank (2012)

Director – Jake Schreier

Starring – Frank Langella, James Marsden, Liv Tyler, Susan Sarandon, Peter Sarsgaard, Jeremy Sisto


What’s it all about? – A son gives his dementia suffering, ex-thief of a father, a robot butler to look after him, much to the fathers’ annoyance.  After a while he decide to use the robot to help with a couple of robberies, much to the son’s annoyance.

Notes & Scribbles

  • Really enjoyed this lovely wee film.
  • Set in ‘the near future’. How near though? Would we want a robot butler?
  • The robot was pretty impressive though.
  • Was a bit worried I wasnt going to like Liv Tyler’s character but eventually warmed to her.
  • Little twist near the end I didn’t see coming, but it really added to the film.
  • Thought Langella was great, and the casting of Sarsgaard as the robots voice was the best robot-voice casting since Alan Rickman as Marvin in ‘Hitchikers’…’.

Big Driver (2014)

Director – Mikael Salomon

Starring – Maria Bello, Olympia Dukakis, Joan Jett, Ann Dowd, Will Harris


What’s it all about? – Stephen King in story-about-a-writer-shock!  A mystery writer gets brutally attacked on her way home from a reading group and, with the ‘advice’ of one of her characters (and her sat-nav!), she sets out to get revenge on the big driver!

Notes & Scribbles

  • Based on the novella which appeared in the collection ‘Full Dark, No Stars’.
  • Her sat-nav had conversations with her!
  • He really was a big lad, and deserved what he got in the end.
  • Really had the TV movie feel about it.
  • Joan Jett without her Blackhearts.

Reasonable Doubt (2014)

Director – Peter Howitt (as Peter P. Croudins)

Starring – Dominic Cooper, Samuel L. Jackson, Gloria Reuben, Erin Karpluk, Ryan Robbins


What’s it all about? – A lawyer causes a hit and run, but someone else gets the blame.  Does he come forward? Well it wouldn’t be much of a film if that happened.  Anyways, don’t get on the wrong side of Samuel L.!

Notes & Scribbles

  • Watched this on a plane from Madrid to Edinburgh thanks to the BBC iPlayer.
  • Had never heard of this until it appeared on the telly.
  • Was genuinely intrigued as to how the story was going to end.  Some films like this get too twisy turny and too clever for their own good.
  • Did quite enjoy it for what it was.
  • Directed by Joey from ‘Bread’, under a different name though for some reason.

Dream House (2011)

Director – Jim Sheridan

Starring – Daniel Craig, Rachel Weisz, Naomi Watts, Elias Koteas, Marton Csokas


What’s it all about? – After a family move into a new home, they find out something really bad happened there in the past.  Then it gets twisty!

Notes & Scribbles

  • At the time of writing this is the third film I’ve seen that has been directed by Jim Sheridan.  The first (In The Name Of The Father) is brilliant.  The second (Get Rich Or Die Tryin’) I hated.  This definitely sits in the middle though closer to the second than the first.
  • If there were clues early in the film pointing to what was going to happen later on, I missed them.
  • Daniel Craig’s problems seemed to start when his hair was slicked back.
  • I take it his family kept appearing to help him get to the truth
  • Despite the pretty damn good cast, the film is only decent, and maybe only worth watching to see if I missed any clues I mentioned before.