Some jobs are certainly safer than others. I wouldn’t fancy being stuck out in the ocean on a temporary structure designed to help dig into the earth and remove a highly flammable substance. Normally everything is fine, but it can go wrong as discovered in 2010. Alongside oil drilling disasters, we also have corpse transportation, wrongly accused murder suspects and another mismatched detective pairing.
We lead off with Mark Wahlberg in heroic form aboard BPs ill-fated oil rig. Deepwater Horizon focusses on the 2010 disaster that cost 11 people their lives and spilt oil across the Gulf of Mexico. Wahlberg is one of the crew, flown in at the start and handily around to save colleagues when the rig bursts into flames. What could have been trite is actually very effective. Director Peter Berg ratchets up tension superbly, managing to create a tense and terrifying film that avoids feeling exploitative. It comes with the usual Hollywood frills, but they don’t detract from a strong effort.
Next is Swiss Army Man with an inventively puerile USP, one that threatens to overshadow the entire film. Paul Dano finds himself alone on a desert island, contemplating suicide. There he finds a corpse in the shape of Daniel Radcliffe, one that can propel him through water by farting. Thus an adventure is started as Radcliffe slowly reanimates. It comes with positive reviews, and with a premise like that, mad as it is, it can’t really be missed.
Amanda Knox has fascinated the media since she first came to notice in 2007 as a result of the tragic death of Meredith Kercher. Painted as the villain of the piece, she’s either a cold-hearted, sex obsessed killer or an innocent victim depending on who you ask, a point Knox herself wearily acknowledges. Amanda Knox, a new Netflix documentary, looks at the woman and the impact this has had on her as she tries to rebuild a life that is permanently cast in the shade despite being acquitted of any wrongdoing. It makes for sobering viewing.
It’s back to less serious fare to conclude with the DVD release of The Nice Guys. Shane Black’s buddy comedy throwback was one of the most entertaining films of the summer, pitting Russell Crowe together with Ryan Gosling as private eyes in LA who stumble on a crime that just keeps unravelling. It’s fast, very funny and perfectly played by the leads. Help make up for the disappointing box office return by buying it now.
Well that’s all we have time for. Check back next week for trouble on the train.