American Made – Movie Review

American Made – Movie Review

American Made starts way back in 1978. Barry Seal, played by Tom Cruise, a is a young and very bored TWA pilot. Barry plays fast and loose with his job as a pilot – something we have seen Tom Cruise do before in other movies. Barry has a little sideline in smuggling contraband cigars. This does not go unnoticed and the a member of the CIA, played by Domhnall Gleeson, approaches him with a proposal.

At one point Barry asks Domhnall Gleeson’s CIA character, “All this is legal?” … “If you’re doing it for the good guys,” was the response. This sets the tone for the film and it’s hard to know whos the good guys sometimes. The CIA job is more of an ultimatum than a proposal and he is asked by the CIA to take reconnaissance photos of Soviet-backed insurgents, the contras, in South and Central America. Before he knows it, after only a few years Barry Seal starts drug smuggling for some of the most famous drug lords in Central America.

The thing which makes all this a bit more appealing – American Made is all based on true events.

As the film progresses Barry Seal takes on more and more risks. If caught he could be killed by the contras, a drug lord or imprisoned by any one of the many law enforcement groups he annoys. At one point I though his wife was going to kill him, as Barry has a growing family to raise. The family gets a lot bigger as Barry becomes more successful. His wifes brother comes and works for Barry which causes its own issues. The scenario and Barry’s life becomes more and more complex. I’m not going to spoil the final act but all in all this is a great movie with a great 70/80s soundtrack.

American Made is very Tom Cruise. Since Top Gun, we all know Tom loves fast cars, bikes and planes. Some of the aircraft sequences are very well done. At one point Tom or Barry (hard to know sometimes) adjusts the aircraft pitch trim in order to keep the aircraft flying level. At this point he goes back into the small plane to release the drugs he was carrying. This is not a stuntman, the was most probably Tom Cruise. In reality though Barry Seal was built like a wrestler was not as trim as Tom Cruise. The one thing I did notice was that the aircraft scenes and procedures seemed to be well researched, Tom was probably all over this detail.

The filming is very retro in parts, especially the opening and ending credits which I loved. I thought the credits, graphics, filming and music added a great air of vintage authenticness to the film.

American Made is not a deep or gritty drama. It has the wide cheeky grin of Tom Cruise at the start but you know it will be full of action and will be entertaining. There are a few reviews of the American Made movie who focus on it being cheesy but it is more than that. I think it was highly enjoyable, entertaining and would actually love to see it again.

Official Trailer – American Made

American Made – Overall Movie Rating

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American Made Movie Rating

Passengers – Movie Review / Film Review

Passengers – Movie Review / Film Review

Jim Preston is one of 5,000 passengers on board the spaceship, Starship Avalon. The ship is on a 120-year voyage to a distant colony planet “Homestead 2”. After a malfunction in Jim Preston’s hibernation pod, Jim (played by Chris Pratt) is the only one awake. Now he is stranded on the spaceship, still 90 years from his destination.

Passengers – Movie Review

If you watch the trailer of Passengers you may get a sense of what is happening. My initial interpretation of the Passengers trailer was different. I thought both were all awoken by mistake. I also thought perhaps there was a conspiracy to sabotage the starships journey. I even tought that perhaps these were all AI lifeforms which were being banished from earth. All of my personal assumptions about the movie were incorrect.

The movie starts with Jim being prematurely woken from his hypersleep. He doesn’t know what is happening and tries everything to gain control of the situation. Jim tried everything from trying to gain access to the bridge, to trying to get back into the hypersleep chamber. You get to see how one man lives for over a year without anyone else to talk to. He has an android barman, named Arthur, but he longs for human companionship. Jim tries all the amenities on the ship but nothing makes him feel any better about his predicament. You see him disintegrate into a man who feels that all is lost.

It is at this point he meets Aurora (no spoilers here, so apologies for a key section skipped). Although Aurora is alarmed to have been woken but Jim does his best to reassure her. Aurora and himself get on very well and eventually for a romantic relationship. However after Arthur, the barman (played by Michael Sheen), tells Aurora some background information she breaksdown. All seems lost, but a bigger problem is looming. The ship systems are failing and the ship is on the brink of destruction. The ship will have to be repaired, but how can it be done in time? Can they go back to hypersleep? Are they doomed to live out their lives on a sleeping starship? ….

Overview

Overall Passengers is a really enjoyable movie and is certainly worth seeing on the big screen. There are points in the movie where I felt a small bit bored, as it was a bit like Groundhog Day. However, it is obvious that these scenes are required to convey the monotony of life on your own in such a confined space. I saw this in 2D but I feel you might get more from this in 3D. There are stunning sweepinh scenes of nebluae, space walks and transit through space. There are a few small-plot twists in this which add to the drama. The conclusion of the film was very well done and I feel the ending was well written. There are often films which have poor endings but this is not one of them.

Passengers – Official Trailer

Passengers – Overall Review Score

  • Overall Score 87%
Ghostbusters 2016 – Review

Ghostbusters 2016 – Review

When I first heard the Ghostbusters was to be remade with an all female cast I was dubious. I also thought it would be a flop as I didn’t like the idea of a remake. This for me was a franchise which I grew up with and I didn’t want a remake just for the sake of it. … Having seen it – I was wrong. It is excellent!

The film is rated 12A and from the start it’s obvious that the ghosts are a bit more malevolent than the 1980s Ghostbusters films. It has a real retro feel and the song remains unchanged which I was delighted with.

The all female cast works well and there are some really funny scenes, especially with their hired secretary, Kevin. The secretary has all the phone skills of Fr. Dougal Maguire.

If you watch closely from the start, there are cameos from all the 1980s Ghostbusters cast members, including Egon, who stars via a bronze bust in the University. Slimer is also back… with a friend.

If you have the opportunity to see it in 3D then do. The 3D effects are excellent with the spectres 3D rendered outside the 2 black lines on top and bottom of the film reel so it looks like they are outside the film. (If you get my meaning)! My only problem with the film is that it is as if New York never had the 1980 Ghostbusters team – I went presuming that it was a follow on but it is a total remake/reinvention of the franchise.

There is also no explanation for a hair colour change on 2 cast members near the end of the film?

Overall a wonderful way to spend an evening and I really enjoyed this new reboot of Ghostbusters.
Remember to stay during the credits and also stay until they are over. There is a bit of a reveal in the post credits scene.

Ghostbusters Official Trailer

Review – Aroi Asian Street Food, Kilkenny

Review – Aroi Asian Street Food, Kilkenny

Having walked from Bennettsbridge to Kilkenny along the Nore we were looking for something hearty and tasty to eat. I had been to Aroi with a work function and decided to go there.

Aroi Asian Street Food is located on Friary Street Kilkenny and has plenty of space inside, while being bright, airy and a tad funky in decor. The service is very good and on a Sunday there is an option to enjoy a main course and Gelato for only 10 euros which is wonderful value.

I chose to push the boat out and have a starter, main and ice cream. The fish cakes were the starter, one of the nicer thai fish cakes I have tried, with a little kick of chilli present. For the main course I had the Yellow Fish Curry served with brown rice. This curry was full of flavour and full of fish – salmon, cod, smoked cod, mussels, crab, and calamari – as well as being jam packed with veg.

The meal was thoroughly enjoyable and was rounded off with some very refreshing ice cream. The whole meal for 2 came to under 35 euros and its a spot I will be returning to.

Aroi Asian Street Food, Kilkenny

Aroi Asian Street Food, Kilkenny

Aroi Kilkenny
Imperial Gardens, Chinese Restaurant, Cork Road, Waterford – Restaurant Review

Imperial Gardens, Chinese Restaurant, Cork Road, Waterford – Restaurant Review

The Imperial Gardens Chinese Restaurant is an authentic Chinese Restaurant, with a very well decorated interior, great service and a very varied and tasty menu.

The Imperial Gardens is a restaurant I regularly visit as it offers an unrivaled selection of Chinese food prepared in what is claimed is “the biggest Chinese food kitchen in Waterford”, … and I’d believe it.

Imperial Gardens, Cork Road, Waterford - Restaurant Review

The Early bird special offers excellent value, which is 4 courses for only €18.50. Some of the specialties include traditional Chinese dumplings or Crispy Wan Tan for starters and dishes such as Roast Duck with Ginger and Spring Onion or the Special Seafood Selection with Noodles. These dishes are perfectly cooked and taste great. Also on Sundays there is an all you can eat buffet which is excellent value for money.

Portions are very decent but not so large that if you eat everything you are not overly full. The staff are very friendly and give you plenty of time between courses to relax while still maintaining a good flow to the service. It’s also good to see that they stock some more unusual drinks including an Aloe Vera drink which is very refreshing and if you haven’t tried it, give it a go.

The traditional Chinese decor is very nice and they often play Chinese Pop Music which is always a plus in my book (I believe that if you visit a Chinese or Indian Restaurant, Traditional music really adds to the atmosphere)

The restaurant is not centrally located but parking is available nearby and is validated for you before you leave. (don’t forget to ask!)

Contact Details:

Imperial Gardens Chinese Restaurant,
Unit 1, Manor Village, Cork Road, Waterford.

Phone : 051-583690
Imperial Gardens on Facebook
Web : http://www.imperialgarden.ie/

Restaurant Location

[mappress mapid=”6″]
  • A La Carte 95%
  • Sunday Buffet 99%
  • Service 100%
  • Would Return? 100%