Tag Archives: Tom Wilkinson

The Titan (2018) Movie Review By Darrin Gauthier

The Titan Review

Director: Lennart Ruff
Writers: Max Hurwitz (screenplay by), Arash Amel (story by)
Stars: Sam Worthington, Taylor Schilling, Tom Wilkinson

Plot:  A military family takes part in a ground-breaking experiment of genetic evolution and space exploration.

Running Time: 97 Minutes

IMDB Score: 4.9

Why I Watched It: I’m a genre fan which includes Sci-Fi and I’m always looking for a cool Sci-Fi movie.

Random Thoughts: I have to say didn’t hear too much about this film, did see a trailer on Netflix for it, not a shock as it’s a Netflix original movie.  It looked fine I find the Sci-Fi genre is in a bit of a rut, sure we’ve had some decent bigger films but as far as smaller more original films it’s been not great and it’s too bad I think there’s so much to do with the genre but most filmmakers go with world building and big sets and huge production designs and they forget character and story.

Also let’s get this out of the way, I’m not a fan of Sam Worthington and I won’t go on about it cause he takes a beating from genre fans but yes I like most people find him bland, also oddly enough I’m not a huge Taylor Schilling fan as I  find her to be bland as well so going in I was hoping Tom Wilkinson would carry the movie.

What I Liked: So we’re in the year 2048, I think that’s right, and we need somewhere else to live cause once again earth as gone to hell in a side car, just one movie I’d like a future where earth is just swell.  We don’t dwell on earth as this is more of going into space and creating a new society, here the big idea is we’ll change human DNA so we can live on a moon called Titan, it’s a bad name, just saying.  So the idea we’re seeing the best of the best train to go to this new moon is a decent idea and it does work as they take these new meds and these, soldiers, astronauts and whatnots are mutating and for a sci-fi idea it’s not bad.

Tom Wilkinson is the man in charge and he’s good here, he’s always good but he breathes life into a very cliched and stock character and the fact that Tom Wilkinson is playing him we know where this is going.  Schilling if fine here she becomes almost the lead by the end as she’s the one that is figuring things out.  The film moves along very straight forward until we hit the dreaded side effects, you knew there would be side effects and that part is decent, it builds tension and conflict and it helps push the story along.

The film does try a couple of different things and some of the movie science is fun and they had a chance to take it in a different direction and say something but they don’t really.

What I Didn’t Like: The film is hurt by two main things the film is way too slow and plodding and that kills so much of the tension that they try to bring to the end and by the end what do we get man trying to play God.  Been there seen that a million times.

I’ll say it Worthington is bland here but so is most of the film but he doesn’t bring much and it’s too bad cause they could have used a shot of charisma or energy to the film.  The training is fine but the film turns this into the standard evil doctor movie instead of trying to do something bold and having the film be about really changing the way humans are to survive and that’s the part that really breaks down in the film, we can’t life on earth cause in 20 years no one will be left but here 90% of the people they try to change dies and so want we’re doing this so 10% will turn into an alien and live on a strange moon where they loose who they are, those are two bad choices, so the movie becomes a fatal would you rather game.

The film on the whole is boring, you don’t care and the weird thing is they don’t do much with this being set in the future, a love there’s a scene where someone is trying to find out the truth and they break into evil doctor’s office and go through his files, really in 2048 we still have files, we still have filing in the future?  The odd thing is the filmmakers don’t say anything really that hasn’t been said before we’re talking Frankenstein here folks, a man is playing God and it goes badly, really?

Final Thoughts: Sadly another dude for Netflix, I like that they keep trying and they’re doing genre I just wish they’d do it better.

Rating: 4/10

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Denial (2016) Movie Review by Kevan McLaughlin

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Director: Mick Jackson
Writers: David Hare (screenplay), Deborah Lipstadt (based on the book “History on Trial: My Day in Court with a Holocaust Denier”
Stars: Rachel Weisz, Tom Wilkinson, Timothy Spall

In an age of outrageous assertions, Denial feels pertinent and grounded. Less Oscar-buzz, more pensive, well-delivered filmmaking.

Denial is the true story based on Deborah Lipstadt’s book History on Trial: My Day in Court with a Holocaust Denier when David Irving (Spall) sued Lipstadt (Weisz) for libel.
Remarkably, it’s the fact that Lipstadt called Irving a Holocaust denier which led to her being sued, especially when Irving has, indeed, denied that a mass extermination ever took place during the Second World War.

According to British law, in a libel case, the burden of proof is on the defendant, something which Lipstadt finds extraordinary. She has to prove that Irving knew he was lying when he states that the Holocaust didn’t occur along with her lead solicitor, Anthony Julius (Andrew Scott), and barrister, Richard Rampton (Tom Wilkinson).

Rampton is austere and often abrasive, the perfect foil to the swish and charismatic Julius. In fact, it’s Rampton’s cold pursuit of facts that rile Lipstadt when, on a visit to Auschwitz, his apparent lack of reverence for the atrocities which took place at the Nazi death camp shakes the scholar so much she doubts his commitment to the case against her. Her resolve is tested further when, back in London, the British Jewish community plead with her to settle out of court to avoid further giving Irving more publicity.

In an astonishing move, Irving is goaded by the defense team into agreeing for a judge-only trial, instead of having a jury which they felt would give credence to Irving’s wild claims. It’s apparent that, with this and Irving’s insistence on representing himself during the trial, that he is a deeply arrogant individual.

Lipstadt is tested further when she is approached by a Holocaust survivor who pleads to be heard during the trial. The legal team are insistent that neither Lipstadt herself or any survivors will testify during the trial as it would only give more focus to Irving’s spurious claims.

The trial starts disasterously when Irving, taking advantage of the lack of photographic and recorded evidence which were all destroyed in the days before the Red Army liberated Auschwitz, claims that there were no holes in the roofs of the gas chambers for the Zyklon B gas crystals to be introduced, creating the tabloid soundbite “No holes, no
Holocaust”.

Lipstadt again, is insistent that the survivors should be able to take the stand until Julius shows her footage of when Irving previously subjected another survivor to a humiliating cross-examination, furthering his image as an alternative historian in far-right circles.

In a brilliant move, Rampton exposes the holes in Irving’s case using cold, hard logic. When in Auschwitz, he had paced the length and breadth of the camp to measure the distance between the living quarters of the Nazis and the gas chambers, which Irving claimed to be bomb shelters. Rampton, exposing Irving’s ridiculous claims for what they are, calmly asks why the Nazis would have shelters miles from where they slept.

Denial is a slow moving vehicle. This isn’t a bad thing. After all, this is a film about a real-life trial. It moves at an agonising pace, but this helps create and support the frustration that surrounds Irving and his assertions. He’s a pompous and shameless self-promoting bigot with a dangerous agenda and it’s almost impossible to yank every hair from your head when you realise that his particular brand of tripe is being debated in a court of law, when it belongs in the bin.

Rachel Weisz delivers a solid performance as Deborah Lipstadt, even if the character is slightly frustrating. She’s rightly invested and emotional about the Holocaust and is entirely justified in her anger at having to defend herself from Irving’s laughable claims. However, it’s hard not to be impatient at Linstadt’s impatience. We know she’s right and Irving is wronger than wrong.

Wilkinson is excellent as the seemingly untouched barrister. His ability to switch from methodical to courtroom showman is joyous is a film with such little joy.

Andrew Scott is marvelous as the sometimes slippery but enjoyably charming solicitor Julius.

It’s nothing short of a tragedy that Deborah Lipstadt had to go to court to defend herself and even more of a catastrophe that Irving got his day on one. However, it’s vital that it should remembered how ridiculous the legal system can be and how the David Irving’s of this world will try to exploit them for their own agenda. Denial is a perfect way to do
just that.