Film Review – The Martian (Robert Henderson)

Robert Henderson
Politically incorrect film reviews – The Martian

Main cast

  • Matt Damon as Mark Watney (botanist, engineer)
  • Kristen Wiig as Annie Montrose, NASA spokesperson (Director, Media Relations)
  • Jeff Daniels as Theodore “Teddy” Sanders, Director of NASA
  • Michael Peña as Major Rick Martinez, astronaut (pilot)
  • Kate Mara as Beth Johanssen, astronaut (system operator, reactor technician)
  • Sean Bean as Mitch Henderson, Hermes flight director
  • Sebastian Stan as Dr. Chris Beck, astronaut (flight surgeon, EVA specialist)
  • Aksel Hennie as Dr. Alex Vogel, astronaut (navigator, chemist)
  • Chiwetel Ejiofor as Vincent Kapoor, NASA’s Mars mission director
  • Donald Glover as Rich Purnell, a NASA astrodynamicist
  • Benedict Wong as Bruce Ng, director of JPL
  • Director Ridley Scott

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Film review- Legend (Robert Henderson)

Robert Henderson
Film review- Legend

Main cast

Tom Hardy as Ronald “Ronnie” Kray and Reginald “Reggie” Kray
Emily Browning as Frances Shea
Christopher Eccleston as Leonard “Nipper” Read A Detective Superintendent in charge of taking down the Krays
Taron Egerton as Edward “Mad Teddy” Smith – A psychopathic gay man rumoured to have had affairs with Ronnie
Paul Bettany as Charlie Richardson
David Thewlis as Leslie Payne The Krays’ business manager
Chazz Palminteri as Angelo Bruno – The head of the Philadelphia crime family and friend and business associate to Ronnie and Reggie.
Kevin McNally as Harold Wilson
Director Brian Helgeland Continue reading

Inside Out does not know its audience (Robert Henderson)

Robert Henderson

Inside Out does not know its audience

Main Voice cast

  • Amy Poehler as Joy
  • Phyllis Smith as Sadness
  • Bill Hader as Fear
  • Lewis Black as Anger
  • Mindy Kaling as Disgust
  • Richard Kind as Bing Bong, Riley’s long forgotten imaginary friend
  • Kaitlyn Dias as Riley Andersen
  • Diane Lane as Riley’s mother
  • Kyle MacLachlan as Riley’s father
  • Director: Pete Docter

This is a film with high ambition. It is an attempt at explaining the workings of the human brain whilst tugging the heart strings of adults and children by telling the story of an unhappy and insecure child. Continue reading

Film and the Roman Empire: How to do it well

Richard Blake

Film and the Roman Empire: How to do it well
Richard Blake (2015)

Note: Steven Saylor has produced a rather different list of his favourite Roman films. You can see this here.

My purpose in this essay is to describe and compare and judge ten films set in the Roman Empire. I will apply two criteria. The first, and most obvious, is how these films stand as works of art in their own right – narrative structure, acting, general production values and so forth. The second, and for me almost equally important, is how well they show that the Ancients lived in a moral universe fundamentally different from our own.

Now, for the avoidance of doubt, I will say at once that I have no time for any of the neo-Marxist claims about Antiquity. Karl Polanyi and Moses Finlay were wrong in their belief that the laws of supply and demand have only operated since the eighteenth century. Michel Foucault was more than usually wrong when he denied that the Ancients had any notion of the individual. In all times and places, human nature is the same. All people are motivated by some combination of sex, money, status, power and the fear of death. The laws of Economics apply just as well in Ancient Rome as they do in Modern England. Continue reading

Film reviews – 50 Shades of Grey (Robert Henderson)

Robert Henderson

Film reviews – 50 Shades of Grey (tedium)

Main cast

Dakota Johnson – Anastasia Steele
Jamie Dornan – Christian Grey
Eloise Mumford – Kate
Director: Sam Taylor-Johnson
Running time 125 minutes

Imagine a script written by Barbara Cartland after she had developed an interest in bondage and sado-masochism and you will be well on the way to understanding exactly how dire this film is as both a dramatic vehicle and a piece of pornography.

Anastasia (Dakota Johnson) and her best friend Kate (Eloise Mumford)share a flat. They are university students well into their courses but behave like excitable fifteen-year-olds, gushingly and obsessively talking about men whenever they are alone. Sadly, for the politically correct, this means they fail the Bechdel Test in traumatically emphatic fashion. (The test was devised by the cartoonist Alison Bechdel and judges the feminist credentials of a film by the number of occasions female characters talk together about something other than a man). Continue reading

The importance of being frivolous – how to inject our message into art

Mustela nivalis

For serious reasons, we libertarians need to lighten up. We need to develop a way to express ourselves through art. Sean Gabb’s talk to the other LA, posted here recently, is well worth watching and listening to. In it, he presents the case for developing and propagating a libertarian narrative through cultural means. This is necessary, he says, in order to counter the dominating narrative of the ruling class, of the goodness of multiculturalism and enforced integration, and of all sorts of other leftist/tyrannical hobby horses.

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