8:00 PM, 15th May, 2009
For ex-Narcotics Detective Ray Tierney (Norton), being a cop runs in the family: his father (Voight) is the Chief of Detectives, while his brother Francis (Emmerich) heads up a New York City precinct, the men of which include brother-in-law Jimmy Egan (Farrell). When four cops from his brother's precinct are killed in a suspicious drug bust, Ray is coaxed back to head up the investigation and soon finds that corruption may run in the family as well.
Written and co-directed by Gavin O'Connor, the son of an NYPD cop himself, Pride and Glory may at first appear to be formulaic and clich((eacute))d like the many gritty cop/family dramas that have graced our screens recently (which, undeniably, it is) but the strong cast help elevate it to something worth recommending.
Sporting an almost Dr. Evil-looking scar, Norton is intense as always and his inherent affability just makes you want to see him succeed as the odds ((ndash)) and eventually his family ((ndash)) turn against him. The ever-reliable Emmerich and Voight are practically staples in morally ambiguous dramas these days but it's Farrell that delivers one of the more convincing performances. Let's just say, you're not soon likely to forget one particularly harrowing scene involving an iron.
Moral sagas like these have been done before, but these guys just do it so well that you can't possibly fault them for trying. And that's almost enough for me to excuse the near-laughable fistfight in an Irish bar towards the end. Almost.
10:25 PM, 15th May, 2009
Subtitled A Licky Boom Boom Down, this is the biopic of influential rap artist Snow... sorry, bad 90s joke, let's move on, shall we?
The Informer centres on Gypo Nolan, a hard drinker who betrays his friends to the police for twenty pounds during the Sinn Fein rebellion. He is subsequently sentenced to die by the IRA.
This movie gave John Ford the first of his four Best Director Oscars (the most anyone has ever won - the others were for The Grapes of Wrath, How Green Was My Valley and The Quiet Man). It's a remake of a film made just six years earlier, but this is the one that is remembered. It also won Oscars for its script and for McLaglen's powerful central performance as Gypo (trivia note: his only competition were all from the same film, Mutiny on the Bounty, and two of them ((ndash)) Clark Gable and Charles Laughton ((ndash)) had won the previous two Best Actor awards, so he had some tough competition!).
This is one of those films that is certainly deserving of the over-used phrase "Film You Must See Before You Die", so make sure you take this opportunity.