A Dangerous MethodDirector: David Cronenberg, Paramount Pictures, Rated MA, 99 mins
In the 80’s, veteran filmmaker David Cronenberg was noted for making sci-fi horror films that included The Fly and Scanners but more recently turned to directing thrillers such as the violent A History of Violence madein 2005.
Cronenberg’s latest release is a historical drama which focuses on the pioneering work undertaken by Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung in the complex field of psychoanalysis, in particular the turbulent relationship between Jung, Freud and Sabina Spielrein, initially a patient of Jung and later one of the first female psychoanalysts.
Cronenberg collaborates again with Viggo Mortensen (Eastern Promises) casting him as Freud as well as Michael Fassbender (Shame) as Jung and Keira Knightley as Spielrein.
Based on John Kerr’s book “A Most Dangerous Method” and set on the eve of World War 1, the movie begins with Spielrein being admitted to an asylum where she is treated by Jung who then makes her his assistant as part of her treatment that later develops into an intimate relationship.
This ultimately contributes to a breakdown in the professional relationship between Freud and Jung, especially an obsessive one between Jung and Spielrein.
Cronenberg has done a reasonable job portraying the difficult relationships between the three leading characters by assembling such leading actors as Mortensen, Fassbender and Knightley to play their roles, but it is Knightley who delivers a stand-out performance as the troubled patient.
Even though the subject of psychoanalysis is all in the mind and not particularly palatable to everyone, there is still much to enjoy in Cronenberg’s period production.
VIC'S VERDICT: 3 ½ Rubber Stamps
BattleshipDirector: Peter Berg, Universal Pictures, Rated M, 131 mins
The latest in a series of alien invasion movies comes from Hancock director Peter Berg which sees an alien armada taking on the might of the American navy, with some spectacular special effects the major highlight of Berg’s blockbuster production.
Despite Liam Neeson (Wrath of the Titans) headlining the cast as Admiral Shane (but only in a minor role), it is Taylor Kitsch (John Carter) playing the key character of Alex Hopper, the brash brother of commander Stone Hopper (Melancholia starAlexander Skarsgard) who drags Alex into the navy.
Following the alien attack which results in many officers being killed, Alex suddenly finds himself acting as commander of a battleship and facing the technologically advanced weaponry of the aliens.
Using his ingenuity, Alex is ably assisted by a determined crew which includes pop-singer Riahanna in her first acting role as the gun-toting Raikes, as well as girlfriend Samantha (Brooklyn Decker - Just Go With It), Admiral Shane’s striking daughter, a Lieutenant Colonel Mick Canales (played by disabled actor Gregory Gadson in his first feature film) and Japanese Captain Nagata (Tadanobu Asana - Thor) who is invaluable in helping Alex combat the aliens.
It may surprise some that Berg’s Battleship is actually based on a board game but it still has plenty of action, great CGI effects and some pretty good performances from Kitsch, Decker and Canales.
Berg also provides a touching tribute to the Pearl Harbour warship the USS Missouri (a 70 year old museum ship) by involving it in the final battle scenes against the aliens.
Battleship may not be the best alien invasion movie ever made, but this epic adventure is certainly entertaining and a great deal of fun to watch.
VIC'S VERDICT: 3 Rubber Stamps
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