HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Dave Made a Maze
Desire and Hell at Sunset Motel
Prayer Before Dawn, A
Ragewar
Lowlife
Fashionista
Elizabeth Harvest
Moulin Rouge!
Free Solo
Mifune: The Last Samurai
Stan and Ollie
Girl in the Spider's Web, The
Up from the Depths
Guardians of the Tomb
November Man, The
Overlord
Sebastiane
Lifechanger
Circle of Two
Hell Fest
Oklahoma!
Nutcracker and the Four Realms, The
Vigilante Force
Haunting of Sharon Tate, The
Paradox
Peppermint
Sharkwater Extinction
Isn't It Romantic
Sink the Bismarck!
Possum
   
 
Newest Articles
Killer Apps: The Rise of the Evil 60s Supercomputers
How 1970s Can You Get? Cliff Richard in Take Me High vs Never Too Young to Rock
A Perfect Engine, An Eating Machine: The Jaws Series
Phwoar, Missus! Sexytime for Hollywood
He-Maniacs: Ridiculous 80s Action
All's Welles That Ends Welles: Orson Welles Great Mysteries Volume 1 on DVD
Shut It! The Sweeney Double Bill: Two Blu-rays from Network
Network Sitcom Movie Double Bill: Till Death Us Do Part and Man About the House on Blu-ray
No, THIS Must Be the Place: True Stories on Blu-ray
Alf Garnett's Life After Death: Till Death... and The Thoughts of Chairman Alf on DVD
Balance of Power: Harold Pinter at the BBC on DVD
Strange Days 2: The Second Science Fiction Weirdness Wave
Strange Days: When Science Fiction Went Weird
Ha Ha Haaargh: Interview With Camp Death III in 2D! Director Matt Frame
Phone Freak: When a Stranger Calls on Blu-ray
   
 
  Black '47 No More Mr Nice GuyBuy this film here.
Year: 2018
Director: Lance Daly
Stars: Hugo Weaving, James Frecheville, Stephen Rea, Freddie Fox, Barry Keoghan, Moe Dunford, Sarah Greene, Jim Broadbent, Ciaran Grace, Colm Seoighe, Antonia Campbell-Hughes, Dermot Crowley, Brandon Maher, Geraldine McAlinden, Aidan McCardle, Julian Nest
Genre: Drama, Action
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: The year is 1847, and across Europe the effects of the potato blight have been a famine across the continent that has been wiping out millions of people through starvation. In Ireland, things are little different, though the reasons are: while the small country is generating enough food for its populace, the British Empire rule the land and are exporting their produce to feed the citizens elsewhere, and that is why the Irish are starving. This injustice is creating great resentment, and when Martin Feeney (James Frecheville) deserts his British Army post to return, he finds desolation where he used to live. When he tries to step in and do something, the Brits attempt to crush him...

Although there is no apparent record of any uprising against the British during the 1840s crisis, on anything like a substantial scale at least, in the movies liberties can be taken and that was the inspiration behind Black '47, a piece its key talents readily called an Irish Western. You might be concerned that whereas not many Hollywood Westerns depicted the Old West with much historical accuracy, the plotline here may have been just as much of a fantasy, on watching it you could see what amounted to an act of vengeance in cinematic form as director and co-writer Lance Daly took it upon himself to right the wrongs of the famine on his own terms with an invented story.

Nevertheless, the cruelties and toxic politics that brought the tragedy about were fairly accurately portrayed, if sketched rather than offering up an in-depth history lesson, and while there was a sense of honouring the dead and refugees of all those years ago, as more or less the first film to depict this grim period of history you could forgive it those aforementioned liberties - after all, Ireland's population was never the same once the famine took hold, even unto this day. So it remains an important part of the history, though depicting it like this, as an excuse for score-settling violence, may have been questionable factually, if largely understandable emotionally.

A film showing the bleak realities of the situation would have been a tough watch without an adventure narrative to lift it and give us a reason to stick with it, so Feeney turns outlaw when he suffers a personal loss thanks to the unfeeling British landlords, suddenly going all Rambo when faced with a building full of British soldiers who he easily overwhelms. The influence of American action movies was definitely present in its loner of a crusader, the idea that one man against the corrupt system can do plenty of damage, and that was transplanted to this era in what could be regarded as in questionable taste. However, as it was hardly the first action movie to deliver that attractive invention of the more than capable killer righteously bumping off those who had taken so much from him, you tended to excuse it.

The cast were a mixture of Irish, British and Australian, curiously not hiring two local talents to play the leads but two Aussies instead as Frecheville and Hugo Weaving essayed the roles of hunter and quarry (or the other way around). Weaving was Inspector Hannah, initially arrested for murdering a rebel in the opening couple of minutes, but offered a pardon if he tracks down Feeney and, in effect, executes him for the establishment before he does any more damage. Overseeing this was Freddie Fox as British officer Pope, one of the hissable bad guys though while the antagonists were painted in broad strokes, the actors were able to find nuances in them that prevented them being cartoon moustache-twirling villains. Jim Broadbent was also there as one of the authorities, and Stephen Rea probably offered the best performance as a supposed collaborator whose charm masks a different agenda. Historically, it was better as that Western they were promoting than any kind of textbook, but while downbeat and grey, it rattled along engrossingly for the most part. Music Brian Byrne.

[Altitude's Blu-ray delivers on sound and vision, and has a making of featurette, the trailer and three songs as extras.]
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 189 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
Andrew Pragasam
George White
Stately Wayne Manor
Paul Smith
Darren Jones
Aseels Almasi
   

 

Last Updated: