Archives for posts with tag: Ray Winstone


Sean Penn, who co-scripted, plays an ex-mercenary haunted by his assassination of a Congolese mining minister. Eight years later, now a damaged man in more ways than one, Penn discovers that someone with knowledge of his past has put out a contract on his life. Penn spends as much of the movie as possible shirtless so as to show off his impressive physique, and in one scene even taps into his inner Spicoli and catches a few African waves.

Less incendiary than one might expect for a Joel Silver production, The Gunman is an action movie that wants desperately to be an art film, aiming for poetic moments like that in which a battered and dying assassin is juxtaposed with a matador’s speared bull. The action, once the movie gets around to it, however, should be brutal enough to compensate for the more pretentious material. There is also a love triangle to keep the women interested.

4 out of 5 stars. Ideological Content Analysis indicates that The Gunman is:

6. Anti-tobacco. “That’s really healthy,” Ray Winstone says sarcastically on seeing Penn light a cigarette.

5. Anti-marriage. Penn’s love interest (Jasmine Trinca) regards her creepy husband (Javier Bardem) as a creditor, her loveless wifely duties the repayment of an obligation.

4. Multiculturalist and pro-immigration. European-accented non-white professionals put in a good word for immigrants’ ability to assimilate into western societies. London and Barcelona appear as peaceful and orderly multi-ethnic metropolises. Penn atones for his sins by working to improve the lives of Africans.

3. Ostensibly anti-war. Rape and machete attacks are noted as weapons of war in the Congo. Penn’s combat experience has left him with brain damage.

2. Anti-capitalistic. Corporatocracy is behind the world’s evils, with the “growing demand of the western world” to blame for the Congo’s sufferings.

1. Globalist, giving the false impression that NGOs (non-governmental organizations) are strictly humanitarian and apolitical entities. In reality, NGOs are frequently the unconventional tools of Zio-American foreign policy and therefore have been dubbed “missionaries of empire”. Brit-accented television reporters – still more tools of Zio-American globe-grasping – are presented as reliable sources of information. That the poster has the chutzpah to say both “armed with the truth” and “from the director of Taken” probably says all that prospective viewers need to know.

Rainer Chlodwig von Kook

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Not a genre of film I usually enjoy, this fantasy outing is still nicely realized for what it is: an atmospheric, visually impressive, and sometimes humorous dose of high escapism.  A few too many fairies and computer-generated monsters for my taste, but the pacing, action, and attractive cast make it an easy piece of pixie dander to swallow.  The dwarves are pretty tough, actually.  I was thinking during the movie, gee, a couple of these dwarves could be midget twins of Bob Hoskins and Ray Winstone – and then, when the credits came up, lo and behold, it really was Bob Hoskins and Ray Winstone, turned into dwarves by the magic of computerized Hollywood hooliganism!  There’s more quality scary Charlize Theron (cf. Prometheus) to be had here, as well, but this time way over the top and looking gross for much of her screen time, though always exquisitely (if outlandishly) costumed.  To the film’s credit, however, the evil queen character is allowed some human sympathy and emotional vulnerability.  4 swashbuckling stars out of 5 for the big screen experience, though I don’t expect to return to this film very often.

Ideological Content Analysis indicates that Snow White and the Huntsman is:

3. Feminist.  The villain is a woman with self-defeating cosmetic preoccupations (and by implication an unhealthy desire to please men to her own detriment), while the heroine self-actualizes by donning a man’s armor and fighting and killing, thus redeeming this otherwise hateful hunk of Eurocentric sludge.

2. Discriminatory, hiring overgrown actors to portray little people.

1. Racist, promoting the reactionary aesthetic delusion of pale Caucasian beauty, with no beauty of color as counterpoint.


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