Here Are the Young Men

BLU-RAY REVIEW: 

Well Go USA;
Drama;
$24.98 DVD, $29.98 Bu-ray;
Not rated.
Stars Dean-Charles Chapman, Finn Cole, Anya Taylor-Joy, Ferdia Walsh-Peelo, Travis Fimmel, Conleth Hill, Noomi Rapace.

A trio of teenagers learns the consequences of a carefree transition into adulthood in the chaotic Here Are the Young Men, an Irish production based on the same-named 2014 coming-of-age novel by Rob Doyle.

The film stars Dean-Charles Chapman, best known for playing Tommen on “Game of Thrones,” as Matthew, a sensitive but impressionable young man caught up in the antics of his pals Kearney (Finn Cole) and Rez (Ferdia Walsh-Peelo). Set in 2003, the story follows their misadventures during the summer after they graduate high school, facing an uncertain future with a steady stream of booze, pills and parties.

Their outlook on life is shattered when they witness a little girl hit by a car immediately after running by them. The tragedy alters their perspectives enough to lead them down a dangerous path as they confront their own personal demons.

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Kearney heads off on a vacation to America, and returns with almost no regard for human life. Rez is caught in a spiral of depression and attempts suicide. Matthew is caught in the middle, unwilling to reject the friendship of Kearney, even as it threatens his budding relationship with Jen (Anya Taylor-Joy), an ambitious, responsible girl who dreams of becoming the first female head of the United Nations.

The film intercuts between the personal conflicts the boys have with other characters in their lives, and a sort of stream of consciousness hallucination inspired by their drug-addled states as they process their own place in the world. Kearney’s story dovetails into the fantasy of a bizarre American talk show where the sadistic host pushes the boundaries of exploring peoples’ fears. This prompts Kearney to undertake an increasingly dangerous series of pranks that he videotapes for his own amusement.

His nihilism eventually leads to a shocking act of betrayal that will push Matthew to the brink of performing an unspeakable act of his own.

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The subject matter hints at the edginess of a Larry Clark movie such as Kids or Bully, mixed with the frenetic energy of a Trainspotting or Clockwork Orange. While visually interesting, the film steers away from graphic depictions of sex or violence, preferring to let the symbolism of its imagery do the talking. While it’s easy enough to root for Matthew given his predicaments, the standout of the cast is Taylor-Joy, whose vibrant presence grounds the otherwise aimless proceedings.

Drama ‘Here Are the Young Men’ Due on Blu-ray and DVD June 29 From Well Go

The Irish drama Here Are the Young Men, featuring Golden Globe winner Anya Taylor-Joy (“The Queen’s Gambit”), will come out on Blu-ray and DVD June 29 from Well Go USA Entertainment.

It is already available for digital purchase.

Based on the novel by Rob Doyle, the coming-of-age story catalogs the last hurrah of three high school graduates intent on celebrating their newfound freedom with an epic, debaucherous bender. However, when a horrible accident sends them spiraling, the trio must grapple with the most daunting challenge of their lives: facing their own inner demons.

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In addition to Taylor-Joy, the film stars Dean-Charles Chapman (1917, “Game of Thrones”), Finn Cole (“Peaky Blinders,” Slaughterhouse Rulez), Ferdia Walsh-Peelo (“Vikings”), Travis Fimmel (“Vikings,” Warcraft) and Conleth Hill (“Game of Thrones”). The film is written and directed by Eoin Macken (ColdDreaming for You).

Drama ‘Here Are the Young Men’ Due on Digital April 27 From Well Go

The drama Here Are the Young Men, featuring Golden Globe winner Anya Taylor-Joy (“The Queen’s Gambit”), will come out on digital April 27 from Well Go USA Entertainment.

Based on the novel by Rob Doyle, the coming-of-age story catalogs the last hurrah of three high school graduates intent on celebrating their newfound freedom with an epic, debaucherous bender. However, when a horrible accident sends them spiraling, the trio must grapple with the most daunting challenge of their lives: facing their own inner demons.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

In addition to Taylor-Joy (The Queen’s Gambit, The New Mutants, Emma), the film stars Dean-Charles Chapman (1917, “Game of Thrones”), Finn Cole (“Peaky Blinders,” Slaughterhouse Rulez), Ferdia Walsh-Peelo (“Vikings”), Travis Fimmel (“Vikings,” Warcraft) and Conleth Hill (“Game of Thrones”). The film is written and directed by Eoin Macken (Cold, Dreaming for You).

1917

BLU-RAY REVIEW: 

Universal;
Drama;
Box Office $ 159.23 million;
$29.98 DVD, $34.98 Blu-ray, $44.98 UHD BD;
Rated ‘R’ for violence, some disturbing images, and language.
Stars George MacKay, Dean-Charles Chapman, Mark Strong, Andrew Scott, Richard Madden, Colin Firth, Benedict Cumberbatch.

Director Sam Mendes’ 1917 puts viewers in the midst of World War I with a personal story about two messengers sent to the front lines to prevent a slaughter. Or, at the very least, delay it.

Mendes co-wrote the film, Krysty Wilson-Cairns, based on stories his grandfather told him about serving in the trenches. The plot is simple enough. With the German army having moved its lines to set up an ambush, two British messengers are sent with intelligence from aerial surveillance to call off an attack by another division before 1,600 men are needlessly killed in a battle they have no chance of winning.

The journey proves a harrowing one, filled with booby traps, dogfights, snipers, and stray enemy soldiers lurking about. Of course, the underlying threat is always the nature of war itself, and the prospect of those potentially saved being killed anyway the next time they’re ordered into an attack.

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The main gimmick of the film is that it is presented in one continuous shot for the two hour-duration, following the soldiers as they receive their orders and throughout the ordeals they encounter. Technically it’s more like two shots, given there’s a very clear break in the story to allow for a time jump, though the camera seemingly holds its position for the duration while it waits for the action to resume.

The key to the film is its technical mastery, from the camerawork to the visual effects, in re-creating a French countryside devastated by the effects of one of the bloodiest wars ever waged. The set design and lighting are impeccable, making this one of the most beautiful war films to hit screens in a long time.

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Pulling off the single take involves some visual trickery in stitching together sections of footage blended by wipes and pans, and trying to identify the transition points on subsequent viewings is part of the joy of it.

Oscar-winning cinematographer Roger Deakins points out the seams in a very technical-minded solo commentary in which he discusses in great detail the processes used for filming. This is a must-listen to anyone interested in the process of filmmaking.

The other commentary is by Mendes, which also delves into some of the technical details but focuses more on the origins of the story and the performances of his actors. Interestingly, Mendes advocates anachronisms that reflect the time in which the film is made, admitting to purposefully depicting racial minorities serving alongside white soldiers in a segregated army because he wanted to reflect the diversity of modern times.

The only other extras on the Blu-ray are five making-of featurettes that run a total of 38 minutes, and can be played individually or using the disc’s “Play All” option. These cover pretty much all aspects of the production, from Mendes’ conception of the story to creating the WWI period, with extensive interviews from the cast and filmmakers, including a video about Thomas Newman’s amazing musical score.