Mountains of the Moon (Bob Rafelson, 1990). This epic story of two Englishmen searching for the source of the Nile River comes from what seems to be an unlikely talent in Bob Rafelson. Rafelson first made a public name as co-creator of The Monkees. He went on to be the director and co-writer of Five Easy Pieces and The King of Marvin Gardens, placing him in the middle of that great period of American film making. Mountains of the Moon came almost two decades after those early classics, and its epic structure is very different from something like Five Easy Pieces. It was supposedly a much-fancied project for Rafelson, although I wonder if he wanted all of his life to make it ... the novel on which it is based only came out in 1982. It looks beautiful ... cinematographer Roger Deakins has received 12 Oscar nominations over the years. Patrick Bergin is charismatic as one of the leads, and if Iain Glen (Game of Thrones) is less so, that’s appropriate considering how their characters are written. Fiona Shaw is wasted (it’s mostly a guy movie). But the depiction of African natives is often troublesome. Delroy Lindo turns up in one of his first movie roles, and he is clearly meant to be a “good” native (he plays a former slave who talks to spirits), but he makes less of an impression than the King of a local tribe, who treats the white men sadistically. The movie doesn’t quite reach the pinnacle of the "white man saves primitive black man" genre, but it comes too close for comfort. 6/10.
World War Z (Mark Forster, 2013). 6/10.