Two films I saw on Saturday both full of the hell of anticipation. Both dripped with potential tragedy, pre-dripped if you will by their trailers. One worked, one didn’t. The films? The Assassination Of Richard Nixon and Bullet Boy.

TAORN has obviously watched The Day Of The Jackal and assumed that knowing the ending (that Charles De Gaulle is not assassinated) is no bar to suspense. The big difference is simple: in The Day Of The Jackal we want to know how this extremely competent assassin is going to be stopped. From minute two of TAORN we know how Sean Pean’s character will fail: he will fuck up. Like he fucks up at every single aspect of his life for the almost interminable hour and ahalf the film runs for. It is well acted, it is well shot, it is well plotted: but watching a mans self led decline into madness due to being rubbish at everything is no fun. Penn plays a man with absolutely;y no redeeming qualities to a tee. But as yet another scheme fails you keep cringing. It is like The Office without any of the humour. Except the gag about the Black Panthers accepting white members and changing their names to the Zebras. That is funny. The rest is depressing and excrutiating.

In Bullet Boy, we seem to have a similar set of cards set up against Asher D’s recently released youth. Picked up by a friend who almost instantly gets him into trouble: it is clear where this film is going. He is trapped in a cycle of violence, no matter how much he wants to go straight the area sucks him in. And will probably suck in his little brother too. However, and this is where Bullet Boy scores highly, the film always gives you a bit of hope. He wants to get away, he is protective of his brother. The trailer suggested a very different ending to me, something more tragic and trite than that which actually happens. There is almost a moment when you believe this might have the happiest ending possible. It keeps it real, but it does that by keeping you guessing.