Wednesday, 16 May 2018

REVIEW: DEADPOOL 2

4/5

The Cable Guy.

119 Mins. Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Morena Baccarin, Zazie Beetz, Julian Dennison, Brianna Hildebrand, Stefan Kapicic, Shiori Kutsuna, Leslie Uggams, Karan Soni, Bill Skarsgard, Terry Crews, Rob Delaney, T.J. Miller & Josh Brolin. Director: David Leitch.

"In time you will know what it feels like to lose. To feel so desper"...ahhh f###sickle! Wrong movie! Chimichanga's these timelines are confusing! And oh Canada is it any wonder? As Ryan Reynolds fourth wall and ball breaking, merc with a mouth that has probably kissed your mother is back for 'Deadpool 2'. But this time he's armed with a one-eyed Willie you Goonies. Wait...Josh Brolin? Didn't he just purple reign as the mad titan Thanos in grimace mo-cap for 'Avengers: Infinity War'? Can Stan Lee do that? Yet Yentil's after redeeming two Human Torches what more would you expect from the studio that turned Wolverine into a f###### tree kebab? And in today's movie world with the ever expanding M.C.U's six degrees of superhero separation (play it with any films cast...go on...we'll wait) running out of Hollywood's biggest names to play all their heroes story arcs. Don't be DP 'Home Alone' aftershave slapped pose surprised that the Marvel machine are casting two-by-two Noah. As Brolin hits f### it, gives maximum effort with the chest expander and takes the 'Jonah Hex' off his superhero career like a DC Universe 'Green Lantern'. Forget being the star of the summer, reuniting with Benicio Del Toro's Collector character for the 'Sicario: Day Of The Soldado' sequel. This Cable guy is in two of the biggest movies of the year, this month. All now with one Mickey Mouse glove, Disney McDuck money signed check for who you may as well now call Mr. Marvel. As not only is a jacked up Josh, Marvel's biggest bad yet. He's also your Cable provider. We're sorry Keira Knightley may have range, but she didn't get the part this time. The flat top, Terminator time travelling buckshot and Bucky Barnes arm goes to the mettle and brawn of Brolin. As he reunites with Marvel just weeks later for another 48 hours in Wade's world for Deadpool's number two straight outta main street. X gon give it to ya...again! Cue the music. Because this one sounds better than a crisp high-five.

TAXI! It's time to make sure you haven't left the stove on and call your friendly neighbourhood cabbie (the endearing Karan Soni returns with as much baggage in the trunk as...well someone with someone tied up in the trunk of their car (well...that's just lazy writing)) to hitch you a ride to your local theatre before this one vanishes. Because everyone may be watching the new Avengers film 'Infinity' times and beyond, but it's time for a real Marvel to go to war with Thanos...like...well himself. And armed with two guns and katanas like Wolverine in Japan, Deadpool is done playing with himself. It's time to see if he Stark plays well with other smooth criminals. Namely Josh Brolin who with a click of his dusty fingers goes from a barney with Barney, to an old man prospecting hobo with a shotgun. Vancity's finest, straight outta 'Hillside' Billy, Ryan Reynolds is back in the saucy, red and black leather number and cracking wiser, better than ever. As the smart ass chap in sex doll spandex has so many great one liners he could make Tony Stark's Iron Man look like Fun Bobby without the alcohol friends. Showing Hugh whose really the greatest showman. People magazines sexiest man alive all those years back, who here under the red hood looks like Krang from the Turtles popped out of that big lugs chest cavity, brings even more depth here to this comedy with more heart for a character whose own one can't stop. How's this for a 'Proposal'? The first 'Deadpool' was a rom-com people (and there's more sweet loving with 'Gotham''s crossover Morena Baccarin. Who in real life is actually married to Commissioner Gordon (cue the Anthony Mackie, "well...this is akward" gif)). And in regards to this hallmark sequel, family matters. Like the formidable fire of 'The Hunt For The Wilderpeople' actor Julian Dennison, who shows Marvel's NZ search for hilariously offbeat Kiwi talent didn't just end with that movie and 'Thor-Ragnarok' refreshing director Taika Waititi and his rocking Korg character. Time to print more pamphlets for the revolution....wanna come? And the pissing contest, cocksure Wade Wilson played by this heartthrob with Hollywood royalty on his arm and by his side (the real reason he'll never really regret putting on Hal Jordan's ring when it lead to a whole new one), shows the vulnerable half to his meta-human. In some enhanced acting, from a one of a kind industry talent who recently revealed in a significant stand of solidarity that will mean so much more that even a man like him too suffers from anxiety. Hats off to Reynolds too for his realest and raw performance of the disfigured anti-hero for hire from Hong Kong neon to the samurai swashbuckling of Tokyo, Japan that is still deliriously funny. The blades of Hannibal will always be king. So how about a trilogy trinity?

But X marks more than the D-spot (that's what it's called...right?!) in this force of a movie. What more could you want from a new anti X-Men team and family franchise of Marvel movies that will come from the X-Force across the chest, that's more than a little derivative from the symbol of 'Wonder Woman', all the way to Wakanda? Let alone all these new mutants. That collosal tin-can voiced by Stefan Kapicic behind all that CGI and mega Negasonic Teenage Warhead played brilliantly by Brianna Hildebrand (whose gone from Sinnead O'Conner to a punk rebel teen with an electric whip girlfriend played lovingly by Japanese/Australian Netflix's 'The Outsider' and 'Unforgiven' actress Shiori Kutsuna) are back. But there's even more to the deserted mansion than meets the ice cream this time. Even 'Empire's' returning and loving Leslie Uggams can see that and she never did find the cure for blindness between all that cocaine. You're going to love a sky-rocketing and diving team that features the old muscled spice and Bedlam of 'Brooklyn 99's' own 'Expendable' Terry Crews. Saving the day like his show alongside the Pennywise of 'It' himself, Bill Skarsgard and even more super surprises. Including new fan cosplay (don't forget the Vaseline) favourite Peter with the power and responsibility of type one...and two diabetes played by comedian Rob Delaney. But how about the lady lucky of the afro blown out, Zazie Beetz who has a "Holy S###" real life name even cooler than Negasonic Teenage Warhead? This wonder of a woman has bad guys falling all around her as the laid back, but never toppled Domino. Swagger stealing the whole show as luck would have it even if her amazing 'Atlanta' partner Donald Glover's own 'Deadpool' cartoon hasn't made it past the comic-book, geek approved cutting room floor. Although 'This Is America' people. We think the Childish Gambino whose about to perfectly play Lando in his own Solo 'Star Wars' movie, who was also seen prowling round on the Marvel 'Homecoming' Spider-Man set like his name was Morales again has a lot more going for his brighter than ever stardom spotlight right now. But in a class cast that even ups the ante like the energy of the first film here (like the villainous Francis of Ed Skrein. Who ended up being the hero of the hour last year that 'Hellboy' needed. Stepping aside and socking it to the whitewashing of cultural appropriation), you can't forget barman and best friend T.J. Miller of 'Ready Player One' fame. Not to be confused with departing director Tim Miller (our bad last review...that's what rewrites are for), here replaced by 'Atomic Blondes' peroxide powered David Leitch. The 'John Wick' stunt chereographer who makes this sequel like the one for the man who killed a man with a pencil (a f###### pencil. All because a man killed his dog...I mean who does that. A dog is for life. Disposable henchman are just for moviemaking Christmas), just as good as the first, making up for in epic excitement what the original does in originality. From the parody shows Canadian Celine, 'Titanic' themed Bond beginnings and self-aware in-jokes that don't just throw arrows at the sons of Martha. To the 'Atomic', amazing, M.C.U. out boxing, hand to metal arm combat action. From a prison break, escape plan that's truly a riot. To a fast and furious, curb crawling, armoured convoy lorry jack that even takes the concrete out of that bridge busting 'Die Hard 4.0' point for all you string-vests out there. But when it comes to ageing action-heroes. In this movie that has everything, even dusty suit Easter Eggs, it's Josh Brolin's Cable that really hooks you up. Spinal tapping and dialling it all the way up past eleven on some futuristic weaponry that breaks more lead than this half metal, all muscle man does arms. Dare we defy Thanos (a monster of a best-yet villain that even convinced us that he had a point in wiping out half the universe, to perfectly balance the other) by saying Brolin's laid down Cable anti-hero is even better? Because this gold standard, classic character has a gauntlet of power and the stones too. Travelling through time, albeit grounded in reality. With murder on his mind, but with so much soul in his space too. And with daddy needing to express some rage in the best post-credit scenes you've seen in this universe yet, every inch of this is so much more fun than a sandpaper dildo. No need to touch yourself tonight. TIM DAVID HARVEY.

Further Filming: 'Deadpool', 'Avengers: Infinity War', 'Green Lan...just f###### with you.

Friday, 27 April 2018

REVIEW: AVENGERS-INFINITY WAR

4/5

Avenge This.

149 Mins. Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Chris Pratt, Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johansson, Zoe Saldana, Chadwick Boseman, Tom Holland, Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Hiddleston, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Don Cheadle, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Danai Gurira, Letitia Wright, Winston Duke, Dave Bautista, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, Benedict Wong, Gwyneth Paltrow, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Peter Dinklage & Josh Brolin. Directors: Anthony & Joe Russo.

Assembling almost every superhero in the Marvel universe with avengance (Fantastic Four and X-Men too little, too Disney deal late aside), cape fear not. Superhero mash-ups are a lay-up for the Russo brothers. A milk run. They could do this all day. And as a decade and 18 films conclude with the new beginning of Phase 4, this dynamic duo and family of franchise films are with you 'till the end of the line...let alone the post-credits. 'Civil War' reaches 'Infinity'. As the directors who made 'The Winter Soldier' the greatest M.C.U. movie to arguably this day (take away the suit (which they do for a big part of the movie) and the powers and you have a classic spy thriller candidate for 'Manchurian' (remember the reference) on your hands) up the toys in the sandbox ante. Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, The Incredible Hulk, Doctor Strange (oh we're using our made-up names), Spider-Man, the Black Panther and those Guardian of the Galaxy a-holes. They're all here...plus many more. But we won't tell. Even the ones you speculate from street level to out of this galaxy. Because in this age of spoiler alerts or Twitter trends that should have been deleted and blocked like anyone trying to comment that way on 'Guardians' guardian James Gunn's (who scripts his teams dialogue with redefinition here) Instagram posts, it's better that you go in with less eyes than Thor. But mystic arts trick or not you're in for a treat. As this Marvel Cinematic Universe holds much more than just six stones and a gauntlet of gigantic action that seems to never run out of punches like trying to hit infinity. What more could you expect, or want like the most classic Stan Lee cameo yet from the biggest and best blockbuster of the year? Which should have no problem even clawing away at 'Black Panther's box-office record that even sunk the 'Titanic'. Thanks in part to the King T'Challa himself, who after his own, outstanding revolutionary movie does for 'Avengers 3' what last summers biggest superhero standout 'Wonder Woman' tried to do for D.C.'s 'Justice League' (sorry Supes and Bats need we say anymore?). In some ways this years blockbuster beginning 'Black Panther' is deeper and means so much more. Making it in some ways just as big as 'Infinity' but when it all comes down to it. After the original 'Avengers' assemble and the 'Age Of Ultron' that lasted a shade under three hours. Time, mind, space, reality, power and soul. Nothing is as epic as this.

'08 'till 'Infinity'. 10 years ago when Christian Bale's 'The Dark Knight' was the only superhero running the show with the late, great Heath Ledger's Joker holding all the cards and the last laugh, Marvel looked like what D.C. does now. Forcing to sell off it's Fantastic assets and mutations to other companies with little hope to buy them back like they have now. They couldn't even catch a spider. But after all the 'Amazing' ones later look at the uncanny, superior Tom Holland's 'Homecoming'. This kid has the metal to give the Iron Spider more legs. And it's all thanks to 'Iron Man'. Yes Tony Stark and Robert Downey Jr.'s ego doesn't need the all over massage. But Happy Hogan himself Jon Favreau began all this too. From the nuts and bolts of a terrific trilogy to these two wars that see R.D.J. at his best since his original 'Iron Man' and M.C.U. shot of redemption. Seeing him keep love alive with Gwyneth Paltrow's always on the right side (even with less and less screen time) Pepper Potts, or reunite with science bro Bruce, Mark Ruffalo (who's 'Ragnarok' ravaged Hulk has his own busting out anger issues) is only bested by the prescription banter with Benedict Cumberbatch's stepped up to the magic spinning plate, Doctor Strange. And from Baker Street to a Bleeker Street sanctuary in the Sanctum Sanctorum, it's a treat to see two Sherlock's, old and new, modern and traditional go at each other my dear. Elementary. And after Cumberbatch's cosmic cinematic debut and classic crossover cameo in 'Thor 3', this sorcerer reigns supreme here with the brilliant Benedict Wong by his wizarding world side. Two Benedict's for your benefit. It's as joy inducing as seeing his ego meet the one of Ego the (not so now Kurt) Living Planet's son Star-Lord. Played with lord of the galaxy confidence by Chris Pratt, in what should be his summer, with this and the 'Fallen Kingdom' of 'Jurassic World' too. His vocal back and forth with a bawdy and 'Ragnarok' refreshed (thanks Korg...hope you're still alive out there) Thor who is really thunderous here (thanks to a new tool to bear from 'Game Of Thrones' standout Peter Dinklage. Who channeling his Josh Brolin crossover, already made his Marvel debut in the 'Days Of Future Past' with the X-Men) making this the funniest Marvel film yet. Yep...you bet! But in a trilogy of handsome Chris'. Pratt, Hemsworth and Evans, we just hope for a make friends, make friends, never, never break friends reunion with the ripped stars and stripes of Chris Evans' nomadic Captain America. Who bearded and battered is given two of the best introductions here and still has that striving sense of hope running through that long hair, don't care, "done taking orders" new rules.

Cap (do we still call him that?) has his own secret Avengers team with his loyal wingman Anthony Mackie's formidable Falcon and his 'Winter Soldier' alley Natasha Romanoff. As Scarlett Johansson's Black Widow has gone all Atomic Blonde in looks and kicks. But with so many heroes for hire here some of their back stories get lost in translation. Needless to say we need that Black Widow solo movie like we don't need the Russian 'Red Sparrow' (sorry Raven). Although one moment of all of Marvel's superheroine women of wonder taking on 'Gone Girl' Carrie Coon's villain is inspired influence. Armed with buckshot, best friend Bucky on the other hand we know-thanks to the greatest post-credit, cheer inducing scene in recent wait around for nothing hilarious sting-is in the Vibranium vibrant, wonderful world of Wakanda. As this White Wolf alongside Chadwick's now classic Black Panther game and genre changer and team of super smart sister Letitia Wright (a new generation phase, Marvel millennial class member gets to utter the "what are those" trending line too) , right hand woman Danai Gurira and howling Man-Ape Winston Duke keeps this lavish land, perfectly staged for a third-act set-piece conclusion running forever. There's more Avengers to account for however like fans looking under the microscope for Paul Rudd (you'll get to zoom in on sure summer smash 'Ant-Man and the Wasp' soon), or wondering why Hawkeye Jeremy Renner is missing from the trailers like he is the 'Fallout' of the latest 'Mission: Impossible'. Hey even the hardest working Avengers in Hollywood can't disappoint their kids. Colonel Rhodes, Don Cheadle's patriotic to his superfriends cause War Machine won't remain grounded, despite the crippling signature on the dotted line. And despite playing Bettany reality looking house beautifully, there is so much more to Paul's Vision and Elizabeth Olsen's Scarlett Witch than meets the eye of all the power they hold that could destroy or bring new life. And lets not forget about the rest of those Guardians in 'Avengers' Vol 3. Like brilliant Bradley Cooper's rabbit like, furry fury Rocket Racoon. Or Vin Diesel's young sapling Groot. No longer a scene stealing baby, but a teen going through puberty, video games and ferns where he didn't have ferns before. And Dave Bautista's Drax is literally as hilarious as he's ever been with Pom Klementieff's Mantis managing to evoke even more laughs like she does every emotion. But it's the sisterhood of sci-fi 'Avatar' blue queen Zoe Saldana's green geat Gamora and 'Jumanji' game player Karen Gillian's twisting and turning parts of Nebula that will really be tested and taken to the dramatic limits for a superhero franchise that brings as much cries of tears as it does laughter (y'all remember Yondo whistling in the wind?!). As these out of this world, killer talents are the daughter of Thanos. Definitly the biggest, baddest and best blockbuster Marvel villain yet. Rivalled only by this years watch the throne stealing Killmonger of Wakanda, Michael B. Jordan. The Coogler 'Creed' of he would be king. And Tom Hiddleston's former top billing bad reigining, Loki who just like in the original fight for New York is a key piece here. There's always more to Thor's trickster prince of mischief brother beyond what he really feels. Most actors are lucky to have two big movies a year. But 'Sicario' star (wait for another reunion) Josh Brolin has that in a month and probably the biggest paycheck signed 'Marvel'. As with this and the 'Deadpool' fourth fall and Fox franchise breaking jokes we will surely see, the Cable guy is not pumping the hate breaks. Like 'Green Lantern', 'Jonah Hex' was a long time ago people. After all the years of post-credit teases he finally does it himself and gets off that damn chair (which even his own adopted family hates). Your times up you dumb f...wait, wrong movie! Brolin's brilliant mad titan in mo-cap C.G. is captured with nuance by the actor (sometimes you unfathomably forget he's not just standing there without Serkis hallmark white-dots) that even brings our sympathy and understanding for this big bads crazed cause. The lug does more than pack a wallop. Just like with Michael B.'s "what about us" Killmonger, Thanos has his own point...and he's willing to destroy half the universe with a click of the fingers just to prove it. And that's what makes all this culminations climax and ensuing emotional cliffhanger that will leave you biting your seat gripped nails so much more than just stake and fate. Destiny has arrived. No matter how much you've dreaded it. Now run to it like sold out theatres, because this is what we've all been waiting for. The only question that remains as you only have to wait another year is what's beyond 'Infinity'? Now that will be a real Marvel captain! TIM DAVID HARVEY.

Further Filming: 'The Avengers', 'Guardians Of The Galaxy', 'Captain America-Civil War'.

Wednesday, 25 April 2018

T.V. REVIEW: THE ASSASSINATION OF GIANNI VERSACE-AMERICAN CRIME STORY

4/5

Crime Of Fashion.

8 Episodes. Starring: Darren Criss, Edgar Ramirez, Penelope Cruz & Ricky Martin. Creator: Ryan Murphy.

Crime by design seems to be T.V. producing powerhouse Ryan Murphy's calling card right about now. And now after taking O.J. to trial with the people, the 'Eat, Pray, Love' director dials M for murder. Going from the American gothic of the chilling chapters of 'American Horror Story', to the real life, true crime cases that haunt of 'American Crime Story'. Sun to sun, from the city of fallen angels in all of downtown L.A.'s electric noir, to the South Beach neon vice of Miami heat. All delightfully drenched in 90's nostalgia for the biggest stories from the headlines of Hollywood and the watching world. And after retrial reviving the careers of Cuba Gooding Jnr, John Travolta and David Schwimmer like it was 'Jerry Maguire', 'Face/Off' and 'Friends' all over again and making the case of turning Sarah Paulson, Courtney B. Vance and Sterling K. Brown into stellar superstars right now in 'The People vs O.J. Simpson', the gloves are off as Murphy's law and disorder suits up to the greatest fashion designer this world has ever seen. 'The Assassination Of Gianni Versace'. We all know what happens (or do we?!), so no crass, spoiler-alert jokes. But the latest in Ryan's revelatory, acclaimed anthology series is a deeper character study of real people and the acidity versus purity nature of the human condition than when he put the juice on the box. Soap cleaning up all the melodrama to a high end. And after portraying a pivotal moment of black and white America and all the fire and riots that spread from the Rodney King beating to 'The People vs O.J.', 'The Assassination Of Versace' looks at the grand design of a time before Paris where we still had Princess Diana and fashion royalty in our seemingly safer and sweeter world. Until one morning when Gianni was brutually slain on his own art deco, Miami mansion doorstep. With a magazine his clothing contents begin, holding Lady Diana's very inspired image graced on the cover under his arm.

A single white dove, dead, lies next to him at the foot of his golden gate. No this is not exploitative symbolism. The bird of peace was ironically or iconically to the mans legacy and legend, caught in the crossfire. Gianni's grace was even more beautiful than Versace's clothing and even though there are complaints from his estate, this show does its upmost to honour him and his family. Even if at times it's tricky to seam together all that happened with respect to both the material and the source. What's actually cruel, crass and calculated however is some of the gratuitous gossip and sick souvenir hunting public. One couple disgruntled after Versace politely denies an autograph with a "not today", bum rushes past the police cordon tape with a torn out Versace clothing print advert from a magazine and dips it in his blood for their own ignorant immortalisation of this heroic turned tragic figure, before placing it in a zip-bag made for sandwiches like it was not to be tampered with (how ironic!) evidence the police haven't even collected yet. Disgusting! As Versace lies dying in the arms of his lover screaming for someone to please call 9-1-1, an onlooker in the crowd runs a few blocks to his convertible like his life depended on it and reaches into his glove compartment. But NO! Not for one of those brick, cord-pulling Gordon Gekko 'Wall Street' "mobile" phones before the "smart" cell age we live in now. But for his damn camera, as moments after turning into a purile pap with his snap he climbs up on to a manifested pedestal and exclaims his rights to the first picture of this man dead and starts the bidding at probably a weeks rent for a deluxe condo looking over the beach off Ocean Drive. Sick! These musings from Murphy show us how bad it was even back then and gives our selfie and celebrity obsessed, phone screen generation gone into overdrive and a world willing to do anything for a "like" something to really think about right now. Slow burning, yet so compelling, between all the Florida fancy and sun and sand style of this show and it's Italian opera and 80's Ultravox, 'Vienna' synth soundtrack, there's substance behind this fashion icons legendary life and legacy of story.

Jean Luc-Godard, the French/Swiss director tells us that, "a story should have a beginning, a middle and an end...but not necessarily in that order". And after showing us the assassination of Gianni Versace in the outstanding opening scene (not for his death...but the direction), 'The Assassination Of Gianni Versace goes all Tarantino 'Fiction' on us. Showing us and some superb supporting players the backstory of the man hunted for killing this celebrity and all the other murder within him. So much so you may want to cue that famous John Travolta gif on your Twitter timeline as Versace's character becomes the real missing person and not the one on the run. Sure this show may be called 'Versace', but it's not just about Versace, but his assassin too. Not to mention gay culture and the lifestyle of the 90's, coming off the fear of the AIDS epidemic in a post-Reagan era that saw gay people face almost, if not in some areas just as much discrimination-still shut away and hidden-as black people. Which makes this show that might actually be better, arguably just as important as 'The People vs O.J. Simpson' truth and the whole truth that preceeded it. Closeted designer Gianni Versace, struggling to come out to a squinting public eye with fire in theirs is powerfully played with sweet sincerity by 'Joy', 'The Girl On A Train', 'Gold' and 'Bright' actor Edgar Ramirez in flashback form after knocking on deaths door. Heaven sent, Ramirez doesn't just identically look the part...he's pitch perfection. The instantly recognisable actor of the moment is in so much right now it seems like he's been in even more iconic roles than he actually has. But all that changes and is confirmed true now in what stands out as his career defining moment. It's all design. And his 'Counsellor' co-star and 'Blow' and 'Volver' legend Penelope Cruz is perfectly cast by his side as his sister Donatella Versace. Her brothers keeper, lavishingly looking the part from the signature platinum blonde, to the classic belt dress for her flashbulb memory, red carpet moment. As beautiful as the iconic Medusa logo, there's more to Miss Versace than meets the eye however. As a stone strong core underneath all that Miami marble and foundation shows us something rock solid in both Cruz and her muse. And how about the 'Livin' La Voda Loca' of music megastar Ricky Martin people?! He bangs too! Playing Versace's lover Antonio D'Amico and career Russian Roulette with Ryan Murphy like Elton John did with Eminem at the Grammys, the award winner could find himself an Emmy for the mantle even with few episodes worth of song length screen time. His tortured eyes speak more from the battered soul than his bitten tongue to blood on his Sampras whites does. He's heartbreakingly...no devastatingly good. But for all the big names of stage and screen in 'Versace', it's the all singing and dancing in his draws Darren Criss of 'Glee' fame who steals the show with a killer performance of the actual murderer Andrew Cunanan. Who, behind the tucked in polo and chinos innocence we should actually hate. But in bespectacled and bewildering character, reuniting with Murphy and dropping all sorts of 'Glee' like alter-ego Easter Eggs and fabricated back stories straight from the Joker's deck of how he got those scars, a sun-kissed Criss is crisp on the dollar-down money. Exuding rolled up, oversized suit sleeve 90's swagger and sympathy for the devil Darren is rolling and goes from teen T.V. heartthrob to actual acting acclaim with accent. Sure he may be playing an evil, truly despicable character you definitly don't want to see holding a roll of tape for some of this dramas most unwatchable moments of harrow. But boy does he bring every emotion and energy out of his subject for this study of how just deep and dark an individual can get when they've lived a life like his. It may be no excuse to the guilty, but in showing us all the killer inside him has seen, Criss holds nothing back. And that's not the measure of the man he plays, but just how good an actor the star of this show is. He and Murphy have done it again. Now before your television set and Netflix providers hottest producer goes to New Orleans with Paulson, Matthew Broderick, Dennis Quaid's George W. Bush and 'Katrina' for a real, recent and still in need of investigation (not to mention prosecution) crime story of America, can we please get a backstory for the poor dove?! That would suit us just fine. Peace! TIM DAVID HARVEY.

Further Filming: 'The People vs O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story', 'Glee', 'American Horror Story'.

Sunday, 15 April 2018

REVIEW: LOVE SIMON

4/5

Call Him By His Name.

110 Mins. Starring: Nick Robinson, Katherine Langford, Alexandra Shipp, Jorge Lendeborg Jr., Keiynan Lonsdale, Logan Miller, Miles Heizer, Joey Pollari, Talitha Bateman, Natasha Rothwell, Tony Hale, Josh Duhamel & Jennifer Garner. Director: Greg Berlanti.

Simon says, his life is normal. He's just like you. And it is. He is. He's got a family that he actually likes. His mom was her high-school valedictorian and this prom queens high school sweetheart was the sportstar quarterback. A stud who is still running all the way to the touchdown of a happy marriage. He has the sweetest sister and the BEST friends. One who drink too much iced coffee and gorge on too many canteen carbs. You know?! Kid stuff! So yeah he's just like you. Except Simon says he has one huge ass secret. He's gay. Simon says he just wants to live a normal life and boy should we let him. Because this is a normal love. As normal, far from ordinary in the way that any love we hold in our heart, unique and sweet is and as beautiful as the eyes you can't stop looking at. Or the individual you can't stop thinking about. No matter how many times you look at your phone in hopes that you just didn't happen to hear that text or call, like you haven't been stop, looking and listening all night. If only you could pluck up the courage to dial those digits yourself, yet you're wooried what they'll say. Yet Simon is wooried what everyone will say. Imagine that! He just wants to hold on to the life he had before for as long as he can, but imagine the life he'll give once he gives it a shot. 'Love, Simon' like you love thy neighbour as this coming out, coming of age story is the sweet saccharine taste of teenage love that everyone deserves. Man or woman. Woman to woman. Man to man. Boy meets girl. Boy meets boy. Whomever meets whomever. Love is love. And love is a sacred thing. Especially your first. And that should be celebrated. Not closeted. And now from the producers of 'The Fault In Our Stars', rom-drama 'Love, Simon'-showing homaged heart to the 80's and 90's, growing up with the American dream classics of John Hughes and Cameron Crowe in station wagon and vintage fur under denim-offers the same story to this boys life without discrimination or distinction. But redefinition. As 'Riverdale' and 'Arrow' producer Greg Berlanti, who shot and lobbied hard for 'Dawsons Creek's' first gay kiss way back when changes the entertainment game again. Going by Becky Albertalli's young adult, bestselling book 'Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda' as he doesn't wait for this young life to be over.

Simon says his name is Jaques. But it isn't. He wasn't born in Paris. It isn't even Simon. It's Nick Robinson. Big brother of 'Jurassic World'. The sensitive soul that gave 'Everything, Everything' to the girl who couldn't step out of her front door. A face that already looked familiar. But is now going to be most recognizable for this identity. This is his movie. His classic. What he'll be remembered for, for changing his career and the culture as a whole. Beyond entertainment, but current. A movement of a movie like fellow heroes 'Wonder Woman' and the 'Black Panther', but in his own ordinary, individual light. And still as groundbreaking as 'Brokeback', 'Moonlight' and what should have followed sun-bathed in Oscars this Academy, 'Call Me By Your Name'. Whereas latest horror 'A Quiet Place' is hushed, game-changing cinema for the genre, this breaks new ground for our culture as a whole. But yet and more straight-forward, still so simple a story in all of loves complications...no matter who it is you end up falling for. There's more than a quick message here for the D.M. generation. One that could last a lifetime...or send a lifeline. This is inspired. But in a generation genuinely in need of more postive influences and role models this is so important. Here is one who hasn't even left school, but boy has he graduated. And just in the knick if time Robinson should be his own valedictorian like his mother. Whether cap thrown and gown, or in the blogger age of personal penmanship. This film isn't full of big speeches however, but definitive declarations of self in order to help others. They call kids today selfish. But I see nothing but real friends looking out for each other like family, sister or brother. And without stereotype, misunderstood disrespect, or misguided understanding (or the lack of), Robinson is the real deal. Giving Sam Spier the shot he deserves and the cupid taken heart of a boys life, so far in love he doesn't know what to do with himself. Let alone the feelings he has, who he has them for and what everyone around him will think of all that. But no longer hiding behind his locker, Simon will walk the halls with pride. No matter who is holding books or hands by his side. It doesn't get much tougher than that. He's got heart no matter what the rest say. Save the one F-word of power for those bullies who see it as amusement. This is his life. His other four letter word. This is the "This Is Me" 'Showman' stage. And he's ready to ride this illuminating ferris wheel from the bottom, straight to the top in this wonderwheel wonderland.

Simon says we all need friends. And with 'Breakfast Club' ones like these, whose going to be hurt by enemies...or even "frenemies"? Simon says he could give you '13 Reasons Why', but how about the star of that redefining Netflix show Katherine Langford streaming through this story with the best friend qualities of someone who will never stray, no matter what side of the street she walks on? Or the amazing Alexandra Shipp? The kind of friend who you may have only known for 6 months, but feels like forever. Look familiar? Yep that's her the 'X-Men: Apocalypse' star. A real Storm of a talent that even the cool kid Jorge Lendeborg Jr. is crushing on her with comic-book geek no shame. But that's got nothing on the meme and gif internet immortalized nerding of Logan Miller, who previously played a young, alright, alright, alright version of McConaughey on Matthew's 'Ghost Of (Epic Career Fails) Girlfriends Past'. Showing that those over the head, Cusack stereo gestures just don't play in real life when everyone has a smartphone to record and share your pants round your ankles moment. Logan just can't get lucky, but be school problems weary, this kids got Wolverine claws...no matter how cowardly they come out. It's a good job Simon has more friends who have got his back than those looking to stab him in it. But between handsome good-jock, Keiynan Lonsdale, sweet-natured, Miles Heizer and Waffle House waiter with more than meets the eye on the side Joey Pollari, who is the Blue e-mail pen-pal who has been helping Simon feel anything but? As a Catfish like hue shows the typing correspondent between the two star-crossed, but in the shadows Romeo lovers to perhaps also add a weary warning of typing and pouring all your feelings out to an unidentifiable stranger behind the screen who you have no idea of their real identity, let alone look. But in this dark age of the web, this charming movie of the best times of your life is nothing but light in showing us that all love deserves its place in the sun...and not in a shaded shame. This soulful teen tale full of heart holds as close as family. And Simon's here really is the dearest. His sister Talitha Bateman, baking constantly, is mature beyond her curious years. Whilst his perfect parents, played with white picket punctuation by 'Life As We Know It' parent and 'Transformer' Josh Duhamel and award winning Jennifer Garner are actually beyond the whole nine yard fantasy as real as it gets when family focuses on exactly that. Even a hilarious character actor Tony Hale is more than a vice principal trying to be down with the cool kids cariacture once he gets serious. And a hilarous drum-roll and symbol for music teacher Natasha Rothwell please. But for all the important implications here this film like real love, between anyone who all have the same rights as everyone else is pure, unadulterated fun (one coming out as straight, alternate reality montage is as hilarious as it is really saying something). And we say that's how it should be. How it should have always been like it can be now and forever more. Don't you agree? Simon says...go see this movie. You'll love it. TIM DAVID HARVEY.

Further Filming: 'Call Me By Your Name', 'Lady Bird', 'Say Anything'.

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

REVIEW: ISLE OF DOGS

4/5

Dogs In Translation.

101 Mins. Starring: Bryan Cranston, Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Jeff Goldblum, Bob Balaban, Koyu Rankin, Kunichi Nomura, Ken Wantanabe, Scarlett Johansson, Greta Gerwig, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton, Nijiro Murakami, Akira Ito, Liev Schreiber, Harvey Kietel, Anjelica Huston, F. Murray Abraham, Courtney B. Vance & Yoko Ono. Director: Wes Anderson.

Here boy, how's this for a dogs purpose?! Straight from the foxhole 'Mr. Fantastic', Wes Anderson stretches his Gromit like stop-motion animation all the way to the Far East of Japan. And the result is as amazing as anime. About to leave you wagging...tail or not. Welcome back home to the wonderful world of Wes, as 'The Darjeeling Limited' director brews up another classic for his 'Life Aquatic' aquarium of amazement. One that takes the almost decade aged model of 'Fantastic Mr. Fox', the runaway adventure of 'Moonrise Kingdom' and the Hollywood A-list vacancies booked in 'The Grand Budapest Hotel' to a whole new island. 'Isle Of Dogs' does more than bark up a tree, taking on politics, immigration and of course you know who by the dog pound. In a weary world in need of some TLC today. Whether that be a good pat, or just a scratch behind the ear. And anyone trying to discipline this with cultural appropriation tags, careful you don't get bit. This is Wes' traditional love letter to Japan's deep culture of character, no disrespectful stereotype. From the first beat of the taiko drum, to the last deep bow of respect. From the articulated art of Hokusai homages, to the beautiful bloom of the classic cherry blossom you should expect at this time of year. But even if 'tis the season', what happens when the winds of change blow it all away? What if what you love most in this world flies away like you let it go? What would you do if you lost your best friend? That's what our young boy Atari faces here, when his beloved dog Spots is lost to "trash island". A rabid, flea-infested land for those suffering from "snout fever", or what you could call, dog-flu. Now it's up to a pack of strays to help Atari spot Spots and bring him back to his kennel in a film where the Japanese speak subtly without subtitle and the dogs barks are translated to the kings.

Ruff I know. But from the gaining sumo to the rising sun, this is a treat blockbusters have been begging with two paws in the air for. But they'll just have to go fetch as who let the Hollywood stars out? Cranston, Norton, Goldblum, Murray, Johansson, McDormand, Gerwig, Swinton, Schreiber, Kietel. Yoko Ono? They're all here like the 'Grand Budapest' had some rooms left. Canine friendly ones. Breaking bark or barking bad, leading the pack is Bryan Cranston's cranky stray with a flea in his fur. Not afraid to Mike Tyson another mutt for maggot infested scraps. Who else to lead but a dog named Chief? Well how about Edward Norton's Rex? The Academy actors vocals as instantly recognisable as that name for a dog. But for all the great voice work here none brings the wide puppy dog eyes quite like the one of 'Jurassic Park's' Jeff Golblum. The offbeat legend in this offbeat legends film returns after making 'Thor-Ragnarok' as weird and whimsically wonderful as he is. As this time 'The Fly', who 'Budapest' asked if someone threw his cat out the window turns into a mutt. And what would a Wes Anderson film be without the baseball sweater wearing Bill Murray (eight wonders and counting)? Who is on cult hero top form and even has a 'Lost In (Barking) Translation' reunion of sorts with Scarlett Johansson. Whose dog, when it comes to grooming and new tricks is the best in show. Fellow 'Monuments Men' Bob Balaban 'Maguire' completes the leading pack perfectly. Giving good boy Koyu Rankin-armed with a Bart Simpson catapult-the band of barking mad brothers he needs to defeat some evil K-9's in a classic cartoon, Acme cloud, punch bowl dust up and find his hero. As ours takes a rocket ship to a quiet place forgotten by his monster of a Mayor uncle Kobayashi. Played with pointed perfection by 'Isle Of Dogs' co-writer and character co-creator Kunichi Nomura. Atari may be his ward, but this kid will leave the whole prefecture just to bring his dog home to the spot where he warmly belongs at the end of his bed. Remember it's never "just a f###### dog"!

'Last Samurai' Ken Wantanabe bridges the Japanese and Hollywood gap as his surgeon stitches all of this together. All of this being all the amazing A-list talent making the trip. 'Best Actress" Oscar winner for 'Three Billboard's Outside Ebbing, Missouri' Frances McDormand is here for your interpretation. Whilst Greta Gerwig who almost got one for her 'Lady Bird' direction is flying here as a nominated exchange student leading this protest. And if that wasn't enough, Tilda Swinton (who rivals Murray for as many moments in service with Wes) steals the show as Oracle. An adorable pug who can see the future aswell as she can understand the news (Swinton hasn't been this scene stealing against type since her unrecognisable, made-up 'Trainwreck'). Even legends like Harvey Kietel and F. Murray Abraham add to this score of actors. And don't forget or neglect to realize 'Ray Donovan's' presence. As you'll be kicking yourself if you didn't get that Liev Schreiber's unmistakable drawl draws a crowd too like pets greeting you at the door after a long day (I hold up my paw). Even 'Addams Family' Morticia Anjelica Huston gets a gig as a mute dog. And how about 'The People vs O.J. Simpson's' Johnny Cochran, Courtney B. Vance with the nice narration chasing Morgan Freeman's tail? There's a wealth of Japanese talent that doesn't go unnoticed too in this art of entertainment by the manga book, like Akira (Ito) and (Nijiro) Murakami. But it's John Lennon's muse that really has our imagination. As Yoko Ono herself plays...erm Assistant Scientist Yoko Ono. But how perfect is that? Like everything in Anderson's amazing animation, surely soon to be Academy acclaimed. Wes' wonder of hard-worked, hand-craftmanship is inspired in its every increment. As this animation illuminates like the Tokyo neon of smartphones taking crossing shots at midnight in Shibuya. And in a time where people are buying out cinemas for symbolic superheroes like 'Wonder Woman' and the 'Black Panther' for the influenced youth of tomorrow to see today, there are even theatres accommodating and catering to our four legged friends in order for them to join their masters side like bringing them the morning paper. Now isn't that a treat!? Bow WOW! TIM DAVID HARVEY.

Further Filming: 'Fantastic Mr. Fox', 'The Grand Budapest Hotel', 'Moonrise Kingdom'.

Saturday, 7 April 2018

REVIEW: A QUIET PLACE

4/5

Don't Say A Word.

95 Mins. Starring: Emily Blunt, John Krasinski, Millicent Simmonds & Noah Jupe. Director: John Krasinski.

...Shhh! Fingers to lips. Don't speak. The less said about 'The Quiet Place' the better. And that's no bad thing...but actually a good one. So lend us your ears for just a second as we go against the usual lip service grain we give films for a review of the fewest words since the silent classic 'The Artist' (well...that's just lazy writing)...

...The best horror in sheer years and years-outside of the chilling chapters of Stephen King adaptations-is groundbreaking under bare eggshell treading feet that creep. From 'The Office' to the managing position of a writer/director/actor triple threat, now Hollywood big player John Krasinski is joined in spousal support by 'The Girl On The Train' and real life wife Emily Blunt. Whose amazing acting of expressive emotion helps bring the force trauma to this nerve shredding and chair arm scratching thriller that tears you in two with a family that will do anything before that happens...

...Joined by two coming of age child actors, wise beyond their years in the hearing-impaired, 'Wonderstruck' wow of Millicent Simmonds and brave boy Noah Jupe. Krasinski and Blunt, touchingly and tenderingly earbud and bump dancing to Neil Young's 'Harvest Moon' beautifully bring the heart of family (it's so refreshing here that in a "me before you" empathy lacking time and tide we have two characters asking, "who are we if we can't protect (our children)") to this monster horror that preys on sound like a T-Rex does movement for site. And there's plenty of 'Jurassic Park' references that you can throw a kitchen sink at along with homages to those 'Cloverfield' projects (it was almost a treatment), 'Stranger Things' and a nailed 'Home Alone' one beyond the basement of this upstate New York farmland that crops up here. Laying waste to a corn-maize landscape set for wrenching set-pieces. All the way down to the sinking grain silo suffocation...

...But one terrifyingly tense blood bathtub, 'I Am Legend' like hiding scene of terror tears and pregnant screams will have you gasping for air and grasping for the hand of whoevers next to you, whether you know them or not (sorry guy!). The less we say in this spoiler alert age the better, especially when you should go into this movie like the monsters blind and without a trailer tease like many all too reveals these days. That way you'll really feel a film that stirs your every sense beyond your ear canal. As even the sounds of rumbling stomachs and rustling popcorns in an otherwise pin drop theatre will leave you on the most taught tenterhooks...

...Shut up and see this movie! Because this post-apocalypse, kerosene lamp slow burner ignites and does more with mere few words than most blockbusters screaming "ACTION" do in days of dialogue. Need we say anymore? Simply put...it'll leave you speechless... TIM DAVID HARVEY.

Further Filming: Shush! There's nothing else like this movie out there.

Sunday, 1 April 2018

REVIEW: READY PLAYER ONE

3.5/5

Ready. Steady. GO See This Movie!

140 Mins. Starring: Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke, Ben Mendelsohn, T.J. Miller, Simon Pegg & Mark Rylance. Director: Steven Speilberg.

Player One ready? This is Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory for the gamer generation Charlie. Cracking open the ultimate egg this Easter, with even more hatching from something that is no hollow shell on the hunt for more pop culture references than you can shake a joystick at. And who better to turn Ernest Cline's groundbreaking, game changing novel idea from page to screen in earnest by the thrown away rule book than the most famous name on the back of all directors chairs, Steven Speilberg? The man who made classic cinema that changed and inspired the industry and the way we watch and make movies like 'Jaws', 'E.T.' and 'Jurassic Park' may make outstanding Oscar drama these days like 'Lincoln', 'Bridge Of Spies' and this years 'Post' with Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks, but the big kid in him can still get behind the camera for a 'Super 8' every now and then. And that's when the real timeless, magic happens on a nostalgic trip down memory lane from the celluoid to the game movies like this didn't just change...but made as original as they are out of this world. Let alone movie theatre. And out of all the Easter Eggs in all the films in this Marvel world you have to love the production crew of this movie trying to sneak in some Speilberg snippets from the ark of a nixed 'Schindlers List' book, to one that did make the cut as much as the not moviestar like modesty of Steven not wanting his own movies to take away from the popping cinematic culture bursting through this blockbuster. Like Batman, the Iron Giant or more we just don't want to spoil (is that the bike from 'Tron' in the greatest, Tokyo neon like cinematic canvas of 3D since Disney's 'Legacy'? No! It's the Japanese bike from cult, acclaimed anime, 'Akira') like when you have to fake your face in reaction to a secret spilled surprise party. So before you blow the candles out just make sure you know there's even bigger monsters from lost worlds scaling the Empire State Building and slapping away speed racers like biplanes on a "Great Scott", Delorean car chase for a key in New York City. From the checkered flag of the Brooklyn Bridge to the Central Park finish line. On your marks. Get set. Are you ready?

'Jaws' was a book. 'Jurassic Park' was a book. And now with 'Ready Player One' Steven Speilberg gives us his most amazing adaptation and dynamic direction of what makes movies movies since when dinosaurs ruled the earth. This Pacman guzzling blockbuster and beater is his new banner moment, top score, high five. Type his name back into the top rank. Because everything else looks like it was directed by noobs compared to this. The rest of cinema is camping out for the spare change spilled from all the gold coins shooting out of this amazing arcade as classic as Atari and as pop art history homaged as '2049''s blade running neon symbol spotlight commercial for geek culture. This movie has everything even a British butler escort to your favourite haunted hotel and room request...just ask Jeeves...and don't take the bloody elevator. This Easters treasure hunt for subtly layed eggs in the VR El Dorado of the OASIS is a wonderwall and wheel of 'Back To The Future' 80's culture, that doesn't take a day off like Ferris. Making even 'Stranger Things' look...well...ordinary. And speaking of those Goonies the hook of this cult picture has to start with a McFly kid pumping up his hoverboard floating vicarious courage like Reebok sneakers. And who better for to don the virtual reality goggles than X-Men's Cyclops himself Tye Sheridan as the Peter Parker name like Wade Watts? Plugged in and about to show real red eye vision in this (now next) years burning 'Dark Phoenix' rise. The young Sheridan has been growing on screen ever since he was a child actor in Terrence Malik and Jessica Chastain's breakout picture 'The Tree Of Life' as Brad Pitt's son. Aswell as the coming of age 'Joe' with Nicholas Cage and from the dirt 'Mud' moment with Matthew McConaughey. But now this is Tye's time even if most of the time he's more vocal in the form of his avatar that looks as video vivid as that blue planet of Cameron's creation, which is referenced here in an abyss of hidden gems before it's own trilogy of sequels. Sheridan is sheer youth in nostalgic revolt brilliance the moment he opens his apocalypse, dystopian favela stacked trailer doors as commanding as Michael B. Jordan's Killmonger on his breakout, breakthrough scene in 'Black Panther'. Another Marvel this super kid is a shy hero, hiding behind a screen like us all in this digital day and age, but still with first person control.

Shooting for the same stars in this multiplayer are even more avatars looking to one up. Just like 'Me, Earl and the Dying Girl' and 'Limehouse Golem' star Olivia Cooke who is a rising Lily Collins or James like actress of the future and here puts on a brilliant digital disguise like her characters birthmark that makes acting Cooke's childhood made birthright. And how about King George VI, 'Darkest Hour', 'Dark Knight' and 'The Place Beyond The Pines' star Ben Mendelsohn? The 'Rogue One' Aussie rules as the villains villain and the classic character actor of 'Star Wars', 'Killing Them Softly', 'Black Sea', 'Slow West' and 'Exodus: Gods and Kings' versatile veteran fame doesn't disappoint as a creepy, slimy suit, big bad who puts the "weed" in d###weed. And he has plenty of good guy gunning ammunition in his arms with the voice and avatar of 'Deadpool's best friend T.J. Miller by his henchman side. Complete with a skeletal frame that actually looks like he hasn't missed a meal...this hour. It's a good job there's more Speilberg vets in best supporting actor support, aswell as 'Shaun Of The Dead' and 'Star Trek' Scottie, Great Brit nerd hero Simon Pegg who seems to have taken a Hollywood 'Mission: Impossible' and pegged himself into every other movie franchise in the blockbuster industry. But appearing somewhere between a 'Big' 80's dressed, 'Space Invading' man-child and the lead singer of The Cure (soundtrack scores high too by the way, you kids are gonna love it!), an unrecognisable, but always reliable Mark Rylance is undeniable as the sweet, shy, 'Boys Don't Cry' master builder of this 8-bit block by block universe. The Oscar winning 'Bride Of Spies' actor who also took on the C.G.I. mantle of the 'BFG' in the wake of late legend Robin Williams' death reunites with Spielberg for a lucky third time. One that sees him take on a Gandalf 'guise once he's in the mainframe of his own reality and escape from the real world. And that's the type of computer game theme for the controller one generation that seeks solace and even online solidarity in the headsets and headspace of living through a CPU. Whatever gives you identity gives you life, but after awhile it's time to put down the stick and the V.R. schtick and see what you're really made of. After all the confidence and problem solving you've been given in those strategy games was in you all along and can be applied to the real world too. Just as long as the only thing that you beat 'em up are your problems and not the people that cause 'em. You always have another life. Time to make your own nostalgia kid. Ready? K.O. TIM DAVID HARVEY.

Further Filming: Every film you still love as much as you did growing up...