Thursday, 30 December 2010



Together Jake & Anne reach new highs.

15, 112 Minutes. Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Anne Hathaway, Josh Gad, Oliver Platt & Hank Azaria. Director: Edward Zwick. Screenplay: Edward Zwick
Charles Randolph, Marshall Herskovitz

HOLLYWOOD - NOVEMBER 04: Actor Jake Gyllenhaal arrives at 'Love & Other Drugs' Opening Night Gala durring AFI FEST 2010 presented by Audi at Grauman's Chinese Theatre on November 4, 2010 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for AFI)

In 2010 there has been a good run of hilarious romantic comedies ('Killers', 'The Switch') but there has been an itch for a rom-com with more heart and warmth however. Something special to take us through this cold festive fall right through to 2011's new year. Well thankfully 'Love & Other Drugs' is the right prescription.

Based on the book, 'Hard Sell: The Evolution of a Viagra Salesman', this story really is one you can buy into. Jake Gyllenhaal gets back in the league of making ladies swoon as the leading man. While Anne Hathaway heads back to the studio that wears Prada as the leading lady. Both A-list stars are on plus form. The 'love' in this film is evident from the incredible chemistry between the two leading lights.

As for the 'drugs', now here's the science bit, concentrate. Gyllenhaal plays Randall a man pedalling pharmaceuticals. He doesn't have much look however as he has Prozac to deal with as competition. That is however until he gets the gig flopping...uh hum, sorry, flogging Viagra, which is no dead horse...pardon the puns. The drugs are also at work for Hathaway's character, Maggie who will try everything she can to combat her first stage Parkinson's, but will love be the greatest drug for this? Anne really sturts her sexy and qualtity acting stuff on her quest for Katherine Hiegel's rom-com, crown.

Obviously Viagra is no new thing, I or Robert De Niro in 'Little Fockers' could tell you that. So this picture is set back in it's inception of '96. Can you believe it's that long, that's a lot of patterns in the pants. For pleats me Hathaway's puns are better. Being set back in the glory days of the mid-90's this movie doesn't miss a beat. There are no Blackberry's or 'i' anythings, life without them, it's 'hard' to believe (got ya Anne). From the first scene when Randall is starting his salesman career in electronics the 90's dated references are played perfectly. As for that matter is Gyllenhaal's charisma, which makes his bad boy character charming, after all isn't that what all women want?

Well when this film stops getting naked and shagadelic, it turns into a tender, genuine love affair that anybody could adore. 'Love & Other Drugs' is sleek, stylish and very, very sexy. It's also very funny and moving in parts, adding all the elements you need out of a romantic comedy without compromising it's own integrity. It's a really touching movie. It looks great two. With excellent direction this movie has stunning visuals. Sure going up against 'Tron: Legacy' is a bit of a losing battle but 'Love & Other Drugs' proves that the best that real life has to offer is just as good looking as 3D,

The support is great from Randall's likable mentor (played by Oliver Platt) to his lovable but layabout brother (portrayed by 'Back To You' and 'The Daily Show's' Josh Gad). Hank Azaria is also great as a doctor with more character than Hank has in 'The Simpsons'. The soundtrack is also an eclectic, excellent mix. It acts as a mixtape of great love songs from modern day Dylan, way back to even more classics. Even if the brilliant 'Beautiful Girl' by INXS, that made the films trailer doesn't make the final playlist the movie still has a wealth of musical magic for it's most memorable moments.

Every girl or even dragged along, unwillingly guy can enjoy this film for Friday. The young and sexy Anne and Jake give everyone what they want for a film that is no drag but instead a deep draw. 'Love & Other Drugs' closes out the year as one of the better chic flicks that even dudes can dig. Sorry to sound so 90's but this film really takes you back. It feels real and right now. Now how many films these days do that? TIM DAVID HARVEY.

Tuesday, 28 December 2010



More of a pleasant outing then a great escape.

PG, 87 Minutes. Starring: Jack Black, Emily Blunt, Jason Segal, Billy Connolly, Amanda Peet, Catherine Tate, James Corden & Olly Alexander. Director: Rob Letterman. Screenplay: Joe Stillman, Nicholas Stoller

Cast member Jack Black attends the premiere of the 3-D motion picture fantasy Gulliver's Travels , at Grauman's Chinese Theatre in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles on December 18, 2010. The movie opens in the U.S. on December 25. UPI/Jim Ruymen Photo via Newscom

Robert Swift's 18Th century classic 'Gulliver's Travels' has been given a modern day, funny twist this Boxing Day for a kids holiday favourite . Funny man Jack Black tenaciously works for laughs in another film that looks great in 3D from the beginning of the credits to every scene of special effects, big or small.

'Gulliver's Travels' itinerary is simple. Gulliver (played by Jack) is in dire straights. No money, no chick and nothings coming free. He's just a mail man, in love with the same woman for the last five years, he's going nowhere. Now I'm sure I've seen this scenario in 'School Of Rock', but anyway Gulliver tries to work it out as some put down advice is music to his ears. Gulliver lands himself a travel writing assignment that lands him right in the Bermuda triangle, which ties him into the small world of Lilliput. Not a good look for a man of Jack Blacks stature.

Here Gulliver is now surrounded by a host of British actors and one American with a British accent (at least there's no Orange shop). The Yank, Jason Segal plays Horatio who is ousted by the king and queen of Lilliput and the villain of this piece because he took a fancy to the royal families princess. The little people don't think much of their new, big addition either until Gulliver saves the Princess from kidnap, puts out a fire with the old 'water the plants' method and puts his fat to good use.

From there on it really is Gulliver's world. With everything tailored to him, with some hilarious movie and pop culture references from 'Star Wars' to Kiss. Although Gulliver has sold them a tall story about his life, everyone is convinced except our villain, deadpanned brilliant by 'The I.T. Crowds' Chris O' Dowd, who has had a brilliant turn in Hollywood, ever since hilariously reserving a place as a blind fencer in 'Dinner For Schmucks'.

The rest of the British talent is on top form. Billy Connolly and Catherine Tate are just regally right as the king and queen. While Racheal Weiz of the moment, Emily Blunt hams it up perfectly as a confused, swooning princess. The Americans look good on their travels too, Jason Segal is a convincing British, would be charismatic leading man as Horatio and the beautiful Amanda Peet stands out as Gulliver's love interest. Jack Black couldn't get a woman like that...could he? They say humor is a great aphrodisiac however and Jack is back on top, comedic appealing form.

This film is tailored for kids, and it's a good design. The jokes are funny but also parent worthy all without going over children's heads like most PG films these days. From iPhone applications to use of Prince lyrics for chat up line courtship there are some real gem moments. There's even some song and dance, as Black and the cast make Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan proud with their good for a finale rendition of Edwin Starr's 'War'.

Sure there are some lulls, but the strong cast, great look of the film and it's enjoyable nature keep this ship afloat. This film doesn't get lost as it doesn't take itself too seriously, at all. It's just an enjoyable farce. Even if you think it's more yawn then yarn at least one things good (for U.K. Fans at least), you don't have to watch that Orange commercial sneaked in before films again. The real 'Gulliver's Travels' has hit shores and it all pulls and ties together quite nicely. TIM DAVID HARVEY.

Saturday, 25 December 2010


MOSCOW, RUSSIA. JULY 20, 2010. Actor Leonardo DiCaprio in a scene from Christopher Nolan's Inception movie. (Photo ITAR-TASS/ Karo premiere film company) Photo via Newscom

(Sorry Robert Downey Jnr, you did good but it's this mans year, wanna argue?)

Leo really was king of 2010. With two of his biggest commercial and critical successes this year DiCaprio furthered his legend and status as one of the best leading men in Hollywood today and one of the best actors of all time. To start the year off Leonardo DiCaprio teamed up with Martin Scorsese yet again for 'Shutter Island'. This dark, psychological horror, illuminated the thrilling story of the human mind, much in the same way the pair demonstrated on 'The Aviator'. With DiCaprio proving to be as significant as De Niro, Scorsese once again developed an incredible working relationship with his muse. What resulted was a film like no other the two had done before. After that success Leonardo refused to go quietly into the fall with his Summer smash with Christopher Nolan, 'Inception'. Thanks to a great cast, story and score Nolan crafted a film almost as classic as 'The Dark Knight'. Leo was the centrepiece however bringing depth and emotion to a more action orientated, psychological thriller that delves deep into individuals dreams. With both pictures Leonardo painted two different portraits of troubled and conflicted men. With this, DiCaprio yet again provided excellent character depth by getting more personal with his approach to his work. With more projects in the pipeline including possible, legendary portrayals of J. Edgar Hoover, Frank Sinatra and The Great Jack Gatsby. It doesn't look like Leo's done delving yet and if this year is any sign of things to come the deeper he delves, the greater his legend becomes. TIM DAVID HARVEY.


MOSCOW, RUSSIA. JULY 20, 2010. Actor Leonardo DiCaprio in a scene from Christopher Nolan's Inception movie. (Photo ITAR-TASS/ Karo premiere film company) Photo via Newscom

5/5. In undoubtedly the movie of the year Leornado DiCaprio assembles a team of dream thieves to 'incept' an idea into Christopher Nolan's favourite scarecrow Cillian Murphys mind. Expect incredible action, thrills and twists and turns while DiCaprio and his team go within dreams. This supporting cast all step it up a level, especially the charming Tom Hardy and the riddling Gordon-Levitt. Again Nolans cinematography is captivating, his brothers script compelling and Hans Zimmer's score classic by any standard. This film is one part 'The Matrix', one part 'Memento' but overall very much it's own film. With shifts in gravity you'll never see better fighting scenes and Leornado DiCaprio plays the conflicted man lamenting lost love again so well just like he did in 'Shutter Island'. As a matter of fact DiCaprio may have made two of his best films this year. As for Christoper Nolan's greatest, 'The Dark Knight' still reigns supreme but with 'Inception' Nolan hasn't told a better story since 'The Prestige'. Simply one of the best cinematic experiences you could ever dream up. TIM DAVID HARVEY.


Ben Affleck does double duty on the set of his new film, The Town, in Boston, Massachusetts on September 25, 2009. Affleck was seen in costume filming scenes as a Boston medic, before changing clothes and directing his co-stars Jon Hamm and Jeremy Renner during their scenes! Fame Pictures, Inc

5/5. After his critically acclaimed turn behind the camera with 'Gone Baby Gone', Ben Affleck almost directed and starred in the best movie of the year, or as Bostonians would say 'yeeeeeahr'. 'The Town' was incredible, with the beautiful Boston in the backdrop Affleck went deep into Charlestown for a classy crime thriller. Playing a bank robber who falls in love with his hostage Ben stepped up with acting that would make Matt Damon proud and action scenes that almost make the gunfights in 'Heat' look tame. There was also a stellar, strong supporting cast in this one led by 'Mad Men', John Hamm's detective character who was hot on Affleck's tail. Everyone here went to town on a movie that was guilty of one thing and one thing only...being a steal of a movie. TIM DAVID HARVEY.


Celebrities photographed at the Shutter Island premiere, held at the Ziegfeld Theater, in New York City, NY on February 17, 2010. Among those in attendance: Leonardo DiCaprio, Martin Scorsese Fame Pictures, Inc

5/5. Without a doubt Leonardo DiCaprio is the man of the year. The already legendary actor, furthered his greatness with two more career defining roles this year. Two films released in the space of six months which are among the stars best. Leo collaborated with classic director Martin Scorsese for the fourth time and after ten years of classics ('Gangs Of New York', 'The Aviator', 'The Departed') the director and his new De Niro muse may have made their best with 'Shutter Island'. Believe that this number 3 position is almost criminally insane as this film really is one of the greatest films of the last decade. If it was released in 2009 (as originally intended) it would have been the pick of the year, if not the best of the first decade of the new millennium. This film is that good, it's just there's two more films that match it's greatness. 'Shutter Island' evoked every chilling and demented aspect of it's novel and Scorsese's direction alongside The Band's, Robbie Robertson's soundtrack selections gave this dark psychological horror the chilling backdrop it needed. The film featured excellent support from Ben Kingsley to Michelle Williams but the best came from born-to-be-a-cop Mark Ruffalo and the character of the films set was just spookily perfect as well. From every mist of fog to clouded minds this film scared the hell out of you when there was nothing behind you. It's all in the mind here as DiCaprio takes his trademark conflicted, troubled man acting to the next, timeless, legendary level. A character development we would see more in his summer smash with Christopher Nolan but not like we witnessed in this Scorsese epic that cuts right through to the bone. TIM DAVID HARVEY.


WESTWOOD, CA - OCTOBER 26: Actor Denzel Washington and wife Pauletta Washington arrive at the premiere of Twentieth Century Fox's 'Unstoppable' at Regency Village Theater on October 26, 2010 in Westwood, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

4.5/5. Now here's a runaway movie. Think you've seen it all before? Especially with Denzel? Well you haven't. Washington brings his trademark serious and charming talent to his and Tony Scott's second train related film (See the brilliant, 'Taking Of Pelham 123' remake). What results is a rip roaring, adrenaline fuelled, nail biter of a film, that will have you on the edge of your seat even after a second viewing. Chris Pine is also honestly, brilliant in this movie. As Kirk swaps the captain's chair for the conductors one. Rosario Dawson is also stunning in this picture and to believe that 'Unstoppable' is based on a true story is impossible. The fact remains however that even with all the other big budget blockbusters this year, Scott and Denzel's latest is one of the best. TIM DAVID HARVEY.


LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 23: (L-R) Actors Mickey Rourke, Scarlett Johansson, director/actor Jon Favreau, actor Robert Downey Jr., actress Gwyneth Paltrow, and actor Don Cheadle pose during Paramount Pictures & Marvel Entertainment's 'Iron Man 2' photo call held at the Four Seasons Hotel on April 23, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

4.5/5. Jon Faverau may not be on board for 'Iron Man 3' and Terrence Howard may have been replaced but this sequel proved that the 'Iron Man' franchise was still working, even with a little tinkering. Robert Downey Jnr brought his usual effortless charm and humor as he helped lift this superhero off the ground one more time. Ironman got an even better villain this time with Mickey Rourke playing the menacing Whiplash. As for Tony Starks sidekick, Don Cheadle filled in quite nicely as Lieutenant Rhodes and once he supped up that War Machine suit 'Iron Man 2' brought an artillery of action. An army of A listers filled out the cast from the cheesily charismatic villain of Sam Rockwell to Scarlett Johansson and that brilliant costume department. With another hilarious Stan Lee cameo and another 'Justice League' preview, Ironman showed he was the king of the Marvel franchise. TIM DAVID HARVEY.


42807, MADRID, SPAIN - Wednesday July 21, 2010. (L-R) Will Smith, Jada Pinkett Smith, Jaden Smith, Jackie Chan and Willow Smith (R) attend The Karate Kid premiere at Callao Cinema in Madrid, Spain.  Photograph:  Max Powell,

4.5/5. In movies ordinarily remakes rarely best the original but 'The Karate Kid' was never an ordinary movie, it was always something different to everything else out there. Your average action hero's rarely have the ability to wow you with their fighting skill and at the same time bring you to tears within two scenes but then again Jackie Chan isn't your average action hero, he's one of the best actors around...period. Your typical child actor may entertain and capture hearts young and old but they don't tend to step toe to toe with their co-stars in their acting ability and screen presence, but then again Jaden Smith (Son of A-list 'I Am Legend' Will Smith) isn't your typical child actor, he's a rising talent (Just watch him pursue happiness for further proof). Ideally a remake of a cheesy 80's film wouldn't be the best way to spend a Friday night but after kicking it with 'The Karate Kid' you'll have had the ideal night and one of the best at a cinema in recent times. Surprise hit if the year? Check! Better than the original? Check! Best film that's suitable for everyone of the year? Check! Classic? Go see for yourself! TIM DAVID HARVEY.


NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 01: (L to R) Robert Downey Jr., director Todd Phillips, and Zach Galifianakis attend a screening of 'Due Date' hosted by The Cinema Society & DKNY Jeans at AMC Lincoln Square Theater on November 1, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images)

4.5/5. It may have been one of the more later arrivals this year but 'Due Date' was still one of this years best deliveries. 'The Hangover's' Todd Phillips once again teamed up with the hilarious Zach Galafanakis alongside Robert Downey Jnr's charisma for a comedy both disgustingly funny and touchingly warm. The film also had a hilarious role call of cameo's led by singer/actor/comedian Jamie Foxx. The film had shades of the classic 'Planes, Trains & Automobiles' but also didn't shadow away from modern day, no holes barred hilarity, in any way possible. From drug use, to masturbation, to drinking the dearly departed and from fights with kids, the disabled and spitting on dogs 'Due Date' didn't miss a comedy destination. Galafanakis and Downey Jnr really did give us a trip with this road journey. TIM DAVID HARVEY.


35123, NEW YORK, NEW YORK - Friday October 23, 2009. Dwayne Johnson, aka The Rock , and Samuel L Jackson film scenes from The Other Guys involving a gunfight and a the destruction of a Chevrolet Impala muscle car. The action comedy tells the story of a New York City police precinct where Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell's cop characters watch from the sidelines, while co-stars Samuel L Jackson and Dwayne The Rock Johnson play an elite cop duo who regularly bust the bad guys, drive fast cars and get the girls! Photograph:

4/5. Just when you thought Will Ferrell and Adam McKay didn't have any more jokes in them something else came along, 'The Other Guys'. The pair have sent up everything from newsreaders to basketball players so it was about time they took on the police. Armed with his trademark stupidity and head scratching, rib tickling one liners Will got blue collar with the comedy putting in work. He even drafted in cop acting veterans Mark Wahlberg, Samuel L. Jackson (looking like 'Shaft' once again in his long black leather jacket and shades) and The Rock for some real hilarious turns. Eva Mendes is a valuable addition to this movie playing Ferrell's under appreciated wife, while 90's favourite Michael Keaton is brilliant shooting from the hip with TLC references and trademark Police Captain mannerisms. The comedy force doesn't stop there as Steve Coogan, Rob Riggle and another hilarious Wayans brother are also on hand. With all this talent, this may be Ferrell's best in years but with his part in this cop role play he proved he's the chief. TIM DAVID HARVEY.


LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 18: (UK TABLOID NEWSPAPERS OUT) L-R Jason Schwartzman, Michael Cera and Edgar Wright attend the European premiere of Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World held at the Empire Leicester Square on August 18, 2010 in London, England. (Photo by Fergus McDonald/Getty Images)

4/5. If 'Kick Ass' wasn't enough for you then the geeks really got what they wanted with 'Scott Pilgrim vs. The World'. Another comic book based film that was not only different to the rest like 'Kick Ass' but also completely different to our number ten movie. Jock-a-phobe Michael Cera was born for this role and gave a cool, cultural icon a real face. The film also featured brilliant support from an A list of young talent, including everyone from Ellen Wong to Brandon Routh put in excellent performances. What separated this film from the rest however was it's stunning direction. Unlike most this film would of looked even better in 3D but still in the 2 dimensions it drew you into it's computer game themed world just as effectively as 'Tron'. With the beautiful city of Toronto providing the perfect backdrop and the 'Who Framed Roger Rabbit' mix of real life and cartoon action giving this film a look like no other, this social outcast took on the world and won. TIM DAVID HARVEY.


LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 13: Actors Nicolas Cage and Aaron Johnson, pose together at the 'Kick-Ass' premiere held at ArcLight Hollywood on April 13, 2010 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

4/5. I hate to use this pun here but this movie really did 'Kick Ass'. It took everything from traditional superhero stroies and child actors and then turned them on their heads. This dark comic book really did birth one graphic film. With as much action as laughs, this definitly wasn't for the faint hearted. I mean did you ever think you'd hear a 13 year old girl say the 'C' word in a movie and then slaughter a room of gangsters? Chloe Mortez is the star of this show, however Kick Ass himself, (played by Aaron Johnson who has been on a hot streak ever since he played John Lennon) was also great. Christopher Mintz-Plasse was also on top, 'Superbad' form as the character acting nerd added even more to this geek favourite. 'Kick Ass' wasn't all childs play however as Mark Strong and Nicholas Cage provide excellent support. For all aspiring filmakers out there if you want to make an original film like this than you better knuckle up because this pictures going to have to take a lot of beating.

Feb. 16, 2010 - San Diego, California, USA - Feb 16, 2010 - San Diego, California, USA - Actor CRAIG ROBINSON poses in front of the Hot Tub Time Machine Tub Crawl float at the Fat Tuesday Mardi Gras parade in Downtown San Diego, California. © Red Carpet Pictures

HONARABLE MENTION: It's been a great year for movies yet again. Ryan Reynolds unearthed his acting talents with 'Buried'... 'Get Him To The Greek' made it to Hollywood thanks to Russell Brand winning everybody over and Diddy 'Mind F******' everyone with an unexpected hilarious performance...Michael Douglas proved that even after 20 plus years money doesnt sleep with 'Wall Street 2'...while Jeff Bridges proved that neither do sci-fi classics with 'TRON: Legacy'...'Toy Story 3' and 'Shrek Forever After' proved that these CGI franchises are still looking good...while 'Alice In Wonderland' dazzled in 3D...vampire thriller 'Daybreakers' gave us a real refreshing bite from that saga that every teenage girl Etahn Hawke hit big again on the 'Training Day' esque 'Brooklyn's Finest'...speaking of which Denzel got even tougher and more ruthless on 'The Book of Eli' en route to a great year...while from the 'Killer's' to 'Death At The Funeral' we kept keeling over with of the best comedies this year that just missed the cut was the brilliant 'Hot Tub Time Machine' which really took us back. It's a shame this isn't a top 11 otherwise this film would of made it here. TIM DAVID HARVEY.

Friday, 24 December 2010



What's Christmas without meeting the parents?

12A, 97 Minutes. Starring: Robert De Niro, Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Dustin Hoffman, Blythe Danner, Teri Polo, Barbra Streisand, Kevin Hart, Laura Dern, Harvey Kietel & Jessica Alba. Director: Paul Weitz. Screenplay: Jim Herzfeld, John Hamburg & Larry Stuckey

35182, LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - Monday, October 26, 2009. They're back! Robert De Niro and Ben Stiller are seen on the set of Little Fockers , the sequel to the hugely popular Meet the Fockers and Meet the Parents . They were seen sharing a laugh with one another in between takes. Photo: Andrew Shawaf / Pacific Coast

Tis' the holiday season, matter of fact it's just turned Christmas right now and we've been missing that special film that gives us that comedic, comforting, yuletide feeling. Sure we could dig out the 'Uncle Bucks' and the 'Home Alones' but for something new this Christmas we need look no further now. One of Hollywood's favourite families just got bigger with an all-star cast for 'Meet The Parents: Little Fockers', the third part in Robert De Niro's latest 'Godfocker' trilogy.

The classic, first 'Meet The Parents' made the notorious gangster actor, De Niro a bona fide comedy star. 'Meet The Fockers' made these films a bona fide franchise and there is some bona fide material in this film too, trust me... but we'll leave that hilarious bit out, it is Christmas after all.

So if the name hasn't given it away, this sequel is all about meeting Greg and Pam Focker's (played again brilliantly by Ben Stiller and Teri Polo respectively) kids. The twins are about to share a fifth birthday, but there's a lot more going on then the stresses of planning a kids birthday. For one Greg Focker has more on his plate, as does his son, and in turn Focker senior has even more of that on his face. Also De Niro's Jack Byrne's is at the lie detector machine again (shockingly) and is up to his usual paranoid, never really retired from the CIA tricks.

If that isn't bad enough, Jessica Alba's pharmaceutical drug rep character is after Stiller (yep that is a problem) and also has some Google issues with actor Andy Garcia. To top it off the brilliant return of Owen Wilson as Pam Fockers candle holding, charm and cheese hoarding ex boyfriend, just makes matters even worse and funnier.

So expect a lot more hilarity and insane situations from a family that likes to burn altars and serve foreskin as fondue. If you thought the writers and directors had run out of ideas you'd be wrong because this latest installment of 'Meet The Parents' is 'focking' funny. With all the regulars returning and an all-star supporting cast this film is a sure fire hit for the warm, good natured mood of the festive period.

De Niro and Stiller are once again on stellar form, providing the perfect mix and once again playing off each other so well. No matter who's watching who, it's funny. The father and son in law conflict reaches all new heights and there is even a fight...which believe me like they say in the film was long coming, but oh is it worth the wait.

Teri Polo and Blythe Danner once again play the suffering women perfectly and those 'Little Fockers' are adorable two. Also Streisand and Hoffman once again provide some of the most laughable moments in the film, taking it to the extremes one more hilarious time after another. There is also great support form an always funny Kevin Hart, an always game Harvey Kietel and the always good to see Laura Dern. Plus if your a guy you'll love seeing Jessica Alba go crazy, trust me...TRUST ME!

While trying to steal Greg Focker's wife Owen Wilson almost steals the show as Kevin. After a great turn in the first movie and a brief cameo in the second film Owen is back, owning each scene with his chemistry with long time collaborator Stiller and his undeniable comedy charm. It's good to see him back here. He doesn't miss a beat.

From ball pools to middle of the night medical procedures Stiller and De Niro go through a lot and from lasagna to turkey carvings you going to make a meal out of this great comedy. This old dog learns some new tricks too, with more up to date, off the cuff jokes. As does De Niro, who Spy's easy as Google replaces his old hidden cameras. This results in some funny uses of YouTube and those infamous YouTube fan videos (and you thought the video tapes where funny). Everything is here from the circle of trust to Mr. Jinx and even if the formula is getting a tad old, the familiarity of this favourite family is welcoming. So while you make sure you have a Merry Christmas do make sure you pay the Fockers a brief visit this holiday period, because you won't regret it. TIM DAVID HARVEY.

Tuesday, 21 December 2010



This 3D IMAX experience blows Avatar out of Pandora.

PG, 130 Minutes. Starring: Jeff Bridges, Garrett Hedlund, Olivia Wilde, Michael Sheen. Director: Joseph Kosinski. Screenplay: Adam Horowitz & Edward Kitsis

LOS ANGELES - DEC 11: Atmosphere arrives at the TRON: Legacy Premiere at El Capitan Theater on December 11, 2010 in Los Angeles, CA. Photo via Newscom

It's taken 28 years, much better, more advanced graphics and even more Jeff Bridges hair but the sequel to one of the latter parts of last centuries most revolutionary films 'Tron' is finally here a decade into the new millennium. 'Tron: Legacy' is exactly what every sci-fi fan, every connoisseur of 3D and every bit of Jeff Bridges latest hot streak needs. Close to perfection film making and science fiction so convincing your pulled into it's reality.

'The Big Lebowski' is the right man in this film, even if he is suffering an identity crisis yet again. You see 'Tron' creator and 'dude' of ENCOM industries Kevin Flynn (Bridges) has created a computer game world as ingenious as a Swiss watch. Trouble is he's stuck in it thanks to a clone of himself (portrayed unbelievably, brilliantly in computer graphics that have literally taken decades off Bridges). Back in the real world Flynn's son is in one of his own as he thinks his dad is long gone. That's until he's thrust back into reality...his fathers one. That's when the games really begin.

The buzz for most sequels wouldn't last almost 30 years but 'Tron' is no regular franchise. Back in the 80's it may have looked as basic and as now dated as Atari but Bridges looked great and the story was original and revolutionary. Today things are the opposite. 'Tron: Legacy' is the most visually stunning film you will have seen in 3D so far, yep that's right 'Avatar'. Glossy, shiny and futuristic in beautiful neon, call it how you see it because it stimulates every part of the visual sense. From the first view, through the skyscrapers of the modern day 'grid' your thrown right in it. 'It' being amazement.

The trade off however is the plot, it's pretty simple as per the usual with most big, expensive blockbusters these days. This is fine except sometimes your left not caring much for the story, wanting to get back to the action as quickly as possible. Still these moments are few and Jeff Bridges saves them with his legendary charm and charisma in his conversation pieces. Still between the hi-tech action scenes and the low brow at times storyline some parts of the film your left saying 'duuuuude' and at others, 'c'mon duuuuude'.

Still this film is far from a travesty and if you've got a beverage here you better put it down because just like Steven Tyler you aint gonna wanna miss a thing. Ever frame of this film is gorgeous in it's electronic splendour. The fight, bike and flight scenes are so well done it's worth the IMAX admission. More futuristic than Neo this film visually will leave you saying 'Whoa' in your best Keanu Reeves impression.

Jeff Bridges is once again on stellar form, proving that the years have done nothing but given him a strong second wind. The Oscar winner with a 'Crazy Heart' gives fans a little more dude right before his eagerly anticipated epic turn in 'True Grit'. Jeff Bridges the gap, shining brilliantly as the old him and the new young him, or is that the new old him? Either way Bridges owns each scene. Garrett Hedlund is also brilliant as Flynn's son Sam, entering the Chris Pine world of new, young, exciting talent. While 'House' star Olivia Wilde makes a home for herself in each and every scene. With a sexy, short black cropped hair do, this bombshell is a cut, head and shoulders above the rest. Michael Sheen also reaches deeper into his character acting skills with a charismatic cameo. Sheen shakes off his usual Tony Blair look completely, channelling David Bowie with a 'Space Oddity' performance. There's even a sleep and you'll miss it cameo from 'Inceptions' Cillian Murphy, who looks the part more with every film and less like a scarecrow.

Joseph Kosinski's direction is superb making this film even funny and touching in parts. This movie is even exciting in the 'real' world scenes. This 'Tron' expands Disney's legacy even further. There is even a great electronic, soundtrack from dance duo Daft Punk, who also make a camera shy, cameo. Still the graphically imposing visuals overshadow everything including the story. Still for stunning popcorn films this year you won't beat it and even with few characters 'Tron's' legacy still develops. With aesthetically pleasing set pieces this film finally gives you a reason to pay for and put on those Roy Orbison esque glasses. With it's mix of shimmer and shine and futuristic complexities and basic brilliance 'Tron: Legacy' is finally the film that really ties IMAX and 3D together. TIM DAVID HARVEY.

Friday, 17 December 2010



12A, 103 Minutes. Starring: Angelina Jolie, Johnny Depp, Paul Bettany & Timothy Dalton. Director: Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck. Screenplay: Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck,Christopher McQuarrie & Julian Fellowes

Depp & Jolie take a light vacation.

38687, VENICE, ITALY - Wednesday March 17, 2010. Angelina Jolie is spotted filming a scene with Johnny Depp for their upcoming film The Tourist . The pair shot a scene where Depp climbed aboard a water taxi in which Angelina was riding in. The filming was allegedly shut down early for the day, as too many fans surrounded the set, prohibiting the production to run safely. Photograph:

Somewhere in between Angelina Jolie wounding a little in 'Salt' and Johnny Depp about to venture 'Stranger Tides' as Captain Jack Sparrow comes 'The Tourist'. A film where the A list, Hollywood young living legends check into Venice to cut a movie whilst taking a vacation. Racking up the miles from Paris to Venice they remake a 2007 French hit 'Anthony Zimmer' with German director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck.

The set up is simple...ish, just like the plot. Angelina Jolie's character, Elise is followed by the police, all sorts of special agents and behind the newspaper and coat guys as they are all after her husband, Alexander. Her husband sends word for her to take a train from Paris to Venice in order to find a suitable stooge with a similar build and height. Elise's task is to make this man look like her husband so her tail will be thrown off the scent. This is where we meet Johnny Depp's Frank and the story begins.

This jet setting film is designed to be a style over substance affair and is more of a classic crime caper than your average slick thriller. Still as Depp and Jolie look to explore some different territory the critics have already began to set up camp. This is exactly what 'The Tourist' is however, it's just different. It may not be the greatest release this year but that doesn't mean it's bad. It may not be well travelled but neither is it in way over it's head. The film is light but enjoyable, a little slow in parts but also one you can keep pace with. It may not be the most memorable Friday you'll have but it will be an enjoyable one.

The film is well written and even if you suspect a twist you will still be kept guessing until the end. There are some brilliant choice pieces of direction, like when the pair are shot (with a camera that is) in separate rooms. The romance and chemistry between the two stars may simmer more than it boils, but it still bubbles. The laughs may be few but there are some pure moments of comic genius, besides this isn't a romantic comedy either, nor is it an action thriller. The film sits somewhere between the two genres serving as a caper that would of felt at home in the 50's. Classic feeling like the timeless European backdrop.

Now even though it's sitting in an era of special effects and big budgets, 'The Tourist' is as quaint an as endearing as it's location. Proving that an old dog doesn't have to learn new tricks to get attention. It's refreshing in a film to see two 'regular' characters involved in action but not just automatically able to handle weaponry or action situations, like say a random chef who is 'Under Siege'. Although this film isn't one you could call 'real' at least there's some authenticity to it.

Nothing new or broke here as Depp is on his usual, top, charming form and Jolie is on her alluring one as she rubs off from her dose of 'Salt' in a film that the aforementioned should have been more like. The leading man and woman effortlessly perform well, motoring this film along, even if it looks like they never leave second gear. Still no one can pull off running across rooftops like Jack Sparrow in his P.J.s like Depp can and no one can put on and wear those dresses and that quiet confidence like Jolie. The A listers get a B plus and the support from Paul Bettany and Timothy Dalton help bond the film together.

Still even with the one time sexiest man and woman alive taking top billing the films top attraction is the beautiful locations of Paris and more notably Venice. From every old hotel balcony to gondola filled river this picture is a postcard of perfection. Visually stunning and not mentally challenging, 'The Tourist' may have been called a lot of things but one thing it is is enjoyable. The film is the ideal Friday night date movie, with neither party having to compromise. It's not too romantic for the guys and not too violent for the girls. Depp provides eye candy for the girls and a mans perspective for the guys and Jolie vice versa. Even if 'The Tourist' is a bit of a vagabond in nomads land looking for a place to go it still hits home. Sure it may not be a five star destination but like many love it or hate it trips, it's best you check it out for yourself. TIM DAVID HARVEY.

Sunday, 5 December 2010



18, 105 Minutes. Starring: Danny Trejo, Steven Seagal, Jessica Alba, Michelle Rodriguez, Lindsay Lohan & Robert De Niro. Director: Robert Rodriguez. Screenwriter: Robert Rodriguez & Álvaro Rodriguez.

It may not be the sharpest tool in the box, but 'Machete' still makes the cut.

LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 25: Actor Danny Trejo arrives at the Los Angeles screening of 'Machete' at Orpheum Theatre on August 25, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

I guess this is why you didn't see Steven Seagal in 'The Expendables'. The pony tailed 'Lawman' co-stars in another Robert Rodriguez, graphically violent, 'Grindhouse' esque piece which makes the Sly Stallone ensemble film look as tame as 'Bambi'. The beautiful Jessica Alba, Lindsey Lohan and Michelle Rodriguez (no relation) also co-star as does Robert De Niro. The star of the show here however is Danny Trejo, character actor and action movie go to Mexican. Who would of thought that more than 10 years after De Niro's and Trejo's classic 'Heat', the tables would turn and it would be Danny who would be the leading man and Bobby the support.

What results is a one of a kind film really like no other. Trejo plays 'Machete' a blade wielding hero (of sorts) who is a myth in Mexico. Well this myth is about to become legend over 90 minutes of thrills and blood spills. After one of the most violent scenes you'll ever see to start a film (and it doesn't stop there) Trejo sees his wife killed by Steven Seagal (and I'm sure she actually screams 'SEAGAAAAL') and his Lee Majors, 'Six Million Dollar Man' sounding sword. So for the first time in slicked, 80's hair history Seagal is not the one out for revenge, he's the one who's the target for retribution. Now will he finally get his in a movie?

Still Trejo's got a lot more on his plate. Another slick haired gentleman offers him a suitcase full of what looks like well used money to assassinate Robert De Niro's, seriously...seriously right wing senator character. What seems to go according to plan isn't what Machete had in mind and now not only is he after everyone, everyone is after him. Holy Moly! Machete's going to need God on his side, or at least his priest padre, played perfectly by Cheech Martin.

So you can expect a lot of gruesome Rodriguez action that would make his friend and mentor Quentin Tarantino proud...and maybe even a little bit sick. Seriously with a decapitation count higher than most Charles Bronson bullet counts and vital organs used as 'leverage' it's hard to believe that this is the same guy that brought us 'Spy Kids'. You've got to love versatility. Even though the action is at most times too much to bare (if your on the wrong side of a date) there are some comic relief moments. Just like Machete's way of dealing with unwanted visitors or his hilarious use of garden implements. 'Sheer' genius.

The movie is coolly shot and 'Grindhouse' reminiscent right from the opening credits. Plus the border of Mexico provides a brilliant backdrop and back story. Speaking of stories, this films plot isn't that bad for a Wham, bam, thank you mam piece. Trejo is brutally brilliant as Machete getting all the villains and all the girls, despite looking a bit out of shape and...well you know. Speaking of those out of shape, Segal still works up a solid performance even though half of the time his scenes look literally phoned in.

De Niro is also convincingly brilliant as a Senator that has a pretty strong stance on immigration. The leading ladies in this film are on top form too as are the rest of the supporting cast. Jessica Alba throws out a great performance as an I.R.S. agent all whilst maintaining that 'Sin City' sexiness. Michelle Rodriguez is also a main attraction. 'She' brings her trademark tough sexiness to a movie that makes the rest of her roles look like rom-com performances. Even Lindsey Lohan delivers a performance worthy of credit and wears one outfit that you would never expect her to wear. You've got to love Rodriguez's humor and that's why you'll love the finale as this film grinds to a halt.

This film is pure fakism escapism. As cringe worthy as Segal's one liners but as cool as Machete's, 'Pimp My Ride' gatling chopper. As expendable but as enjoyable as Stallone's last hit. This guys favourite may be like sitting through 'Monday Night Football' for the girls and it may also be a few death certificates away from being more than a 'R' rating but still 'Machete' wields as much entertainment as it does gore. From the first action to the last cut this is one film that will have heads rolling in more ways than one. TIM DAVID HARVEY.

Monday, 29 November 2010

R.I.P LESLIE NIELSEN (1926-2010)

3113, HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - Sunday November 28 2010. FILE PICTURE DATED 1992 of actor Leslie Nielsen, who has died from pneumonia at the age of 84. The dead-pan comic who starred in comedy classics such as Airplne and The Naked Gun , passed away in a hospital near his home in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, with his family at his side.  Actor Leslie Nielsen at his home in LA. Photograph:  Paul Harris,

When comedic legend Bernie Mac passed George Clooney said "The world just got a little less funny," well it's become even less funnier now with the sad passing of a comedy great, Leslie Nielson. "Surely you can't be serious". The hysterical star of 'The Naked Gun' trilogy and 'Airplane' was suffering from pneumonia, he was 84. Our thoughts go out to his friends and family as we tip our hats to a true, individual, genuine Hollywood legend. Where would guys like Jim Carrey and Will Ferrell be without him? He will always live on through his deadpan and no longer will we call him Shirley. Rest in peace Leslie. Thank you sir. TIM DAVID HARVEY

Sunday, 28 November 2010



15, 105 Minutes. Starring: George Clooney, Violante Placido, Thekla Reuten, Paolo Bonacelli, Irina Bjorklund, Bjorn Granath, Johan Leysen, Filippo Timi. Director: Anton Corbijn. Screenwriter: Rowan Joffe.

The leading man of the United States 'Rome's' around Europe.

WESTWOOD, CA - NOVEMBER 30: Actor George Clooney arrives at the premiere of Paramount Pictures' 'Up In The Air' held at Mann Village Theatre on November 30, 2009 in Westwood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

As George Clooney adds more stamps to his passport 'The American' on the outside looks like an excuse for the housewives favourite sexiest man alive to get his Chevy Chase on and take a European vacation between work. Still, however if you take a look inside this picture you'll see that it is in fact another great Clooney film to add to the collection as the leading man furthers his legend.

In this modern day George Clooney may be the closest thing we have to Cary Grant. The similarities to the classic star and the modern day hero are apparent. Even the score and the poster of 'The American' is a throwback to vintage cinema art and promotion. While the black and white image of a running Clooney on the billboard is almost has shades of 'North By Northwest'. Quite fitting for a man who might play Robert Vaughans (a man who looked like the next Cary Grant) role in an upcoming 'The Man From U.N.C.L.E' film.

This American and his film however are as individual and original as they come. With Clooney taking lead and production credits he looks to repeat on the classic status of 'Michael Clayton' with another deep dramatic thriller delving into characters with conflict and a troubled human nature. 'The American' centres around George Clooney's hit man character, who is in Italy for one last job where he has to construct a rifle but apparently doesn't even have to pull the trigger (we'll see). It is apparent however that the hunter has become the hunter and death isn't the only thing this assassin has been marked for. He's the target of love too.

What results is a rich tapestry of classic writing, direction and acting in a moody and atmospheric piece. This slow burner ignites from the start all the way to the last billow of smoke. The tension of this picture is pulled from the first brutally beautiful, frozen frame of the snowy wilderness and tightens all the way to the thrilling and anxious climax. Sure this film is slow and if you don't stay with it you may get lost in your own thoughts but like a great novel (and this film is based around a brilliant one ('A Very Private Gentleman')) it's best to keep reading into this. Each frame is directed and shot perfectly, the Italian scenery is beautiful but also captures the protagonists loneliness and isolation. These are perfectly depicted by Clooneys espresso (or should I say Nespresso) for one moments in Italian coffee bars that are as lonely and evokingly reminiscent of Edward Hoppers 'Nighthawk' painting.

The drama and the action is clinical and calculated but still the entertainment multiplies being just what a Clooney fan ordered. Whilst the romance is as real and evoking as the women in this picture. As the drama builds you know this is Clooney's domain and again he delivers. Just like 'Michael Clayton' this is a study of a character with his back against the wall and just like Clooney himself the character responds with class. There's even a scene similar to the closer of 'Clayton' where Clooney is head on with the camera as the direction goes through the motion of his changing emotion and expression perfectly.

The cold, dark, side streets of Rome provide the right backdrop for some perfect action set pieces. It also looks like Clooney took a 'Bourne' crash course lesson on cold killing from his 'Oceans' friend Matt Damon. Where as in contrast the beautiful sunny, pretty as a Picasso picture scenery of the Italian countryside provide the best setting for some of the films more touching and poignant moments. These stark contrasts help develop the impersonal assassin side and just a man personal side of Clooneys character. What results is one of the deepest stories from an actor who refuses to tread shallow water. George Clooney once again takes his time with this picture like art and you can see the master of his creation in every stroke. TIM DAVID HARVEY.



18, 103 Minutes. Starring: Colin Farrell, Ray Winstone, Anna Friel & Keira Knightley Director & Screenwriter: William Monahan.

London's been calling for a cooler gangster flick so Farrell and Winstone answer.

TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 15:  Actor Colin Farrell speaks onstage at the 'Ondine' press conference held at the Four Seasons Hotel on September 15, 2009 in Toronto, Canada.  (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

England and London especially have a great reputation for gangster movies. These movies are as gritty and as real as they come. Still there's been a need over the last few years for these films to balance the grit and realism with cool and class. This is where William Monahan's 'London Boulevard' comes in. A graphic but gratifying gangster flick. Which is cool and in parts even funny and moving.

After the success of his penmanship on the Scorsese classic 'The Departed', Monahan goes it alone, entering the directors chair for a film which stars versatile leading man, Colin Farrell. 'London Boulevard' centres around Farrell's hard man Mitchell (no relation to those 'Eastenders' brothers, but he's tough enough to be). Mitchell comes out of prison after 3 years on GBH and enters a life of unemployment and squalor. His only friend is Billy (Ben Chaplin) a guy who deserves all the profanity put his way in this picture that we cant print here.

So with no help to get back on the straight and narrow Farrell has to take any work he can get but a break comes when he meets Keira Knightley. Knightley plays a film star frightened and fed up of the paparazzi (aren't we all?) who need Farrell's rough around the edges character to rough up and protect her from the media frenzy that is her front lawn.

Still Knightley isn't the only one interested in Mitchell and the press aren't the only problem that follows him and demands his attention. A London gangster played by Ray Winstone (a 'Departed' standout who's probably played more mobsters now than Robert De Niro (imagine if this guy moved over to family movies as well...scary)) also demands Mitchell's services, but will he supply.

What results is a great movie that's thrilling and captivating all at the same time. The sombre touching moments breath fresh air into the gangster genre without grappling with it's integrity or toughness. This film is like a Ferro Roche tough on the outside but with a smooth soft centre. It's the hard hitting action that draws you into this movie, it's the depth that keeps you there. The most thrilling elements of this piece aren't the action set pieces but the psychological ones.

The dialogue is not only cool it's cold, and clinically precise. There are parts of this film that your genuinely scared of Ray Winstone (well who wouldn't be?) and when Colin Farrell and Ray Winstone square up to each other and shout, their so close their almost kissing and you believe for more than a second that Farrell's character isn't screwing around or intimidated by Winstone at least for that minute.

Their are moments in this film where if you let your mind get away from you, you really will be shocked and the romance in this film is real, not just put in to tie everything together. Farrell and Knightley's chemistry is beyond the physical. This film is clearly influenced by the film noir classic trappings of 'Sunset Boulevard' and it shows live and in colour. This dark film is interesting and engaging from the first flick of the stylish credits and this cool direction is maintained through the film to avoid audience disconnection.

The soundtrack of this movie is on point right from The Clash this music goes together with the film like a black suit and an open shirt. Still this film goes beyond style, suiting up with a suitable amount of substance. By the end of the film you feel for the characters and your really left guessing and anticipating what's going to happen. The climax of this film is classic 'Departed' as well with more than a few people making that definition. You'll be left on the edge of your seats, playing the guessing game for the entire third act of this film, which turns 'London Boulevard' from a thriller to a killer film.

The support in this film is great as all the actors show that their the cream of the Britain acting talent crop. Farrell again proves he's one of the top ten leading men out today (if not five) with another stellar performance. It's one for his filmography books as again he shows his versatility, despite a shaky at times cockney accent from the Irish talent. The charming Ray Winstone is again at his menacing best. Even though your so drawn into the other subplots in this film that you forget Winstone's in it until he shows up part way through. Still from the first moment he steps out a personalised Rolls Royce his gangster character rules each scene.

The leading ladies of this film command attention too. Even though you might spend half this film wondering whether it's Keira Knightley or Natalie Portman, Portman...I mean Knightley delivers one of her better performances. She even gives a well written monologue about the use of women in movies which may have some bitter realism on it. David Thewlis is also fantastic, despite looking like a stoned Alan Rickman as he plays Knightley's aid and friend who really, really doesn't do much. Still once his character develops he means a lot to the film and his real life partner is also great as Farrell's sister. The 34 year old looks as good as she did 10 years ago but acts her age in sliding into the role of an immature, alcoholic young woman in need of help. Plus her on screen on and off love interest Sanjeev Bhaskar is top notch as this movies help to the hero. The star of the new TV show 'The Indian Doctor' put the scrubs back on for a surgically good performance. Stephen Graham is also again on hand for another hit British movie. The versatile character actor again adds another string to his bow with an on target cameo.

All in all 'London Boulevard' pays homage to 'Sunset Boulevard' in more ways than one. Plus standing on it's won it intimidates the rest of the recent British gangster movies with it's grit, toughness and overall it's overriding heart. Down the road this film will stand the test of time whether caught at the cinema or hitting big outside the big screen, once it hits DVD shelves and television like Farrell's other European classic 'In Bruges'. Through the traffic of crime films this year 'London Boulevard' stands out like a capital. TIM DAVID HARVEY

Wednesday, 24 November 2010



12A, 98 Minutes. Starring: Denzel Washington, Chris Pine, Rosario Dawson. Director: Tony Scott.

Tony Scott and Denzel's love for trains is getting out of control.

WESTWOOD, CA - OCTOBER 26: (L-R) Actor Chris Pine, director Tony Scott, actors Rosario Dawson, and Denzel Washington arrive at the premiere of Twentieth Century Fox's 'Unstoppable' at Regency Village Theater on October 26, 2010 in Westwood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

'Unstoppable' marks the second collaboration between actor Denzel Washington and director Tony Scott in as many a year and not only that it's another film about trains. After last years brilliant remake of 'The Taking of Pelham 123' and now this you could almost see Washington and Scott sharing a prized train set in one of their lofts, but still let's stay on track here.

Just like the pair have done time and time again (just like with 'Man On Fire') Scott and Washington hit big again as the great Denzel teams up with upcoming star/Captain Kirk of the new 'Star Trek' franchise Chris Pine. 'Unstoppable' is a film based on true events and if these events where anything like you see in this film than they involved some really brave people. The film basically is about a runaway train that carries some really lethal cargo. The train due to a really, really bad case of human error ends up accelerating away unmanned. Now that's a 'DOH!' moment right there. Not only that (and this is where the Hollywood comes in) the train is on course with a train full of schoolkids and then what seems like every sleepy, small, beautiful town the United States of America has to offer.

So it's up to the hard-working, down-trodden working man, (in this case Washington and Pine) to fix everybody else's mistakes from higher up, while someone else probably takes the credit (do I sound like i know something about this? bitter?). So as the pair go hog-tailing after this runaway train what results is a tense, explosive thrill ride that will leave you saying 'only in the movies', but apparently not in this case.

Chris Pine is incredible in this. From his first charming and charasmatic scene in 'Star Trek' he claimed his place but here he acts even more like he's been around in this industry a lot longer than he actually has. Acting alongside Washington primarily in the cockpit of a train, (you have to have some high 'Collateral' acting for closed situations like this) he isn't fazed by the legend. He's complimentary and holds a scene on his own all at the same time.

As a matter of fact the whole cast keep this film steaming ahead. The support may not be A-list (it's not far off however) but all the actors bring their A game, led by Rosario Dawson. The versatile actress (who's career has always been steaming ahead) gives one of her finest performances, technically if you like sitting in Denzel's chair and role from 'Pelham'.

Speaking of which it's Scott and Washington's chemistry that champions this movie as they add another great collaboration to their classic collection. Sure Denzel plays a lot of similar roles sometimes but just like George Clooney his characters bring out the decency, charm and charisma of him, thus helping you identify and sympathise with the roles he plays from the jump. 'Unstoppable' features those hallmark Scott and Washington moments that make their films that much more potent than the other films out there. It has those touching, sombre moments. The identifiable moments of human struggle and sacrifice and those joking, relief moments that help bridge the gap between tense situations. These are the elements that help piece together the films the duo do, making them much more than just thrillers, dramas or action pieces.

Sure this film is one of those that you may only watch once but that's not necessarily a bad thing. On this train, thrill ride you'll love the journey and stay with the thrilling plot at every stop. Other blockbusters rely on violence and special effects whereas this film is built off man and machine and some brilliant writing. Just like watching a motor race, it's hard to tell how fast a moving train is actually going on screen, but thanks to some great direction and camera work the scenes is set. With all this drama, action and tense moments you may as well throw away those nail clippers because after this gripping, nail biting hour and a half, you aint going to need them.'Unstoppable' is even better than advertised, so catch it while you can. TIM DAVID HARVEY.

Thursday, 18 November 2010



18, 94 Minutes. Starring: Johnny Knoxville, Bam Margera, Chris Pontius, Ryan Dunn, Preston Lacy, Rob Stull. Director: Jeff Tremaine

This time they really are in your face.

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 02: Johnny Knoxville attends the UK Film Premiere of 'Jackass 3D' at the BFI IMAX on November 2, 2010 in London, England. (Photo by Stuart Wilson/Getty Images)

Sure this really isn't a conventional movie. No real plot, or act structure as such...but you know what? Most movies don't warrant trilogies, even if a 3rd film allows the '3.D.' line to be marketed but believe me these Jackass' deserve a third go round. After the hilarious three seasons of the groundbreaking, head casing MTV television show and two incredible feature films all that was left was for the guys to complete their 'Godfather' of juvenile comedies. In finishing the trilogy they had to finish strong and with plenty more bang and what better way than to do this in 3D. Actual 3D cameras were used (unlike most '3D' movies) and thrown up on (definitely unlike most '3D' movies).

What results is the best way you can see the most grossed out, hilarious, (at times impressive, at others too much) stunts you'll see on the silver screen. Stallone or Arnie wouldn't nightmare of doing half this stuff. So let Beavis & Butthead introduce you to some like minded people and don't try this at home because a movie event like this needs to be seen on the big screen.

Want action? There's plenty of that. Fast cars? A Lamborghini will leave your smile wider than usual. Romance? In the form of man love, there's a little bit too much of that. Nudity? There really is a little too much of that. Pontius, I'm looking in your direction. This movie doesn't let up or let down the Jackass tradition. There's more bulls, puke and excrement then ever before and it's still so disgusting, yet ever so entertaining.

Bam Magera's family still fall for animal related pranks. Steve-O still does the most crazy, sick stuff that even he doesn't want to do, but does anyway in the name of comedy and Johnny Knoxville proves that he really is a Jackass, yet again stepping up the 'gnarly' stuff he does. Proving he's very much a part of the team and not a pin up presenter.

Your going to be taken back to your high school prom. Just don't expect a limo. You can enjoy a game of pin the tail on a donkey. Just leave your tun, remember, don't try this at home. You'll get a little bit too close to grandpa and you'll wish your dog was a bit more friendly. Your going to be prodded and shocked. Paint balled and bull horned. Disgusted and scared, but when your laughing who cares about s***. Literally. This movie is part guilty pleasure, part impressive performances of stunts. Either or you've got to love it.

With cameo's from Jackass favourite affiliates and a brilliant soundtrack spearheaded by the casts assist on Weezer's new classic 'Memories'. This familiar franchise is still fresh 10 years later. Although the fond memories of some of the most frankly, f'd up stuff is so many years back now. Despite it feeling like it all started yesterday.

Love it or loathe it. Laugh or throw up Jackass was a revolutionary show. It may be cleaner than 'Dirty Sanchez' but it was also more original than it. This chicken came before the egg and Steve-O would probably put this same metaphorical chicken up his backside if you asked him, because hey when it comes to comedy anything goes. So this weekend throw away your inhibitions (because your wont need them) and finish that popcorn bucket (because you might need it for something else) and sit back and enjoy a 3D experience that will open your eyes more than 'Avatar' just in a very different way. TIM DAVID HARVEY.

Monday, 15 November 2010



15, 95 Minutes. Starring: Robert Downey Jr, Zach Gilifianakis, Michelle Monaghan, Juliette Lewis, Danny McBride, Jamie Foxx. Director: Todd Phillips. Writer: Todd Phillips, Alan R. Cohen, Alan Freedland & Adam Sztykiel

Expect hilarity this Friday.

NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 01: (L to R) Director Todd Phillips, Robert Downey Jr., and Zach Galifianakis attend a screening of 'Due Date' hosted by The Cinema Society & DKNY Jeans at AMC Lincoln Square Theater on November 1, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images)

It's hard to find one funny thing about this film...and that's because there's too many rib tickling moments in this modern farce where Robert Downey Jnr, Zach Galifanakis and Todd Phillips do it again with the feather dusters.

If you've watched the classic 'The Hangover' too much than take two of it's stars and call us in the morning because director Todd Phillips and breakout star Zach Galafanakis prove that striking lightening twice is no headache. The rising start show their far from under the weather of pressure as they deliver another hilarious hit. A comedy that feels like 'The Hangover' meets the timeless 80's classic 'Planes, Trains & Automobiles'.

In this modern esque tale Galifanakis adopts the lovably annoying character persona of John Candy, while Robert Downey Jnr shadows the over-worked, grumpy Steve Martin character that just wants to get home to his (growing) family. Although 'Due Date' is a brilliant homage to a classic formula, realise it is it's own film also. This is no carbon copy that would head Due South this is a film that is classic and stands next to 'Planes, Trains & Automobiles' in it's own right and worth just like the legendary 'Uncle Buck'.

The one of a kind Galifanakis-like comedy legend John Candy-has what seems like a million scene stealing moments all throughout this picture but still the ever appealing Downey Jnr holds his own in every scene. Roberts charm is ever present here, even when playing a character that is a few 'a' words stronger than arrogant.

Fans of classic, John Hughes, 80's family comedy must be aware, especially if they haven't seen 'The Hangover' because Todd Phillips may be 'Old School' but his brand of humour isn't 'Planes, Trains & Automobiles'. Yet again Todd armed with his unlikely poster child Galafanakis pushes the comedy envelope and boundaries without distancing himself or needing to yell 'cut'. This sick comedy is still healthy and not in need of a shot during flu season. Still despite these differences this film has some overdue touching moments from Todd Phillips that feel almost classic John Hughes. As this director is coming in to his own he clearly respects the legends.

There are moments in this movie where you will be left with an Ed Helms like reaction in 'The Hangover' to Galifanakis' use of a babies hand. It's shameful but oh so funny in moments. Who would of thought this evening you'd be laughing at child abuse or animal cruelty. Seriously though only in this movie are jokes so close to the bone pulled off by the skin of everyones cringing teeth. There's no skeletons in the closet in this movie and to reveal too many of the jokes in this gem would turn this review into a spoiler but rest assured you'll die laughing ashes to ashes, dust to dust.

Although 'Due Date's' two men and their dog are enough to keep up appearances it's the movies cameo's that stage a brilliant run to the final curtain. Juliette Lewis is at her usual top form and it's good to see 'Role Models' and 'The Hangover's' amusing character actor, Matt Walsh on the screens yet again. The same also can be said for 'Pineapple Express' and 'Eastbound & Down' star, Danny McBride. McBride has some great comedy exchanges with Downey Jnr playing a Western Union employee. Wu-Tang Clan rapper RZA also proves that he has the acting chops yet again around 'Funny People' giving us an all to accurate portrayal of airport security. There is also a great appearance by two men who are usually joined by a half. Plus what's a Todd Phillips movie without a cool, chuckle catching cameo from the man himself?

It's Jamie Foxx however that gives the best cameo. The acting/singing/comedian triple threat holds his own when its just the three of them (him, Galafanakis and Downey Jnr). His appearance leads to a hilarious subplot and him and Downey Jnr extend the chemistry they developed in the classical drama 'The Soloist' to the comedy world. These two versatile talents need to team up more like Galafanakis and Phillips.

Going into this film if you were thinking this film was going to be great you might just be a little disappointed because this film is so much more than that. Sure this film is no 'Hangover', it's more like the best Friday night you've had in awhile the evening before. Sure maybe you won't remember it as much as that 'Hangover' the morning after but when your next 'Due Date' arrives you aren't going to want to miss its delivery. TIM DAVID HARVEY.

Thursday, 28 October 2010


('FILMS FOR FRIDAYS' is taking a sabbatical for a fortnight, but check back in two weeks for the first reviews of films out this fall).

LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 23: (L-R) Actors Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon and wife Luciana Barroso in the audience at the 16th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards held at the Shrine Auditorium on January 23, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

(With their 'True Grit' plus 'Tron: Legacy' and 'Hereafter' Matt Damon and Jeff Bridges, two of the hardest working and best actors in the industry look to dominate the fall.

...there's a lot to look forward to including the birth of 'Due Date' a road trip comedy starring Robert Downey Jnr and Zach Galifiankis (or as he's more affectionately known Alan from 'The Hangover') the movie directed by hungover director Todd Phillips also stars Downey Jnr's 'Soloist' co-star Jamie Foxx and looks like this generations 'Planes Trains & Automobiles'...

...speaking of trains, hit movies about to arrive don't just stop there with the release of 'Unstoppable'. A high octane action, thriller from Tony Scott and Denzel Washington, who last collaborated on another 'Training Day' with The Taking Of Pelham 123'. The movie is about an unmanned train which wont stop, is full of deadly chemicals and is heading towards everything in it's path. 'Star Treks' Chris Pine and Rosario Dawson also star...

...if that's not enough danger you could always risk 'Jackass 3D' were Johnny Knoxville and co again defy death and permanent injury to bring you even closer to wild stunts and glorious stupidity, this time in stunning 3D...

...if that isn't eye catching enough why not try the computer animated 'Megamind' from Dreamworks that stars Will Ferrell and Brad Pitt, the mere thought of this is hilarious...

...and if that isn't out of this world enough for you maybe you should look to the 'Skyline'. The latest alien movie, which to be honest looks part 'Independence Day' part 'Mars Attacks'...

...still if you want to go beyond that you could try 'Hereafter'. This supernatural thriller contacts the dead in more ways than 'The Sixth Sense' did. Plus it marks the second collaboration between legendary director Clint Eastwood and front running, leading man, Matt Damon. Who previously won the world with the classic 'Inviticus'. This new duo look so good together, you'll wish they'll make movies forever more...

...over the next few months you should also check out 'The Next Three Days', the latest Russell Crowe thriller co-starring Liam Neeson about a man trying to break his wife out of prison... start December, Kevin Spacey puts his hand back in to movies with 'Casino Jack' a film about a disgraced Washington power broker...

...Reese Witherspoon leads an all star cast with Jack Nicholson and Owen Wilson in 'How Do You Know' a love triangle that involves Paul Rudd...

...if your looking for more comedy it doesn't come much larger than life than Jack Black in 'Gullivers Travels' a film where Gulliver encounters a small race of people called Lilliputians. See this film if you really want to see what six inches looks like...

...if that's too rude for you why don't you meet the 'Little Fockers' instead, the third installment in the hilarious Stiller and De Niro 'Meet The Parents' franchise, featuring everyone from the first two movie and Jessica Alba. Now you want to meet up again with this family, don't you?... close out the year Jeff Bridges matches his 'Crazy Heart' with a crazy schedule. First starring with Matt Damon (another guy working overtime (see above)) and Josh Brolin in 'True Grit' a more apt adaptation of the book which the 1969 film of the same name remade...

...Bridges other film this fall looks to be the film of the year. 'Tron: Legacy' is a sequel decades in the making that is set to redefine Disney and 3D (making it relevant again after it's novelty period). 'Tron' looks so shiny and stunning (these words don't begin to do it justice) that it just might blow 'Avatar' out of Pandora and leave its viewers looking at how young the 'The Big Lebowski' looks and saying 'duuuude'...

There are so many films for this fall that this is just the tip of the popcorn. So make sure you get a taste of all you can because your 'Films For Fridays' is looking real sweet for the holidays.TIM DAVID HARVEY.

Sunday, 24 October 2010



12A, 111 Minutes. Starring: Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, Helen Mirren John Malkovich, Richard Dreyfuss, Brian Cox, Mary-Louise Parker & Karl Urban. Director: Robert Schwentke. Writer: Jon & Erich Hoeber

Morgan Freeman & Co prove their far from 'The Bucket List'.

Cast member Morgan Freeman poses at a special screening of the movie Red at the Grauman's Chinese theatre in Hollywood, California, October 11, 2010. The movie opens in the U.S. on October 15. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni(UNITED STATES - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT PROFILE)

Who says you cant teach an old dog new tricks? Bruce Willis may be 55 but he's still 'Die Hard' and Helen Mirren may be 65, but she's still fancied by a fair few men who wouldn't like to admit it (not me of course). Also Morgan Freeman may be 73 but that doesn't stop him from acting like a 25 year old and as for John Malkovich, he may be 56, but he's still...well John Malkovich.

So to the movies aim or not, it's no surprise that these guys are drafted into a high octane action film, because they can still do it. Well Helen Mirren's casting may be a surprise but hey, her majesty will do as she pleases thank you very much. With 'RED' and Willis' other movie 'The Expendables' this year it seems that in 2010 the old dog really is having his day.

'RED' is yet another comic book classic from the DC machine, but a whole different read all together. 'RED' is about four ex CIA agents who come out of retirement, not that their worried about their pension, (as if these lot have to) their more concerned about what they know and who knows this (the CIA is never portrayed in a positive light in the movies).

It all starts with Bruce Willis who plays ex CIA agent Frank Moses (to be 'Frank' how many times is Bruce given a name like this in movies), who isn't really settling down into suburban life until his old, less boring life catches up with him. You know the deal, bullets, bodies, little more explanation then someone wants him dead. So with a first date in tow (if I'm honest Bruce comes on a little too strong here) Moses realises that he's not the only one targeted and then tries to get the band back together. With their lives on the line the four must reach into their old bag of tricks and avoid assassination, all whilst banding together on the run.

At one point Morgan Freeman is dressed like this fab four are about to join Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club, and just like those four boys from Liverpool this gang stands the test of time. Morgan oozes cheek, charm and cool all at the same time. While Bruce is on typical stellar form and Malkovich is at his formidable funniest in years, still crazy and stir crazy from all that time alone with his conspiracy theories. It's Helen Mirren who steals the show however, perfect in a role that for a more serious film would seem miscast, but not in this picture. She's perfect with a gun and I was wrong with what I said about her before. I'M IN LOVE!

These four corners of 'RED' don't just bring the film together, the middle supporting cast is on top form too. Richard Dreyfuss seems to be back on the map and his acting direction in this film is hilarious, while Scotsman Brian Cox is effortlessly great yet again amongst the Hollywood highlands. Karl Urban (who's career is moving at light speed at the moment), is great as the CIA agent hot on the gangs trail. He's slick, intimidating but has an integrity about him all at the same time. Not your typical villain, 'Star Trek's' Leornad McCoy shows he has the bones for acting. There is also some great support work from Malkovich's favourite pig, which you shouldnt turn your snout up at.

So will these 'other guys' break into the headquarters of the CIA and settle old scores and remove that price on their head? Well your going to have to check this out for yourself, but one thing you can bank on is a guarantee of popcorn action and classic comedy. Sure this film is a little throwaway, a little pop corny and a little forgettable in the post summer, pre-fall Cinema season. Still however as much as this film might get lost amongst other blockbusters it's still one of the most enjoyable films of the year.

The action is unbelievably good, emphasis on 'unbelievable' and it is perculiarly funny, emphasis on 'peculiar'. The direction is mapped out well too, includings some great cuts between scenes and different cities, complete with their classic 'Greetings From' post cards, 'The Boss' would be proud. This DC picture is a refreshing change from the usual comic adaptations. Not that it's normally a bad thing, but if you didn't know any better this movie doesn't feel like a DC picture. Thus showing that the franchise has more super tricks up their sleeve.

Overall all though 'RED' isn't the highest rater this year, in terms of guilty pleasures this film scores high however. Think of it as 9 'Law Abiding Citizens' out of ten. This is one movie that shouldn't make a loss at the box office. All the principal actors in this film are tried and tested, veteran talents and it's elementary that this produces nothing short of great performances, amazing action and large laughs. You'll already know before the first bullet is shot that this sure fire, hit of a film is going to be something enjoyable. You can take that as 'Red'.TIM DAVID HARVEY.