Thursday, 30 September 2010



15, 95 Minutes. Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Robert Paterson, Jose Luis Garcia Perez & Erik Palladino. Director: Rodrigo Cortés

Ryan Reynolds and Rodrigo Cortés leave other suspense thrillers six feet under.

TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 13: Actor Ryan Reynolds and director Rodrigo Cortes speak at 'Buried' press conference during the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival at the Hyatt Regency on September 13, 2010 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

Buried alive or drowned? Sick as it sounds we've all talked about it. Well now you can see how being buried alive in a coffin could play out in a movie because lets face it there wouldn't be much breathing room for dialogue in a film called 'Drowned'. Rodrigo Cortés give us a claustrophobic, intense perception of how someone may fare in 'Buried', a Spanish-Australian indie thriller-horror film. The unlucky soul in this 'situation' (an understatement which is used a lot in this movie) is Paul Conroy, a truck driver played by Ryan Reynolds, who is going to need more than a Green Lantern to see his way through this one.

Paul wakes up in his new wooden home after being ambushed by insurgents while working out in Iraq. He has little space and little help. Just a zippo lighter, a knife and a cell phone. Well at least he can see and talk because otherwise we would be in for a long hour and a half. These 90 odd minutes however fly by as this bold one man show works. It's suspenseful, gripping and at times it's funny, moving and scary. It gives the audience all the same emotions that the main character would feel. It works the way a perfect movie should. Your put in Paul Conroy's shoes or more aptly here, his place.

As Paul begins to realise that 911, the FBI, his friends and his work are no use it's up to him to abide to the 'Don't call us, we'll call you' let down code. As Conroy's captors ring they make their demands known. They want a million by 9PM or they wont help him. Conroy is forced to make a ransom video as he is running out of both time and space. There's a lot more than meets the eye that's going on but all Ryan Reynolds wants to do is go back home and I don't blame him with a wife like Scarlett Johansson.

'Buried' is Hitchcock inspired and minus a few things it's a classic in it's own right. No film this year puts you in it's place as much as this one. It's tenser than most horror movies and will literally leave you on the edge of your seats, save the other strap line half-truths from other films. This film really does capture you from start to finish. Things like the old zippo lighter flicking on and off and the condensed noises really add to the genuine feeling of intense drama. The camera angles are really well done but maybe a few more tricks or even basic principles would of enhanced the feeling of desperation and fear even more.

Superhero movie man of the moment Ryan Reynolds puts in a career performance, despite normally being a light-hearted guy that reminds you of Dane Cook (and I think in this scenario Reynolds would rather face those killer horses). Reynolds is believable and on the tip top of his acting game with a performance to die for. To think Reynolds was merely in a studio is what is unbelievable because he sells this so well. He handles himself extremely well, especially when hilariously dealing with an annoying friend of his wife's.

Overall Reynolds and Cortés manage not only to keep the audiences suspense but their interest in this picture. The scene may have been easily set but for the drama and story to unfold properly the film had to make the best use of the space it had to work with and it did that with little room for improvement.Even if it was an extra half hour long it still wouldn't feel stretched out. The fact that the acting and the direction of this film is so evocative that it makes drama out of one principal character in one place redefines modern cinema. It triumphs where movies like 'Open Water' failed. You can bet your life on this one that this film wont be lost underneath all the rest out right now. Somewhere Hitchcock is smiling, not turning in his grave. TIM DAVID HARVEY.

Saturday, 25 September 2010



15, 125 Minutes. Starring: Ben Affleck, Jon Hamm, Rebecca Hall, Blake Lively, Jeremy Renner & Pete Postlethwaite. Director: Ben Affleck

On his sophomore script Affleck really goes to town.

Ben Affleck and Rebecca Hall share some laughs along with some flirtatious body language while on set this afternoon in Boston, Massachusetts September 15, 2009. The two have been working closely on the set of “The Town” along with a few other young hotties. Fame Pictures, Inc

Remember in 'Good Will Hunting' where Ben Afflecks Chuckie tells Matt Damon's Will that he's "sitting on a winning lottery ticket"? Basically telling him not to waste his potential because he doesn't want to go to his doorstep in 20 years and see that he's still there. Well it looks like Matt Damon heeded that on screen advice from his best friend and thus a star was 'bourne'. This didn't mean that Ben Affleck was left behind however. Sure he has had his ups and downs, (that's what happens when your a 'Daredevil' (although that films pretty decent)) but Affleck won't be found waiting at Damon's porch anymore-and not just because Matt cashed in that lottery ticket-but because Ben has moved on too.

Ben Affleck is still one of the best actors around but he can bank on a successful sitting in the directors chair. His rookie film saw him 'Gone Baby Gone' and critics hailed it 'impressive'. Now Ben delivers his genius follow up 'The Town'. A film about a group of ruthless bank robbers in Boston who see no ceilings in their untouchable status until leader of the pack Ben Affleck falls in love with one of his hostages...classic.

Due to burglar masks that are even uglier than those Richard Nixon ones Affleck's hostage doesn't recognise him even when he follows her to their local laundry with no dirty whites and apparently a clean conscience. From their clean slate and fresh sort of start love blossoms as Affleck now takes her heart too. The problem is what will Afflecks buddies think of this when they find out? It has the makings of an aaakwaaaard lunch date and you thought meeting your girls girlfriends was petrifying enough.

Now that isn't the only problem Ben faces. Him and his team have the entire Boston police department and the FBI after them. A crack unit led by a mad man in the form of an equally Affleck stellar performance from Jon Hamm, who has made a great bee line from the small screen to the silver one. Ben also brings even more baggage to his new relationship in the form of an almost unrecognisable but undeniable Blake Lively and a bouquet of atypical florists who you do not want to receive roses from.

This film was made by the studio that brought us 'The Departed' which basically means this film is set in Boston. In addition, just like that Departed movie (that starred Damon) this good guys and bad guys thriller is top notch. While the city streets of Boston day and night look beautiful all whilst managing to maintain a sinister backdrop for this crime caper.

Even at just a shade over two and a half hours this film still leaves you gripped throughout. It may also look like a merchandising campaign for Boston sports jackets but with or without that this film is cloaked with authenticity. While Ben is at his career best in front and behind of the camera. I bet Boston were proud of their adopted Californian son at the films premiere in Fenway park as Affleck has hit big on his second strike. The home of the Sox also provides a great backdrop for the opening of the films classically thrilling third act. The support in this film also is as strong as the Boston Celtics bench, Jeremy Renner puts in a chilling performance with avengance (Marvel when you see him look even sharper as 'Hawkeye' soon) and in this town and 'Inception' Pete Pothelswaite has subbed in two of the best films this year.

'The Town' is at home in a city of great crime thrillers. It's chilling, exciting and even provides light relief at times to keep you involved, unlike that lone police officer. The action is incredible, the scenes involving paramedics is clinical and the action involving nuns is a testament to a great belief in directing and writing. Also just like Afflecks first flick the acting is understated but comes with a depth that's hard to find in the core of most movies these days. Unlike Affleck's first film however 'The Town' is more than brilliant, it's classic. In short 'The Town' is one picture you've gotta visit one night before it's 'Gone Baby Gone' and your left standing on the doorstep all alone. TIM DAVID HARVEY



PG, 100 Minutes. Starring Queen Latifah, Common, Paula Patton, James Pickens Jr, Phylicia Rashad, Pam Grier, Laz Alonso, Mehcad Brooks, Michael Landes, Dwight Howard, Dwyane Wade, Rashard Lewis. Director: Sanaa Hamri

Two Hip-Hop legends act 'Wright'.

May 04, 2010 - New York, New York, U.S. - ''Just Wright'' Premiere.Ziegfeld Theatre, New York City 05-04-2010. 2010.I15214BT. © Red Carpet Pictures

Queen Latifah and Common have made a name for themselves in music and movies over the years. Latifah became one of the first female rap superstars with albums like 'All Hail The Queen' in the 80's and she's been acting for decades. Common has cemented his reputation as one of the best socially conscious rappers around today with albums like 'Be' and 'Finding Forever'. He has also forged himself a decent film career over the last couple of years with credits including 'American Gangster', 'Terminator Salvation' and much more. After years of hard work in both fields the Queen and the man with Common Sense take the lead in a romantic comedy that is 'Forget Paris' meets 'Love & Basketball'.

Back when Common was younger he used to be the kid that mopped up sweat at Chicago Bulls games well in 'Just Wright' Common gets even closer to the stars, living (at least while filming) every rappers dream of becoming an NBA player. Common even holds his own as Scott McKnight even if it does look like he had a little 'assist' on those dunks. This really does seem like a dream world however as the New Jersey Nets in this movie are a contender. Someone should call owner Jay-Z because truthfully he'd like a baller like Common Sense.

So McKnight is the talk of New York, New Jersey and the NBA. Every player wants to play like him and every woman wants to play with him including Latifah's physical therapist Deborah Wright and her cousin played by Mrs. Robin Thicke, Paula Patton (who really looks and sounds like she could be related to Alicia Keys). After a game Latifah and Common hit it off in a petrol station, but after a party it's Patton who makes her mark on the ballplayer and they start a relationship. Months later McKnight goes down with a potentially career ending knee injury and some of the love for this All-Star becomes all-sour and turns to doubt. After Patton has her worries and concerns (especially concerning McKnights 'amazing' new personal trainer, where she doesn't want amazing to happen) she asks for her cousins to step in and from there it seems that Wright was just what the doctor ordered.

This film is as sharp as these rappers skills on the microphone. The movie catches New York in summer as perfectly as 'Hitch' did further making this film a feel good affair of sorts. It looks as cool as a behind the back pass and the supporting cast are a slam dunk. From 'Greys Anatomy' favourite James Pickens Jr to Phylicia Rashad aka Clair Huxtable (you've gotta love that 'Cosby Show' nostalgia) to Pam Grier (It looks like it's been a long time since 'Foxy Brown'). There are even great cameo appearances from a host of NBA players including the made for camera Dwight Howard and Miami Heat leading man Dwyane Wade. The stars of the NBA prove they can read lines as good as they can read plays and they also help ensure the basketball action is as authentic as it's ever been on screen (even if most of the other players are extras with questionable names like 'Taller'). Lil Bow Wows performance in 'Like Mike' has to bow down to the exceptional performance of fellow MC Common who shows he can read screens as good as he can read lines and write rhymes. Let's not forget the star of this show Queen Latifah however who further expands her impressive filmography further than her discography. Overall this film is feel good, funny, exciting, romantic and a winner complete with a soundtrack that hits the high score. 'Just Wright' lives up to it's name it goes down like the third bowl of porridge. A hot movie that makes a steal off a Friday night. TIM DAVID HARVEY

Saturday, 18 September 2010


Samuel L. Jackson and Dwayne Johnson film scenes for The Other Guys in New York City, New York on October 25, 2009. Fame Pictures, Inc


12A, 107 Minutes. Starring Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, Samuel L. Jackson, Michael Keaton, Eva Mendes & Steve Coogan. Director: Adam McKay.

Something different for the 'buddy cop' genre.

I was having a conversation the other day where my buddy moaned about how all Will Ferrell does in his movies is shout, say random things and throw up a lot and I replied 'I know, great huh?'. Buddies Will Ferrell and director Adam McKay have been making people laugh for years, gaining more and more fans in the process, whether anchoring them in, breaking the ice or stepping it up. Even on their website, Ferrell and McKay keep the laughs going steady on the highway. Now taking it to the police the pair force laughs out of us even more with this hilarious new buddy cop movie.

The 'guys' in this picture really are the men. Samuel L. Jackson and The Rock...excuse me Dwayne Johnson are the best cops in the city. Cocky, charismatic and cool. They are everything everyone in New York and the New York Police Department want to be but when something comes up (and down) it's up to 'The Other Guys' to take the law into their own hands. To the misfortune of the city of New York and the chief of police/chief of Bed Bath & Beyond (played hilariously by Michael Keaton) these other guys are Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg.

Now these 'other guys' investigate the suspect financial dealings and goings on of Steve Coogan who provides some hilarious moments and brides. In between all this police work Ferrell and Wahlberg try to keep their love life in check. Ferrell obviously needing a new prescription on those 80's cop glasses to think his wife Eva Mendes is just 'plain' and Wahlberg trys to win back his ex with dance moves that would floor his New Kids On The Block brother. Also both partners must confront their own demons from the past. Walhberg's arising from getting a bit too protective with a New York Yankee legend and Ferrell's in the form of a dark past in the 'dating service' business.

Nobody likes to have the punchline given away before a joke is told so lets just say is if you want to see the best gags and one liners from a Ferrell/McKay since 'Anchorman' than bring some tape for your sides when watching this movie. With jokes ranging from Scarface's Kleenex issues to specific types of seaweed those sides are gonna split more times than the back of The Rock's shirts. Plus the randomness of this film also ranges from finely polished wood to TLC references to name just the tip of the random iceberg that is Will Ferrell and Adam McKay's mind. The action in this movie is top notch to bettering even some action movies out now. There's even some thrilling car chases with a Prius (which handles beautifully by the way) which also doubles up as the perfect 'family' car.

The support in this film fits like a sports bra. Coogan, Keaton, Jackson and Johnson are on top form and as for Eva Mendes...need I say anymore but DAAAAAAMN!!! Unprofessional I know but if you think that's bad check out Mark Wahlbergs reaction to her. There is also rib feather dusting performances from rising talents Rob Riggle (another great catch from 'The Daily Show' talent pool) and Damon Wayans Jnr (Dave Chappelle was right there is more of them) from one of Hollywood's funniest families. The film is also narrated by rapper Ice T, who ironically is a perfect choice despite once writing a curious ditty entitled 'Cop Killer'. Overall this ensemble piece is as reliable as a Prius (you've gotta love two Prius related plugs in one review) and is more than just the pick of the week. This film beats out all 'the other films' out there right now so don't cop out on this one. TIM DAVID HARVEY

Saturday, 11 September 2010


Marisa Tomei attends the LA Film Festival 2010 screening of the movie Cyrus held at at The Regal Premiere House on June 18, 2010 in Los Angeles, CA (photo by Elizabeth Wu / Meet The Famous) Photo via Newscom


15, 91 Minutes. Starring John C. Reilly, Jonah Hill, Marisa Tomei, Catherine Keener, Matt Walsh. Director: Jay Duplass, Mark Duplass.

This may not be a 'family' comedy, but there's more values in this movie than the degrading comedy you'd expect.

Right inbetween the summer blockbuster season and the fall of the big movies comes 'Cyrus'. An offbeat comedy starring John C. Reilly, Jonah Hill and Marisa Tomei (Stand aside Mrs. Stifler.) The film starts with Reilly's character (also named 'John' (Oh these indie directors)) being 'compromisingly' discovered by his ex wife of 7 years. Who announces she's engaged and proposes that he finds himself some new 'company' for the wedding other than one of a tube sock. Just like any ex guilty that her old husband will turn up to her wedding alone, depressed and akward would.

So off we head to another one of those far too cool parties that we only see in the movies. There John takes off the parties cool a little bit. Getting far too drunk (you know the one, you've been the one), a little destructive, a little too public with his urinating and also a little too public with his singing and dancing. As he sings along to 'Dont you want me baby',(A 'song' I'm proud I've momentarily forgot who recorded) it all just goes without saying. Amongst all this however one woman anmed Molly (Tomei) see's him for all he really is and in a matchup and date progression that again is only seen in movies, love blossoms.

Now a little stalking later (now that's more like real life right?...right?...erm) he runs into Cyrus (Jonah Hill) Molly's son. Now to say he's a tad strange is an understatement. Cyrus' musical aspirations are well 'out there' at least and trust me on this one you aint gonna want him to make you a mid-night snack. So John must win the affections of both Molly and Cyrus and although this idea is one that's probably been done many times before in films you'll have never seen or will see something unfold quite like this.

Now is it funny? Yes! Funny all the time? No! This however isn't (like most comedies right now) due to the other jokes falling flat. If you where expecting a full on gross out comedy or even another 'Step Brothers', call it 'Step Brothers 2: Meet The Stepson' than think again. There's a lot of drama in this film, that suddenly hits you out of nowhere, but when it's time for these actors to flex their acting muscles it all works out, even if two of them look out of shape (Sorry guys). There's also a great romantic start to this film that is far from the set up filler you usually see in other comedies these days.

The direction in this film is top notch, the indie kids do it again. The way the dramatic or romantic scenes are filmed and focussed in such a polished way that it further helps you believe that this picture is far more than another typical popcorn film. Also like most Hollywood pictures the city of Los Angeles is a co-star again and thanks to some handy shots on the freeway and downtown it's never looked better on screen. The only problem with this film is that sometimes because of how good the comedy and drama is it struggles to find a definition. In it's weaker moments 'Cyrus' looks like a film that doesn't know what it wants to be but in it's best moments none of that matters. It's unpredictable and welcomingly refreshing from other comedies these days that have the same feeling as drinking orange juice after brushing your teeth. 'Cyrus' is definitly an aquired taste but a satisfying one at that. A film of polar opposites but in this case one's everyone can get in line for. TIM DAVID HARVEY

Monday, 6 September 2010



12A, 114 Minutes. Starring Steve Carrell, Paul Rudd, Zach Galifianakis & David Walliams. Director: Jay Roach.

After the starter you may not like the main course but you'd be a fool to not stick around for dessert.

34982, LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - Friday October 16 2009. Steve Carell ends up flat out on the road as he films scenes for Dinner for Schmucks in Westwood, CA. Photograph: Pedro Andrade, ©

Legendary 'Anchorman' co-stars Steve Carrell and Paul Rudd star in a comedy which can only be described as one thing, random. With mice, taxidermy, bearded men, blind fencers, mind control, Octopus eating art, unfinished John Lennon lyrics and naughty purses on the menu what else can you expect except three courses of something you can't figure out whether you like the taste of or not. Sure there's moments in this film which look like (and literally are in some cases) exercises of throwing things at the wall and seeing what sticks. Sure this film has it's jokes that should have been sent back or cooked up a bit more but when the jokes hit the spot however you'll realise your nothing but a satisfied customer. This is because if we've learned anything from 'Anchorman' it's that the most random things can be the most hilarious things, and oh yes this film has some love for the old lamp too. There will be time you'll embarrassingly be the only one in the cinema laughing at a gag two scenes ago and then there will be times you'll look at the group in front of you the same way they just did at you.

Here's the skinny on this film. Paul Rudd plays a stockbroker called Tim,(Stockbroker Tim as some will get to know him) he's about to move into the big leagues with his bosses but first must relegate himself to attending a 'Dinner For Schmucks' where all his firms employees bring an idiot to dinner, the best receiving an award (which they'll think is a good thing...idiots...well, yeah).This causes friction between Tim and his fiancée who hates the idea. Tim isn't sold on the idea himself but when he literally bumps into Carrell (by running him over) he sees the potential stock rise.

Of course hilarity ensues and when it looks like the conversation at dinner is falling a bit flat, the support cast brings this picture back up. Two British actors in particular hold their own. David Walliams puts the finger on playing a Swiss businessman perfectly and 'The IT Crowd' star Chris O'Dowd makes one of his first Hollywood appearances a memorable one even if he can't see any of it as an hilarious blind fencer. However it's Zach Galifianakis that steals the show yet again as an auditor who thinks he's an expert in 'mind control'. Zach's facial expressions and mannerism are so hilariously peculiar that you would think he was still on those 'roofies' from 'The Hangover'. If this film makes you want to make reservations again or even if it spoils your appetite there's just something about it you cant help but recommend. TIM DAVID HARVEY

Sunday, 5 September 2010


(Top Movies That Are Still Doing The Rounds In Cinemas)

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

INCEPTION-12A 5/5. 148 Mins. Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Ellen Page, Cillian Murphy, Marion Cotillard, Michael Caine, Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Director: Christoper Nolan. 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.

TOY STORY 3D-U 4/5. 108 Mins. Starring: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Don Rickles. Director: Lee Unkrich Finally the legendary franchise that started the CG revolution in animation gets an original 3D face lift. You'll be hard pressed to find a film that looks better in three dimensions unless you visit Pandora or the world of 'Tron' anytime soon. 'Toy Story 3D' however is more than a visual delight. Woody, Buzz and the gang bring more laughs for all the family. Jokes that will make kids laugh and jokes that will go over their heads. In this third installment the toys owner Andy is off to College, so while girls and growing up await him the beloved toys await donation. Now listen up fellas your gonna need to brings some tissues to this one or just blame the strain the 3D glasses have on your eyes for the way you look like the kid that told us all to 'Leave Britney alone"!

SHREK FOREVER AFTER-U 4/5. 93 Mins. Starring: Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy & Cameron Diaz. Director: Mike Mitchell. If this really is the fourth and final installment in the 'Shrek' franchise then Shrek and Donkey will be missed. 'Shrek Forever After' may be overshadowed by 'Toy Story' yet again this summer but the film still leaves all the rest of the Summer blockbuster competition green with envy. In this tale which is a throwback to 'It's A Wonderful Life' and 'A Christmas Carol' Shrek has settled into family life but is missing the old days, where no little fat kids where amusingly asking him to 'Do the roar'! So Shrek goes for a walk and runs into Rumpelstiltskin who cons him into a one of a kind deal, to go back to being an ogre for a day. Shrek however fails to read the small print and Rumpelstiltskin fails to realise he'd make a perfect mechanic. Shrek ends up being thrust into an alternate reality of Far Far Away where Rumpelstiltskin reigns as king, anyone green is hunted and most regrettably for Shrek he is strangers with Fiona and his friends. The latest installment of 'Shrek' may not of been as eagerly anticipated as it's rival 'Toy Story' but it is a well told story that kids can enjoy for generations and for adults it is the perfect cinematic escape from reality. Parents would love to work a story like this into their children's dreams.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 27: (LtoR) Sharlto Copley, Bradley Cooper, Quinton 'Rampage' Jackson and Liam Neeson attend the UK Film Premiere of 'The A-Team' at Empire Leicester Square on July 27, 2010 in London, England. (Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images)

THE A-TEAM-12A. 3.5/5. 119 Mins. Starring: Bradley Cooper, Jessica Biel, Liam Neeson, Dirk Benedict. Director: Joe Carnahan.Bradley Cooper is one good lucking and charming dude (Look out Downey Jnr)! No this aint no man crush, it's probably just a product of 'The Hangover'. Still since last years comedy classic, (just like his fellow actors) Coopers stock has rose considerably. I mean remember when the long hair and designer stubble wasn't there? Yep that's right he was just that a****** in 'The Wedding Crashers'. Well now Bradley is literally the 'Face' of the new 'A-Team' franchise. A franchise which starts with a film who's plot is as throwaway as 'The Expendables' but at the same time who needs a plot when you've got hilarious gags, incredible action and Jessica Biel. Put your smarts aside and you opinions that BA could still play MR. T and just foolishly enjoy this one. Liam Neeson's on fine form again and who would of thought that a slow, (so 80's like the original series) helicopter would make for a thrilling opening action scene. No wonder Mr. T doesn't want to mess with planes. Now this film may not get top marks from every critic but every member brings his A game to this justified remake. It's the perfect popcorn movie for the weekend. Now don't you just love it when a Friday night comes together?

THE KARATE KID-PG. 4.5/5. 140 Mins. Starring: Jackie Chan & Jaden Smith. Director: Harald Zwart. 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 kick it with 'The Karate Kid' and you'll have 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!

KNIGHT & DAY-12A 3/5. 109 Mins. Starring: Cameron Diaz & Tom Cruise. Director: James Mangold Love or hate Tom Cruise you can't deny he has starred in some of your favourite films. Want a perfectly crafted action thriller? Not much beats 'Collateral' even if Tom looks more like Richard Gere in 'Pretty Woman' than himself. Want romance, well as cheesy as it is there haven't been many romantic comedies that work as 'completely' well as 'Jerry Maguire' did. Still it's when Tom Cruise seems to be taking the mick out of himself where he's really at his best, he really seems to get it, (See 'Tropic Thunder' or take a trip on Youtube and 'Crooze' past his 'Mission Impossible 2' skit with Ben Stiller. In 'Knight & Day' Cruise's lighthearted take on himself continues as he and Cameron Diaz form a strong pair in this romantic comedy/action. The laughs are undeniable, the romance palpable and the action is thrilling. Sure it's not the best film you'll see this Summer but it sure makes for an entertaining Saturday 'Knight'. Cruise & Diaz 'bump' into each other twice at an airport, and then there's a few more bumps on the flight as Diaz discovers that Cruise is a secret agent, but is he on the right side? What results is a cat and mouse chase all over the world with the pair, more secret agents and some potent technology. At times you don't know who's chasing who, but that's another reason why this film is so watchable. Make a day of it. TIM DAVID HARVEY

Friday, 3 September 2010



18, 88 Minutes. Starring Adam Scott, Steven R. McQueen, Christopher Lloyd & Kelly Brook. Director: Andre Aja.

After just one bite, you'll want to make a meal out of this.

SAN DIEGO - JULY 22: Actors Jerry O'Connell and Kelly Brook attend the 'Pirahna 3D' footage screening during Comic-Con 2010 at Regal Horton Plaza on July 22, 2010 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images for Weinstein Company)

If you thought that 'The Expendables' was the only throw away but wildy entertaining film this Summer than look at this farce and think again. On the all time list of guilty pleasures 'Piranha' is nibbling at the top.

A homage to old horror b-movies 'Piranha' is of course pretty unbelievable but it won't take too much convincing that it is incredibly entertaining. As for the plot, a bunch of college kids and a bunch of flesh eating fish, you do the math and believe me you'll need to subtract some.

Apart from the blood, gore, bikinis and babes there's more about this film that will catch you like you where easy bait. The hook, how about a perfect cameo at the start? Can you tell who it is yet? I guess he needed a bigger boat. The line, how about a bunch of Spring break kids vs Ving Rhames and a shotgun? Plus a lot of familiar faces rounding out the cast or should I say main course. Bear due witness to 'Hostel' director and horror aficionado Eli Roth's cameo. Now if you aint caught on yet here's the sinker, in this film we go 'Back To The Future' with Christoper Lloyd, naturally a Piranha expert. You can hear the cheers from the 20 something plus crowd in the cinema with his appearance. Could you think of anyone better to play the guy that tells everyone how much peril there about to be in? With that classic 'Maaaarty' look in his eye and wail in his voice he sells it like Lemonade on a Summers day.

In a word this film is definitely gratuitous, but once the first person is popped your gonna make your way through the rest of the film like it was a tube of Pringles. Sure its as formulaic as a first grade chemistry exam but that's just another part of it's homage to films of it's genre. Even if you don't like this movie if you don't come out laughing than obviously you've had a bad experience with a fish. Think this hilarious film is just a waste of time fellas? Well when that date who you found so hard to talk to at dinner leaves the cinema clinging on to your arm for dear life, you can thank the studio's that green lighted this hilarious fright fest. TIM DAVID HARVEY



12A, 102 Minutes. Starring: Adam Sandler, Salma Hayek, Chris Rock, Kevin James, David Spade, Rob Schneider & Maria Bello. Director: Dennis Dugan.

Sandler & co. prove making people laugh is child's play.

Kevin James, David Spade, Rob Schneider, Adam Sandler Chris Rock attends the New York Premiere of the movie Grown Ups at the Ziegfeld Theatre on June 23, 2010 in New York City (photo by Chris2010 / Meet The Famous) Photo via Newscom

Adam Sandler has been splitting peoples sides with his movies for years. In Sandler's films it often looks like he keeps giving his best buddies roles (as good as they are) but for 'Grown Ups' Sandler has recruited an A list of Hollywood funny men to play his best friends in this film.

These A students of film include long time collaborators Kevin James and Rob Schenider, David Spade and former 'Saturday Night Live' co-star and comedian Chris Rock. These 'Funny People' play old friends from school who were part of a Basketball team together. When they are reunited for their coaches funeral they decide to take a weekend break in a place that looks a lot like where John Candy and Dan Akroyd once vacationed.

This is when the catching up begins. Each friend brings their family with them. Adam Sandlers on-screen kids look a lot like him but not like his wife who is played by Salma Hayek. A cast pairing that really only happens in movies. No offence Adam but you can almost hear Chris Rock uttering his famous one liner from the MTV Awards about Jermaine Dupri and Janet Jackson, "DAMN! I had a chance"! One thing that looks like there's no chance in between TV's with junk in their trunk and videos games is the chance of these kids exploring the beautiful, great outdoors that's around them. One of Sandlers sons doesn't even know how to throw a stone but as the weekend gets stretched into a mini-holiday this may all change.

Hilarity ensues throughout the break with Schenider's girlfriend and daughters, trips to the water park and a Basketball rematch that isn't exactly, Lakers/Celtics, (nice fundamentals though guys) but makes for one of the more entertaining scenes.

This film is hilarious and heart warming at times. It's a little too long however and some jokes are accompanied with an unnecessary 'That was a good one', re-assurance. With that being said however this film is extremely enjoyable. Even with a few mis-fires there's nothing like it when some of the gags hit home. The film is also full of 'Hallmark' moments that would make Sandlers Longfellow Deeds character proud. Plus the physical gags from Kevin James are as hilarious as his ones in 'Hitch'. Seeing him handle a rope, a jet-ski and a dismount from a pool so awkwardly are among the funniest things in this comedy that really is enjoyable for the whole family. TIM DAVID HARVEY

Thursday, 2 September 2010



12A, 112 Mins. Starring: Michael Cera, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Kieran Culkin, Chris Evans, Anna Kendrick & Brandon Routh. Director, Edgar Wright

I don't care how much you've been around, you don't have baggage claims like this.

LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 27: (L-R) Actors Jason Schwartzman, Ellen Wong, Michael Cera, Aubrey Plaza and Kieran Culkin pose at the premiere of Universal Pictures' 'Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World' at the Chinese Theater on July 27, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

It's always pretty hard to compete with your new girlfriends ex. You see those old pictures on Facebook; you see them old tweets about how good he is. He's got a car; you've got a bus pass. He's got a six pack, You got digestive problems...but I digress. Just thank your few lucky stars your not Michael Cera who once again plays the same, loveable, complicated geek but this time in the form of comic book legend Scott Pilgrim, a role Cera seems born to play. Not only does Scott have to compete with the likes of Chris Evans and Brandon Roth, he has to defeat them to. In a battle to the death. Now would you fight Superman and Captain America?

That's the deal if Scott wants to get with Ramona Flowers the literal girl of his dreams. Some relationships have there terms and these ones are pretty steep but a boys got to do what a boys got to do. So Pilgrim must defeat Ramona's 7 evil boyfriends, I'm sorry ex's as a league has been set up by Gideon (Flowers 7th and most evil ex). Why is he the most evil you ask? Well let’s put it this way nobody likes the guy that not only wants to take your girl but wants to be cool with you in the process. Fellas, we’ve all been there.

So will Scott win these epic duels and the heart of the girl he claim lesbians for? Well you'll just have to sit through this thrilling episode to find out and it's going to be real hard to stay fully sat down on one of the most thrilling rides in the cinema this summer. The film is so vivid, eye popping and stylish it doesn't need to be in 3D, it's already in your face.

Scott has to battle super vegans, cocky but cool movie stars and their stunt doubles and guys that really look like they need to give Prince his wardrobe back all whilst keeping his band together and keeping his cute but clingy ex at bay.

Set in the beautiful backdrop of Toronto, Canada there's no film quite like this. It’s directed so well and the comic elements mixed with real life haven’t been done this good since somebody framed Roger Rabbit. To reveal anything else would spoil the surprise. The film is directed so well, and Evans and Routh are scene stealers in their supporting roles.

It's Michael Cera however that shines the brightest, further cementing his status as one of Hollywood's most marketable stars. One of the three children of hit movie 'Superbad' is growing in this industry. He proves himself worthy of playing Scott Pilgrim and we all know how militantly picky comic book fans are. Do Cera and Pilgrim get the girl? Find out for yourself in cinemas now but rest assured that together they win the hearts of the audience and reaffirm their status as role models to socially awkward teenage boys worldwide. TIM DAVID HARVEY.



15, 103 Minutes. Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Randy Couture, Steve Austin, Terry Crews & Mickey Rourke. Director: Sylvester Stallone

Classic throw away action you’re going to want to keep.

LAS VEGAS - AUGUST 11: (L-R) Actors Jason Statham, Randy Couture, Charisma Carpenter, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, Terry Crews, Giselle Itie, Dolph Lundgren, Eric Roberts and Steve Austin appear at a screening of Lionsgate Films' 'The Expendables' at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino August 11, 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The film opens nationwide in the United States on August 13, 2010. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

What happens when you take almost every action hero and hard man in films over the last 20 years and put them all together? Well you get a lot of testosterone, a lot of Botox and one of the most exciting action films of the last 10 years.

It was all slyly put together by Sylvester Stallone who recruits Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lungren, Mickey Rourke, Steve Austen, Terry Crews and Randy Couture for his all-star movie army. There's even a hilarious cameo scene featuring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis. With all the star power, explosions and wrecks in this film the budget must have been more than these guys combined egos, but that's beside the point here. These stars pulled an 'Oceans 11' and all took less to get more in this ensemble piece.

This movie is a modern day throwback to films of yesteryear where all the stars would come together to make magic. The ego's where checked at the weight room. 'The Expendables', works out into the shape of a great film even if it was a Van Damme or Segal away from being fully chiseled.

The plot of this film centers around Stallone's group of 'Expendable' mercanaries that do the jobs no one else wants to. Stallone and Statham travel to Vilena off the Gulf Of Mexico (Vilena's hard ot find on the map because...well it's not real) under the guise of being there to photograph exotic birds. They certainly look like the hardest members of the 'National Trust'. There they meet Sandra the daughter of General Garza, a brutal dictator with his own army who in turn works with an ex-CIA agent. Now when things get a little bit too heavey for the girl they just met, Stallone leads his men back to get Sandra. Sure the plot is not exactly 'complex', but you didnt come for that did you as what unfolds from there is an incredible action set piece, where if you had a penny for every bullet and body count we'd be out the recession.

If you like your action there’s no doubt you'll love this. You'll love Stallone’s handiwork with a weapon. You'll love Jet Li's combat skills. You'll love when Jason Statham teaches Charisma Carpenters ex-boyfriend how to treat a lady and you'll sure love to meet Terry Crews girlfriend. Now if you think this film is all brawn and no brains then look any further than Mickey Rourke and his tearful scene. Oh yes big boys do cry and even though Mickey Rourke looks a bit like he's entering a Steven Tyler look alike contest in this film and coming third he shows yet again that he is one of the best actors in this biz.

So if you love choppers, action, hard men, mum and hairdresser jokes and a soundtrack of classic rock from Creedence Clearwater you aint going to want to throw away an opportunity to see this ultimate Friday night popcorn movie. Miss it at your expense. TIM DAVID HARVEY.



12A, 102 Minutes, Starring: Jennifer Aniston, Patrick Wilson, Jason Bateman, Juliette Lewis, Jeff Goldblum. Director: Josh Gordon.

Expect something different,

Cast member Jennifer Aniston poses at the premiere of The Switch at the Arclight theatre in Hollywood, California August 16, 2010. The movie opens in the U.S. on September 2. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni (UNITED STATES - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT)

As far as romantic comedy ideas go, this has got to be near the top. In this rom-com television superstars Jennifer Aniston and Jason Bateman are long-time 'Friends' living in New York City. Any sign of a relationship however are under 'Arrested Development', but oh is that all about to change?

Aniston’s character wants a baby, and oh is she going to get one. Without a partner though things are looking shall we say a little lifeless, so the search for sperm begins. Through all the millions of 'douches' as Bateman puts it one makes it to the insemination round (and if you thought that was gross they hold a party in this guys honor).

It's at the party though where things get a bit 'Curb Your Enthusiasm' awkward. Bateman obviously tiled heads for the bathroom and discovers a 'sample'. Well being as merry as he is Bateman does everything with this sample except give himself a Cameron Diaz hairstyle. Upon doing the obvious and spilling the contents of the precious jar, Bateman does the only thing any nice guy in his position could think of. If you lose something, you replace it and oh that's what he does, with a little help from Diane Sawyer.

The morning after, seven years and a move to and from Minneapolis later Bateman is reunited with his forgotten night. Bateman comes face to face with a child that could rival the kid from 'Jerry Maguire' in cuteness. Now I would love to tell you more but if I've learned anything from this hilarious comedy it’s to not spill.

What starts out as something so ludicrous and somewhat disturbing becomes one of the most genuinely heart warming things you'll see all year. Bateman and Aniston are on top form once again to the point where it almost feels like a walk in Central Park for them but when the stakes are raised they cry now and laugh later stepping up their acting. There's brilliant support too from always 'Fly' and charismatic Jeff Goldblum and double threat rock star Juliette Lewis. Too many romantic comedies these days try to throw on the drama and sentiment all too much in order to get a response, but with 'The Switch', the emotions feel refreshingly real. Now that's a change we can all live with. TIM DAVID HARVEY.