Monday, 30 January 2012
Trouble In Paradise.
115 Minutes. Starring: George Clooney, Shailene Woodley, Beau Bridges, Judy Greer, Matthew Lillard, Amara Miller & Robert Forster. Director: Alexander Payne. Screenplay: Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon& Jim Rash
This could be it. This could finally be the movie that garners George Clooney the 'Best Actor Oscar' this coming February that he so richly deserves. The legendary actor/Cary Grant of our time that gave us the classics 'Michael Clayton', 'Up In The Air' and the more recent 'The Ides Of March' really has acted in the perfect picture with 'The Descendants'. A film set in the private and peaceful Hawaii centered around the personal wars of family, business and love.
"My friends on the mainland think just because I live in Hawaii, I'm in paradise" Clooney's character says to start the film, but we begin to see and believe that there's much more lying underneath. What we know is that this leading man's wife is on life support and not as close to her husband as originally thought. What's more is our man of the moment is now left holding the kids, with whom he has even less of a relationship with. What this gives us is not a film about neglect and hate, but more a character study of love and devotion, which is complexly humble and simply beautiful.
'About Schmidt' and 'Sideways' director Alexander Payne understands the more human side of movies again. With another hit he brings the hurt and pain, and the joy and healing perfectly as him and Clooney delve into the depths of human nature and emotion with sublime subtly but direct distinction. This is no Hollywood gloss, it's cinematic class. Hawaii provides the perfect contrasting backdrop for a film that deals with some ugly truths but deals with them with dignity and poise, resulting in a perfectly beautiful message. The film is also subtly scored sweetly with some beautiful Hawaiian music. It's one Israel Kamakawiwo'ole version of 'Somewhere Over The Rainbow' away from being the most sensational soundtrack of sounds echoing over the celluloid.
From wayward kids to ones that are going places and stunning backdrops to sobering inner city images this film shows both sides of the coin and this pays off in full. Not only is it one of Payne's most polarising pictures it's also the performance Clooney needed just to show us how good he really is. He adds a different take to his formidable filmography and bares all his emotion and ours, from the subtle grimaces to the lack of dry eyes in the house. This is a second career making, mesmerizing job done with distinction from a modern great. One who could have retired before this and still been heralded, but now had proved himself wrong that he's running out of time and interest. Clooney is back on top. Gong or not.
You need to get to theatres and cinemas quickly to see a five time Academy nominated moving movie that will resonate long after all the Oscars have been polished off. With great support from people we know (Beau Bridges, Robert Forster and Matthew Lillard) to those we're getting to know (Shailene Woodley and Amara Miller who play our characters daughters with pride) this film tops the rest. With some classy comedic moments that ease the tension but do not cheapen the tone, this movie breaks the seriousness of life to us with care and compassion. 'The Descendants' is ready for ascension in the movie ranks. This slow burner is a fast learner, thought provoking and nostalgia inducing. From generation to generation everyone will get his film. After all it's about family and love. Now what's more important than that? TIM DAVID HARVEY.
Sunday, 29 January 2012
Crazy, stupid, driving..
100 Minutes. Starring: Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, Albert Brooks, Bryan Cranston, Oscar Isaac, Christina Hendricks & Ron Perlman. Director: Nicolas Winding Refn. Screenplay: Hossein Amini
Ryan Gosling is the man. It's rare that a top actor has two, big hits in one year, but one week? Gosling is the latest Pitt/DiCaprio/Hartnett/Franco/Reynolds pretty boy, ladies favourite actor to make good on a respected career that even the guys and critics can appreciate. This week he's already bringing the laughs and smiles with Steve Carrell in the hit, thinking man's warm romantic comedy 'Crazy, Stupid Love' and now with his foot on the success accelerator he keeps things going with 'Drive' as he travels from the mainstream to the underground. Also beware 'The Ides Of March' in October as Gosling hops on the latest Clooney campaign trail in what looks to be another curious classic from George.
Right now Ryan-currently one of the most hard-working actors in Hollywood goes full throttle in a classic America piece that's from it's 80's pink, 'Cocktail' style credits and sensational soundtrack sparks off nostalgia and love for classic American muscle automobiles. Much like Tarantino's 'Death Proof' just with more brains...and we're not just talking about the ones splattered on the windshield. Gosling shows he can act up with the best as his seldom-speaking role shows he can do more in few words then most do in monologues. Channelling his inner Steve McQueen (complete with cool vintage jacket and grandad t-shirts), Gosling rides through this movie with California cool, shooting straight like a 'Bullitt' and showing that at 30 he's the leading man of the next wave in this generations young acting pool. Gosling easy-going nature in this movie is a laid back cool that doesn't try too hard. His character even make the point of not style/social smoking like most cool characters in dark movies and this film lights up and is all the blazing-hot better for it.
From the 'Collateral' esque skyline shots, this ride around the futuristic looking L.A. has all the trappings of classic cinema. One of the most impressive scenes in this slick and stylish shot picture is when our getaway driver opens this movie by evading the police in a cool, clinical and calculated drive with the aid of a police radio and a Clipper basketball game in the waning minutes of the fourth quarter (with no timeout's left). This makes for the perfectly timed escape and master plan. This wheelman shows he is a real, genuine talent, laid-back, but straight forward and precise in his work.
Between working as a Hollywood stuntman and moonlighting on the crime ride Gosling meets incredible young actress Carey Mulligan and her cute son. Needless to say he falls for them (who wouldn't?), but things take a turn for the worse when her husband comes out of prison and doesn't have much choice in the matter of avoiding the straight and narrow. This is were Gosling is drawn in and were things get leather glove gripping tense (a nice directing technique) real messy...I mean really messy.
Now this movie has it's heart in the right place but the trouble is it has the guts to be more gory then we want it to be. Yes the action scenes are great, but some of the gratuity cheapens the genuine intentions of this thriller who's lead is more in the 'protector' mode than the vengeful one out for blood. Still if you look away enough you can see that this is still a good movie that falls in love with the romanticism of cinema more than most big budget Hollywood flicks. This Los Angeles times piece broadens it's horizons with great performances (especially from 'Malcolm In The Middle' and 'Breaking Bads' Bryan Cranston) and cinematography. When you reach your destination this may not be the ride of your life but it's still a damn good journey. TIM DAVID HARVEY.
Crazy, sexy, cool.
12A, 130 Minutes. Starring: Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Julianne Moore, Emma Stone, Marisa Tomei, Kevin Bacon. Director: Glenn Ficarra & John Requa. Screenplay: Dan Fogelman
Steve Carrell has no luck with women. Not to be harsh on the great guy but in this movie he just doesn't have his way with Julianne Moore, Bill Cosby's wardrobe or automobiles. It's safe to say like the drinks his character drowns his sorrows in his marriage is on the rocks. So here's the twist; in comes ladies man Ryan Gosling as our R-rated 'Hitch' to give Carrell a new wardrobe, style and lease of life with the ladies, including a real fox in Marissa Tomei. Julianne Moore-who seems to be bringing home the Kevin Bacon-won't know what has hit him. Gosling likes to swan about with various females but his attentions also been caught as he tries to court Emma Stone. Throw in a smitten babysitter, some confused kids and some disgruntled adults and there we have some 'Crazy, Stupid, Love' and our latest situation romantic comedy for the big screens.
Call me crazy or stupid but this is one hell of a love story. Heart filled and realer then most rom-coms this is a heaven sent thinker, not a stinker. It's cool and classy like the bar Carrell and Gosling frequent but down to earth and homely like the primary setting. The man that went from 'Brick' to formidably firing up the critically welfare-prone American 'Office' has produced another gem. Steve Carrell has given us another Vince Vaughan/thinking man's comedy that explores the darker sides of relationships but still lightens things up with some gorgeous gags.
The ladies are going to love Ryan Gosling too-who has come a long way since 'Remember The Titans' (remember that)-plus the guys will wish they where photo-shopped too. Slick, smart, well-dressed and charismatic it may be time for guys like Ryan Reynolds and James Franco to stand aside. Julianne Moore pops in again with a consistently great performance while Emma Stone continues her hard work as the 'Easy A' actress rises her star stock. Just call her the new Rose Byrne with this, 'Friends With Benefits' and the aid of 'Help'...she's in everything.
More star meat's given to this film as Carrell has beef with Kevin Bacon, while the sexy, sultry Marissa Tomei just keeps looking and getting better. Everyone takes part including 'America's Next Top Model' Analeigh Tipton, hot actress of the moment Liza Lapira and many more. I mean even Josh Groban makes an appearance...Josh Groban?! I'm sorry this is new to me, I don't watch 'Glee'. Still even with a recognisable cast you still don't know what your going to get from this movie until you watch it. From some 'Run Fatboy Run' gym gags done better to some tender tapped late night phone calls. One thing you can be sure of is some crazy laughs, stupid fun and a lot of love. TIM DAVID HARVEY.
Thursday, 26 January 2012
Concluding our 'DVD RACK' two part special in honor of Leonardo DiCaprio and Clint Eastwood-the greatest actor and director of the moment-and their long-awaited, highly-anticipated collaboration on their new, classic film 'J. Edgar'. Today we conclude the fortnight series with some of Clint's greatest.
DIRTY HARRY: When it comes to detective's who's the best? Richard Roundtree's the man but this bad mother would kick John in the shaft and shut his mouth. You're damn right. I'm talking about 'Dirty Harry'. Can you dig it? The ultimate Eastwood picture. The Clint we all know; Frank Callahan. Cantankerous, classy, confident and in some ways contagiously charismatic and charming. Classic. The ultimate detective film. Part police officer, part Eastwood cowboy, minus the Stetson. Moody but magnificent with the force of a magnum. I know what you’re thinking, is there a cop better than him? Well look at five more police films or even six and see if any punks lucky enough to take his badge. Well, do you feel lucky…punk?
MILLION DOLLAR BABY: This is Clint’s picture that really directed towards greatness in the eyes of film fans and their view of who are the cinematic greats behind the lens. With a great performance on screen too, Clint brings the best out of Hilary Swank as together they pull all the punches and sandbag the notion, that women in boxing, or sports all together is something to be sneered at. Influential, impactful, sobering and serious, this film throws down hard, in and out the ring. Also with frequent collaborator Morgan Freeman again in his corner the two elder greats and statesman bring the best out of each other.
LETTERS FROM IWO JIMA: Alongside the classic ‘Flags Of Our Fathers’ Clint goes to war against ignorance and misplaced pride as he gives us a take on World War II from the Japanese perspective. With a stunning lead role by Ken Watanabe and arguably Clint Eastwood’s most direct, influential and important work behind the lens this revealing, thought inducing film is unconventional but should never be labelled controversial. It is character study of great depth and consideration that we should all look into, through our hearts and souls. It’s a look at the other side of the coin, someone else’s opinion, thoughts and feelings. With everything against him Clint does what any decent man should feel like it is his duty to do, and that is spare a thought for someone else and what they’re going through. There are always two sides to every story. We should all sit up and take notice.
CHANGELING: Challenging, moving, thought-provoking story of drama of the highest order. Another example of Clint’s subtle but sublime and serious direction and his work at raising awareness at crimes towards children. A subject he see’s as heinous but one that needs to be addressed. Rightfully so-like the incredible ‘Mystic River’-Clint does this with dignity and due diligence. Angelina Jolie gives an understated but magnificent performance as a grief stricken mother whose son is kidnapped. In her battle against the debt of doubt and a corrupt police force Jolie shows us just how much she deserves to be one of Hollywood’s biggest stars. Also Eastwood continues his legendary filmography with a perfect capturing of Los Angeles in the late twenties. Just like ‘J. Edgar’, despite some harsh overtones, the backdrop makes for a beautifully perfect, period piece. Compelling, cinematic and classic.
INVICTUS: Last year Matt Damon really displayed his versatility in 'True Grit' but if you thought this was the first time that Damon showed his range then you'd be wrong. Matt's portrayal of South African Springbok rugby star Francios Pienaar showed incredible dedication. The leading man bulked up and even dyed his hair a suspect Bros, blonde in a superb performance in Clint Eastwood's compelling epic. This was another great collaboration between Eastwood and Damon and Clint and another man. That man being Morgan Freeman in his long-awaited, highly anticipated, legendary, Oscar worthy performance as Nelson Mandela that defined the picture 'Invictus'. This utterly uplifting, incredibly inspiring story of how Mandela used the Rugby World Cup to help unite his people is pure poignancy and gold for the silver screen. Cinematic beauty from the struggle to the success, start to finish.
BLOOD WORK: What on the outside looks like a T.V. movie is really another Eastwood great with this director/actor’s incredible inside knowledge. With the donated heart of a murder victim, our maverick cop goes on the trail of the killer of the woman that gave him life. If it wasn’t for Clint’s trademark stoicism this would be a thing of poetry.
UNFORGIVEN: Gene Hackman and Morgan Freeman join Clint on his last Western ride as this Outlaw leaves the saloon for the last time. Hanging up his six shooters, Eastwood gave the West one of its wildest tales. In a chilling classic, the pitter patter of rain on the roof of a saloon has never sounded so sinister or gripping.
THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY: You’re parent’s favourite movie. Clint took the worlds greatest actress Meryl Streep (before she became that...this film helped) and a cheesy novel and turned it into a cornball free classic romance. Our leading man standing in the pouring rain won’t leave a dry eye. TIM DAVID HARVEY.
REVIEW: J. EDGAR
DVD RACK-CLINT EASTWOOD & LEONARDO DICAPRIO SPECIAL-PART 1: LEO
Tuesday, 24 January 2012
The old switch-a-roo..
108 Minutes. Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Jason Bateman, Leslie Mann & Olivia Wilde & Alin Arkin. Director: David Dobkin. Screenplay: Jon Lucas & Scott Moore
Buddy comedies don't get much closer than this. Funny men Jason Bateman (who's had a busy 12 months with the very hilarious 'Horrible Bosses' and 'The Switch') and Ryan Reynolds (who's had an even busier year with the brilliant 'Buried' and 'Green Lantern') really get on the same page in 'The Change Up', which goes all 'Freaky Friday' for the guys, or 'Face Off' with less bullets and surgery.
Ryan Reynolds is your typical playboy, living the pot-head, no commitment young mans dream, while family man Jason Bateman is working his life away. Envying each others lives they get drunk and go piss in a fountain...and guess what happens? As the two switch bodies, each actor plays the other part real well, kind of like how John Travolta and Nicholas Cage did in 'Face-Off' switching between good and bad guys. The nice guy charm of Bateman and the charismatic cockiness of Reynolds can not be duplicated but from their performances it's clear these two actors and friends know each other pretty well...inside out you could say.
The females in this picture, support and stand by these confused men as these guys go through some hilarious one-liners, but sometimes the 'who let the Farrelley Brothers in' gross out gags are too much. The baby jokes will leave you crying, you be the judge of whether it be the good way or the bad way. When this movie hits the mark though it tickles the ribs and pulls the heart strings like all good buddy comedies do as these two top actors save a script that changes up between hit and miss like the leads do personalities. Top comedy leading man Bateman is genuinely brilliant as usual, dry but delightful, while Reynolds is as always entertaining though it may be time for him to leave the Van Wilder college days behind. Otherwise and all in all this comedy is fun and will leave you appreciating what you have and don't have all at the same time. Sure 'The Change Up' is a recycled story that doesn't really alter much but sometimes it's best when things stay the same. TIM DAVID HARVEY.
Saturday, 21 January 2012
F.B.I.: Formidable. Bold. Influential.
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Armie Hammer, Naomi Watts, Josh Lucas & Judi Dench. Director: Clint Eastwood. Screenplay: Dustin Lance Black
Finally...the greatest actor and the greatest director of the moment have teamed up for a long-awaited, highly anticipated collaboration. As Leonardo DiCaprio increases his classic portfolio of defining roles, Clint Eastwood shows with every turn behind the camera that he may be just as good as a director as he is an actor...if not better. Now the duo produce a gold standard, silver lining star turn that could make the duos of Eastwood and Damon and DiCaprio and Scorsese jealous.
'J. Edgar' is a biographical drama film about J. Edgar Hoover the former director of the FBI who helped bring criminals like John Dillinger to justice (for more on that and if you don't like history books check out Michael Mann and Johnny Depp's great 'Public Enemies') and revolutionised crime-fighting by introducing fingerprint identification. Clearly this talented but troubled man was an influential figure in America, politics, the world and justice. So who better to take him on then 'Dirty Harry' and a man that's played everyone from Romeo to Howard Hughes?
Leo brings the Hughes mental method acting into this role (literally staring in the mirror and repeating himself again) as he plays another troubled character with due dignity, respect and reflective and focused, self-analysis. Like 'The Aviator', 'Shutter Island' and even 'Inception' DiCaprio plays confliction with conviction and yet again produces another hard-worked, award-worthy classic performance. The files of Leo's career have opened up with another defining, influential, inspired performance.
As for Eastwood he adds another big picture to his filmography reel of directing. Yet again Clint exacts honesty and truth, yet dignity and poise on a respectful but insightful piece. There have been some 'too little' and 'too much' criticisms about the issue of Hoover's alleged homosexuality in this film but don't be fooled Eastwood and DiCaprio give a dignified portrayal with all due respect and understanding. Yet again Clint gives a subtle but sublime direction to his movie that shows even these days you can still tell a great story without revealing too much and rubbing it all in the audiences faces. Those cheap gossip hunters better look for a film with no scruples.
This is a real piece and from the classic cinematography that echo's Eastwood's 'Changeling' capturing of America of the past, this looks perfect. At times the film feels uneasy, but that's only because of the nature of the plots and back stories, time and tide. Naomi Watts and Josh Lucas add to this film in ways of support as does Judi Dench as this British national treasure puts back on her crown of Hollywood royalty. Still it's Armie Hammer that almost steals the show. After cloning himself to play twins in'The Social Network', this young star shows he has the arm and hammer to play two versions of himself yet again. From youth to old age he stands next to our generations great in DiCaprio with all his talent and conviction. Armie Hammer and all the emotion he brings to this portrait may just realise soon enough just how good a supporting actor he really is.
From the public debate to the private affairs this contemporary great is mind-blowing in all it's personal and powerful moments. This movie is moving and touching at times, while at others blunt and direct and what results is the perfect character study by Eastwood and DiCaprio of a man who influenced so much in the public eye but found it hard to control so much in his personal life.
Opening the book on history but sticking to the script of it's own story 'J. Edgar' has something to say if we like it or not. Flashing between the seasons of Hoover's life and his influence on everyone from Al Capone to the Kennedy's this film shows just how much influence this man had over the decades of American history. With this film it's clear it's director and actor's own influence over the modern day is going to last for decades. What a legacy. TIM DAVID HARVEY.
DVD RACK-CLINT EASTWOOD & LEONARDO DICAPRIO SPECIAL-PART 1: LEO
Wednesday, 18 January 2012
Our 'DVD RACK' feature over the next fortnight is a two part special in honor of Leonardo DiCaprio and Clint Eastwood-the greatest actor and director of the moment-and their long-awaited, highly-anticipated collaboration on this weeks new film 'J. Edgar'. Today we take a look at some of Leo's greatest works, but stay tuned next week for Part 2, Clint's and the review.
SHUTTER ISLAND: The already legendary actor, furthered his greatness with two more career defining roles in 2010. Two films released in the space of six months which were 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'. This film really is one of the greatest films of the last decade. This film is that good. '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 scarily 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.
INCEPTION: In undoubtedly the movie of 2010 Leonardo 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/'The Dark Knight Rises' 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 Leonardo 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.
ROMEO + JULIET: Leo once again displays his youthful looks but mature mind as he bares his soul over the silver screen, still he has some talented company. John Legizamo is one of the business' most talented, underrated all-round actors. He's a great character actor but can lead too and although Baz Luherman's 'Romeo + Juliet' was best known for it's modern take and it's Romeo (Leo DiCaprio) and Juliet (Claire Danes) but arguably as Tibult, Leguizamo along with Harold Perrineau as Mercutio stole the show. Just check the adrenaline fuelled petrol station first act. As soon as he stubs out his cigar with his steel-capped heel and draws his sword, (or his gun), with all his charm and cocksure confidence he owns everybody, the moment and the movies best moment. Truly a theatrical moment, played up the right way. BANG!
THE BASKETBALL DIARIES: In one of Leonardo DiCaprio's youngest and greatest performances he gives us a brutally honest take on the effects of drug abuse in sports and the youth. This is no floppy haired 'Titanic' sweet tale. it's a movie drowned in darkness with the uplifting hope of redemption. Sure basketball is a back-story here but it's not the real issue that needs to be addressed. With great support from Mark Wahlberg and Juliette Lewis this movie slam dunks all over Hollywood shine and censorship. It takes the problems of youth out of bounds and lays it all out on the floor. Brave, bold and beautiful.
BLOOD DIAMOND: Forgive the slightly dodgy South African accent, for this is one of leading actor Leonardo DiCaprio's most defining performances. Epic, horrifically moving and thrillingly though-provoking it's... who really packs the punch however with his powerful passion. More Hollywood pictures should look at this genuinely concerned canvas for future references. As this movie captures the beauty of South Africa but the ugly truth's of it's blood diamonds that are lapped up by the Western world without consideration or care. They haven't, don't and probably won't make films like this again.
CATCH ME IF YOU CAN: Join Tom Hanks on a hot pursuit of one of DiCaprio's finest all-round performances on a true story that you have to see to believe. With an iconic Sinatra assisted airport scene that seems to have inspired new Christina Ricci T.V. show 'Pan Am' and countless airline commercials this movies legacy still lasts.
THE AVIATOR: Exploring the dark recess of the human psyche, this is Leo's best turn as a troubled man in turmoil. The story of aviation pioneer Howard Hughes is directed perfectly by Scorsese and portrayed by DiCaprio with just dignity, respect and excellence. Truly a modern classic.
THE DEPARTED: Scorsese, Boston, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, Mark Wahlberg, Martin Sheen, Ray Winstone, Vera Farmiga, Alec Baldwin and of course Leo...need we say anymore? TIM DAVID HARVEY
Monday, 9 January 2012
Zoë Saldana is ready to bloom..
108 Minutes. Starring: Zoë Saldana, Michael Vartan, Cliff Curtis, Lennie James, Callum Blue & Jordi Mollà. Director: Olivier Megaton. Screenplay: Luc Besson
Robert & Mark Kamen
What do you get if you take an unconventional Hollywood picture add some French, a hint of Colombian and set it in Chicago, all whilst arming the hottest young female actor in the world with a gun and plenty of attitude? You get 'Colombiana'. 'La Femme Nikita' director Olivier Megaton reloads his female assassins gun and hands it to Saldana, who since huge hits 'Star Trek' and 'Avatar' has the future of Hollywood in her hands.
She may want to grasp a little tighter however as this action flick shoots a little below her range. It's far from being a bad film but 'Colombiana' does not reach the heights that Salanda's career is about to scale. Her ceiling is higher then this basic action that sticks to the script and unfortunately some stereotypes. Even a great soundtrack featuring Johnny Cash can't help this film from being hurt a little. It's exciting and cool but just a little too weak for such a strong character and lead.
This is still far from a character assassination as the crazy, sexy, cool Saldana gives this movie some TLC showing she can carry herself both physically and mentally in this movie that is packed with some sensational, set-piece action and some emotional heart. It's raining tears and bullets in a movie that overcomes its dry spells with some bright spots. From looking like a drunk Rihanna with short-hair in disguise to looking as sexy as Halle Berry in a catsuit, Zoe can fit into any 'guise and looks all the better for it. With some attractive direction the 'Avatar' star doesn't even have to go blue for this movie to attract your eye.
As our lead Catalina (this would have made for a better name for the movie) family get slaughtered in Colombia, she heads to America to get her 'Lady Of Vengeance' on, with the help of some great training and support by classy, character actor Cliff Curtis. That's basically it as this simple style over 'The Brave One' substance affair doesn't screw around. Some nice detective work (thanks to Lennie James) and entertaining shark attacks save this film from being sunk and buried. Still a little bit more of a story or some 'Leon' would of been the best dish served cold. Then we would really have a hot movie on our hands, still armed with a pistol Saldana still holds some heat and shoots straight. With better aim and more time on her next shot, she'll find her mark and hit the target. TIM DAVID HARVEY.
Saturday, 7 January 2012
Très Bonne .
Starring: Jean Dujardin, Bérénice Bejo, John Goodman, James Cromwell & Uggie The Dog. Director: Michel Hazanavicius. Screenplay: Michel Hazanavicius
This week the eagerly anticipated, Oscar tipped French film 'The Artist' is released. This perfect picture is seen as more than a homage piece to the silent movie...it's a continuation of the genre. So in honor of a great new movie whose actions speak and peak louder than words, let's say more with as little as possible. Much in the style of a silent movies intertitles, let's spell it out.
This movie is...
"The silent film everyone's been talking about",
"A hallmark to the history of cinema"
"How movies should still be made",
"A Cannes classic",
Not to mention...
"This silence is golden",
"A black and white classic full of colour and vibrancy",
"With a dog cuter and even more talented than Eddie form 'Frasier'"
"The only thing that doesn't make this film look like it's straight from the twenties is the familiar faces of James Cromwell and John Goodman",
"Cooler and classier than the coolest two words in the English language...'Dean' and 'Martin",
"Leaves stories of today lost in translation",
"A true romance of French fancy brought to the Hollywoodland hills",
"With a charming, classic leading man and a beautiful screen starlet just as charismatic who would of been big stars back then and will be now",
"A true masterpiece",
"An 'Au Revoir' to the notion that old films are old hat",
TIM DAVID HARVEY.
Friday, 6 January 2012
We pick 5 old films we watched this week for your consideration.
THE UNTOUCHABLES: Complete, classic cinema. If you ever wanted to know why Kevin Costner became so good. Or just how hot the young, talented Andy Garcia was. Or just how Sean Connery got a second, Paul Newman successful career after Bond. Or just how deep De Niro's classic roles go, touch on this timeless, dramatic action thriller. Costner plays Elliott Ness in the true story of how his police force brought down notorious gangster Al Capone (De Niro). The action is acclaimed, the drama moving and the historical setting perfectly done in 1930's Chicago. Another thing this epic movie is is tense, just check into the train station scene for your ticket to this ride. There you will see movie moments that will live in cinematic history.
THE 25th HOUR: In one of Spike Lee's most underrated films, Edward Norton stars as a man who has 24 hours to live his life before he begins to do his time in prison. With all terrific, trademark Spike Lee trickery and a beautiful, poignant homage to the World Trade Centre in the opening credits, this film is dangerously dark but undeniably uplifting in parts. Plus there is brilliant support from Barry Pepper, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Rosario Dawson and Brian Cox who give some of their finest performances. Look out for the scene of Edward Norton reflecting in the mirror. Perhaps the most fitting image of the social tensions that existed in New York and around the world post 9/11. 10 years on, let's all remember those we lost on that tragic day.
AS GOOD AS IT GETS: Sure Jack Nicholson and Helen Hunt may not be as fresh as daisy dukes like Katherine Hiegel and Ashton Kutcher but they still come up smelling like roses. In fact the younger generations could learn a lot from this golden oldie, especially the best compliment/chat up line ever from Nicholson. This comedy was brought to you from James L. Brooks. You may know him from such comedy classics as 'The Simpsons' or this years reuniting with Jack in 'How Do You Know'. This movie centre's around Nicholson's character. A miserable man with OCD, who writes romance but can't seem to create any for himself. Still deep down he is a good man and is offered the opportunity to show this to his waitress love interest (Hunt) and his gay neighbour (played delightfully by Greg Kinnear) and butter-wouldn't-melt dog Bernard. With great support from Cuba Gooding Jnr this is more then your average romantic comedy. Warm, affectionate, hilarious but insightful, this uplifting gem takes it higher then the rest. It's a classic. Great films don't get much better then this.
GOOD WILL HUNTING: With 'Hereafter', 'True Grit' and 'The Adjustment Bureau' making big box-office returns last year, let's take a look at the classic film that made Matt Damon and Ben Affleck's (who's doing brilliantly too with the Oscar worthy 'The Town') career. Written and acted brilliantly by the pair, 'Good Will Hunting' is an aspiring, inspirational movie about as a troubled maths genius played perfectly by Damon. Just in time for the Oscars this award winning classic is worthy of any accreditation and is the perfect story in and outside the movie as Damon and Affleck went from just any, old aspiring young writers to superstars overnight. Plus the ever, versatile Robin Williams is incredibly warm and honest in his performance and the film is set in the down-to-earth, English feeling, timeless, classic, beauty of Boston, New England. The film also has one of the best lines ever, so go see about it. Now how dya like them apples?
LIVE FREE OR DIE HARD (DIE HARD 4.0): Then again if you want to leave your thinking caps at home then how about this? The perfect couch potato chip/popcorn movie that is probably in everybody's collection and on T.V. every other night or channel. With 'Die Hard 24/7' in the works, the fourth instalment of the grubby wife-beater, McClane series is one of the best. Bruce Willis may be old but he's still got it over anybody in action. Justin Long may not be as cool as Samuel L. Jackson but he's still on a continual hot streak of form. Timothy Olaphant may not be European but he sure makes a slickly, sarcastic villain and the action may not be as ludicrous as the 90's...oh wait he kills a helicopter with a car and surfs a jet. Sure this film is more serious, but it's also seriously good. The only thing that looks better then the action is Maggie Q, but Nikkita's got nothing on John McClane. Yippee kai yay. TIM DAVID HARVEY.