Friday, 29 November 2013

REVIEW-SAVING MR. BANKS

4/5

Craving Mr. Hanks.

125 Minutes. Starring: Emma Thompson, Tom Hanks, Paul Giamatti, Jason Schwartzman, B.J Novak, Bradley Whitford, Ruth Wilson & Colin Farrell. Director: John Lee Hancock.

What do you get if you take a mouse with extremely big ears and cross him with a flying nanny and a talking umbrella? You get the story behind Walt Disney turning acclaimed author P. L. Travers' 'Mary Poppins' sensational story into his super studios most magical film. We all know about the spoon-fulls of sugar and how the medicine goes down but supercalifragilisticexpialidocious the actual real story behind the tale of this amazing woman is truly something else and in John Lee Hancock's latest he plays John Lee Hooker, drawing us in and blind-siding us with 'Saving Mr. Banks'. The follow up to his acclaimed sports dramas and his own take on the story of 'Snow White' for a darker, modern age. Here, though Hancock takes it back like Herbie to the original story behind the tallest tales we all grew up with. In doing this he picks two of the 90's to now golden era icons to portray two of storytelling's greatest legends-albeit in different ways-of all time. As English as a pot of tea, Emma Thompson orders hers and brushes off the 'Nanny McPhee' warts and all to play the woman behind THE maid of honor. Everyone wants to read more into this story including the 'Captain Phillips' of an Oscar year, Tom Hanks himself. It's his season again like whats playing on your television movie nights right now from the late eighties to early new millennium stretch. Who else to play the great Walt Disney, than our leading man legendary icon? Setting sail to the mid-February love of the Academy, the only thing that could stop Hanks last film from hitting an award is well...him and this Walt.

The two stars give the man and woman story makers behind the childhood imagination of books and movies their just page in entertainment history. Sitting uncomfortably we begin with Thompson, whose Travers character won't give up her baby and story of Mary to the cartoon, all singing, all dancing penguin, pixie dust world of Disney and the Mickey Mouse empire without her rights and fight. There's much more behind the wonder and whimsy of this story that meets the suitable for all children eyes and without giving too much away, you really need to see for yourself what this is all really about and who Miss Poppins really came to save and just whether Mr. Disney can do the same for the woman who gave us the magical woman who came to make a difference in everyone's lives young and old. Some may see Thompson's character as a typical, typecast, English, posh snob, with a battleaxe heart and a take no prisoners, with no compliments or 'True Grit' sugar with her pronouncements, still there's much more to her than stereotype. Just like there's much more to one of the worlds most underrated and versatile leading ladies. 'Stranger Than Fiction' with 'Sense and Sensibility', the woman who had a wizardly turn through the 'Harry Potter' series leaves us truly spell-bound as we see what lies behind the words of the woman who wrote every child and critics acclaimed book and possibly the name of her portraying actress in the next gold award engraving. It's impossible not to like her no matter how tough she seems on an exterior that leaves everyone from 'West Wing' wonder (by recent way of the criminally cancelled, Californian classic 'Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip' and Marvel 'One Shot', 'Agent Carter', 'Captain America' spin-off) Bradley Whitford to the stellar singing team of Wes Anderson's favorite Jason Schwartzman and former punk turned good B.J. Novak looking inward for inspiration.

How much more inspiration do you need than the man behind Goofy and Minnie, played by the man behind Woody and Forrest Gump? Tom Hanks is just that great and right to play the ultimate movie-making man of all time. Hanks has almost as many classic credits as Walt himself, owing to Mr. Disney some of those films himself. Still, just as Hanks has done the Disney name proud in previous films, he does the man so here with no spoon-fulls to sugar coat the truth. Real and raw, the man behind the mustache twitching laughter is given the behind the smiles truth treatment this 'Movember'. This is what makes not only this month, but this year one of Hank's genuinely greatest. A leading man so legendary his 20th best film, let alone his 30th would be among some of today's so called greatest best work, Tom has given us two more to add to the top ten list of catalog consideration. As he ages like the finest acting wine, the truer the stories get the more genuine the talent of the every-man, Bruce Springsteen, American rock star of the movie world gets like the Academy's 'Philadelphia'. With no cheese and nothing spread thin, Hanks crafts the complexities of the man behind his character subtlety and sincerely with some truly moving moments of movie magic behind the fake facade of seeing fairies. 'Captain Phillips' is his new great port of call in all it's classic tense and claustrophobic elements, but even in a supporting role here, Hanks helps set this Disney story free. The book doesn't stop with great leading man here however as Paul Giamatti shows he is more than just a driver in this Disney vehicle. Chasing Phillip Seymour-Hoffman as ever and running down the character actor notion, Giamatti drives past his latest JFK 'Parkland' in a black Lincoln that is anything but cold and calculated for a wonderful week and perfect performance of warmth that sees past it's darker depths.

A darker turn that lies behind Disney and this story and it's inspiration. Yep, it's not all ice-cream smiles and innocent laughter in this kingdom for this P.G. film. What more could you expect from the man who killed Bambi's mother? Here you can see from the mothering eyes of 'The Lone Rangers' rising actress Ruth Wilson that Travers troubled but determined home-life inspired something much more deeper and meaningfully moving in Poppins' service to family. All of this will be pictured perfectly by one of yet another of the leading underrated and versatile A-list greats with more classic credits than critics give credence for. Playing Emma Thompson's father (yeah I know right?) Colin Farrell is truly terrific from his success and struggles of a worn suit and tie wearing man who just wants to bring enough money and happiness home from work that his family can bank on without too much debt. What lies beneath the spoils and statements really gives you an account on what this story is really about and Farrell is formidable in forging this from being the worlds most inspired, funnest father despite his inner, tragic turmoil . In an Oscar season that looks like a two horse race of Thompson and Hanks' leading men and woman or Hank's own pair of powerhouse pictures, the Academy shouldn't forget it's star pupil. A man who has overcome so much addictive troubled times in his own life shows just how much it affects a man here in a performance deeper than just a simple script. It's a story that's told out of necessity to both the original story and today's new message. Sure this is a comedy as much as it is a drama and there are a lot of laughs that go with an American legend of the Peter Pan, candy bar, sickly sweet generation and a woman who won't have their cake and eat it too, but behind the smiles the real story is crying out to be heard clearly in all our understanding. A story that shows this modern movie mainstream that doesn't hold back that it's time to take it back to what it's really about. Only then by way of a fitting times gone by homage Disney logo can we truly learn what our beloved Mary is all about in this history of traditional tales. To see the story we've been reading for generations in all it's chapter and verse. Now that's what Disney magic is really made of. TIM DAVID HARVEY.

Friday, 22 November 2013

BOOK REVIEW-RON BURGUNDY: LET ME OFF AT THE TOP-MY CLASSY LIFE & OTHER MUSINGS

4/5

Bound For Leather.

Since the dawn of time, scholars through lost translations have tried to find the meaning of life. While author after author have inscribed text after text that goes down in the concrete engraved world of historical and legendary writing. Guys like Shakespeare, Twain, Dickens, Chaucer, Kerouac, the libraries go on...and then of course there's Ron. Open one of his many leather bound books and you'll read something so transcending that it could burn your eyes like that human torch that banks turn away. Yep, that's right they're kind of a big deal like the 'Channel 4' Anchorman of San Diego, California himself. We all became cult followers of the classic 'Legend Of Ron Burgundy' and this Christmas 'The Legend Continues', but before that comes something you'll want to see under your tree more than a jazz flute, lamp, bottle of sex panther, or even the man himself. Christmas has come early you smelly pirate hookers as the legendary newsman has released his tell-all, memoir. The autobiography of Ron Burgundy 'Let Me Off At The Top-My Classy Life & Other Musings'. By the beard of Zeus, the perfect scotch table read hits you like a straight shot to the ovaries.

As you open this book, you'll be met with the familiar classic book smell of rich mahogany, but the words themselves would put any teleprompter to question mark shame. What more could you expect from the man who discovered the wheel and built the Eiffel tower out of metal and brawn? Still, beware San Dieogans and beyond if you are easily offended or aroused you should put this book under the bed with the mistress and the rest of the monsters. If you are of a certain race, or ethnic background, belong to a religious group, live in a particular country, are of a particular gender or age, and generally live or breath...you're in trouble. Black, white, rich, poor, young, old, boy, girl, man, woman, cat, dog, you can all join hands together in one world and be royally offended, but hey this is Ron and when it comes to Mr. Burgundy he can even tell his own town where to go. The man who put whale's vagina's on the map is going after everyone on it...even dinosaurs aren't safe...and they're extinct. From his humble beginnings to having the greatest hair you could ever wish to touch (he shares some of his grooming habits and horsehair myths here too), this is the mustache you really must ask after this Movember. The renowned ladies man will leave you with a pattern in the pleats as he teaches his fellow man how to get a woman in just one breath (and all it's back-of-your-neck varieties), while also telling us the secrets and stories, anchoring his own man. From comparing his love-rat status to "six Wilt Chamberlain's"  and even sharing an intimate moment with Bruce Lee.

Ever wondered how to behave in a prison riot? Feces throwing or masturbation? Ever needed any advice on how to handle yourself in a bar-fight? Well let Burgundy's Jack Johnson and Tom O'Leary take you for a round, punch by punch. In epic battles that will leave more than just tridents on the floor. This is a man who camped with Bobby Kennedy and maybe did a little more with Walter Cronkite. This is a man who tells us that Joni Mitchell makes him want to kill himself...and as for the Bible...well which book do you think this bar-humble man thinks is better? The book featuring inspiring passages and life lessons to live by...or that one you find in every hotel room? Burgundy's scribe is full of it...literally. Basketball diaries of star wars to wrestling with Jackalopes. From neighborhood disputes to Watergate-like revealing moments in world history that will finally be seen for what they are, through the eyes of the premiere man of telling the news with salon quality hair. A man who has broke such stories as; squirrels on water-skis and pandas giving birth. Speaking of salon quality hair, Ron also dishes the dirt on Hollywood legend Warren Beatty and reveals that he might not just be the one-woman man we thought he was. Yes! Really! I didn't mean to spoil it but that Warren! It doesn't get much crazier than this. With all these revelations and secrets shared no wonder some of this book is blanked out...they'll get it right by the final draft...oh...wait. Proving he has the balls to write this book, his way, the Sinatra of news-casting let's it all hang out in the wind, with one scotch for his Baxter and one for the road.

Sip, by sip this book goes down smooth in one read, from the history of Mexico to healthy eating advice for your kids ("if you don't eat your vegetables, the Burgundy boys will kick your ass"). With hands on advice from the man who dealt with live bears (here's a tip, no disco lights or Donna Summer), you won't immediately regret the decision to buy this book. Its the perfect read and companion if you find yourself ship-wrecked back at your home on whore island. It all comes together perfectly from the man who "invented the Wonderbra and the Supersoaker in the same day". The only thing that's missing is perhaps a whammy preface from Champ Kind, or on the scene foreword by the ever forward Brian Fantana. Or perhaps an afterword from Brick, "I love book" anybody?! Still, this is Ron's book and he wont let anyone else take away his moment. They say when there's a will there's a Ron, but even that Ferrell creature is merely a semi-pro or step brother to the man who can sell Lego, Ben & Jerry's and Dodge Durango's all in one go while offending ballroom dancers and all horses great and small (read more here and learn how to actually break a steed with some carefully whispered ("YOU'RE AN IDIOT"!) words). Hey, everybody! Come and see how good this book looks. From his news-team being assembled and honored in a Washington D.C Newseum to the pages going for the Pulitzer, Ron Burgundy's legend is about to make history again. You're going to want to be on this book. From conversations with himself to a portrait of his life with picture perfect proof this man is hitting all the high-jazz notes. Through it all, chapter and verse, the legend that is Ron Burgundy reads, writes and keeps it classy. TIM DAVID HARVEY.

Monday, 18 November 2013

REVIEW-THE BUTLER

3.5/5

Gold Service.

132 Minutes. Starring: Forest Whitaker, Oprah Winfrey, David Olyelowo, Elijah Kelly, Terrence Howard, Cuba Gooding Jnr, Lenny Kravitz, Robin Williams, James Marsden, Liev Schreiber, John Cusack, Alan Rickman, Jane Fonda, Nelsan Ellis, Vanessa Redgrave, David Banner, Mariah Carey & Clarence Williams III. Director: Lee Daniels.

From Abraham Lincoln to Barack Obama and all the Kennedy's and Clinton's in-between there's not many that have served in the White House for over two terms, Let alone more than a decade or half century. Except, that is Forest Whitaker's inspiration of Eugene Allen, a historical figure like no other. A waiter and butler who served everywhere from the West Wing to the Oval Office for 34 years, before retiring as head butler with a resume of broken down boundaries and stereotypes and everyone from Ronald Reagan to Richard Nixon as a reference. In this influential interpretation from 'Precious', 'Paperboy' director Lee Daniels of 'Monsters Ball' debut fame an all-star, all-talent, role playing, 'Bobby' like, eclectic, ensemble cast from the mans Rolodex of everything from Academy Award winners to musicians and talk-show hosts is served up. This story of history making movement through the decades and ages a' changin' is one of 'Forrest Gump' epic storytelling proportions, but one as real and raw as life's uplifting and heartbreaking beautiful struggle really gets. The plight and the might of those men, woman and children who suffered so much hateful racism from an ignorant world decades back is mirrored and reflected by the man who went from the lowest of the low to the tip of the top, serving not only his country but the men his country forgot. When it comes to inspiration it doesn't come much more influential than this introspective look of integrity to the dot of the I.

Forest Whitaker couldn't play this part any better with a perfect portrayal of a hero unsung until now. The man who played the worst of the worst for his Oscar winning 'Last King Of Scotland' plays the best man he could for maybe his second award tour. Behind his service smile, there is a weary look of a mans life that served some of the highest people in all of the lowest and wrong ways just to do right for his family. Still, putting pride into his work and honor into his duty, the man that helped change the time and tide of not only his inner-work but the outer work from a presidential position is given amazing assistance by the leading man this industry and Academy has missed. In the forest of Whitaker's great career the roots of this tree will stand out for generations more as it has for ones before. Behind every great man like this, is a strong woman and we have one here in full support and leading light with billionaire, television queen Oprah Winfrey. If you thought this woman was all talk show host than you must be Ellen confused. Did you forget about her Academy nominated debut in 'The Color Purple'? Well you can be reminded about what that was like next February, because when it comes to acting the hardest working philanthropist with a show on the side is back. The mighty 'O' shows strength of character and will of resolve as she goes through the personal turmoil that goes through her husbands long tenure and the personal and public events that surround all these years of lasting marriage through turbulent times. Oprah may carry this film, but in this production everyone gets awards.

There's academy certified thespian Terrence Howard who returns to consideration with this and the emotion of the arresting 'Prisoners'. A little too sinister in the tooth for his own good in this one, Howard really shows all the ends of his range. As does David Oyelowo of 'Planet Of The Apes', 'Jack Reacher' and 'Lincoln' and forthcoming 'Jurrasic World' and everything else fame (he's collaborated with actor ('The Last King Of Scotland') and director ('The Paperboy') before too) alongside his enigmatic Elijah Kelly brother. How they make this man pushing 40 look like a teenager is anyone's make-up guess, but it comes from the same team that makes Liev Schreiber look unrecognizable as Lyndon B. Johnson with an unmistakable performance. The same team that gives as good a Nixon nose as John Cusack does a made-up performance. In fact all the presidents men are perfect here from Robin Williams musings as Eisenhower to Brit Alan Rickman playing THE American president Ronald Reagan with punctuated perfection. It's his wife Jane Fonda's Nancy or the Cyclops to Kennedy vision of a surprisingly perfect JFK in James Marsden that truly elects more in this house of acting cards however. The two top draws that polish the silverware better than this are Whitaker's fellow workers. Cuba Gooding Jr returns to the limelight looking and feeling like he never left, while 'Precious' rock star and 'Hunger Games' major player Lenny Kravitz continues to catch fire in anything he does with the odds in his favour. He's not the only musician hitting high notes here as Daniels brings Mariah Carey back for a cameo as well as down south rapper David Banner for the truest portrayal of a man growing up in a unforgivable, evil hardship. Along with the veteran presence of greats Vanessa Redgrave and Clarence Williams the third, to the new, rising stars of Kelly and 'Soloist' Nelsan Ellis as Martin Luther King Jnr, this portrayal is the perfect mix of storied stars and grassroots talent.

From the cotton fields to the White House this is a story told as movingly as it is harrowing. From inspirational moments of real change from tomorrow to today, to sickening moments in history that will still rock you to the core this is necessary trip through history with no despair spared and all hope kept going. With practically every actor going, every major event over the last century from the assassination of JFK and MLK to the forming of the Ku Klux Klan and Black Panthers is explored in all it's political and social implications and cause and effects. Even the later 80's and 90's are identified by amazing ageing make-up and the use of his and her, all in one shell suits. As real and as raw an account of modern life over the last 50 or so years as it gets, this may not have all the facts of it's portrayed mans life correct, but it still presents some lasting truths which everyone can learn from for a better way. The change we see today is all born from a black man who made it to the White House with all his inspired influence before the man who holds its chair today. Rightfully so before he passed, Eugene Allen got to meet President Barack Obama in all the realized Martin Luther King dreams he became. If only he got to meet the man who has done him the first-hand justice he deserves in the movie-world that reaches more people than unfortunately the history book one does. In a respectful and right performance guided by the next great director of modern, movie-making times, Forest Whitaker helps tell the story of a man that more in this digital age need to read up on, because if it wasn't for the likes of Eugene Allen, many of us wouldn't be able to see this today. No matter what race you are, Allen helped us all, not because of the color of his skin but the content of his character. When it comes to that type of work, there is no greater service to man. TIM DAVID HARVEY.

REVIEW-GRAVITY

3.5/5

Space 2013.

90 Minutes. Starring: Sandra Bullock & George Clooney. Director: Alfonso Cuaron.

Houston...we have a problem. It's been two years since NASA's last space shuttle mission and when it comes to space travel in a science-fiction dominated 2013, everyone is looking to the futuristic fables like 'Oblivion' or 'Elysium' and the rebooted, rebranding of all the 'Star' 'Wars' and 'Trek's in J.J. Abrams' lens flare eye of vision. Even classic 'Apollo 13' director Ron Howard is staying grounded in the tarmac of Formula One for this years 'Rush' of petroleum powered production. I guess, good old fashioned space-travel entertainment has been drifting around with that golf ball they fore-casted off the moon all those landings ago. Then again there's one man who likes this mission and his name is Alfonso Cuaron. The one-time 'Harry Potter' director with 'Great Expectations' even had a lobbying desire to actually film this out of this world and in space. Yeah, and try and explain losing one of Hollywood's best to the never ending black-hole that is the night sky above earth. It doesn't get much bigger than Sandra Bullock and George Clooney either. Even Kirk couldn't boldly go to retrieve these guys from a never ending washing machine spin cyclone through the cycles of space.

This threat is the makings of this thriller and drama which shows that all it needs is a couple of actors and a perilous premise to really reach new movie-making depths without hitting the shallow subjects of say an 'Open Water'. Like Ryan Reynolds 'Buried' alive the crafting of this concept is classic. In the seas of space, which the U.S.S. Enterprise voyaged like moral bound pirates, anything can happen swimming against the darkest depths and what results is a strong story to go with some of the most classic cinematography you'll see ever. You may just finally have use for those Roy Orbison 3D glasses and extra pounds or bucks for those IMAX seats, because these spectacular effects are truly special. In three dimensions you'll be truly immersed in the final frontier that you'll feel awe inspired surrounded by the world around you, but all that space might make you sick with every twist and turn of this thrilling plot and set pieces with a puking punch. If you thought from the open seas of a liner to the confines of a hijacked lifeboat was the most tense and claustrophobic thing you'll see and feel all year, then I'm sorry Tom Hanks' 'Captain Phillips' but you haven't sat in a satellite pod, with only counting down percentiles of limited oxygen as your company. These guys have though and against the tides of a career resurrecting performance and year from Tom Hanks only the likes of Clooney and Bullock could possibly keep up the Oscar race with this fellow 90's defining great.

When your confined to an astronaut suit that gives you the range of motion of the marshmallow man off 'Ghostbusters', what you say better mean something and this perfect partnership have the behind the visor look to go with the simple but subtly strong script. The master of  the warm, press-conference smile George Clooney steps up his facial expressions for a wise worded, guided performance of a veteran spaceman on his last mission. Funny, forthright and typically Clooney the man who took television drama's to the 'E.R' heights of filmography is up further in the air again and truly belongs in the modern movie world with another great performance to add to his list that is as versatile and deep as it is underrated and somewhat overlooked. Suffering from the same good looking fate as fellow 'Ocean' Brad Pitt, one of not only Hollywood's but the worlds brightest stars has some of his time in the sun blinded by how big his name is. Orbit around his career and this and you'll see just how great his justified talented range and character is in this supporting performance. This is Sandra's show though and manning her biggest career vehicle since 'Speed', the woman who returned to the Academy of great film-making with 'The Blind Side' is having quite the Tom Hanks year herself. Following a couple of years off here and there and 'Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close', Bullock proved she has the comedy chops for 'Bridesmaid' Melissa McCarthy for 'The Heat' and her hot streak reaches the sun here. With depth and will it's as hard to believe here character is a space rookie, just as it's impossible to fathom this actress is almost 50. Give her another half century for an 100% performance however.

The perfect atmosphere makes for a pressurized cooker of action and drama in a film that will set off a new chain reaction in the ever evolving but from essence made science-fiction genre. With two of the best performances from two of the best leading men and women in acting, Cuaron has the perfect direction for an edge of the world, edge of your seats picture that stands out in 3D to really draw you in to its atmosphere. Adding a familiar voice for communicating back home with Houston, this film is the perfect homage as well to the great expeditions that's proceeded it. When it comes to space movies this ones in a world of it's own. After 2013 Tom Hanks and Ron Howard may not need their next 'Apollo 13' right now-while Kevin Bacon has his own commercial start in everyone's movie-but they have a lot to contend with next February when it comes to Bullock and Clooney's tethered together rocket launch. From the still calm of a peaceful space, to their silent, powerful threats that lie within it, this is as beautiful and brutal as it gets. Simple but superb there's more to be explored in this space than anyone thought or imagined. This wilderness ship-wreck is more than just a lot of stars. It's the physical and psychological battle of momentary ingenuity over permanent isolation and strength of will over the peril of destruction. When it comes to all this spirit in the silence of the vacuum of space, 'Gravity' really pull you in from your center to its core. This is earth-breaking. TIM DAVID HARVEY.

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT Feature FLASH GORDON

Not Your Average Joe.

By TIM DAVID HARVEY

Hey Joe! What you doing with that red button in your hand? It's time to hit record people on the classic, legendary legacy making career of a man who surely is no longer just the familiar face that makes people say "hey isn't that the kid from '3rd Rock From The Sun'?! As great as the 90's and his out of this world situation comedy was, he's all grown up now to the tune of 32 baby-faced years and the long hair has been cut to his production partner brother Dan. Now a clip above the rest the world is Joseph's dream in technicolor. This fall see's the release of the first film he's both wrote and directed, where he plays 'Don Jon', a sex addict who really cares about only a few things in life. His body, his pad, his ride, his family, his church, his boys, his porn and his girl...Scarlett Johannson. Wow! Some guys have all the luck. Who knew Robin would be so cool and have more under his night owl working night-wing than we all thought?

Sure a directorial debut featuring a comedy-drama wrote about an Italian-American who hates movies (particularly rom-coms) but loves porn is a bold one, but it's also a beautifully done one to the good vibrations of a decades back feeling American suburban family life. Complete with the bold Robin Thicke like lettering introduction of the coolest, classiest, confident trailer in a day and internet age of commercial cinema coups of braggadocios popcorn statements that blurs the lines of other efforts and the memories of what film you're about to watch. Yep that's right the Robin that's crossed over superhero franchises like Ben Affleck, the next Wonder Woman and possibly himself again and picked up a Black Widow is really spinning a great web and internet network. Recruiting the lamented likes of Julianne Moore, Rob Brown, Glenne Headly, Brie Lason and Tony Danza it's clear this top Don Joe knows movies and with his own production company behind his script, directors chair and leading man light it's clear he knows how to make them too. Gordon-Levitt is the don when it comes to the next great, pretty boy turned good Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt and Jake Gyllenhaal actors out there, but there is much more than meets the eyes of the twenty-something 'housewives to be' favorite pin-up. Check past the cover of any 'Vanity Fair' or 'GQ' magazine and you'll see more to this feature presentation than the face that sells newsprint and ticket stubs.

Just like the singing side of his Scarlett co-star (check out her Tom Waits covers or her 'Break Up' album with modern music maestro Pete Yorn (especially 'I Am The Cosmos')  for how her voice is more than just the appeal of her 'Lost In Translation' karaoke effort), Levitt has more space in his studio than just room for piling scripts. Are you recording? Why not hit the phrase 'hitRECord' into your browser or more importantly Twitter feed (that you'll constantly want to update with opportunity) and you'll see just what this man is doing not just for himself and his company but everyone in the world whose wanted more than just their 15 minutes of fame on the biggest stage....including you. Yes, you! Taking it further than just the big bucks of Pitt's team outbidding Leo's company for the huge 'World War Z', Joe and brother partnered 'hitRECord' team is offering life and a survival guide to young artists in a digital diluted age of epic expression. With so much material out there in the blog and youtube, Facebook sharing generation and so many big companies taking young, quote on quote, inner-circle to international interns massive work-load for free with little promise or even help (hey, I'm speaking from experience), here is one man who is taking all of this to task. Giving you his word unlike those faceless corporations hiding behind false hope-mongering half-truths. It's refreshing that one of Hollywood's biggest and most in demand stars is doing something he doesn't need to do, for the good of those break searching underground talents who would que up for hours just for the hope to not be turned away for a 'Star Wars' audition and of course the art itself. Just check his personal pitch video introduction to his companies website that is as inspirational as it is charismatic and has as much substance as it does style. It's about to get even bigger.

Right now hitRECord offers writers, illustrators, singers and songwriters and so many more artists the chance to work on all sort of genre creations in video, music, literature, photography, performance, spoken word, screenwriting and graphic art in what is simply THE place to see and be when it comes to artistic integrity and expression in it's purest and most powerful form. What's more if your art makes money, so do you...writers and experience searching artists will know just how refreshingly satisfying that sounds in an industry of wounded and more curbed enthusiasms than Larry David. From it's 'Morgan and Destiny' movies to it's 'Tiny Stories' children's books and it's 'Move On The Sun' C.D. album across the board collaborations to so much more hitRECord is about to tape over the whole industry. Now with a  brand new cable variety television show presented by Joe himself about to debut everyone's work to every television in every home stay tuned for a televised revolution of everyman redemption. This is so much more than just another round of reality victim T.V. offering a commercial break interrupted 15 minute shot. This is the real deal from a man that recovered from some child-star forgotten years to a mature mainstream age that can't even pretend to ignore his new 'adult' movie. This man is everything entertainment like singer/comedian/actor Jamie Foxx. Behind that honed fake Italian accent is a man who is anything but fugazi, a man that pays attention to every detail in  not only his own work, but the art of others. Like the hidden talents around the globe his underrated talent is bubbling to the surface even more through the Hollywood flipped script of critical doubt and commercial success. His incredible acting will one day garner him the greatest awards, but his inspired internet artist, call to boundary, groundbreaking arms, that...that will be his lasting legacy.

This is a man who even though it seems like he's been around forever has plenty of years and decades left to craft not only his own career, but the success stories of millions of other on just his inspiration itself, yet alone his production company's anti-corporate promise. Still, working like there's no James Franco tomorrow the man is giving us the Jimmy Dean approach with a new flipped script twist, work fast, become legendary young. This is the boy wonder who last year gave life to the end of 'The Dark Knight Rises' (just look at how he acts with his life on the line) and possibly a spin-off to a franchise that had to finish as strong as possible after the groundbreaking but heartbreaking performance of the late, great Heath Ledger as the redefined Joker villain. With his beat cop John Blake assisting Christian Bale's legendary dark Batman, you had to wait until the end-after he throws his badge away brilliantly-and hear this kids real name to see just how close to the caped crusader this perfect partner was. In an 'Inception' cast-loaded film that featured everyone in Christopher Nolan's mind-bending epic but the one-time Riddler rumored Leonardo DiCaprio, Joe stole the show and kept it going alongside Tom Hardy's brutal Bane. Just like he did in his smartly dressed, slicked back, inspired fashion and acting statement in the previous futuristic thriller that really was the true inception of his mainstream rebirth with it's gravity defying, grandiose defining, hand-to-hand action combat sequences. Now just like Hardy he is the present and future of every other major film. From 'Lawless' to 'Looper', last year Tom and Joey played cat and mouse games with everybody. In 'Looper' Gordon-Levitt really cut the cheese as prosthetics and his accented chameleonic portrayal made him able to play a young Bruce Willis in his own character and mans right. Another classic time-travel movie took it to a whole other science-fiction level and gave Levitt more swagger and cool-points than that brown leather and blunderbuss. Right now no one can close this boys loop.

He's been shooting straight his whole career. From his Jewish, Sherman Oaks beginnings to making it in America's Hollywood homeland. In L.A. his acting gigs began earlier than the '3rd Rock', with his own scarecrow take of 'The Wizard Of Oz' and some commercial success for Cocoa Puffs and Pop Tarts among others. After eating all that breakfast it was time to make a meal out of some television work from 'Dark Shadows' to the illumination John Lithgow led sitcom that would never alienate him front the big-time despite him finding the celebrity life uncomfortable. Yesteryear's 'Big Bang Theory' meets 'How I Met Your Mother' displayed comic timing and a face of the future that even Harry could see. Like the Hendersons this was a family comedy for the new ages. A year before the new millennium Joseph hit the movie circuit with a new teenage classic for the young crowd alongside fellow sci-fi, T.V. comedy darling Larisa Oleynik (of 'The Secret World Of Alex Mack' fame...remember?), Julia Stiles and the beginning of Heath Ledger's beautiful but brutally brief career in '10 Things I Hate About You'. A far cry from his 'Halloween', 'Beethoven', or even 'A River Runs Through It' beginnings, this cult, locker pin-up classic flipped the play-write playbook on Shakespeare's 'The Taming Of The Shrew'. After a college break and then a dropout return, Gordon-Levitt looked to get deeper and darker and bolder and better as he took on real roles like the mental institution of 'Manic' or the 'Mysterious Skin' of a gay prostitute who had a darker past than his bleak present.

These haunting and harrowing performances of real complexity, along with the film-noir of 'Brick' or the sexually repressed Mormon themes of 'Latter Days' are resume reasons why this man is black and white perfect for the the eagerly anticipated and long awaited 'Sin City-A Dame To Kill For' sequel. This comic book star is more than just art house or fan girl approved, he's everybody's favorite "new" actor with an old testimony of terrific scripts, where he's turned word to gospel like the kid everyone looks up to in school. He takes everyone to class with his charm, but it's the soul of his performances that could even turn the controversial to instrumental from the heart to the gut. 'The Lookout' bank heist played into more critical and fans hands as did his performance in another cult go-round in 'Killshot'. It's in recent years that he's really come into his own however like most men leaving their twenties for their more secure and settled 30's (see; Gosling, Ryan, Reynolds, same name). Now with a body of work behind him he's a young legend with an old career of catalog hits, sort of like the movie equivalent of singer/songwriter Ryan Adams with subtle indie smashes that strike to the heart of those really listening and paying attention. There's so many films in his career like this, but the golden kid really hit platinum with a modern day rom-com drama for this generation which struck the biggest hearts since '10 Things'. As iconic as the t-shirt wearing poster on every girls dorm room door, Joseph Gordon-Levitt set classic chemistry with new Hollywood 'it' girl Zooey Deschanel in '(500) Days Of Summer'.

You can put that up there with the best of the rest even if you want to leave 'G.I Joe' on the shelf like toy soldier of the time Channing Tatum now has. There has to be some '50/50' in an experimental career that has seen some powerful performing arts of promise like his cancer-stricken character alongside comedic Seth Rogen. Over the last year Robin has gone to war with General Zod in the epic bike-ride across New York in 'Premium Rush' alongside Michael Shannon and played the Presidents son in Speilberg's epic take on 'Lincoln' for an underused but unquestionable contribution. The rest of this year and what follows could look even better for a man who has more comic books to read than just Batman and 'Sin City'. Right now, alongside fellow T.V. funny man turned peoples favorite actor Paul Rudd, Joe Levitt is in the running for the role of Marvel's legendary Ant-Man role. Who knows who will blow-up and who will shrink when it comes to this role because either or would bring their own dynamic and distinct take on the original Avenger leaf carrier. In this ever expanding Marvel universe there's surely room for a man that even convinced Nolan that his dark knight didn't have to be a one man show. Still, whether his multi-facial and faceted career will don another mask is yet to be decided. Right now it's on Jon and everyone else as hitRECord and it's lead man 'Don Jon' are about to win over everyone's hearts and creative minds. If you could script it better than this Joe would probably read it and if you're still not convinced by the man with a great hit career for the record maybe it's time to press play. This dons the one and his names Joe.