Wednesday, 19 February 2014



Toy Story.

100 Minutes. Starring: Chris Pratt, Will Ferrell, Elizabeth Banks, Will Arnett, Nick Offerman, Alison Brie, Charlie Day, Liam Neeson & Morgan Freeman. Director: Phil Lord & Chris Miller.

SURPRISE! That movie with Superman and Batman that you've been waiting for ever since that 'I Am Legend' poster and that announcement is out NOW! Except here to the joy of some on this internet Bats is no longer being played by Ben Affleck, but Will Arnett of all people and to go with that high-school girls favourite Channing Tatum is taking Supermans cape. Wonder Woman and the Green Lantern are in it too. As are-believe it or not-Han Solo and C3P0 and erm...some NBA players, the legend of Ron Burgundy and even William Shakespeare and Abraham Lincoln for crying out loud. You must be dreaming right? No, but this is kind of trippy...especially in 3.D. This is the ultimate movie mash-up since the Avengers assembled (it'd be perfect here to see them alongside D.C. characters, but they cant get their own Spiderman, Wolverine rights together) and this is something you've truly never seen before. This is the best thing to happen to your childhood and your kids toys coming to life since Woody and Buzz's 'Toy Story' birthed a new generation of C.G. films that look great for kids and make laughs for parents. A digital age of greats like the 'Shrek', 'Monsters Inc' and 'Despicable Me' series'. Fresh off the princesses' of 'Frozen's icing over of the winter box-office and just in time for the kids holidays comes a true 'blocks'-buster in 'The Lego Movie' that's so funny it'll leave you in bits and pieces. With plenty of die-hard collectors in-jokes and generation lessons learnt (I thought school was out) to keep you playing and piecing together those old blocks. The only people who'll be left upset here are Playmobile.

Under construction this film sticks to the instructions and gives us a hallmark coming-of-age kids story seen by the charcaters they and generations before have adored. It's crazy to believe that the legendary Danish company 'Lego' has produced more Lego men than there are actually people populating this earth. Crazy isn't it? Now that's true world domination. That's not even counting the bricks. You could build even more houses and cities for people with all those left over pieces. Lego can count on even more fans and sales joining this yellow brick road after this one however as this movie looks set to unite old fans and new alike. The building blocks of this epic kids movie see a construction worker called Emmett (played nicely by 'Parks & Recreation' and 'Moneyball's Chris Pratt, who you can see in the last best film to capture kids vivid imaginations upcoming sequel 'Jurassic World') learn that he's no ordinary guy, but in fact the "chosen one" like 'The Matrix's' Neo. His Trinity comes in the form of the Wyldstyle pink and blue hair, with a shade of cool black attired Elizabeth Banks who adds a great voice credit to her growing career resume. With great chemistry between the two leading pieces, even with Lego's limited facial expressions we have something truly special here and the makings of some popular new characters and film series. You can expect these two new additions to the brick house being amongst the top-sellers in the classic Lego world and under this years Christmas tree.

The same goes for Morgan Freeman's 'Almighty' God-like wizard Vitruvius who the legend lends his trademark documentary ready voice to, giving one of his funniest and best studio-soundbites to the booth of his baritone work. The devilishly evil Lord Business and his Bricksburg building stilt legs and fire horns make for the perfect villain as does the voice of formidable funnyman Will Ferrell. Fresh off his continuing comedy legend in 'Anchorman 2' and with a trident throw to his devil sketch 'Saturday Night Live' days, Ferrell adds more than just his blockbuster name, but his hilarious talking tricks of the tickling trade too. If that wasn't enough the man that's in everything Liam Neeson, plays a good cop and a bad cop and his father perfectly hilariously. Showing both sides of the 'Exorcist' swiveling head personality and the rib-rubbing range of his Irish accent to a tee-hee-he. Will Arnett's classic, black Bat, Bale gruff voiced impression is hilarious too for the most hilarious Batman since George Clooney, while Charlie Day's crazy classic voice is perfect for that 1980s space astronaut guy we all will be for once proudly old enough to admit we remember. Add new comedy great Nick Offerman's blundering 'Bionicle' like pirate to this Carribean and Alsion Brie's unicorn/anime hybrid for fictional fans all over the world and you have truly the most random toy chest of figures that you'll love to play with thanks to the true master builders of directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller.

If you're screaming "MOM, DAD, I WANT MORE!" Then you've got it. Thanks to the hilarious '21 Jump Street' pairing of Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill fitting together some hilarious Superman and Green Lantern cameos (if only we could see Aquaman too) before their '22 Jump' sequel. After all the Jaimie Alexander/Gal Gadot hype Cobie Smulders is Wonder Woman, as the S.H.I.E.L.D. 'Avengers' agent is the latest Affleck 'Daredevil' superstar to switch superheroes and comic companies. Add some 'real' cameos and even some fellow animated 'Robot Chicken' ones to 'Magubers' Will Forte's Lincoln going for Daniel Day-Lewis Oscar, these pieces of great are all classic all the way down to the casting of Dave Franco for theis all-brick all-star affair. Speaking of which NBA fans will actually be pleased to see the 'Steel', Los Angeles Lakers superstar Shaquille O'Neal back in movies. KAZAAM! This is just how clever and crafted this movie is. With Lego versions of your favourite adverts, movie-posters and much more themed, hyped build-up before too this Legoland is a perfect set-up event for these small-parts on the big-screen. Sarcasm, satire and seriously funny one-liners are on the manual for adults while a bricks and more bricks spectacle of building action set-pieces and dimensonal effects will keep the kids locked into their seats. So STOP! This colourful, pop-culture animation is amazing and as collectible rememberable in all these popular kids movies like the annoyingly catchy theme song. 'Everything Is Awesome' indeed, now...'Where Are My Pants'? TIM DAVID HARVEY.

Tuesday, 18 February 2014



The War Of Art.

118 Minutes: Starring: George Clooney, Matt Damon, Bill Murray, John Goodman, Jean Dujardin, Bob Balaban, Hugh Bonneville, Dimitri Leonidas, & Cate Blanchett. Director: George Clooney.

Oceans 2014, circa 1943. We've traded enough war stories over the years already without talking about art. So after taking the house in Las Vegas it's time for George Clooney and Matt Damon to team up once again-minus Brad Pitt and a few more 'Oceans'-and give something back. Still, don't expect these two who are as thick as thieves to not have some sticky hands on deck. Playing 'Robin Hood' they're tasked with stealing the art that Hitler and the Nazi's stole from the gallery culture rich European countries they invaded and occupied in World War II before returning them to their rightful owners. The 'Three Kings' Gulf veteran has a few more aces up his sleeve with two of the best tricks of the trade in legends Bill Murray and John Goodman, along with a french 'Artist', a 'Good German', some old friends and one monumental cast-list that makes this no old 'Dads Army' but a saving of the private collection of the greats from Da Vinci to Picasso. Who do you think you are kidding Mr. Hitler, based on the 'The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History' book by Robert M. Edsel this is a 'Memphis Belle' of more simple, sweet and sincere films of a dark, dangerous and disturbing time with hallmark heart, wonderful warmth and even some divine comedy.

After his modern warfare call of duty team-up with Matt Damon in 'Syriana' and the aforementioned war faring films, Clooney is truly a veteran in this game. The modern day Cary Grant-who began his internship in the great American drama television series that started the great American drama televison series' trend 'E.R.'-has many leading man classics people forget even recently from 'Up In The Air' to 'The American', 'Michael Clayton' to 'The Ides Of March' and 'The Descendants' to of course the great and grand, Oscar bound 'Gravity'. As a director the likes of the historical television texture of the nostalgic newsroom 'Good Night And Good Luck' and the good ole days feel of the quaint and quirky 'Leatherheads' joins his epic acting and production credits to form a formidable filmography. He takes it back once again with the straight-forward, back-to-basics brilliant shooting of this film of it's time that feels of its type. Incredible direction is met in the middle by an even more inspired way to lead in more ways than one. Subtlety but strongly Clooney arms himself with a moustache and trademark mannerisms and gives one of the best performances of his career that will be remembered like it's 60 years in the making story decades later as an old classic of this legends lasting legacy.

His top recruit 'Private Ryan' is building quite the career catalogue too. One of Hollywood's most marketable men is also one of its most underrated and versatile. If you disagree just check out 'Bourne' and 'Good Will Hunting' star Matt Damon's call to arms in movies like western classic remake of a classic 'True Grit' and one of last years best and legendary underground blockbusters 'Elysium'. From 'The Talented Mr. Ripley' to 'The Adjusment Bureau' and 'The Departed' to 'Invictus' this leading, leading man has more classic credits to his Hollywood bright lights name than most critics would care to think to write. 'Contagion', 'We Bought A Zoo', 'Behind the Candelabra' and Christopher Nolan's forthcoming 'Interstellar' will beg to differ. Here from army fatigues to a badge of medals suit of honour, Damon has never looked better. From Paris to the front-line you can count on some scenes being the picture perfect look for his career resume portfolio and as for the inside job behind the look, it's more than just a great act. Just like Clooney and of course their friend Brad Pitt, Damon is still as strangely underrated as he is greatly the makings of something legendary. Perhaps its just the way of the modern day but in this war drama there are some real screen soldiers to see in a casting call as epic as the task in picture. These days actresses don't get their just deserves or awards until they reach Helen Mirren and Judi Dench status and age, but you best believe that Bafta winner and best tribute speech to Phillip Seymour Hoffman Cate Blanchett is quite possibly the best their is. Fresh off her Oscar ready 'Blue Jasmine' and previous wars fought with Clooney the chameleon, Australian actress shows she can play any age and stage.

Meanwhile Oscar winning artist, Jean Dujardin comes off his 'The Wolf Of Wall Street' inspired investment to show his charismatic and charming acting is more than just a one off French fancy. With 'Grandads Army' old vet Bob Balaban looking a little 'Fievel Goes West' and young in revolt newcomer Dimitri Leonidas showing both sides of the shiniest casting coin this battalion is brilliant all the way down to the scene and moving moment stealing British intelligence of the lord of 'Downton Abbey' Hugh Bonneville. All these greats and we still have two of the most popular and sought after in Hollywood cult circles in John Goodman and Bill Murray. The man that's in everything lately and the one who isn't in anything unless its 'Lost In Translation' classic or quirky show with every scene just what makes them, the movies and the people that love both of them tick. There's just so much about this film that it has the makings of something of momentous proportions in its sincerely sympathetic but hard handled historical storytelling. From bar-room recruiting banter and bumming cigarettes for health or harm to Christmas messages and real fatherly ones their is magic that moves in these 'Monuments' that you don't have to sculpt hard at to see how they're painted. As this 'Band Of Brothers' land on a eerie calmer Normandy shore that once was the wasteland of the bloodiest and brutal shooting gallery battle that today is horrifically witnessed as history on 'Saving Private Ryan' the moment is a message for not only the end of the war but the fact there was more to it. Like there is more to this film then getting its meaningful message of past peril to present promise across more subtly and sincerely than just using bullets, blood and bodies. Now in the name of Madonna, Michaelangelo and remembering Rembrandt remnants for a salute from the cinemas canvas that is truly art. TIM DAVID HARVEY.

Thursday, 13 February 2014



Dallas Mavericks.

116 Minutes. Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Jared Leto & Jennifer Garner. Director: Jean-Marc Vallée.

Who shot D.B.C.? A French, Canadian, 'C.R.A.Z.Y.' director called Jean-Marc Vallée whose about to find a lasting home in Hollywood with this Texas range rodeo through the lone state. The real question however is just who the hell does Matthew McConaughey (or musician Jared Leto for that matter) think he is? 'The Lincoln Lawyer'? 'Killer Joe'? He's certainly not a guy living in the 'Ghosts Of Girlfriends Past' skeleton in the romantic comedies haunted closet past even if Jennifer Garner is back with him. Who is this guy? Is he a cameo making mentor of Leonardo DiCaprio's 'The Wolf Of Wall Street'? Or even a serious 'True Detective' alongside Woody Harrelson? Here however he seems to be a Southern drawled and drawn out cowboy who suffers from AIDS, shifting Christian Bale 'Machinist' weight at an opposite 'Raging Bull' rate to trade his trademark muscles for a moustache and career rookie mistakes for a veteran seasoned Oscar. Gaunt but great, bold, brutal and yet beautiful, this is brilliant. Turning a $5 million budgeted film to 23 mill and counting at the box-office, all the while selling pharmaceutical intervention memberships to the hospital checked out needy like a Western 'Robin Hood' from his seedy, budget American motel room, McConaughey has us all-including the Academy-sold.

From the literal bull-riding beginnings this is McConaughey's rodeo. It's not just the skin-crawling capturing that is the body of this now chameleon, adapting actors work. As serious as his thinned down devotion to project is-both acting and health wise-the skinny on this guy is that he literally acts with everything he's got. Even with a beaute of a music-to-the-ears baritone as identifying as Morgan Freeman's this guys Southern drawl can be drawn across many distinct depictions. As far as the country sized state of Texas extends so does his range. Now beneath the voice and the tip of the stetson you can hardly recognise this actor especially from the one from the 'Girlfriends Past'. When 'The Lincoln Lawyer' brought McConaughey back to the case files of his classic 'A Time To Kill' and 'Amistad' beginnings, the actor got more daring and risque with the likes of 'Magic Mike' and 'Killer Joe' showing he's no chicken. Now however he's showing us this is his year before some have even taken down the Christmas tree. First was his chest thumping, cocaine pumping award creating worthy cameo in DiCaprio and Scorsese's 'The Wolf Of Wall Street' and then the breaking great, television game changer of 'True Detective' that sees him play young and old with a touch of darkness and acting craft class. The new slimline figure that you see in both these films however belongs to what may just be his Oscar gold, 'Dallas Buyers Club'.

In the first-film since 'Philadelphia' to take HIV and AIDS and societies lesions of ignorance to task like Basketball legend Magic Johnson did in real-life (this star subject could form a trilogy of films of this nature if someone makes a play), McConaughey isn't the only hero making marks on both trophies and thought with powerful provocation. The new Hanks/Washington one, two punch, powerhouse combo belongs to the guy with the banjo and a rock star as Jared Leto sheds some serious Tom Hanks weight close to Matthews 50 pounds. With dedication to their story and subject and little regard for their health (remember Hanks diabetes was claimed to be caused by epic-weight shifts for his roles from 'Philadelphia' to 'Cast Away') you haven't even seen physical and mental dedication to roles like this for a long time...and we've just witnessed one of the best all-time in '12 Years A Slave'. 30 seconds from more than a 15 minutes of movie fame, the Mars singer Leto can count on the best supporting actor gong, even if some joke it should be an actress one. The pin-up that girls deem 'beautiful' makes for a Budweiser-goggles, good-looking woman at times with numerous looks...check your black book you've probably dated worse. Still the cross-dressing Leto crosses back over from singing to acting (remember him getting it handed to him in 'Fight Club' and 'American Psycho') and proves its more than just his off-screen, or on-screen looks. There's Academy acclaimed acting of artistic integrity and inspiration here darling. Let's hope on the next tour Jared reads some more scripts as well as writing songs, because he really is a true actor by the very method.

Still in Dallas its not just all about the man with the moustache and the one who desperately doesn't want to grow one. Jennifer Garner joins the club too and 'Elecktra' must have been really listening as well as crying to her 'Daredevil' husband Ben Afflecks' 'Argo' acceptance speech at the Oscars too. "You never give up", (that should be this film and its stars motto) he said and far from '13 Going On 30' the beautifully talented actress is back with a 'Draft Day' workload of films for 2014 showing she's keeping busy while Affleck takes on Batman's cowl and the superhero fan-hating internet. Our only worry is, do these guys have a babysitter? A supporting, critical worthy performance as a beyond the bedside doctor with an orderly chemistry with experienced partner McConaughey, Garner brings no doubt. She's the medicine woman behind this method of health service that takes the FDA, the turbulent times of the 80's and a crossed off month death sentence to a war of the wallets, courts, hearts and souls. On the road to the highs and lows of life's twists and turns from the dash we see McConaughey go from sweating and crying hysterically with a pistol riding shotgun to returning, slicked back with Ray Ban's on and real heat in his trunk, looking cool and collected on the same trip. It's all about a metaphor of how quickly life can turn with a shift of gear or a fork in the road. One minute your being told you've got days to live and the next your putting years in to make sure other don't go through the same fate that you want to twist. Ringing in the critics ears in more ways than one, in a world where a homophobic man and a transgender one can go into business for more than just money, that's when you know a singer and a 'Sahara' star (fellow film friend Steve Zahn and the appropriately named Dallas Roberts are here too) can win Oscars. Now these are true Dallas Cowboys. TIM DAVID HARVEY.



A Long Write To Freedom.

The Academy Awards are about to polish off their Oscars for director Steve McQueen and his cast and crew of '12 Years A Slave', last years classic film and arguably one of the greatest movies of its moment and all-time. Great in a 'Schindlers List' necessary educational way. A film that you can't call enjoyable but one that you need to see to really take a trip through histories harrowing moments, so we can all learn from it. It's the kind of film they could show in school...when the times right. In looking for a subject to write about a movie on slavery, McQueen's wife found 'Twelve Years A Slave', the 'Narrative of Solomon Northup, citizen of New-York, kidnapped in Washington city in 1841, and rescued in 1853, from a cotton plantation near the Red River in Louisiana'. This is history that is recognised today in all it's previous past over value that will last for generations and centuries to come in the future. Just like '12 Years' is a movie we all need to watch, 'Twelve Years' is a book we all need and with a beautiful wrote foreword in a book that now sees the light of every major bookstore, McQueen with this-and his film-wants to give Northup the attention and the appreciation he deserves. As one of the most inspiring figures of freedom for all, in all time.

Martin Luther King Jnr, Nelson Mandela and now Solomon. Some of the greatest men in history have been honoured the right way at the beginning of this year and they should be remembered throughout still. After Idris Elba portrayed the great Madiba in the 'Mandela-Long Walk To Freedom' movie based on the autobiography of the same name, Chiwetel Ejiofor portrayed Solomon perfectly based on his moving memoirs. The film that kept the script by the book did more than just justice to this man and now his story can be seen around the world for everybody to hear. Now, however it's only right we read all about it and pay due respect to the man that's inspired an iconic movie, because after all it's his movie. It's time to see all about the real story from the horses mouth. Additional detal of harrowing accounts like how if a slave picked less cotton than the day before they would be lashed, whilst if they picked even more they'd be expected to match that quota with the following days work. The story of how a freeman was-with horrific cruelty-kidnapped and sold into slavery, where he was brutally humiliated and beaten into the sickest submission before he found his lasting emancipation over a decade later. After 'Uncle Tom's Cabin' on slavery came Northup's novel addition to the bookshelf and library of life history.

More than a great film acting like a documentary, moving you to tears of heartbreak, its so harrowing to actually see it all there in black and white. Accompanied with small sketches and wrote in the old style of its time, we still can feel every emotion and occurrence of Solomon's sharing. An accomplished writer (who for over a decade of his life couldn't even obtain a quill, ink or parchment) with the help of editor David Wilson, despite the abhorrent subject matter Northup writes beautifully, with magical metaphors matching dark descriptions. This is a freedom song of triumph over trial that feels like a religious reading in it's hope for finding something more holy in this life then the work of a devil. From the good of his fellow slaves, to one 'believe it or see it' kind slave master (William Ford played by Benedict Cumberbatch in the movie) and some notes on the violin there are some beautiful moments captured here with reverence like the landscape of his living that hides the real horror haunting beneath. From it's New York birth beginnings to his kidnapping in Washington that took him to the cotton fields and plantations of Louisiana, this is a real account of what America was like when these States really weren't United and there was no American dream. From whippings to beatings, this is the dark side of humanity that needs more light shed on it so we can see just how bad it is and see that discrimination-in even the smallest ways-is wrong in these modern days where racism is still alive but in a more casually, caustic cruel way that is obnoxiously overlooked.

If you think this movie is "great" then you should really learn from Solomon Northups words. Way back in 1853-truly a different time-this book sold 30,000 copies and was considered a bestseller. Now you can expect it to be read into the millions like a Hemingway or Harper Lee vintage classic. Believe that this book about freedom from inequality is just as important as the time and tide classic of one of the greatest selling and acclaimed novels of all-time, 'To Kill A Mockingbird'. Reading both to begin this year,( 'Mockingbird' being read after watching the movie and before reading this book), I can tell you that nothing draws you in to every word, proclamation and utterance then Solomon's writing. As raw and real as it gets this unflinching, unforgettable memoir will stay with you like that lump in your throat you haven't been able to get rid of since Brad Pitt's production team brought the story to worldwide viewing in the cinema. One day the film will be in every home either via DVD or regular television scheduling and the book should be too. It's just that necessary an education. These 200 pages are more than just a coffee table read their an inspirational scribe of struggle and survival that will stay with you no matter how quickly you read it like 'The Old Man And The Sea'. Still with this book the coldest shiver will run down your spine as you run down its. After 100 years of fading into obscurity this book now deserves more than just a legendary movie. Its legacy deserves our time. As the adaptation of his story survives, 100 years later Solomon Northup and his message for the people are free again. TIM DAVID HARVEY.

Wednesday, 12 February 2014


No time to read a full review in this digital age? Here's another new mini, popcorn bite-sized review for your fill.

What do you get if you take Robert De Niro, Michael Douglas, Kevin Kline and Morgan Freeman to Las Vegas? No not 'Geriatric Hangover' but the pun-perfect 'Last Vegas' in each joke pitched and played in this Sin City winner. The gangster, Wall Street trader, runaway groom and the voice are all legends in their own right but here they combine to give the out of this world 'Space Cowboys' and leather strong 'Wild Hogs' a run for their Eastwood, Tommy Lee Jones, Travolta and Tim Allen old buddy-comedy chips. With some unforgettable hilarious moments and unbeatable warm fun, family feeling film fondness this is your DVD favourite for the future that shows these old legends can still rock like the Rolling Stones. Crashing 50 Cent's party and featuring a member of LMFAO literally in the legendary gangster De Niro's face too they show there's still ice in this old scotch. It's a celebration! Cheers to them! TIM DAVID HARVEY.


No time to read a full review in this digital age? Here's another new mini, popcorn bite-sized review for your fill.

If the cold does bother you anyway then maybe it's time to get out of the great depression Winter outdoors and inside to some real family fun. Come witness the real polar vortex in Disney's latest smash that takes over the 'Despicable Me' sequel to be the next C.G. kids film to run in cinemas longer than most big, adult blockbusters bringing in the millions and minions. Following the hairspray success of 'Tangled' Disney keeps it up with 'Frozen' , a coming of age story of two sisters and the kingdom they inherit. With a palace that could rival the hallmark opening Disneyworld intro and a true ice queen it's clear there's more to this Mickey Mouse tale then Prince Charming's and damsels in distress. With classic Disney telling with a modern twist and a snowman that could take 'Shrek's Donkey's carrot it's time to get out the cold, chill and see a real touch of frost. Now tell me, do you want to build a snowman? TIM DAVID HARVEY.

Tuesday, 4 February 2014



The Sum Of All Ryans.

105 Minutes. Starring: Chris Pine, Kevin Costner, Keira Knightley & Kenneth Branagh. Director: Kenneth Branagh.

The hunt for the new Jack Ryan takes us boldly to where Captain Kirk has been before. After Alec Baldwin's 'The Hunt For The Red October' and Ben Affleck's 'The Sum Of All Fears' book-ended Harrison Ford's two terrific thrillers ('Patriot Games' and 'Clear and Present Danger') decades later a new agent is required in this Bond like all-star, A-list carousel of leading men. After Baldwin's brilliant beginnings and the fantastic Mr. Ford's third franchise powerhouse after 'Star Wars' and 'Indiana Jones', Affleck took power with Morgan Freeman's James Earl Jones by his side (yep that's right Han Solo and Vader united to fight the dark side back in the day). Those who wanted to show Ben some Batman like hate need to see just how good he actually was and will be as the crime fighter Bruce Wayne too. Still, in the age of reboots a new Jack is needed and who better then the man who captains the U.S.S Enterprise of the rebooted, formidable 'Star Trek' franchise? Right now Chris Pine's star power is 'Unstoppable' and he's even had some previous hilarious spy experience alongside Tom Hardy. 'This Means War'.

Still you can't say the name Jack Ryan without the name Tom Clancy. We lost a wonderful writer last year in the late legend who is known somewhat to this generation as a 'Splinter Cell' video game writer. Still, its his epic Jack Ryan series of law-book sized stories that see his Ryan go from the movie-world to even the Oval Office, becoming President in the before its time 'Executive Decision' (a nice nod in this film to that too). The latest 'Command Authority' is still on the bestsellers list too in the wake of Clancy's passing. The man has created quite a character and James Bond/Jason Bourne like series of books that should see Pine and others play these out in even more movies and decades to come. That's just the Ian Fleming, Robert Ludlum effect Tom has had with his body of work and the lasting legacy he leaves behind for the future. This is for him and Chris Pine and his new team pay perfect tribute with all due respect in an old-school, meat and potatoes 90's style thriller that has nods to both the latest revamped 'Bourne' film and the very first, truest spy saga in the Tom Cruise 'Mission Impossible' series. From Manhatten, New York to Russia's Kremlin this is worlds apart.

Pine is perfect as Ryan, with that Kirk charisma and Spock like integrity he's learned a lot from his time at the helm of out of space. Now in a whole other world entirely of espionage and phases of power, the latest DiCaprio, Pitt, Gosling, ladies man turned top leading man steps his game up even more and gives himself a second go to franchise like those Downey Jnr types and Harrison Ford before him. It's only going to get better for one of Hollywood's hottest properties, although he needs to work on his famous punch face. With the 'Untouchable' legend Kevin Costner providing the perfect Ford era mentoring as 'The Guardian' too when Pine is out his depths, from the park bench to the sniper scope you know this film is in perfect, legendary hands. Plus with his 'Draft Day' and a further '3 Days To Kill' (even if this film looks more unsettling then when he distilled and drank his own piss in 'Waterworld') this just might be the great Costner's year that puts him back on the radar. Add some a great support team and Keira Knightly standing by Pine's Ryan's side with more convincing acting and an American accent, we have a set up here that could take us through and past the modern-days usual standard trilogy set. With a box set ready future that could go next to the volumes on the book shelf our writer would and will be proud.

Clancy always knew that there was a lot going on in this world in a political and powerful way you could see it over the years and the films that predicated that. Now a new non-Clancy story inspired by his classic character, 'Jack Ryan-Shadow Recruit' illuminates those themes today taking corruption, terrorism and the recession to tough task in a paranoia induced thriller that's as real as it gets. That's why with a few bullets and a lot more tense talking shots this film can be exciting to great effect even without using much C.G. It's refreshing in this digital, blow everything up Bay age that we have an action film that's as gripping ad it's contemporaries while still feeling like a genre hallmark classic. It's all directed perfectly too by theatrical legend Kenneth Branagh who also plays himself perfectly as this films Russian villain with Bond like boldness. The man who gave the first terrific 'Thor' film it's shocking and surprisingly sensational thunderbolt to the Marvel Avenger franchise strikes twice here with this amazing agent that's a sleeper hit for Hollywood. A slow burner with a fast-paced fiery climax this hands on film has struggling combat fights realer than Bourne and levels of threat that would put 007's greatest adversary to shame. Sure the Jack of all spy trades may always come after James and Jason but right now Ryan is back and saving the world again when we don't even know it. Doing it by the book too what greater way to service and honour Tom Clancy in this clear and present day. TIM DAVID HARVEY.

Monday, 3 February 2014


Texan Range.


"Hmm, hmm". Catch the comfort of the hottest actor from the South right now and you may find the charismatic and charming actor of conflicted and courageous roles of great conviction in a number of places. "Hmm, hmm". You may find him beating his chest over a cameo lunch date with Leonardo DiCaprio, (F.Y.I. that improvised scene beats from what Matt does all the time before scenes to centre and motivate himself (Leo loved it (asked for him to do it in the scene) and so do we)) discussing topics ranging and raging from money to masturbation. "Hmm, hmm". Or you may find him making sweet and sober-ish acceptance speeches to his wife for awards that his cabinet is going to have to make even more room for. "Hmm, hmm". Or you may find him long hair, trucker steering a handle bar moustache and weary worn wrinkles that draw out the dark depths of the case he's making out to interviewing detectives over two cans from a six pack of alcohol abuse and things of that substance. "Hmm, hmm". This is today's Matthew McConaughey, in just a couple of years and a mountain of critical and billboard climbing movies, hands down one of the best actors in the biz. "Hmm, hmm". 44 and going nowhere. 'How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days' hmm? You can't even kill this character in 30 days!

Not that was anything particularly wrong with the romantic comedies and 'Sahara' type films that where his bread and butter in the first decade of the new millennium but they weren't exactly the prolific legal proceedings of his incredible court vision in the racially charged 'A Time To Kill' and Spielberg historically one 'Amistad'. These where the making of the young man from Texas who started his draw with that distinctive drawl in '91. Despite not sinking in 'U-571' and showing some 'Truman Show' vision in 'EDtv', the 'Ghosts Of (Rom-Com) Past' that haunted the depths of his character creation gave his 30-something part of his career a 'Failure To Launch' that Sarah Jessica Parker or 'The Wedding Planner' couldn't save. A career that now see's him sitting at tables with some of the greatest directors of all-time and pop culture symbols from the modern music mainstream. Some said this man-child still living with his parents in one movie needed to grow up. Others pointed guilty fingers despite magic moments like filling in for a similar down but by no means out Owen Wilson for Ben Stiller's 'Tropic Thunder' comedy battalion. Even with that critical injustice it was clear we had to take it back to court.

Now you may want to sue whichever casting director crossed out the name McConaughey. You better be able to spell it right now, because its going to be engraved on a lot of gold, whether Golden again or maybe even Academy. Yep that's right, that 'Surfer, Dude' from 'Fools Gold' who likes to take his shirt off better keep it on for his speech...unless impersonator Matt Damon's presenting the award. It was 'The Lincoln Lawyer' that passed the bar and made the case for Matthew in a jury of his professional peers. Arguably the saving grace and best, most critical movie and moment of his career, the movie based on legendary L.A. Writer Michael Connelly's novel narrative came out of nowhere and just two, long, script lonely years after Matt was jumping through jilted brides at the alter. With a great cast of Ryan Phillipe, William H. Macy, Marisa Tomei, John Leguizamo and Bryan Cranston it was McConaughey who broke good with new ground, returning to the career making courtroom of John Grisham's 'A Time To Kill' albeit one that legally operated out of a Lincoln town car. This drive around the cool California and sunny, soul soundtrack of Los Angeles put this star back on the map and with the writer/muse talking in an interview about returning to the character (Connelly has just released yet another Lincoln novel) who knows and everyone hopes we just may see more in what could turn into a novel franchise. Sure it's not 'Sherlock' or 'Bond' but it's an American lawman who could take over James Patterson's Alex Cross. Along came a lawyer.

Following his briefcase success, McConaughey opened up his character acting and his equally good supporting performances to his leading man world in Jack Black's beautifully sweet comedy 'Bernie'. Making a name for himself further in billboards Matthew assisted Zac Efron and Nicole Kidman's piss in the wind 'The Paperboy' with a scarred performance to remember. This came after he exposed (quite literally) himself to the female audience that loved his romantic side in Channing Tatum's male striptease 'Magic Mike'. A film even fellas could-if they would be so shamed-admit was enjoyable too. As every woman was amazed how this former naked banjo player still had the muscle to play, every man in the gym wanted to imitate that velvet voice of his too. It was the dirty work of diligent desperation and the clawing away of survival in the magnificent 'Mud' that confirmed this actor had given the ghost of his romantic comedy past a clean slate. He could do anything he wanted now and get away with it...especially if it was a good film. I defy you to watch 'Killer Joe' and not see some brilliance behind all that bleak brutality, but I also urge you to never go to KFC again after watching quite literally the worst of what this guy can get away with.

The indie awards that has stacked up over these nominating three years or so are about to joined by the big boys as the latest Oscar buzz see's 'Dallas Buyers Club' having the collective sold. Not only is 30 Seconds To Mars superstar singer Jared Leto of all people (you won't say that once you've watched and witnessed) expected to take home the 'Best Supporting Actor' (or should we say actress?!) Gold, Matthew McConaughey's scrawny and skinned down performance of his moustache replacing muscle is expected to be the tip of the stetson of his now classic career that see's his Golden Globe Award turn into some mid February love at the flashbulb moments of the Kodak Theatre. If he did meet Oscar this month he'd take him from under the nose of the man he mentored in character for DiCaprio and Scorsese's latest and greatest De Niro chasing classic collaboration 'The Wolf Of Wall Street'. In one course of lunch and cocaine McConaughey makes the argument for the cameo category being added to the Oscar circuit because it's more than just a trailer tease of a quick draw from the slow drawl. It's a fantastic and formidable, funny and founding scene from the tanned and slimmed down to the pinstripes of his suit man that's anything but fugazi or fairy dust. The 'Wolf' whistles are following Matthew now and if that wasn't enough, speaking of DiCaprio the next 'Inception' of 'Dark Knight' director Christopher Nolan's career 'Interstellar' sees McConaughey's next movie shrouded in secrecy but wrapped in wonder. Matter of fact we know this science fiction is going to be on another planet and on a whole other time zone.

Still, how can the silver screen and silver linings of the playbook of the best career turn around arguably of all-time, a classic cameo moment and possible Oscar to start the year be overshadowed by the small screen of a household T.V? Well if that is a question then you've obviously not seen 'True Detective'. What some thought was a movie because of the billboard character calibre is acutally a show that will show HBO that this really isn't just actually T.V. With everyone talking about 'Breaking Bad' and 'House Of Cards' like it was the new 'Mad Men' and 'Sopranos' over the last few years its time to investigate the inspired dark depths of detective work that's every beat cop fans coffee awoken dream drama. Set over eight episodes and with different characters in each season this could be McConaughey and fellow distinctive drawl/redemptive young veteran actor of versatile complexity Woody Harrelson's (believe me with the drawn dialogue in this one this mystery would be perfect for radio too...if the female fans wouldn't call in and complain) only case. Still to talk more or even about one of these episodes would be the ultimate, unsettling spoiler. All you need to know is after one episode you'll be hooked on the story of these two actors who raise the bar another level on their increasing popularity. As great as Woody is, it's McConaughey's dark shades that illuminate all this drug hazed hue of the addiction to a drowning despaired life. Especially when it comes to the aged and haired up scenes of his recollections of evidence 10 years later that sets the story and makes an interview look like an interrogation of the soul as McConaughey's character stares through the smoke of his cigarette and blurred, blinking vision of his silenced sobriety right through to our subconscious. As appealing as they are unsettling, his ramblings are inspired like his off-screen interview speeches, albeit in very different, darker ways. Need anymore evidence this is the next, great classic case for the man who's made a career out of rewriting the yellow legal pad? And you thought his vocal cameo in 'King Of The Hill' was his calling.

It's been a long time since the 'Glory Daze' of 'Dazed and Confused' and its coming of age that led to some 'Contact' with more mainstream success in the form of franchises like 'The Texas Chainsaw Massacre' , headbutting Christain Bale for real in 'Reign Of Fire', or time with Pacino in 'Two For The Money'. Far from a slasher now McConaughey's latest shots are sure things that see him able to diversify and capture the craft of his art with more master strokes. His portrayal of a cowboy diagnosed with AIDS for the biographical 'Dallas Buyers Club' Oscar leader is the type of legend making legacy that makes Tom Hanks' role in the powerful 'Philadelphia' proud...and look at many great films he's done over the years. Right now McConaughey is having a better fall, New Year career moment that the robbed and snubbed 'Captain Phillips's and 'Saving Mr. Banks'. Now the man who continues to shed pounds for his characters is putting more of his dollars made from these into the people and the communities that need them. His 'J.K. Livin' foundation is instrumental in helping somewhat troubled teenage kids achieve better lived for themselves instead of just hanging around and maybe causing trouble. Its an influential inspiration. Hoping to make a change in the lives of others like he's done himself this star spokesman is the symbol of his strategy. Showing that no matter how long it takes and how much is thought of you in a certain way, how you end up being put out there and perceived is all up to how you proceed. The man who made himself from mainstream, fluff fodder to critical capturing and singling out now has everybody watching him. Time to follow. Go on, pound your chest and say it with me..."Hmm, hmm".