Friday, 30 May 2014



Cruising For A Bruising.

113 Minutes. Starring: Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt, Bill Paxton & Brendan Gleeson. Director: Doug Liman.

'Live, Die, Repeat'! It's not exactly 'Eat, Pray, Love', but the mantra of the new Tom Cruise big budget, blockbuster movie based on the light novel of heavyweight Tokyo, Japan writer Hiroshi Sakurazaka shows that 'All You Need is Kill'. Or at least a title change in the 'Edge Of Tomorrow' that they say today mixes yesterdays 'Groundhog Day' and 'Starship Troopers' with everything from 'Looper' to 'Saving Private Ryan'. A 'Halo' of a first person, video game shooting fans delight in this 'War Of The Worlds' that gives Tom Cruise his latest science-fiction, future film theory. An outstanding epic that even obliterates his yesteryear delve into 'Oblivion'. A fresh, new sci-fi book and blockbuster that almost looks like it was lifted off the future fable pages of the late, great forefather of futuristic cautionary tales Phillip. K. Dick. One that brings together the stars of his creative, classic stories to screens 'Minority Report' and 'The Adjustment Bureau' in Cruise and Emily Blunt respectively. This is one repeat you'll want to watch over and over again. As Tom Cruise wakes up to the same judgement day over and over, crimson and clover you'll be left with that sidewalk feeling of deja vu..."BIIIIILL?!". In a scorching, Summer season of Marvel and monsters you have to make way for Cruise, who seems to be controlling the future of Summer blockbusters and their new science fiction nature in this future digital age. In a film that could make the 'Transformers' extinct and show the 'Planet Of The Apes' the dawn, the biggest surprise of the Hollywood year is waking up to this recycled idea that actually feels as refreshed as its age defying, all-action hero. Fully stocked and loaded, from an amazing artillery of action to a moral message of war and mortality behind all those bullets and kills. Hardwired for the software generation it's not just Sakurazaka or Phillip K. Dick who will be proud, but anyone who's ever picked up a joystick or a formula for sciences greatest fantasy.

'Live, Die, Repeat'! It's not exactly 'Eat, Pray, Love', but the mantra of the new Tom Cruise big budget, blockbuster movie based on the light novel of heavyweight Tokyo, Japan writer Hiroshi Sakurazaka shows that 'All You Need is Kill'. Or at least a title change in the 'Edge Of Tomorrow' that they say today mixes yesterdays 'Groundhog Day' and 'Starship Troopers' with everything from 'Looper' to 'Saving Private Ryan'. A 'Halo' of a first person, video game shooting fans delight in this 'War Of The Worlds' that gives Tom Cruise his latest science-fiction, future film theory. An outstanding epic that even obliterates his yesteryear delve into 'Oblivion'. A fresh, new sci-fi book and blockbuster that almost looks like it was lifted off the future fable pages of the late, great forefather of futuristic cautionary tales Phillip. K. Dick. One that brings together the stars of his creative, classic stories to screens 'Minority Report' and 'The Adjustment Bureau' in Cruise and Emily Blunt respectively. This is one repeat you'll want to watch over and over again... Hate Tom Cruise?! Then dynamic director Doug Liman will kill him over 200 times for your sick pleasure. Love him? Then you'll see just why at 50 he's still one of the best actors out there today or the cusp of tomorrow. A former pin-up turned leading, leading man like the legacies of fellow, believe it or not middle-agers Brad Pitt and Johhny Depp's adding to their legend. Cruise has been through his fair share, but he's always delivered-despite the criticism-big, blockbuster films from the 'Mission: Impossible' series (that doesn't seem to be running out of fuse) to underrated modern classics like 'Collateral' to be one of the mainstreams most marketable. Say what you say but here's a guy that started his acting career fearlessly and beautifully bold with the subject matter likes of 'Rain Man' and 'Born On The Fourth Of July'. Now after all those films afforded him the million dollar 'Jerry Maguire' life of a timeless, 90's great like his namesake Hanks, Cruise has shown his post millennium career even more direction. From not taking himself so seriously, hilariously in 'Tropic Thunder' (showing he can dance) and 'Rock Of Ages' (proving he can sing) to his new science-fiction age of dystopia. One that sees him follow the book of crime-fighter 'Jack Reacher' with another tall tale, as he handles all the hilarious happenings with charm, charisma and more conviction than some comparing him to the blank slate of early days Keanu Reeves in this matrix of madness.

'Live, Die, Repeat'! It's not exactly 'Eat, Pray, Love', but the mantra of the new Tom Cruise big budget, blockbuster movie based on the light novel of heavyweight Tokyo, Japan writer Hiroshi Sakurazaka shows that 'All You Need is Kill'. Or at least a title change in the 'Edge Of Tomorrow' that they say today mixes yesterdays 'Groundhog Day' and 'Starship Troopers' with everything from 'Looper' to 'Saving Private Ryan'... Dont forget, fellow over-50's club Brad Pitt's zombie classic 'World War Z' either, from it's fast-paced, apocalyptic news cycle, tell-tale beginning to the fast and furious frantic, herky, jerky movement of the Mimic aliens that bring a satisfyingly scared thrill to the over saturated, out of this world genre, just like Pitt's undead did to the overbitten, corpse ridden zombie genre. Our Liman director re-'Bourne' over and again, even brings some inspired 'Mr & Mrs Smith' coupling comedy interplay. From leaving London's Trafalger Square beautifully barren to storming the sand of some time travelling teaching trepidation, this is much more than just the most exciting epic of attacking action you'll see this year. Sure a stories Asian character is yet again played by 'The Last Samurai' Tom Cruise, but he earns his sword. Plus points, in this day of age of teasing trailers that may as well come with a 'Not Actual Footage' warning, thank the cutting room floor they left out the "I'm not a soldier", "of course you're not, you're a weapon" scene. Besides after all his time in England, does Tom not know thats an insult?! The creative capturing of a time loop is so well done you will lap it all up instead of lapse. You won't be looking at your watch, but instead the next time this superstar soldier meets his demise like someone who didn't actually like this film or its star. It just works so well. Frustratingly even, in terms of how we root for the central character who we invest our days over with like Murray's mind with even a dash of that 'Groundhog', montage, cut-away comedy to keep us smiling and laughing in thankful, amusing light relief. Our Cruise character here has the unwelcome 'I Got You Babe' alternative of being woken up by an "on your feet maggot" alarm clock to kick start each day. Its not all sunny and Cher. Still by the time he gets changed the new suits are stellar in an akward, prototypical way in this grand design of tomorrow. In the fitting form of a fast-paced and rushed race to the future that makes this end of the world, out of time stakes more realistic. Oh and boy do they pack a tomahawk wallop too. Our stars fit in to them perfectly to boot. Especially Cruise who is on top of his game and better than we thought, as this all-action hero is prepared to play a wet behind the ears noob of fighting. A rookie who'll be thankful he gets to live his day over and over again.

'Live, Die, Repeat'! It's not exactly 'Eat, Pray, Love', but the mantra of the new Tom Cruise big budget, blockbuster movie based on the light novel of heavyweight Tokyo, Japan writer Hiroshi Sakurazaka shows that 'All You Need is Kill'... Sound familiar? We've been here before and you'll want to go again to a film that brings everything from the special effects unit to the grounds up make-up one. Even the casting director deserves another day in the office. Bringing everyone from the general brute of the brilliant Brendan Gleeson to the resurgance of Bill Paxton. Acting like its the 90's again, the man who made the perfect, throwback hallmark villian in last years '2 Guns' has been giving the 'Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D' their fair share of trouble. Back on the big screen he gives Cruise his too, as he looks to be having fabulous fun at being the "whats wrong with you a girl or something", all cigar and smoke Sergeant of this new generation. You get the 'Full Metal Jacket' drill. Still it's the attitude adjustment of Emily Blunt that truly makes her this stories 'Full Metal Bitch'. Worked out until she wears down the opposing troops with her battle-axe, brutal brilliance. The 'Looper' star is familiar with this type of time shift and after years of being among the new actress greats reaching their prime maturity, like Eva Green and Rose Byrne, she shows she has so much more strength and sincerity to her courage bench-pressing character. With all the fiction of science these two leads have followed through their days of future past, nothing quite takes them further than this. From the restart and refresh beginnings to it's formidable finale this is all tied together in a crafty cycle of success for one big and brilliant thrill ride across your night outs screen-time. In the age of X-Men, Avengers and Ultron there's still room between all these comic-books for a new novel idea of the future that can reboot all we've seen and give it that redemptive redux that makes everything look better from the creative causes to the epic effects made. It's not just the grit and grime, time and tide evocation of Neill Blomkamp's 'Elysium' that brings a new origin to the district of modern marvels. Cruises Cage character has a creative catalyst chromosome for you X's and Y's too. All you need is this kill before tomorrow edges it out. Do you get it? Or have you heard it all before? This is one repeat you'll want to watch over and over again. TIM DAVID HARVEY.

Wednesday, 28 May 2014


The Silver Surfer.



Blink and you'll miss it! It all happens in the tear of a split second. That's how long it takes for Evan Peters to not only introduce himself properly to the world, but own Marvel's Quicksilver character and the marvellous mutant mash-up movie that is 'X-Men: Days Of Future Past', a new classic, comic book cinema trip across time that brings the loved likes of Hugh Jackman, Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy, Jennifer Lawrence, Halle Berry, Patrick Stewart, Ian Mckellen and even Peter Dinklage of 'Game Of Thrones' together. A classic cast-list of old and new famous faces of legend and legacy alike that all in some way battle for top billing from the commercial critics to the cult fanboys and girls. A cast list that all pale in comparison to the grey haired man running rings around them like he was one super wonder kid. He truly is, faster than a speeding bullet, he'll change the game and everything before the cap has even left the chamber. Just have a taste of what he cooks up in the kitchen. They're all there; the claws of Hugh Jackman's Wolverine, the mind of James McAvoy's Professor Charles Xavier and the moveable matter of Michael Fassbender's Magneto. Halfway being soaked by the sprinkler system and about to be wet with the bullets from pistols of Pentagon power from more security guards than this casting department could possibly afford to hire. Still it's all a slow-motion walk in the park for the speed of light Peters' Quicksilver character that takes his silver jacket and goggles for a surf around the soaked suppers of the security detail. With a Pink Floyd tee on, he lifts his headphones over his googles and long hair to the tune of Jim Croce's 'Time In A Bottle', cutting a line like the prism symbol of the 'Dark Side Of The Moon' cover and creates a Lucas Till like havok of artwork to the peaceful backdrop of Croce's tranquil classic. Running up the walls like Trinity, as quick as a knife but as slow cooked as Sundays lamb shank, the silver linings of this Quick Evan changes the matrix of a scene that almost looked like a death by firing squad, shooting gallery.

Bullets change direction, cheeks get poked, hats get tipped off and everyone but this Pete sakes character look stupid. Why are you hitting yourself?! This Quicksilver character like a sleuth spy in speedy disguise not only apprehends more agents than James Bond, he also saves the big-three of X-Men characters all whilst testing to see whether or not the soups hot. It's clear this kid is. After his wallet stealing, pong playing, one man table tennis served up intro, he really gets cooking in his one breakout season that shatters glass and land speed records. In a cameo as classic as Wolverine's 'First Class' F-bomb, or any that Stan Lee or any actor have given to movie moments this kid does more in a few minutes than all these top-ranking stars do in all their main screen-time. He's there and he's gone, saying goodbye to the X-Men and all their fans who want so much more from arguably the best thing in one of this years greatest films. He's told in farewell to "take it slow". We dont think so! I bet you thought when it came to Marvel films this year the likes of Anthony Mackie's Falcon in 'Captain America-The Winter Soldier' and Jamie Foxx's Electro in 'The Amazing Spider-Man 2' stole the show from the A-listing Chris Evans and Andrew Garfield. Still, Evan Peters is to 'X-Men' 'DOFP' what Dane DeHaan's, Harry Osborne's Green Goblin is to 'TASM2', dominating everyone like Sebastian Stan's 'Winter Soldier'. Now we're lest screaming "NOW" for the 'Apocalypse' that will hopefully see more from the character and Magneto...because after all his mom used to know someone that could move objects like Erik. Sometimes someones such a scene stealer that you have to write an article about them. Marvel keep revealing great new characters and actors that steal the show and the latest is this kid. One who even bests the young, great Oscar winning Jennifer Lawrence's Mystique character, who is given the screen time floor to work her mesmerising Mystique, metamorphosis magic. Still if you love this in fashion Quicksilver as much as Australian surfers do, then you can expect more sped up silver skates like Laurence Fishburne in the 'Fantastic Four' and we're not talking about that Johnny Blaze reboot that see's Chris Evans permanently put on Captain America ice.

Joining Steve Rodgers, Iron Man, Thor and The Incredible Hulk in next years 'Avengers-Age Of Ultron' will be Quicksilver and his twin sister the Scarlet Witch (who was not in X-Men (unless she was watching T.V.)...that was the portal power of Blink). Alas though fans of Peters may be shocked to find a new face behind that Richard Gere hair colour in the form of this years monster 'Godzilla' star and John Lennon 'Nowhere Boy' on the side Aaron Taylor-Johnson. Those pesky studios and Marvel rights hey! The same rights that keep Wolverine and Spider-Man out of this superhero super-team now have two guys turning up to the red carpet in the same costume like most girls most dreaded night out. To make it even crazier both of these guys have been superheroes together and co-stars in 'Kick Ass'. Taylor-Johnson took the lead in that one and was thought to do the same for the bigger and better Avengers team too, being introduced in a post-credits teasing cameo at the end of the Captain America sequel. Still, Peters got out of the blocks sort of first and sought after foremost in this 'Days Of Future Past' film that sees this X-Men team reclaim their popularity as one of Stan Lee's greatest creations. If you thought D.C. and their Justice League had a hard enough time rivalling this formidable franchise in Marvel's age of Avengers and arguably it's greatest year in all these dominating decades then they didn't count on these guys biggest blockbusters battling against each other like 'Batman vs Superman'. Still it's all love at comic-con between these two convincing characters, the heaven sent Peters and Aaron who looks to give a deeper and darker turn of Quick speed, but one that still could even kick the biggest movie monsters ass. Even though right now Evan is the almighty attraction running rings round his old friend and sprinting straight past all the critical and visual ridicule he received from the professionals to the blog posts (hello...but not me) after he was first announced to suit up in shiny silver (hey even the late great, legendary Joker Heath Ledger received hate before he proved everyone so wrong in 'The Dark Knight', which despite all this Marvel still holds the standard for greatest superhero film of all time). The garb looks great, the goal is dunked on and the part right now is owned and rightfully his as Evan Peters is the man of the moment in Hollywood. Sure, having that sought of honour in the land of the walk of fame can sometimes seem like a quick stroll out of the park, but right now this guy is swinging with his own career-high home run and although most wish we could have one Quicksilver and one Marvel film that brings all these franchises together like the great 'Guardians Of The Galaxy' is hoped to do, it's cool that we have all this to debate over and delve through and enjoy.

Besides in this comic world that resurrects everybody and isn't afraid to bring them all together for a collision course of prequels and sequels, if the studios did get together how crazy cool would it be to have both Quicksilvers together in a quantum leap of parrell universe diverging distinctions? I propose and predict a riot! One that will be loved by fans and critics alike as Marvel race past D.C. yet again. Then these guys will be able to truly duke and race it out to see whos quicker and who lasts longer. Still, with that being said the 'Kick-Ass' standout, running wild as Peter Maximoff leaves everyone in the dust with his cocky charisma and charm that could make a room full of Tony Stark marks look meek. This guy could outrun the Flash so you can forget about that series for a minute and as for Superman...give him a running start and who knows. This guy is an insane Usain bolt of electricity and right now like a ray gun is shooting down all the mutated competition for his place on the podium. This 27 year old has already stole the heart of Hollywood girlfriend Emma Roberts in a flash and has already shown special FX for the 'American Horror Story' series that leaves him running and running across the seasons in a Spring to Winter, what happened to the Summer sun and Autumn leaves quickness. Don't you always ask "where has the year gone"?! Well now you're going to ask "where the hell did this kid come from"?! St. Louis, Missouri, to be exact, but the arch of this guys talent sees him taking off to a sound barrier of breaking success. Those Pink Floyd t-shirts are going to sell even more like those Iron Man Black Sabbath ones. Who knows he may even bring silver jackets back in fashion. This is his time and he's arrived before the hand even ticked forward for him. Running like there was no tomorrow in these days of tomorrows yesterday. Running like he just stole your aunts blueberry pie off the window-sill while it was cooling, devouring it all down to the crust while it was still hot. This kid has taken the cake. Runing like he was late for a date...but this time destiny was prepared to wait. Running like he's late for the school of the gifted class, racing past cars with a speeding ticket and points on his license, but with no steering wheel or breaks. This kid is a star vehicle by himself. You better keep up as 'Lazarus' comes next for a guy whose about to star in the apocalyptic biblical proportions of the sacred text of comic-book credits. We can't even see the finish line for this kid, he's so far ahead of the starters gun as he's about to go supersonic. Are you following. On your marks, get ready, set....GO!

Saturday, 24 May 2014



Days Of First Class.

131 Minutes. Starring: Hugh Jackman, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Halle Berry, Fan Bingbing, Evan Peters, Ellen Page, Nicholas Hoult, Peter Dinklage, Ian McKellen & Patrick Stewart. Director: Bryan Singer.

'Apocalypse' now! That's what comic book fans will be screaming after Marvel's mutant mayhem, mash-up in their most magical year. If you thought Stan Lee's A team was 'The Avengers' then just you wait like the 'Age Of Ultron', because right now its about the franchises original outstanding trilogy from a franchisee that already spun-off some outstanding origin films from Wolverines, lone Logan run all the way to Tokyo, Japan and the 'First Class' reboot of sorts that saw a new Academy of Actors take their turn on the chessboard played by Gandalf and Captain Picard. In a scorching, hot Summer season of 'Transformers', 'Planet Of The Apes' and 'Godzilla' blockbusters that have started early, Marvel are dominating in what looks to be their greatest year yet in all those dynamic decades. After 'Captain America-The Winter Soldier' started cooling off the competition early with the series' strongest story, 'The Amazing Spider-Man 2' was a super awesome, electric and epic web of grand design and we still have the 'Guardians Of The Galaxy' to take us to an even new Marvel universe this year. Still, right now after the first Marvel movie trilogy that started off this new generation and then the reboots that began its own phase 2, its all about the collision course of the ultimate sequel/prequel mash-up, 'Days Of Future Past', based on a classic comic book of the same name that is about to turn the page and hand on time travel.

Logans latest run takes him on a 'Quantum Leap' back to the stylings of the seventies, like the 'Kashmir' classic Led Zeppelin trailer build, for a film and franchise that solves the problem of having two polar, perfectly popular series' by bringing them all together for a Friday film that looks like the perfect Marvel staff night out. Its all brought together by the one man and character that has sealed all seven of this series' films, Hugh Jackman and the character he was born to play, the Wolverine. Oh, did you forget about the 'First Class' F-bomb cameo? Well this film didn't. After the song and dance of 'Les Miserables' and the Academy arresting 'Prisoners', Jackman is having his best run of years, coming off the wolf-mans best film the age-defying actor is able to muscle and bone up to his mortality defying mutant. In a cigar charismatic character turn we could watch this iron man play this again all day like Robert Downey Jnrs Tony Stark. Now if only he and Andrew Garfield's Peter Parker had the rights to join the new Avenger's. Still his old team are welcomed back from Omar Sy to Ellen Page. A Havoc of new recruit mutants and ones of fire, ice and steel and of course the forecast of a storm front from Halle Berry's force wind of power. Now only if we could get Cyclops, Jean Grey, January Jones and Lenny Kravitz's daughter. Then we'd have a mutant party. Still even without the Bacon of old/new faces alike this real 'Last Stand' is even better than 'X2', becoming more than just this franchises best film, but one of Marvel's greatest ever too.

Perhaps its because when you have two actors playing one iconic part then that's a lot of super power to go round and this is why this film works so well to the young and old crowd together. The sirs of Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen are the legends certified by the queen and they're welcomed back to the round table here with a comic book crowd that cheers for them as much as their 'Star Trek' and 'Lord Of The Rings' ones. Still its their younger selves that show real growth like they did in their 'First Class' offering. Showing both sides of the Magneto/Professor X chess board and the Marvel mirror of history that explored the Martin Luther King Jr and Malcolm X differences of civil rights and war, James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender makes these characters even more their own as they go from the Cuban missile crisis to the assassination of JFK and race relations in this real world lessons learned. To be frank, Fassbender really is the man of the moment and the chameleonic character mutations of the '12 Years A Slave' Academy acclaimed actor is still making those Magneto speeches that holds the crowds ears. Still it may be McAvoy who comes off best here as he shows more tricks to his trade then just touching his temple. Reaching new darkness and depth and lengths of hair that you never thought Patrick Stewart would make so. Drinking his depression dry this Charles Xavier is more accented then the Scots expression of "futechya". Still even with all this emotion and the physical set pieces of this stunning superhero film, someone steals the show even more than the hugely popular pair of leading men in Jackman and Fassbender.

That would be the Mystique of Jennifer Lawrence and the raven range of the 'American Hustle' and 'Silver Linings Play Book' Oscar darling and 'Hunger Games' series star who may have just found herself another franchise to face. Looking stylish and sexy in Avatar blue, Jamie Foxx isn't the only Marvel family member to go electric in this colour this year. High flying and ass kicking her way to another career metamorphis, Lawrence owns this like the academy as she goes it alone for a rouge raven that spies, hides, masks and reveals all the character complexities and emotional gravity of this groundbreaking comic book movie. If that wasn't enough, then how about a boy? As the warm body of her off-screen boyfriend Nicholas Hoult is back in blue as Frasier's brilliant Beast. Add the portal power of Fan Bingbing and the perfect villain in your favourite bad guy Peter Dinklage to this game of mutants and superb sentinels, then you have one amazing assemble of an epic ensemble. Still if you want to talk about a quick scene stealer then how about Evan Peters as Quicksilver? He is to this film what the great Dane DeHaan's, Harry Osborne's Green Goblin is to 'TASM2'. Sure he may be in a 'Kick Ass' war with co-star Aaron Taylor-Johnson who will play the same character in 'The Avengers-Age Of Ultron' sequel (and has already proved this Summer he can muscle up with 'Godzilla'), but right now this is Evans almighty role and maybe when it comes to next year, even then it'll be Peters. This is because before the bullet leaves the gun he's a sure fire hit that throws everything at us-even the kitchen sink-in a second and then splits all too quick, before we even have time to ask him what the soup of the day is. Now let's give him a spin-off we can't wait for, like the next X-Men installment, like Channing Tatum's Gambit. With all these hands on deck and played right who knows what Marvels strongest hand is? Its time for Batman and Superman to stop fighting each other in this age of Avenger's that has become a three horse race with Captain America, the Amazing Spider-Man and these uncanny X-Men academy of actors that graduate to a whole new class. TIM DAVID HARVEY.

Friday, 16 May 2014



Jurassic Rim.

123 Minutes. Starring: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, Juliette Binoche, Sally Hawkins, David Strathairn & Bryan Cranston. Director: Gareth Edwards.

Is it a tornado? A tsunami? A typhoon? Roaring and rampaging into cinemas right now is the ultimate movie monster and monolith that is set to destroy the magna hot blocks of the core busting, summer season of massive movies from the rise of the 'Transformers' to the 'Dawn Of The Planet Of Apes'. Making a mark in melting down all Marvel has to offer in its most magical year from the most super solo sequel 'Captain America-The Winter Soldier' and the awesome 'Amazing Spider-Man 2' that's about to set up the X-Mens 'Days Of Future Past'. Something that can rock 'em and sock 'em with the formidable fun of 'Pacific Rim' and hopes to make 'Jurassic World' extinct before it even opens to visitors next year. It seems like 'Godzilla' has been around as long as the dinosaurs almost, as this Kaiju from Japan is as legendary as the city of Tokyo it destroys itself. From the shores of Asia to the famous landmarks of the United States Of America it sets out to destroy like it had received picture postcards from the 'Pacific Rim' monsters and the 'Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes' (you can just imagine Ceasar texting (well he can talk now) "just make sure you attack the Golden Gate Bridge on Monday, we have it booked in for the weekend") this brilliant beast that swims through the oceans as epic as him like a Loch Ness monster is no myth right now. He's literally the biggest worldwide Hollywood movie star whose been stomping the red carpet longer than your top billing A-listers.

They're all here too, but its the big guy that is the biggest attraction. Following the silly fun around New York City in the 90's 'Godzilla' movie that was hallmark to its time and tide of cheesy but classic decade disaster epics like 'Daylight' and 'Independence Day', comes the mecca of movies that takes more than a bite out of the big apple of the last one. Deeper, darker and more dominant in this age where a 90's Clooney Batman is turned into the rising of a Christian Bale 'Dark Knight', this is as true to the Tokyo testament even more than the typography or location of this picture. Even more than the Ron Burgundy jazz-flute that is working overtime on this soundtrack to evoke that 'Jurassic Park' tension like its similar cable snap and whipping and blue and white helicopter over green trees scene that will almost have you convinced you're about to tell Dr. Alan Grant how to fasten his seatbelt properly. This film may take scene cues from everything from 'Saving Private Ryan', 'The Hunger Games-Catching Fire' and even the 'Pacific' Kaijus that came before him-and may have even done battle in a scheduling conflict-but its still its very own picture that doesn't rip off when dinosaurs ruled the cinemas like the last 'Godzilla' movie that needed to take a moment and a vibrating glass of water to think again. There's a 'War Of The Worlds' in itself to make this an even more big screen legend of popcorn movies for the legacy of this classic creatures.

A spoiler alert would have to come with this review if we unfairly revealed more and you should really only watch the teaser trailer of this movie despite the temptation. Then you'll be in for the biggest surprise and what is making all the other cult fans so excited. So let's just say enjoy this film for yourself and the child-like abandon you'll have as a grown adult watching something that will remind you of the first time you met Batman or a T-Rex, albeit with the kind of 'Judgement Day' scary darkness you wished you could have stayed up with your parents to watch. With a bold and beautiful battle royala of sensational scenes that give the original legend its outstanding homage this is the amazing artwork in real time to add to the perfect pictures painted and punctuated over this Goaliths almost biblical reign. When it comes to on-screen in this digital, super special effects day and age of course this monster has never looked better and through newsscreen and CCTV teases throughout the film itself, when you actually see the main feature presentation for yourself in all its flesh and glory bedhind tyhe smoked screen of night you will be the furthest roar from disappointed. The only thing more epic than how this Godzilla looks is how entertaining it gets evoking the old school, electric energy of the Tokyo titles in this creatures classic catalogue. This truly is a monster and roaring success with a nuclear radioactive effect on the worldwide box office.

There's nothing small about the little people either who are anything but trampled by this Tyronosauras type wrecking ball. Attempting to break good, breaking God, you're favourite chemistry teacher Bryan Cranston is on classic career form in something that makes this force of nature even more formidable. Cranston is the type of actor that can make something like calling someone a liar that much scarier and stake ridden like his stone age, old school acting skill set. Nobody could set up this end of the world epic in as world of disater flick domination than the man who knocks. Especially amongst movie icons like Juliette Binoche and David Strathairn, who add their stellar support to a creative cast from Elizabeth Olsen to Sally Hawkins. Then again no one is as punctuated as Ken Wantabe in setting up the peril of a picture like this even more than being the classic choice to accent the name 'Godzilla'. Between Cranston and Wantabe you could be a grown man and even scared into belief of what's coming. Still its the beefed up, Aaron Taylor-Johnson whose being kicking ass in the gym who adds more muscle and punch to this comic like cult classic. The man from 'Nowhere Boy' now shows he could play a grown up John Lennon as he adds another legendary subject to the matter of his legacy. Still with all these people it will be the monster man himself Toho who will be most proud with his amazing animal that has been released into the modern movie wild with a wonderful tailspin around the towering skyscrapers and structures of compelling cinematography. With a terrific and trumphant turbulence of disaster stakes, this comes in like a tornado and reigns like thunder. The might of Godzilla is still him ROAR! TIM DAVID HARVEY.

Tuesday, 13 May 2014



Frat Pack Musical.

97 Minutes. Starring: Seth Rogen, Zac Efron, Rose Byrne, Dave Franco & Christopher Mintz-Plasse. Director: Nicholas Stoller.

Knock, knock! Who's there? Well you could call this a 'Superbad Neighbourhood Watch Off Jump Street', as Nicholas Stoller who 'Forgot Sarah Marshall' with 'Get Him To The Greek' gives us the crass comedy of the year as Seth Rogen bumps heads and properties with someone that could make his stoner-crowd comedy look old in the fresh out of 'High School Musical' hangover Zac Efron. In a hilarious happening of playing 'Animal House' this is anything but a buddy comedy as Rogen finds himself shacked up next to THE neighbour from 'Project X' hell. Get your iPhone snapchats ready for this one because between barbecues that will make you feel fat, airbags that are anything but safe for you crash test dummies and landscape gardening that could even make the porcelain, powder white skin of 'Edward Scissorhands' blush, this is one hell of a party that even 'Uncle Buck' couldn't quiet with the end of his drill. All other comedies this year will be shown the door as it's time to turn that mess down and turn this one up. Sure, the days of those warm and welcoming John Hughes family comedies that we love may be gone, but instead we have some where the former squeaky clean Efron comes with a parental advisory sticker and doesn't even wipe his feet on the welcome mat.

Making himself at home with his frat pack ("they must be a fraternity", Rogen hilariously muses "they're carrying greek letters") anyone that thought Efron was just lame teenage poster wall fodder may want to check his work again. Following his ambitious turns in 'Parkland' and 'The Paperboy'-that saw another career redeemer to the tune of an Oscar, Matthew McConaughey set him straight-this kid is now showing he has the comedy chops to join the likes of Jonah Hill with this new 'Awkward Moment'. Just call him this years Channing Tatum, because he goes beyond the ladies favourite to be the funniest thing about this film for all you fellas. His gag reel has been given as stern a workout as his fitness instructor and if we don't ever see him in anything funnier its because he's raised the bar already...and thrown up all over it. You think you've been to a red cup party like this, but have another sip. Efron has earned his place on the wall. You thought he was just another model for Abecrombie & Fitch? Look again! With classic young comedians like 'Superbad' Christopher Mintz-Plasse by his side and James Franco's younger brother Dave-who is making his name for himself over the one that ends with his brother...and having funnier lines than that one about "rhyming with grape"-all that's missing now is Michael Cera and Jonah Hill. Then these guys would know how to be old enough to party and get their crunk on like "gangsters what's up guys". Now McClovin doesn't need an I.D...that suspect beard will do it for him we are partying until the Seth Rogen cops come knocking.

They do in the form of Seth's parenting role which shows he is still funny even if he is anything but down with the kids. Just like that last phrase that proves this almost 30 writer isn't either. Still, from his high brand of weed smoking comedy to his fond and favourite references to hip-hop, this 'Outkast' does it again in something that is earth shatteringly funnier than 'This Is The End' from its dick jokes to its impression improvisation skills from a Mark Wahlberg lookalike to a presidential soundalike too. No longer a 'Bridesmaid', but a wife and mother Aussie Rose Byrne is back too after at one point being the woman in all the films and trailers. Now after convincing everyone she's an American and Russell Brand that she's British, Byre finally gets to accent her performance in her native tongue...and she's never been better for it. Add this and THE most hilarious Robert De Niro costume party that you..."YOU" could hope to go to and this film is really talking to you. Fingers pointed at eyes and then at you, you need to be watching this! Comedies this year are back in the circle of trust Focker and if you don't like that then maybe it's time to get your 'Pulp Fiction' references in order because this dude abides...wait...what?! Even I'm getting lost in all the hazing here in a film that really ties the blockbuster Summer together like a Lebowski rug...just as long as it doesn't get peed on again by these home wreckers. Strikes one, two and three for this 'Old School' fraternity make this your funny film of the year that even has Lisa Kudrow in a Dean role for all you 'Friends' generation fans who once again want to be reminded of just how old you've got. Could this "beeee" any funnier?! Do kids really do this? Look at it I'm saying it again. Staring down the barrell of my twenties has never looked so nostalgia needy fun. Everybody need bad neighbours like these, even if an Aussie soap gives this film a different name away from home. Aint that right Rose? This one burns down the house. TIM DAVID HARVEY.


Jennifer's Body Of Work.



"Cold hearted bitch". That's how Hugh Jackman describes Jennifer Lawrence ("well don't hold back"). Or, well how his 'X-Men' Wolverine character describes her Mystique one in the forthcoming 'Days Of Future Past' film. 'Avatar' blue seems to be the colour of the year in Marvel's marvellous year from 'The Winter Soldier' Captain America's cold front to Jamie Foxx's epic Electro character in 'The Amazing Spider-Man 2' that will join Zoe Saldana's 'Guardians Of The Galaxy' green in taking down the army of 'Transformers' the 'Planet of The Apes' and the movie might of 'Godzilla'. Then of course there's Mystique, in all her blue painted on skin, red hair and Raven to her name eyes. The most alluring character in X-Men and maybe all comic-books, not only for her fan-boy dress up sex appeal but the way she twists and turns through the weaves of the plot like a mutated double agent. Possibly one of the strongest female characters in superhero and even franchise history who better to play this iconic creation than the hottest actor of the moment Jennifer Lawrence? She's about to steal the show and grow into her own characters skin that for most actresses would be their defining role, but up until now for Lawrence has been a side-part to her two-fold yearly domination. A reign that at just 23 and not enough years of work added on to make her 30's has won 'The Hunger Games' and the best blockbuster of the calender rounds each year with the new terrific trilogy that sticks a stake arrow from a bow into the heart of 'Twilight'. One that makes her trip to the Academy Awards for her Oscar nominations or awards as annual as a tradition as her slipping over the red carpet there.

Everyone's falling for her however as this young lady is showing she's no joke and the real deal in this Hollywood world of actresses still not getting their due deserves or respects like arguably the best right now Cate Blanchett. There's those stars that deserve more. Of course Zoe Saldana is almost there and Eva Mendes would be if she was given better roles like last years best 'The Place Beyond The Pines'. Then of course there's the Black Widow, 'Her' herself Scarlett Johannson who is showing more talent 'Under The Skin'. Still, even this leading lady is right now chasing Lawrence (like her 'Hustle' co-star Amy Adams) who at 23 has already achieved so much from being a geek and Academy favourite. Give her another couple of decades and she could be the new Meryl Streep. This is how legendary she could get. Believe it from a chameleon character that doesn't even have to paint her skin in disguise to mystify us. But boy is she going to have her fun doing it. From doing the original, triumphant trilogy proud to channelling The Catwoman of 'The Dark Knight Rises' Anne Hathaway from the French hat to the high leg kick to the throat that's as threatening as it is sexy. From morphing mid-fight to battling a battalion for a troop of mutants in a post Spider-Man credits surprise, she's high-kicking and disguising her way into her own scene stealing role alongside the star studded, high popular likes of the original (Hugh Jackman and Halle Berry) the origins (Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy) and the sirs (Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen). After she gave a 'First Class' approved supporting role alongside a Beast of an off-screen boyfriend in Nicholas Hoult, this is her moment to show before the X-Men 'Apocalypse' that in this star world she's the biggest of this A-list not only in this Hollywood moment but in this Hollywood picture.

She doesn't even need a bow and arrow. Give her one however and this girl from the district of Louisville, Kentucky will shoot down any opponent. From 'Lord Of The Rings' to 'The Hobbit' book trilogies are now the norm in Hollywood. Some even stretch it out like 'Harry Potter' or 'Twilight' to keep their teen icons defying age like wizards and vampires. Still no matter the 'Divergent' competition in its path nothing right now is 'Catching Fire' like 'The Hunger Games'. With the 'Mockingjay' finale about to be one of this years red hot films along with the Smaug dragon burning epic conclusion to 'The Hobbit' trilogy it seems even the fall is the new Summer when it comes to big blockbusters despite all these X-Men and more to marvel at. From Woody Harrelson to Stanley Tucci this franchise has them all, even showcasing rock star Lenny Kravitz's acting talents and showing one of the late, great Phillip Seymour Hoffman's (R.I.P.) last roles. Still through it all this is a series that turned new hearthrobs Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth (brother Of Thor) into stars. None have shined brighter however than Jennifer Lawrence switching from blonde to brunette to play the iconic lead and tough hearted role model Katniss...albeit a role model that kills for food. From throwing bows and showing she's could out arrow Hawkeye or Legolas (I think we know who will win this years fall battle) to nominating her amazing acting talents as tribute this franchise will always be Lawrences baby and possibly always one of the biggest things she's been a part of. Especially with the promise of the trilogys closer. No matter all the X-Men or Oscars she'll team up with over her life, this is the film that gave her a face in this acting world. This is what hit the cupids mark and made her a star we all fell in love with.

This is still Lawrence of the Academy however and Jennifer's body of work that has only been taking shape since 2006 already has an Oscar and a nominations change two years before she hits her first decade anniversary with Hollywood. This is where the. realest acting has taken place. Just take this years Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress for example. OK, nothing was beating '12 Years Of A Slave' or 'Gravity' in this years Academy takedown but David O. Russell's 'American Hustle' play of 'Fighter' stars and more was the most supremely stylish film of modern times as it hark back to the hallmark seventies like its signature soundtrack. Between games of hunger and mutations, Lawrence in her already busy dozen of years managed to fit into an Academy accreditation, as well as an actual Golden Globe and BAFTA award between a wowzer white cocktail dress and a marigold drunken rendition of 'Live & Let Die' in a film that showed she was more than just the support but the Mystique of this piece too, causing all the trouble in the caustic background. This Mystique too held her own alongside the famous likes of Batman, Lois Lane, Hawkeye and that Racoon from 'Guardians Of The Galaxy'. Or should we say Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner and Bradley Cooper (you can play this superhero game with almost any film its getting so big and broad). With Cooper and Russell she hit Oscar gold with the 'Silver Linings Playbook' of a awesome Matthew Quick novel adaptation where she showed there was more hunger behind the brunette of Katbiss running, dancing and solving all her problems on the way to her second Oscar nomination and first win. It wasn't just a win for the Academy but for anxiety sufferers as Lawrence and Cooper's problematic characters came under the cloud of depression to give the perfect therapy to the oft shamefully ignored problem of mental illness. Offering more than just counsel from Hollywood's hottest male and female lead.

Jennifer Lawrence has certainly come a long way. Following her hilarious lead role in 'The Bill Engvall Show' sitcom (what's up Bill!?) she has shown a hell of a lot of heart to go with that 'Young Artist Award' winning humour. Although she's still the same girl that will stick her middle finger up at the Oscar press for fun. Now trip over that. After the 'Burning Plain' and 'Winters Bone' (the first gold statue nomination-the youngest to ever receive too-check it out) of inspired indie films this independent woman as influenced a new generation from her strong lead roles to defying all critics and image problems many young woman suffer by standing loud and saying she's proud of her body and how she looks, putting it on in full blue colour as Mystique this year. Many of her fond followers will now follow suit of this perfect role model that doesn't shy away from the real life and talk that makes us human and this is something that therefore connects with not only her fans and audience, but everybody who understands...or is about too. The highest grossing actress heroine of all time really is a hero. Mrs. Everdeen is a evergreen talent when its lights, camera and action. This young star auditioned for Bella in 'Twilight' too. Could you imagine what would of been of she got that franchise too. Why they didn't pick her strong will is amazing...perhaps she smiled too much, but what was Edward Cullen's loss is Suzanne Collins and Oscars gain. "Glad" she didn't get the part, films like 'Garden Party' and 'The Poker House' with Chloƫ Grace Moretz, the girl whose about to chase her followed. 'Like Crazy', Mel Gibson's 'Beaver' with Jodie Foster and more dark turns into roles exploring mental illness followed 'The Winters Bone' and a captivating catalogue collection as courageous as Clint Eastwood's directorial look into the effects of child abuse. It must be noted however that Eastwood has done this in his later years while this young girl has already done it before 25, before shape-shifting into Hollywood horrors like 'The Hills Have Eyes' she laid out all her vulnerability and young acting growth onto a big screen in front of millions worldwide. That's tough. That's amazing. That's why legendary 'Games' co-star Donald Sutherland compares this Lawrence to the great Laurence doesn't get much better than that. That's why from 'The Rules of Inheritance' to 'The Ends Of The Earth' (also with Russell) her future work could be her best yet. That's what's taken her from an independent success to a commercial reception she richly deserves in all its gold. The odds are now in her favour...and that's no mystique.

"I've always studied people and been fascinated by their reactions and feelings. And I think that's the best acting class you can take – watching real people, listening to them and studying them."-Jennifer Lawrence.

Monday, 12 May 2014


Hugh Is This?



Clawing his way through his enemies, this guy is fierce. With that mean-mugging, killer look in his eyes no bub can stand in his way. He takes punch after kick, stab after bullet and slices and dices through them all like they where fresh meat and veg ready for market next day. If he used those 'Edward Scissorhands' like finger nails to a more fruitful venture he could make an excellent landscape gardener or ice sculptor, but just like Johnny Depp, Hugh Jackman is searching for something a little darker than that. He's the Wolverine and from the terrific 'X-Men' trilogy that spun off into two triumphant 'Origins' sequel, Logans run that last saw him in Tokyo, Japan is about to take us to the 'Days Of Future Past' and a forthcoming 'Apocalypse'. The biggest Marvel mash-up that the Avengers wish they could do with Spider-Man and this Wolverine mixes all the original Fassbender/McKellen and Stewart/McAvoy, Magneto and Professor X academy of students from the original and origins reboots films for what looks to be one of the biggest blockbusters of a year that's running amok with 'Transformers', a 'Planet Of The Apes' and the mega movie monster that is 'Godzilla'. Even the 'Age Of Ultron' has to give way to the fact that after 'The Amazing Spider-Man' sequel true to its definition and the even better 'Captain America-The Winter Soldier' that this is the magnificent Marvel's most magical year yet. It's the age and gravity defying Hugh Jackman that's bringing it all together in a 'Quantum Leap' of time travel, muscling up to play the iconic, comic character he was a born right to play as Robert Downey Jnr was Tony Stark's Iron Man. After going it all lone wolf this Avenging X-Men is about to show that even with a star studded cast of 'Star Trek' captains, 'Lord Of The Rings' wizards, 'Hunger Games' winners and of course the man Fassbender, that he is a cut above the rest.

There's more behind those claws however. With those bulging veins and ripping biceps he's got an arm bigger than trees lumberjacks bring down...and with that shirt he wore to go with that growing beard in the Wolverine 'Origin' film he was doing exactly that. His workout regime is strong enough to do that day to day to if he swapped a Hollywood pay cheque for a labourers one. Hugh is the jack of all trades that could do anything when he's not earning his rep in the gym. This same guy that tells people where to go if he's not throwing them off a roof as X-Men's most loved mutant is actually the nicest guy this side of Hollywood coming from Australia. So nice you can't even imagine him getting so angry to place Logan. This is a guy that is the personal picture perfect postcard at why Australia is one of the nicest places on earth just like his movie of the same name alongside Nicole Kidman. This is the guy that is nice enough to still maintain credibility whilst dancing his Wolverine claws alongside Psy, along to 'Gangman Style'. I mean did you see how nice this guy was when Ashton Kutcher 'Punk'd' him that he was burning down his house? Hugh's the type of guy that would stop and look under the hood of your car if you where broken down on the side of the road, only to push you to the nearest towns gas station if he wasn't already driving you there himself. He's the kind of guy that would bail you out of jail in Monopoly, or get the next round if your short. He's the kind of guy that would come round and fix the leak in your sink and wouldn't even take you up on your offer for a cup of tea...unless you where offended if he didn't. He's no rage filled mutant about to tear your head off. He's no savage.

He's the loyal father who will do anything for his family and the amazing actor that is making the Academy notice his unchained 'Prisoners' acclaimed performance of real merit. What was arguably last years best movie deserved more time with the Oscars-especially for Hugh-like when he was all singing and dancing to become one of its funniest, best and most entertaining hosts of recent and all-time. The man who sang his way to higher acclaim for the Academy with his breakout and breathtaking performance in 'Les Miserables' that was anything but the hammed-up, period fun of 'Kate & Lepold'. A lead that showed he was more than just a superhero character, but a super talent that can take it beyond acting and even carry the notes of a perfect performance of a legendary musical that still strikes a chord even when swapped from stage to screen. The Wolverine made him a comic-book icon and a star, the pure performances in 'Les Mis' and the pained, fatherhood struggle of good versus evil in taking the law of his kidnapped child into his own hands in the powerful 'Prisoners' add the word 'legend' to his lasting legacy. This is the kind of accented acting we saw from the Aussie in the likes of movies like the magical Nolan ensemble 'The Prestige', stealing the show with a slight of hand of the tricks of his trade alongside the likes of Batman and the Black Widow in Christian Bale and Scarlett Johannson. The kind of film that stands out from all his fun and fond roles in the delightfully vampire dark 'Van Helsing' and the rock-em and sock-em fun of the Robot fight of 'Real Steel'. From toy soldiers to the brutality of child abuse Jackman shows he can carry a picture with his charm and charisma but also delve into the darker depths of human struggle and emotion in films that strive to strike harder than just the mainstreams big, blockbuster success. He's the type of actor that could have shown a whole different side of him and his underrated and unique acting range in say something like '12 Years A Slave', but was too busy making Academy acting accreditations in 'Les Miserables' and 'Prisoners'. All whilst still having the time to shape that hair and beard into another swipe with Wolverine.

Even Kristen Wiig's character in 'Despicable Me 2' knows that when it comes to Australian you have to learn about "Huuugh Jack-man" or, 'Huge Jacked-Man' as those 'Honest Trailer' guys from 'Screen Junkies' joke. 'My Fair Lady', 'Beauty & The Beast' and 'Sunset Boulevard' began his theatre trained career in his native land as he even turned down the hugely popular 'Neighbours' soap to make it as a real actor home and away. As he went to 'Oklahoma' via London's West End he truly brought his show-stopping talent to the world. He earned himself a prestigious Olivier Award...and of course the movie rights of the musical. Then came this leading mans lone wolf moment as he studied everyone from Clint Eastwood's 'Dirty Harry' (according to Hugh, when he told Clint how much he admired him during the Oscars, Harry responded dryly "you're holding up the line kid") to Mike Tyson to shape the Wolverine for the X-Men trilogy that dominated Marvel and the superhero genres before the Avengers or even Batman had a fighting chance. Hugh even wore the claws day to day to get used to them as the scratches on his face and scars on his leg can attest. Let's hope he didn't leave his bathroom in the same state he left the sink and towel rack to that family that took him in for the first Wolverine solo film. Still from bench pressing 300 pounds to having his co-stars wear platform shoes like Tom Cruise this guy matched the weight and height of Logan had gave pound for pound one of the best and most iconic performances of a comic book character that will forever, fondly last in the legendary lore of hallmark heroes like the very catalogue coral of cells themselves. With a sharper take alongside the Storm of Halle Berry than the pairs punctuation to the Travolta action flick 'Swordfish' no wonder this leading hero was shortlisted to play 007. He may have shared the stage with James Bond himself Daniel Craig in 'A Steady Rain', but he almost took it from him and stole the thunder of his spy reign.

His versatile talent was great enough to play three different characters in Darren Aronofsky's science-fiction 'The Fountain'. As the shower of success under the umbrella of all Wolverine dug up for him kept pouring. Still digging even deeper this film took a lot emotionally and physically out of Hugh, but in the light of this darkness showed a testament to just how terrific and dedicated this dynamic talent is. Between Woody Allen 'Scoops' with 'Prestige' and Marvel co-star Scarlett Johannson and voice work for 'Flushed Away' and 'Happy Feet' this wolf kept barking and howling even covering Prince's 'Kiss' with Nicole Kidman during his extra time. After producing and starring in both 'Deception' and a television series that kept him close to music in 'Viva Laughlin', Jackman reunited with Kidman for Baz Lurhman's romantic epic 'Australia'. Taking the role off Russell Crowe and taking it back to the roots and some of the most turbulent times in history of his homeland. This was personally this stars most powerful picture. This one man talent has done it all and even added a one-man show to his triumphant, theatrical credit, tracking his life history to the tune of his favourite Hollywood and Broadway numbers. This silver-screen warrior has worked hard and earned his fun from the hilarious 'Lonely Island' features to the helpless 'Movie 43', but there's more in store for the claw. From joining 'The Butler's' Lee Daniels in their own '12 Years A Slave' history chasing in 'Selma' (we said he had more range) to reuniting with the Oscar stage of Anne Hathaway for 'The Greatest Showman On Earth'. If that wasn't enough this Jackman is grizzled enough to play Blackbeard in the forthcoming 'Pan' picture for a new Hook at the 'Peter Pan' tale. All this and another Broadway revival among all his outside interests and courageous charity work keeps this mans claws sharp and in all the pies. The jack of all trades is really working his way to his best years and will still have time to climb your tree to get your beloved pet. Let's just hope there's no cat-fights because this razor swiping talent is tougher than the rest. It looks like Logan's run is set to run and run to the days of future that will last. Aint that right bub?

Friday, 2 May 2014




119 Minutes. Starring: Johnny Depp, Rebecca Hall, Paul Bettany, Kate Mara, Cillian Murphy, Cole Hauser & Morgan Freeman. Director: Wally Pfister.

Facetime with Johnny Depp...that's what you get here as the movie icon and former high-school heartbreaker becomes lost in 'Transcendence' for his latest picture. 'Former' almost being the apt word in this app generation that still sees Depp as one of Hollywood's most sought after and desirable leading men in both the hearts and minds of fans and directors alike, but in a time that see's his star stock wane despite those still plugged in. People want the old Depp back-minus the Jack Sparrow face-changing, versatile bag of tricks. But do people know what they really want when it comes to this man and all his mad styles? They didn't really show up for the gangster great 'Public Enemies' or the triumphant toast to Hunter S. Thompson in 'The Rum Diary', both better movies than critically advertised. They also failed to make the trip for the deported 'Tourist', although they failed to arrive at the destination of a classic crime caper that would be fit to the decades past stylings of Cary Grant. I guess George Clooney missed a trick too. Even another 'Pirates' swashbuckle on 'Stranger Tides' and some more 'Dark Shadows' with Tim Burton failed to rouse the same roar of redemption that cutting peoples heads off with Burton like 'Edward Scissorhands' with the madness musical that was the weird and wonderful 'Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street' did. As for 'The Lone Ranger'...forget about it as most people did until they realized in retrospect it was a lot funner and fonder than plugged by critics for one of last years best Summer blockbusters in a sweaty and crowded season. The one, recent movie moment that came with a fan and critical arms unfolding, smile of approval was his cameo in the movie version of the T.V. show that launched his career '21 Jump Street'...but I'm afraid-and you'll know this for sure if you watched the film-that he won't be making another appearance in the '22' sequel alongside another huge Hollywood heartthrob that made his bread and butter in these high school halls in Brad Pitt.

While Pitt's post 50, Plan B is still on top of his game like Tom Cruise, from 'Inglorious Basterds' to 'World War Z' and 'Moneyball' strikes to the Oscar winning '12 Years A Slave', Depp is having some dark, dog days when it comes to the Hollywood high-wire, billboard blockbuster trick with his trade of depths not reaching the same appreciative exchange. Although he's maintained true to type form, people are wanting more and their flagging interest continues with his latest 'Transcendence' into science-fiction territory. Still like the Tonto's, Thompson's and 'Tourists' that proceeded this, this is in fact again better than put in end quotes by writers. OK, so this movies not terrific but it's a far territory from terrible too. Many claim that Depp is internet-phoning his performance in...but here he technically speaking is. Playing a scientist who believes technology truly is the first and foremost future and that it will be able to help, heal, build and begin a new world of change, Depp is down before the opening credits finish rolling...and this is no spoiler. We all know from the trailer of breadcrumbs that Depp's character is killed but kept alive via his thoughts and memories through the web components of a computer much like (and here's a spoiler alert) the Swiss doctor in 'Captain America-The Winter Solider' (poor timing?), giving the SIRI serious, self-aware app of 'Avengers' co-star Scarlett Johansson's 'Her' a run for her mega-bytes. 'Can you prove it' you ask? The ever weird and wonderful Depp shows his skill-set (maybe curiously critically now accepted and therefore underrated) is a modern science as he plays-off his human character and his digital one with diverse dead-pan and serious strategic cyber-realism. Going 'Johnny Mnemonic', this data trafficing android is dreaming of eclectic success with an electric performance. In all its source code one that-even if it doesn't engage fully-shows it's character engineering in a matrix of madness.

Don't click erase on this former black-listed screenplay that shows some colour from new director Wally Pfister of 'Moneyball' and Christopher Nolan fame. The viral infection of this directors 'Inception' is more than just something that reminds us of the Y2K Milleniuum bug. It's something that has a great B-movie feel amongst all the A-list talent, without the big-budget explosions and gratuitous gore of action that usually overshadows inspired and influential ideas in this science fiction digital age. From the 'Elysium' of 'District 9' director Neill Blomkamp's success to Tom Cruise going from 'Oblivion' to the 'Edge Of Tomorrow', we are in a time and tide of a sci-fi, inbetween all the comic books and superheroes when it comes to the present and future of movies and this one film is one that transcends the genre with something delightfully different. Sure the cautionary tale almost looks like something lifted off the pages of the late, great iconic forefather and creator of all this, Phillip K. Dick, but it's one we should heed even if some are treating it like an insignificant 'Minority Report'. With a hybrid of 'War Of The Worlds' themes and a geeks laundry list of big bang theories of technological futures and 'Judgement Day' fanfares, the argument can be made that this after Depp death picture is just a carbon copy. There's even those iron filings from the day Keanu Reeves plot stood still. Still, then again in this 'no ideas original, there's nothing new under the sun' age what isn't? Even Tom Cruise hit big in 'Oblivion' that borrowed off everything and most people would exchange this scientist for the scientologist. Still between all the white noise of technological advancements and a small-town set borrowed off the first 'Thor' movie there's something missing here. Perhaps its the God Of Thunder, Chris Hemsworth landing down in the films final face-off himself to make it a little bit more exciting. This film that builds and broods over layers of code needs a little injection of lightening to make it truly great but has to settle for a plug-in from an USB.

Superheroes aside Pfister's brings plenty of his mutual Nolan friends along. From the ever-great and in need of more screen-time Cillian Murphy to the legend that is the voice of Morgan Freeman, alongside other credits like Cole Hauser and Kate Mara whos about to get truly fantastic for the 'Four' of the same name. Even fellow 'Iron Man' star JARVIS is here as Paul Bettany goes beyond the digital voice to make a welcome return to screens and with his genuine performance is thankfully not even asked to join Depp in his new digital dimension. It's Rebecca Hall-another 'Iron Man' bolt(someone should tell this director he works for D.C)-who carries this picture however with all her Nolan 'Prestige'. Rebecca has been a hallmark favourite since her trip to 'Town' with new Batman, Ben Affleck and she gives her best performance since then, which sadly a lot of people seem to be missing. Morgan Freeman being here will almost remind you of his smaller but significant role in last years magic trick of the trade 'Now You See Me'. Another all-star, A-List affair that was sort of pushed back and overlooked and a lot better than first seen. Albeit a 'Lone Ranger' of a movie that is lost in the summer season of blockbusters much bigger and hotter than what this great deal could handle. This film itself could have shown a lot more cards but seems to have been to busy folding to stay safe than hitting us with a full-house of cinema chip stealing success plays. Nothing is wrong here, but remarkably nothing is this phrase either in a film of it's type with talent behind it that should be defining the word. If only some one like Phillip K. Dick could get his consulting words on this one, because when it comes to omens and prophecies from the fiction of science there's no one better to fable our future and maybe that is a cautionary tale in itself. This film becomes the singularity it focussed around rather than the epic entity it could and should have been. Although as you sit there reading this review on your phone or a computer in an internet cafe much like where I wrote this we are in it's web whether we like it or not. 'Transcendence' is a great look and methaphor to how the advancements of technology are taking us away from who we are, but ironically it is missing just that little bit of humanity to it's heartfelt beat itself that would translate to audiences of everyone everywhere. More grand design to this technology would truly give this digital Depp more conscience. Perhaps one day 'Transcendence' will be given another chance and in this recycle bin age maybe a reboot refresh. TIM DAVID HARVEY.