Thursday, 26 June 2014



Todays Special.

114 Minutes. Starring: Jon Favreau, Sofia Vergara, John Leguizamo, EmJay Anthony, Scarlett Johansson, Oliver Platt, Bobby Cannavale, Dustin Hoffman & Robert Downey Jnr. Director: Jon Favreau.

Good evening folks, my names Tim and I'll be your waiter this evening. Excuse me...your writer this evening. Then again isn't that one and the same thing? How about I start you off on some appetizers? Jon Favreau is a great writer/director/actor, triple decker threat that's been producing some mouth watering movies for us for years. You might know his signature 'Iron Man' franchise that made Marvel the hottest main course of the Summer. You only have to see 'Captain America-The Winter Soldier', 'The Amazing Spider-Man 2', 'X-Men: Days Of Future Past' and the forthcoming 'Guardians Of The Galaxy' to see that this is their year. Still if you'd like something lighter in-between all these dressings of robots ('Transformers'), monsters ('Godzilla') and monkeys ('Planet Of The Apes') then why not feast your eyes on this? Fab Fav takes two from his Tony Stark sequel and starts you off with two of the biggest Hollywood names in the business to whet your appetite. Want something that looks good but has more bite? Then how about Scarlett Johansson, who is having a career year 'Under The Skin'? That's right 'Her', herself whose Black Widow character is still crawling across the Avenger franchises before next years 'Age Of Ultron', thanks to Jon's direction and introduction. She makes a great lead waitress here and what Favreau film isn't without some RDJ? May I recommend the cameo from Mr. Stark himself? Classic.

Still let's get to the meat of this product, because the main course of this film is to die for. Forget the filler, Favreau's performance across the board is killer. Setting the table, his menu is script perfect, his direction with all he has on the plate...flawless and as for his own's a masterchef masterpiece. This is a man who is so passionate about making movies and with making a meal in-between this one we may have just seen his other love with this culinary classic. He's so proud of his cuisine and it's course you may just think he's a real chef in the making...well he has had the training. This man is so passionate about cooking he has a chef's knife tattooed on his arm. He even makes something as simple as making a cheese toastie for his son look so strategic...and satisfiyingly stringy and succulent. There's no nightmares in the kitchen here however. With John Leguizamo and Bobby Cannavale on his line we have more than just two great sides for the offering. Cannavale is his best in years and Leguizamo the man that is in seemingly every other picture shows the great talent behind all that hard work. You can put this next to 'Romeo + Juliet' and his small screen role in medical drama 'E.R.' as among the 'Ice Age' stars best dishes. Charismatic, classy and oozing heart warming cool, Johnny Legz gives this food truck it's feet and the wheels to keep everything spinning. Add a sought-after and superb sprinkle of Dustin Hoffman and Oliver Platt and you have everything your main course needs and a recipe for a real dramatic treat. Forced out of his restaurant after a harsh food critic blogs a viral bad taste in the mouth, Favreau's character takes to the road in a revolutionary food truck business. He needn't have to worry anymore though, the knives aren't out from this blogger. With some great family time with his star to be son, Emjay Anthony this picture is the feel good, first class portion you've been hungry for. Especially with 'Modern Family' star Sofia Vergara adding spice and substance to this already movie-star medley and moveable feast. Are your full yet because there's more on this platter to wine and dine you? How about some refreshment? As this truck tour of the United States from the food culture of New Orleans to the music one of Austin, Texas drinks in all the States has to offer in its outstanding openness.

With helpings of heart and lashings of location this sweet and soulful film is fun with feeling. So much so you may not have enough room for dessert, but why you mull that over perhaps some music will put you in the mood. From Mexican versions of Marvin to skeletons miming to Al Green classics this films soundtrack is something else entirely all the way to all the Cuban flavours of the barbecue hot Miami. The only thing that sounds better is the sound of the inspired ingredients hitting the grill plate with a zest that's music to your ears and more feeling to your pallet. From the way this food is prepared and shot in slick stages this more than doubles up as the perfect cooking show mixed into a great Hollywood movie. Its a fresh taste for the mainstream movie market that shows how feel-good this life really should be despite the critics. Health and happiness is on the menu and its time to read and hash-tag all about a film that makes the most out of social media, especially those tweeting birds. This 'Chef' is an aid like Hayes to any heart and soul of creation that wants to take their dream to the entrepreneurs market, whether from the kitchen or another worktop. Our head chef manages to do this without condescendingly shoving these ideas down our throats or acting as as sickly marketing campaign to viral networks. Instead its just a significant sign of the times, with a symbol of change in the face of expense itself that inspires and welcomes more people to the table than Vegas. Even vegans will want a taste. With a simmering story and a boiling cast this is a dish best served hot. So what more can be said but 'bon appetite'? We hope you've just had as much fun tonight as we have serving you and hope to see you again real soon. Now before we say goodnight, how about that dessert? You know you want to, because this 'Chef' has a treat for you. TIM DAVID HARVEY.

Friday, 20 June 2014



Eastwood, N.J.

134 Minutes. Starring: John Lloyd Young, Vincent Piazza, Michael Lomenda, Erich Bergen & Christopher Walker. Director: Clint Eastwood.

Off Broadway comes one of New York's greatest theatrical shows, switching the stage to the billboard, blockbuster circuit circus of cinema. For 'Jersey Boys' take a look behind the ticket stub as we tear through the real history and story behind the bow-ties and red tuxes for a new movie for your matinee that is more than just a magical musical. 'Oh What A Night' indeed. Whether you abide by 'Big Girls Don't Cry' or 'Walk Like A Man', or if you need a song writing credit check or a tour through musical legacy its all on show here. This is a movie that is as beautifully nostalgic as it is necessarily educational. This is a fab four who made the Ed Sullivan show that could rival the Mersey boys, as Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons where cutting records before The Beatles became the worlds famous and greatest bands. Now taking us to school as one of the worlds most well known groups, the star pupils of John Lloyd Young, Vincent Piazza, Michael Lomenda and Erich Bergen graduate to new stage-left heights and who better to direct this show than the master Clint Eastwood himself? The 'Dirty Harry' and spaghetti western legend has become as legendary a director as actor with his 33rd film from behind the camera for the legacy of his classic career. From the player coach likes of 'Unforgiven' and 'Million Dollar Baby' to the modern greats of 'Changeling' and 'Inviticus' he's become the chairman, his Sinatra way. Still we haven't seen a Clint chaired film since 2011's underrated and unflinching 'J. Edgar' collaboration with act-a-like Leonardo DiCaprio, although he swung some sweet acting for 2012's knocked out the park 'Trouble With The Curve'. Now before he shoots 'American Sniper' with Bradley Cooper he aims for the stars and boy does he get four of them.

With a pitch perfect script and a highest note of deliverance the stage is set for a feel-good film of real Summer warmth that's not afraid to still tell it like it is from the sobering substance issues to the gangster walk. No matter the egos or troubles this one comes out swinging and singing . The master of subtle strength in story and humanity; Eastwood gives these New Jersey kids more than their break, he breaks them too...all the way down to the core trials and tribulations that marked their New York times in Broadway, broadsheet ink. Drinking their way through whiskey and women and drowning their sorrows of depression and death, this may be built for the classic burger and shake, jukebox diners but its not all 'Happy Days' in these four seasons of emotions. From 'Mystic River' to 'Flags Of Our Fathers' here is a director whose always been brave enough to tread fearful territory without trepidation and here he shows the true grit behind the glitz and glamour of these celebrated celebrities. Like 'That Thing You Do' meets 'A Bronx Tale', this film walks the line of being as dark and stark of 'Ray' and still sounding so damn good. There's even some new tricks of the trade as our characters Ferris/Fred Savage narrate their way to some face to the audience screentime that rivals Scorsese's Leo of Wall Street. There's even an Eastwood easter egg here, full of spaghetti. You can shake your hairspray for the big numbers but slick back the previous combed over hairline issues that truly make this show gel. Theres a lot of improvised cries behind those staged smiles and our director who wore a trademark tux to the premiere knows how to unbutton his way to the naked truth. The man who told the best Nelson Mandela story and brought the even better best out of Angelina Jolie makes the career of four more young men, who become more than just the stars they play.

John Lloyd-Young takes the lead in more ways than one with a frank performance as Valli. A star is truly born indeed from the on cue vocals to the Jersey chops that shows stars from this town are hustled and made. This Young talent is more than just a look, or sound alike, he's another hot young actor wooing and throbbing hearts on the beat to his own cusp of superstardom. Just like the Four Seasons are more than just the Jersey Boys monkier, John Lloyd-Young is more than Frankie Valli. Behind him Erich Bergen writes his own story as the inspired and influential hitman hitmaker who back then wrote more chart toppers than Pharrell. Sure this actor may look like that Josh guy from 'Friends' but uncannily now he's about to make his own, new mark on the 'How I Met Your Mother' generation. Then there's the bass line of Michael Lomenda that adds more depth in baritone and brute from the groups melodies to the four friends lack of harmony. Still its Vincent Piazza who looks to steal the show from Young like his Devito character wants to do with Frankie's limelight. Swearing, smoking and stressing through all the success, this muses conflictions are done with this mans conviction. The 'Boardwalk Empire' soprano has more behind his wet ears than some mob-ties and swear jar gumption. In this picture this kid looks like he could rise above Phoenix and play Johnny Cash with that distinct but spot on look. We know he can sing, now just wait until they apply the aged make-up. Could we have another man in black film already? Sure if Clint does it! The master of music movies from jazz legend 'Bird' to this that even has legend Christopher Walker attending his second Broadway show after marrying Travolta in 'Hairspray' and with an old fashioned, throwback performance of classic signature too. This Broadway number one is about to be another long running hit at a whole other box-office. The boys from Jersey that rocked even before Springsteen rolled have new life that is born to run with an 84 year old director who is only getting started with recording his greatest hits. Its just too good to be true. Don't take your eyes off it. TIM DAVID HARVEY.


With the release of his directed take on 'Jersey Boys', here's the biggest billboard, greatest hits for Clint Eastwood off Broadway.

DIRTY HARRY: When it comes to detective's who's the best? Richard Roundtree's the man but this bad mother would kick John in the shaft and shut his mouth. You're damn right. I'm talking about 'Dirty Harry'. Can you dig it? The ultimate Eastwood picture. The Clint we all know; Frank Callahan. Cantankerous, classy, confident and in some ways contagiously charismatic and charming. Classic. The ultimate detective film. Part police officer, part Eastwood cowboy, minus the Stetson. Moody but magnificent with the force of a magnum. I know what you’re thinking, is there a cop better than him? Well look at five more police films or even six and see if any punks lucky enough to take his badge. Well, do you feel lucky…punk?

MILLION DOLLAR BABY: This is Clint’s picture that really directed towards greatness in the eyes of film fans and their view of who are the cinematic greats behind the lens. With a great performance on screen too, Clint brings the best out of Hilary Swank as together they pull all the punches and sandbag the notion, that women in boxing, or sports all together is something to be sneered at. Influential, impacting, sobering and serious, this film throws down hard, in and out the ring. Also with frequent collaborator Morgan Freeman again in his corner the two elder greats and statesman bring the best out of each other.

LETTERS FROM IWO JIMA: Alongside the classic ‘Flags Of Our Fathers’ Clint goes to war against ignorance and misplaced pride as he gives us a take on World War II from the Japanese perspective. With a stunning lead role by Ken Watanabe and arguably Clint Eastwood’s most direct, influential and important work behind the lens this revealing, thought inducing film is unconventional but should never be labelled controversial. It is character study of great depth and consideration that we should all look into, through our hearts and souls. It’s a look at the other side of the coin, someone else’s opinion, thoughts and feelings. With everything against him Clint does what any decent man should feel like it is his duty to do, and that is spare a thought for someone else and what they’re going through. There are always two sides to every story. We should all sit up and take notice.

CHANGELING: Challenging, moving, thought-provoking story of drama of the highest order. Another example of Clint’s subtle but sublime and serious direction and his work at raising awareness at crimes towards children. A subject he see’s as heinous but one that needs to be addressed. Rightfully so-like the incredible ‘Mystic River’-Clint does this with dignity and due diligence. Angelina Jolie gives an understated but magnificent performance as a grief stricken mother whose son is kidnapped. In her battle against the debt of doubt and a corrupt police force Jolie shows us just how much she deserves to be one of Hollywood’s biggest stars. Also Eastwood continues his legendary filmography with a perfect capturing of Los Angeles in the late twenties. Just like ‘J. Edgar’, despite some harsh overtones, the backdrop makes for a beautifully perfect, period piece. Compelling, cinematic and classic.

INVICTUS: Last year Matt Damon really displayed his versatility in 'True Grit' but if you thought this was the first time that Damon showed his range then you'd be wrong. Matt's portrayal of South African Springbok rugby star Francios Pienaar showed incredible dedication. The leading man bulked up and even dyed his hair a suspect Bros, blonde in a superb performance in Clint Eastwood's compelling epic. This was another great collaboration between Eastwood and Damon and Clint and another man. That man being Morgan Freeman in his long-awaited, highly anticipated, legendary, Oscar worthy performance as Nelson Mandela that defined the picture 'Invictus'. This utterly uplifting, incredibly inspiring story of how Mandela used the Rugby World Cup to help unite his people is pure poignancy and gold for the silver screen. Cinematic beauty from the struggle to the success, start to finish.

See Also:

BLOOD WORK: What on the outside looks like a T.V. movie is really another Eastwood great with this director/actor’s incredible inside knowledge. With the donated heart of a murder victim, our maverick cop goes on the trail of the killer of the woman that gave him life. If it wasn’t for Clint’s trademark stoicism this would be a thing of poetry.

UNFORGIVEN: Gene Hackman and Morgan Freeman join Clint on his last Western ride as this Outlaw leaves the saloon for the last time. Hanging up his six shooters, Eastwood gave the West one of its wildest tales. In a chilling classic, the pitter patter of rain on the roof of a saloon has never sounded so sinister or gripping.

THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY: You’re parent’s favourite movie. Clint took the worlds greatest actress Meryl Streep (before she became that...this film helped) and a cheesy novel and turned it into a cornball free classic romance. Our leading man standing in the pouring rain won’t leave a dry eye. TIM DAVID HARVEY.

Thursday, 12 June 2014


Days Of Tomorrows Edge.


Jimmy Fallon just broke Tom Cruise's face...literally! Things got a little competitive on his 'Late Night' show last week when the top T.V. talk show host threw a Football at the head of Hollywood's biggest star. was a picture of Tom Cruise's face in a glass frame, but after the host and star took turns on throwing hail Mary's at each others mugs it was clear the celebrity whose actually more approachable than some critics claim was making 'All The Right Moves' like his football film in not taking himself so seriously and having a laugh with the funniest man on television. Disappointed? Wish Fallon took a step back and literally punched this mans own face? Hate Tom Cruise? Well you'll get to see him punched, kicked, shot and everything else your sick mind can handle as you watch him die over 200 times in his new science-fiction movie 'Edge Of Tomorrow' with Emily Blunt. 'All You Need Is Kill' right? The novel idea of this new Cruise movie based on the Japanese book by Tokyo writer Hiroshi Sakurazaka mixes 'Groundhog Day' with 'Starship Troopers' as Tom's soldier character gets to live his day again and again each time he dies on the battlefield. In something that will repeat on you, you'll get to watch over and over again how good this actor is as you realise it's all love for Hollywood's biggest and boldest star. Hate him now, but the man who caused controversy with his scientology support (but after all his beliefs are his beliefs) is actually leading the future with the science fiction he's putting on screen. In a digital day and age dominated by Marvel, monsters and the technological, special effects advances of future fables that would make forefather Phillip K. Dick proud, from 'Elysium' to 'Oblivion', Cruise has been living in these days of future for some past times now. Ever since awakening Dick's 'Minority Report' story with Steven Spielberg, Tom has been in a 'War Of The Worlds' and summer box offices with aliens. In quite the 30 year career for Cruise that began boldly and then went straight to the 90's primetime of Hollywood hills where few men had gone before, the third act of this middle-aged actors life see's him take a dystopian turn into the future of films and new cult classics for sci-fi fandom.

At 51 years old, this kid from Syracuse, New York is right there with the Pitt's and Depp's still in his prime and still looking like he's pushing 30...and not retirement. Like his peers too he's making some of his best movies now and he's said himself he won't stop until the Clint Eastwood years come knocking on his door with a magnum. Right now it's looking like 'Endless Love' for the star whose career began with a small but significant part in that Brooke Shields film. Since then this guy has survived box office blunders, critical ink, divorces to Mimi Rodgers, Nicole Kidman and Katie Holmes and destroying Oprah's couch like his name was Rick James. Despite all this too he's still here and on top of his acting game. Besides everything else you've seen, heard or read has nothing to do with how he reads and acts out the script of his cinema career. When you put everything else aside and get down to the only business Cruise wants the public eye to witness then you get to see how good an actual actor he really is. After the 'Taps' of a military strong supporting role this kid joined the epic ensemble of 'The Outsiders', before 'All The Right Moves' and 'Risky Business' saw him slide into everyone's living room wearing nothing but a shirt and sunglasses. This young stud then began to become the Hollywood heartthrob his pin-up status was destined to be as he soared to new skies in 'Top Gun'. 'Risky Business' may have been his breakthrough, but after melting the hearts of female fans and the ice cool of Val Kilmer in Tony Scott's flight simulation this Maverick broke the sound barrier of Hollywood success. The films a classic, no matter how you look at it. Whether as an 80's great or a fathers day, collectors edition perfect present. Speaking of Jimmy, Fallon even showed his laser disc copy to Tom during the show in it's huge DVD, vinyl cased package for the record. A sequel is still in the works, even in the grounded, tragic wake of Tony Scott's death, the director who was hoping to reunite with Tom for another cruise in the sky. Still, even on a new flight plan you now this made leading man will do the franchise as much justice as he does the director tribute.

After proving he was the 'Top Gun', Cruise became a 'Legend'...literally as the Jack O' the Green character added to his lasting legacy. Hustling everyone in Hollywood this man became the iconic poster-child of big Hollywood pictures in the industries most important decades. He even racked them up with the great Paul Newman, cashing in on 'The Colour Of Money', playing billboard billiards with an absolute legend before becoming one himself. If this bar-room bout wasn't your particular brand of cognac then Tom really mixed it up for another classic in 'Cocktail' adding a dash of salt, lime and an umbrella to the tonic of his superstar reign. Still before Cruise left this definitive decade and became the 80's to dominant 90's second star Tom not called Hanks in Hollywood he gave two of his boldest and best pictures to date. In 'Rain Man' alongside Dustin Hoffman he shone behind shades, as this Oscar winning film dealt with the learning difficulty struggles of Autism for the academy that was dealing with the glitz and glamour world of Hollywood that often ignored tough subject matters and didn't deal with the real issues that lied beyond these weekly cinematic stories of human struggle and emotion. This was decades before leading man Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence drew the Academy to David O. Russell 'Silver Linings Play Book' adaptation of anxiety sufferers stories. Still, straight after 'Rain Man' and after supporting Hoffman's best role, Cruise portrayed paralyzed Vietnam War veteran Ron Kovic for his own in 'Born On The Fourth Of July'. This brave, bold and beautiful performance gave this young leading man a Golden Globe, his first Oscar nomination and along with 'Rain Man' the career you see that he has earned today from showing the 'Jerry Maguire' millions to the bold choices he can take in this out of this world modern day. Most quote on quote "Hollywood" actors start to make these defining roles that stretch their star status and real range when they reach Cruise's age now, but Tom made these choices and starred in these at then controversial and classic roles when his young career and status as a man was still hanging in the balance. Still with equal amounts of all due respect and courage the man not only gave his career something new, he made his career something nobody knew was coming.

That was his legacy and it lasts until today for a man so much in the public eye that's never been afraid of exploring who he is in all his character complexity for the better benefit of the movies he makes. This action hero may still be kicking at 60, but as he reaches his later years don't bet against him reaching greater depths in acting and character like he did in the beginning, because this man doesn't forget where he's come from and all that its lead him to. Roaring into the 90's and a new marriage with the 'Days Of Thunder' this man was leading the Hollywood race in pole position in an automobile franchise that rivals his planes one and may even take off to it's own reboot one day, especially with Tom cruising around for more and new box office success. 'Far and Away' continued the love with Nicole Kidman, before Cruise collaborated with his contemporary Brad Pitt, getting his teeth into the inspired 'Interview With A Vampire' which could take a bite out of all of the 'Twilights' today as well as anybody that doubts Cruise's charismatic versatility and show where the real 'True Blood' lies. Even the stories original outspoken writer Anne Rice came around when the best-seller finally saw the blockbuster. This franchise face got his own for the ages when Hollywood remade the 'Mission: Impossible' series and gave film-goers a new one that still lasts to this future day of a fifth instalment in the works. It looks like this spy franchise to rival Bond and even Bourne in this day and age isn't running out of fuse and with all the James and Jason's we have, the age-defying Cruise to this day still accepts the mission to play Ethan Hunt. The slick but sick sequel may have almost self-destructed the franchise in five seconds, but after the terrific third in the trilogy alongside the late, great Phillip Seymour-Hoffman we even had a 'Ghost Protocol' two years back. With the new 'Bourne Legacy' maker himself Jeremy Renner joining Cruise's side many thought this man would take over this other Bond rivalling franchise but it looks like Cruise will be joined by Hawkeye behind the bow for a few more missions that defies the improbable age gap and makes this all so potentially, powerful possible.

"SHOW ME THE MONEY" screamed this Hollywood million-dollar movie star to Oscar winning Cuba Gooding Jnr for his second Academy Award nomination in Cameron Crowes 'Jerry Maguire' which at the time completed his career like a tear-jerking, guilty pleasure of a final scene. This was this Tom's 'Philadelphia', complete with his own stellar Springsteen soundtrack song (the bosses most beautiful 'Secret Garden') like Hank's. Playing a sports agent with a new mission statement this was more than just the quotes and the cute kid. It was one of Cruise's most honest and heartfelt performances. Simple, sweet and straight-forward Hollywood big bucks budget, cinema seat filler, like the man himself. It doesn't get much better or 90's than this. Then came Kubrick and Kidman's sex-romp in the dark 'Eyes Wide Shut' which comedians claimed that it may as well have been called 'Legs Wide Open'. Still in delving into darker roles with style and conflicting substance Cruise showed more human sides of the character coin from his all balls male motivational speaker in 'Magnolia' (a scene where he breaks down under his own stage-presence pressure and flips a table over is truly inspired) to the weird, wacky and somewhat wonderful 'Vanilla Sky' which had the most famous man on the planet shut down the biggest most busiest place in the world, deserting New York's Times Square like he does London's Trafalgar Square in his new 'Edge Of Tomorrow' opening. Leaving the 90's that saw formidable legal force in 'The Firm' and 'A Few Good Men' the case was looking like Cruise couldn't handle the truth of all that was coming his way in critical and commercial collapse but the new millennium would also find new ages and opportunities for the mainstreams most marketable. He played 'The Last Samurai' with classic conviction for an old Chinese proverb of power before he entered a new world of science fiction which would come to this day to define the post 2000 years of this mans career.

First came 'Minority Report' with his director equivalent of the 90's Steven Spielberg in an awesome adaptation of sci-fi writer and forefather of future forewarnings Phillip K. Dick's iconic vision. The late, great writers legend and legacy lasts to this day thanks to his before their time stories, but also due in some part to the awesome 'Total Recall' and 'Blade Runner' films they've inspired and influenced by the book. Still throughout all the classics, no film has ever captured and continued this mans futuristic penned down promise than this. Cruise and Spielberg's star power shines throughout, even with scene stealer, star-to-be Colin Farrell's breakout role. Still from cars on the morning skyscraper scaling and plunging commute to electronic pulse, shotguns set to stun this big pictures perfect portrait is something else entirely. This visionary masterpiece of the mainstream lead Cruise and Spielberg to go even more out of this world for their classic adaptation of the 'War Of The Worlds' radio show that tuned into the dramatic side of a family apart losing each other to real end of the world stakes in a stellar sci-fi of alien and human extremes. Cruise had some more real world stuff to handle before he left this reality for more science-fiction turns that mark the last few years of his career, but this wasn't before making sure he didn't take himself too seriously, especially with all the harsh jokes made at his expense in the public eye. First came a classic cameo as 'Austin Powers' in 'Goldmember' that was truly groovy baby and who can forget the bald, fat suit man he played in his un-credited, classic surprise of a cameo in Ben Stiller's 'Tropic Thunder'? Or that dance to Flo-Rida's 'Low' that is as viral a success as the moves he made on Oprah. Then of course there was the hairspray and Bon Jovi leather in his 'Rock Of Ages' that showed that this man could sing as well as have a laugh. In a performance that showed he really was a rock star in one of his funniest and most favourable turns in recent memory the former 80's breakout star helped with our nostalgia of that fun decade. With more fun films like his 'Bourne' comedy with Cameron Diaz in 'Knight & Day', Cruise played comedy chess and then also got serious with Streep for 'Lions For Lambs' and with the war for 'Valkrie' minus the German accent. Still it was an action drama of a few years prior that was truly thrilling.

Being drove round in a taxi for Jamie Foxx's Academy award introduction in Michael Mann's 'Heat' hot crime thriller 'Collateral', Cruise went all Richard Gere in 'Pretty Woman' to play a silver fox of a killer assassin character in this underrated crime classic. Sinisterly smouldering and tensely troubled, Cruise showed he could play it straight serious as this good guy proved he could go bad with a real rouge performance. As a hit man being chauffeured round the lonely Los Angeles night this guy armed up an artillery of action, but most of the more thrilling moments in this formidable force of a film where saved for the backseat. As the claustrophobic confides of the back of the cab made for the most dramatic, pull no punches scenes of back and forth between these two leads. Jamie almost became the well deserved, first man to win both Oscars for best actor and supporting after his piano play as 'Ray', but Cruise should have at least been nominated and by this point deserves his award. His underground crime tales from the seat of a car continued recently with the surprising superb 'Jack Reacher' film based on author Lee Child's character and book saga and oh yes you can look to turn the page on this mans franchise following future with this next chapter. Still no matter how funny or formidable this man has become it seems that the advancements of science have shaped his career in more ways than one. After his classic stories of 'War Of The Worlds' and 'Minority Report' gave him new middle-aged life in this future this last year has seen him become the go-to-guy for surprise Summer blockbusters of a sci-fi nature in a geeks dream of comic book and action figure blockbusters. For all the reboots out there in this redux age, Cruise faces the 'Apocalypse Now' by starring in somewhat new and original ideas that refresh this recycled industry. Last years cinematic delve into 'Oblivion' didn't just look good, or like a white-hot app from Apple, it also helped take a dark bite out of a lightweight script idea Summer. Along with Matt Damon and our generations Phillip K. Dick, Neil Blomkamp's 'Elysium', the two freshest films of last year made for an effective team. Still todays 'Edge Of Tomorrow' obliterates 'Oblivion' and takes Tom further and further into the science spectrum of fiction over and over until we see another episode in the form of a stellar Star Wars cameo. Now with one of his best films garnering critical acclaim as the surprise of the year, the tilting cinema seats are about to sit down. For this leads future is looking more alive by the day. It looks like he's living this great life over and over again as he is about to wake up to more 'Top Gun' and 'Mission Impossible' success and even some 'Van Helsing' to go with a 'Reacher' sequel that is set to 'Never Look Back'. Something Tom Cruise doesn't have to do, but if he did he'd see duplicated success on a day to day basis. Sound familiar? If you don't think today that in tomorrows future Cruise can win this war of the Hollywood worlds then it's time to come find him when you wake up...again!

Monday, 9 June 2014




112 Minutes. Starring: Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum, Ice Cube, Peter Stormare, Amber Stevens, Wyatt Russell, Jillian Bell & Nick Offerman. Director: Phil Lord & Christopher Miller

 '21 Jump Street' makes the jump from the late eighties series with avenues of hilarious lines of comedy. Tatum and Hill turn out to have even more roads of talent than originally thought...wait a minute! Thats the review of the first film...and thats the point in this fantastic follow up that sends up all too similair sequels. Up jumps the 22 street, spring fakers boogie! That's right the latest 'Starsky & Hutch', 'Lethal Weapon' partners in crime of the 'Rush Hour' generation, Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum are back and these sons of bitches are going to college! After '21 Jump Street' took the old T.V. show that made Johnny Depp famous, gave him a cool cameo and the new budding, buddy cop, dynamic duo to new funny franchise tickling heights, we now of course have the obligatory sequel. Boy do these boys make light of this too in a heavyweight comedy coupling that give the sequel this Batman and Robin they deserve. Now in a blockbuster year and Summer season of films leaving us spoilt from superheroes to monsters we now have a classic comedy to add next door to the 'Neighbours' of Seth Rogen and Zac Efron too. Just mark the address '22 Jump Street', as the Koreans across the road brought the church back. Still the master builders of 'The LEGO Movie', Phil Lord and Christopher Miller can piece together another assembling with their cameo stars from their biggest film in what looks to be the best year for these versatile directors. Everything truly is awesome here.

With a new church for this comedy sanctimony, all praises to Channing Tatum. In a year where the 'High School Musical' graduate Zac Efron shows he is the new stepped up comedic knockout Tatum, who proves he has more to put up than those pin-up days, Channing gets his badge back as the funny man of the year. The second stealer, breakout at '21', shows he's got more than the look, being even funnier than his Oscar nominated, king of comedy co-star. After protecting the president in 'White House Down' and showing he can make his own classic cameos in 'This Is The End', this guy can do anything. Even with the pushed back, 'Jupiter Ascending' to next year, this Gambit is playing his cards right with his own 'X-Men' series of films coming up and even an 'XXL' edition of 'Magic Mike' about to take to the stage for you ladies. Guys don't worry though, if you don't already, you'll love this comedy stud after this one who bench presses the one-liners along with the Spring Break, beach body. Even with some films flopping and others rescheduled this 'G.I. Joe' is shapeing up to be Hollywood's biggest star and not only can this guy act, with this he's also sitting on the best comedy franchise today. The other half of this Hollywood power couple is the new king of the comedy hill...his name Jonah. You know? From 'Moneyball' the Oscar nominated star and new go to sidekick is swinging big and hitting the big bucks. Just ask Leonardo DiCaprio and Martin Scorsese about this 'Wolf Of Wall Street' as they have more in store for this 'Superbad' star who proves he's no sidekick here, but one half of the ying and yang that makes for this perfect partnership. Going the opposite way of Tatum, Jonah has shown he has more acting skills than the comedy chops that make him Seth Rogen arguably the funniest man on the planet. From going undercover in a brilliant disguise to inking some face time with an Octopus, this guy brings the real gags back to the forefront of this super sequel. As these two college cops infiltrate the dealer and find the supply again, the idea of cheap, cashed in sequels is played to hilarious effect, for a running joke about this idea that amazingly thanks to its one liner script and perfect timing deliverance never gets old. Where the identical 'Hangover Part II' sort of worked, this does in as double down, straight side split with no chaser that drinks everything else under the table.

This is what happens when you add an Ice Cube to this drinking buddies comedy and on this 'Ride Along', the angry, foul mouthed N.W.A. legend still plays the angry captain police stereotype to the tip of the cap with his perfect hip-hop cameo wife. The man who once had a few choice words for law enforcement plays another cop this year and has more hilarious bullet points in his comedy chamber that show he could play Russian roulette with his two co-stars all day. If that wasn't funny enough for you then there's more Nick Offerman for your 'Parks and Rec' inspired, innuendo introduction. Add him to a rap sheet, cast list of the who's who from Peter Stormare and Jillian Bell, to Amber Stevens and Wyatt Russell then you have quite the table read. There's more classic cameos then those Rob Riggle and Dave Franco ones from the cell-block, but what happened to that rumoured Brad Pitt one? There may be a 'Moneyball' strike out here-in less I missed something-but theirs more star power over these lines to add to this punch. From Wi-Fi that runs and runs 24/7 to riding around in a football head, hey Arnold this is funny. With Tatum running round like a Terminator too there's enough action here to make these 'Bad Boys' make enough explosions to make Michael Bay proud too. There's no sophomore slump here in a movie that does the original proud and now we have a film that sits perfectly next to its partner like a 'Wayne's World', party time, excellent comedy couple. From the looks of things too, there's enough sequel streets to keep these boys jumping until they actually are 40. Then things may get a little old, but right now these kids are more than alright. Dude...where's my trilogy? TIM DAVID HARVEY.

Friday, 6 June 2014



For Oscar.

85 Mins. Starring: Michael B. Jordan, Melonie Diaz & Octavia Spencer. Director: Ryan Coogler.

Fruitvale Station was the scene of a most heinous crime committed against a young 22 year old father named Oscar Grant. The station in Oakland, California at New Years in 2009 saw this young man killed by a Bay Area Rapid Transit police officer, during a heated scene where he and four of his friends where detained following a fight that broke out on one of the trains. Whilst being brutally restrained by one officer with a boot in his face to the ground, Oscar was then shot in the back by another officer and mortally wounded. Doctors did all they could even removing a lung from this young man but he died just after nine in the morning on the 1st of January, New Years Day 2009. The officer in question claimed he mistook his gun for a tazer. His murder charge was reduced to manslaughter and his two year prison term reduced to 11 months. Mr. Grant's young girl has grown up without the father that raised and took care of her from birth. An example of police brutality and the law being placed in the wrong hands is yet another sick to the stomach, sobering moment that has more significance to more people than just being another statistic to the ever mounting case of paper work in the defence of the rights of people being read theirs. In a bitter taste of the wrong force of police we see something that is you live outside of the U.S. like this writer you may have never witnessed in the news. Until now where we are told this too tragically true story.

It's always incredibly hard to write and even begin to review a film like this based on true events that are too much to bear. You can't label this drama because no matter how amazingly this was acted this actually happened and all too soon ago. In a year where '12 Years As A Slave' woke up the Academy of Oscars to just how brutally bad things where for African Americans decades ago, Oscars story shows us how bad thing still are now. How racism is still tragically very much alive and how the struggles of youth are more than just the blurred lines and good and bad sides of the law. Still this film is just as important as '12 Years' and although you can't really call something so harrowing brilliant, just like '12 Years A Slave' is one of the best and more aptly said most important movies of all-time, 'Fruitvale Station' is one of this years. This emotionally charged film will move you to tears of rage in all its tragedy and what lies before that time in bittersweet, bleak beauty. In a time and tide where we are all too use to the escapism of big budget blockbusters and their fake themes, especially in the scorching hot, lazy Summer season its time we see a film that's been made for meagre thousands move millions. Not because we get to see fine filmaking and acclaimed acting, but instead the report of something so powerful and wrong that its only right we learn and better ourselves and others by not taking it for granted but taking it for what it is. In a day and age where pop stars who need to grow up are being exposed for being racist its time we all ignore those who are ignorant and take a long look at the real issues that are still taking their toll and plaguing us in this modern day. This film of a moment of tragic cruelty that was caught on peoples camera phones addresses exactly this and believe me its time to heed the respectful warnings before this one and really put those phones away. You know what though? I hope we never have to watch a film like this again.

In this app age of disregard its time to really spread the word about something that should no longer be a trend. Abuse and racism it needs to stop and think, like those officers hell-bent on a brutal rage that night, hiding behind their badges but opening up the violence that laid beneath their clenched fists should have. This film not only shows us what happened it also tells the story of Oscar Grant in all his beauty and humanity. A devoted father, son and boyfriend. A man who had made mistakes, but was righting the wrongs and trying to make a better life for himself and his family. This film shows the actual man and human, that the police in question so viciously ignored. There's a lot of good, no great cops out there...but not these. Ryan Cooglers real, raw and respectful direction paints this young mans portrait and with 'The Help' of moving mothering from Octavia Spencer and Melonie Diaz's strong stand by her man this family picture is brought even further into our homes. Still with a courageous cast all the way down to the growing up and maturing so fast Ariana Neal as Grants daughter, no one in this Forest Whitaker produced film does greater service to Oscar than Michael B. Jordan. Like Mike? Then you're going to see why everyone loves him after this in what will remain through his life as one of his greatest and most important performances. The man has received unfair criticism from the shadow of his namesake with the greatest Basketball player of all-time (to be truly fair this kid was born prior to M.J's super success and M.J.B. added the 'B' to his stage name out of respect) to 'Captain America' himself Chris Evans passing the human torch of Johnny Blaze to him for next years 'Fantastic Four' reboot. Still you're about to see just how on fire this hot talent is who has shown true grit in 'The Wire' to comedy chops in Zac Efron's 'Awkward Moment' coming out party. This Jordan rules and number 23 will be proud to share his name. Heart warming and breaking there's no more doubt when it comes to this young man. Its here where this young man shows just as great and actor he is capturing the human side of himself and his role and torching the terrible atrocities that happened in the name of Oscar. Many believe he was Tom Hanks snubbed for one too in this years Academy for a film and role that's right there with '12 Years' and much better than the 'Gravity' and 'Hustle' of the rest. Still speaking to basketball press SLAM recently Jordan played all this down like a pro. After all from his performance to this pictures power you can save the gold for those who don't realise what truly shines. This is more than an award, its a life lesson and legacy. That means more than all that glitters. The only Oscar that matters here is Grant. TIM DAVID HARVEY.