Sunday, 20 December 2015

REVIEW: A VERY MURRAY CHRISTMAS

4/5

Scrooged In Translation.

56 Minutes. Starring: Bill Murray, Paul Shaffer, Chris Rock, Miley Cyrus, Michael Cera, David Johansen, Rashida Jones, Jason Schwartzman, Jenny Lewis, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph & George Clooney. Director: Sofia Coppola.

Let it Bill, let it Bill, let it Bill! There is no one in Hollywood quite like the maverick Murray and this yuletide season wont feel like a 'Groundhog Day' of not kick starting your Christmas shopping or struggling to get into the spirit thanks to Bill's jingles for your bells. Now the legend that made movies like 'Scrooged' and 'Lost In Translation' classics mixes the two for a perfect Christmas cocktail for those feeling lonesome at the bar and in need of spirit this December 25th. Streaming Netflix with a variety Christmas special, directed by 'Godfather Part III' actress Sofia Coppola, who brought the love and loneliness out of Tokyo and Murray back when this icon was even big in Japan, even the most popular cult celebrity in the world has the 'Christmas Blues' and he's singing it all poignantly and perfectly beautifully. Aching, but a long way away from dull, this is a soulful mediation to all we have love and lost in this time that brings everyone together no matter how far apart. This musical comedy film brings an epic ensemble of A listers from cinemas and concerts for quite the gig. But at the end of your advent calender's eve it's still a Murray Christmas guaranteed to give you the happiest of New Years. So join us and have yourself a Murray and merry one.

Baby it's cold outside, but you really must stay for this fairytale in New York as Murray makes it warmer than relaxing, 'Santori' times whiskey this Winterime in the snowed in classic Carlyle Hotel in NYC. Somber tones may run throughout this fictional show that Bill is trying to put on in the Big Apple, but just like the Oscar winning 'Birdman' there is unexpected virtue here in the form of hopeful inspiration not ignorance or woe. Sleet may sheet the window of this isolated leading mans loneliness but the woodgrain polished look of the Bemelmans bar and it's roaring fireplace inside takes your coat and holds your hands that are just like ice. This mini-film is funny, forthright, dramatic and damn delightful...oh and between all that acting there's some singing too. But you best believe this musical is big numbers to your ears. As Murray moves Christmas classic after Christmas classic to his pace, much like the atmospheric and magic, smoky and smoldering 'A Very She And Him Christmas' album. As a matter of fact the only thing this old boy is missing is 'New Girl' Zooey Deschanel. Although 'She's Not Me' of last years 'The Voyager' fame singer Jenny Lewis is on hand as a wonderful waitress for when there are no cabs to be had out there next to French group Phoenix. And how about legendary Letterman sidekick and musical director Paul Shaffer who brings the biggest and best out of backing everyone, especially the jingle 'Wrecking Ball' of Miley Cyrus atop his snow white piano? Inspiring in interpreting 'Silent Night' into her own holy beauty you forgot she was this crazy good when she sings classically...just like Gaga 'Cheek To Cheek' with Tony Bennett this lady.

No wonder the 'Party In The U.S.A.' singer that can't be tamed whether it's a Hannah Montana special or a Christmas one like 'The Night Before' is up in the arms of a tux, Rat Pack double act of Murray and Clooney. And by George does this guy and Bill make for one Sinatra and Dino pairing preparing the Christmas drinks. To be frank Clooney hasn't looked this great and relaxed in years. Looking like his old Cary Grant self, did you forget how funny this practical joker was backing up the worlds most hilariously offbeat actor (he and Bill even take the mick out of their unfairly underrated 'Monuments Men' movie thanks to a hilarious exchange with on-screen geek turned douche Michael Cera) and dancing with a plastic Douglas Fir for your new fondest, seasons greetings memory banks? Still even with one the biggest Hollywood names on the planet on the Bill, Bill still gets by with a little help from his famous friends. From Quincy's daughter Rashida Jones to Tina Fey's 'Sister' Amy Poehler. Or one of Wes Anderson's favorites Jason Schwartzman or another of Bill's old friends, New York Doll and Ghost Of Christmas past 'Scrooged' star David Johansen. But what's Christmas without Rudolph as 'Bridesmaid' Maya shows just how great she can sing as well makes us all shout with red nose and faced laughter? All these stars yet the best duet bar the fondly funny 'Do You Hear What I Hear' one with 'Top Five' king of comedy Chris Rock is the reuniting one with Francis Ford's daughter herself. Coppola and Murray need to make something like this a timely tradition, because this slow burner, more than a decade in the Scarlet karaoke nights (where's 'Her' in all this guys? 'Lucy' can sing!) of the Far East removed is like chestnuts to the open fire. And here with a love song to the letter homage to the big name, Saturday night, bright light, live shows of the big city of New York, variety here is the cinnamon spice of this festive life. To you all watching and listening and streaming a very Murray Christmas. TIM DAVID HARVEY.

Friday, 18 December 2015

REVIEW: STAR WARS-THE FORCE AWAKENS

4/5

Guardians Of A Galaxy Far, Far Away.

135 Minutes. Starring: Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong'o, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew & Max von Sydow. Director: J.J. Abrams.

The Force is strong with this one. Mark Hamill still has it. Carrie Fisher still has it. Harrison Ford still has it. J.J. Abrams has that power too! Boldly going from the 'Star Trek' franchise he helped bring back to whole new lives and civilizations and out of the darkness of a lost trilogy, he becomes the director this 'Star Wars' franchise was looking for now the legendary George Lucas has passed the hilt his way in an iconic screen swipe transition that is still kept true in this picture. It's finally here. The movie event of the year, decade, millennium and lifetime. And oh how this Empire is striking back with the return of this Jedi. Hope is made anew by J.J. who attacks the clones, with the revenge of the Sith like a Phantom Menace possessed. Forget all the Marvel, 'Terminator' machines, 'Jurassic World' monsters and even the icon James Bond himself, this is the sequel in its own galaxy leaving everything else...well you know the rest. This even goes to space battle with Matt Damon's 'Martian' all the way in Mars. The original trilogy was more than just a classic, or greatest ever big three next to 'The Godfather', 'Lord Of The Rings' and 'The Dark Knight' trifectas. It was a way of life for so many generations, light or dark side. Geek or street. The second trilogy was massive, mesmerizing and nostalgic...albeit messy. But does Episode VII bring new hope and that magic back as 'The Force Awakens'? Well as soon as you hear the space opera of that classic John Williams theme and see that iconic font across the stars you have your answer beaming across space and your face. Abrams has gone and pulled it off at light speed. After showing he could take Gene Roddenberry's concept of treking across the stars through its final frontier, he goes beyond that in Lucasfilm's galaxy as he continues his mission. Switching speeds and the Starship Enterprise for the Millennium Falcon as he becomes the new guardian of any galaxy. Take a back seat Star Lord. By George I think he's got it!

Just let the opening scene do the talking for you like the new rogue actor who pilots it and almost steals the show of this whole thing. But we all know that the biggest star and name here is 'Star Wars' itself and Abrams know this. This isn't about 'Star Trek' or even he. This is about the memories of so many children now grown up and more to come and be made. And in an all too dark themed Hollywood this film that goes to war with the light and dark side, between the First Order and the Resistance has some all too modern day, real themes to teach everyone too beyond this futuristic, Western fantasy. Delivered by a multi-racial, all world cast who beat the b.s. boycott to show any notion of negativity is out of this small world. Now hows that for another great turn of direction? There's so much more from the awakening force and 'Lost' director who has really found his calling. We already knew from his last franchise turnaround that this man could bring the sense of adventure to action in a Hollywood hail of bullets that needed more fun to its fantasy epics and here he does it again with a much grander, more sensational sense of scale that Falcon flies above any height. There's no ceilings in space. Even a 'Captain America-Civil War' trailer before hand cant amass this much character and fan boys and girls for Marvel's new Disney neighbors. We've got aerial assaults of fighters, wings and lasers that bring more fireworks to the sky than New York on New Year. To go with formidable and scintillating, snow forest, light saber battling sword fights among the best you've ever seen. Darth Maul or Vader himself. Legendary and legacy making, some one call the National Trust because there's some major deforestation going on here. This one could melt the ice caps. And you can rejoice in the fact that there's no Jar Jar, or J.J. lens flare overkill. When that does flare up however it shines...beautifully. Just like the instantly iconic shots of ships in the sunset like 'Apocalypse Now' (hey young Han) or across the water to new depth in the most visual Star Wars film yet. Epic, this is!

Good, bad, light, dark and family is what these movies really orbit around however. So you know the concept of character is central here and oh does this have it and then some with all your favorites back and that's no trap. The trilogy of stars from the first three film are back and what was 'Star Wars' without them? Time to find out why Mark Hamill was on a milk carton in the trailer and if Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher still love each other. You know! One things for sure however its so good to have Han and Leia and Luke Skywalker back and even age and time wont keep them from being a force in what is now second, third and VII nature to them. They're all here. That furry Sasquatch, R2 and C3PO complete with the mark of a red arm that looks like something out of Tony Stark'a Iron Man inventory...I guess these neighbors have been borrowing more than a cup of sugar. Still the next generation of stars show they can becomes instant favorites too. Daisy Ridley is a star in the making...the making that happens over the two hour screen time. Whilst John Boyega attacks this one like he attacks the block. Don't worry if you didn't line up around the street corners for those auditions last year. Nobody was beating these two. Or the tag team chemistry this big deal has with the next great actor of our time Oscar Isaac, who is award worthy with the way he steals the spotlight everyone he boards this picture. With classic movie star looks and Hollywood cocksure charisma the former indie actor breaks out and kind of show us what it would have been like if Al Pacino ended up playing Solo like he almost did back in the day. Even Oscar's 'Ex Machina' science fiction co-star Domhnall Gleeson is on hand as a camped up baddie, but the real villain is Adam Driver's incredible Kylo Ren. Complete with cloak, one hell of a brimstone burning dagger and his own epic helmet and mask making his instant iconic voice sound like the halfway house between a Bane and Lord Vader. Darth's helmet is even on charred call for that Sith, dark side inspiration. All this plus the voice of '12 Years A Slave' Oscar winner Lupita Nyong'o and the motion capture of Gollum and 'Planet Of The Apes' white dot actor Andy Serkis who may as well invent a whole new category for the Academy. Even the legendary Max Von Sydow makes a cameo. What more could you ask for? The closest thing to a Bobba Fett like bounty? The Buzz Lightyear Christmas toy of the year under everyone's tree in the form of a droid that shares the same charisma and circumference as Wilson from 'Cast Away'? Even a don't worry if you blink, you'll still miss it anyway, J.J. 'Trek' buddy Simon Pegg, or is it 007 himself with the Stormtrooping cameo? Well its all here. Believe it. Just like the hype and what everyone's saying. Its true...all of it! No need to have a bad feeling about this! TIM DAVID HARVEY.

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

REVIEW: THE NIGHT BEFORE

4/5

Ding, Bong, Merrily On High.

101 Minutes. Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen, Anthony Mackie, Lizzy Caplan, Mindy Kaling, Jillian Bell, Michael Shannon & Tracy Morgan. Director: Jonathan Levine.

Twas 'The Night Before' Christmas. And all through the movie. Not a creature was stirring. Not even a Wookie.

For the force of 'Star Wars' would not awaken for another night. Because on this special day a Robin, Falcon and 'Green Hornet' would on Santa's sleigh take flight.

On Rogen. On Gordon-Levitt. On Mackie. On a F.A.O Schwarz 'Big' piano runway playing Kanye. Lets hear it for the douche bags, lets hear it for the a##holes. Lets hear it for Ant, Joe and Seth and their love letter song to F.A.O.

Three bud brothers down to the last tote. On one special night the let it snow. A time honored tradition on Christmas eve. To stay together until like the Star of David they reached the top of the tree.

But then time happens year after year. Like a family's new born babies and NFL celebrity cheer. So when all its all about to be over for the one man show from 'Looper'. It's time for one last Hangover, no Bradley Cooper.

As Joe Levitt hits record on this Christmas movie revue. He's joined to the 'This Is The End' by your friendly, 'Neighbor'-hood king of comedy who last Christmas almost gave you 'The Interview'. This year to save you from no tears he's giving it all away all again. Yet who would have known we would save a special comedy talent coming to America in the Marvel sidekick to the Captain.

But that's not all superheros from our red breast rob. Smoking in the car like an on fire Michael Shannon, funny as hell, no longer General Zod. And how about three wise women for this big-three bromance with heart. Because Lizzy Caplan, Jillian Bell and Mindy Kaling more than play their pitch perfect part.

Now what more could you ask for this Christmas on your cinema screens. Than the latest hit, classic comedy from Levitt and Rogen's '50/50' Jonathan Levine. How about some storytelling narration from your man, back and well better than ever Tracy Morgan. Or references to the classics, from 'Home Alone' to 'Goldeneye' one and all again.

So reach for that egg nog and grab your Christmas sweater. Because when it comes to the good tidings of films like this nothing is better. Everyone's here in classic cameo, from a 'Wrecking Ball' to basketballs Baron Davis. Here's one Christmas party that goes harder than Miley Cyrus.

Seasons greetings from New York, New York the home of December 25th. For this Winters tale that is the lightest and warmest gift. No story will get you more in the spirit than three dudes that are as wise as the are tight. So Happy Christmas to all and to all a good night. TIM DAVID HARVEY.

Sunday, 6 December 2015

REVIEW: BRIDGE OF SPIES

4/5

Saving Private Hanks.

141 Minutes. Starring: Tom Hanks, Mark Rylance, Amy Ryan & Alan Alda. Director: Steven Speilberg.

Catch this if you can! In the coldest war in the coldest Winter, Tom Hanks reunites with a director as legendary as he is an actor. Following the banding with his brother Steven Spielberg for 'Saving Private Ryan', taking off with 'The Terminal' and caching up with Leonardo DiCaprio comes their new classic collaboration under the magnify glass, 'Bridge Of Spies'. A historical drama that continues the legendary mastermind behind 'Jaws', 'E.T.' and 'Jurassic Park's deeper turn into these shadows and corners of history after his brilliant 'Lincoln' biography and the stage he set with his 'War Horse' showcase. This spy game inspired by true events travels from throwing the book at classic courtroom drama in defense of an agent of the enemy, to Germany where the negotiation battle for a swap of two prisoners of war tries to break down barriers to the backdrop of the construction of the Berlin wall. With this union with the Soviets comes some literal and metaphorical themes that you best believe still translate to a lost today. Making for one sensational story penned by Matt Charman and the collaborating Cohen's for a traditional tale thats texture off the slow burning pages of the script is even more of a testament throwback than 'Catch Me If You Can'. Billowing and blowing through the wind of a scotch bar, cigar room's ashtray. Smokin'.

From this fifties feeling first tote you can taste the tobacco and touch the tweed lining of a conversation piece that needs no action to thrill with it's old school "son of a b####"  firm truth handling. Yet if has plenty of perfectly nerve wracking set-pieces from an aerial assault that takes you back to all the horrors that soldiers younger than students had to endure in all its terrifying gravity, to some capered cat and mouse between the sidewalks of what seems like just another walk home at night, dripping in 'Road To Perdition' rain and double agent topcoats and umbrellas. This is as outstandingly old fashioned as the chrome and paint on the vintage automobiles sweeping past. Spielberg may have brought wow to our wonderment in the golden era of the 80's and the 90's more than this, but in his whiskey years he's far from being on ice with what just may be his greatest looking picture yet. Mesmerizing in both its tone and rolling delivery that is slow, but oh so satisfying in all it's answers to it's thought provoking themes that will resonate the more you leave the cinema and switch on your television to watch the news...or pick up your 'Time' magazine, because this is that iconic and classically timeless. Just like Spielberg himself, he's more than still got it or on top of his game...he's in a whole new lane. Scene to snow scaped scene of sensational symbolism and stakes. Bringing the best and highest out of his acting talent from the amazing Amy Ryan in wonderful, stand by your man wife role that is far from playing. To legendary M.A.S.H. actor Alan Alda, who is back with this and 'The Longest Ride' and hasn't been this great since almost a decade ago with DiCaprio in 'The Aviator'. And let's hear it for character actor of the moment Jesse Plemons who is having quite the week with this and Johnny Depp's Boston 'Black Mass'.

Yet everyone is about to hear it for Mark Rylance. The Olivier award winning actor may just join that big name statuette in his trophy cabinet with one names Oscar, because the Academy are going to love this like when Barkhad Abdi starred sensationally alongside Mr. Tom for 'Captain Phillips'. And after the twice over snub of this return to classic form and the supporting look of 'Saving Mr. Banks', the Academy definitely owe thanks and more award appreciation to Hanks for more memories of mastermind like movie moments. He was robbed when it came to 'Phillips' and 'Mr. Banks', but now saving this private it's time for a fair exchange. You have to salute these two standing men, no knocks. Rylance in the corner, in the spy shadows backed up against a high silhouetted wall, but with the quite storm nervousness of a man that's scrapping below the subtle surface of what looks like a weathered but withstanding demeanor of someone taking it all in their slow stepping stride. It's the 'Best Supporting Actor' opponents that are the ones who should be scared...but would it help? Hanks' certainly does with his traditional acting that goes beyond words on the page of a script to the genuine humanity of a man that always plays it straight laced, even when going down the gangster road of 'Perdition'. But there's much more too it then that. As Hanks goes for gold whilst mining all he can out of a man that is giving his all and travelling so far so one man on the other side can walk just a few steps. But oh the significance of it all. And oh how good it is thanks to how great they are. Both their restrained passions are as understated as that statement is itself. Rylance is a real as it gets and Hanks is Hanks. With 'Saving' spirit, 'Philadelphia' soul, 'Cast Away' survival and 'Captain Phillips' resilience at 'Green Mile' lengths it's a dedication worth its weight and wait in gold and he'll share it with his co-star and director. Mission: Possible! Even with an U.N.C.L.E's worth for your bob this year, with the sleuth of spy movies that have come out this Cold War classic bridges all sorts of gaps. There's no secret to that kingmans gold standard service. TIM DAVID HARVEY.

Sunday, 29 November 2015

SILVER LININGS COLUMN-The Russo Brothers Are The Right Team For 'Captain America-Civil War'

Game Of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s

Captain America, The Winter Soldier, The Falcon, Ant-Man, Hawkeye, Scarlet Witch and Agent 33. Or Iron Man, War Machine, The Vision, Black Panther and Widow. Whose side are you on? Either way you can't deny that D.C. have moved to Marvel's side once again with the 'Dawn Of Justice' of their 'Batman V Superman' movie with the trailer for this new awakening force that is set to make its big screen debut before some Christmas movie called 'Star Wars'. You can't deny that the Avengers 2.5 'Captain America-Civil War' trailer is all everyone in the Hollywood movie world and the big bang comic-book geek one is talking about right now. But when it comes to the time to pick a side who do you go with? The soldier or the metal man? Well the side and team you should really count on is the one you least expect...

...the Russo brothers.

Brother the trailers excitement is going to battle with all else you use your phone to procrastinate and distract you from..is it bad/geeky I've lost count of how many times I've watched this on Youtube? From the continuation of the 'Ant-Man' post credits scene to the "he's my friend", "so was I" bromance tear-jerking end. Coupled (or should we say tripled) with one hell of a 'Dragonball Z' style tag-team fight (we see you Tyrone Magnus...your trailer reactions are the best) that is an Easter Egg all itself to who may one day carry the Captain's shield after Chris Evans' Steve Rogers. And let's not get started on the debate for all the Easter Eggs we didn't see ("YELLOW TRUCK"!) along with the characters that join the Incredible Hulk (at least General Thunderbolt Ross is back) and Thor M.I.A., from enemies like Baron Zemo and Crossbones to new heroes that we didn't see like Ant-Man (well, at least I didn't think we saw him), The Vision and to catch the highly anticipated, long awaited, new Marvel Cinematic Universe Spider-Man. Oh and how could we forget the Black Freaking Panther?! Did you see him run? Or the Falcon flipping out and taking two people out at the same time...and I bet you thought he only got exciting when the wings came out? The trailer that has been long over-due offers us so much and withholds even more to get us more than ready for its May day release.

Yet all this excitement comes from two men and I'm not talking about Chris Evans' Captain America and Robert Downey Jnr's Iron Man...even though they've made for one hell of a frenemy pair going toe-to-toe ever since they dared each other to put on the suit. Now suiting up together the banter is back as they threaten to go a few rounds and punch each other in their perfect teeth, but there's much more emotion and meaning behind all of that with everything these Avengers have been through all the way to this years monster 'Age Of Ultron' (maybe Cap did end up taking from Tony Stark's pile of wood). And it's the Russo brothers who bring this all out, making the battle between Marvel's two most popular heroes even more iconic than the fight between D.C.'s top tandem. After all the Russo brothers have given us the best Marvel Avengers film in this phase and maybe even all-time with 'The Winter Soldier' sequel that made us forgive and forget the longing for the war, torn, days gone by texture and traditions of 'The First Avenger' movie (along with Hayley Atwell's 'Agent Carter' of course). Now these brothers in arms with greater storytelling than Thor and Loki could take this war to 'Infinity'...parts one and two.

'The Winter Soldier' has it all. Action, drama, excitement, emotion, thrills, spills. Links to everything including 'Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D' (its all connected). But it was the way it was shot, where it was set (the political capital of Washington D.C.) and everything in-between that made it not only one of the best superhero movies of all-time (certainly the best since 'The Dark Knight'), but a great thriller that even exists as the perfect movie aside from the supernatural, superhero stuff. Take away that shield and subtlety this is one of the modern days great action movies that harks back to the good old, golden era days of the 90's. And add everything to do with 'S.H.I.E.L.D' itself and you have a spy, secret service movie of cat and mouse, 'who done its' that could find itself and the sum of all its fears under the clear and present danger shadows and patriot games of a Jack Ryan movie. Harrison Ford would love this.

Shot first and foremost between the green and city streets of downtown D.C. too, it almost has an 'In The Line Of Fire' feel to it. From the Mall to the Lincoln memorial, making the worlds most famous, do-good superhero almost presidential in the comic-book world. Clint Eastwood may as well have shot it. That's what makes all those terrifyingly thrilling, amazing action scenes with Bucky Barnes brainwashed 'Winter Soldier' villain all that more ice cold chilling. Now just like moving from World War 2 to this present day 'Civil War', the transition of Buck from great bad guy to fallen hero, no longer dispatching enemies and taking everyone out like 'The Terminator' will in the end be as welcome as it at first seems unwelcome. That's because the Russo's have got this. We can already see that Cold War era spy stuff going on in the new trailer like the best directing brothers since the Cohen brothers were the men from U.N.C.L.E. The jumping from buildings to escape a swat team ascending the stairs. The situation room briefing by Generals that keep the origins of the comic-books registration act alive. The helicopters, the airport face offs, the defining dialogue, bar-room talk whilst going leather and aviator undercover, the tunnel chases. It's all there and it's all classic stuff, old school or new hero generation. These super siblings are really bringing the old school feel and vintage vibe of classic Captain America comic graphic novels like 'No Escape' (Baron Zemo) and 'The Trial Of Captain America' (maybe a future film) to cell to screen legendary legacy, movie making life. It's all going to mean so much more come next year too, because when it comes to 'Captain America 3' you know you can count on the Russo's when it comes to going into battle. It's time for 'Civil War'! TIM DAVID HARVEY.

Thursday, 26 November 2015

T.V. REVIEW: JESSICA JONES Season 1

4/5

Netflix & Thrill.

13 Episodes. Starring: Krysten Ritter, Mike Colter, Rachael Taylor, Wil Traval, Erin Moriarty, Eka Darville, Carrie-Anne Moss & David Tennant. Created By: Melissa Rosenberg.

Keeping up with Miss Jones' 'Alias' is hard. You'd have to be a private investigator yourself to get close to this one. Not to be confused with the old hit Jennifer Garner T.V. show, this 'Alias' AKA 'Jessica Jones' (the name it uses due to copyright) is one of Marvel's newest, deepest and best comic-book heroes, leaping off the cell pages in 2001 to her own show just a decade and change later. A show that brings new life to this character, just like the fellow Netflix, 'Defender' series 'Daredevil' that has changed the game and a bust of a movie to a new booming hero of New York's Hells Kitchen. Giving the rest of what's on T.V a nightmare (even D.C.'s 'Gotham', 'Flash'. 'Arrow' and even new pop hit 'Supergirl') to be Marvel's darkest and best show even among the 'S.H.I.E.L.D' and 'Carter' agent hits. A traditional, television, blindsiding, binge-age watching series that's set to have a second season, complete with an even more credible version of Jennifer Garner's electric Electra character (with no disrespect to the great Garner, but you can see the character correlation), serving as even more of a Punisher to that old delightful but dated Ben Affleck movie. Now following last years 'Guardians Of The Galaxy' breakout year and 'The Winter Soldier' which may just lead to the best Avenger movie in next years 'Civil War' (with the trailer being all anyone is talking about right now outside of 'Star Wars'), Marvel may even be having their best calendar yet in 2015 (bar the 'Fantastic Four' flawed flop...that wasn't even really theirs), in their 'Age Of Ultron' that also saw one of the biggest hits in the smallest superhero 'Ant-Man' and the even smaller screen, from your tablet to your phone with 'Agent Carter' and 'Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D' season 3 joining Netflix's 'Daredevil' and now this.

If it wasn't for the blind lawyer with the lethal stick, 'Jessica Jones' would be the best thing on T.V. this year. Part cinematic love story letter to every beautiful backstreet and classic corner of New York City. Part magnum strong P.I. show, this is N.Y.C. and private investigating to the notes of the jazz soundtrack that plays subtly but beautifully behind the notes. Brutal but brilliant and even darker than the man without sight or fear, 'Jessica Jones' is dripping in neo-noir, AKA the greatest, traditional detective series with a dame to kill for since 'Sin City'. And boy is our Jessica, Krysten Ritter a real femme fatale, breaking good from her previous television roles alongside the one who knocks. This Jessica is off the chain. 'Don't Trust The B### In Apartment 23'...no that's not a crass statement but Ritter's previous T.V work alongside 'Breaking Bad' and 'Veronica Mars', but here the raven haired, porcelain skinned beauty shows she'e beyond fragile, with strength, special abilities and an office in an apartment block where she's not afraid to literally show you the door...yet still you'll be left wanting to be the one that knocks. If you think that's one hell of a psychological trip than wait until you see the rest of the show and make an appointment with the Time-Lord, as 'Doctor Who' legend David Tennant becomes a witch doctor of the mind. Making the Kilgrave villain legendary and as abhorrent as his Tardis changing character is charismatic. Tennant is as terrific as his vile villain is terrible and a new classic bad guy, complete in Joker clown, cheap purple suit. The purple man really is something to worry about, controlling everyone's mind like Godfather puppets. Telling everyone exactly what to do, making for the worst game of Simon Says you've ever played. But this man says he's incredible and I am of sound mind and no manipulation...well I sure hope so anyway! How high should I jump? There's more rising actors of influence in control here, from Racheal Taylor and Wil Traval, to Erin Moriarty and Eka Darville. Even Trinity of 'The Matrix' and 'Memento' star Carrie-Anne Moss is here to give more futuristic star power to Marvel's new flying vehicle. Dodge that!

One man who doesn't need to avoid anything is Mike Colter as the unbreakable Luke Cage under this shows skin. When many thought the muscle of 'Brooklyn Nine-Nine's' Terry Crews was a perfect fit for the 'sneeze and you're going home naked' t-shirt of this Power Man, it turns out that the 'Brooklyn Lobster' who previously won our hearts and throat lumps in 'Men In Black 3' has the real mettle to be the right Hero For Hire. And with his crossover and complicated relationship with our leading lady here that has more depth and drama than not just this, but what you would expect from most superhero stories, we now can't wait for when he gets his own show, let alone the ultimate 'Defenders' spin-off show. We can't wait to see the origins of his backstory, the future of this team and the Marvel franchise and how it all intertwines. Yet right now standing above it all on a ledge in the middle of midtown Manhattan is the one heroine who stands the strongest. Jessica Jones AKA Krysten Ritter is intensity inspired and passion personified in this ass kicking all-action thriller with a supernatural twist of drama dynamics, tense horror and real-life themes. Ones as hard hitting as the passive aggression of relationship manipulation, and the all too real, evil predatory obsession of a modern day rape culture. It really has something important to say in its hidden meanings about something that in the real world is covered over with ignorance all too often. It might seem like all too much, but it's all the real world problems that this superhero franchise that has always mirrored real-life in its metaphors needs to address, showing solidarity to those who need help as well as an escape. Just like Peter Parker's Spider-Man did for bullies, Krysten Ritter and Jessica Jones do for young woman looking for a hero to follow and be inspired by in this cinematic universe. It's not just Marvel's Avenger Black Widow or the Scarlet Witch and the buzz of the 'Ant-Man and the Wasp' sequel. Jones now alongside D.C and Melissa Benoist's 'Supergirl' joins a range of wonder woman that are just as heroic as their male counterparts and no longer a stocking and spandex stereotype. From the huge, rising popularity of the new 'Spider-Gwen' alternative to the forthcoming phase and age of 'Captain Marvel'. Sure, nothing is more role model worthy than what's real, but these are some positive, heroic, characters for young fans to now grow up with from adolescence to adulthood. Yet, nothing is realer than our Alias here who stares bleakness in its ugly face and lights up the darkness, no alternative. Great power...even greater responsibility. Jessica Jones, AKA the hero we all deserve...about damn time! TIM DAVID HARVEY.

    Wednesday, 25 November 2015

    REVIEW: BLACK MASS

    4/5

    The Depp-arted

    122 Minutes. Starring: Johnny Depp, Joel Edgerton, Benedict Cumberbatch, Rory Cochrane, Kevin Bacon, Jesse Plemons, Corey Stoll, Peter Sarsgaard, David Harbour, Adam Scott, Juno Temple & Dakota Johnson. Director: Scott Cooper.

    Swallow this Jack Sparrow...why is the rum gone? Perhaps you should check the diaries of 'Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas' writer Hunter S. Thompson for more evidence. Or just maybe you could find it in a bar in Boston. Cheers to 'Black Mass' for bringing the undercover 'Donnie Brasco' gang-related depth of 'Public Enemies' Johnny Depp back from the depths of Davy Jones locker to a whole new depth of acting. As much as there's nothing wrong with the fun and fond 'Pirates Of The Caribbean' franchise (you can expect more soon with the almost gangster sounding 'Dead Man Tell No Tales'), or Depp's Tonto 'Lone Ranger' rides and 'Alice In Wonderland' follies (expect more Mad Hatter and 'Alice Through The Looking Glass' for a wolf who is still clearly going 'Into The Woods' for Disney), it's certainly a far better slice of the man when we see 'Edward Scissorhands' cut into something much deeper and fashion a whole different type of mask. One that see's him as the Boston illegal kingpin face of 'The Town' that Jack Nicholson 'Departed' with Leonardo DiCaprio and Matt Damon for their fictional take on real life mobster Jimmy 'Whitey' Bulger, who as a fugitive according to legend snuck in a cinema to watch that Academy Award winning classic. Living out the rest of his days in prison the gangster won't be able to see the real deal this season, but Johnny may get to meet Oscar to begin next year with the mass appeal he's bringing to his darker side in 'Black Mass'. Polishing off more people than 'Sweeney Todd' Depp may even finish off the 'Best Actor' competition of last years winner Eddie Redmayne, the Apple of 'Steve Jobs'' 'i' Michael Fassbender, New England's out of this world 'Martian' Matt Damon and the overdue 'Revenant' of Leonardo DiCaprio. Or even the gang relation of co-star Tom Hardy playing both Krays for a twin mob-hot 'Legend'.  Who knew he would have to go so bad to be so good again?

    Across this 'Bridge Of Spies' and 'Sicario' hitmen in this Oscar season, there's more people that meet the eye of this Academy...even here. All trying on the Boston accent Pawtucket perfectly like a Seth MacFarlane character creation. Just like Aussie Joel Edgerton who has been ruling everything from 'Warrior' to 'Zero Dark Thirty'. 'Star Wars', 'The Thing', 'The Great Gatsby' and James Dean's 'Life'. This man is in everything. He's probably even in your kitchen...which is not a good thing if you've watched 'The Gift'. Yet this gifted actor really is a presence and a blessing to every chameleon character acting he gives the leading man gold standard touch too. Have you forgotten he's actually Australian? Here playing with the dirt on his blue collar Boston uniform he doesn't exactly play it straight, but he's the closest thing to Depp's mass in character and actor. Copping a role as a childhood friend turned FBI detective, really going undercover with the mobster for an unholy alliance with the cold cases brought up by Whitey's Winter Hill Gang. The thin lines he toes with the steel stained nerves of a man who on the inside is dressed down the more he Mafioso style suits up on the outside, is worked to cuff-link and brass knuckle attention to detail perfection by the enigmatic and evocative Edgerton. It may just be one of his most complex and compelling turns to date for a man whose time is as set as the long road through Hollywood that's yet to come from the underrated, Down Under talent. The only thing that comes close to this in accented performances is that of the British intelligence of Benedict Cumberbatch, who before doctoring in the 'Strange' for Marvel continues his inspired 'Imitation Game' as the Boston born brother of our lead, playing it straight and sublime as a senator, the man people think is really the most powerful man in Boston. More can attest to who really is that however, from 'A Scanner Darkly' and 'Argo' star Rory Cochrane's breakout to a rolling Kevin Bacon thankfully in more movies now, instead of just hilariously, commercially before them. 'Fargo' and 'Breaking Bad's' Jesse Plemons makes a great break for the big screen too. Whilst 'Ant-Man' villain Corey Stoll with as much intense passion, turns to the the other side of the law and mob war and rises to the occasion, never shrinking in the face of a real bad guy with one hell of a jacket. The epic rap-sheet ensemble is furthered with the drug delusional, paranoid play by Peter Sarsgaard, David Harbour, the great Boston 'Equalizer' (actually from New York) and usual funnyman playing it straight Adam Scott. Not to mention some leading ladies to legacy making be, from the always shining even in 'Killer Joe', 'Sin City' or 'Dark Knight' darkness Juno Temple to Dakota Johnson going 'Fifty Shades of Black' here, even more shades darker.

    The Old Irish of this New England motion picture is one of Boston's strongest crime-dramas and films about the town. Capturing the supporting character of the city, from the houses on the hill to the back alley, brown bottle lit bars as more than just a beautiful backdrop to this brutal but brilliant Celtic city, shamrock story. 'Crazy Heart' country strong director Scott Cooper moves to the state of play in Massachusetts with the mad soul of Johnny Depp and he brings it out in the best way for a film that's even shot like a classic. It really is one when it comes to Depp's depth, done selling his soul to Hollywood. Like a rolling stone he tries to illicit sympathy for a devil that literally almost drugged Boston's underbelly to death. Exposing all the traits of his character like the perfect actor and best leading man he still is, under all the lights and not shadowing any of the dark for a man that was as flawed as they come. Even when he charmed his way to running the city he held in a vice grip of fear like he did the police in his pocket. Blonde, balding and with even more yellow staining his skin and teeth, Johnny is almost unrecognizable with his epic, evil look that's only redeeming feature is a pair of old blue eyes that could even scare the mob s### out of Sinatra, behind aviators and leather. Yet behind his latest and greatest mask, 'Donnie Brasco' and John Dillinger is unmistakable as another anti-hero of legend brought to by the book biopic, silver screen light. This is the actor we know and love, even if he's playing someone we should hate and pulling off some combustible chemistry and caustic charisma. Sure he helps old ladies with their shopping, plays cards with his dear mother and compliments you on how you cook a steak. But he marinates it in mocking, "funny how" like 'Goodfella' threats just to see how the look on your face gets buried real quick. Let alone the way he salutes the law or checks your ailing wife's temperature as she waits, fittingly reading 'The Exorcist' of all horrors in bed. And just wait until your head turns to see him unload a shotgun or hang people from a seated position. Between all this evil, every look, grimace and sly smile on his wrinkled face leaves more than just crows feet for those who will be sleeping with those birds. The feds may have had a file on him, but the critics have got nothing on Johnny Depp now. You can almost hear him answering back through character as he says "take a shot, but make it your best one. Because if I get up I eat ya"! He got up...and this is more than his meal ticket, it's Depp's bulletproof return fire. And you thought the Captain was going to fade to black. Savvy? This is the adjective of that verb. Here's the real Johnny...back in mass effect. TIM DAVID HARVEY.

    Saturday, 21 November 2015

    REVIEW: THE HUNGER GAMES-MOCKINGJAY PART 2

    3.5/5

    The Last Meal.

    137 Minutes. Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Julianne Moore, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jeffrey Wright, Natalie Dormer, Sam Claflin, Jena Malone, Mahershala Ali, Stanley Tucci and Donald Sutherland. Director: Francis Lawrence.

    Winter is coming. Snow will fall and the game of Hunger is back for one more time in this battle royale's grand finale. Sure to overkill a 'Mockingjay', 'The Hunger Games' franchise closed the chapter on this franchise on fire by taking a leaf out of 'The Hobbit's' book. Stretching out one scroll to two scripts for whats part by part parcel the longest end to this library of fantasy franchises by the book (of sorts). Forget the fangs of 'Twilight' and the wand of 'Harry Potter' as this stretches the bow on the range of films, sinking it's teeth into the trick of the competitions trade. Now after this you'll have had your fill, but all that means is that your hunger has been satisfied. As the biggest actress and Hollywood movie star in the world Jennifer Lawrence gets her Hawkeye on once again with avengance, she does more than adapt to this adaptation. This is far more than a star vehicle for the multi Academy Award nominee and Oscar winner who is sure to collect more this fall to the tune of 'Joy' with Bradley Cooper, Robert De Niro and David O. Russell once again on her hustle of America. The whole world now belongs to this girl whose sitting on a throne with more silver linings than her script playbook drew out. Fire? Nah this blazing inferno of a talent is hotter than that. Between the 'Spectre' of Bond and the all-year anticipation of 'Star Wars', the Summer of monsters, machines and Marvel may have given way to an even hotter fall of films, but you can't forget this awakening force.

    Forget the mark she's already made, she's just fired another arrow into the previous one, splitting her bulls-eye. Sure many targeted this franchise for milking money from fans for all they are worth twice-over but here's to the fitting conclusion the die hard's will raise three fingers and whistle for in salute, blowing a kiss to Lawrence who is in the zone and her own district of talent right now. The first annual biggest blockbuster of the movie year 'The Hunger Games' was a classic. Whereas the sensational sequel was anything but a 'Prison Break' (shout outs to the cool Robert Knepper cameo (should have settled for tea)...one of the best to do it), in vain, lightening in the bottle twice rehash. Even if it did follow formula it made for the catalyst of one hell of a spontaneous combustion for a leading lady protagonist that Alicia Keys may as well have been singing about. Leading off to the second half of these four seasons that followed the epic events with the apocalypse now of a new world divided and in flames. It's no longer a game and 'I Am Legend' and 'Constantine' director Francis Lawrence knows how to up the ante with a post-apocalyptic world in ruins and the hands of demons. With the worlds biggest star shooting from way above the hip, the anticipation of some amazing action and swinging and punching set-pieces will keep that bright-light of your phone dimmed in your pocket and your popcorn without the rustle and bustle. The person next to you, date or not will thank you later. Dystopian war games are on the cards here in this new kind of science fiction tweening between the teens and young adults like only the insurgence of a 'Divergent' series wish they could do to Suzanne Collins' classic. Read and watch between all the lines of debate dialogue table reading to begin this blockbuster and all your remaining engaged senses will be rewarded with a marriage of action. As a scary as s### sewer scene segues into a subway one that comes at you like a freight train wrecking ball, as we may have the greatest two hits in action for this years lights and camera. All this from one shot arrow.

    There's more behind this archer and her 'Robyn' Hood mission to take from the filthy rich and give back to the downtrodden poor they stole from. Liam Hemsworth may not be Legolas, but armed with a crossbow the brother of Thor can still put the hammer down, giving even more shape to this love triangle that started with the games between Katniss and Josh Hutcherson's Peeta. Who is on perfect form, growing as a young actor as his range is tested with the mental madness of a man between being brainwashed by love or the law of the Capital's land. More exclamation points come from 'Pirates' and 'Huntsman' franchise star Sam Claflin who brings his trademark charisma and character chemistry to this set and even more girls draped in flames. From the 'Game Of Thrones' to games of hunger switching Natalie Dormer who is inking a reputation as cool as her characters tattooed scalp and half shaved hair, making sure this revolution is televised and the sucker punch of the all bald Jena Malone who rumor has it is about to deliver the next Robin to Batman's 'Dawn Of Justice' face-off with Superman. The kids are more than alright. It's just a shame the adults who made this angst-filled rebellion much more real for the grown ups in he beginning are on the spare change dime of garbage time to close this contest. Last years 'Still Alice' 'Best Actress' Julianne Moore is still in an Academy of her own, the red-head, still hot at 50 with shades of grey. Speaking of which, Donald Sutherland continues his legend, even if Kiefer's kids generation will see him as one evil son of a gun, keeping anything but the peace with his storm troppers built for the iPod age. It's just a shame we couldn't see more from the wonderful Woody Harrelson, emphatic Elizabeth Banks, stylized Stanley Tucci and of course the weapon and sequel energizing Jeffrey Wright. But then again we all knew favorites in this epic ensemble of players could fly away ever since rock god Lenny Kravitz suited up for his best act yet. His steps are still missed, even if we can still see the strut of his seams between the seams, (At least you can thank Mahershala Ali's agent for more from the 'Place Beyond The Pines' and 'Benjamin Button' actor running point for the troops on the ground rebellion). The real tragedy here though is what happened to the late, great Phillip Seymour Hoffman, but here he still delivers in his final film and digitally enhanced screen time, all to the sincere, sign off Dear Jen letter poignantly read by Woody. The legend would be proud of all that has happened here in the end of the series that has given us a new one. The phoenix may have rose and everything else may have turned to ash, but when it come to Jennifer Lawrence, this girls fire will never go out. You can try but you'll never forget her name. She's on top of the world and she's not backing down. She's burning it down!  TIM DAVID HARVEY. 

    Saturday, 14 November 2015

    REVIEW: STEVE JOBS

    3.5/5

    127 MB.

    122 Minutes. Starring: Michael Fassbender, Kate Winslet, Seth Rogen, Katherine Waterson, John Ortiz & Jeff Daniels. Director: Danny Boyle.

    Act One. 'Slumdog Millionaire' big-ticket, Oscar winning director Danny Boyle's book of 'Steve Jobs' begins with Silicone Valley being anything but 'Pleasantville' as 'Macbeth' and Magneto himself Michael Fassbender moves more than metal with his artificial intelligence. Following the optics of Noah Wyle's 'Pirates Of Silicone Valley' T.V. and Ashton Kutcher's 'Jobs' movie in his modern day Shakespearean moment as a select and click icon of our generation that believed he was like "Julius Caesar, surrounded by enemies". From magazines of our 'Time' to biography's by Walter Isaacson that this biopic screen-wrote by 'The Social Network' trending genius Aaron Sorkin is based on, much has been wrote and worked about the late co-founder of some of the millennials greatest machines for the moving mainstream. To think there has already been two films (both good no matter what some claim the truth is...Wyle and Kutcher's interpretations are as underrated as they are as leading men) about this tormented and tormenting genius and innovator, cursor cursing everyone the hell out and none of note about Microsoft maverick and former richest man in the world Bill Gates speaks code of volume for the legacy of controversy of Jobs. Some may think that's the reason despite critical, Oscar season campaign acclaim that this film has flopped like an old disk drive. Being pulled from the hardware of over 2000 cinemas in the United States for this hash-tag generations all American hero painted with as many stripes as stars. And you thought the first scene had enough problems getting the monitor of the Mackintosh to simply say hello whilst Steve had a job looking for the breast pocket of someone with the same size shirt to drive his disk into. Now on some silver screens all this isn't even friendly face welcome. Narcissistic? Computer says yes!

    Know this though; the second act keeps the post, product launch stage trend going as Fassbender stages some dynamite dynamic drama for all the world and its players after bringing the theater of his magnificent 'Macbeth' to the multiplexes of all the world. Now the 'Shame' acting of a Marvel of an iconic 'X-Men' actor that can even best Sir Ian McKellen's 'Days Of Future Past' could finally become the 'Best Actor' the Academy of his career has been looking for, after almost winning the Oscar for almost making us hate him in his evil but epic '12 Years A Slave' performance. Here he flips between garage grunge and greying, weary soul patchy hairstyles so well, giving Jobs the same chameleonic treatment Kutcher did but with even more diverse drama as he soars, even though his black box computer can't take off like grounded flights. Even between failure after failure, Jobs shows his worth as the man that would eventually put over a thousand songs in our pocket with the iPod and swipe a legacy over to the iPhone generation that is the core of the Apple company today. Success doesn't come without struggle and our leading man has more of that in his mind than all those around him can handle. From a sensational and raw stressed Seth Rogen whose characters idea was claimed to be stolen, to an always as vivid as he is versatile Jeff Daniels who goes in the year of his comedy and 'Newsroom' career from 'The Martian' director of NASA, to the owner of the Pepsi generation and the man that fired Steve Jobs. Can you believe that? Watch this and you might. Like Kate Winslet's wonderful and maestro marketing executive in the close confides of a sensational secretary like role to the woman who should really be by his side, the mother of his child (Katherine Waterson following her influential turn on the similarly classically and vividly shot 'Inherent Vice' picture)...and let's not forget the kid herself. Jobs daughter, the emotional heart and soul of a story otherwise lost in the firewalls of something as romantic as technology can and can't get. Like Kindles will never be books, "computers aren't paintings".

    "F### you"! Proclaims Jobs to anyone who challenges his art as merely commerce, justifying the high margins of his price as he finally hits with the revolutionary iMac in the final curtain of these press conference lead up and ins that is quite the act itself. Boiled by Boyle to simmering script and in-sync delivery perfection, this movie is a quality product no question, from the journals of GQ writer John Ortiz to the best of Hollywood's best all in your pocket like your favorite albums. This film has it all at its devices, from Dylan lyrical exercise to the writing of a real but respectful story...even if it is beyond the command of Jobs families desires and wishes. Still, you best believe the Jobs family have the right to complain with what they're seeing here whatever your lead to believe in the subject of high-profile controversy. Yet, you also best believe this film has a point to and it's making it in a visionary way with it's act by act look behind the scenes as all our actors set the motherboard stage for our monitoring consideration. A lot have made theirs from Ashton to Noah and the arc of rumored talent from Clooney to DiCaprio, Bale to Cooper, Matt Damon and Ben Affleck and almost everyone expect Ryan Gosling who hilariously compared the New Balance of Steve Carell's jeans and sneakers look to the Apple co-founders dress sense in the 'Crazy, Stupid Love' film. Still, once the leopard leading man Fassbender changes his spots to the turtleneck and sweats of Steve, through his glasses you can see he's the perfect look in this spectacle. The task of playing Jobs is the apple of  this leading mans 'i'. With bark and bite, Michael gets to the core of Steve so much so you won't want to swipe past this. This is more than Fassbender and his teams idea however as Boyle and Sorkin take Isaacson's cinder brick, monitor of a book and turn it into three classic chapters. This big-three really is the Big Apple. Jobs a 'goodun'! TIM DAVID HARVEY.

    Tuesday, 27 October 2015

    REVIEW: SPECTRE

    4/5

    The Last Waltz?

    148 Minutes. Starring: Daniel Craig, Christoph Waltz, Lea Seydoux, Ben Whishaw, Naomie Harris, Dave Bautista, Monica Bellucci & Ralph Fiennes. Director: Sam Mendes.

    Hold the Martini for Idris Elba, because all rounds are still on Daniel Craig. As for right now there is only one Bond. 007, James Bond has returned in 'Spectre' and it's a spirited affair. Like an awakening force of Winter blockbusters after a dinosaur and Marvel machine hot Summer that's even showing 'Star Wars' that Bond, not Han shoots first. Shake one part of the best Bond since Sean Connery and stir in some Waltz, then if this really is the last dance for our leading man you're going to want to memorize every step. From the inspired intro of artistic aesthetics harmonized by Sam Smith's Adele following, epic theme song the writing really is on the wall in drawing through the barrel, dripping red blood. The melody of parts of Craig's list of Bond films flows like Martini off the rocks. From the opening deal of the classic hand in 'Casino Royale' to the chips down ultraviolence of 'Quantum Of Solace', all the way to the best of British pride 2012 year of the London Olympics, Her Majesty's Diamond Jubilee and the 50th year of Bond that culminated with the sensational 'Skyfall'. Going by the book these stories would make the author of all of double-0-sevens pain Ian Fleming proud. Now with Sam Mendes' directorial license and his killer assassin spy Craig going by the name Bond...James Bond one more time, 'Spectre' looks to be spectacular down the scope of what could be the final gun drawn.

    BANG!

    Day of the Dead? Is it here? This may just be the reckoning...but don't count on it just yet and don't count out Craig...just count on him. Because from the stand-off in Mexico City's busiest day of it's carnival calendar, Daniel is alive with exuberance, enthusiasm and all that's effortless and cool too in an all-action hero that doesn't have to worry about breaking a sweat...so long as the tie on his suit isn't crooked. From chopper crowded, claustrophobic action reminiscent of the 'Da Vinci Code' to Austrian snow-fall aerial assaults, skiing through the slopes and harking back to classic Bond blockbusters, James is back. From magnificent Morocco all the way home in foggy old London town which is today a forever classic with a modern twist just like it's most famous agent. Who really keeps this apace and alit in todays changing times all the way to a Fawkes hot, big smoke, formidable finale on Westminster Bridge that could even bring down the Houses of Parliament like some guy that tried. This man however has plenty of British Intelligence behind him (the only thing missing is American Jeffrey Wright's formidable Felix feline again for you cats) at MI:5 too for a 'Kingsman' year of 'Secret Service' movies that even busts the blocks of the MI:5 of Tom Cruise's 'Rogue Nation', summer smash. Forget another 'Spy' spoof. 'Mission Impossible'? Nah not with this stellar service. The secrets out. From the intelligence of  'Paddington Bear's' Ben Whishaw's Q, who really is the marmalade with his gorgeous, old-school gadget show to Ralph Fiennes' maverick M maestro stepping in for the dearly departed Judi Dench character. As time goes by more Bond girls show they are more than just the stereotypical bras and blouses and Miss Moneypenny is worthy of that crowning. Naomie Harris is on the pound sterling yet again as Bond's greatest and most underrated ally by his side. The perfect partner who doesn't have to Bond breaks heart again by putting a hole through his chest again. She does more than take her bloody shot. Than quite possibly the longest Bond movie in history is joined by the oldest Bond girl in history, but that shouldn't matter or even be an issue. Monica Bellucci is a girl on fire here and would be this films femme fatale if it wasn't for Lea Seydoux, who we've previously spied as a villain in 'Mission Impossible's 'Ghost Protocol'. Going from the Givency and Chanel of old Bond-esque perfume commercials, to the scent of a commercial star of a movie that's beyond all that and its hallmark opening credits. Catching Vesper vapors, Seydoux is sensational as a top billing actress. Expect more to follow lady Lea's lead.

    Bond wouldn't be Bond without his baddie however and this could be as good...or as great...or even as bad as it gets. The weeping eye madness of 'Hannibal' Mads Mikkelsen really set the table and perspiring tone for this game, but after the camped up cruel classic of 'No Country For Old Men' versatile villain Javier Bardem the question is how do you top an adversary as amazing as the gold haired Silva? The answer is with two-time Oscar winning 'Inglorious Basterds' hunter and 'Django Unchained' hit-man Christoph Waltz dancing with his destiny to be one of the best Bond bad guys of all-time. It isn't just Tarantino who brings the best out of Christoph, Mendes helps Waltz mesmerize from everything he says to the accented way of everything he does. Even when he picks lint off his jacket it looks as callously conning as it does charmingly compelling. Say hello like 'Scarface' to the bad guy that you love to root for as much as you hate to hate. But from all the eagerly awaited buzz to all the highly anticipated rumors is this man truly a classic Bond villain? That's for your eyes only. You'll just have to see for yourself. Just like you'll wrestle with the idea that Dave Bautisa's hallmark henchmen has shades of both Odd-Job and Jaws. But with all these international men of mystery here get your teeth...and nails into someone that's more than just an 'Austin Powers' random task as the 'Guardians Of The Galaxy' Drax is a straight, out of this world destroyer on the W.W.F's star movie careers Volume 2. Still from Russia with love, on her majesty's secret service, Daniel Craig's Bond comes in like a Thunderball with the living daylights to die another day. They say you only live twice, but the iconic Daniel is forever with his legendary legacy that will never die like tomorrow. Raising eyebrows like Roger Moore, laughs like Lazenby and with the suave and scuffs of Brosnan and Dalton, Craig even has that Connery charm. Now next rounds on who? Live and let live, the view for the next Bond may look to Elba, but right now his kill license is a provisional. Before the Martini is slid across the bar lets raise a glass and toast one brilliant 007. 'Spectre' is a spectacle and it's all because of Craig. Now how about another...again? Never say never!  TIM DAVID HARVEY.

    Friday, 16 October 2015

    REVIEW: CRIMSON PEAK

    4/5

    Crimson Tide.

    119 Minutes. Starring: Mia Wasikowska, Tom Hiddleston, Jessica Chastain, Charlie Hunnam & Jim Beaver. Director: Guillermo del Toro.

    Tides of Crimson run through this portrait of Gothic love like veins. Threatening to touch any heart that comes near the creaking floorboards of this home. This mansion on a hill of red clay that's in some renovation need of some serious damp proofing. Autumn leaves falling through it like dead moths before the light burns away like ash to the snow fall of winter. And the insects...oh the insects! Have we set the scene for you for the latest from the 'Pans Labyrinth' of legendary Mexican director Guillermo del Toro? Who follows big blockbusters like 'Hellboy', 'Blade' and 'Pacific Rim' with one hell of a horror fest this side of the Atlantic just in time for Halloween. Yet this is not your average horror movie even if it will make you fall back in love with the great genre this 'Shocktober'. This house is haunted with more than just spirits. It's alive with the ghosts of love and hate and some heavyweight performances from Hollywood's best from all sorts of shores. That's what happens when you put the Marvel of the villainous Loki in the middle of a love triangle featuring his Australian bride to be Mia Wasikowska and her former 'Lawless' co-star and our suave Brit Tom Hiddleston's (who she starred alongside in the offbeat vampire romance of  'Only Lovers Left Alive') sisters keeper Jessica Chastain, reuniting with Del Toro after the 'Mama' mother of all horrors. Now with this crowded house, 'three's company' is not the idea and with all the foundations about to sink into this blood meridian, will this red dawn bring the house down?

    There's more than just twin peaks in this red summit from Guillermo that is beautifully directed even in its traditional, matinee moviemaking, love storytelling, blossoming beginnings. From the set of the fortress of solidarity built to scaling new heights, to the classic American Gothic horror cinematography that is dripping with artistic blood and beauty in every frame of every scene. All your senses will be engaged in a creepy, unnerving spectacle that won't allow you to settle or take your eyes off what you don't want to see behind you. From the haunting special effects to the spirited costume design, Toro has given us another classic of his time and nothing he's done looks quite as great and grand as this. Bringing 'Thor' and 'Avengers' star Tom Hiddleston into the mix is an inspired move too. The man whose about to flip the script and sing from a whole new song sheet as Hank Williams in the 'I Saw The Light' biopic may just have his breakout, center stage spot moment right here. Sure Benedict Cumberbatch was originally eyed for this role (and the energizing Emma Stone for Mia's mesmerizing one), but to be fair this fellow classically trained actor looks like the better, perfect choice for this role and not merely the second fiddle to play. Hiddleston refuses to be the actor to go with when Benedict if busy. Tom's the one, first and foremost and is showing that he has more tricks than what lies up Loki's sleeve. Are you always going to fall for that? This guy is for real. Hiddleston doesn't just bring the charm and charisma...hell he has in his blood. He also draws out the depths and emotion of the peaks of his acting. Making us fall for all of his character, for better or worse, in love and times of cholera. Besides who else can really get up in all that vintage garb? Add veteran legend Jim Beaver whose on as fine a form as his beard than only a 'Son Of Anarchy' can stop Tom. And after driving Jaegers with Del Toro for the epic Robot/Godzilla wars of  'Pacific Rim', Charlie Hunnam is getting his detective hands dirty even if he has the eyes of an optician and one for our leading lady. The Great Brit Hunnam convinces again as an American with an accented performance that may just be among his stepped up best. You thought this big picture was all about the big three? Time to break through a fourth wall.

    Beware what really lies up-top 'Crimson Peak' however and that's the two, twin leading ladies of this picture that show a modern day Hollywood that woman in this industry don't have to play up to a stereotype. Chauvinists be every afraid. Mia Wasikowska is one of the strongest young actresses out there. After falling down the rabbit hole as 'Alice In Wonderland', Mia has come back up, playing everything from 'Jane Eyre' to starring alongside two of her off-screen boyfriend Jesse Eisenberg in 'The Double'. Yet still this may just be Wasikowska's breakout and iconic role of her making too. With Goldilocks hair she lets it all down wearing a white gown and sheet by candlelight for some legendary scary scenes of walking through the dead of things that go bump in the night. Still it's Mia's complete performance of chaste courage under fear that lights up this beautiful portrait of bold as love brutality. Yet nobody gets the picture quite like the script and scene stealing Jessica Chastain who continues her modern movie domination as arguably the best actress and certainly the hardest working one around today, now even with a side of her you've never seen before. If you thought she went 'Interstellar' with her 'Most Violent Year' in 2014 than wait until you see this. You ain't seen nothing yet like her NASA commanding on fire performance of the red planet in 'The Martian' latest mission to save Matt Damon. Or this red-heads peak, going goth black for a slick, villainous, lady of jealous rage role. The madness of this woman is crazy good. Jessica plays demented with new dimension, passively, aggressively and with more upstairs than a couple of demons and skeletons in the closet. Even with layers to her scornful looks and twists to her mild-mannered to quick tempered awkward politeness you still can't help but love her and one of her best roles...by far. No matter how good the 'Zero Dark Thirty' and 'The Tree Of Life' star has been, Chastain is off the old ball and chain here with the bubbling cauldron of blood-red passion that's smoldering and simmering and could boil at any moment. That's quite a bitches brew from the sketches of former Spanish-language director Guillermo del Toro who brings us a whole new labyrinth of lovers and the tricks of his trade that this Halloween are just the treat. Fear not, American Gothic just got real scary again with 'Crimson'. Take it as red! TIM DAVID HARVEY.

    Saturday, 10 October 2015

    REVIEW: LIFE

    3/5

    The Secret 'Life' Of Rebel Jimmy.

    111 Minutes. Starring: Robert Pattinson, Dane DeHaan, Joel Edgerton & Ben Kingsley. Director: Anton Corbijn.

    Rebel without a pause, James Dean lived fast and died all too young behind the wheel at the tender age of 24. Now today 'East Of Eden' and his definitive classic 'Rebel Without A Cause', we have no idea just how big a movie star this icon could have been. That being outside the legendary legacy left after his death as a status symbol of teenage angst and painful discovery in a confusing time for the youth of America that refused for that, or them to be a subject of ignorance. Even if their perceived emotion of that was their cigarette and scowl stand against it all. From 'Rebel' and all he left for the cause, it's clear that if this man was still around today he would have amassed the filmography of a Kirk Douglas, or Paul Newman...or even a Brando. But we'll never really know! But even in just one film this kid changed the world. Now here's looking at the career Chronicles of dynamic, dramatic actor Dane DeHaan who will give us more of a personal glimpse of Jimmy and his 'Life' behind the 'Twilight' lens of picture lead subject Robert Pattinson in the new film from international director of 'The American' Anton Corbijn. Who brings the best out of 'A Most Wanted Man', just like he did with another late, great taken too soon before his time, Phillip Seymour Hoffman. This is 'Life' no not the prison comedy starring Eddie Murphy and Martin Lawrence but another arresting double act.

    And from the filaments of a red room opening that's establishing light even evokes the look of something belonging to a higher power when it all comes into focus, its clear this is Pattinson's developing picture and from the shutter start the flashbulbs are on him. Following the 'Life' processes of Ben Stiller's imaginary image in the vivid look of 'The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty', Pattinson photographs for the 'Time'-less magazine of legend with the iconography of a real American dream icon. Capturing the camera work of a man whose photo essay on a 'Moody New Star' helped make the career of the Dean of young acting and also quite poignantly glimpsed some images into the deeply personal life of the troubled but soulfully talented star and young man. Now, coming of age and no longer in the foundation of the pale-skin, eternal youth that made him the franchise face of the 'Twilight' walking undead saga, Pattinson is breaking new dawn in his career with this imagery interview by a vampire. The young great Brit tries his vocal hand at honing another American accent with inflection shades of Affleck. Yet his whole performance is punctuated with the strained and starved subtly of a raw-ly repressed journalist who's hungry not only for work, but the journal of that which will make a difference. Lucky for him, he has the no nonsense, experience is a teacher, 'prove yourself to me first' hand of Joel Edgerton as an engaging actor who speaks in fewer words than he writes, but is ink instrumental and influential in putting it all down on paper. It's a beat-down inspired performance from the versatile, character actor of our coming of time. The antithesis to Jimmy's biggest boss and potential match-striking career extinguisher in the cigar chomping Ben Kingsley. The opposite to his character in Joseph Gordon-Levitt's American dream to perform 'The Walk', but strolling the line of being on just as fine a form.

    Yet we all know who this is about. Dean...or should we say Dane. DeHaan is perfect as James Dean. Giving us the Jimmy thing about the real man Hollywood knew as James Dean. At Times Square times buried in the rain and smokes of a winter coat this great Dane looks like classic Dean in photographic memory moments. The times his baby faced looks don't however, it doesn't matter this acting assassin still kills it in subtle nuances, grimaces and gestures. He has the attitude down from the voice to the studied mannerisms. It's more than just an amazing act, making for a perfect portrayal from the actor whose played everything from Ryan Gosling's son in 'The Place Beyond The Pines' to Norman Osborne's one as the ghastly Green Goblin in the newest 'Spider-Man' series...and has been 'Amazing' in them all. The latter we almost wish wasn't rebooted, even with the thanks to the rights of Marvel due to DeHaan's depth of performance which was so good at being villain bad it almost spun a new web into a 'Sinister Six', no superhero movie even before D.C's 'Suicide Squad' decided to hang it up. Here the mild-mannered Dane as James is still a measure of youthful revolt in angst and anxiety with a capturing of the crawl-space confides only confliction of what was the matter of the subject. A flat at times story may be up for debate but there's nothing to confuse here with how classic DeHaan is. Anytime a plot curveball is pitched up from New York City to Hollywood, Los Angeles, via the barn farms of Indiana it's only as a device that develops further the struggle of the illumination of the star of Dean and the photographer that tried to capture it in the right light. From the negatives to the reel we see projected on screens gives us the full story of a chapter of the mans life, even if sombrely and poem poignantly its never going to have a happy ending when this story is unfinished, leaving us chasing the end of this tale. Still what actor and actor subject give us is a poetic meditation of the calm amongst the chaos of a young life scripted to an ill-fated twist all too tragically taken too soon. Dane DeHaan gives us a brave and bold biopic in the Oscar time of Joseph Gordon-Levitt's 'The Walk', Johnny Depp's 'Black Mass', Lance Armstrong's 'The Program' and of course Michael Fassbender's 'Steve Jobs'. Maybe it's time to swipe away and look up from the phone of a man whose images is still iconic in this digital age of trend to trend, hash-tag forgetting. That's Jimmy. That's James Dean. And this is his 'Life'. TIM DAVID HARVEY.

    Friday, 9 October 2015

    REVIEW: THE WALK

    4.5/5

    Joseph Gordon-Levitate.

    123 Minutes. Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Charlotte La Bon, James Badge Dale & Ben Kingsley. Director: Robert Zemeckis.

    Inspiration comes in many forms. Sometimes it comes in the form of a world famous city like New York. Sometimes in the iconic buildings and structures that scrape its skyline. Sometimes, just sometimes however it comes when a petite Frenchmen hangs a wire between two towers and walks across it. This petit Frenchmen being Philippe Petit, who back in the 1970's when the iconic but now tragic Twin Towers first stood, walked on the air between them with only a tight-rope below his pumps. Turning what where at first seen as huge office block "filing cabinets" into things of legend, decades before they would be and always be remembered for something so devastating. But no matter what cruel act took these landmarks, what Petit did the day he broke into the towers to really take in their awe-inspiring look and view was an act of joy, an act of kindness and between all of that, an act of art too. Walking taller than nobody else and making sure the towers will always stand in memory this great mans life should do the same. Especially the documentary of this magicians greatest feat, which was no trick. This 'Man On A Wire', a performance piece from this exhibitionist from Paris, France that needs no Hollywood remake. Yet as unbelievable as this all is, what this man amazingly did remains to some either forgotten, ignored or worse still never even realized. In a digital age where most lie on a couch in refresh wait measuring worth, celebration and "fame" in the filters of likes and retweets maybe we finally have the effects to retell a story of one man that when nobody was watching at first reached higher than 10 stories above the Eiffel Tower to create one hell of a picture in the heavens that they hopefully won't scroll past. Time to learn more about the man and his passion to achieve the inspirational and the impossible. Time to go through the wire.

    Hit record! Because you only got one shot at this and you're not going to want to miss it. Joseph Gordon-Levitt has done a great deal on this '3rd Rock From The Sun' in the name of his art. He's been the 'Inception' of our dreams. The Robin to our 'Dark Knight's' Batman. He's even given us '500 Days Of Summer'. Quite simply the 'Don Jon' with his own production copy that finds, shares and collaborates with eager to be discovered talent. He's even the type of star who can turn down the Lord lead of 'Guardians Of The Galaxy' to work on passion projects like last years 'Sin City-A Dame To Kill For', which in black and white was a hell of a lot better than most critics gave overdue credit for. Still its this passion project that may be one of the best young actors around todays perfect production. With a turtleneck, accented performance of this artist that not only talks the talk, but walks the line after working toe-for-toe with the wire walker himself. Now we just hope he knows how to walk the red carpet walk to the stage to collect what comes after the words "and the winner is..." opens the envelope. So many gold statues go to those who bring the drama, but once in a while why not give it to someone that enthuses joy? Now can he get a round of applause as he bows to his audience? Not only does Joseph's technicolour, seventies retro performance bring the act and art of Petit to life. Joe also channels with seemingly effortless genuine affection the mans "joie de vivre". In a recent Oscar season trend of fourth wall, screen barrier breaking, direct to camera 'Wolf Of Wall Street' DiCaprio narrated acting we've seen it all. From Michael Fassbender's globe theatre worthy audience addressing in 'Macbeth' to Matt Damon's 'Martian' man-alone inventive plot device video logs. But nothing beats Levitt levitating to the skyline of New York with a hand from that lady of Liberty like the 'Bad' Michael Jackson video as he raises a torch for the World Trade in documentary form paying sweet homage to the source material. It would be almost too bittersweet if we weren't wrapped up in the magnetic charisma of this leading man and the real life maestro he followed in clear inspiration and joy for life. This love letter to the towers is signed, sealed and delivered with a dedication from this amazing Joe's signature. Two fingers pinched to the lips, tres magnifique! Mwah!

    There's more to this 'cou' however that's first half of sweet, yet sincere sentiment backstory segues into a cat-burgling caper, complete with a spy score. Scaling the heights of an 'Ant-Man' heist (another role this Marvel Joe went down-to-the wire with the perfect Paul Rudd for...although here he proves he could have stole it too) before the third act, high-wire finale designed for your 3D IMAX's most vivid imaginations becoming no longer illusions. 'Yves Saint Laurent' nominated, French-Canadian star Charlotte La Bon plays the love of Levitt's mans life and the woman who was the Joy to the French dubbed version of this years biggest animation and movie 'Inside Out' brings even more happiness outside and in here. Whilst rising character actor of the moment Janes Badge Dale continues to be in every other movie and worthy as many as he can too leading an accomplished rap sheet list of accomplices. He's got a hell of a jacket, even if his short sleeve, slick Summer shirts never wears one. Then of course there's legendary Brit Ben Kingsley the sir of Hollywood as ever. Between this and the Dane DeHaan 'Life' of James Dean being the accent to any character he plays, even if we can still hear some of the Mandarin in him. Now who better to direct this wonder this middle of October 2015 than the man who brought us Marty McFly and the 'Back To The Future' trilogy? Great Scott Doc its Robert Zemeckis! No stranger to bringing a mans weird and wonderful life to an epic journey of joyous cinema, from Tom Hanks and 'Forrest Gump's box of chocolates to Tom Hanks and that volleyball Wilson in 'Cast Away'. No stranger in pointing Oscar actors back in the direction of the Academy, like 'Philadelphia' co-star Denzel Washington's 'Flight' plan. This soaring spectacle with stunning scenery is in the air space of his best, but with the new techniques of his directing tricks of the trade, especially for the dimensions of the IMAX screens arguably his most inventive work since he rolled out the 80's drug-lords favourite DeLorean as something that could drag-race with H.G. Wells. Still rooted in the depths of story and the emotive nature of the people who write their own. Zemeckis keeps our hearts warm with inspired introduction, before throwing them right up to the heights of our mouths with his next moving bit of movie-making. As Joe's Phillip takes his first steps on the wire with real depth, no safety, nor net into the atmosphere of the breach between the iron giants of the World Trade Centre, seemingly without a window to the souls watching inside it's truly as haunting a moment as it is inspiring. The scary sound of creaking cables leaving a lump in your throat for more reasons than one. From there on out however, you wont believe it. Just watch, because this wire taught, nerve snapping tension of spinal shivers will leave your goose well and truly pimpled. A spectacle more stunning than the electric fireworks of Times Square on New Year in New York. It's like nothing you've ever seen before on screen. Its indescribable. But if we where to call it anything, its something beautiful...emotional. But only tears of joy will be shed. Reminding you between Zemeckis and Joe Levitt's best just how great they really are and just how fantastic filmmaking can really get with one of this years top ten best. Reminding us more importantly however that nothing can scale what Phillip Petit performed that day even with todays cinematic sense. A record that like the towers in our heart will forever stand. For that it's time you and the 'Man On The Wire' took a walk that's a towering freedom. TIM DAVID HARVEY.

    REVIEW: SICARIO

    4/5

    ‎Increíble.

    121 Minutes. Starring: Emily Blunt, Benicio Del Toro & Josh Brolin. Director: Denis Villeneuve.

    'Traffic' comes to a standstill here on the border of dynamite director Denis Villeneuve's epic career explosion and a set-piece as C-4 executing with this cinematic creep through the tunnels and the layers of the cartels of South America and beyond. Influential international actor of Academy acclaim Benicio Del Toro won an Oscar for Best Actor in the similar substance of the narcotic classic 'Traffic' and Villeneuve may have driven at criminally least a supporting nomination out of him here as this out of this galaxy Marvel becomes The Collector of real gold that shines brighter than any Infinity Stone. We haven't even begun to get to the Blunt and Brolin gems here either for a film that might just sweep award season across the board with a classic cast all the way down to the supporting chess pieces (an accomplished Daniel Kaluuya, Victor Garber, Jeffrey Donovan and Maximiliano Hernández (you know that guy they threw off the roof in Cap 2)). After the French/Canadian director brought us the arresting 'Prisoners' arguably the best, albeit most underrated film of 2013 and in turn the best work of double-leads Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal who deserved their just awards (which they where never even declared for even in nomination), he gave Gyllenhaal the multiplicity treatment for 'Enemy', festival favourite, not just for the fact that it was set in the web of Toronto, Canada, home of Villeneuve and the second only to Cannes Film Festival. This double-act being a chiller confusion thriller of the subconscious that stays with you like the raw revelation of discovering your own doppelganger. Now two classics, deserve a third and this time with even more Hollywood movie-making experience, budget and stars its time for the podium. Villeneuve is in pole position too with this tense thriller of 'Zero Dark Thirty' political dialogue and the clock and the accomplished action all this talk walks with this new-age, real-time force of a film of Michael Mann making sublime standards, set to a terminating-ly sinister and sublime score. This story needs to be heard as clear as it is loud.

    Like the hands of a Punisher perfect, classic cameo we won't straight-up spoil round Emily Blunt's neck, Villeneuve won't let up. From the terrifying sound of "fireworks" in the distance to what looks like the madness of a morgue on puerile public display this will have you almost have you throwing up and gagging your mouth with your handkerchief like the stars on screen. Tenser than Terry Crews' arms, everyone is expendable in an unsettling movie of more than just graphic violence that will pull either side of your nerve to the taught snapping point of your crawling skin. Sounds like an ideal date movie hey? The Devil is wearing something other then Prada here to be Blunt. "Welcome to Juarez" Del Toro tells Emily (after we thought he had scared her enough on 'The Wolfman'). Yeah, right! There will never never more rude awakened uninvited entrance across state lines than this. You bet! But Emily Blunt handles it all like a pro. You better believe it. Fighting for her right and by the book code in a place where the chapters change just like director Denis fought to keep her character female in a hypocrite Hollywood that wants to see its "femme fatales" in a different kind of uniform. One that usually comes in leather. No wonder Blunt passed on the Black Widow, she's got more bite here with Avengance and just like Scarlett has more shades to her status as an amazing actress. Even a shower scene is only used for the gratuitous effect of showing us what some of the world that lies beneath is really like. Blood running off her like she was Carrie in a 'Blade' vampire party, but the effect far more real and raw. Emily showed she could go to battle with action 'Live.Die.Repeat' alongside, not behind the all-action 'Mission Impossible' of Tom Cruise and now going to combat in a rogue nation Blunt shows the other side of the knife in a dramatic devastating and bullet brutal performance that cuts, heals and cuts again. Its bound to leave a scar over the engraving of an award, but more importantly the cerebellum of those trying to ignore or forget how the world really works in its darkest corners. But from these shadows Emily Blunt shines as one of the worlds best.

    Just like the hands of Texan quick-draw, gun-slinger Josh Brolin who may as well also have his hands round Blunt's neck too in a more flip-flop passive/lives for the clean-kill shootout aggressive way. The man with 'True Grit' in no countries or sin cities for old men who has already played a cocky lone star character you can't help but like in this Summers epic 'Everest' blockbuster climb does it again. This time "dramatically overeacting" to a whole new mountain of trouble whose peak you can't even see for the clouds of corruption and judgement. In this big-three he may be the third-tier, but he's no string along, making his stated point in this drugs triangle. Thanos may have to take a throne backseat again to The Collector however as Benicio Del Toro inspires the iconic hands together shaking of a fan who can't hide their fandom at their favourite finally getting and acting up to the role he deserves. This 'Usual Suspect' is no longer stuck in the 'Traffic' of an old trophy cabinet win or the legendary legacy making of playing the iconic 'Che' over two perfect parts. "What the f###"?! Del Toro tells you what with a revolutionary career redemption raw off the right and wrong of trying to find redemption in revenge. Its a hairpin trigger of a complex emotion to deal with but Benicio bears with it all brilliantly from the weathered emotion on his face all the way to the tortured soul of his character and the suppression of what you don't see...or wouldn't ever wish your worst enemy to even witness. This stone cold killer with a silencer twisted around his real pain is still slick amongst all that's sick. Just like he says in the movie this "won't make sense to some American ears" but don't doubt him. Soon you'll understand. 'Sicario' in Spanish means "hitman" but Benicio Del Toro brings much more definition to the word in his redefining role. 'Sicario' es brilliante! TIM DAVID HARVEY.

    Wednesday, 7 October 2015

    POPCORN REVIEW: EVEREST

    3/5

    Up In The Thin Air.

    Knuckles whiter than the mountains of the Himalayas they clamber and crawl up. A bitter cold so shivering and freezing you will think this IMAX screen is 4D the way your hair doesn't just stand on end, but is pulled right out of your goose-pimple pores. That's you on the tip of your seat, grabbing the wrists of your date. This isn't your average Hollywood disaster blockbuster, big budget effects picture. As a matter of fact this document based on true events is respectful to the eight people who died after reaching the summit of Everest back in 1996 and as for all that green screen, this cinematography is as awe-inspiring realistic as it comes in look and feel. If you've got your thermal coat on this winter in theatres you may even begin to believe your actually there, this film is that immersive an experience of the peak of all that is epic in mother world and the nature she brings. Biting you with frost, icing over the tips of your fingers and toes you can almost feel it. A cast of A-list actors on their A-game take you that much closer to the edge of this experience. New leading everyman Jason Clarke following his 'Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes' with the support of his wonderful wife on-screen Keira Knightley. A hairy, duded-out Jake Gyllenhaal taking 'Southpaw' hits from the snow. A Texan proud Josh Brolin (whose currently on the Mexican border of the stunning 'Sicario') and the proud love of his lady Robin Wright. The 'Perfect Storm' disaster seasoned John Hawkes and the always supportive, character actor Michael Kelly. An avalanche of support coming from the Base Camp radio of 'Gosford Park' great Brit Emily Watson and new 'Man From U.N.C.L.E.' and 'Macbeth' actress of the moment Elizabeth Debicki who acts like a veteran at only 26. And lets not forget former franchise face, leading man Sam Worthington who almost steals the show with the most emotive performance here. More important to credit mind are the real people who climbed this wonder and monster mountain of the world, no act and those who tragically never came down. This is all for them. We should do more than plant a flag. Nothing at this point tops them. TIM DAVID HARVEY.