Wednesday, 18 March 2015
THE INTERVIEW: From bans to banners, to say this film caused quite the protest is as "duh" old news as reviewing this film months after its kept under the tree original Christmas Day release date. But still, before North Korea tries to halt us from posting this article we have to hand it to the 'Pineapple Express' and 'This Is The End' buddy comedy expert, dynamite, dynamic duo of James Franco and Seth Rogen. The leaders of the new crude survived Sony hacks, terrorist threats and even some dubious press claims that all this panic and mess over a few bad taste jokes was all a massive publicity stunt in a clever but coarse marketing campaign by the movie. Still through all the controversy the one thing that dead rings true is the comedy. Perfectly played by the pair, the support of Lizzy Caplan and the great Randall Park. Who for a moment will leave you questioning your sanity and growing to like Kim Jong-Un...his character mind you. Don't worry folks we haven't been brainwashed by the most devastating Kimmy dictatorship since Kanye/Kardashian. Between all the jokes, jives, bangs and Katy Perry 'Fireworks' this film also has something to say in the name of satire. Even if the statement moves more like a plastic bag in the air, then an ignited July fourth light from a tank canon, for a film some where prepared to literally risk everything for. The real interview to be seen here however is the one with Eminem for a classic cameo that really speaks volumes. Question, is this film worth it? The answer is 예! 3/5.
THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL: Check into the weird and wonderful world of Wes Anderson and you're guaranteed to have a pleasant stay. Distinguished guests include Saoirse Ronan, Jude Law, Tilda Swinton, Bill Murray, Ed Norton, Owen Wilson, Jason Schartzman, Adrien Brody, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, Tom Wilkinson and Harvey Keitel, but its Ralph Fiennes who holds the keys as 'The Grand Budapest Hotel' manager with a perfectly peculiar, punctuated performance. No wonder this film was up for and won its fair share of so much Academy gold. Not to be confused with the old timers of 'The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel' or its sequel, this instant vintage classic is the picture palette of hallmark Anderson colour and camera captured traditions. So if your craving for more Wes, then here is the man who brought you a stop animation, amazing restart remake to 'Fantastic Mr. Fox' and the first, young love of 'Moonrise Kingdom', which this writer has to give up appreciated credit for, for being the scene setting of the first date with the love of my life. Still, this may just be the decadent and diverging directors best chaired film yet in a catalogue as oddball as it is epic. This signature styling may be his best check yet. If only we could extend our stay for a few more nights. 4/5.
BOYHOOD: Growing up isn't easy and revolutionary director Richard Linklater's pubescent pained, labour of love reunites him with his 'Before' trilogy star Ethan Hawke, (looking very 'Training Day' time to begin with here), along with Oscar winning Patricia Arquette and his own daughter in the life of new child to adult star in the blink of three hours time Ellar Coltrane. This Hollywood social experiment took 12 years to make. But we can describe it with twelve words; 'Boyhood' is a coming of age story that truly takes you somewhere. 4/5.
TOP FIVE: Five, four, three, two, one! And Chris Rock's career is far from done! We could give you five reasons to watch the new movie from one of the greatest comedians of our generation. Or 500 even! Like first and foremost you could say this five finger, high-five to the five boroughs is the perfect hand honoured homage to Rock's New York home and the city that's never off our screens has barely been better printed. You could also say that this film is loosely based on some parody, autobiographical tip to the life of the Chris that everybody loves, like the majority of his earliest and best work. Hate him then how about one of the greatest casts since his 'Death At A Funeral'? Topped by a bill of the beautifully talented Rosario Dawson and Gabrielle Union, the hilarious as hell J.B. Smoove, Tracy Morgan and Cedric The Entertainer and more classic cameos we don't even want to spoil like the casting agent here that milks all this talent for all its worth. Just like the sensational score hip to the 'Top Five Best Rappers' questioning hop nature of this film. Oh and its funny as f###! Need another reason? Just go see it! Oh...and my top five? Tupac, Nas, Outkast, Talib Kweli and Common. *Drops Pen*. 4/5.
FOCUS: Look...you getting the picture? Paparazzi's polaroid's would love this. There's Hollywood's cleanest heir to the kingdom, sprawled out on the floor, head down in his own drunkenness after being thrown out of an exclusive, exquisite do. Groaning to himself through hungover confidence, meeting the sobering reflection to come, "Yep, I've still got it"! But haters chill, he does, Big Willie hasn't hit rock bottom, this is just a scene from his new movie. 'Focus'. Dark room developing and getting some exposure next to the cameras zooming into Aussie, 'Wolf Of Wall Street', Harley Quinn, harlequin woman of the moment Margot Robbie. Alongside this beach beauty in this Miami heat, pushing weights in this young mans game, instead of pushing 50 like this crazy like Keanu to believe guy is at 46. The con is on, with a slick flick that shows Bale, Cooper, Lawrence, Adams and Renner where the real 'American Hustle' lies...in spades and diamonds. Watching Smith work the cards and hands is something so special and sleight of hand proving there's still magic to the tricks and trade of Will's way. Just check a Superbowl moment in suite where our lead raises the stakes and big numbers with the man that told us we had raptors on the island of Isla Sonar (an almost unrecognizable B.D. Wong from the 'Jurassic' period) and the play by play postgame. This just may be the weaving and twisting films touchdown. Getting too cute with his star son, 'After Earth' (as actually good as it was) looked like the A.D. of Smith's career, situation critical. Lets take it back to the floor. It looks like Smith's career was really taking a punch like that squirming scene from the trailer. Then again he did play Ali...and right now is cut enough to look like he could take him in his prime. Now it looks like the prince is still fresh down on his luck and can still make a gamble pay off even if we're yet to see his latest ace in the hole. Get the picture? 'Focus'. 3/5.
JOHN WICK: Dear John if you thought Keanu Reeves career was down to the wick you'd be wrong. Here he plays butcher, baker and candlestick maker as Neo shows he's still the one like Twain. They're calling this Keanu's best film since 'The Matrix'. I guess as great as it is it wouldn't be really cool and thrilling to call this his best film since his Sandra Bullock 'Speed' reunion 'The Lake House'. As here the forever young star at a half century goes from Bogus to Bogeyman playing a man going on a 'Kingsman' church shootout professional killing spree after thugs steal his car and kill his dog. On a "they messed with the wrong man" trailer tip, all you need for an amazing, brain at the condiments section, action movies heart and justice...or hey even a plot is a cute dog. This revenge thriller dressed in leather and painted with a red mist hue is a 90's throwback, B movie styling that can be marked with an A plus. If this film goes below 50 bullets a minute, the audiences interest dies, so the ever likable Keanu justifies his Hollywood homicide by kicking even 'Taken's' ass. And yes this too will have a sequel as you can put this next to the 'Constantine's' and 'Johnny Mnemonic's' of the cult classics of the diverse range of this laid back looking but fearless actors classic catalogue. As Keanu growls in the face of everyone's doubt here, alongside a class cast of Dafoe's and John Leguizamo's; "people keep asking me if I'm back...well I guess I am"! He proves this point for real, not passively, but aggressively. Number one with a bullet. Its never "just" a dog. This one John has just had his day. Wicked. 4/5. TIM DAVID HARVEY.