Wednesday, 30 March 2016

REVIEW: EDDIE THE EAGLE

3.5/5

Hugh Runnings.

105 Minutes. Starring: Taron Egerton, Hugh Jackman, Keith Allen, Jim Broadbent & Christopher Walken. Director: Dexter Fletcher.

The Eagle has landed! But oh how he rose like a Phoenix. Have you ever been told you can't do something? Been wrote off and disregarded? Merely because of who you are or how you look to others? It's more than frustrating right? Its ignorant and puts you down beyond belief and words discriminatingly. It's dumb but it smarts like hell. Like hitting the ice over and over again like a sledgehammer, 70 meters and counting. But still you jump like all you can say is "how high"! Hurts doesn't it? But I bet you don't give up do you? Then boy this is the film for you. Time to take flight with 'Eddie The Eagle' as this movie spreads its wings all the way back to the 80's. From the nauseating shell suits to the sick music that both thought was the future of culture to come. One man who was ahead of his time was Michael Edwards. The first man in six decades to represent Great Britain as a Ski-Jumper in the Winter Olympics and oh how he jumped in the Calgary games in Canada, 1988. When it comes to five rings forget the medals-no matter how nice that biscuit tin is-Eddie is one of our greatest Olympians of all-time. Certainly the most inspiring. In the year of Rio it may be four unbelievable years since England's capital city London hosted the last Olympics, but its been almost 30 years since Edwards made his debut and even to this day his influence still rings true. He went from akward amateur to perfecting pro in less time than it takes to tie your shoe. The Eagle went from flapping to taking wing. Sure setting the British record was easy. Going the distance and smashing his own one took something else. Courage...heart and with that he captured a nations like all our everyday heroes do. But hit rewind on the videotape real footage and see how he takes off and streaks through the ice and sky and it's a thing of beauty that shows you this kid wasn't just everybody. Now in a film that's the ballet of 'Billy Elliott' meets the Jamaican Bobsled team of 'Cool Runnings' it's going to take a King and a Wolf (kind of sounds like an English country pub doesn't it?) to make this Eagle fly.

Great Britain has its own young gun aiming for the podium in he that would be 'Kingsman'...or Solo! Taron Egerton soars as 'Eddie The Eagle'. Egged on by the critics who just thought Egerton could only play the chav to Saville Row riches of 'Secret Service' agent Eggsy, the 'Kingman' franchise star proves them all wrong, almost as much as the man he's playing loves to do. Now you know this man could be the Han of a new, young 'Star Wars' movie he's that versatile. Forget Mr. Fantastic, Miles Teller, this kid should be the one to take over Harrison Ford's Solo career. Because here Edgerton regards Eddie with balance and poise like he was stunting down the snow himself. He treats this course like he does the climb with dignity and respect...you have to, otherwise this type of thing will kill you. Taron who characterised his 'Legend' alongside Tom Hardy's Kray-Kray twin double act last year captures it all perfectly. From the mild mannerisms to all his airs and social graces. Taron Edgerton is terrific in capturing the bashful bashing enthusiasm of Eddie as he channels his compelling courage all the way down from raised fists to open arms, with no slopes in his performance. It's a portrayal that instead of searching for sympathy asks...no demands...albeit politely that he has the same respect as the next man. 'Kingsman' made him a star. 'Eddie' has made him a real actor. Han Solo will make Taron Egerton one of the youngest and best. These expecations a great talent like this won't fail. He's determined to make it all the way down and up...no matter the obstacle in his way. Like a my way or the dole que, encouragement absent father played with desperate realism by Keith Allen of 'Bittersweet Symphony' parody, Three Lions anthem fame. Or a stiff upper lip committee that just wont match his commitment. Thank goodness for the joy of heart by the unconditional mother Joy Hartley, or priceless cameos from United Kingdom and United States legends Jim Broadbent and Chris Walken respectively, who like Olympic runners make the most of the scant seconds they record.

And then there's Hugh! The charisma machine Jackman is doing more here than just grooming the ice. The 'X-Men' franchise player is playing an ex-pro turned middle class, middleing disgrace. Caught in the rock and a hard place middle of the road between breakfast and needing a jacket for all this cold. And neither of those look like anything but the bottom of a hip flask...at least decorated in his nations colours. Some men drink for sport you know! Still playing Rocky to Taron's 'Creed' with Balboa bravado, Jackman is in coach catering Candyland between the vanilla snow and scoops of 'Runnings' nostalgia as teams of color coded tracksuit athletes spoon slalom their way through mountains of ice cream like hundreds and thousands. Never mind the sprinkles, don't take Hugh for granted. From Broadway to Marvel, this Wolverines claws have stayed as sharp as his quads...but he's always been more than the muscled spandex his John McClane white vest only has never needed to suit up. All you need to do is visit 'Prisoners' in your streaming library to unlock his real acting talent. But it's in a light but loving movie like this were you can really unlock this Academy A students contagious charm and heart warming soul of personality. This is 'Real Steel' serious fun, but still with genuine competitive commitment. Smiling in new sun on snow beams all the way to the victory...whether moral or merely medal. All these rays shine on a dynamic, knockout directing debut from 'Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barells' star Dexter Fletcher who really now might be the British directing go to guy like one that helped discover his talent in Ritchie. Shooting straight, Dex Fletch has it locked down and loaded. It's been emotional. It's been heart warming. It's been feel-good fun. It's even awe-inspiringly exciting and nail wracking and nerve biting with its sense of scale, Clark Kent leap of faiths. That same heart will wrenchingly be that lump in your throat with snow white knuckles frozen. Don't let it go! These are the heights of places people only come out alive via mouth to mouth. You can feel it on the hairs on your arms and your goosebumps the same. Far from the mob-hits of East End gangster movies these London boys bring the good nature that may just nurture your 'Batman v Superman' disappointment. It's the dawn of a superhero named 'Eddie The Eagle' doing justice to the step in your sprung Spring. With all this Great British weather that rains it's time to take yourself away from a country so cold it could hold a Winter Olympics in July to the epic escapism of quitting that tired 9 to 5 for your dozing dream that just won't give up. Inspired yet? Having fun? Time to get deliriously so with Eddie. Climb to your cinema if you have to and watch everything fly like an Eagle! TIM DAVID HARVEY.

Friday, 25 March 2016

REVIEW: BATMAN v SUPERMAN-DAWN OF JUSTICE

3.5/5

This Is Legend.

153 Minutes. Starring: Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Gal Gadot, Jesse Eisenberg, Amy Adams, Diane Lane, Holly Hunter, Laurence Fishburne & Jeremy Irons. Director: Zack Snyder.

WOO! The 'Fresh Prince' saw it first. Ha..HA! Almost a decade back in 2007, in an apocalyptic new world. Amongst a deserted New York City's Times Square. Once the most popular, visited, neon entertainment core of the waking world now overgrown with Poison Ivy and just populated by one man and his dog...and whatever monsters-whether they be vampires or zombies-that lurk in the shadows of a power cut Manhattan. No you haven't missed something...or an episode. Looking up to those famous billboards in his own blockbuster banner movie moment with 'I Am Legend', Will Smith sees two symbols almost as famous as the most marketable, blockbuster Hollywood star was back then. The Bat signal and Superman's symbol of hope. Super-imposed together in what looks like the superhero movie showdown and cinematic event of the ages. The David and Goliath, Schwarzegger and Stallone of the comic-book world. The Dylan and Springsteen. Lakers and Celtics. Magic and Bird. Only a year after Smith himself turned down the chance to play supes as Christopher Reeve lookalike Brandon Routh (now DC's Atom) didn't garner the Daily Planet review returns he would have liked despite a heart of a hero performance. But this picture? If only right? Naysayers were Kryptonite to these DC Comics and potential detective conflicts. Not letting the dark sides of comics see the light of the fun-hearted Stan Lee team that started to become a real Marvel in an Avenging decade following the desperation of selling the rights to their family name and top teams from the Fantastic Four to the X-Men to stop the bailiffs from raiding the Baxter Building and the academy for gifted youngsters. Fast forward almost a decade later and Christopher Nolan's definitive and dominant 'Dark Knight' trilogy and standout performances from the likes of Heath Ledger, Tom Hardy and Bruce Wayne himself Christian Bale does more than level the playing field, opening a new world for Henry Cavill's 'Man Of Steel'. Back then fresh off a new Academy, directorial turn from 'Gone Baby Gone' to 'The Town' and the Oscar winning 'Argo', Ben Affleck was offered the chance to direct this movie. Few knowing that he had actually played Superman before himself...or Clark Kent actor George Reeves in the movie 'Hollywoodland'. Like a long haired Nicolas Cage you can Google this man in tights. Still, despite all this Affleck turned down the opportunity, citing a lack of speical effects experience. Or was it something else? Because ironically a year later Ben was given the chance to say he was Batman. And now in the same week his former Daredevil character gets the second season on Netflix it deserves, Affleck's Bat and Cavill's Kal-el enter the gladitorial arena ready to fight and do battle with the other billionaire playboy vs all red, white and blue hero hope 'Civil War' of Iron Man and Captain America. Lets get it on!

Watch these men. Because '300' immortals couldn't stand up to these two squaring off at each other. City by city in a fight for Metropolis' heart and Gotham's soul as these two famous, fictional cities (no forget the hash-tag campaign, you can't actually fly to these towns with Turkish Airlines...don't book! But what a great commercial idea...you almost wish!) cities are seperated only by a bay...think California's Golden Gate of San Francisco and the now Steph Curry, Golden State Warrior famous Oakland. It's a great idea that really comes together following the earth and business district foundation shattering events of 'Man Of Steel' that continue to an outstanding opening of Wayne manner here, as tense as it is terrific. Yep....town planners beware buildings are about to be levelled again. If 'Transformer' tin can carnage director Michael Bay's actionering style is as subtle as a grenade in the brain migrane, 'Watchmen' comic adapting legend Zack Snyder's is more new world Burton, God's and monsters operatic and epic in the dark tones and textures that bring graphic novels alive on 70mm IMAX screen. More circumstance...but oh so much Xerxes gold ringed, creepy fingers on your shoulders pomp. One particular 'Knightmare' scene and scenario goes down a road of fury that's very 'Mad Max' even without Bane, Tom Hardy. Here borrowing again from graphic novel legend Frank Miller, the man behind '300' men brings the Hulk-Buster like Superman fighting, iron mongered Bat-Suit to show this cowl is no cowering coward in the only way you could do justice to an epic face off, grudge match between these Gods amongst us. Borrowing heavily and cinematically inspiringly from 'The Dark Knight Returns' animated feature...still with of course Nolan's dark productions, offset by a shimmering Zimmer score from the hands of the greatest Hans. Making steroids look like smarties and reducing protein to powder as these two henches trade hands rooftop to rooftop. But like Cap and Stark who will win? Which side are you on? In the red and blue corner the Man Of Steel, Superman is back and better than ever. But with even more bruised soul than new hope. We'd like to see the great Brit Henry Cavill bring some of that spy and play hard charm and charisma from 'The Man From U.N.C.L.E.' and nail his supped up supes like he does the dynamics of that Clark Kent alter-ego. Because this illegal alien, Englishman in Gotham is no longer standing on his own...next to this God made to look like a Christ like figure, saving the world from its greatest disasters is someone whose about to show him and us what it means to be a man. Na, na, na, na, na, na critics! Ben Affleck is a brilliant Batman in the closest thing to the comics closet costume. Greying in more ways than one he's an even better Bruce Wayne. Older, maybe wiser, but a hell of a lot more world worn and weary as this billionaire playboy finds reclusive solace in his man cave. Until the iconic Bat haunted by some noirish nightmares flys from the dark depths all the way to his Batplane and awesome Batmobile, as the greatest detective since Sherlock Holmes has all the James Bond toys and gadgets. He even pulls off an Adam Sandler and brings one of his friends from 'Argo' and 'Gone Girl', Scoot McCnairy (no that is not Casey Affleck) along for the ride again. From his first bat hung scene that bears the best symbolic fruit, to a goon 'Arkham Knight' like video game homage take down that crazily may just be the best fight scene in the whole movie, Affleck puts himself there with Bale (you can ignore that fan theory thesis now with a Deathstroke of a crossing off pen), Keaton and of course 60's West as one of the best Batmen. KAPOW! SOCK! Sorry Kilmer and Clooney. Take that...haters!

Or this! It's not just the men on fire up in arms. In a Black Widow, Scarlet Witch and Jessica Jones world that is desperate for a real female superhero like Captain Marvel we finally have one in a spinning turn around to the most iconic. Our woman Gal Gadot is a wonder as Diana Prince and whip and shield almost steals the show from the Batflek best thing about this 'Dawn Of Justice', 'Batman v Superman' dukes up. Even when she's not in the Xena Warrior Princess regalia, Gadot's dresses and catwalk suit have gold clasps and accents that are just so Wonder Woman. Now we can't wait for the last season of her back B.C. (before Cap time) solo movie...or D.C.'s own Justice League assemble as this dawn gives us some classic cameos. From Ray Fisher's android app Cyborg, Jason Mamoa's Aerial depth, 'call Aquaman a p#### now' and a Flash of Ezra Miller running through your mind so much he beats the sheep to your dreams. Count the perks of being a JLA member...more time in the weight room. Still the luminous Green Lantern luminary or his corps are on a radioactive milk carton here like the Robin Joke killing Easter Egg here this Good Friday. Judging from Diana Prince's King it wont be Captain Kirk Chris Pine...or 'Deadpool' fourth and franchise, wall and ball breaking Ryan Reynolds. But what are all these heroes without a real villain? The iconic Joker to be of Suicide Squad's Jared Leto and whoever will answer the call to play the Riddler (???) may be cutting room floor A.W.O.L...but their grafitti isn't...vandals! Still Cera geek come serious actor Jesse Eisenberg's Lex Luthor is here and ruthlessly good. No Hackman or Spacey...but no Smallville either as Eisenberg's Mark Zuckerberg 'Social Network' age meets Joker psychotic era turn is crazily inspired. Those here hoping for a Bryan Cranston cameo twist don't worry (and still you never know...Alexander), this kid breaks all sorts of bad instead and dialogue rules gone rogue and oh so membrane insane. The big bad co-starred by Michael Shannon's corpse for the Doomsday machine with a Zod complex, ultimate villain boss that unfortunatly turns this sensational set up into too much of an overcooked mess. But the broth still tastes good...even if it doesn't leave you completely satisfied, or is really that good for you. A classic...albeit a little too cliched, but well done cliffhanger, 'cat out of the tree" saves that day from critical green rocks. And there's more too from Amy Adams' amazing Lois Lane. Still a headline maker, no gone girl, even if her column doesn't make it to the front page this time. To Laurence Fishburne's Perry Daily Planet editor having the most blue pill ignorant, dish it, take it fun of his post Morpheus 'Matrix' career...even funnier and better than the first. But between Holly Hunter's state of play Senator to 'Wolverine' love interest Tao Okamoto on a comic crossover, who could forget Diane Lane's moving mothering...or the Snyder comic collaborator playing Master Wayne's father (yep you were right...that's him!)? Still its Jeremy Irons' Iron Man like, sleeves rolled up, hands on assistance and brilliant, Bat-banter back and forth that makes him a different but perfect Alfred to Michael Caine's classic British Butler. I'd pay money to see the sequel 'Batbanter vs Pennyworth'. The most genius casting in an all over the place A-list affair (but the best has to be Neil DeGrasse Tyson's second cameo on screens this year...we all know his vogueing was the best thing about 'Zoolander No. 2'...and we actually liked that film tol), that takes more chances than it avoids mistakes. Still God loves a trier...especially if that God lives amongst us. This may not be super, but man is it the dawn of something special. Hey everybody here's a review that doesn't completely witch hunt this movie like that stereotypical angry 'Simpsons' mob. Holy reboot setups there's justice in that Batman. They may not avenge the Marvel 'Civil War', but this D.C. battle is worthy of its own legend. Were there's a Will...there's a way. We'll see another billboard in New York's Times Square again. And there's a victory in that Detective Comics. Cheer up! It's not all a dark night. The 'Dawn' is here! TIM DAVID HARVEY.

Sunday, 20 March 2016

T.V. REVIEW: DAREDEVIL Season 2

4/5

The Walking Dread.

13 Episodes. Starring: Charlie Cox, Deborah Ann Woll, Elden Henson, Elodie Yung, Rosario Dawson, Scott Glenn & Jon Bernthal.

Better the devil you know! How dare you? You withstood the heat. You stayed in the kitchen. Now there will be hell to pay. As Netflix's hugely popular 'Daredevil' series cooks up its second year and season, New York Cities Hells Kitchen is about to boil and toil with trouble and explode. Out there in the bruised and bloodied battered soul of the city it's a War Zone. You thought Vincent D'Onofrio's fist full of Fisk Kingpin had the throne in Marvel's Avenging last year 'Age Of Ultron' and tall 'Ant-Man' tales to astonish? Then just you wait until you see who really is the Castle. To be Frank this is the year of the American 'Civil War' Cap! These days are only going to get stranger Doc! Marvel are in the phase and age of 'Infinity'...and 'Deadpool' fourth-wall studio breaking. Now amongst all these wars and their one with the duelling 'Batman v Superman' of D.C., Stan Lee's comic creations aren't afraid to take the fight back to the streets or the small screen like the 'Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.' in again somewhat ironically the same time former Daredevil Ben Affleck's caped crusader is about to don his own Wayne mannered cowl. Especially with their Man Without Fear itself, Matt Murdock. Ally McBeal by day. Marvel's shadowy and horny version of the Dark Knight by dusk. With hell to bring, but one rule...absolutely no tombstone. No killing! Although beating the bad guys into a crippling, life changing, paralysed pulp is fine. But this time the Devil of Hells Kitchen has more nightmares to deal with than a slow roast from Gordon Ramsey on a Sunday. Even the classic Church confessionals from this Catholic will have to dig deep to offer more. No good Devil goes unpunished as this hells angel has more on his plate and we aren't just talking about an old college girlfriend coming back to break his heart and balls. The streets favourite red seeing vigilante with bull horns is about to be charged with more than epic courtroom drama legal proceedings (forget 'The People vs O.J. Simpson'). He's about to face two anti-heroes looking for their own brand of justice that finger trigger the knife edge of good and bad. It's this light versus dark, both sides of the cape fear that give the second series two stellar strings of inspired interweaving plot that make this season in the bleak fall of a lonely New York as foremost as the first. From the first kick to the last punch in overcooked overkill, amazing action of classic coordination Marvel send it all back to the kitchen...with compliments to the chef!

Following the success of Marvel's small-screen Jessica Jones, Netflix are killing it as their favourite public Defender is back and about to make way for the punch of Iron Fist and the rope-a-dope of Miss Jones' boyfriend Luke Cage. But it's still the Devil that decides your fate and Charlie Cox dares and wins. He is everything to this theory of the Daredevil comic character...by the book. Battered in kevlar and crimson, the devil is still fighting strong like the Gods of Justice amongst us. What's Affleck got now!? Just check out the take two one shot of this season that decks and wrecks the halls...and descending stairs Penrose of the first series', classic, most talked about scene. One great shot deserves another and it's lights out for the man that sees better in the dark. Dont be afraid there are other ways to have vision...and oh does blood soaked vigilante show us...and anyone willing to stand in his way. You're going to love this guys stick! Dardevil in red by the disorder of night, maroon bespectabled Attorney of Law by day. And Cox gets the whole Matt Murdock alter-ego dynamic third bowl of porridge to start your day right like Bruce Wayne and Batman, Clark Kent and Superman and of course Tony Stark and Iron Man. And just like Robert Downey Jnr you just get the feeling Charlie cant wait to tell everybody who he really is. Fear not though his legal counsel know how to work a case and playing the angels Elden Henson's Foggy best friend and Deborah Ann Woll's heart and soul love interest really step it up yet again showing they are no bit parts or side pieces. They may not know great superpower, but they know the responsibilty of great acting. Just like recurring guest stars of supporting listed legacy Rosario Dawson and Scott Glenn, nursing and mentoring respectively. So well in fact you yearn for more of the first seasons welcome standouts from perfect preists to Betsy's boy and so much more. This city is more than just one man, no wonder the blind lawyer watches over it as so.

Look for more though in the villain department this time round however. The Kingpin maybe striked out behind bars, but our hero has more Gangs of New York to deal with than DiCaprio and Day-Lewis. By night the hands of the Yakuza buzz like the horses they fly in on. as they give Daredevil more trials than the Triads. Making for some 'Fearless' formidable martial arts scenes that are pure fighting poetry. But Murdock's anti-murder fight has more to help...or deal with in the form of his hearts old alias. And in garnering more praise than Jennifer's body of solo movie deserving work, Elodie Young is electric as Elecktra. Complete with a more realistic, less sexualised costume (thankfully with Marvel reversing the trend of their female heroes being merely geeks comic candy) and Mutant Turtle Rapheal swords this fatal female is ready to send the rats back to the sewer...or even six below that. She's not the only one willing to pull the trigger to get the job done. Half measured villain or cowardly hero not. All this crime and we haven't even got round to the punishment. Well from the moment his opening footsteps turn a hospital into a morgue its time this cape feared the walking dead...or dread of killing machine Frank Castle, who is breaking down all sorts of walls. Deep actor of dark character Jon Bernthal does more than sell you his role as The Punisher like he did that pen in that classic 'Wolf Of Wall Street' scene of improvisation. He writes off both movie star Thomas Jane and all-action hero Dolph Lungren with a hairpin stroke. Hitting everything like Bullseye...no Jason Statham, Colin Farrell character. It's a different mark man! Bernthal is a murdering leather glove, trigger thumbing perfect Punisher that fits this crime. Zoned out and war ravaged like the rage he displayed in filming the tanked up 'Fury' when he wasn't allowed to meet his newborn son until he was 8 months old, this veteran frankly is Castle. From method acting Brooklyn Bridge blood dripping (like the iconic title sequence), walking the city with weights in his backpack and the "don't f### this up" expectations of all those passerby New Yorkers that recognised his face on his shoulders, Bernthal earns his black strapped boots on the ground. Clicking as the man that wears an iconic skull on his chest...no Cross Bones (although was that that truck again from 'The Winter Soldier'?). Jon knows what this iconic comic book character means. Stating that people have gone to war with that skull and died with that symbol on their chest. Bernthal honors it all perfectly and respectfully in a raw and ravaged time brings to the forefront of beyond comic conversation the control of guns and the safety of the hands holding them. The "you hit them and they get back up. I hit them and they STAY down" vigilante, street justice debate of conflict. One batch, two batch, judge, jury and executioner dime and punishment. The new Castle in this game of self-appointed anti-heroes thrones even brings the emotion behind why he's doing this and who those rounds and bullets really are for. I bet you thought The Punisher only had one way to make you weep for your mother!? But from the vantage of his cop coffee drinking rooftops to the lead streets below he wakes up like brimstone, Jon Bernthal tears it up as the Punisher. You know he's one good day away from being in his own solo series. Now would you dare to give this devil his own show...BANG! TIM DAVID HARVEY.

Friday, 11 March 2016

#ComicalColumn DID YOU CATCH THE SPIDER?

(The first in our 'Comical Column'-that looks to be our next spin-off blog-looks at the big reveal of the latest 'Captain America: Civil War' trailer).

Web Redesign.

Last week I tweeted that when it came to the commercial promotion of the long awaited, hugely anticipated 'Captain America: Civil War' movie, a little like 'Star Wars-The Force Awakens' Spider-Man was the Luke Skywalker of this Marvel. Disney hey?! But last night Iron Man Robert Downey Jr. spoke for everyone on the hash-tag trends of Twitter and Facebook news feeds when his Tony Stark character classically said "Alright...I've run out of patience", introducing us to the new Peter Parker.

"Hey everyone"! We hope you brought another pair of underoos!

The world wide webs social media senses did more than just tingle the moment the Spiders shooters hit Captain America's red, white and blue shield.

"On your left"!

Oh the power! Oh the responsibility!

We just had to catch a glimpse of those Deadpool like animated, Spider-sense eyes (although one of my friends is right..."how the f### do you frown through a mask") and red and blue unitard...and it was worth the wait like 'Charlotte's Web' come bedtime.

It was bigger than it all...even Daredevil and The Punishers uncivil war. The amazing announcement of this classic, comic-book adaptation. The sonic Sony rights deal. The original, outstanding, tension building, "So was I", man tear shedding theatrical trailer. The touchdown of the sensational Superbowl spot, commercial record breaker. And all the things that came before it in this terrific trailer.

The sinister, single, perfectly pitched piano note opening a la Star Wars final trailer (Mickey Mouse hey?!). The barney over Barnes and where exactly the Buck stops...maybe with the real trailer scene stealing Black Panther clawing this Avenger Terminator off his bike (and how about the unmasked Chadwick Boseman showing the emotional soul and depth of heart acting he brought to just two introductory roles of historical significance, as Jackie Robinson and James Brown in '42' and 'Get On Up'?). The machine of the Winter Soldier shooting a war bird out the sky. And all the reactory properties from that story arc. Like the android of the Vision being electrically Scarlett kissed to death by the Witch he weds in the comics. Or Johannson's Widows peak of passion of dramatic acting. Or our Legolas, Hawkeye clenching up and firing an Ant-Man arrow from his bow that will hopefully grow into something that the Hulk buster would have to deal with...and how about that Green, mean machine? Didn't Falcon Anthony Mackie accidently spoil that one by putting Mark Ruffalo's Bruce Banner in the spotlight (his best media moment since he was asked whether someone black should direct the 'Black Panther' movie. To which he hilariously replied, "No! It's not like they got a horse to direct 'Seabiscuit'"!)? And how about Agent 13, Baron Zemo (at least we got to capture Crossbones) or Bilbo? Or another Ross' thunderbolt of a striking set-up (Red Hulk?!). And then Captain America and Iron Man's perfect teeth punching comic-book conflict that shows these two A-List actors step up their acting A-games (can you feel RDJ's emotion?) as the Superman and Batman of Marvel go to war over registration and who gets to catch the Spider amongst other friends.

"He with you?!" "I thought he was with you"!?

The red capes and cowl crusaders don't stand a chance. Steve Rodgers could still do this all day. As could the Russos who change the political climate of their last Cap thriller into a psychologically charged one. And they still have one ace up their sleeve like Iron Man that's Marvel's new face card. And no matter what the divided opinion is they were right to place this hand before their cards were counted. At least you know what side the webbed boy wonder is on now. But whether this Iron filling will have a second, metal legged suit is as turncoat a question as whether Tony will make Petey, "I am Iron Man", Press Conference unmask himself to the world and then strike him out at Yankee stadium like in the comics. Where does this ally really lie...or swing? Steve Rodgers may have an army...but Stark has a Spider...now can we talk about the Hulk? Or even the hammer time of Thor?

ANOTHER!?

Besides Tom Holland helped Chris Hemsworth take on Moby Dick 'In The Heart Of The Sea', the God owes him the honour of a favour. Still the flipping young, wonder years of Holland look ready to swing this Spider back to school and a class of his own. The new/old suit is straight C.G.I. radioactive in colour and is throwback, retro feel to the original comics and series. That's more than homage...it's hallmark. For everyone. For the fans. The original movie star trilogy Tobey Maguire. And the 'Amazing', Times Square, electric lights out Andrew Garfield and what could have been with his before 'Suicide Squad', 'Sinister Six', Green Goblin villain led movie that looks like it's still got at least some Venom to draw from it. But this cat Tom is going to make everyone else look like Jerry's because more than anyone else...even himself, the new Spider-Man is doing this for the classic character itself. Now that's how you become iconic.

Fantastic! Amazing? No...Spectacular!

This Peter Parker is so 2099 Miles ahead you don't have to even worry about Morales. But please, don't make us watch Uncle Ben die again...it's not worth the spilt milk! Get your glass and paper ready, there's a Spider in the house..J.K. Simmons gets the picture. Anybody or creature can come crawling back...it just takes some leg work. Incy Wincy's about to climb back up the water spout! TIM DAVID HARVEY.

Saturday, 5 March 2016

REVIEW: HAIL CAESAR

4/5

Et Tu Cohen?

106 Minutes. Starring: Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Alden Ehrenreich, Ralph Fiennes, Scarlett Johansson, Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill, Frances McDormand & Tilda Swinton. Directors: Joel & Ethan Cohen.

No country for old Hollywoodland and their leading men? Nah all hail the Cohens who go inside the golden era old times of Los Angeles, California's talking pictures industry like they did Lleywn Davis. These folks are the most diverse and decadent when it comes to the maestros of this modern ages, maverick moviemaking...but they still know how to homage the hallmark best like we know alliteration...alright! From their classic readaptation of the Western 'True Grit' which they went by the book for like their Cormac classic. All the way back to their breakthrough 'Fargo' that itself has been adaptated into a terrificly successful T.V. series. This script however is a love letter to Hollywood (albeit a sweetly-secrety to some- satirical one) in a time where that sign had four more white picket letters. From the locations of its sunset studio set to the stripped back, classic look the texture of this reel could have been stutter stopped rolled from times that are now gone with the wind. But these Cohen conspirers of all that is classic cinema don't miss a beat or step like their previous pictures. From stars going back and forth, messing up lines that will cut your ribs to pieces that is classic Joel and Ethan dialogue to a delightful dance number, were seaman step in the name of lost love and one more night of wet whistles before they head out to sea. It's a chereographed class crafting of the good ole days that will have the legendary likes of Fred Astaire dancing...not rolling in his grave. Hello Sailor! Like Ben and Jerry this is classic theatre treats that wont leave your brain numb. It has all the traits of a timeless classic. From witching hour church confessionals and bar backroom talks to elaborate, epic screen set-pieces from the cowboy Wild West to the mermaid lengths of the deep blue sea.

And of course the most famous face in all of Hollywood...Baird Whitlock...oh we mean George Clooney. Say it with pride like our lead. How fitting in a film like this do we finally have the closest actor we have these days to a classic Cary Grant of times gone by. He even jokes about private moments with Clark Gable. Still you can save steam pressing and ironing his suit, because here he's all tied up in Ceasar costume, Roman regalia by a group of hostage holding Commies and disgruntled writers (ah hem) that would rather offer him a sinisterly cut cucumber sandwich than a take a finger threat. Here hamming it up perfectly like there was meat in that sandwich, Clooney brings classic, outstanding oddball acing like he did with the Cohens in his straight from the 'E.R.' emergency room to the gurney of a silver screen breakout, 'O Brother Where Art Thou?' Oh brother where have you been (you saw some of this this Christmas gone with fellow monumental man Bill Murray for a scrooged Netflix special) as this Oceans ensemble legend rolls through this one with the hot hand and those legendary looks and smooth facial expressions contorted crazily for a Dapper Dan actor in a tight spot who doesnt know what he's doing...let alone where he is, played by one who clearly knows otherwise. But by George as good as Clooney is like his name he isn't even the top billing star here in this Hollywood whos who. That honor would go to frequent Cohen flyer Josh Brolin. The ever underrated and brilliant actor in delivery and range is he mailman of this industry, here doing more than just playing a Hollywood "fixer". I mean this guy can post playing both Thanos and George Bush on his resume. But he's no vile villain for hire. Instead the man that played a desperate, madness confused one in 'True Grit' and a reluctant, stotic hero of sorts in 'No Country For Old Men' gives the directing brothers his mild-mannered measured best. With shades of his classic cop, stetson suited palette in old L.A. times noir that channeled Dick Tracy in the colourful 'Gangster Squad', beneath the layered and tailored look is a good man desperate to do the right thing and his job in the work of an industry that doesnt know the meaning of those words or sentiments. This one may have just missed the Oscar season by a weekend...but that doesn't mean anyone here...especially Brolin isn't still in an Academy of their own.

But we're not yelling cut yet. It's not a wrap. Especially when your supporting cast resembles that of the best leading men and ladies in the business. Everybody is here (whose that narrator? Wait a minute is that Dennis Nedry?)! Even if some of these standouts are in for no more scenes than we see in the trailer. Even the most unrecognisable name makes his. As 'Blue Jasmine' star Alden Ehrenreich carries this picture on the back of his horse, lassoing it as he spur clicks like the cowboy he is. He's old time charismatic, with a shy, confused charm. And just wait until his Southern staar tries some deep acting. Funny but also forthright tha kid that looks like he could be Dane DeHaan's younger brother is no ones hand me down. I guarantee you're going to be seeing a lot more of Alden. The kids not done in his town. Soon you'll be seeing his name as much as you do Scarlett. And the classic starlet Johannson, who always looked, sounded and played like she was born in the wrong era like Clooney finally gets to be the femme fatale she's always seemed to be...although sent up and down comically to the underneath of the sea like Aerial in an age aquatic. But remember this girls got range-she released an amazing album of Tom Waits covers-she plays it perfectly. Then there's the legends like Ralph Fiennes. Continuing his leading stellar streak on 'The Grand Budapest Hotel' with more weird and wonderful. Speaking of which from twin hats fit for the races of ladies day to silly scarfs you'll never see the great Tilda Swinton and Frances McDormand this briefer or better. Just like the classic comedy turned Academy, 'Moneyball' big hitter and 'Wolf Of Wall Street' big spender Jonah Hill stamping down a cameo as impressive as his brief burst in 'Django'. But just wait until his 21 and over co-star steps off 'Jump Street'. Stealing this showstopper like he did with just five minutes of classic cameo time in Quentin Tarantino's Western times classic 'The Hateful Eight', the ever better and charm machine Channing Tatum taps his way to his own classic song and dance film and game changing award. Yep that was him we were talking about before. Salute! You've seen him lip sync with Beyonce but did you ever think you could see him sing and dance like this. 'Magic Mike' has gone triple XL, taking to the salt brushed floor like Gene Kelly. Now fangirls will want to see this Hollywood hunk sing in the rain. Channing said this scene was the most stressful he's done but you can't tell with his effortless delivery with glorious feeling. Tatum is a knockout...you've never seen a young star shine as uniquely like this. All in all and with everyone made way for and monkeying around in this 'Caesar', 'Hail' deserves a rain of applause and all its praise. It's bigger than Lebowski and really ties the history of this industry together. In an otherwise corrupt industry is this picture and its portraits the perfect star power? Absolutely! TIM DAVID HARVEY.

Friday, 4 March 2016

REVIEW: LONDON HAS FALLEN

3/5

London Down.

99 Mins. Starring: Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart, Angela Bassett, Melissa Leo, Robert Forster, Radha Mitchell, Charlotte Riley, Jackie Earle Haley & Morgan Freeman. Director: Babak Najafi.

More than London Bridge has fallen down. As 2013's 'Olympus Has Fallen' Air Force One's itself across the pond to the place that staged the 2012 Olympic Games, the President and his Butler find themselves in the line of fire again for 'London Has Fallen'. Seriously...if this guy gets 'Taken' again like Liam Neeson's kid, he'll need to be grounded like that man with a special set of skills and a phones daughter. Listen to me carefully, just hide POTUS in the same tunnels they used to sneak Marylin Monroe in for J.F.K. Oh wait that was the movie 'White House Down'...so many films with all the presidents men...so little movie time. Seriously...what's next 'Sydney Has Fallen Mate'?! Strewth! Still the film that coincidentaly came out in the same year, but also beat 'W.H.D' did so for an elected reason...and it wasn't just due to talented 'Training Day' director Antoine Fuqua being the great 'Equalizer' like Denzel Washington (here he is replaced by Babak Najafi (kind of a Burgundy big deal in Sweden). It was due to Butler doing it as the Secret Service and the new Bruce Willis John McClane of this post 'Die Hard' generation. There was blood...it was brutual but attaboy was it brilliant. Yippe Kayay. Mother#####! Now this Presidental preacher with a machine gun has moved to the British Isles it's about to get even more "bloody". Hell as every world leader and dignitary heads to England's capital for the Prime Ministers funeral you can expect a bath of it. But guess which one they'll really look to take care of?! Yep that's right you guessed it...the leader of the free world. No not Donald Trump...you farts! But boy does this franchise that can't be impeached wish in hindsight they didn't name their vice President "Trumbo". It's not even Bryan Cranston...so don't say his name! Still this one breaks so much bad it can't help but knock!

Abiding the law like the model citizen he is Gerard Butler takes everything thrown at him on his Presidents secret service like 300 men in congress...even the Palm Frittes. Sure this man may have acted on stages in Operas but here he is a Phantom Menace, leaving scars in the star wars of a blockbuster, superhero season started early. Only the indestructible 'Deadpool' can withstand him. Only the Punisher leaves more skulls and still has more bullets in the clip. Reading his opponent, Gerard Butler lets his magazine sing with his machine gun practice. He's tough as nails hammering them into a trail of goons' resting places. Much in the same 'should I be guilty to enjoy this' pleasure of an 'Expendables' movie this force of a franchise with a solid sequel (one that may not stand up to the original, but does sit nicely next to it) is far from the chop shop thanks to its lead strong lead. More mature than a Rock or Vin Diesel, but decades far from the retirement homes of Stallone and Schwarnegger, this all-action hero is a true braveheart in an age were we're losing the likes of Mel Gibson and Bruce Willis to father time. Gerard is taking all the kids to school...we hope you packed your lunch. Even with a kid on their way, converting the spare room to a crib this almost hitman for hire action gunner still makes house calls. He really hammers it door to door too, selling us this brute but beaute of a movie. I mean this is a guy that can even flog you a glass of water here...convincing you you're "thirsty as f###"...must be the salted popcorn you always eat. No...just me?! The guys still sweet. And he's still ready to lay it on the line like Clint Eastwood for the man that calls the Oval Office home. That would be Aaron Eckhart whose 'Dark Knight' Harvey Dent has seemed to have been elected from Mayor of Gotham City to President Of The United States. Wait...what?! That's not him? I didn't see the otherside of his face! What? That's not even a real city? What about those hash-tag 'Fly To Gotham' Turkish Airline commercials? What do you mean wrong franchise? Anyway after 'I Frankenstein' didn't turn out to be the monster he hoped like Igor, Eckhart's 'Battle: Los Angeles' purple heart and Batman political pedigree is enough to make another term here in the sequel. He looks like he could even run for office in the West Wing? I mean who else would you rather have? Martin Sheen's done his eight years. Larry David? No burn that enthusiasm. There's no one else in this house of cards. It's all falling down to these smoking aces.

In a whole new space after winning the battle for the White House with his 'Law Abiding Citizen' opposing co-star Jamie Foxx (is he on the wrong detail here?), Butler is taken to the country that won the war. And as he and Eckhart channel Foxx and Channing Tatum's buddy-cop on a political front, charismatic dynamic they make for a perfect pair offsetting London's Big Smoke of an explosive backdrop. In this rush hour you may aswell call these guys scotch and bad choices as their chemistry is almost as much a catalyst as the combustible action. From the dark depths of the smoked out underground, to the pizza delivery boy motorcycle gangs complete with choppers and extra cheese. And we can't get enough of the most outstanding one shot that could even deck and pass through the halls of 'Daredevil' and the hood of 'True Detective', flying like 'Birdman'...all virtue, no ignorance. From Westminister Abbey to Charing Cross everything is bull-dogged. No one is safe...not even that big guy called Ben. Or Franklin back home in Washington that matter who gets a little burn in the "on your left" jogging first scene. Back in D.C. the Situation Room offers desk duty to the likes of Academy Award winner Melissa Leo, military grade, senior officer, veteran actor Robert Forster and 'Watchman' and 'Shutter Island' standout Jackie Earle Haley who all seem to be (by screen-time only...not actual effort or performance) picking up a cheque...but cashing in some serious talent. Besides, at least Leo gets to whisper to someone to get out her seat. Classic! And then of course there's Morgan Freeman waiting in the 'Deep Impact' west wings of crossing his fingers that he'll be sworn in as President yet again thanks to the latest paint by numbers gang of terrible terroists. Still the comforting, syrupy warm narration of Freeman could epically evoke almost anything...even a fishing trip that you...and he should really take. Everyones working overtime here though. From last movies wonder women Angela Bassett (who has everything to do with this) and loving wife Radha Mitchell to the British intelligence of new, ally affiliate addition Charlotte Riley on the form of her life. All this make for one epic entourage for Olympus's commander and chief in foreign Thames waters. The 'Has Fallen' franchise has gone international and is busting blocks and bad cops on a global scale. The only question remains will we fall for another one? White House up! TIM DAVID HARVEY.