Friday, 15 September 2017

REVIEW: MOTHER!

3/5

Mother's The Word.

121 Mins. Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, Ed Harris, Domhnall Gleeson, Brian Gleeson, Jovan Adepo, Kristen Wiig & Michelle Pfeiffer. Director: Darren Aronofsky.

Mother f#@#$&! What the hell is this?! That's what half the movie-goers leaving the cinema half-way through 'Mother!' this weekend will scream. As the remaining film-fanatic half lean around them to not miss a thing in what will be the most divisive movie of this year. If not easily the most controversial one in recent decade making memory. To be loved and to be loathed this festival film received as many sneered mouth, hand-cupped boos in chorus to the auditorium heavens as it did hell for leather rounds of applause in upstanding ovations at Venice. Halloweenheads here it is. Prepare to be haunted as this is the season your hallowed harrowing genre comes from what lies beneath the monsters in your bed, rushing from your slammed bedrooms doors. The spine tingling and shattering freak show to end the Summer blockbuster season and pre-curse the Oscar fall one began with the return of Stephen King's 'IT' after 27 years in the form of your deepest, darkest fear, Pennywise. A clown scarier than the Big Mac one that asks if you'd like fries with that. And before the Goonie gang tikes on trikes of 'Stranger Things' stand by this to end a thriller of a Halloween binge night streaming and screaming like Michael Jackson, we have one truly terrifying tale that is anything but an 'It' following run up the stairs and pocket full of posies, all fall down sterotypical genre churning cliche. In a horrifying year that has seen the envelope of the scarlet letter feverishly, letter opener pushed so much this scare/shy film fan has started showing his face at more hide behind your date movies. From the "Shudder Island' Swiss-Alps, scare scenic retreat of Dane DeHaan's 'A Cure For Wellness', to the 'Get Out' of Jordan Peele's race relations ravaged, scathing metaphor of white privilege in the face of black power. And in this scary Trumped up time we all need a little bit of entertainment that says something, no matter how horrific it all is. And this movie metaphors all that is wrong with a man made world of ignorant discrimination and the abuse of power in love needs and wants. 'Requiem For A Dream' and 'Black Swan' director Darren Aronofsky and his new beau leading A-listed actress Jennifer Lawrence give us the maddening 'Mother' of all hard-hitting, shock factor movies right now with this requiem for a nightmare.

Shredding your every nerve to its very ending, this freak-show is as tearingly tense as the 'Swan' skin pulling from the tip of your nail to the end of your torn cuticle as skin crawlingly painfuly puncuated as that very stinging feeling. But just like fellow visionary gothic director Guillermo Del Toro's haunted manor born, blood-soaked, dressed up 'Crimson Peak' with Tom Hiddleston and Jessica Chastain, this is no horror movie. No matter how hauntingly harrowing. Not really. This is more like a psychological terror that will scare the wits out of what you can't see, but will tirelessly and torturingly think about in every waking hour until you're over the edge. Can't have nightmare if you can't even get to sleep. Your wits end will meet the disgust you thought was already too desensitised to boot as the pulse of this house is haunted with more than what's hiding in your closet or what goes bump in the night. As 'The Wrestler' director grapples with bone bruising surrealism, as subtle as a "here's Johnny" axe ground through the bedroom door. Forget skeletons the bones of this film are wooden floorboard and dust rooted in the trappings of marred married life victim to inattention, stunted creativity and passion in both the workplace and the charred heart of where home really lies and that most feared and misery company hated mistress of love, loneliness. No stay at home DIY will paper over the cracks in this paint thin foundation of bruised heart and lost souls in a relationship as micro-managed manipulated as it is room with a view lost adrift at sea with no memory bliss. As Jennifer Lawrence's stay at home, do-good wife, caters to the needs of her tortured writer husband to the point of suffocating subservience that smothers every hope of a home life more than the furnished feel of meticulous, put together decoration as everything else falls apart. Whilst Javier Bardem's beta-bloked alpha-male who treats his so he says "muse" with passive dissmissiveness that hurts as much as outright abuse, albeit in different, darker shadowed smile hidden ways. As Aronofsky's anxious age simmering slow burner, to aggravated explosion of emotions and the senses is an evocation of existential dread in the forlorn form of another haunting on the outside 'Ghost Story' that carries so much more moral meaning inside to the burning heart of matters and the nature of the whole world and its wider waking implications invoked and implied here. The beating heart in the walls of this blood cracked and creaking floor-boarded house may seem soot black-rot and ash haunted, but in reality it's the love lost note message in bottled up emotion that is more telling than what the walls talk. The sound of silence more piercing than what you think you heard.

Lawrence breaking even more ground boxed into four walls simply shows just how amazing an actress she really is. The next Meryl Streep going from 'The Hunger Games' to the 'American Hustle' /'Silver Linings Playbook' of back-to-back, multiple Academy Award Oscar nods. Hey Jude! Jennifer is the new J-Law. And after the mystique of this actresses 'Joy', this heartbreaking homegown depression of personal purgatory may be her best and most powerful performance yet. Puncuating the poor excuse hidden abusive male figure themes of the perplexing 'Passengers' alongside Pratt, Chris to recharge almost a year later with this much more morality and questionable humanity driven exercise in examination of the human condition in a social mass media world of wall scaling and backbone crumbling desires to peer-group fit in for fear of sticking out like an individual one claims to believe they are. Lawrence's lovesick newlywed, loyal to the fault of others is victim to just how horrible people can be. Especially when they are party to effortless selfishness and superiority perceived favoritism. Yet still she stands as strong as the a-star act from the a-lister. Even in the face of one of the most expressive and shudder evoking actors of today, no matter how nice he really is or acts here. After playing a barnacle blistered, scaly scary undead villain in Johnny Depp's 'Pirates Of The Carribean-Salzar's Revenge' this Summer, this halloween Javier Bardem is a scary as the time he cattle gunned people to death with a Rolling Stone comb over in the Cohen's 'No Country For Old Men'. Or when he bleached Bond as the ultimate Daniel Craig era 007 villain in 'Skyfall'. But just more subtely so. It's a monster performance of manipulatingly convincing charm like when he looks to bolt back up Universal's 'Dark Universe' as Frankenstein's monster, but here alongside his beautiful bride, he's a different sort of beast. This disturbed home life is further invaded from privacy to decency by Ed Harris' stranger in the night. The legend and 'Westworld' man in black going deeper and darker into the phlem and bowels of his chain-smoking and spluttering character. The effects it has even touching his sibling warrings sons inheriting the sins in the form of real life brothers in arms Brian and Domhnall Gleeson, on realer than raw form as Brendan's boys batter each other into subplot submission. But no matter which famous face shows up at J-Law's door ('Fences' climbing and breakout star Jovan Adepo making his name under the roof of another residence. Whilst funnywoman gone serious Kristen Wiig being particularly and satirically, seriously good as a literary agent who is literally something else altogether), the only one who can come close to threatening the body of Jennifer's work here is the 'Dangerous Mind' of Law back in the 'Scarface' signature sealed day of a scene stealing Michelle Pfeiffer. The original Catwoman herself halfway there, purring with a sinister sexiness that claws at her younger, impressionable host at a blood drawing striking distance. The feline big eyes of this femme fatale offsetting an otherwise expressionless look that could kill of much more bitter, embedded emotion that lies beneath truth. There's so much going on here in Aronofsky's bleak look of bricks and mortar, home is where heartbreak is hallucinogenic. One that spellbinding and compellingly creaks and treads carefully until it runs through a house of strangers inading that stack up and then fall like playing cards of all sorts of faces and dealt hands as their greedingly grabbing mitts claw for a piece of everything. There are themes of God and Mother Earth, Adam and Eve and even Cain and Able here. But this forbidden fruit is also worm infested laced with licks at a Trump time of smartphone dumbed down social status. Not to mention mob-menatlity riots, mere-mortal whore worshiping individuals in our life like Christ like figures and celebrities wrote by our own hype like a game of Gods. Teaching us that these day after day numbing notions against the ideal of family and loyalty are in comparison pathetic, ignorant, outwardly ultimatly destructive. So much so that it's killing us and the future we thought we held so tight. Aswell as putting an exclamation point on the awareness of abusive relationships, malingned marriages, the evil men do and the callous oppression of women. These are just a few of the book club like theorised themes that turn throughout this taught twisting narrative that begins nuanced and then blights our senses with noose-strangling, nauseating imagery that turns a house party of uninvited guests into cults of religious fanatics, soldiers, terrorists and one in the all too familiar same. All to a climatic point following a perfect moment of eyes and expression made peace, to the other end of the spectrum opposite that no mother should suffer ever and in turn shows us just how harrowingly horrible masses of people and this movie we set out to see really can brutually and honestly unforgivably be. Aside from this intolerable cruelty the awe-inspiring Aronofsky milks 'Mother' for all our "seen it all before" eyes can take. But as we scream "GET OUT" like the message of the greatest meaning hidden horror of the year, this 'Mother' in J-Law will keep knocking at our door longer than this day. Goodnight...try to sleep tight. TIM DAVID HARVEY.

Further Filming: 'Black Swan', 'Rosemary's Baby', 'Winters Bone'.

Saturday, 9 September 2017

REVIEW: IT

4/5

Penny For Your Wise.

135 Mins. Starring: Finn Wolfhard, Sofia Lillis, Jaeden Lieberher, Jack Dylan Grazer, Wyatt Oleff, Chosen Jacobs, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Owen Teague, Nicholas Hamilton & Bill Skarsgard. Director: Andy Muschietti.

'It' follows the chillingly cruel chapter of Stephen King's 1986 classic and is the first time this crazy clown has been sent in since the 1990 Tim Curry mini-series turned double disc movie. For those in the know that was 27 years ago. "It" being the tale as old as terror of Pennywise the clown. The horror harlequin more maddening than a pack of playing cards full of nothing but Jokers. Haunting the children of a sun sleepy small town of Derry, Maine's worst phobias and feeding off their fears and maybe even their limbs as food for their terrified thoughts. And that's just for starters. Just wait until the main course of parents in chapter 2. As 'It' has already been red nose lit for a sequel as this red balloon refuses to pop like how the weasel goes. As this is one legendary Stephen King crowning story this year that is worthy of the classic catalogue bookshelf just like Stanley Kubrick's version of 'The Shining' with "Heeeere's JOHNNY" himself, Jack Nicholson. Especially after Matthew McConaughey's Man In Black and Idris Elba's Gunslinger following adaptation of 'The Dark Tower' fell to critical decline and the fact they tried to cram seven books of material into one movie no longer than your average game of soccer. But this game of two halves that runs at a door stop, cinder block weight of one thousand and a hundred pages plus could be considered Stephen King's actual magnum opus complete with 'Carrie' blood showers and their own Easter Eggs...literally. And was that a Buick 8 in the neighbourhood driveway? Normally horror movies leave me at home. If there was another couch this writer could hide behind, behind the couch he was already cowering under he would. Scaredy-cat isn't even the word...maybe something that sounds like that. The last scary film this writer went to see was the Ethan Hawke finger trembling 'Sinister' (I'm the opposite of a sucker for old fashioned, shutter stuttering, haunting slide show projections in scary movies...so I'm in for a bloody treat) when he was trying to impress an old girlfriends parents. And judging on how he almost ran out of the cinema like cartoon characters off the edge of a cliff...hell of an impression. But right before Halloween we are talking about 'It' here (even if I left my souvenir Pennywise poster in the cinema because I was so creeped out. It'll probably end up on my bedroom wall following me as I wake up tonight I'm sure). The nightmare inducing bedtime story from the King of King's. So fear not it's only right I float too.

Stranger things have happened than this wuss of a writer making his way to the multiplex to see something that goes bump in the night like pop, pop, popping popcorn in foil left on the stovetop. And as a matter of fact this group of 'Goonies' couldn't be more 'Stranger Things' if they had a kid from 'Stranger Things' leading them on their trikes. Step forward Finn Wolfhard in Moranis bifocals. Looking the part but showing that as an actor he can change gears too. As his 'Stranger', more sensitive hero shifts to a cocky, mum joke a minute, "that's what she said" funny bone of this Losers Club. One you'll all want to join and stand by like Lost Boy vamps. There's Jaeden Lieberher's stutteringly brave and shy, sincere soul. Leading with heart, not humour. And Jack Dylan Grazer's best friend type, unsung hero. Always there even if his mum tries to pull him back by the clipped ear. Wyatt Oleff's anxiously afraid character is anything but the meek manner that comes bursting out too. Whilst Chosen Jacobs is the one overcoming it all without a family to call his own from his peers to bolt through the head racism. Jeremy Ray Taylor's strength of character too outweighs the physical appearance that has bullies giving him the truffle shuffle everytime they outrun him after school. His huge heart trying to catch that of our Molly Ringwald of this 'Breakfast Club' (complete with the best, in-joke easter egg of this movie) piece, the flame bob cropped Sofia Lillis. The girl with every boys eyes on her...even the ones she wouldn't want. As this young woman forced to grow up so fast has much more to deal with than some mean girls smearing a slut shaming reputation on her that isn't even remotely warranted. But sadly and more tragically comes from an abusive relationship with her father that somehow has been sickeningly twisted by her so-called friends. Sofia is superb in bringing out the bravery in the face of brutality in a real world much scarier than the monsters hiding below your bed. There's bullies in this school. From most likely to suck, Owen Teague and Nicholas Hamilton's aggressor acting, accented with angst aggravation. But the real brutes and bane of these kids lives look to be the parents who are in line for their own clowning soon. And you won't be able to wait until Pennywise gives these bullies a taste of their own medicine without a spoonful of sugar as the Loser Club is finally winning.

Insane clown posses don't get much more devilishly red hot than the one 'Rocky Horror' legend Tim Curry started with his two-part, T.V. movie picture show. Yet Stellan's son, Bill Skarsgard (last seen peroxiding the roots of Charlize Theron's 'Atomic Blonde') is perfect and the wise choice for this Penny from hell. From the bell in his bonnet to the rattle in his basketball player sneaker sized clown shoes. This jester is as purely psychotic as Heath Ledger's Joker. Bringing 'Dark Knights' to the lazy May Summer days of Derry, Maine as this killing joke who will give you more than just a penny for your thoughts if they are wise to your fears. The flower on his chest doesn't turn into a water pistol but he does morph into your deepest, darkest thoughts of your worse nightmare. Not that devil claws and demonic rows of teeth all the better to eat you with aren't Red Riding Hood versus the wolf scary enough (although this time our soul lost at paper boat roadside gutter sea wears a yellow raincoat hood). And if they don't get you his crumbling war-paint Joker make-up and pitch-fork blood smile contour will. Offset by his vintage Victorian, hallmark haunting clown costume get-up, 'Thriller' laughing final frame yellow eyes and the hair of the one clown responsibile for clogging over a billion arteries served. And just you wait until he talks, moves, or acts like the creppiest, crustiest bozo you've seen this side of the 80's since 'Uncle Buck' porch decked that drunk one that showed up after an all night bachelorette out the back of a mouse with Jack Daniels to entertain some kids. But from turning into portraits bleaker than Dorian Gray and showing young girls everywhere why they shouldn't wash all their hair down the sink, Bill's clowning around is brutally brilliant. Skarsgard sealing his puncuated Pennywise clown character that really is 'It' like a scar. I bet you want a red balloon now in the craziest, most creative marketing campaign that has seen these balloons pop up in the real world of late everywhere to everyones freaked out and fond dismay. This clown killer will scare the seven shades out of you as the winding Jack in the box tension cranks up. Nevermind the bejeebus. And 'Mama' director Andy Muschietti (who brought the American gothic out of the flame-haired Jessica Chastain in her black Bob, pale rocker riding riff) brings us the mother of all horror movies (a week before Jennifer Lawrence's same named, pre-Winter's bone, Darren Aronofsky haunted house and married life) from the forefather of this gruesome genre. And from running up the stairs and behind the back of the door horror reveals, to real world implications from the metaphors of standing up to who the real bullies are and what's really the scariest of them all (abusive parents and peers that make Pennywise the clown look like entertainment in comparison), this is more than what just bedroom door creakingly sneaks up behind you. There is method to all the madness here as this film chills your spine, tickles your rib-cage and even warms your heart as your hairs stand on end. Looking for a horror movie that holds more meaning than just what scary thing lies beneath? Then this is 'It'. TIM DAVID HARVEY.

Further Filming: 'IT (1980)', 'Stranger Things', 'The Dark Tower'.

REVIEW: WIND RIVER

4/5

Hell Or High River.

111 Mins. Starring: Jeremy Renner, Elizabeth Olsen, Gil Birmingham, Graham Greene & Jon Bernthal. Director: Taylor Sheridan.

Come 'Hell Or High Water', 'Sicario' writer Taylor Sheridan in completing his noirish crime trilogy has gone from the script desk to the directors chair for 'Wind River'. And after arguably penning the best two pictures of the last two years ('Hell Or High Water' actually attaining an Academy Award nomination in said category), Sheridan with the same first initial and last name as the next great young actor ('Ready Player One'?) gets behind the lens for one of this calenders greatest. As with this unofficial trilogy this writer/director double threat here shows he is heading to a land where he is to modern movie storytelling what Cormac McCarthy is to classic noir novels. Much akin to what future sci-fi fable director Neil Blomkamp is to cinemas, what original science fiction forefather Phillip K. Dick was to the chapters of every bookshelf and countless blockbuster his cult stories have inspired. In some ways the former 'Sons Of Anarchy' actor Taylor was made to write books, but what he's bringing from page to screen right now is worth putting a bookmark in whatever you're reading for the next couple of hours...and the ones you'll reflect on after. Because this film takes the wind out of you and sends you up the river. 'Moon River' this is not. There's bitter brutality below the snowscaped bountiful beauty. A white noise where no one can here you scream in avalanches of the tallest trees and magnificent mountains. A land of wolves and prey were not all the predators stalk on four legs as Sheridan sets both a stunning and sickening scene in the nature of life and the unnnatural disorder of man. This terrific but terrifying tale from Taylor is no story either. But based on actual events as he brings to your porch the raw reality and racism that is happening to Native American's today as we speak in a Trump tide and time where discrimination is far more than the not so United States worst kept secret right now. Yet those Americans who discovered this great land are still getting so ignorantly dismissed and ignored. But in Wind River, Wyoming these Americans are given a voice as Sheridan's movie screams justice from the hills with no reservation.

Whitewash may be called by some critics looking for a cheap buck to comment or crucify everything that's coming out right now. But the only example of that here is on the snow that covers these lands. As the two leads here Jeremy Renner and Elizabeth Olsen are both integral to the plot and the race relations that stir in the about to boil over pot below. Showing that just like in the United States as a whole regardless of your colour of skin or creed if you live here, you're from here. Hawkeye has bow and arrow sniper like precision too here as Renner is a hunter of all sorts of predators who are animal in nature no matter what tracks they leave. Whilst the Olsen twins sister Elizabeth and the Avenging Scarlet Witch strikes out with her own magic here. Spellbinding as a Florida FBI agent sent from a Vegas detail to the out of her depths nature of here, as she trades 'Hell Or High Water' like casinos for a place where the chips are well and truly down. And as Clint Barton and Wanda Maximoff reunite there's even room in this ensemble assemble for a Frank Castle too like we only wish the 'Infinity War' next year would. As these Marvel 'Avengers' who first came together thoughtfuly with precision and power in the 'Age Of Ultron', only to work so well together in the rescue, escape and fight moments of Captain America's 'Civil War' (the first knife blade reunion scene that throws everything including the kitchen sink at Vision is cutting edge superhero and their powers re-introduction) are marvellous together again on screen for the third time. Albeit showing that under blockbuster cloak and dagger they are much more than the cape and cowl of the mega Marvel Cinematic Universe's enterprise. Sheridan's scripts are known to bring the best words and wisdom out of some of the greatest actors around from Benicio Del Toro and Emily Blunt to Chris Pine and Jeff Bridges. But here the ever real Renner with true grit under all that camouflaged ice gives us his best and brightest since definitive right now 'Detroit' director Kathryn Bigelow's 'The Hurt Locker'. The film which broke out him and fellow flying Falcon Anthony Mackie. Whilst Olsen showing ownness and a real and raw, surviving and striving strength in the face of ravaging discrimintion, racism and sexism has more power than a Furiosa 'Atomic Blonde' and furious 'Wonder Woman'. This being the benchmark of the next great actresses already impressive career catalogue that features standouts in 'Godzilla' (with her Quicksilver on-screen brother), 'Oldboy' (with Thanos) and 'I Saw A Light' (with Loki). This Olsen sister is so good she is the one in this double act, second wind.

But this revenge tale is more than these two Avengers even if it is too late to dub them 'The Revengers' (thanks Thor!). 'Twilight' franchise father Gil Birmingham is breaking even more new ground by dawn here following his heartfelt and heartbreaking moment in 'Hell Or High Water'. Partnering up to Jeff Bridges cop bantering grit with back and forth gravitas. Here he plays a wounded father. Hurt by an insurmountable loss, spilling over in snow storm stunted eye for an eye trained desires. Even in sparing scenes Gil is great. Even if his erupting emotion is shown behind quickly shut doors, Birmingham is brilliant in showing the love and loss that comes with outliving your young and not knowing where the hell their choices lead them when they became old enough to make their own decisions. Whilst 'The Green Mile' and 'Dances With Wolves' standout Graham Green equals and then one ups his best as a Wyoming officer with the badge and gun that can take Olsen's FBI agent and Renner's hunter tracker in to his jurisdiction and warrant all the bullets and blood that is shed. Making for some amazing action and gunfights that are lightning like the 'Collateral' damage and 'Heat' of Michael Mann's made ones caught in a beer bottle with the top opened cautiously to an everything spraying fizz. Pepper sprayed with visionary realism. As once Sheridan's snow silent slow burner turns into a Mexican standoff flanked like something you've never seen starring down the barrel, what comes rolling out the chamber is a set-piece artillery that clips you, reloads and shoots from the hip again and again. And with all these shells leaving you shocked then there's no wonder The Punisher comes into play, even if he only wields fists and not real weapons. After following his 'Sicario' strangling surprise cameo, Sheridan pulls Jon Bernthal out the hat yet again for the same amount of screen time, but one layered in so much more emotion. As 'The Walking Dead', 'The Wolf Of Wall Street', 'Fury' and of course 'Daredevil' actor gives us a fall 'Punisher' preview to tide us over. Yet again showing us the evoking power in his perfecting, scene setting storytelling and the necessary violence of his protection. Further rhyme to his reason that even in a few choice scenes he shows just how multi-dimensional and incredible an actor he really and truly is. But the real storyteller here is Sheridan who successfully takes his words here and makes them his vision for the first time behind the seed of yet another compelling Nick Cave score. And in turn the wonder of Hollywood's writer of the moment becomes the next great director for our generation. But there's much more to Taylor Sheridan's show and tell here in this thrilling action/drama and its real world unflinching warnings in a wrong world of rape and racism. Sheridan's statement is really saying something here. And if it remains unheeded down by the river there will be hell to pay for all of us come the high winds rise. TIM DAVID HARVEY.

Further Filming: 'Hell Or High Water', 'Sicario', 'Captain America-Civil War'.

Monday, 4 September 2017

IMAX REVIEW: INHUMANS

3/5

Inhuman League.

IMAX Premiere. 76 Mins. Starring: Anson Mount, Serinda Swan, Ken Leung, Eme Ikwuakor, Isabelle Cornish & Iwan Rheon. Creator: Scott Buck.

Don't judge a series by its pilot...or by its budget. Because maybe it's time to give the show that can't catch one a break. Marvel's 'Inhumans' haven't seen earth for a long time now. Originally slated to highlight a phase 3 movie in 2019, Marvel's other family after The Avengers, the Fantastic Four, X-Men and those Guardians Of The Galaxy a-holes have been through more changes than terragenesis crystals. When all they really needed was a chance to shine and reveal who they really are. Orginally the subwoofer bark of "I Am Groot" himself Vin Diesel was rumoured to join the bite of Marvel's in house canine and do a duo Josh Brolin (or make that three as the voice of 'Infinity War' titan Thanos and 'Deadpool 2' Cable provider once provided the spurs of the wild Wild West's 'Jonah Hex'), or not in this universe Human Torch and Captain America himself Chris Evans in playing two MCU leads. Lending his gravelly baritone to a man of even fewer words in the illuminating and chord lightning striking Black Bolt. But the feature length movie found itself on the scrap heap cutting room floor and an ABC series as easy as 1, 2, 3 found itself furiously fast tracked to right now. Following the small screen success of the Caulson cinematic 'Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.' series and the nature of their influential Inhuman subplots featuring their most successful character, Chloe Bennett's Daisy/Sky/Quake aftershock. And now between summoning the firey chains of Ghost Rider and the devil of Hells Kitchen for the Daredevil leading Netflix 'Defender' shows, Marvel are making major moves on televisions and tablets everywhere aswell as theatres. Even bringing a 'Legion' of 'Gifted' X-Men shows shrouded in 'Cloak and Dagger' secrecy. And now with this league of enhanced individuals with special abilities, Marvel is in the end bringing the Inhuman touch to the big screen after all for a one off IMAX event spectacle. Debuting episodes one and two of their brand new show in back to back parts before the whole series comes into season this fall.

Iconic IMAX cameras really take you deep into this vivid world of meta-humans on the dark side of the moon as they zoom into the big spectacle under budgetary constraints kingdom of the city of Attilan and it's vastly impressive, if not wholly immersive world. It still inspires with moon grey concrete structures of power and promise with the workers for this royal family crumbling below. And the ignited bolt throne sits subtely but proudly at the forefront like its mild-mannered if not soft spoken king. 'Dexter' and 'Six Feet Under' show writer Scott Buck has created a scene setting prologue that isn't sending these ascended humans to their graves just yet, no matter what inhumane critics would have you believe. This is Marvel for the 'Stargate SG1' generation. Sure world to world it's got nothing on the ravishing realms of 'Thor's dark world, especially in the year of 'Ragnarok'. But they be Gods we are talking about. These may not be mere mortals, but there is still something very human about them. It may not have the cosmic volumes of an awesome mix of 'Guardians', but this solar system is a little closer to home than you think. Still complete with a family pet that you may want to stroke more than Rocket Racoon...and at least this one would like it. And anytime the dense crater population of this other world feels too boulder and granite heavy then you are leash lead whisked to the sun, shirt and sombrero of beautiful Hawaii. The real paradise here on earth with the up and up downtown Honolulu serving as a great stand in and even step up for central Los Angeles. The oceans and beaches offset by sky scraping palm trees look just as 'next trip booked' inspired on IMAX as its out of this world cinematic counterpart. Looking the part and with fight scene set-pieces that kick the comic art this thing works even if it is a few levels off the mega money, blockbuster stakes of teaming up The Avengers and the Guardians of the frickin Galaxy for an all out war that make the last one between Captain America and Iron Man look...well for want of a better word, "civil". The hulu flower meandering plot too doesn't plod, more prods and coaxingly compells into something that just like the lastest 'Defender' binge-watch stream will have you over eight episodes in a state of wonder.

Royal affairs of brotherhood in this family echo the frosty foreshadowing of Thor and Loki being born into one throne for whom shall be able to lift the hammer. As jealousy follows in the shadowy, sneaky footsteps of those proved unworthy. But the one, true king like James is knighted by Anson Mount's place up-top his lands throne as the silent Bolt. And with a subjected but simmering performance of perplexed power but man of the moment manner, Mount can get no higher than this. Anson ascends following his Wild West turn in 'Hell On Wheels' takes over Diesel to find his true place and calling he answers in sign. And it's a language if learned right that communicates just as much...if not more. The slight Schwarzenegger lookalike with a voice that could terminate everything in sight like two Hulk fists smashed to the concrete can flip cop cars as good as he looks in a suit. Even if the iconic garb of Black Bolt over his crown would be more fitting for this king. His leather look isn't bad to the bone, but he still makes for a sharp dressed man who is more than the robes he wears or the speeches he can't make. What he does without words deserves being talked about more. At the start his child-like look of innocence and adolescent pouting may not lend anyones ears. But when it really catches you it makes for some real indifferent and ingenious looks of a man who would act like that seens as though he rules the thing we can only land on no matter if we've planted a flag or not. It's actually hilarious and the handsome hulking Anson's mounting charisma comes out of his facial expression and gestures like no one else was worthy. And hold these Inhumans bracelet communicators (which really snap on and fold out to some Apple crunching tech like the next Fitbit upgrade) close to your chest and you will feel a beating heart there too. The only thing that could turn him to stone is his queen Medusa. Played with grace by 'Breakout Kings' and 'Graceland' star Serinda Swan, with her red snake like hair hidden below making for some great twisting and knotting action and some hairbrain methods of making sure phones are left on the bedside table when the kingdom can wait. The royal family is complete too with next in line star Isabelle Cornish's mutant like girl on fire. Not to mention former 'X-Men' Omega Man Marvel alumni and 'Lost' and 'Star Wars-The Force Awakens' star Ken Leung as a footsoldier with less need to respawn then a 'Call Of Duty' camper. Seeing the future and the hoof footed Eme Ikwuakor, bringing heavy toes but light hearts to this band of brothers. But it's 'Game Of Thrones' star and vile villian Iwan Rheon who really steals the 'Game Of Avengers' like power struggle show as a Loki like, jealous brother whose only a human with a hell of a lot of the devil in him. Betraying everyone he can, rolling heads until he places the crown on his own one. More than willing to cut the head off the snake to get his way. He has a seat at the table, but he wants the head. The throne. The whole feast. He's got some competiton though in the form of a slobbering Beethoven with a tuning fork on its dome. As despite some suspect C.G. off of Marvel's spare change the loveable Lockjaw is the cutest creature and best genetic modification we've seen since 'Okja' should have turned us all too vegans. Truly mans best friend and another reason why this character and Marvel's cast of one in this universe and beyond has so much more to it than your average assemble of capes and hoods. Once this bolt of 'Inhumans' finds its voice, you'll really hear it shout. So for all you Stan Lee cameo lookouts, before you leave the cinema before the final credits make sure you set your DVR's to record. Because this dog deserves more than a bone. TIM DAVID HARVEY.

Further Filming: 'Guardians Of The Galaxy', 'Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.', 'Game Of Thrones'.

Friday, 1 September 2017

REVIEW: AMERICAN MADE

4/5

Cruising Altitude.

114 Mins. Starring: Tom Cruise, Sarah Wright, Caleb Landry Jones & Domhnall Gleeson. Director: Doug Liman.

Sometimes the American dream takes flight on crooked wings. And Hollywood's main made man Tom Cruise, the Maverick 'Top Gun' superstar actor of superstar actors is in cruise control here. Tom gunning for greeds glory plays the real life late Barry Seal. An airplane pilot for TWA who also moonlighted for the CIA U.S. secret service during the commie wary Reagan era. If you thought working two jobs, one being for the government (and that's after hours. It aint even the full time one) was more than enough to navigate, then Cruise's Seal has the Medellin Cartel in his back-pocket too (Imagine having the President, General Noriega and even Pablo Escobar as your character references). That's like trying to binge watch seasons of 'Narcos' and 'Designated Survivor' all at the same time as trying to catch Denzel Washington's 'Flight' movie on Netflix. Lucky for the dream seeming, based on true events biopic 'American Made', it's star is the same man whose scaled the worlds largest tower in Dubai by the palm of his hands all whilst a sandstorm was approaching. Not to mention the same guy who fingernail claw gripped on to the side of a hellicarrier whilst it was taking off. No mission is too impossible for Cruise. Planes are like trains and automobiles to Tom. Now doesn't that leave you feeling grounded? And if you thought it was risky business for the all American, Hollywood grin of the 'Jerry Maguire' blockbuster boy to play a s### eating character, then remember this most marketable movieman more known for the sci-fi blockbusters of today (Recent 'Minority Report's' include 'Oblivion' and 'Edge Of Tomorrow') is as versatile as interviewing vamipres and being 'Born On The Fourth Of July'. And as this 'Collateral' killer talent continues his reign, 'Jack' reaches for more a year after his 'Never Go Back' sequel, reuniting with Japanese military book, movie adapter Doug Liman before they 'Live Die And Repeat' again for the 'Edge Of Tomorrow' sequel. As 'The Bourne Identity' and 'Mr & Mrs Smith' director who knows how to bring the seriously funny out of Tom gives us the closest thing right now to a rebooted 'Top Gun' sequel following the tragic death of director Tony Scott as Cruise takes wing.

In the same week Steven Soderbergh's return to directing with Channing Tatum, Adam Driver and James Bond himself Daniel Craig's 'Logan Lucky' tries to pull off a bank job at the NASCAR races, this Tom Cruise vehicle up high heists everybody. And after the fun but sometimes stiff 'The Mummy' movie this Summer saw Univeral's Dark Universe of Javier Bardem's 'Frankenstein', Johnny Depp's 'The Invisible Man' and Russell Crowe's 'Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde', based on the Mary Shelly, H.G. Wells and Robert Louis Stevenson's 1800 classics unravel, T.C. brings us a new end of Summer movie that rises before the fall season. In this eighties soaked and soundtracked, piece of believe it or not nostalgic history from 'Jumper' Liman. That is as small-budget big picture inspiring as it is storytelling compelling inspiring from the moment the Universal and fellow production company logo idents v-tape rewind into their vintage, legendary, legacy making looks. And with all due respect to the mother of monster movies, this is the one globe company picture that puts Tom Cruise's big name around the planets watching world again. In fresh as vanilla skies this man propells his movies back to the days of thunder in a beautiful private jet he slides his pilot hand across like it was a new supercar tarpaulin revealed. But why drive when you can fly the Mercedes of the sky? And Tom's need for speed again sees his charm and charisma, cruising attitude takeoff on a cock and ballsy flightplan, until he comes crashing down through the white pickets of an otherwise safe suburbia. Parking his tree wing-clipped plane in someones drive like John Travolta and handing out wads as he pedals off comically like Matt Damon in 'Suburbicon' on some kids push bike, saying "you didn't see me" as he rings the bell covered in cocaine powder like a clumsy baker doused in flour. That's the kind of way everything comes tumbling down when your illlegal drug running masked by the shades of governments central intelligence sees you drowing in duffels of multiple homes and car buying cash, running the same guns you may one day see yourself on the business end of. All until so much Benjamin Franklin's are blowing around your yard you promise your wife whilst you're reading Al Capone's autobiography that you will rake them up like Autumn leaves come morning. And boy is this new day Cruise raking it in with his perfect performance in a film doing the numbers when most box offices on days like this, green with envy will want to be woken up when September ends.

Making America greedy again requires more in reserve than Hollywood's most bankable star however. And T.V.'s 'Marry Me' wife Sarah Wright is the right choice to play Cruise's airborne road Seal's long suffering under diamond and pearls partner in counting the money crime. Standing by her man in altitude sickness and wealth, even when the mob and the White House come knocking. The only baggage she brings to this suitcases of money home life is a little vest-less, trucker hat, trailer trash brother who Kevin Federline's himself his share of the winnings (played with lazy angst puncuation by 'Get Out' and 'X-Men: First Class'' Banshee, Caleb Landry Jones). Just when Barry Seal had enough to deal with, with the cartel boys and the U.S. gov (let alone every major law enforcement agency with a badge and gun wanting to slap the cuffs on him. No matter how many caddies he offers them like a walk around the back nine), then the sibling in law from hell comes knocking. Cruise has too much trouble from red heads already with Domhnall Gleeson's CIA agent greasing his wings with his burn after buying, money offering and blind eye turning agent of cash flow someone else to do his dirty work charm. Brendon's son and the all too serious new 'Star Wars' trilogy villain giving us his winning over best since his turn in 'The Revenant' and the excellent 'Ex Machina'. All this character and charm makes for Cruise's best in years. Despite Liman already bringing that out in 2014's 'Edge Of Tomorrow'. And as the all-action hero goes anti-Hollywood with sleaze breeze and reckless flying abandonment, we still never thankfully see this clean crew cut actor getting high off his own supply, 'Training Day' knowing his narcotics. Even if he lets his hair down for his funnest movie since his 'Knight and Day' hitman didn't take itself or Cameron Diaz so "don't move or I'll kill myself and then her" seriously. Because this actor and director partnership in crime might make this rogue trader loveable, but they still slap a parental advisory sticker classification on the cream of this debauched dream slice of American pie that never gets too full on 'Wolf Of Wall Street' like 80's throwback, Gekko, "greed is good" moral murk above the Louisiana swaps they dump cane in from up high. Crime always has its consequences and this films knows it in the time it does. Made man or just plain and simple, living the American dream comes with a hefty price to pay. And that's just the American way. TIM DAVID HARVEY.

Further Filming: 'Top Gun', 'Jack Reacher', 'Flight'.

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

REVIEW: DETROIT

4/5

Detroit Sinners.

140 Mins. Starring: John Boyega, Will Poulter, Jason Mitchell, John Krasinski, Algee Smith, Hannah Murray, Ben O'Toole, Jack Reynor, Jacob Latimore & Anthony Mackie. Director: Kathryn Bigelow.

We should be fucking ashamed of ourselves! Anyone that thinks 'white privilege' is a right and not the worst excuse of humanity in a long line of cruel and cowardly human history. Anyone whose part of the problem and can look at what's been happening in Charlottesville and even more places of bigoted hate, racism or sexism right now in the wider but still narrow minded world and treat it with blind contempt or heartless ignorance. Especially now it no longer makes the rounds of news like they all forgot. Point blank former 'Point Break' director gone serious Kathryn Bigelow can't. The powerhouse director has already gutted out two post-9/11 real world relevant, all important critical movies of modern warfare in Jeremy Renner's 'Hurt Locker' and Jessica Chastain's 'Zero Dark Thirty'. Turning both those amazing actors into Hollywood superstars in the process and here just like that, that isn't the point however. And "great" merely isn't the word. If we could change the woeful world today we wouldn't want these movies. But right now we NEED these films. Don't worry about whether 'Detroit' is the best film of 2017. The Academy Awards will handle all that in next years Oscars. Care that this is the most important film you have seen in a very long time. Maybe since 'Selma'. As big directing talent Bigelow takes to the streets of Detroit, when the motor city of piston assembly line industry was turned into a Vietnam apocalypse war zone following the police brutality fuelled race riots. Sound familiar? Well this cinematic capturing of a dark day in history is set in 1967, but it may aswell be 50 years later today in 2017. Because sorrowfully so this movie in a world were it really seems like we haven't really learned a damn thing is still so painfully relevant and timely...and maybe right now even more than ever. Can you believe that? Well in this desensitised world this brutality still hits you in the gut as you feel every bullying billy club baton and tugged hair all the way down to your pulled pores. This movie will take it all out of you. But look what the dirtiest of cops have taken from the people their suppossed to protect and serve. Yep, this face against the wall movie is not going to be enjoyable. But you best believe it's necessary to see.

Locked in a room of The Algiers motel. Raw ravaging racism rips apart this city and movie as everyone in this ensemble plays their part, puncuated with the pain they either lock deep inside and let out in their amazing acting playing either the evil aggressors or the persecuted victims here. There are no half measures in a film where everyone gives their collective, absolute all. It doesn't matter what actors of the future are in this. Or what blockbuster franchises these stars come from. Whether Marvel or Star Wars. Because this aint Disney. This is Detroit. And behind that Motown magic is the smile hiding sound of the men working on the chain. John Boyega is the leading face of this film. And oh what a long way he's come from 'Attack The Block' to London's West End and that film inbetween. But as of now this right here is by far the best acting he's every played a part in. This awakening force of resistance confirming that he actually is an amazing actor and one of the future and not just a Lucasfilm typecast. Holster armed here with a subtle and stoic demeanoured manner of survival, where his flame still lit eyes convey about a million more words in protest march shouting volumes than his speak no evil choice words do. But when he simmeringly explodes, crumbling under the finger shaking pressure of an ignorant and intimidating interrogation, he ignites a fire and emotional punch that no one can barricade. He's Mr. 'Do The Right Thing' trying to keep a measure of peace on his nighshift security patrol until the neighbourhood turns into Spike Lee's groundbreaking social commentary for real. But what of another Great Brit on the other side of the law uniformed wrong in Will Poulter? The U.K.'s answer to a Dane DeHaan/Paul Dano like heavily characterized leading man with so much depth and recesses. The former BAFTA young actor of the future showing just how good an actor he actually is, forcing us to hate him here in his bully beat cop role of the most abhorrent racist abuse that his character even viley believes is right in the name of the law and fair in the nature of it's interrogating "tatics" and behind the badge and sick smile and genuine-less gestures. Just like Michael Fassbender in '12 Years A Slave' the relentless racist portrayal by Poulter is so intensely ingrained and unremitting you can't help to contain your disgust, even though you don't want to. Signs of one hell of an actor whether you like it or not.

"What did we do"? "I'm assuming you're all criminals"! Warring words like this are thrown around like weapons as there is much more evidence of and examples made of major, moving acting assimilated here. 'Straight Outta Compton's' Eazy E of N.W.A. and 'Kong: Skull Island's' Jason Mitchell arguably sets all this off with a starters pistol and the character catalyst that his consequences combust into. But it's the blue bullshit of some seemingly rookie cops that are the immovable force that never gives way to professional courtesy. In a unfair world where a badge and a gun seems like a bonded license to kill and get away with murder rap, Jack Reynor plays a purile peer pressured, dumbed down officer, offset by Ben O'Toole's oppressive one. Acting out of spite and being a spit away from Poutler's leads respect or place. Even everyone's favourite nice 'Office' guy John Krasinski plays an oiled lawyer turning the victims picked apart, sand bag defence into water with so many objections your hatred sustains. People like next great breakout star Algee Smith don't stand a chance here. As the Ralph Tresvant actor goes from New Edition biopics to being the original lead of Motown'a The Dramatics before the real drama happened. The real originator played by a real original who when it comes to all the dramatics is anything but amateur as he takes to a stage of an evacuated theatre solo but with so much more meaning. Just like young stud Jacob Latimore who continues the scene stealing he took from Will Smith's 'Collateral Beauty'. The young Hannah Murray also acts up boldly and bravely as she shows the already present sexism that is slut shamed even more when multi-racial relationships are brought into play. Holding up a mirror to both now and then and reflecting the evil men do. Especially certain white ones in their perceived positions of "power" when it comes to their ignorance for love for all. Now if that wasn't enough Bigelow reunite recruits the soldier she helped breakout in 'The Hurt Locker', Anthony Mackie. An amazing leading actor who may come 'Infinity War' finally become the Captain America the U.S. needs right now. Here in airborne soldier support as a man who still fights the good fight more M.L.K. then Malcolm X, even with Falcon clipped wings. Kathryn Bigelow gives us her biggest and best yet in this moving movie that makes a stand against violence by showing us it all, no holes barred in the same week the ex she beat 'Avatar' too for the Oscars best picture James Cameron is bringing 'Terminator 2-Judgement Day' of all films back to the big screen in 3D. But this Wonder Woman's work should get your eye catching attention more as over 'T2's amazing 25 year anniversay, this half century story is just so much more relevant and important. So much so that even the President should take a break to watch it if he cares to do so. Because we need to learn from this before we make even more mistakes we can't go back on. What would you rather lose more of? Pride or lives? Because if this oftentimes more than not fake, sexist, bigoted and so whitewashed Hollywood and the real watching world doesn't respect and live in harmony with other people, their cultures and way of life then none of us are making it out. Talk about surving the night. People of color have survived their whole lives. It's time to end a racism that shouldn't even exist still today, let alone have ever...right for the love of God now. We will repeat the modern, more than mantra until everyone is free at last. Black Lives Matter. Black Lives Matter. Black Lives Matter! TIM DAVID HARVEY.

Further Filming: 'The Hurt Locker', 'Zero Dark Thirty', 'Selma'.

REVIEW: TERMINATOR 2-JUDGEMENT DAY 3D

5/5

He Be Back.

137 Mins. Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Robert Patrick, Edward Furlong, Joe Morton & Linda Hamilton. Director: James Cameron.

You're going to need to grab your boots, your clothes...and if you've got one your motorcycle. Because Arnold Schwarzenegger and 'Terminator 2: Judgement Day' is back...but this time Arnie's in 3D. For 'The Godfather Part 2' of action movies and the greatest sequel of all-time to surpass the original not named, 'The Dark Knight'. The 'Tron' light years ahead of it's time special effects of this graphic content digitally rendered and remastered in 3D, 25 years later for its quarter century anniversary. All produced and presided over by definitive 'Titanic' director James Cameron. Who took the live action three dimensions of his three sequel starting awe-amazing 'Avatar' franchise and made the need to wear those Terminator shades at the cinema more than just a novelty outside the light of the Pixar lamp crowd. Back in the 90's when ultimate all action heroes Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone weren't 'Expendable', or caught between The Rock and a Vin Diesel 'Fast and Furious' pace, they were the biggest Hollywood stars not named Tom (Cruise or Hanks) and definitly the brawniest. Hollywood's version of the Lakers vs the Celtics. Frazier vs Ali. Dylan and Springsteen. The Beatles and the Rolling Stones. Batman vs Superman. And 'Terminator' was the ultimate movie machine franchise, with 'Judgement Day' proving to be the biggest movie of the 90's not featuring parks of prehistoric terminators and the best James Cameron one if you let go of that one set on the ship. I mean even this humanoid cyborg learning the emotions of regular folk would budge up on that plank of wood Jack! This sequel sealed the fate of the man who said he would be back being the greatest action hero alive. Sorry Sly! Even if seeing Stallone in this movie as the other Terminator (with all due respect to the only one who could have played the T-1000 with laser like assassin precision) like the mocked up billboard in 'The Last Action Hero' would have been more fitting like the formidable Travolta/Cage hero/villain 'Face/Off' that was amazingly originally meant for them. 'T2' became THE cult classic that kids too young to see the R-rated movie at the multiplex would try to watch through the gap in their parents doors as it made the late night, living room rounds come DVD and T.V. time. Only to be quickly ushered upstairs and back to school where they would pretend they had watched it to their friends who had, only to be caught out by a faux recall of a scene that wasn't in the movie (no...just me?!). And now 25 years later when this millennial generation are adults with kids of their own you best believe it still stands the test of time between all the Avengers and John Wick's they helped inspire from 'The Winter Soldier' calculated killer to Keanu Reeves post-'Matrix' gun-fu. Face it, there's nothing cooler than Arnie spin cock and reloading a shotgun one handed with the other on the reigns of a Harley, riding through the metal gate blasted doors of Los Angeles' storm drains. Is there?

Iconic scenes in 90's action lore don't get much bigger than that. Especially with the real-life lorry crushing stunt set pieces only giving way to crazy C.G. when it came to the liquid metal mesmerizing look of a machine and movie so before it's time (even if some of the silver gunshot wounds look like tinfoil cake cups), it's crazy today hasn't caught up in virtual or reality. Although some of this films subtle fable hints to the future should have served as a better warning to this smartphone distracted age. I'm not saying Facebook is Skynet...but perhaps Snapchat is! But this one is guaranteed to tilt the bowed heads of this next gen up and away from their phones and to an even bigger screen. Because seeing Terminator 2 in cinemas-if you never got the chance-is something special. And seeing 'Judgement Day' in 3D is the closest thing to seeing the live action, three-dimension, "super" ride at Hollywood's Universal Studios. Whether on a movie museum or nostalgia trip, this history rewriting and legendary movie back in theatres gives you relentless robot action with thoughtful precision in this Bay-bashed 'Transformed' age. Now the heads of your video cassette have worn out from all the fast-forwarding and rewinding to the storm drain chase, you can remember all the other powerhouse scenes you forgot for a film that has more car chases than almost all our 'Fast' franchises eight films car-pooled together. Just like the insane asylum escaping car claw crawling one hilariously parodied by Homer Simpson and a set of Tiger Woods irons. Or the "trust me" cop dispering one, preceeded by a lab combustible one with the one cult comedy line only funny to those who have breathed hard through this tense scene. You know the one I'm talking about. "I.Don't.Know.How.Much.Longer.I.Can.Hold.This.Thing". BOOM! This film has all the lights and camera and action all the way down to the irons in the fire of the oft-rebooted molten steel mill finale for this melting pot. But nothing beats the again before it's time ultimate twist before the age of more left turns in modern movies that would leave 'Zoolander' envious. One that is set up precision point perfectly and happens right at the end of the first act of this movie against today type. And to contine this trend in this spoiler age we won't reveal just in case you have been sent back in time to see what real action mettle movies are all about. But we will say this one the roses are dropped for drawn guns you know it's about to get down.

Schwarzenegger has never had such massive presence. After the sand grit and machine head grind of Christian Bale's 'Terminator: Salvation' left those fans fiending for a night laser fight film called 'Terminator: War' that the outstanding opening of 'Judgement Day' promised as disappointed as Terry Crews taking rows of all his friends to see that film only to find his scene cut and left to just a dead body propped up. And the fun 'Terminator 3' complete with Elton John glasses not taking itself too seriously like "talking to the hand", 2015's greying 'Genysis' was an underrated, fun twist on a rebooted homage piece to 'T2'. But back on the big, this is the real thing. And when a butt-naked, buck built Arnie stoically strides into a ZZ Topp bar and leaves a sharp dressed man with Ray Charles, black leather a chopper and a blunderbuss you're brought right back to his time. Where the today critically underrated movie icon and acting legend shows us just how much of a machine he is. As his awesome autobiography attests, learning to load and reload with soldier beating robot precison and to master the motions and tones of a complex, created man/machine requires more actual acting than those wooden splintering voices give credit. It's not Shakespeare but certainly something of note in this often taken for granted advanced age like motion capturing white-dot performers. Cop-beating, Robert Patrick on purging patrol is perfect too in slick liquid form as the ultimate, relentless as the action he makes big bad. A vile looking villain, complete with swiss-army man artillery. With more weapon options than the Green Lantern and eyes that only evoke one emotion...the hell sent hate filled look of death and whatevers in his way destruction. Milk carton or "Wolfie"! All for the kid Jon Connor. Here first played by a dynamic debut from Edward Furlong that's screaming at easy money off his mop-head riding moped. Making Public Enemy t-shirts as iconic as the 80's era hip-hop group as he fights the power. Believe the hype like the ides of Linda Hamilton's incredible Sarah Connor character. Continuing the chronicles she began with Arnie in the formidable first film she began with Schwaranegger. The tense thriller of cinema cat and mouse claustrophobia that almost played like a clever, thinking of the future mans horror. Before this all action where she soldier muscles up as a Ripley and Wonder Woman like all-action heroine. And who could forget the future triggering of character actor veteran Joe Morton? Still messing around with Cyborg technology today in the November forthcoming 'Justice League' ensemble assemble. They are all in together here for Cameron's cinema classic, even if the milk carton directors cut, extended edition isn't. What no Kyle Reese!? Everything else however is brought back here with men in black glasses for a meat and potatoes blockbuster neuralyzed age. They don't make popcorn and candy mouth-opening action stars and movies like these any more. Seeing Schwarzengger's 'Terminator' back in cinemas is the real special effect. Bringing it out of the big screen too is just that more eye-catching. Hasta la vista...3D. TIM DAVID HARVEY.

Further Filming: 'Terminator', 'Predator', 'Total Recall'.

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

REVIEW: ROUGH NIGHT

3/5

Four Hen Do's & A Funeral.

101 Mins. Starring: Scarlett Johansson, Kate McKinnon, Zoe Kravitz, Jillian Bell, Ilana Glazer, Paul W. Downs, Ty Burrell & Demi Moore. Director: Lucia Aniello.

Do you remember what happened last night? You were so drunk right? But it was your hen-do, girls trip to Florida after all. That all night bachelorette were you partied like a bunch of 'Bridesmaids'. You remember!? You had a nice meal with a glass of wine. Did a few shots...bumps. Hit a few clubs and after parties. Humiliated yourself on the dance floor. Called your fiancee on the way home...and then killed a stripper. Wait! WHAT?! Now forget a hangover...this is one hell of a 'Rough Night' that makes for a new hilarious Scarlett Johansson comedy from 'Broad City' creator Lucia Aniello. As the Black Widow makes even more husband-less wives (or at least one...if we see a ring), as she and her girls bring the heat in South Beach like Will Smith singing about 'Miami' all night to the break of dawn. Partying in the city the heat really is on too as just another girls night turns into an episode of 'CSI: Miami'. These hens' "best night ever" off Ocean Drive was all going so classy restaurant swimmingly, until they began to drown themselves in vodka and bad choices. Killing it is an understatement. As just another night of "SHOTS! SHOTS! SHOTS" left them screaming like Lil Jon, but not like his hit with Usher as they lead a stripper to his black suit demise, accidentally clubbing him to death. Here's one evening you wish you could erase like drunk dialling the wrong person. Because you won't have to wait for the following day for it to all come back to you in a wash of migrane chased with regret. You really couldn't make this up. Just imagine the Facebook photos. Hash-tag de-tag!

Now forget 'Lost In Translation', Scarlett Johnasson has found herself in a potential murder investigation. As 'Lucy' is looking at the dock and not the altar, as this bridesmaid is taken on one hell of a ride when her Senator serious character just wanted a quiet meal with her "besties" and an early night. But Scarlett certainly has the comedy fever as it's great to see this multi-talented, awesome Avenger assassin (remember 'Relator'? She can sing to like her Pete Yorn collaboration and album of Tom Waits covers attests) take herself less seriously. Even if she still Romanoff kicks ass here armed with hairspray and waxing strips, aswell as comedy chops. We've seen her light hearted many times before the offbeat drama with Joesph Gordon-Levitt's porn-obsessed 'Don Jon' revealed that. But in this one the Hollywood heroine goes full Bradley Cooper, being the face and the funny of this potential, new comedy franchise which could stilletto step on the back of those 'Bridesmaids' dresses, unless Queen Latifah and Jada Pinkett-Smith's 'Girls Trip' to New Orleans' mardi gras doesn't heel/toe them. Because this 'Night' is just as good as either of them, even if the other two more popular groups are getting more likes and red hearts in this social Twitter trend. Inbetween her Marvelous schedule and the 'Civil' and 'Infinity' wars, Johnasson has given us one of her best and diverse, albeit critically most underrated years with this and her lost in Tokyo like, future translation of the awesome, Asian anime adaptation of the goregeous, 'Blade Runner' before '2049' looking 'Ghost In The Shell'. She caught a lot of whitewashed flack here for the biggest, most underappreciated blockbuster of the year, but actually alas not in it's home of Japan. And now her two-hit Summer smashes are getting the one, two punch from critics in a no sweat season where we should just be having fun like Cyndi Lauper's girls. But even if reviewers are holding their applause...viewers can't stop laughing through their spat popcorn and shakes.

Because in actuality this night is anything but rough. As this beach smooth comedy will make for a sleeper re-release come the time it hits DVD shelves and the couches of movie night in parties. And we aren't just talking about stereotypical P.J. and face mask sleepovers. There's as much gags here for the fellas laughing on their own like the girls too from dynamite funny firing director Lucia Aniello. Bringing her 'Broad City' partner and real life boyfriend Paul W. Downs to this movie. Dressing him up as the meek wine-tasting innocent husband model of Scarlett's red hot comedy character. Until he goes all diaper dandy and washes cars with no pants like his milkshake was bringing all the boys to the petrol station, to charge his way down the freeway to get to his girl. You can tell how crazy this is all getting as fellow 'Broad City' star Ilana Grazer who stole more than the show in 'The Night Before' makes for some of the best gags here. Just like fellow Seth Rogen comedy star Jillian Bell who with this, just like '22 Jump Street' shows she's the comedian of the future. Even amongst the biggest of names like Saturday Night Live great Kate McKinnon, continuing her hilarious Hilary and Ellen impression impressive reign like she did in the cruelly dismissed and outstanding but overlooked SNL alumni 'Ghostbusters' reboot. Rock star daughter Zoe Kravitz also continues to roll out the hits like her 'First Class' 'X-Men' star and her 'Fury Road' trip with 'Mad Max' for her best part yet. There's even some cage rattling comedy cameos from 'Modern Family' maestro Ty Burell and 'Disclosure' legend Demi Moore as a couple with an open as the ocean marriage, looking to rent out more than their beach house. From jet ski's to sex swings there's a lot of physical comedy that ups the ante on the foul mouthed humour which seems to have rubbed some people up the wrong way...pun sort of intended (if it won't offend you). But there's a lot more whip-smart comedy here than the gross out gagging jokes of the hugely popular and well reveived 'Bridesmaids'. So why the blanked, pouted, critical cold shoulder and passive aggression? Maybe it's because this amazingly clever/crass comedy makes some not so subtle social digs at our plastic, obsessive smartphone filtered lives and friendship groups, sometimes faker than Florida nose-job surgery. But if you're offended by this and not 'The Hangover's' legendary, oft-referenced wolf-pack then maybe you are pointing your finger in the wrong direction. Because why can't these girls do it like the guys? Especially as they stick to the true nature of comedy by keeping the laughs churning in our stomachs. Put your head over a toilet bowl all you like, but those coming up with nothing aren't recalling what's really going down. Sure like any rough night this film gets a bit messy towards the end. But come the hungover, morning after when it's all coming back to you...it'll be a night you won't forget. TIM DAVID HARVEY.

Further Filming: 'Bridesmaids', 'The Hangover', 'Girls Trip'.

Friday, 25 August 2017

REVIEW: LOGAN LUCKY

4/5

Atomic Bond.

119 Mins. Starring: Channing Tatum, Adam Driver, Riley Keough, Katie Holmes, Seth MacFarlane, Katherine Waterston, Sebastian Stan, Hilary Swank & Daniel Craig. Director: Steven Soderbergh.

Unlucky for some like 13, these Logan boys would release their movie this year of all wouldn't they?! In the same calender Hugh Jackman's clawed X-Men mutant Wolverine would have the lasting moment of his adamantium conception in 'Logan' no less. Well that old man may have started the Summer blockbuster season early in March, but these old hillbilly brothers take it past the finish line in an August rush, before one of them crosses over to the dark side once again for the fall. Now there may be more chance of the wolf of X-Men's resurrection than another origin movie about the famous mutant card trickster once dealt by Taylor Kitsch right now, but Channing Tatum is a real Gambit here in a heist flick that even this film itself is dubbing a "redneck 'Oceans Eleven'". That's because 'Magic Mike' Tatum himself has managed to pull off the impossible in XXL proportions. Bringing "retired" superstar director Steven Soderbergh out of production purgatory for the fourth year, first time since their 2013 'Side Effects' from the sobering HBO movie treatment of Soderbergh's beautiful 'Behind The Candelabra' Liberace film starring Michael Douglas and frequent collaborator Matt Damon being deemed and I quote, "too gay" for the American mainstream movie market (so this is how you treat icons?! And we're talking about Steven, Michael, Matt...and Liberace). 'Logan Lucky' for all in is an incredible, inspired comeback round like the tracks of these cereal box NASCAR's. Neither 'Talladega Nights' or 'Fast and Furious', but with playful nods to both this 'Logan' is a scream like X23. As leading wheelman, knockout talent Tatum is shotgun joined by the hand of a bionic, one-armed Adam Driver for the best film to burn rubber since 'Baby Driver' got into your car and radios. And on the same release day that THE Hollywood icon Tom Cruise takes a crooked approach with 'American Made' this born in the U.S.A. dream ensemble featuring everyone, even Katie Holmes really is the top gunning days of thunder.

Booming like clouds about to explode unexpectedly before September, Boone County, West Virginia is the setting for a tumble dryer, race circuit circus of a town that's all about John Denver like country roads that take you home to the place you belong (and can you believe their luck, the second film to use this song this year after believe it or not 'Alien-Covenant'). And like the Coca Cola 600 it's all about the ring pulling tin cans of the Motor Speedway and good God Charlotte this one is heaven sent like number 23 from North Carolina. As Steven Soderbergh's stunning directorial track record extends to the 'Traffic' of this one-minded track in a small town/big heist that puts the hick in chicken and beer entertainment. Trashing any notion that trailer parks are all about grubby vests and married sisters. The 'Out Of Sight', 'Haywire', 'Erin Brokovich' genius director showing again he can pull off complex plots offset by light hearts, like he can produce versatile movies for the mainstream in this outstanding offbeat classic. And make it all look oh so good too. For every fast paced chase, or great escape like soil under the shoe is a comedy foil disguised as a prison riot negotiated by everyones love for 'Game Of Thrones'...even those doing 25 to life like time. And all of Soderbergh's crazy mad-caps are made all the more believable by his new Damon co-collaborator Channing Tatum. The ever compellingly charming Channing capturing the shy/sensitive charisma of his divorce stunted father, carrying on his shoulders so much more than child support character. Tatum in country Clooney form is so subtely but always there perfect at bringing everything and everyone together and leading from the heart. Only limping physically, this bearded construction worker nails it like his hard hat in the crate basket first time to the box closing of his bricks and mortar career. This big lug is more than a Hollywood hench hunk however, but an industry heavyweight. The 'Jump Street' star still so underrated like his scene stealing classic cameos that hip shoot in 'The Hateful Eight' and amazingly tap in 'Hail Caesar' and his funny bone right blood and guts here. Extending to the right hand man of brother Adam Driver performing passenger. Who would know this driven 'Girls' actor could end up spinning his career into the out of this world and universe direction of the dark side of an iconic new world 'Star Wars' villain? But the 'Silence' standout and awakening force of the muffled voice of Kylo Ren speaks up, showing much more behind that cloaked mask and electric red throbbing dagger. No cauliflower! Even if this time its someone from the first order whose losing an arm like someone in every film of Marvel's phase two.

Speaking of missing limbs around the bicep gun area, there's so much bang for your casting buck here in this epic ensemble of assembling actors (with even a national anthem cameo from country megastar Leann Rimes, because how could you live without it?), that even Bucky himself, Sebastian Stan has his hand on the ten and two of an all American hero NASCAR racer that may aswell serve as his captaining Steve Rogers shield audition. And you just know this is all so crazy when he's racing what sounds like Peter Griffin, Brian or 'Ted' in the multi-talented 'A Million Ways To Die In The West' lead Seth MacFarlane. Here with a cocky, cock-eyed Cockney accent, douched up to the percentage of battery left on his social media documenting smart phone. Taking selfies of his 80's rolled up plastic leather get up that makes him look like a white Rick James/'Thriller' tribute act hybrid. Scary! Even Michael Jackson's step daughter when he was married to Lisa Marie Presley, Riley Keough gets her moment to shine out the 'Magic Mike' stage spotlight. As Elvis' granddaughter shows she can rock with all these high rollers. Including straw in the mouth duos like the Scott Caan and Casey Affleck 'Oceans' esque squabbling siblings. 'Miss Meadows', and 'Dawsons Creek' graduate Katie Holmes on the acting form of her life. The 'Inherent Vice' of 'Fantastic Beast' and Ripley like 'Alien-Covenant' star Katherine Waterston on the best year of her career. Not to mention 'Million Dollar Baby' Hilary Swank with detective swag, trying to K.O. the Logan bros in a final round third act where she pulls no proverbials. But forget cops it's spies we love here. And this heist film and all its slick scenes are stole away by someone who really steps it up to another way out there level. "Introducing" Daniel Craig. Or as you may already know him, the finally returing 007. James Bond here shaking things up and stirring us with the peroxide of his Eminem crop and incarcerated onesie. The faux a little bit country charm of the Great Brit going full 'Atomic Blonde' like American actress Charlize Theron in reverse. Bringing plenty of jellybean bomb boom to his Joe Bang character. Now cowboy, hows that for your last fistful of dollars being taken this Friday? This film and all its All-Star character is what bravado billboard cinema capers are all about. Not just filling but taking the house. The veteran Soderbergh returning to the big picture, big-time like beginners luck. Taking Tatum and the man with a license to kill, all to thrill us for the podium and the pot. And like tyres going round the circles of the same NASCAR speedway track it's just as if he never left. Like Ricky Bobby this summer blockbuster is last and first. Now Logan that really is a good year and one hell of a run.  TIM DAVID HARVEY.

Further Filming: 'Oceans Eleven', 'Magic Mike', 'Talladega Nights: The Ballad Of Ricky Bobby'.

Saturday, 19 August 2017

T.V. REVIEW: THE DEFENDERS Season 1

4/5

New York's Finest.

8 Episodes. Starring: Charlie Cox, Krysten Ritter, Mike Colter, Finn Jones, Elodie Yung, Scott Glenn, Elden Henson, Deborah Ann Woll, Eka Darville, Rachael Taylor, Jessica Henwick, Simone Missick, Ramon Rodriguez, Wai Ching Ho, Rosario Dawson & Sigourney Weaver. Creators: Douglas Petrie & Marco Ramirez.

"Looks like I made it here just in time". Marvel Asia really has more of what we want. Take 'Thor: Ragnarok' for example. In Japan it will be called the cosmic colourful, 'Mighty Thor-Battle Royale'. How Tokyo neon electric is that? And if that wasn't enough for you they get Benedict Cumberbatch's Doctor Strange in their international trailer too. Proving everything is better in the Far East. Now how about the South Korean teaser for 'The Defenders' and all their before ensemble assemble Netflix sub-series? Not only does it have Marvel creator Stan Lee in the back of a town call riding around the streets of New York talking about human heroes with special abilities. It also features an atypical after trailer credits reveal that has all the comic-book die-hards talking. In a steps down the hallway scene never seen before in 'Daredevil' Season 2, we see series stealer Jon Bernthal's Frank Castle sporting a new crop and spray painted bulletproof vest walk to his very quote that started this piece. Yes, that's right The Punisher baby! So in a spoiler free, no alert is he here? A Defender? Besides Bruce Banner and Steven Strange like the comics aren't a thing here. Well we will tell you this. Don't hold your breath everytime you hear "someone's here", out of nowhere gunshots, or see a big vehicle come crashing in to save the day (it may have just been thrown). You might just be as disappointed as the fact that all those Stan Lee police photo Easter Eggs in the 'Daredevil', 'Jessica Jones', 'Luke Cage' and 'Iron Fist' series' don't translate into an actual real life cop cameo which would have been perfect. At least there is a post credit, 'John Wick' style, concrete sledge-hammer thumping trailer for the gun-totting vigilantes solo series this fall that will give you plenty of Punisher by the barrel-load. Until then you'll have to settle for the devils own, power man hero for hire, the private investigator alias and the immortal kid with the glowing knuckle duster.

Proving defence is the best offence, Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and the Iron Fist are back and together at last as New York City's street-level Avengers, 'The Defenders'. As Hells Kitchen is about to be woken up to a living nightmare in captivating use of red, green, yellow and purple city lights. Joining up to fight The Hand that has held and fed the intertwining threads of plot that have kept lawyer Matt Murdock and billionaire Danny Rand's storylines clasped together. And before this palmed villain gets out of hand believe me the five fingers are definitly about to say SLAP to the face. And you're going to love how this all comes together like a Murdock plan for this A-Star Avenging B-team. Even if Matt is the only member of this N.Y.C. vigilante alliance to actually suit up in his trademark horns...although we do get to Easter relish in some of those homemade bandana early days. Yep this is ran by those 'Daredevil' showrunners and to give them their due it really is better the two seasons you know. Charlie Cox again sees Daredevil's other-worldly vision crystally. Focussing on the two sides of his characters action and protection ethos whether court or street legal. And you know when it comes to the judge, jury and hell to pay executioner of the kitchen, when he spits crimson...it's on. Whilst private detective for hire Jessica Jones may be passing a different type of bar she still shows she has as much enhanced power and strength as anyone, as Krysten Ritter's Alias' second series has got next. And how about her former non-combustible flame. Mike Colter's Cage with unbreakable skin? Finally unlocked from Seagate prison and ready to have your head nodding everytime he and his into music comes into play. Well he's shaking Harlem again and the rest of the five boroughs as New York times grimiest fantastic four come together like the boroughs of Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island and Manhattan. And what about their Iron man too? The Fist that has provoked plenty of fury just like Black Widow's white-washed 'Ghost In The Shell'. Well some may say 'Game Of Thrones' star Finn Jones' Danny Rand is just some spoilt rich Karate Kid, but it's time to wax off all of that. Even if there are some in-jokes and jibes ("I tried to go it alone, but that didn't work") here that will leave the unpopular one all tied up. 'Iron Fist' was a cruelly criticized, actually compelling and underrated series that didn't run out of power like some of it's allies shows. And just like Jessica, Jones holds the key to this series in the palm of his Powerade hand.

And there's nothing quite like seeing these enhanced individuals team up to take down the big bad, even if they are without the man that did to this ABC run of shows what the vigilante Ghost Rider did to the already amazing 'Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.' Watching them elevator exit a foe to foe face off down the one-shot alternating corridors of set-pieces, or banter back and forth over a Royal Dragon restaurant after hours lock in (because even Captain America, Iron Man, Thor and The Incredible Hulk know putting a team together aint easy), as eagerly exciting as Hall H this time of year is for sure worth the wait. Serving up Hells Kitchen with satisfaction like the beautiful Broadway Metro Diner they use by the booth. But remember all these groups one shot solo acts came with their own guest spots. And this show features 'Daredevil's' favourite friends, Elden Henson and Deborah Ann Woll, 'Jessica Jones'' jacked-up, no longer character using Eka Darville and Racheal Taylor (not to forget a trinity Carrie Anne-Moss cameo in this Marvel matrix), a big act from 'Iron Fist's' Jessica Henwick and Ramon Rodriguez and the Misty Knight of the investigating Simone Missick from 'Luke Cage'. Not to mention the Sticks of veteran character actor, Scott Gleen, the great Madame Wai Ching Ho and of course the Rachael McAdams rivalling Night Nurse that stiches all these shows together Rosario Dawson. Proving this epic ensemble really is a sum of all its parts and the fear of its ultimate, Queenpin villain. As we are all in covenant that 'Alien' legend Sigourney Weaver who marches into this series in a Storm Trooper coat carries this show with her undying reputation and charisma. Believe it or not, we are all playing Ripley's game now. Even her Avatar the Dark Sky. No not a brainwashed Quake crossover of Chloe Bennett, but Elodie Young's resurrected back to life Elektra anti-hero. Here displaying the assassins creed of a Winter Soldier with samurai katana like strong and violent type. Just call this latest movie star 'The Hitmans Bodyguard' with Raphael weapons. All these characters make for quite a lot of conflict and carnage but a lot of it is New York noir dramatic in this compelling slow burner that culminates in a classic collaborative effort from all parties. And in learning from their unlucky for some 13 episode show stuttering stints previously (but lets face it you'd binge an ammo load artillery of Punisher solo hits wouldn't you?) these eight episodes work wonders on the same streaming sites these Marvels call 'Orange Is The New Black', 'House Of Cards', 'Narcos' and 'Stranger Things' their upside down neighbour. Save a somewhat stunted climax that makes the same mistake the powered up, one punch thrown too many 'Luke Cage' series did and a final few seconds of 'Daredevil's' definitive season 2 revealed, this suit up fits in Marvel's smartphone small screen run perfectly and aptly. Especially as these Netflix street fighting heroes may chill on a one and done, going their seperate ways and four seasons. Unless our wildest dreams and an 'Infinity War' calls. But to be Frank we won't get our hopes up. Until then the defence rests. TIM DAVID HARVEY.

Further Filming: 'Daredevil', 'Iron Fist', 'Avengers Assemble'.

REVIEW: THE DARK TOWER

3/5

Towering Inferno.

95 Mins. Starring: Idris Elba, Matthew McConaughey, Tom Taylor, Claudia Kim, Dennis Haysbert & Jackie Earle Haley. Director: Nikolaj Arcel.

"I do not aim with my hand; he who aims with his hand has forgotten the face of his father.
I aim with my eye."
Here comes the Man in Black. Not the galaxy defender and not fleeing across the desert but the man, Matthew McConaughey. Still on the McConaissance that the 'Amistad' and 'A Time To Kill' likes of 'The Lincoln Lawyer', 'Killer Joe', 'Mud', the 'True Detective' series, the 'Wolf Of Wall Street' classic chest thumping cameo and the Academy Award, 'Best Actor' Oscar winning 'Dallas Buyers Club' started and this 'Dark Tower' hopes to top. Shooting for the last and best, big blockbuster of a Summer of 'Mummy's', 'Alien's', 'Spider-Men', 'Wonder Women', 'Baby Drivers', 'War For The Planet Of The Apes' and second volumes of galaxy 'Guardians'. Sure McConaughey's recent films haven't topped his out of this universe, intergalatic 'Interstellar' numbers (see the glittering, but not so Academy striking 'Gold' and the overlooked 'Free State Of Jones', which we hope at least leads to a 'True Detective' season 3 reunion with new showrunner, 'Moonlight' Oscar winner Marhershala Ali), but only Christopher Nolan's 'Dunkirk' can do that right now. Still hoping to come at least close to this towering height in a tale as old as the time Stephen King was 19, Matt makes for a Man In Black even a neuralyzer won't let you forget. Smouldering with the devils own smoke and cloaked in a grim coloured suit, looking like what the reaper would wear if he was styled by G.Q. And with brimstone in his palm and hells fire in his eyes, the man that looks the parts signature southern drawl just makes this sinister sneer that much more definitive in the cadences of sound. Especially as he whispers 'Jessica Jones' David Tennant like "Simon Says'" commands to his victims like "hate", "stop breathing", or "kill...each other". Or as he taunts his gunman Roland "you crawling your way out the darkness"? Breathing pure evil as he warningly asks, "did you tell the kid whoever walks with you dies by my hand"?! Strolling through every set-piece and the Flatiron street crossings of New York City with the swag walk and talk of a man that controls everythings pace, the effortlessly cool McConaughey has barely looked better. Breaking into bad like a charcoal three-piece that perfectly fits. Matthew's Walter/Black is clearly the present danger.

"I do not shoot with my hand; he who shoots with his hand has forgotten the face of his father. I shoot with my mind." And The Gunslinger followed. And oh how this compellingly longing, lone wolf stalks his prey like the strong silent, slash violent type. Shooting from the hip at a wild west clip, Elba is engrossigly enigmatic in this King epic as Roland, your Gunslinger. Even minus the signature stetson in clever and inspired casting in this modern day age. Which alongside the Texan McConaughey would seem like a honoured, tribute role reversal to some, but to the directors here this billboard moment the world at social war sorely needs right now wasn't even given a second thought. Going back to the Man in Black, this is the six-shooter slinging man Elba's moment playing a magnificent Madiba in 'Mandela: Long Road To Freedom', the 'Beasts Of No Nation' Netlfix, Academy overlooked, 'Star Trek-Beyond' alien make-up villain and 'Pacific Rim', 'Independence Day' stirring speech maker promised. And in cancelling the Apocalypse again, you could call this, this one-man show pistol packing 'Lutheran's' Bond audition. Because shaken but stirred, after he walks through hell, an inspired Idris would be heaven sent as 007. The way he quick draw McGraws with two guns. Reloading the chambers like he was pouring Skittles in his palm. Spinning them like John Wayne and shooting them with the "hell he will", sniper like precision. This man has the eye, mind and heart of a real shooter. You can see almost see him in the scope of that iconic, Bond barrel beginning I.D. This Great Brit whose about to star in fall films with Academy actresses Kate Winslet ('The Mountains Between Us') and Jessica Chastain ('Mollys Game') will no longer be relegated to the Marvel backgrounds of being 'Thor's' gatekeeper whether he does a backwards Ryan Reynolds and becomes the 'Justice League's' Green Lantern or not. Especially if he continues building this 'Dark Tower' to the smaller screens of T.V. where he made his name in the groundbreaking HBO drama of HBO dramas 'The Wire' and the B.B.C. 'Sherlock' brilliant, legacy lasting 'Luther', complete with some without question fantasy 'Doctor Who' rumors. With Bond and Who the music making Driis could have sung playing both the best of British right now. But the multi-talented Idris Elba going from small to silver screen and back again as this Western wonder in a future fable has shown here what he has in every duel challenge showcase...the truest grit.

"I do not kill with my gun; he who kills with his gun has forgotten the face of his father.
I kill with my heart." But will the Tower fall? Not if Elba or fellow British Broadcasting Cooperation alumni Tom Taylor can help it. The young actor from the looks and voice breaking sounds of it may seem to be going through puberty during the all over the place ageing, filming of this film but that's just life and all natural. The kid is more than alright and a star of the future set to shine. After all he already has 'The Shining'...yep that one Johnny. That's here in some book crossovers that delve deeper into King's library than some comic Easter Eggs even in this age of Marvel. Like hidden messages and meanings? Then follow this one white rabbit. We won't spoil the surprise, but look out for objects from 'The Shawshank Redemption', 'Misery', Pennywise's amusements and of course the founding film that made Jack Nicholson drive an axe and his face through a hotel room door amongst much more. Because this film has it all. From South Korean, Hollywood model actress of the future Claudia Kim (see the only 'Age Of Ultron' hero that wasn't an Avenger), to a underused but undeniably watchable 'Watchman' star in the form of the similarly shuddering 'Shutter Island's' Jackie Earle Haley. And it's clear to see even with the best joke in the film an influential Idris has not forgotten the face of his father. Who is the cameoing but emotionally captivating Dennis Haysbert. The '24' star who will continue the smartphone screen chapters of this story like a Kindle. But here lies the problem with 'Royal Affiar' and forthcoming Hitchcok 'Rebecca' reboot Nikolaj Arcel and Dan Brown 'Inferno' director Ron Howard's produced tower heist. Their well cast, good looking but slightly misfiring remake of King's tower. At times it feels like this film aims and shoots with its hand and kills with its gun. Sure like turning the groundbreaking graphics of a novel 'Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets' it was almost going to be a mountain too high to scale Stephen's visonary story he laid the foundations of in the last year of his teens. But in taking the seven books of King's version of 'Lord Of The Rings' that he termed his "magnum opus" and reducing it to one scatter-gun paced run through, romantic comedy long film of 'Hobbit' size proportions is dwarf stunting. Even Peter Jackson managed to milk a trilogy out of J.R.R. Tolkien's half-pint in comparison 'Hobbit' before bedtime story pamphlet. We need the television series and a red face for the Crimson King more than ever in this binge watch age like we Netflix want that new 'Punisher' show on demand right streaming now. But it's just a damn shame the twisted antagonist/protagonist love story between the 'True Detective' and the grit of D.C.I. 'Luther' won't turn the page. Because in one way or both we've probably seen the end of two big name, favourite actors Matthew McConaughey and Idris Elba giving it all they've guns and hell blazing hot got here. But then again even fallen towers can be rebuilt, brick by brick. Look up and see for yourself. Has this film and could have been franchise forgotten the face of its author father? Or is meh merely alright, alright, alright? TIM DAVID HARVEY.

Further Watching: 'Lord Of The Rings', 'IT', 'The Shining'.

Thursday, 17 August 2017

REVIEW: THE HITMAN'S BODYGUARD

3/5

In The Line Of Fury.

118 Mins. Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L. Jackson, Salma Hayek, Elodie Yung, Richard E. Grant & Gary Oldman. Director: Patrick Hughes. 

All together now! Sing it with me! "AND I-EEE-I WILL ALWAYS LOVE BUDDY COP MOOVIEEES EEE-IES"! 'Lethal Weapon', '48 Hours', 'Bad Boys', 'Rush Hour'. 'Cagney and mother####### Lacey'! But hey Avengers how about the merc with the mouth and the leader in a saucy little leather number with the eye patch? Because here comes a team up assemble Marvel can only wish for if Fox ever lets their superstar superhero out the box. No we're not talking about the Green Lantern, but Deadpool and Nick Fury, Agent Of S.H.I.E.L.D (the closest they've got prior to this being a helicarrier Easter Egg in the first Wade Wilson movie last year). Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson. Now that sounds like a perfect partnership with the dude with all the jokes and the other guy that's in every movie if I do so say myself mother######s! O.K. that's the last time I'll curse...I swear. Because no one quite gives that word it's exclamation like Sam...although his on-screen wife gives him a run for his swear jar money here. Like a Will Smith "Hell Nah", Denzel Washington "my man", or Owen Wilson "WAAOOW"! This mans expletive catchphrase has been as P.G.-13 bleeped (or King Kong stamped out) to rated R (hello Mr. Tarantino) present as he has in seeemingly every other movie out right now and as a matter of fact all the time. And it's been like that for damn (see...we're still at it) near, amazingly a quarter of a century now. And he's still going strong...even though we're sure he's been in his sixties for the last twenty so years. But he's still acting in anything he can and that's beside the point that the Hollywood movieworld is made up of about 95% Marvel movies right now (hey...he wasn't in 'Spider-Man'). Although you can play the six degrees of separation, superhero connection game here too like you can with most blockbusters. As here we even have Deadpool dating Elecktra in the form of Netflix and Marvel's 'Daredevil' and 'Defenders' star Elodie Yung. Now what would Matt Murdock say if he could see as the 'Dark Knight's Commissioner Gordon looks on with one of 'Logan's last villains? All these comic-book characters yet still in 'The Hitman's Bodyguard' it's hard to find many heroes.

That's just the assassins creed I'm afraid. No one the wrong side of 47 is going to love a Hitman...and they especially won't like the hired gun paid to protect the man that's financed to funeral people either. But as Ryan Reynolds almost spoofs his 'Safe House' with Denzel Washington it does make for one hell of an original, outstandingly funny comedy concept for a Friday film. Some critics are already calling this one a mid in-flight movie, hold your attention between sleep entertainer akin to James Patterson's airplane shop bibliotheque of 'Alex Cross' books. But that patronising assumption in a world where our iPad's and fingertips have all the entertainment and choice we could wish for at the swipe of a finger diminishes the engrossing and enjoyable entertainment we get from both book and films novel idea. And oh how fun this one is from director Patrick Hughes who knew how to make Sly Stallone's 'Expendables' not that for a third more thrilling go round (here's a cheat sheet for you, add one Antonio Banderas. A psycho villain played by who else but Mel Gibson? And Wesley Snipes making so on the nose it's amazing you haven't sneezed yet jokes about jail for tax evasion). The humour's on point here too. Implied or explicit for this buddy cop comedy genre bender that shows strangely that even with the formula intact you don't have to make a buddy cop piece about police. But the action too is amazing on a perfectly chereographed like brutal ballet, 'Bad Boys' level for a film that on the surface looks like a 'Cop Out'. What ya gonna do? These days big budget comedies with an action twist in the chamber know how to bring out the big guns. See a similarly lock stocked and laugh loaded 'Spy' parody starring Melissa McCarthy and a respective Bond and self sending up Jude Law and Jason Statham. This isn't British Intelligence however this is more like the Kingsmen's American Statesmen cousins minus the stetson and skipping rope. Even if they start their Europe lampoon off in Manchester. As this film visits all the continents cosmopolitan locations. London, Amsterdamn...Coventry?! Even after Liverpool's '51st State' if someone told you you'd be seeing Samuel L. Jackson taking out a bunch of hijacking, machine gunning villains in a West Midlands town in an overturned aflame car between a WH Smith and a Cafe Nero...well you know how the response would go. Only in Hollywood...or should we say...Coventry?!

Tinseltown or tiny one in cinematic comparison it's clear to see no matter the on-set location the ageless, 'Pulp Fiction' hitman, hit making legend is having the 'Point Break' Swayze of his life like someone ordered him a Royale with cheese with a tasty beverage to wash it down with. This love song to the 90's 'Hitman Bodyguard' film with plenty of 'Grosse Point Blank', 'Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang' (all we need now is Tony Stark) for your popcorn buck takes Sam Jackson back to his 'Long Kiss Goodnight' days with this smoking barrel Au Revoir. And the scattergun action sees more weapon disarmament, hand-to-hand combat than a 'Bourne' again 'Mission Impossible' with enough gun fights and dog eat dog punch ups to keep the fuse lit to the explosive ending that sees more fireballs than a Beyonce emoji spammed picture on Instagram. And if more car chases than 'Bullitt', more bullets than 'John Wick' and more wick than dynamite wasn't enough bang for you, then blow for blow this movie and its shakers trade as much back handed banter as they do clenched fist battles. What more can you expect from the born to play Deadpool who gave the Merc his mouth and even before all those superhero origins was a Dane Cook a minute gag and sarcasm machine bro? He and Jackson know how to bring the action and the 'roll over, 'beep', 'beep' laughing too. In a world of "LOL's" it's refreshing to laugh all the way down to your gut. The same gut you might threw up at the site of the blood in this dark comically, ultraviolent action that may be a Summer sleeper this blockbuster season once it wakes everyone up like it's day in court. Reynolds and Jackson's dynamic duo partner up to make one hell of a team. But like all good award speeches they couldn't get by without a little help from their friends. And this film has everyone on board. Even a hilarious coked up cameo from well to do boy grown distinguished, Richard E. Grant of all people. A coming of career Elodie Young is electric here. Whilst legend and 'The Professional' and 'Air Force One' bad guy Gary Oldman is back on the form of his younger years. As a matter of fact everyone brings their A game here. Especially a foul mouthed, prison tatted Salma Hayek who almost steals the show with her stay behind bars incarcerated wife who treats cell mates like she was the 'Blair Witch'. Scary?! More like scary good. With 'The Hitmans Bodyguard' Hughes has just taken care of his own hit flick, making a killing with the eagerly exciting, action-com eclectic. Now this 'Bodyguard', complete with hilarious spoofing poster may not have mother####### (sorry!) Kevin Costner and the late, great Whitney Houston, but man is it still a hit. TIM DAVID HARVEY.

Further Watching: '2 Guns', 'Big Game', 'Deadpool'.