Image is everything, and if you have a potential problem with yours, then Olivia Pope is the person to see. Pope and her tam of, shall we call them ‘legal investigators,’ specialise in fixing problems, proving innocence or making the problem go away.
Each episode the team takes on a new client, from a rich CEO whose playboy son has got into some trouble, a Latin American dictator or even the airline pilots union. If you can afford Pope and her team, then she’ll keep you squeaky clean.
Of course coming from the creator of Grey’s Anatomy, the show is all about image as opposed to serious drama, though there is certainly plenty of drama.
The season starts off great, a little intrigue and a lot of drama. We get to meet the team and see what they do. It sets itself up for a pretty decent season, but then things start to go in the wrong direction.
The show is based around the powerhouse that is Olivia Pope. No one messes with Pope. No one can out smart Pope. No one can even come close to Pope. Pope is the ultimate strong woman role model, and it’s a great set up for a show. Read more ›
Framed for a crime he didn’t commit, muscle car mechanic and street racer Tobey (Aaron Paul) gets out of prison determined to settle the score with the man responsible for his false conviction.
The Place Beyond the Pines is a drama set in present day middle America where the lives of two unique characters crash directly into each other and then repeat. On one side a young stunt rider trying to make a buck, on the other a Policeman trying to make a name. Similar to Paul Haggis’ 2004 release of “Crash” you are taken through a drama that is emotionally tense while you try to play detective and connect the dots.
Without spoilers this movie surprised me. It will be hard to give this review depth without uncovering key elements so we’ll stick to the performances and let you watch the movie to unravel the storyline. From the promotion and pre-publicity I definitely thought I had the story figured out but the movie took me down a path I wasn’t prepared for.
Ryan Gosling gives a deeply resonant portrayal of Luke, a conflicted young man who has found his niche as a stunt-driver and then wakes up to discover he has a baby son to a past relationship. The only highway to self-sufficiency seems to be in robbing banks when Robin played by Ben Mendelsohn tells him how his riding skills can provide the ideal grab and run routine.
In Eva Mendes’ portrayal we find Romina, the lady caught in the middle of the anguish trying to simply get by. Now living with Kofi played by Mahershala Ali, she tries to protect her new nest from the old love interest which provokes some emotional encounters. For me this was the first movie where we started to see the depth that Bradley Cooper can bring to a role. He plays the ambitious Policeman Avery Cross who has lived in the shadow of his father, a judge played by Harris Yulin. While squeaky clean by intent the ambition of Avery certainly asks you to question his motives as the story unfolds. Read more ›
The Great Gatsby released in 2013 by Baz Luhrman from a screen-play he developed with Australian actor Craig Pearce, is the fifth movie adaption of what many consider the All American novel. F. Scott Fitzgerald was a man immersed in the 20s to the extent he sadly became an alcoholic through his social circles and later died of a heart attack in his early 40s. His life’s work consists primarily of five books and a number of short stories. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button was one of those stories turned into a movie by David Fincher which we saw portrayed by Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett.
The story of Gatsby is one of a mystery millionaire shaking up the New York society in the 20s. Luhrman takes us on a psychedelic tour of the lives of the rich and the infamous through the roaring 20s and as only Baz can there is a flamboyantly dressed cast set against a backdrop that feels like its formed of fresh paint dripping in colour. One of the key credits for the film is the special effects that have transformed movie sets, vacant back-lots and fields into mansions, New York streets and ornate gardens. It’s worth having a look on YouTube for a special effects show-reel of the effects found in a movie without space-ships.
For this outing Luhrman reunites with Leonardo DiCaprio who he directed in Romeo + Juliet. Leonardo picks up the lead to work alongside Tobey Maguire who plays Nick Carraway, the character who acts almost as the voice of F. Scott Fitzgerald walking through his own story. As the production was produced in Australia a number of Australian actors play roles including Isla Fisher as a love-interest in Myrtle Wilson. Her beau Tom Buchannan is played by Joel Edgerton and he walks the role of the brutish yank with a great deal of enthuse. His wife Daisy played by UK actress Carey Mulligan felt a little flat as did Maguire’s role in very much ‘Pleasantville’ mode. Read more ›
Members of an elite DEA task force find themselves being taken down one by one after they rob a drug cartel safe house.
I love Michael Palin, but then I think just about everyone does, which is part of the reason he probably gets to travel the world to do ‘travel shows.’ The other parts would be his ability to make fun of himself and the fact that he was already quite famous. Now 25 years since he first went traveling around to world for the BCC, Palin is going to Brazil, a country he somehow missed going to.
Now don’t get me wrong when you red the next sentence, I love Palin and I love following him around the world, but… I’m not sure if i’ve become too cynical or if the discrepancies between real life and Palin’s journey have just become way more obvious, but in his travels around Brazil do seem awfully well orchestrated, and his way seems to have been prepared as if for a royal visit.
Even when he visits the favelas, everything seems nice and happy. Of course that’s the thing with travel shows, and the BBC would not want to send a national treasure in harms way. Read more ›
An incisive relationship dramedy which cuts into the meat of everyday anxieties with alacritous warmth, Nicole Holofcener’s Enough Said brings to bear both of its co-leads sharp comic sensibilities and dramatic vulnerability to produce a compelling cinematic exploration. It seems fitting that James Gandolfini’s penultimate role (his final role is in Michaël R. Roskam’s Animal Rescue, slated for release in 2014) would be one of such emotional honesty, away from the big man’s usual criminal-military character bread and butter. Over and above the inherent interest of seeing such an actor’s concluding works Holofcener’s film is a rare blend of aching vérité and whip-smart humour. Put simply, Enough Said is both one of the finest dramas and one of the finest comedies to grace the screen this year.
The film pivots around the cautious fledgling romance between middle-aged divorcees Eva (Julia Louis-Dreyfus in cracking form) and Albert (an exquisitely wrought performance by Gandolfini). I purposefully reference both their age and ‘relationship status’ because the film zeroes in on these facets, expertly mining a mother lode of drama and the discomfort comedy to be exploited therein. The film’s comic tenor is reminiscent of Armando Iannucci’s Veep (in which Louis-Dreyfus holds down the title role) sinking the audience into a deep pool of awkwardness and social fumbling for significant periods before coming up for air. We’ve all been in such situations, seen those unfortunate people, BEEN those unfortunate people! Some might argue that many of the scenes feel like comic setups, and there are a few scenes that might well work as stand alone sketches, but where Veep continues ratcheting up its comic tension past the point of acceptable norms Holofcener and co make sure character and relationship development remain front and centre keeping Enough Said from slipping into caricature or slavish devotion to its darker edges.
Uh oh, because they broke the rules in the last hunger games, and sparked that dangerous emotion called hope amongst the dystopian society that is the world of Suzanne Callins’ Hunger Games triology, things are about to get mixed up. With hope you see, comes strength. With strength come defiance, with defiance comes change.
Change is not something President Snow will abide, and as such, threatens not only Katniss and her family, but the whole of District 12, if Katniss doesn’t convince the general populous that she is in-fact, deeply in love with Peeta, and supportive of Snow.
But it’s too late for acting and everyone sees through the charade, forcing Snow to do something drastic. The 75th Hunger Games will take tributes from previous winners, forcing Katniss back into the arena.
Due to the success of the first film, Catching Fire gets a bit of a cash injection, and whilst there are plenty of signs that the director is keeping this as tween friendly as possible (like not actually showing a guy get executed, and there not being any blood when his body gets dragged away after being shot in the head) there is a more heightened feeling of danger, as (for those for us who have not read the books and therefore don’t know what happens!) whilst you know Katniss has to make it through to the last two films, you never quite sure who will suffer along the way. Read more ›