REVIEW: THE MAN INSIDE

CAST

Ashley Thomas (24: Legacy)
David Harewood (Supergirl)
Michelle Ryan (4.3.2.1.)
Peter Mullen (War Horse)
Jason Maza (Welcome To The Punch)
Theo Barkin-Biggs (Tatau)

865116-30826-clp-950Clayton Murdoch (Ashley Thomas) carries a terrible darkness inside him. As a boy he was exposed, by his father(David Harewood), to murder and gang culture, With his father now in prison, Clayton struggles to overcome what he was groomed to become, in a city where every day there is a constant threat of violence and death. Clayton channels his aggression into boxing. Controlled, powerful, contained. However, when the violence starts to destroy his own family, Clayton loses control, and the darkness within him is unleashed. And now, to get the revenge against those who have taken his loved ones, he must ask the one man he fears the most for help, his father. With everything around him falling apart and the full shocking fury in him let loose, Clayton must look death in the face and find out who is the man inside.themaninside600This is one of those machocentric ego boost films where violence is always around the next corner and pride is as dangerous as a six shooter. This is gritty both in violence and the street language. The acting is all above average and the direction is pretty good too from Dan Turner who also wrote the screenplay. There are some issues with lighting where some of the scenes are so dark it is hard to see what is going on, but that may have been intentional to create atmos or whatever. Any way it does not really detract from what is actually quite a solid movie

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REVIEW: BLOOD DIAMOND

CAST

Leonardo DiCaprio (Titanic)
Djimon Hounsou (Guaridans of The Galaxy)
Jennifer Connelly (Hulk)
Kagiso Kuypers  (Elalini)
Arnold Vosloo (The Mummy)
David Harewood (Supergirl)
Basil Wallace (Marked For Death)
Jimi Mistry (The Guru)
Michael Sheen (Underworld)
Stephen Collins (No Ordinary Family)
Ntare Mwine (Heroes)
Adetokumboh M’Cormack  (Lost)

It is 1999 and Sierra Leone is ravaged by major political unrest. Rebel factions such as the Revolutionary United Front frequently terrorize the countryside, intimidating Mende locals and enslaving many to harvest diamonds, which fund their increasingly successful war effort. One such unfortunate local is fisherman Solomon Vandy (Djimon Hounsou) from Shenge, who is separated from his family and assigned to a workforce overseen by Captain Poison (David Harewood), a ruthless warlord.One morning, Vandy discovers an enormous pink diamond in the riverbank. Captain Poison tries to take the stone, but the area is suddenly raided by government troops. Vandy buries the stone before being captured. Both Vandy and Poison are incarcerated in Freetown, along with Danny Archer (Leonardo DiCaprio), a white Rhodesian gunrunner jailed while trying to smuggle diamonds into Liberia. They were intended for Rudolph van de Kaap, a corrupt South African mining executive.Hearing of the pink diamond in prison, Archer arranges for himself and Vandy to be freed from detention. He travels to Cape Town to meet his employer: Colonel Coetzee (Arnold Vosloo), an Afrikaner formerly with the apartheid-era South African Defence Force, who now commands a private military company. Archer wants the diamond so he can sell it and leave the continent forever, but Coetzee wants it as compensation for Archer’s botched smuggling mission. Archer returns to Sierra Leone, locates Vandy, and offers to help him find his family if he will help recover the diamond.Meanwhile, RUF insurgents escalate hostilities; Freetown falls to their advance while Vandy’s son Dia (Kagiso Kuypers) is among those rounded up to serve as a child soldier under a liberated Captain Poison. Archer and Vandy narrowly escape to Lungi, where they plan to reach Kono with an American journalist, Maddy Bowen (Jennifer Connelly); in exchange, Archer will provide evidence on the illicit diamond trade. The trio arrive in Kono after a harrowing journey, where Coetzee and his private army — contracted by the Sierra Leone government — prepares to repulse the rebel offensive.While Maddy gets out with her story, the two men set out for Captain Poison’s encampment. Dia, stationed with the RUF garrison there, is confronted by Vandy, but having been brainwashed he refuses to acknowledge his father. Archer radios the site’s coordinates to Coetzee, who directs a combined air and ground assault on the camp; Vandy finds Captain Poison and beats him to death with a shovel as the mercenaries overwhelm the RUF defenders. Coetzee then forces Vandy to produce the diamond, but is killed by Archer, who realizes Coetzee would eventually kill them both. Dia holds the pair briefly at gunpoint, but Vandy confronts him again and renews their bond. Pursued by vengeful mercenaries, Archer discloses he has been mortally wounded and entrusts the stone to Vandy, telling him to take it for his family. Vandy and his son rendezvous with Archer’s pilot, who flies them to safety while Archer makes a final phone call to Maddy; they share final farewells as he asks her to assist Vandy, and gives her permission to finish her article. Archer finally takes in the beautiful African landscape before (presumably) dying.Vandy arrives in London and meets with a van de Kaap representative; he exchanges the pink diamond for a large sum of money and being reunited with his entire family. Maddy takes photographs of the deal to publish in her article on the diamond trade, exposing van de Kaap’s criminal actions. Vandy appears as a guest speaker at a conference on “blood diamonds” in Kimberley, and is met with a standing ovation. 

I was pleasantly surprised by the film. Compelling characters and the skillful use of a truly gripping global issue as the plot line make this a satisfying viewing experience- one that I would happily see again. Definitely worth a watch

 

REVIEW: SUPERGIRL – SEASON 1

Untitled

 

MAIN CAST

Melissa Benoist (Whiplash)
Mehcad Brooks (Necessary Roughness)
Chyler Leigh (Brake)
Jeremy Jordan (Smash)
David Harewood (Blood Diamond)
Calista Flockhart (The Last Shot)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST STARS

Laura Benanti (Take The Lead)
Dean Cain (Lois & Clark)
Helen Slater (Supergirl 80s)
Owain Yeoman (Troy)
Faran Tahir (Iron Man)
Robert Gant (Popular)
Briana Venskus (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.)
Chris Vaance (Prison Break)
Peter Facinelli (Twilight)
Jenna Dewan Tatum (Witches of East End)
Chris Browning (Cowboys & Aliens)
Brit Morgan (True Blood)
Scott Michael Campbell (Push)
Tristin Mays (The Vampire Diaries)
Charles Halford (Constantine TV)
Eric Steinberg (Stargate SG.1)
Hope Lauren (Agent Carter)
Emma Caulfield (Buffy)
Tawny Cypress (Heroes)
Italia Ricci (American Pie: Beta House)
Laura Vandervoort (Smallville)
Sara Gilbert (The Big Bang Theory)
Eddie McClintock (Bones)
Glenn Morshower (Transformers 3)


Warner Bros have had a rocky road when it comes to their superhero characters and although the Christopher Nolan Batman franchise epitomized this character, their other attempts at films like Green Lantern and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice met with criticism. Sometimes ‘dark’ does not always work, particularly when it comes to superheroes and if you want an example at this, check out the Marvel Universe of superheroes. However for their TV series (Arrow, Flash, Legends of Tomorrow), they’ve successfully captured the spirit of these characters and the comic universe where they came from and thankfully Superman’s cousin Kara Zor-El (aka Kara Davers) is also part of this success thanks to the excellent TV series Supergirl that stars Melissa Benoist as this intelligent and beautiful Kryptonian. Given that, the entire casting for Supergirl is perfect!

The series is also created by Ali Adler, Greg Berlanti and Andrew Kreisberg who are no strangers to the world of superheroes and compared to the entire DC Comics TV line-up, Supergirl is easily one of my favorite as it doesn’t try to be too dark but rather, uplifting and enjoyable.

Also joining Benoist as Supergirl is Mechad Brooks (Jimmy Olsen), David Harewood (Hank Henshaw or the ‘Martian Manhunter’ known as J’onn J’onzz), Chyler Leigh (Kara’s adopted sister Alex Danvers), Jeremy Jordan (Kara’s sidekick) and also Calista Flockhart who plays Cat Grant, the owner of CatCo Worldwide Media (think a modern version of the Daily Planet). Sure, some of the actors camp it up for the TV series but this campiness actually works well with the characters and the story and once again, continue with the light-hearted nature of the series.

Given that, there are some darker moments in the series but overall and compared to The Flash, Arrow, Legends of Tommorrow, Supergirl is a much more colorful and hopeful story. The series even boasts Helen Slater (who played the original Supergirl in the 1984 movie) as Eliza Danvers as Kara’s adoptive mother plus Dean Cain as her father who played Superman in the classic 1993 TV series, Lois & Clark. This is also what I enjoy about Supergirl is all the cameos and whether that’s from film or the world of DC Comics itself, the creators really cram in quite a few people into the series, many as Easter Eggs.

Although each episode has a ‘villain’, the overarching villain is Laura Benanti as Alura Zor-El who plays the evil twin sister of Kara’s mother. Having additional Kryptonians in the show does increase the jeopardy for our heroine and some of these episodes are considerably darker. Then you have billionaire Maxwell Lord (Peter Facinelli) who is not evil perse but wants the best for the world which of course causes conflict. Once again, some great villains for Supergirl. Kara’s supporting cast include an African American Jimmy Olsen who also provides a love interest for Supergirl plus their geeky tech-head sidekick Winn Schott who together attempt to protect the fictitious National City. Then you have Kara’s sister Alex who works for the DEO (Department of Extra-Normal Operations) that is run by Hank Henshaw, an alien known as J’onn J’onzz disguised as a human in order to protect the world from alien threats. The character of Henshaw also has a great history.

Interestingly, Superman is mentioned in the series and does appear off screen. He will  actually makes a full appearance in Season 2 of Supergirl but the coolest crossover in any TV series was when Grant Gustin from The Flash starred in one episode which had fanboys and fangirls gushing from the coolness factor. With 20 episodes in this collection, Supergirl does end with a cliffhanger and with a second season confirmed (moving to CW) things are looking up for the Girl of Steel.

Supergirl on Blu-ray boasts some exceptional video and audio quality that really highlights the colourful costumes, villains and heroes of this universe. For special features, we get a handful of deleted scenes plus a couple of fun documentaries about J’onn J’onzz and Supergirl. All in all, it’s a great release from Roadshow Warner.

Supergirl is a proof that superheroes don’t need to be dark and moody and this TV series captures the spirit and core of this character that thanks to its creators successfully transforms the comic into a very enjoyable, clichéd and action packed live-action series with lots of world building and character development!. An Excellent series and a must see for all DC fans.

REVIEW: GRIMSBY

CAST

Sacha Baron Cohen (Borat)
Mark Strong (John Carter)
Penelope Cruz (Zoolander 2)
Rebel Wilson (Bridesmaids)
Isla Fisher (Scooby-Doo)
Gabourey Sidibe (Precious)
Rory Keenan (Reign of Fire)
Tamsin Egerton (Camelot)
Johnny Vegas (Ideal)
Ricky Tomlinson (The 51st State)
David Harewood (Supergirl)
Scott Adkins (The Legend of Hercules)
Ian McShane (Game of Thrones)

Nobby Butcher (Sacha Baron Cohen) has been separated from his brother Sebastian for 28 years. During the 28 year separation, Nobby has become alcoholic and has started his own life with his wife Dawn (Rebel Wilson) and 11 children in the poor English town of Grimsby.

Sebastian (now Sebastian Graves) has become one of MI6’s top agents. After completing an interrogation, Sebastian comes into information regarding philanthropist Rhonda George (Penélope Cruz), who is hosting a benefit called WorldCure and is a potential target for assassination, and is assigned to go. Nobby’s pub friends also find out that his brother will be at WorldCure and convince Nobby to go and reconnect with him. Sebastian goes to the event and sees a hitman, later known as Pavel Lukashenko (Scott Adkins), who plans to assassinate Rhonda with a gun disguised as a video camera. As Sebastian prepares to shoot the camera, Nobby sees him and gives him a hug, accidentally causing him to shoot a Jewish-Palestinian boy with AIDS. The spray of blood lands in Daniel Radcliffe’s mouth, giving him AIDS.

The brothers go on the run from the authorities and other assassins, with Sebastian breaking his ankle in the process. Despite Sebastian’s protests, Nobby convinces him it would be best to hide at his home in Grimsby. Meanwhile, MI6 believes that Sebastian has gone rogue. The MI6 send orders to an assassin named Chilcott (Sam Hazeldine) to track Sebastian down. However, Sebastian calls his handler Jodie and proclaims his innocence.

Chilcott and his men find the two brothers at a pub. Sebastian and Nobby spot them and run away with help from the pub clientele, but Sebastian is hit with two poison darts in the process. Nobby is forced to first suck the poison out of his brother’s chest and then his testicles to save him. The brothers travel to South Africa, after Jodie informs Sebastian that Lukashenko was doing a deal with Joris Smit (Nick Boraine) in Tshukaru Bush Lodge. Sebastian accidentally injects himself with heroin, mistaking it for the bone strengthening treatment for his broken ankle. Nobby must assume his identity and go undercover. Nobby tries to seduce Joris’s wife Lina, but first seduces the wrong woman and is then interrupted by Joris and his two men. Sebastian arrives and saves Nobby. Lina tells them that Lukashenko bought some sort of virus, but she is fatally shot by Chilcott and his men from a distance before she gives any further information. To outrun Chilcott’s men, the brothers hide inside an elephant’s vagina, but in the process they become trapped inside after a male elephant begins having sexual intercourse with it. As they wash off afterwards, Sebastian asks why Nobby abandoned him as a child. Nobby explains that Sebastian’s adoptive parents only wanted to adopt one of the brothers but were unable to decide, and he ran away so Sebastian could have a better life.
https://www.thesun.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/2708409.main_image.jpgThe two brothers travel to Santiago, Chile. They realize that the syndicate plans to unleash their weapon upon a football match in the area, but the syndicate captures Sebastian. Rhonda visits the captured Sebastian and tells him her plans to launch the virus—called WorldCure—into the arena via fireworks. Nobby finally finds Sebastian, but he is intercepted by Lukashenko. Lukashenko overpowers Nobby, but he obtains Lukashenko’s gun and shoots him in the head. He easily kills the other henchmen before rescuing Sebastian.

The brothers go back to the arena and spot Rhonda. While Nobby tries to intercept Rhonda, Chilcott attempts to kill Sebastian, but Nobby’s kids throw a wheelchair at him, knocking him over and impaling on a helmet. Nobby obtains a gun and spotted Rhonda running through the arena. He goes after her. In the meantime, Raheem Sterling in the final match between England and Germany attempts a shot from a distance, however, the shot was going wide. Nobby shot the ball and it conveniently deflected into the goal. Nobby also shot the referee who’s going to disallow the goal, resulting in England winning the match. Nobby then tries to shoot Rhonda but his gun jams and he realizes he must stop the fireworks himself. He sits on one of the fireworks containing the virus; Sebastian sits on the other at the last minute, reaffirming his brotherhood with Nobby. The fireworks go off with the two atop them and the brothers are knocked unconscious upon landing. Nobby’s gun goes off and hits Daniel Radcliffe, whose infectious blood spills onto Donald Trump’s mouth.
 It is reported that Rhonda is arrested, the Graves brothers “died” after saving the world, and Donald Trump has AIDS. The brothers are actually recovering in the hospital. Jodie visits and gives them new identities, informing them that the virus did not affect them because its antidote is elephant semen. Nobby’s family also visits them. In the final scene, eight weeks later, Nobby and Sebastian are on a mission in Jakarta, Indonesia. On a boat, Nobby is approached by a team of gunmen, who he quickly kills. He reaches Sebastian, who asks him if he’s met the team; Nobby realizes too late that the gunmen were his team. In a post credit scene the brothers are in a car and stop to ask a man for directions to the stadium, after receiving directions Nobby shoots the man saying ‘leave no witnesses’ disturbing Sebastian.Grimsby also known as The Brothers Grimsby in America. This is one of the best comedy  movies released and definitely worthy of repeat viewings if you’re a fan of this type of comedy, and especially if you appreciate Sacha Baron Cohen’s brand of humor.