REVIEW: ROCKnROLLA

Starring

Gerard Butler (300)
Mark Strong (Shazam)
Tom Wilkinson (Batman Begins)
Toby Kebbell (Bloodshot)
Tom Hardy (Venom)
Idris Elba (Prometheus)
Karel Roden (Hellboy)
Thandie Newton (Mission Impossible 2)
Geoff Bell (Green Street)
Jeremy Piven (The Kingdom)
Ludacris (2 Fast 2 Furious)
Gemma Arterton (Murder Mystery)
Jimi Mistry (West Is West)
Nonso Anozie (Game of Thrones)
Bronson Webb (Pure)
Jamie Campbell Bower (Sweeney Todd)

Jimi Mistry and Tom Wilkinson in RocknRolla (2008)In London, mob boss Lenny Cole (Tom Wilkinson) rules the ever-growing real estate business, using a corrupt Councillor (Jimi Mistry) for bureaucratic fixing, and his right-hand man Archy (Mark Strong) for the dirty side of things. A billionaire Russian businessman, Uri Omovich (Karel Roden), plans a fixed land deal, and London’s crooks seem to all want a piece of it — particularly Uri’s underhanded accountant Stella (Thandie Newton), and a gang called “The Wild Bunch” led by small-time crook “One-Two” (Gerard Butler), his partner “Mumbles” (Idris Elba), and their driver, “Handsome Bob” (Tom Hardy).Gerard Butler in RocknRolla (2008)Uri agrees to Lenny’s price of €7,000,000 to grease the Council’s wheels, and as a sign of trust, loans him his “lucky painting.” Yet when Uri arranges for Stella to move the funds, she double-crosses him and hires the Wild Bunch to steal the money. Unfortunately for Lenny, however, his junkie stepson Johnny Quid (Toby Kebbell), supposedly dead, steals the painting from Lenny’s wall. Lenny and Archy then coerce Johnny’s managers Mickey (Chris “Ludacris” Bridges) and Roman (Jeremy Piven) into tracking down Johnny. In a subplot, Handsome Bob gets close to Stella’s gay husband, a lawyer who has information on a longtime unknown informer in their criminal circle whose information has Bob looking at a five-year prison term.Tom Wilkinson in RocknRolla (2008)Uri tasks Stella once more with covertly siphoning the necessary payoff from his holdings, and grows increasingly enamoured with her. When his moneymen are once again robbed by the Wild Bunch, his assistant Victor convinces him that it’s likely Lenny who is behind the robberies, and is also purposely keeping Uri’s lucky painting from him. Uri & Victor then invite Lenny to a private golf game on a golf course owned by Uri, where Victor beats him savagely with a golf club, finishing by breaking Lenny’s leg as a warning to him. Cookie (Matt King) happens to buy the painting from some crackheads who had just stolen it from Johnny’s hideout. Cookie then gives the painting to One-Two who, in turn, offers the painting to Stella (after a sexual encounter) as a token of appreciation. After Stella leaves his flat, One-Two is surprised by Uri’s henchmen but is rescued, and then kidnapped, by Archy and his goons who had come looking for Uri’s money. Uri wants to marry Stella, whom he has long admired. He goes to Stella’s house to propose, but he then spots the painting. Stella lies and says she has had it for years. Uri, enraged by Stella’s betrayal, orders Victor to kill her.Gerard Butler and Idris Elba in RocknRolla (2008)Archy brings Johnny, Roman, Mickey and the Wild Bunch to Lenny’s warehouse where Lenny orders Johnny executed. He threatens to kill the Wild Bunch “very slowly” unless they give up the money they stole. Handsome Bob offers the legal documents concerning the informant in his pocket to Archy. Archy recognises the pseudonym used on the documents, “Sidney Shaw”, as belonging to Lenny. Lenny arranged the police to routinely lock up many criminal associates (including Archy) for years at a time to enhance his own standing in the criminal underworld and to ensure his own freedom. Archy orders Lenny’s men to free the Wild Bunch and has Lenny drowned and fed to crayfish. In the lift, Johnny explains to Roman and Mickey that they will also be killed to leave no witnesses, and graphically explains the manner of their executions. His description unnerves the man who’s to execute the three men, prompting him to act prematurely. Having also already anticipated this move, Johnny warns Mickey and Roman to intervene and kill their would-be executioner. Johnny shoots two more men waiting at the top of the lift and they escape the last of Archy’s men (with help from One-Two and the Wild Bunch).Jeremy Piven, Ludacris, and Mark Strong in RocknRolla (2008)Later, Archy picks up Johnny from rehab and gives Johnny Uri’s lucky painting as a welcome home present. Archy says that obtaining the painting “cost a very wealthy Russian an arm and a leg” implying he had Uri killed. Johnny proclaims that, with his new-found freedom from addiction and from his stepfather, he will do what he could not before: “become a real RocknRolla”.Gerard Butler in RocknRolla (2008)“Rocknrolla” is another great movie of Guy Ritchie in the same style of “Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels”. The complex and intelligent screenplay entwines characters and funny situations and the result is an entertaining movie with witty lines and excellent acting.

HALLOWEEN OF HORROR REVIEW: SWEENEY TODD: THE DEMON BARBER OF FLEET STREET

CAST

Johnny Depp (Into The Woods)
Helena Bonham Carter (Fight Club)
Alan Rickman (Harry Potter)
Timothy Spall (Rock Star)
Sascha Baron Cohen (Grimsby)
Jamie Campbell Bower (The Prisoner)
Lucy Michelle Kelly (Goddess)
Jayne Wisener (Boogeyman 3)
Anthony Head (Buffy)

In 1846, Benjamin Barker, a barber, arrives in London, accompanied by sailor Anthony Hope. Fifteen years earlier, he was falsely convicted and sentenced to penal transportation by the corrupt Judge Turpin, who lusted after Barker’s wife Lucy. Barker adopts the alias “Sweeney Todd” and returns to his old Fleet Street shop, situated above Mrs. Nellie Lovett’s meat pie shop. He learns that Turpin raped Lucy, who then poisoned herself with arsenic. The couple’s daughter, Johanna, is now Turpin’s ward, and is the object of Turpin’s lust. Todd vows revenge, and re-opens his barber shop after Mrs. Lovett returns his straight razors to him. Anthony becomes enamored with Johanna, but is caught by Turpin and driven away by his corrupt associate, Beadle Bamford.

Todd denounces faux-Italian barber Adolfo Pirelli’s hair tonic as a fraudulent mix and humiliates him in a public shaving contest. A few days later, Pirelli arrives at Todd’s shop, with his boy assistant Tobias Ragg. Mrs. Lovett keeps Toby occupied while Pirelli identifies himself as Todd’s former assistant, Davy Collins, and threatens to reveal Todd’s secret unless Todd gives him half his earnings. Todd kills Collins to protect his secret, and hides his body in a trunk.

After receiving advice from Bamford, Turpin, intending marriage to Johanna, visits Todd’s shop for grooming. Todd shaves Turpin, preparing to slit his throat; they are interrupted by Anthony, who reveals his plan to elope with Johanna before noticing Turpin. Turpin leaves enraged and Todd vents his rage by killing customers while waiting for another chance to kill Turpin, and Mrs. Lovett bakes the victims into pies. Todd rigs his barber’s chair with a pedal-operated mechanism that deposits his victims through a trap door into Mrs. Lovett’s basement bake-house. Anthony searches for Johanna, whom Turpin has sent to an insane asylum upon discovering her plans to elope with Anthony.

The barbering and pie-making businesses prosper, and Mrs. Lovett takes Toby as her assistant. Mrs. Lovett tells an uninterested Todd of her plans to marry him and move to the seaside. Anthony discovers Johanna’s whereabouts and poses as a wig-maker’s apprentice to rescue her. Todd has Toby deliver a letter to Turpin, telling him where Johanna will be brought when Anthony frees her. Toby has become wary of Todd and tells Mrs. Lovett of his suspicion.

Bamford arrives at the pie shop, informing Mrs. Lovett that neighbors have been complaining of the stink from her chimney. He is distracted by Todd’s offer of a free grooming and is murdered by Todd. Mrs. Lovett informs Todd of Toby’s suspicions, and the pair search for Toby, whom Mrs. Lovett has locked in the bake-house. He has hidden himself in the sewers after seeing Bamford’s body drop into the room from the trap door above, as well as finding a human toe in a pie. Anthony brings Johanna, disguised as a sailor, to the shop, and has her wait there while he leaves to find a coach.
A beggar woman enters the shop in search of Bamford. She recognizes Todd, but upon hearing Turpin’s voice, Todd kills her and sends her through the trap door. As Turpin enters, Todd explains that Johanna had repented and offers a free shave; when Turpin finally recognizes Todd as Benjamin Barker, Todd stabs him several times before cutting his throat. Upon seeing Johanna, Todd prepares to slit her throat as well, not recognizing her as his daughter. Hearing Mrs. Lovett scream in horror as a dying Turpin grabs her dress, Todd instead spares Johanna’s life.
Todd discovers that the beggar woman was his wife Lucy, whom he believed to be dead, and that Mrs. Lovett misled him about her death. Todd pretends to forgive her and dances with her before hurling her into the bake-house oven, then cradles his wife’s dead body in his arms. Toby climbs from the sewers and Todd allows Toby to slit his throat with his own razor. He leaves the basement as Todd bleeds to death all over his dead wife.Depp and Bonham Carter are both excellent and it’s down to their performances that I never quite lost sympathy with them in their descent into madness, blood lust and cannibalism.

REVIEW: FANTASTIC BEASTS: THE CRIMES OF GRINDELWALD

Starring

Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything)
Katherine Waterston (Logan Lucky)
Dan Fogler (Barely Lethal)
Alison Sudol (The Last Full Measure)
Jude Law (Captain Marvel)
Ezra Miller (Justice League)
Johnny Depp (Pirates of The Caribben
Zoë Kravitz (Rough Night)
Callum Turner (Assassin’s Creed)
Claudia Kim (Marco Polo)
William Nadylam (Lace Crater)
Kevin Guthrie (Dunkirk)
Jamie Campbell Bower (Camelot)
Carmen Ejogo (Selma)
Toby Regbo (Reign)
Hugh Quarshie (Highlander)
Jessica Williams (Delivery Man)
Derek Riddell (Ugly Betty)

Eddie Redmayne and Katherine Waterston in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018)In 1927, the Magical Congress of the United States of America (MACUSA) is transferring the powerful dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald from their New York maximum security prison to London so he can be tried for his crimes in Europe. Grindelwald escapes during the transfer, aided by his follower and MACUSA employee, Abernathy.Alison Sudol in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018)Three months later in London, Newt Scamander appeals to the Ministry of Magic to restore his revoked international travel rights following his misadventure in New York City. While at the Ministry, Newt runs into Leta Lestrange, an old Hogwarts classmate who is engaged to his brother, Theseus, an auror in the Department of Magical Law Enforcement. The Ministry offers to restore Newt’s travel rights if he assists Theseus in locating the obscurial Credence Barebone, who has resurfaced in Paris. They believe Credence may be Leta’s long-lost brother, Corvus Lestrange, the last of a long line of pure-blood wizards. Grindelwald believes only Credence can kill his “equal”, Hogwarts Professor Albus Dumbledore. Newt, however, declines, refusing to choose a side, and the auror Grimmson is dispatched instead.Eddie Redmayne and Katherine Waterston in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018)After leaving the Ministry, Newt is secretly summoned by Dumbledore, who is under constant Ministry surveillance for refusing to confront Grindelwald (with whom he shared a close personal relationship in their youth). Dumbledore tries to persuade Newt to locate Credence, though Newt does not give him an answer.Johnny Depp and Zoë Kravitz in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018)After he arrives home, Newt’s American friends, Queenie Goldstein and Jacob Kowalski, unexpectedly arrive at his house. Jacob’s recollections of the New York City incident are mostly intact, as MACUSA’s citywide Obliviation order only erased the bad memories of the Muggle witnesses, and his were mostly good. Queenie and Jacob have followed Queenie’s sister Tina to Europe, where she is searching for Credence. Newt is unhappy to learn that Tina mistakenly believes he and Leta Lestrange are engaged. Seeing Jacob’s odd behaviour, Newt realises that Queenie has enchanted him into eloping to Europe with her to circumvent MACUSA’s marriage ban between wizards and muggles. After Newt lifts the charm, Jacob and Queenie quarrel about the marriage law, and an upset Queenie leaves to find Tina. Newt realises Tina is in Paris, and, ignoring the travel ban, he and Jacob follow the sisters to Europe.Johnny Depp in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018)In Paris, Tina searches for Credence at a wizarding freak show at the Circus Arcanus. Credence and Nagini, a young female circus attraction who can transform into a snake, escape after causing a distraction. While searching for Credence’s birth mother, Credence and Nagini locate the servant who put him up for adoption. However, Grimmson, who is secretly working for Grindelwald, arrives and kills her. Meanwhile, Tina meets Yusuf Kama, who is also hunting Credence. Later, Newt and Jacob also encounter Yusuf and follow him to Tina. Yusuf, revealed to be Leta’s maternal half-brother, says he made an Unbreakable Vow to kill Credence, whom he believes is his step-brother, Corvus, and the last of the Lestrange family.Eddie Redmayne in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018)Newt and Tina infiltrate the French Ministry of Magic to retrieve documents confirming Credence’s identity. While there, the two reconcile after Tina learns Newt was never engaged to Leta. Leta herself later discovers them and joins the search, which leads them to the Lestrange family tomb in the Père Lachaise Cemetery. Leta reveals that Credence cannot be Corvus Lestrange: as a child, she inadvertently caused the death of her infant brother by switching him with baby Credence while on a doomed New York-bound passenger ship, thereby sparing Credence and leaving Corvus presumably drowned. Meanwhile, a fabricated trail has lured Credence to the Lestrange tomb where Grindelwald is holding a rally for his followers. Jacob finds Queenie, now seemingly aligned with Grindelwald, in the audience there.Johnny Depp and Zoë Kravitz in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018)Grindelwald preaches the abolition of laws concealing wizards from muggles, and utilizes images of the imminent Second World War to justify worldwide wizard supremacy and domination. Aurors surround the rally, led by Theseus, but Grindelwald fends them off while unleashing his emissaries to spread his word across Europe. Grindelwald casts a circle of blue flame to divide followers from enemies. Credence and Queenie cross over to join him, while Leta sacrifices herself to save Newt, Tina, Jacob, Yusuf, Nagini, and Theseus. As Grindelwald escapes, the remaining heroes unite alongside the immortal alchemist Nicolas Flamel to fend off a curse that Grindelwald directed at Paris. Seeing the devastation, Newt realizes he must join the fight.Eddie Redmayne in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018)At Hogwarts, Newt gives Dumbledore a vial, secretly taken from Grindelwald, that contains a blood pact that Grindelwald and Dumbledore made as teenagers. Newt correctly surmises that the pact magically prevents the two from combatting each other; Dumbledore believes it may be possible to destroy the pact.Claudia Kim and Ezra Miller in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018)In his base at Nurmengard in Austria, Grindelwald tells Credence that he is actually Albus Dumbledore’s long-lost brother, Aurelius, and the only person powerful enough to defeat him. Queenie uses her mind-reading ability to advise Grindelwald on ways to control Credence. A baby bird that Credence had been caring for is revealed to be a phoenix, a bird associated with the Dumbledore family. Grindelwald then provides Credence with his first wand, and the film ends as Credence casts a spell for the first time.Dan Fogler, William Nadylam, Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Claudia Kim, and Callum Turner in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018)As a huge fan of the first Fantastic Beasts film, I had been looking forward to this film for a while. I’m so glad that it didn’t disappoint! I really enjoyed this movie, just as much as the first installment. Of course, it is a bit different, and it gets down to serious business, so the tone is a bit darker. Which of course makes sense. There was still enough humor though, and I love the characters. The storyline is great, the villain is interesting, the special effects were amazing, and the history and lore for the Harry Potter series is rich and enjoyable. Although this movie is pretty amazing, it did suffer from trying to feed us a lot of information and history. Yeah, there is a lot to take in, and a lot you find out. Perhaps this movie could’ve been a bit longer too as some extra scenes between some characters would’ve been appreciated. But with all of the information and history that was given, I found it all to be pretty exciting. I definitely feel as if this is a definite must see for any Harry Potter fan.

REVIEW: THE MORTAL INSTRUMENTS: CITY OF BONES

CAST

Lily Collins (Mirror Mirror)
Jamie Campbell Bower (Sweeney Todd)
Robert Sheehan (Season of The Witch)
Jemima West (United Passions)
Kevin Durand (Dark Angel)
Lena Headey (Game of Thrones)
CCH Pounder (Avatar)
Jared Harris (The Quiet Ones)
Jonathan Rhys Meyers (Dracula)
Aidan Turner (The Hobbit)

New York City teenager Clary Fray begins seeing a strange symbol, worrying her mother Jocelyn Fray and her mother’s friend Luke Garroway. Later, at a nightclub with her friend, Simon Lewis, Clary is the only person who sees Jace Wayland killing a man, who he claims is a demon. Meanwhile, Jocelyn is abducted by two men, Emil Pangborn and Samuel Blackwell, but she is able to call Clary and warn her about someone named Valentine. Jocelyn drinks a potion putting her in a comatose state. Returning home, Clary finds her mother missing and is then attacked by a demon. Clary kills it, and then Jace appears. Jace explains that he and her mother Jocelyn are both Shadowhunters (also called Nephilim), half human half angel warriors that slay demons and rule over the downworlders. Clary has inherited her powers, including the ability to use runes.Madame Dorothea, the Fray’s neighbor and a witch, deduces that Pangborn and Blackwell seek the Mortal Cup, one of the three Mortal Instruments given to the first Shadowhunter by the Angel Raziel. It allows normal humans to become half-Angel Shadowhunters. Simon, now able to see Jace, arrives and they go to Luke’s bookstore. Pangborn and Blackhell are interrogating Luke there, who claims he cares nothing for Jocelyn and only wants the Mortal Cup. The trio escapes to the Shadowhunters’ hideout, the Institute, where Clary and Simon meet two other Shadowhunters Alec and Isabelle Lightwood, and their leader, Hodge Starkweather. He reveals that Valentine Morgenstern, an ex-Shadowhunter who betrayed the Nephilim, now seeks the Mortal Cup to control both Shadowhunters and demons.Hodge instructs Jace to take Clary to the City of Bones so the Silent Brothers can probe Clary’s mind for the Mortal Cup’s location. The Brothers uncover a connection to Magnus Bane, the High Warlock of Brooklyn. Bane says Jocelyn had him block the Shadowhunter world from Clary’s mind. Vampires then kidnap Simon from Magnus’ party for downworlders. Clary, Jace, Alec, and Isabelle trail them to their hideout and rescue him but are outnumbered. Werewolves (that share a truce with the Shadowhunters) intervene and save them. These are led by Luke. At the Institute, Clary shares a romantic evening with Jace, ending in a kiss. When Simon confronts Clary about it, she downplays the incident, angering Jace. Simon confesses to Clary that he is in love with her, leaving her feeling guilty because she does not reciprocate his feelings.Clary realizes the Mortal Cup is hidden inside one of Madame Dorothea’s tarot cards that were painted by her mother. The group goes to Dorothea’s apartment but she has been replaced by a demon sent to steal the Cup. Simon and Jace kill it, but Alec is critically wounded. Clary retrieves the Mortal Cup and they return to the institute. Clary gives the Mortal Cup to Hodge who betrays them by summoning Valentine Morgenstern and giving him the cup. Valentine reveals he is Clary’s father and wants her to join him. She escapes through a portal that transports her to Luke’s bookstore. Luke, revealed to be a werewolf, confirms that Valentine is her father, and says Clary had an older brother named Jonathan who was killed. Luke and his werewolf pack return to the Institute with Clary to fight Valentine, who has summoned an army of demons through a portal he created. Simon and Isabelle close the portal with help from a repentant Hodge, who sacrifices himself. Meanwhile, Magnus Bane arrives and heals Alec.Clary and Jace fight Valentine, who claims both are his children. They refuse to join him and, following a battle, Clary pushes him through the portal after giving him a fake Mortal Cup. The portal is destroyed, and Jocelyn is rescued, but she remains in a coma at the hospital. Clary tells Simon that someday someone will love him. Clary heads back home and uses her new-found powers to repair the apartment. Jace appears on his motorcycle, confessing he needs her and wants her to return to the Institute. Realizing that she belongs in the Shadowhunter world, she goes with him and they ride into the distance.The film has had some very harsh critics and after seeing the movie, I don’t understand it. Luckily I ignored the bad critics and I liked it.