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Fallen Angels (1998)
Reaches Out & Touches You
Tony Johnson is simply one of the best film animators in Britain today, yet the industry has completely overlooked him.
Fallen Angel is a masterpiece, in that, Tony has done the impossible, on a very limited budget he has produced something that will in the course of time become known as a masterpiece. Somehow, he gathered about him exactly the right group to implement his vision and what a vision it is. On one level Fallen Angel is a road movie where both the journey and destination are magical beyond belief and on the other somehow asks and answers some of the biggest questions that concern us all. Fallen Angel touches the viewer deeply as Johnson mixes up a dazzling recipe using exactly the right plot, narration, soundtrack, artwork and direction. Tony's interpretation of life's mysteries are stunning, never to be forgotten.
Here's some history: Back in 1996 the BBC, a major British television broadcaster presented Fallen Angel late one night during their 'Manga Week' without any fanfare. Now let's fast forward to weeks later, I was at Broadcasting House, the BBC's old HQ in London to review a tech show they were producing and mentioned Tony's film project. The network informed me they had been inundated with requests for repeats and information on the artist/director and this is where it gets really sad and incredibly bewildering, we had on the one hand, a young, very talented artist with real vision and on the other Johnson lives in one of the richest countries in the world with incredible levels of investment capital yet not one investor or broadcaster saw fit to finance his work, none seemingly had the vision required.
Tony went on to create 4 shorts but never got the chance he truly deserved and while the UK is world famous for stop motion animation, the country had for a time, the opportunity to sponsor a true visionary, one whom I believe, could and would have gone on to create ever better films. Here's to you Tony, there IS still time.
Your friend from Guildford.
What stunning set design! and don't forget the superb, atmospheric score as well as the the script which evokes the period so well......but wait, (we shudder to a halt); oh, what a shame, the series is let down by the otherwise excellent cast in first two scenes who, unfortunately, are somewhat wooden, as well as the presentation of bog-standard SFX in the opening scene. Luckily for the viewer, things improve dramatically as the premiere episode moves on. Having said that, the positives far outweigh the negatives. Remember the early episodes of Games of Thrones? Poor, wooden acting that gave way to fluid, competent portrayals of well-known and beloved characters, who today, are household names.
During episode one, we see the cast struggling somewhat to fit their roles as the rest of us dress in our clothes, and yes, there is some fidgeting, as well as a little tugging here and there as we settle into our outfits, the same can be said, somewhat, of Beowulf's cast.
Are the sets realistic? Trust me, the sets are incredible, reflecting the very highest production values, creating exactly the right atmosphere, especially the Hall of the Mountain King which evokes the very best of Tolkienian fantasy. And what about the villages and towns? Incredibly, I believe they have been built from scratch.
Which reminds me, the titles also look amazing, truly of the era.
Where were we? Oh yes, episode one sees Beowulf as a child bereft, having just witnessed the death of his father following a fight against 'mud-born' trolls. Indeed, we see a very young Beowulf seize the moment and finish off the creatures.
Moving on, the audience witnesses the chronology flip forward and we get to see an older, rather more experienced and mature Beowulf returning home to visit with his beloved step-father Hrothgar, played brilliantly by William Hurt who always shines in these types of roles (remember Ridley Scott's Robin Hood?). However, on arriving, we discover Hrothgar dead and the family engaged in power politics with the crown as the prize. What of Beowulf? We find he is unwelcome, unwelcome indeed......
In closing, before turning over, I recommend you give the show the old college try as the adaptation has much to offer and the production behoves us all to persevere because the later episodes are absolutely first class.
Another excellent ITV production deserving of a heroic 8/10
Harry Price: Ghost Hunter (2015)
Superb Period Piece Irrespective of Suspect Contemporary Ideology
Superb, thought-provoking period piece with contemporary and feminist undertones; and there's the rub, in that, usually, I have little time for entertainment projecting contemporary liberal ideology onto period pieces, which, by dint of chronology makes a mockery of us all. However, due to the consistent quality and interesting plot I was able to set my misgivings aside and thoroughly enjoy the film. Following World War 1, known as the the Great War, most British families had lost close family members, many, more than one. As a result there was extensive interest in the afterlife, the spirit world, in that, many people wanted to reach out to their loved ones because for many, they never have had the opportunity to say goodbye, subsequently, the fad produced so-called supernaturalists, deceitful men and women keen to cash in on grieving relatives. Into this environment comes Harry Price, 'ghost hunter', a modern scientist aghast at witnessing these parasites prey on grieving families and seeks to expose both them and their methods. However, Harry, played brilliantly by Rafe Spall, succumbs to 'evoking' the spirits on behalf of a grieving soldier but the well-meaning deceit goes dreadfully wrong and his 'victim' commits suicide leaving Harry bereft. Months later, we find Harry morose and drifting, somewhat hangdog and unemployed. Into this environment arrives a senior opposition politician with an urgent need for Harry's particular skill set; it seems a promising politician's wife is being troubled by the dead and only the Ghost Hunter can help. On Harry's journey to unmask the perpetrators or confront the dead he is ably assisted by Downtons Abbey's Cara Theobold as Sara Green who puts in a marvellous performance as the hard put-upon maid of the haunted household. The supporting cast, Zoe Boyle, Tom Ward and Richie Campbell are competent as well as confident, typical of a quality British production. In closing, I believe there is, within this film the promise of a great TV show if the ITV network which produced the show demonstrates a little vision and courage. All in all a spooky 8/10.
Childhood's End (2015)
Standing On The Shoulders Of A Giant
And boy, did writer Matthew Graham (Life On Mars) get this just right. I cannot imagine how difficult it must have been adapting this novel but if it was to happen then this was the writer to do it. Adapting Arthur C Clarke's seminal, ground-breaking novel was never going to be easy but Graham penned exactly the right script, in oh, so many ways. The Life On Mars writer has been able to portray the Overseers in exactly the right way, compassionate and understanding while withholding the bombshells of all bombshells.
As usual, Charles Dance electrifies and with gravitas, capturing the character Karellen, the representative of an extremely powerful yet enlightened species.
Meanwhile, Mike Vogel has also outdone himself, bringing the Overseers human interceder Ricky Stormgren to life, and what growth, from the middling performance as Dale Barbie in CBS's Under The Dome, to the wise, everyday farmer who has seen that humanity urgently needs to tread a different path in Childhoods End.
The visual effects are stunning, the soundtrack sublime and the plot enthralling, yet unbelievably, this is a SyFy production, yes you read that right, SYFY; the same channel that brought us the likes of Mega Piranha and Rage of The Yeti while treating us to wrestling, yes, WRESTLING (on the sci-fi channel even) and worse, reality TV paranormal shows that was comparable to watching paint dry, yet, unbelievably, the SyFy Channel have upped their game beyond all recognition, somehow resurrecting themselves to the giddy heights of Stargate SG1, Battlestar Galactica and now, beyond, way beyond. The Expanse, The Magicians and Hunters, all give us, Dear Fan, much to hope for and that sums up what the genre signifies, hope and dreams for the future.
War Book (2014)
Formulating Defences Against Global Annihilation British Style
Other countries often refer to the British as the 'best technocrats in the world' and when you see this film the audience will understand why. From the very first moment this movie has the viewer on the edge of their seat, that is just astonishing considering that the dry subject matter should really send us all to sleep. Essentially, the viewer is a fly on the wall to what seems to be an everyday, peacetime policy unit responding to a fictional geopolitical situation that involves the release of strategic nuclear weapons in a conflict between Pakistan and India. The most incredible thing of all....the guidelines were 100% real, in that what the cast's guidelines and decisions was (is?) the actual policy the British created to deal with regional and global nuclear war.
I cannot recommend this movie enough, everyone must try and grab a copy, sit down and wait to be enthralled. A word of warning, this is not a Michael bay movie with huge, shiny control panels, levers, knobs and buttons, War Book is the real deal, where highly-skilled civil servants role the dice on nuclear annihilation in an desperate attempt to save mankind.
Another interesting aspect of the film is the interaction between the various members of the unit which plays out very well indeed and should be recommended watching for anyone fascinated by intense social interaction, which, by example, shines through the dreadful mediocrity we often see in contemporary drama.
In closing, I've saved the best part for last, unbeknown to the majority of the policy unit, the situation they are war-gaming might not be so fictional after all.............
Humbling Recognition of Fearless Bravery (contains a small spoiler)
What a movie, this is no chocolate-coated Hollywood make believe. First of all the viewer has to realise that unlike so many previous films that describe themselves as 'based upon a true story' this film actually does lay bare the incredible events in 2006 at the Kajaki Dam, stunning the viewer with a credible recreation of the events as well as recognising the magnitude of these soldiers heroism. Every scene in 'Kajaki' has its origin in fact as recorded by numerous witnesses and laid out for the public and press in the numerous inquests that followed. The level of the movie's military realism is exceptional, the locations perfect and the banter strictly 'green army' (regular army). I've taken note of a couple of armchair generals comments, quick to denigrate British troops for their quiet determination and courage, instead they twist it, concluding instead that the soldiers involved were 'incompetent'. Well, take a moment to search for 'Chinook inquest: Caught in the Kajaki landmine trap' I think that the coverage from a notoriously left-wing newspaper with a history of criticising British armed forces will clarify just how brave these young men were and how we the audience should take a moment to pause in wonder at their dedication, resolve, and tenacity. In closing, ask yourselves, exactly how would you do in the middle of a minefield mortally wounded, would you lie there screaming or dress your own wounds, get up, tend to your comrades injuries and arrange transport? These men are giants in the classic sense and it was my privilege to witness them in action.
Wayward Pines (2015)
There Are No Critics In Wayward Pines
Or at least shouldn't be any negative critiques of this wonderful new TV show. WayWard Pines is incredible, the cinematography and locations give the series a unique, almost dream-like chilling quality. The plot, where does one begin? Such a mysterious vibe which could literally take the viewer anywhere. 'Pines' has that classic British television series,'The Prisoner' feel with a secondary element reminiscent of Lynch's Twin Peaks. Does the Wayward Pines formula copy The Prisoner or Twin Peaks? No; however, while 'Pines does borrow a tiny amount from each the recipe was dreamt up in development heaven. Wayward Pines is without a doubt its own series and cements that originality with a competence in direction and production rarely seen on American television these days. Pushed to define the show I would suggest a mix consisting of a Dark City/The Prisoner (British version) atmosphere with a touch of Twin Peaks, a pinch of Lost, Dark Skies (much loved and missed) and Surveillance.
I have a strong feeling 'Pines' will be THE show of 2015
X Company (2015)
It's fantastic to see a new TV drama that puts our current geopolitical struggle into historic perspective; in X Company the audience get to witness how ordinary people rose to the challenge against such overwhelming military adversity to win victory. While we can always rely on our soldiers and intelligence officers, recently our leaders seem somehow weak and more inclined to appease, reflecting a willingness to overlook our enemies ruthlessness and utter hatred for our way of life with bizarre, conflated statements often ignoring the elephant in the room which in turn worries a great many people.
To the show, I love the cinematography, shooting locations have been chosen with great care with matching attention going into the period costume recreating a completely believable period during World War 2. The cast is completely unknown to me apart from Warren Brown, the English detective in 'Luther' (what a show that is!). Hugh Dillon seems up to the task before him though. However, X Company is let down by the script which at times can come across as pedantic, hopefully, this can be addressed by season two.
Another element that inspired me to write this mini-review is how the producers have avoided that particularly American pitfall; pumping themselves up at the expense of their allies. You'll notice in British, Australian and Canadian TV shows covering war they don't get caught in the trap of boosting their own national reputation at the expense of the allies which reflects very well on them and poorly on American producers.
All in all a quality Canadian historical drama which should appeal to both WW2 buffs and viewers looking for something outside of generic cop shows and the dreadful reality TV swamping our TV sets at the moment.
The Casual Vacancy (2015)
Crude Schadenfreude Portraying A Country No-One Recognises
What a huge, filth-ridden crater Rowling has made of her career with the publication of her first 'adult' novel, so it is with no surprise what a perfect bed-fellow she has in the left- leaning British Broadcasting Corporation because we've always known the BBC hate rural Britain and the people that live there but this production takes their bias and distaste to a totally new level and while the BBC portray this as a fictional drama people would be astonished to discover many within the BBC see rural Britain through such a twisted and perverted lens. No-one I've spoken to has for one moment ever been confronted with the behaviour characters in this crude, distasteful rubbish calling itself a modern British drama affect.
I'm appalled but not surprised the BBC are fronting this show however, as I am convinced they believe the behaviour therein is typical of contemporary Britain, perhaps that is so in their little sordid lives, that is not however, the way the rest of us live ours.
We all know how low the quality of BBC productions have fallen in recent years but this truly is a new low.
Agent Carter (2015)
First Class Television
Incredible really, how Haley Atwell and cast along with the writers, costume dept, action/stunt organisers as well as set designers have created something highly unusual: a high quality film production disguised as a TV show. So what exactly has Agent Carter done that's different? Well, dear reader, every scene's astonishing attention to detail might have something to do with it, suggesting the people involved love AC, having taken it to their hearts and boy does it show!
What an amazing breath of fresh air, the dialogue is exceptional, the period design extraordinary, the premise thrilling and the action exciting, somewhat more reminiscent of Indiana Jones than your typical TV fare.
Meanwhile, the ratings reflect audience appreciation, even though the show has not been marketed heavily, episode by episode the numbers have really started to pick up with DVR outdoing live viewing which itself is an outstanding achievement. Agent Carter compares very favourably to AoS as well as Gotham even though they both received a high level of promotion. It is this fact as well as all the other favourable elements that suggests Agent Carter is here to stay and hopefully other networks might learn a lesson or two on how it should be done.
I look forward to many more of Peggy Carters adventures with a reborn sense of fun and excitement!
Marxist Revisionism At It's Best
Shockingly poor with an almost child-like interpretation of historical events seen through the eyes of a dedicated Marxist. The British Army, storm troopers, forces of darkness while the IRA are a happy go lucky bunch of folk-singers, democrats and human rights activists. Honestly, I have never seen such nonsense in my entire life, it's so ridiculous it'd be funny if it wasn't for the damage it causes promoting the idea that was how the British behaved, when reality couldn't be more different.
The IRA weren't the courageous freedom-loving heroes some would like to portray them as, no, instead they were murderous thugs intent on suppressing by knee-capping and murder anyone including women and children who stood in their way. They run the drugs and every other level of criminality in both Ireland and Northern Ireland supported financially by America who stood and smiled as innocent men, women and children were blown to pieces by these 'heroes'.
What a political dinosaur you are Ken Loach, simplistic, naive and dangerous in your attempt as historical revisionism seen through the eyes of a dedicated Marxist, with your self-loathing channelled against your country as though the fault lies with it and not with you.
Fantastic Production Values
No, the show isn't Broadchurch and never could be, it is not set in England. Having got that out of the way I believe the show has real promise with the proviso that Anna Gunn improves and settles into her part.
Tennant of course is superb as usual; however, the real stars of the show is the script, production and direction, all are of unusually high quality; take for example the scene when the Danny's mom is stuck in her car during the traffic jam, she hears that they've found a body....she jumps out of the car and the camera pans to and holds on her son's discarded lunch box, just awesome. The episode is full of classy little scenes like that which drags the show above competitors and I believe will set it among the very best of 2014's American TV drama. Well done Fox!
The Last Ship (2014)
The New Stargate
Without a doubt The Last Ship is on course to be the best show of Summer 2014 and potentially replace Stargate SG1 in our hearts. TLS brings to the screen a freshness and energy rarely seen on our screens in the last few years, battling bravely against seemingly endless amounts of 'reality TV'; shows that reflect a desire to drag us all down to the very lowest common denominator when networks should be aspiring to the very highest standards. The Last Ship does just that with its high production values, quality cast, amazing military authenticity and best of all a fascinating plot. Rhona Mitra shines as the scientist tasked with finding a cure to a weaponised virus that has spread across the globe causing the death of billions; breakdown of authority and the collapse of civilisation. Adam Baldwin looks to steal the show with his good-natured charm and Eric Dane's calm authority lends to his performance as captain of the USS Nathan James. I've never read Brinkley's novel of the same; however, the first thing I did post-show was grab it off ITunes and recommend you do the same.
Weak Weak Weak Weak WEAK
Yet another typical wishy washy BBC fiasco dolled up as entertainment. You just know its a BBC product when they disparage the royal family and mention the Guardian within the first three minutes of the show.
Regarding the royal family, I am sure over at the BBC they think that somehow its 'edgy' and 'real' to knock the head of state's family and that may have been so TWENTY years ago, however, today it just looks dated and another BBC attempt to talk down the country who's people pay their over- priced bills.
The comedy fails on every level, the actors seem to have no love for the series or their parts and boy does it show, the viewer gets the strong impression the cast have no faith in what they are doing while the expression on their faces is one of abject misery, they just don't seem to want to be there, that they the cast all have better things to do , that they deserve FAR better parts but for some reason no-one else recognises their incredible comedic qualities, the dialogue is stilted, weak and forced, as for the writing, it is so unfunny as to beggar description.
Look, this is meant to be a COMEDY yet there is absolutely NOTHING funny about the show whatsoever unless you are a left-wing Guardian- reading Labour voter of 20 years ago and even then that's a real maybe.
The problem with BBC comedy these days is that they are so busy ticking all the politically-correct boxes they fail to realise that any humour a show did have has long since disappeared.
If viewers want to see REAL comedy check out VEEP as an example of what is funny because Ambassadors isn't nothing of the sort and the fact that the BBC keeps trying to sell us the licence-fee payer counterfeit goods reflects that unless they really up their game their day is done.
The BBC Builds Their House On Sand Once Again.
What is it about the BBC recently? The corporation seems incapable of producing decent science fiction and fantasy, seemingly doomed to endlessly churn out generic cop shows, reality TV and unfunny comedy.
In reference to Atlantis, this show is no replacement for Merlin which itself was pretty poor by any standard and once again aimed solely at children. The 'men' are non-threatening, generic and wishy washy with what seems to be damp hands which leaves the viewer with no strong impression whatsoever, while at the same time we're rushed through the story with such bewildering speed it requires the audience to constantly rewind in an effort to make any sense of the plot whatsoever.
To be honest, I am not sure the BBC or TV producers in the UK even know what a typical strong male role model IS any longer. Setting aside belief is the number one requirement for sf and fantasy, however, the quality of young British male actors cast by the BBC seems to make that An impossibility because I just didn't buy into Jason being a stereotypical or non-typical hero of any stripe.
What I really wanted to do was give the actors a really good slap in order to produce at least a modicum of feeling rather than the cardboard cut-outs we were presented with, honestly, if it wasn't for the amazing costumes and sets I feel as though I had been forced to watch a poor quality school play at best.
To the score, to be honest, I'd have given this 1 out of 10 however due to the realistic sets and costumes I'll settle for a 4.
In closing, the problem for the BBC is that science fiction and fantasy or indeed any type of drama cannot rely completely on it's costumes or sets, it is the actors who are the foundation on which a series stands, unfortunately, this house is built on sand.
Strike Back (2010)
24 On Steroids
There is no show or film that has bought this level of war-fighting realism to the screen. It seems that Strike Back through the author Chris Ryan was able to retain the services of real SAS and SBS instructors, something that is a first and omg does it show. Combine that with dedicated really talented actors which again is unheard of, usually your typical action star has the acting range of a brick yet the casting agency has really pulled off a winner. And what about locations? INCREDIBLE, the British intelligence teams operate all over the world in some of the most beautiful areas of the planet.
This show has all the class of James Bond and the barrel-end of SAS-level military realism, America could learn some real lessons from this show.
The Brits could dominate TV if they invested in more shows like this.
This is Bravo Two Zero.....out.
Bluestone 42 (2013)
Priceless Hidden Gem ( Dads Army 2013!)
After the endless grey and dreary BBC content along comes two great shows in a row; Luther and Bluestone 42. Fast, funny and dynamic, the show's recipe of gallows humour mixed with full on combat and a touch of compassionate insight surprises and challenges the viewer's insight into modern warfare as perceived by the British.
I cannot praise the series enough, Bluestone 42 is Dads Army for the 21st century.
If I was honest the only flaw is the little Scots guy, none of us can understand him and he doesn't seem to gel with the rest of the cast.
Particular praise goes to the captain, padre, corporal Mills and corporal Lynda Bird. Supported by colonel Carter and Faruq.
George and the Dragon (2004)
The director didn't even bother to ask his actors for the most part to use European or English accents and that's just the first thing wrong with this farce. There seems to be a ideologically-motivated move in recent years to suggest Crusade Knights were morally enlightened towards their Muslim 'brothers', first we had Kingdom Of Heaven then Robin Hood and now George & The Dragon. The reality was a little different, the hatred of the Crusaders and it's people's against their enemies was legendary due to Muslim ambition, expansion and it's need to have Christian nations 'submit'.
We have poor village children speaking the Queen's English (RP) as well as many other goofs including the statement that forks were a Middle Eastern invention (they originated in China in 2400 BC) I could go on and on but suffice to say it's a waste of your time and eminently unsuitable for children due to it's ideological revisionism.
The Deep (2010)
Mediocrity Thy Name Is The BBC
Mediocre - average: lacking exceptional quality.
The once great BBC has fallen foul yet again to that great modern British attribute; mediocrity. While usually I would applaud the BBC for it's policy on social cohesion the actors inclusion is just well......formulaic. The way in which the BBC put together this drama is almost as though it was drama-by-numbers.
All the building blocks are there:
Ethnic minorities represented (including the new kid on the British block the eastern European) check.
Evil state puppet to attract liberals: check
SF concept to attract males under 45: check
Unnecessary romance to draw in female viewers: check.
Complicated yet vague plot: check.
Sum of all it's parts....FAIL.
The dialogue was ABYSS-mal, the characters seemed to ALIENate the audience rather than draw them and I do understand why viewers might seem DEEPly LOSTed when watching it.
Shining Through Mediocrity.
Bias, it's a terrible thing I know but I have to admit I AM biased,biased against police drama's, for me they signify the apathy and mediocrity at the heart of British and American television.
However, occasionally along comes a series that sits so far above the grey landscape of indifference that it blinds by the light of it's creativity, one such show is the British drama 'Luther'. The show's direction takes the viewer helter skelter into the very heart and soul of John Luther, a dedicated senior police officer in a constant struggle to retain his moral compass because he dares to use questionable methods to ensure justice for victims of the most brutal crimes within a labyrinthine bureaucracy of a legal system whose very existence seems intent in ensuring the path towards a successful arrest and conviction is as difficult as possible.
Idris Elba is excellent at portraying this wrought, fallible but noble detective John Luther, which reflects once again how far Elba's acting range can reach post The Wire. The audio track is charged, insightful and electric, employing talents such as Emiliana Torrini and her track 'Gun'.
One of the more interesting back stories is the role of Alice Morgan, a young multiple murderess (played brilliantly by Ruth Wilson) who gives Luther chilling insight into the minds of his suspects while challenging him on sexual, intellectual and moral levels, intent on drawing him further inwards to the heart of her passion, John can see this, it both frightens and attracts him leaving the audience on a constant cliff-edge awaiting his fate. 'Luther' reminds me of 'the number 23' and how obsession can destroy and destroy utterly taking everything and everyone with it.
A triple A show among E-average competition.
A for effort
I liked the concept and interpretation a lot. While the film has some very special moments I do feel that with extra funding this could have been a solid platform leading to a new cross genre, one that offers elements of both Norse mythology and deep science fiction concepts. With so many films today being based on generic content the time is well overdue for a new IP. It reminded me of Silicon Knight's 'Too Human', Predator and 'Beowolf' reflecting their good points strongly while remaining true to Outlanders vision and never committing overt plagiarism. My heart went out to John Hurt, James Cavaziel, Sophie Myles and Jack Houston all excellent actors who with better direction could have shot this film into the depths of space rather than 'just' orbit.
All in all a very good effort.
The Fixer (2008)
A very strong cast with interesting plot lines. I am fascinated at the interaction between the four main characters, fractious yet bound together by circumstances beyond their control; however these are situations of their own making, each wounded with many redeemable qualities, attributes that may save or destroy them.
The action scenes are direct, no nonsense yet never indulgent, in your face violence that reflects the nature of the beast with great realism.
The situations the team find themselves in, dealing with issues most worrying the public at the moment, how to manage some of the problems that exist in our society that traditional policing can't or won't act upon, damage control as it were, perhaps for incompetent political policy at the highest level?
Wind Chill (2007)
Actors To Watch
Rare, its rare that a film with so few actors can not only hold a audience but make for a really entertaining experience. Ashton Holme's vulnerable 'guy' is performed with a skill belying his age, I really felt the attraction yet frustration he emotes for his passenger however that said this film is really a platform for Emily Blunt.
Emily's performance in 'Wind Chill' is mesmerising, even given the script limits Emily shows us how it should be done, Susan Sarandon wasn't wrong when she described Blunt as one of the finest newcomers she'd worked with in recent years, perhaps ever.
In closing my one hope that they both are given the opportunity to shine as actors of extraordinary talent.
Doctor Who (2005)
Rusell T Davies has ruined Dr Who with his political correctness and now it's spin-off 'Torchwood'. No-one really has an issue with homosexuality in the 21st century but to stuff it down our throats constantly is a little sad. Its like someone playing their dads old 45's and pleading with us that they're cool. RTD reminds me of that character from Little Britain who attempts to shock everyone with his preferred sexual choices. When Davies found that the ninth Dr Who was a hit I am sure he assumed that it was because we all wanted to see more mixed-race affairs, homosexual encounters and more faux-cockney 'real' people. If the bbc's dr who producers ever read this PLEASE watch the ORIGINAL series with William Hartnell, directed by Warris Hussein a British- Indian director in 1963, now THATS progressive! Dr Who originally was edgy, mature and chilling, just look at 'Unearthly Child' produced long before it frightened little johnny fart-pants and was re-written, the bbc with its typical blinkered view surrendered to suburban sensibilities and ignored the fact it was a total smash with adults.
Mission: Impossible III (2006)
A Second-Rate Bond Movie At Best
Mainland China as a location. Cardboard cut-out villain. Yep, we've seen it all before ten years ago and it was better then too. There just doesn't seem to be the level of realism in Impossible Mission films that comes anywhere near the Bond movies. The plot line is so hackneyed and old to beggar belief. The only new addition is using surgical implants to demand co-operation which was ruined when the team ran their ops against the bad guys KNOWING they were at risk with no protection against same. Don't get me wrong, i will happily watch far-fetched scenario's all day as long as they have that one magic ingredient ENTERTAINMENT value. But the failure to entertain just makes watching painful followed by intense irritability.
I've seen Hollywood try spy movies before and the best I can say is they are a mixed-bag with a good nine tenths fertiliser. Exceptions being True Lies and Three Days Of The Condor. Examples such as The Ipcress File, Ice Station Zebra,The Spy Who Came In From The Cold and Michael Caine's 'Harry Palmer' films were all non Hollywood. If Hollywood IS going to attempt the spy genre I wish they'd do their homework. I have to say how disappointed I was with Mr Abrams's work, I had hoped for something special after LOST and ALIAS.
You have been disavowed JJ.