Reviews

4 ReviewsOrdered By: Date
Hustle (2004–2012)
A Breath of Fresh Air For Television Viewers
15 January 2006
After only two episodes on AMC, this spunky show has already added itself to my must-see TV list. This innovative BBC show, created by Tony Jordan follows the charmingly malevolent capers of five con artists in swanky modern London. The rogues gallery includes Mickey "Bricks" Stone (Adrian Lester), a charming debonair "inside man" who has never missed on a con, with a perfect record of 49 successful jobs, before being jailed on an unrelated charge. Now he's back on the streets and ready to get to work again, calling together the rest of the team. The other team members include Albert Stroller (Robert Vaughn) a charismatic older con man who serves as a mentor to the young group, Ash Morgan (Robert Glenister) the quirky, yet charming technogeek who is to Hustle as "Q" is to James Bond, Stacie Munroe (Jaime Murray) the alluring female component that is necessary for every caper, and newbie Danny Blue (Marc Warren) a sarcastically charming down and out master of the short con who learns of Mickey Stone and his infamous team through a mutual friend. The acting is terrific, and each team member works to make the ensemble a cohesive and chemistry rich whole. Not to mention a jazzy, eclectic atmosphere which exudes a neo-1920s-esque level of cool. With hip jazz infused music, elegant and suave art direction and scripts that crackle with wit, HUSTLE proves to be an enrapturing and entertaining instant hit!
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9/10
One of the Best Films of this Year; One of the Best Thrillers of All Time
14 January 2006
To begin with, this film has an amazing atmosphere which rivals classics like Fernando Mereilles's City of God and Steven Spielberg's Schindler's List. The cinematography is gritty, saturated, and contrasted. Coupled with phenomenal editing and a score of heart-wrenching traditional African music, The Constant Gardener is deeply rooted in a realistic and passionate world. Beyond the realm of aesthetics, the film is elevated to an instant classic. The script, adapted from the critically acclaimed novel by John lie Carre by relatively unproved screenwriter Jeffrey Caine is provoking, moving, and enthralling, supported by an amazing cast that includes Ralph Fiennes, Rachel Weisz, Danny Huston, Bill Nighy, Pete Postlethwaite, and Richard McCabe who all perform at the top of their game.

The story follows British diplomat Justin Quayle (portrayed by Ralph Fiennes in one of his strongest and most moving performances to date) on a quest to find out who killed his beloved wife, an outspoken activist named Tessa (Rachel Weisz). The deception and conspiracy stretches much farther than he could ever have guessed, as he becomes entangled in a quagmire of intrigue involving major British pharmaceutical companies.

This intense film functions not only as a fantastic, on the edge of your seat thriller, but is an emotional and grief-ridden tale of love, death, and retribution. Although heavily criticized in the media for its wordy pretentiousness and erroneous liberal agenda, The Constant Gardener is, in my opinion, one of the best and most gripping human dramas in recent years.
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8/10
An Almost Perfect Romantic Comedy
12 January 2006
In an age in which Hollywood has been lambasted for its lack of fresh new movies, the romantic comedy sub-genre has taken leaps and bounds (largely under the critical radar, but nevertheless vastly significant). In my opinion Wedding Crashers can be safely added to the cannon of recent smash successes. The film, which follows the dynamic journey of two wild wedding crashing bachelors (played with heavy dollops of charisma and chemistry by the incomparable comic team of Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson) as they wrestle with life's dilemmas and love. As aforementioned Vaughn and Wilson are spectacular, delivering nearly flawless, hilarious, yet emotional deep and touching performances. The supporting team is just as praiseworthy. Rachel McAdams who has proved her acting chops in pieces as varied as The Notebook, Mean Girls, and Red Eye once again shows off her inimitable charm as the extremely likable yet troubled Claire Cleary. Christopher Walken is brilliant as always in the role of Secretary of Treasury William Cleary and Jane Seymour, renown for the title role on the long running CBS drama Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman, gives an inspired (however clichéd) turn as Mrs. Cleary. Isla Fisher (Gloria) and Henry Gibson (Father O'Neill) round out a talented and quirky cast with Ellen Albertini Dow in a bit role as the Cleary's opinionated bigot of a grandmother.

The script, craftily penned by Steve Faber and Bob Fisher, works brilliantly as a comedy, but where the story really succeeds is in its poignant portrayal of human love and what that REALLY means. This is far more than just a "sex comedy," as it may appear on the exterior, rather a laugh a minute, but touching journey with some of the most likable, yet flawed, characters you're likely to meet.
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Strange Days (1995)
6/10
Not my type of movie , but it succeeds nonetheless
7 November 2005
I don't usually like dark, apocalyptic films but I rented this on a whim because of the names attached and some good review comments on the box, and boy am I glad I did. This movie is head and shoulders above most others in this genre, deftly avoiding the traps these movies often fall into. It has an intriguing plot line full of wonderfully philosophical brain fodder that keeps you pondering and considering to the very end in true James Cameron style. The film is totally and unabashedly committed to its story, which is really the only way one can buy into this type of film and it approaches tough, controversial and serious subjects uninhibitedly in a raw, visceral, and emotional way. There is also some very fine acting here: Ralph Fiennes as always is superb and adds an unexpected gritty realism to such a fresh, wonderful character. Angela Bassett is exemplary as well and gives you a strong female hero to connect with and root for. Despite some of its great strengths, the movie has some very inherent flaws as well. Despite the interesting plot, the script seems not to delve quite deep enough into the essential themes of the film, it entices you with some excellent moments and backs off as if it is afraid of being too thoughtful of a film. The ending (which I will not reveal) is played up to be extremely mind-blowing, while in reality it is quite predictable. The artistic direction is also boring, offering nothing new and exciting for the viewer just giving you the same old violent fiery urban wasteland that has become so clichéd over the years. Juliette Lewis is notably underwhelming as well, not up to her usual par, she gives us a distinctly 2d character. Despite these flaws the film remains an intriguing success.
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