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jboothmillard

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Throne of Blood, 29 May 2015
6/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Directed by Akira Kurosawa (Rashomon, Ikiru, Seven Samurai, Ran), I found this Japanese film in the book 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die, I was hoping it would be a film that lives up to this recommendation like many of the other titles included have. Basically it is a loose and reversioned adaptation of William Shakespeare's Macbeth, set in 16th Century Japan. General Taketoki Washizu (Toshirô Mifune) and his commander Yoshiaki Miki (Minoru Chiaki) have secured military victory on the battlefield, but they find themselves lost in the maze of the dense Spider's Web Forest. There they discover a spirit, a mysterious old woman, who foresees and tells them their futures, that they will be promoted following the victory, Washizu will someday be the Great Lord of the Spider's Web castle, while Miki's son will someday rule as Great Lord as well. They find their way back to the castle, and the first part of this prophecy does indeed come true, but Washizu has no desire to become the Great Lord, his ambitious wife Lady Asaji Washizu (Isuzu Yamada) urges him to reconsider. The current Great Lord makes a surprise visit to the garrison outpost, but Washizu's wife reminds of dangers that will come when he is again promoted to commander of his vanguard, pressure continues to mount for Washizu, and his actions lead to an inevitable conclusion. Also starring Takashi Shimura as Noriyasu Odagura, Akira Kubo as Yoshiteru Miki, Takamaru Sasaki as Kuniharu Tsuzuki and Hiroshi/Yôichi Tachikawa as Kunimaru Tsuzuki. To be honest, I paid the most attention to the battle scenes, and a little of the scheming and eerie sequences, I found it either too quiet or too talkative in moments, but you cannot deny the quality of camera movement, sets and costumes, I'm not sure it's something I'd be eager to see again personally, but overall it is a worthwhile period drama. Good!

The C Word (2015) (TV)
The C Word, 23 May 2015
8/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I saw the advert for this one off drama/TV movie, I was initially attracted to watching it because of the fantastic leading actress, but then of course knowing it was real life being recreated made it even more interesting. Basically twenty eight year old Lisa Lynch (Sheridan Smith) works as a magazine editor and has been married to husband Pete (Paul Nicholls) for eighteen months, they are planning a trip to the States, but then she finds a lump on her breast. Lisa visits a doctor, who advises she see a specialist, her friends do not think it will be anything serious, but she is devastated to be told that she has breast cancer, with a large tumour growing, but they are prepared to operate if Lisa is willing to lose the breast and undergo chemotherapy. To help herself cope Lisa starts an online journal, referring to her illness as "The Bullsh*t", calling it "Alright Tit, her friends having read it her friends encourage her to turn it into a public blog, to inspire and help others in the same predicament, and she goes ahead writing about the cancer wittily and with no self-pity. The mastectomy operation goes ahead and is successful, so Lisa starts chemotherapy and chemotherapy, meaning the loss of her hair, and she her removed breast replaced and a new nipple tattooed, this goes on for a while until the doctors believe the cancer has subsided, they allow her to take a break from therapy to go on holiday, and she publishes her experiences in her book, "The C Word". However in 2011 secondary cancer returns, it has spread to the bones and brain and is terminal and incurable, Lisa is given a certain amount of time predicted to live, she spent most of the rest of the time she had left in Trinity Hospice, London, supported by her husband. Lisa Lynch passed away on 11 March 2013, aged 33, her blog and social media accounts continue to be updated by members of her family. Also starring Stephanie Vogt as Sara, Tom Hutch as Jack, Marcus Griffiths as Pete's Colleague, Rebekah Staton as Gabby, Susannah Fielding as Abigail, Jamie Baughan as Sam, Silas Carson as Consultant, Michael Maloney as Ian McFarlane, Haydn Gwynne as Jane McFarlane, Nate Fallows as Jamie McFarlane, Chrissie Cotterill as Nurse, Peter Landi as Anaesthetist and Orla Fitzgerald as Mary - Chemo Nurse. Smith, who was friends with the real life Lisa Lynch gives a fantastic as the lively young woman given life changing bad news, but rather than wallow or go downhill she inspired, and gave hope and comfort to many other cancer patients, Stephen Fry praised her blog as being "funny and brilliant", it is a well thought out, well scripted and well executed look into how such a terrible illness can affect the barer and all around them, but how to cope with it, a must see drama. Very good!

2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Safe House, 23 May 2015
6/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I saw the adverts for this four part drama, the former Doctor Who star and one of the co-stars I recognised was a good reason to watch, and it looked it could be a good thing as well. Basically former police detective Robert (Christopher Eccleston) had a witness in his care, but she was shot dead one night, he also took a bullet and has been struggling with guilt ever since. Following this Robert and his wife Katy (Marsha Thomason) gave up their lives in the big city, to purchase and run a guest house in the Lake District, it was his old boss DCI Mark Maxwell (Peep Show's Paterson Joseph) that suggested that the building could be used as a safe house. Mark sends Robert the Blackwell family, who are being stalked by a man called Michael (Peter Ferdinando), who tried to kidnap their youngest son Joe (Max True), the father David (Jason Merrells) is a former prison officer who has suspended from work for reasons unknown, and estranged from his eldest son Sam (James Burrows) who has abandoned university and is living rough in his car. As time passes the criminal slowly follows the trail to try and find the Blackwells, the family find it difficult to keep up the pretence of being holidaymakers, using new identities, not communicating with the outside world, and generally worrying for their safety, especially wife/mother Ali (Nicola Stephenson) and teenage daughter Louisa (Harriet Cains), and Robert still haunted by his past is, at the same time as protecting the family, trying to find out more about how and why his witness was shot dead. Also starring Christine Tremarco as Becky, Kelly Harrison as Susan Reynolds, Nicholas Moss as Ben and Sarah Smart as Megan. Eccleston does well as the man protecting the family and doing a little investigation as well, Joseph is interesting as his suspicious but reliable boss, and Ferdinando when he comes on is a good threatening villain, the best scenes are when you thin the family will caught, some of the flashbacks to the night of the shooting, and of course the finale, involving a car chase and crash, followed by an execution, I'm not sure it was the most gripping thing, but in general it was a worthwhile crime drama. Good!

Serpico (1973)
Serpico, 21 May 2015
7/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I had always heard about and seen images of this film, specifically because of the leading actor with a beard, and it was a crime drama film I was always going to see, from BAFTA nominated director Sidney Lumet (12 Angry Men, Dog Day Afternoon, Network). Basically, set in the 1960s and early 1970s, in New York City, young Italian descendant Frank Serpico (Golden Globe winning, and Oscar and BAFTA nominated Al Pacino) started out in the New York Police Department as an inexperienced cop who starts out undercover. Unlike his colleagues, Serpico refuses a share of the money that the cops routinely extort from local criminals, mostly drug dealers and pushers, he reports this to a superior, but they refuse to take any attitude, and over the years Serpico becomes outcast and rejected by his colleagues, he ends up harassed by them and his personal life is affected. It is during a drugs bust on February 3rd 1971 that Serpico is betrayed by colleagues and ends up shot in the face, he recovers from his injury and testifies before the Knapp Commission, a government enquiry into NYPD police corruption, he takes the stand on a grand jury investigation, and in the end he receives a New York City Police Department Medal of Honor, a disability pension and moves to Switzerland following his resignation. Also starring John Randolph as Sidney Green, Jack Kehoe as Tom Keough, Biff McGuire as Captain McClain, Barbara Eda-Young as Laurie, Cornelia Sharpe as Leslie, Tony Roberts as Bob Blair, John Medici as Pasquale, Allan Rich as D.A. Tauber, Norman Ornellas as Rubello, Edward Grover as Lombardo, Albert Henderson as Peluce, Hank Garrett as Malone, Damien Leake as Joey, Joseph Bova as Potts, Gene Gross as Captain Tolkin, M. Emmet Walsh as Gallagher, Judd Hirsch as Cop, Tony Lo Bianco as Cop, Kenneth McMillan as Charlie, Tracey Walter as Street Urchin and F. Murray Abraham as Detective Partner. Pacino gives a good performance as the real life cop who helped expose the corruption of cops taking hush-money and bribes and becomes a marked man, I will be honest and say that I found most of the picture rather talky, it was interesting in some parts, but for me the best sequences were those of action, e.g. the raid where Serpico gets shot, but overall it is a worthwhile police thriller based on a true story. It was nominated the Oscar for Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium, it was nominated the BAFTA for the Anthony Asquith Award for Film Music for Mikis Theodorakis, and it was nominated the Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture - Drama. Very good!

The Travelling Players, 11 May 2015
5/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I would not have known about this Greek film if it had not been featured in the book 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die, it was rated well by critics as well, so I hoped it was worth it, directed by Theodoros Angelopoulos (Landscape in the Mist). Basically a group/troupe of travelling players, i.e. stage performers, travel through Greece attempting to perform the popular erotic drama Golfo the Shepherdess. The film is a trawl through historical events between 1939 and 1952, as experienced by the travelling players, these events affect all villages they visit, hence the performance of the play is not always successful or completed. The historical events seen are the last year of the dictatorship of fascist prime minister Ioannis Metaxas, the war between Greece and the Italians, the occupation of the Nazis, the liberation, the civil war between left and right wingers and the intervention of Greek politics by the British and the Americans. The film is also seeing the lives of the characters themselves, with jealousy and betrayal more, this includes Aegisthus (Vangelis Kazan) is an informer and collaborator working with German occupiers, and Orestes (Petros Zarkadis) fighting with the leftists, avenges the death of his father by killing his mother and Aegisthus, he is arrested for guerrilla activities and executed in prison. Orestes's sister Elektra (Eva Kotamanidou) helps the leftists and aids her brother in his vengeance, after his death he continues the work of the troupe and her relationship with Pyladis (Kiriakos Katrivanos), Elektra's younger sister Chrysothemis (Maria Vassiliou) collaborates with the Germans, becomes a prostitute during the occupation, during the liberation sides with the British, and later marries an American. Orestes's close friend Pyladis is a communist exiled by the regime of Metamax, he joins the guerrillas and gets arrested and is exiled again, finally after being tortured he is forced to sign a denunciation of the left by the right wing and he is released from prison a few years later. Also starring Stratos Pachis as Agamemnon, Aliki Georgouli as Elektra's Mother, Stratos Pahis as Elektra's Father, Giannis Fyrios as Accordionist and Grigoris Evangelatos as Poet. To be honest, most of the description above is not written by me, it was for me a rather complicated film, I got the parts of the players trying to perform their play while history goes on in the background, and some of the character stories caught my attention a little, but there were loads of slow moments with no dialogue and not much action, critics are right when they said you need patience to watch this film, I don't think I had enough for it, especially it being almost four hours long, but it's not a bad epic political drama. Worth watching!

Wadjda (2012)
Wadjda, 11 May 2015
8/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I heard about this Saudi Arabian when it was talked about on Film 2012 with Claudia Winkleman and Danny Leigh, and then I found it as a new edition to the book 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die, so I hoped for something good. Basically ten year old Saudi Arabian girl Wadjda (Waad Mohammed) lives with her Mother (Reem Abdullah) in the capital city Riyadh, she dreams of one day owning and riding a green bicycle from a store that she passes on her way to school every day. Wadjda wants to race against neighbourhood boy and friend Abdullah (Abdullrahman Al Gohani) who has his own bicycle, but girls riding on bikes is frowned upon, almost banned in fact, Wadjda's mother refuses to buy her daughter a bike. While her mother is distracted trying to convince her husband, Wadjda's Father (Sultan Al Assaf), to take a second wife, Wadjda is selling mixtapes, hand-braiding bracelets for classmates and acting as teachers' go-between, along with other forbidden school yard activities, hoping to raise the money herself to buy the bicycle. Following encounters with the strict headmistress, Wadjda sees an opportunity to make the money she needs to pay for the bike, entering and participating in a Quran recital competition, with a cash prize of SR1,000 (about $270 US dollars), so she studies and learns the Quran word by word, which impresses her teacher. When it finally comes to the competition Wadjda is delighted to win the competition, pleasing the headmistress and teachers, but she announces her intention to buy a bicycle with the cash prize, the headmistress is unimpressed with this and tells that the money will be donated on her behalf to Palestine instead. Wadjda returns home devastated, and finding that her father has taken a second wife, but her mother surprises her, for her achievement at the competition, she has bought the green bicycle she has always wanted from the store, and in the end Wadjda is able to win in a race against Abdullah. Also starring Ahd as Ms. Hussa, Rafa Al Sanea as Fatima, Dana Abdullilah as Salma and Rehab Ahmed as Noura. Mohammed gives an endearing performance as the title character who is a tomboy and will do anything to get her beloved bicycle, the supporting cast are all good as well, I agree the story is simple and easy to slip into, but it is indeed much more interesting baring in mind the topics of Saudi Arabia, including martial law, restrictions for women concerning travel and the importance of religion and the Quran in the country, following the release of the film though the law has been lifted on women riding bicycles, so a great result, it is a terrific drama film. It was nominated the BAFTA for Best Film not in the English Language. Very good!

2 out of 15 people found the following review useful:
Avengers: Age of Ultron, 9 May 2015
7/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Avengers Assemble was a brilliant coming together of all Marvel comic book fans' favourite superheroes in the same film, so it was no wonder that there would be a follow up, directed by returning Avengers director and Buffy the Vampire Slayer creator Joss Whedon. Basically, continuing from the events of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, the Avengers: Iron Man aka Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), the Hulk aka Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo), Captain America aka Steve Rogers (Chris Evans), Black Widow aka Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) and Hawkeye aka Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner) fight against the forces of Hydra following the exposure of S.H.I.E.L.D. They capture Baron Wolfgang von Strucker (King Kong's Thomas Kretschmann), who had been experimenting on humans using the sceptre previously wielded by Loki, they encounter two of the experimented humans, twins Pietro Maximoff aka Quicksilver (Kick-Ass's Aaron Taylor-Johnson), who has superhuman speed, and Wanda Maximoff aka Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen, Mary-Kate and Ashley's sister), who can manipulate minds and project energy, but they retrieve the sceptre. Within the sceptre's gem, Stark and Banner discover is an artificial intelligence, and in secret use it to complete Stark's global defence program called "Ultron", but Ultron (James Spader) becomes a sentient being and believes that the world will be saved by eradicating humanity. So Ultron begins his plan by eliminating Stark's A.I., Jarvis (Paul Bettany), attacking the Avengers at their headquarters, stealing the sceptre, upgrading his rudimentary body at Strucker's Sokovia base, and building an army of robot drones, he then kills Strucker and recruits the Maximoff twins, they hold Stark responsible for killing their parents with his weaponry, and obtain vibranium from arms dealer Ulysses Klaue (Andy Serkis), they Avengers pursue them, but Wanda stalls the heroes with haunting visions, until stopped by Stark's anti-Hulk armour. Following some destruction and the threat of Wanda's mind manipulation, the Avengers go into hiding at Barton's safe house, Thor goes to consult with Dr. Erik Selvig (Stellan Skarsgård) on the meaning of the apocalyptic future he saw in his hallucination, and meanwhile Romanoff and Banner are finding mutual attraction for each other, but Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) shows up and encourages the Avengers to form a plan to stop Ultron. The team's friend Dr. Helen Cho (Claudia Kim) is forced by Ultron into using her synthetic tissue technology, the vibranium and the sceptre's gem to perfect a new body for him, uploading himself into his new body Wanda is able to read his mind and discovers his plan for human extinction, she and Petro turn on him, Captain America, Black Widow and Hawkeye find Ultron and retrieve the synthetic body, but Romanoff is kidnapped. The Avengers are fighting amongst themselves, but Jarvis is found still alive, having been hidden by Ultron in the internet, Stark uploads him into the synthetic body, to become physical being "Vision" (Bettany), Thor returns and explains that the gem is one of the six Infinity Stones, the most powerful objects in existence, settling their differences the Avengers, along with Vision and the Maximoffs group together to stop Ultron. To cause global extinction Ultron has used the remaining vibranium to build a machine to lift a large part of the capital city skyward, he intends to crash it into the ground, Banner rescues Romanoff and becomes the Hulk to fight, the other heroes fight against the may machines, while Fury, Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders), James Rhodes aka War Machine (Don Cheadle) and S.H.I.E.L.D. agents in the Helicarrier evacuate civilians. Pietro is killed, Wanda is enraged and abandons her post to destroy Ultron's body, allowing one of the drones to activate the machine, the city plummets, but the machine is overloaded by Stark and Thor and the landmass is shattered, in the aftermath the Hulk departs, unwilling to be with Romanoff and endanger her, while the Vision confronts and eliminates Ultron's last remaining body. In the end the Avengers have established a new base, run by Fury, Hill, Chpo and Selvig, Thor returns to Asgard to learn more about the manipulation of recent events from forces he suspects are coming, Stark and Barton depart, Rogers and Romanoff prepare to train and welcome new Avengers: Rhodes, Vision, Sam Wilson aka Falcon (Anthony Mackie) and Wanda. In the mid-credits scene, Thanos (Josh Brolin), seen in Guardians of the Galaxy, is dissatisfied by the failure of those who have tried to conquer the world, he vows to retrieve the Infinity Stones himself. Also starring Idris Elba as Heimdall, Hayley Atwell as Peggy Carter, Linda Cardellini as Laura Barton, Julie Delpy as Madame B and Stan Lee cameos as a military veteran who attends the Avengers' bar victory party. The cast still all do very well, Downey Jr. quipping, Evans being the sensible fighter, Ruffalo as the man who turns big and green, Hemsworth as the long-haired warrior, Johansson being the confident female, and Jackson being the guiding head figure. The only tiny problems I have with this sequel is that the story is not as compelling as the previous Avengers film, and the villain being artificial intelligence is not completely menacing, despite a chilling voice by Spader, but you can slip into it enough, and there are no complaints to had about the spectacular set pieces and special effects to create to create all the superhero gadgets and gimmicks and explosive sequences, it is a worthwhile action fantasy adventure. It was nominated the Oscar for Best Visual Effects, and it was nominated the BAFTA for Special Visual Effects. Very good!

"Poldark" (2015)
Poldark, 7 May 2015
6/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I found out in the Radio Times that this was a remake of a 1970s BBC series, and I was most interested by the casting of the lead actor in the title role, so I watched hoping for something good. Basically, set in the 18th Century, Captain Ross Poldark (Being Human's Aidan Turner) was a soldier fighting in the American War of Independence, i.e. the American Revolution, he returns home to Cornwall, England after three years in the army, with a scar on his face. Upon his return Ross finds that his father has died, his estate is in ruins, and his sweetheart Elizabeth (Heida Reed) has found new love and is engaged to his cousin Francis (Kyle Soller), later his uncle Charles (A Clockwork Orange's Warren Clarke) dies. Demelza (Eleanor Tomlinson) is a young woman taking a beating, but Ross rescues her and takes her into his home, he eventually takes her on as his kitchen maid, however over time they develop closer affection, to the point when she becomes pregnant, so they marry and raise a child together. Over the series Ross does at one point try to win Elizabeth back, faces the challenge of making the land productive, he ventures into business opening the tin/copper mines, he cares for his tenants Demelza, Jud Paynter (Philip Davis) and Prudie (Beatie Edney) who rely on him, and he gains enemies, particularly George Warleggan (Jack Farthing). The series is essentially focusing on the challenges and conflicts between the rich and the poor. Also starring Ruby Bentall as Verity, Richard Harrington as Captain Andrew Blamey, original Poldark star Robin Ellis as Reverend Halse and Dr. Luke Norris as Dr. Dwight Enys. Turner is a very good choice for the dashing lead character, he became an instant sex symbol, Tomlinson is likable as his red-headed wife, many of the supporting cast members do well also, I will admit that I am not the biggest fan of programmes set in the olden days, some of the show was dull and slow, but the interesting moments included the mine scenes, the love triangle, the pregnancy and birth, a court case, Demelza and the baby's serious illness, a man trying to ruin Poldark's business, a shipwreck and much more, so it is a worthwhile period drama. Good!

2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Ordinary Lies, 29 April 2015
8/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The trailer for this series on BBC1 made it look like a cross between a comedy and a drama, and it had a fantastic cast of comedy and soap stars that made it look even more appealing, the title made it obvious what it was about, and I'm happy to say I watched it all. Basically the series revolves around the lives of the "ordinary" people working at JS car dealership, all of whom have dark secrets, each episode sees an individual character's story escalate as their lies grow and shocking consequences occur, one character is usually focused more than others, but the other stories play out in each episode as well. Marty McLean (Jason Manford) is a down on his luck salesman who lies that his wife has died to keep his job, and in the process also gains the affections of lonely accountant Grace (Rebecca Callard, daughter of Coronation Street's Beverly, aka Liz McDonald). Tracy (Coronation Street's Michelle Keegan) is a receptionist at JS who becomes involved with drug trafficking, which causes her friend Viv (Cherelle Skeete) to get arrested abroad for possession. Kathy Kavanagh (Coronation Street's Sally Lindsay) is the personal secretary for showroom owner and boss Mike Hill (Hotel Babylon's Max Beesley) whose husband Ralf (Tony Maudsley) cannot give her sex and being celibate for years finds Niall (Holby City's Edward MacLiam), but they are forced to keep secret an attack they witness. Rick (Shazad Latif) is a mechanic having marriage troubles and staying as a guest at Mike's house, he becomes involved with Mike's fifteen year old daughter Ruby (Holly Earl), but he struggles with his feelings for her, knowing she is legally still a child, and it gets worse when, with her consent, he takes her virginity. Pete Blythman (Mackenzie Crook) is a car salesman who used to have a gambling addiction, he had an affair which resulted in a child, the woman he had an affair with and her new partner demand money and threaten he will no longer see his son, and he is also struggling to pay back money to loan companies. Beth Corbin (EastEnders' Jo Joyner) is the deputy manager, her husband Dave (EastEnders' Shaun Dooley) has been missing for sixteen months, in the meantime he has been having an affair with Mike, the police have found Dave just at the point when she was planning to settle with Mike, she struggles to allow Dave back into her life, and what to do about Mike. Also starring Ellie Haddington as Gina Corbin, George Bukhari as car salesman Fat Jason, The Inbetweeners' Belinda Stewart-Wilson as Alison Hill, Mike's estranged wife, Cucumber & Banana's Fisayo Akinade as mechanic Ziggy, The Bill's Cat Simmons as bride-to-be and JS worker Emma, Kris Mochrie as Jez, Emma's fiancé and Erin Shanagher as Katriana Mclean, Marty's wife. The cast all play their parts very well, and the characters they play are all interesting and easy to like, and the situations they get themselves into are actually really gripping, it is a realistic programme with stories you can relate to or just find yourself entranced with, a fantastic British television drama. Very good!

The Raven (2012/I)
The Raven, 29 April 2015
5/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I heard a little about the film during its release in cinemas, but found our much more so when it came to DVD, including the meaning of the title and who the leading actor was playing, so I decided to try it, directed by James McTeigue (V for Vendetta). Basically, set in the 19th Century, in Baltimore, Maryland, writer Edgar Allan Poe (John Cusack), most famous for the short poem "The Raven", is penniless and writing reviews in the Baltimore Patriot newspaper to get by, he is in love and wanting to marry Emily Hamilton (Alice Eve), but he is despised by her father Captain Charles Hamilton (Brendan Gleeson). A mother and her twelve year old daughter are found mysteriously murdered in a locked room, efficient Detective Emmett Fields (Luke Evans) recalls one of the stories of Allen Poe, so the writer is called in to give his verdict, and a short time later the murder of his rival writer Griswold (John Warnaby) occurs, with the murderer inspired by another of Poe's stories. It soon becomes apparent that a serial killer is on the loose and murdering people using the descriptions from the works of Poe, the stories quoted and used during the film are "The Murders in the Rue Morgue", "The Pit and the Pendulum" (the gory death of Griswold), "The Masque of the Red Death", "The Cask of Amontillado" and "The Tell-Tale Heart". But the situation gets much more intense for Poe when the perpetrator uses a diversion to kidnap Emily, she is seen buried alive in a coffin under earth in a shallow grave, which is located beneath the printing floor of Poe's office, Captain Hamilton refuses to call of the search party assigned to find her. Emily is eventually returned and the killer does reveal himself to Poe, it is the newspaper's typesetter Ivan (Sam Hazeldine), he calls himself "Reynolds", he offers Poe a drink and explains his plan, Poe was unaware that the drink had been poisoned, following his story Ivan escapes. In the end Poe is becoming weaker due to the poisoning, (as in real life) he is last seen behaving delirious and rambling by a man on a park bench, with his last moment of strength he says "Tell Fields his last name is Reynolds", his corpse is seen by Fields, but with these words he is able to connect the dots and he does find the killer. Also starring Pirates of the Caribbean's Kevin McNally as Maddux, Oliver Jackson-Cohen as John Cantrell, Pam Ferris as Mrs. Bradley, Brendan Coyle as Reagan, Jimmy Yuill as Captain Eldridge and Dave Legeno as Percy. Cusack gives a performance as the boozy and broke writer turned investigator, and Evans is likable as his police officer sidekick, the story is interesting, with a killer turning dark fiction into reality, there are predictable moments, but the gory moments, the mystery element and the Gothic feel makes this watchable, a not bad period thriller. Worth watching!


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