Wednesday, 11th July 2012
If you get a film that is starring one of Hollywood's top actors and he is supposedly playing the role of a baddie then you know that something strange is going on. In this particular movie Denzel Washington is playing the part of a former CIA operative that has gone over to the dark side and is selling information to America's enemies. Or so we are led to believe. Since when did Denzel Washington ever play the part of a bad guy? You could probably count those roles on two fingers. So even though his character in this film is being made out to be a bad guy you know that deep down he really isn't and surprise, surprise when that information is rolled out to the audience it doesn't really come as much of a shock. The thing is that ever since Washington dropped off the CIA radar he is supposed to be selling information about the company to its enemies making him top of their wanted list. Eventually he is tracked down to South Africa and is taken to a safe house that is manned by Ryan Reynolds, otherwise known as the poor man's Matt Damon. Reynolds is holding down a CIA job on the very lowest rungs of the ladder and he never could have imagined that he would have come into contact with someone so notorious as Washington. So when the order comes through that he has to take care of those that have Washington as well as Washington himself he thinks that this is the big chance that he was always dreaming of. If he can make a success of this then maybe he will get a significant posting somewhere else. Of course though things don't run very smoothly for him. The safe house is attacked and he has to make a run for it with Washington in tow. So now Reynolds not only has Washington's safety on his hands he also has to contend with a group of professionals that are out to kill them both. It soon becomes clear that the reason people want Washington dead is that he has too much information about the CIA top brass and their nefarious history. In actual fact Washington is far from the bad guy that he has been made out to be and when Reynolds finally understands this he realises that there is a lot more at stake here then he first thought. Running alongside this storyline there is a romance that Reynolds is involved with. While it is understood that in most films, no matter the genre, there will always be a bit of a romance even if it feels a bit tacked on here that feeling is more pronounced. The romance that Reynolds is having has absolutely nothing to do with the film overall and you really have to wonder what the producers were thinking when they decided that this movie needed a bit of romance to help things along. Granted the film does need something to help it along but it certainly isn't this misjudged romance. While the acting and production values are second to none on this movie the real problem it has is with the script. It is just not up to scratch, everything about it is just off and unconvincing. While the film might look good it just doesn't feel right. In fact if anything this is just a mediocre offering that doesn't have a lot going for it. You might enjoy this movie but to do that you have to have a little less than a few cells knocking about in your brain.
Karl Pilkington, An Idiot Abroad
When this series first came out on Sky it attracted a lot of attention considering that it was the time that it was thought that Ricky Gervais could do no wrong. A lot of people probably watched it and just didn't get the joke but now that it has been some time since it was first aired its good to have another go and see if it is indeed up to much. The quick answer has to be that yes the series is up to much, a lot in fact and that is all down to the character of Karl Pilkington himself. The guy is hilarious but what really makes it so good is that the guy is unintentionally hilarious. It is obvious that Gervais and Merchant know what makes him tick and what buttons to press when they want him to go off on one and they constantly put him in situations where he will go off on one. Karl is unimpressed by everything that he sees, no matter where in the world that he is. He could be visiting some of the greatest natural or man made wonders that the world has to offer and it will mean nothing to him. He will pick on the one thing to moan about and shut his eyes to everything else. In fact Karl is a world class complainer and it is jaw achingly funny to see him to be put in situations where his complaining is allowed to flourish. His complaining is only bettered by the situations that Gervais and Merchant think up to push him to his limit. Just when you think that they couldn't think of anything worse for him they come along and top what they have just done. Part of the appeal of Karl is twofold, first he reminds us of people that we know and secondly that to some extent he reminds us of ourselves. Our essential selves that will say the sort of things that we are thinking. He might be standing in front of some magnificent monument but all he can concentrate on is just how hot and uncomfortable the searing heat is and just how lousy the place is with biting insects. He is at the intersection where the dream of a place and the reality of a place meet and he always comes down in favour of the reality. And that more often than not can be so funny, especially when it is happening to someone else.
All of the soaps have been messed about what with the football and the tennis and god only knows what will happen when the Olympics get into full swing. As a result it is hard to start or indeed keep a good storyline going. But it doesn't stop the soaps from trying. The big new storyline in Eastenders at the moment is who exactly Kat has started an affair with. There are about four or five potential candidates and there is a lot of mobile calling going on with characters staring meaningfully into the middle distance when they are on the phone or have just hung up. This technique has been used before on Eastenders, even if you go as far back as when Michelle first found out that she was pregnant. Keeping the identity of one of the main protagonists hidden is not such a new thing either. Its the standard procedure for most murders in any given soap. But all of this cloak and dagger doesn't really ring true in this particular storyline. And that's to do with the character of Kat herself. If Kat was a nun or virgo intacta it might be one thing but she is far from that. Even though she is married she has had several affairs and her one child is not her husband's. The fact is that we don't expect any different of her. It was always a matter of time. The only big surprise will be when her new lover is revealed. The audience could be thrown a curve ball, how about Dot anyone? But you get the feeling that it won't come as too much as a surprise.
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Making Hay while the Sun ShinesNaturally, by the time that you read this editorial the weather will have changed majorly several times and we will have experienced lashing rain, snow, gale force winds and hailstones but the thing is that for about the first time this year we have experienced some really good weather that lasted for more than the usual 20 minutes to half an hour. As a nation we are obsessed by the weather and its entirely understandable. It is so variable and in such a constant flux that …
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