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Burnt Review

OK

Strong characters help hold the attention as this overcooked drama develops, but in the end it feels so concocted that it's difficult to believe. While there's plenty of potential in the premise, the film becomes distracted by irrelevant subplots that try to stir up some tension but never quite manage it. And for a movie about food, the cuisine is simply too abstract to be mouthwatering.

At the centre is Adam (Bradley Cooper), a bad boy chef whose partying ways ended his high-flying career in Paris. After a period of penance in New Orleans, he moves to London to start again, with the goal of finally getting his elusive third Michelin star. Since he has alienated his friends, he turns to Tony (Daniel Bruhl), a guy who always had a soft spot for him and happens to be running a posh restaurant, which Adam quickly takes over. He rustles up some old colleagues (Omar Sy and Riccardo Scamarcio) and hires hot-shot Helene (Sienna Miller) as his sous chef. But his demanding perfectionism is keeping things from running very smoothly.

This set-up is ripe for both black comedy and soul-searching drama, and yet writer Steven Knight throws in irrelevant sideroads including a mandated therapist (the wonderful Emma Thompson), a bitter rival (a jagged Matthew Rhys), a couple of randomly violent loan sharks and a precocious little girl. Even though the actors do what they can to make every scene intriguing, none of these story elements add anything to the overall film. Still, Cooper holds the movie together with sheer charisma, even if his sudden transition from absolute tyrant to cuddly sweetheart isn't terribly convincing. At least he adds some surprising textures to his scenes, and indulges in sparky banter with those around him. And while Miller is solid in her thankless role, even she can't breathe life into such a thinly developed romance.

Continue reading: Burnt Review

Woman In Gold - Trailer And Clips


When the Nazis took over Vienna prior to the Second World War, they stole countless, priceless artefacts. One of these artefacts was the Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I, and an Austrian Holocaust survivor has the perfect claim to it. Maria Altmann (Helen Mirren) hires Randol Schoenberg (Ryan Reynolds), a lawyer of Austrian decent, to help her become once again acquainted with the famous painting of her aunt. The problem is, that the painting is held in a Vienna art gallery, and the Austrian government are adamant in keeping the national treasure. Altmann, on the other hand, is desperate to get back what is rightfully hers. 

Continue: Woman In Gold - Trailer And Clips

Yes, Prime Minister Return Doubles Gold's Ratings (But It's Unlikely To Last)


Henry Goodman

There was great news for UK channel Gold as its new series of Yes, Prime Minister saw figures double compared to the usual amount that tune in to the station at that time. However that was about as good as it got as the first series of the political drama since 1988 took a critical mauling, which would probably suggest Gold’s success will be a fleeting one.

To the good news first though; Broadcast reports that the show took an average of over 280,000 viewers during the 40 minutes, not a huge amount by any means but over double the 114,000 average the channel can usually expect at 9pm on a Tuesday evening (January 15). Then the bad news; The Independent made a point at how dated it all felt by comparing it to the runaway success of recent political drama The Thick Of It, writing “For one thing, you just can't pretend that The Thick of It never happened, as this seemed to do in featuring a scene of political advisers wincing as their boss flounders through an interview.”

The usually timid Radio Times wasn’t impressed either: "The new Hacker seems much more aware of Sir Humphrey's scheming, which takes away a key dynamic of the original: Hacker mistakenly thinking he had outsmarted Sir Humphrey and made his own decision,"  they wrote. Digital Spy had their knives fully out; they wrote "Sadly, what could have been a triumphant return for one of the best British sitcoms is undone by bad decisions and ruinous execution." Enjoy that ratings boost Gold, it could be your last for a while. 

Taking Woodstock Review


OK
Lively and entertaining, this colourful film recounts the backstage story of the community that inadvertently hosted the 1969 Woodstock music festival. It has some great moments along the way, but as a whole never quite comes together.

Elliot (Martin) leaves New York City to go upstate to help his stubborn parents (Staunton and Goodman) keep their hotel in business. Then he hears that a friend from the city, Michael (Groff), is having trouble getting a permit for his music festival. Elliot happens to already have one in hand, so puts Michael in contact with a local farmer (Levy). And as he helps Michael make the arrangements, he never grasps quite how massive this event is going to be. But then no one did.

Continue reading: Taking Woodstock Review

Taking Woodstock Trailer


Watch the trailer for Taking Woodstock

Woodstock Festival was almost not meant to be, originally the permit was pulled, only when Elliot Tiber stepped in and spoke to the organisers offering them the use of his parents motel and his next door neighbour, Max Yasgur, land that things got rolling. Taking Woodstock starts the moving story of Elliot Tiber and his personal struggle to keep the family motel open, what eventually develops from Elliot's plans is way beyond anyone's expectation.

Directed by Academy Award winner Ang Lee
UK Release date: 13th November 2009

Starring: Demetri Martin, Emile Hirsch, Liev Schreiber, Paul Dano, Henry Goodman, Imelda Staunton, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Eugene Levy, Jonathan Groff, Kelli Garner, Adam LeFevre, Edward Hibbert, Dan Fogler, Damian Kulash, Christina Kirk, Skylar Astin and Gabriel Sunday

Green Street Hooligans Review


Weak
Lately, Elijah Wood has been very busy trying to establish himself as an actor apart from his role as Frodo in the obsessively popular Lord of the Rings phenomenon. Portraying peculiar supporting characters in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Sin City, and Spy Kids 3-D, he's definitely made a valiant effort. He continues with Green Street Hooligans, this time attempting to play a tough guy. This is a first for Wood... and, hopefully, a last.

Originally titled just Hooligans, the film begins as a Harvard journalism student named Matt (Wood) is wrongfully expelled. To escape from his father's judgment, he jumps aboard a plane headed to London to visit his sister (Claire Forlani) and her husband Steve (Marc Warren). Almost immediately -- maybe out of rebellion, maybe out of curiosity -- he ditches sis and her hubby to hit the local pubs and football games (soccer for Americans) with Steve's irresponsible brother, Pete (Charlie Hunnam), and his band of hard-edged, hooligan friends.

Continue reading: Green Street Hooligans Review

Green Street Hooligans Review


Weak
Lately, Elijah Wood has been very busy trying to establish himself as an actor apart from his role as Frodo in the obsessively popular Lord of the Rings phenomenon. Portraying peculiar supporting characters in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Sin City, and Spy Kids 3-D, he's definitely made a valiant effort. He continues with Green Street Hooligans, this time attempting to play a tough guy. This is a first for Wood... and, hopefully, a last.

Originally titled just Hooligans, the film begins as a Harvard journalism student named Matt (Wood) is wrongfully expelled. To escape from his father's judgment, he jumps aboard a plane headed to London to visit his sister (Claire Forlani) and her husband Steve (Marc Warren). Almost immediately -- maybe out of rebellion, maybe out of curiosity -- he ditches sis and her hubby to hit the local pubs and football games (soccer for Americans) with Steve's irresponsible brother, Pete (Charlie Hunnam), and his band of hard-edged, hooligan friends.

Continue reading: Green Street Hooligans Review

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