Jamie Harris

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Rise of the Planet of the Apes Review


Excellent
Rebooting this franchise seemed somewhat iffy until we heard it would involve Weta performance-capture technology (complete with Serkis). And indeed, it's an eye-popping, involving summer movie that manages to layer thoughtful substance with the lively action.

Will (Franco) is a San Francisco scientist experimenting with a new Alzheimer's medication he hopes will cure his father (Lithgow). But things take an unexpected turn when his greedy boss (Oyelowo) gets rid of his lab-test chimps, leaving Will to raise infant ape Caesar (Serkis) in secret. But Caesar's super-human intelligence can't keep him out of the clutches of the nasty father-son animal controllers (Cox and Felton), who badly underestimate him.

Can Will and his chimp-expert girlfriend (Pinto) sort out the mess before a furious Caesar takes matters into his own capable hands?

Continue reading: Rise of the Planet of the Apes Review

Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes Trailer


Will Rodman, is a scientist who's hugely dedicated to his job in the hope that he'll find a cure for the degenerative illness Alzheimer's. Having developed a formula that looks to reverse some of the damage done to the brain, his lab begins to test the medication on apes.

Continue: Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes Trailer

The Green Hornet Review


Grim
An inventive anti-hero theme sets this film apart from the usual superhero movie, but excessive violence and incoherent action leave it deeply frustrating to watch. And it doesn't help that the lead character is so unlikeable.

Britt Reid (Rogen) is the slacker son of a wealthy news baron (Wilkinson). When he inherits the newspaper, he hasn't a clue what to do with it. But he starts hanging out with his dad's old valet Kato (Chou) and hires a sexy assistant (Diaz) whose intelligence he completely ignores. And with Kato, he creates the Green Hornet, who solves crime while apparently being a villain. Soon they're squaring off against the criminal mastermind Chudnofsky (Waltz) as Los Angeles descends into a violent crime war.

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Picture - Jamie Harris Hollywood, California, Monday 10th January 2011

Jamie Harris Monday 10th January 2011 Premiere Of Columbia Pictures The Green Hornet at Graumans Chinese Theatre - Arrivals Hollywood, California

Jamie Harris
Jamie Harris

Mr Nice Review


Excellent
The life of notorious drug smuggler Howard Marks hits the big screen in a lively, fiercely well-made biopic that never condemns drugs as its story spirals through the decades. It also features Ifans' best-ever performance.

Born in a rugby-mad Welsh mining town, Howard Marks (Ifans) knew he didn't fit in and proved it by getting into Oxford against the odds. There he immediately falls into the early-1960s brainy/druggy crowd, dealing marijuana but never anything harder. Despite efforts to go straight, he continually returns to trafficking, arguing that it's not a crime to break an immoral law. But his associations with a notorious IRA terrorist (Thewlis) and a rule-bending Indian businessman (Djalili) attract the attentions of a tenacious American agent (Tosar).

Continue reading: Mr Nice Review

Mr. Nice Trailer


In the 1970's Howard Marks was one of the biggest weed smugglers in the world but the Welshman from the small town of Kenfig never indented to become such a major player in the industry. In the beginning Marks started out as a relatively minor drug dealer, supplying small amounts of dope but as his connections began to grow more opportunities became available.

Continue: Mr. Nice Trailer

The Next Big Thing Review


OK
The art gallery world gets a decent comedic prod in this new film by writer/director brothers P.J. and Joel Posner. Set amongst the spoiled and the starving in New York, The Next Big Thing pits artistic intelligence against a pleasantly simple love story, all centering around independent favorite Chris Eigeman (The Last Days of Disco).

Eigeman is Gus, who starts out the film having the worst possible day. On his way to an important meeting, battered portfolio in hand, his wallet is swiped by a swindler escaping from subway havoc. The interview goes poorly with gallery owner Arthur Pomposello (an unrecognizable Farley Granger, of beloved Hitchcock fame) because Gus just doesn't "catch you." His shading shows talent and his composition is pleasant to look at, but he doesn't display the normal despondence and stereotypical artistic pain seen in his peers.

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Marie Baie des Anges Review


Weak
Two kids -- one nubile, annoying girl, and one violent, annoying boy -- fall in love on the French Riviera. A real thrill-an-hour.

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Fast Food, Fast Women Review


Grim
My brother describes Anna Levine as "Skeletor," and damn if that isn't pretty near the truth. And Levine's not just scary to look at, she's a poor actress and a bad dancer. The fact that Amos Kollek's script is stilted and his direction is iffy makes matters worse, but unfortunately Fast Food, Fast Women is just a vain attempt at making a movie about the perils of romance in the modern age. It of course succeeds at exposing none of them.

Lemony Snicket's A Series Of Unfortunate Events Review


Grim

(Proofread pending)

Jim Carrey makes a four-course meal of the Tim-Burtonesque surreal scenery in "Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events," completely overshadowing the story that is supposed to be about three crafty young orphans stuck in a cycle of lethal luck with a string of eccentric guardians.

As the inheritance-coveting Count Olaf, who is first to mind them (and virtually enslave them) after their parents die in a mysterious mansion fire, Carrey camps and vamps, huffs and puffs, cackles and clowns, sucking up all the air in the room and doing everything short of screaming "look at me, look at me!" Made up as a storybook villain, with a ski-jump nose, a theatrically receding hairline and a wardrobe that seems to mix Edwardian-inspired hand-me-downs from Elton John and Lenny Kravitz, his plan is to get rich by having the children fall victim to some terrible "accident" -- as when he leaves them locked in a car parked on the tracks at a train crossing in the countryside.

Continue reading: Lemony Snicket's A Series Of Unfortunate Events Review

Fast Food, Fast Women Review


Weak

"Fast Food, Fast Women" is a considerably imperfect movie, the intangible charm of which has to grow on you.

Most everything wrong with it can be summed up by the fact that it absolutely screams "my first low-budget indie," yet writer-director Amos Kollek has been making movies for 15 years (all small independent films, straight-to-videos or quickie sequels).

It's uneven and under-rehearsed. It's clear that Kollek had only one or two takes to choose from in editing some scenes. It has all the trappings of a Woody Allen wannabe, including Allenesque opening credits, Allenesque handheld camerawork, an Allenesque ensemble ranging in age and recognition, Allenesque quirky characters (how about a stuttering hooker?) and nervously insecure Allenesque leads. The picture even co-stars Louise Lasser ("Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman"), Woody Allen's ex-wife and frequent collaborator.

Continue reading: Fast Food, Fast Women Review

Rick Review


OK

Demonstrating that his unique creativity as a writer extends beyond darkly humorous kids' books, in "Rick," Daniel Handler of "Lemony Snicket" fame delves into something more dastardly and grown-up -- an extremely dark comedy adapted from Giuseppe Verdi's tragic opera "Rigoletto" and set in an almost surreal, cut-throat corporate world.

Bill Pullman, who always makes interesting choices when he makes independent films, stars as Rick O'Lette, an aging, career-stalled middle manager who "used to be a nice guy." Now a callous, seething sycophant -- whose own brashness is subservient to a cocky, serpentine young-gun executive (succulently sleazy Aaron Stanford) -- Rick is lured into a murder plot, designed to clear his path to a corner office. A mysteriously au fait old college classmate (charming, matter-of-factly malevolent Dylan Baker) approaches him in some tecnho-Orwellian bar and hints that he makes a seemingly respectable living (with business cards and everything) in the snuff trade and takes advantage of Rick's animosity and ambition.

Director Curtiss Clayton (an acclaimed editor making his helming debut) puts the weight of this strange world on Rick's shoulders, with the mahogany walls of his baroque office closing in on him, and long-dead bigwigs glaring down from musty oil paintings which now hang over desk cubicles and flat-screen computers. And yet Clayton has an ironically light touch with Handler's very black wit, giving the film an alluring pitch of unsettling laughs throughout the ill-fated events that soon unfold.

Continue reading: Rick Review

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