While this thriller plays with themes of political ethics and ambition, it merely lets them simmer in the background. Director Hughes is clearly much more interested in macho posturing and the convoluted scandal-based plot, so he lets the cast members merrily chomp on the scenery but neglects to give us anything that engages our brains.
The broken city of the title is New York, where Mayor Hostetler (Crowe) covered up a shooting involving cop Billy (Walhberg) to protect himself seven years ago. Acquitted but disgraced, Billy is now working as a low-rent private detective when the mayor calls in a favour. He hires Billy to find out who his wife (Zeta-Jones) is having an affair with before it derails his re-election campaign against the passionate rising-star Valliant (Pepper). It doesn't take Billy long to get the incriminating photos, but clearly there's something much bigger at stake here, so he continues to investigate the situation, which uncovers such high-reaching corruption that Billy's life is in danger.
Demonstrating how little the film cares about its characters, Billy's long-time girlfriend (Martinez) is dispatched suddenly after a series of arguments during which she refuses to put up with his boorish, chauvinistic stupidity. Why she stuck with him this long is the real question. But this and other eccentric relationships in the plot are much more interesting than the dull property-development boondoggle that Hughes instead decided to focus on. The problem is that this leaves Wahlberg with the only remotely complex character, an intriguing mess of a man who overreacts wildly to everything and yet seems to want to do the right thing.
Continue reading: Broken City Review
Michael Beach and Guest - Michael Beach, Guest San Marino, California, United States Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movie Channel's '2013 Winter TCA' Press Gala at The Huntington Library and Gardens Friday 4th January 2013
Billy Taggart is a less than perfect former police officer who is hired by the newly elected mayor of New York City, Nicholas Hostetler, to investigate his wife Emily Barlow's infidelity and find out exactly who she is romantically involved with. When he manages to acquire photographic evidence after following Barlow for Hostetler, he realises that this is a whole bigger thing and Taggart finds himself stuck in a position he can't get out of, where the mayor plans to discredit him in a major set up upon discovering a few smudges on his police record which could be potential harmful to him. However, it seems that the mayor has chosen the wrong cop to pick on as the unrelenting Taggart will stop at nothing to achieve justice and expose Hostetler as the corrupt politician he is.
Continue: Broken City - Trailer
Jed Eckert is a marines soldier visiting his police officer father and football playing younger brother Matt. All seems well in their normal American town before the blackout. There is a sudden mass powercut across a large chunk of the country and before long, a squadron of aircrafts fill the sky with hundreds of North Korean soldiers parachuting from them. It's an invasion rendering the country powerless and under the threat of a powerful weapon that the Korean government has somehow obtained. Jed and Matt's father order them to hide out in a small cabin that they own in the wilderness; they do so and gather a group of likeminded teenagers along the way. Their father gets captured by the military forces while they hide and he uses a megaphone to bravely tell his sons to kill the soldiers holding him prisoner and he is subsequently shot and killed. The teenagers later find the cabin has been torched and Jed vows to fight back. The others join him and call themselves the Wolverines after their high school mascot. They make plans, along with experienced American soldiers, to steal back the weapon and win back their homeland.
Continue: Red Dawn
Sparkle is our eponymous star, set to shine in this tale of rags to riches as she rises to achieve her ambition of becoming a musical force. A musical prodigy from an affluent area of Detroit, Sparkle must overcome issues that are tearing her family apart whilst following her own musical ambitions. One of three sisters to a single mother, Sparkle tries to balance a new romance with music manager Stix whilst dealing with the unexpected challenges her new life will inevitably bring as she and her two sisters, Sister and Dolores, strive to become a dynamic singing group during the Motown era.