Jack Halcombe is an Alaskan State Trooper who determinedly sets out to find a serial killer after several bodies of young girls show up apparently murdered. When he discovers a frightened young girl hiding away bound with handcuffs, he realises that she is their key to finding the killer being the only one to have managed to escape from his clutches. However, her information is in doubt given the fact that she is a prostitute and refused a polygraph. When he does find the suspect, it is Robert Hansen; an experience hunter and a bakery worker whose respected status leads many investigators to cross him off their list. Halcombe is unwavering in his suspicions, however, and sets out to gather solid evidence that Hansen is their man.
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Even though this crime thriller is based on a true story, it never feels remotely believable. The problem is that writer-director Walker tries far too hard to force the real events into a standard movie structure, which leaves gaping plot holes everywhere we look. Still, it's a solidly made film, with a snappy pace, strong performances and beefy direction that holds our attention.
It's set in 1983 Anchorage, Alaska, where the cops struggle to believe the story told to them by 17-year-old prostitute Cindy (Hudgens): she claims to have been kidnapped, tortured and raped, barely escaping with her life, and she identifies upstanding citizen Robert (Cusack) as her would-be killer. With the police refusing to follow up on her statement, State Trooper Jack (Cage) looks into it and discovers similarities in the cases of several other missing girls. And even though his out-of-hours investigation strains his marriage to Allie (Mitchell), he is doggedly determined to find the proof that will put Robert behind bars.
Right at the beginning we have a nagging question that's never answered: why do the police discount the victim's account, especially as it's accompanied by physical evidence? And the screenplay brushes past other big issues along the way, making us think that this might be the most inept police squad in the world. Although we never doubt for a second that Jack will crack the case, even though the script continually throws in random movie cliches from the characters' pasts in an attempt to ramp up the emotional stakes. It also randomly places Cindy in the middle of an under-developed war between two pimps (Jackson and Henke).
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So, Rihanna finally bumped Taylor Swift from the top of the US album charts, with the aptly-titled Unapologetic. Could it be that Ke$ha does the same to her Barbadian pop rival, with the release of Warrior, her second studio album?
The 25 year-old Californian has never been afraid of raising a few eyebrows and Warrior sees no change in her artistic determination. Drownedinsound.com reviewed the album describing it as “never dull, always fun and frequently a thrillingly unpredictable ride,” with All Music Guide backing up that theory, calling it a “wall-to-wall party for the freaks, burnouts, outcasts and misfits and if you don’t get it that’s your fault and not hers.” Strong words indeed and certainly a more passionate critical response than Rihanna received for Unapologetic.
Rhi-Rhi’s certainly got more celebrity pull than Ke$ha, but if the public latch on to the enthusiastic response to Warrior, could we see another upset at the top of the charts next week? Her last album, 2010’s Animal, was a US number one so we see no reason why the exuberant club queen shouldn’t be up there again this time next week.
Coldplay live CD/DVD Cover
Albums of Note... Coldplay’s Live 2012 album shows a band far more at ease with themselves than their previous live release, from 2003. The Live 2012 package includes both blu-ray and CD. The footage is punctuated by behind-the-scenes interludes and these excerpts showcase each band member’s enthusiasm for their live shows as well as revealing how the material from Mylo Xyloto evolved over time and culminated with them band playing to a vast stadium audiences across the globe. “Live 2012 includes some nice musical moments... the low-key piano intro to 'Yellow', a guest appearance from Rihanna during 'Princess Of China', and the stripped back intimacy of 'Us Against The World'. All of the other elements of big choruses and sing-along's spanning the entire Coldplay back catalogue are present and correct… and Chris Martin's voice seems to have found a renewed strength to cope with the massive venues the band now fills.”
Forever hidden from the world behind a pair of starless-night-black sunglasses and a pulled-down baseball cap, it turns out that Scott Walker looks quite ordinary once you get him to come out from behind the curtain. As a shot of musical nostalgia, 30 Century Man is double barreled: Part chronicled life, part big-name appreciative ceremony. The likes of Brian Eno, David Bowie, Radiohead, and Johnny Marr of The Smiths come out to voice their devotion to Walker, many of them talking about and reacting to their favorite Walker tracks. Sting reacting to "It's Raining Today" is a trip, but Bowie, who serves as executive producer here, talking about how he dated one of Walker's exes, is blissful. Transposed from America to England and then back again, Walker is the death's head moth to Brian Wilson's fluttering, buoyant monarch -- likening himself to Orson Welles or, just maybe, Jacques Brel. Fittingly obsessed with Beckett and Francis Bacon, he spent most of the '70s in obscurity, releasing uninspired cover records that cheapened his immense talent.
Continue reading: Scott Walker: 30 Century Man Review
The plot loosely follows the odyssey of Kermit the Frog from his swamp home to Hollywood in search of celebrity. The desirability of fame and stardom is never questioned. The Hollywood worship becomes pretty maudlin at the end, thanks mainly to songwriter Paul Williams, whose songs are palatable at first ("Rainbow Connection" was a hit) but become too much before the end of the movie.
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