To live and die in L.A

Today I watched To live and die in L.A and I have to say I was very much entertained. Based on a novel by U.S secret service agent Gerald Petievich, it’s a great action crime thriller set in the mid-eighties that really has you ‘pure tuned in’ from start to finish.

It starts with Richard Chance and Jimmy Hart who are couple of secret service agents assigned to an investigation into counterfeiting at its Los Angeles field office. Chance (William Peterson) has a reputation for reckless behaviour and is a tough street smart cop while Hart is a veteran who is only three days away from retiring. Alone, Hart  decides to stake out a warehouse in the desert thought to be the print house of suspected counterfeiter Rick Masters (Willem Dafoe). Masters and his bodyguard kill Hart leading to Chance declaring to his new partner, John Vukovich, (John Pankow), that he will take him down no matter what.

A lot of the films strengths come from the direction of  William Friedkin, who also made the French connection (1971) and this is certainly a return to form in my opinion as some of the car pursuit scenes are really thrilling, fast paced and truly breath taking also the story moves with such fluidity that I found myself being dragged into each of the characters dilemmas needing to know the outcome.

It is this fact that I found most appealing about the film. Chances relationship with his snitch girlfriend, Vukovichs constant struggle with chances methods and the blurred line of justice not to mention the villain, Masters cruel ways. All of these contribute to a riveting story and what unfolds really leaves its mark on the viewer.

It’s really well cast and the subject matter is well revised and very informative. The story is first rate and I would highly recommend it if you fancy a fast paced crime thriller. Very enjoyable and I would give this seven out of ten stars.

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Limmy show (Pilot)

Today I watched the pilot of the Limmy sketch show and I have to say it’s absolutely hilarious. Even better was the fact that afterwards I watched various other clips of him and it really had me in tears for the first time in ages.

It starts off very strangely indeed with a serious of shocked expressions as he sees a clone of himself several times in the distance before the show starts proper.

The shows first sketch is Jacqueline McCafferty an ex-junkie who having had enough of ‘pish stained trackies with sick doon the front’. was now venturing into the good stuff with a visit to versace. What transpires is really funny with some legendary lines.

Jacqueline McCafferty

My next favourite sketch is falconhoof, the host of adventure call. A show where players call in and play a kind of mystical description game were they need to make decisions. It’s so ridiculous.

Falconhoof

The rest of the show is really good. Strange bedfellows, social encounters, playground money making schemes and Dee Dee with his deathslide, which is probably the best sketch of the lot.

Dee Dee deathslide

It might just be because this is where I live that I find this so funny but I totally recommend it as it really is laugh out loud material.

Excellent

‘Uch Da I jus watty know if we wer up oan ‘at def slide or no?’

This improv below is the greatest, so funny. Explicit language btw.

Bank robbery, mum was there sketch

Pilot – Sons of Anarchy

Today I watched Sons of Anarchy episode pilot and yes I found it rather enjoyable.

The show focuses on the towns biker gang which goes by the shows namesake. The group have their fingers in many pies but gun running is one of their main gold mines and a subject the episode focuses on.

The episode starts with the destruction of a storage depot by their Mexican rivals, the mayans, to the dismay of the sons of anarchy, they see the guns have been stolen as well and set about making things right.

The show is very alpha male. It’s got violence, bikes, sex, lots of rock music and a group of males who have little or no concern for anything other than themselves. This is summed up when they find the bodies of two women burned to death in the fire yet can only find concern for their missing guns.

It has Charlie Hunnam and Katey Sagal putting in excellent perfomances. Charlie plays Jax Teller, the vice chairman of the sons and Katey plays his manipulative mother who is the matriarch of the sons of anarchy.

I cautiously look forward to watching the rest of this.

Coach Carter

Today I watched Coach Carter starring Samuel Jackson, Channing Tatum, Rob Brown, Rick Gonzalez and Ashanti. I really enjoyed it as I found it very uplifting and interesting, all the more so as it’s based on a true story which for me always adds a little something extra.

The story focuses on basketball coach Ken Carter who takes on the vacant coaching position at his old high school Richmond. When he arrives it is clear the team is lacking in teamwork and discipline not too mention their poor fitness levels and poor academic performance

He issues his players with contracts they must abide by if they want any chance of making the team.

These rules include things like wearing suits on matchdays, being on time, no use of profanity and the requirement of each attending and thriving in school classes.

As one would expect this leads to a number of confrontations between the coach and some of the players, however slowly but surely Carter turns the team into winners in both everyday life and on the court as the team manage to win the championship and go on to appear in the regional play-offs.

I always enjoy watching any actor put in a great performance and I feel this is one of Jacksons really good ones so that is always a winner. It’s also interesting seeing Channing Tatum in one of his earlier roles and to hear what happened to the characters real life counterparts.

The Devils Own

Today I watched The Devils Own and I have to say it was very average indeed. The cast is actually really good and all put in pretty good performances but for me the story is lacking and seems to have poor characters.

The story focuses on the confict between Rory (Brad Pitt) and Tom (Harrison Ford), one a notorious terrorist from Ireland and the other a veteran cop from New York. They grow close but eventually come to blows as they each realize neither will back down from the situation.

The situation is a bag of money being used to purchase missiles for the IRA and after men break into his family home; Tom is, at worst slightly aggieved to find out Rory is involved.

Rory at times also seems so out of character, maybe that was the intention seeing as he is on the run but at no point are you thinking, ‘oh dear, this guy is responsible for twenty plus deaths’ nor does it seem that he has the troubles of things he has done in the past on his mind. It just wasn’t very believable.

That being said I don’t think it had enough character building scenes, Rory seemed like an almost care-free lad and Tom, who by the end was holding Rorys hand when he was dying. Too far for me i’m afraid, hours earlier he had just killed his best friend and was also responsible for seriously endangering his family.

I don’t think so… some good action scenes at the start and the most ridiculous ending known to man.

A Study in Pink

Today I watched the Sherlock Holmes pilot ‘A Study in Pink.’

It really is a great watch.

The show starts of by introducing us to an unremarkable looking John Watson, an army doctor just back from Afghanistan. He bumps into an old friend who decides to introduce him to Sherlock Holmes after it is revealed both men are looking for a flat to move into.

Meanwhile Detective Inspector Lestrade is baffled by a number of apparent suicides and much to the dismay of his police force collegues enlists the help of Sherlock who describes himself as a ‘consulting detective.’

As the episode goes on we are introduced to a number of charachters including Mrs Hudson, Mycroft holmes and a number of recurring metropolitan police.

One particular scene which illustrates just how watchable the show is comes when the cabbie is talking to Sherlock about the murders that have been taking place. He convinces him to come with him to find out what he said to the victims before they died.

It’s really one of those moments you have to know what happens next, not so much to see if the cabbie attemps to kill Sherlock but to see what it was he actually said. I could feel the need to know just as badly as Sherlock and that really had me glued to the screen.

The episode is loosely based on ‘A Study in Scarlet’ and has many other references to other original Sherlock stories but it all comes together superbly and the pace of the episode gives the viewer an insight into the frantic going ons of Sherlocks mind.

From start to finish I think it’s excellent and I really enjoyed watching it even though I have seen it a few times now. I’ll probably just watch the whole series now which is frankly hilarious and oh so productive.