Luke Cage – TV Review

Luke Cage (Mike Coulter) is a muscular bloke who is living under an assumed name after coming out of prison for a wrongful conviction. And is is unkillable – bullets bounce off him, and he is incredibly strong. He’s just trying to get through life, dealing with the grief of losing a loved one, working crappy jobs and keeping his head down. Meanwhile, politician Mariah Dillard (Alfre Woodard) is trying to build up Harlem for all of the African American residents – build it up whilst avoiding gentrification from white society. However, she’s being dogged by her cousin Cornell Stokes (Mahershala Ali), a wonderfully Shakespearean criminal overlord who has used her misappropriated money for nefarious purposes and is going to bring them all down.

There is a lot to like about this show. It’s cast is fabulous, the world they have created is stunning and I just love Luke. And the recurring character of Clare Temple (Rosario Dawson) is just getting better and better. But I think my favourite part of the show is that Cornell Stoke runs his empire from a club that has fabulous live acts – it was wonderful to see Charles Bradley, and then my heart almost broke when the late and wonderful Sharon Jones appeared. Too good.

25th Hour (2002) Film Review


What do you do when you know your time is about to run out? When your life is about to end and you have a day to sort out your affairs, deal with your life regrets and say your goodbyes? This is where Monty (Edward Norton) is. In high school, he started selling a bit of dope and by his early thirties when the police catch up with him, he is a high flyer. Facing seven years in jail, he must say goodbye to his father (Brian Cox), his girlfriend (Rosario Dawson) and his oldest friends (Barry Pepper and Philip Seymour Hoffman).

Why would you have any sympathy for a drug dealer? In all honesty, I didn’t. What I think Spike Lee has done in a really interesting fashion is to show how people deal with the choices of their near and dear; how others deal with losing someone in this way. And prison is an odd way to lose someone – they are not gone, but they are away. Prison for doing something bad over and over, for profiting from the pain of others. Yet people still hurt.

I don’t think it is the best film, but I think it is the ideas that it plants about people, relationships and life that make it fascinating.


Sin City (2005) Film Review

Sin City


Based on the Frank Miller graphic novel of the same name and filmed almost entirely against green screen, Sin City takes a dip into the sordid world of Basin City. This is a world with pedophilia, prostitute wars and corrupt cops.

Along with general action films, I really like the genre of films made from comics and graphic novels. Sin City takes this to a whole new level. The entire look of the film is like a dark comic strip, with lots of dark shadows and limited use of colour. What’s more, it is extremely and horrifically violent, but in a way that, even though it is clearly fake, it is uncomfortable to watch. I think this is a truly wonderful film, and I’m very excited to see that another Sin City is due to be released next year.