Monday, November 29, 2010

Movie Stuff: Red Hill

Shock horror! Ryan Kwanten has taken on a role where his character isn't required to be naked in every scene. While this may be disappointing (especially for us True Blood fans) Kwanten really shows his versatility as an actor in Red Hill. Plus it's especially nice to hear his native Aussie accent again- does anyone else remember his Vinnie days on Home and Away? He's certainly come a long way from Summer Bay. (Which is something I'm sure he's very thankful about). 

Kwanten stars as Constable Shane Cooper, who moves to the blink-and-you'll-miss-it outback town of Red Hill with his pregnant wife so they can get away from the stress of city life. The movie centres on Cooper's first day on the job, which can only be described as the worst first day ever. Things turn bad pretty quickly when escaped prisoner Jimmy Conway makes his way into town to enact some revenge on the police officers and townspeople- with a helluva big shotgun. But why is Conway so hellbent on revenge? You'll just have to see it for yourself to find out... 

Ryan Kwanten as Shane Cooper
Red Hill is a modern day western/revenge thriller with great action and plenty edge-of-your-seat moments to enjoy. It actually has a great storyline as well (unlike so many other films around these days) that keeps you guessing until the end. The acting is superb, especially by Ryan Kwanten and Steve Bisley, but it is Tom E. Lewis as Jimmy Conway who really steals the show. While the vast majority of his part is spent in silence, his on-screen presence is phenomenal.

Unfortunately the film hasn't made a huge amount at the local box office, which is such a shame as it really is a fantastic Australian production that's miles ahead of the majority of movies coming out of Hollywood. Red Hill is definitely worth the trip to the cinema, or at the very least would make for a great night in when it comes out on DVD.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

TV Stuff: Why I'm Lovin' Luther

Long time, no blogging! Unfortunately some evil uni assignments have been sucking up most of my time lately, as they will over summer (*sob*) and as a result my little blog has been sadly neglected. Hopefully I will be able to post a bit more regularly from now on when I have something at least vaguely interesting to go on about! Which brings me to my new favourite TV show which I just had to share with everyone due to its total awesomeness.

Luther is a new BBC series which started airing a few weeks ago on the ABC and it's definitely worth a look in. It stars Idris Elba (you might have seen him on US TV show The Wire) as the brilliant and somewhat tormented DCI John Luther. I know, I know- he may sound like he's the stereotypical tortured-detective-type but Luther is actually an immensely likeable and relatable character. The show starts after Luther returns to his job after a leave of absence due to the psychological fallout that resulted from a serial child murder case. Adding to the mix is Alice Morgan (a wonderfully cunning Ruth Wilson) a sociopathic genius who gets away with murdering her parents. Alice develops a fixation on Luther and the interplay between the two in each episode is great to watch. Alice is an awesome character (despite her being a bit of a nutbag) because you're never sure what she'll do next, so I really hope she'll be around for the rest of the season and the two movie-length season two episodes. Both Elba and Wilson play their parts magnificently and they have fantastic chemistry together, which would be a shame to lose.
Idris Elba as John Luther and Ruth Wilson as Alice Morgan
While the show might seem like yet another crime drama, the superb acting and the excellent script writing make Luther a definite standout in a sea of boring by-the-numbers cop shows. The writing deftly weaves Luther's private life in with the cases he's working on without resorting to the melodrama that so many other programmes do. Luther is a fascinating character, which combined with the intriguing murder cases, makes for some superior and entertaining Friday night viewing.

Check out Luther at 8.30pm Fridays on the ABC (It makes the perfect antidote for if you've been forced to sit through Better Homes and Gardens).