Pensioners, controversially, are not allowed to head up missions beyond this planet. Damned be the rules, was presumably the response of legendary filmmaker Clint Eastwood. Space Cowboys sees four men not in their finest shape take on a mission to save the world. Relics from the Cold War found in space by relics from the planet Earth. But their ancient quest to fix satellites is based on the functionality of what these old pilots can learn not just from one another, but from pushing themselves to limits they never knew they had. Beyond the unnecessary need for this mission and for hiring four retired pilots, Space Cowboys at least has a reason for breaching reality and sending these men into space.
As the death of Princess Diana still lingers on the mind of tabloid consumers and freak royalist fans, The Queen wishes to depict the behind-the-scenes events of such a period. What was the impact on the Royal Family during this time? Frankly, I’ve always found it a bit ghoulish to consider what happened and why, but I have more interesting topics to engage myself with. I am not, however, able to resist the temptations of James Cromwell in a supporting role. He wowed me with The Young Pope, and I am hungry for more. Coinciding with the death of Diana came the birth of New Labour, and there is certainly room for an interesting contrast to take place here, and that it does.
With a smirk and a wink to camera opening nearly every episode, Jude Law provides us with his finest role to date. A bold statement to make, but when you have ten episodes to flesh out a character as seemingly villainous and traditional as Pope Pius XII, you must hit the ground running. That he does, and Law provides audiences magnificent tension throughout The Young Pope, a series from director Paolo Sorrentino. What a superb pairing the two makes, and in turn they make some of the most dependable, engaging television the modern era will ever see. It is a fascinating, near-perfect piece of drama, with stories flowing over and around characters who grapple with their conscience and faith under the strained formalities of Vatican City living.
Social maverick and self-indulgent individuals are ten a penny. Egoism and the many philosophies that hound their isolated, centred thought process are relayed with simplicity and effectiveness by their personal enlightenment. Move on, help yourself, and live life to the fullest, consequences be damned. Such a thought process was adapted by the late Larry Flynt, his rise to controversial success as publisher of Hustler magazine and subsequent assassination attempt is not a life as well-documented as it would seem. Saying that, though, the great Miloš Forman took a pop at Flynt’s life and high points of controversy in The People vs. Larry Flynt.
I was savouring the final few pages of The Green Mile, my first and favourite Stephen King book, for a few days before I plunged into the Tom Hanks led adaptation. It wasn’t that I didn’t have faith in the work of Frank Darabont, who had done a fine job of adapting The Shawshank Redemption, but because I knew immediately that whatever the film looked to achieve, it could come nowhere close to the power and exceptional perfection the book had offered me. Still, it was an inevitable moment, to sit down and power through The Green Mile, a film that released the same year I was born, and considered to be one of the finest movies of its generation.