Thursday, 21 February 2013

244, Beautiful Creatures

This movie really did sneak up on me - not knowing entirely what it was about, in my mind it was another attempt to recapture the Twilight fan base - focusing on Witches rather than Vampires & based in another small, back and beyond town - this time in the deep south of America (heavily linked to the Civil War which becomes a back drop for an aged old love story) and a family of Witches, quite poignant to their towns creation but in the same breath - outlawed by them as well. 

As mentioned above, this is another love story (even more comparable to Twilight) although this time around, we have a girl as the focus family member, 15 year old Lena Duchannes (Alice Englert) who is counting down the days until her 16th birthday where it will be decided via fate alone if she is to become a dark witch or as she hopes, stays on the path of light.

Enter our hapless hero Ethan, (Alden Ehrenreich) a popular kid among the god fearing community who has been dreaming about meeting Lena, long before they actually cross paths.  Lena is new to the area after moving in with Uncle Macon (Jeremy Irons) who hopes he can keep her pure and assist in the crossing over although her evil Mum & Sister (brilliantly played by Emma Thompson & Emma Rossum) rock up as dark witches themselves to try and ensure she follows the family line then, right in the middle is poor Ethan - totally love struck and hilariously controlled by all sides to turn this love story into as much a comedy as it is a romantic masterpiece..

I really enjoyed this film - there was something about Ethan's Southern charm that just made him instantly likable and in a town that's a few years behind the rest of the country - his innocence and naivety just make him fodder for the worldly experienced family of Ravenwoods & Duchannes that he is so bemused with.

In addition to Alice & Alden, there are also great performances from the rest of the cast too with Emma Thompson playing a particularly sexy role as Sarafine, Lena's Mum and Irons himself as the ever so debonair Lord of the Manor - with one of the best interior house designs seen since, well - Twilight!

The plot movies along quite quickly with a lovely little twist at the end and to be fair - its the closest thing that Twihards are going to get to their Bella & Edward ever again so hopefully - it wont disappoint the masses too much!

There are too many twists and turns in this move for me to lay them all out for you in this blog however its shouldnt be too hard to keep up with the story, even though it does jump around a bit in the middle.  If I were to go into much more detail I may accidently give the end away so to round off lets keep it simple. 

Its two hours of innocent fun and a 12A, which unlike The Hole is actually quite suitable and wont scare the younger viewers so in all fairness - quite a harmless, quirky little movie with a young cast of relative new comers and a few familiar faces to give it prowess.  I hope you enjoy it.

 

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

243, Wreck-It Ralph

Half Term beckons and what kind of parent would I be if I didn't allow myself to be dragged along (almost willingly) to the latest Disney animation offering.  Well, normally I would be fearful of my sanity being flushed away as I became subjected to another fairy recincarntion or indeed, some form of wishy washy heart warming fun fest but this time out - I was actually expecting a little more.

Wreck-It Ralph is the story of Ralph, a 9ft baddie to the arcade game Fix it Felix Jnr.  The game is simple, Ralph wrecks the apartment block and its down to the player (taking control of Felix) to repair the damage - resulting in a medal for Felix and a mud bath for Ralph.

Well, just like in Toy Story when the lights go out (or in this case, the Arcade closes) our characters carry on regardless with a whole community of arcade legends all living peacefully in one happy game central station.  That is apart from Ralph who is tired of being the bad guy, living in the dump and being ignored and disregarded by the tenants of the block he trashes on a daily basis. 

The movie opens brilliantly with Ralph in Bad-guy rehab - a cracking idea that makes the older viewer chuckle as there are Pac Man ghosts, am extremely vocal Zangief, zombies and even a Dr Robotnix chatting about their misfortunes and concerns - and if like me - you're an avid gamer dating back to the 80's, you will constantly recognise almost all of the 8 & 16 bit characters lost in today's modern world. 

This movie has all of them, from Ken & Ryu (Street fighter) heading off for a beer together to the Frogger Frog dodging pedestrians.  But its Ralph who steals the show with his requirement to finally win his own medal that drives him to leave his game of 30 years and head off into the big digital world, unaware that his departure potentially summons the end of his own game and the inhabitants within as a game with no bad guy is just a game that's out of order!

Okay, so I'm bigging this up maybe a little too much - after all, its just another animation in 3D (that again, failed to really impress on a 3D scale) and one designed to keep those kiddies entertained for a few hours of their week off but this time out - it had a little extra for the parents which made it actually quite worth while.

The rest of the story has its typical Disney moral and this ones about selfishness and thinking of others first, helped along by tough military female Calhoun (Jane Lynch - Glee) from the Halo styled Hero's Duty game and the completely adorable Vanellope (Sarah Silverman) from the Mario Kart styled Sugar Rush and don't forget Felix himself (Jack McBrayer) - who after realising that Ralph isn't such a bad guy after all, sets out to try and save the day - rescuing Ralph and returning him to his own game - hopefully to a newly found adoration from the characters within.

There is plenty more to this movie but John C. Reilly as the games namesake is brilliant in heading up what is actually a pretty unimpressive cast and one I am sure could have been bettered although to give them credit - just because I hadn't heard of a large number of them, as it was animation - their voices were more than adequate - albeit unrecognisable.

So - to round up - Wreck-It Ralph offers something to the slightly older viewer as much as it does its younger target audience and that isn't a bad thing - the highlight for me was still Bad-guy rehab and guessing the old 8-bit characters dotted throughout but for your little nippers - they'll love it too!

Sunday, 17 February 2013

242, A Good Day to Die Hard

A Good Day to Die Hard is basically the title for Die Hard 5 - the most recent in a series of movies now spanning 25 years!  I know, 25 years since Bruce Willis became John McClane should make most of you feel really old but the question is, have the movies stayed current? (albeit Bruce's hair has not)  Well, the critics slated this one as the worst in the franchise to date and most will agree that Die Hard 2 was the best of the rest but with no news yet on if there will be a 6th, we'll just have to see for ourselves.

Lets start by being critical - some of the stunts here are pretty over the top - don't get me wrong - that can be a good thing and it certainly works with the car crashes and helicopter stunts but some of what McClane deals with would make the worlds hardest man shed a tear - let alone a near 60 year old N.Y cop.

The one that got me way being hurled from a helicopter through a skyscraper window many stories above the ground and getting up with literally a scratch and a bloodied white vest - classic McClane and completely unbelievable.  The problem is, it works.  It wouldn't be the same without it and although you may moan and groan, the screen I was in was packed to bursting so believable or not - people still want to watch a Die Hard movie.

McClane hasn't really done it alone though - assisted by Janitors & Groundsmen in the first two he has had help - most effectively from Samuel L Jackson in the 3rd instalment and IT geek Justin Long in 4.0 .  This time, the kids get involved with son Jack McClane (Jai Courtney) as the obviously disgruntled off spring - angry at 'dear old dad' for all those years of never being around and now a CIA spy himself, ends up working alongside his elusive father to bring down a terrorist cell, hell bent on global destruction.  Perfect bonding material!

This movie is non stop action fest from start to finish - I barely remember 5 minutes passing where there isn't some form of outlandish stunt, huge explosion or epic car chase - all rounded off nicely with significant gun fire and plenty of breaking glass.  The problem is though, its only a 12 A - quite a comedown from the original 18 Cert(?) that part 1 commanded back in the day and that's a shame - there is no Yippee-ki-yay Mother F***** in this instalment - although he nearly gets it out at the end but its sadly cut off too early thanks to yet another explosion.  In addition, the rest of the movie does seem to lack a certain flair for bad language that previous outings so openly embraced, but this does mean a whole new audience can come along to watch and when they are old enough, go back and watch the classic prequels to this franchise.

There is not much else to write - they certainly haven't re-written the rule book on this movie, in fact - they have played it relatively safe but I do have one niggling issue with it, and its the same as Sly's Bullet to the Head - you cant hear a word he says!  Willis is so softly spoken in this movie and due to the constant background noise and explosive soundtrack that accompanies most of the action - you really struggle to keep up with whats going on. 

If you are after a no brainer action flick then to be fair, its better than Sly's and Arnie's recent contributions and Willis too is not slowing down with Red 2 due out later this year, another Sin City in the pipeline and a movie version of the console game Kane & Lynch (no release date set) we will have plenty more to look forward too over the next few years.

241, I Give it a Year

After the disappointing Quartet, I was looking forward to this Brit comedy that charts the 1st year of a  'rushed into' marriage for newly weds Rose Byrne and Rafe Spall. 

Sadly, (or in this case, not so sadly) its apparent early on that with other attractions in the form of millionaire businessman Guy (Simon Baker / The Mentalist) for her and ex-girlfriend Chloe (Anna Farris / Housebunny) for him, our two lovebirds discover they may have jumped into matrimony a little too quickly as they try desperately and, sometimes awkwardly to attempt not to hurt each others feelings when secretly, all they both want is a clean break back to their own lives.

Its not just the relationship between the leading duo that grabs the laughs here though - there are plenty of fantastic supporting roles including Minnie Driver and Jason Flemyng as the 'married best friends' who's hate / hate relationship seems to be the perfect remedy to a loving and happy marriage and the marriage councillor who is more intent on couples not getting back together, spending most of the time rowing with her own hubby over the phone.

Finally - the fantastic Stephen Merchant rocks up as the ever so annoying best friend (of the Groom) who's literal mere being is enough to drive Byrne's character to complete frustration and that in itself is the focus for over 80% of the laughs in this movie - Merchant rules!.

I found this movie hilarious - its one of those awkward comedy movies where the laughs don't seem to come from actual jokes or witty one liners but more the circumstances that our cast manage to find themselves in.  These range from the wedding speeches (cringe) & games of charades (nightmare!) to the marriage guidance meetings and a trip to the adult shop! 

Rose Byrne is a brilliant choice for the lead lady in this - recently known for parts in X-Men: First Class and Bridesmaids, she manages to play the 'stiff upper lip' Brit who's worth so much more than she's settled for with Spall's (recently seen as the narrator in Life of Pi) more down to earth and geeky approach to life.

Anna Faris and Simon Baker couldn't be more different as the alternative love interests but each of them perfectly matched to each half of the married couple and its only a matter of time before the cracks start to show and the mutual feelings start seeping through.

This is a great little movie, wedged in between some real big budget blockbusters and a welcome rest bite between explosions, however that said - Die Hard is next so its all too soon back to the Big Guns!

Saturday, 16 February 2013

240, Zero Dark Thirty

It was only a matter of time before the Bin Laden story made it onto the cinema screen.  Zero Dark Thirty charts the traumatic events seen throughout the world.  The movie opens with a black screen and audio messages of emergency calls made during the 9/11 attacks and culminates over a decade later with the movies finale of the safe house take down, most of which mirrored exactly how the story was played out to us by news networks throughout the globe.

Where the 'movie element' of this comes in is the how's, why's and wherefores that went into confirming Bin Laden's location and ultimately, his take down. 

This story starts in the interrogation rooms of Guantanamo Bay where CIA operatives question and interrogate terror suspects linked with 9/11 and because of this - form a picture and awareness of a collection of couriers, moving messages between cells that results in one operative, Maya (Jessica Chastain) believing, almost without question that she has identified the link between Bin Laden and the outside world.

The opening scenes of this are not for the faint hearted - you witness a good 45 minutes of torture and interrogation including Water boarding that really brings you into to the environment that this intelligence was gained.  Once the oversight committee stop the interrogation procedures occurring it all hands to the U.S Embassy and it becomes very much a CIA thriller, easily compared to a Jack Ryan movie before the confirmation of Bin Laden's whereabouts is all but assured and a collection of current American TV and Movie actors suit up to storm the castle in a thrilling sequence of events that results in the take down of the worlds most wanted terrorist.

Staying politically correct, Its hard for me to fault a movie that is so poignant with most of the western world in today's climate.  9/11 and the London bombings affected almost everyone on one scale or another, either personally or indeed opening you're eyes to the fact that it didn't matter where you were from or who you were - you were a potential target.  However if I have to be ever so critical, it was a bit long winded.

I didn't see the need for so much time in the interrogation camps and then the countdown of days from when Maya discovered the compound to when the Secretary of Defence? gave the go ahead to attack was also too drawn out. 

The final assault though was well worth the 30-45 minutes of air time and the renegade group of Marines with their stealth choppers managed to instill some welcomed american spirit into proceedings making for a real time action movie, some shot in a Call of Duty / 1st person shooter style that just was edge of the seat viewing. 

This movie was so true to the news articles of the time that you knew what was happening, even before it happened however I was unaware that they crashed one of the helo's into the compound and although they were relatively quiet (as far as helicopters are concerned) in all honesty, they still made one hell of a racket - enough to draw out the sleepy community in which the compound was located but surprisingly - the locals onyl decided to peek through the curtains towards the end of the insertion. 

Other than that - this is a great movie - It really does let you see a little of how it might have been in the lead up to Bin Laden's take down and I for one was intrigued to see the outcome - even though I knew the result.

To finish - if like me you are having trouble understanding the title of this movie (Zero Dark Thirty), allow me to elaborate.  

"It is a humorous term used by the military based on the 24-hour clock. The hours before 10am start with a 0, so 1:00 am is 0100 and said as zero-one-hundred and so forth. Thus zero-dark hundred is any time after midnight while it is still dark.  In the Navy and Marine Corps, there was a lot of emphasis on pronouncing 0500 as "zero five hundred" instead of "oh five hundred," etc., and, as a result, some military units said "zero dark thirty" instead of "oh dark thirty." So the movie is very accurate in this regard".

(By the way - I didn't write that bit.  Someone on Google did so if that's you - Thanks for your input).

239, Bullet to the Head

Expendables 2 aside, Arnie has already strutted his stuff once more in The Last Stand and Bruce is back with Die Hard 5 so not seemingly wanting to be left out - The final member of the Planet Hollywood Trio steps up to centre stage (alone) for the first time since John Rambo in 2008.

Bullet to the Head sees Stallone (a Hitman) team up with Sung Kang (a Cop) to take down a common enemy after both their (work) partners are killed.  And sadly, that's about it.

There is no real depth to this movie - as with Arnie in The Last Stand - Sly is also probably a little too past it to take down a whole underworld single handed, and especially without Statham & Li as his wing men.  In addition - as he gets older he's becoming harder to understand so amongst all the explosions and gunfire its actually quite hard to keep up with the lines of the script.

As with other Hollywood releases currently on show - this certainly does seem to pack a mean punch in relation the the special effects and with Jason Momoa (Stargate Atlantis) stepping up as the no-nonsense hard case (albeit on the losing side) it manages to almost contain you're anticipation throughout, especially with an epic Axe battle at the finale but other than that - its nothing special.

I actually want to write plenty more about this movie but to be honest - although I only saw it a little over a week ago I cant actually remember that much about it.  Maybe that's the downside - it just didn't sit with me as a movie I wanted to shout about. 

It was ploddy  in places, there was a dull narrative by Stallone himself explaining the back story as sweeping scenery shots rolled past and I can't even remember if the daughter turned out to be good or bad! But what I do know is that the aforementioned Axe battle was by far this movies highlight, Oh and did I mention - Christian Slater is in it! (last seen by me in Churchill: The Hollywood Years - 2004)

Sorry if you wanted more but honestly, its wasn't a winner for me.

238, Movie 43

When Hollywood decides to get together every few years and throw every current A-lister into a no brainer movie the results have quite acceptable so, with this the most recent incarnation of literally everyone seemingly popping up in the trailer - including some of my own cinematic favourites my anticipation levels were more than  high. 

What a mistake.

I am confident that if most of the cast saw the result of what they signed up too each one would have moved heaven and earth to have their lawyers cut out their scenes.  Apparently, shot over a number of years to capture as many starlets as they could, this movie is a culmination of everything that's wrong with today's cinema.

Lets start with the plot - well, believe it or not there actually is one.  Two mates decide to set up one of their younger brothers when he hijacks their you-tube video, making them believe they have millions of hits - for revenge, they decide to riddle his laptop with viruses, something he would hate and to do so, lure him away by making up a story that there is a movie on-line that if ever watched, would kill you! 

So - what else is there to do but track down this imagined piece of film by hacking some of the darkest depths of the Internet and on the way - discovering a number of supposedly banned videos - starring our normally credible stars.

To be fair - my explanation is already far more exciting than the movie itself so its only right you get a feel for whats in store should you decide not to spend you re hard earned cash going to see this.

Firstly, lets start with the back-story - both mates and the younger brother are probably - the most annoying threesome you would ever care to come across but that's nothing to the catastrophe that follows.

This entire movie is split into 12 Segments or 'videos' discovered by our hackers, each with a different Director and each more ghastly than the last. 

Although I'm not a fan of this movie - part of me is compelled to want to write about each individual segment as they all feel like mini movies, obviously helped by a different Director for all as mentioned above however if I did - we'd be here all week and this movie really doesn't warrant the blog space but for the sake of opinion - at least allow me to elaborate on a few.

The first and most notable is a dinner date between Hugh Jackman & Kate Winslett which all seems to be going along peachy until he unleashes a set of perfectly formed neck testicles!  After that - its Winsletts reactions and Jackmans accidental 'dipping' incidents that get the giggles.  Then you have Johnny Knoxville and Sean William Scott beating the hell out of Gerard Butler (an Irish Leprechaun) to get his pot of gold.

As things progress we have Richard Gere with a full size, nude iBabe music centre, resembling a sex doll that no one perceives as poorly marketed except the only female executive on the board and then there is extremely awkward segment including Chloe Grace Moretz and Kick-Ass colleague Christopher Mintz-Plasse in a scene where she gets her first period on her boyfriends couch, resulting in the audience feeling more disturbed than amused with the outcome.

There are many many more but as I said - its not worth it.  If you're that interested you will see this in bargain bins across the land within 6 months and if you have a spare £1.99, knock yourself out.

Saturday, 9 February 2013

237, The Last Stand

Arnie is Back!!! (He always said he would be)

If you take out his CGI appearance in Terminator 3/4? and his bit parts in Expendables 1 & 2 you have to go right back to Collateral Damage in 2002 until you see the end of his regular appearances on the big screen.  Sly gave him the chance to get his feet wet again in 2012 but being realistic - its been over a decade until Arnie strode out in a leading role, so the question is - is he any good?

Well, no matter how good or bad he may actually be, for me - you cant beat a good Arnie movie.  In the old days he would stomp around jungles or war zones with the biggest guns, the loudest explosions and the cheesiest one-liners and this always made up for the fact that he was never that great an actor in the first place - but man, could he hold an audience.

And he isn't slowing down either - he's in a reported 7 new movies between now and 2014 and they include a new Conan and Terminator flick as well as a welcome return as Julius Benedict in the Twins sequel - Triplets!  Cant wait.

But before we get into any of that - lets get back to the Last Stand.  In this we see Arnie as an ageing Sheriff of a town close to the Mexican border.  When the FBI (Forrest Whittaker) manages to lose a wanted felon from high security who, armed with a 200mph corvette decides to make a run for the border its only Arnie and his merry band of slightly overweight and cookey Marshall's that stand in his way.

Its no surprise that Arnie is well past the 'one on one' action scenes seen in Commando or Predator however he still manages to leap around the set of this movie whilst using special effects to the max for some of the best kill scenes seen in recent times.  And he's not alone - fantastic appearances from Jackass legend Johnny Knoxville as a gun totting nutcase real and Luis Guzman as the ever hilarious inexperienced deputy.

The fights come thick and fast as does the poor town's total destruction that coincidently, takes place when almost the entire community are at a local football derby just means that there is no unwanted bloodshed and the 'older' community who stayed at home, manage to get in on the action too!

To be honest - there is not much more I can say.  This has some great battles, cracking one-liners and to his credit - quite an animated and intricate fight sequence at the end, seeing Arnie take on more of a wrestler stance for his battle with the Drug lord rather than an all out bullet fest which was definitely an unexpected outcome.

All of the cast were good and for Arnie himself - well, Yes.  He's Back!

236, Quartet

So - after completely falling in love with pensioners in the cinema, mainly thanks to The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel I headed off to see Quartet with a spring in my step, hoping that Dame Maggie and her riotous crew of legendary oldies would once again inspire me to future greatness.  Sadly though - this was not entirely to be.

Don't get me wrong - this is a lovely movie and for a certain audience (mainly those that are retired) a fantastic outing can be had however for the rest of us (namely those under 40) it just lacks the appeal of other recent hits that have taken some of our best loved British Talent and made it big on the silver screen.

If it wasn't for my love of Michael Gambon and Billy Connolly I may have actually considered getting up and leaving early - something I've NEVER done in a cinema before (apart from when Mrs M had contractions during the Matrix!).  The movie charts the residents of a retirement home for the musically talented - namely opera stars and musicians.  New resident Jean Horton (Maggie Smith) is the much loved Operatic star who's appearance within the home sets tongues a wagging as her arrival completes the Quartet - four Opera stars from days gone by, famous for their rendition of Verdi's Rigoletto. 

With the annual concert beckoning it doesn't take long for the other three members (Connolly, Courtenay & Collins) to try and talk Dame Maggie into performing their piece one more time - much to her instant dismissal.

And that's about it in a nutshell - there are a number of sub plots running alongside including Gambon's ever so eccentric portrayal as an aged musical director as well as Pauline Collins sad case of Alzheimer's and with  Dame Maggie & Tom Courtenay having once been married finally getting to know each other again, much to his regret you have all bases covered.

All of this is held together by Billy Connolly's slightly over bearing and randy performance as the joker in the home but even for him - this seemed a step too far. 

What Dustin Hoffman has tried to do (as the Director to this ensemble) is bring together a movie he is deeply passionate about and for him - its probably perfect but for me, it missed a number of chords.  Individually - each of the leading cast members have excelled in recent years - Gambon and Smith in Harry Potter and Billy on stage (Who I Saw in Brighton last year and ROCKED!) but in this - they just all lacked that special sparkle!

If you want one redeeming outcome however to this blog - then Sheridan Smith is brilliant as the Retirement Home Manager - great performance from her.

I wouldnt even call this a comedy at all and it wont captivate you as Marigold but some of the older member of the audience did chortle along constantly but to what - I cant tell you.  The other cast members are almost completely made up of retired BBC Orchestral stars or famous stage actors - most of which will pass most of us by however, I did recognise the guy from Vicar of Dibley who was once (apparently) a great stage actor? But to the rest of us, he played Jim Trott.

If this is your cup of tea then you wont go far wrong - but if you're expecting something as heartwarming as Marigold Hotel - you wont get it here.

235, Django Unchained

If Quentin Tarantino does one thing very well, its divide opinion.  From Pulp fiction and Reservoir Dogs to Kill Bill and Inglourious Basterds he continues to break boundaries in modern cinema. 

All his movies follow some form of routine - you can expect swearing, blood, violence and a mostly sublime script that's almost always fast paced and eloquent enough to captivate audiences, finalised with some form of mentally brutal scene that brings you back in the room with a thud.  That's all normal, what you don't expect is a 'laugh out loud' comedy from start to finish mixed in with all of the above.

But that's exactly what you get from Django.

Firstly - lets highlight the true brilliance that is Christopher Waltz.  Playing the absolutely terrifying Nazi Hans Lander in Inglourious Basterds, (Tarantino's last movie in 2009) Waltz now returns as the very comical Dr King Schultz - a Dentist come Bounty Hunter who in all honesty, delivers some of the best lines I've ever heard in recent years and Waltz's flair in the presentation really make this performance a marvel to behold. 

For a character who doesn't agree in the slave trade, Schultz feels all should be treated equally - instantly singling him out from the other 'white' folks who take full pride in their control over the serving hands that include our own hero - Django (Foxx)

The story starts with Schultz in his quest to find three brothers and take them out for his required Bounty, learning that Django as a previous slave to the brothers can identify them in a crowd he enlists his help (after spectacularly taking out his current captors) and promises him his freedom once his mission is complete.  Quite early on the brothers are located and exterminated however, with a sort of mutual friendship now in place they decide to carry on as partners, working across the southern states of America picking off wanted criminals as and when they choose. 

It's only when Schultz finds out that Django's wife, Broomhilda (named by her German foster parents before she became a slave) was being held at Candie Land (one of the largest known plantations - owned and managed by Calvin Candie / DiCaprio) does his national pride kick in as the story of Broomhilda (a famous German folk tale about a quest for true love) is one he cant walk away from and promises they will head to Candieland and free Django's true love - how romantic! 

DiCaprio himself is utterly fantastic - he plays the Southern twang with such flair and brilliance and is fast becoming a far better mature actor as he was in the early days.

There are fantastic cameos all throughout this - one of the best being Don Johnson's brilliant portrayal of what could easily be defined as a Colonel Sanders doppleganger (from KFC fame) and a brilliant K.K.K scene where the issue of badly made hoods with the eye holes in the wrong places manage to hook the audience in for almost 10 minutes of constant hilarious one liners.

Keep an eye out for an ex Duke of Hazard and an extremely made-up Samuel L Jackson as Candie's house Butler, Steven - who is almost as much to blame for the ill treatment of the slaves as Candie is himself and someone who gets a fair comeuppance.

Foxx is brilliant - quite unassuming and down trodden early on but growing in confidence as the movie progresses and progress it does from full on comedy to epic blood bath that would rival any of Tarantino's greatest hits to date.

To finish I feel it necessary to warn you of the level of language - being about the slave trade in the southern states there are plenty of 'N' words being banded around - 150 (ish) times if I'm not mistaken and Tarantino himself states its 'part and parcel' to the movie.

Considering the setting and the theme, I have to agree with him.  This is what would have been said and used at the time and the fact that this movie itself has a slave hero and an accomplice who's against the trade plus a finale where very few white people make it out alive you wouldn't be forgiven for absolutely loving this movie - regardless of language content.