Wednesday, 22 June 2016

The Hatton Garden Job Gets Green Light

It was one of the most dating heists of our time. Over Easter weekend 2015, four elderly men raided the Hatton Garden Safe Deposit Company and got away with an estimated £200 million worth of goods. We'll never know the true value because people keep safe deposit boxes for a reason and despite being convicted, most of the haul was never recovered.

Today it has been confirmed that The Hatton Garden Job had been given the green light and starts filming this week. Starring Matthew Goode (The Imitation Game) and Joely Richardson (Nip Tuck), the film will also feature Larry Lamb (Eastenders) as Brian Reader, Stephen Moyer (True Blood), Phil Daniels (Quadrophenia), David Calder (Lady in the Van) and Clive Russell (Game of Thrones).

The film will be directed very Ronnie Thompson (Tower Block) who also wrote the script alongside Lines & Bogdanovich. It is produced by Ben Jacques who brought us I Am Soldier and Green Street 3.

The Hatton Garden Job starts filming this week in locations around London and is set for a late 2016 release by Signature Entertainment.

Hands up who can't wait to see Matthew Goode back on screen!

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Tuesday, 21 June 2016

TV Review: Outcast: All Alone Now

Outcast All Alone Now

I forgot about broken fingernails. To be specific, I forgot about the singularly revolting experience of finding the torn-off remains of a fingernail and wondering how long it has been there and to whom it once belonged. One thing is for sure, Outcast is determined to trigger every possible aversion and outcast that I might have.

Which begs the question: why watch it? I’ve tried to explain my fascination with horror to friends and family but the best I can come up with is that it is exhilarating. More than that, Outcast is massively entertaining and I’m enjoying it more each week.

This week Outcast took somewhat of a procedural turn with the rather strange case of Blake Morrow (Lee Tergesen, Oz). Blake is your average, run-of-the-mill crappy bowling partner until something very untoward happens and he tears his best friend’s wife to pieces before folding her into a neat pile of bones. It doesn’t take a genius to guess that Blake has been possessed and Kyle and Reverend Anderson visit him in prison to investigate.

He is indeed possessed and Lee Tergesen gives an absolutely chilling performance as the unhinged and repugnant Demon Blake. That’s not the most interesting thing happening here though. Once again, Kyle’s blood seems to poison the demon but the exorcism itself fails. Perhaps most significant of all is that the demon turns around and addresses Kyle as ‘Outcast’.

So Kyle is the Outcast but what could that mean? At this point I’m dying to read the comics but I find myself in a rather charmed position. When you fall in love with a world, be it in print or on screen, there is only one moment where you do it for the first time. Sure, you can watch reruns or reread a book until it falls apart, but there is only one first time. I think this Outcast obsession is going to be big and so I’m going to hold off on filling in all the blanks just yet.

For now I’m going to speculate. I’m starting to think that if Kyle’s mother’s demon went anywhere, then it is within Kyle, and he is some sort of vessel for demons. He definitely possesses something that they respect and he must have some sort of power to tame them or destroy them. I’m wondering if other people on the show aren’t possessed, for example the evil white-haired guy Sidney (Brent Spiner). There is definitely something up with Rome’s police chief Giles (Reg E. Cathey, House of Cards) but at the moment I’m thinking he is more into covering up the demonic incursion than participating in it.

Patrick Fugit in Outcast All Alone Now

“I won’t give up until we save that man” - Reverend Anderson

“He can’t be saved. Whatever is in him is there to stay” – Kyle Barnes

Back to the episode, I really liked that they couldn’t ‘fix’ Blake Morrow and thought it significant when Kyle remarked that the demon was there to stay. It seems that there are many types of demons in the Outcast universe and while Demon Blake knew what Kyle is, I’m not sure he knew who he was.

I liked JR Bourne in his role as Luke Master, widower and best friend to Blake. I loved Master in Teen Wolf despite the fact that he was more evil than all the blood-thirsty werewolves put together.

Elsewhere in the episode, Megan is being stalked by someone from her past and it seems that some pretty hectic stuff happened to her in her previous life. I’ll be interested to see how that storyline plays out.

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Monday, 20 June 2016

Ruta Sepetys's Astonishing WWII Drama 'Salt to the Sea'

Book Review - Salt to the Sea - Ruta Sepetys

In a war of infinite tragedies, there is one event that receives surprisingly little attention. On 30 January 1945, the MV Wilhelm Gustloff left the port of Gotenhafen en route to Kiel carrying thousands of refugees escaping the advance of the Red Army. Just outside of Gotenhafen, the ship was torpedoed and sunk by Soviet submarine S-13. It is estimated that 9,400 people died in the disaster, more than 5,000 of which were children, making this the greatest maritime disaster of all time.

But who were the people on board the MV Wilhelm Gustloff? Who were they escaping and where were they travelling to? Many were indeed German but there were thousands of Polish, Lithuanian and Prussian civilians too.

Salt to the Sea - Ruta SepetysIn Salt to the Sea, New York Times bestseller and Carnegie Medal finalist Ruta Sepetys attempts to answer these questions. Salt to the Sea focuses on the narrative of four teenagers desperately making their way to Gotenhafen: Joana is a young nurse who has seen more horrors than she cares to admit. Driven by guilt, she is fleeing East Prussia but originally lost her family in Lithuania. Florian is from Prussia and was working as an art restoration apprentice for the Germans when he realised what they were really doing and fled with a priceless artefact. Emilia is fleeing Lwów in Poland where she was brutalised by Russian soldiers. Heavily pregnant and traumatised, she is saved from further harm by Florian. Alfred is a young German soldier, eager to please his Nazi superiors and further the aims of the Reich.

The stories of the four teenagers are told in short, alternating chapters until the inevitable occurs and their fates intertwine. Sepetys pulls no punches whatsoever and the final chapters will take your breath away with their realism and utter tragedy.

In a time of refugees, war time and the rise of right-wing politics across Europe, Salt to the Sea is an especially important book that reminds us that just 70 years ago it is we that were fleeing and being brutalised and traumatised. Ruta Sepetys has written such relatable characters that this is the perfect book to suggest to teenagers to introduce them to some of the most important issues of our time. Despite the short chapters, the depth of the character is such that you can’t help but feel sneering contempt for Alfred and unutterable empathy and sadness for Emilia.

Having read everything I could lay my hands on about the Holocaust and the Jewish victims of the Nazi regime, this book was somewhat unique to me. Salt to the Sea forces us to look at perspectives of the Second World War that we wouldn’t normally focus on, on the tragedy that befell the ordinary citizens in the paths of the advancing German and Russian armies. It is not a story to replace the importance of the Holocaust, nothing can do that, but it is an important perspective nonetheless.

The story is delivered with surprising subtlety, given the sometimes brutal realism of the writing, and some of the characters hold on to their secrets to the very last pages. Mostly, the book is delivered in beautiful prose that will remain with the reader long after finishing the book.

“The Wilhelm Gustloff was pregnant with lost souls conceived of war.

They would crowd into her belly and she would give birth to their freedom”.

I give Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys a superb five out of five stars and would highly recommend it to readers seeking fantastic historic, young adult fiction.

5 Stars

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Tuesday, 14 June 2016

TV Review: Outcast: (I Remember) When She Loved Me

Patrick Fugit in Outcast (I Remember) When She Loved Me

While we’re on the subject of phobias (see last week’s recap of Darkness Surround Him), I have this recurring nightmare of swallowing my own teeth and as such, extracted teeth are one of the Scariest Things Ever in my book. Naturally I’m thrilled when Kyle Barnes (Patrick Fugit) discovers a bloody, broken canine tooth under a dresser in his house. I’m even more excited to learn the backstory behind that and to discover that said tooth has been lying undiscovered for about 20 odd years. As exhilarating as it is, I get the idea that I’m never going to be comfortable watching Outcast.

In the second episode of Outcast, we learn more about Kyle’s mum, about the life they had together before her possession. They were as close as a mother and child could be and then she turned into a depraved and violent monster. More than that, Demon Sarah (Julia Crockett) knew to deceive and lie to Kyle, to manipulate her way out of a locked cupboard and to rain the vengeance of hell upon him.

There is another side though. A side that Sarah, in her catatonic state, remembers but Kyle does not. A side where Sarah tried everything in her power to protect Kyle and ultimately had to watch in horror when she failed. Kyle does not know this but now the viewer does.

Patrick Fugit and Philip Glenister in Outcast

What Kyle does know is that he cannot leave his mother where she is and so he embarks on an ill-fated  plan to bring her home. He believes that the demon is still within her but perhaps Reverend Anderson is right, perhaps it is not.

In the midst of Kyle’s flashbacks and ignorance is his relationship with his estranged wife Allison (Kate Lyn Sheil) and his tender attempt to reconnect with his daughter Amber. The show is leaving the stage wide open for Kyle to return to their lives with his daughter loving her gift and Allison not hating the idea of him making contact but come on, this is television, we all know how that will pan out. He’d be better off running like mad in the opposite direction.

Elsewhere in “(I Remember) When She Loved Me”, there are mysterious and ritualistic animal killings and a very sinister character in Sidney (Brent Spiner). I imagine that these are threads that will be followed up in episodes to come which makes me ever more excited to see them.

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© 2005 - Mandy Southgate | Addicted to Media

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