Tagged: Christopher Denham

 

Summary: A group of online friends travel to a Pop Culture convention to try and buy a rare comic they believe can warn them of an upcoming pandemic.

Year: 2020

Australian Cinema Release Date: TBA

Thailand Cinema Release Date: TBA

Australian Home Entertainment Release Date: TBA

Country: United States

Director: Toby Haynes

Screenwriter: Ryan Enright, Gillian Flynn

Regular Cast: Deson Borges (Wilson Wilson), Dan Byrd (Ian), John Cusack (Dr. Kevin Christie), Christopher Denham (Arby), Sasha Lane (Jessica Hyde), Ashleigh LaThrop (Becky), Jessica Rothe (Samantha), Javon ‘Wanna’ Walton (Grant), Rainn Wilson (Michael Stearns)

Guest Cast: Josh Bywater (Carson), Rammel Chan (Starweaver/Josh Chandler), Jose Antonio Garcia (Donald Resnick), Jenna Heffernan (Jenny), Dustin Ingram (Tallman), Farrah Mackenzie (Alice),  Jeanine Serralles (Colleen), Cory Michael Smith (Thomas Christie), Michael B Woods (Rod)

Running Time: 50 mins

Classification: TBC (Australia) TBC (Thailand)

 

OUR THE UTOPIA REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

Dave Griffiths’ Utopia Review:

They say that art mirrors life and that has never been more true than when it comes to the brand new Amazon Prime series Utopia. The pilot gives us an early glimpse that a new pandemic is about to spread across the globe, yes it could be plucked straight from our headlines at the moment, but what separates Utopia from the hundreds of other pandemic or post-apocalyptic television shows or movies out there is the fact that here the prediction of the pandemic may have already surfaced in a graphic novel of all places.

Utopia centres around a group of four ‘friends’ who have all met online after they realised a pattern in a strange graphic novel titled Dystopia. When an ultra rare copy of its sequel, titled Utopia, is put up for auction by a naive couple at a convention named FringeCon the four friends – Wilson Wilson (Desmin Borges – Living With Yourself), Ian (Dan Byrd – Easy A), Becky (Ashleigh LaThrop – Fifty Shades Freed) and Samantha (Jessica Rothe – Happy Death Day) – all travel to the convention with the intention to buy Utopia so they can explore their theory that the comics predict the world’s pandemics.

But they are not the only people after Utopia after a rich art collector wins the auction suddenly a young boy called Grant (Javon Walton – Euphoria) breaks into the penthouse to steal it while at the same time two assassins – Arby (Christopher Denham – Argo) and Michael Stearns (Rainn Wilson – The Office) – also pay a visit to the penthouse to retrieve the valuable item.

The best way to approach the Utopia remake is to have never seen the original British series. From the pilot episode you can tell that this is a series that is going to have many twists and turns throughout – so not knowing what is going to happen next is going to be key. Especially with the cliffhanger of the pilot which sees a character turn up that may just hint that everything in the graphic novels is based on real life.

Tone wise Utopia feels like a nineties show such as Buffy but with some edge. As soon as Samantha drops the ‘c’ word you know that the show is going to go into adult territory, the head shots that the assassins deliver as they hunt their victims later on only enhance that theory. Having said that though there is a deep intelligence to the show. The theory that the graphic novels can predict what pandemics are to come gives the show a real suspense element that you feel is only going to get expanded even further and a brief news report we hear hints that a pandemic is just starting as well.

The key to the show working though are the characters and whether they are interesting to the audience, luckily Utopia seems to have that problem well and truly solved. Wilson Wilson seems to be one of the most interesting characters to have surfaced on television for awhile, while the other three friends also could easily carry the show. After the pilot the relationship between Ian and Becky is not so much ‘will they’ but instead ‘what will they do now’ while the great acting that we know Jessica Rothe is capable of also means we are very curious to see what happens with Samantha next.

Keeping the acting in mind the casting of Rainn Wilson in such a sinister role is also a stroke of genius. We are so used to seeing his comedy side that his cold-heartedness here is a bit of surprise and there still seems to be a lot of room to further expand his character as well.

There is little doubt that once you start watching Utopia that you will continue to watch. There are just too many questions that are left after the pilot for you not to want. Questions around who the hell Grant is, what the four friends will do next and even whether or not the assassins will go after them are more than enough to keep you watching. And then there is of course the big mystery – who the hell is Jessica Hyde and is she real? Yes television fans I think our answer to iZombie has finally landed.

 

 

 

 

Argo

Summary:As the Iranian revolution reaches a boiling point, a CIA ‘exfiltration’ specialist concocts a risky plan to free six Americans who have found shelter at the home of the Canadian Ambassador. They must shoot a film in Iran.

Year: 2012

Australian Cinema Release Date: 25th October, 2012

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: USA

Director: Ben Affleck

Screenwriter: Joshuah Bearman (article), Chris Terrio

Cast: Omid Abtahi (Reza Borhani), Ben Affleck (Tony Mendez), Ryan Ahern (Sgt. Sickmann), Alan Arkin (Lester Siegel), Adrienne Barbeau (Nina), Kerry Bishe (Kathy Stafford), John Boyd (Lamont), Rob Brownstein (Landon Butler), J.R. Cacia (Brice), Kyle Chandler (Hamilton Jordan), Rory Cochrane (Lee Schatz), Bryan Cranston (Jack O’Donnell), Kelly Curran (Princess Aleppa), Christopher Denham (Mark Lijek), Danilo Di Julio (Sgt. Gauthier), Richard Dillane (OSS Officer Nichols), Tate Donovan (Bob Anders), Clea DuVall (Cora Lijek), Nikka Far (Tahran Mary), Victor Garber (Ken Taylor), Roberto Garcia (Sgt. William Gallegos), Lindsay Ginter (Hedley Donovan), Matthew Glave (Col. Charles W. Scott), John Goodman (John Chambers), Bob Gunton (Cyrus Vance), Zeljko Ivanek (Robert Pender), Bill Kalmenson (Hal Saunders), Richard Kind (Max Klein), Jon Woodward Kirby (Fred Kupke), Page Leong (Pat Taylor), Barry Livingston (David Marmor), Karina Logue (Elizabeth Anne Swift), Victor McCay (Malick), Scoot McNairy (Joe Stafford), Jamie McShane (William J. Daugherty), Chris Messina (Malinov), Araz Vahid Ebrahim Nia (Moradi), Matt Nolan (Peter Genco), Michael Parks (Jack Kirby), Tim Quill (Alan Sosa), Ali Saam (Ali Khalkhali), Yuri Sardarov (Rossi), Taylor Schilling (Christine Mendez),  Christopher Stanley (Thomas L. Ahern Jnr.), David Sullivan (Jon Titterton), Aidan Sussman (Ian Mendez), Keith Szarabajka (Adam Engell),  Bill Tangradi (Alan B. Golacinski), Shelia Vand (Sahar), Titus Welliver (Bates)

Runtime: 120 mins

Classification:M

Dave Griffiths’s ‘Argo’ Review: 

Ben Affleck may as well start preparing room on one of his shelves because he’ll soon be bringing home a new friend named Oscar. While many films are dubiously called ‘film of the year’ Argo isn’t just one that truly deserves that title, it actually deserves to be called one of the films of the generation.

Based on real events Argo is set in late 1979 and early 1980 when a group of American Embassy workers are taken hostage during a revolution in Iran (then called Tehran). What worries the American Government even more is the fact that some of the workers escaped the embassy and need to be rescued from where they are hiding in the Canadian Ambassador’s House. With their lives in danger the government wants them rescued as quickly as possibly but with guards patrolling all the airports it is going to take a very special story to get past them.

Enter CIA Agent Jack O’Donnell (Bryan Cranston – Total Recall, Rock Of Ages) who turns to one of his top operatives, Tony Mendez (Ben Affleck – To The Wonder, The Town) to come up with a believable story. However when Tony gets famous producer John Chambers (John Goodman – Flight, Trouble With The Curve) and director Lester Siegel (Alan Arkin – Arigo, The Muppets) on board to try and trick the Iranian Government into thinking that Hollywood is about to film a sci-fi blockbuster in their country it is up to O’Donnell to try and get a list of people including Hamilton Jordon (Kyle Chandler – Super 8, TV’S Friday Night Lights) to see that this far-fetched plan could actually work.

While many have criticized Ben Affleck for some of the poor acting roles he has filmed over the years you certainly can’t criticise his directing skills. With films like Gone Baby Gone and The Town under his belt Affleck cemented himself as one of the most exciting directors going around. Argo tops any of them though and shows Affleck is in fact one of the most talented directors that Hollywood has ever seen.

Few directors manage to present suspense to their audience in the way that Affleck does with Argo. So tense are the scenes at the airport that the audience are on the edge of their seat yet Affleck still makes the film completely natural, he never milks it for theatrical effect and as a result the audience at the Melbourne media screening was so impressed they broke out into a round of applause… something that rarely happens with modern films.

The naturalistic feel to Argo enhances many scenes and when you see photographs of the actual events (and the people that took part in them) you can see that Affleck has gone for a brand of perfection that just goes to show what a fine director he really is.

Argo is a guaranteed Oscar winner and will go down in history as one of the finest movies ever made.

Other Subculture Media Reviews of ‘Argo′: http://www.helium.com/items/2384900-movie-reviews-argo-2012 Also check Episode #5 of our The Good The Bad The Ugly Podcast for a more in-depth review of ‘Argo’

Rating: 5/5

IMDB Rating: Argo (2012) on IMDb