Iron Man 3

Iron Man 3What can I say, when I saw this at the picture I thought it was brilliant, Guy Pearce turns from a nerd to a nasty piece of work, menacing in an enigmatic way.  He is an excellent foil to Stark, we see Pepper turn into a real hero, intelligent and caring, someone who can stand up to Stark and not take any nonsense.

It was nice to see how the previous Iron Man films and the Avengers Ensemble were all pulled neatly together for this film, rounding up how and why things had happened and also to see the consequences of ones actions.

Sir Ben Kingsley was perfectly cast as the Mandarin, sinister when playing the ruthless killer, and even better when portraying a thespian and real ‘lovey’.  I loved him and just scene stealing performance.

The core cast were all well matched and Stark’s demons certainly came out to play, Robert Downey Jr is just too good, you can really feel for the character, you think he’s arrogant but really he’s a lost child, scared of loosing Pepper, he has a real vulnerability.

I’ll be getting this on DVD soon and am really looking forward to watching it again.

Never Look Away

Never Look Awayby Linwood Barclay

A trip to an amusement park sees the disappearance of a mother, Jan, and her child being snatched from the father.  When the mother doesn’t reappear, the father David Harwood panics and reports her missing.

The police find no evidence of Jan ever being at the park and as time passes the evidence points to David killing her – even though a body has not been discovered yet.

As he tries to piece together what happens, his life starts to unravel before his eyes.  Has she been abducted by the men trying to stop him writing his corruption story as some kind of leverage or is there something else going on that he’s unaware of.

While David tried to piece together what was happening you realised the he had no idea who Jan was, she had manipulated the situation to disappear and to set David up for murder.  Initially, the police only suspected David of  killing his wife, but when a badly disfigured body is found with only personal effects for identification it seems its a foregone conclusion.

It becomes a race against time, David trying to find his wife and the police trying to arrest him for murder.  Luckily, only one of the police believes there is something wrong, the crime is to neat and David is wrapped up in a bow for them!  While he tries to establish what exactly happened, David starts to piece together who Jan really was, uncovering aspects of her supposed life that really belonged to someone else – her childhood friend – and realising that she may be alive somewhere.

Setting the scene and characters took some time to do and was a little slow going but the pace improved once this was done.  You really warmed to David and you wanted him to win, you couldn’t help feeling that he had been set up for a serious fall when Jan first met him and that his child would be taken away from him eventually.

Meanwhile, you felt Jan was a piece of work, thinking only of herself and what she can get out of life with no thought or care of the consequences of her actions.  But toward the end of the book a small part of you can empathise and understand why she did what she did, even if her motives were misplaced by greed.

It was a very enjoyable read and a real page turner and easy to pick up and put down, it had a good pace even if you did have an inkling of what was going to happen.  The final reveal still surprised but in the end it was the only conclusion.  Still, a good read for anyone who likes thrillers and I would recommend it.

The Woman In Black

woman-in-blackWe watched this last night on Netflix – what a great film.

Essentially this is a 2 person show, Kipps and the ghost, with the majority of the scenes in and around the house and gardens – very spooky and atmospheric.

The supporting cast were all well rounded characters with their own stories to tell but Kipps was the one you were drawn too with a sad back story.

Basically, it’s the story of a lawyer coming to terms with the tragic loss of his wife and being left with supporting and remaining strong for his son.  His firm sends him to a remote location to sort out and prepare for its sale.

Unbeknown to him, a dark secret exists which neither his firm or the residents of the local village deems fit to tell him, but they do try to encourage him to leave without providing a reason.

As time passes, strange things happen and he see’s someone, he just doesn’t know who.  With some investigation he discovers the family who lived in the house had ‘stolen’ a child from a mother who was now seeking revenge on all mothers with some very sad consequences.

This is what I would call a proper ghost story, relying on your imagination which creates scenarios way more scary than CGI and special effects.

How it compares to the book I can’t say but compared to the stage version I saw in the West End it was equally brilliant and I enjoyed them immensely.

Daniel Radcliffe has certainly grown up, no longer Harry Potter but a versatile actor and I look forward to seeing his next project.

I would highly recommend this.