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Talking Movies with Spling - Run All Night, Spare Parts and Paddington

Spling reviews Run All Night, Spare Parts and Paddington as broadcast on Talking Movies, Fine Music Radio. Catch Talking Movies on Fridays at 8:20am and Saturdays at 8:15am every week on Fine Music Radio.

Movie Review: Run All Night

Run All Night... while it sounds like a Lionel Richie song, this mobster man-on-the-run thriller deserves to be taken Harvey Keitel seriously. It definitely would've got more street cred with a movie title like "Sins of our Fathers", but it does have a Die Hard affinity, which makes it a bit of an in-betweener.

Run All Night is the third outing for director Jaume Collet-Serra and Liam Neeson after Unknown and Non-Stop. While it didn't live up to its potential, Unknown was swept under the Taken rug and despite being another over-60 actioner, Non-Stop managed to live up to its name as a tense in-flight thriller.

Once, twice, three times seems to be the magic number as the director-actor duo have found their stride with a tense, well-paced action thriller about a mobster hit man, who has to decide between his estranged son and his longtime best friend and mob boss.

Neeson's played the former top dog and tough guy many times before and it's getting Clint Eastwood old. Instead of churning out another typical Neeson actioner, Run All Night adds another dramatic layer, making Neeson more vulnerable opposite his "I wasn't there for him" son, played by current Robocop Joel Kinnaman, and his BFF, played by the always considerable Ed Harris.

Run All Night Movie Review

"So, what you're trying to say is that this bromance has no future?"

The rich performances are the glue that holds Run All Night together between the intense car chases and shoot outs. Conlon is a man of regrets with nothing to show for his life of crime, besides notoriety and an ability to squeeze out of convictions. When his son's life is put in danger, he shows up like a long lost bodyguard as they try to put their differences aside in order to stay alive.

At times, it functions like a buddy movie, delivering man-on-the-run thrills driven by a personal vendetta in a dangerous city rife with corruption. The wry comedy fits the atmosphere and Collet-Serra keeps us on edge with the unexpected, putting Conlon up against the mob, bent cops, a beleagured detective and a clinical next generation hitman.

Run All Night makes use of slick scene change sequences, creating a Google Maps city street view jump to relocate the story and catch up with other characters.

A strong cast, full performances and an emotionally resonant story line, contribute to a taut balancing act, managing to ensnare the excitement of a slick man-on-the-run action thriller with the gravity of a multi-generational crime drama. While you've seen it all before, this concoction is fresh, earnest and emotive enough to entertain and sustain.

The bottom line: Gripping

Top Ten Movies with Grant Hinds

Grant Hinds describes himself as a "professional geek", turning his love for tech and video games into a job many would happily trade their gamepad thumbs for. For a cool story until now... check out his Draw My Life video. From presenting GameState, a popular online show on Zoopy... the exuberant video game kingpin has steadily grown his video game empire to include regular TV appearances on the morning show, Expresso, and The Tech Report.

While presenting on TV, his credits also extend to radio as a DJ at Good Hope FM and print, having been published by Men's Health, FHM, NAG, Maxim and GQ. Hinds also has a considerable following online, having written for iAfrica.com, LazyGamer.net, IGN Africa and Game Zone.

When he's not broadcasting offline, the video game rock star is generating fresh video game content on his YouTube channel. He's living the dream, currently rocking the UK. We know his taste in video games, but what about film? We were excited to get his Top Ten Movies interview...

"Had a chat with [Terry Crews]... and he was rather inspirational."

I can't watch movies without...

- My iPad. I know it’s terrible but it means I can browse IMDB or learn a little bit more about the film I’m watching!

Which famous people share your birthday?

- Honoured to share my birthday with John Wayne and Miles Davis. (26 May)

What is the first film you remember watching?

- I’m not sure hey, but the first film that really made an impact on me was The Land Before Time. It was incredible and still is. Rewatched it the other day.

What's the worst movie you've ever seen?

- Dude, Where’s My Car? has got to be on the top of that list.

Which movies have made you tearful?

- I cried right through The Land Before Time. From beginning to end. And I’m an adult.

Who is the most famous movie star you've ever met?

- Probably Terry Crews. Had a chat with him before Expresso one morning and he was rather inspirational.

What's your favourite movie line?


Who would you choose to play you in your biopic?

- Ben Stiller. If I had a choice. Perhaps Leslie Nielsen, God rest his soul. But most likely would have to be Elijah Wood. I’d let my Producer decide.

If you could produce a movie, what would it be about?

- That's actually a very hard question. I like stories with intrigue and interesting characters so usually the subject matter is superfluous to that. Meh, who am I kidding, ANOTHER JURASSIC PARK MOVIE, BABY!

Finally, your top ten movies of all-time...

- Jurassic Park ...the greatest film of all time. The perfect marriage of science with fiction. Also, it had dinosaurs, which is generally awesome.

- District 9 ...I loved the aesthetic, and the fact that Neill Blomkamp was actually saying something.

- The Dark Knight ...Christopher Nolan’s best Batman film. Insane direction and tone.

- True Grit ...I seldom like the Western visual treatment but I was totally sucked into this one.

- Up ...moving, funny, perfect in just about every way an animated film can be.

- Airplane! ...again, possibly the greatest spoof of all time.

- The Land Before Time ...dinosaurs, I was a kid. I cried a lot.

- Gladiator ...the finest Ridley Scott film of all time.

- District 9 ... so proud of Neill Blomkamp. Although I have never met him, I think the world of this film.

- The Naked Gun ...because.

- Top Secret ...utter genius. David Zucker knows how it's done.

Top Ten Movies with... is a people series on SPL!NG, featuring a host of celebrities ranging from up-and-coming to established personalities from all industries including, but not limited to: Internet, Radio, TV, Film, Music, Art and Entrepreneurs. It's a chance to discover who they are, find out where they're at and to get a fun inside look at their taste in movies.

Movie Review: Strikdas

Strikdas is a quirky South African romantic comedy, which has been punted as a family film. The story follows Willemien, a college student, whose life is turned upside down when she brings, Vossie, an eccentric bow tie wearing friend, home to meet her parents.

It's a lot of silly fun with Kaz McFadden undertaking a similar offbeat character to Johnny Depp in Benny and Joon, opposite Leandie du Randt as an elegant "boeremeisie". Their chemistry is opposites attract, which works in a buddy comedy way but doesn't really seem as strong when things evolve.

McFadden leans into his character with an energetic and surprising performance. While cementing his eccentric side and nurturing some empathy, the role is so "Boy in a Bubble" inaccessible that it becomes alienating instead of endearing.

The alienation factor and hot/cold chemistry opposite a reluctant performance from du Randt keep the audience at a distance. While one or two jokes land, Strikdas never really jels, making it seem like a series sketches built around everybody's friendly neighbourhood weirdo, Vossie.

Strikdas Movie 2015

"Okay, just one peck on the cheek?"

Gys de Villiers and Sandra Kotze's presence is welcome in steadying the flurry of nonsense with more grounded characters. It's also good to see Sean-Marco Vorster tackling a supporting role as a jaded ex-boyfriend in a follow-up to Die Windpomp.

The quirky offbeat tone keeps it curiously entertaining and surprising as predictable plot points play out. The odd couple romantic comedy from Agent 2000: Die Laksman and Ek Joke Net 2 director, Stefan Nieuwoudt, is earnest and lightly amusing with a naive brand of comedy.

There are a number of good moments around Vossie's oddball family and perhaps they should've played them up more from the get-go. For all intents and purposes, Oupa Vorster is from Middle Earth or playing a life-size garden gnome, while the fruitcake doesn't fall far from the tree as Vossie's parents paint his back story with 50 shades of dreamcatcher kooky.

As the two distinctly different family clans clash, there's opportunity for some Meet the Fockers fun, but Strikdas never strays far from its unlikely romance roots. Unfortunately, the camp tone and alienating lead character leave little room for a real connection. It's lightly enjoyable and spirited but undermined by its disconnnectedness.

The bottom line: Off-balance

Splingometer 5 out of 10
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