Colin Firth

Gotham/How To Get Away With Murder and Frank Review Upodcast

Sometimes in life, they say less is more, but we beg to differ.  For this episode of Upodcasting, more is more!  We squeeze in a load of TV shows and 2 movies.  Well, 3 movies if you include Asim coming very late to the X-men Days of Future Past party.  It could even have been 4, but Ahmed is further behind as he hasn’t even watched Guardians of the Galaxy (sheesh, come on Ahmed, get with the programme already!).

With the three un-wise men back on form, Upodcasting gears up for the autumn with Ahmed first up talking about TV shows Legends and Forever (both showing in the UK on Sky).  Martin doesn’t really count as he’s been “catching-up on” the A-Team (yes, really), but we still manage to cover Gotham, which debuted this week on Channel 5 in the UK, and How To Get Away With Murder.  Gotham has the most potential arguably, even with a known and in theory limited universe.

Back to movie-world and we talk about Woody Allen’s latest, Magic in the Moonlight, starring Emma Stone and Colin Firth.  Perhaps harsh to compare it to Blue Jasmine (yes, Martin did call the best actress Oscar first) but then what choice do we have?  It seems like with Woody Allen you have to apply some kind of logic as to hit or miss: it’s been 2 years, there’s been a lunar eclipse and he hasn’t been to court, therefore it’s a winner.  Thankfully it’s a good one and a lot easier to discuss than Frank, our final movie.  Starring Michael Fassbender, Domnall Gleeson and Maggie Gyllenhal but sort of not starring Michael Fassbender…this is certainly in the mould of an art-house movie and raises the question of artistic integrity and the motivations for artistic expression.  And that’s about as succinctly as we can express it without giving to much away.

Here’s the trailer for Frank:

As always you can stream/download or subscribe to our Podcast episode below:

Magic In The Moonlight Review

Wei Ling Soo, (real name Stanley Crawford) renowned magician and exposer of fake mediums and scam artists, is summoned to the south of France by an old school friend and fellow magician to reveal and expose Sophie Baker who is conning a wealthy American family.

An eccentric misanthrope who believes firmly in science and not spirituality, Colin Firth’s resolve is tested when he encounters a talented medium, played by Emma Stone. If there is a trick being played, will he find out and if not, how will that affect his own beliefs and existence?

There’s never any trepidation when it comes to a new Woody Allen and always a pleasure to see what he’ll give you next. Sure, some work better than others, but as I said to my friend, I’m pretty sure the scores for his films range _DSF0273.RAFbetween 62% and 89% so it’s all pretty decent.

There is much to like about this film, including British actors and the lead Colin Firth, playing a role that reminded me of myself. However, the main acting action is between Firth and Emma Stone. It is also a pleasure to watch a film that is not laced with cut after cut and so allows the viewer to enjoy the scenes, setting and photography.

The south of France is made to look lovely, without being the outright focus (see Midnight in Paris for a love letter to a location). It’s a wonderful journey that our magician goes on. The stuffy, cynical, sceptical expert is full of pithy put-downs and is firm in his beliefs that there is no meta-physical, there is no spiritual side. But once Sophie has him convinced otherwise his outlook changes permanently – opening-up to the beauty of the natural world and Sophie’s own beauty. In many ways this is familiar story – e.g. Along Came Polly – with a pretty woman making the man see the error of his unromantic, awkward ways and open his eyes to something new.

I had a lot of time for Colin Firth and it felt at times it was almost only his movie, as there was very little from the supporting cast. But what of Emma Stone and her lovely red hair? Her appearance was a surprise I’ll be honest, but a good one I have to say! I thought she was well cast in the role of the clairvoyant and love interest; a bright, romantic and keen foil to Colin Firth’s miserable Englishman.

Overall I like this film, nowhere near as much as I like Blue Jasmine, but I do really like it. And that’s despite knowing how all of the trickery was being done for most of the movie. Sit back, take some time away from exploding robots and enjoy a romantic journey through the south of France.

Magic in the Moonlight is currently in UK theaters.

Here is the trailer:


@martincawley