Hypable Movie Review: ‘Broken City’

11:15 am EDT, January 18, 2013

Broken City is a political thriller full of lies, adultery, and many very surprising plot twists. Despite the stellar cast, the writing and acting doesn’t live up to its full potential, but is still slightly better than anticipated.

At the start, Billy Taggart (Mark Wahlberg), a N.Y.P.D. cop, is acquitted of murdering a 16-year-old boy who was charged with rape. However, despite media protests, Taggart wins the court case pleading self-defense, as the boy had a gun. Immediately after the trial, New York Mayor Nicholas Hostetler (Russell Crowe) and Police Commissioner Carl Fairbanks (Jeffrey Wright) quietly dismiss Taggart. Seven years later, Taggart is an almost-broke independent Private Investigator, and Mayor Hostetler contacts him for a personal investigation: he suspects his wife, Cathleen Hostetler (Catherine Zeta-Jones) is having an affair. Hostetler requests that Taggart finds all of the necessary information prior to the next mayoral election, which is only in a few days’ time. Taggart accepts the deal, mainly because the mayor also offers $50,000 for his service. After Taggart is hired, he discovers layers of lies, adultery, and twisted and misconstrued relationships and learns who he can truly trust.

Overall, the film has high and low points. Crowe redeemed himself from his lackluster performance in Les Miserables (it helps that there’s no singing in Broken City) and had an overly superb New York accent, considering he’s a New Zealander. Zeta-Jones is completely mesmerizing and her role in the story is extremely pivotal, but the script doesn’t warrant her enough screen time so it’s unfortunately difficult for her character to develop depth. Wahlberg shows many different emotional sides to his character, but again, the writing doesn’t allow enough time and pacing to really dig into the many emotions Taggart experiences. Surprisingly, Wright steals the show as the police commissioner, which left me wishing he had more time and a bigger role overall.

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Broken City is a political thriller full of lies, adultery, and many very surprising plot twists. Despite the stellar cast, the writing and acting doesn’t live up to its full potential, but is still slightly better than anticipated.

At the start, Billy Taggart (Mark Wahlberg), a N.Y.P.D. cop, is acquitted of murdering a 16-year-old boy who was charged with rape. However, despite media protests, Taggart wins the court case pleading self-defense, as the boy had a gun. Immediately after the trial, New York Mayor Nicholas Hostetler (Russell Crowe) and Police Commissioner Carl Fairbanks (Jeffrey Wright) quietly dismiss Taggart. Seven years later, Taggart is an almost-broke independent Private Investigator, and Mayor Hostetler contacts him for a personal investigation: he suspects his wife, Cathleen Hostetler (Catherine Zeta-Jones) is having an affair. Hostetler requests that Taggart finds all of the necessary information prior to the next mayoral election, which is only in a few days’ time. Taggart accepts the deal, mainly because the mayor also offers $50,000 for his service. After Taggart is hired, he discovers layers of lies, adultery, and twisted and misconstrued relationships and learns who he can truly trust.

Overall, the film has high and low points. Crowe redeemed himself from his lackluster performance in Les Miserables (it helps that there’s no singing in Broken City) and had an overly superb New York accent, considering he’s a New Zealander. Zeta-Jones is completely mesmerizing and her role in the story is extremely pivotal, but the script doesn’t warrant her enough screen time so it’s unfortunately difficult for her character to develop depth. Wahlberg shows many different emotional sides to his character, but again, the writing doesn’t allow enough time and pacing to really dig into the many emotions Taggart experiences. Surprisingly, Wright steals the show as the police commissioner, which left me wishing he had more time and a bigger role overall.

The writing, specifically the lack of character depth, is the downfall of the film. The overarching plot line is suspenseful, exciting, and has a “who done it” 1930s mystery feel, but the story is a little too fast-paced before the characters can develop themselves. A tad bit of romance is thrown into the story, and makes no difference and is completely insignificant at the end of the film. The plot twists are the most intriguing aspects of the script – next to the occasional perfectly-timed one-lined zingers – and are what kept my interest throughout the film. Broken City was set in New York but filmed in New Orleans, and director Allen Hughes did a fantastic job of creating the corrupt-New York-slum feel, but as previously stated, the overall feel of the film would have been more realistic if it was set in the 1930s, rather than present day.

Despite the stigma of having a January release date, Broken City was overall better than I expected. The plot twists and humor propelled the film, despite the disappointing characters and unnecessary romance. Yes, the actors have previously performed in much higher quality films and they will do so again in the future, but in the end, Broken City is slightly better than your average January movie.

Grade: C+

Rated: R (for pervasive language, some sexual content and violence)

Broken City opens in theaters on January 18, 2013.

Director James Gunn confirms the name of a Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 creature with the release of some concept art from the film.

The Guardians of the Galaxy have been pretty busy lately while they gear up for Vol. 2. On Friday we learned that they’ll be showing up in Avengers: Infinity War, and tonight we got a sneak peek of a creature the team will be taking on in the GotG sequel.

Taking to Twitter, Gunn showed off a piece of concept art created by Andy Park.

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Director James Gunn confirms the name of a Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 creature with the release of some concept art from the film.

The Guardians of the Galaxy have been pretty busy lately while they gear up for Vol. 2. On Friday we learned that they’ll be showing up in Avengers: Infinity War, and tonight we got a sneak peek of a creature the team will be taking on in the GotG sequel.

Taking to Twitter, Gunn showed off a piece of concept art created by Andy Park.

guardians-of-the-galaxy-2-concept-art

In his replies, he names the creature and states that, no, they aren’t fighting in space.

Then taking to Facebook, Gunn replied to fans who had questions about the image.

An updated synopsis for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 reads:

“Set to the backdrop of ‘Awesome Mixtape #2,’ Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 continues the team’s adventures as they traverse the outer reaches of the cosmos. The Guardians must fight to keep their newfound family together as they unravel the mysteries of Peter Quill’s true parentage. Old foes become new allies and fan-favorite characters from the classic comics will come to our heroes’ aid as the Marvel cinematic universe continues to expand.”

So it looks like for those who were lucky enough to see GotG 2 footage at San Diego Comic-Con this year, you’ve already seen this guy in action.

‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’ lands in theatres on May 5, 2017

Maisie Williams freaks out over ‘Game of Thrones’ season 7 scripts

"Nothing will prepare you for this."

7:45 pm EDT, August 22, 2016

Maisie Williams finished reading the scripts for Game of Thrones season 7, and totally lost her sh*t on Twitter.

Williams, who plays Arya Stark, is no stranger to shocking moments on the HBO epic fantasy series. But it seems like the events of Game of Thrones‘ penultimate season are so intense, even the seasoned young actress is left flabbergasted.

Earlier this evening, Williams summarized her experience of reading the Game of Thrones season 7 scripts on her Twitter feed. Suffice to say, the stream reads something like a thrillingly ominous preview of what fans will experience when the show returns next year.

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Maisie Williams finished reading the scripts for Game of Thrones season 7, and totally lost her sh*t on Twitter.

Williams, who plays Arya Stark, is no stranger to shocking moments on the HBO epic fantasy series. But it seems like the events of Game of Thrones‘ penultimate season are so intense, even the seasoned young actress is left flabbergasted.

Earlier this evening, Williams summarized her experience of reading the Game of Thrones season 7 scripts on her Twitter feed. Suffice to say, the stream reads something like a thrillingly ominous preview of what fans will experience when the show returns next year.

At first, Williams warned fans to steel themselves for the epic events to come.

…but apparently, no amount of mental toughness will be enough for season 7.

To summarize, Game of Thrones fans the world over are now sizzlingly jealous of Maisie Williams… and also, apparently, well and truly screwed.

With George R.R. Martin’s next installment in A Song of Ice and Fire still achingly absent, there’s almost no way to predict the major events of Game of Thrones season 7. Our only theory is that we should probably say goodbye to the feelings we managed to resuscitate after Jon Snow came back to life.

Williams isn’t the only member of the cast hinting at madness to come. Maisie’s on-screen sister Sophie Turner revealed that she too had advance knowledge while pondering Sansa’s future.

“I’ve actually just got the scripts for seven,” Turner tells Variety. “So I don’t want to say too much, because I’ll probably end up slipping some truths out!”

Seven forbid, Sophie. Seven forbid.

Game of Thrones season 7 will air some time in 2017, but not soon enough.

What madness do you think ‘Game of Thrones’ season 7 has in store?

Netflix adapting ‘Anne of Green Gables’ for new TV series with additional themes

Anne Shirley is returning to our screens!

2:45 pm EDT, August 22, 2016

L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables book series is being adapted for television by Netflix and Canadian network CBC.

The new series will begin filming next month in Ontario, Canada. Though CBC will be airing it in America’s neighbor to the north, Netflix will be distributing it in the United States and the rest of the world.

Breaking Bad writer and producer Moira Walley-Beckett is penning the entire eight-episode series and will run the show. It is expected to air on the CBC in 2017, and presumably it’ll run on Netflix around the same.

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L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables book series is being adapted for television by Netflix and Canadian network CBC.

The new series will begin filming next month in Ontario, Canada. Though CBC will be airing it in America’s neighbor to the north, Netflix will be distributing it in the United States and the rest of the world.

Breaking Bad writer and producer Moira Walley-Beckett is penning the entire eight-episode series and will run the show. It is expected to air on the CBC in 2017, and presumably it’ll run on Netflix around the same.

The eight-book Anne of Green Gables series has been adapted numerous times over the years (including the well-known, two-part 1985 televised miniseries), but this will arguably be the biggest adaptation to date thanks to the potential audience Netflix could pull in.

anne-of-green-gables-book

According to Deadline, “the coming-of-age series will focus on a young girl who, after an abusive childhood spent in orphanages and the homes of strangers, is mistakenly sent to live with an elderly spinster and her aging brother. Over time — and thanks to her unique spirit, fierce intellect and brilliant imagination — 13-year-old Anne will transform their lives and eventually the small town in which they live.”

The new adaptation “will honor the foundation of the book, but will incorporate new adventures reflecting themes of identity, sexism, bullying, prejudice, and trusting one’s self.”

The series will be set in 1890. The first book was published in 1908 by Lucy Maud Montgomery and has gone on to sell over 50 million copies worldwide.

Will you watch Netflix’s ‘Anne of Green Gables’ series?

If you’ve ever been interested in reading the series, now’s a great time to start!