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Rami Malek, Carly Chaikin, Portia Doubleday, Martin Wallström, Christian Slater, Michael Cristofer, Stephanie Corneliussen, B. D. Wong, Michel Gill, Gloria Reuben, Ron Cephas Jones, Mr. Robot [Season 1]: follows Elliot – a Cyber Security engineer by day / social vigilante hacker by night – as he’s recruited by a shady anarchist called ‘Mr Robot’. Firstly, the shows gambles everything on a wild main character: an anxious & depressed, socially inept, lonely, mentally unstable, and unsympathetic junkie-hacker! The central plot is told through his paranoid point-of-view, where we hear his thoughts – including some beautiful IT snobbery: “he owns a blackberry” “he likes the music of Josh Groban” / “stupid Marvel movies”. While Malek’s lead performance is outstanding, he’s not alone as the entire show is very well-cast: everyone has a unique look and set of traits & skills – Wallstrom and Slater in particular get a lot of time to shine. The show also looks phenomenal; it’s beautifully shot with lots of bold & striking imagery, vibrant colours, and unorthodox camerawork; like low-level & asymmetrical shots, strong leading lines… you could screenshot almost any moment and hang it on your wall. In fact, the production is so slick that it feels more like a 10-hour long movie. Every character, every sub-plot, almost every scene feels like it’s saying something about our modern way of living; how insipid tech is permeating our lives, and how ‘the masses’ are being exploited. As someone who works in IT I found myself nerding out over accuracy and tech savviness of the show; Hell, even the episode titles like “eps1.0_hellofriend.mov” are smart and cool. As the season marches forward viewers are rewarded with compelling story arcs, Shakespearian twists and turns, and scathing critiques of modern life, big business, & corporate culture. It’s very anti-establishment, and isn’t dumbed down in the slightest. Insightful, intelligent, and crammed with current issues & ‘news story’ plots, Mr Robot is the kind of show that’s setting the bar in terms of style and substance.

Score: 9/10

Rami Malek, Carly Chaikin, Portia Doubleday, Martin Wallström, Christian Slater, Michael Cristofer, Stephanie Corneliussen, B. D. Wong, Michel Gill, Gloria Reuben, Ron Cephas Jones,

Rami Malek, Carly Chaikin, Portia Doubleday, Martin Wallström, Christian Slater, Michael Cristofer, Stephanie Corneliussen, B. D. Wong, Michel Gill, Gloria Reuben, Ron Cephas Jones,

Rami Malek, Carly Chaikin, Portia Doubleday, Martin Wallström, Christian Slater, Michael Cristofer, Stephanie Corneliussen, B. D. Wong, Michel Gill, Gloria Reuben, Ron Cephas Jones,

Rami Malek, Carly Chaikin, Portia Doubleday, Martin Wallström, Christian Slater, Michael Cristofer, Stephanie Corneliussen, B. D. Wong, Michel Gill, Gloria Reuben, Ron Cephas Jones,

 

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Bullet to the Head Sylvester Stallone, Sung Kang, Jason Momoa, Sarah Shahi, Christian Slater, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Jon Seda, Holt McCallanyBullet to the Head: a career hitman and police detective team up in order to bring down a corrupt politician. From the opening scene (and every other frame of the duration) this is 100% a shameless Sly Stallone action vehicle – making him out to be as cool and badass as possible for the duration – which, let’s face it, a 66 year-old action hall-of-famer, doesn’t really need to do. His voice sounds like a sub-sonic stroke victim – so close to requiring re-dubbing or subs. Almost every minor character (wannabe models and actors) seem to be using this film as nothing more than exposure. The action scenes are poorly handled; but even blurry focus, fast cuts and shaky cam can’t spice up what’s clearly shit fights! To make up for this Sly and Walter Hill cram as many other things from the action B-movie checklist as possible: big loud guns, sexy cars, booze, nudity, drugs, tattoos, broads and more fights – and it never aims higher than that. The bi-racial ‘buddy’ element (90% of the film) reeks of 1980s – and generates cheap ‘cultural misconceptions’ and ‘hilarious’ misunderstandings RE: opposing work-ethics. The final talking point is some in-yer-face product placement – namely cars and Bulleit Burbon. While The Expendables (& #2) takes everything that was awesome about 80s action films and cranks them up past 11, up to 15; Bullet to the Head feels like a typical action B-movie with one big star and half a budget, and in the end, it’s not a bad film, but despite their best efforts, this is nowhere near Stallone or Hill’s glory days.

Score: 5/10