Summary: Witty, brutal and literate, 'Justified' makes for compelling television.
It should probably be noted that at Cinemas Online we weren't fortunate enough to have seen the previous two seasons of 'Justified', so reviewing the third series was somewhat daunting.
while the recap on the DVD did little to help identify some of the characters, the strength of the writing and the efficient nature of the TV medium in such capable hands allowed for 'Justified' to be an easy show to pick up and get stuck in with.
We follow a wisecracking, strong-willed but also occaisionally vulnerable US Marshall named Raylan Givens. He's played by Timothy Olyphant who did so well in a similar role in the shortlived western show 'Deadwood', of which this owes a little to. There's a similar mix of vagabond, down-and-out characters to contend with - all of which are steeped in sin.
As season three opens, Raylan is recovering from a shootout that left him wounded and due to his weakness a few new villains (two great character actors: Neal McDonagh and Mykelti Williamson) have attempted to form a stranglehold around Harlan County.
More than just a sassy cop show ala 'The Rockford Files', 'Justified' has some serious writing chops: the series is based on the short story 'Fire in the Hole' by crime novelist Elmore Leonard ('Jackie Brown', 'Out of Sight').
On the extras side of things, there are nine commentaries, outtakes, deleted scenes and a few featurettes. More importantly, spread across three DVDs, the third season contains the following episodes:
'Birdman' was the big winner at this year's Oscars, taking home three of the major wins: Best Picture, Best Director and Best (Original) Screenplay. It meant that writer, director and producer Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu walked away with three Oscars on the same night. The quirky film about actors also scooped Best Cinematography.
Following the roaring successes of 'The Da Vinci Code' and 'Angels and Demons', the character of Robert Langdon is returning to the big screen with Tom Hanks dusting off the hair straighteners once again for the lead role and Oscar winning director Ron Howard back in charge of the production.
The web of the 'Spider-Man' franchise has become increasingly tangled after mega studios Sony and Marvel agreed to a power sharing contract, effectively meaning that Spider-Man (aka Peter Parker) could enter Marvel's Cinematic Universe (with his Avengers pals) but Sony still retains control.The web of the 'Spider-Man' franchise has become increasingly tangled after mega studios Sony and Marvel agreed to a power sharing contract, effectively meaning that Spider-Man (aka Peter Parker) could enter Marvel's Cinematic Universe (with his Avengers pals) but Sony still retains control.
The BAFTAs have been awarded and 'The Grand Budapest Hotel' led the way after the quirky comedy racked up an incredible five gongs with 'Boyhood', 'The Theory of Everything' and 'Whiplash' following up with three a piece. 'Boyhood' scooped three of the biggest with Best Picture, Director and Supporting Actress going to Richard Linklater's 12 year labour of love.
The Oscar winning actor's easy-going persona evident over decades of film performances and chilled out concerts has won the Dude legions of abiders but now he's taken his trademark chilled out nature to a whole new level - he's recording an album of sleeping tapes to 'help you get a good night's rest'.
One of the biggest bits of casting news in the last few months was Tom Hardy's involvement in David Ayer's 'Suicide Squad' - the forthcoming superhero picture also starring Will Smith, Jared Leto, Jai Courtney, Cara Delevingne and 'The Wolf of Wall Street' breakout starlet Margot Robbie.
Another year, another set of Oscar nominations and another round of gasps of both joy and shock as the toast of Hollywood is picked by their peers. Leading the pack are two critical darlings each with nine nominations: Wes Anderson's wonderful dramedy 'The Grand Budapest Hotel' and the genre-bending breakthrough 'Birdman'. 'The Imitation Game' followed closely with eight including a surprise Best Director nod.
The recent leaks of Sony's email database are continuing to flow as more information comes to light, the latest being that studio chairman Amy Pascal is keen to see Daniel Craig's James Bond be replaced by Idris Elba.