21 January 2014

Mob City - Pilot (A Guy Walks Into a Bar)

The Walking Dead's creator Frank Darabont brings us a fresh, new production trading in flesh eating zombies for money hungry gangsters - this is Mob City

Jazz, the roaring Twenties, booze and flappers. Mob City will not fail to grab your attention within the first five minutes of viewing, which is certainly a plus when it comes to any new series. The dark, film Noir style is incorporated flawlessly with the 40's genre alongside great looking sets, costumes and most importantly the gritty 'always up to no good' dialogue fits the bill. The pilot episode immediately jumps in and gives you an insight into early organised crime in America focusing mainly on the city of Los Angeles. 

Of course like any opening episode we are introduced to lots of characters and story lines that have yet to be explained. The screen is full of familiar faces when it comes to American TV shows. Fronting this story is Jon Bernthal as Joe Teague an LAPD detective who let's say has just a few acquaintances in the Mob. We are later let into the fact that the main gangster they are trying to hunt down is the infamous Mickey Cohen played by up comer Jeremy Luke. This episode also has a treat in store and this treat comes in the form of Simon Pegg, walking and talking like a 40's gangster who goes by the name of 'Hecky Nash' - what more do you want? When it comes to the mob scene there are inescapable connections with iconic films such as the classic, L.A Confidential and Polanski's Chinatown albeit we also have the feel of the recent hit series like Broadwalk Empire and the feature film Gangster Squad. Yet this seems to stand out. Perhaps down to the fact that it is more focused on the lavish and stylistic side of the era rather than directly adapting John Buntins book that follows Cohen and Parker lives in L.A. Noir: The Struggle for the the Soul of America's Most Seductive City.

With a strong cast containing the likes of Milo Ventimiglia (Heroes), Jeffrey DeMunn (The Walking Dead) and Neal McDonough (Band of Brothers) this new crime series appears to have a lot of potential. If you are a fan of the gritty, full of attitude 40's then this is definitely up your street. Mob City leaves you wanting more and I for one am already looking forward to the next instalment. Catch Mob City on Friday evenings on FOX. 

9 January 2014

Coloured Snow (Short Series)

Small Production Company Cumulo Pictures targets the short film market with their latest series of shorts; Coloured Snow.
Is seeing really believing?
This is the main question posed to us throughout this psychological thriller. Coloured Snow follows the story of Terry, who has sadly just lost his wife but is still convinced she is very much alive. As endless visions of his late wife Hazel flood Terry’s mind things start to get interested and we as viewers start to question what we see before us. Being 14 short episodes ranging from seconds to around to approximately 14 minutes build this story, cleverly scattering clues and hints for us to follow gearing us up for the series finale.
Firstly, Coloured Snow is following suit with the whole, don’t give too much away tactic that seems to be popular throughout TV and Cinema, and does this well. It is certainly a breath of fresh air when it comes to making you think for yourself and most importantly – originality. Alongside a well written script, which at times is a little un-nerving we have an eerie, melodic soundtrack by Stumbleine that makes the series all the more effective.
Despite the solid script, at times lead actor Matthew Jameson seems a tad uncertain of what he is actually saying. Albeit this is the guys character as he hallucinates about this dead wife, but it still felt a bit too forced especially when it came to the flashbacks we receive. Meanwhile, Cerian Holland playing the part of Hazel flips nicely between ‘dead’ and ‘alive’ in various silky evening gowns. Of course, this isn't an immaculate piece of work, but considering this was produced within the restrictions of a low-budget, Coloured Snow is a great example that good things can be accomplished without shoving a tonne of money behind a project. 
Director and writer of the show, Ioan Holland has certainly shown us their is potential in his work and shall hopefully pave the way for bigger projects in the future. With inescapable references to sci-fi and other worlds Coloured Snow is a unique short series that is worth your time. Enjoy deciphering this one, just be prepared for the shaky, handheld camera used throughout the series. 
Start your journey here and get lost in the world of Coloured Snow http://ow.ly/rGz4x