Profile

Colin Shanks

Colin Shanks

Bartender @ Broadway Cafebar

About Me

Film lover and Barman from West Bridgford Nottingham.

Sometime host of Broadway's monthly Fiendish Film Quiz.

31 years old and owner of Holly the cat.

Follow me on Twitter @colin_shanks or Instagram @colinshanks

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Part Aliens creature horror movie, part Indiana Jones adventure, the forth film in the immensely profitable Jurassic Park series is an absolutely fantastic slice of popcorn entertainment. While The Lost World and Jurassic Park III felt like a rehash of the same formula, the 14 year gap from the last instalment has given a new perspective on how to do a dinosaurs-roam-loose-in-a-theme-park formula. Some incredible action scenes, some great scary moments and a wonderful reworking of John Williams' Jurassic Park score all make this feel like it should be the only sequel to Spielberg's 1993 blockbuster. The visual FX are, as you would expect, very impressive, and the cast are all very solid, although Bryce Dallas Howard's uptight park executive takes a little time to warm to. Doesn't offer anything exciting or new the genre, but still grabs your inner child and takes you on a great ride.

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A wonderful throw back to 70s chillers. Jumpy, creepy, unsettling. Loved it!

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A superb final chapter in the trilogy, chock full of action and emotion. A wonderful epic that thrills and excites but still leaves room for the odd laugh.

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Gillian Anderson gives a phenomenal performance as Blanche DuBois, with great support from the key cast. Wonderful theatre!

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26 years after the young Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) is abducted by an alien spaceship, he is living an intergalactic life of petty theft, piracy and general low level crime... until he is tasked with finding a mysterious orb with hidden powers. Chased by the powerful Ronan and his deadly assassin Nebula, Quill must join forces with Drax who is out to avenge the death of his family, Rocket a talking raccoon, Groot a talking tree, and Gamora, who was initially sent by Ronan to capture Quill. Chris Pratt is wonderfully charming and funny as the film's pivotal hero, raising this into the realms of Star Wars and Serenity as one of the most downright enjoyable sci-fi movies ever made. The supporting cast are all delightful, with special mentions due for Benicio Del Toro and Karen Gillen, both brilliantly OTT but sadly underused. Bradley Cooper has a blast as smart-arse raccoon Rocket, David Bautista shows some credibility as the teams' muscle Drax, and Vin Diesel get's his fair share of great moments as the Chewbacca/Ent Groot. Although it has it's shortcomings in terms of pacing and plot (can't give anything away!) the sheer scale of the film, and the task of introducing so many characters can only bode well for the sequel. The benchmark has been set and it's now up to Episode VII to beat it. Good luck JJ... You'll have to make an amazing Star Wars to beat this!

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Boyhood 5/5: Following the life of six year old Mason, his sister, and the complex relationship between his separated parents over a twelve year period, director Richard Linklater bravely (and potentially foolishly) chose to use the same cast, and shoot the film for a few scenes every year over the space of twelve years. The result is a magnificently coherent and consistent tale, with genuine warmth and chemistry between the cast. It's running time of just under three hours will rarely bother you, and it's worth noting that at no point during the film is any date or time period referenced, instead the clues (iPods, Obama, music) are placed for the viewer to track time. A magnificent achievement the like of which you will not have seen before, and will probably not see again.

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Tom Hardy stars as concrete plant foreman Ivan Locke, who on the evening before a major concrete contract is about to be finalised decides he must drive from Birmingham to London, abandoning his co-workers and his wife and children who are waiting for him at home to watch the football match on TV. As he drives he makes and receives countless phone calls, each slowly unraveling his past, changing his future and pulling his life apart. Tom Hardy is quite simply mesmeric as the only on screen actor, carrying the weight of the entire movie on his shoulders. His calm dulcet Welsh tone is interrupted by shouting and swearing from his stressed boss, wife, and co-worker. A hugely ambitious film that could have quite easily fallen flat on its face, however Steven Knight's tight script and brave direction keep this real-time drama on the road to success.

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When chirpy construction worker Emmet Brickowoski falls into a pit he is mistaken for a hero, foretold by an ancient prophesy, and joins an unlikely team of misfits determined to stop Lord Business from unleashing The Kragle, a weapon that will bring the world to end. The LEGO Movie is a non stop riot of colour, noise and gags... perfect for children who will find the slapstick and adventure captivating but also an absolute hoot for adults who can laugh at the more grown up gags and wallow in the nostalgia of the whole concept. Seamlessly combining stop-motion animation and CGI (you really can't tell what's what) directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller have created a vast, vivid world populated by every kind of LEGO figure, and produced a true classic of a film. The theme song, once in your head will not leave, it's as catchy as Team America's "America: F*ck Yeah" and the sheer level of background and sight gags will demand repeat viewing. Voiced by a cast of US sitcom stars, and supported by a whole host of cameos the best lines all go to Will Arnett's Batman, gruff disgruntled and moody, but blooming hilarious! There is also much to love in Morgan Freeman's Vitruvius and Liam Neeson's Bad Cop/Good Cop. The animation is perfect for 3D viewing, giving an added level of realism to the world every child had the imagination to create when playing with the small plastic bricks. A wonderfully funny and mad cap adventure that, like Despicable Me and Wreck-It Ralph, or every Pixar film can be enjoyed by people of all ages.

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Cate Blanchett steals the show as an alcoholic socialite who has lost everything and hits rock bottom, moving to San Francisco to stay with her less well off adoptive sister.
Woody Allen takes a turn away from his usual style and delivers a film with much more gusto.

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Charting the rise and fall of stock trader Jordan Belfort, Leonardo Di Caprio is magnificent as the charismatic head of Stratton Oakmont, a small penny stocks trading firm who quickly rise to become a major Wall Street firm. With the wealth of money comes the drugs, sex and parties... all done to excess... and all helping contribute to his inevitable downfall. Supported by a tremendous cast including Matthew McConahay Jonah Hill and Margot Robbie, this is Martin Scorsese's fifth collaboration with DiCaprio and easily their best yet. It's easy to draw comparisons between Belfort and Goodfellas' Henry Hill, and it's no understatement to say this film will rank alongside Goodfellas as an iconic classic of its time. Much much funnier than you would expect this is one hell of a three hour ride, and despite some press reviews saying the running time is overly long, it never feels slow, or drags in pace, proof that Scorsese still has what it takes to craft a near flawless movie. Will he finally pick up an oscar for best director this year? No... of course not... Steve McQueen will. 5/5

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American Hustle 4/5: This thoroughly entertaining and very amusing new take on the con-artist formula sees Christian Bale, playing a plump trickster sporting a dodgy comb-over, being caught red handed with his partner, fiery ex stripper Amy Adams. Forced by Bradley Cooper's copper to go after corrupt politicians, including Jeremy Renner's New Jersey Mayor, the team soon set to work. Supporting the main cast are scene stealer Jennifer Lawrence, as Bale's ex wife, and Robert De Niro, putting in his best performance in years. The costumes and hair alone are worth the admission price, but combined with a witty script, a class soundtrack and some great acting, this is a shoe-in for Oscar nominations come spring time.

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Opening with what appears to be one very long continuous take, Sandra Bullock's medical researcher Dr Ryan Stone, and seasoned astronaut Matt Kowalsky (George Clooney) are in the middle of a space walk to install some new research equipment to the Hubble Telescope, when a shower of debris hits their shuttle and leaves them adrift in space. Despite the fact this film is set in the vast emptiness of space (agoraphobics beware!) it is also incredibly tense and claustrophobic, and with a cast you can count on one hand the sheer audacity of the project must be applauded. The sound is a revelation, with you hearing only what the characters would hear, emphasising the duality of agoraphobia and claustrophobia. Although the final scene wrangles with me, I fully expect this to be up for around 8 Oscars (Best Film, Director, Actress, Supporting Actor, Sound Design, Sound Editing, Cinematography and Screenplay) and certainly to win in two or three of those categories. See it soon as everybody will be talking about it!

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Danny Boyle delivers a stunning piece of theatre. An incredibly physical, magnetic performance from Cumberbatch as The Creature, some stunning set design and lighting, combined with Johnny Lee Miller's performance all add up to make this an excellent nights entertainment, can't wait to see the roles reversed!

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A wonderfully tence and chilling take on the found footage genre popularised by Blair Witch, Paranormal Activity and [•REC] that sees a young couple participate in a fly on the wall documentary as they expect their first child. The happy jolly nature of the TV show pilot lulls you into a false sence of security, and finishes with an ending that will have you in shock.

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When a crack team of mercenaries led by Ed Harris take control of Alcatraz holding 81 civilians hostage and threatening to launch deadly VX gas rockets on the San Francisco Bay area, FBI chemist Stanley Goodspeed (Nic Cage) is called in to assist with the situation, he is quickly catapulted into a rescue mission with James Mason, (Sean Connery) an ex convict and British military officer who is the only person to have escaped from the prison. Zippy dialogue, some marvellous action set pieces and a superb cast make this one of the most enjoyable action movies of the 1990s, all with director Michael Bay's signature flair and style.

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Written by Stephen Greenhorn, adapted from his own play, this charming story revolves around the lives of two young soldiers, returning home to Edinburgh and adjusting to normal life. Set to the upbeat music of the Proclaimers, the film is a wonderfully heartwarming yet slightly heartbreaking fable, with superb performances from the main cast, Jane Horrocks in particular. Director Dexter Fletcher's second film is a far cry from the gritty criminal world of ex-con Wild Bill, and if he continues to direct movies as good as both of those, he has a long career ahead of him. 4/5

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This true drama tells of the 1976 Formula 1 season, which saw a bitter rivalry brewing between McLaren's James Hunt and Ferrari's Nikki Lauda, that took an unexpected twist when Lauda crashed and nearly died during the German Grand Prix at the Nurburgring. Hunt's cocky playboy is played by Chris Hemsworth, daring, dashing and dangerous, Lauda, on the other hand is methodical, calculating and precise, and played superbly by Daniel Bruhl. Where this film excels above most other racing films is that it invests so much time in the personal story of each of the two rivals, there is enough to find them both likeable, yet no 'hero' emerges, both characters portrayed as imperfect and flawed people. The action scenes are intense, featuring some of the best racing footage ever seen in a movie, the only drawback being the race track commentator, who insists on describing everything we can see on screen, had the commentator been Murray Walker is probably wouldn't have been a problem. Director Ron Howard scores another hit, with the true story that salutes one of the greatest rivalries in Formula 1. Expect an Oscar nomination for Bruhl, too, who is exceptional. A superb film, gripping, involving and heart pounding... and not just for fans of F1. 4/5

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In the year 2154, Earth's wealthiest citizens live on a man-made paradise space station called Elysium, free of illness, poverty and war, everybody else has to fight for what jobs are available on the overpopulated, overcrowded and pollution ridden Earth that remains below. When Max De Costa (Matt Damon) suffers an accident that leaves him with less than five days to live, he embarks on a mission to ensure a trip to Elysium. Trying to stop him is Elysium's ruthless government agent Secretary Rhodes (Jodie Foster) and her secret agent Kruger (Sharlto Copley) Following on from his huge breakout debut, District 9, director Neill Blomkamp delivers an engrossing and often astonishing sci-fi work. Matt Damon is completely at ease with his role , half Jason Bourne and half Ellen Ripley, while Jodie Foster is clipped and cold, suffering from accent amnesia. As too is Sharlto Copley, who's accent is often lost amongst the score and sound FX. That aside there is much to enjoy in this familiar, yet refreshing thriller. 4/5

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When Alan's beloved radio station is facing an imminent take over by a corporate commercial company, and the resident DJ's are facing the sack, one radio show host takes the station hostage in an attempt to retain his job. Feeling far less cinematic than you'd expect, the film feels like a long one-off episode of the Alan Partridge show, however it doesn't lose any of its high comedy rate, being funny throughout with only the odd joke missing the mark or feeling forced. An entertaining extension to the Alan Partridge world. 3/5

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When Tim turns 21, his father tells him a traditional family secret: that all of the men in their family can travel back in time. Not always a hit with women, Tim uses his new found powers to try and find himself a Girlfriend, and falls for American bookworm Mary, but soon discovers simply skipping back in time doesn't always fix things. Richard Curtis delivers a charming and poignant film, with Domenhall Gleeson wonderfully awkward as Tim, and Rachel McAdams as the plain, but sexy Mary. The films major triumph, however, comes from Tim's relationship with his time-traveling father, played superbly by Bill Nighy, funny throughout, but able to stick a lump in anyone's throat, it's a performance that will resonate with anyone who has moved out, got married, or just lost touch with their dad. Refreshingly, as this is from the director of Love Actually and Four Weddings and a Funeral, this is far less cringe-worthy both in Hugh Grant style Britishness and OTT schmaltz like Love Actually. 4/5

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Twenty three years after failing Newton Haven's "Golden Mile", a pub crawl consisting of twelve pints in twelve pubs, five childhood friends are reunited to re-attempt the legend. Upon returning to their home town however they discover not all is what it seems, and getting to The World's End is the least of their worries. Completing their 'Cornetto Trilogy', Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz duo Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg give us a very British Invasion of the Body Snatchers, full to the brim with laughs, action, and drinks... lots and lots of drinks! A few familiar faces crop up from the trilogy's past, and there are some great cameos from Hollywood stars, too. Once again the music featured in the soundtrack is spot on, and the entire film has a friendly night-down-the-local feel to it... Until the big WTF shift into the sci fi world. A superbly entertaining film, that will have you laughing all the way through, and like Shaun and Hot Fuzz is sure to become so engrained in the minds of the public it will be quoted without realising so . 4/5

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When a mysterious former Star Fleet officer by the name of Harrison (Benedict Cumberbatch) attacks the Star Fleet Academy and flees across the galaxy, Kirk, Spock and the rest of the Enterprise crew embark on a man hunt across space to capture Harrison and bring him to justice. Having introduced the majority of the cast in the first instalment of the franchise reboot, director JJ Abrams is able to hit the ground running in the second instalment, in much the same way as X-Men 2 did. Upping the ante in terms of Cumberbatch's villainous foe, and the comedy from Karl Urban's Bones and Simon Pegg's Scotty, this is everything the first film delivered and more. (Thankfully Chekov's OTT Russian accent and the endless lens flares are toned down - slightly) It's also worth noting that this film works perfectly well as a stand alone movie, with no prior knowledge of the Enterprise's previous mission needed. With JJ Abrams set to take control of the other great Sci-Fi franchise he departs, like Alex Ferguson, with a ship in full working order, ready for a new man at the helm. A third instalment is sure to follow, and with so much of the Trek universe untouched, there is a great feeling that this franchise will live long and prosper. 4/5

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When Ralph becomes bored of being the bad guy in an 8-bit arcade game he ventures out into the world of coin-op gaming and discovers they don't make em like they used to! A visual treat, this is pure self indulgence for any video game fan, packed with in jokes, laugh out loud gags and some classic characters you know and love. Although the concept is superb, stretching the idea out to a feature length means it does lose some of its zip in the middle third. But in much the way A Bug's Life and Wall•E did, it makes up for the this with a non stop barrage of jokes and action. John C Riley voices Ralph and is perfect as the fish out of water hero (or villain). One for big, and little kids alike. 4/5

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Surrounded by the ever increasing violence on the streets of Belfast, DJ Terri Hooley (Richard Dormer) takes a gamble and opens up a record store, and when a talented young band catch his eye he turns his hand to producing records. Hooley was instrumental in bringing the punk rock scene to the youth of Belfast, uniting Catholic and Protestants together. Highly enjoyable and with a great soundtrack, this is great film, with Dormer as the standout as the one eyed music mogul. A must see for anyone who grew up in the 70s. 3/5

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Alcoholic pilot "Whip" Whittaker (Denzel Washington) takes control of a flight headed to Atlanta, but heavy turbulence and mechanical malfunction jeopardise the plane, and Whip is forced to think on his feet in order to save the doomed flight. Hailed as a hero, and the only pilot capable of saving so many lives, it's not long before the FAA and federal investigators start to uncover his dark secrets. Washington excels as the lead in a role he is more than capable of holding, while support from Don Cheadle and Bruce Greenwood are mentionable, it's John Goodman's drug dealer who steals the limelight. Director Robert Zemeckis returns to the form last seen with Cast Away, and much like the flight itself, in the hands of a lesser man at the helm it would have been doomed! (I'm looking at you John Q!!) 4/5