Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Jack Reacher film review

Went to see this film the Leeds Bradford Odeon.

IMDB says: Jack Reacher must uncover the truth behind a major government conspiracy in order to clear his name. On the run as a fugitive from the law, Reacher uncovers a potential secret from his past that could change his life forever.


In this Edward Zwick (Glory, Legends of the Fall) directed and screenplay written film, with Richard Wenk (The Equalizer, The Magnificent Seven), Marshall Herskovitz (The Last Samurai, Love & Other Drugs), from the novel by Lee Child, Tom Cruise (Top Gun, Jerry McGuire) stars once more as Jack Reacher.

Tom Cruise in Jack Reacher: Never Go Back (2016)

When Reacher travels to Washington to have dinner with Major Susan Turner (Cobie Smulders: Avengers Assemble, How I Met Your Mother), her substitute Colonel Sam Morgan (Holt McCallany: Fight Club, Alien 3) tells him that she has been jailed and accused of espionage.  Reacher thinks that she is a scapegoat for a conspiracy and he must find her veteran military lawyer Colonel Bob Moorcroft (Robert Catrini: Let it Bleed, Rizolli and Isles) to get answers.  Moorcroft tells him that Turner is accused of the murders of two soldiers in Afghanistan, and that Reacher himself is being sued by a woman for paternity of her 15 year-old daughter Samantha (Danika Yarosh: Heroes Reborn, Shameless).  As Reacher begins his own investigation into Turner's case, Moorcroft is murdered and he stands accused of it.  Not only has Turner been framed, but so has he, and when he realises that two assassins have been sent to kill her.  When he rescues her, they go on the run from hired killer The Hunter (Patrick Heusinger: Black Swan, Sweet Land) to find the truth, with Samantha in tow.

For an action film, there was not much action as it was saved until right at the end.  As a fan of the novels, I still struggle with the idea of Tom Cruise being Jack Reacher, a 6 foot 5, 250lb weighing and 50-inch wide-chested character bad-ass.  Yes he is a good actor and he doesn't look bad for 53, but at 5 foot 7 and weighing less that 200 lbs, he lacks the physical presence to pull it off.

It was a set piece of a standard thriller and sadly, was predictable and only the interplay between Turner and Reacher seemed to gel.  The side plot of the 'is she, isn't she?' daughter began to tire when her character got increasingly more annoying - for a character who was supposed to be street-smart, she would not make so many dumb mistakes.

In conclusion, this is not as good as the first movie, though I am sure the juggernaut of sequels will continue without a change to the lead.

Don't miss the cameo of Lee Child as a TA Agent.

Tom Cruise and Cobie Smulders in Jack Reacher: Never Go Back (2016)

Trivia: Cobie Smulders spent eight weeks training in various martial arts to prepare for her role in this film and performed all her own stunts.  The film is based on the eighteenth 'Jack Reacher' series novel by source novelist Lee Child. "One Shot," the basis of the first film Jack Reacher (2012), is the ninth book, which means this movie is not necessarily a direct sequel in terms of the book series.

Tagline:  Tom Cruise is Jack Reacher.                                                   6/10

Aldis Hodge and Sean Boyd in Jack Reacher: Never Go Back (2016)

#NeverGoBack  #JackReacher  #Odeon  #TomCruise

Lawrence Batley Theatre Spring/Summer Preview Event

I was lucky enough to attend the Lawrence Batley Theatre Spring/Summer Preview Event at the beginning of February and there are some excellent performances coming this season:

Friday 3 & Saturday 4 March  Outside the Box 

Syngenta Cellar, Friday 7.45pm & Saturday 2pm
£12 / Under 26s £8 / Kirklees Passport holders £3 off
Full Circle Productions
Warning: This show might change your life... and your death

Liz Rothschild is a performer, celebrant and award winning burial ground owner. Her unique insight into the 'business of dying' has created a highly original and beautifully cathartic show, combining mercurial tales and miraculous truths, collected over the years from life’s finishing line.

Funny, wise and taboo busting; OUTSIDE THE BOX confronts the elephant in the room with grace and humour, asking its audience to embrace mortality and look on the bright side of life, with a weave of untold and surprising stories, a hint of history and some pithy commentary on the funeral industry from one who knows.
“A remarkably refreshing and important show, gently dancing on the line between playful irreverence and necessary solemnity”

Tuesday 7 March  Polari Up North

Syngenta Cellar, 7pm
£8 / Kirklees Passport holders £3 off
Huddersfield Literature Festival
Entertaining, engaging and eclectic – Polari showcases top LGBT performers with universal appeal.

Featured performers are:

Paul Burston
Polari host, award-winning journalist and novelist, author of critically acclaimed chilling domestic noir The Black Path.

Jackie Hagan
An award-winning cosmic scally; poet, comedian, live artist, playwright and community artist, who downs champagne from her glittery false leg.

Juno Dawson
Queen of Teen 2014, multi-award-winning author of YA novels and non-fiction (This Book Is Gay, Mind Your Head and new novel Margo & Me).

VG Lee
Crazy hat lady and author of many magazine articles and five novels, the most recent being Mr Oliver’s Object of Desire.

Paul McVeigh
Bearded Irishman who likes to laugh and make other people cry – in a nice way. Writer of comedy, plays, short stories and novel The Good Son.

Plus: Bettina Carpi & Gary Lloyd – Ending At Section 28: an original dance and music short, inspired by Alan Moore's Prose History of Gender.

Thursday 9 March Comedy Cellar

Syngenta Cellar, 8pm
£10 / Under 26s £8 / Kirklees Passport holders £3 off
Gavin Webster and Jack Carroll
Resident compere: Anthony J Brown
Intimate, atmospheric and relaxed, our perennially popular monthly Comedy Cellars are the perfect way to experience stand-up in all its spontaneous, electrifying glory.

Geordie wit fresh from a role in Ken Loach's Palme d'Or winning I, Daniel Blake, his slew of credits include Never Mind the Buzzcocks, The Stand-Up Show, The Comedy Store and the Radio 4 sketch show The Show What You Wrote. Voted ‘Comedian's Comedian' 2014.

Runner-up in Britain’s Got Talent in 2013, described as ‘a revelation‘ by Daily Telegraph and ‘comedy genius’ by David Walliams.

As seen on Sunday Night at the Palladium, Trollied, Big School, The One Show, 4 O’Clock Club and numerous others.

Tuesday 14 and Wednesday 15 March  Gaudette

Main stage, 7.30pm
£16 - £10 / Under 26 £8 / Kirklees Passport holders £3 off
Obra Theatre Company
Post-show Discussion: Tuesday 14 March
The life of a Yorkshire village is shattered when elemental spirits replace the parish priest with his double. Alternative realities collide as this changeling interprets the gospel of love in his own alarming fashion. What goes on at the WI meetings?

OBRA’s eight strong international ensemble interweaves the visceral language of Ted Hughes’ seminal poetic novel with intimate physicality and dynamic choreography, accompanied by a cinematic soundscape and live junkyard percussion.

This is theatre that embraces the transformative power of language and the body; dark, complex and touching, GAUDETE is a physical and lyrical feast of ensemble theatre.

Tuesday 28 and Wednesday 29 March  The Machine Stops

Main stage, 7.30pm
£17 - £10 / Under 26 £8 / Kirklees Passport holders £3 off
Pilot Theatre & York Theatre Royal
Post-show Discussion: Tuesday 28 March
"You talk as if a god had made the Machine, men made it, do not forget that."

THE MACHINE STOPS is a chilling prediction and exploration of our increasingly complex relationship with technology. In a dystopian underground world, Kuno alone questions humanity's now total dependency on technology to live and communicate. In his struggle to break out, can he reach the Earth's surface before the Machine stops?

One of the UK's leading touring companies Pilot Theatre (Antigone, The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner) returns to the LBT with this adaptation of renowned novelist EM Forster's 1909 short story masterpiece, which is still astoundingly prophetic and poignant today.


Monday 3 and Tuesday 4 April  The Empty Nesters' Club
Main stage, 7.30pm       
£17 - £10 / Under 26 £8 / Kirklees Passport holders £3
The John Godber Company & Theatre Royal Wakefield
Post-show Discussion: Monday 3 April
Join Vicky Barret for the inaugural meeting of The Empty Nesters’ Club.

If your children have left home and the nest is empty, this is the group for you! Vicky will share her story of empty bedrooms, fresher's flu, boyfriends, long goodbyes, motorway service stations and trips to Ikea; and how she fought back to be the woman she is today, exhausted.

THE EMPTY NESTERS' CLUB is a brand new comedy from John Godber (Shafted, This Might Hurt). Godber’s plays, including Bouncers and Teechers, are regularly performed across the globe and translated into a multitude of languages.

'Funny, no-nonsense and moving'
For details of all other events, please check out the Lawrence Batley Theatre website: http://www.thelbt.org/whats_on or call the Box Office on 01484 430528

Monday, 27 February 2017

Huddersfield Literature Festival 4 - 19 March 2017

Having tried today to book five events at the Huddersfield Literature Festival, I thought I would share the following information with my followers:

Don't miss out on these Writing Workshops...
Don't miss out on these Festival events.
Tickets now on sale.
Saturday 4 March

Getting Started in Showbiz! with Simon Crump

Room HW2/33 Harold Wilson Building, University of Huddersfield, HD1 3DH

An introductory workshop for aspiring writers, covering getting started and training the eye, and providing tips for avoiding the dreaded writer’s block.
Simon Crump is the author of My Elvis Blackout, Monkey's Birthday, Twilight Time and Neverland, and Senior Lecturer PhD in Creative Writing at the University of Huddersfield. He was born in Leicestershire, studied philosophy at Sheffield University and has an MA in Fine Art.
Saturday 11 March

WORKSHOP: Creating a Villain, with Liz Mistry

Room HW2/33, Harold Wilson Buildling, University of Huddersfield, HD1 3DH
A practical workshop to develop ideas for creating a villain for a crime novel or short story.
Liz Mistry is a crime fiction writer whose debut novel Unquiet Souls was published in 2016.Liz Mistry taught in inner city Bradford schools for more than 20 years and Liz likes to use the rich tapestry of her life in Bradford, combined with her Scottish heritage, in her writing.
As well as writing crime fiction, Liz is co-founder of and main contributor to The Crime Warp blog, which reviews all areas of crime fiction, interviews crime authors and participates in blog tours.
Please note: 12 places only
Saturday 4 March

Liberating Poetic Chaos: Emily Dickinson, with Steve Ely

Room HW2/33 Harold Wilson Building, University of Huddersfield, HD1 3DH

Emily Dickinson's poetry emerges from a chaotic inner life in which biographical elements are transformed by a visionary imagination informed by her religious training, experience of the American civil war, a love of nature, the observational eye of a scientist - and the existential terror and exhilaration she felt when she contemplated the fierce and fathomless powers of the inscrutable Universe she found herself thrown into. 
With West Yorkshire poet, Steve Ely, participants will identify the elements of Dickinson's chaos and complete writing exercises in her style and spirit.
Saturday 18 March

How to Write a Synopsis with Debbie Taylor

HW2/33 Harold Wilson Building, University of Huddersfield, HD1 3DH
A foolproof method to take the pain out of writing the most difficult page a novelist has to compose.
For writers who have started or completed a novel (women only). Debbie is the Editor of Mslexia, an experienced tutor and an acclaimed novelist.
Saturday 18 March

Short Story Writing with Michèle Roberts

HW2/33 Harold Wilson Building, University of Huddersfield, HD1 3DH
A practical workshop led by the acclaimed author and Emeritus Professor of Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia.
The workshop will cover new ways of thinking about writing short stories. It will be practical and experimental, using writing exercises designed to help us find a subject and feel inspired, keep going, re-draft, and finish. 
Please note: 15 places only
To see a list of all our Festival Events download our online brochure
Copyright © 2017 Huddersfield Literature Festival, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Huddersfield Literature Festival
29 Dartmouth Ave
Huddersfield, HD5 8UP
United Kingdom



Sadly, I could only book 3 events as the How to Write a Synopsis and Short Story Writing Workshop were already booked up, so don't delay.