8:00 PM, 31st August, 2002
What happens when you take an Emmy-award winning actress (Griffiths, 'Six Feet Under'), a number-one US box office star (Pearce) and the best thing to come out of 'The Secret Life of Us' (Edgerton)? What if you throw those very talented actors into a simple heist plot ((agrave)) la Ocean's Eleven with a first-time Australian director? Well, the answer is simple. You get a film that is finely acted and chock-a-block full of character and Aussie humour.
The plot revolves around a group of brothers who are making one last 'big hit' on the Melbourne Cup to set themselves up for life, and plan to steal the book-makers' takings for the day. Edgerton is the quick-tempered one, Pearce is the brains, and Mal (Richardson) is the sweet and naive one. The Hard Word certainly doesn't pretend to be anything more than a heist movie, but it stamps its uniqueness on the big screen through its use of Australian humour and a rough-around-the-edges approach, which suits the film perfectly.
The Hard Word is another good Australian film, and, while not one of the best ever, it's definitely worth the time for those who are tired of special effects and stale dialogue. It never pretends to be something it's not, and plays on its strengths, including an excellent cast and interesting situations.
10:00 PM, 31st August, 2002
Showtime is a buddy cop movie with a difference: the cops are being filmed day in, day out. De Niro is Mitch Preston, a tough-guy detective who makes one too many mistakes and is forced to have his job filmed for a new show called 'Showtime'. Trey Sellars (Murphy) is a street cop with dreams of TV stardom who is promoted to team up with Mitch on the new show, much to Mitch's chagrin.
Needless to say there's a bad guy out there who needs to be stopped and issues between the pair that need to be resolved. On the way we are treated to action-packed chase scenes and laughs as each character deals with their bizarre situation.
While not quite as cool as I would have hoped from a satire of buddy cop films starring De Niro and Murphy, Showtime is very entertaining. See it on the big screen to fully appreciate this fast-paced action comedy.