Things I have been cooking lately #99: Penne with peas, pancetta and pesto

I am a big fan of Leon’s fresh, healthy meals and snacks and now that there’s one at the bottom of my new building I will admit to visiting it quite often for lunch. I was lucky enough to get the Leon: Fast Suppers mini recipe book, which I have been coveting, for my birthday. This is the first recipe I tried from the book and Mr O and I were both impressed by how absolutely delicious something so simple could be. A great mid-week dinner, packed with flavour.

Penne with peas, pancetta and pesto

5 cloves of garlic
2 onions
250g smoked pancetta lardons
3 tablespoons of olive oil
350g frozen peas
4o0g penne
4 tablespoons of red pesto
Salt

Put a large pot of salted water to boil over a high heat. Peel and finely chop the garlic and onions.

Fry the garlic and onions in the olive oil in a large heavy based frying pan over a medium heat for five minutes. Add the pancetta and cook for 3 more minutes. Add the peas and stir well to coat them with the oil. Turn the heat down to low and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

While the peas are cooking add the penne to the boiling water and cook according to the package instructions. Drain, reserving 1 tablespoon of the cooking water. Return to the pot with the reserved water to keep it moist. Stir in the pesto and then the pea mixture. Serve immediately with a little parmesan grated over the top.

Serves 4

wpid-img_20141110_201350.jpg

Question of the Month: Best Character of 2014

Abbi:

Check out Luke BBT’s post on Favourite Characters of 2014 over at The oracle of Film and see who I chose!

Originally posted on Oracle of Film:

Who is the best character of 2014? It is a question that has been bandied around for decades (well, since 2014… halfway through 201… at the start of the month), and finally, maybe, we might just have some answers for you. Like all of the major challenges in my life, I ran running and screaming for the WordPress family to do my homework for me and got them to write you some answers. Hell, one of them might even be coherent. So, without further ado, let’s investigate the answers.

Wait, I forgot some ado. There will be no Question of the Month next month, because it is Christmas and I assume you have more important things to do than have me pester you with annoying questions. So, I guess I will email you all in 2015 for the next jam-packed Question of the Month (Best character of 2015?). Oh, and…

View original 2,369 more words

My top ten TV bitches

It’s not surprising that some of my favourite TV characters are “bitches”. I’m talking about the ladies that take no nonsense, tell it like it as and sometimes bring a level of mean we wouldn’t be brave enough to level ourselves. More often than not it’s the bitch that steals the show and keeps us coming for me. These are the ones I love.

April-ludgate

April Ludgate
Played by: Aubrey Plaza
Show: Parks and Recreation (2009 – )
Bitch style: Utterly disinterested by everything and anything
Bitch level: 3/10
Favourite target: Her colleague, Jerry.
“April Ludgate: Can you Photoshop your life with better decisions, Jerry? “

f-sookie-f

Pam De Beaufort
Played by: Kristin Bauer van Straten
Show: True Blood (2008 – 2014)
Bitch style: Blood-sucking, stone cold lesbian
Bitch level: 8/10
Favourite target: Sookie Stackhouse
“Pam De Beaufort: [to Sookie] Did I miss something? Are we girls now? Did we join a book club and read some queer chicklet memoir and now are bound together by estrogen and sisterhood or some other feminist drivel? “

game-of-thrones-films-that-controversial-nude-scene

Cersei Lannister
Played by: Lena Headley
Show: Game of Thrones (2011 – )
Bitch style: Willing to do anything for power
Favourite target: Her brother, Tyrion
Bitch level: 10/10
Cersei Lannister: [to Margaery] If you ever call me sister again, I’ll have you strangled in your sleep.”

original

Sadie Saxton
Played by: Molly Tarlov
Show: Awkward. (2011 – )
Bitch style: Delivering brutal slights disguised as”helpful” advice.
Favourite target: Jenna Hamilton
Bitch level: 4/10
“Sadie: If you tell anyone I’m having this soft side moment I swear I will cut you.”

 Red6

Galina ‘Red’ Reznikov
Played by: Kate Mulgrew
Show: Orange is the New Black (2013 – )
Bitch style: Rules with an iron fist and ready to punish anyone who transgresses.
Favourite target: Varies across seasons
Bitch level: 6/10
“Galina ‘Red’ Reznikov: Because no matter how hard you try and how much we want it, there’s the people who serve the bread, and the people who eat the bread!”

tumblr_lh72zaxdBa1qfktwjo1_500

Jackie Burkhart
Played by: Mila Kunis
Show: That 70’s Show (1998 – 2006)
Bitch style: Manipulative, spoilt popular high school bitch
Favourite target: Her boyfriend, Michael.
Bitch level: 2/10
“Jackie Burkhart: Look, Eric, just write her a letter. That’s how I broke up with Michael. I was able to take my time and come up with good synonyms for… cowardly won’t-marry-me loser, run-away-to-California jackass.”

tumblr_lq3bb8kmNc1qzwgnko1_500

Wilhemina Slater
Played by: Vanessa Williams
Show: Ugly Betty (2006 – 2010)
Bitch style: Controlling, brutal and always stylish
Favourite target: Everyone
Bitch level: 6/10
“Wilhelmina Slater: Look at us! Two women of color out for a fancy lunch in the town! Isn’t this fun, girlfriend?
Betty Suarez: [laughs nervously] I guess.
Wilhelmina Slater: And that blouse is heaven! Where did you get? I love it!
Betty Suarez: No you don’t!
Wilhelmina Slater: No, I don’t. It’s hideous, like driving through Ohio.”

tumblr_lruonhkm461qbnppyo1_500

Karen Walker
Played by: Megan Mullally
Show: Will & Grace (1998 – 2006)
Bitch style: Self-obsessed and mostly inebriated
Favourite target: Her boss, Grace Adler
Bitch level: 7/10
“Karen Walker: Hey I have feelilngs too you know…..
[Jack and Karen both break out laughing]
Karen Walker: Dammit, I was trying to keep a straight face.”

tumblr_nd6v6fi7mm1qefwl8o2_500

Fiona Goode
Played by: Jessica Lange
Show: American Horror Story (2011 – )
Bitch style: Power hungry and completely unwilling to grow old gracefully
Favourite target: Her daughter, Cordelia
Bitch level: 9/10
“Fiona Goode: Too much? Well, I don’t know. Maybe you’re right. Then here’s my other offer: You can all just die.”

wdd3rnbqnrrgimcdztoe

Cordelia Chase
Played by: Charisma Carpenter
Show: Buffy The Vampire Slayer (1997 – 2003)
Bitch style: Completely self-obsessed
Favourite target: Her on-off boyfriend, Xander Harris
Bitch level: 1/10
“Cordelia: People who think their problems are so huge craze me. Like this time I sort of ran over this girl on her bike. It was the most traumatizing event of my life, and she’s trying to make it about her leg! Like my pain meant nothing! “

Film Friday #207

Fury (2014)

In the dying moments of WWII in Germany,  US Sargent Don ‘Wardaddy’ Collier (Brad Pitt) commands is assigned a new gunner to join his tank crew in the form of grass-green administrator, Norman Ellison (Logan Lerman). Collier, his crew and their tank, nicknamed Fury, have managed to survive the war by sticking together and being willing to do whatever it takes to face down the enemy so they’re not particularly thrilled to have Norman on board. Not only is he nervous and scared but he has a set of scruples that the others have long-since abandoned in the reality of war. Fury trundles through German village after German village forcing surrender until Collier is sent to defend a set of crossroads from the advancing German army, which is by this stage mostly made up of kids and old men. Except this time its an SS battalion, the tank has broken down and the only thing in the way is five men and their refusal to quit. As exciting as Fury’s final battle is, this film is not about that. It’s more about the brutality of war as well as its brutalising effects. Throughout the film I could not help wondering how Collier, Boyd ‘Bible’ Swan (Shia LaBeouf), Grady ‘Coon-Ass’ Travis (Jon Bernthal) and Trini ‘Gordo’ Garcia (Michael Peña) would ever readjust to civilian life after what they’ve seen and done which is what I feel the real story is. This is reflected in their constant refrain that life in the tank is “the best job I ever had” as well as their initial harsh treatment of Norman because he reminds them of what they have become. They are more connected now to each other than they could ever be to their families who have not been through the experiences they have. This is what spurs on their willingness to face an unwinnable final stand. Pitt gives a powerful and brooding performance and is ably supported by the vulnerable Lerman, brutal Bernthal, fatherly Peña and surprsingly strong LaBeouf (I really do think he’s turning a corner). I am a bit of a sucker for a war film and this one really does not disappoint. While it might be pretty straightforward in terms of plot development it’s got heart, tension and real power without shying away from the devastation and senselessness of war. 4/5

But they said Justice Beaver wasn't a real beaver!

But they said Justice Beaver wasn’t a real beaver!

Apocalypse Now (1979)

Continuing on the war movie theme, Mr O convinced me that I should move on from WWII to Vietnam and check out this classic, which I have somehow never seen despite it being directed by the legendary Francis Ford Coppola and being in the IMDB top 250. Apocalypse Now follows  Captain Benjamin L. Willard (Martin Sheen) as he is deployed on a classified mission to track down and eliminate Colonel Walter E. Kurtz (Marlon Brando) who has gone rogue in Cambodia. Willard meets up and is transported by a boat crew captained by Chief Phillips (Albert Hall) and staffed by a collection of young and very green recruits. As the boat heads into the jungle Willard studies Kurtz, becoming more and more fascinated with this seemingly model officer but nothing can prepare him for what is waiting in Cambodia. In a similar fashion to Fury this film is about the inhumanity of war and the effect that behaving inhumanely has on individuals. There is one particular scene where Willard meets Lieutenant Colonel Bill Kilgore (Robert Duvall) who is supposed to assist him with his mission. Instead of being concerned with the action at hand his focus is on getting to surf the beach the fighting is happening on and this really stood out for me. Everyone is distracted, unfocused, disorganised and left to their own devices, which makes the whole war operation come across as disturbingly shambolic. Sheen gives an arresting performance as a man wrestling with his own demons while mindlessly following a mission he’s not sure he agrees with, which is backed up by a dark turn from Brando, who steals the show playing Kurtz as both caught up in philosophy and ferociously brutal. Of course the incredible cinematography and visionary exposition in terms of the direction has to be mentioned but it’s hard not to wonder if Coppola has toppled ever so slightly onto the side of self-indulgence. Well-deserving of its cult war movie status but not quite the best I’ve ever seen. 4/5

Willard had taken swamp stalking to a new level

Willard had taken swamp stalking to a new level

The Giant Mechanical Man (2012)

Tim (Chris Messina) is a street performer who dresses up as a giant mechanical man in an attempt to highlight the robotic way that people go through their lives, disconnected from everyone else. Janice (Jenna Fischer) is a disaffected temp sleepwalking her way through her uneventful, almost solitary life. In the same week that Tim’s girlfriend (Lucy Punch) leaves him, Janice loses her job and is forced to move in with her married sister, Jill (Malin Akerman). Both end up working at the zoo and soon a friendship with the potential for romance starts to blossom. But Jill won’t stop attempting to set Janice up with her self-help guru friend, Doug (Topher Grace) and both are afraid to share their feelings. As much as The Giant Mechanical Man is trying to pass itself off as some kind of deep, quirky, indie thing it’s really just a slightly less annoying romcom – meet cute follows some sort of misunderstanding follows ultimate togetherness. It’s sweet watching Tim and Janice discover each other and Jill and Doug are both satisfyingly awful but there’s nothing new or particularly exciting here that would warrant making a special effort to watch this. 2.5/5

Tim might have gone a little too far with the guyliner

Tim might have gone a little too far with the guyliner

Hercules (1997)

After a prophecy reveals that Hercules (Tate Donovan) the son of Greek gods, Zeus (Rip Torn) and Hera (Samantha Eggar) will foil the future plans of  nethergod Hades (James Woods) to take over Olympus, Hades decides to make him mortal and get rid of him. But when Hades’ minions, Pain (Bobcat Goldthwaite) and Panic (Matt Frewer) get it wrong Hercules ends up banished to earth but with super strength. This doesn’t make his life with his adoptive parents easy since he’s forever destroying everything in his pathwake. So when Hercules finds out his true parentage he decides to train with Philoctetes (Danny De Vito) in the hope of becoming a true hero and returning home. But performing great feats doesn’t necessarily make you a hero and when Hades realises Hercules is still alive he’s not going to let his plans go quietly. Regular readers of this blog will no that I’m not a great one for Disney and Hercules didn’t do much to change my mind. It has one good song and Pain and Panic are pretty funny but for the rest it’s a bit flat and lacking in real magic and I quickly got bored. It also massively bugged me that Hercules just ditched his adoptive parents without a look back despite the fact that they raised and cared for him for most of his life. The screenplay must have been written by one of those kids who grows up secretly believing they’re adopted and their parents are secretly mega rich. Meh. 2/5

Hercules immediately regretted watching "The Red Wedding"

Hercules immediately regretted watching “The Red Wedding”

Things I have been cooking lately #98: Dark chocolate and peanut butter cupcakes

What goes together better than chocolate and peanut butter? Nothing! That’s what! I made these cupcakes for my colleagues on my birthday a couple of weeks ago and they were extremely popular. It’s a bit of an unusual recipe because the cake mixture is egg and dairy free (great for if you have allergies, just forgo or replace the frosting) but the cakes are moist and extremely light. I adapted this from Edibles and Travels who originally got it from Joy the Baker via Organic and Chic

Dark chocolate and peanut butter cupcakes

For the cakes

2 1/4 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 cup cocoa powder
2 teaspoons of bicarbonate of soda
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup olive oil (grapeseed oil or groundnut oil would work just as well)
2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
2 cups cold water

For the frosting

1 cup smooth peanut butter
225g butter at room temperature
3 cups icing sugar
1 tablespoon milk

Preheat your oven to 180 C (170 C for a fan oven). Line two 12 hole muffin tins with paper wrappers.

Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, bicarb and salt into a large bowl. Mixed well and set aside.

In a medium sized bowl whisk together the oil, vanilla, vinegar and water.

Gently whisk the wet ingredients into the dry until just combined. Do not overmix.

Divide the batter between the muffin tins and bake for 15 – 17 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of one of the cakes comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

Now make the frosting. Put the butter and peanut butter into a large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer until will combined. Add the icing sugar a little at a time and then beat beat well on low for one minute. Add the milk and beat on high for another minute. Spread the frosting over the cakes and decorate with some chocolate sprinkles or chopped up Reeses Pieces if you fancy.

Makes 24 cakes

wpid-img_20141106_110313.jpg

Top 10 future stars for 2014 – actress edition

After the success of last week’s Future stars – actor edition, I’ve moved onto actresses I think have the potential to rocket right into the limelight. Once again we have stars at varying levels of their careers, some who have had more roles than others but all of whom are still at least one step away from super stardom.

Adele

Adèle Exarchopoulos
What makes her stand out?: She manages to balance sex appeal with enough innocence to deliver a really powerful performance that catapulted a French film about lesbians into the spotlight.
Recent standout roles: Adèle in Blue is the Warmest Color (2013)
Interesting upcoming roles: Unknown in The Last Face
Current star rating: 20/10
“In every shoot, between the actor and the director there is manipulation. I’m not saying that negatively. It’s healthy.”

Emily-Blunt-Black-White-Desktop-wallpapers

Emily Blunt
What makes her stand out?: She can play any role – regal, tough, quirky, funny and she’s quite possibly the most beautiful woman who has ever lived. She’s on the edge of total box office domination.
Recent standout roles: Sara in Looper (2012), Rita in Edge of Tomorrow (2014)
Interesting upcoming roles: Kate Macy in Sicario (2015)
Current star rating: 80/100
“The performances I enjoy are the ones that are hard to read or ambiguous or left-of-centre because it makes you look closer and that’s what humans are like – quite mysterious creatures, hard to pinpoint.”

Lupita Nyongoo

Lupita Nyong’o
What makes her stand out?: Although she wasn’t the star of 12 Years a Slave she was the beating emotional heart of the film with an ability to portray a world of emotion just in her eyes. She also won an Oscar for her first major role.
Recent standout roles: Patsey in 12 Years a Slave (2013)
Interesting upcoming roles: Unknown in Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens  (2015)
Current star rating: 60/100
“There is something about acting that’s mysterious and magical because there is only so much I can do to prepare, and then I have to just let go and breathe and believe that it will come through.”

Margot Robbie

Margot Robbie
What makes her stand out?: She oozes sex appeal but still manages to deliver a powerful emotional performance that enabled her to hold her own against a legend like Leonardo DiCaprio.
Recent standout roles: Naomi LaPaglia in The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)
Interesting upcoming roles: Jane Porter in Tarzan (2016)
Current star rating: 40/100
“I was always very dramatic – my family would probably use the word ‘dramatic’ – as a child; always putting on performances, making everyone come watch, and pay to watch. I was very business-savvy as a child.”

Mia Wasikowska

Mia Wasikowska
What makes her standout?: She defies the traditional Hollywood beauty ideal and isn’t afraid to take on really challenging roles.
Recent standout roles: India Stoker in Stoker (2013), Bertha Minnix in Lawless (2012)
Interesting upcoming roles: Edith Cushing in Crimson Peak (2015)
Current star rating: 55/100
“When I step back and look at all of these really successful people that I’ve worked with, one thing I do take away from it is how hard they work and how focused they are.”

Natalie Dormer

Natalie Dormer
What makes her standout?: She’s delicate and pretty but she can really pull off a badass bitch.
Recent standout roles: Margery Tyrell in Game of Thrones (2011 -), Sarah in The Fades (2011)
Interesting upcoming roles: Cressida in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 (2014) and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 (2015)
Current star rating: 25/100
“I had a period of unemployment for about nine months after my first big break, and it’s the greatest lesson I ever could have learned, never to believe you’re home and dry.”

rooney mara

Rooney Mara
What makes her standout?: She’s a chameleon who is completely different in every role
Recent standout roles: Lisbeth Salander in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011), Emily Taylor in Side Effects (2013)
Interesting upcoming roles: Therese Belivet in Carol (2015), Tiger Lily in Pan (2015)
Current star rating: 45/100
“I always wanted to be an actor, but I was always fighting it. It never seemed that honorable to me, and I guess I was always afraid that I might fail.”

Rosamund Pike

Rosamund Pike
What makes her standout?: Her role in Gone Girl proved that she’s more than just an icy beauty and that she really has the skills to pull off a complex, multilayered character with style.
Recent standout roles: Amy Dunne in Gone Girl (2014)
Interesting upcoming roles:  Unknown in Return to Sender (2014)
Current star rating: 60/100
“Nothing can teach you what it’s like to work on a film set, and the best education there can be for an actor is to walk up the street and observe human nature.”

Saoirse Ronan

Saoirse Ronan
What makes her standout?: There’s something kind of ethereal and understated about her plus she’s had some great supporting roles.
Recent standout roles: Agatha in The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)
Upcoming interesting roles: Leia in Stockholm, Pennsylvania (2015), Ellis Lacey in Brooklyn (2015)
Current star rating: 35/100
“I think it’s important that we have strong, female characters in movies now, which can really leave an impression on people – especially young people – and that they’re not ‘sexy’ or ‘cool.'”

Sarah Paulson

Sarah Paulson
What makes her standout?: She is amazing at playing characters that are somehow reprehensible and vulnerable all at once. It feels like she is always pushing herself.
Recent standout roles: Various in American Horror Story (2011 – ), Mistress Epps in 12 Years A Slave (2013)
Upcoming interesting roles: Abby Gerhard in Carol (2015), Kate Haber in The Runner (2015)
Current star rating: 50/100
“I think it’s very important for people to not judge the people you’re playing. You have to find a way to love them because their story is theirs. I just don’t think there would be any use in that.”

Film Friday #206

Interstellar (2014)

In the relatively near-future most humans live as farmers after climate change has destroyed almost all of our ability to grow food. One of these people is Cooper (Matthew McConaughey), a widowed former NASA pilot who misses the times of great human exploration. When his daughter, Murphy (Mackenzie Foy) tells him she is receiving messages from a ghost in her bookshelf he is initially skeptical but when he realises they are a set of coordinates he cannot resist following them with Murph in tow. He discovers a branch of what was NASA in the middle of nowhere and is convinced by scientist, Professor Brand (Michael Caine) to pilot a mission through a wormhole that might lead to a habitable planet for humanity to migrate to. As Cooper and his crew venture across the stars, Murphy (Jessica Chastain) grows up feeling abandoned and searching for her own answers as to whether her father will ever come back to her. Although I saw Interstellar almost a week ago I am still pondering on it. There were definitely things I liked. It looks incredible and has moments of real awe and wonder and as fluffy as the script sometimes got I enjoyed its examination of the elements that make up human nature. The score was suitably bombastic, McConaughey gives his usual outstanding performance and unlike some I was totally drawn in by the actual science stuff (all that Star Trek has really paid off). On the other hand Interstellar is long - too long – and it probably could have done with a fair bit of editing. I also felt like Cooper’s son, Tom (Timothée Chalamet/Casey Affleck) was treated as an afterthought and Cooper’s lack of any real thought before leaving his children was hard to swallow. Christopher Nolan has set out to create a grand sci-fi epic with a strong emotional back story and both of these themes definitely come through. Whether they actually belong together is a different question though. Good but not as good as Inception3.5/5

Fuck you guys... I'm going to get a drink

This is the worst trip to the beach ever

Jeune et Jolie (2013)

Jeune et Jolie AKA Young and Beautiful follows seventeen year old Isabelle (Marine Vacth) through a year of her life, starting in the summer where she awkwardly loses her virginity. Fast forward to the Autumn and she’s become a high class prostitute servicing a series of businessmen in Paris hotels. When one of her clients dies in the act she panics and does a runner, which sets into a motion a series of events which will bring her secret life into the open. I suppose my big problem with this film is that I didn’t find Isabelle at all believable as a character. She comes from a well-off family who give her everything she needs and her mother and step-father are kind and open. She’s not all that interested in sex, so what possible motivation does she have for going from virgin to sex worker in such a short space of time? Maybe that’s the whole point of the film – an examination of a woman experimenting with her sexuality as a way of countering the emotional distance she feels from everyone around her (bar her little brother who she has an rather odd relationship with) but something just doesn’t click so it ends up just being lots and lots of shots of boobs attempting to disguise themselves as something deep. 2/5

Isabelle was afraid of being swallowed up by all her lies

Isabelle was afraid of being swallowed up by all her lies

The Usual Suspects (1995)

The Usual Suspects opens after an explosion in a boat yard has claimed the lives of several men following a suspected drug deal going wrong. The only survivor is Verbal Kent (Kevin Spacey), a crippled conman who for reasons unknown has been granted immunity and is protected from “on high”. With only two hours before Verbal is due to be released, Detective Dave Kujan (Chazz Paliminteri) decides to give it his best shot to find out what he knows. Aware that Verbal was involved in a line-up with a notorious former bent cop named Keaton (Gabriel Byrne) as well and several other career criminals Kujan has a sneaking suspicion they were all involved. As the time runs down Verbal spins an elaborate tale involving Keyser Soze, a mythical crime lord that no one can identify… or can they? Not only is this one of the best crime capers ever made, it’s also one of Spacey’s most impressive roles and he brings a wonderful sniveling quality to Kent. Pair this up with snappy dialogue, just the right amount of violence and some excellent supporting performances, especially from a scene-stealing Benicio Del Toro as the almost incomprehensible Fenster and you get something that is both fun and really clever. I couldn’t do The Usual Suspects justice without mentioning the epic twist, which will definitely be in my top ten when I get around to do it. I remember having no idea what was coming the first time I saw it. Mind. Blown. Well-deserving of its classic status. 4/5

Do you ever feel like you're being overshadowed by your past?

Do you ever feel like you’re being overshadowed by your past?

Homefront (2013)

After an undercover mission involving some bikers goes wrong, DEA agent, Phil Broker (Jason Statham) decides to retire and move to Louisiana with his young daughter, Maddy (Izabela Vidovic). On her first day of school Maddy is bullied by the son of a couple of the tweaker locals and uses the self-defence skills her dad taught her to knock the kid down. Needless to say mum and dad aren’t pleased that their special snowflake has been manhandled nor are they impressed with Phil’s lack of concern, even when he tries to make amends. Tweaker mom (Kate Bosworth) decides to involve her brother, Gator (James Franco) a ruthless local drug dealer to get back at Phil. it doesn’t take Gator long to uncover Phil’s past and he decides to sell him to Cyrus hanks (Frank Grillo), the leader of the biker gang Phil crossed. But Gator may have underestimated Phil and he’s definitely not going to go quietly. Homefront delivers a coherent story line and occasional moments of tense action without falling into the trap of giving Phil superhuman abilities. What it fails to do is bring anything original and Statham, while good at kicking the shit out of people and being typecast, is as wooden as ever… and once again inexplicably British. He appears to have an Arnie-like inability to even attempt an accent and there is no reference to how an obviously London born lad has ended up in the DEA. While James Franco is capable of bringing an exciting performance he also has a tendency to coast when the material is unchallenging and this is one of those times. Decidedly average. 2.5/5

Jason Statham is Jason Statham

Jason Statham is Jason Statham