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Movies Reviews

‘Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol’ scales new heights

Good thing IMF agent Ethan Hunt isn’t afraid of heights. He’s already leapt from a speeding train onto a helicopter inside the Channel Tunnel. He’s gone free-climbing up a 600-metre cliff-face. He’s leapt between Shaghai’s skyscrapers. So scaling the outside of the world’s highest building, Dubai’s 163-storey Bhurj Khalifa, without ropes, is all in a day’s work.

The epic action centrepiece of ‘Ghost Protocol’ easily surpasses its predecessors in terms of sheer scale and white knuckle thrills. But – with comedian Simon Pegg in tow to explain how Hunt’s adhesive climbing gloves work (“blue means glue, red means dead”) – the sequence also highlights the differences between the ‘Mission: Impossible’ films.

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Reviews

John Cleese tells tall tales

John Cleese has been the disgruntled owner of a dead parrot, a lawyer, overconfident (and ultimately limbless) knight, clueless and belligerent hotelier, TV news reader, civil servant at the Ministry Of Silly Walks, zookeeper, cheese aficionado, Roman Centurion, and fruit-obsessed self-defence instructor.

So it’s easy to forget that, as the actual creator of these characters, the self-described “writer, actor, and tall person” is first and foremost a storyteller.

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Music Reviews

U2 rock Cape Town

“I don’t want to go home,” admits a clearly elated Bono as U2’s Cape Town show draws to an end. The feeling — echoed by the capacity crowd — is completely understandable: it’s been a shared evening of rock ‘n roll showmanship, political soapboxing, and surprising intimacy.

For all the size of the show — six days to set up; 204 shipping crates of equipment; 32 000 fasteners for the video screen alone — it’s ultimately about the four men at the middle of the 360-degree stage. This spectacle has soul.

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Music Reviews

Kanye explores his beautiful dark twisted fantasy

Kanye West is the Angelina Jolie of hip-hop — his personal life overpowers his career. But unlike the actress — who tries to ignore the whole Brad-Pitt-plus-six-kids thing by playing secret agent, assassin, or 1920s housewife — the rapper actively brings his public persona to work.

Clearly the creation of the man behind such tweets as “If baroque and mod had a car crash… what would that ambulance look like?” and “I love me”, ‘My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy’ amounts to West jumping up and down on a table, shouting: “Yes, I’m a crazy douchebag. But I’ve got feelings too.”

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Music Reviews

Sun sets on Linkin Park

The warning signs were there.

“We realised it doesn’t matter what the songs sound like — if it comes from us, it’s Linkin Park,” singer Chester Bennington told Rolling Stone back in August.

Then the winning entry in the remix-the-album’s-first-single competition sounded better than the original song.

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Music Reviews

Brandon Flowers goes it alone

In the video for his debut solo single, an increasingly battered Brandon Flowers is rescued time and again by an ass-kicking Charlize Theron. But his increasingly sheepish look every time she blasts through the door is even more telling.

It’s your first clue the 29-year-old singer has some issues with going it alone. Your second? His admission to feeling “a little bit naked” without the other members of the band he fronted to fame.

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Music Reviews

Arno Carstens grows up on stage

When Arno Carstens steps out on the stage, alone, and starts performing ‘Bubblegum On My Boots’ as an acoustic ballad, the message is clear: he’s grown up.

Not that the Springbok Nude Girl has lost his edge – witness the distortion-drenched finale, the bottle of Jager at his feet, the burning ‘Blue Eyes’ lit up by former partner in crime Theo Crous. He’s simply matured into an articulate singer-songwriter.

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Movies Reviews

Sherlock Holmes gets a kick up the arse

Everything you know is wrong. Sherlock Holmes doesn’t own a deerstalker hat. Or puff one of those calabash pipes. And never in four novels and 56 short stories does he actually say: “Elementary, my dear Watson.”

In Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s writings, he’s a tortured neurotic reclusive coke-head martial artist. And, after almost 200 film appearances as a stuffy bore, that’s who finally shows up here.

Robert Downey Jr brings the quirks. Guy Ritchie supplies the grit. Together the star and director give the detective a much needed kick up the arse. Reimagining the super sleuth as reluctant superhero (a la Batman, Spider Man, Superman, and, yes, Ironman) their ‘Sherlock Holmes’ trades tweed for TNT.

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Movies Reviews

‘Up’ truly soars

Cranky septuagenarian widowers are supposed to play bowls on Wednesday afternoons, drive as slowly as they speak, and send handwritten letters to the local community newspaper complaining about the quality of the toilet paper in shopping mall restrooms.

They’re not expected to tie thousands of helium balloons to their house and float off to the untamed jungles of South America, encountering chocolate-loving oversized birds and talking dogs on arrival.

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Movies Reviews

‘Public Enemies’ takes a hit

John Dillinger: legendary Depression-era outlaw, audacious bank robber, cavalier jailbreaker, hero of the common people, and — in Michael Mann’s ‘Public Enemies’ — speed dating pioneer.

“I like baseball, movies, good clothes, fast cars, and you,” he tells a hard-to-get Billie Frechette when she first catches his eye. “What else do you need to know?”

Not much, reckons Mann.