HOLLYWOOD – House of Cards final season has been confirmed, but they’ve had a script leak.

The final season of House of Cards is to go ahead, starring Robin Wright. The Studio Exec has received a leaked copy of the first episode.


Claire UNDERWOOD sits at the desk. Enter Doug STAMPER.


Mrs Underwood.


When is President Underwood due back from the totally normal trade talks he went to?


Any minute now. Actually that sounds like him now.

SOUND of Helicopter ROTOR BLADES overhead.


Claire and Doug go outside as the President’s helicopter comes in to land. The helicopter suddenly EXPLODES.


Oh no. Francis’ helicopter just exploded, probably definitely killing him.


There won’t be anything left of him.


Not even a contractually obligatory Exec Producer credit.

They return into the Oval Office.


A young woman stands waiting for them.


Hello Madam President.


Who are you?


I’m Carrie Mathison from Homeland. I’m here to begin a cat and mouse intrigue with sleeper agent Doug Stamper.


Doug? I thought I was the sleeper agent.








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EVEREST – REVIEW: John Connor and Donnie Darko go up a mountain but Josh Brolin finds it is No Country for Old Men and the whole thing collapses on Michael Kelly like a House of Cards.

The problem with Everest is that the damned thing is so f*cking big. You can’t really see it. And if you see it from the sky as a way of really getting it all in, you’re automatically taking away from it, its key characteristic: which is that it is is higher than everything else. Baltasar Kormákur’s film does a solid job of telling the true story of the disastrous 1996 expedition which was told in Jon Krakauer’s book “Into Thin Air”.  Jason Clarke plays Rob Hall, the leader of one of two commercial enterprises that takes its clients to the summit of Everest. Jake Gyllenhaal is his competitor and friend Scott Fischer who with Russian climber Anatoli Boukreev (Ingvar Eggert Sigurðsson)  is leading the other group. With so many at Base Camp there is a genuine worry that something might go wrong, but there are commercial pressures of getting their expectant clients Beck (Josh Brolin) and Doug (John Hawkes) up especially as it all takes place under the watchful eye of journalist Krakauer (Kelly).

The strength of the film is in a wonderful lead performance by Clarke who is quietly fashioning a series of brilliant character pieces amidst the more generic pay days. His Rob Hall is a gentle, solid, reassuring presence: his expertise and humanity, a tribute to the man. The rest of the cast don’t quite rise to the same level but they are all solid enough. Once the storm arrives and with it disaster, there is a sense of genuine loss – though in its attempt to not point the blame, confusion seeps into the narrative so that we are never quite clear what is going on. The CGI mountain and the real thing clash occasionally, and base camp is so obviously studio bound as to be a real distraction, but in general the mountain comes over as a worthy adversary and the drama is well done if not exactly the peak that its subject seems to demand.

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HOUSE OF CARDS 3: REVIEW – Frank Underwood is back and now he’s in the White House, but does the Netflix original series get our vote?

You campaign in poetry and you rule in prose, the hoary old cliché goes. The delight of seasons one and two of House of Cards was seeing the backroom boy, the wheeler dealer, Frank Underwood moving in the shadows. Bringing the post-modern Machiavelli into the klieg light of the presidency was always going to be a risk. There is a bold ambition to it, certainly, giving a harsh corrective to the soppy wish-fulfillment of The West Wing, but could the drama and can the character survive it? Rising to the challenge of the office?

Well, the answer is yes and no. But mainly no.

Okay what’s good about the season? Kevin Spacey has settled into the role like a comfortable pair of house slippers, but given that he doesn’t do much in the whole season, his conniving seems fairly low grade given the scandals of real presidents – wire tapping, adultery, illegal wars – he ends up performing a series of gestures to prove his badness – micturating on his father’s tomb, spitting in Jesus’ face etc. Robin Wright continues to be the best thing in the show and, as in season two, Claire gets most of the best scenes and drama. Her character changes while Francis remains much the same but in different places. And she provides an unexpected and genuinely interesting ending to the season.

So what’s bad about the season? Doug Stamper. I don’t care. You don’t care. We don’t care. I’m not even sure Doug Stamper cares. A cold unemotional hollow man is hard to root for at the best of times and Michael Kelly does his best, but he is so removed from the action and his behavior follows such clichéd lines, that the only benefit his subplot gave was the opportunity for a toilet break without having to press pause. Worse still was Paul Sparks as Thomas Yates. Again not the fault of the actor, but this is a TV exec’s idea of what a novelist looks like. And writes like. Good god, I’ve not heard purple prose like that since a saw the gallies of Prince’s autobiography. His very existence made no real sense, like almost all of Francis Underwood’s decisions.

But what about the politics? Surely being in the White House gave us more scope to get into the substantive side of the political debate? But somehow the adept politician of Seasons one and two was replaced by an incompetent who seemed constantly dumbstruck by the duplicity of … erm … politicians. Lars Mikkelsen as Putin Petrov provided Underwood with a great foil, but this rivalry was undermined by the fact that Underwood was consistently outwitted by the most junior of characters and more fatally by the audience. The joy of the first seasons was feeling you were never sure what Underwood was up to. Here, it looked more like he didn’t know what he was up to.

House of Cards is still a fascinating and beautiful show to watch. And a fourth season has potential given where we were left, but it really has to stop telling us how smart everyone is and start showing us.

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