Robert Pattinson continues to distance himself from his teen heartthrob image with this scruffy B-movie. His loser character takes the audience on a deranged funhouse ride through corners of New York that are so lurid that the movie feels like it was made in the early 1980s, especially with its electronic score by Oneohtrix Point Never. And while it all feels a little too constructed to be believable, the film is superbly gripping. And even a bit moving.
Pattinson plays Connie, a low-life criminal who confidently robs a Brooklyn bank with his mentally simple brother Nick (played by Benny Safdie, who also directed the film with his brother Josh). As they flee, Connie gets away, but Nick is arrested. In need of cash to pay Nick's bail, Connie looks up his rather unstable friend Corey (Jennifer Jason Leigh), but she turns out to be a dead end. So he decides to break Nick out of jail. While working out this plan, he meets Ray (Buddy Duress), a junkie coming down from a bad trip, and 16-year-old Crystal (Taliah Webster). And both of them give Connie a new idea.
Yes, this is the kind of film that moves from one chaotic set-piece to the next with a wonderful volatility that makes it feel fresh and spontaneous. And the Safdie brothers direct it in a remarkably full-on style, mixing close-up camerawork with dramatic God's eye aerial shots. Every scene is awash in bright colour, and each actor delivers a performance that's physically kinetic and emotionally raw. None of these people are very easy to sympathise with, but they're so funny and unpredictable that we can't look away. Pattinson has never been this frantic before, and he's terrific as a smart guy with no common sense. He's the kind of guy who thinks that his next plan will finally be the one that works, even though it clearly won't.
Continue reading: Good Time Review
It's been 35 years since Ridley Scott's 1982 sci-fi classic, which was set in 2019. This sequel is once again a visual spectacle that mixes super-cool images with a jaggedly engaging noir-style mystery that grapples with issues of memory and identity. It's a staggeringly beautiful epic, as director Denis Villeneuve (Arrival) invests intelligence and artistry into each imaginative setting. He also avoids falling into the standard structure of an action blockbuster, skipping hackneyed things like chase scenes for much deeper emotions.
In the past 30 years, earth's eco-system has collapsed, leaving people scrambling for resources in grimy mega-cities like Los Angeles. Human-like replicants have been refined, but blade runners like K (Ryan Gosling) are still on hand to hunt down old models that have gone rogue. Then K discovers a skeleton of a replicant that apparently gave birth, which should be impossible. So K's boss (Robin Wright) instructs him to hunt down the child and erase all evidence. But Wallace (Jared Leto), head of the monolithic corporation that controls all technology, wants to find the child himself. He sends his favourite sidekick Luv (Sylvia Hoeks) to follow K and his virtual girlfriend Joi (Ana de Armas) as they track down long-lost blade runner Deckerd (Harrison Ford), who is hiding in radioactive Las Vegas and might have some answers.
The plot is packed with implications that get K's mind spinning with possibilities, and the audience's as well. And Gosling is terrific as a guy who is cold on the surface, only barely concealing his conflicting feelings. His scenes with de Armas are superb, as she offers him some romantic hope amid the doom and gloom. Gosling and Ford also generate some terrific chemistry, exchanging physical and verbal blows. And as the villain and his henchwoman, Leto and Hoeks bring plenty of menace.
Continue reading: Blade Runner 2049 Review
He doesn't know exactly what happened, but when Constantine 'Connie' Nikas hears that his brother Nick has been arrested following a bank robbery gone terribly wrong, he is desperate to get him out of the New York jail complex that is Rikers Island before he gets killed in there. He is already battered and bruised, so it is only a matter of time before he runs out of luck. The only way Connie knows how to help him is by getting involved in yet more criminal activity that leads him on a dangerous journey with cops on his tail. With an unlikely accomplice, however, he has a good chance of reuniting with his brother - whose vulnerability only spurs him on. Connie knows that it'll be all his fault if Nick gets killed and since the pair only really have each other, that's not something he can let happen.
Continue: Good Time Trailer
Officer K (Ryan Gosling) is an LAPD law enforcer and a new Blade Runner whose job it is to hunt down and destroy any replicants that find their way to Earth. Replicants are genetically engineered people with short lifespans who have been used solely for work on space colonies for the last few decades. However, when Officer K uncovers a terrifying secret about the replicants that threatens the future of the entire planet, he embarks on a search for a Blade Runner named Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) who has been missing for 30 years. It's here we uncover the truth behind Deckard's identity, after the original movie left it cloaked in mystery. Meanwhile, replicant manufacturer Wallace (Jared Leto) has nefarious intentions on his mind regarding his 'children'.
Continue: Blade Runner 2049 Trailer
The official announcement trailer for 'Blade Runner 2049' is finally here and while we still know little about the plot, we do get a glimpse of Ryan Gosling in his leading role as Officer K. We see him approaching the wreckage of what looks like a blimp and then an empty building in which he comes across a gun-wielding Harrison Ford who returns as Rick Deckard. The movie is based 30 years after events in the first movie, the LAPD's Officer K is the new blade runner in town, but his job gets a lot more complicated when he uncovers the truth behind the replicants' existence and sets out to find the long lost Deckard.
Continue: Blade Runner 2049 - Announcement Trailer
Almost forensic in its approach, this smart thriller explores a drone strike from a variety of perspectives that bring the moral dilemmas sharply into focus. This includes textured performances from seriously gifted actors who add layers of political, military, legal and emotional meaning to each moment along the way. So the film is continuously gripping, putting the audience right in the middle of the action.
The target is in a suburb of Nairobi, where three of the world's most wanted Somali jihadists are gathering to prepare two young suicide bombers for a mission. British Colonel Powell (Helen Mirren) is overseeing the operation from London, with her American drone pilots (Aaron Paul and Phoebe Fox) working in Las Vegas. The hitch is that two of the targets are UK citizens, and one is American, which means that they also need to have government officials in on the discussion. So Lt General Benson (Alan Rickman) is watching with British government ministers (including Jeremy Northam and Monica Dolan). Meanwhile in Kenya, a local operative (Barkhad Abdi) is on the scene. But just as everyone agrees to fire the missile, a young girl (Aisha Takow) wanders into the danger zone.
What follows is a remarkably tense escalation of decision-making, as everyone passes the buck up the chain to avoid making the call themselves. Guy Hibbert's script orchestrates this skilfully, keeping the atmosphere taut while stirring generous doses of black comedy into the interaction between soldiers and politicians. This includes amusing scenes in which Britain's foreign secretary (Iain Glen) is dragged into the conversation while suffering food poisoning in Singapore. Yes, the film has a terrific sense of instant global connections, as its characters work together at a huge distance from each other and from the target of their operation.
Continue reading: Eye In The Sky Review
Scroll down for a bigger list of the actors invited in to Hollywood's most prestigious film club
Like a basking shark, hoovering up the most talented plankton the world of cinema has to offer, The Academy has extended a warm invitation to a slew of new potential members.
Lupita Nyong'o with her Oscars at the 2014 ceremony [Photo: Getty images, credit: Kevork Djansezian]
The headline acts comprise a host of last year’s most prominent nominees and winners: Lupita Nyong’o, who stunned with her performance as Patsey in Steve McQueen’s moving drama ‘12 Years a Slave’, Barkhad Abdi, whose turn as an uncompromising Somali pirate provided a perfect foil for Tom Hanks in ‘Captain Phillips’ and Pharrell Williams, who imbued Despicable Me with an irresistibly catchy soundtrack, have all been invited in and could vote for next year's nominees and winners.
Barkhad Abdi might have wowed in 'Captain Phillips' but the recognition is yet to equal financial sucess for the actor.
Barkhad Abdi might have taken home a BAFTA for his role in ‘Captain Phillips’ and earned an Oscar nomination, but it seems the actor has found himself in dire financial straights since his big movie break. So how exactly has an Oscar nominee now found himself broke and where can his career take him next?
Barkhad Abdi after his BAFTA win for 'Captain Phillips'
Barkhad Abdi was born in Somalia and spent the early part of his childhood being raised in Yemen. When he was 14 his family moved to the United States and settled in Minnesota, where the actor has since being living. Before landing the role in ‘Captain Phillips’ opposite Tom Hanks, Barkhad had worked as a limo driver, something which has been much played upon by the media as part of his ‘rags to riches’ story. While Barkhad was working as a limo driver in 2011 he heard of an open casting call happening in Minneapolis for Somalians to star opposite Tom Hanks in a new movie. Despite having no experience Barkhad went for the audition and got the role of Abduwali Muse, the leader of the pirates who would hijack ‘Captain Phillips’ ship. He was originally kept apart from Hanks until the pair had their first scene together to add to their performances. Speaking of the surreal experience of starring alongside Hanks Abdi said his thoughts on their first scene were ‘I can't believe I'm doing a scene with the Forrest Gump guy!”
Continue reading: The Financial Troubles Of Barkhad Abdi, And What's Next
It's not all champagne, yachts and fun coupons - unless you're Leonardo diCaprio, anyway.
The lifestyles of the rich and famous were on display for all to see on Sunday night; golden statuettes were handed out, thousand-dollar tuxes were worn and after parties were attended. Barkhad Abdi, a relative newcomer to this lifestyle, enjoyed all of that – apart from the statuette bit – but that doesn’t mean he’s living the movie-star lifestyle.
Barkhad Abdi Lays Down The Law in Captain Philips, Opposite Tom Hanks
It’s hard to escape the cynicism that surrounds Hollywood’s love for Abdi. The huge standing ovation he received for his Bafta award did seem a touch forced, especially considering he wasn’t that good in Captain Phillips. Then again, escaping war-torn Somalia, immigrating to the U.S via Yemen, becoming an actor, starring in a Hollywood blockbuster and winning an award for it is the stuff of movies, and his newfound peers are probably just relishing in the rarity of his remarkable story.
With an attention to documentary detail that makes everything viscerally realistic, this film grabs hold and never lets go, cranking the suspense to nearly unbearable levels and then tightening its grip even further. Like director Greengrass' United 93, this is a film that makes us forget our daily routine, sending us on a harrowing journey that feels more like a life experience than watching a movie.
It's based on true events from March 2009, when Richard Phillips (Hanks) took a routine job captaining a cargo ship filled with food aid from Oman to Kenya. Then off the coast of Somalia, they're attacked by the tenacious pirate Muse (Abdi) and his three cohorts (Abdirahman, Ahmed and Ali). These aren't terrorists, they're desperate young men who take violent action only because they have to. But their demands for money go unmet, and the stand-off escalates as Phillips' crew fights back against the armed intruders. Then the American Navy responds with overwhelming force, trying to calm the situation without getting Phillips killed.
Aside from one background sequence in Somalia, we watch the entire story through Phillips' eyes, which makes us feel like we are right in the middle of it. Greengrass insists on realism, refusing to indulge in digital trickery when he can get real ships and helicopters out on the ocean instead. This gives the film a jolt of authenticity that's impossible to re-create in a studio, as we can feel the isolation of the expansive sea as well as the dangerous claustrophobia in the pod-like lifeboat where the climactic scenes play out. And there isn't a false note. Even with a well-known actor like Hanks in the central role, we are completely drawn in.
Continue reading: Captain Phillips Review
Robert Pattinson continues to distance himself from his teen heartthrob image with this scruffy B-movie....
It's been 35 years since Ridley Scott's 1982 sci-fi classic, which was set in 2019....
He doesn't know exactly what happened, but when Constantine 'Connie' Nikas hears that his brother...
Officer K (Ryan Gosling) is an LAPD law enforcer and a new Blade Runner whose...
The official announcement trailer for 'Blade Runner 2049' is finally here and while we still...
Almost forensic in its approach, this smart thriller explores a drone strike from a variety...
Although it contains some memorably outrageous comedy moments, this movie (retitled The Brothers Grimsby for...
Drones are now one of the most effective weapons the military have when fighting in...