Quan seems like just a meek old businessman from Hong Kong, but when his teenage daughter is killed during a terrorist bombing on a regular London street just moments after leaving his car, he is overwhelmed with a desire for revenge. With nothing else in his life to lose, he tracks down a government official named Liam Hennessy who he believes knows the identity of the terrorists involved. Quan bombards Hennessy with phone calls and visits to his office, even offering him money to spill inside information, but pretty soon he begins to run out of patience. Hennessy insists he knows nothing about the motives behind the attack not the criminals behind it, but Quan isn't the only one who is not convinced by his denial. He will stop at nothing to take justice for his daughter, and sure enough he transforms from a humble expat to a dangerous killing machine.
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Both an intensely personal odyssey and an exploration of the impact of conflict on communities, this sharply involving thriller marks an auspicious debut for director Yann Demange. It also features yet another striking lead performance for Jack O'Connell, who also received high praise for Starred Up earlier this year and has Angelina Jolie's Unbroken still to come. This film puts him through his paces as his character is sent on a relentless journey right into the heart of one of the most complex conflicts on earth.
The title tells us when this is taking place: it's the early days of the Troubles in Northern Ireland, as young Private Hook (O'Connell) is assigned to Belfast, where clashes between Catholic nationalists and Protestant unionists have turned the city into a war zone. While on a mission to diffuse a street riot, things spiral out of control and Hook is separated from his unit. Running for his life, he works his way across the city pursued by a tenacious thug (Killian Scott). He also meets a local leader (David Wilmot) and a couple (Richard Dormer and Charlie Murply) who help him survive. Meanwhile, Hook's senior officer (Sam Reid) works with a pair of British spies (Sean Harris and Paul Anderson) to track him down.
The film unfolds as a series of life-or-death encounters that can go either way, and each adds to the bigger picture of how the Troubles have torn Ireland apart. But the script intriguingly avoids politics to make a deeper comment on humanity, making it clear that this kind of situation certainly isn't unique to this time and place. Demange stages each sequence with bravura touches, using long-takes and intense filmmaking to put us right in the middle of the action. And O'Connell's sensitive, expressive performance makes it very easy to identify with Hook as he's thrown into a situation where everyone has guns and bombs but no experience at battle. This approach is so human that it's deeply unsettling; death is always a possibility, random and sudden.
Continue reading: '71 Review
Gary Hook (Jack O'Connell) is a British soldier, nervous about his placement in Belfast during the political riots of 1971. With little to no experience being barely out of school, the only thing he can trust is his own instincts, while being uncomfortable and suspicious of both the locals and his fellow soldiers. Unfortunately for him, his fear of the volatile situation is only about to get worse as he finds himself abandoned on unfamiliar streets when his own regiment takes flight. Now all alone surrounded by savage and angry Northern Irish residents, he has to find a way to survive the rest of the night before joining his team once again.
Continue: 71 - Clip
1971 - The height of the Troubles in Northern Ireland. When Gary's regiment is sent to Belfast in an attempt to quell rioting in the area, all hell breaks loose and the unit leaves without him. Trapped in a strange and alien world, Gary is aware that almost everyone in the city wants to kill him. From here, the gripping thriller begins, as Gary struggles to stay alive throughout the night, in a desperate attempt to find rescue and make it back home to his family. '71 has so far received rave reviews from the Berlin Film Festival, where it premiered earlier this year in February.
Continue: 71 Trailer
Asbjorn is the fearless leader of a Viking gang known as the Northmen. Having been exiled from their homeland, Asbjorn leads his men across the sea Britain to raid the town of Lindisfarne for their gold, but along the way lose their boat and much of their resources to a vicious tempest that only by good fortune washes them up on a beach. Alive they may be, but their survival is limited. Far from where they want to be, the Northmen are forced to set out on foot through unknown enemy terrain, hoping to reach a Viking fort called Danelag before the enemy discovers their presence. Unfortunately, it isn't long before the King of Scotland orders his soldiers to go after them and they relentlessly obey. All they can do is kill everyone in their path and fight back with all their force if they want to reach their destination in one piece.
Continue: Northmen: A Viking Saga - Teaser Trailer
Judi Dench stars as Philomena Lee in the emotionally moving and shocking true story based on Martin Sixsmith's novel: The Lost Children of Philomena Lee released in 2009.
In a controversial pregnancy during the 1950's, Lee was sent to a Catholic home for unmarried mothers where she gave birth to her son before authoritarian, religious nuns forced the mother to give up her only child who was sent for adoption in America.
After 50 years of searching for her son she achieved very little but instead found political journalist Martin Sixsmith (Coogan) who would end up taking her to America to find the truth about her son in a heart gripping and extraordinary story that celebrates human love, loss and the celebration of life.
Continue: Philomena - Teaser Trailer
The first picture of Stephen Frears' latest film, 'Philomena', was released yesterday. The upcoming biopic stars Steve Coogan and Judi Dench as Philomena Lee and Martin Sixsmith.
Stephen Frears' new film Philomena stars Dame Judi Dench and Steve Coogan. The first picture of the film was released yesterday (Monday 16th July) and shows the two British actors in an evidently emotional scene. Coogan looks at Dench with a concerned expression as she holds a photograph.
The film, directed by Frears, follows one woman's journey to discover a son she was forced to give up fifty years before. Young Philomena Lee (played by Sophie Kennedy Clark), according to the BBC's synopsis, fell pregnant in Ireland in 1952: she was then taken to a convent as a 'fallen woman'. As a consequence of her strict surroundings, Philomena was encouraged to offer her baby for adoption.
Continue reading: First Look At Judi Dench And Steve Coogan In 'Philomena' [Picture]
Winning the lottery is something most can only dream of. Kevin Carson has spent his entire life in the projects living with his grandma and they've always played the lottery, just waiting for the day when their numbers could be drawn. On one evening in early July, their luck appears to be in as one by one Kevin's numbers are called.
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Lucia and Marcus are in love, freshly out of college the couple have decided they want to spend the rest of their lives together. The idea is firmly set in their minds, now all is left to do is to introduce the folks and announce the engagement. Simple.
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We should leave happy and satisfied after rooting for these young men every step of the way, but we don't, and the reason is clear. The movie's dancers and the music may have soul, but Roll Bounce has none, and it starts with the characters.
Continue reading: Roll Bounce Review
'Smalls Change (Meditations Upon Ageing)' arrives in April.
Quan seems like just a meek old businessman from Hong Kong, but when his teenage...
Both an intensely personal odyssey and an exploration of the impact of conflict on communities,...
Gary Hook (Jack O'Connell) is a British soldier, nervous about his placement in Belfast during...
Asbjorn is the fearless leader of a Viking gang known as the Northmen. Having been...
Judi Dench stars as Philomena Lee in the emotionally moving and shocking true story based...
Winning the lottery is something most can only dream of. Kevin Carson has spent his...
Lucia and Marcus are in love, freshly out of college the couple have decided they...