A fictionalised account of real events, this drama is reminiscent of Peter Morgan's work in The Queen or Frost/Nixon. Even though screenwriter Colin Bateman (Murphy's Law) aims more for entertainment value than pointed character drama, the film is solidly gripping, drawing plenty of brittle humour and complex emotion out of the story.
It's set in 2006, as peace talks about Ireland are taking place in St. Andrews. Prime Minister Tony Blair (Toby Stephens) is trying to orchestrate a meeting between mortal enemies Ian Paisley (Timothy Spall) and Martin McGuinness (Colm Meaney). But there's a hitch when Ian needs to return to Belfast for his 59th wedding anniversary party. In a surprise move, Martin insists on accompanying Ian, citing protocol as a reason. Seeing his chance, MI5 expert Harry (John Hurt) puts a plan in motion for them to travel to Edinburgh together to catch the flight, planting a cheerful young spy (Freddie Highmore) as their driver. The question is whether he can manipulate their journey and cause them to start talking.
As the ice between these stubborn men begins to thaw, the script contrives to push them together with things like a petrol stop, a flat tyre, an injured deer on the roadside and a time-wasting detour through the woods that's intended to break their silence. The two actors have a great time maintaining their bluster through all of this. Spall gives Paisley an imperious attitude that has cleverly wry undercurrents. His rant at a shop clerk about a declined credit card is delivered with biblical proportions. And Meaney has some heart-stopping moments of his own. Both actors clearly relish the snaky, engaging dialogue as they quietly reveal the real men beneath the tough public personae. By contrast, Highmore seems eerily charisma-free as their driver, but there's more fun to be had from Hurt, Stephens and others as hapless officials watching on hidden cameras.
Continue reading: The Journey (2017) Review
Norm is a polar bear frequently laughed at by his Arctic neighbours for his friendly disposition and inclination to hug rather than hunt. However, life becomes no laughing matter for the other polar bears, reindeer and orca that exist in their icy habitat when humans start visiting with cameras, boats. and plans to settle there. Norm is enlisted by a wise seagull to take to the city, flanked by three invincible lemming cohorts, to persuade the mastermind behind the new housing plans of Greene Homes that he really doesn't want to build on the chilly retreat, but unwittingly becomes his furry mascot. Norm does, however, meet a young girl who agrees to help publicize the issue, and save his family and friends. But if he ever wants to return to his own home, he's going to have to do some serious undercover research
Continue: Norm Of The North Trailer
Neil Hannon, Sharon Corr and Colm Meaney - Irish celebrities Sharon Corr ,Colm Meaney and Neil Hannon sitting as models for the Irish heats of Sky Arts HD Portrait Artist of the Year 2014 in the Great Room in the Irish Museum of Modern Art,Kilmainham. - Dublin, Ireland - Sunday 15th June 2014
An energetic sense of the absurd helps make this animated romp entertaining, even though the script is almost painfully stupid. But the pace is so brisk, and the stream of deranged jokes so continual, that kids will find it hilarious and grown-ups won't be able to stop smiling. So who cares if the story makes no sense at all?
Our hero is a scrawny turkey named Reggie (voiced by Wilson), who's an outcast on his farm because he's both smart and naive. When he's accidentally pardoned by the US President on Thanksgiving, he's living the high life until the meathead turkey Jake (Harrelson) kidnaps him, ranting about a mission to travel back in time to stop the pilgrims from starting the Thanksgiving turkey tradition to begin with. Sure enough, they find a time machine and off they go to 1621, where they team up with a colony of native American turkeys led by Broadbeak (David) and his feisty daughter Jenny (Poehler). But they're also being pursued by a relentless human hunter (Meaney).
The screenwriters conveniently ignore the fact that more turkeys are eaten globally at Christmas than at America's Thanksgiving, but never mind. They also pack the script with a continuous stream of riotously warped gags, random movie references and crazed action sequences. Although even a 5-year-old will be confused that 17th century pilgrims are rendered more like 19th century cowboys. This continual sense of incoherence gets even more annoying later, when the plot abandons even its own tenuous sense of logic. But by then we have realised that it's pointless to resist.
Continue reading: Free Birds Review
When Paul Potts, an opera singer, auditioned for the first series of 'Britain's Got Talent' in 2007, he blew everyone away with his incredibly powerful vocals. Going on to win the show was a surprise to no-one, and it was not just his soulful arias that moved audiences, but his own emotional life story. Growing up he was frequently bullied and found consolation only in that of operatic music. Later, he met his devoted wife Julie-Ann Cooper who relentlessly encouraged him to perform and attend an opera school in Italy. His lack of confidence in himself caused most other people not to believe in him, but he took a brave step in leaving his job as a shop manager and giving 'BGT' a good shot - a decision that would change his life beyond recognition forever.
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In bringing his iconic 1990s radio and TV character to the big screen, Coogan refreshingly refuses to play to American audiences: this film is purely British in its story, setting and characters. And as it gleefully redefines almost every action movie cliche imaginable, it's also one of the funniest films of the year. This is party due to the hilariously astute script, but also because Alan Partridge is both riotously embarrassing and utterly loveable.
As we meet him this time , Alan (Coogan) is trying to save his job at North Norfolk Digital when the radio station is bought by a corporation and turned in to Shape ("The way you want it to be"). In the process, Alan gets his colleague Pat (Meaney) sacked, and at the Shape launch party Pat goes postal with a shotgun, taking the staff hostage. As the police close in around the station, Alan becomes the chief negotiator, realising that this can only help boost his fame. But as he works on increasing his own publicity, Pat is menacing his on-air sidekick Simon (Key), while his offbeat security guard friend Michael (Greenall) finds a place to hide and his assistant (Montagu) has her own encounter with the media.
After all these years, Coogan is able to completely vanish into Alan's distinctive personality, saying all the wrong things at the wrong times while constantly getting distracted by irrelevant details. He only ever does the right thing by mistake. Yes, Alan is a buffoon, but he isn't stupid. Coogan plays him so perfectly that we can't help but like Alan even with his distinctive flaws. And the film actually generates a real sense of menace in this mini-Die Hard siege scenario, blending real danger with inspired physical comedy. And virtually every line of dialog has a joke in it.
Continue reading: Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa Review
Alan Partridge is a fatuous, egocentric radio host that has been one of telly's most famous fictitious comedy icons for several years. He now makes a return to screen as his employers, North Norfolk Digital based in Norwich, are about to be taken over by rival media company, Gordale Media, and branded the new name, 'Shape'. People's jobs are now on the line but Alan and his sidekick Simon look like they'll be able to save their shows; one thing's for sure, he's certainly trying to get on the good side of new top boss Jason Tresswell. However, when one DJ is sacked, there's more conflict in the company than they could ever have imagined when they are thrown under siege and brutally held hostage.
Continue: Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa - Clips
'Free Birds' could follow 'Despicable Me 2' and 'Monster's University' as big animated movies in 2013.
The trailer for Free Birds, Jimmy Hayward's animated adventure movie, rolled out online this week. It stars Reggie the Thanksgiving turkey (Owen Wilson) who fails to convince his dumb feathered friends that they're being fattened up for the approaching festival feast, alienating himself from the group.
However, things begin to look up when he is rescued by the President and begins a new life of eating pizza at his cool new pad. When militant turkey Jake (Woody Harrelson) shows up, Reggie's new life of peace is put on the backburner in favour of a death-defying mission to go back in time and scratch out the traditional festive dinner from history. It sounds mental. It kind of is a bit mental, but it's sure to be plenty of fun for kids and families this Christmas.
Continue reading: Is 'Free Birds' The New Chicken Run? [Trailer]
When Reggie the Thanksgiving turkey fails to convince his incredibly stupid feathered friends that they are being fattened up for an approaching feast, he is soon alienated from them. However, things are looking up when he is rescued by the President and even enjoys nibbling on pizza late at night in his luxurious new home. But when militant turkey Jake shows up, it's clear that he's not destined for a life of peace as he is enlisted on a death-defying mission to go back in time to the first thanksgiving and scratch out the traditional festive dinner and save the lives of thousands of their kind.
Directed by Jimmy Hayward ('Horton Hears a Who!', 'Jonah Hex'), this hilarious animated adventure has a star-studded cast that will keep everyone - both adult and child - in rib-cracking hysterics long after it hits screens. It has been written by Hayward, Scott Mosier ('Clerks: The Animated Series'), David I. Stern ('Open Season 2') and John J. Strauss ('There's Something About Mary', 'The Santa Clause 2') and will arrive just in time for thanksgiving to perhaps persuade you to go vegetarian this holiday season. Watch it as it hits theatres in the UK on November 29th 2013.
Alan Partridge makes a return as the superficial radio nitwit we all love in the upcoming next instalment of the Partridge franchise 'Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa'. The trailer now released shows Alan discussing movie titles with his associates, being particularly drawn to the title 'Colossal Velocity'. When the title 'Alpha Papa' is suggested, appropriately representing his initials in the radio alphabet and loosely meaning 'top daddy', he is underwhelmed, sticking as usual to his own thoughts. The film takes place in Norwich, Norfolk where his employer North Norfolk Digital is about to be taken over in a brutal siege by a major media company and given the new name, Shape.
Continue: Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa Trailer
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