It's never helpful when a comedy becomes a bit too smug about its own quirkiness. This movie is wilfully goofy but feels oddly irrelevant, focussing on a colourful central character who never quite seems like a real person. Woody Harrelson pours plenty of energy, humour and emotion into the title role, but it's difficult to identify with this optimistic curmudgeon. Still, quite a few moments are genuinely hilarious.
Harrelson plays Wilson, a guy who can't resist saying whatever he thinks, even though it annoys pretty much anyone within earshot. He over-shares with strangers, complains constantly about everything and refuses to stop offering unwanted advice. In his mind he's making the word a better place, but his life is a mess. And when his father dies, he realises that he has no friends left aside from his dog Pepper. Leaving Pepper with a neighbour (Judy Greer), Wilson tracks down his ex-wife Pippi (Laura Dern) and is shocked to learn that she gave birth to his daughter after they split up, giving the baby up for adoption. So Wilson goes on a quest to find the now 17-year-old Claire (Isabella Amara), barging into her life in the hope of rescuing his own.
There are very few characters in this film who can bear to be in the same room as Wilson, a man with no manners who has no idea that he is rubbing everyone the wrong way. And for the audience, it's not much better to be in his presence for the length of this 94-minute movie. Harrelson is charming, but the script has Wilson veering from giddy to angry to cruel and back, which is a serious challenge for the actor to play consistently. That Harrelson manages it is no mean feat. Opposite him, Dern and Greer are terrific as his long-suffering foils. And Amara takes every opportunity to steal scenes out from under her veteran costars.
Continue reading: Wilson Review
Beatriz is a holistic healer trained in massage, reiki and other therapies who is invited to stay for dinner at her rich clients' - Cathy and Grant's - home after her car breaks down. They're having guests over for a party and once they start arriving she couldn't look more out of place with her bare face, casual clothes and 5 foot 2 stature. The guests try and be polite towards this woman, who could clearly never be a part of their own social circles, but she's strangely drawn to one guest in particular; Grant's business partner Doug Strutt. As the evening wears on and the guests get progressively more drunk, she starts to sense a prejudice in the air in regards to both her nationality and her career choice. But her own prejudices come to the forefront when she discovers Doug's passion for hunting, and her disgust is something she just can't hide.
Continue: Beatriz At Dinner Trailer
Wilson (Woody Harrelson) may not be the most likeable of fellows; he has a penchant for startling and offending strangers with his overly honest opinions; but he considers almost everyone as a friend he just hasn't met yet. His gregariousness, however, didn't save his relationship with his estranged wife Pippi (Laura Dern) when she left him 17 years ago, and since then he's been on a quest to save himself from his crushing loneliness. Things seem to take a turn for the better when he discovers that Pippi put a daughter named Claire (Isabella Amara) up for adoption around the time that they broke up, and he sets out to find her and become the father that he's always wanted to be. He drags a reluctant Pippi along with him, but is he just trying to force a happy family on two unwilling figures that don't really want anything to do with him?
Continue: Wilson Trailer
The Four Horsemen aren't just magicians; they're illusionists with an agenda. Their initial stunt was so spectacular that no one saw it coming - especially Arthur Tressler, a very wealthy businessman who owns multiple businesses including an insurance firm.
It's been a year since The Four Horsemen performed their spectacular stunt which saw them send Thaddeus Bradley to prison and Tressler almost bankrupt. Now the team are back with another target in their sights - this time they plan on targeting a crooked tech magnate but before they get chance to fulfil their new illusion, they group find themselves in unknown surroundings with little knowledge of how they arrived.
With their reputations on the line, the four magicians must pull off their biggest trick of all in order to save their name whilst also exposing the puppet master pulling all the strings from above.
This sun-drenched thriller is much more than a pretty picture: it's also a slow-burning story about moral compromises that worms its way under the skin. Based on a Patricia Highsmith novel, there are clear parallels to The Talented Mr. Ripley as three characters circle around each other and all kinds of Hitchcockian subtext gurgles around them.
Set in 1962, the plot opens with Chester and Colette (Viggo Mortensen and Kirsten Dunst) on a romantic holiday in Athens, where they meet slightly too-helpful American tour guide Rydal (Oscar Isaac). He's already wooing one rich young tourist (Daisy Bevan) and soon locks eyes on Colette. But it's Chester he becomes entangled with, when a private eye (David Warshofsky) turns up trying to reclaim cash Chester stole from a client. So Rydal helps Chester and Colette flee to Crete and, while they wait for a plan to develop, Chester becomes convinced that Rydal and Colette are having an affair.
Writer-director Hossein Amini has already proven himself as a skilled writer of innuendo-filled dialogue (see Drive or The Wings of the Dove), and here he shows a remarkable eye for setting. It helps to have ace cinematographer Marcel Zyskind and composer Alberto Iglesias adding their considerable skills to the mix. The film looks utterly gorgeous, providing plenty of glaring sunlight and murky shadows in which Mortensen, Dunst and Isaac can bring their characters to vivid life. Every scene bursts with suggestiveness, as the inter-relationships between these three people shift unnervingly.
Continue reading: The Two Faces Of January Review
Chester MacFarland is a wealthy businessman whose business ventures are often far from lawful. During a vacation to Athens, Greece with his wife Colette, the pair meet a handsome young man named Rydal who works as a tour guide and earns extra cash through elaborate scams. After dining with the couple, Rydal returns to their hotel, but Chester is thrust into disaster when he is forced to defend himself from an armed man who had been on the end of one of his dodgy dealings. Chester persuades Rydal to move the unconscious body, but he soon finds himself trapped in Chester's criminal world with no escape. To make matters worse, he is becoming increasingly enchanted by the highly fragile Colette and, with her accepting his offers of comfort as the trio go on the run, there's only so much jealously Chester can take.
Set in the early sixties, crime thriller 'The Two Faces Of January' sees a tense story of entrapment, jealousy and suspicion. Directed and written by Hossein Amini (writer of '47 Ronin', 'Snow White and the Huntsman', 'Drive, 'Killshot), the movie is based on the 1964 novel of the same name by Patricia Highsmith. It is due for UK release on May 16th 2014.
Captain Richard Phillips was in command of the US-flagged MV Maersk Alabama cargo ship on its voyage to Mombasa, Kenya carrying around 17,000 tons of cargo. However, a routine shipping turned into a deadly nightmare when a group of gun-toting, seafaring pirates from Somalia hijacked the vessel, easily avoiding the jets coming out of the fire hoses on all sides, and took the Captain hostage. With only minutes to spare before he came under attack, the brave Captain ordered his crew of 20 to hide, knowing full well that his life was under enormous threat.
Continue: Captain Phillips - International Trailer
Captain Richard Phillips never dreamed that his venture on board the US-flagged MV Maersk Alabama cargo ship would turn into a perilous hostage situation when a savage group of seafaring Somali criminals sped towards the vast but markedly unarmed vessel in a bid to seize control of the goods on board. When the brave Captain was held at gunpoint in the first case of piracy in two centuries in 2009, he did everything within his power to ensure the safety of his crew while heroically risking his own life.
Continue: Captain Phillips Trailer
Franklin Franklin is a wig-donning, Swiss wannabe loner who lives alone in a small apartment having previously lived with his mentally deranged brother Bernard. He's not the only eccentric character at the complex, however; his wacky neighbours include the Liquor store worker Tommy Balls, Tommy's herpes ridden girlfriend Rocky, the beautiful Simone and the ill-tempered Mr. Allspice. One day, Franklin finds himself in a spot of bother when he accidentally murders his landlord Mr. Olivetti when he pays him a visit about the rent (of lack of it). In an attempt to cover up the homicide, he clumsily stages it as a suicide, which the cops become very suspicious of. Things don't get any easier either, as his Franklin's brother dies suddenly from a brain tumour and he ends up getting badly beaten in the street. Will Franklin find that future that he dreams of? Or will his tedious life gradually spiral further out of control?
Continue: Small Apartments Trailer
Lily is a 15-year-old girl who has been raised in the miserable land of trailer parks that is Salton Sea, California by a mother who is constantly in the bar drinking. She and her best friend Alison have never left their hometown but angst-ridden Lily constantly dreams of been whisked away to the big city by a handsome stranger. Alison feels differently, content with remaining at home with her caring father, though watching her friend suffocate under the strains of their simple life concerns her greatly. One day, a group of boys with questionable intentions from Los Angeles show up in the town, immediately grabbing Lily's attention. Falling deeply for one of the boys, she convinces Alison to steal a truck from a neighbour and follow them back to the city where it soon becomes obvious that their lives are much more brutal and dangerous than they could ever have imagined. Alison was unhappy about leaving from the off, but is too nervous to try and further convince Lily that they should leave. Their bond, and their lives, are put to the test when the boys use the girls as bait in a ruthless mugging scheme.
Continue: Little Birds Trailer
What's new in the music world this week?
'Sounds of Silence' was released on this day (January 17th) in 1966.
Listen to Alex Bayly performing 'Animal'.
Two weeks ahead of Independent Venue Week, Dry Cleaning made 'Britain's Best Small Venue 2015' (NME) the second port of call on their 2020 tour.
'Leave Home' was released on this day (January 10th) in 1977.
For their last gig of the year, The Libertines came back to their adopted hometown of Margate to finish off their latest tour.
Celebrating the birthday of David Bowie with his most legendary songs.
It's never helpful when a comedy becomes a bit too smug about its own quirkiness....
Beatriz is a holistic healer trained in massage, reiki and other therapies who is invited...
Wilson (Woody Harrelson) may not be the most likeable of fellows; he has a penchant...
The Four Horsemen aren't just magicians; they're illusionists with an agenda. Their initial stunt was...
After becoming the most famous magicians in the world with their last tricks and exposing...
This sun-drenched thriller is much more than a pretty picture: it's also a slow-burning story...
Chester MacFarland is a wealthy businessman whose business ventures are often far from lawful. During...
Captain Richard Phillips was in command of the US-flagged MV Maersk Alabama cargo ship on...
Captain Richard Phillips never dreamed that his venture on board the US-flagged MV Maersk Alabama...
Franklin Franklin is a wig-donning, Swiss wannabe loner who lives alone in a small apartment...
Lily is a 15-year-old girl who has been raised in the miserable land of trailer...
Sophie and Jason have been in a relationship for many years, but unlike their peers...