Boldly optimistic, this action-packed adventure breathes fresh life into the DC universe with a welcome balance of comedy, flirtation and a sense of righteous justice. And at the centre, Gal Gadot is a hugely engaging hero with a refreshing moral clarity to her actions. So even if the movie dissolves into the usual murky digital mayhem in its final act, there's a bright light at the centre that holds us in its grip.
While the Great War rages in Europe, life carries on as usual on the secret island home of the Amazons, where Diana (Gadot) has been raised by her mother Queen Hippolyta (Connie Nielsen) and trained by her aunt General Antiope (Robin Wright). When American spy Steve (Chris Pine) crash-lands there, Diana quickly agrees to return with him to war-torn Europe, track down God of War Aries and put an end to the fighting for good. Awed by her fighting prowess and skimpy outfit, Steve agrees to take her. They return to London to confront a smug politician (David Thewlis) and assemble a team so they can return to the front on a mission to take down the nefarious German General Ludendorff (Danny Huston) and his chemical weapons scientist Maru (Elena Anaya). But Diana is still looking for Aries.
Director Patty Jenkins tells this story like an old-fashioned war epic, following a rag-tag group of good guys as they go through a series of battles on their way to the big confrontation. Along the way, there's plenty of comedy banter, dark emotion and even some lusty romance. Putting a woman at the centre of the action gives the movie a strongly resonant slant, especially because she's surrounded by men who always underestimate her.
Continue reading: Wonder Woman Review
Diana Prince is one of the Amazon warriors of Themyscira, a tribe of women with extraordinary power. There is no-one quite as extraordinary, however, as Diana herself. After being shown the noble Sword of Athena as a young girl, our heroine becomes determined to be the one who wields it, training in all areas of combat. When her incredible powers start to shine through, her mother Hippolyta does not want to tell her the truth about her creation. As oblivious as she is to the secrets of her birthright, she becomes determined to save the world after rescuing a marooned military pilot named Steve Trevor. When he informs her of the danger that her kind faces, she insists on going with him to win the war and save the world. Of course, London is hardly the place she wants to be, but she finds new friendships in Steve and his quirky secretary Etta Candy.
Continue: Wonder Woman Trailer
Ewen Bremner feared he would have to hide his Scottish accent in 'Wonder Woman'.
Ewen Bremner feared he would have to hide his Scottish accent in 'Wonder Woman'.
The 45-year-old actor is set to star in the forthcoming superhero film alongside Gal Gadot and Chris Pine, and although Bremner's role has been kept under wraps, he has admitted he thought he would have to ditch his twang to suit the movie, and was ''shocked'' to learn he didn't actually have to try his best to not let any hints of his mother tongue slip through.
Speaking to Metro newspaper about the movie, he said: ''I don't know, because it is really under wraps. I was shocked they let me be properly Scottish in it. I was expecting the Americans would ask me to gentrify my accent a little bit, or the humour even, but they let me go as far as I liked. I had plenty of fun on it.''
Continue reading: Ewen Bremner Fears He'd Have To Hide Scottish Accent In Wonder Woman
Solidly entertaining Christmas movies are so rare that when one comes along it feels like the best gift ever. Perhaps more horror filmmakers should turn their hand to family-friendly action comedies. This one is written and directed by Christopher Smith, the British filmmaker behind freak-outs like Severance and Triangle. But this movie is a pure joy, deploying a warped sense of humour that will have adults laughing a bit more than the kids, who will be caught up in a terrific wish-fulfilment adventure of their own.
In London, Steve (Rafe Spall) has just been released after two years in prison, and his first priority is to see his 10-year-old son Tom (Kit Connor), who lives with Steve's ex Alison (Jodie Whittaker) and her new husband. That same night, Tom finds a beardy man (Jim Broadbent) in the garage who claims to be Santa Claus and needs Steve's help. Steve is more than a little skeptical, but wants to spend time with Tom so heads off on a rescue mission that gets increasingly complicated with every passing moment. Mainly because Santa gets himself arrested while trying to liberate his reindeer after they were caught roaming around the city streets. Coincidentally housed in Steve's old prison, he gets some help from Steve's former fellow inmates (including Stephen Graham, Warwick Davis and Nonso Anozie), while Steve discovers that maybe something magical is going on after all
This may be one of those "find your childhood love of Christmas" movies, but Smith never pushes the sentimentality. Instead, he keeps the story moving with brisk momentum, piling on some hilariously deranged gags along with madcap action set-pieces that include chases, dress-up silliness and, yes, a prison break. The script is tight and funny, including the requisite poo and fart jokes, as well as some more sophisticated movie sight-gags and clever character detail. These people may be faintly ridiculous, but the actors dive in headlong and bring us with them.
Continue reading: Get Santa Review
In a post-apocalyptic world where a deadly ice age has taken over the Earth, there are only a few survivors, all of whom have taken shelter in an enormous train propelled by perpetual motion. While the rich and powerful live in luxury at the front end of the locomotive, the poor have been forced to dwell at the tail with limited supplies by the dictatorial Minister Mason. During a routine deliverance of protein blocks, one tail inhabitant, Curtis, decides to round up a rebel army to invade the front, though no-one could have imagined the amount of bloodshed the ensuing revolt would trigger. In a bid to destroy the barbaric class hierarchy this new life has caused, Curtis plots a major act of disaster. It starts to look like the human race really will be the death of themselves.
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We may sigh heavily at the thought of yet another fairy tale blockbuster, but the filmmakers and cast here demand a bit more attention. And sure enough, it's refreshingly smarter and funnier than we expect. There are still the problems of unnecessary 3D and far too many digital characters, but the restless pace and the witty performances make it a lot of fun to watch.
It's Jack and the Beanstalk with added action mayhem, as orphaned farmboy Jack (Hoult) sells his horse for a bag of supposedly magic beans. When one inadvertently gets wet, a massive beanstalk manages to propel Princess Isabelle (Tomlinson) into the realm of the giants, reawakening a legend that had died off centuries ago. So the King (McShane) enlists Jack to join a rescue team of guards (including McGregor, Marsan and Bremner) and Isabelle's intended, the shifty Roderick (Tucci). Up above the clouds, they encounter two-headed giant Fallon (Nighy) and his nasty horde. But rescuing Isabelle is only the first problem they face.
The freewheeling plot zips along without pausing for breath, encompassing massive set pieces and more gritty battles as well as small moments of drama and romance. Meanwhile, Jack and Isabelle cast lusty glances at each other, even when they're in physical peril. Director Singer brings out the energy of the characters to keep us involved, playing on the vertiginous angles of the settings while playfully deploying fairy tale imagery in the sets, costumes and landscapes. it's understandably why he decided to digitally create the giants rather than have actors play them, but this leaves a hole where the monsters should be. Aside from Nighy's more obviously performance-captured face, all of them look like dead-eyed cartoons, which essentially turns the film into a medieval Transformers movie.
Continue reading: Jack The Giant Slayer Review
Even though Charles Dickens' oft-told story is livened up with a terrific cast and sharp script, it's difficult to see anything terribly new about this BBC-produced version. Especially since it comes less than a year after their previous lavish TV production. But there are plenty of elements in this film that make it worth seeing, as the soap-style plot twists and turns through comedy and romance to its action-thriller climax.
After growing up as an orphan with his blacksmith uncle (Flemyng) and high-strung aunt (Hawkins), Pip (Irvine) is given the chance to live as a London gentleman. He's sure that his anonymous benefactor is the barmy Miss Havisham (Bonham Carter), a broken-hearted hermit he worked for as a child. And since he's still in love with her adopted daughter Estella (Grainger), he decides to use his new position in society to court her. But things don't quite go as expected, and his life takes a surprising turn when scary prison escapee Magwitch (Fiennes) latches onto Pip and begins revealing some surprising connections between all of these people.
This faithful retelling of Dickens' novel is packed with coincidences and revelations, as well as the kind of gleefully thorny rivalries that would be expected on Dallas or Downton Abbey. Overloaded with blackly comical intrigue, it's a compulsively enjoyable film that entertains us on a variety of levels as the story develops. Although director Newell (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire) never tries anything too flashy. Which means that despite the high quality, the film is straightforward and perhaps unnecessary.
Continue reading: Great Expectations Review
Pip is a young orphan who has a chance meeting with a frightening stranger while visiting the graves of his parents; a meeting which was to be the catalyst a series of events that would shape his future. Not long after this experience, an unhinged, jilted spinster called Miss Havisham asks Uncle Pumblechook (the uncle of Pip's brother-in-law with whom he lives) to find a young boy to provide company for her adopted daughter Estella. When Pip is chosen, he becomes a regular visitor of Miss Havisham who manipulates him into falling for the pretty but cold-hearted Estella as he grows older. When he becomes a blacksmith's apprentice at his brother-in-law's shop, he is approached by a lawyer who informs him that he has been left a large sum of money by a mysterious benefactor and must journey to London to become a gentleman. Little does he know of the surprises that lay in store for him as he discovers that he has so many secrets to uncover.
This seminal coming-of-age story serves as one of the most influential pieces of English literature in history. Originally written by one of the greatest novelists of the 19th century Charles Dickens, 'Great Expectations' has been adapted to screen by director Mike Newell ('Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire', 'Four Weddings and a Funeral') and screenwriter David Nicholls ('One Day', 'Starter for 10'). It is due to hit UK cinemas from November 30th 2012.
Director: Mike Newell
Starring: Jeremy Irvine, Helena Bonham Carter, Ralph Fiennes, Holliday Grainger, Robbie Coltrane, Jason Flemyng, Sally Hawkins, Ewen Bremner, David Walliams, Jessie Cave, Ralph Ineson, Tamzin Outhwaite & Olly Alexander. .
Continue: Great Expectations Trailer
Eva Green, Ewan McGregor and Ewen Bremner - Dennis Lawson, Eva Green, Ewan McGregor and Ewen Bremner, London, England - Perfect Sense film UK premiere held at the Curzon Soho - Arrivals. Tuesday 4th October 2011
After years of marriage, Alfie and Helena are getting divorced, this is mainly due to Alfie's midlife crisis and lust for a much younger woman called Charmaine. Whilst Helena seeks guidance from a fortune teller her daughter is also facing troubles of her own. Sally works in an art gallery work whilst her husband stays at home hoping to write a novel that repeats the success of his first.
Ironically, this incident, where ship's cook Dorie Miller took charge and shot back during America's worst hour on December 7, 1941, is just about the only true event to be found in the entire, oppressive three-hour film. (And our producers are quick to remind us of just how ripped-from-history this little vignette is. Never mind that Gooding has a pitiful excuse for a role with maybe five minutes of screen time.)
Continue reading: Pearl Harbor Review
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