This drama about the iconic British prime minister tells a darkly personal story set over just a few pivotal days during the Second World War. It's skilfully written and directed, and anchored by a wonderfully layered performance by Brian Cox. But there's a nagging sense that there's nothing new to see here, mainly because this is such a well-documented and dramatised point in history.
The story takes place over the first few days of June 1944, as the Allied military leaders make final preparations for the D-Day invasion. Due to his lingering trauma over his experiences in WWI, Winston Churchill (Cox) has serious misgivings about the plan, and challenges both the American commander Eisenhower (John Slattery) and senior British officer Montgomery (Julian Wadham). He even makes an appeal to King George (James Purefoy) to intervene. The problem is that he is coming across as a cranky man stuck in the old world, unable to see how warfare has changed in the previous 30 years and reluctant to relinquish control to the next generation. His wife Clementine (Miranda Richardson) is also becoming fed up with his ranting and raving, so she sets about trying to make him see reason.
Director Jonathan Teplitzky (The Railway Man) tells this story in a style similar to The King's Speech, a more revelatory true-life drama that fictionalises backstage conversations. This is an artfully made film, beautifully shot and edited. And Alex von Tunzelmann's script digs deeply into the characters and themes. So it's a bit frustrating that it's impossible to watch the movie without knowing full well whose argument wins the day and how the events will play out. At least the actors make the most of their roles. Cox delivers an awards-worthy performance as a veteran fighter struggling to remain on the sidelines as the battle approaches, continually adding emotional weight to Churchill's towering tirades. Richardson is limited to a series of isolated scenes, but shines as she takes him on.
Continue reading: Churchill Review
It's June 1944 and the war has been waging for five long years. British Prime Minister Winston Churchill wants to end it once and for all, but the last thing he would ever do is surrender as a nation. Despite the fact that the allied forced are standing at the coast ready for the orders to invade Normandy and take back the parts of Europe that Nazi Germany has taken over, Churchill doesn't want to rush in until he's certain they have the best chance of success. Naturally, the allied military leaders General Eisenhower and Field Marshal Montgomery are becoming frustrated with the man's fear of failure - for it is only that that stands in the way of their D-Day victory. But there's a lot more behind this stubborn and volatile human being than most people see; one who does see it is his dedicated wide Clementine who may be the only one who can save him and, in effect, save Europe.
Continue: Churchill Trailer
John Slattery - 22nd Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Expo Hall - Arrivals at The Shrine Expo Hall, Screen Actors Guild - Los Angeles, California, United States - Saturday 30th January 2016
John Slattery - 22nd Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Expo Hall - Arrivals at Shrine Auditorium, Screen Actors Guild - Los Angeles, California, United States - Saturday 30th January 2016
Michael Rezendes is a dedicted reporter for the Boston Globe and part of their Spotlight Team; an investigative division focused on justice and whistle-blowing. When accusations of child sex abuse by members of the Catholic Church arise, he leads the team into their latest case, determined to uncover the truth about a morally questionable priest and his scandalous activities across six different parishes over the course of several decades. It is alleged that the church knew what was going on, but chose not to act and hold their reputation above the welfare of their children. Not only that, but past statements from attorneys don't appear to add up and a delicate battle ensues with the government and police all getting involved as the Boston Globe take on the church. There's a large team at the newspaper working on bringing this case into the open once and for all, and they refuse to let these atrocities be swept under the rug another time.
Continue: Spotlight Trailer
Fans of the surprise 2012 hit Ted will find plenty to love in this sequel, in which Seth MacFarlane takes the same approach: throwing every kind of gag at the screen in the hopes that some of them stick. Thankfully, there are quite a few laugh-out-loud moments to make sure the film is continually entertaining, even if the plot isn't particularly inventive.
In the past three years, John (Mark Wahlberg) has seen his marriage fall apart, while Ted (voiced by MacFarlane) has married his girlfriend Tami-Lynn (Jessica Barth). A year later, Ted and Tami-Lynn are in a rut and decide that perhaps a child will help kickstart their romance. Unable to conceive for obvious reasons, they turn to adoption, but this raises a red flag about Ted's status in society: he isn't actually a person, and the state declares that he's property. On the verge of losing everything, Ted and John hire novice lawyer Samantha (Amanda Seyfried) to defend Ted's right to be treated as a person. But their opponent is a slick lawyer (John Slattery) hired in secret by toy company Hasbro, which is now in league with Ted's long-time stalker-nemesis Donny (Giovanni Ribisi).
The ongoing central gag here is that John and Ted have never grown up, stuck in their dope-smoking fanboy ways, which allows for all kinds of rude mayhem, plus lots of cameo appearances from genre stars, including a gratuitous trip to New York Comic-Con that turns into the film's funniest sequence with a series of sublimely silly running gags. On the other hand, the one-joke premise badly limits the film's scope for coherent storytelling, merely dashing from one nutty set-piece to the next and hoping that something funny will happen. Thankfully, most sequences are genuinely amusing, at least for audiences whose goal is just to have a good time at the movies.
Continue reading: Ted 2 Review
When you need someone to break into a place and steal something, a career cat burglar is your best bet. Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) is in jail, which isn't the best start, but when Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) needs a thief, Lang is still his man. Pym was once a miniature superhero known as Ant-Man, yet when Darren Cross (Corey Stoll) takes over his company and tries to mass-market the powerful Ant-Man suits, Pym hires Lang to break in and steal the suit back. From there, he must become the Ant-Man - no matter how much he hates the name.
Continue: Ant-Man Trailer
The props and costumes from 'Mad Men' have been donated to the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History.
The hit AMC series Mad Men may be drawing to a close but its props and costumes will live on in the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History. The series executives have made the decision to donate many iconic items from the show. The items were handed over in a star studded presentation ceremony in Washington D.C. on Friday morning (27th March). In attendance were Mad Men cast members: Jon Hamm, John Slattery and Christina Hendricks. The show's creator Matt Weiner and AMC President Charlie Collier were also in attendance.
Jon Hamm and Matthew Weiner attended the presentation ceremony at the Smithsonian.
Continue reading: 'Mad Men' Donates Props & Costumes To Smithsonian Museum
Marvel's latest super-hero franchise to move onto film has a new photo
Marvel’s Ant-Man has had its fair share of setbacks, but production is fully underway now and we have a first look photo to whet our appetites.
Paul Rudd as Ant-Man
The photo sees Paul Rudd as the titular ant hero (not anti-hero) standing under the Golden Gate Bridge next to a beaten up old Ford. We’re guessing he’s got some reason to go incognito, as he’s looking fairly conspicuous – hood up and holding a mystery bag. He’s also been in the wars as evidenced by those butterfly stiches on his brow.
Continue reading: 'Ant-Man' Stands Under The Golden Gate Bridge In First Look Picture
Despite a strong sense of the characters and the setting, this film struggles to engage viewers with its downbeat story about how tough life is. Even though the performances are powerful enough to hold the attention, the film feels like it drifts aimlessly along, never coming into focus in a meaningful way. And since everything is right on the surface, there isn't much subtext to help the events resonate with the audience.
In the God's Pocket neighbourhood in 1980s Philadelphia, everyone knows everything about each others' lives. Mickey (Philip Seymour Hoffman) works as a driver delivering meat, but spends just as much time planning small-time scams with his pal Arthur (John Turturro). Then his life is thrown out of balance when his hothead stepson Leon (Caleb Landry Jones) dies in what is suspiciously described as a workplace accident. Mickey's wife Jeanie (Christina Hendricks) struggles to cope with her son's death, so Mickey is easily pressured by the local mortician (Eddie Marsan) into buying a funeral he can't afford. To make some extra cash, he plans a heist with Arthur and their careless pal Sal (Domenick Lombardozzi), which predictably goes awry. Meanwhile, a famed local journalist (Richard Jenkins) starts looking into Leon's death.
It's not like the film is low on plot: there are plenty of story strands to push each character further into their own personal desperation. And the tightly knit setting provides an intriguing counterpoint as everyone's dirty laundry is aired for all to see, which pushes their true emotions even further underground. This lets the actors deliver riveting performances, even as they're all beaten down to mere husks of humanity. In one of his final roles, Hoffman is terrific as a guy for whom everything goes relentlessly wrong. Hendricks is pretty wrenching as the rather drippy Jeanie, whose interaction with Jenkins is both warm and depressing. Thankfully, Turturro and Marsan provide a spark of energy, as does Joyce Van Patten in a scene-stealing role as Arthur's gun-crazy aunt.
Continue reading: God's Pocket Review
God's Pocket seems to be an ordinary working class neighbourhood at face value; full of people with ordinary jobs and ordinary families. However, a dark undertone begins to show when Mickey Scarpato's insane stepson Leon dies following a so-called accident at a construction site. Mickey wants people to believe he slipped and fell to his death (not that anybody cares that the town is short of a man like Leon), but Leon's mother Jeanie is desperate to know what really happened. While Mickey tries to comfort his wife, Jeanie is approached by a shameless reporter named Richard Shellburn who is also investigating any mystery behind the death. All Mickey wants is the body in the ground and a large debt of his to be repaid - but it looks like his life is about to get a whole lot more complicated.
Continue: God's Pocket Trailer
Several films due to be premiered at the Sundance Film Festival are generating a hefty amount of conversation
The Sundance Film Festival is the place to be for young, aspiring filmmakers hoping to crack into the hotly-contested business of the movies. By the end of the film festival, which this year runs from 16-26 January, there are always a selection of film titles that are revived for the following awards season, and this year people are so eager for the celluloid showcase that a number of early contenders for festival glory have been marked before their debut release.
The dark God's Pocket stars Philip Seymour Hoffman and Eddie Marsan
In thirty years the film has discovered some of the most promising filmmakers out there and continues to deliver, from Roland Joffé’s The Killing Fields in the festival's opening year (1985) to last year's most notable success; Fruitvale Station, the debut feature length from Ryan Coogler. With another 120 films to get through this year it seems more than likely that at least one of the releases will be leaving Park City, Utah, with more than a few skiing lessons and a commemorative t-shirt.
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