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T2 Trainspotting Review

Excellent

It's been 20 years since we last saw four freewheeling young junkies from Edinburgh spiral through a series of adventures that left their friendship in tatters. And now the entire cast is back, as are director Danny Boyle, writer John Hodge and novelist Irvine Welsh. Since the characters have aged into middle-aged men now, the film has a very different kind of energy to it, mixing the visceral imagery with a knowing sense of nostalgia. And once again, it has a lot to say about the state of the world.

It's been two decades since Renton (Ewan McGregor) betrayed his mates. He's living in Amsterdam when a health scare forces him to think about heading back to Scotland to face the music. Spud (Ewen Bremner) hasn't held a grudge for one very good reason, but he's still a junkie and has been alienated from his wife (Shirley Henderson) and son. Simon (Jonny Lee Miller), aka Sick Boy, is furious but soon gets over it as he realises that maybe Renton can help him and his hooker cohort Veronika (Anjela Nedyalkova) finally open a brothel. On the other hand, the hotheaded Begbie (Robert Carlyle) won't be quite so forgiving. He has just escaped from prison, and his first thought is how to get even with Renton.

Hodge's script digs into the idea that these men have seen their hopes and dreams fade away, even though there's still a glimmer of desire left. And Boyle directs the film with the same spark of energy, spiralling through colourful cutaways, hilarious sight gags, wacky antics and pulsing music. It's an intriguingly grown-up variation on the first movie, and it still engulfs the audience with its sights, sounds and emotions. These are men who believe that their wasted youth has led them into an equally wasted adulthood. And there isn't much time left to make something of themselves.

Continue reading: T2 Trainspotting Review

T2 Trainspotting Trailer


Set 20 years after the original movie, we see our favourite once drug-addled Scotsman reunited. After Renton pledged to make his life better and stop taking heroin, he ran off with the takings of the groups drug-deal and had not been seen by any of the group since.  Troublemaker Begbie is still on the wrong side of the law and finds his temper taking control and constantly getting him into trouble, once he's released from jail, causing mayhem comes as standard for the moustachioed brute.

Spud has changed the least but he's still the most genuine member of the group. Sickboy finds himself running a pub a failing pub which he tries to modernise. In a bid to make money, Sickboy finds himself becoming entwined with various shady characters looking to make money by legal and illegal means. 

While most of the group have found themselves cutting their intake of heroin, that doesn't mean that they're on the straight and narrow. Each one is still battling various demons from their past and make a living example of the old adage 'old habits die hard'. 

Continue: T2 Trainspotting Trailer

Swallows And Amazons Trailer


The first book in Arthur Ransome's much loved book series has been turned into a movie. The story follows a group of children who holiday with their family in the Lake District. Once the children arrive they immediately start to explore and their mother, Mrs. Walker, couldn't be happier that her children get the chance to act like real kids out of the city which is a possible target in a country on the brink of war.

When Mr Jones agrees to let the kids take out his sailing boat called Swallow, they're quick to explore the lake and ask their mother if they can go on an overnight camping trip to the small island in the middle of the lake which they aptly adopt as their own and name it Walker Island. As the children walk further from their base, they soon discover that they might not be the only ones on the island. They're soon approached by two girls who call themselves The Amazons, they say the island is theirs and tell the Walker children to return home on Swallow, their boat.

The two sets of children start a rivalry but as time passes, events unfold which mean the children must work together to uncover the disappearance of one of the islanders most mysterious inhabitants.

Kelly Mcdonald - 2013 British Academy Scotland Awards held at the Radisson Blu Hotel - Arrivals - United Kingdom - Sunday 17th November 2013

Kelly Mcdonald
Kelly Mcdonald

May The Glitz And Murder Continue, Boardwalk Empire Season 5 Gets Green Light


Steve Buscemi Stephen Graham Kelly MacDonald

Boardwalk Empire is only three episodes in to season four, but HBO have decided the people want more, and have ordered a fifth season of the stylish prohibition drama. Deadline had the scoop, and the statement to go with it.

Boardwalk EmpireBoardwalk Empire Will Return For Season 5

“Thanks to Terry Winter, Martin Scorsese, Tim Van Patten, Howard Korder and their stellar team, Boardwalk Empire remains in a class by itself,” said Michael Lombardo, president, HBO Programming in a statement Thursday. “I look forward to another electrifying season of this impeccably crafted series.”

Continue reading: May The Glitz And Murder Continue, Boardwalk Empire Season 5 Gets Green Light

Brave Takes Home The Oscar For Best Animated Film Academy Awards Ceremony


Academy Of Motion Pictures And Sciences Kelly MacDonald Robbie Coltrane Billy Connolly Craig Ferguson Emma Thompson Julie Walters

Pixar added yet another Academy Award to the pile last night as the Disney-owned studio's fantasy blast from the past Brave picked up the top prize for animation at the star-studded event.

The film, inspired by Gaelic folklore and the landscape of the Scottish Highlands, had already won the BAFTA and Golden Globe for the same category - following in the footsteps of the six Pixar films that have also won the award since it's inaugural year in 2001. The film battled off competition from Wreck-it Ralph, Frankenweenie, ParaNorman and The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists! to take home the award.

In addition to being set in a pre-historic Scotland, the film also incorporated a wealth of Scottish talent including Kelly MacDonald, Robbie Coltrane, Billy Connolly and Craig Ferguson, with Brits Emma Thompson and Julie Walters also voicing parts in the film. Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond praised the film and it's continued success - and what it means to Scotland too - telling the BBC, "To win the Oscar for best animated film is a massive achievement. It is absolutely fantastic to see Merida and the gang continue to fly the flag for Scotland in Hollywood."

Continue reading: Brave Takes Home The Oscar For Best Animated Film Academy Awards Ceremony

Hot Tickets! This Weekend's US Movie Releases: Anna Karenina, Silver Linings Playbook, Lincoln And Twilight


Daniel Day Lewis Steven Spielberg Keira Knightley Kelly MacDonald Kristen Stewart Robert Pattinson Bradley Cooper

If you're like us, then a trip to the cinema is the best way to spend the weekend. And if you, like us, saw Skyfall last weekend, then you'd be forgiven for thinking you'd caught the movie highlight of the year already. Wrong! You've got a tough choice between Anna Karenina, Silver Linings Playbook, the full release of Lincoln, and Twilight Breaking Dawn Part 2 - the final film in the franchise - and we're here to help you out with that tough choice. 

Unless you were lucky enough to catch Lincoln last weekend on its limited release, this is the time to see it. Daniel Day-Lewis stars impressively as Abraham Lincoln, as Steven Spielberg auteurs the story of the 16th President of The United States, and his fight with congress to push through the emancipation of the slaves. Drenched in the sweet nectar of Oscar buzz, Lincoln is a film that demands attention, and with excellent reviews so far, it looks certain to top the U.S Box Office come Monday. Check out the trailer below.

Continue reading: Hot Tickets! This Weekend's US Movie Releases: Anna Karenina, Silver Linings Playbook, Lincoln And Twilight

Kelly MacDonald - Kelly Macdonald and guest Saturday 30th June 2012 Edinburgh International Film Festival 2012 - 'Brave' - Premiere

Kelly Macdonald
Kelly Macdonald
Kelly Macdonald

Kelly MacDonald and Los Angeles Film Festival Monday 18th June 2012 2012 Los Angeles Film Festival premiere of Disney Pixar's 'Brave' at the Dolby Theatre

Kelly Macdonald and Los Angeles Film Festival
Guest, Kelly Macdonald and Los Angeles Film Festival
Kelly Macdonald and Los Angeles Film Festival
Kelly Macdonald and Los Angeles Film Festival

Kelly MacDonald Wednesday 13th June 2012 on the set of 'Boardwalk Empire' in Brooklyn

Kelly Macdonald
Kelly Macdonald
Kelly Macdonald
Kelly Macdonald
Kelly Macdonald
Kelly Macdonald

Kelly MacDonald, Golden Globe Awards and Beverly Hilton Hotel Sunday 15th January 2012 The 69th Annual Golden Globe Awards (Golden Globes 2012) held at The Beverly Hilton Hotel - Outside Arrivals

Kelly Macdonald, Golden Globe Awards and Beverly Hilton Hotel

Kelly MacDonald and Emmy Awards Sunday 18th September 2011 The 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards, held at Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE - Arrivals Los Angeles, California

Kelly Macdonald and Emmy Awards
Kelly Macdonald and Emmy Awards
Kelly Macdonald and Emmy Awards
Kelly Macdonald and Emmy Awards

Dougie Payne and Kelly MacDonald - Dougie Payne, Kelly Macdonald New York City, USA - Boardwalk Empire season 2 Premiere Wednesday 14th September 2011

Dougie Payne and Kelly Macdonald
Dougie Payne and Kelly Macdonald
Dougie Payne and Kelly Macdonald
Dougie Payne and Kelly Macdonald
Dougie Payne and Kelly Macdonald

Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 2 Review


Excellent

The eight-part saga comes to a close with an action-packed finale that neatly ties up the strands of the whole series and also manages to give its actors some meaty scenes to play with. While it's hugely satisfying, there's also a letdown as we reach the end.

With Voldemort (Fiennes) in possession of the mythical Elder Wand, and four Horcruxes still at large, Harry (Radcliffe) and pals Hermione and Ron (Watson and Grint) know that they have work to do. Breaking into a Gringotts vault is tough enough, but when they sneak back into Hogwarts, they find themselves in all-out war against Voldemort and his Death Eaters. So with the help of adults (Smith, Walters and more) and fellow students (including Lewis, Wright and Lynch), they make their final stand.

After a sort of "Previously on Harry Potter" prologue and a quietly intense opening, the film plunges into the Gringotts heist and barely pauses for breath. Director Yates adeptly juggles action and drama, keeping images razor sharp and making sure the effects work is seamlessly eye-catching (they're also the most consistently high-quality effects in the series). But of course Lord of the Rings-scale spectacle is nothing without great characters, and this film pushes everyone into new territory.

Radcliffe takes on the challenge extremely well, bringing Harry's self-doubt and crippling guilt together with a potent sense of destiny and sacrifice. Of the supporting cast, Rickman, Smith and Gambon get the weightiest scenes, while Lewis and Walters finally have superb moments in the spotlight. And Bonham Carter clearly has a ball with a terrific scene as a shape-shifted Hermione.
Meanwhile, that outrageously starry ensemble fills out each scene, including many who barely utter a word.

As the story propels to the climactic moments, there are a few fits and starts while events recoil and wait to burst forth again. Even though this is the shortest of all eight movies, it feels a little long due to its intensely focussed plot. This means every moment on screen is vitally important, and most are given the chance to play out without feeling rushed. But it also means that, as the ending (and epilogue) get closer, we simply don't want it to end.

Kelly MacDonald - Sunday 30th January 2011 at Screen Actors Guild Los Angeles, California

Kelly Macdonald
Kelly Macdonald
Kelly Macdonald
Kelly Macdonald
Paz De La Huerta, Aleksa Palladino and Kelly Macdonald
Paz De La Huerta, Aleksa Palladino, Ariel Winter and Kelly Macdonald

Kelly MacDonald and Dougie Payne - Kelly Macdonald and Dougie Payne Sunday 16th January 2011 at Golden Globe Awards Los Angeles, California

Kelly Macdonald and Dougie Payne
Kelly Macdonald and Dougie Payne

Kelly Mcdonald and Steve Buscemi - Kelly McDonald and Steve Buscemi Sunday 16th January 2011 at Golden Globe Awards Beverly Hills, California

Kelly Mcdonald and Steve Buscemi

In The Electric Mist Review


Excellent
French filmmaker Tavernier captures Louisiana with a remarkable eye. Even though the film meanders a bit, the skilful direction and camerawork combine with strong acting to create an engaging, insinuating thriller.

Dave (Jones) is a detective looking into the violent murder of a prostitute when movie star Elrod (Sarsgaard), filming nearby in a swamp, stumbles across the decades-old skeleton of a chained-up black man. In Dave's mind, the murders are linked, and as he questions a local mobster (Goodman), a partying investor (Beatty) and the film's director (Sayles), both cases get increasingly haunting. Dave also imagines that he sees a Confederate general (Helm) roaming the bayou around his house. And within this swirling mist, things start to make sense.

Continue reading: In The Electric Mist Review

The Merry Gentleman Review


Good
Moody and thoughtful, this quiet character study is extremely beautiful to look at and features some superbly understated performances. But it moves at such a slow pace that most viewers will find it difficult to stick around until the end.

Frank (Keaton) and Kate (Macdonald) see each other before they meet. He's a hitman on top of a building, efficiently going about his grisly business; she's a lively office worker still recovering after running away from her abusive husband (Cannavale). They meet later, in a cute Christmas sort of way, and strike up a warm and wary friendship. Both aren't so much lonely as alone.

Although Kate has a new friend (Hunt) at the office and has attracted the attentions of the cop (Bastounes) investigating who she saw on that rooftop.

Continue reading: The Merry Gentleman Review

In The Electric Mist Review


Weak
This isn't the first time auteur director Bernard Tavernier has waded through the American south... though if you've even heard of (much less seen) his Mississippi Blues, give yourself a gold star.

In the Electric Mist -- my nomination for the worst-titled film since Quantum of Solace -- is likely destined to meet a similar fate. Despite star turns from Tommy Lee Jones, John goodman, Mary Steenburgen, and Peter Sarsgaard, Tavernier's rural Louisianan tale of murder, mobsters, and, er, dead Confederate soldiers, is a rocky affair that makes next to no sense at all.

Continue reading: In The Electric Mist Review

Choke Review


OK
Let's face it: No one thought Fight Club would be anything other than another flash of David Fincher directorial determination when it first came out. Critics and audiences were not enamored with the machismo and mayhem epic, even with stars Edward Norton and Brad Pitt in the lead. No, it took a few years for the cinematic scales to fall from everyone's eyes, turning a cult flick into a classic. Perhaps actor turned auteur Clark Gregg is hoping for the same time-aided appreciation. His interpretation of Club author Chuck Palahniuk's novel Choke is equally quirky and unsettled. One senses, however, no future re-evaluation for this uneven effort.

Since leaving medical school, sex addict Victor Mancini (Sam Rockwell) has worked tirelessly to keep his mentally deranged mother (Anjelica Huston) in a private nursing home. By day, he's a "historical recreationist" at a local colonial village. By night, he travels to various restaurants around town and pretends to choke. Once saved, he hits up his good Samaritan marks for any and all kinds of financial assistance. Desperate to learn who his father is, Victor teams up with a new doctor named Paige Marshall (Kelly Macdonald) to decipher his mother's memories, as well as translate an old diary which may provide some clues. Of course, in between consultations, it's nothing but fornication and copulation.

Continue reading: Choke Review

No Country For Old Men Review


Excellent
The only good man to be found in Joel and Ethan Coen's No Country for Old Men is a sheriff by the name of Ed Tom Bell (Tommy Lee Jones). Every morning he has bacon and black coffee with his eggs and he'll take any chance he can to ride horses with his wife in the canyons of California's border territory. In a jarring opening monologue, Bell says that to know the kind of evil going on these days would require a man to put "his soul at hazard" and to say "OK, I'll be part of this world." He doesn't find appeal in conceding to either.

Bell's troubles kick off when a deputy makes the fatal mistake of arresting a pale man with a terrible bowl cut, properly named Anton Chigurh (Javier Bardem). Chigurh strangles the deputy while his flailing boots leave a trail of scuff marks on the jail floor. As he makes his way back to his meeting spot, Llewelyn Moss (a near-stoic Josh Brolin) has come upon a massacre of drug runners in the California canyons and prairies. He leaves the drugs but takes a bag full of money for his own. Within hours, he is sending his wife to live with her mother and plotting the best way to shake the trail of dead that is left in his wake. A cocky fixer (Woody Harrelson) makes nothing but a blip on Chigurh's radar as he rifles through hotels and hospitals to find his money and the man who has "inconvenienced" him.

Continue reading: No Country For Old Men Review

Tristram Shandy: A Cock And Bull Story Review


Very Good
At one point during Michael Winterbottom's shambolically hilarious Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story, a film about trying to film the legendarily unfilmmable 18th century novel, Steve Coogan says to a reporter that the wonderful thing about Laurence Sterne's book (which he obviously hasn't read) is how ahead of its time it was, that it was "a postmodern novel... before there was a modernism... to be post of." It's a throwaway line in some respects, but it's an excellent example of the layered absurdist humor that abounds within its wonderfully loose format. This is a film about ego, the fatal inability of people to plan their lives, and the delirious chaos of the creative process. It's also about what utter jerks movie stars can be, God bless 'em.

Sterne's novel is a big old mess and has never been quite accepted in the literary canon. Published in nine installments over a decade, it's a subplot-mad, diversion-crazed bildungsroman where the narrator - Shandy - can't even get past describing his own birth by the end of the book, due to his tendency to go off on tangents. Along the way it packs in satires of contemporary intellectuals like Pope and Locke and plays with the novelistic form, including even having one page printed entirely black to represent sorrow at a character's death. They try that in the film, but then realize it's not quite so interesting for audience.

Continue reading: Tristram Shandy: A Cock And Bull Story Review

Nanny McPhee Review


Excellent
Once upon a time, there was a young, dashing movie critic who ventured to see a fairy tale named Nanny McPhee. The critic was scared, as he had done battle with kids' movies. His record featured duels with the likes of Are We There Yet? and Rebound. He had barely survived.

But our hero had a job to do, and he never shied away from danger. He swallowed his fear, hopped into his silver, gas-fueled chariot, and sped off through the rain and inky darkness to the multiplex, that house of horrors where Cedric the Entertainer and John Travolta lurked. The critic pushed open the heavy doors and made his fateful way to face off against Nanny McPhee.

Continue reading: Nanny McPhee Review

Stella Does Tricks Review


Weak
Bleak, bleak, bleak story of an underage Glaswegian prostitute (Macdonald) who gets in one scrape after another while trying to get her life in order. Blame her father? Blame her boyfriend? Blame society? Stella Does Tricks splashes a lot of blame around without ever answering for any of it. I'd say a rather banal flashback device only gets in the way, only there's not much for it to actually get in the way of.

Tristram Shandy: A Cock And Bull Story Review


Very Good
At one point during Michael Winterbottom's shambolically hilarious Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story, a film about trying to film the legendarily unfilmmable 18th century novel, Steve Coogan says to a reporter that the wonderful thing about Laurence Sterne's book (which he obviously hasn't read) is how ahead of its time it was, that it was "a postmodern novel... before there was a modernism... to be post of." It's a throwaway line in some respects, but it's an excellent example of the layered absurdist humor that abounds within its wonderfully loose format. This is a film about ego, the fatal inability of people to plan their lives, and the delirious chaos of the creative process. It's also about what utter jerks movie stars can be, God bless 'em.

Sterne's novel is a big old mess and has never been quite accepted in the literary canon. Published in nine installments over a decade, it's a subplot-mad, diversion-crazed bildungsroman where the narrator - Shandy - can't even get past describing his own birth by the end of the book, due to his tendency to go off on tangents. Along the way it packs in satires of contemporary intellectuals like Pope and Locke and plays with the novelistic form, including even having one page printed entirely black to represent sorrow at a character's death. They try that in the film, but then realize it's not quite so interesting for audience.

Continue reading: Tristram Shandy: A Cock And Bull Story Review

Strictly Sinatra Review


Weak
If Frank Sinatra had been born in Scotland, would he sound exactly the same? In Strictly Sinatra, Ian Hart's uber-Brit sounds like a squeaky-voiced Glaswegian when he talks, but he has a low and smooth American voice when he sings. He even croons Elvis! And his name is Toni Cocozza!

Alas, Strictly Sinatra is just as perplexing as its lead character, from Hart's ridiculous, patchy 'fro (this makes him sexy?) to his inexplicable involvement with the local mob (led by Brian Cox in another hardass performance). The thick accents are difficult enough to fathom, but when the characters have to scream over ambient noise, it's far worse. By the time Sinatra turns into GoodFellas, you'll have likely given up on the whole affair. (Worst moment: Boy-meets-girl montage reminds you of those aching moments that passed between the two lovebirds 45 minutes earlier.)

Continue reading: Strictly Sinatra Review

Trainspotting Review


Essential
It's the most heavily-hyped and anticipated indie film I have ever seen.

It's a foul and grotesque exercise in nausea, yet completely engrossing from the start.

Continue reading: Trainspotting Review

Splendor Review


Very Good
Generation X will leave behind an inimitable legacy. Splendor, with all its profound idiosyncrasies, will someday be considered proof.

Twenty years from now people will look back and say, "Man, everyone was so weird in the nineties!" and frankly after seeing this movie, I'll agree.

Continue reading: Splendor Review

Two Family House Review


OK

Buddy Visalo is a blue-collar schlep who insists on following his dreams -- or are they schemes?

When he was a mechanic in the Air Force during World War II, he sang in a USO show and a showbiz bigwig offered him an audition when he got out of the service. But upon returning home, his fiancée's family sneered at the idea and he faced an ultimatum: the girl or his stupid (to hear her tell it) fantasy of a singing career.

Deflated, Buddy (Michael Rispoli) gave in and embarked on a mirthless marriage and a string of calamitous start-up businesses, none of which his now-wife (Katherine Narducci) lets him forget -- especially since they're still living with her parents and sleeping in a twin bed.

Continue reading: Two Family House Review

Kelly Macdonald

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Kelly MacDonald Movies

Goodbye Christopher Robin Movie Review

Goodbye Christopher Robin Movie Review

This biopic about Winnie the Pooh author A.A. Milne may look like the usual lushly...

Goodbye Christopher Robin Trailer

Goodbye Christopher Robin Trailer

Like most men and women of his time, Alan Alexander Milne - professionally known as...

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

It's been 20 years since we last saw four freewheeling young junkies from Edinburgh spiral...

T2 Trainspotting Trailer

T2 Trainspotting Trailer

Set 20 years after the original movie, we see our favourite once drug-addled Scotsman reunited....

Swallows and Amazons Movie Review

Swallows and Amazons Movie Review

After a number of films, TV series and stage adaptations, Arthur Ransome's beloved 1930 novel...

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Swallows And Amazons Trailer

Swallows And Amazons Trailer

The first book in Arthur Ransome's much loved book series has been turned into a...

Anna Karenina Movie Review

Anna Karenina Movie Review

Tolstoy's iconic novel may have been filmed several times, but you've never seen a version...

Brave Movie Review

Brave Movie Review

Pixar continues pushing boundaries with this lavishly animated Scottish adventure, which centres on an involving...

Anna Karenina Trailer

Anna Karenina Trailer

Anna Karenina is the young wife of senior statesman Alexei Karenin. Theirs was more of...

Brave Trailer

Brave Trailer

Princess Merida is the daughter of the warrior, King Fergus and his wife, Queen Elinor....

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Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 Movie Review

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 Movie Review

The eight-part saga comes to a close with an action-packed finale that neatly ties up...

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2 Trailer

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2 Trailer

Harry Potter and his friends, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger, continue their search for Voldemort's...

The Merry Gentleman Movie Review

The Merry Gentleman Movie Review

Moody and thoughtful, this quiet character study is extremely beautiful to look at and features...

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