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My Cousin Rachel Review

OK

Daphne du Maurier's 1951 mystery-romance novel has been adapted for theatre, radio, TV and film, although the last time it was seen on the big screen was in the 1952 movie starring Olivia De Havilland and Richard Burton. So a new film version isn't a terrible idea, bringing some modern sensibilities to the 19th century tale of obsession and intrigue. It's just a shame that this version, while gorgeous to look at, never quite manages to generate the momentum needed to involve the audience.

It's set in the early 1800s, when Philip (Sam Claflin) has inherited a Cornish farm from his cousin, who died in Italy where he lived with his wife Rachel (Rachel Weisz). Philip is nervous about meeting Rachel, but he's instantly smitten with her dark charm. His godfather Kendall (Iain Glen) warns him to be careful, and Kendall's daughter Louise (Holliday Grainger) is even more horrified by this development, because she has always had a crush on Philip. But as Philip becomes increasingly focussed on Rachel, he offers to give her the farm to prove his love. The question of course is whether she is really in love with him.

My Cousin Rachel

Continue reading: My Cousin Rachel Review

The Legend Of Tarzan Review

Good

It's been nearly 30 years since the last live-action Tarzan movie, and yet it still feels too soon for another remake. Thankfully, this is actually a sequel (perhaps it should have been titled Tarzan Returns), and along with a first-rate cast, this movie has a surprisingly beefy script that hints at a much more high-brow adventure epic. But clearly the studio preferred to make a mindless bit of blockbuster action.

After leaving the jungle, Tarzan (Alexander Skarsgard) has settled into life in damp 1880s England as the Earl of Greystoke with his American wife Jane (Margot Robbie). Meanwhile, deep in the Congo, Belgian diplomat Leon Rom (Christoph Waltz) has made a deal with Chief Mbonga (Djimon Hounsou), who has a personal grudge against Tarzan. Planning to hand over Tarzan in exchange for diamonds, Leon lures Tarzan back to Africa, accompanied by Jane and the American explorer George Washington Williams (Samuel L. Jackson), who suspects that the slave trade hasn't ended. On arrival, Leon pounces, and Tarzan must revert to the instincts he learned from the gorillas who raised him, while calling on help from old friends.

The plot is actually quite compelling, sparking lots of whooshing action (including plenty of vine-swinging) while grappling with some bigger themes involving colonialism and racism, plus more personal issues of identity and responsibility. The actors pack their scenes with textures that touch on these ideas, while also providing a spark of wit. With his impossibly sculpted physique, Skarsgard looks rather too gym-fit for the role, but he gives Tarzan a soulfulness that makes him likeable. He also develops some steamy chemistry with Robbie, who shines in her role as a feisty woman happy to return to the village where she was raised. The best scene in the film is when she has dinner with Waltz' sneering villain, gleefully swapping innuendo. And even with the action and gunplay, this is Jackson's deepest role in years.

Continue reading: The Legend Of Tarzan Review

The Legend Of Tarzan - Teaser Trailer


Who would've thought that a boy who grew up with apes in the jungle could turn into a well-respected lord who's not only adjusted to 'civilised' life - become accustom to it too. Tarzan is no longer the boy who was written about in all the books, he's a lord and lives with the love of his life, Jane.

When John Clayton III, Lord Greystoke (aka Tarzan) is approached by the government to travel back to the Congo become an ambassador for the Parliament he reluctantly accepts under forced circumstances. What Tarzan doesn't know is that he's about to play exactly into the hands of Captain Leon Rom, a ruthless Belgian businessman and hunter who's fierce rule is taking over Tarzan's old home.

Having kidnapped Jane, Tarzan's love Captain Leon Rom knows Tarzan will track her down. Both parties are not only pitted against one another but the jungle and its residents also make a battle cry which could result in disastrous consequences.

Continue: The Legend Of Tarzan - Teaser Trailer

Into The Woods - Extended Trailer


When a Baker (James Corden) and his wife (Emily Blunt) are unable to have children due to a curse, they are advised by a witch (Meryl Streep) to venture into the woods in order to find a cow as white as milk, a cape as red as blood, hair as yellow as corn and a slipper as pure as gold. Along the way, they become intertwined in the stories of 'Jack and the Beanstalk', 'Little Red Riding Hood', 'Rapunzel', and 'Cinderella', in this original story based upon Grimm's classic fairy tales.

Continue: Into The Woods - Extended Trailer

Into The Woods - Alternative Trailer


When a Baker (James Corden) and his wife (Emily Blunt) are cursed by a witch (Meryl Streep), they discover that they are unable to have children. The couple embark on an adventure into the woods in order to recover the magical objects required to break the spell and allow them to begin a family together. Over the course of their journey, they encounter iconic fairy-tale characters and motifs from stories like Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk, Rapunzel and Cinderella. They also steadily learn valuable lessons about responsibility and being careful what they wish for.

Continue: Into The Woods - Alternative Trailer

Into The Woods - Featurette


Take a sneak peak of forthcoming musical fairytale flick 'Into The Woods' in this short featurette, featuring comments from the stellar ensemble cast and crew. Among them are stars Emily Blunt, James Corden, Chris Pine, Meryl Streep and Johnny Depp, as well as director Rob Marshall ('Chicago'), author of the book James Lapine and composer Stephen Sondheim ('Sweeney Todd').

Continue: Into The Woods - Featurette

Into The Woods - Teaser Trailer


When a Baker (James Corden) and his wife (Emily Blunt) are cursed by a witch (Meryl Streep), they discover that they are unable to have children. The couple embark on an adventure into the woods in order to recover the magical objects required to break the spell and allow them to begin a family together. Over the course of their journey, they encounter iconic fairy-tale characters and motifs from stories like Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk, Rapunzel and Cinderella. They also steadily learn valuable lessons about responsibility and being careful what they wish for .

Continue: Into The Woods - Teaser Trailer

'King Lear' At The National: Is Simon Russell Beale Britain's Finest Actor?


Simon Russell Beale Sam Mendes Anna Maxwell Martin

Simon Russell Beale turns in an arguably career best performance in Sam Mendes' latest production at the National Theatre, King Lear.

Beale plays Lear as a hunched, thuggish leader - similar to the way in which Kevin Spacey played Richard II - though as his power begins to slip, he becomes frantic and nonsensical. In his review of the show, Henry Hitchens of the Evening Standard writes, "There is perhaps no actor better at conveying the shapes and sounds of grief."

Simon Russell BealeSimon Russell Beale Turns In A Career Best Performance in 'King Lear'

Continue reading: 'King Lear' At The National: Is Simon Russell Beale Britain's Finest Actor?

'The Hollow Crown': Shakespeare 4-Play Miniseries Out Soon On DVD


Ben Whishaw Sam Mendes Jeremy Irons Julie Walters Simon Russell Beale David Morrissey

Shown last summer on BBC2, the spectacular, four-part, historical drama series, The Hollow Crown will be available to buy on DVD and to digitally download at the end of this month. The episodes began being broadcast in June 2012 and were brought to life by Skyfall director Sam Mendes who executively produced the episodes for the BBC channel.

The Hollow Crown

The drama series features four of Shakespeare's plays, or the 'Henriad' as they are often collectively known: Richard II, Henry IV Part 1, Henry IV Part 2 and Henry V. Across the four episodes star Ben Whishaw as King Richard II, Jeremy Irons as King Henry VI, Tom Hiddlestone as King Henry V and Patrick Stewart as John of Gaunt.

Continue reading: 'The Hollow Crown': Shakespeare 4-Play Miniseries Out Soon On DVD

The Hollow Crown Trailer


The first episode of this series is 'Richard II' detailing the life of the King between 1398 and 1400; his greed, his severity in regards to his subjects and his eventual overthrow by his cousin Henry Bolingbroke, who, after claiming the throne, had Richard imprisoned and later murdered. The second two episodes are based on Bolingbroke, now dubbing himself Henry IV, who's Kingship has brought with it a revolt with the Percy family. His son, the future Henry V, is determined to be King one day, but with a disapproving father who'd rather Henry Percy (aka Hotspur) become his heir, there is understandable bloodshed. The final episode tells the story of Henry V, who struggles with the complexity of war and his own moral standing as a ruler.

Continue: The Hollow Crown Trailer

Simon Russell Beale Sunday 25th November 2012 Simon Russell Beale,

Simon Russell Beale
Simon Russell Beale

Simon Russell Beale Monday 22nd August 2011 Opening night after party for the Atlantic Theater Company production of 'Bluebird' held at Jake's Saloon New York City, USA

Simon Russell Beale
Simon Russell Beale
Simon Russell Beale
Simon Russell Beale
Simon Russell Beale

Simon Russell Beale Thursday 14th April 2011 Opening night after party for the Lincoln Center Broadway production of 'War Horse' held at Avery Fisher Hall New York City, USA

Simon Russell Beale
Simon Russell Beale
Simon Russell Beale
Simon Russell Beale
Simon Russell Beale
Simon Russell Beale

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Simon Russell Beale Movies

My Cousin Rachel Movie Review

My Cousin Rachel Movie Review

Daphne du Maurier's 1951 mystery-romance novel has been adapted for theatre, radio, TV and film,...

The Legend of Tarzan Movie Review

The Legend of Tarzan Movie Review

It's been nearly 30 years since the last live-action Tarzan movie, and yet it still...

The Legend Of Tarzan - Teaser Trailer

The Legend Of Tarzan - Teaser Trailer

Who would've thought that a boy who grew up with apes in the jungle could...

Into The Woods - Extended Trailer Trailer

Into The Woods - Extended Trailer Trailer

When a Baker (James Corden) and his wife (Emily Blunt) are unable to have children...

Into The Woods Trailer

Into The Woods Trailer

When a Baker (James Corden) and his wife (Emily Blunt) are cursed by a witch...

Advertisement
Into The Woods Trailer

Into The Woods Trailer

Take a sneak peak of forthcoming musical fairytale flick 'Into The Woods' in this short...

Into The Woods Trailer

Into The Woods Trailer

When a Baker (James Corden) and his wife (Emily Blunt) are cursed by a witch...

The Hollow Crown Trailer

The Hollow Crown Trailer

The first episode of this series is 'Richard II' detailing the life of the King...

The Deep Blue Sea Movie Review

The Deep Blue Sea Movie Review

Based on the 1952 Terence Rattigan play, this exquisitely made British drama moves at its...

The Gathering Movie Review

The Gathering Movie Review

I'm always fascinated by those movies that get shot, cut, and finished... then sit "in...

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