It's the early 1940s and World War II is in full swing. Bombs are raining down on London in the Blitzkrieg threatening to tear the country in two, but the British are made of sturdier stuff. Catrin Cole is a writer who comes to realise that the absence of ambitious young men in the workplace due to recruitment into the army has opened a door for her. She is appointed by the film division of the Ministry of Information to write the supplementary women's dialogue of a new propaganda film about Dunkirk, however she is told that she'll get no screen credit and won't be paid as much as her male counterparts. She goes one step further and writes the whole script, impressing all involved if leaving them a little indignant. Plus, she finds an unlikely ally in an aging film star named Ambrose Hilliard, who longs for the days he had major roles.
Continue: Their Finest Trailer
Set eight months after the 2012 original film, The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel sees the majority of the cast return India for this sequel from director John Madden. In the run up to Sonny's (Dev Patel) wedding to Sunaina (Tena Desae), he is struggling to find the time to work at his hotel. With only one room left in the hotel, Sonny is confronted with an interesting situation when two new arrivals turn up - Guy (Richard Gere) and Lavinia (Tamsin Greig). With help from Murial (Maggie Smith) acting as the co-manager, will Sonny will be able to juggle his personal and working lives?
Bill Nighy excelled in the final part of David Hare's Worricker trilogy, 'Salting the Battlefield'.
Salting the Battlefield, the British drama written by Sir David Hare, concluded the Worricker triology on Thursday evening (March 27, 2014) in a remarkable series that has seen Bill Nighy lead a phenomenal cast including Helena Bonham Carter, Rupert Graves, Ralph Fiennes.
Bill Nighy in 'Salting the Battlefield'
The third part of Hare's Worricker trilogy focused on Nighy's Bill Worricker - a disillusioned MI5 agent - and fellow ex-agent Margot (Carter) trying to his give his boss the slip in Germany, with a trail of subterfuge leading right back to Downing Street.
Even with its relentlessly cliched production design (trenchcoats and flickering candles galore), this raucous gothic thriller deploys enough visual flash to hold our attention. The gigantic effects-heavy action sequences are eye-catching and sometimes exciting, and there are elements of the story that almost begin to resonate before the script veers off in another more simplistic direction.
Based on a graphic novel, the story picks up where Mary Shelley's novel left off, as the monster (Eckhart) is attacked by demons that want to study his non-human existence. He's rescued by gargoyles, angelic protectors of humanity, and taken to their Queen Lenore (Miranda Otto), who names him Adam and enlists him in the demon-killing cause. Although her second-in-command (Courtney) isn't so sure. Over the next 200 years, Adam hones his skills before returning to Lenore just as the demon Prince Naberius (Nighy) is launching his evil plan to re-animate a dead army with the help of sexy scientist Terra (Strahovski) and Dr Frankenstein's journal. In other words, all hell is about to break loose.
Annoyingly, every time the plot begins to get interesting, writer-director Beattie indulges in another vacuous action set piece that's as irrelevant as the 3D. There's a decent story in here about the nature of the human soul, religious fervour and moral tenacity, but the film only uses these things as devices to make the dialog sound intelligent. Which is tricky since Beattie directs his cast to deliver their lines in growling, blurting monotone. Eckhart's voice-over narration is particularly dull. And this over-earnest tone leaves every potential relationship as a non-starter.
Continue reading: I, Frankenstein Review
Room for one more - Gere joins the party
Not only has The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel retained its all-star cast for the sequel, but another behemoth of the big screen has joined ranks. Richard Gere will star alongside Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, Maggie Smith and Penelope Wilton when the comedy returns, though it is currently unknown which new character Gere will play.
There isn’t much info, but the Radio Times report that the same production team will be on board, with the second film once again being written by Ol Parker. Another returnee is Penelope Wilton, who played Jean in the original film.
"We had a wonderful time shooting this film the first time and I am thrilled we will be going back in January to do another one. As far as I know everybdy will be returning," she said.
Continue reading: Richard Gere Joining Veteran Cast For 'Marigold Hotel' Sequel
The Brits love dweeb comedy duo Simon Pegg and Nick Frost: here's why you should too.
New British comedy The World's End has been released today (23rd Aug) in America and is the third in the tenuously linked 'Cornetto Trilogy.' First off, you should know that the title is the name of the pub that proves crucial to the plotline of the movie as the characters embark on that modern British crusade: the epic pub crawl. The movie serves as a sort-of sequel to 2007's Hot Fuzz and 2004's Shaun of the Dead in that the same band of UK comedy actors are employed.
We Brits love our dorks so there's little hunky eye candy within the trilogy's recurring cast of Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Bill Nighy and Paddy Considine. However, what you do get is some of Britain's funniest comedy actors playing a band of unlikely heroes who will win over your hearts for their determination and the film's daft sense of humour.
Continue reading: Here's Why America Should Flock To See 'The World's End' This Weekend
Bill Nighy revealed in an interview that he had turned down the role of Doctor Who. He said the role "comes with too much baggage."
Bill Nighy turned down the role of Doctor Who. The actor, in an interview with the Daily Express, revealed he had been offered the part but would not say when. He said he wouldn't reveal this as "the rule is that you are not allowed to say you turned that job down because it's disrespectful" to the actor who obtained the role.
Bill Nighy at the premiere of About Time at Somerset House, London.
Continue reading: Bill Nighy Turned Down Doctor Who Role - But When?
It's a yes from Nighy
The latest tick to hit the page for Peter Capaldi as Doctor Who is that of Bill Nighy’s; the British actor, talking at the premiere of his new film, About Time, offered up a full endorsement of the Scot, revealing that he’d been offered it in the past but turned it down.
Calling it a “brilliant, inspired choice” Nighy said: “It’s one of those things where you think ‘Of course he’s the Doctor,’” he added. “Why didn’t I think of that before? He’s a marvellous actor. He’ll be very good as the Doctor,” Nighy went on. “He’ll bring a lot of wit and dry humour. He’s elegant and he looks great.” (Metro)
About Time is Richard Curtis’ film as the director announced he’d be stepping down from directing. Nighy plays ‘Dad’, a man whose family has a weird quirk: the men in the family can all time travel. The sci-fi rom-com enjoyed its premiere at London’s Leicester Sq. last night.
Is it really 'About Time' for rom-com king Richard Curtis, responsible for 'Notting Hill' and 'Love Actually', to bow out?
Master of the romantic comedy genre, Richard Curtis, who helped bring us some of Britain's best-loved romance films of the last three decades has said that he thinks upcoming film About Time will be his last.
The thrice BAFTA-winning, Oscar-nominated director has tole Empire magazine, as reported by The Independent, that "[About Time] probably will be the last film I will direct." The 56 year-old filmmaker admitted he himself wasn't sure why he wanted to bow out, saying "I don't know. Just a feeling...just a feeling. It feels like a summing-up to me. We'll see how things turn out."
Richard Curtis Thinks About Time Will Be His Swansong.
After Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, Pegg and Wright conclude their so-called Cornetto Trilogy with yet another riotously inspired exploration of British culture: the pub crawl. And this time it's apocalyptic! But what makes the film thoroughly endearing is its focus on old friendships that are so well-played that we can't help but find ourselves on-screen even when things get very, very silly.
Pegg plays Gary, the ringleader of his band of school pals. It's been more than 20 years since their failed attempt to visit all 12 pubs in their hometown of Newton Haven. Now approaching 40, Gary hasn't grown up nearly as much as his friends, so it takes a bit of convincing to get the now-settled Andy, Ollie, Pete and Steve (Frost, Freeman, Marsan and Considine) to reunite for a renewed attempt to drink their way through town. Then after the first couple of pints, they start to suspect that something isn't quite right. People are behaving strangely, as if there are alien body snatchers taking over the town. So to avoid attracting attention, the boys just carry on getting blind drunk on their way to the 12th pub, The World's End.
As in the previous films, Pegg and Wright continue developing the characters and their inter-relationships even as everything falls apart around them. Sure, the end of the humanity seems to be upon them, but there's unfinished business between them that needs sorting out, and besides there are more pints to drink. Along the way, things are spiced up as they meet Ollie's sister Sam (Pike), who shocks Gary by refusing to pick up where they left off. They also encounter a former teacher (Brosnan), the town's crazy old man (Bradley) and a shady guy known as The Reverend (Smiley).
Continue reading: The World's End Review
Tim Lake is 21-years-old and not exactly what you call an expert in the art of getting girlfriends. However, all that's about to change when his father lets him in on an incredible secret the day after a shambolic New Year party; all the men in their family can travel back in time and change things that have happened in their lives. Given that he is so clumsy around beautiful women, Tim uses this to his advantage, giving himself a second chance on first impressions. He manages to woo a beautiful girl named Mary with his advances, having honed them to perfection, but little does he realise just how dangerous his actions are. When he accidentally slips up during one time warp incident, he discovers that Mary has never met him before and that several months of romance have completely vanished. He must try and win her back once again, but accept that he cannot avoid the problems life and love inevitably bring - no matter how many times he tries.
Continue: About Time Trailer
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
That one good character is Doug, played with real depth by Farrell. After a chemical war has left just two inhabitable spots on earth (Britain and Australia), Doug is working as a robotics engineer and living a quiet life with his wife Lori (Beckinsale). But he keeps dreaming about running for his life with another woman (Biel), so he heads to a Rekall memory-implant centre to clear his mind. Of course he instead opens a can of worms, discovering that he's not who he thinks he is. But what's the truth? And who's side he really working for - the totalitarian chancellor (Cranston) or the violent rebel leader (Nighy)?
Continue reading: Total Recall Review
It is an uneasy period in human history, with the nation states of Euromerica and New Shanghai vying for supremacy a factory worker, Douglas Quaid, begins to question this new world order. With the questions mounting in his head it seems that the only thing that can clear his head is a decent vacation and Rekall looks to be the company to help him out with this desire.
Continue: Total Recall Trailer
While this sequel is just as loud and chaotic as 2010's Clash of the Titans remake, it's also considerably more fun due to some exhilarating action and a refreshing sense of humour. It also looks amazing in 3D on an Imax screen.
Years later, the now-widowed hero Perseus (Worthington) is trying to live as an anonymous fisherman with his pre-teen son Helius (Bell). Then he hears about stirrings of a coming calamity. Indeed, his father Zeus (Neeson) has been kidnapped by Hades (Fiennes) and Ares (Ramirez) as pat of a plan to release Zeus and Hades' evil father Kronos from the underworld. So Perseus teams up with Queen Andromeda (Pike) and rogue demigod Agenor (Kebbell), son of Poseidon (Huston), to rescue his father and stop his brother, uncle and grandfather.
Yes, this is one seriously dysfunctional family, as four generations of men set out to either destroy the world or save it. To be honest, it's never clear why Hades and Ares are so hellbent, as it were, on cataclysmic destruction, but at least this also allows for changing alliances as the story progresses. Not that there's much story, really, as the plot essentially just links a series of action set-pieces.
Fortunately, most of these sequences are entertaining enough to keep us gripped. Highlights include a rather fabulous dragon attack and a desperate, full-on fight with cyclops-giants in a forest. Less convincing are a convoluted underworld rescue-battle and the climactic assault on the volcano-sized Kronos, who rains down fire and destruction rather selectively. (There's also the problem of how the filmmakers can top Kronos in the probable sequel.)
Along the way, there are some refreshing moments of deranged humour, mainly in Kebbell's snarky dialog, Pike's sharp glances and a particularly colourful turn by Nighy (as super-spear smelter Hephaestus). But as the story progresses, there's more than a whiff of Lord of the Rings (the fires of Mount Doom, plus some pointless two-torsoed Orc-a-likes), Harry Potter (the three-pronged Deathly Hallows) and even Star Wars (all that father-son angst). But filmmaker Liebesman keeps things moving briskly, wowing us with so much eye-candy that we just sit back and enjoy the rickety ride for what it is.
Seven retirees meet at the airport as they move to Rajasthan to retire in a newly restored hotel. Evelyn (Dench) is financially strapped due to her late husband's debts. Muriel (Smith) is getting a faster, cheaper hip replacement.
Douglas and Jean (Nighy and Wilton) can't afford to retire in Britain. Graham (Wilkinson) has unfinished business in India. And Norman and Madge (Pickup and Imrie) are both single and looking for love. But manager Sonny (Patel) has slightly exaggerated the hotel's facilities.
Continue reading: The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel Review
It's been ten years since Perseus triumphantly defeated the gargantuan Kraken that roamed the shores of a fishing village. Now, though, he is content to scrape a living as a fisherman, while raising his ten year old son, Helius, alone.
Continue: Wrath Of The Titans Trailer
Muriel, Evelyn and Jean are just a few of a group of British retirees who decide to travel to India to stay at The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. After viewing the hotel's website, they are won over by how luxurious the hotel is and are soon on the first flight out of the UK.
Continue: The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel Trailer
This lively holiday romp has a steady stream of sharp verbal and visual gags that hold our interest. Even when the plot stalls in the middle, it's difficult to stop chuckling at the filmmakers' deranged sense of humour.
At the North Pole, Santa (Broadbent) is a bit complacent after 70 years on the job, letting his heir-apparent son Steve (Laurie) convert Christmas Eve into a high-tech black-ops style mission executed with military precision. To Steve, missing one child is an insignificant statistic. But Steve's younger brother Arthur (McAvoy) disagrees, and teams up with his feisty Grandsanta (Nighy) to make sure the last gift is delivered the old fashioned way.
Yes, the film is a riot of clashes between tradition and progress, the wisdom of the years and youthful vigour. Fortunately, the serious themes are subverted, hilariously playing with our expectations and never turning into a nostalgic paean to the olden days. That said, this British production does feel eerily co-opted by Hollywood, from the use of the American "Santa Claus" (no one ever calls him "Father Christmas", which might have made sense of the film's odd title) to the somewhat feeble attempts to ramp up the action and suspense. Not to mention a massive wave of sentimentality at the end.
But even this is undermined by Baynham (Borat) and director Smith's script, which maintains a dry British sense of humour and gives the strong vocal cast plenty of snappy material to play with. While most of the characters are a bit unmemorable, Nighy gets the best lines: Grandsanta as an old coot full of surprises, including some terrific rude jokes and an amusingly animated hound-style old reindeer sidekick. Staunton also has some terrific dialog as the underestimated Mrs Santa.
Visually the film is brightly colourful, amusingly designed with small sight gags and continual Christmas imagery. While the characters look a little plasticky, the settings are gorgeously rendered, and the flying sleigh sequences almost make it worth seeing in 3D. The problem is that the film feels stretched out by random antics and underdeveloped plot-threads along the way that add nothing to the overall story. So we get tired of the bumbling chaos, mainly because we know exactly where it's got to end up.
Working as a Chalet girl isn't as easy as some people might think. Kim is a nineteen year old girl who's just been given a big break and offered the chance to work in the Alps as a chalet girl, Cooking, cleaning and basically attending to her employer's families every need are just some of her daily chores.
With absolutely no experience Kim might be out of her depth but stumbles through the first couple of days looking after businessman Richard Masden and his family, however she finally finds her feet. There might be hard work to do but there's also a whole load of fun to be had, suddenly propelled into a world of money and parties Kim quickly becomes accustomed to her new way of life and also finds herself falling for the bosses son Jonny, just two problems stand in her way; his mother and his girlfriend!
Running time: 92 mins
Starring: Felicity Jones, Ed Westwick, Tamsin Egerton, Ken Duken, Sophia Bush, Bill Bailey, Brooke Shields, Bill Nighy, Georgia King, Tom Goodman-Hill, Nicholas Braun and Abbie Dunn
Directed by Phil Traill
Anne (Garai) is the adopted eldest daughter of powerful politician Alexander Keyes (Nighy) and his wife (Agutter), who went on to have two of their own children (Redmayne and Temple). It's the glorious summer of 1939, when Britain felt like it had averted conflict with Hitler, so when Anne stumbles on hints of a government conspiracy, she turns to a fellow actor (Bonneville) and her boyfriend (Cox) for help. But the mystery only deepens, compounded by a sinister Home Office official (Northam) and the distracting presence of her Aunt Elizabeth (Christie).
Continue reading: Glorious 39 Review
Starting with its unlikely origin as an amusement park ride, the Pirates series quickly mushroomed into a sort of meta-pirate film, a vast and whirligig universe unto itself that drew in every possible nautical cliché and legend possible. Thus the first film concentrated on yo-ho-ho-ing, rum-drinking, and general pirate-y scalawaggery. The second roped in Davy Jones and The Flying Dutchman -- not to mention an excess of secondary characters and familial drama. For the third (but not necessarily last, given the teaser it ends with) entry, the bursting-at-the-seams script tosses in a raging maelstrom, an actual trip to Davy Jones' Locker, and even the sea goddess Calypso. Dead Man's Chest showed that more is not always better, with excess just leading to more excess and a general sense of lethargy -- they were just setting us up for the conclusion and marking time until then. At World's End, however, shows that Hollywood excess, when combined with the right combination of actors and an occasionally smart script, can work out quite nicely, thank you very much.
Continue reading: Pirates Of The Caribbean: At World's End Review
Flushed Away is a prototypical anthropomorphic-fish-out-of-water tale, about a pampered pet rat named Roddy St. James (voiced by Hugh Jackman) who gets accidentally flushed down the toilet of his owners' posh Kensington flat and ends up out of his element in a rat-sized version of London down in the sewers. His attempts to make his way back up top get him mixed up with a sassy lass, Rita (Kate Winslet), who is on the run from a local crime boss and his thugs. Of course, because this is an animated family film, the boss is an ill-tempered toad and one of the henchmen is an albino former lab rat, but the ideas are universal.
Continue reading: Flushed Away Review
Bill Nighy, the British acting legend from 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy' and 'Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest', talks about the pronunciation for his name.
British acting legend Bill Nighy is very used to people mispronouncing his surname, with his father supposedly absolutely hating the mistake. The star of 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy' and 'Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest' has often stated that his name is pronounced 'nye' yet he often smiles sweetly whenever someone mispronounces his name and shrugs it off.
In an interview with Nighy, he talked about it saying: "My father used to squirm on the sofa when everybody would say Ni-ey. It used to drive him insane. I gave up. I get Nigey, Nigley, Nigee, Nigby. The first time I was ever in the newspaper I was Nigby. I'm sure everybody gets a weird name. I don't mind. You can call me nearly anything you like."
Beginning for beginners with a flashback to 1202 A.D. where two siblings - Marcus (Tony Curran), the original vampire, and William (Brian Steele), the first Lycan - are battling each other in a frosty village, the film does much to quickly remind us of its vampirical mythology. Marcus is betrayed by Viktor (Bill Nighy), stored away in the vaults of the family mansion, and William is trapped in a steel coffin for all of eternity. The twins are separated. With this effective piece of prehistory portrayed with some pizzazz and a lot of furrow-browed earnestness, director Len Wiseman treats us then to a series of flashbacks from the original film. Selene (Kate Beckinsale) has killed Viktor and his blood has revived a hybrid Marcus, now with wings. What he wants, and the very nature of his resurrection, are muddily explained in a film whose plot is too convoluted to be enjoyed, but whose occasional sparks of light work hard to make it float.
Continue reading: Underworld: Evolution Review
But a little oddness is forgivable: Directing a movie is a strange place for Richard Curtis, who's written umpteen Brit-friendly movies and TV shows over the years but hasn't directed one, until now.
Continue reading: Love Actually Review
Well, with one cancer diagnosis and one death in the first 15 minutes, Blow Dry is hardly the feel-good romance you'd expect. Strikingly similar to The Big Tease, Blow Dry tells the story of a haircutting competition that descends on a small town in Britain. Celebrities (well, celebrity stylists) from around England arrive to compete, and the local boys get into the act as well. But while the drama unfolds with models and shears, another drama takes place among the locals -- largely involving various romances and a singular cancer victim.
Continue reading: Blow Dry Review
"Blow Dry" is a leaden British dramedy about an estranged family of hairdressers reconciling when a big coiffeur competition comes to their small town. Like "The Big Tease" -- a similarly themed English mockumentary that came out last year, delaying the release of this one -- its laughs come mostly from tired flamboyancy stereotypes.
Hairdressers with over-styled, out-of-date dos and David Copperfield-like showmanship bite each other's backs to win what is apparently a prestigious award for clever and speedy hair cutting. Meanwhile a sad-sack local barber (Alan Rickman) enters the competition with his son (Josh Hartnett, "The Virgin Suicides") to face down his former salon partner (Bill Nighy), now the nation's star hairdresser and the dirty-tricking front-runner in the contest.
Besides suffering from the same problems "The Big Tease" had -- basically that it's a cliché-riddled underdog sports movie with a dye job and a limp wrist -- "Blow Dry" is also saddled with a maudlin, comedy-antidote subplot about Rickman's estranged lesbian ex-wife (Natasha Richardson), who is bravely dying of cancer 10 years after leaving him for his hair model (a criminally under-used Rachel Griffiths). Brought together again by the competition, everybody gets busy forgiving.
Continue reading: Blow Dry Review
"Underworld" might have been one bad-ass B-movie, if only its plot about a war between vampires and werewolves had been seen by co-writer/director Len Wiseman as anything more than a token gimmick on which to hang "Matrix"-mimicking action and antiquated genre clichés.
Thick with mold-breaking potential that goes completely unexplored, the picture is populated by cardboard cutouts of aristocratic, clownishly Goth-fashioned bloodsuckers and sunken-eyed, greasy-haired, heavy-metal headbanger-styled lycans (a fancy word for werewolves). The two races exhaust every trite and tired facet of their respective horror folklore in a story that has obviously, and rather clumsily, had elements edited out -- including a romance between warrior vampiress Selene (Kate Beckinsale) and Michael (Scott Speedman), a human with werewolf ancestry.
When Kraven (ravenous scenery glutton Shane Brolly) -- the conniving, devious, temporary leader of the vampires while their sovereign is entombed in hibernation -- orders the human killed because his DNA could change the course of the centuries-old war, Selene risks her life to save the guy for reasons that aren't entirely clear in this final version of the film.
Continue reading: Underworld Review
Date of birth
12th December, 1949
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