At a time when there's so much incertainty in the US political climate, a film like 'The Post' arrives to remind us all of the importance of whistle-blowers. Directed by Steven Spielberg, it follows the important decisions that a group of journalists had to make when they received the Pentagon Papers.
When the New York Times released a information of from a 7,000 page document on the involvement of the US in the Vietnam War, which included evidence that the Pentagon had been lying to the media and the public, The Washington Post were determined not to let it be swept under the carpet.
Editor Ben Bradlee (Tom Hanks) and the Post's first ever female publisher Kay Graham (Meryl Streep) are hellbent on obtaining the documents known as the Pentagon Papers so they can ultimately expose the government for the liars that they are. However, things take a dangerous turn when they release their own series of articles just weeks after The New York Times is forced to cease its own coverage of the scandal.
Continue: The Post Trailer
The Watergate scandal is one of the biggest political incidents of the 20th century, which began with a break-in at the Democratic National Committee at the Watergate complex in Washington DC. Mark Felt was the deputy director of the FBI at the time of the incident (1972); his 30 years of FBI experience informed him that something seriously wrong was going on with the subsequent investigation. His own boss was ordering them to cease its own case, and when it became clear that there was a spy amongst them, Mark (later nicknamed 'Deep Throat') began to secretly leak information to various media sources and, with the help of journalists Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, ultimately managed to uncover the truth behind the burglary. Everyone knows the outcome of this shocking investigation, and that it was all part of President Richard Nixon's re-election campaign, to wiretap phones and rob top secret documents, began a new wave of political mistrust amongst the entire nation.
Based on a true story, this lively and sometimes outrageous adventure is packed with twists and turns that the audience never sees coming. It's a complex series of events that sometimes gets a bit bogged down in the under-explained details, but the characters are fantastic. And at the centre, Matthew McConaughey shines in a role that requires him to completely change the way he looks.
It's set in the late 1980s, as the fast-talking salesman Kenny (McConaughey) is trying to raise funding in Reno for a project he has been dreaming about for decades: prospecting for gold in Indonesia. He is sure there's a fortune in those mountains, but everyone else is dubious. And even as he's on the verge of losing everything, his wife Kay (Bryce Dallas Howard) quietly stands by him. In desperation, he gets on a plane to Jakarta, pitching his idea to local adventurer Michael (Edgar Ramirez), who escorts him into an area populated by head-hunters. When the companies back in America hear that they've found gold, there's more money than Kenny and Michael can count. But the FBI suspects it's a scam.
McConaughey is magnetic as the balding, overweight Kenny, a guy who simply won't take no for an answer. He is convinced that there's gold in the rainforest, even though no one has ever seen any, and his optimism is infectious to both the other characters and the movie's audience. This makes all the men in suits opposite Kenny look rather dull by comparison. Howard gives her role a powerful kick of emotion, although Kay is sidelined by the plot. And Ramirez gets some terrific scenes as the Indiana Jones-style explorer. All of these people seem to be caught up in a flood of events they have no control over, and the film races along without pausing for breath.
Continue reading: Gold Review
Mary Mapes is the producer of CBS' '60 Minutes' and, in the run up to the 2004 presidential election, she's looking for a story for her and her team - including anchor Dan Rather - to chase. The team discovers evidence that President George W. Bush failed to complete the required amount of military service during his time in the Texas Air National Guard during the 70s. It's a story that could truly bring down the right wing government if only they can get hold of some solid documents to support the story. That's when Bill Burkett comes in; he's the former Lieutenant Colonel of the Texas Air National Guard and he claims to be in possession of some papers criticising Bush's lack of attendance for his military service, written by his commander at the time Lieutenant Colonel Jerry B. Killian. Unfortunately, in their haste to air the controversial information, the '60 Minutes' team fail to have the documents authenticated - and when several experts out the papers as forgeries, it seems the tables quickly turn on these newscasters in the most devastating way.
Continue: Truth Trailer
War is changing. The days of pilots getting involved in a conflict are gone, and now they have all but been replaced by drones which they pilot remotely. Major Thomas Egan (Ethan Hawke) is a trained pilot who joined the army in order to fly. He is aiming his drone at a known terrorist hideout, when he is given the confirmation to fire. As the missile is fired, a child who is playing gets into the way of the missile - too late for the shot to be aborted. Egan knows what he has done, and despite completing the mission, he believes he has failed. From that point on, he will be haunted by the thought of the "good kill".
Continue: Good Kill Trailer
Based on the events documented in West of Memphis and the Paradise Lost trilogy, this drama takes an almost clinical approach to the story. By filling in so many details and covering so many perspectives, skilled Canadian director Atom Egoyan sometimes loses the emotional connection, simply because there are too many punches to the gut. But it's utterly riveting.
The events took place in 1993 in rural West Memphis, Arkansas. After three 8-year-old boys go missing, suspicion immediately falls on four goth 16-year-olds: Chris (Dane DeHaan) has just left town, but the fiercely charismatic Damien (James Hamrick), hapless Jason (Seth Meriwether) and mentally disabled Jesse (Kristopher Higgens) are arrested and charged with murder. The victims' parents (including Reese Witherspoon, Alessandro Nivola and Kevin Durand) band together in outrage. But private investigator Ron (Colin Firth) thinks the police have wrongly accused these teens of being killers.
The story is a shocking account of a miscarriage of justice, as the community turns on kids who simply look a bit funny and the police and judicial authorities refuse to admit that they may have made some serious mistakes. The rush to judgement is terrifying, accompanied with explanations that falsely link the teens to satanic rituals and death-metal music. Egoyan cleverly builds a sense of outrage from the start, as the film mourns not only the young boys' death but also the horror of carelessly ruining three innocent teens' lives in response.
Continue reading: Devil's Knot Review
Devil's Knot is a biographical thriller drama based on the events of the West Memphis Three case directed by Atom Egoyan (The Sweet Hereafter, Chloe) and written by Paul Harris Boardman and Scott Derrickson (Sinister, The Exorcism Of Emily Rose).
Devil's Knot tells the chilling story of three young boys, Stevie Branch, Christopher Byers and Michael Moore, going missing in the town of West Memphis, Arkansas. When the bodies are found beaten and murdered, the police and religious people of the town put the blame to a group of teenagers they believed to be Satanists, due to the dark nature of their appearance. After police investigation, three young adults, Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley Jr., are arrested for suspicion of the crime. These three youths claim to be innocent of the murders, but the citizens of the town want justice for the murdered children and the punishment of the teenagers, innocent or not, seems to be their best answer.
The film will star academy award winner Reese Witherspoon portraying Stevie Branch's distraught mother, Michelle Enos (World War Z, Gangster Squad) as Vicki Hutcheson who was key in the arrest of the teenagers, Academy Award winner Colin Firth as private investigator Ron Lax and Dane DeHaan (The Amazing Spider Man 2, The Place Beyond the Pines) as Chris Morgan, who was a suspect in the murder case.
This remake strips away everything that made the 1981 Brooke Shields romance so scandalous. Re-designed for 12-year-old girls, this version of Scott Spencer's novel plays like a dreamy Nicholas Sparks-style fantasy. There's no sense of urgency or danger, and not a single whiff of actual love, despite a lot of heaving sighs and longing glances. Everything on-screen feels like a predictable cliche yearning to pull our heartstrings, but these tricks only work on young teens who haven't seen many movies.
The story centres on good-guy David (Pettyfer), raised by his working-class single dad (Patrick). At his high school graduation, David finally gets up the nerve to talk to the class wallflower, beautiful rich girl Jade (Wilde), who is still grieving over the death of her big brother. There's a spark between them, but Jade's harsh dad (Greenwood) dismisses David as unworthy, then sets out to crush their blossoming romance. Jade's mother (Richardson) and brother (Wakefield) are more supportive, but Dad is so determined to get David out of Jade's life that he inadvertently pushes them even closer together. Surely a happy ending is out of the question.
Only of course it isn't, because we can see that this film doesn't have the nerve to get very dark. Filmmaker Feste only toys around with the nasty side of the story. She can't even let Greenwood play a properly conflicted man; he's essentially bipolar, veering wildly from understanding to maniacal in his reaction to the relentlessly lovely David. Pettyfer's one-note performance merely reminds us of Channing Tatum, but at least he registers on-screen, unlike the vaguely beautiful Wilde. The only performers allowed any complexity are Richardson and Patrick.
Continue reading: Endless Love Review
The trailer for the remake of Endless Love has hit town
You know the drill; a film is released on Valentines Day – it’s really bad but attracts plenty of couples looking to check out a goofy love story with no real meaning.
David and Jade kick off their Endless Love
It’s tradition. But could Endless Love be the film to throw the odds books into the fire? It certainly looks like another sloppy romantic drama, if you watch half of the trailer, but the second half plunges us into some sort of Shakespearian thriller.
Continue reading: Could 'Endless Love' Be A Good Valentines Day Movie? [Trailer]
Jade Butterfield is a wealthy and beautiful young teenager who loves to read and has never experienced an intimate relationship with a boy before. However, that begins to change when she meets David Axelrod; a handsome young man who works at the inn where the Butterfields stay on their summer vacation. Jade's parents notice her suddenly becoming distracted as she embarks on a reckless adventure with her mysterious boy. On meeting David, her parents are unimpressed, with her father attempting to show up any flicker of dishonesty that he might exhibit. Undeterred, he takes Jade on a passion-fuelled adventure of parties, road trips and fervent love-making, but when Mr Butterfield digs into his past he becomes obsessed with trying to unveil the dark truths about him, and becomes desperate to take David out of Jade's life by any means possible.
'Endless Love' is the dramatic romance re-make of the 1981 movie of the same name starring Brooke Shields and Martin Hewitt. It has been directed by Shana Feste ('The Greatest', 'Country Strong') who co-wrote the screenplay opposite Joshua Safran ('Gossip Girl'). This harrowing film about an ill-fated youthful romance is set to hit movie theatres in the US on Valentine's Day, February 14th 2014.
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