Leave it to a comedian to make one of the scariest movies in recent memory. Jordan Peele moves into writing and directing with this offbeat comedy, a fresh and fiendishly smart story with engaging characters and provocative themes. It's a combination of a knowing issue-based drama, lively romantic comedy and unhinged horror that hits all of its targets with precision. And it keeps us gleefully entertained with its escalating terror.
The story centres on Chris (Sicario's Daniel Kaluuya), whose girlfriend Rose (Girls' Allison Williams) invites him home for a weekend to meet her parents Missy and Dean (Catherine Keener and Bradley Whitford). Rose assures Chris that they're so liberal that they won't mind at all that he's black. But things don't feel quite right from the start. For one thing, there are two creepy servants (Betty Gabriel and Marcus Henderson) who seem to be lurking everywhere. And Rose's brother Jeremy (Caleb Landry Jones) revels in stirring up problems. As things get increasingly freaky, Chris calls his best friend Rod (Lil Rel Howery), an airport security officer back in New York, for advice. Then things take an even more bizarre turn when Missy and Dean's friends arrive for an annual party.
Peele begins to play with the audience right from the start, using Michael Abels' disorienting music and Toby Oliver's quirky camerawork to maximum effect. Often this involves pushing us far too close to a character whose behaviour is just a bit off. Every moment is undercut with humour, including awkward moments and snappy gags that serve as a relief valve even as they set us up for something scary. It's such clever filmmaking that we have little choice but to sit back and enjoy the ride. And woven through all of this is an inventive and lacerating exploration of attitudes toward race in American society.
Continue reading: Get Out Review
When Chris packs up for the weekend to go and meet his girlfriend Rose's family for the first time, his biggest concern is that they might not approve of him being a black man. Thankfully, they seem to be accepting, but he's slightly disturbed by a pair of strange black housekeepers that live there named Georgina and Walter. When his pal back home discovers that black people have been going missing from the area for years, he tries to brush it off in order to get through the weekend, but he can ignore it no longer when one of the missing people shows up at a garden party on the estate looking particularly disturbed and warning him to 'get out'. But it's much too late for that now.
Continue: Get Out Trailer
Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine talks about making his acting debut in the music comedy 'Begin Again' in which he stars as an emerging musician who ditches his girlfriend in New York to pursue higher career prospects. He stars opposite Keira Knightley, Mark Ruffalo and Hailee Steinfeld in the movie.
'It's surreal because I never had the hankering to be an actor and I don't even consider myself one still - maybe someday I will be', he revealed in a red carpet interview at the Tribeca Film Festival premiere. 'But this was just one of those surprises that I followed and it turned out to be one of the most fun and amazing experiences I've had in my life.'
Captain Richard Phillips was in command of the US-flagged MV Maersk Alabama cargo ship on its voyage to Mombasa, Kenya carrying around 17,000 tons of cargo. However, a routine shipping turned into a deadly nightmare when a group of gun-toting, seafaring pirates from Somalia hijacked the vessel, easily avoiding the jets coming out of the fire hoses on all sides, and took the Captain hostage. With only minutes to spare before he came under attack, the brave Captain ordered his crew of 20 to hide, knowing full well that his life was under enormous threat.
Continue: Captain Phillips - International Trailer
Captain Richard Phillips never dreamed that his venture on board the US-flagged MV Maersk Alabama cargo ship would turn into a perilous hostage situation when a savage group of seafaring Somali criminals sped towards the vast but markedly unarmed vessel in a bid to seize control of the goods on board. When the brave Captain was held at gunpoint in the first case of piracy in two centuries in 2009, he did everything within his power to ensure the safety of his crew while heroically risking his own life.
Continue: Captain Phillips Trailer
While this film has some bracingly strong observations on the nature of long-term professional and personal relationships, it also feels somewhat theatrical in the way its story develops. It's as if everything happens for an important reason, as ordained by the screenwriters. Fortunately, these terrific actors bring out riveting layers of meaning in their characters.
The title refers to the Fugue String Quartet, which has been at the peak of the classical music scene for 25 years. But their fragile balance is shaken when cellist Peter (Walken) is diagnosed with Parkinson's. Second violinist Robert (Hoffman) starts wondering if maybe he should be playing first chair, but he's feeling unsupported by his wife Juliette (Keener), who plays viola. Meanwhile, first violinist Daniel (Ivanir) wants to keep things as they are, although his lessons with Robert and Juliette's prodigy daughter Alex (Poots) are taking an unexpected turn into something steamy. Can the quartet's bond survive all of this?
All four actors underplay their roles perfectly, letting us see the internal workings of their relationships through their own private ambitions. Hoffman, Keener and Ivanir have especially dark edges to play with in every scene, even if their long-repressed issues make the film sometimes feel soapy. Walken is simply wonderful in a rare non-kooky role as a man facing a very difficult future with humour and emotion. On the other hand, Poots kind of gets lost in the shuffle, never really making much of her thinly written role.
Continue reading: A Late Quartet Review
Cleverly blending a rebellious teen comedy with an animated prehistoric adventure, this witty film wins us over with sharp characters who are written, voiced and drawn with plenty of personality. It may be yet another hyperactive, silly romp, but the attention to detail is extraordinary, and the rather overfamiliar message is genuinely inspiring.
The Crood family has survived the primordial chaos because dad Grug (Cage) keeps them in a constant state of fear, never letting them out of the cave after dark. There's just too much out there that wants to eat them! But teen daughter Eep (Stone) is restless to explore the world. Her mum Ugga (Keener) has her hands full tending to feral baby Sandy (Thom), lunkheaded pre-teen brother Thunk (Duke) and feisty Gran (Leachman), so Eep sneaks out in the middle of the night. There she meets Guy (Reynolds), a slightly more evolved human who has mastered fire and has what sound like radical ideas about survival. Grog is not happy about this at all. But when the world starts shifting around them, he has little choice but to allow his family to follow this new kid into what is clearly certain death.
Only of course, this being a comical cartoon, we know they'll all be fine, even though most of their adventures are seriously perilous. Filmmakers De Micco (Space Chimps) and Sanders (How to Train Your Dragon) create a lavishly imagined world of mash-up creatures that seem like lost links in the evolutionary chain. Gigantic predatory kittens, mouse-sized elephants, crocodile puppies and walking whales are not only hilarious, but they make us want to buy a plush version all our own. In other words, the film is a riot of marketing possibilities, including the promise of a long-running franchise.
Continue reading: The Croods Review
There's plenty of potential for jagged black humour in this suburban comedy-drama, but the filmmakers never take a single risk. So with its soft and simplistic approach, the movie is never as quirky or hilarious as it should have been, or as the filmmakers seem to think it is. The only pleasure in watching it comes through understated touches the gifted cast members manage to inject here and there. And what a great cast!
It's set in West Orange, New Jersey, where two families have been best friends for decades. David and Paige Walling (Laurie and Keener) have two grown children: Vanessa (Shawkat) lives at home while Toby (Brody) drops in to visit every now and then. Across the street are the Ostroffs, Terry and Carol (Platt and Janney), whose wayward daughter Nina (Meester) is home for Thanksgiving. Everyone thinks a romance between Toby and Nina would be wonderful. But as the Wallings try to work out some marital problems, it's David who drifts into a transgressive affair with Nina. Which sends these long-time friendships into spiralling chaos.
The plot is so perfectly suited to a black comedy that we wonder what happened along the way. Director Farino smooths every edge, instead straining for silly farce that leads to some sort of emotional catharsis. But he fails to recognise that these people are all intelligent adults, so the fallout from David and Nina's fling feels contrived and obvious. The script also never makes us feel like they are doing anything besides reacting to their previous relationships: this isn't real love, so why should we care?
Continue reading: The Oranges Review
The Croods are a prehistoric family of six who have always lived by patriarch Grug's rule of never venturing out of the cave they call a home. While his wife Ugga, his mother-in-law Gran, his son Thunk and his baby Sandy all stand by his wishes, his eldest daughter Eep becomes restless as her curiosity for what the outside world might be like overwhelms her despite her father's brutal warnings. Giving in to temptation, Eep sneaks out to explore and, to her father's terror, almost gets crushed in an avalanche caused by an earthquake which destroys their home. No-one is hurt; on the contrary, a whole new land is discovered filled with vibrant vegetation and exotic creatures. Homeless and with no excuse to avoid investigating, the family set out on a journey into this new world, with Grug still feeling profoundly reluctant.
This animation adventure is a wonderful story of family, discovery and bravery directed and written by the geniuses of several lovable CGI movies, Kirk De Micco ('Space Chimps', 'Racing Stripes') and Chris Sanders ('Lilo & Stitch', 'How to Train Your Dragon'). Not only is it heart-warming to watch, but you'll also never go long without laughing whatever your age. It will hit UK cinemas from March 22nd 2013.
A quartet made up of first violinist Daniel, second violinist Robert, his wife and viola player Juliette and cellist Peter faces an uncertain future when Peter informs them of his recent diagnosis of Parkinsons disease which has resulting in him wishing to leave the quartet with immediate effect following their first show of the season. Him being the most talented of the four musicians, their musical cohesion is now under threat and it makes Robert consider what he wants for his future in the group. He expresses his feelings to Juliette and Daniel that he no longer wishes to play second violin exclusively, but perfectionist Daniel believes him to be insufficient for the role and Juliette tries to remind him that he must foremost consider the solidity of the quartet as a whole. Their disagreements cause a rift in the group, particularly in Robert and Juliette's marriage; Robert finds himself becoming more and more interested in a young dancer who he meets while jogging and Juliette and Daniel's relationship be
Continue: A Late Quartet Trailer
David Walling and Terry Ostroff are totally inseparable. Living across the street from each other in the beautiful town of West Orange, New Jersey, both patriarchs bring their families together at every available opportunity and every single year to celebrate Thanksgiving. When 24-year-old Ostroff daughter Nina comes home to join in the festivities for the first time in five years after splitting up with her fiancé, both families secretly have hopes that she and Walling son Toby might get together. However, there is a shocking turn of events when Nina's suspicious mother Cathy follows her as she leaves the house with a mysterious person and turns up at a motel. Outside, Cathy runs into David and her daughter and both struggle to explain what's going on. They have inadvertently fallen for one another and, as their attraction grows ever stronger, the two inseparable families face are suddenly faced with conflict and heartbreak.
Continue: The Oranges Trailer
Watch the trailer for Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief
And not "fake," like some butt-kissing movie actress, but really fake. Simone (or S1m0ne, as Niccol sharply titles the film) is the perfect pixilated creation of a Microsoft-age mad scientist, who's created his flawless CGI actress specifically for floundering moviemaker Viktor Taransky (a truly entertaining Al Pacino). Viktor needs a hit badly and the lead actress on his new feature -- played by Winona Ryder, in a painfully ironic appearance -- has just stormed off his new movie due to "creative differences." Nine months later (human gestation period, if I'm not mistaken) Simone is born to take her place. And since our obsessive inventor has quickly died from an eye tumor, contracted from too much computer use(!), only Viktor knows the true secret of his new lead actress.
Continue reading: Simone Review
Tom DiCillo wrote and directed this new low-budget story of making a film-within-a-film, and it comes off superbly better than most of its predecessor "movies about movies." DiCillo has assembled the most perfectly matched cast I've come across in ages, featuring Steve Buscemi as Nick, a film director for whom nothing will work out, Catherine Keener as a much too sensitive leading lady, Dermot Mulroney as a leather-clad cinematographer, and James LeGros as an unbelievably shallow leading man--possibly his best role ever.
Continue reading: Living In Oblivion Review
After the obnoxious but popular host Rainbow Randolph (Robin Williams) is caught taking bribes from parents who want their kids on television, network head Frank Stokes (Jon Stewart) pulls the plug on his show. An exhaustive search through the downtrodden Barney wannabes to replace Randolph yields a pink, squeaky-clean rhino named Smoochy (Edward Norton), who becomes an overnight success with the kids despite his preachings of bland politically correct messages to children. Despite Smoochy's best wishes, his boss Nora (Catherine Keener) wants to cash in on the show's newfound success by selling Smoochy-sponsored cereals, cola, and string cheese. Randolph, on the other hand, is hell-bent on making life miserable for the rhino, and Smoochy's crooked agent (Danny DeVito) is busy making backdoor deals trying to sell Smoochy out to the mob.
Continue reading: Death To Smoochy Review
Like King of the Hill and the groundbreaking videotape, some of this work is genius.
Continue reading: Full Frontal Review
In a welcome change from puerile and stinking-rotten Rob Schneider and David Spade movies, "The 40-Year-Old Virgin" is a ribald comedy that is genuinely laugh-out-loud funny, despite being custom-built around a scene-stealing second-banana who really belongs in small roles.
Deadpan "Daily Show" correspondent Steve Carell, who briefly but memorably upstaged Will Ferrell in "Anchorman" and Jim Carrey in "Bruce Almighty," stars as Andy Stitzer, a king-dork electronics store clerk rapidly approaching middle age and so bereft of social skills that he's never managed to get much past first base with a woman. When his co-workers realize this, watching him fumble to fit in while swapping sex stories during an after-hours poker game, they make it their mission to get the poor guy laid.
Co-written by Carell and director Judd Aptow (creator of TV's "Undeclared" and "Freaks and Geeks"), the plot is perfectly pitched to its star's talent for playing hapless, hopeless twits. Put Carell in a polo shirt, a pair of khakis and a K-Mart windbreaker, and he can garner hardy chuckles with little more than a perplexed stare from his deep-set buggy eyes. He dives headlong into this character, earning cheek-hurting laughs with painfully awkward moments (his pals convince him to get his chest waxed) and giving Andy such an authentic geekdom (his apartment is lined with collectable toys in their original packaging) that the movie's plot hardly feels like a gimmick at all.
Continue reading: The 40-Year-Old Virgin Review
The circumstances of her accidental eavesdropping are alittle suspect as well -- she just happened to be in a sound booth lateat night, where a microphone inexplicably left on just happened to pickup a conspiratorial conversation in a regional dialect she and only a handfulof others speak outside of the fictional African country of her birth.
Couple this with a covered-up past of rebel activity aimedat the dictator she claims will be targeted during an controversial upcomingaddress on the floor of the U.N., and it's no surprise that the SecretService agent assigned to investigate (Sean Penn) finds her revelationto be dubious at best.
Although the milieu is unusual, "The Interpreter"is largely a variation on a standard Hollywood template about a broodingcop assigned to protect a pretty witness. With a less talented cast anda less interesting director than Sydney Pollack ("Havana," "TheFirm"), it could have easily been dumbed down into an action moviecocktail with a romantic chaser.
Continue reading: The Interpreter Review
Beneath the uncanny, inevitable and seemingly shrewd facade of the movie-biz farce "Simone" -- about a computer-generated actress taking Hollywood by storm because nobody knows she's not real -- lies a plot cobbled together from largely flat and uncreative moments.
The brainchild of inventive and otherworldly writer-director Andrew Niccol ("Gattaca," "The Truman Show" screenplay), who plucked the picture's concept out of the film industry's paranoid collective subconscious, "Simone" stars Al Pacino as Viktor Taransky, a washed-up and somewhat neurotic director whose last chance at making a big studio film has just walked off the set along with his petulant leading lady (Winona Ryder in a cameo).
But just as he envisions his career going off a cliff, a dying wacko computer genius and Taransky fan (Elias Koteas) brings the director a computer hard drive containing the culmination of his life's work: a program that creates a near-perfect, completely malleable, realistic simulation of beautiful girl. Called Simone (a contraction of Simulation One), in the confines of a computer she can walk, talk, flirt and cry with a single keystroke. She has a database of famous actresses' best performances to draw from for mannerisms and moods. She's utterly at Taransky's control and, of course, her fabricated "performances" can be digitally inserted into any scene of his movie, any way he chooses.
Continue reading: S1m0ne Review
Adapted from Sam Shepard's play about betrayal, blackmail, and a horse racing scam that haunts its conspirators for 20 years, "Simpatico" gets by for a while on a cast full of tense, brutal, benumbed performances.
Nick Nolte stars as Vinnie, a haunted, hard-drinking and fraudulent private eye who has lived a near-destitute existence in Los Angeles for two decades on hush money extorted from a former friend named Carter (Jeff Bridges), his partner in a pony-fixing during their younger days.
As the film opens, Vinnie sets in motion a chain of events designed to see him trade places with Carter, now a rich Kentucky breeder. He plans not only on usurping the wealth his ex-buddy has amassed since their friendship disintegrated, but also on recapturing the cold heart of Rosie (Sharon Stone), the girl that came between them.
Continue reading: Simpatico Review
Date of birth
23rd March, 1959
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