After 2013's beefy Man of Steel, director Zack Snyder goes even bigger and darker with this sequel, cross-pollenating Clark Kent's story with flashbacks to the origins of Bruce Wayne and his Dark Knight alter-ego. The problem is that the film is so big and loud that it can't help but feel bloated, especially since so much of what's on screen feels rather vacuous. But it looks amazing and is relentlessly gripping.
After a Bat-origin prologue, the story kicks off with the climactic battle from Man of Steel as seen from the perspective of Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck), watching his city being destroyed by Superman (Henry Cavill). This further fuels the rage that began when his parents were murdered. And that fire is stoked by the mischievous millionaire Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg). Meanwhile, Superman/Clark is struggling with how the world is revering him as a god, which is straining his relationship with intrepid reporter Lois (Amy Adams). As these very different vigilante heros head toward a climactic confrontation, Luthor is up to something seriously nefarious. And the ensuing chaos brings another hero into the open, Wonder Woman Diana Prince (Gal Gadot).
While the various plot threads are fascinating, and Snyder maintains a snappy pace, the overall story centres on the fact that Affleck's prickly, bitter Bruce is easily manipulated into doing terrible things, which makes him rather unlikeable. And Cavill's fundamentally good Clark isn't much easier to identify with. Both are also oddly constrained by their costumes and bulked-up physicalities, which leave them unable to move properly. This allows the side characters to steal the show: Adams adds emotion and passion, Eisenberg provides the nutty nastiness, Irons is hilariously cynical as Bruce's butler Alfred, and Fishburne is all bluster as Lois' editor. But in the end, the film belongs to the gorgeous, clear-headed Gadot, instantly making her stand-alone movie the most anticipated superhero project on the horizon.
Continue reading: Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice Review
Warner Bros. hope Chris Terrio will sprinkle some 'Argo' magic on Batman versus Superman.
Warner Bros. is bringing in the big guns for the Man of Steel sequel Batman versus Superman. The studio has hired Argo screenwriter Chris Terrio to write another draft of the untitled superhero movie.
Chris Terrio With His Big Fat Oscar
Terrio has a strong relationship with Ben Affleck - who will play Batman - following their Oscar winning hostage drama.
Argo screenwriter Chris Terrio has defended the movie's historical inaccuracies.
Chris Terrio, the screenwriter behind the acclaimed drama-thriller Argo - the current favourite to win Best Picture at the Oscars on Sunday (February 24, 2013) - has defended the movie's historical inaccuracies, saying he took "dramatic license" with the original story. Argo is loosely based on the remarkable story of six Americans who were rescued from Tehran in 1979 under the false premise they were shooting a sci-fi movie. It goes up against Steven Spielberg's 'Lincoln' at the Academy Awards, another movie criticised for its inaccuracies.
Some of the true-life hostages involved say many of the scenes in the movie were pure fiction, including a tense visit to the bazaar - one of the film's most thrilling sequences. The final chase scene in the movie was also made up. Screenwriter Terrio explained, "Much more of it is true to life than you think. There are parts of it that are compressed and the adrenaline levels are turned up. For example when the president sent the telegram okaying the operation but in real life that happened 48 hours earlier. It didn't happen at the very crucial moment." The writer quite rightly suggests many of history's greatest stories need refinement for cinematic audiences, and plenty of Oscar winning movies over the years have twisted the truth.
Director Ben Affleck has been lauded for his re-telling of the tale and won Best Director at the Golden Globes, a prize he was snubbed for in the Oscar nominations.
Continue reading: On The Brink Of Oscar Glory, 'Argo' Writer Defends Film's Inaccuracies
Jennifer Lawrence has signed on for David O'Russell's new movie, The Ends of the Earth
Is Jennifer Lawrence getting ahead of herself here? The 22-year-old has already signed up for Silver Linings Playbook director David O'Russell's new movie The Ends of the Earth. Lawrence is up for Best Actress at the Oscars on Sunday (February 24, 2013) and is expected by most to pip Jessica Chastain and Emmanuelle Riva to the prize.
The actress-director combo will reunite for the new drama, about powerful oil tycoon Ernest Marland, who lost everything when he was caught in a controversial affair with his step-daughter. The project certainly has a decent pedigree, with Argo screenwriter Chris Terrio taking care of the script and the all-conquering Harvey Weinstein overseeing the whole thing. "She is the most dedicated person I know," Russell said in the release announcing the movie. "Her acting is effortless and she always makes it look easy."
The news comes just days after Deadline reported Jennifer Lawrence was being tapped to star opposite Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner in another of David O'Russell's movies. Formerly known as American Bullshit, the film follows the story of a 1970's FBI sting operation that took down several U.S. congressman. The movie is being developed by Sony Pictures, with Megan Ellison producing and developing a script.
Ben Affleck leaps on to the A-list of directors with this relentlessly entertaining thriller, combining comedy and nerve-jangling suspense to maximum effect. Based on a declassified story that's unbelievable but true, the film is also clear-eyed about politics without ever getting lost in the big issues. Instead, it keeps us engaged through terrific characters who are beautifully played by a lively cast.
As Iran's 1979 revolution boiled over into street protests over America's assistance to the deposed Shah, rioters stormed the US embassy and took 52 Americans hostage. In the chaos, six staffers snuck out the back door and took refuge in the home of the Canadian ambassador (Garber). With the Iranians on their trail, the CIA chief (Cranston) decides to try to get them out, and Agent Tony Mendez (Affleck) comes up with a wild idea: he creates a fake sci-fi movie called Argo with the help of a veteran producer (Arkin) and an Oscar-winning make-up artist (Goodman), so the six escapees can pose as a Canadian location-scouting crew and leave the country.
Yes, this plan sounds utterly ridiculous, but the fake Argo is exactly the kind of cheesy Star Wars rip-off everyone was trying to make at the time, so the idea of scouting colourful Iranian locations isn't as far-fetched as it seems. And screenwriter Terrio keeps us laughing as Mendez and his Hollywood cohorts concoct this elaborate scam. These scenes are so good that Arkin and Goodman walk off with the whole movie, giving loose, witty supporting turns that are likely to be remembered in awards season. Affleck gets in on the fun as well, then also effortlessly takes on the more intense action scenes to hold the whole film together.
Continue reading: Argo Review
Ben Affleck couldn't resist getting involved in both acting and directing in new film 'Argo' after seeing the incredible script shown to him by writer Chris Terrio and producer Grant Heslov. The film has been picking up plaudits during its run over the recent film festival season, but it seems none of those reviewing it are bigger fans than Affleck himself, who spoke with enthusiasm about the project recently to reporters.
''I wanted to play him [Tony] because the script was really interesting" he enthused. ''It struck me, right away, that you had this thriller and then, in equal measure, this comic Hollywood satire and this really intricate real-life CIA spy story based on truth.' It was that, he said, that initially made him want to direct it: "That seemed like a fantastically interesting and unusual movie to be a part of" he claimed.
He added ''And then, the actor side of my brain that's still in that phase of auditioning and trying to make connections and get work asked the director of that movie for a job, and the director was in a tough spot and had to say yes.'' Continuing, he said ''When I got the script, I couldn't believe how good it was. They said, 'This is our best script.' And I thought that was some executive hyping me on it, but it really was pretty incredible. I was amazed. I talked to Grant and George and said, 'Look, I really want to do this. This is amazing!' And they said, 'Okay, great! Let's do it!'" It doesn't sound like anyone's going to enjoy the new Ben Affleck movie more than Ben Affleck has.
Eight songs about female power that you definitely need to hear right now.
Shirley Manson is well known for her vocal political views, and she takes no prisoners with Garbage's latest single 'The Men Who Rule The World'.
The biggest names in music royalty.
One of the most diverse line-ups we've seen for a major awards show in a while.