Based on a true story, it's the historical aspect of these events that holds the attention, even though the filmmakers kind of let the drama slip through their fingers. It's an impressively designed film, with vivid characters and some rather amazing situations. But the script's structure is too fragmented to build the story's momentum.
It opens in 1906 London, where Percy Fawcett (Charlie Hunnam) is assigned to accompany a geographical expedition to the jungles on the border of Bolivia and Brazil. While there accompanied by the intrepid Costin (Robert Pattinson), he discovers signs of a massive ancient city, which he names Z, the ultimate human achievement. Back in England, he reacquaints himself with his fiercely independent wife Nina (Sienna Miller) and plans a return trip with Costin and wealthy benefactor Murray (Angus Macfadyen) to find this lost pre-European civilisation. But Murray causes so many problems that they return empty-handed. The outbreak of the Great War delays Percy from going back to South America, so he heads off to the front to fight. Later, he organises a final expedition to find Z, accompanied by his now-adult son Jack (Tom Holland).
The screenplay has simplified Percy's attempts to find Z (he actually travelled to Brazil around 10 times). But the three trips depicted here begin to feel oddly repetitive, broken up by scenes of impatient domesticity in Britain. All of these sequences are sharply well shot and played, but the overall impact is lessened by all of the travelling back and forth. And many of the long sequences back in Europe feel like asides to the main story of Percy's all-consuming obsession with finding this ancient city, which we now know exists. Hunnam is terrific in the role, with his cut-glass accent and stiff upper lip even in the face of impending doom. He's likeable and passionate, and his scenes with the superb Miller sparkle. Patterson and Macfadyen add some texture as loyal and obnoxious colleagues, respectively. And Holland's quiet charisma very nearly steals the show.
Continue reading: The Lost City Of Z Review
Colonel Percy Fawcett is an ambitious British explorer who, come 1925, plans to take a long trip into the Amazon rainforest to uncover an ancient lost civilisation that he names 'Z'. He expects to find ruins and treasure, possibly even remnants from the legendary El Dorado, but it seems an impossible task to get the backing of the respected scientists of the day who can't possibly conceive that a civilisation perhaps more advanced than our own could exist amongst the native tribes they perceive as savages. His wife seems to be the only one who supports his mission, as well as his son Jack and another friend who agree to accompany him on the voyage. Unfortunately, this will be the trio's last trip, as they are subsequently never seen in England again.
In 1925, a British explorer named Colonel Percy Fawcett disappeared in the Amazon rainforest with his son Jack and one of Jack's friends. He was on the search for an ancient lost city he dubbed 'Z', rumoured to hold never before noted ruins and possibly the remains of El Dorado. He was also on the way to discover to another location in the Mato Grosso region of Brazil, which was talked of in an old manuscript he found at a library in Rio de Janeiro. However, whether or not his journey was completed remains unknown, because neither he not his companions returned from the expedition. To this day, his death remains a mystery. Many have claimed that he was killed by tribal natives in the region, others that they died after falling ill, and one story even claims he spent the rest of his days as the leader of a tribe of cannibals.
Continue: Lost City Of Z - Teaser Trailer
The Bafta nominations have been revealed, leading to some shock by what has been missed out from the ceremony.
Friday morning's British Academy Film Awards nominations show the predicted BAFTA love for home-grown movies like 'The Imitation Game' and 'The Theory of Everything', but were even more notable for who was missing from the shortlists.
Timothy Spall - snubbed by the academy?
The most obvious snub was for Mike Leigh's acclaimed biographical drama 'Mr Turner', for which Timothy Spall won Best Actor at the Cannes Film Festival. But the film only has a handful of technical nods (for cinematography, production design, costumes and make-up/hair), with nothing for Spall or Leigh, and most surprisingly no British Film nomination.
Continue reading: Bafta 2015 Nominations Reveal Secrets Of Awards Season
It's taken a long time for this stage musical to make it to the big screen, and while director Rob Marshall once again fails to give the story a sharp focus (see also Chicago and Nine), he at least lets the music and characters shine. Originally staged on Broadway in 1987, this musical by Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine is a gleeful mash-up of fairy tales that continues on past the "happily ever after", eventually turning rather dark and emotional.
Once upon a time, there was a Baker and his Wife (James Corden and Emily Blunt) who learn that they can't have children because the Witch (Meryl Streep) next door has cursed them. She offers to break the spell if they collect a cow, a cape, a slipper and a lock of hair. Meanwhile, Jack (Daniel Huttlestone) annoys his mother (Tracey Ullman) by selling the family cow for a handful of "magic" beans; Red Riding Hood (Lilla Crawford) dodges a leery Wolf (Johnny Depp) following her through the woods; Cinderella (Anna Kendrick) sneaks to the festival to meet the Prince (Chris Pine) against the wishes of her nasty stepmum (Christine Baranski); and Rapunzel (Mackenzie Mauzy) defies her mother by letting her hair down for a Prince (Billy Magnussen). After knotting together, each plot strand resolves happily. Until the next day.
This is very much a story of two halves, with the sharp, snappy, hilarious first act contrasting strongly against the rather disturbingly grim and grisly second act, as everyone's story unravels to reveal each character's deep neediness. What makes this show so clever is the way it undermines the usual fairy-tale happiness of most stories, cautioning that this artifice is actually a problem for children. While the songs are all clever and thoroughly engaging, none of them is particularly hummable on first listen, but each is packed with witty wordplay and serious subtext that gets under the skin.
Continue reading: Into The Woods Review
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
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
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
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
Starting at full-emotion and never wavering for a moment, this huge movie adaptation of the long-running stage musical wears us out with its relentlessly epic approach. OK, so neither the musical nor Victor Hugo's source novel could be accused of being understated, but director Hooper (The King's Speech) never even tries to find a moment of quiet feeling here. The result is thrillingly moving, making the most of the soaring anthems that fill the show. But it's also pretty overwhelming.
The story starts in 1815 as convict Jean Valjean (Jackman) finishes 19 years in prison for stealing a loaf of bread. His parole officer Javert (Crowe) vows to keep an eye on him, but Valjean slips away and, after a redemptive encounter with a priest, eventually reinvents himself as an upstanding businessman. He tries to help fallen woman Fantine (Hathaway), rescuing her daughter Cosette (Allen, then Seyfried) from her greedy foster parents (Baron Cohen and Bonham Carter). Years later, Valjean and Cosette move to Paris, where a young revolutionary (Redmayne) falls for Cosette just as the 1832 student uprisings break out. And Javert is still determined to recapture Valjean.
Hooper maintains the play's operatic style, in which the dialog is sung-through in between the big numbers. And we're talking about massively emotional power ballads here, performed to wrenching effect. Hathaway's one-take rendition of I Dreamed a Dream is the kind of breathtaking scene that wins Oscars. Jackman's voice wavers and cracks beautifully as he holds the story together. Marks delivers a belting version of the soulful On My Own. Redmayne nearly steals the show with his soaring tenor voice and wonderful acting chops. Baron Cohen and Bonham Carter provide some raucously overwrought comical relief. And Crowe gets away with Javert's big musical moments because he has the acting power to back up his oddly thin voice.
Continue reading: Les Miserables Review
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Based on a true story, it's the historical aspect of these events that holds the...
Colonel Percy Fawcett is an ambitious British explorer who, come 1925, plans to take a...
In 1925, a British explorer named Colonel Percy Fawcett disappeared in the Amazon rainforest with...
When a Baker (James Corden) and his wife (Emily Blunt) are unable to have children...
Take a sneak peak of forthcoming musical fairytale flick 'Into The Woods' in this short...
Starting at full-emotion and never wavering for a moment, this huge movie adaptation of the...