After the formulaic thrills of The Winter Soldier and Age of Ultron, Marvel's Avengers were in danger of getting stuck in a rut, but a smart script for this surprisingly focussed thriller kicks everything into a new direction. What's surprising is that the screenwriters have managed to incorporate a wide range of characters without the film ever feeling overcrowded. Each person has a journey to travel, so the actors get a chance to invest plenty of personality into the action.
After the events of Ultron, there's a political debate about the need to oversee the Avengers' missions. Iron Man Tony (Robert Downey Jr.) thinks a special UN council is a good idea, but Captain America Steve (Chris Evans) thinks that will limit the team's ability to help people. Then Steve's best pal Bucky (Sebastian Stan) is framed for a bombing, and Black Panther T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman) is drawn into the fray. The Avengers are forced to take sides, with those supporting Bucky becoming outlaws. Tony recruits Spider-Man Peter (Tom Holland) to his team, while Steve drafts in Ant-Man Scott (Paul Rudd). And as they all face off against each other, none of them realise that this entire situation is being manipulated by a vengeful man named Zemo (Daniel Bruhl).
Watching this film requires the audience to suspend disbelief that these super-powered friends could be pushed to try to kill each other. That never quite makes sense, and indeed the script acknowledges this fact when one person goes down and everyone reacts emotionally. But the high-powered cast is so good at creating these intensely driven superheroes that it's not difficult to go with it.
Continue reading: Captain America: Civil War Review
The Avengers are suffering from an image crisis. As much good that they do and as many lives that they save, the superheroes also cause unlimited amounts of damage to cities and civilisation. The government wish to find an answer to this problem and they decide that all superheroes should be registered and held accountable for their actions.
Tony Stark is brought in to begin talks on behalf of The Avengers, knowing how much damage he's personally done under his superhero disguise, Stark see the government's point and decides that a register wouldn't be entirely unwelcome. Captain America on the other hand has no such wishes; The Cap sees any government intervention as something beyond reasonable requirement. In the middle of all this is Cap's old friend Bucky who could be prosecuted under the new laws. As The Avengers are forced to split into two halves, it looks like there's going to be no way for the old team to form any kind of agreement.
As their opinions deepen and rivalries are deepens, certain members of Hydra begin to tighten their control and their plans for future domination of the world are getting stronger. The Avengers must find a way to put their differences aside in order to beat the real enemy.
As a fan of jazz musician Miles Davis since his early childhood, the actor Don Cheadle seemed like a natural to play him in a film biopic.
But Cheadle went further, also directing and cowriting Miles Ahead. "From a very young age I was into Miles Davis' music," he says. "His was the music that I grew up listening to, that my parents listened to. It was something that was central in my music life always. So I really wanted to make a movie that Miles would have wanted to see. I knew that we had to find a new way of telling a story that was different from what people expected, just like Miles kept changing his music."
To do this, Cheadle set out to make a movie that was more "dynamic and creative" than a traditional biopic. Since there are already documentaries and books tracing the key moments in Davis' life, Cheadle focussed on Davis' silent period and how he came back to reclaim his music, paralleling that story with his 10-year relationship with his wife Frances Taylor Davis.
Continue reading: Miles Ahead Was A Lifelong Project For Don Cheadle
Don Cheadle will star and make his directorial debut in 'Kill The Trumpeter', a biopic about jazz musician Miles Davis.
Don Cheadle has desired to play Jazz musician Miles Davis in a biopic for a lengthy period of time now.
The 48 year-old finally gets his wish!
Cheadle first announced he wanted to play the role over seven years ago and finally thanks to BiFrost Pictures the project has the green light.
Continue reading: Don Cheadle Will Finally Play Miles Davis In Biopic Movie
Changing the writer and director for this third Iron Man movie turns out to be the best thing that could have happened, because Shane Black is a much more focussed filmmaker, and he gives this franchise a badly needed kick. We know that he and Downey work well together (see Kiss Kiss Bang Bang), but we could never have anticipated how Black would bring clarity to Downey's comical riffs. He also makes the action scenes much more human, and therefore a lot more thrilling.
The story takes place in the overall Marvel chronology. Wealthy arms manufacturer Tony Stark (Downey) is feeling badly shaken by his experience working with the Avengers to fight off an alien invasion. So he dives into his work and neglects his relationship with Pepper (Paltrow), who also runs his company. Then two faces from the past reappear: bio-scientist Maya (Hall) is an old colleague of Tony's, while technical genius Aldrich (Pearce) has a past with Pepper. And both seem somehow connected to a wave of nasty bombings that is terrorising America, masterminded by a menacing man who calls himself the Mandarin (Kingsley). And the Mandarin's next target is Tony.
Intriguingly, the script keeps Tony out of the Iron Man suit for much of the film's running time, which makes his character feel much more grounded than ever before. It also makes the action set pieces even more spectacular, since they're not mere robot-vs-robot animated battles. So even if the dialog is peppered with technical gibberish, at least it has a personal dimension. Which not only deepens Tony and Pepper as characters, but makes the surrounding people more interesting. These include Tony's old pal (Cheadle), two self-healing goons (Dale and Szostak) and a pre-teen (Simpkins) who helps Tony. And with his constantly surprising character, Kingsley very nearly steals the show.
Continue reading: Iron Man 3 Review
Tony Stark may have the woman of his dreams, the technological skills of a genius and the ability to save the world from the occasional threatening force, but he's starting to realise that he's not entirely invincible. Unable to sleep and distracted by feelings of guilt, he is forced to reassess his ability to defend himself and his people as his formidable adversary Mandarin threatens to dismantle his life piece by piece. As he watches his life's work burn before his eyes, he is left only with his inner strength and resourcefulness to have a chance at destroying Mandarin once and for all. For the first time, Stark is feeling very vulnerable as he struggles to come to terms with himself as just Tony Stark rather than the supposedly indestructible Iron Man.
Continue: Iron Man 3 - Alternate Trailer
Tony Stark may be Iron Man, but he's feeling less than unbreakable these days. Plagued by nightmares and guilty feelings, he is forced to doubt himself and his ability to protect himself and the ones he loves against a new enemy; the formidably ruthless Mandarin. His doubts are only amplified when his world and his power source are brutally snatched from him and left to burn at the hands of his enemy and he is left with his own internal strengths and resourcefulness alone to find the perpetrator and end his reign of terror. Stark is finally made to confront himself and his superhero identity as Mandarin sets out to prove there are no real heroes in the world.
The third instalment of this Marvel adventure, 'Iron Man 3' is set to be the most hard-hitting of the movies so far with questions being raised less about Iron Man and more about the true Tony Stark and his deeper abilities. It has been directed by Shane Black (the writer of the 'Lethal Weapon' film series) who also co-wrote the comic action flick with Drew Pearce ('Lip Service', 'No Heroics'). It is set for a spectacular release in cinemas on April 26th 2013 in the UK.
Starring: Robert Downey Jr, Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Guy Pearce, Rebecca Hall, Stephanie Szostak, James Badge Dale, Jon Favreau, Ben Kingsley, Paul Bettany, William Sadler, Stan Lee, Yvonne Zima, Dale Dickey, Ashley Hamilton, Ty Simpkins, Spencer Garrett,
Continue: Iron Man 3 Trailer
Oscar hopeful Flight has it's long-awaited box office unveiling today (Feb 1) in the UK and if critical reception and US box office takings is enough to go by then Paramount shouldn't have too much to worry about when it comes to audience numbers.
The film's star, Denzel Washington, delivers yet another powerhouse of a performance that makes his entry into the Best Actor category at the Oscars totally justified as he takes on the role of a veteran commercial pilot who fills his days with women, alcohol and drugs. Supporting Denzel in the flick is Don Cheadle, Kelly Reilly, Bruce Greenwood and Melissa Leo, as well as John Goodman who both delivers a scene-stealing performance - as he so often does.
Whilst Contact Music's own review of the film isn't wholeheartedly positive, the singling out of Denzel's performance is a mainstay among contemporary reviews, such as Rolling Stone and The Guardian, who single out the performance for being "detailed, depth-charged, bruisingly true" and maintaining Washington's "natural gravitas" respectively.
Continue reading: 'Flight' Expected To Take Off At UK Box Office This Weekend
With another deeply committed performance, Washington brings badly needed complexity to what is otherwise a contrived, overstated drama about addiction. It helps that the film is directed by Zemeckis as a kind of companion piece to his last live-action movie, 2000's Cast Away, another film about a man whose life is dramatically changed by a plane crash. Although here he's lost in a wilderness of substance abuse.
Washington plays Whip, a veteran commercial pilot who fills his days with women, alcohol and drugs. Even when he's flying a plane full of passengers. On a routine flight from Orlando to Atlanta, a catastrophic malfunction sends his airliner hurtling toward the ground, prompting an outrageously inventive reaction that saves 96 of the 102 lives on board. Then the investigators discover that he had both alcohol and cocaine in his system at the time. His union rep (Greenwood) hires a high-powered lawyer (Cheadle) to represent him, but Whip doesn't even try to straighten up until he meets young junkie Nicole (Reilly), who's serious about cleaning up her life.
The main problem here is that Gatins' script completely misses the point of his own story, never remotely touching on the central theme of a flawed hero who has no real moral compass. So drugs are the villain; it has nothing to do with Whip's personal failings. Instead, the script just uses a variety of contrived characters to confront him with his drug problems until he finally cracks under all this pressure. Fortunately, Washington is excellent as the high-functioning addict, and the supporting cast is solid in providing whatever element Gatins needs at the moment: Cheadle's straight-arrow efficiency, Reilly's hopeful anguish and Greenwood's steadfast friendship, plus scene-stealer Goodman as Whip's hilariously honest dealer-buddy and Leo as a ruthlessly tenacious investigator.
Continue reading: Flight Review
When airplane pilot Whit makes an extraordinary landing following an engine failure which saves the lives of his passengers, he becomes a national hero mobbed by the press. It is only when he is introduced to an attorney that he discovers that he the one person he didn't manage to save was himself. The lawyer informs him that a blood test taken on the night of the crash revealed alcohol in system; an offence which is punishable by life imprisonment. An investigation follows and Whit reveals that he did drink the night before he was due for the flight, however, an experiment involving ten pilots in aircraft simulators with recreated circumstances from the crash revealed that, were any other pilot to land the plane in the way that Whit did, they would've killed every soul on board. Was Whit's risky landing a result of drunken recklessness, or was his decision made by the years of experience and general confidence in his area of expertise? This is the judgement the jury must make.
Continue: Flight Trailer
Gerry Boyle (Gleeson) is an unpredictable policeman in a small Irish town. When a local murder is linked to an international drug-smuggling case, he's assigned to work with FBI Agent Everett (Cheadle), who like everyone else can't quite figure out if Boyle's a genius or an idiot. As they track down three notorious traffickers (Cunningham, Strong and Wilmot), the case gets increasingly complicated. But Boyle doesn't let it affect his private obsessions with hookers and drugs. More troublesome is his ill mum (Flanagan) and a young Croatian woman (Cas) whose husband is missing.
Continue reading: The Guard Review
There is no better place for this examination than the culturally diverse melting pot of modern-day Los Angeles. In just over 24 hours, Crash brings together people from all walks of life. Two philosophizing black men (Ludacris and Larenz Tate) steal the expensive SUV belonging to the white, L.A. District Attorney (Brendan Fraser), and his high-strung wife (Sandra Bullock). A similar vehicle belonging to a wealthy black television director (Terrence Howard) and his wife (Thandie Newton) is later pulled over by a racist cop (Matt Dillon) and his partner (Ryan Phillippe). Soon, many of these people get mixed up with a Latino locksmith (Michael Peña), a Persian storekeeper (Shaun Toub), and two ethnically diverse, dating police detectives (Don Cheadle and Jennifer Esposito).
Continue reading: Crash (2004) Review
The backstory on Lyle is that he attacked a kid with a baseball bat. Yes, the guy taunted him during a baseball game, and Lyle has had his share of troubles at home -- all of which is going to come out in therapy -- but that's why he's considered enough of a menace to society and to himself to make him a candidate for Northward Mental Institution, a spa for undisciplined youths run by therapist-in-charge Dr. David Monroe (Don Cheadle). Totally tight-lipped at first, Lyle commands attention by the sheer unpredictability of how and when his fast fuse of rage will ignite into violence.
Continue reading: Manic Review
Unfortunately Ratner does not find the same joy in Rush Hour 2, an occasionally amusing comedic adventure that leaves us with a profoundly annoying Chris Tucker fighting for attention while Jackie Chan fights one-dimensional Chinese villains with his bare fists. The film contains some neat action sequences, a great third act, and the most hilarious outtakes I can remember - but the clash of genres feels intrusive and awkward. I wanted more excitement, more character dimension, and a whole hell of a lot less of Chris Tucker's irritating mouth.
Continue reading: Rush Hour 2 Review
As a woman, it is always difficult to watch a movie involving rape. When filmed realistically, as Things is, it's impossible to distance yourself from the onscreen pain. And when a film is not constructed with realism the result is anger from shoddy storytelling, or with a filmmaker failing miserably to grasp the emotional honesty in a situation they can't understand.
Continue reading: Things Behind The Sun Review
Maybe I've seen too many Gyllenhaal movies, but Leland's slightly hunched posture and quizzical facial expression, indicative of a familiar detached dreaminess, recalls indie prince Jake constantly, right down to the casting of go-to indie girlfriend Jena Malone as Becky (who acted alongside Gyllenhaal in Donnie Darko). To be fair, I wasn't thinking of Gyllenhaal for every second Gosling was on screen. Sometimes I was musing over his unfortunate resemblance to Screech from TV's Saved by the Bell.
Continue reading: The United States Of Leland Review
Co-stars Anne Heche and Tommy Lee Jones prove more than able at evading not only the encroaching magma, but also the horde of bad actors that follow them throughout the movie. And while the film is full of creeping cheese, complete with death-defying leaps to safety, slow motion shots, and kitschy one-liners, I shock myself even by saying that, for the most part, it feels real. They even thought to include Dennis Woodruff's infamous car, the cheesiest of Hollywood landmarks, floating along in a river of fire. Where else would they think of that!? I really do love L.A...
Continue reading: Volcano Review
"Traffic" is a socially and politically grandstanding soap opera about the narcotics trade and the futility of the "war on drugs." It's a film about how that war is propagated by bureaucratic demagogues in the United States government, not because they think they can stem the flow of illegal substances but because they think saying they want to is a way to win elections.
OK. Point taken.
"Traffic" is also gritty and realistic feat of cinematic logistics, following no less than 15 major characters (and more than 50 speaking parts) through several complex, well-acted storylines about all sides of the drug trade -- from kingpins to cops to policy wonks to addicts. So my hat is off to the picture's ever-brilliant director, Steven Soderbergh ("Erin Brockovich"), who certainly does a fine juggling act, involving the audience in every story on a personal level.
Continue reading: Traffic Review
Director Dominic Sena seems to fancy himself some kind of John Woo Jr. But John Woo ("The Killer," "Hard Boiled" and more recently "Face/Off" and "M:I-2") is an action genius who has a gift for turning gun battles into ballet and explosions into art.
Sena ("Gone in 60 Seconds") couldn't care less about art as long as his computer-enhanced mega-blasts are as big, as orange, as slow-motion and as debris-filled as possible. And if he can throw in an innocent hostage being blown apart, so much the better.
After beginning with an ironic but incredibly smug speech by film buff bad guy John Travolta about how Hollywood makes such crappy movies, the opening sequence of "Swordfish" fulfills all Sena's high-gloss, low-brow requirements -- pretty much proving Travolta's point.
Continue reading: Swordfish Review
Nicolas Cage makes a gosh-darn good Jimmy Stewart substitute in "The Family Man," starring as a Wall Street playboy taught a lesson in life priorities when he gets Frank Capra-ed into an alternative suburban reality that includes a wife, kids, a minivan, a mortgage and a job selling tires for his father-in-law.
His performance is superb as Jack Campbell, a toplofty workaholic millionaire of the new economy who is utterly baffled by waking up one morning next to the college sweetheart (Téa Leoni), whom he'd abandoned to pursue his career 13 years before.
How did he get there? Well, after stiff-arming his ornamental girlfriend on Christmas eve and ordering an emergency merger meeting for dinner time the next day, Jack catches the eye of some kind of cryptic seraph (Don Cheadle) by intervening in a convenience store hold up. When he tells Cheadle he has everything he could ever want in life, the busybody celestial spirit decides Jack's karma needs a realignment and sends him whirling into a world of What Might Have Been.
Continue reading: The Family Man Review
Phase Three of the Marvel Cinematic Universe prepares to come to a climax as ‘The...
After the formulaic thrills of The Winter Soldier and Age of Ultron, Marvel's Avengers were...
The Avengers are suffering from an image crisis. As much good that they do and...
Miles Davis' music made him a household name, loved by millions around the world, yet...
As the world of Marvel super heroes become ever more entwined, Captain America: Civil War...
They've fought private military corporations, Nazi splinter-groups and a Norse god. Now, The Avengers assemble...
The Avengers may be feeling like they are capable of anything after saving New York...
A lot has happened since the Battle of New York. The world was attacked by...
Changing the writer and director for this third Iron Man movie turns out to be...
Tony Stark may have the woman of his dreams, the technological skills of a genius...
With another deeply committed performance, Washington brings badly needed complexity to what is otherwise a...
When airplane pilot Whit makes an extraordinary landing following an engine failure which saves the...