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Love & Mercy Review

Extraordinary

An unusually inventive approach brings this story to life, as the filmmakers get into the mind of the Beach Boys' Brian Wilson to reveal how he created those unforgettable songs. Even more impressive is the depiction of Wilson's troubled personal life, which plays out with an unnerving resonance rarely matched by rock-star biopics. This is due to artful direction and writing plus committed performances from Paul Dano and John Cusack, who play Wilson at two key points in his life.

As a young man in the 1960s, Brian Wilson (Dano) is a prodigious genius, preferring to stay in the studio while his brothers Dennis and Carl (Kenny Wormald and Brett Davern) and their bandmate Mike Love (Jake Abel) head out to meet girls on tour. They don't understand Brian's obsession with oddball sounds, but let him do his thing until it becomes clear that he's mentally unstable. Years later, in the late 1980s, Brian (now Cusack) falls for Cadillac saleswoman Melinda (Elizabeth Banks), who realises that he is being over-medicated and possibly abused by his controlling psychiatrist guardian Eugene (Paul Giamatti). And instead of leaving, as Eugene orders her to do, she fights for Brian.

These two time periods are interwoven together in a strikingly seamless way, shifting back and forth to build a potent dramatic and emotional momentum. By seeing everything from Wilson's perspective, the filmmakers are able to take the audience on a remarkable journey through his life, avoiding the usual predictable formula. Wilson's life may follow the usual trajectory of success followed by drug abuse, but his mental illness adds an involving angle that's depicted with sensitivity by Dano and Cusack, as well as director Bill Pohlad and writers Oren Moverman and Michael Alan Lerner. Even more impressive is Banks' performance, which is the key that takes us right into the story. It's a beautifully textured turn that reminds us that she can do a lot more than steal movies in comical roles (see Pitch Perfect, Magic Mike and The Hunger Games).

Continue reading: Love & Mercy Review

Elizabeth Banks Scores Three 2015 Hits, And 'Love & Mercy' Is Her Best Yet


Elizabeth Banks

At age 41, Elizabeth Banks is having a great year. Not only did she make her directing debut with Pitch Perfect 2 and steal all her scenes in Magic Mike XXL, but she's getting the best reviews of her career for her performance as Brian Wilson's wife Melinda in the biopic Love & Mercy.

John Cusack and Elizabeth Banks in 'Love & Mercy'Elizabeth Banks plays Brian Wilson's wife in 'Love & Mercy'

"I've always felt like I was a character actor, trapped in a leading lady's body," she laughs. "I might not look it, but I'm tougher than most of my colleagues. I know all the tricks!"

Continue reading: Elizabeth Banks Scores Three 2015 Hits, And 'Love & Mercy' Is Her Best Yet

Magic Mike XXL Review

Excellent

Resisting the temptation to capitalise on the camp value of these characters, Channing Tatum and his producing-writing partner Reid Carolin create a startlingly loose and thoughtful follow-up to their 2012 hit. Yes, it's still the story of a group of ridiculously muscled men who take their clothes off for a living and enjoy a laugh. And even without much of a plot it's a remarkably astute exploration of masculinity and gender politics. In the last three years, Mike (Tatum) has made a decent go of his furniture-making business, but his life feels stuck in a rut.

Then his old pals ask him to go on the road for one last hurrah to a stripper convention. So he heads off with new-age healer Ken (Matt Bomer), lovelorn beefcake Richie (Joe Manganiello), artful biker Tarzan (Kevin Nash), macrobiotic smoothie expert Tito (Adam Rodriguez) and food-truck driving deejay Tobias (Gabriel Iglesias). Along the way, they meet up with Mike's old mentor Rome (Jada Pinkett Smith), who provides two new guys for the team (Donald Glover and Stephen 'tWitch' Boss). And they get some favours from a newly single Southern belle (Andie MacDowell) and another old friend (Elizabeth Banks).

There's very little to the story, but the film's improvisational style allows all of the characters to deepen in quiet but significant ways. So the journey these people take is even more internal than the highways they traverse from Tampa, Florida, to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. The main point is that these men need to figure out who they are if they have any hope of finding happiness, and each one takes his own subtle voyage of discovery. The actors dive into this approach, which requires unusually subtle performances that combine sexy physicality with earthy, boisterous humour. What the film never does is fall back on the usual cliches about machismo or sexuality.

Continue reading: Magic Mike XXL Review

Magic Mike XXL Trailer


Magic Mike might be keeping his clothes on these days in favour of beginning a business in custom furniture, and after a rather bitter and scandalous departure from the Xquisite nightclub, but three years on and he's still got the moves. And the body. These days, his stripper friends have decided to give up their dancing careers in Tampa, Florida too, but these aren't the kind of guys who are going to disappear quietly. They thus decide to get together one last time for a spectacular performance at Myrtle Beach in South Carolina where a major stripping convention is due to take place. Mike agrees to join them as their headliner, re-living his glory days as the ultimate chiselled fantasy. Along the way he meets some old friends and welcomes new faces in such cities as Jacksonville and Savannah, and they dance away their previous lives in style.

Continue: Magic Mike XXL Trailer

'Pitch Perfect 3' Is Coming In July 2017, As Anna Kendrick And Rebel Wilson Sign On


Anna Kendrick Rebel Wilson Elizabeth Banks

The Bellas are coming back! Yes get ready a cappella fans, as Universal pictures has confirmed that a third Pitch Perfect movie is coming our way and it will hit theatres on July 21st 2017. Stars Anna Kendrick and Rebel Wilson have already signed on to reprise their roles for the next installment, following the success of the second movie last month.

Anna Kendrick Anna Kendrick has been confirmed as returning for Pitch Perfect 3.

The news of the third movie was first broken by The Hollywood Reporter, but the two actresses have since confirmed their involvement via social media. Yesterday Anna Kendrick posted a photo of herself on Instagram holding up three fingers, while her co-star Wilson tweeted, ‘I know I spilt the beans a little while ago, but at least now it's official…Sing 'ahhhhh' on 3 pitches.’

Continue reading: 'Pitch Perfect 3' Is Coming In July 2017, As Anna Kendrick And Rebel Wilson Sign On

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 - Join The Revolution Trailer


Having successfully rescued Peeta and the other Hunger Games victors, Katniss Everdeen is feeling the strain of being the Mockingjay for the rebel group of District 13. The propaganda is exhausting, and she is starting to become uncertain about who are the heroes and who are the villains. While victory over the Capitol looks in the rebels' favour, Katniss is becoming increasingly suspicious of President Coin - a suspicion which becomes all the more intense when she confronts the captured Panem leader President Snow. He seems intent on killing her, but he's not the only one. When the rebels' methods are shown to be just as hostile as the Capitol, Katniss has to decide which path the take and with the oncoming final Hunger Games, her decision is fated to change her life forever.

Continue: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 - Join The Revolution Trailer

Billboard 200 Chart: Mumford & Sons Pitch Slapped By 'Pitch Perfect 2' Soundtrack


Anna Kendrick Rebel Wilson Elizabeth Banks Anna Camp Brittany Snow Mumford And Sons David Guetta

The soundtrack for Pitch Perfect 2 has reached the top of the Billboard 200 albums chart. The album was released on 8th May, a week before the film entered cinemas in the US and UK on Friday 15th May. However, it reached the No. 1 spot on Wednesday (20th May) after Pitch Perfect 2 reached the top of the box office over the weekend. The film made $70.3 million in the US and Canada alone and its soundtrack is following suit. 

Pitch Perfect 2The soundtrack for Pitch Perfect 2 has topped the Billboard 200 album chart.

Read More: Review: Pitch Perfect 2 Reunites Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson And The Gang.

Continue reading: Billboard 200 Chart: Mumford & Sons Pitch Slapped By 'Pitch Perfect 2' Soundtrack

"Pitch Perfect 2" Strikes The Right Note At The Box Office


Anna Kendrick Rebel Wilson Elizabeth Banks

It’s Pitch Perfect 2 weekend and the Friday-Sunday box office reflects that. With an unexpected $70,3 million domestic gross, the musical comedy blew past Mad Max: Fury Road to become the box office champion this weekend.

Anna Kendrick
Anna Kendrick returns in the musical comedy about rival Acapella groups.

Meanwhile, the Mad Max reboot made a modest $44.4 million, falling behind the Brownstone production flick, according to the LA Times. Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson and co. returnas members of the misfit college singing group the Bellas. Actress Elizabeth Banks – aka our favourite TV republican Avory Jessup (30 Rock) and second favourite Capitol citizen Effy Trinket (The Hunger Games) - makes her directorial debut, as well as reprises her role as an acerbic commentator.

Continue reading: "Pitch Perfect 2" Strikes The Right Note At The Box Office

Pitch Perfect 2 Reunites Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson And The Gang


Anna Kendrick Rebel Wilson Elizabeth Banks

The surprise hit of 2012 was Pitch Perfect, a comedy that has become a cult classic in the intervening years. So it's no surprise that it sparked a sequel. And the cast was up for the challenge. "To me, it felt like the pressure was off because I knew people wanted to see Pitch Perfect 2," says the film's star Anna Kendrick. "When you do almost every other film, you have no idea if anybody's going to be interested in sitting down and watching your stupid movie."

Pitch Perfect 2 posterPitch Perfect 2 unites the gang

For her the toughest part was getting her voice in shape to perform the a cappella numbers. "This is so much work," she admits. "You have to treat your body like a temple all the time. I could do it for a month, but sometimes I want to have fast food and a beer. I don't care for physical activity!"

Continue reading: Pitch Perfect 2 Reunites Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson And The Gang

Pitch Perfect 2 Review


Excellent

In 2012, Pitch Perfect came out of nowhere to become one of the most-loved comedies in recent memory, and the good news is that this sequel matches it with both spiky humour and buoyant music. It would be impossible recreate the surprise of watching the original, but the cast and crew make up for that by kicking everything off with an outrageously rude prologue (complete with the biggest cameo imaginable), and the comedy that follows is relentlessly hilarious.

It's been three years, and the Bellas are now in their final year at university, having won three more a cappella National Championships along the way. Then they're disgraced by a wardrobe malfunction at a triumphant performance for the US President's birthday. Suspended by officials, their only chance to redeem themselves is to win the World Championships in Copenhagen. So Beca (Anna Kendrick) and her sidekicks Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson) and Chloe (Brittany Snow) rally the troops to prepare to take on the fearsome reigning champions Das Sound Machine. And there's a new Bella on the team as well: freshman Emily (Hailee Steinfeld), who is dabbling in songwriting.

Along with this central plot, Kay Cannon's script also weaves in a series of side-stories for each of the central cast members involving decisions about the future and romantic entanglements. All of these are a bit feeble, but they add layers of comedy, drama and even some meaning, although there isn't a single surprise along the way. Still, it's consistently amusing, as every line of dialogue has a witty joke in it, and the performances crackle with improvisational silliness that's genuinely infectious. Once again, the seriously gifted Kendrick is effortlessly charismatic as the natural leader of the gang, while the class-clown Wilson steals every scene with her random gags. Steinfeld offers a fresh blast of energy and talent in her role, although the perky Snow is somewhat sidelined this time.

Continue reading: Pitch Perfect 2 Review

Tara Reid "Sad To Hear" Of Elizabeth Banks' Criticism


Elizabeth Banks Tara Reid

Tara Reid has responded to comments Elizabeth Banks made about her in a recent interview and she's certainly taken the high road. Banks, in a recent interview with THR, criticised actress 39-year-old Reid and suggested she has been far from successful in her acting career.  Reid was promoting her upcoming film, Pitch Perfect 2, which she directs and has a small starring role in, during the interview.

Elizabeth BanksElizabeth Banks suggested Tara Reid "didn't make it" career wise in a recent interview.

Read More: Elizabeth Banks Didn't Consider Herself To Be Attractive: "I Never Thought About It".

Continue reading: Tara Reid "Sad To Hear" Of Elizabeth Banks' Criticism

MTV Movie Awards: 'The Fault In Our Stars' Leads 2015 Winners


MTV Shailene Woodley Ansel Elgort Dylan O'Brien Will Poulter Zac Efron Dave Franco Seth Rogen Rose Byrne Elizabeth Banks Jennifer Lawrence Bradley Cooper Meryl Streep Jennifer Lopez

It's difficult to argue with the results of this year's MTV Movie Awards victors, who took home their much-deserved accolades on Sunday (April 12th 2015). The top prize of Movie Of The Year went to Josh Boone's adaptation of the John Green novel 'The Fault In Our Stars' - but who else won big at the 2015 ceremony?

Ansel Elgort and Shailene Woodley in 'The Fault In Our Stars'Ansel Elgort and Shailene Woodley in 'The Fault In Our Stars'

Shailene Woodley took home a couple of awards herself; first for Best Female Performance in 'The Fault In Our Stars', and second for Best Kiss with Ansel Elgort. 'The Maze Runner' star Dylan O'Brien also won big, landing Breakthrough Performance, Best Hero and, of course, Best Fight with Will Poulter. O'Brien will reprise his role in the upcoming sequel 'Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials'. Meanwhile, Zac Efron's abs in 'Neighbors' predictably won him Best Shirtless Performance, while his onscreen chemistry with Dave Franco made them Best Duo. 'Neighbors' was also the winner of Best WTF Moment, with Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne taking home the award.

Continue reading: MTV Movie Awards: 'The Fault In Our Stars' Leads 2015 Winners

Brian Wilson's Troubled Life Story Hits The Big Screen In Bill Pohlad's 'Love & Mercy' [Trailer]


Brian Wilson Beach Boys Paul Dano John Cusack Elizabeth Banks Paul Giamatti Oren Moverman

The full story of The Beach Boys legend Brian Wilson is finally hitting the movies in the form of Bill Pohlad's challenging, life-spanning biopic 'Love & Mercy' which stars Paul Dano and John Cusack as the respective younger and older Wilsons.

Paul Dano in 'Love & Mercy'
Paul Dano stars as a young Brian Wilson in 'Love & Mercy'

While being responsible for writing one of the most important rock albums in history, 1966's 'Pet Sounds', Brian Wilson was at the most fragile stage of his life during that decade. Dragged down mentally and emotionally by the stress of song-writing he took comfort in drug use and was subsequently forced to seek a range of psychological treatments. As tensions within the band grew, he became more and more erratic and lost in a confusing world of hallucinations and psychosis. Paul Dano plays Wilson's enthusiastic younger self, while John Cusack takes on the role of the broken man that came decades after. Paul Giamatti also makes an appearance as Wilson's crooked psychologist Eugene Landy who fed him excessively high dosages of medicative drugs and prevented him from seeing his partner Melinda Ledbetter (who is played by Elizabeth Banks). 

Continue reading: Brian Wilson's Troubled Life Story Hits The Big Screen In Bill Pohlad's 'Love & Mercy' [Trailer]

Love & Mercy - Teaser Trailer


In the mid-1960s, The Beach Boys were at the top of their game. Having released ten classic albums, a young songwriter and leader of the band, Brian Wilson (Paul Dano), was preparing to create the greatest album in history. His aggressive pursuit of the perfect sound for the band's eleventh studio album, 'Pet Sounds', had a negative effect on his psychological well-being. Almost two decades later in the 1980s, Wilson (John Cusack) is trapped in his own mind, sedated by medication and a troubled psychiatrist. But a young woman, Melinda Ledbetter (Elizabeth Banks), believes that she can restore him to the great man he once was, through a mixture of Love and Mercy.

Continue: Love & Mercy - Teaser Trailer

Patricia Arquette's Oscar Acceptance Speech Divides The Internet


Patricia Arquette Meryl Streep Jennifer Lopez Lena Dunham Elizabeth Banks Neil Patrick Harris

Patricia Arquette’s Oscars acceptance speech has set the world of social media alight in the last twenty four hours. After she used her time at the microphone to call for wage equality and equal rights for women, opinion has been polarised as to validity of her argument.

The 46 year old won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role as Olivia Evans in Boyhood. Having produced a sheet of paper and thanked her family and fellow cast members, she went on to deliver a rousing finale: “It's our time to have wage equality once and for all, and equal rights for women in the United States of America.”

Patricia Arquette
Patricia Arquette's Oscars acceptance speech was a hot talking point of the evening

Continue reading: Patricia Arquette's Oscar Acceptance Speech Divides The Internet

Pitch Perfect 2 - International Trailer


Suspended after an unfortunate incident of accidental nudity during a performance of Miley Cyrus' 'Wrecking Ball', the spunky all-girls a cappella singing group the Barden Bellas are subsequently replaced by European champions Das Sound Machine. They've got a lot of work to do if they want to win the World Championships and beat their rivals, and while they've certainly got both the attitude and more than enough talent having previously succeeded at winning the National stakes, whether or not their ideas can bring them further fortune is another matter. Nonetheless, they have each other, and that's the most important thing for them to hold on to right now as now they face more than just embarrassment and Europeans, but prejudice and heavy doubt from the organisers.

Continue: Pitch Perfect 2 - International Trailer

Magic Mike XXL - Teaser Trailer


Three years after bowing out of the stripper career, Magic Mike (Channing Tatum), returns to his friends at the Kings of Tampa, all of whom also seem prepared to call an end to their careers. But when the prospect of going out in style arises, the friends get the band back together and embark on a stripping road trip through Jacksonville and Savannah, heading towards one final performance at Myrtle Beach. Here, the Kings of Tampa prepare for one final blow-out show with Magic Mike. 

Continue: Magic Mike XXL - Teaser Trailer

Pitch Perfect 2 - Super Bowl TV Spot


The Barden Bellas are back after their impressive victory in a national a cappella chorus competition, where they proved the strength of girl power over some of the biggest choirs in the country. Beca, Emily, Chloe, Aubrey, Cynthia-Rose, Stacie, Lilly, Jessica and Fat Amy have got bigger fish to fry these days, as they eye up global competition ahead of the daunting international contest. They may have bags of confidence, but as no American chorus has ever managed to land the coveted prize before, it may not be enough to get them through this time. Nonetheless, it's time these girls tested their odds against the greatest collective voices on the planet, even if their new rivals are showing some seemingly matchless talent.

Continue: Pitch Perfect 2 - Super Bowl TV Spot

Netflix Announces Cast For 'Wet Hot American Summer' Series With Bradley Cooper, Elizabeth Banks And Paul Rudd Returning


Bradley Cooper Netflix Amy Poehler Paul Rudd Elizabeth Banks

When the news came out that Netflix was reviving the 2001 cult comedy Wet Hot American Summer, the first question on everyone’s lips was, 'who from the original cast will be returning?’ Well the answer is, most of them! Yes from Bradley Cooper to Elizabeth Banks, many of the film’s now big name stars will be back headed back to Camp Firewood this summer.

Bradley CooperBradley Cooper is returning to Camp Firewood

The cast names were revealed via a 50 second trailer released by Netflix on Wednesday. Bradley Cooper, Elizabeth Banks, Paul Rudd and Amy Poehler are all name dropped in the clip. Also returning to Camp Firewood are Judah Friedlander, Michael Ian Black, Janeane Garofalo, Christopher Meloni, Molly Shannon and David Hyde Pierce.

Continue reading: Netflix Announces Cast For 'Wet Hot American Summer' Series With Bradley Cooper, Elizabeth Banks And Paul Rudd Returning

Little Accidents Review


Excellent

With a strikingly unflinching eye, newcomer Sara Colangelo astutely adapts her 2010 short into an evocative feature, beautifully capturing the impact a series of random tragedies can have on a community. It's gorgeously shot and sensitively acted by a skilled cast, and while the film remains a little too ambiguous for its own good, it still gets under the skin to leave us pondering some very hard issues.

It's set in a working-class West Virginia town that's still reeling after a devastating mining accident. The only survivor was Amos (Boyd Holbrook), who has been left injured both physically and psychologically. And it doesn't help that everyone is pressuring him to lie to the investigators while quietly resenting him for surviving. For support, he turns to Diane (Elizabeth Banks), the wife of the mine's manager (Josh Lucas). And Diane needs help too, because her teen son JT (Travis Tope) has gone missing. The only person who knows what happened is 14-year-old Owen (Jacob Lofland), whose father died in the accident. He was cruelly bullied by JT in school, and is struggling to keep his own secret.

The script is minimalistic, as Colangelo prefers to deepen the characters rather than construct a detailed plot. Sometimes this feels rather too understated, but it also allows the actors to create people who are remarkably involving. Holbrook is magnetic, the heart of the film as a damaged man looking for healing wherever he can find it. Banks is simply wonderful in a complex role that makes us wish she'd do more serious drama. And Lofland more than lives up to the promise of Mud with a darkly involving performance that continually catches us by surprise. These three characters circle around each other like wounded animals looking for help, but while the plot points that push them together might feel contrived, their interaction is earthy and very real.

Continue reading: Little Accidents Review

Elizabeth Banks and Planet Hollywood Friday 6th March 2009 celebrates her birthday at Prive nightclub inside Planet Hollywood Resort Hotel Casino Las Vegas, Nevada

Elizabeth Banks and Planet Hollywood
Elizabeth Banks

Elizabeth Banks Quick Links

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Elizabeth Banks

Date of birth

10th February, 1974

Occupation

Actor

Sex

Female

Height

1.65




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Elizabeth Banks Movies

Pitch Perfect 3 Trailer

Pitch Perfect 3 Trailer

It has been a few years since the Barden Bellas graduated from college, and while...

Power Rangers - Featurette, Clip  Trailer

Power Rangers - Featurette, Clip Trailer

Zack Taylor (Ludi Lin), Kimberly Hart (Naomi Scott), Billy Cranston (RJ Cyler), Trini (Becky G)...

Power Rangers Trailer

Power Rangers Trailer

Kimberly Hart, Trini, Jason Lee Scott, Zack Taylor and Billy Cranston are a group of...

Power Rangers - Teaser Trailer

Power Rangers - Teaser Trailer

Go Go Power Rangers! Billy Cranston, Jason Lee Scott, Kimberly Hart, Trini Kwan and Zack...

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 Movie Review

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 Movie Review

Suzanne Collins' saga comes to a suitably epic conclusion in a climactic series of battles...

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The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2 Final Trailer

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2 Final Trailer

Katniss Everdeen is determined to take down President Snow once and for all. Too many...

Love & Mercy Movie Review

Love & Mercy Movie Review

An unusually inventive approach brings this story to life, as the filmmakers get into the...

Magic Mike XXL Movie Review

Magic Mike XXL Movie Review

Resisting the temptation to capitalise on the camp value of these characters, Channing Tatum and...

Magic Mike XXL Trailer

Magic Mike XXL Trailer

Magic Mike might be keeping his clothes on these days in favour of beginning a...

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 - Join The Revolution Trailer

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 - Join The Revolution Trailer

Having successfully rescued Peeta and the other Hunger Games victors, Katniss Everdeen is feeling the...

Pitch Perfect 2 Movie Review

Pitch Perfect 2 Movie Review

In 2012, Pitch Perfect came out of nowhere to become one of the most-loved comedies...

Love & Mercy - Teaser Trailer

Love & Mercy - Teaser Trailer

In the mid-1960s, The Beach Boys were at the top of their game. Having released...

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