A fictionalised account of real events, this drama is reminiscent of Peter Morgan's work in The Queen or Frost/Nixon. Even though screenwriter Colin Bateman (Murphy's Law) aims more for entertainment value than pointed character drama, the film is solidly gripping, drawing plenty of brittle humour and complex emotion out of the story.
It's set in 2006, as peace talks about Ireland are taking place in St. Andrews. Prime Minister Tony Blair (Toby Stephens) is trying to orchestrate a meeting between mortal enemies Ian Paisley (Timothy Spall) and Martin McGuinness (Colm Meaney). But there's a hitch when Ian needs to return to Belfast for his 59th wedding anniversary party. In a surprise move, Martin insists on accompanying Ian, citing protocol as a reason. Seeing his chance, MI5 expert Harry (John Hurt) puts a plan in motion for them to travel to Edinburgh together to catch the flight, planting a cheerful young spy (Freddie Highmore) as their driver. The question is whether he can manipulate their journey and cause them to start talking.
As the ice between these stubborn men begins to thaw, the script contrives to push them together with things like a petrol stop, a flat tyre, an injured deer on the roadside and a time-wasting detour through the woods that's intended to break their silence. The two actors have a great time maintaining their bluster through all of this. Spall gives Paisley an imperious attitude that has cleverly wry undercurrents. His rant at a shop clerk about a declined credit card is delivered with biblical proportions. And Meaney has some heart-stopping moments of his own. Both actors clearly relish the snaky, engaging dialogue as they quietly reveal the real men beneath the tough public personae. By contrast, Highmore seems eerily charisma-free as their driver, but there's more fun to be had from Hurt, Stephens and others as hapless officials watching on hidden cameras.
Continue reading: The Journey (2017) Review
'Bates Motel' is coming back for season three.
Thriller drama Bates Motel has been renewed for a 10-episode third season by A&E and is expected to air in 2015, the network announced on Monday. The series, based on the classic novel Psycho and the equally important 1960 movie by Alfred Hitchcock, stars Vera Farmiga as Norma Bates and Freddie Highmore as Norman Bates. Production is expected to begin in the fall.
"The incredible writing team and talented Bates Motel cast has made this series one of the most compelling original dramas on television," David McKillop, A&E Network's executive vice president and general manager, said in a statement. "The brilliant twists and turns of the past two seasons keep its loyal fan base coming back for more. We are so proud of the show."
Continue reading: After Strong Ratings, 'Bates Motel' Is Renewed For Third Season By A&E
Justin and the Knights of Valour will attempt to break a challenging and competitive animation market for 2013.
It’s been a pretty solid year for animated features so far; Wreck it Ralph, Despicable Me 2 and Monsters University all performed solidly with the critics and in the box office. But it hasn’t been all plain sailing – films like Turbo and Escape From Planet Earth haven’t gone down too well.
Can Justin, voiced by Highmore, learn the ways of the Knight?
There was a time when all animated films were basically the best films ever: Ratatouille, Finding Nemo, Toy Story(s), Up – but now there seems to be room for some pretty average efforts. Striking up some cute characters with big eyes, pitting them against a baddie and creating a weird little fella for comic relief just doesn’t cut it anymore.
Justin is an average boy with big dreams living in a Kingdom where the Queen has enlisted lawyers instead of knights. However, Justin wants more than anything in the world to become one the latter, just like his deceased grandfather Sir Roland. He must embark on a quest to train to become the best knight he can and on the way meets his three mentors, Blucher, Legantir and Braulio, a wacky wizard named Melquiades and the very beautiful Talia. Sooner than he'd hoped, he finds his first challenge; Sir Heraclio and his sidekick Sota are attempting to raise an army to defeat the Kingdom, leaving Heraclio crowned king. Justin must protect the Kingdom he was brought up in and, in doing so, purloin his grandfather's old sword from Heraclio's clutches.
Continue: Justin and the Knights of Valour Trailer
How has Bates Motel fared with the critics?
From producers Carlton Cuse – who worked on Lost - and Kerry Ehrin – who worked on Friday Night Lights – comes Bates Motel; the new series set before the events of Hitchcock’s Psycho. It’s a brave undertaking, considering the cult status of the horror classic, so what are the reviews saying?
The Boston Globe describe the show as “creepy and cryptic”, saying, in their review: “Bates Motel isn’t for everyone, and not only because of the violence. The show offers little in the way of triumph, as least so far. If there are sweet moments, they are tinged with eeriness. And we know where this whole thing is ultimately headed, don’t we, and redemption is definitely not in the picture.” But this review doesn’t quite tell us if it’s good or bad, just that it’s weird. Weird can be good though, can’t it? Well the Huffington Post are less cryptic, even if Bates Motel is. They say, referring to the film that preceded it: “Hitchcock's film explored the darkest, strangest regions of the human psyche with savage efficiency, and "Bates Motel" has some of the efficiency without much of the depth. It appears to want to stay more or less on the surface of things and to provide a certain number of scary scenes and bloody moments in every hour. There's a brisk energy to what the show does -- that can't be denied -- and the two actors at the center of it are enormously skilled.” Again: still inconclusive, but enough to want to investigate the show ourselves for sure.
Continue reading: New Series: Psycho Prequel Bates Motel Hits – Review Roundup
In his senior year at a Manhattan prep school, George (Highmore) can't muster up the energy to do his schoolwork. A bright kid with serious artistic talent, he's in trouble with the principal (Underwood) for failing his classes. He's also uninterested in communicating with his mother (Wilson) or stepdad (Robards). The class' hot bad girl Sally (Roberts) takes an interest in him, but he can't do much more than follow her around, even when his mentor painter (Angarano) urges him to make a move.
Continue reading: The Art Of Getting By Review
George is a senior at a private high school in New York. He has never done a day's work in his life and sees no point in trying to do anything because sooner or later he will die. When he should be working on assignments for school, he watches TV, listens to music or does anything that isn't what he should be doing. Despite never taking Art classes seriously, George shows talent at drawing and it's his favourite subject, but his untapped talent isn't enough to save him from the principal who puts him on academic probation due to constant slacking.
Continue: The Art Of Getting By Trailer
Freddie Highmore plays the title character, a little boy in a Dickensian version of the real world: He has grown up in a group home for boys in upstate New York (do they even have those anymore?), where he hears music in the world, from the corn fields to the moonlight. He sets out one day, believing that if he follows the music, it will lead to his parents; where it actually leads is New York City, where the noise of the city turns into the rhythmic beginnings of a Stomp number. There, he hooks up with a band of street urchins/musicians straight out of Oliver Twist, run by the unstable and off-putting Wizard (Robin Williams as a creepy redhead). When August discovers things like guitars and sheet music that allow him to produce the music he hears, he becomes a prodigy, and a sensation.
Continue reading: August Rush Review
And so Burton takes a third stab at the remake game with Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, an update/remake (call it what you want) of the beloved 1971 movie Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and Roald Dahl's classic children's novel. But the stakes here are far greater than they were with Apes. That was a campy sci-fi movie that no one really cared about. In fact, the original Apes had long since killed itself under the weight of four increasingly awful sequels. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory frequently tops "Favorite Movie Ever" lists, and news of the remake has met with nothing but scorn from fans (including 1971 star Gene Wilder, who later retracted his scathing remarks).
Continue reading: Charlie And The Chocolate Factory (2005) Review
A fictionalised account of real events, this drama is reminiscent of Peter Morgan's work in...
Justin is an average boy with big dreams living in a Kingdom where the Queen...
Mopey, style-free filmmaking undermines what might have been an engaging coming-of-age movie. The bright cast...
George is a senior at a private high school in New York. He has never...
Going in to August Rush, you've got to be more than willing to accept fairy...
Proper casting can make or break a film. A savvy producer knows not to hire...