With a true story that's almost hard to believe, this inspiring biographical drama is made with attention to detail and a remarkable resistance to sentiment. And strong acting helps bring the characters to life, even if everything feels a little too carefully staged. But it's the real-life aspect that grabs the attention, and a central figure who's a remarkable example of the indomitable human spirit. The film also marks an auspicious step forward for Angelina Jolie as a director, telling a big story without giving in to the usual sappy moviemaking pitfalls.
Son of Italian immigrants, Louie Zamperini (Jack O'Connell) grew up in 1920s Southern California and by the time he hit his teens is on the way to becoming a criminal. But his brother Pete (Alex Russell) helps him channel his energy to running instead, and his natural skill make him a local champion as well as an American record-holder at the 1936 Berlin Olympics. When the war breaks out, he enlists and serves as a bombardier in the Pacific, surviving a plane crash before later going down at sea and drifting with two colleagues (Domhnall Gleeson and Finn Wittrock) for 47 days before being captured by the Japanese. From here he endures a horrific stint in a prisoner of war camp, taunted by the cruel commandant everyone calls The Bird (Miyavi), who takes particular notice of Louie simply because he refuses to break.
Jolie assembles the film as a big-budget epic, with massive set pieces as the plot cycles through several outrageous episodes before settling in on the prison years. Cinematographer Roger Deakins carefully contrasts Louie's sunny California youth with the much starker visit to Nazi Germany and the astoundingly bleak Japanese prison camp, with those endless days baking at sea in the middle. So the film looks terrific, drawing us into each chapter in Louie's story while building a sense of momentum. It's not quite as complex as it looks; Louie's darker moments feel a bit superficial. But O'Connell adds some weight to each scene, offering a kick of emotion as well as the charisma that convinces the men around him to draw inspiration from his tenacity.
Continue reading: Unbroken Review
Following on from the events of 'Divergent', the mysterious government has discovered a magical maguffin which had the power to create the idyllic future they have always hoped to fulfil. The only catch, is that it requires a Divergent in order to activate it. As the government begins testing any and all Divergents they can find, Tris (Shailene Woodley) is already on the run, and meets up with an army of secret, hidden Divergents. When it is revealed that she may be the only one to truly activate the maguffin, the Divergents rise up as an Insurgency, and take the fight to the government that has oppressed them for too long.
Continue: The Divergent Series: Insurgent Trailer
'Terminator: Genisys' completely re-writes the events of 'The Terminator'.
Arnold Schwarzenegger returns for 'Terminator: Genisys'
The whole story that Kyle relayed to Sarah about his journey back in time from 2029 after being assigned the mission of protecting her by her future son John Connor is brought to life in 'Terminator: Genisys', and while you're sitting there thinking you know what happens next (we've all seen 1984's original flick 'The Terminator'), 'Genisys' turns everything you know onto its head.
Jai Courtney could be Suicide Squad's Deadshot.
Jai Courtney, the American actor who will star in the forthcoming Terminator movie Genisys, is in talks to join David Ayer's DC Comics movie Suicide Squad. According to Variety, Courtney is being eyed for the role of Batman villain Deadshot.
Jai Courtney could play Deadshot in Suicide Squad
Suicide Squad is shaping up to be a true A-listers movie, with Tom Hardy, Will Smith, Margot Robbie and Jared Leto in some stage of negotiations for the movie. Based on the famous comic, the movie will centre on a team of super villains who are given a shot at redemption by the government.
Continue reading: Terminator's Jai Courtney In Talks For Key 'Suicide Squad' Role
Louis Zamperini (Jack O'Connell) is a rebel. His constant fights and reckless behaviour cause more than enough trouble for his family. They believe he will amount to nothing, despite his incredible ability to never give in - no matter what. When he applies himself to running, he discovers that he is very good at it. More than that; Zamperini is great and competes in the Olympic Games. When World War Two begins, Zamperini enlists in the US Air Force, but is shot down by Japanese planes. Captured and placed in a Prisoner of War camp, Zamperini is forced to apply his will and drive in order to make it through the toughest ordeal of his life.
Continue: Unbroken - Alternative Trailer
Malcom Toohey is a highly respected detective who lives life by the book, and tries to help as many people as he can along the way. All this gets upended, however, when he accidentally knocks down a child in the road with his car leaving him in a coma. He calls from an ambulance, but from the moment he fails to admit he was the one who struck the child with his vehicle, he thrusts himself into a whirlwind of lies, corruption and suspicion. His boss, Detective Carl Summer, is behind him, reluctant to reveal what really happened and convincing his team that Malcolm is innocent of any crime. However, one colleague refuses to let the matter lie and goes about trying to prove Malcolm's guilt, leaving Malcolm desperate to come clean before he is exposed, despite Carl's protestations.
Continue: Felony Trailer
Louis Zamperini has learned to fight tooth and nail for what he believes in all through life. It may have caused him one or two problems with the law in his youth, but it taught him that to achieve success, he must fight harder than anyone else. It's with this attitude that he joins his school track team, eventually surpassing the sprinting talents of all the local sportsmen. He lands a place on the US 5000 metres team for the 1936 Berlin Olympics before disaster strikes. It's World War II and America has become involved with the conflict; Louis must put his promising running career on hold in order to joined the US Army Air Force and defend his country. But he is faced with new challenges when he and his comrades find themselves adrift on the Pacific Ocean following a devastating plane crash. Unfortunately for them, waiting on the land ahead at Japanese soldiers who inter him and his peers in a Tokyo prison. What he subsequently displays during his time there is a remarkable show of strength of character, fearlessness and an unwavering courage that would touch millions.
Continue: Unbroken Trailer
The British actor is moving on to bigger and better things.
Matt Smith is joining the cast of the new Terminator trilogy, reports Deadline. The British actor, who made his name playing the 11th Doctor in BBC sci-fi series Doctor Who, has been confirmed to be starring alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger, Emilia Clarke and Jai Courtney in the upcoming Terminator reboot, Terminator: Genesis.
Matt Smith Has Been Cast In 'Terminator: Genesis', Will Have "Strong Connection" To John Connor.
Smith will play "a new character with a strong connection to John Connor" in an initially smaller role that will develop and expand as the trilogy progresses.
Continue reading: Matt Smith Joins New Terminator Trilogy: Doctor Who?
Crowe talks about the inspiration for his emotional new movie in a fascinating featurette.
Russell Crowe has invited his fans to join him for a first look at his new movie, The Water Diviner. In a new featurette, Crowe's voice narrates the creative process that lead to the movie's script, showcased alongside scenes from the powerful period drama.
'The Water Diviner' Sees Russell Crowe Bring A Tragic Yet Heart-Warming WWI Tale To Life.
Shot in Turkey and South Australia, the film studies the aftermath of World War I's Battle of Gallipoli that famously took place between the Allied forces and the German-backed Ottoman Empire on the Gallipoli peninsula. The film centres on Connor (Crowe), an Australian man who travels to Turkey in 1919 to retrieve the bones of his three dead sons but unexpectedly finds a new meaning to his life.
Russell Crowe talks in depth about his brand new war drama 'The Water Diviner' in a featurette which also features interviews with other cast members such as Olga Kurylenko, Jai Courtney and Yilmaz Erdogan. The movie is about a man who travels from Australia to Turkey four years after the Battle of Gallipoli to find the graves of his three sons, but along the way makes a heartwarming discovery. It is Crowe's directorial debut and it has been written by Andrew Knight and Andrew Anastasios.
Continue: The Water Diviner - Featurette
Teens tackle yet another dystopian future in this well-made but derivative franchise-launcher. Filmmaker Neil Burger is more interested in whizzy visuals and a thorny plot to pay much attention to the characters or larger underlying themes, which leaves the film feeling eerily superficial. So while the film is relatively entertaining, it ultimately feels rather pointless.
The story's set after a war has reduced Chicago to a walled-in enclave of people divided into five stabilising factions: charitable Abnegation, peaceful Amity, honest Candor, defending Dauntless and brainy Erudite. Tris (Shailene Woodley) was born to parents (Ashley Judd and Tony Goldwyn) who are leaders in Abnegation, but when time comes for her to select her own path she discovers that she's Divergent, a cross-faction state that threatens those in power. So she chooses to join Dauntless, entering intense physical training under the tutelage of sexy hunk Four (Theo James) and harsh hunk Eric (Jai Courtney). then Dauntless' soldiers get caught up in a power struggle as Erudite leader Jeanine (Kate Winslet) plots to take governmental responsibilities from Abnegation.
All of this scene-setting takes about half of the film's running time, and it's frankly not very exciting. Burger makes sure it looks fantastic, with seamless visual effects, impressive stunt work and flashy action sequences, but the character drama takes longer to kick off. And there's also the problem that it essentially feels like a cross between The Hunger Games and Harry Potter as an unusually gifted teen takes on a controlling society.
Continue reading: Divergent Review
Arnold Schwarzenegger is BACK as Terminator in 'Genesis'.
Arnold Schwarzenegger has promised that the new Terminator movie will be full of surprises. The actor is reprising his role as the robot in the highly anticipated Terminator: Genesis.
Arnold Schwarzenegger Is Back as Terminator in 'Genesis'
Schwarzenegger was just 37 when he first played the character in the classic 1984 movie but now, at, 66, he says the story is still in context.
Continue reading: Arnold Schwarzenegger, 66, Promises A Twist In Terminator's Story
Louis Zamperini may have been a wayward child, constantly getting into trouble with the local authorities, but he would soon grow up to be an inspiration to people across the world. At a young age he joined his school's track team and eventually went on to land a place on the US 5000 metres team during the 1936 Berlin Olympics. However, as World War II hit the globe, he put his sporting career on hold to protect his country as a member of the US Army Air Force which subsequently saw him and his comrades captured by the Japanese army as prisoners of war after their plane crashed and they were adrift on the Pacific Ocean for 47 days. Louis' incredible determination and strength of character helped him pull through his ordeals and tell his story to the world and now, at the age of 97, he re-tells it for the big screen.
Continue: Unbroken - Teaser Trailer
Even with its relentlessly cliched production design (trenchcoats and flickering candles galore), this raucous gothic thriller deploys enough visual flash to hold our attention. The gigantic effects-heavy action sequences are eye-catching and sometimes exciting, and there are elements of the story that almost begin to resonate before the script veers off in another more simplistic direction.
Based on a graphic novel, the story picks up where Mary Shelley's novel left off, as the monster (Eckhart) is attacked by demons that want to study his non-human existence. He's rescued by gargoyles, angelic protectors of humanity, and taken to their Queen Lenore (Miranda Otto), who names him Adam and enlists him in the demon-killing cause. Although her second-in-command (Courtney) isn't so sure. Over the next 200 years, Adam hones his skills before returning to Lenore just as the demon Prince Naberius (Nighy) is launching his evil plan to re-animate a dead army with the help of sexy scientist Terra (Strahovski) and Dr Frankenstein's journal. In other words, all hell is about to break loose.
Annoyingly, every time the plot begins to get interesting, writer-director Beattie indulges in another vacuous action set piece that's as irrelevant as the 3D. There's a decent story in here about the nature of the human soul, religious fervour and moral tenacity, but the film only uses these things as devices to make the dialog sound intelligent. Which is tricky since Beattie directs his cast to deliver their lines in growling, blurting monotone. Eckhart's voice-over narration is particularly dull. And this over-earnest tone leaves every potential relationship as a non-starter.
Continue reading: I, Frankenstein Review
'Divergent' author Veronica Roth talks about her book's movie adaptation in a new featurette.
Calling all fans of sci-fi young adult fiction series Divergent! After months of waiting to be thrown a bone by director Neil Burger and the makers of Divergent, the upcoming adaptation of Veronica Roth's breakneck books, we've got a juicy pre-trailer featurette that gives a behind the scenes sneak peek into the film as well as interviews with cast members and Roth herself.
Shailene Woodley Plays Beatrice, Who Finds Out She Is Different.
Shailene Woodley, Kate Winslet, Theo James, and Jai Courtney star in this post-apocalyptic, dystopian look at the future, set in Chicago. The story centres on an extraordinary teenager named Beatrice "Tris" Prior (Woodley) who finds out that she's not like anyone else because she's Divergent, meaning she doesn't fit into any of the five pre-ordained factions the rest of the populace fit into.
With the recent passing of Andy Whitfield in 2011, his 'Spartacus' co-star, Jai Courtney, has talked about the utter surprise of his death.
'A Good Day To Die Hard' star, Jai Courtney, has revealed his utter shock at the news of Andy Whitfield's death from cancer. The surprise came from that fact that the 'Spartacus: Blood And Sand' actor had always appeared to be "an image of health". Courtney and Whitfield grew steadily closer while working on the critically acclaimed 'Starz' series, with Whitfield acting as a mentor for the younger newcomer, Courteny.
Whitfield passed away from non-Hodgkin Lymphoma at the age of 39 in 2011, yet Courtney had no idea of his friend's suffering until very late. In an interview with the 'Sydney Morning Herald', Courtney said: "Being close with him on Spartacus had a lot to do with me coming out to Los Angeles in the first place, hearing about his experiences and how the town worked and what you need to do to get an agent, and he really helped guide me through all that, so when he got sick it was unbelievable."
Continue reading: 'Spartacus' Star, Jai Courtney, Laments His Late Co-Star Andy Whitfield
There really is no point in looking for logic in a fifth Die Hard movie; these films have become a parody of themselves, wallowing in their inane action set pieces and sassy one-liners without much concern for plot or coherence. And this is no exception. There may be the bare bones of a decent narrative here, as our hero John McClane gets in the middle of a messy spy situation. But the unsubtle filmmaking blunts everything. On the other hand, it's so committed to entertaining us that resistance is futile.
This time, John (Willis) takes an urgent trip to Moscow, where his estranged son Jack (Courtney) has been arrested for murder. But before John even gets into the courthouse, chaos erupts in the streets and John ends up on the run with Jack and Yuri (Koch), a fellow prisoner. As cars and buildings crash down around them, John discovers that Jack is actually an undercover CIA operative helping Yuri escape in exchange for a file of information about corrupt government official Viktor (Kolesnikov). As Viktor's tap-dancing goon (Bukvic) chases them into the countryside, there are a series of twists and turns that lead them to, of all places, Chernobyl.
But don't worry, an overdramatic scene establishes that the nuclear residue can be instantly eradicated by some sort of magical gas. So this frees our heroes for the usual antics involving enormous guns, mammoth explosions and lots of bad guys coming to inventively grisly ends. Along the way there's one of the most mind-bogglingly destructive car chase imaginable, like Bourne on acid, as well as a couple of preposterously fiery helicopter assaults. In between, Willis and Courtney have fun with the father-son dynamic, alternating between bitterness and emotional bonding before heading back out to "kill some scumbags".
Continue reading: A Good Day To Die Hard Review
On a rainy red carpet in London's Leicester Square last night (Thurs Feb, 7) Willis said to The Huffington Post: "I seldom think about the passage of time. I'm always surprised to hear that it's been 25 years. It's still fun to do." And at the age of 57, he admitted that the early starts and long hours don't put him off. "I still like making movies. They're fun to do, especially these Die Hard films," explained Bruce. So will we be seeing a sixth Die Hard movie? It would appear Willis isn't ruling anything out. Die Hard 5 sees John McClane team up with his son, Jack, to fight off the terrorists.
Australian actor Jai Courtney - who plays McClane Junior - says the experience was "fun" but "surreal" at times. "Bruce is a lovely guy. We had a lot of fun making the movie. It was surreal and kind of strange but a lot of fun," he said. "You need a lot of trust too and we were able to work together in an organic fashion and had a lot of fun in the process. There was a lot of chemistry there," added Courtney.
Up and coming star Jai Courtney is looking dapper in a grey suit as he arrives outside the Borchardt restaurant in Berlin following the premiere of the new movie 'A Good Day To Die Hard' in which he stars as main character John McClane's son Jack.
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