This reunion of actor Mark Wahlberg and director Peter Berg feels like a natural successor to their previous collaboration Lone Survivor, another true story adapted into a movie that wallows in both heroism and violence. This film recounts the events of April 2010, when a drilling rig off the coast of Louisiana exploded, creating the biggest oil-spill in US history. It's the story of the people who were working there, and while there's a clear attempt to honour the memory of the 11 men who died that night, the cast and crew also want to create an entertaining action-disaster movie.
Wahlberg plays Mike, the chief technician on the Deepwater Horizon, an oil platform more than a half-hour flight from land. As the film opens, he kisses his wife (Kate Hudson) and daughter goodbye and heads off for a three-week shift alongside boss Jimmy (Kurt Russell), drilling foreman Jason (Ethan Suplee) and pilot Andrea (Gina Rodriguez). When some discrepancies delay their work, Mike finds himself under pressure from the corporate boss (John Malkovich) to get on with the work and get back on schedule. Under order to ignore some questionable safety tests, they carry on drilling until the well erupts, triggering a massive ball of flame.
After the increasingly tense build-up, the movie becomes a more traditional disaster movie, as characters run for their lives or dive into the inferno to save someone. Some of this is cleverly conceived and played out, including several striking set-pieces. But the main focus here is on rah-rah courage. The most heroic roles go to Wahlberg, Russell, O'Brien (as a driller) and Kirkpatrick (as a crane operator). While Malkovich chomps deliciously and villainously on the scenery. But the most engaging role goes to Rodriguez as a woman who is genuinely terrified about what's happening but still manages to do her job. She's the only person on-screen who feels like a real person, and the irony isn't lost that she's also the only woman among this crew of macho tough guys.
Continue reading: Deepwater Horizon Review
Deepwater Horizon is an American disaster film that is based upon the true story of the BP Oil Spill on the Deepwater Horizon in the Gulf of Mexico that happened 20th April 2010 claiming the lives of eleven of its employees. Mark Wahlberg is cast as the main protagonist Mike Williams who was the last individual to escape the inferno and this film follows his extraordinary story of how he saved himself and others during the explosion.
Continue: Deepwater Horizon Trailer
Dubbed 'The Movie You'll Never See', the strange project was unveiled at a press conference in Paris.
Featuring the advertising strap-line ‘the movie you’ll never see’, 100 Years will explore a number of different viewpoints about the future and what it might look like. Very little else is known about the strange project, and all that Sin City director Rodriguez had to say about the movie directly was that it was “emotionally charged”.
At the press conference where the century-delay gimmick was announced, 61 year old Malkovich, who helped with writing the script remarked: “I thought it was a fantastic idea. I wish it had been the fate of a number of films I’ve been in.”
'Cesar Chavez' is the inspirational story of the celebrated American Mexican, labour leader and civil rights activist who devoted his life to improving the treatment of his fellow farm workers via attempting to rally 50,000 workers to stand up to the racial inequality and brutality at the hands of their employees.
Written by Keir Pearson (Hotel Rwanda) Chavez encapsulates the angst, horror and exploitation of the hard working farmers of America and the determination and bravery of Cesar Chavez who co-founded and lead the National Farm Workers Association during the non-violent, yet powerful, unprecedented actions committed by the farm workers in order to obtain the civil rights they deserved.
Chavez is a touching and moving biopic that represents the hope and aspiration of the working farmers in America during the .
Continue: Cesar Chavez Trailer
That A-list cast of "retired, extremely dangerous" spies is back, coasting through another amiable but uninspired action-comedy. It may be occasionally funny, but the script is so lazy that it never does anything with the characters or situations. So there's never even a hint of suspense.
In the years since the events of 2010's RED, Frank (Willis) has been trying to live quietly with Sarah (Parker). But trouble seeks them out when their pal Marvin (Malkovich) is the target of a car bomb, and Frank discovers that MI6 and the CIA have sent assassins to kill him: his ruthless former colleague Victoria (Mirren) and the fiendishly unstoppable Han (Lee), respectively. So Frank, Sarah and Marvin head to Paris to solve the mess, crossing paths with Frank's ex, the seductive Katya (Zeta-Jones). Sarah isn't happy about this, but tags along to London, where they locate a nutty scientist (Hopkins) who has the key to all the chaos: namely that they need to get to Moscow to stop a rogue nuke.
As in the first film, the plot bounces along merrily without bothering with either logic or subtext. This is just a silly story about goofy old killers, and the film's main joke is seeing Mirren in camouflage firing a machine-gun. At least the cast shows that they're still feisty, taking on each other with gusto as they try to steal every scene. Malkovich's surreal humour, Mirren's snappy punchlines, Zeta-Jones' purring sexuality and Hopkins' scatter-brained genius are pretty funny, while Willis and Parker get the most thankless roles as a couple still working out their relationship.
Continue reading: RED 2 Review
Red 2, released in US cinemas today (Friday 19th July), has failed to impress the critics.
Red 2 is released in US cinemas today (Friday 19th July). Critics have not received the Red sequel favourably, describing it as "passable" and simply "adequate".
Bruce Willis at the premiere of Red 2, L.A.
According to USA Today, before you head off to the cinema, it is worthwhile seeing the first film. Red 2 appears to be a difficult film to follow without having prior knowledge of the characters.
Continue reading: Red 2's US Release: Critics Are Unimpressed By "Tired" Sequel
Crime comedy Red 2's nearly out: is the Red sequel worth a trip to the movies?
After Red 2 enjoyed its star-studded premiere it's time to get down to the nitty-gritty of whether 2010's Red was deserving of a sequel or not. The Hollywood Reporter's Justin Lowe mulls over the highs and lows of the sharp new instalment of the crime comedy. With regards to the first film - where former black ops agent is forced back into action after his life is threatened by an assassin - THR doubts that Red 2 has "a whole lot new to offer" over the original premise.
Bruce Willis Back As Ex-Black Ops Guy Who Wants To Settle Into His Retirement In Peace.
Red 2 sees Frank Moses (Willis) trying to lead a normal life with his partner Sarah (Mary-Louise Parker) but is called out of retirement again by his paranoid chum Marvin (John Malkovich) who proposes a new mission - to find a nuclear device that's also being hunted out by the government, some terrorists and even some assassins.
Continue reading: Red 2 Reviews: Is The Comedy Sequel Worth Watching? [Trailer]
As the Sundance Film Festival continues in Utah, buzz is emerging about the new Nicole Kidman movie Stoker, in which she plays the widowed mother of teen Mia Wasikowska as they deal with the arrival of the unexpectedly sexy Uncle Charlie (Matthew Goode). From the director of Old Boy, a new trailer depicts the film as a stylish, warped and very black comedy. It comes to cinemas on March 1st.
Here in Britain, two leading awards contenders open this week. Steven Spielberg's Lincoln stars Daniel Day-Lewis, the front-runner in the Best Actor race. This would be his unprecedented third win in the category. And Kathryn Bigelow's Zero Dark Thirty stars Jessica Chastain, who is currently the favourite for Best Actress, although Jennifer Lawrence in Silver Linings Playbook is giving her some serious competition.
But no one should write off iconic French actress Emmanuelle Riva's astonishing turn in Amour. She won the London Critics' Circle Film Award for Best Actress on Sunday. The London critics also gave Amour their Film of the Year title, and it's up for Best Picture at the Oscars as well.
Following the perilous events of the first movie, former CIA agent Frank Moses tries yet again to retire quietly with his young partner Sarah. However, he is soon chased down by his paranoid buddy Marvin Boggs who isn't taking to retirement as well as Frank is and is determined to set out on a new mission; to find a nuclear device that is being hunted by a group government officials, terrorists and brutal assassins. Meanwhile, the aging MI6 agent Victoria is mildly curious to learn that she has been contracted to hunt and kill Frank despite the pair being friends. 'Red 2' is set to be full of more death-defying adventures, dry humour and nigh on impossible missions as the Retired, Extremely Dangerous crew get together once more.
'Red 2' is the follow up from the 2010 movie directed by Robert Schwentke ('The Time Traveller's Wife') and based on the graphic novel mini-series created by Warren Ellis and Cully Hamner on DC Comics' Homage. This time we have an all new director, Oscar winner Dean Parisot ('Galaxy Quest', 'Fun with Dick and Jane'), and two returns from screenwriters Jon Hoeber and Erich Hoeber ('Battleship', 'Whiteout'). It's an action comedy due for release in the UK on August 2nd 2013.
Director: Dean Parisot
Continue: Red 2 Trailer
A young male zombie spends his days roaming the barren and devastated wasteland that is America with limited thoughts and actions, only able to remember that his name while he was human began with the letter 'R' and only yearning to eat the brains of the few remaining living humans just so he can connect and learn to feel alive again. It's a post-apocalyptic world where a huge proportion of the population have been infected by a plague turning them into forever wandering, blood thirsty, undead creatures; some still have a little human left inside them, while others (known as Boneys) are skeletal creatures devoted to eating anything and everything with a heartbeat. After 'R' and his dead associates are set upon by a gang of humans with guns, he finds himself feasting on the brain of a man and absorbing his memories and feelings. When he catches the eye of the man's girlfriend Julie, he is overcome with the bizarre feeling to protect her and takes her away to the abandoned airport to hide her. When the other zombies see them together, the emotions are set off throughout the lot of them and they and the survivors all find themselves banding together to fight the Boneys who still remain emotionless and highly dangerous.
Directed and written by Jonathan Levine ('50/50', 'The Wackness'), 'Warm Bodies' is about a zombie nation being cured by the powerful thing that is love. It is based on the novel of the same name by Isaac Marion and is set to hit cinemas in the run up to Valentine's Day on February 8th 2013.
Continue: Warm Bodies Trailer
Spikier than the average coming-of-age movie, this astute comedy-drama is packed with memorable characters and resonant situations. It's also strikingly intelligent, refusing to accept Hollywood's fake moralising as it grapples with big issues from mental health to bullying. And even better, it's funny and sexy.
Set in the early 1990s, it's the story of the painfully shy Charlie (Lerman), who plans to blend into the background as he starts high school. Scarred by an emotional event in his past, the only new friend he makes is his English teacher (Rudd). Then his sharp wit is spotted by the colourful Patrick (Miller), an anarchic gay teen who doesn't care what people think. Patrick also has a sexy stepsister, Sam (Watson), who takes a liking to Charlie as well, and soon they become inseparable friends. Well, until Charlie loses his nerve to ask Sam out and ends up in a relationship with her friend Mary Elizabeth (Whitman) instead.
After some less-than-thrilling lead roles (such as Percy Jackson or last year's Three Musketeers remake), Lerman finally comes into his own here with a sensitive, intelligent performance that's nicely underplayed. He also has terrific chemistry with Watson and Miller, whose feisty, hilarious love of life fills every scene they're in. They make such a strong trio that we are deeply moved by each rocky shift in their friendship. And Whitman brings a sparky energy to her scenes as the Buddhist punk with a bracingly honest approach to whatever happens.
Continue reading: The Perks Of Being A Wallflower Review
When man first landed on the moon over 40 years ago, their journey was well documented and broadcast on the TV around the world, what we weren't to know was the details of a secret mission the astronauts carried out on the 'dark side of the moon'. What they discovered was beyond their belief, evidence that we're not alone in the universe.
Continue: Transformers 3: Dark Of The Moon Trailer
Fit snug into the mother superior of self-reflexive roles, Angelina Jolie once again finds herself the eye of the storm in Clint Eastwood's epic melodrama Changeling. Armed with her thick, crimson lips, period duds, and that ever-present cloche, Jolie goes all gooey as Christine Collins, a single mother who finds herself a media fulcrum when she denies that a boy returned to her by the LAPD is Walter, her son who had been kidnapped five months prior.
Based on a catastrophic piece of the infamous Wineville Chicken-Coop Murders, which ran from 1928 to 1930, and the ensuing trials that yielded a major ousting of the LAPD's top tier and almost no real answers, Changeling is an exceedingly visual film yet one that lacks confidence in its imagery, relying too often on clunky language and an unsteady lead performance. This is no loose adaptation of actual events: Collins fought against the terminally-corrupt LAPD for years, became a martyr for forced institutionalization, and kept her job as a roller-skating switchboard operator while continuing the search for her lost boy. That's no small feat for a lone woman in the late 20s/early 30s.
After taking the boy the LAPD presented home, Collins begins to document inaccuracies between the delivered boy and her son, only to be brushed off by Captain J.J. Jones (Jeffrey Donovan), the man in charge of the investigation. Support comes in the form of Reverend Gustav Briegleb (John Malkovich), a flamboyant radio preacher who's been hounding the LAPD for years. When Collins finally takes her story to the media, it's Gustav who starts yelling for her return as she is forced into a psychiatric hospital with a gaggle of mistreated women, the most vocal of whom is played by Amy Ryan.
In its third act, Eastwood switches focus to the trial and execution of Gordon Northcott (Jason Butler Harner), the man who kidnapped and slaughtered over 20 children on his ranch in Wineville, one of which was Collins' son. The introduction of Northcott disrupts the tone and mood of the film, stumbling from feminist parable to legal drama. It does permit a final scene between Collins and Northcott, allowing Jolie a final, enraged plea for closure: It's later revealed that Walter might have escaped Northcott's ranch, a fact that's meant to bolster an infuriating feel-good ending.
Changeling, like most of Eastwood's excellent latter-day work, is a classy affair, but one of technical weight rather than dramatic. Shot by Tom Stern, the brilliant cinematographer who has been working with Eastwood since 2002's Blood Work, the director's latest is covered in dehydrated colors and beautifully scored by Eastwood himself with lilting pianos and blustery strings. While Jolie overplays her scorned mother, the supporting cast blends in beautifully, especially Donovan's complexly-composited policeman and Malkovich's propulsive, lively clergyman. Schematically unstable, it's J. Michael Straczynski's woozy script that proves the film's most incapable cog, handling its cerebral and narrative shifts with the subtlety of a race car hitting a speed bump.
At a hulking 141-minute runtime, Changeling suffers from more than its fair share of showy moments, none more egregious than when momma bear profanely tells off the head of the psychiatric hospital. Eastwood's direction is proficient, but he finds it impossible for his actress and his aesthetics to coalesce. Unable to internalize the drama, Jolie engulfs every scene with an utterance of "I want my son back!," often cheapening the meticulous production design, courtesy of the talented James J. Murakami. It's a gaudy, showboat performance, trading nuance and grace for simple presence; I'll eat a small fishing boat if she doesn't get an Oscar nomination. British director Michael Winterbottom tempered Jolie the starlet as another single mother left as residue after a media-centric tragedy in A Mighty Heart by centering on the procedure of retrieval. With Eastwood, however, Jolie's weeping caterwaul reduces a firebrand of corrupt politics into a work of enthused pageantry.
First we're gonna catch this Zodiac guy, then we'll find your boy.
Not only that, but it's assembled using all of Bruckheimer's tried and tested techniques: Mix movie stars and indie heroes into an eclectic, slumming cast and have them act in a ludicrously high-concept scenario. (Here it is: The worst criminals in the country team up to hijack their prison transport plane! And it's up to one man to stop them!) Then spend lots of money but indulge in a cynical jokiness, and hire a director who will shoot the whole thing like it's a music video or a commercial (preferably for itself).
Continue reading: Con Air Review
I could have written a similar book (though perhaps not when I was fifteen) but I never guessed that the Tolkien estate and Lucasfilm would have given permission to use all of their ideas. As one of Paolini's characters says, forgiveness is easier than permission, and everyone seems to have forgiven Paolini (up to a point -- we''ll see how well the movie does). That's good, because every major plot point in Eragon is ripped off from The Lord of the Rings or the Star Wars series (with occasional ripoffs, probably subconscious, from other sources, like The Wizard of Oz). In fact, Eragon is so derivative it's surprising that it even got published. Or it would be, if publishing houses still had standards.
Continue reading: Eragon Review
Christian Bale stars as Jim, a British kid born in Shanghai, the son of upper crust expatriates who feel the rising tide of Japanese-Chinese aggression will never reach there strata. Of course it does, and as the Japanese overtake Shanghai, Jim's family is torn asunder, scattering in the chaos. But eventually, like Ben-Hur, Jim returns home to discover his house in ruins and his loved ones gone, so he does the only thing he can think of -- surrender to the Japanese. Only the Japanese don't even want the worthless kid, until finally, after hooking up with a seedy scam artist named Basie (John Malkovich) and his flunkie (Joe Pantoliano), does he manage to get himself arrested and thrown into an internment camp where at least there is the promise of a daily potato and some gruel.
Continue reading: Empire Of The Sun Review
But seriously, that's what you're going to be doing if you see The Portrait of a Lady -- Jane Campion's follow-up to The Piano, based on Henry James's "classic" novel that you've probably never read. Now, I'm wishing that I had, though, because Portrait is a fantastic movie to watch, exquisitely crafted and painstakingly detailed, gorgeously photographed and full of style -- but it is just plain impossible to follow.
Continue reading: The Portrait Of A Lady Review
Part homage to one of cinema's best-known silent films, part winkingly nebulous black comedy, and part old-school horror flick, "Shadow of the Vampire" is a crafty "what if" fictionalization of the making of "Nosferatu," the world's first vampire movie.
The film stars John Malkovich as F.W. Murnau, the classic picture's legendarily obsessive director who is willing to go to any lengths to capture genuine terror from his cast -- even if it means hiring a real vampire to play the lead, promising the undead "actor" the neck of his leading lady when the picture wraps.
Enter Willem Dafoe in a performance of a lifetime as Max Schreck -- the method actor who never appeared to the cast and crew out of character (or out of make-up, or during daylight) the whole time "Nosferatu" was being made on location at a foreboding castle in Bavaria, circa 1922.
Continue reading: Shadow Of The Vampire Review
In a reasonably fresh twist on the organized-crime genre, "Knockaround Guys" is a post-Tarantino-styled slick flick about a quartet of pampered gangsters' sons trying to prove their worth as wiseguys.
"To regular people we're stone f**ing goombahs," gripes sharp-dressed 20-something tough Matty Demaret (Barry Pepper), who has recently given up his dream of going legit as a sports agent because his last name scares the bejesus out of potential employers. "But to knockaround guys, to our fathers, we're nothing but errand boys."
Now Matty's plan for his crew to earn some respect within the mob has gone horribly haywire. Entrusted to deliver $500,000 cross-country, Matty enlists a paranoid, recovering cokehead buddy called Johnny Marbles (Seth Green) because he flies a small plane and can make the trip in a day or two. But while refueling at remote Wibaux, Montana airport, Marbles panics when eyed by the local law and lets the bag of money out of his sight.
Continue reading: Knockaround Guys Review
Date of birth
9th December, 1953
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When man first landed on the moon over 40 years ago, their journey was well...