After the Oscar-winning 2008 documentary Man on Wire told this story with such energy and suspense, it was only a matter of time until someone decided to make a full-on adventure movie. And it's no surprise that the filmmaker turned out to be Robert Zemeckis, known for putting the seemingly unfilmable on the screen, from Who Framed Roger Rabbit to Forrest Gump to The Polar Express. So even if the film feels oddly artificial, this is a rousing, thrilling movie overflowing with cheeky energy.
At the centre of the story is Philippe Petit, played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt with a twinkle in his eye and a faintly silly French accent that works perfectly. In Paris, Philippe is working as a street performer when he sees a drawing of the planned Twin Towers of New York's World Trade Center, and he immediately vows to put a wire between them and walk on it. Over the next few years, he recruits a team of accomplices, including his girlfriend Annie (Charlotte Le Bon) and his circus-performer mentor Rudy (Ben Kingsley). Then in Manhattan, they find some men (James Badge Dale and Steve Valentine) to help them on the inside. And in August 1974, just before the towers were finished, they set their elaborate plan in motion.
While other accounts of this story describe Petit's high-wire performance in words and grainy still photos, Zemeckis uses swooping camera movement and vertiginous angles to give the audience goosebumps as Petit elegantly walks back and forth more than 400 meters above the gawping crowd below. After the rousing caper that went on before, this sequence is exhilarating. And Gordon-Levitt plays it beautifully, channeling the man's mischievous passion into every step. This even helps the audience accept the silly narration segments, in which Petit describes the action while perched on the top of the Statue of Liberty with 1970s Manhattan in the background.
Continue reading: The Walk Review
Philippe Petit is a young French high-wire artist, passionate about his tightrope dream and determined to find the perfect place to take the walk of his life. Soon he comes across the newly completed World Trade Centre's Twin Towers in New York; imposing edifices standing at more than 400 metres tall, larger than any man-made structures on Earth. After his first visit to the skyscraper rooftops, he knows he must do everything in his power to achieve this impossible dream - even if he risks death or prosecution in doing so. He hires some technically skilled friends who are willing to covertly set up the wire between the buildings and, after a few nervous doubts, injuries and complications with police, he takes the plunge and performs the most memorable high-wire act in history.
Continue: The Walk - Extended Trailer
Danny Winters is a young man in 1969, who becomes disenfranchised from the marginalisation and discrimination of some members of society. His radical opinions cause his parents to kick him out of their Kansas home, and so he takes the opportunity to travel to New York where he meets a group of liberal and flamboyant youths who shelter him and bring him to a discreet gay club run by the mafia known as The Stonewall Inn. Unfortunately, this is a place frequently raided by cops, who are less than liberal in their way of thinking. Tired of the constant social threats and alienation, Danny leads an army with members of the gay, trans and cross-dressing community to fight against the corrupt police with a full scale riot.
Continue: Stonewall Trailer
On 7th August, 1974, one man chose to walk a high-wire between the two buildings of the World Trade Centre. Philippe Petit (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is an adrenaline junkie who loves to walk across the highest ropes he can, and coming from France to America shows him a new chance to start over, and break records. With the help of his team, he intends to set up something highly illegal and incredibly dangerous, to prove the possibilities mankind is capable of. But with this great feat set in motion, the question steadily begins to grow as to whether he will actually accomplish it.
Continue: The Walk Trailer
French artist Philippe Petit made history in 1974 for his death-defying high-wire feat in New York, where he performed a series of tricks across a cable that was rigged between the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center. Having been learning to command a tightrope since the tender age of 16, by the time he was 25 he was ready to shock the world with his extraordinary courage and ability in what was possibly one of the most dangerous stunts in human history. Not only that, but his walk actually turned out to be completely unauthorised; a feat of trespassing that took Philippe hours and hours of planning and careful deception. However, when it came down to it, seeing just how much he thrilled the crowd that gathered in the streets below, he was naturally let off all charges by an impressed judge.
Continue: The Walk - Teaser Trailer
Finding love has never really been a problem for Barney. Having been married once before, he thinks his marriage to 'the second Mrs P' is going to be it, he's finally ready to settle down. After all, you couldn't hope for more when you're marring a beautiful princess with 'a wonderful rack'; however when Barney lays eyes on Miriam, a guest at his wedding, he knows his marriage is a total sham and a huge mistake.
Continue: Barney's Version Trailer
At least he's got the comely Jenna Elfman on his side in this true crime drama, which thank God is not nearly as horrible as you might be expecting. The pitch: He (Charles Powell) is a fancy pants doctor and says she's been stalking him mercilessly. She (Elfman) says they had a long-term relationship and she just got a little upset there at the end.
Continue reading: Obsessed (2002) Review
Jeff Saumier stars as Jimmy Albright, the titular kid who wants to box despite the protests of his father. Eventually he decides to train with the grumpy Harry Sloan (Rod Steiger, scary as always) on the sly. There's heartache and subterfuge -- but do you think little Jimmy will eventually face off against his nemesis in the ring anyway? And who do you think will win?
Continue reading: The Kid (1997) Review
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