Natalya Petrovna Islaeva is feeling disillusioned in her marriage to her land baron husband Mikhail Rakitin. As good as he is to her, she is open to him about her feelings that perhaps she is not quite as in love with him as he is with her. As heartbroken as he must be, he is understanding, but things get more complicated with the employment of a young tutor for her small son. His youth, vibrancy and good looks overwhelm Natalya, but he is more interested in her elder daughter Verochka. Natalya knows she must forget about this young man and Mikhail insists that he must leave for everyone's sake, but her jealousy and desire threaten to rip apart her family when Verochka learns of her mother's feelings.
Continue: Two Women Trailer
From Laika (The Boxtrolls), this is one of the most beautiful, sophisticated animated films in many years. Not only does every moment of the movie look exquisite, but the story is smart, original and hugely entertaining. The themes it explores with a very light touch are rich and deep, provocative and engaging. And since there's so much to the movie, the comedy is that much sharper, the action that much more thrilling and the ultimate message that much more powerful.
Set in mythical Japan, the story centres on a cheeky young boy named Kubo (voiced by Art Parkinson) who lost an eye when he was attacked as an infant by his grandfather (Ralph Fiennes) and two aunts (Rooney Mara times two). His father died in the struggle, but his mother got him out and raised him in a cave, making sure he never stayed outdoors after dark when his grandfather, the Moon King, could see him. A boy with boundless imagination, Kubo uses music and origami to entertain the villagers with the elaborately epic tale of his father's lifelong quest for three important pieces of armour. But one evening he stays out too late, and has to flee from his attacking aunts. Now his only companion is a sardonic monkey (Charlize Theron) and a forgetful warrior (Matthew McConaughey) who has been transformed into a big beetle. Together they decide to search for the armour so they can take on the Moon King once and for all.
This journey is the main body of the movie, encompassing comedy, adventure and some very scary moments. All of the story's twists and turns echo with the complexity of family and relationships, as Kubo tries to understand the things his parents could never tell him about himself. He also, of course, wants to better understand his own magical abilities, which are animated in breathtaking ways throughout the story. Perhaps accomplishing his father's quest will bring answers. And of course the real challenge for Kubo is to realise that everything he needs is right around him.
Continue reading: Kubo And The Two Strings Review
Everyone knows how committed Batman is to his cause, he spends his days in the Batcave plotting different ways to save Gotham from the constant threat The Joker and his other cronies currently hold over the city. The one person who knows Batman better than anyone is his butler Alfred but his ageing helper has grown increasingly worried about his master's current mental state.
Wishing to find a new outlet and possibly offer some joy to Bruce's life, Alfred revokes Batman's Batcave computer privileges in an attempt for the caped crusader to bond with his adopted son. Batman is far from enthused and literally knows nothing about the kid who's living in Wayne Manor but when Dick accidentally stumbles upon the Batcave and all of Batman's elaborate toys, he can't believe his luck! First job is to find a suitable costume and young Dick takes no time re-working a Reggae style outfit.
Now Batman has found a side-kick, how will the two get on and find a way to save the city from The Joker who's planning on taking over control of Gotham.
Continue: The Lego Batman Movie Trailer
Radcliffe said that shooting scenes with Fiennes, who played Lord Voldemort to such memorable effect, to be incredibly daunting "for a few years".
The British actor, currently starring in Swiss Army Man, fielded questions submitted to People magazine by young readers aged 4-11 and answered them for the latest episode of ‘The Jess Cagle Interview’.
Fiennes’ portrayal of Lord Voldemort is one of the most memorable villains in recent movie history, and Radcliffe said that even Fiennes’ presence on set was “genuinely intimidating” – even more so than Alan Rickman (Professor Snape), whom he found friendly after a short time.
As ever, Batman is busy protecting his beloved Gotham city and The Joker is up to his usual tricks causing chaos for our hero.
As The Joker's rule over the city strengthens, Batman realises that he must loosen up slightly and be open to teaming up with some equally skilled heroes. Following on from the first Lego movie, this film centres on Batman's character. The Lego Batman Movie will see many of the characters from the first movie make reappearances.
An intelligent ode to a time when Hollywood made wildly inventive movies without pressure from focus groups, there's a serious edge to what superficially looks like a madcap comical romp. But this isn't one of Joel and Ethan Coen's nutty comedies. It's a pointed exploration of the collision between art and commerce, assembled as a sprawlingly entertaining ensemble movie packed with lively, often hilarious characters.
It's set over 24 hours at Capitol Pictures in 1951 as studio minder Eddie (Josh Brolin) tries to keep several movies in production despite a series of hitches, while twin gossip columnists (two Tilda Swintons) try to get a scoop. Top movie star Baird (George Clooney) has been kidnapped by communist writers from the set of his Roman epic. Water-ballet diva DeeAnna (Scarlett Johansson) is pregnant and unapologetically unmarried. And rising-star Hobie (Alden Ehrenreich) is struggling to make the transition from Western action hero to chamber room drama, clashing with his demanding new director Laurence (Ralph Fiennes). Meanwhile, song-and-dance man Burt (Channing Tatum) is up to something on the set of his sailor musical. With all of this, Eddie begins to think that maybe he should take the offer of a job outside the film industry.
As the movie darts between these various productions, the Coens gleefully reinvent this series of genres that have essentially died out. Yes, the film is a pointed depiction of how Hollywood used to make a wide array of movies for much broader audiences. Each sequence is written and directed with witty details that perfectly catch the way the chaos of a film set can be transformed into a glamorous motion picture in time for the starry red-carpet premiere. And the entire cast rises to the challenge. Clooney is terrific as the dim-witted star who hasn't a clue what's happening around him. Ehrenreich shows real charm as a smart kid struggling in an insane situation. Brolin holds things together in a surprisingly sympathetic role, while Swinton, Johansson and Fiennes add plenty of spark, and the film is stolen by Frances McDormand as a spiky film editor.
Continue reading: Hail, Caesar! Review
Ever since his wonderful appearance in Wes Anderson's The Grand Budapest Hotel, we've been waiting for Ralph Fiennes to take up a similar role that shows a completely different side to the actor, now it looks like the Coen Brothers have given the actor such a role. Laurence Lorenz is an eccentric film director who finds himself caught up in a fiasco when Hollywood superstar Baird Whitlock is kidnapped.
Continue: Hail, Caesar! Trailer
A date has been set for the Oscars 2015. Here's some films to keep an eye on over the coming year.
It may seem like it’s only just finished, but Oscars buzz is about to start up all over again. A date has just been set for the Oscars 2015 ceremony, which will take place next year on February 22.
Wes Anderson's 'The Grand Budapest Hotel' Is Likely To Be In Contention For Some Heavy Awarding At The Oscars 2015.
A presenter has not yet been confirmed, although Kevin Spacey told Jimmy Kimmel that he’d be more than happy to do the job. Anyone will have a tough act to follow after Ellen Degeneres’ huge success hosting the awards show in March.
Continue reading: Oscars 2015 Date Set, Films To Watch In Advance
Wes Anderson's latest movie The Grand Budapest Hotel is causing festival buzz in Berlin.
Wes Anderson's The Grand Budapest Hotel opens the Berlin Film Festival on Thursday (February 6, 2014) and is one of 20 selections vying for the competition's main award, the Golden Bear.
Owen Wilson [R] in Wes Anderson's 'The Grand Budapest Hotel'
Set at a European hotel in the 1920s, Anderson's latest effort stars Ralph Fiennes as legendary lothario and concierge Gustave H, while the director's regulars Bill Murray, Edward Norton and Owen Wilson also populate the cast.
Continue reading: Can Wes Anderson's 'Grand Budapest Hotel' Win Berlin's Golden Bear?
Ralph Fiennes new film The Invisible Woman captures the secret love in Charles Dickens life.
With his first directing/acting roles in the William Shakespeare adaptation Coriolanus; Ralph Fiennes now repeats his efforts with The Invisible Woman. The film's dual time-lined narrative explores Felicity Jones' character Nelly Ternen, the true tale of her past relationship with the most renowned writer of all time; CHARLES DICKENS.
The role of such a literary giant is one that even the most experienced actor would have to think twice about, Fiennes admits, "I was undecided for a long time.Until after quite a few months of working on it, I felt, despite knowing it would be very difficult, that I couldn't resist playing him." Working as both director and lead actor on the film meant Fiennes had to juggle many hierarchical roles on the set, as characteristic he shared with the man he was playing: "In a funny way that probably helped me because it was very Dickens to be organising people and doing everything. He was in control of everything."
Continue reading: Fiennes Has Great Expectations For The Invisible Woman
At the height of his career, Charles Dickens finds himself embroiled in one of the biggest personal struggles of his life. While working on a stage play, he meets a beautiful young actress named Nelly Ternan who is in deep admiration of all his works. Fascinated by her personality and smitten by her beauty, he takes the time to make regular visits to her home in London - a secret that he is desperate to keep from his wife of 20 years Catherine Thomson. Though having a profound respect for Dickens, Nelly's mother makes it plain that she does not want their relationship to develop into something that could mar her reputation. However, Dickens is happy to suffer the shame of an unusual separation if it means he can be with his new lover forever, but just how damaging could it be to his career?
Continue: The Invisible Woman - Clips
'The Invisible Woman', starring and directed by Ralph Fiennes, has received positive reviews from critics ahead of its release in the UK. Critics have some comment on the historical inaccuracies, however mostly the film has been highly praised for Fiennes' directing and its portraying of character many feel they know through his prolific literary works.
Ralph Fiennes (The English Patient) and Felicity Jones (Cemetery Junction) star in The Invisible Woman, a period drama based on the personal life of Charles Dickens. Fiennes directs the largely British cast which includes his former English Patient co-star Kristen Scott Thomas, Tom Hollander (Valkyrie), Joanna Scanlan (The Thick of It) and Michelle Fairley (Game of Thrones).
Ralph Fiennes at the UK premiere of The Invisible Woman.
Continue reading: Ralph Fiennes' 'The Invisible Woman' Garners Positive Reviews
The hilarious new clips have gotten us excited for Wes Anderson's new film
Despite his relatively young age, Wes Anderson has carved out a niche style of filmmaking recognisable to both aficionados and casual purveyors of cinema alike. His latest effort, The Grand Budapest Hotel, sees his perennial working relationship with many stars hit the big screen once more.
A hotel manager and a lobby boy
The trailer hit town in October last year, when we got a good look at the huge cast. Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody, Jason Schwartzman, Edward Norton and Bill Murray all return to work with Anderson, while big names, Jeff Goldblum, Tilda Swinton, Willem Dafoe and Harvey Keitel all feature.
Charismatic but somewhat aloof concierge at the Grand Budapest Hotel, Gustave H, is less than impressed when a seemingly inexperienced new lobby boy named Zero Moustafa is hired for a trial period without his knowledge. However, the pair become thick as thieves when Gustave finds himself wanted by the authorities after the murder of his elderly one night stand Madame D. He does what any honourable hotelier would do under pressure. and runs. When it is discovered that the woman had left a priceless painting behind for Gustave in her will named Boy With Apple, her family is furious and Zero helps to the keep the painting hidden with the help of a charming young girl named Agatha as Gustave attempts to protest his innocence. With enough people despising Gustave for his often inappropriate professional conduct, it becomes harder than expected to clear his name and find out the truth about the death of Madame D.
Continue: The Grand Budapest Hotel - Clips
Gustave H is a charismatic and over-friendly concierge at the Grand Budapest Hotel whose conduct has been far from professional over the course of his career, regularly engaging in one night stands with his deeply charmed guests including the elderly Madame D. So enamoured was Madame D about Gustave's interest in her, that she leaves him a priceless painting behind in her will named Boy With Apple. However, following her suspicious death, her maddened son Dmitri accuses Gustave of her murder and attempts to frame him for it, angered by his illicit involvement with her. Meanwhile, Gustave is attempting to train up an enthusiastic young lobby boy named Zero Moustafa who warms to him easily and helps to defend him as Gustave makes a break for it. Moustafa is also becoming very fond of a girl named Agatha, who he enlists to help hide the painting from Madame D's furious family.
The Grand Budapest Hotel opens its doors for intrigue and adventure in 2014
Wes Anderson’s brand of frenetic, witty energy is bursting from the seams in the new trailer for The Grand Budapest Hotel. The comedy drama centres on a hotel concierge’s unlikely friendship with a lobby boy, and, as you’ve come to expect with an Anderson film, features an array of brilliant talent in its ranks.
The trailer for the film, which is due for release on March 7th in the U.S; February 28th in the U.K, is reminiscent of every film in Anderson’s showreel, but most notably, The Darjeeling Limited.
The Grand Budapest Hotel - Some might see similarities to the hotel in The Royal Tenenbaums
Gustave H is a flamboyant and largely charismatic concierge at the Grand Budapest Hotel whose habit of getting a little too close to his guests and keeping them entertained at all hours has earned him legendary status among many of his peers. When he meets enthusiastic young lobby boy Zero Moustafa, Gustave trains him to be the best hotel worker he can and the pair become thick as thieves as they try and defend each other at all costs. When one of his more 'special' guests is found murdered, police accuse Gustave who does what any upstanding gentleman would do - runs. To the anger of the guest's son, he is bequeathed a valuable painting known as 'Boy With Apple' and now he finds himself on a cat and mouse chase with the victim's family and the police. Meanwhile, Zero meets the charming Agatha, who he's also desperate to protect as best he can.
'The Grand Budapest Hotel' is a heartwarming comedy about a very unusual friendship, directed and written by Wes Anderson ('Fantastic Mr. Fox', 'Rushmore', 'The Royal Tenenbaums'). It is based in 1920s Europe and truly reflects the glamour of the privileged in that decade. The movie is due to be released in the UK on February 28th 2014.
Ralph Fiennes' latest offering delves deep into the realm of historical drama.
This year sees the release of one of Ralph Fiennes’ most highly anticipated works, The Invisible Woman, based on the dramatic and secretive personal life of Charles Dickens. The film sees Dickens (Fiennes) at a high point in his career, when he meets and falls in love with 19-year-old actress Nelly Ternan.
The film offers a new perspective on Dickens, but could it prove too melodramatic to be realistic?
Unfortunately for both of them, Dickens has already been married to Catherine Thompson for more than two decades and the affair might jeopardize his career, as well as both his and Nelly’s reputation. The author decides to keep the affair a secret, and struggles to balance two separate sides of his life, while taking frequent trips to visit his young lover. Meanwhile, Nelly’s mother, Frances, played by the ever brilliant Kristin Scott Thomas, is concerned about what the elicit affair might mean for her daughter’s future. The movie, which is only the latest in a wave of historical and biographical adaptations, reveals a side of Dickens rarely seen by the public.
Charles Dickens may be famous for having written some of history's greatest stories, but his own life story is probably one of the most touching of all. During a major peak in his career, he finds himself madly in love with actress Nelly Ternan who deeply admires all his literary works. He takes regular trips to London to visit her despite already being married to Catherine Thomson for more than 20 years, and Nelly's mother Frances regularly voices her concerns about what the relationship could mean for her 18-year-old daughter's future. Despite all odds, Dickens is determined to spend the rest of his life with his new lover even if that means a scandalous separation from his wife. In a bid to lower the impact it might have on his career, he vows to keep his new relationship a secret from the public.
Continue: The Invisible Woman Trailer
Even though Charles Dickens' oft-told story is livened up with a terrific cast and sharp script, it's difficult to see anything terribly new about this BBC-produced version. Especially since it comes less than a year after their previous lavish TV production. But there are plenty of elements in this film that make it worth seeing, as the soap-style plot twists and turns through comedy and romance to its action-thriller climax.
After growing up as an orphan with his blacksmith uncle (Flemyng) and high-strung aunt (Hawkins), Pip (Irvine) is given the chance to live as a London gentleman. He's sure that his anonymous benefactor is the barmy Miss Havisham (Bonham Carter), a broken-hearted hermit he worked for as a child. And since he's still in love with her adopted daughter Estella (Grainger), he decides to use his new position in society to court her. But things don't quite go as expected, and his life takes a surprising turn when scary prison escapee Magwitch (Fiennes) latches onto Pip and begins revealing some surprising connections between all of these people.
This faithful retelling of Dickens' novel is packed with coincidences and revelations, as well as the kind of gleefully thorny rivalries that would be expected on Dallas or Downton Abbey. Overloaded with blackly comical intrigue, it's a compulsively enjoyable film that entertains us on a variety of levels as the story develops. Although director Newell (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire) never tries anything too flashy. Which means that despite the high quality, the film is straightforward and perhaps unnecessary.
Continue reading: Great Expectations Review
Pip is a young orphan who has a chance meeting with a frightening stranger while visiting the graves of his parents; a meeting which was to be the catalyst a series of events that would shape his future. Not long after this experience, an unhinged, jilted spinster called Miss Havisham asks Uncle Pumblechook (the uncle of Pip's brother-in-law with whom he lives) to find a young boy to provide company for her adopted daughter Estella. When Pip is chosen, he becomes a regular visitor of Miss Havisham who manipulates him into falling for the pretty but cold-hearted Estella as he grows older. When he becomes a blacksmith's apprentice at his brother-in-law's shop, he is approached by a lawyer who informs him that he has been left a large sum of money by a mysterious benefactor and must journey to London to become a gentleman. Little does he know of the surprises that lay in store for him as he discovers that he has so many secrets to uncover.
This seminal coming-of-age story serves as one of the most influential pieces of English literature in history. Originally written by one of the greatest novelists of the 19th century Charles Dickens, 'Great Expectations' has been adapted to screen by director Mike Newell ('Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire', 'Four Weddings and a Funeral') and screenwriter David Nicholls ('One Day', 'Starter for 10'). It is due to hit UK cinemas from November 30th 2012.
Director: Mike Newell
Starring: Jeremy Irvine, Helena Bonham Carter, Ralph Fiennes, Holliday Grainger, Robbie Coltrane, Jason Flemyng, Sally Hawkins, Ewen Bremner, David Walliams, Jessie Cave, Ralph Ineson, Tamzin Outhwaite & Olly Alexander. .
Continue: Great Expectations Trailer
Adele’s ‘Bond’ theme will see the London songstress follow in the footsteps of singing greats Shirley Bassey and Nancy Sinatra, both of whom are responsible for recording some of the most recognizable 007 tunes in the secret agent’s 50 years in film.
The multiple Grammy award winner had long been rumoured to be handed the prestigious role for Sam Mendes’ forthcoming ‘Skyfall’ – again starring Daniel Craig – and Total Film.com confirmed the speculation this week. Adele’s single, named after the new movie, will be the first release from the star since ‘Turning Tables’ from her much-feted ‘21’ album. Given her phenomenally successful couple of years, Adele will certainly be a popular choice for the job and she boasts the kind of heavyweight soulful voice synonymous with the theme tune. One thing’s for sure: it’s almost certain to be an improvement on the poorly received tune ‘Another Way to Die’ by Jack White and Alicia Keys from 2008’s ‘Quantum of Solace’.
‘Skyfall’ – set to open in the UK on October 26 – stars Daniel Craig, alongside Judi Dench, Javier Bardem, Ralph Fiennes, Naomie Harris and Ben Whishaw.
James Bond, the legendary MI6 spy we all know and love, is starting to struggle with his own morality in terms of his government job. A psychiatrist notices his unhealthy associations with bits of his career which puts doubts in his future capability. In addition to that, his trust in his boss M is put to the test as her past starts to creep back up on her. MI6 is then place under threat by a nefarious villain known as Raoul Silva. Though, with 007 questioning his own loyalty to the government, just how far is he willing to go to protect it?
Continue: Skyfall Trailer
James Bond struggles with his career, experiencing lassitude and depression concerning his MI6 role as becomes clear when he is analysed by a government psychiatrist. His allegiance to MI6 chief M is put to the test when secrets from her past come back plague her. The secret service organisation becomes under serious threat and it is safe to assume that villain Raoul Silva is behind it all. How far will agent 007 go this time to eliminate the threat?
Continue: Skyfall Trailer
While this sequel is just as loud and chaotic as 2010's Clash of the Titans remake, it's also considerably more fun due to some exhilarating action and a refreshing sense of humour. It also looks amazing in 3D on an Imax screen.
Years later, the now-widowed hero Perseus (Worthington) is trying to live as an anonymous fisherman with his pre-teen son Helius (Bell). Then he hears about stirrings of a coming calamity. Indeed, his father Zeus (Neeson) has been kidnapped by Hades (Fiennes) and Ares (Ramirez) as pat of a plan to release Zeus and Hades' evil father Kronos from the underworld. So Perseus teams up with Queen Andromeda (Pike) and rogue demigod Agenor (Kebbell), son of Poseidon (Huston), to rescue his father and stop his brother, uncle and grandfather.
Yes, this is one seriously dysfunctional family, as four generations of men set out to either destroy the world or save it. To be honest, it's never clear why Hades and Ares are so hellbent, as it were, on cataclysmic destruction, but at least this also allows for changing alliances as the story progresses. Not that there's much story, really, as the plot essentially just links a series of action set-pieces.
Fortunately, most of these sequences are entertaining enough to keep us gripped. Highlights include a rather fabulous dragon attack and a desperate, full-on fight with cyclops-giants in a forest. Less convincing are a convoluted underworld rescue-battle and the climactic assault on the volcano-sized Kronos, who rains down fire and destruction rather selectively. (There's also the problem of how the filmmakers can top Kronos in the probable sequel.)
Along the way, there are some refreshing moments of deranged humour, mainly in Kebbell's snarky dialog, Pike's sharp glances and a particularly colourful turn by Nighy (as super-spear smelter Hephaestus). But as the story progresses, there's more than a whiff of Lord of the Rings (the fires of Mount Doom, plus some pointless two-torsoed Orc-a-likes), Harry Potter (the three-pronged Deathly Hallows) and even Star Wars (all that father-son angst). But filmmaker Liebesman keeps things moving briskly, wowing us with so much eye-candy that we just sit back and enjoy the rickety ride for what it is.
Amid political and social turmoil, Martius (Fiennes) is a blunt Roman soldier, subduing insurrections in the surrounding kingdoms, making an enemy of Volscian leader Tullus (Butler) but returning home a war hero and crowned Coriolanus.
Despite the help of his military-leader mother (Redgrave), his loyal wife Virgilia (Chastain) and a respected senator (Cox), Martius is unable - and unwilling - to play the political game, insulting both the senate and the public. Banished from public life, he joins with Tullus and sets about conquering Rome his own way.
Continue reading: Coriolanus Review
Caius Marcus is a brilliant Roman general who is hailed as 'the hero of Rome', after returning from a war against the Volscians, a neighbouring Italian tribe. Rome wins the war and takes the city of Corioles. In recognition of his part in the war, Caius Marcus is surnamed Coriolanus.
Continue: Coriolanus Trailer
It's been ten years since Perseus triumphantly defeated the gargantuan Kraken that roamed the shores of a fishing village. Now, though, he is content to scrape a living as a fisherman, while raising his ten year old son, Helius, alone.
Continue: Wrath Of The Titans Trailer
Harry Potter and his friends, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger, continue their search for Voldemort's Horcruxes - dark magical objects that help the user gain immortality. Having found and destroyed one Horcrux - a locket belonging to Hogwarts founder Salazar Slytherin - the three friends travel from Ron's older brother Bill Weasley's house by the sea to the wizarding bank, Gringotts and then to Hogwarts to look for the final remaining Horcruxes.
Perseus (Worthington) is a demigod who has been raised by humans and now finds himself at the centre of a war between man and the gods Zeus (Neeson), Hades (Fiennes) and Poseidon (a blink-and-you'll-miss-him Danny Huston). Accompanied by a handful of plucky warriors from Argos (including Mikkelsen, Cunningham, Hoult and Matheson) and his spirit-guide Io (Arterton), he heads off to find the secret to defeat Hades' feared Kraken so he can save Princess Andromeda (Davalos).
Continue reading: Clash Of The Titans Review
During the Blitz in London, posh children Cyril and Celia (Vlahos and Taylor-Ritson) are sent to stay with their aunt, Mrs Green (Gyllenhaal), on her farm. While she awaits news of her soldier husband, she struggles to manage her three rambunctious kids (Butterfield, Woods and Steer), pay her bills, fend off her financially desperate brother-in-law (Ifans) and keep the dotty local shopkeeper (Smith) from doing something dangerous. The person she needs is clearly Nanny McPhee (Thompson), who arrives with several stern-but-magical tricks up her sleeve.
Continue reading: Nanny McPhee & The Big Bang Review
Reader reunites Daldry with his The Hours screenwriter, David Hare, and the two collaborate on another aloof, literary period picture. The action transitions between 1995 and 1958, when 15-year-old Michael Berg (David Kross) first comes under the spell of Hanna Schmitz (Kate Winslet), the stern but attentive woman who paid him a bit of kindness after the boy was felled by Scarlet Fever.
Continue reading: The Reader Review
It's gotten to the point where the quality of the films don't really matter: Now I feel like I'm committed to the whole Harry Potter series. I've reviewed the first five now, so by golly, I'm going to stick it out and finish the lot... even though I still can't bring myself to read any of the books. As always, consider yourself warned that I don't know the intricate backstory developed over thousands of pages in J.K. Rowling's writing. And really, I'm happy to keep it that way.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix continues in the tradition of following another year at the Hogwarts School of Wizardry, where Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) has faced nothing but grueling struggle after grueling struggle. His most recent year (Goblet of Fire) saw a friend get killed by his nemesis, the evil Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes), who's gaining more power every day and giving Harry severe nightmares. With few exceptions, his friends have largely abandoned him, and the new term comes with even more headaches in the form of Dolores Umbridge (the perfect Imelda Staunton), sent from the Ministry of Magic to teach the defense from the dark arts class and eventually taking over the school as an iron-fisted, fun-crushing bureaucrat.
After much pottering about (ha ha!), the film finally finds its groove as Umbridge goes too far, refusing to teach magic in the classroom, instead preferring to rely on theoretical knowledge so the students can pass their year-end standardized tests. With Voldemort approaching (this guy is always just around the corner), Harry becomes more nervous that he will be unable to defend himself, finally recruiting a handful of students to his cause to teach them what he knows about magical combat. Together they prepare for the day when they know they'll have to use those skills. (In case you haven't seen any of the first four movies, rest assured it isn't far off: This end-of-movie showdown between Harry and the forces of evil has almost become a cliché that pans out every single time.)
Continue reading: Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix Review
Lopez is Marisa Ventura, a divorced mom forced to raise her young son Ty (Tyler Posey) on her salary as a maid for a ritzy Manhattan hotel. Each day, she drops Ty off at school and travels by subway from the Bronx to work where she arrives just in time for the morning briefing on the glamorous guests the maids will serve that day. These guests include the newly single socialite Caroline Sincaire (Natasha Richardson), who has come to the hotel to sulk, and New York Assemblyman Chris Marshall (Ralph Fiennes) who is there to prepare for his upcoming campaign for Senator.
Continue reading: Maid In Manhattan Review
Strange Days continuously plays these two possibilities off of each other, and in L.A., on December 31, 1999, it seems either one is equally likely. Ralph Fiennes plays Lenny Nero, a bottom-feeder ex-cop who peddles "clips," full-sensory pieces of memory from real people's lives. These clips are played on "the wire," a device which delivers experiences directly into the brain. The very illegal wire is also the source of a whole slew of problems, including the murder of one Jeriko One, a very influential rap star, and the subsequent stalking of Faith (Juliette Lewis), Nero's ex-girlfriend, for whom he still pines.
Continue reading: Strange Days Review
The pacing of Spider is totally understandable, seeing as it entirely takes place in and around a halfway house for recently-released mental patients -- and, obliquely, within the mind of its central character. "Spider" (Ralph Fiennes) is a muttering mess, a paranoid schizophrenic who wears four shirts atop one another and scribbles illegibly in a little book he carefully hides at the end of each day. Just out of the loony bin, Spider hops a train to London, finds his depressing room at the inn, faces annoyed berating at the hands of stern Mrs. Wilkinson (Lynn Redgrave), and immediately begins shutting himself into a cocoon. "Caterpillar" might be a better nickname -- for the man and for the movie.
Continue reading: Spider Review
Even if "The End of the Affair" didn't invite comparisons to "The English Patient" with Ralph Fiennes' auto-pilot performance as another reflective World War II-era Englishman immersed heart and soul in an adulterous love affair, this Neil Jordan adaptation of Graham Greene's novel would still be an ambitious misfire.
Beset by the oversimplification of abstract and heavy concepts of heart, mind and religion, the film looks beautiful with its foggy and well-heeled London society appointments, and it's nothing if not emotional, what with the likes of Fiennes and Julianne Moore as the (naturally!) doomed lovers and Jordan staple Stephen Rea as the betrayed, milquetoast husband/best friend.
But while Jordan's talent for screenwriting and direction are evidenced in dialogue ("I'm jealous of these shoes because they take you away from me. I'm jealous of this stocking because it kisses your entire leg...") and structure (Fiennes' point of view transitions into Moore's as he reads her stolen diary), the director's use of other stale and banal plot devices betray the pedestrian underpinnings of this seemingly complex film.
Continue reading: The End Of The Affair Review
Date of birth
22nd December, 1962
A spin-off from 2014's awesome The Lego Movie, this raucously paced action-comedy is proof that...
Natalya Petrovna Islaeva is feeling disillusioned in her marriage to her land baron husband Mikhail...
From Laika (The Boxtrolls), this is one of the most beautiful, sophisticated animated films in...
Everyone knows how committed Batman is to his cause, he spends his days in the...
Kubo is a young boy who lives with his mother. Kubo has always been influences...
As ever, Batman is busy protecting his beloved Gotham city and The Joker is up...
An intelligent ode to a time when Hollywood made wildly inventive movies without pressure from...
Italian filmmaker Luca Guadagnino (I Am Love) reteams with Tilda Swinton for this fresh, tricky...
Ever since his wonderful appearance in Wes Anderson's The Grand Budapest Hotel, we've been waiting...
For his latest adventure, James Bond mixes the personal drama of Skyfall with the vintage...
Eddie Mannix is a fixer who works in Hollywood where he tames celebrities and keeps...
Marianne Lane is ready for a relaxing European vacation, re-energising after a particularly busy time...
It seems James Bond's flighty career has all boiled down to this moment. He's in...