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'West Wing' And 'Cheers' Actor Roger Rees Dies Aged 71


Roger Rees

Welsh-born actor Roger Rees has died aged 71. The actor, who is best known for his roles in ‘The West Wing’ and ‘Cheers’, passed away on Friday after suffering a brief illness, the Hollywood Reporter confirmed. Rees had been appearing in Broadway musical ‘The Visit ‘ but was forced to withdraw in late May due to illness.

Roger ReesActor Roger Rees has died aged 71.

Born in Aberystwyth, Wales, Rees was raised in South London and studied to be a painter at the Camberwell College of Arts and Slade School of Fine Art. His acting career began in the 1960s when, after taking a job painting scenery at the Wimbledon Theatre, he was asked to fill in for a missing actor.

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Survivor Review


Good

Unusually gritty and grounded, this terrorism thriller avoids the pitfalls of most overwrought action movies by creating characters and action situations that are unusually believable, even if the plot itself feels badly undercooked. The problem is that there isn't a clear sense of what's at stake here, because screenwriter Philip Shelby insists on continually blurring the mystery by withholding key details until he's ready to reveal them. So the cleverly played old-style suspense never quite pays off.

It opens at the US Embassy in London, where new security chief Kate (Milla Jovovich) has been alerted to the fact that terrorists are trying to get visas to enter America. Working with the ambassador (Angela Bassett) her team leaders (Dylan McDermott and Robert Forster), Kate narrows in on a suspicious doctor (Roger Rees) who's an expert in explosive gasses. But a shocking bombing stops her short, framing her as the villain. Now she's being chased not only by the Americans, but also a British inspector (James D'Arcy) and a ruthless assassin known as The Watchmaker (Pierce Brosnan). And Kate knows that she's the only one who can stop the nefarious plot, whatever it might be.

This is one of those films that enjoyably pushes its central character over the brink, so we can't help but root for Kate to get out of this seriously messy situation and save the day. Jovovich plays her in a plausible way as a capable woman who has no choice but to fight back and try to survive, because she's the only one who knows that she's not the real threat here. Everyone else is extremely shadowy, although McDermott gets to show a heroic side, as does the terrific Frances de la Tour as the only embassy staff member who believes that Kate is the good guy. Meanwhile, Brosnan gives a remarkably effective performance as a cold-blooded killer.

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Survivor Trailer


The world of counter-intelligence has gotten an awful lot more dangerous. When a visa security officer (Milla Jovovich) is posted in the US Embassy in the United Kingdom, she is tasked with ensuring that known or suspected terrorists are unable to make their way to the United States. But when she come under fire from a deadly assassin known only as "The Watchmaker" (Pierce Brosnan), she ends up framed for various crimes she didn't commit and is forced on the run. Now, she must do her best to keep doing her job while being hunted and tracked by not only The Watchmaker, but US Security Services and Marines. 

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Robin Hood: Men In Tights Review


Good
Mediocre parody movies are Newton's second law as applied to cinema. For every hit over-the-top drama that paints characters by numbers there's at least one end to end parody that makes the cookie cutters look like Central Park caricatures.

So for Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, we have Robin Hood: Men in Tights. Kevin Costner's Hood is aped by Cary Elwes, Morgan Freeman's Azeem has turned in Dave Chappelle's Ahchoo. And Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio's ice queen Maid Marion is replaced with Amy Yasbeck's mild, cute, and chaste dolt.

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Frida Review


Good

Most movies about the lives of famous artists never provide a true sense of what drove the person's creativity. Even in a strongly acted, strongly directed biopic like 2000's "Pollock," for example, the closest it came to explaining why heavily splattered canvases were a breakthrough in modern art was when the painter's wife cryptically proclaimed, "You've done it, Pollock! You've cracked it wide open!"

But in "Frida," a transporting cinematic experience about the life and work of Mexican surrealist Frida Kahlo, director Julie Taymor captures the very essence of Kahlo's creative process through a wondrously rich, freeform visual language that fuses the events of her life with the imagery in her paintings so vividly that the artist's work may take on a striking new significance for anyone who sees the film.

Passionately played by Salma Hayek, who has been personally shepherding this project for seven years, Kahlo comes to life in this picture as a complicated, dynamic, proud and intelligent woman whose frequent hardships informed her art. Opening when she was a plucky high school girl (36-year-old Hayek passes for 16 with remarkable ease), Frida is established as a young woman with a spicy individuality even before the 1925 bus wreck that irreversibly altered her life.

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The Emperor's Club Review


Weak

A routine aerial shot swoops down over the grounds of an architecturally classic boarding school while a buoyant, sanguine score bleats with insistently lyrical French horns in the opening moments of "The Emperor's Club." And that's all most moviegoers will need to divine everything there is to know about the picture's musty, fond-memory-styled milieu of plucky, Puckish schoolboys and the dedicated, kindly educator who inspires them.

It's a movie that seems motivated more by a desire to match mortarboards with "Dead Poets Society" and "Good Will Hunting" than by its own story. It's a movie of highly telegraphed archetypes slogging their way through clichés (the off-limits girls' school is just across the lake) and only-in-the-movies moments, like the climactic scholarly trivia contest in which the three smartest boys in school don togas and answer questions on stage about the minutiae of Roman history.

These settings, these characters and this narrative arc -- about a contentious teacher-student relationship -- are so familiar that while the movie is not inept or boring, it never feels real enough to inspire much more than a shrug in response.

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Roger Rees

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Roger Rees Movies

Survivor Movie Review

Survivor Movie Review

Unusually gritty and grounded, this terrorism thriller avoids the pitfalls of most overwrought action movies...

Survivor Trailer

Survivor Trailer

The world of counter-intelligence has gotten an awful lot more dangerous. When a visa security...

Frida Movie Review

Frida Movie Review

Most movies about the lives of famous artists never provide a true sense of what...

The Emperor's Club Movie Review

The Emperor's Club Movie Review

A routine aerial shot swoops down over the grounds of an architecturally classic boarding school...

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