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Ron Howard To Step In To Direct Han Solo Movie

Ron Howard Star Wars

After the spin-off Han Solo movie was hit by the loss of its directors earlier this week, LucasFilm and Disney have acted quickly to fill the gap vacated by announcing Hollywood heavyweight Ron Howard as its replacement.

Two days ago, it was reported that the Star Wars spin-off prequel project suffered the loss of its two directors when Phil Lord and Christopher Miller both walked off the movie, officially put down to “creative differences” with producers.

However, it’s now been confirmed that 63 year old Howard, who was named in the original reports as the favourite to take over, has officially stepped in as director on the movie.

Continue reading: Ron Howard To Step In To Direct Han Solo Movie

'Inferno' Fails To Ignite The US Box Office

Ron Howard Jemma Palmer Tom Hanks

Inferno, the third installment in the Da Vinci franchise, is having a hard time in the US Box office. The film has made a disappointing $15-16m after making $5.6m in 3576 theatres on Friday. The result of this is that the film, that was expected to make between $20-30m, is an alarmingly close battle with 'Boo A Madea Halloween' for the no.1 spot over the Halloween weekend. 

Tom Hanks at the Inferno premiereTom Hanks at the Inferno premiere in LA

Director Ron Howard's mystery thriller, starring Tom Hanks and Felicity Jones, has fallen a long way behind the $77m that 'The Da Vinci Code' made in the US, even sequel 'Angels & Demons' made $46m back in 2009.

Continue reading: 'Inferno' Fails To Ignite The US Box Office

Inferno Review


Since novelist Dan Brown wrote a new thriller featuring the symbologist Robert Langdon, Tom Hanks and director Ron Howard have reteamed to bring it to the big screen. But this second sequel to The Da Vinci Code feels like a pale imitation of the original. Gone are the clever, fake-academic revelations and rather wacky action antics, and in their place are clues that feel utterly irrelevant, accompanied by fights and chases that are incoherent.

At least it opens well, with Langdon (Hanks) waking up in a Florence hospital without a clue how he got to Italy. Then when a sexy cop (Ana Ularu) tries to kill him, Robert's hot doctor Sienna (Felicity Jones) helps him escape. She also has an unusual knowledge of antiquities, so she travels with him to figure out why he's being chased by the police, an army of World Health Organisation officials (led by Sidse Babett Knudsen), a man (Omar Sy) leading a team of violent goons and a shady businessman (Irrfan Khan). Robert traces all of these shenanigans to the recently deceased billionaire anarchist Bertrand (Ben Foster), who was plotting to release a virus that would kill off half of mankind to halt overpopulation. Is his plan still going forward? Can Robert stop it in time? The next clues are in Venice and then Istanbul.

The settings are gorgeous, and Howard knows how to use them to pack the film with old world elegance. But while David Koepp's script keeps the mayhem moving along whether or not it makes any sense, Howard directs everything at a glacial pace. So it looks like Hanks is in danger of falling asleep at any time, even in the middle of a car chase. There's also the problem that the central premise is utterly preposterous: if you're planning a terrorist attack that will kill four billion people, would you take the time to set it up as an elaborate scavenger hunt? And it doesn't help that everyone in the movie seems untrustworthy. The script sorts the good from the bad as it goes along, but it never matters.

Continue reading: Inferno Review

The Beatles: Eight Days A Week - The Touring Years Review

Very Good

A-list director Ron Howard worked with the surviving Beatles to assemble this engaging documentary, which offers an inside look at Beatlemania, the three years when the best pop band in history toured the world. The messy title is a hint as to how compromised this film is: it's not a proper journalistic look at the band, but rather an approved portrait with the rough edges removed. But with its never-seen footage and lots of great music, it can't help but be hugely entertaining.

John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr spent years developing their sound before they hit the big time. And when they set off on their first tour in 1963, things immediately went crazy, with unprecedented displays of fan adoration. Fans couldn't get enough of these cheeky young guys from Liverpool, and their irreverent antics during interviews further endeared them to their audience. As they embarked on their first major tour of America, young journalist Larry Kane was sent to accompany them. Initially annoyed at this fluffy assignment, Kane was won over by their talent and the way they stood up to segregation laws in the South. But by 1966, they found that playing concerts in stadiums was simply too exhausting (they couldn't hear themselves above the screaming), so they abruptly stopped performing in public. The rest of their career took place in the studio.

All of this is recounted in a terrific range of home movies, archive footage, snapshots and interviews from the time, plus present-day recollections from Paul and Ringo. Added to this are interviews with celebrities who as children saw them perform, artists who worked with them and historians who examine their talent and impact. With access to this kind of material and a skilled editing team, Howard creates a film that's energetically gripping, offering a perspective on the Beatles that we may not have seen before.

Continue reading: The Beatles: Eight Days A Week - The Touring Years Review

Inferno Trailer

Professor Robert Langdon wakes up in a hospital feeling terrible and suffering from serious nightmares. His dreams are lifelike and appear to predict a vicious and unprecedented attack on humanity. As the professor begins to come around, his nurse, Sienna, is on hand to treat his head injuries and inform him of his concussion and the side effects he might experience.

Before he can fully understand what brought him to Italy - Langdon's last memories were from Harvard University - a woman enters the hospital and kills the professor's doctor.  With the help of Sienna, Robert escapes and the pair retreat to Sienna's apartment. Whilst searching his pockets Langdon finds a vile with a hazardous label on it.

The vile is the start of Langdon's latest mission, he must find the source of a deadly virus that is thought to be capable of killing half the world's population. Without knowing who's on his side, it looks like Langdon is being hunted by multiple organisations all wishing to cash in on the powerful weapon.

Continue: Inferno Trailer

Inferno - First Look Trailer

Inferno comes as the third in the series of Ron Howard's film interpretations of Dan Brown's highly successful novels (Angels & Demons and The Da Vinci Code) and sees Tom Hanks returning to his role as Robert Langdon, a Harvard University Professor. This time Langdon is accompanied by Dr. Sienna Brooks played by Felicity Jones. The film sees its main protagonist Langdon being at the centre of a manhunt.

Continue: Inferno - First Look Trailer

In The Heart Of The Sea Review


With a huge budget and a relatively small story, this is an intriguingly offbeat blockbuster that might struggle to find an audience. Basically, it's aimed at fans of more thoughtful, personal stories of tenacity and survival, but it's shot with a massive special effects budget that sometimes seems to swamp the drama. Still, it's involving and moving. And it's also fascinatingly based on the true events that inspired Moby Dick.

The story is framed in 1850 as novelist Herman Melville (Ben Whishaw) visits an ageing sailor named Tom (Brendan Gleeson) to quiz him about a momentous event in his past that he has never spoken of. Flash back to 1820 Nantucket, and Tom (Tom Holland) is a rookie crew member on the whaling ship Essex, working under the posh, privileged Captain George (Benjamin Walker) and his able but low-class first mate Owen (Chris Hemsworth). As these these two leaders clash against each other, the ship sails off for what will be a very long journey. Eventually they head into the Pacific in search of a mythical pod of whales. But when they find it, they run afoul of a gigantic white whale that takes their arrival personally, sinking their ship and pursuing the survivors in their lifeboats.

All of this is staged as an epic battle between humanity and nature, with layers of interest in the way these men strain to survive against unimaginable odds. It's a riveting story, beautifully shot and rendered with immersive effects. And the cast members create complex characters who are profoundly changed by their experience. Not only is there mammoth action, but there's plenty of barbed interaction and even some strongly emotional moments that bring the themes home to a modern audience. Sometimes this aspect feels a bit corny, as clearly whalers at the time wouldn't feel remorse about killing one of these majestic creatures. But we would.

Continue reading: In The Heart Of The Sea Review

Chris Hemsworth's 'In The Heart Of The Sea' Sinks At US Box Office

Chris Hemsworth Ron Howard Liam Hemsworth Jennifer Lawrence

It’s only a week to go before Star Wars: The Force Awakens hits theatres, so this weekend was the last chance that any new release had to make an impact in 2015. But sadly for Chris Hemsworth’s In The Heart Of The Sea audiences did not flock to see the whaling adventure, leaving it sinking at the US box.

Chris Hemsworth In The Heart Of The SeaChris Hemsworth stars in In The Heart Of The Sea.

The film only managed to bring in $11million at the US box office over the weekend from 3,103 theatres, meaning it debuted in the number two spot. The low opening was bad news for studio Warner Bros, as the film reportedly cost an estimated $100 million to make.

Continue reading: Chris Hemsworth's 'In The Heart Of The Sea' Sinks At US Box Office

'Rush' Amazes Critics With High-Octane Rivalry: Was 1970s Racing Really That Dangerous?

Ron Howard Daniel Bruhl Chris Hemsworth

Racing movie Rush has premiered in the US and UK and has drawn the crowds, rising to the top of the week's box office charts in the UK and garnering positive critical attention. Though the movie focusses on the famous rivalry between 1970s Formula 1 Racing drivers - Britain's James Hunt and Austria's Niki Lauda - the storyline has been praised for rendering its mechanical detail and sporting emotions accessible to those who have little to no interest in racing.

The Movie Centres On The Rivalry Between James Hunt & Niki Lauda.

The movie excels in its building of the tension between the two drivers, played by Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Brühl, as well as the high level of drama built up around what has been described as the golden era of racing. The drama of the sport is even emphasised in the trailer, where Brühl as Lauda declares "I accept every time I get in my car there's 20% chance I could die."

Continue reading: 'Rush' Amazes Critics With High-Octane Rivalry: Was 1970s Racing Really That Dangerous?

Ron Howard Races Back Into Form With Incredible 'Rush'

Ron Howard Chris Hemsworth Daniel Bruhl

Following the disappointment of The Dilemma, there was little fanfare for Ron Howard's latest movie: a biographical flick about the rivalry between Formula One drivers James Hunt and Niki Lauder during the 1976 motor racing season.

Daniel BruhlChris Hemsworth [L] And A Disapproving Daniel Bruhl [R] In 'Rush.'

Set against the backdrop of the golden age of the sport, though also one of its most dangerous periods, Rush tells the tale of the handsome English playboy Hunt (played by Chris Hemsworth) and his methodical, relentlessly driven opponent Lauda (played by the outstanding Daniel Bruhl).

Continue reading: Ron Howard Races Back Into Form With Incredible 'Rush'

Will Ron Howard's 'Rush' Stall At The US Box Office? [Trailer]

Ron Howard Chris Hemsworth Daniel Bruhl

Ron Howard took a risk when he decided to make Rush: what qualified the US director with no interest in European Formula One racing to turn the legend of the most heated racing driver rivalry of all time into a movie?

Chris Hemsworth
Chris Hemsworth Plays Racing Star & Party Boy, James Hunt.

Howard has admitted he knew nothing about the Hunt/Lauda rivalry of the seventies until he was handed a script by Frost/Nixon writer, Peter Morgan. Morgan's skilful screenwriting wouldn't have been enough to carry the movie on its own though; Rush needed a passionate force in the driving seat. Howard explained to the Wall Street Journal about the spark he saw in the real-life story, and how he planned to turn it into a movie that film fans aside from gearheads could relate to.

Continue reading: Will Ron Howard's 'Rush' Stall At The US Box Office? [Trailer]

Rush Review


Exhilarating racing action punctuates this true story, which sharply traces the rivalry between two Formula One champs. It's superbly well-shot and edited, with engaging performances from the entire cast. And with only one moment of calculated sentimentality, it's director Ron Howard's most honest movie in years.

The story begins in the early 1970s, when two rising-star F1 drivers clash over their very different styles. Britain's James Hunt (Hemsworth) is a swaggering womaniser, revelling in the rock-star lifestyle. By contrast, Austria's Niki Lauda (Bruhl) is a fiercely detailed technician who loves pushing barriers. They clearly see things they like in each other, so their different approaches on the track develop into a competitive relationship that spurs them to the front of the pack. Over the years, both meet their wives (Wilde and Lara, respectively) and move from team to team as they rise to the top of their sport. And their rivalry comes to a head at the 1976 German Grand Prix when world champion Lauda is involved in a horrific, fiery accident.

Morgan's script is essentially two biopics cleverly woven together to let us see the push and pull between these two iconic figures. Unexpectedly, Bruhl's Lauda emerges as the stronger character, with his grounded approach and sardonic wit allowing Bruhl to play effectively with submerged emotions. By contrast, Hemsworth's Hunt is little more than a gifted good-time boy who isn't worried about his lack of substance. It's a likeable, loose performance (we barely notice the wobbly British accent). Opposite them Lara and Wilde provide solid, subtle support, as do the fine actors who fill out the pit crews.

Continue reading: Rush Review

Universal's Adam Fogelson Mingled In Toronto, Oblivious Of Firing

Ron Howard

Poor old Adam Fogelson. The guy had flown on Universal's company plane with Ron Meyer and Donna Langley to attend the Toronto premiere of Ron Howard's Formula 1 movie, Rush, on Sunday night (September 8, 2013) though unbeknownst to him, he didn't even have a job anymore.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Fogelson was completely unaware that a major shake-up at the company was underway and was completed blind-sided by his firing. Jeff Shell was named chairman of Universal Filmed Entertainment, with Langley and Meyer promoted to studio chairman and vice chairman of NBC Universal, respectively. 

CEO Steve Burke fired Fogelson Monday after news broke that Shell would take over. A meeting between the men had previously been scheduled and reports suggest Burke didn't intend to blindside Fogelson.

Continue reading: Universal's Adam Fogelson Mingled In Toronto, Oblivious Of Firing

Ben Stiller's 'The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty' Looks Crazy, Bizarre, Awesome [Trailer]

Ben Stiller Kristen Wiig Adam Scott Steven Spielberg Ron Howard Sean Penn Patton Oswalt

Ben Stiller stars in the highly-anticipated adaptation of James Thurber's 1939 short story The Secret of Life of Walter Mitty, with the first official trailer rolling out online on Tuesday.

Stiller stars as Mitty, the mild-mannered LIFE magazine employee who escapes the monotony of office life through his epic daydreams.

Stiller also directs the movie, which has been plagued by budget problems though is finally set for release this Christmas. From the trailer, this looks to be a genuinely ambitious piece of cinema and should be well worth a watch.

Continue reading: Ben Stiller's 'The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty' Looks Crazy, Bizarre, Awesome [Trailer]

Video - Chris Hemsworth And Director Ron Howard Talk About 'Rush' In Short Featurette

The director of 'Rush', Ron Howard, writer Peter Morgan and main stars Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Bruhl discuss the car-racing movie's themes in a short featurette.

Continue: Video - Chris Hemsworth And Director Ron Howard Talk About 'Rush' In Short Featurette

George Lucas' New Wife Mellody Hobson Is A Success In Her Own Right

Mellody Hobson George Lucas Ron Howard Samuel L Jackson

Star Wars creator George Lucas and businesswoman Mellody Hobson tied the knot in a Californian ceremony last weekend that was described as "beautiful" by celeb guests including Samuel L. Jackson and Ron Howard. Hobson did look stunning in a Peter Soronen gown but if you haven't heard of her before, she's more successful businesswoman than arm-candy for 69 year-old Lucas.

The pair met at a business conference in 2006 and dated for seven years until their engagement in January 2013. However, it's a wonder Hobson, 44, managed to fit a wedding into her busy schedule: she's president of Ariel Investments - an investment management firm - whilst she also chairs the board at Dreamworks Animation SKG Inc., and a holds directing positions at Groupon, Inc., Starbucks Corporation and The Estée Lauder Companies Inc. She also has a heart of gold, becoming involved with community outreach projects such as Chicago's 'After School Matters' (a charity that provides constructive after school activities for teenagers) whilst also sitting on the board for The Chicago Public Education Fund.

Despite Hobson's busy schedule, Lucas will have plenty of free time after selling his production company LucasFilm to Disney in October 2012 for a reported $4.05 billion, donating most of this sum to educational philanthropy - a cause that is clearly important to Hobson, the youngest of six children.

Continue reading: George Lucas' New Wife Mellody Hobson Is A Success In Her Own Right

George Lucas Weds Long-Time Sweetheart

George Lucas Mellody Hobson Samuel L Jackson Ron Howard Jj Abrams

George Lucas, the creator of Star Wars and Indiana Jones tied the knot with his girlfriend of seven years, Mellody Hobson. According to sources speaking with People magazine, the wedding took place on Saturday (22nd June) in California's Marin County at Lucas' 4,700 acre Skywalker Ranch. Amongst other guests, the wedding was attended by fellow director Ron Howard and actor Samuel L. Jackson, who plays Jedi Mace Windu in Lucas' Star Wars franchise.

Both guests publically displayed their excitement for Lucas' wedding, with Howard tweeting "George Lucas Melody Hobson wedding was joy to behold Bill Moyers service was beautiful, nothing short of profound. Congrats Mr&Mrs Lucas" and Jackson similarly enthusing: "Let's give a Galactic shout out to Master George Lucas & his Bride Melodie on This their WEDDING DAY!!"

Engaged since January 2013, Hobson, 44, met Lucas, 69, at a business conference in 2006 and have been dating ever since. She heads Ariel Investments - an investment management firm - whilst also chairing the board at Dreamworks Animation SKG Inc., and a director of Groupon, Inc., Starbucks Corporation and The Estée Lauder Companies Inc.

Continue reading: George Lucas Weds Long-Time Sweetheart

Ron Howard's 'Rush' Focuses On James Hunt, Niki Lauda Rivalry (Trailer & Pictures)

Ron Howard Chris Hemsworth Daniel Bruhl Olivia Wilde Peter Morgan

Chris Hemsworth As James Hunt and Daniel Brühl as Niki Lauda in RushChris Hemsworth As James Hunt and Daniel Brühl as Niki Lauda in Rush

Following the relatively disappointing 'The Dilemma', Oscar wining director Ron Howard is back with his latest movie 'Rush', an biographical flick about the rivalry between Formula One drivers James Hunt and Niki Lauder during the 1976 motor racing season. Set against the backdrop of the 'golden age' of the sport, the story certainly lends itself well to the big screen, with the handsome English playboy Hunt attempting to outdo his methodical, driven opponent Lauda. Off course, there's focus on the driver's personal lives though ultimately Howard's latest movie explores how far each sportsman will push to be hailed world champion in a sport where one mistake could be fatal.

The movie boasts a pretty slick looking cast, with Hollywood favourites Chris Hemsworth (Hunt) and Olivia Wilde (Suzy Miller) in the forefront and the brilliant Daniel Bruhl playing Lauda. The movie was shot on location in the UK, Germany and Austria with some scenes filmed at the former World War II airfield of Blackbushe Airport in Hampshire. Kent racing track Brands Hatch also features, as does Nurburgring in Germany. Howard described the period as a "fascinating, sexy, dangerous time," telling, ".it's based on a true story and it's centered around the 1976 Formula One race season. It operates on so many different levels that I really need to use the medium, in pre-production, production and post-production, to try to immerse the audiences in that world, "adding, "So, while Peter Morgan has written the script, and it's emotional, funny and character-driven, first and foremost, I think that the sense of the time, the place, the world, the speed and the danger of it." 

Continue reading: Ron Howard's 'Rush' Focuses On James Hunt, Niki Lauda Rivalry (Trailer & Pictures)

Rush Trailer

James Hunt is English Formula 1 champion well-known for his hedonistic life of women, alcohol and parties and who makes for a stark contrast to his number one rival, the Austrian Niki Lauda. It's the 70s, the golden age for racing, and the pair are riled up to outrun each other in the upcoming 1976 German Grand Prix. However, no-one could predict the tragedy that would soon ensue when Lauda's car fails and bursts into flames on the track, causing him severe burns to his face and body. Hunt blames himself for the accident, as he helped encourage the race to go ahead without the suggested safety arrangements. In spite of all this, the pair are determined to become champions, against all odds but as the professional lives interrupts their personal lives, becoming a champion becomes much more complicated than just winning a race.

'Rush' is a sports drama based on the shocking true story of these two real F1 drivers when their lives took a dramatic turn at the height of car racing. It has been directed by Ron Howard ('Willow', 'Apollo 13', 'The Da Vinci Code') and written by Peter Morgan ('The Queen', 'The Other Boleyn Girl', 'The Last King of Scotland'), and it is set for release this autumn on September 13th 2013.

Corman's World: Exploits Of A Hollywood Rebel Review

An essential documentary for movie fans, this exploration of the work of iconic filmmaker Roger Corman revels in the joy of exploitation movies made on a minuscule budget with lashings of gore, explosions and nudity. It's a glowing portrait of a man who changed filmmaking forever.

Corman's 400 films have tapped into youth culture in ways that studios never could. This documentary traces his career with interviews and clips, but also explores his impact on the industry at large. Clearly, he's not only an important filmmaker, but he's also a genuinely nice man (at one point, Nicholson breaks down and cries while talking about him). We also get glimpses behind-the-scenes on 2010's hilarious-looking Dinoshark, proving that his filmmaking methods haven't changed much in nearly 60 years. And we discover that his favourite filmmakers include Bergman, Fellini and Truffaut, whose films he distributed in America.

Continue reading: Corman's World: Exploits Of A Hollywood Rebel Review

J. Edgar Review

Very Good
Exquisitely designed and directed, with finely tuned performances that shine even through some heavy make-up, this true story never quite succeeds in conveying its central relationship. Sure, repression is the point, but passion would have made the film heartbreaking rather than just sad.

John Edgar Hoover (DiCaprio) was only 29 when he became director of the Bureau of Investigation (later the FBI), and he ruled supreme until his death in 1972, holding eight US presidents in the palm of his hand with his notorious files of personal secrets. But he also had loyal friends, including his secretary Helen (Watts) and his right-hand man Clyde (Hammer). As a young man, his mother (Dench) instilled in him a hatred of liberalism and homosexuality, so his enemies included Martin Luther King, Robert Kennedy (Donovan) and himself.

Continue reading: J. Edgar Review

Corman's World Trailer

American director Roger Corman is one of the film industry's most influential directors. Born in 1926, he is best known for the numerous low budget B movies which he has directed. Not only is he influential to many of Hollywood's great directors, Corman has also launched the careers of William Shatner; Jack Nicholson and Robert De Niro, to name but a few.

Continue: Corman's World Trailer

Restless Review

Van Sant returns to his earthy-airy style for this story of a young man coming to terms with the concept of mortality. It's effortlessly honest, with edgy humour balancing the dark themes. Although it's also diluted by commercial sensibilities.

After his parents are killed in a car crash, the thoughtful young Enoch (Hopper) becomes obsessed with death, attending random funerals and chatting to Hiroshi (Kase), the ghost of a young kamikaze pilot. The at one memorial service, Enoch is rumbled by Annabel (Wasikowska), who pursues a friendship with him. As they become closer, Enoch learns that the sparky Annabel has a fatal illness, which means he can no longer put off dealing with the fact that death is actually part of life.

Continue reading: Restless Review

Cowboys & Aliens Review

With such a blatant B-movie title, this well-made film really should be more fun to watch. Actually, this is an entertaining Western that sticks very close to the genre and only incidentally features bad guys from another planet.

Jake (Craig) wakes up in the desert with no memory of who he is or why he has a strange metal bracelet clamped onto his arm. He staggers into a dusty town, where the sheriff (Carradine) helps him until he clashes with local bully Percy (Dano), the son of power-mad landowner Dolarhyde (Ford), who has a history with Jake. But when strange airborne "demons" attack the town, Jake discovers that his bracelet is a weapon that can fight them. So Dolarhyde drafts him into a posse to hunt them down.

Continue reading: Cowboys & Aliens Review

Changeling Review


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.

Beyond The Mat Review

Very Good
Pro wrestling is fake, right? Absolutely. The fights are choreographed, the winners are predetermined, and everything that happens is carefully staged.

But the violence is real, like when The Rock repeatedly pummels Mankind with a folding chair. And that isn't cow's blood running down his head afterwards as he rolls around on the mat, apparently incoherent.

Continue reading: Beyond The Mat Review

Cinderella Man Review

Tickets to Ron Howard's period boxing drama Cinderella Man should come with bootstraps. That way we literally could join the film's heavyweight hero, dutifully played by Russell Crowe, as he sifts through the wreckage left by bill collectors and broken bones to climb his way out of Dickens-level poverty and see the light at the end of his personal tunnel of despair.

American audiences adore underdog stories, particularly those tied to sports. From Rocky to Seabiscuit, we devour worthy longshots given a chance to reclaim such precious commodities as pride, significance, or the undying love of family. That, and anything with Darth Vader in it.

Continue reading: Cinderella Man Review

A Beautiful Mind Review

I hate math. I've always hated math. It gives me a pounding headache. It would take a miracle to convince me of its value. But A Beautiful Mind has accomplished the impossible; after watching the film, I have a new appreciation for math as an art, and for mathematicians as artists.

Seldom do movies contain enough power to influence or change our convictions. Through enormously convincing performances, a masterful screenplay, and aggressive direction, this movie takes us on an extraordinary journey into the mind of a fascinating character, providing insight on its unique subject. Move over Good Will Hunting, here comes the ultimate movie about a math wiz!

Continue reading: A Beautiful Mind Review

American Graffiti Review

The Star Wars prequels have tarnished his rep a little, but give him his due --- George Lucas once understood the possibilities and limitations of film like few others. Lucas' second feature film, American Graffiti, was a self-assured gem that established him as a major director (though a lot of studios still didn't want to bankroll Star Wars, proving that studio execs weren't any smarter in the seventies than they are now).

A cinematic collection of slightly exaggerated memories from Lucas' senior year in high school (1962), Graffiti was well-timed; it caught a wave of fifties nostalgia that would crest with Happy Days, Grease, etc. While the iconoclasm of the sixties and seventies would continue to take youth culture in a very different direction, Graffiti helped spark a cultural backlash (or at least a flashback) after the free-love/acid-rock/anti-war era.

Continue reading: American Graffiti Review

The Independent Review


Remember that great Z-grade 1969 protest picture "Brothers Divided," about the conjoined twins drafted to serve in Vietnam?

No? How about the blaxploitation classics "Venus De Mofo" and "The Foxy Chocolate Robot?" Or the tree-hugging girlie biker flick "The Eco-Angels"? Or the midget Gidget movie "Teenie Weenie Bikini Beach"?

Those don't ring a bell? Surely you've seen at least one of the 427 movies directed by schlock filmmaker Morty Fineman over the last 38 years, right?

Continue reading: The Independent Review

Ron Howard

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Ron Howard

Date of birth

1st March, 1954







Ron Howard Movies

Inferno Movie Review

Inferno Movie Review

Since novelist Dan Brown wrote a new thriller featuring the symbologist Robert Langdon, Tom Hanks...

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

A-list director Ron Howard worked with the surviving Beatles to assemble this engaging documentary, which...

The Beatles: Eight Days A Week - The Touring Years - Trailer and Clips Trailer

The Beatles: Eight Days A Week - The Touring Years - Trailer and Clips Trailer

In 1962 The Beatles were signed to a management deal with a local record shop...

Inferno Trailer

Inferno Trailer

Professor Robert Langdon wakes up in a hospital feeling terrible and suffering from serious nightmares....

Inferno - First Look Trailer

Inferno - First Look Trailer

Inferno comes as the third in the series of Ron Howard's film interpretations of Dan...

In the Heart of the Sea Movie Review

In the Heart of the Sea Movie Review

With a huge budget and a relatively small story, this is an intriguingly offbeat blockbuster...

In The Heart Of The Sea Trailer

In The Heart Of The Sea Trailer

In The Heart Of The Sea is the true seaman's tale based on the last...

In The Heart of The Sea Trailer

In The Heart of The Sea Trailer

In August of 1819, The Essex set sail from New England. The whaling ship set...