'A United Kingdom' is the story of Sir Seretse Khama who, in 1948, caused a stir within both the UK and South African governments when he - as the Prince of Bechuanaland (now Botswana) - fell in love and decided to marry a white woman named Ruth Williams from London.
Continue: A United Kingdom - Featurettes
Based on a powerful true story from the late 1940s, this drama is packed with present-day resonance as it explores a relationship that sparks intense social and political fallout. And it's made properly engaging with central roles beautifully played by David Oyelowo and Rosamund Pike. So it's a shame that the screenplay is so simplistic, failing to generate any momentum in the story with its awkward structure and paper-thin side characters.
It opens in 1947, as Seretse Khama (Oyelowo) has spent 20 years of his life studying in London and is ready to return to Bechuanaland (now Botswana) to take his rightful place as king. But he has fallen in love with white, working-class Englishwoman Ruth (Pike), and they decide to return to Africa together. This causes a crisis for Seretse's uncle Tshkedi (Vusi Kunene), who has been ruling the country while Seretse was away. And there's even more fierce resistance from the British colonial officials (including Jack Davenport and Tom Felton), who refuse to allow the couple to live together in Bechuanaland because a mixed-race marriage undermines the UK's acceptance of South Africa's policy of Apartheid. So they exile Seretse from the country and manipulate the situation to Britain's political benefit. But Ruth stays and fights on.
The film chronicles this astonishing battle with a fascinating attention to detail, although screenwriter Guy Hibbert struggles to avoid repetition as the events shift between Africa and London, leaving main characters off the screen for what turns out to be years at a time. Meanwhile, the British are portrayed as moustache-twirling villains who lie and conspire to undermine the government of Bechuanaland. A bit more complexity might have made the situation compelling on-screen.
Continue reading: A United Kingdom Review
Once upon a time, a handsome, intelligent man fell in love with an equally clever and intelligent woman, the couple married and lived happily ever after. Ruth Williams and Seretse Khama met in Britain in 1947, he was a young man training to be a barrister and she was a clerk working for Lloyds of London.
The pair immediately felt an affinity for one another and courted for a year before Seretse and Ruth married. As well as being an interracial couple, Seretse has a lot more to his past than Ruth ever knew. Seretse is a prince of Bechuanaland and lives a hugely important life in a county that feels a whole world away from the comparatively cosmopolitan London.
Though Ruth and Seretse married - much against the advice of all their peers - apartheid in South Africa, the people of Bechuanaland and the British government all played a part in keeping Sertse from his birth right and went to extreme lengths to have the couple extradited from the country.
Continue: A United Kingdom Trailer
Ben Foster has been cast in 'Hostiles' alongside Christian Bale, Rosamund Pike and West Studi.
Ben Foster has been cast in 'Hostiles'.
The 35-year-old American actor is set to star alongside Christian Bale, 42, in Scott Cooper's tale, which is set in 1892, and follows the story of an army captain who is forced to escort a dying Cheyenne war chief to his tribal land.
The forthcoming production will be just the second time the pair have worked together, after co-starring together in the 2007 blockbuster '3:10 to Yuma'.
Continue reading: Ben Foster Is Cast In Hostiles
The Foreign Press Association had its say on the best films of the year, and Michael Keaton's 'Birdman' was the big winner.
The Golden Globe nominations are out, and yet again it’s the dark comedy of Birdman that leads the way with nods in seven categories in total. The surreal drama-comedy, by Mexican director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, has been nominated for best picture in the comedy / musical category.
Michael Keaton's starring role in Birdman has had the critics purring since its release in October
Michael Keaton, whose flagging career was revitalised by the film, has been selected for the best actor category, and supporting actor Edward Norton and supporting actress Emma Stone have been given the nod in those respective lists. The other three nominations it attracted were best director, screenplay and score.
Continue reading: 'Birdman' Leads Golden Globe Nominations
David Ficher's 'Gone Girl' has already recouped its production budget from domestic ticket sales alone.
David Fincher's thriller Gone Girl has retained its spot atop the U.S box-office for a second week, out-battling several new releases to pull in a considerable haul of $26.8 million for 21st Century Fox. Horror entry Dracula Untold, a new release from Universal, came in second place with $23.5 million.
Ben Affleck as Nick Dunne in 'Gone Girl'
Elsewhere, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible No Good, Very Bad Day took third-place, while The Judge had to settle for fifth despite a marketing push from Robert Downey Jr last week.
Continue reading: Twisting, Turning 'Gone Girl' Retains No.1 Spot With $26.8 Million
It's all blood, guts and missing people at the box office this weekend.
In a pretty predictable turn of events this weekend, David Fincher’s critically acclaimed baby Gone Girl has gone on to top Dracula Untold. Gone Girl’s second weekend saw a 29% drop, but even so, it was an easy win over Dracula, which can already be counted as a flop at this point.
David Fincher's powerhouse Gone Girl easily smoked the competition for the second weekend in a row.
Through Sunday, its 10th day in release, Gone Girl's domestic total is $78.3 million for 20th Century Fox and New Regency. Dracula, meanwhile, came in second with $29,5 million. Movie of the year it ain’t, but it could have been a lot worse.
Watch kids approach adult subjects in the trailer below
David Tennant and Rosamund Pike star in the upcoming BBC film, 'What We Did On Our Summer Holiday' from the creators of 'Outnumbered'. And when we say 'Outnumbered' you should know that the film basically just relies on the formula of kids saying funny things because they don’t care about offending people.
Family laughs are what 'What We Did On Our Summer Holiday' are all about
The family comedy drama sees Tenant and Pike as the parents of three outspoken sprogs. They drive up to Scotland - from London or Brighton, probably, considering the kids get Watford confused with the highlands – to visit Billy Connolly (granddad).
Three young children are about to learn what adulthood is really like when they take a summer trip to the Scottish Highlands with their parents Doug and Abi. There they are due to attend Doug's father Gordie's birthday party and there's plenty of fun to be had for the kids with building sandcastles, playing football, spending time with granddad and generally having an adventure with their distant family. However, Doug and Abi have other things on their mind which they are keen to keep well hidden from the folks. Unfortunately for them, it seems their children have extraordinary memories for things they've heard - especially when they're things they really shouldn't have - and it could be that the uncomfortable secret their parents are bearing will be revealed to everyone they hoped it wouldn't.
Continue: What We Did On Our Holiday Trailer
Richard Butler covers 'She' on the 'Gone Girl' trailer and Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross mark their third David Fincher soundtrack collaboration.
Trent Reznor teams up with Atticus Ross once again for the soundtrack to upcoming book-to-film thriller 'Gone Girl' directed by David Fincher; the new trailer features the song 'She', covered by the The Psychedelic Furs frontman Richard Butler.
Trent Reznor [R] and Atticus Ross [L] landed an Oscar for 'The Social Network' score
The Nine Inch Nails singer broke the news over Twitter in January that he and producer Ross will mark their third collaboration on a Fincher film with Gillian Flynn's 'Gone Girl'. Starring Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike, the movie tells the story of a struggling married couple, whose fifth anniversary is marred by the disappearance of Nick Dunne's wife Amy and the subsequent suspicions over his involvement in her possible murder.
Nick and Amy Dunne are a couple whose marriage is struggling following the loss of Nick's journalism job and their subsequent move away from New York City. Nick sets up a new business to support them, but nothing seems to be cutting the tension between them as their relationship gets more and more fractured. When Amy goes missing on their fifth anniversary, a series of suspicious circumstances point him out as the prime suspect in a possible murder investigation; though he denies any involvement in her disappearance, we are left questioning everything he says when his true, deceitful nature starts to shine through. However, it soon becomes clear that he's not the only dishonest character in this tale as nobody is quite what they're making out to be.
Continue: Gone Girl Trailer
The trailer for 'Gone Girl' is pretty creepy! What does it tell us about the upcoming movie and will fans of the book be impressed?
We’ve been waiting for the Gone Girl movie to come out, well, practically since the book did. The best-selling thriller was an international sensation, while the film is currently in post-production, due out in October later this year. There's going to be a lot of discussion over this movie in the months to come, you don't adapt such a popular novel without a lot of debate over pretty much everything.
Ben Affleck stars as Nick Dunne in Gone Girl
Thankfully, the trailer has finally been released, but does it live up to our expectations? The answer to that is a big fat YES! And then some. So, let’s take a look at it in a bit more detail. Playing over the solemn opening vigil is Richard Butler’s version if Elvis Costello’s ‘She’. The lyrics “She may be the face I can’t forget, a trace of pleasure or regret, may be my treasure of the price I have to pay” drift eerily over shots of Nick Dunne, played by Ben Affleck, addressing a crowd who have gathered in the hope of finding his missing wife, Amy, played by Rosamund Pike. Amy has mysteriously disappeared, their home shows traces of a struggle, but Nick denies knowing anything about where she may have gone.
Continue reading: 'Gone Girl' Trailer, A Critical Discussion
Does the trailer actually give away anything we didn't already know?
The first trailer for David Fincher’s Gone Girl is out. The last bit of news about the Gillian Flynn adaptation came out months ago, so the trailer provides a helpful reminder that A. The project is still moving ahead and B. It looks quite good at this point. Ben Affleck plays Nick Dunne, whose wife, Amy (Rosamund Pike), disappears on their fifth wedding anniversary. Nick soon ends up as the primary suspect in the police investigation and has to find his wife to prove his innocence.
The first trailer gives us very little to go on.
The new trailer emphasizes the investigation and the pressure that Affleck’s character feels as the suspicion falls squarely on him. It also seems to feature Amy’s lifeless body, meaning that Nick will face a murder investigation at some point in the film. The trailer also plays up the barrage of media attention that Nick and the investigation attract, so this will probably be a prominent subject in the film.
Have we missed something?
“I did not kill my wife!” exclaims Ben Affleck in the first official trailer for David Fincher’s Gone Girl. “I am not a murderer.” Problem is, the trailer looks like a fan-made video, and could well be the worst thing we’ve seen this year. What’s going on?
Affleck stars as Nick Dunne in the movie. He’s an ostensibly nice guy – a workaday husband looking forwarding to building a family. The American dream. But, coming home on day, he discovers his wife, Amy Dunne (played by Rosamund Pike), is missing.
Continue reading: The First 'Gone Girl' Trailer Is Weird And Different To Other Trailers
With a darkly serious theme and a corny rom-com filmmaking approach, this film never quite comes together into something meaningful. The characters are full of possibilities, and the story catches the imagination, but director Pascal Chaumeil (Heartbreaker) never seems sure whether he's making a black comedy or an emotional drama.
It starts on New Year's Eve in London, as disgraced TV host Martin (Pierce Brosnan) decides to jump off a tower block. But he's interrupted by the arrival of the timid Maureen (Toni Collette), who is followed by the fiery Jess (Imogen Poots) and the secretive J.J. (Aaron Paul). Together, these four lost souls make a pact to stay alive for six more weeks until Valentine's Day, the next popular suicide date in the calendar. But their story leaks to the press, capitalising on Martin's notoriety and the fact that Jess is the daughter of a high-profile politician (Sam Neill). So they decide to escape to the sunshine for some peace.
Instead of playing this out as a brittle exploration of identity and societal expectations, the filmmakers opt for a romantic-comedy formula, with a four-way friendship standing in for the usual love story. This makes the film feel like a substandard Richard Curtis movie, constantly drifting into maudlin sentimentality. And director Chaumeil encourages the cast to overplay every scene, which makes it tricky to believe any of the characters.
Continue reading: A Long Way Down Review
Harris revealed the clinical approach to sex in David Fincher's 'Gone Girl.'
Neil Patrick Harris has opened up on his new role in David Fincher's adaptation of the best-selling novel, Gone Girl. The How I Met Your Mother actor takes on the role of Desi Collings in the movie, alongside Rosamund Pike and Ben Affleck. In a recent interview with Out magazine, the openly gay actor described the experience of filming his sex scene with Pike.
Neil Patrick Harris Has Discussed His "Robotic" Sex Scene With Rosamund Pike In 'Gone Girl.'
Harris described director Fincher's meticulous approach to filming the intimate scene, though interestingly enjoyed methodical aspect to the scene. Instead of finding Fincher's highly structured directing style awkward or frustrating, Harris loved it. "We had to rehearse the sex scene with David, like every inch of it - 'Then you put your mouth on his d**k here, and then this number of thrusts, and then you ejaculate,' " recalls Harris.
Martin Sharp is a disgraced TV presenter whose ambitions and family have been destroyed by his own stupid mistakes. Now feeling deeply lost and humiliated he finds that the only way to proceed is to commit suicide by leaping from the top of a London skyscraper aptly known as Topper's Tower. However, as he prepares to end his life on New Year's Eve, he is interrupted by Maureen, a middle-aged single mother also looking for a way out. Not only that, but the pair are soon joined by angst-ridden teenager Jess who also wants to jump from the roof, and then bemused pizza delivery boy and failed musician JJ after that. The four form a bond and sign a pact that they will not kill themselves before Valentine's Day in a bid to help each other get their lives back on track. When they decide to share their unusual story with the rest of the world, they become media stars and finally start to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
'A Long Way Down' is a heartwarming comedy drama based on the bestselling novel by Nick Hornby ('About A Boy', 'High Fidelity'). The screenplay has been adapted by Jack Thorne ('The Fades', 'This Is England') and the movie directed by Pascal Chaumeil ('Heartbreaker', 'Un plan parfait'). 'A Long Way Down' is due for release on March 21st 2014.
The NIN frontman and his soundtrack collaborator are re-teaming once again to score Fincher's next picture
Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross will once again be working with director David Fincher when the pair join up in the studio to write the soundtrack to the upcoming movie adaption for Gone Girl. The Nine Inch Nails frontman revealed that he will be working with Ross once again via his official Twitter feed on Tuesday, 21 January.
Trent Reznor [L] and Atticus Ross [R] won a bevy of awards for their work on The Social Network and Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
This will be Reznor and Ross' third major collaboration together, having last worked on the score for Fincher's adaption of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo in 2012. A year earlier, the pair worked together to score Fincher's The Social Network, earning an Academy Award for their work on the original score. The pair also scored a Grammy nomination for best original score for visual media for The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, but failed to win anything as major for that film as they had previously.
Continue reading: Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross Sign On To Score David Fincher's 'Gone Girl'
'Gone Girl' has an impressive cast and crew, though can it deliver with the book's fanbase already sharpening their knives?
David Fincher is renowned for some of the biggest film names of the past twenty years, including Se7en, The Social Network, Fight Club and Panic Room just to name a few. Some of these films changed the very ideology of what makes a great film; and brought something new to the chess board of movie ideas. October 2014 will see the release of an adaptation of Gillian Flynn's New York Times bestseller Gone Girl.
Ben Affleck as Nick Dunne in David Fincher's 'Gone Girl'
The book's plot is a controversial tale of lies and deceit between the two narrators; husband and wife Nick and Amy Dunne. The book has sold over two million copies worldwide, and is highly acclaimed in the eyes of its readers.
As always, there are far too many sequels, spin-offs, remakes and reboots clogging the cinemas, but some of them might actually be good. Of course, release dates are subject to change...
10. The Expendables 3 (Aug) - Hopefully this meathead action romp will be the guilty pleasure of the year. Other muscle-bound, brainless thrills may come from Pompeii (Feb), Tarzan (May) and Hercules (Aug).
Read more about 'The Expendables 3' here
Continue reading: The 10 Most Anticipated Films Of 2014
This late summer release packs a pleasant surprise
Having enthralled U.K audiences and critics alike, it’s time for Simon Pegg and Nick Frost’s World’s End to go stateside. The film marks the end of the unusually titled ‘Cornetto Trilogy,’ and sees a few friends return to a town where everything is not quite as it seems.
Simon Pegg, Rosamund Pike and Nick Frost at the Hollywood premiere of The World's End
What American audiences might not know – seeing as Pegg has already has a degree of success stateside – is that his partnership with director Edgar Wright and co-star Nick Frost goes way back to the British sitcom, Spaced, which laid the foundations for the Cornetto trilogy: Shaun of The Dead, Hot Fuzz and The World’s End.
Continue reading: Simon Pegg's The World's End Is A Veritable August Treat
After Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, Pegg and Wright conclude their so-called Cornetto Trilogy with yet another riotously inspired exploration of British culture: the pub crawl. And this time it's apocalyptic! But what makes the film thoroughly endearing is its focus on old friendships that are so well-played that we can't help but find ourselves on-screen even when things get very, very silly.
Pegg plays Gary, the ringleader of his band of school pals. It's been more than 20 years since their failed attempt to visit all 12 pubs in their hometown of Newton Haven. Now approaching 40, Gary hasn't grown up nearly as much as his friends, so it takes a bit of convincing to get the now-settled Andy, Ollie, Pete and Steve (Frost, Freeman, Marsan and Considine) to reunite for a renewed attempt to drink their way through town. Then after the first couple of pints, they start to suspect that something isn't quite right. People are behaving strangely, as if there are alien body snatchers taking over the town. So to avoid attracting attention, the boys just carry on getting blind drunk on their way to the 12th pub, The World's End.
As in the previous films, Pegg and Wright continue developing the characters and their inter-relationships even as everything falls apart around them. Sure, the end of the humanity seems to be upon them, but there's unfinished business between them that needs sorting out, and besides there are more pints to drink. Along the way, things are spiced up as they meet Ollie's sister Sam (Pike), who shocks Gary by refusing to pick up where they left off. They also encounter a former teacher (Brosnan), the town's crazy old man (Bradley) and a shady guy known as The Reverend (Smiley).
Continue reading: The World's End Review
Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, who star in the upcoming comedy 'The World's End', talk about the movie's director Edgar Wright in a short featurette. Producer Eric Fellner and stars Rosmund Pike, Paddy Considine and Eddie Marsan also offer their praise.
The cast and crew of 'The World's End', including producers Eric Fellner and Nira Park, director Edgar Wright and stars Paddy Considine and Rosamund Pike, praise lead actors Simon Pegg and Nick Frost on their genuine on and offscreen chemistry in a featurette featuring clips of the stars from their movies together including 'Shaun of the Dead', 'Hot Fuzz', 'Paul' and the TV series 'Spaced'.
The World's End has received rave reviews, though the soundtrack could be a popular record this summer.
The World's End - the third and final instalment of Edgar Wright's 'Cornetto' comedy trilogy starring Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and Paddy Considine - hits cinemas nationwide on July 19, 2013. It centres around five friends who attempt a notorious pub crawl in their unassuming hometown - twelve pubs, twelve pints and the only the strongest will survive.
Of course, the mind of Edgar Wright doesn't work think along quite such straight lines and the boozy group unwittingly become humankind's only hope for survival.
Also starring British talent Rosamund Pike, Eddie Marsen and The Hobbit star Martin Freeman, The World's End promises a hugely enjoyable finale for the trilogy - also featuring Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz - though the soundtrack is worth checking out too.
Continue reading: 'The World's End' Soundtrack Is A Glorious Tribute To The 1990s
The World's End sees Simon Pegg and pals return to their hometown for one epic pun crawl.
12 Pubs 12 Pints...
The first trailer for Edgar Wright's new movie The World's End has rolled out online - and it looks a riot. The final instalment in the Blood and Ice Cream Trilogy (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz) follows Gary King, a 40-year-old looking to reclaim the glory of his teenage years by vowing to complete the infamous Newton Haven pub crawl that he and his pals failed to finish 20 years ago. The problem lies in the fact that his friends are now middle class, comfortably living blue collar workers: why would they possibly agree?
Gary King is a 40-year-old still living in his teens and who can't wait to gather up his four friends from his teenage years to complete a pub crawl that they failed 20 years ago as kids in their hometown of Newton Haven. Unfortunately for him, his now corporate, higher-living friends are reluctant to agree though with much pressure from Gary, they eventually relent. However, things aren't exactly as they remember; the townsfolk are acting oddly and they are about to embark on a mission to rescue their childhood home from a threat of galactic proportions. But will they manage to complete their drinking quest and reach 'The World's End' pub as well as save the world from certain destruction?
Continue: The World's End Trailer
Well there was no denying who the biggest name at the Elle Style Awards was last night, as Oscar-nominee and Silver Linings Playbook actor Bradley Cooper turned up to the UK capital of London last night dressed in a suave looking blue suit with checked tie ensemble (February 11, 2013). However he was far from the only one to turn the heads of the paparazzi as many of the great and good turned out for the annual bash which, far from what it's name would suggest, also awards leading performances in film and television.
Continue reading: Bradley Cooper The Big Name At Elle Style Awards (Pictures)
Tom Cruise may be oddly miscast in this big action movie, but he certainly knows how to make one of these preposterous films connect with an audience. And writer-director McQuarrie adds a driving sense of internal logic that keeps it consistently enjoyable. So even if the hero in Lee Child's series of novels is a 6-foot-5 blond-haired, blue-eyed muscle-man, the cast and crew get away withThe story takes place in Pittsburgh, where a multiple shooting leads Detective Emerson (Oyelowo) and DA Rodin (Jenkins) to a withdrawn gun nut (Sikora). It seems like an open-and-shut case until man of mystery Jack Reache (Cruise) turns up. An off-the-grid ex-Army agent, Jack offers to help defence attorney Helen (Pike) prove her client's innocence. Of course, he instantly solves the case, uncovering a conspiracy and putting himself and Helen in danger from a ruthless Russian (Herzog) and his henchman (Courtenay). Meanwhile, Jack befriends a gun-range owner (Duvall) who has a connection to the case.
There's clearly an attempt here to echo Bourne-style questioning of identity and morality through Jack's hazy history and super-spy methodology. And the plot is also packed with far-fetched details and silly connections (Helen is Rodin's daughter), although McQuarrie does his best to keep things plausible and intelligent enough to hold our attention. There's also a sense of the bigger issue in Jack's life, that he can't cope with the grey-scale relativity in society and prefers right-or-wrong battlefield morality. He also hates modern-day connectivity, refusing to carry a mobile phone. But then he doesn't travel with a vehicle, weapon or change of clothing either; he prefers to "borrow" everything as needed.
Despite being nearly a foot shorter than the literary Jack, Cruise inhabits the role nicely, offering a slightly scrapper, more shadowy version of his Mission: Impossible character. But he's just as sexless, never putting much oomph into his flirtation with the always terrific Pike. On the other hand, he generously lets his costars steal every scene. Duvall is hilariously offhanded, while Herzog adds his own mad genius into his role as a, well, mad genius. And Oyelowo more than holds his own opposite these veteran hams. So even if the film never tries to be anything more than a ripping, mindless thriller, the stylish filmmaking and cool characters make it an enjoyable waste of time.
Continue reading: Jack Reacher Review
Tom Cruise and Paramount's new film, Jack Reacher, will be put on ice for the time being as the film's producers have deemed the time inappropriate to hold a lavish film premiere in lieu of yesterdays horrific shooting incident that has horrified the nation and the world.
With a nation in mourning for the 28 people left dead, 20 of whom were children, at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, Paramount have decided the best thing to do is to postpone tonight's premiere in Pittsburg for an indefinite time. In a statement obtained by E! News, a spokesperson for the production company said: "Due to the terrible tragedy...and out of honor and respect for the families of the victims whose lives were senselessly taken, we are postponing tomorrow's Pittsburgh premiere of Jack Reacher. Our hearts go out to all those who lost loved ones."
The upcoming action film, which stars Rosamund Pike and Richard Jenkins as well as Cruise, sees the film veteran play a loner detective, who possesses exceptional intelligence and physical acumen as he investigates a case, involving a trained military sniper who shot five random victims. The film has already enjoyed premieres in London and Stockholm and was due to have its U.S. premiere in Pittsburg today (Dec 15). Certain parts of the film were shot in Pittsburgh, hence its selection as the locale for the U.S. premiere.
In New York, Leonardo Dicaprio, Jamie Foxx, Samuel L. Jackson, Don Johnson and a bald-shaven Christoph Waltz attended the premiere of Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained, joking with the photographers as they posed for them. And Tarantino even turned up with his Kill Bill star Uma Thurman on his arm.
Meanwhile in London, the first part in Peter Jackson's new trilogy, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, had its royal film performance this week with much of the cast in attendance, including Martin Freeman, Cate Blanchett and Ian McKellen, who watched the film alongside Prince William. The film is in cinemas now, with the following chapters scheduled for next Christmas and the summer of 2014.
As tall as he draws his posture, there's no way Tom Cruise is anywhere near the height of six foot two that the eponymous character he plays in Jack Reacher is in the original book written by Lee Child. Yet it's Cruise who was given the role for the forthcoming film adaptation and, to be fair to him, he took it with the blessing of Child. Both were in attendance for the film's premiere in London last night (December 10) alongside the rest of the cast including Rosamund Pike and Robert Duvall, whilst director Christopher McQuarrie also put an appearance in.
Opening on a terrified-looking man in a hospital bed, we are immediately informed that Jack Reacher is a, "kind of cop", but doesn't care about proof or the law, only what's right. From the word go, we ca see that Reacher is not a man to be trifled with.
Continue: Jack Reacher 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.
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
Brad (Black) is a birdwatcher who decides to do a Big Year, seeing as many birds as possible in 12 months, while holding down a full-time job and borrowing against his credit cards. Jetting around the country for rare spottings, he comes up against his record-holding nemesis Kenny (Wilson) as well as Stu (Martin), a corporate big-wig who has taken a year off work to follow his dream. But will their obsession with birding cause problems in their private lives?
Continue reading: The Big Year Review
Brad Harris is having what he calls a 'no-life crisis'. He is stuck in a soul destroying job and he is still living with his parents, despite him being in his mid-thirties. The one thing that holds any interest for him is bird watching. When he discovers that this year is known to 'birders' as 'The Big Year' - one year where birders set out to find as many birds in the country as possible - Brad is determined to beat the record previously set by Kenny Postick.
Continue: The Big Year Trailer
After a disastrous mission in Mozambique, disgraced spy Johnny English (Atkinson) joined a Himalayan monastery. But MI7 boss Pegasus (Anderson) calls him back into service, and soon he stumbles into a nefarious plan to assassinate China's prime minister. But he's also of course causing havoc. Now the lead suspect, only the agency's sexy shrink Kate (Pike) and his sidekick Tucker (Kaluuya) still have faith in him. And as the murderous plot unfurls at a mountain-top Swiss hideaway, English makes a daring attempt to save the world and clear his name.
Continue reading: Johnny English Reborn Review
Fracture has no excuse to be so lazy, given the actors at its disposal and a setup that should have made this an easy slam-dunk. Hopkins plays Ted Crawford, an aeronautics engineer who's found out that his wife Jennifer (Embeth Davidtz) is having an affair with police detective Rob Nunally (Billy Burke). Confronting her at home, Crawford shoots her in the head and calmly waits for the cops to arrive. When they do, it's with none other than Nunally at the lead, who's shocked and enraged at finding Jennifer in a pool of blood and Crawford standing there as though nothing had happened. After a quickly-interrupted beating from Nunally, Crawford later confesses and even waives his right to a lawyer. When it's all dropped in the lap of assistant district attorney Willy Beachum (Gosling), the case couldn't seem more airtight, which is good since Beachum can't wait to slip the bonds of lowly civil employment for a well-paying private sector job.
Continue reading: Fracture Review
Until director Lee Tamahori blasts right past a perfectly good ending, only to burn a superfluous 20 minutes on an all-action, all-gimmick epilogue that leaks suspension of disbelief like a sieve, "Die Another Day" is as stimulating and heart-rate-raising as any James Bond thriller.
It has fresh new stunts (Bond goes surfin' surfin' MI6) set to energetic renditions of the Bond theme. It has an exhilarating sword fight (things get out of hand at a fencing club) and an awesome gadget car chase across a vast frozen inlet in Iceland (Bond drives an Aston Martin V12 Vanquish with missiles, pop-up machine guns, ejector seat and invisibility). It has a slithering, credibly psychotic bad guy (Toby Stephens, "Possession") who literally never sleeps, and a henchman (Rick Yune, "The Fast and the Furious") whose face is scarred by diamonds that became embedded in his skin when Bond almost blew him up with a briefcase full of jewels and C-4.
"Die Another Day" also has a modicum of success updating the series' style (slick, kinetic cinematography with swing-perspective camera tricks works well but virtual reality sequences and rock tunes on the soundtrack do not), and it takes risks with 007's invincible image. Bond is captured in the film's requisite action-packed pre-credits sequence and his torture by North Korean interrogators is blended into the sexy title song (a throwaway rave-mix tune from Madonna).
Continue reading: Die Another Day Review
Date of birth
27th January, 1979
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