Basically a 90-minute shoot-out, there isn't a lot to this movie. British filmmaker Ben Wheatley (High-Rise) is using a group of wildly offbeat characters to play a hilarious riff on Tarantino-style dialogue and violence. So while there's not much to it, the actors have plenty of grist to bring their roles to life. Which makes the film funny and intense all the way through, even if there's no emotional connection at all.
The entire film is set in a warehouse in 1978 Boston, where Justine (Brie Larson), Chris (Cillian Murphy) and Frank (Michael Smiley) have gone with their drivers Stevo and Bernie (Jack Reynor and Enzo Cilenti) to buy a cache of guns from the swaggering Ord (Armie Hammer) and his mercurial arms dealer Vernon (Sharlto Copley), who has brought ex-Black Panther Martin (Babou Ceesay) as some muscle, plus bickering drivers Harry and Gordon (Jack Reynor and Noah Taylor). All of them greet each other tensely, but they make the deal with a bit of offhanded banter and wary respect. But just as they're all getting ready to leave, Stevo and Harry spot each other. And both are still feeling wounded after the nasty encounter they had last night.
What follows is an explosion of utterly pointless violence. All of these people are nervous and trigger-happy, so it doesn't take much to set them off. The carnage that follows isn't like most movies, because people don't get shot and just lie on the ground; they crawl off injured, regroup and rejoin the fray. Alliances shift, and every moment of panic leads to even more chaos. And right in the middle, there's a bag of cash and a crate of rifles that everyone has an eye on. Wheatley stages this in real-time, with a steady flow of jaggedly witty conversation between the gunshots and constant sight-gags in the action mayhem.
Continue reading: Free Fire Review
Enzo Cilenti, Michael Smiley, Ben Wheatley, Armie Hammer, Sam Riley, Cillian Murphy, Babou Ceesay, Sharlto Copley and Jack Reynor at the BFI London Film Festival Closing Night Gala of 'Free Fire' at the Odeon Leicester Square, London, United Kingdom - Sunday 16th October 2016
Sharlto Copley at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival premiere of 'Free Fire' held at Ryerson Theatre - Toronto, Canada - Thursday 8th September 2016
Sharlto Copley attending a New York screening of 'The Hollars' at Cinepolis Chelsea in Manhattan, New York City, United States - Thursday 18th August 2016
Henry wakes up in a modern operating theatre unable to speak and with no memory of his past. A woman begins talking to him and modifying his body, whilst she's speaking she informs Henry that they are man and wife and that she's just made vast improvements to his mental and physical abilities.
With no warning, the couple soon find themselves under fire and being chased by a group of men wishing to steal the technology Henry's wife has implanted in his body. As the couple attempt to excape, only Henry manages to break away from the villains; Estelle on the other hand is captures and taken hostage.
Alone in the city of Moscow, Henry doesn't know how he'll rescue his wife or escape the men seeking to kill him but he appears to have one ally a British man called Jimmy. If Henry can figure out the mystery surrounding the circumstances he finds himself in, he might just be able to fulfil his mission.
Continue: Hardcore Henry Trailer
The BAFTA nominee stars as robot engineer Deon in 'Chappie'.
Dev Patel stars in one of the most unusual sci-fi movies of recent years, 'Chappie', in which he plays a celebrated engineer and inventor of a robotic police force. However, communicating with a robot as opposed to another actor was always going to bring its challenges.
Dev Patel stars alongside Sharlto Copley in 'Chappie'
He's probably best known for starring in the Oscar winning Eastern drama 'Slumdog Millionaire', but Dev Patel is no stranger to the sci-fi fantasy genre. In 2010, he appeared in M. Night Shyamalan's 'The Last Airbender', but rather than having to weave around various special effects, this time he was expected to enact scenes with an inanimate object.
Neill Blomkamp maintains his trademark style of tying a thought-provoking plot to an explosive piece of entertainment with 'Chappie'.
As he did with 'District 9' and 'Elysium', South African filmmaker Neill Blomkamp wants to combine thrills and thoughtful issues in his new movie 'Chappie'. His goal, he says, is to "change the lens through which a person looks at something. But you have to do that without violating the reason that someone paid for a ticket in the first place."
Chappie is played by Sharlto Copley - a longtime collaborator of Blomkamp's
In other words, while all three films include strong political statements, "they're also pieces of entertainment, and if they don't work on that level then they don't work period," he said. "Filmmakers need to remember that audiences go to the cinema to escape for two hours, not to be lectured to. If you really have a message you need to get across, you're better off making a documentary."
Continue reading: Neill Blomkamp's 'Chappie' Mixes Ideas And Action
This is a terrific small film about artificial intelligence wrapped within a much bigger, less involving action blockbuster. When he's grappling with issues of existence and consciousness, filmmaker Neill Blomkamp has a lot of fascinating things to say. But he also seems unable to resist tipping everything into contrived chaos, adding an unconvincing villain and lots of violent gun battles. It's an awkward mix that might please action movie fans more than those who like to engage their brains.
It's set after 2016, when the Johannesburg police deployed a team of Scout robots to bring order to the gang-ruled streets. This has been a bonanza for the tech company Tetravaal, run by hard-nosed CEO Michelle (Sigourney Weaver), who chose the Scout model, designed by the nerdy Deon (Dev Patel), over a more military-style behemoth called Moose, designed by trigger-happy Vincent (Hugh Jackman). Meanwhile, a low-life trio of offbeat, high-energy thugs (Ninja, Yo-Landi Visser and Jose Pablo Cantillo) decide to crack into the Scout's control system, so they kidnap Deon, inadvertently getting their hands on his newest prototype, the first truly sentient robot. When he's switched on, Chappie (Copley) has a sensitive soul and learns rather too quickly from his captors.
With films like District 9 and Elysium, Blomkamp showed an ability to seamlessly integrate technology with a rough and real story, and the effects work here is remarkable mainly because we never see how they're done. The robots look utterly natural mixing with humans, and Copley's performance is so astonishing that Chappie quickly becomes a hugely sympathetic character, uncannily taking on the traits of the people around him. It also helps that the film's script continually puts Chappie into situations that force us to feel his emotions and, most importantly, his powerful sense of self-preservation. Yes, he wants to live!
Continue reading: Chappie Review
Mankind has the potential to build wondrous things, yet it also truly fears what it doesn't understand. After working for the best part of a year on creating a thinking, feeling artificial intelligence, Deon Wilson (Dev Patel) is close to realising that vision. Said vision is CHAPPiE (Sharlto Copley), and when he is finally activated, he serves as a true breakthrough for mankind. CHAPPiE is a capable of thinking and learning, yet he also has the potential for creating destruction. It is this potential that worries Vincent Moore (Hugh Jackman), who sets out with the intent to destroy CHAPPiE before he can cause any damage.
Continue: Chappie - Trailer
Rich Cline talks us through some of the best films to look out for in 2015.
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) Shaun The Sheep Movie - The British TV hit becomes a charming stop-motion feature (Feb). Other anticipated animations: Pixar's Inside Out (Jul), Despicable Me spin-off The Minions Movie (Jun) and Snoopy & Charlie Brown (Dec). Watch the trailer for Shaun The Sheep Movie here.
Continue reading: Contactmusic.com’s 10 Most Anticipated Films Of 2015
After awaking in a deep pit alone, but surrounded by dead bodies, John (Sharlto Copley) begins to call out for help, whereupon a woman throws down a rope to help him out. John has no memory of what has happened, or who he is. The woman leads him to a house containing a group of other people, all of whom have no idea who they are, either. As the isolated survivors of some horrifying plague begin to investigate their surroundings, they soon discover that, while they don't know what has caused this new world they find themselves in, they are certainly not alone.
Continue: Open Grave Trailer
Disney rewrites its own history again with this revisionist version of its 1959 classic Sleeping Beauty. As she did with Alice in Wonderland, screenwriter Linda Woolverton uses simplistic plotting and clumsy dialogue to turn a children's story into an eerily dark Lord of the Rings-style effects extravaganza. Fortunately, it's held together by an imperious performance from Angelina Jolie.
She plays the story's wicked witch as a misunderstood hero, a happy fairy who grew up in a magical realm next to a kingdom of humans who were constantly afraid of what they didn't understand. And things take a grim turn when her childhood friend Stefan (Sharlto Copley) brutally violates her in order to become the human's king. Now the two lands are at war with each other, and in a fit of rage Maleficent curses Stefan's firstborn Aurora (Dakota Fanning) to fall into a deep sleep before she turns 16. So Stefan hides her in a country house cared for by three bumbling pixies (Imelda Staunton, Lesley Manville and Juno Temple). But it's actually Maleficent who watches over Aurora, and as they bond Maleficent begins to wish she could undo that pesky curse.
Yes, this is not remotely the familiar 17th century Sleeping Beauty fairytale: it's a completely different plot that reduces the "sleeping" bit from 100 years to little more than a power nap. It also re-casts Maleficent as a woman who had one brief moment of nastiness, while the increasingly paranoid and cruel Stefan is the real villain of the piece. The problem is that this shift leaves all of the characters feeling shallow and uninteresting. Aside from Jolie's fabulously prowling horned fairy, no one on-screen really registers at all. The terrific trio of pixies are sidelined in silly slapstick, while the Handsome Prince (Brendon Thwaites) is utterly hapless and Maleficent's crow-like sidekick (Sam Riley) is the victim of an over-zealous make-up designer.
Continue reading: Maleficent Review
Date of birth
27th November, 1973
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