Tom and Anna Reed are a young married couple who have moved all the way to London with the intention of restoring the house that Anna grew up in and subsequently starting a family. However, it isn't long before the pair fall on hard times and they are faced with losing the house they have been so desperate for. One day, they fail to get a response from their basement tenant Ben and go down to his apartment to check on him, only to be faced with a brutal murder scene. Their luck seems to change, however, when they discover a bag of £220,000 in bank notes stashed in the ceiling tiles. They take the money, agreeing to only use what is needed to cover their mortgage and credit card bills. Unfortunately, there are people after the money. People who Ben made a mistake to cross. People intent on hunting down the Reeds.
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Wes Anderson's entertaining filmmaking style clicks beautifully into focus for this comical adventure. Films like The Darjeeling Limited and Moonrise Kingdom are packed with amazing detail and terrific characters, but this movie is on another level entirely: fast, smart and engaging, packed with both silly slapstick and intelligent gags. And the sprawling cast is simply wonderful.
It's a story within a story within a story, as an author (Wilkinson) narrates the tale of his 1968 conversation as a young writer (Law) with ageing hotelier Zero (Abraham), who in turn recounts his life as a lobby boy in 1932. Young Zero (Revolori) learned his craft alongside legendary concierge Gustave (Fiennes) at the Grand Budapest Hotel somewhere in Middle Europe, and stuck by Gustave's side when he became embroiled in an inheritance battle with a spoiled heir (Brody) and his evil henchman (Dafoe). As things get increasingly nasty, Zero and his baker girlfriend (Ronan) help Gustave fight for justice, and when that doesn't work he helps orchestrate an elaborate prison escape. Meanwhile, war breaks out twice across Europe.
The double flashback structure makes this a film about the power of storytelling itself, and even more potent is the reminder that we need to remember the old ways, especially as the world changes around us. This simple idea is woven so cleverly into the DNA of the script that it continually takes our breath away, conveying the true importance of history and nostalgia. At the centre, Fiennes gives his best-ever performance, showing a real gift for comedy (who knew?) as he makes the bristly Gustave deeply likeable. His camaraderie with newcomer Revolori is priceless, as are the cameos from an array of Anderson veterans including Murray, Wilson and the always astonishing Swinton.
Continue reading: The Grand Budapest Hotel Review
Gustave may be aloof and snobbish in many ways, but he's also extremely charming with a good heart and a titanic personality. As result he makes for a highly popular concierge at the Grand Budapest Hotel, who regularly entertains guests in more ways than one. He is charged with training up an inexperienced young lobby boy named Zero Moustafa who he soon bonds with. When one of his one night stands, the elderly Madame D, is found murdered in her hotel room, Zero is first by his side to defend him against her family and the authorities who are quick to accuse Gustave of the crime. Things become more intense when her will reveals her wish to bestow a valuable painting to her lover, entitled Boy With Apple, and Gustave and Zero are forced to flee. However, they are not alone as Zero falls for an attractive guest named Agatha who helps them hide the painting while Gustave protests his innocence.
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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.
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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.
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.
Dido Elizabeth Belle is the mixed race daughter of Royal Navy officer Captain John Lindsay resulting from his affair with an African woman. Desperate for his only child to receive a comfortable upbringing, he takes her back to England and begs his uncle, Lord Mansfield, to take her in and care for her as their own. As much as she is treated well and enjoys the company of her cousin Lady Elizabeth Murray, she finds herself an outcast with no specified social status and disallowed from dining with her family on social occasions all because of her colour. While she is shunned by almost everybody, one man takes an interest in her; John Davinier, the apprentice of Lord Mansfield. However, both her great-uncle and John's parents are averse to the idea of their marriage - though their shocking love story forces Mansfield to re-think his own feelings about race and family.
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Everything about this film screams excess, from the ludicrous two-and-a-half hour running time to the whopping scale of the action sequences to Johnny Depp's bizarro costume. But this reunion between Depp and his original Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy director Verbinski is a solidly made romp that actually has some genuine laughs and thrills. There's certainly never a dull moment.
It's set in late-1860s Texas, where John Reid (Hammer) arrives to visit his brother Dan (Dale), whose wife Rebecca (Wilson) is John's former flame. After an elaborate prison break, John is deputised and joins the posse of rangers hunting down the escapee. When they're ambushed, John is the lone survivor, nursed back to health by quirky outsider Tonto (Depp), a Native American who knows how to get to the bottom of what's going on here. So they go undercover to find the truth, which involves a secret silver mine, construction on the first transcontinental American railway, and tensions between European settlers and the native Comanche community.
The script is a complex riot of details that resolutely refuse to gel into a coherent picture until the screenwriters are good and ready to fill in the gaps. In the mean time, they throw the characters into a series of madcap action set-pieces that are wildly cartoonish in the way everyone just dusts themselves off afterwards and carries on. From train crashes to horseback chases, this is non-stop action. And Verbinski is an expert at staging these massive sequences, so they're a lot of fun to watch, especially when the film is populated with such energetic characters.
Continue reading: The Lone Ranger Review
John Reid is a Texas ranger; law-abiding and glad to ride alongside his brother, following in his father's footsteps. However, enforcing the law is the last thing on his mind when his brother is killed in an ambush. When he wakes after the attack, injured, he is confronted by Tonto; a strange Native American spirit warrior who wishes to team up with him and seek justice. Reid must abandon the law, and fight the real crime in the town and so he dons his mask and dubs himself Lone Ranger and with Tonto, vows to protect the people from the impending insidious threat.
Here is the Walt Disney Pictures adaption of the 50s Western TV show 'The Lone Ranger' that first gained public attention as a radio show in the 30s. It's an amusing and truly stunning take on the story featuring an all-star cast with direction from the Oscar winning Gore Verbinski ('Pirates of the Caribbean', 'Rango', 'The Ring', 'Mousetrap'). The screenwriting group includes Oscar nominees Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio ('The Mask of Zorro', 'Pirates of the Caribbean', 'Shrek') as well as Justin Haythe ('The Clearing', 'Revolutionary Road'). The movie is set for release in UK cinemas everywhere from August 9th 2013.
John Reid bears the alias of the Lone Ranger and uses his title and his mask to fight for justice and maintain the law. He's Texas born, never removes his disguise and fights for peace in his troubled town with his Native American friend Tonto who is a spirit warrior with a personality a mile away from that of the Ranger but they still remain loyal companions on their journey to eliminate crime in their quiet town.
It started out as a thirties radio show before becoming a hit TV series in the fifties, and now it has been adapted by Walt Disney Pictures for the silver screen. 'The Lone Ranger' is an exciting contemporary version of this much-loved tale with high-energy action and much in the way of humour. It's a wonderful take on the famous partnership that is masked hero Tonto and his faithful 'kemosabe'. Oscar winning movie genius Gore Verbinski returned to Walt Disney to work on the movie with Hollywood superstar Johnny Depp in his wake having previously worked on the film company's epic film series 'Pirates of the Caribbean'. The screenwriters include the writers of masked crusader 'The Mask of Zorro' Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio, with Justin Haythe ('The Clearing', 'Revolutionary Road'). It is set to hit cinemas across the UK on August 9th 2013.
Starring: Johnny Depp, Armie Hammer, William Fichtner, Ruth Wilson, James Badge Dale, Tom Wilkinson, Barry Pepper, Helena Bonham Carter, Mason Cook, James Frain, Harry Treadaway, Matt O'Leary, W. Earl Brown, Leon Rippy, Timothy V. Murphy, Joaquin Cosio, Damon Herriman, Robert Baker,
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After 25 years in prison, con-artist Foley (Jackson) decides to change his life. All his old friends are gone, and his best pal's son Ethan (Kirby) now works for vicious businessman Xavier (Wilkinson). But Ethan brings back the issues Foley is trying to put behind him. Worse, Ethan needs Foley's help for a "samaritan" grift, which involves coming to the aid of the mark to win his trust. Then Foley meets vulnerable young call-girl Iris (Negga), who manages to get under his skin.
Continue reading: Fury [aka The Samaritan] Review
Seven retirees meet at the airport as they move to Rajasthan to retire in a newly restored hotel. Evelyn (Dench) is financially strapped due to her late husband's debts. Muriel (Smith) is getting a faster, cheaper hip replacement.
Douglas and Jean (Nighy and Wilton) can't afford to retire in Britain. Graham (Wilkinson) has unfinished business in India. And Norman and Madge (Pickup and Imrie) are both single and looking for love. But manager Sonny (Patel) has slightly exaggerated the hotel's facilities.
Continue reading: The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel Review
Muriel, Evelyn and Jean are just a few of a group of British retirees who decide to travel to India to stay at The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. After viewing the hotel's website, they are won over by how luxurious the hotel is and are soon on the first flight out of the UK.
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A terrorist attack on the Kremlin in Moscow causes the President of the United States - believing that the Impossible Mission Force is behind it - to issue Ghost Protocol, thereby shutting down the entire force. Agent Ethan Hunt and his team are being sent to Washington, where they will be charged with the terrorist attacks but escapes - as part of a plan to allow him to work outside of the IMF - by assaulting fellow agent, Brandt, who he then has to work closely with in order to clear the IMF's name. Hunt is told that if he or any member of his team is caught or compromised, they will be charged as terrorists trying to start global nuclear war.
After the President is murdered in 1865, inexperienced lawyer Frederick (McAvoy) is assigned to defend Mary Surratt (Wright), who is charged with conspiracy alongside eight others. As a war hero from the North, Frederick is horrified to get this job, but is convinced by his boss (Wilkinson) that she at least deserves a fair trial. Of course, in the hysteria following the war and assassination, that's not likely. The judge (Meaney) clearly takes sides, the prosecutor (Huston) is relentlessly arrogant and the war secretary (Kline) has already decided on a verdict and sentence.
Continue reading: The Conspirator Review
In 1828 Edinburgh, friends William Burke (Pegg) and William Hare (Serkis) realise they can make good money supplying cadavers to world-class surgeon Dr Knox (Wilkinson). But when they can't find a dead body, they kill someone instead. Hare's wife (Hynes) finds out and wants in on it, but Burke can't tell his aspiring actress girlfriend (Fisher) how he makes his living. Meanwhile, Knox is battling a rival surgeon (Curry) for the King's seal. And the local militia captain (Corbett) is closing in.
Continue reading: Burke & Hare Review
RocknRolla is sexy, fast, loose, smart, and extremely funny. It's crammed with colorful criminals, which Ritchie and cinematographer David Higgs backlight to great effect. It chokes on delightfully screwy schemes, which the director and his editor James Herbert slice, tape, and test drive at breakneck speeds. And that's the key. It keeps moving, hardly caring if you are keeping up.
Continue reading: RocknRolla Review
Based on P.G. Wodehouse's novel, the film concerns the exploits of one Jim Crocker (Sam Rockwell), a young wastrel whose social-climbing American mother (Allison Janney, sharp as a tack) has forced him and his father (Tom Wilkinson), a failed British actor, to live in London and try and impress the swells there. She does this just to tick off her competitive sister, Nesta (Brenda Blethyn), a fact not wasted on the men of the family. Spoiling his mother's plans is Jim's penchant to booze it up all over town, getting into fistfights and leaving flappers scattered about the house and in his bed. Jim decides to ostensibly reform his wayward ways when he meets Nesta's step-niece Anne (Frances O'Connor), who won't have anything to do with him unless he pretends to be someone else - Jim once wrote a gossip column under the name "Piccadilly Jim", and once someone else writing the column (he hasn't worked on it for years) gave a negative review to a collection of Anne's poems. Jim thusly does the only sensible thing a fellow could do: He pretends to be a teetotaler Christian named Algernon Bayliss. Somehow, along the way, a German spy and some scientific secrets come into play, but one would be well-served to not wonder how.
Continue reading: Piccadilly Jim Review
The catchy pop ballads found on the soundtrack for Tony Goldwyn's The Last Kiss will break your heart in two. The movie these songs support only wishes it could make such a claim.
Back to the music for a minute. Coldplay, Cary Brothers, Fiona Apple, Snow Patrol, and a smattering of other fashionable artists - each handpicked by leading man Zach Braff - croon (and sometimes whine) about infidelity, loss, and life-changing mistakes that target the love of your life. Sample lyrics include, "She's moving on... without you." Sentiments rarely deviate from this norm. It's a nice place to wallow on a rainy afternoon.
Braff worked similar musical magic for his directorial debut Garden State. His ear for stirring, soulful melodies earned him a Best Compilation Soundtrack for a Motion Picture Grammy award. But where Braff's Garden mix tape enhanced his quirky and personal little comedy, this new song collection can't lift Goldwyn's somber material from the doldrums.
Continue reading: The Last Kiss (2006) Review
Date of birth
5th February, 1948
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