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Pacific Rim Now Out In Cinemas, But What Other Films Have Been Released Today?


Guillermo Del Toro Tuppence Middleton Alexandra Roach Benedict Cumberbatch Iain Softley Billy Crystal John Goodman Julian Assange Alex Gibney Ron Perlman

Friday 12th July has been quite the launchpad for a host of new and exciting films, showcasing the genre spectrum. From action blockbusters to indies, political thrillers to kids animation films, there'll be something to suit all tastes and ages as the summer of film gets hotter.

Well, we'll start off with Trap For Cinderella first because it's the underdog erotic thriller indie with an interesting premise. The Iain Softley film will star young, up-and-coming British actresses Tuppence Middleton and Alexandra Roach as vivacious Micky and shy Do: two girls who are reunited after years apart and reignite a secret passion despite the disapproval they are faced with.

Trap for Cinderella
Tuppence Middleton & Alexandra Roach In Trap For Cinderella.

Continue reading: Pacific Rim Now Out In Cinemas, But What Other Films Have Been Released Today?

How Julian Assange's $1m Request Drove Alex Gibney Away


Julian Assange Alex Gibney

Alex Gibney is one of his generation’s finest documentary makers, and amidst the flurry of WikiLeaks films, documentaries and books that are set to document the very real thriller that is Julian Assange’s life, he was first to cover it – but where is Assange’s interview?

Julian AssangeWikiLeaks founder Julian Assange addresses a crowd from the Ecuadorian Embassy

We Steal Secrets: the Story of WikiLeaks is not only the first WikiLeaks documentary, but it’s generally considered to be the best, but, as Gibney confirms, Assange’s absence from the film isn’t due to his busy schedule, or constantly seeking asylum in different countries. Rather, it’s a financial dispute. "Here's this tremendously romantic figure travelling the world with a laptop in his knapsack, exposing abuses of power," says Gibney. "That sounds like a pretty good story to me."

Continue reading: How Julian Assange's $1m Request Drove Alex Gibney Away

'We Steal Secrets,' WikiLeaks Documentary Lacks The Support Of Julian Assange


Julian Assange Alex Gibney

It was only a matter of time before the story of Julian Assange and WikiLeaks got adapted for the big screen. The idea of one man taking on the world’s government with the aid of thousands of anonymous informers seems to capture the zeitgeist of the 21st century so well, that it is perfectly suited for a movie adaptation – or several. Director Alex Gibney’s We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks is only the first of several – Laura Poitras, Ken Loach, Craig Ferguson, even Steven Spielberg are all working on documentaries or adaptations of the story, with Spielberg’s The Fifth Estate having just wrapped. Some have the blessing of Assange himself, while others do not.

Alex Gibney, PGA awards
Alex Gibney did not have Assange's backing.

We Steal Secrets falls in the second category. While Gibney worked in cooperation with Assange initially, the working relationship broke down when the WikiLeaks founder asked for $1 million for his interview. Gibney, however, doesn’t pay his subjects. He explained for the Guardian: "[Assange] then came up with an outrageous idea: 'How about you spy on the other interview subjects and report back to me, because I want to know what they're saying.' I said, 'No. I can't do that for you. I don't work for you.' [Assange] said in a huff, 'I don't work for you, either.'"

Continue reading: 'We Steal Secrets,' WikiLeaks Documentary Lacks The Support Of Julian Assange

We Steal Secrets: The Story Of Wikileaks - Clip


Julian Assange shot to fame in 2010 after using his already controversial website WikiLeaks to publish secret documents from the US military. More recently, he has been under a European arrest warrant following charges of sexual assault on two women in Sweden. Over fears that the UK will send him over and that he subsequently will be extradited to the US and possibly face charges surrounding his releasing of classified American diplomatic cables in 2010, he has fled to the Ecuadorian Embassy in London where he has diplomatic asylum. 'We Steal Secrets: The Story Of Wikileaks' tells his story of computer hacking, public rights to government-classified information and the real ethical nightmare surrounding both issues.

This is a documentary focusing on the real intentions of WikiLeaks and raising various moral issues about its use. It has been directed by Academy Award winner Alex Gibney ('Taxi to the Dark Side', 'Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room') who co-produced the film with Marc Shmuger ('Dead of Winter') and Alexis Bloom ('Frontline/World') and features founder Julian on his rapid journey to global fame. It is set to premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in 2013 with UK release dates yet to be announced.

Director: Alex Gibney

Continue: We Steal Secrets: The Story Of Wikileaks - Clip

Client-9: The Rise And Fall Of Eliot Spitzer Review


Extraordinary
Instead of simply making a documentary about the Eliot Spitzer scandal, filmmaker Gibney cleverly paints a much bigger picture. And without being pushy about it, he reveals a system that's utterly terrifying.

As New York's attorney general, Spitzer was "the sheriff of Wall Street", determined to force bankers to operate within the law. He fearlessly went after the biggest firms, standing up for people who were in danger of losing their hard-earned savings to fat-cat executives. This earned him a reputation that propelled him into the governor's seat and was grooming him to be president.

But it also gave him several formidable enemies. Then the news broke that he was a regular client of a high-priced prostitution firm. And Wall Street celebrated his fall.

Continue reading: Client-9: The Rise And Fall Of Eliot Spitzer Review

Alex Gibney Tuesday 20th April 2010 Press conference to kick off the 7th Annual TriBeca Film Festival at the Borough of Manhattan Community College New York City, USA

Alex Gibney
Alex Gibney
Alex Gibney
Alex Gibney
Alex Gibney
Alex Gibney

Gonzo: The Life And Work Of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson Review


Excellent
Rare is the individual who can leave a mark on his chosen profession. In the case of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson, there's an entire school of journalistic thought named after him. Architect of the now infamous "gonzo" style of reporting (taken from a random critical comment offered by a friend), the man who followed the Hell's Angels for a year, struggled to see the America Dream in seedy Las Vegas, and hit the campaign trail in '72 to discover more "fear and loathing," remains an icon to an entire generation. Disaffected and constantly cantankerous, there was nothing predictable about the artist also known as Raoul Duke. Even his abrupt death by a self inflicted gunshot wound in 2005 seemed shockingly apropos.

Along with the more personal documentary Breakfast with Hunter, Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson stands as a seminal work of talking head biography. It tracks down many of the important people in the Kentucky-born bad boy's life, and lets them wax poetic and profound for almost two hours. Within the reminiscences we learn of his initial love of writing, his time as part of the notorious outlaw motorcycle gang, his experiences with Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters, a run for sheriff of Aspen, Colorado, his eyewitness account of the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago, and his various run-ins and affiliations with members of both the counterculture and Establishment.

Continue reading: Gonzo: The Life And Work Of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson Review

Taxi To The Dark Side Review


Excellent
Many Americans have not been terribly thrilled about their country's name being associated many times over the past few years with episodes of prisoner abuse and torture that would have seemed downright abhorrent to our forefathers. This is understandable, as the practices of setting dogs on naked prisoners, denying that the right to habeas corpus has any real applicability, and using sensory deprivation techniques thought to have been discontinued years ago all have a tendency to conflict with the way that many citizens prefer to see their own country. A very flawed but still noble paragon of some sort of justice and democracy, that sort of thing. But for some reason, this recoiling from ugly and un-American practices hasn't been universal. A random sampling of the citizenry would most likely (if years worth of polling, and a general lack of public outrage, can be believed) come up with a good number of people who may not like torturing all them Middle Easterners, but hey, it's an ugly world....

It's for those people in particular that Alex Gibney's deeply unsettling documentary Taxi to the Dark Side should be required viewing, though just about any citizen should feel the film worthy of their time. Gibney, who did a smart job of untangling the tortured and headache-inducing mess that was the Enron case with 2005's Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, does similarly swift work here cleaving through the morass of obfuscation and half-truths that have veiled the country's involvement in torture and extralegal detention since 9/11.

Continue reading: Taxi To The Dark Side Review

Mr. Untouchable Review


Good
It has to be the oddest situation of pointless one-upmanship imaginable. On the one side is Frank Lucas, glamorized urban criminal and self-proclaimed king of '70s Harlem heroin. His corporate, buttoned-down approach to people poisoning would eventually become the source of cinematic legend, polished and de-fanged by Ridley Scott and his soulless American Gangster. And on the other side is Leroy "Nicky" Barnes, king pimp of the same paradigm. To hear him tell it (in the insightful new documentary Mr. Untouchable), Lucas was an illiterate Carolina boy who embarrassed himself on the streets of New York. Instead, it was Barnes who created the mafia-subverting network of connections that would lead a city to swelter in a decade long grip of addiction.

Why anyone would want to win this contest remains a concept outside the actual narrative provided by filmmaker Marc Levin. With access to the actual figures fictionalized in Scott's crime drama, as well as an unusual amount of openness from said participants (most have done their time and are ready to rewrite history), we get the seedier side of the Me Decade in the Big Apple. Barnes describes his own pretend professionalism, taking credit for turning drug dealing into an "above board" case of supply and demand. His associates discuss their designer clothes, outlandish jewelry, and the lovely ladies that hung from their arms like erotic accessories. Thanks to some incredible archival footage, we witness the actual nude dope factories, bare-ass biz-natches cutting and bagging the killer powder.

Continue reading: Mr. Untouchable Review

No End In Sight Review


Excellent
Due most probably to the immediacy of the graphic image, documentaries on the Iraq War have focused on the experience of soldiers and Iraqis on the ground. Films like Iraq in Fragments and The War Tapes are less about the how and why of the conflict as they are about the what of the actual fighting, what it looks and feels like from street level. The more in-depth casual discussions on the war have come from the ever-increasing mound of books on the subject; at least until Charles Ferguson's studious documentary No End in Sight, which will have you alternately slapping your forehead in stunned disbelief and shaking your head in disgust.

As a chronicle of stupidity, Ferguson's film is nearly beyond compare. Acting as sort of a Cliff Notes version of many of the better books on the many blunders in planning and leadership prior to the 2003 invasion -- particularly The Assassin's Gate by George Packer (who provides some of the best soundbites for the film) and Thomas E. Ricks' Fiasco -- the film lays out in no uncertain terms what went wrong, whose mistake it was, and what the results were. Fortunately for the film, but unfortunately for the world at large (not to mention thousands of Iraqis and Americans), those mistakes were legion, and hard to comprehend.

Continue reading: No End In Sight Review

The Trials Of Henry Kissinger Review


Excellent
Where were you when our military secretly carpet bombed Cambodia in 1969? Or in 1970 when a coup was being arranged to overthrow president elect Salvador Allende in Chile? Or in 1975 when the Indonesian army invaded East Timor and killed more than 100,000 civilians? Chances are you were ensconced in your home somewhere far from danger totally unaware that such horrors were taking place. But if you were Henry Kissinger you couldn't claim such honorable innocence even though years later you would try. In a roundabout way this is what the documentary The Trials of Henry Kissinger, by Alex Gibney and Eugene Jarecki, is about. It attempts to sort out all the evidence that has surfaced in the past 20 years concerning the questionable and possibly nefarious political actions of Henry Kissinger who served as U.S. National Security Advisor and Secretary of State under Presidents Nixon and Ford between 1969 and 1977. Kissinger - who grew up in and escaped Nazi Germany - has been one of the most well-known, charismatic, and respected statesmen in the world since he rose to prominence under the much troubled Nixon administration. Somehow, though, he came out unscathed and even managed, ironically, to win the Nobel Peace Prize. Nevertheless, over the past decade skeptics have begun to surface. Most notably, journalist Seymour Hirsh as well as respected military leader General Telford Taylor both have made claims -- through interviews and books -- that Kissinger "may have needlessly sacrificed human lives to achieve strategic goals." Specifically in 1969 when he and Nixon allegedly sabotaged the Paris Peace talks - which could have ended the war in Vietnam - simply because they wanted to buy time before the U.S. elections. All of these activities were mere rumors until two years ago when journalist Christopher Hitchens' wrote a book titled The Trial of Henry Kissinger, which caused a big stir in the political world. Kissinger and his cronies denounced it but refused to press charges - presumably because they would then have to disprove the work of Hitchens (and many others), who used the Freedom of Information Act and actual government documents to not only discredit Kissinger's reputation but prove that he knew very well the deeds he helped orchestrate. This documentary isn't as damning as Hitchens' book - there is some humor from Kissinger (which isn't really too funny) and some from Alexander Haig - who defends Kissinger's actions and calls Hitchens a "sewer-pipe-sucker" - as well as neutral comments by the likes of Kissinger biographer Walter Isaacson and military officer Brent Scowcroft. But there is still a lot of convincing evidence that Kissinger qualifies as one cold, calculating, Machiavellian S.O.B. And more importantly it raises the question of accountability for world leaders - many of whom seem to escape such responsibility.

However, regarding actual legal action against Kissinger the film isn't convincing beyond a reasonable doubt mainly because there are so many other men (especially Nixon) who could equally take the blame. But unlike Hitchens' book it isn't full of contempt for its subject nor does it have the feeling of a smoking gun conspiracy. The evidence is presented straightforwardly and best of all there are numerous interviews by the likes of the aforementioned Hitchens and Hirsch as well as New York Times writes Elizabeth Becker and William Safire who have studied Kissinger's actions closely. There are also interviews by a good number who worked alongside Kissinger in those years - many of whom were wiretapped by Kissinger in the 1970s.

Continue reading: The Trials Of Henry Kissinger Review

Enron: The Smartest Guys In The Room Review


Excellent
When Enron collapsed three years ago, it was hard to sort out what actually happened aside from billions of dollars being lost and a whole lot of paper shredding. The important new documentary, Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, reveals greed and deceit as the biggest reasons for the company's plummet from financial grace.

Three Enron executives drive the downfall and the film: Kenneth Lay, the company founder, who in seeking to deregulate the energy market and leave behind the memory of his poor childhood, developed a billion dollar idea that he couldn't leave alone; Jeff Skilling, the nerdy financial whiz who figured out that energy could be traded like stocks and bonds; and Andrew Fastow, the fall guy who organized a series of dummy accounts to essentially keep up appearances.

Continue reading: Enron: The Smartest Guys In The Room Review

Alex Gibney

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Alex Gibney Movies

Steve Jobs: The Man In The Machine Trailer

Steve Jobs: The Man In The Machine Trailer

A revealing, in-depth look at the personal and private life of Steve Jobs, this biography...

Finding Fela Movie Review

Finding Fela Movie Review

While the eventful life of Fela Kuti provides more than enough subject matter for a...

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Finding Fela Trailer

Finding Fela Trailer

Fela Kuti was an phenomenally influential Nigerian musician, a pioneer of the Afrobeat musical genre...

The Armstrong Lie Movie Review

The Armstrong Lie Movie Review

This biographical documentary about disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong feels eerily gentle compared to filmmaker Alex...

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The Armstrong Lie Trailer

The Armstrong Lie Trailer

Lance Armstrong was probably one of the most inspirational sportsmen on the planet with seven...

We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks Movie Review

We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks Movie Review

With a subject matter that oddly feels both timely and out-of-date, this documentary is packed...

We Steal Secrets: The Story Of Wikileaks Trailer

We Steal Secrets: The Story Of Wikileaks Trailer

This tell-all documentary about the inception of top secret information leaking site Wikileaks.org and its...

Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God Movie Review

Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God Movie Review

There's a reason this expertly shot and edited documentary is skimming under the radar: no...

We Steal Secrets: The Story Of Wikileaks Trailer

We Steal Secrets: The Story Of Wikileaks Trailer

Julian Assange shot to fame in 2010 after using his already controversial website WikiLeaks to...

Magic Trip Movie Review

Magic Trip Movie Review

At the height of his success as a novelist, Ken Kesey picked up a film...

Magic Trip Trailer

Magic Trip Trailer

Back in 1964, Author of classic novel 'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest', Ken Kesey,...

Client-9: The Rise And Fall Of Eliot Spitzer Movie Review

Client-9: The Rise And Fall Of Eliot Spitzer Movie Review

Instead of simply making a documentary about the Eliot Spitzer scandal, filmmaker Gibney cleverly paints...

Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson Movie Review

Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson Movie Review

Rare is the individual who can leave a mark on his chosen profession. In the...

Taxi To The Dark Side Trailer

Taxi To The Dark Side Trailer

Watch the trailer for 'Taxi To The Dark Side' released on DVD by Revolver Entertainment...

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