Throughout the early 1960s, the Cold War was in full swing. Two agents, one from Russia and one from America are at each other's throats throughout the conflict. Napoleon Solo (Henry Cavill) is a CIA agent, known for his suave and womanising nature. Illya Kuryakin (Armie Hammer) is a KGB known for his brutality and deadly efficiency. When a criminal organisation sprouts from former Nazi soldiers, Russia and America temporarily put aside their differences to find a solution to the problem. Unfortunately, getting the two men (who have made a career out of trying to kill one another) to work together, may not be as easy as it seems.
Continue: The Man From U.N.C.L.E - Teaser Trailer
The Man From U.N.C.L.E looks pretty awesome.
The first trailer for Guy Ritchie's take on the iconic 1960s spy series The Man from U.N.C.L.E has rolled out online and the British filmmaker appears to have made a movie - or at least attempted to make a movie - that is stylish, humorous and action-packed.
Henry Cavill replaced Tom Cruise in The Man From U.N.C.L.E
In the big-screen adaptation, Henry Cavill plays Napoleon Solo, a slick American spy who teams up with Russian Illya Kuryakin (Armie Hammer) to stop a rogue organization that is fully nuclear equipped. The duo's only real lead is the daughter of a vanished German scientist who is key to infiltrating the shadowy organization. They now face a race against time to save the world - which just sounds awesome, doesn't it?
Continue reading: First Look at Guy Ritchie's 'The Man from Uncle' [Trailer + Pictures]
This may not be the brightest thriller in the cinema, but it's made with such a ripping sense of energy that it's thoroughly entertaining. With his first feature, Australian filmmaker Julius Avery packs the screen with intense characters, raucous set-pieces and suggestions of all kinds of metaphorical meaning. He also assembles a terrific cast of actors willing to chomp merrily on the scenery. So even if the movie never actually cracks the surface, it's a true guilty pleasure.
Set in Western Australia, the film centres on 19-year-old JR (Brenton Thwaites), who begins a six-month stint in prison with a determination to rise to the top. His bravado nearly gets him killed, but he boldly aligns himself with notorious criminal Brendan (Ewan McGregor), and in exchange for protection inside JR agrees to help Brendan from the outside. Sure enough, in six months Brendan launches an audacious prison break, after which he and Brendan get to work with dodgy mobster Sam (Jacek Koman) on an even more elaborate gold heist. JR is loving the gangster lifestyle but still refuses to follow the rules, which puts him on a collision course with Sam as he openly flirts with Sam's prized moll Tasha (Alicia Vikander). Now JR thinks he can steal Tasha, ditch Brendan and get away with the gold. As if.
Yes, the film is a web of double-crosses and betrayals, none of which is much of a surprise. All of the final act's twists and turns are loudly announced early on, as are the strained metaphors of chess-playing criminals and father-son mentoring. Avery's script and direction constantly suggest that nothing is what it seems, although it's hard not to see what's really going on. But what's on-screen is so much fun that we don't mind at all. Thwaites, McGregor, Vikander and Koman all have a great time playing with our expectations. Each character is cocky and sure that they're in control, when it's clear that they're not. And the sparks between them make each scene sizzle.
Continue reading: Son of a Gun Review
Slick and seductive, this exploration of artificial intelligence may essentially only have three characters, but it's complex, provocative and thoroughly engaging. After writing screenplays for films like 28 Days Later and Never Let Me Go, Alex Garland moves easily into the director's role, telling a superbly atmospheric story that twists and turns in subtle ways to both draw us in and freak us out. And the cast adds even more depth to the interaction.
Caleb (Domhnall Gleeson) is one of the smartest geeks at a technology mega-corporation, and he's thrilled when he wins a competition to spend two weeks with company founder Nathan (Oscar Isaac) at his vast isolated estate somewhere in the far reaches of what looks like Scandinavia. Once there, Nathan assigns Caleb to evaluate his latest invention, a robot named Ava (Alicia Vikander), and see if she passes the Turing Test: does Caleb remember that he's interacting with a computer? As Ava and Caleb check each other out, the heavy-drinking Nathan watches perhaps a bit too closely. Caleb begins to realise that he's never out of view, and Ava warns him not to trust Nathan. Then strange power cuts begin to hint that something else is going on here.
Where this goes is surprising because most of Garland's scripts and novels escalate to scenes of outrageous horror. But this story remains controlled and internalised; even when it gets violent, it remains emotionally resonant. And these three characters are fascinating (the fourth person in the house is Nathan's mute sushi chef, played by Sonoya Mizuno). Their conversations are packed with subtext, continually shifting the power while making us wonder who's really in control here. And the actors play them with earthy authenticity. Vikander has an uncanny humanity even though 80 percent of her body is a special effect. Gleeson is thoroughly likeable, easy to identify with as he falls into the rabbit hole. And Isaac is simply magnetic in the way he combines Nathan's groovy laid-back attitude with something vaguely sinister.
Continue reading: Ex Machina Review
A classic British memoir gets the full costume drama treatment with this beautifully crafted World War I drama, although it never quite transcends the "beloved book" tone, remaining so worthy that it only rarely springs to life. The acting is sharp, as is the filmmaking, so it's frustrating that there's so little in the film that resonates with present-day audiences. And as the story sinks into a murky gloom, it's difficult for audiences to stay engaged.
Based on Vera Brittain's iconic memoir, the story opens in 1914, as Vera (Alicia Vikander) begs her parents (Emily Watson and Dominic West) to let her sit entrance exams at Oxford, which simply isn't the done thing for a proper young woman. She also has to convince them to let her brother Edward (Taron Egerton) sign up for military service in response to the conflict breaking out in Europe. But Vera is shocked when her sweetheart Roland (Kit Harington) also decides to enlist along with two close friends (Colin Morgan and Jonathan Bailey). Suddenly the war seems far too close to home for her. So she's provoked to leave university and volunteer as a nurse, serving in both England and France while the war rages around her.
The film's opening section contains a beautiful spark of hopefulness as these young people face the possibilities ahead of them, revelling in their education and then deciding to do their duty for their country. The rising-star cast packs the characters with cheeky humour, high energy and, yes, suitably repressed Britishness. But of course the realities of WWI change everything. Vikander handles this mood-swing very nicely, conveying Vera's resilience as she is bombarded with intense emotions. Her chemistry with Harington is strong, packed with passion. And the surrounding cast is terrific, even if most of the roles are relatively slight. The stand-outs are Richardson as a prickly Oxford professor and Atwell as a feisty fellow nurse.
Continue reading: Testament of Youth Review
A young man, JR (Brendan Thwaites) is only 19-years-old when he finds himself in an Australian prison. There, he comes under the protection of Australia's Public Enemy number one, Brendan Lynch (Ewan McGregor). In exchange for not being ganged up on or killed in prison, JR is going to have to help Lynch as soon as he is released from prison. This begins with a daring rescue attempt to break Lynch out, and then moves into a plot to steal a vast amount of gold. When JR's attention is diverted, Lynch reveals that their partnership may, in fact, be coming to an end.
Continue: Son Of A Gun Trailer
Alicia Vikander - A variety of stars took to the red carpet ahead of the UK premiere of the biographical drama 'Testament of Youth'which stars Hayley Atwell, Dominic West and Kit Harington. The premiere was held at the Empire Leicester Square in London, United Kingdom - Monday 5th January 2015
Winning first prize in a competition, Caleb (Domhnall Gleeson) is sent to meet the CEO and creator of the company he works for. Arriving at the mysterious private home of the illusive Nathan (Oscar Isaac), Caleb believes that he may have a chance to relax and get to know the man that created the company, and possibly earn a promotion at some point in the future. What he soon realises, is that Nathan has organised this event in order for Caleb to serve as a test subject, used to monitor the progress on of the greatest achievement of mankind to date - a fully functioning AI named Ava (Alicia Vikander). As Caleb realises what is going on, he steadily begins to learn about the meaning of being human, all through his interaction with what will soon be mankind's replacement.
Continue: Ex-Machina Trailer
JR (Brendan Thwaites) is receiving a lesson from his protector, Brendan Lynch (Ewan McGregor) over a game of chess. Lynch reveals that when an old friend of his performed a stunning opening movie during a game, no one knew what hit them. This move in particular was a bold one, and ensured that there would be no draw in the game from that start. Lynch revealed the true meaning of the lesson - there were to be no half measures. Later, JR wakes up in the house of his protectors, knowing that they are going to be angry after a date he went on. When he reveals that all he did was have dinner with a girl, Lynch informs him how if anything had gone on, an associate would have killed both JR and the girl. There are no half measures; if you are in the group, you are IN the group.
'Son of a Gun' is the feature debut of director Julius Avery. The film is set in and was filmed in Australia, and premiered in Australia on 16th October 2014. It is due to be released in the US on 16th January 2015, with a UK release following on 30th January.
Sometimes, a competition can reward you with more than you bargained for. When a 24-year-old coder for the world’s largest investment company wins the chance to spend a week with the companies CEO, he has no idea what is in store for him. Caleb (Domhnall Gleeson) travels into the middle of nowhere to find the retreat of CEO Nathan (Oscar Isaac), but he soon discovers that the contest has actually entered him into an insane experiment, rather than offering him a reward. Steadily, it is revealed that Nathan has actually developed the world’s first AI, and from there, the world will never be the same again.
Continue: Ex-Machina Trailer
Vera Brittain is an extraordinarily talented young woman who battles the odds to land herself a scholarship at Oxford University despite the attitudes of all the people around her frowning upon her desire to enter into a career in literature. Her life becomes even more promising when she falls for her brother's best friend Roland Leighton. However, the war is becoming ever closer and he is forced to abandon his own prestigious studies in favour of the frontline. Filled with grief over Roland's life-threatening circumstances, she decides to make the decision of a lifetime and leave her dreams behind. Instead, she decides to volunteer as a nurse for the sea of wounded troops that are yet to pour back into the country. Even as all that she holds dear are quickly annihilated by the vicious First World War, her determination keeps her focused on making the best of such horrors.
Continue: Testament of Youth Trailer