Allison Janney is awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Many friends and colleagues were at the ceremony including: Chuck Lorre, Anna Faris, Mimi Kennedy, Jaime Presley, Richard Schiff, Mary McCormick and other West Wing cast members. Hollywood & Gower - Los Angeles, California, United States - Monday 17th October 2016
As the director of The Help, Tate Taylor may seem like an odd choice to make a movie based on Paula Hawkins' sexy mystery thriller bestseller. While the film features three central female characters, it also has a dark and twisty plot. Taylor manages to bring out plenty of insinuating textures in the characters to keep the audience intrigued, but he never quite gets a grip on the Hitchcockian elements of this story about identity and life expectations.
The title character is Rachel (Emily Blunt), who commutes into Manhattan every day, observing life in the suburban homes along the train line. She's particularly fascinated by one house and the blonde woman (Haley Bennett) who lives there with her lusty husband (Luke Evans). But the fact is that Rachel knows this woman: she's Megan, the nanny who takes care of the infant daughter of Rachel's ex-husband Tom (Justin Theroux) and his new wife Anna (Rebecca Ferguson), who live just a few doors down. And Rachel has a history of stalking them. Then she spots Megan with another man (Edgar Ramirez), just before Megan goes missing. So when Rachel emerges from yet another black-out drunken stupor, she begins to worry about what she might have done.
This is another challenging role for Blunt, who plays the shattered Rachel with raw grit. This is a woman who doesn't trust her own mind, knows that she drinks far too much and feels incapable of getting over her past mistakes. The film also occasionally circles around to show scenes from Megan's and Anna's perspectives, and both Bennett and Ferguson bring superbly unsteady textures to the roles. These are three complex, flawed women dealing with very big issues in their lives. And there are smaller but pivotal roles for the gifted Alison Janney (as a detective), Laura Prepon (as Rachel's flatmate) and Lisa Kudrow (as an old friend). By comparison the men are a bit simplistic.
Continue reading: The Girl On The Train Review
Ransom Riggs' bestselling novel is appropriately adapted into a movie by Tim Burton, the gothic maestro who so expertly infuses his creepy movies with vivid emotions. The film looks flat-out amazing, with lush production design, clever effects and a cast of outrageous characters. So it's somewhat frustrating that the movie feels weighed down by a story that's more complicated than it needs to be. There's too much plot detail explained in the dialogue, and the quirkiness gets a bit exhausting by the time the film passes the two hour mark.
It's set in the present day, as Florida teen Jake (Asa Butterfield) travels to an island off the coast of Wales to bring closure after the death of his beloved grandfather (Terence Stamp). His oblivious father (Chris O'Dowd) goes with him, but doesn't notice that Jake has discovered that Grandpa's bombed-out childhood home actually still exists in a 1943 time loop created by the ymbryne Miss Peregrine (Eva Green), who can turn into a bird and maintain loops like this one. Jake also realises that the freaky Barron (Samuel L. Jackson) is on his trail, so he tries to help Miss Peregrine rescue her children, all of whom have peculiar supernatural abilities.
From here the film takes on a more traditional action trajectory, as Barron and his toothy, long-limbed Hollows try to devour the children's eyes. Yes, there are a lot of grotesque touches in this story, and Burton knows that kids in the audience love this kind of stuff. They'll also be tantalised by the busy visual landscapes, which are magnificent in 3D, grossed out by the yuckiness and excited by the thrilling set-pieces. Adults will find all of this a bit harder to stomach, simply because the wordy dialogue never quite makes sense of the messy plot.
Continue reading: Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children Review
Jake has always been an ordinary boy but when he finds himself on a small island, things begin to happen that few people would be able to explain. His new friend, a beautiful young girl named Emma seems to be able to perform miraculous occurrences start to happen.
Things become a little clearer - yet utterly more baffling - when he's taken to meet Miss Peregrine at her exceptional orphanage for children. As Jacob is quick to learn, each of Miss Peregrine's kids has a special ability, something unique to them. Emma can control oxygen and must wear hefty boots to keep her feet firmly attached to the ground, whilst Bronwyn is a little girl with incredible physical strength.
Miss Peregrine is the protector of the children and acts as their matriarch. To keep them safe she's formulated a way of manipulating time to keep the kids away from dangerous monsters who hunt them down - however, as the dark forces become stronger the Children are placed in more and more danger - unbeknownst to Jacob, perhaps he holds the key to keeping his new friends safe.
Minions conquered the U.S. and Canadian Box Office this weekend (10th-12th July), raking in an incredible $115.2 million. The movie, which cost $74 million to make, has already made a substantial profit of just under $40 million.
Minions, the spin-off from the hugely popular Despicable Me films, has surpassed the earnings from the opening weekend of Despicable Me ($56.4 million) but hasn’t quite managed to beat the $142.1 million its sequel made when it was released in 2013. Both films have gone on to make huge profits. Despicable Me earned $543-million worldwide and the second film earned $970.7.
It’s hardly surprising the opening weekend of Minions has been so success. Universal Pictures has used some fairly hard sell tactics to ensure it’s the film everyone’s talking about. With adverts everywhere online and even a seemingly swearing Minions Happy Meal toy available in McDonald’s, it’s been difficult to avoid seeing these little yellow creatures.
McDonald’s have no intention of recalling their Minions Happy Meal toys despite claims the toys sound as if they are using obscene language.
McDonald’s is adamant those Minions Happy Meal toys aren’t really swearing at children. Controversy arose this week when parents shared videos of their children’s Happy Meal toys seemingly saying ‘what the f**k. Some of the videos, uploaded on YouTube, have been watched millions of times. However, McDonald’s has no intention of recalling the toys despite widespread distaste and a number of complaints.
The Minions movie is out in cinemas now.
Continue reading: McDonald’s: Minions Happy Meal Toys Are Not Swearing At Children
So it seems actors like not having to worry about their image while recording for an animated movie.
For the Despicable Me prequel Minions, filmmaker Pierre Coffin had no trouble finding A-list actors to voice characters because so many are fans of the earlier films. And most are looking for the freedom offered by starring in an animated movie.
Voicing characters is much simpler than performing onscreen
Jon Hamm voices the groovy inventor Herb, married to super-villain Scarlet Overkill (who's voiced by Sandra Bullock). He loved creating an all-new character. "You're not constrained by what you look like or what haircut you're stuck with from whatever thing you just finished filming," he says. "Part of it for me was getting the artist's rendering of the character. I was like, 'Oh wow, that guy looks so cool. I wonder what he sounds like.' And then messing around with voices in your head like a crazy person, or like a child basically. You know, things I do normally in my day-to-day life, like I talk to my dog, I talk to myself. It's really fun and it's completely creative. And when you're working with people who are also incredibly collaborative too, they're just like, 'Go!' So you get to go."
Continue reading: 'Minions' Offers Freedom To Jon Hamm And Allison Janney
Utterly charming, this silly prequel rewrites the origin story of the minions and sends them on a series of adventures that are gently anarchic and refreshingly low-key for an animated blockbuster. The film has an unusually gentle tone, with some real visual artistry to it rather than the cookie-cutter story structure and imagery in most summer movies. And while it's not riotously funny, children will be mesmerised and adults will be smiling.
It opens at the dawn of time, as minions evolve into yellow pill-shaped sidekicks who serve their evil masters throughout history. When they find themselves without a leader, they try to build a society in an arctic cave, but something just isn't right. So Kevin, Stuart and Bob (voiced in Esperanto-style gibberish by director Pierre Coffin) head off to 1968 New York to find a villain to work for. There they hear about ruthless baddie Scarlet Overkill (Sandra Bullock), so they head to Villain-Con in Orlando to meet her. She's impressed by their loyalty and takes them to London to work with her inventor husband Herb (Jon Hamm) on a nefarious plan to steal the British crown from the Queen (Jennifer Saunders). But nothing goes quite as planned.
Since it's set in the 1960s, the filmmakers give the film a groovy vibe, with sun-drenched animation and hilariously colourful details in every scene. Adults are more likely to catch references to things like the Monkees, Hair or Bewitched, but kids will enjoy the general silliness, including lots of chances to sing along with the minions as they babble through classic tunes. Thankfully, directors Coffin and Kyle Balda resist temptation to use the standard animation formula, opting instead for a meandering pace, a less pushy moral message and action scenes that emerge from the plot, settings and characters. And the starry voice cast refreshingly disappears into the characters.
Continue reading: Minions Review
The ace partnership between filmmaker Paul Feig and actress Melissa McCarthy evolves into something formidable with this raucous action comedy, which simultaneously spoofs the espionage genre and provides some genuine thrills. From ensemble player (Bridesmaids) to costar (The Heat) and now to the star of the show, McCarthy finds a role worthy of her talents, subverting rather than exploiting her distinct physicality.
She plays Susan Cooper, a desk-jockey at the CIA who works with the field agents, guiding them by radio link through their dangerous paces. When star spy Bradley Fine (Jude Law) is taken out of service and all other top agents have their covers blown, the boss (Allison Janney) has little choice but to send the well-trained Susan into the field to take down the villainous arms dealer Rayna (Rose Byrne). With her best pal Nancy (Miranda Hart) as her office-bound helper, Susan gets into a series of disguises and travels to Paris, Rome and then Budapest. And despite the constant attempts of rogue agent Rick Ford (Jason Statham) to "help" her, Susan gets ever closer to Rayna and her gangster buyer Sergio (Bobby Cannavale).
The relatively simple plot is overcrowded with characters and subplots that add absurd layers of humour to the film, almost all of which are genuinely hilarious. Best of all, none of the laughs come at the expense of Susan, a capable, smart, witty woman who's the perfect alter ego for McCarthy (and certainly much more engaging than her obnoxious-slob persona in The Heat or Tammy). She has terrific chemistry with all of her costars, flirting shamelessly with the Bond-like Law, an amusingly swaggering Statham and especially the purringly hysterical Byrne. As always, the great Janney steals every one of her few scenes. Less effective is an extended goofy cameo by Curtis Jackson, aka 50 Cent, who at least shows willing to dive into some ridiculous comedy. There's also another terrific foil in Susan's local contact Aldo, played with leering, opportunistic relish by Peter Sarafinowicz.
Continue reading: Spy Review
Since the dawn of time, the Minions have been desperately looking for a master. From dinosaurs, to cave men, to Dracula, to Napoleon, the Minions have sought out the biggest and best of masters from around the world. The trouble is, their optimism and perseverance - while commendable - is nothing compared to their utter ineptitude. The Minions have a terrible problem with either killing their boss, or letting their bosses die in some way. But with the 1960s in full swing and the Minions currently unemployed, they travel to a villain convention to find a new master, and uncover a conspiracy to steal the crown from the Queen of England.
Continue: Minions Trailer
Astute and genuinely funny teen comedies don't come along very often; this one starts with a smart script and lets the spirited cast run with it. Director Ari Sandel and writer Josh A. Cagan also acknowledge their debt to high school classics like The Breakfast Club (30 years ago) and Mean Girls (10 years ago) as they poke fun at the various types of teenagers within the school hierarchy. Of course, the focus here is a postmodern type, the "designated ugly fat friend", also known as the duff.
It's 17-year-old Bianca (Mae Whitman) who is horrified to learn that she's a duff. She's neither fat nor ugly, but her casual appearance makes her the most accessible one alongside her hot friends Casey and Jess (Bianca A. Santos and Skyler Samuels). Yes, she's the third Charlie's Angel. So Bianca sets out to change her status, enlisting the advice of sexy jock-next-door Wesley (Robbie Amell) in exchange for helping him with his chemistry homework. Her real goal is to build up some confidence so she can pursue the sweetly sensitive musician Toby (Nick Eversman). But Wesley's on-off girlfriend Madison (Bella Thorne) is the campus queen bee, and doesn't like him hanging out with a duff.
The cast and filmmakers have a great time playing with adolescent stereotypes, constantly undermining expectations while pointing out that of course everyone is actually a duff in one way or another. This sharply observant approach gives every hilarious exchange of dialogue a pointed kick. We can't help but laugh simply because we see ourselves in the characters, remembering that when you're a teen everything seems overpoweringly important. Whitman is superb as the brainy, cute girl who has refused to unleash the hottie within, and her spiky chemistry with the energetic Amell is great fun to watch. Although it's the adults who shamelessly steal their scenes, including Allison Janney in a layered role as Bianca's too-helpful self-help guru mother and an unusually restrained Ken Jeong as her journalism teacher.
Continue reading: The Duff Review
As the director of The Help, Tate Taylor may seem like an odd choice to...
Ransom Riggs' bestselling novel is appropriately adapted into a movie by Tim Burton, the gothic...
The protagonist Rachel Watson (Emily Blunt) in The Girl On The Train is a troubled...
Jake has always been an ordinary boy but when he finds himself on a small...
Utterly charming, this silly prequel rewrites the origin story of the minions and sends them...
The ace partnership between filmmaker Paul Feig and actress Melissa McCarthy evolves into something formidable...
Since the dawn of time, the Minions have been desperately looking for a master. From...
Astute and genuinely funny teen comedies don't come along very often; this one starts with...
It's a wonder why the prehistoric tribe of Minions have managed to survive so long...
The social pecking order of high schools has to be hard enough without discovering that,...
Elizabeth (Allison Janney), a young movie star is heading off to spend time with her...
Keith Michaels once had it all; recognition and money from an award-winning screenplay and an...