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
Jason Statham, Nargis Fakhri, Melissa McCarthy, Peter Serafinowicz, Paul Feig, Jude Law, Jessica Chaffin, Miranda Hart and Allison Janney - 'Spy' U.K. film premiere at the Odeon Leicester Square at The Odeon,Leicester Square, Odeon Leicester Square - London, United Kingdom - Wednesday 27th May 2015
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
It's a wonder why the prehistoric tribe of Minions have managed to survive so long with limited access to their staple diet of bananas and very little in the way of intelligence. But they make it their life's work to follow and serve the most despicable of villains in return for their care - though, as time goes on, it seems there are fewer and fewer baddies left in the world, ever decreasing down to the Minion's own ineptitudes. From dinosaurs to vampires, Minions have always been loyal to the evil they serve, but after each tragic and accidental death, they are forced to move on. Stuck in a tight spot with no master to serve, they find themselves bored and depressed; that is until head Minions Kevin, Stuart and Bob decide it's time to set out on an adventure. Through blizzards and mountains, never-ending fields and deadly oceans they travel until they reach New York in 1968. They hitchhike to Orlando's annual Villain-Con and it's there they find their new mistress, Scarlet Overkill, and their only hope of saving Minion-kind.
Continue: Minions - International Trailer
Susan Cooper works as an analyst for the CIA; rarely out where the action is and working entirely from the office, advising some of the organisation's top agents during their most deadly assignments. However, following a serious lapse in judgement at the hands of her partner during a bomb disposal mission, the agency are forced to enlist another member of the team to uncover the location of the nuclear weapon. Deciding now is the time to drop her boring persona and become the super keen spy she always wanted to be, Susan volunteers to go undercover - to much derision from her colleagues who barely know her name let alone her position in the CIA. She's allowed to prove herself on the task though, with no appropriate alternative, but can she show that Susan Cooper is just as deadly as her team?
Continue: Spy - Teaser Trailer
The social pecking order of high schools has to be hard enough without discovering that, without your knowledge or consent, you have received a less than flattering label. When high school senior Bianca (Mae Whitman) is at a party, she discovers that she is supposedly a DUFF, or Designated Ugly Fat Friend. The revelation comes as a shock as she is neither ugly nor fat, and soon she discovers that she is in fact simply being labelled as such because she isn't as popular as some of the other members of her high school. Thus begins Bianca's popularity revolution, in which she fights to clear the name of anyone previously landed with the title of DUFF.
Continue: The Duff Trailer
Elizabeth (Allison Janney), a young movie star is heading off to spend time with her family over Memorial Day in 1980s rural New England. She brings her partner, Peter (Christian Camargo) to meet her brother, Herb (William Hurt), her son, Eric (Ben Whishaw) and his girlfriend, Eva (Juliet Rylance, and the family doctor, Louis (Jean Reno). Throughout a whirlwind weekend, Stephen (Mark Rylance) tries to keep calm across the land where a majestic bald eagle is trying to raise its young, with the help of his wife, Alex (Katie Holmes). The dysfunctional family battle against each other as they struggle to find true happiness and unity before their personalities tear them apart for good.
Continue: Days And Nights Trailer
Keith Michaels once had it all; recognition and money from an award-winning screenplay and an attractive wife to share it with. However, now he's nearing middle-age and he no longer seems to have any of it. Sure, his famed movie is still a hit, but he's struggling to find any more work and now that he's sadly divorced, the only support he has is from his agent. Desperate to make ends meet, the agent offers him last resort; there's a teaching post vacancy at a small town university in Binghamton, available to teachers in screenwriting. With a Golden Globe hit under his belt, he's a sure-fire candidate for the job - but it's the last thing he wants to do. However, he soon finds the silver lining in that a string of attractive young students have applied to enrol on his course and he uses the opportunity to revel amongst young women, while doing as little work as possible. When he meets mature student Holly though, he's inspired to turn his spiralling life back around.
Continue: The Rewrite Trailer
Breaking Bad has won five of the nine categories in the Primetime Emmy Drama Awards. The series, which finished its run last year, dominated this section of the awards and won the award for Outstanding Drama Series amongst others. Here is a quick analysis of each drama category.
The Primetime Emmy Awards were held on Monday evening (25th August) in Los Angeles and there was stiff competition in every category although the results were ultimately highly predictable.
Breaking Bad dominated the drama awards at the Primetime Emmys.
Continue reading: Primetime Emmy Awards 2014 -Breaking Bad Predictably Dominates Drama
Scroll for pictures from the red carpet
The stars stepped out onto the red carpet for one of the glitziest ceremonies of awards season: the Creative Primetime Emmys.
Having previously won for NBC's political drama 'The West Wing' as White House press secretary C.J. Cregg, Allison Janney’s award for outstanding guest actress in a drama series for her role in Masters of Sex, which also stars Michael Sheen and Lizzy Caplan, was a particular highlight.
Backstage, Janney highlighted that playing Margeret Scully was certainly challenging at times. "I felt that Margaret Scully challenged me in ways that I've never been challenged before as an actress on so many levels - on an emotional level, on a physical level - and having to do sex scenes was extraordinarily nerve-wracking and stressful for me and something that I didn't think I'd have to do at this age, frankly," she explained.
Continue reading: Creative Primetime Emmy Awards 2014 [Pictures]