Fans of the film In the Loop and the TV series Veep will definitely not want to miss this raucously hilarious political satire from the same creator, Armando Iannucci. This time he has gone back in history to 1953, giving his snappy dialogue to the Russians jostling for control after the Soviet leader's sudden demise. The setting makes it a lot darker than Iannucci's previous work, but it's packed with unforgettable one-liners, visual gags and pointed observations on politics today.
In the wake of Stalin's death, his successors aren't sure whether they should continue with his campaign of terror against Russian citizens. Dopey deputy Malenkov (Jeffrey Tambor) wants to maintain the status quo, while more progressive Krushchev (Steve Buscemi) is looking for change. Their main rival is Beria (Simon Russell Beale), a thug who likes young girls. Then the enthusiastic General Zhukov (Jason Isaacs) charges in, deciding that they need to push Beria out and go in another direction. Meanwhile, Stalin's spoiled children (Rupert Friend and Andrea Riseborough) are determined that they should have a say in any new government, but everyone else knows that their days are numbered.
Continue reading: The Death Of Stalin Review
It's 1953 and our story takes place in Russia - then known as the Soviet Union - a nation terrorised by their communist leader Joseph Stalin (Adrian McLoughlin). But this is not a story about the inhumane acts of oppression and cruelty in his regime that resulted in the death of millions, it's about the events that occurred both immediately prior and following his shocking death from an apparent stroke at the age of 74.
Of course, this movie is as loosely based on the real events as it possibly could be - but it's certainly how we'd want to imagine events transpiring. There becomes an intense power struggle between several members of the Council of Ministers including Nikita Khrushchev (Steve Buscemi) - who would later go on to be the First Secretary of the Communist Party - Georgy Malenkov (Jeffrey Tambor), Lavrentiy Beria (Simon Russell Beale), Vyacheslav Molotov (Michael Palin), Lazar Kaganovich (Dermot Crowley), Anastas Mikoyan (Paul Whitehouse) and Nicolai Bulganin (Paul Chahidi).
Meanwhile, Marshal Georgy Zhukov (Jason Isaacs) is throwing a spanner in the works - not being the best of friends with Malenkov - and of course Joseph Stalin's renegade son Vasily (Rupert Friend) needs to be kept a close eye on. But nothing compares the chaos that they face from the public when they find out that their 'great' leader is dead.
Continue: The Death Of Stalin Trailer
Daphne du Maurier's 1951 mystery-romance novel has been adapted for theatre, radio, TV and film, although the last time it was seen on the big screen was in the 1952 movie starring Olivia De Havilland and Richard Burton. So a new film version isn't a terrible idea, bringing some modern sensibilities to the 19th century tale of obsession and intrigue. It's just a shame that this version, while gorgeous to look at, never quite manages to generate the momentum needed to involve the audience.
It's set in the early 1800s, when Philip (Sam Claflin) has inherited a Cornish farm from his cousin, who died in Italy where he lived with his wife Rachel (Rachel Weisz). Philip is nervous about meeting Rachel, but he's instantly smitten with her dark charm. His godfather Kendall (Iain Glen) warns him to be careful, and Kendall's daughter Louise (Holliday Grainger) is even more horrified by this development, because she has always had a crush on Philip. But as Philip becomes increasingly focussed on Rachel, he offers to give her the farm to prove his love. The question of course is whether she is really in love with him.
Continue reading: My Cousin Rachel Review
It's been nearly 30 years since the last live-action Tarzan movie, and yet it still feels too soon for another remake. Thankfully, this is actually a sequel (perhaps it should have been titled Tarzan Returns), and along with a first-rate cast, this movie has a surprisingly beefy script that hints at a much more high-brow adventure epic. But clearly the studio preferred to make a mindless bit of blockbuster action.
After leaving the jungle, Tarzan (Alexander Skarsgard) has settled into life in damp 1880s England as the Earl of Greystoke with his American wife Jane (Margot Robbie). Meanwhile, deep in the Congo, Belgian diplomat Leon Rom (Christoph Waltz) has made a deal with Chief Mbonga (Djimon Hounsou), who has a personal grudge against Tarzan. Planning to hand over Tarzan in exchange for diamonds, Leon lures Tarzan back to Africa, accompanied by Jane and the American explorer George Washington Williams (Samuel L. Jackson), who suspects that the slave trade hasn't ended. On arrival, Leon pounces, and Tarzan must revert to the instincts he learned from the gorillas who raised him, while calling on help from old friends.
The plot is actually quite compelling, sparking lots of whooshing action (including plenty of vine-swinging) while grappling with some bigger themes involving colonialism and racism, plus more personal issues of identity and responsibility. The actors pack their scenes with textures that touch on these ideas, while also providing a spark of wit. With his impossibly sculpted physique, Skarsgard looks rather too gym-fit for the role, but he gives Tarzan a soulfulness that makes him likeable. He also develops some steamy chemistry with Robbie, who shines in her role as a feisty woman happy to return to the village where she was raised. The best scene in the film is when she has dinner with Waltz' sneering villain, gleefully swapping innuendo. And even with the action and gunplay, this is Jackson's deepest role in years.
Continue reading: The Legend Of Tarzan Review
Who would've thought that a boy who grew up with apes in the jungle could turn into a well-respected lord who's not only adjusted to 'civilised' life - become accustom to it too. Tarzan is no longer the boy who was written about in all the books, he's a lord and lives with the love of his life, Jane.
When John Clayton III, Lord Greystoke (aka Tarzan) is approached by the government to travel back to the Congo become an ambassador for the Parliament he reluctantly accepts under forced circumstances. What Tarzan doesn't know is that he's about to play exactly into the hands of Captain Leon Rom, a ruthless Belgian businessman and hunter who's fierce rule is taking over Tarzan's old home.
Having kidnapped Jane, Tarzan's love Captain Leon Rom knows Tarzan will track her down. Both parties are not only pitted against one another but the jungle and its residents also make a battle cry which could result in disastrous consequences.
Continue: The Legend Of Tarzan - Teaser Trailer
When a Baker (James Corden) and his wife (Emily Blunt) are unable to have children due to a curse, they are advised by a witch (Meryl Streep) to venture into the woods in order to find a cow as white as milk, a cape as red as blood, hair as yellow as corn and a slipper as pure as gold. Along the way, they become intertwined in the stories of 'Jack and the Beanstalk', 'Little Red Riding Hood', 'Rapunzel', and 'Cinderella', in this original story based upon Grimm's classic fairy tales.
Continue: Into The Woods - Extended Trailer
When a Baker (James Corden) and his wife (Emily Blunt) are cursed by a witch (Meryl Streep), they discover that they are unable to have children. The couple embark on an adventure into the woods in order to recover the magical objects required to break the spell and allow them to begin a family together. Over the course of their journey, they encounter iconic fairy-tale characters and motifs from stories like Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk, Rapunzel and Cinderella. They also steadily learn valuable lessons about responsibility and being careful what they wish for.
Continue: Into The Woods - Alternative Trailer
Take a sneak peak of forthcoming musical fairytale flick 'Into The Woods' in this short featurette, featuring comments from the stellar ensemble cast and crew. Among them are stars Emily Blunt, James Corden, Chris Pine, Meryl Streep and Johnny Depp, as well as director Rob Marshall ('Chicago'), author of the book James Lapine and composer Stephen Sondheim ('Sweeney Todd').
Continue: Into The Woods - Featurette
When a Baker (James Corden) and his wife (Emily Blunt) are cursed by a witch (Meryl Streep), they discover that they are unable to have children. The couple embark on an adventure into the woods in order to recover the magical objects required to break the spell and allow them to begin a family together. Over the course of their journey, they encounter iconic fairy-tale characters and motifs from stories like Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk, Rapunzel and Cinderella. They also steadily learn valuable lessons about responsibility and being careful what they wish for .
Continue: Into The Woods - Teaser Trailer
The BBC's four-play Shakespeare miniseries, 'The Hollow Crown,' starring Jeremy Irons, Ben Whishaw and Tom Hiddlestone is nearly out to buy on DVD.
Shown last summer on BBC2, the spectacular, four-part, historical drama series, The Hollow Crown will be available to buy on DVD and to digitally download at the end of this month. The episodes began being broadcast in June 2012 and were brought to life by Skyfall director Sam Mendes who executively produced the episodes for the BBC channel.
The drama series features four of Shakespeare's plays, or the 'Henriad' as they are often collectively known: Richard II, Henry IV Part 1, Henry IV Part 2 and Henry V. Across the four episodes star Ben Whishaw as King Richard II, Jeremy Irons as King Henry VI, Tom Hiddlestone as King Henry V and Patrick Stewart as John of Gaunt.
Continue reading: 'The Hollow Crown': Shakespeare 4-Play Miniseries Out Soon On DVD