The latest adaptation of Agatha Christie's 83-year-old classic whodunit, this lavish, star-studded film is old-style entertainment. Director-star Kenneth Branagh lets the story unfold with attention to detail while filling the screen with eye-catching images, from the spectacular mountain settings to the opulent costumes. And while the story is too familiar to stir up too much suspense, it's played with a strong sense of emotional resonance. And the moral question is provocative.
The Orient Express sets off from 1934 Istanbul with a colourful collection of passengers. A last-minute addition is noted detective Hercule Poirot (Branagh), who has just solved a thorny mystery in Jerusalem and is now heading to London. Even though he shouldn't be working, he begins to weigh up the odd collection of passengers around him, including a gangster (Johnny Depp), countess (Judi Dench), widow (Michelle Pfeiffer), governess (Daisy Ridley), maid (Olivia Colman), salesman (Wille Dafoe), assistant (Josh Gad), butler (Derek Jacobi) and doctor (Leslie Odom Jr.). Then in the middle of the night, one of them is violently murdered. And when the train becomes lodged in a snowdrift, Poirot has the time to dig further into each person's clearly suspicious back-story.
Continue reading: Murder On The Orient Express Review
It's been 35 years since Ridley Scott's 1982 sci-fi classic, which was set in 2019. This sequel is once again a visual spectacle that mixes super-cool images with a jaggedly engaging noir-style mystery that grapples with issues of memory and identity. It's a staggeringly beautiful epic, as director Denis Villeneuve (Arrival) invests intelligence and artistry into each imaginative setting. He also avoids falling into the standard structure of an action blockbuster, skipping hackneyed things like chase scenes for much deeper emotions.
In the past 30 years, earth's eco-system has collapsed, leaving people scrambling for resources in grimy mega-cities like Los Angeles. Human-like replicants have been refined, but blade runners like K (Ryan Gosling) are still on hand to hunt down old models that have gone rogue. Then K discovers a skeleton of a replicant that apparently gave birth, which should be impossible. So K's boss (Robin Wright) instructs him to hunt down the child and erase all evidence. But Wallace (Jared Leto), head of the monolithic corporation that controls all technology, wants to find the child himself. He sends his favourite sidekick Luv (Sylvia Hoeks) to follow K and his virtual girlfriend Joi (Ana de Armas) as they track down long-lost blade runner Deckerd (Harrison Ford), who is hiding in radioactive Las Vegas and might have some answers.
The plot is packed with implications that get K's mind spinning with possibilities, and the audience's as well. And Gosling is terrific as a guy who is cold on the surface, only barely concealing his conflicting feelings. His scenes with de Armas are superb, as she offers him some romantic hope amid the doom and gloom. Gosling and Ford also generate some terrific chemistry, exchanging physical and verbal blows. And as the villain and his henchwoman, Leto and Hoeks bring plenty of menace.
Continue reading: Blade Runner 2049 Review
The pair are showrunners on the upcoming Starz series.
Starring the likes of Ricky Whittle, Ian McShane and Emily Browning, new Starz series 'American Gods' will be brought to viewers in the UK at the beginning of May via Amazon Prime Video. Telling the story brought to readers in the original novel of the same name by Neil Gaiman, fans are in for a treat if recent reviews are anything to go by when the Michael Green and Bryan Fuller-headed series hits the small screen in under a week.
Following the journey of Shadow Moon (Ricky Whittle), a recently released ex-convict who's offered a mysterious job by an even more mysterious man named Mr. Wednesday (Ian McShane), the show will see the pair visiting various areas of the United States, as the tale of gods both old and new is unveiled. With a war brewing between the two factions, it's up to the roster of eccentric and intriguing gods on either side to decide whether or not they want to get involved in the battle for ultimate worship.
Continue reading: Bryan Fuller And Michael Green Discuss Their Love For 'American Gods'
Hugh Jackman returns to his signature role one last time (so he says), reuniting with filmmaker James Mangold, who also directed 2013's The Wolverine. But this doesn't feel like any other X-Men movie; it strikes a sombre, gritty tone from the start to take the audience on a dark and rather brutal road trip. So while it feels rather long and repetitive, the movie also has a strong emotional kick.
It's set in the year 2029, when mutants have been wiped off the planet, and no new ones have been born for years. Hiding out in a drunken haze as a Texas limo driver, Logan aka Wolverine (Jackman) has stashed Charles aka Professor X (Patrick Stewart) across the border in Mexico, watched over by albino caretaker Caliban (Stephen Merchant). Then a nurse (Elizabeth Rodriguez) appears asking for Logan's help to transport the young Laura (Dafne Keen) to North Dakota. And Laura clearly has a genetic connection with Logan. It also turns out that she has escaped from a Mexico City hospital, so as Logan, Charles and Laura hit the road, the ruthless henchman Pierce (Boyd Holbrook) and sinister Dr Rice (Richard E. Grant) are hot on their trail.
Mangold holds all of this in careful control, never tipping over into the usual whiz-bang Hollywood superhero action chaos (the violence is especially grisly). The story moves at a steady pace that adds an involving note of desperation to each sequence. This also makes the movie feel a bit repetitive and even wheel-spinning at times. Since the baddies are able to stay right on the heroes' heels, it's clear that even a nicely offhandedly sojourn with a farmer (Eriq La Salle) and his family will be short-lived. But the gnawing intensity, while never quite building into proper suspense, gets deep under the skin as it fleshes out the characters.
Continue reading: Logan Review
Ryan Gosling is reportedly in talks to star in the 'Blade Runner' movie alongside Harrison Ford.
Ryan Gosling is in talks to star in the sequel to Blade Runner. The 34-year-old actor will be joined by Harrison Ford, who played Rick Deckard in the original 1982 film. Ford will reprise his role but it is uncertain which part Gosling, if negotiations are successful, will play.
Continue reading: Ryan Gosling In Talks For 'Blade Runner' Sequel
'Prometheus 2' is on the way, with added Michael Fassbender.
Prometheus 2 will hit cinemas in March 2016 though may take on a different movie title, according to The Wrap. An insider confirmed that production is scheduled to start this fall, once Ridley Scott has delivered his Moses movie Exodus, to Fox.
The sci-fi sequel will be re-written by veteran movie scribe Michael Green, who worked with Scott on Blade Runner and recently penned the derided Green Lantern movie. Jack Paglen (Transcendence) had written the original draft of the screenplay.
Continue reading: Prometheus 2 Gets Release Date, Will Be Heavy On Michael Fassbender
By Chris Cabin
Big Momma's House 2 has locked onto the secret formula of all-time. Moderate star + cute kids + inappropriateness divided by hidden crime plot = hit. Admit it, when you saw the trailer for The Pacifier, all you saw was a grenade with its pin freshly pulled. Then, it went on to be a sleeper hit that brought in big bucks, helping to continue what is quickly becoming the excruciating career of Vin Diesel. So, there's no surprise that Big Momma's House 2 skyrocketed to the head of the box office this week. If there's a more consistent way to tell how bad a movie is than it being #1 at the box office, I don't know it.
Martin Lawrence returns as Agent Malcolm Turner, the FBI agent who donned a fat suit, a wig and a southern accent in the first Big Momma's House. He's taken a desk job to spend more time with and protect his pregnant wife (Nia Long) and his stepson. But when his mentor gets shot doing undercover work, he's back on the job as Big Momma. He takes a job as a nanny to an uptight, white family whose father might be involved with what got his mentor shot. Between dealing with a young son who jumps off high places, a middle daughter who can't dance, and a 15 year old horn-dog daughter (Kat Dennings), Malcolm also finds time to unearth a hacker plot to open the codes to the CIA and the FBI (gasp!) while loosening up the OCD mother (Emily Procter). Well, if you don't know where this is going, you've been watching better films than I have.
Continue reading: Big Momma's House 2 Review
Oh, to have been a fly on the wall when Big Momma's House was cooked up.... Dress funnyman Martin Lawrence up as a 350-pound Georgia grandmother, spin him around, and let him do his thang. Beat Eddie Murphy at his own game (Nutty Professor II hits theaters later this year), shoot it for cheap with no other real stars, and grab some good grosses.
Sure enough, Big Momma's House is a comic crowd-pleaser that should score well with audiences that refuse to tire of incessant fat jokes, slapstick, and, well, more fat jokes.
Continue reading: Big Momma's House Review
Directors often copy the techniques of respected filmmakers without raising much ire. But when a director borrows liberally from the volatile filmography of pyrotechnic prince Michael Bay, they're just asking for trouble. Dennis Dugan's National Security uses enough slow-mo shots and shimmering cinematography in its first 30 minutes to warrant the comparison. The presence of Bad Boys star Martin Lawrence only helps this waste feel like a Bay retread, the kind of garbage Mr. Pearl Harbor would pass on after deeming it far too stupid even for him.
In place of the charismatic Will Smith, Lawrence partners with an uncharacteristically intolerable Steve Zahn as Hank Rafferty, an LAPD officer whose partner is killed while investigating a warehouse break-in. Hank begs for the chance to apprehend the guilty parties, but he's bussed back down to walking his beat, reminded by his superiors (Colm Feore, Bill Duke) that he's "a uniform, not a detective."
Continue reading: National Security Review
Early in the fish-out-of-water (or rather black-man-out-of-the-hood) comedy Black Knight, the medieval English king exclaims in describing Martin Lawrence's Jamal, "He's no longer funny, but he refuses to give up the joke."
A truer thing has never been said. It amazes me the filmmakers left that line in the film. Perhaps they were feeling self-reflective.
Continue reading: Black Knight Review