Date of birth
6th October, 1973
1st January, 1970
Every working day for the last ten years, insurance salesman Michael MacCauley has gotten the same commuter train. By now he's become quite familiar with his fellow passengers; the same faces, the same conversations, the same routine. Only the journey he's about to take is going to be far from the monotonous trip he's used to.
A new face shows up, taking her seat opposite Michael. She introduces herself as Joanna; an expert in the study of human behaviour, which she describes as primarily answering the question: What kind of person are you?
To the bewilderment of Michael, she proposes an experiment. Michael gets $75,000 in cash if he can locate the person on the train who doesn't belong there. She appears to know a lot more about him than any other stranger might and in the end he accepts her proposition.
Continue: The Commuter Trailer
The thing that sets The Conjuring movies apart from other horror franchises is that they're based on true stories involving real-life ghostbusters Ed and Lorraine Warren (Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga).
In the second film, it's 1977 and the Warrens travel to England to look into The Enfield Case, as single mother Peggy Hodgson (Frances O'Connor) is told by her daughter Janet (Madison Wolfe) that her bed is wobbling, there are loud noises and furniture is moving.
"It started in a back bedroom," recalls the real Janet. "The chest of drawers moved, and you could hear shuffling. We told Mum what was going on, and she came to see it for herself. She saw the chest of drawers moving. When she tried to push it back, she couldn't."
Continue reading: What's The Real Story Behind The Conjuring 2?
Vera Farmiga , Frances O'Connor - 2016 Los Angeles Film Festival 'The Conjuring 2' premiere at TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX - Arrivals at TCL Chinese Theater IMAX, Los Angeles Film Festival - Los Angeles, California, United States - Wednesday 8th June 2016
By Rich Cline
This generational drama strains so hard to be serious that it's almost laughable. Its big themes are only superficially addressed, while the bloated nearly two and a half hour running time could easily have been cut down simply by eliminating all of the emotive close-ups of actors with tears welling in their eyes. In other words, while there are the bare bones of a decent movie in here, it's been badly compromised to turn it into Oscar bait.
At least it starts well, with a sequence centred on Hank (Robert Downey Jr), a slick Chicago lawyer with a precocious daughter (Emma Tremblay) and an angry trophy wife (Sarah Lancaster) who has had enough. Hank's cold-hearted ways are a legacy of his estranged relationship with his father Joseph (Robert Duvall), the no-nonsense judge in a small-town Indiana town. Then Hank is called home when his mother dies, comforting his brothers Glen (Vincent D'Onofrio), whose injured hand ended his baseball career, and Dale (Jeremy Strong), who is mentally challenged. He also rekindles his youthful romance with waitress Sam (Vera Farmiga). Then Joseph is arrested for murder, and Hank steps in to help inexperienced lawyer CP (Dax Shepard) defend him against the shark-like prosecutor (Billy Bob Thornton).
There isn't a single subtle element in this film, as the script is carefully constructed to pull our sympathies back and forth even though both Hank and Joseph are deeply unlikeable grumps. Downey and Duvall are good enough actors to make them watchable, but director David Dobkin (The Change-up) hammers every sentimental scene home with far too much force. And the script is so simplistic that it chickens out before anything interesting happens. Even the court case lacks something compelling to draw the audience in. It certainly doesn't help that the characters are all deeply contrived. Just one example: there's a disability for each of the three brothers: physical, emotional and mental.
Continue reading: The Judge Review
David Dobkin's movie 'The Judge' is the opener at Toronto Film Festival - a slot not traditionally associated with high quality.
David Dobkin, the filmmaker best known for his classic comedy Wedding Crashers, brings an altogether different film to the Toronto Film Festival this week. His legal drama The Judge, starring Robert Downey Jr and Robert Duvall, opens this year's festival on Thursday (August 4, 2014).
"I hadn't had an opportunity to really dig in and do something like this in 20 years," Dobkin told the Canadian Press of his foray into drama. "There are a lot of intense scenes in the movie. You would think that comedies are more fun to work on and they're not always as fun as they come out. This movie was strangely cathartic."
Continue reading: Downey Jr And 'The Judge' Set To Open Toronto Film Festival
Hank Palmer is a ruthless but excellent lawyer, despised by many of his peers for his habit of representing often blatantly guilty criminals. One day mid-trial however, he receives a call from home informing him of his mother's recent death. Reluctantly, he ventures back to the town of Carlinville, Indiana where he grew up to convene with his family ahead of the funeral. As he expected, the greeting between himself and his father - the local Judge Joseph Palmer - is particularly frosty. As a young college graduate, Hank was desperate to leave the harsh and unfriendly grasp of his father but when the town's sheriff tells him that Joseph is now a murder suspect, he begins to feel a grudging obligation to cast their differences aside and help him protest his innocence.
Continue: The Judge - Trailer
It seems you can take a kid out of college but you can't take college out of a kid as two discontented parents find themselves struggling to behave themselves as they take their respective 18-year-old children to visit their new college campus Middleton. George and Edith are total opposites who find themselves completely uninterested in each other's quirks initially; George is a serious, suit-wearing heart surgeon desperately worried about the academic future of his overly chilled out son, while Edith embarrasses her hard-working daughter with her laidback attitude and never being too afraid to speak her mind. When the parents find themselves separated from the campus tour, they actually start enjoying each other's company and slowly but surely begin to fall in love as they help each other come to terms with the complications of parenthood.
Continue: At Middleton Trailer
So which movies made Tarantino's list for 2013?
Movie buffs have begun to anticipate Quentin Tarantino's Top 10 movies lists in recent years. The legendary director's run-down of his favorite movies of the year has made for interesting reading in recent years and is often regarded as the antithesis of the Academy's choices of the year's best.
He passed on devising a list last year, owing to Django Unchained, though in 2011 Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris - a wonderful movie that actually went onto win Best Original Screenplay at the Oscars - topped Quentin's list, edging out Rise of the Planet of the Apes and the excellent Moneyball, with Brad Pitt. Tarantino threw in a couple of curveballs with X-Men: First Class, The Skin I Live In, Attack The Block and Warrior.
Continue reading: Quentin Tarantino's Top 10 Movies Of 2013 (So Far)
'The Conjuring' is released in UK cinemas today. Released in the US two weeks ago, the horror movie has already grossed over $92 million.
The Conjuring is released in UK cinemas today (2nd August). It's been a surprise summer box office hit in the US, but will the British respond in the same way?
Vera Farmiga at the premiere of Bates Motel held at Soho House in L.A.
The Conjuring had a brilliant opening weekend, gaining $41.5 million and warding off big-budget films such as R.I.P.D., Despicable Me 2 and Turbo. Since then the film has known no bounds: as of 31st July, The Conjuring had made over $92 million. A significant sum considering it was released in the US only two weeks ago.
The Wolverine has placed at number one in the US Weekend Box Office. This latest instalment in the X-Men franchise has proved popular with audiences but less so with critics.
The Wolverine, starring Hugh Jackman, has placed at number one in the US Weekend Box Office. The latest instalment in the X-Men franchise sees Wolverine a.k.a. Logan visit Japan in order to face his past. The movie continues the story of X-Men: The Last Stand in which we saw Wolverine forced to kill Jean Grey (Famke Janssen). Also starring alongside Jackman are Hiroyuki Sanada (Sunshine) and models Tao Okamoto and Rila Fukishima.
Hugh Jackman with Tao Okamoto (L) and Rila Fukashima (R) at the London premiere of The Wolverine.
Those who have commented positively on The Wolverine have said the film creates a diverse character which "pumps some feeling into the guy along with his muscles and steel talons" (Geoff Pevere - Globe and Mail). Others, such as Toronto Star's critic Raju Mudhar, have praised the production team for ensuring the "superhero/Asian crime drama mash-up" is successful.
By Rich Cline
Old-style filmmaking makes this movie scarier than other recent horror films, simply because director Wan (Saw/Insidious) takes the time to actually develop suspense. By not using cheap trickery, he continually sends chills up our spine. So it's a shame that the story isn't more original, merely pasting together every haunted house cliche imaginable into what's apparently based on real events, but is clearly fictionalised.
Real-life ghostbusters Ed and Lorraine Warren (Wilson and Farmiga) investigated a series of hauntings, possessions and other supernatural events over their career. Their most famous case is Amityville, while this story has apparently only recently been released. It involves the Perron family, which experiences all kinds of strange phenomena when they move into a Rhode Island house in 1971. Carolyn (Taylor) starts having freaky nightmares accompanied by nasty bruising, while Roger (Livingston) struggles to cope with the odd behaviour of their five daughters (Caswell, McFarland, King, Foy and Deaver). As the Warrens determine that this is a case of demonic possession, things get even crazier.
The plot is set out as a fairly straightforward investigation, as the Warrens try to get proof of possession so they can call in a priest. Filmmaker Wan uses this to lure us into a false sense of security, quietly taking us through long scenes in which nothing much happens before gently turning the screws then shocking us with something intensely creepy. Some of this is rather obvious (like a nasty-looking doll or an evil-sounding music box), but it's such sure-handed filmmaking that it can't help but make us squirm in our seats.
Continue reading: The Conjuring Review