Robert 'Bob' Mazur is a federal agent who has been assigned the task of going on an undercover mission to infiltrate Pablo Escobar's drug trafficking business that was rife in 1986. In this film we see Mazur pose as a slick money - laundering business man who can be of benefit to Escobar and his company. Emir Abreu acts as Mazur's sidekick after being teamed together in the staff briefing and they set out to infiltrate the gang by drinking and socialising with them, their main target being that of Roberto Alcaino who is one of Escobar's top lieutenants.
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Mixing the action, comedy and horror from novelist R.L. Stein's books into a family-friendly package, this lively romp is entertaining enough to amuse the audience even when it veers off the rails. It helps that Jack Black is on board, giving one of his more energetically charged performances, and that the script peppers scenes with smart gags. But an over-reliance on big special effects weakens the movie's big climax, and the breathless pace is sometimes exhausting.
Black plays Stein himself, a reclusive author and over-protective father who lives in a small town with his daughter Hannah (Odeya Rush). Then single mother Gale (Amy Ryan) moves in next door with her teen son Zach (Dylan Minette), who is immediately intrigued by Hannah. Despite Stein's warnings, Zach and his new school friend Champ (Ryan Lee) sneak into the house to find out more, opening one of the novelist's manuscripts in the process. Out pops an abominable snowman, who proceeds to wreak havoc in the town. And the next literary escapee, the sadistic ventriloquist's dummy Slappy, is even worse. He sets about releasing all of Stein's fictional monsters into the real world, unleashing chaos on a massive scale. But Zach has an idea that may stop the mayhem.
Screenwriter Darren Lemke and director Rob Letterman have a great time bringing the maximum level of pandemonium to this small town, with a range of outrageous creatures that are both comical and scary. These are rendered in rather obvious digital animation, including a gang of militarised garden gnomes, a slimy blob, zombies, werewolves and a gigantic praying mantis. But the cartoonish sheen is undercut intriguingly by some genuinely tense moments, mainly because Slappy is properly menacing. Black provides Slappy's gleefully sinister voice while hamming it up on-screen as Stein. Minette and Rush are fine as the usual bland youthful heroes with a cute hint of romance between them. And more textured acting is provided in small roles by Ryan, Jillian Bell (as Gale's airhead sister) and Ken Marino (as a lovelorn colleague).
Continue reading: Goosebumps Review
When Bob was at school he was the complete opposite to the person he's grown into. The uncool kid known for being quite rotund is now a lean, mean, killing machine - literally. Now going by the name Bob, he's one of the CIA's main operatives and he's about to embark on a tricky mission.
Coincidentally, one of the most popular kids from his year has also grown up to be a very different person to who he was. Bob calls on the help of one of the old jocks who's now living a far more sedate life as an accountant. Adjusting to a new way of life isn't going to be easy for the former no1 but with the help of Bob, along the course of their journey they might just save the free world from being destroyed.
Central Intelligence is directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber and will be released in June 2016.
Steven Spielberg takes on the Cold War with a stately, sentimental thriller that gurgles along with quiet intensity, only occasionally finding a real spark of energy. Most intriguing, and important, is the way the film refuses to indulge in the usual moralising, allowing its characters to be complex and confused as they try to do the right thing. Even the Russians are depicted as real people rather than shady villains. And this makes what happens utterly riveting.
Set in 1957 New York, the story centres on lawyer James Donovan (Tom Hanks), who is hired to represent Rudolf Abel (Mark Rylance) as he is tried for being a Soviet spy. But James is fighting a losing battle against a culture that's determined to convict Rudolf, regardless of the evidence against him. Three years later, an American U-2 spy plane is shot down over Russia, and its pilot Gary Powers (Austin Stowell) captured. So now James is drafted in by the CIA to negotiate a swap: Rudolf for Gary. He heads to Berlin to orchestrate the hand-off, and there decides that he also wants the East Germans to free an American student (Will Rogers) who was wrongfully detained as the Berlin Wall was being built.
Donovan was a remarkable man who tirelessly went far beyond the call in everything he did. He's also a terrific movie character, and Hanks plays him with deadpan honesty, adding shadings to every scenes that make him easy to identify with. This is a likeable person who represents today's political ideal: a tenacious man who ignores partisan politics to do the right thing. The characters around him are less developed, although Rylance offers some strong support as an honest, perceptive man who accepts his fate with dignity. And Ryan has some pointed moments as Donovan's observant wife. All of the actors benefit from the strong screenplay by Joel and Ethan Coen and Matt Charman, which stirs plenty of edgy humour into the Cold War tensions.
Continue reading: Bridge Of Spies Review
Andrea Riseborough, Emma Stone, Amy Ryan, Naomi Watts, Edward Norton and Michael Keaton - A variety of stars were photographed in the press room at the 21st Annual SAG Awards which were held at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California, United States - Thursday 22nd January 2015
The cast and crew of 'Birdman' discuss the visionary filming techniques behind the movie in a short featurette. Among them are director, writer and producer Alejandro González Iñárritu, producers John Lesher and James W. Skotchdopole, and stars Michael Keaton, Edward Norton, Emma Stone, Naomi Watts, Zach Galifianakis, Andrea Riseborough and Amy Ryan.
Inarritu explains his initial idea of having the audience see the movie through the eyes of main character Riggan Thomas himself, which resulted in a one-take experience that struck fear in the hearts of the cast who, as Emma reveals, constantly had to be switched on in their roles. We also get a glimpse into the semi-hallucination effects that affect Riggan throughout the movie.
'BiRDMAN (or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)' is released in UK cinemas on 1st January 2015.
Amy Ryan - Photographs of a variety of stars as they arrived at the 24th Annual Gotham Independent Film Awards which were held at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City, New York, United States - Monday 1st December 2014
Riggan Thomas (Michael Keeton) is faced with a serious problem. In an attempt to make himself appear relevant in the new world following his role as television superhero Birdman twenty years ago, he has written a stage adaptation of sixty-year-old book. But his problem is, that the actor hired to star in the production has dropped out. The plays producer, Jake (Zach Galifianakis) is in the process of explaining how much trouble they are in, when Lesley (Naomi Watts) explains that her lover, the famous Mike Shiner (Edward Norton) is ready and willing to step into the role.
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'Birdman' stars Emma Stone and Edward Norton made their arrivals on the red carpet at the movie's premiere held at the 71st Venice Film Festival. The comedy drama is set for UK release in January 2015.
Amy Ryan and Our Time - Amy Ryan poses with the 'Our Time' kids Monday 22nd October 2012 attending the All Star Bowling Event to benefit 'Our Time', helping young people who stutter to improve their skills, held at Lucky Strike Lanes.
Amy Ryan and Mike Doyle - Amy Ryan and Mike Doyle New York City, USA - The Public Theater presents the opening night celebration for Shakespeare in the Park's 'Measure For Measure' at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park - Arrivals Thursday 30th June 2011
Mike (Giamatti) is a New Jersey lawyer struggling to make ends meet when he discovers he can earn a bit extra as the guardian of senile client Leo (Young).
But his wife Jackie (Ryan) only finds out when Leo's 16-year-old grandson Kyle (Shaffer) turns up needing a place to stay while his mother (Lynskey) goes through rehab. To keep him busy, Mike invites Kyle along to the wrestling practice he coaches with his friends (Tambor and Cannavale). Surprise: Kyle's a gifted wrestler who may help the team win for a change.
Continue reading: Win Win Review
Colum McCann, Amy Ryan, Mary-Louise Parker and Michael Cerveris - Colum McCann, Amy Ryan, Michael Cerveris and Mary-Louise Parker New York City, USA - 'An Evening with Colum McCann' held at Symphony Space. Wednesday 8th December 2010
Miller (Damon) is a military officer charged with locating weapons of mass destruction, but every site he visits is a dead end. When he voices doubts about the intelligence, he gets in trouble with the Pentagon chief (Kinnear).
On the other hand, the CIA director (Gleeson) is sympathetic, and encourages him to dig around. So with the help of a local translator (Abdalla), Miller dives in. And he's quickly caught between two factions in his own government as he searches for an Iraqi general (Naor) in hiding.
Continue reading: Green Zone Review
The man in question is Andy (Philip Seymour Hoffman), a pudgy volcano of a corporate hustler with a trophy wife. Gina (Marisa Tomei) fits that role to a T as she spends Andy's money and enjoys mid-day quickies with Andy's brother Hank (Ethan Hawke). Hank's money goes towards his ex-wife (a great Amy Ryan) and daughter while Andy's cash, when not with Gina, is spent on heroin in the très chic twentieth-floor apartment of his dealer in Manhattan. The boys need dough and their bourgeois office jobs aren't keeping it coming in. That's when Andy gets the idea.
Continue reading: Before The Devil Knows You're Dead Review
The second season is no different. It's riveting television that pulses with realism, intelligence, and harrowing drama. If by chance you've stumbled upon this review without having watched the first season, update your Netflix queue immediately, with The Wire: Season One at the top. Like nearly all of today's best hour-long dramas, its multilayered storytelling technique demands a great deal of attention to detail from the viewer. The show can't be fully appreciated without understanding each character's nuanced backstory and the history of interactions and conflicts everyone has with one another. So start at the beginning and enjoy.
Continue reading: The Wire: Season Two Review
One admires Kerrigan's rigorous cinematic technique, which stays perched on Keane's face or right over his shoulder for most of the film's running time. It's a "you are there" aesthetic that demands the viewer identify with the camera's subject. Perhaps influenced by British filmmaker Alan Clarke (who used similar tactics to brilliant effect following around skinhead Tim Roth in Made in Britain and football hooligan Gary Oldman in The Firm), Kerrigan manages to make Keane bracing, compelling, and mostly watchable even as you realize the character is on a long, slow, tortured journey to nowhere.
Continue reading: Keane Review
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