Unusually gritty and grounded, this terrorism thriller avoids the pitfalls of most overwrought action movies by creating characters and action situations that are unusually believable, even if the plot itself feels badly undercooked. The problem is that there isn't a clear sense of what's at stake here, because screenwriter Philip Shelby insists on continually blurring the mystery by withholding key details until he's ready to reveal them. So the cleverly played old-style suspense never quite pays off.
It opens at the US Embassy in London, where new security chief Kate (Milla Jovovich) has been alerted to the fact that terrorists are trying to get visas to enter America. Working with the ambassador (Angela Bassett) her team leaders (Dylan McDermott and Robert Forster), Kate narrows in on a suspicious doctor (Roger Rees) who's an expert in explosive gasses. But a shocking bombing stops her short, framing her as the villain. Now she's being chased not only by the Americans, but also a British inspector (James D'Arcy) and a ruthless assassin known as The Watchmaker (Pierce Brosnan). And Kate knows that she's the only one who can stop the nefarious plot, whatever it might be.
This is one of those films that enjoyably pushes its central character over the brink, so we can't help but root for Kate to get out of this seriously messy situation and save the day. Jovovich plays her in a plausible way as a capable woman who has no choice but to fight back and try to survive, because she's the only one who knows that she's not the real threat here. Everyone else is extremely shadowy, although McDermott gets to show a heroic side, as does the terrific Frances de la Tour as the only embassy staff member who believes that Kate is the good guy. Meanwhile, Brosnan gives a remarkably effective performance as a cold-blooded killer.
Continue reading: Survivor Review
The world of counter-intelligence has gotten an awful lot more dangerous. When a visa security officer (Milla Jovovich) is posted in the US Embassy in the United Kingdom, she is tasked with ensuring that known or suspected terrorists are unable to make their way to the United States. But when she come under fire from a deadly assassin known only as "The Watchmaker" (Pierce Brosnan), she ends up framed for various crimes she didn't commit and is forced on the run. Now, she must do her best to keep doing her job while being hunted and tracked by not only The Watchmaker, but US Security Services and Marines.
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There's an unusual honesty to this film, which is an odyssey into the inner life of a teen girl. Gregg Araki has made a career out of understanding the often tortured inner workings of the adolescent mind, and this is one of his most beautifully crafted films yet, artfully circling around a central mystery while digging deeply into each of the characters. And while it seems a bit straightforward for an Araki movie, it's packed with his usual darker corners, especially in the surprising final act.
It's set in the autumn of 1988, when Kat (Shailene Woodley) feels her life fall apart. She's just 17, on the verge of womanhood when her mother (Eva Green) inexplicably vanishes, leaving her dad (Christopher Meloni) struggling to help her through puberty. Her best pals (Mark Indelicato and Gabourey Sidibe) are some help, but at the same time she begins to feel a growing distance from her boyfriend Phil (Shiloh Fernandez). Is all of this connected, or is this because of Phil's own family issues? As she plays through the various clues in her mind, the answers are also eluding the local tough-guy detective (Thomas Jane). A few years later, Kat returns home from her studies at Berkeley to visit her dad. And maybe this time she'll finally find out what happened.
The film is a beautiful depiction of the awkwardness of being a teenager, when everything seems wrong but feelings are so strong. Araki fills the screen with sumptuous imagery including dreamy sequences set in a snowy landscape where Kat mentally searches for her mother. And flashbacks offer more earthy glimpses into this difficult mother-daughter relationship, especially as Kat and her once-glamorous mother begin to shift in their roles. Clearly, Kat suspects that her mother ran away after seducing Phil, but the truth isn't quite this obvious.
Continue reading: White Bird in a Blizzard Review
Angela Bassett - The 46th NAACP Image Awards presented by TV One at the Pasadena Civic Center - Arrivals at Pasadena Civic Auditorium - Pasadena, California, United States - Saturday 7th February 2015
Despite the singer’s family slamming the Lifetime move, 4.5 million viewers tuned in to see ‘Whitney’ on Saturday night.
Well who ever said a bit of controversy would be bad for ratings? Certainly not Lifetime, who on Saturday evening scored their highest ratings in a year with their biopic of singer Whitney Houston. 4.5 million viewers tuned in on Saturday night to see Whitney, making it the highest rated show on US television that evening, just behind NBC’s ‘Dateline’ and CBS’s ’48 Hours’.
Yaya DaCosta as Whitey Houston
Most viewers also chose to stick around after the movie had finished to watch Houston’s former husband Bobby Brown give his perspective on life with the troubled singer, in an interview which drew 4.1 million viewers. The next hour 3.2 million stayed on the channel to watch a special on the singer’s greatest performances.
Continue reading: Controversial Whitney Houston Biopic Brings In Big Ratings For Lifetime
Directed by Angela Bassett and starring Yaya DaCosta, the Whitey Houston biopic has been controversial from the beginning.
Tonight the Lifetime biopic of late singer Whitney Houston finally gets its airing and viewers are expecting the drama onscreen to be at least equal to that which has happened off screen. Since the film was announced, Houston’s family have spoken out against the project, leading first time director Angela Bassett to be continually on the defensive about the film.
Yaya DaCosta stars as Whitey Houston
Ahead of the film’s television premiere tonight (January 17th), Pat Houston, the late singer’s sister in-law and President of her estate, has released a scathing statement condemning the movie. “I say this to all Whitney's family, friends and fan base: If you watch this movie, watch it knowing that Lifetime is notorious for making bad biopics of deceased celebrities and brace yourself for the worst,” wrote Houston.
Continue reading: What To Expect From Tonight's Lifetime Whitney Houston Biopic
While the family of Whitney Houston chose not to attend the première of the late singer's biopic, the cast and various celebrities were seen in attendance.
It would probably be an understatement to say that Whitney Houston was a beloved musician. The singer, actress and model has been often hailed as the most awarded musician of all time, and whether you listen to her songs as part of the soundtrack for a critically-polarising movie or while dancing the year away on 31st December each year, Houston is still the only artist to have seven consecutive top charting singles.
In the upcoming Lifetime biopic, 'Whitney', the life of the performer and her relationship with husband Bobby Brown, is charted from the days of her humble church choir beginnings up until her tragic death from a combination of heart failure and drowning at the guest room of The Beverly Hilton. Coincidently, just a few blocks away from the site of her death stands The Paley Centre for Media - the site of the premiere for 'Whitney'.
Continue reading: The Stars Come Out At The Whitney Houston Biopic Première [Photos]
Suzzanne Douglas, Angela Bassett, Arlen Escarpeta, Yaya Da Costa, Yol and a Ross - Premiere of Lifetime's 'Whitney' at The Paley Center for Media - Arrivals at Paley Center - Beverly Hills, California, United States - Tuesday 6th January 2015
The trailer for ‘Whitney’ shows the film will not shy away from the darker aspects of the singer’s life.
The first trailer for Lifetime’s Whitney Houston biopic has hit and is it too early to say that this one actually looks pretty compelling? The trailer made its debut Thursday (December 4th) on Buzzfeed, ahead of the film’s premiere on Saturday, January 17th.
Yaya DaCosta stars as Whitney Houston
Directed by Houston’s Waiting to Exhale co-star Angela Bassett, the film stars former ‘America’s Top Model’ contestant Yaya DaCosta as the ultimately tragic singer. Grammy nominee Deborah Cox provides the vocals for DaCosta’s Houston and Brotherhood actor Arlen Escarpeta stars as her former husband Bobby Brown.
It is a time for sexual awakening for Kat Connors (Shailene Woodley). The 17-year-old is born again into a new world of desire and pleasure when all of a sudden, out of nowhere, her mother, Eve (Eva Green) mysteriously vanishes. Kat tries to ignore it, and continue enjoying the moment that she has created for herself, although she steadily discovers that her mother's disappearance has affected her more deeply than she originally thought. Thinking that her mother, a stunningly beautiful yet clearly haunted woman, left the family to pursue an affair, Kat finds herself seducing her way to the truth, in an attempt to find out if her mother is still out there, somewhere.
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The movie is going ahead, despite protests from the Houston camp.
The Whitney Houston Lifetime biopic is going ahead as planned, but the singer’s family is not happy about it. Cissy Houston, mother of the late singer, issued a statement this Wednesday, distancing herself and the family from the film, which she considers poorly researched and disrespectful to the musical icon’s memory.
Whitney and Sissy Houston at the 2010 Black Ball in NYC.
In a statement issued to Entertainment Tonight, Cissy Houston said: “No one connected with this movie knew Whitney or anything about her relationship with Bobby. In the two years since Whitney's death, many people have stepped forward to speak about their close relationship with her. I find it difficult to believe people who knew and supposedly loved her would participate in a movie about her done by folks who didn't know her.”
Continue reading: Angela Bassett To Make Best Of Whitney Houston Biopic, Despite Protests
With the roles of Houston and Bobby Brown cast, the Lifetime biopic is taking shape.
Lifetime’s upcoming Whitney Houston biopic appears to be moving forward, with the announcement that Arlen Escarpeta has been cast as Bobby Brown. But despite the fact filming has just begun the movie is already being seen as controversial, with the late singer’s family voicing their objections. So what do we know already about the film and what aspects of Houston’s life can we expect it to focus on?
Yaya DaCosta in character as Whitey Houston
Continue reading: So, What Do We Know About Lifetime’s Whitney Houston Biopic?