In her inimitable loose style, Sofia Coppola remakes the 1971 Clint Eastwood movie from a distinctly feminine perspective. Like her other films, this feels loose and sometimes aimless, demanding that the audience find their own way through the story. It's also a remarkably effective gothic thriller, darkly playing on the vulnerability and innate power of women.
It's set in 1864 Virginia, where the residents of an isolated girls school can hear the Civil War raging in the distance. Teachers Martha and Edwina (Nicole Kidman and Kirsten Dunst) and students Alicia, Jane, Amy, Marie and Emily (Elle Fanning, Angourie Rice, Oona Laurence, Addison Riecke and Emma Howard) have just been getting on with their education in their cocoon-like plantation. Then Amy discovers wounded Union soldier John (Colin Farrell) in the woods. With their own male relatives dead or missing in the war, all of these women are fascinated by this man, an enemy who needs their help. So each begins flirting with him in her own way. But as John considers staying on as a handyman, he's unaware of the jealousies he is igniting around him.
The actors give provocative, layered performances, subtly revealing their internal desires as they interact in unexpected ways. Kidman is the focal point as the stern Martha, trying to remain stoic and in control even as she feels lust for this interloper. Dunst's Edwina is more openly romantic in her approach, while Fanning's Alicia is old enough to desire him in unfamiliar ways. The younger four girls stay mainly on the sideline, even as they add their own layers of intrigue. And Farrell is terrific as the brooding, swarthy man who's unaware of the passions he's stirring up. Where this goes is creepy and intense, as John seems to think that he can pick whichever woman he likes. But he's badly underestimating them.
Continue reading: The Beguiled Review
John McBurney is a Union soldier who is found injured in the grounds of a Mississippi Confederate all-girls boarding school in 1863. The girls and their headmistress Miss Farnsworth take him inside to care for him, locking him in a room to keep him separated from the girls, but during his stay he manages to charm the likes of teacher Edwina Dabney and one of the elder students, Alicia, not to mention Martha herself. John's presence in the house disrupts the once quaint atmosphere, and it soon becomes thick with deceit and jealousy. As each of the girls turn on one another one by one, they begin to realise who the real enemy is. And John finds himself in far more danger than he ever was in the ongoing Civil War.
Continue: The Beguiled Trailer
Colin Farrell, Elle Fanning, Nicole Kidman, Sofia Coppola and Kirsten Dunst at the 70th Cannes Film Festival photocall for 'The Beguiled' held at Palais des Festivals, Cannes Film Festival - Cannes, United Kingdom - Wednesday 24th May 2017
It turns out that Tony Stark makes a better Avenger than a mentor. After a teenager named Peter Parker gets bitten by a radioactive spider, he finds himself with some incredible super powers; increased agility, and the ability to climb walls and shoot webs. Naturally, he feels alone with no idea how to use his newfound skills. That's when he meets Iron Man, who intructs him to use his powers to rid the streets of petty criminals with the strict caveat that he must leave any supervillain problems to the Avengers. It doesn't take long for Peter to get frustrated with Tony's treatment of him, and he longs to be a fully-fledged member of the team. Of course, he is still a kid, but when a new menace threatens the city in the form of the Vulture, he's determined to help take him down whether Tony likes it or not.
Continue: Spider Man: Homecoming Trailer
Peter Parker is a teenager who has a lot to deal with after being bitten by a radioactive spider. He suddenly finds himself equipped with the ability to climb buildings and spin webs - powers that he knows he wants to use for good but of which he really doesn't know where to start. He's being mentored by Tony Stark, who suggests he keep to small-time crime rather than taking on the city's supervillains, but he's ready to take on the big guys and he's certainly tired of being patronised by Iron Man who doesn't think he's ready to become an Avenger especially when he's still got high school to complete. When a new menace in the shape of the Vulture makes himself known in New York, the newly dubbed Spider-Man wants to help take him down, but how can he do that with the Avengers trying to keep him out of the loop?
Continue: Spider-Man: Homecoming Trailer
Writer-director Shane Black returns to the comedy-noir vibe of his 2005 hit Kiss Kiss Bang Bang with this riotously funny thriller set in late-1970s Los Angeles. It's an entertaining mix of hilarious action mayhem, slapstick and violence anchored by Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe, who unexpectedly prove to be a superb comedy double-act.
It's 1977, and private detective Holland (Gosling) is searching for a porn star who was spotted alive after dying in a car crash. His investigation leads him to Amelia (Margaret Qualley), who has hired the thug Jackson (Crowe) to keep people off her tail. After beating up Holland, Jackson realises that maybe they should be working together, as other cases seem to be dovetailing around Amelia's politically powerful mother (Kim Basinger). But now Holland and Jackson are being chased by the legendary assassin John Boy (Matt Bomer). And Holland is having a terrible time keeping his bright 13-year-old daughter Holly (Angourie Rice) from getting involved in this dangerous case.
Gosling and Crowe play Holland and Jackson as a classic comedy duo along the lines of Abbott and Costello or Hope and Crosby: bumbling idiots who somehow manage to save the day due to dumb luck and someone smart looking out for them. In this case, their guardian angel is Holly, and young Aussie actress Rice more than holds her own against these A-list stars. Holly is the only person on-screen who has a clue what's actually going on, and Rice effortlessly walks off with the film, giving a knowing performance that's hugely engaging. The other scene-stealer is Bomer, whose slick, overconfident killer is simply screaming to be taken down a peg or two.
Continue reading: The Nice Guys Review
If you're on the wrong side of the law and looking for someone to send a special kind of 'message', Jackson Healey might just be the man you call. One day his work takes him to the door of Holland March where he leaves his own particular type of message for Holland, a private detective who's currently a little down on his luck.
When an employee of the Department Of Justice finds that her daughter has gone missing, she employs Healey to find her by any means necessary. Out of his depth, Healey calls on the best private eye he knows. Initially very hesitant to work with the guy who only recently sucker punched him, Holland agrees to help find the girl.
As clues are revealed, it looks like Amelia (The missing girl) has somehow become intertwined with the mob who are trying to branch out in LA. As the amateurs hunt down Amelia, the case takes them down dangerous paths they never thought they'd venture down.
The filmmakers make a serious mistake by aiming this educational epic at very young children, because they've undermined the considerable skill and artistry that have gone into making it. An astoundingly trite script overflows with goofy slang and lame jokes that make the film virtually unwatchable for anyone over the age of 5. And the dialog tries so hard to be hip and cool that it already feels badly dated.
It opens on a rather awkward framing story about a palaeontologist (Urban) who takes his niece and nephew (Rice and Rowe) to look for dinosaur fossils in rural Alaska, at which point we are taken back in time to see what life was life in the Late Cretaceous Period. Enter Patchi (voiced by Long), a young pachyrhinosaurus whose best pal is a talkative bird named Alex (Leguizamo). Patchi also has an annoying big brother named Scowler (Stone) and a love-interest in Juniper (Sircar). As the young pachyrhinos grow up, they have a series of adventures along the path migrating north and south with the seasons. Vicious predators chase them, and both Patchi and Scowler take a shot at leading the herd.
The plot is fairly simplistic, but it's a decent tool to teach us about the various animals of the period. The dialog is another story altogether, packed with inane observations, stupid gags and lazy one-liners. By comparison, the required poo, vomit and snot jokes are genuinely witty. And a considerable amount of real information about the period and the creatures gets lost in all of the idiotic patter.
Continue reading: Walking With Dinosaurs: The 3D Movie Review
Alex is an Alexornis bird who watches the incredible transformation from infant to adult among his Pachyrhinosaurus friends Patchi, Scowler and Juniper. Patchi is the tiniest of the bunch, always trailing along behind the others and always the one to get pushed out at dinner time. However, as the weeks wear on, it becomes clear that he is becoming a formidable force among his peers, heroically defending his family against all foes including the gargantuan Gorgon the Gorgosaurus. As he slowly grows into the strongest of his siblings, he bravely leads the herd on their migration voyage to escape the food and water shortage that the drought will no doubt bring.
The 3D spectacular wont be released until December 20.
The first trailer for the upcoming Walking With Dinosaurs 3D, the BBC Worldwide/20th Century Fox helmed family adventure/documentary, was release online this Friday (May 24), offering dino-fans their first glimpse at the three-dimensional spectacular.
The movie looks to have all the halmarks of a hit family movie, with an educational edge that may make it irresistible to kids and parents alike. The movie is the product of years of painstaking research and production to make a film that is not only true to the biology of these marvellous creatures that once dominated the Earth, but is also a genuine cinematic treat that the studios behind the project promise is nothing like what audiences are used to.
Using state of the art 3-D technology, the film will look to emerse audiences in the prehistoric setting of the film, in what will hopefully inspire a generation of future palaeontologist and scientist across all fields. The movie is not just a documentary about dinosaurs, but a well-informed story that follows a young Psittacosaurus who rises from underdog to the leader of his pack and a hero of his age. So there's a little Land Before Time mixed with the BBC documentary Walking With Dinosaurs then; sounds like a pretty good family movie to us.
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