Ben Mendelsohn - Shots of a host of stars as they took to the red carpet for the Premiere of the new Netflix original series 'Bloodline' The premiere was held at the SVA Theatre in New York City, New York, United States - Tuesday 3rd March 2015
Dark times have engulfed the world. With the steady rise of economic depression across the globe, a small town has found itself under the thumb of a feared bully (Matt Smith). Single mother, Billy ('Firefly' and 'Mad Men''s Christina Hendricks) has to engage in a dark lifestyle to provide enough for her family to survive, and provide the best life possible for her children. Her eldest son is desperate to help take some of the load off her shoulders, and ends up stealing from the Bully, earning his hatred. All the while, they town lurks on the banks of a flooded town, known to everyone as the Lost River.
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Aside from impressive 21st century digital effects, this new take on the Moses story pales in comparison to Cecil B. DeMille's iconic 1956 version, The Ten Commandments, which is far more resonant and intensely dramatic. Biblical epics are tricky to get right, and Ridley Scott certainly knows how to make them look and feel terrific (see Gladiator and Kingdom of Heaven), but his films are generally about the spectacle rather than the human emotion. So this version of the biblical story will only appeal to viewers who have never seen a better one.
It's set in 1300 BC, when the Israelites have been in captivity in Egypt for 400 years. Now rumours of liberation are circling, centring on Moses (Christian Bale), the adopted son of Pharaoh Seti (John Turturro), raised as a brother alongside the future Pharaoh Ramses (Joel Edgerton). When it emerges that Moses is actually a Hebrew, he is sent into exile in the desert, where he finds a new calling as a shepherd and marries his new boss' sexy daughter Sefora (Maria Valverde). Moses also has a run-in with the Jewish God, who appears in the form of a young boy (Isaac Andrews), challenging Moses to free the Israelites. As Moses attempts to spark a slave revolt, God sends seven horrific plagues to convince Ramses to let his people go.
The script struggles to have its cake and eat it too, finding rational explanations for the plagues and miracles while still maintaining God's supernatural intervention. It's a rather odd mix that demonstrates just how compromised the movie is: it's a big blockbuster rather than a story about people. Several elements work well, such as depicting God as a boy, although the screenplay never manages to make much of the female characters. And only Ben Mendelsohn manages to inject any proper personality as the weaselly overseer of the slaves. Bale and Edgerton both catch the complexity of their characters' situations, privilege mixed with personal revelations. But Scott is more interested in parting the Red Sea than taking them anywhere very interesting.
Continue reading: Exodus: Gods and Kings Review
Ben Mendelsohn, John Turturro, Christian Bale, Joel Edgerton and Aaron Paul - Photographs of a variety of stars as they arrived at the New York Premiere of 'Exodus: Gods And Kings' which was held at the Brooklyn Museum in New York City, New York, United States - Sunday 7th December 2014
With jobs for submarine operators steadily beginning to dwindle, an entire sea crew find themselves without jobs. Captain Robinson (Jude Law) has been so committed to the job for so long, that the rest of the world has moved on without him. With his family gone, Robison is turned on to the reports of a Nazi U-boat abandoned at the bottom of the Black Sea. After assembling a crew of half British and half Russian sailors, they set of in search of the gold stash - a stash which will be shared equally amongst them, making them all multi-millionaires. But when the idea starts to circulate that fewer men mean larger shares, the bleak isolation leads to horror and greed, with no possibility of escape.
Continue: Black Sea - Trailer And Clips
Jude Law's 'Black Sea' currently boasts a perfect score of 100% on review site Rotten Tomatoes.
Do we have a late entrant for best British movie of 2014? We're not actually running a competition - the BAFTA's sort of are, and Black Sea might win. On the face of it (of from the trailer), Kevin Macdonald's movie appears to be a formulaic adventure thriller. Sort of Das Boot-lite. And the makers managed to club together to pay Jude Law, for the posters.
Jude Law plays an Aberdeenshire submarine captain in Black Sea
Law plays a rogue submarine captain who pulls together a misfit crew to go after Nazi treasure on-board a sunken U-Boat at the depths of the Black Sea. However, as greed and desperation begins to set in on the team's claustrophobic vessel, the men turn on each other and begin fighting for their own survival. It's brilliant.
Continue reading: Wait, Is Jude Law's 'Black Sea' The Best British Movie of 2014?
While this submarine adventure starts out as a brainy thriller with superior production design, it eventually gives in to the demands of the genre: silly plotting and corny melodrama. Screenwriter Dennis Kelly never remotely tries to sell the two big events that cause considerable mayhem for everyone on-screen, so both feel sudden and contrived. At least the cast is sharp enough that the audience is willing to go with it.
It opens in recession-gripped Scotland. After being sacked from the steelworks, Robinson (Jude Law) teams up with fellow unemployed pal Blackie (Konstantin Khabenskiy) to reclaim their dignity by salvaging Nazi gold from a sunken sub in the Black Sea. With finance arranged by Daniels (Scoot McNairy), they assemble a team of Brits and Russians who immediately start re-enacting the Cold War in the rusty Soviet-vintage submarine they'll be using for their heist. Crewmates include a psycho diver (Ben Mendelsohn), a wheezy veteran (David Threlfall) and an 18-year-old (Bobby Schofield) with nothing better to do. But as they skulk along beneath the Russian Fleet, tempers flare and threaten to undermine their mission. Getting their hands on the gold is one thing; making it home alive might be even trickier.
Director Kevin Macdonald keeps the film fast-paced and tense, as the biggest peril this crew faces is in the fiery interaction between themselves. Arguments, paranoia and mistrust lead to violence, which in turn causes a series of problems that threaten the lives of everyone on board the submarine. Frankly, this seems rather far-fetched for a team of supposedly elite mercenaries who know that they need to look out for each other if they have any hope of accomplishing the mission. And with some major plot twists along the way, the story begins to feel like a collection of increasingly implausible obstacles these resourceful men need to overcome.
Continue reading: Black Sea Review