Benjamin Bratt, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Yvonne Strahovski, Kiefer Sutherland, William Devane and Colin Salmon - '24 - Live Another Day' UK premiere held at Old Billingsgate Market - Arrivals. - London, United Kingdom - Tuesday 6th May 2014
Giles Matthey, Yvonne Strahovski, Benjamin Bratt, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Kiefer Sutherland, Kim Raver, Tate Donovan and Gbenga Akinnagbe - '24: Live Another Day' world premiere - Arrivals - Manhattan, New York, United States - Friday 2nd May 2014
'Despicable Me 2' reviews have been favourable although most critics have said it lacks originality. The movie is due to be released in US cinemas on Wednesday (3rd July). It has already been released in the UK and has topped the Weekend Box Office.
Despicable Me 2, the sequel to the first 2010 film, is due to be released in cinemas on Wednesday. Early critical reviews have been largely positive. Keith Uhlich of the New York Times said the franchise has improved since the last film and that it is "delights more often than it disappoints".
Steve Carell at the Despicable Me 2 premiere, L.A.
Whilst most of the critics have enjoyed the film there are others who criticised Universal Pictures for its lack of originality. Ryan Gilbey of The Statesman said the film is "a completely redundant follow-up to the perfectly delightful 2010 original". Others have drawn comparisons with Monsters University, claiming Despicable Me 2 "has more laughs in the first 5 minutes" than Monsters managed in 90 (according to Roger Moore of McClatchy-Tribune News Service).
Continue reading: 'Despicable Me 2': Early Reviews Round-Up
Can Brad Pitt's World War Z live up to years of hype? We find out this weekend. Also: Edinburgh kicks off, the cast of Despicable Me 2 have a chat and we get trailer overload...
Filming on Brad Pitt's apocalyptic zombie epic World War Z started two years ago in Britain and Malta, and audiences are finally getting to see the results this weekend. Critics are being hard on the film, but the box office will have the last word.
The Edinburgh International Film Festival kicked off this week with the premiere of Breathe In, the new drama from Drake Doremus (Like Crazy), who walked the red carpet with star Felicity Jones. There will be nearly 150 new movies screened in Edinburgh over the next 10 days, along with parties every night with the filmmakers and stars.
Like a comically deranged Twilight Zone episode, this colourful animated feature underscores its fantastical story with some intriguingly serious issues. But it never gets preachy, and a stream of warped humour will keep adults chuckling all the way through.
Geeky inventor Flint (voiced by Hader) has finally created something that will make him famous: a machine that makes food from water. When it's inadvertently catapulted into the clouds, it starts raining cheeseburgers, much to everyone's delight. Now famous, he remotely programmes the machine to rain everything from ice cream to spaghetti and meatballs. While Flint's mono-browed dad (Caan) doesn't really get him, the greedy mayor (Campbell) wants a piece of his success. Meanwhile, Flint meets weather reporter Sam (Faris), who might actually understand him.
Filmmakers Lord and Miller somehow manage to keep the film utterly silly, with outrageous visual flourishes and zany comical asides, while maintaining a sharp intelligence beneath the surface. As a result, grown-ups will probably find the film funnier than kids, who will be entranced by the visual antics and miss the sophisticated wit. And they quietly hide the serious subtext as well, including a knowing look at celebrity and pointed comments on how tricky it is for people to truly communicate.
But all of this is mere icing on the cake, as it were, for a film that's raucous, nonstop fun. Images of food falling from the sky are pure dreamlike fantasy, especially when Flint's machine overheats and produces oversized culinary delights that look utterly delicious even as they flatten the houses they land on. Of course, this gives the screenwriters plenty of running gags and punning opportunities, which the talented vocal cast run wild with.
Even side characters like Mr T's supercop and Bratt's Guatemalan cameraman get terrific moments along the way, while Flint's relationship with his dad has a surprising resonance. And along the way, there are some superb sequences that combine goofy humour with awkward emotion plus a hint of unhinged weirdness (such as the Jell-O palace). And as global chaos threatens to erupt, along with Mt Leftovers, the film develops into a hysterical disaster movie satire that's brilliantly animated and, for once, makes full use of 3D to throw everything right into our faces.
As parents Audrey and Mike Cobb, Tilda Swinton and Vincent D'Onofrio seem an odd choice, but it's an absolutely perfect one. Director Mike Mills may not have the best ear for story or subject matter (the source novel by Walter Kirn, should likely have been left on the unfilmed backlist) but he's dead-on when it comes to tone and casting. A pair of tired out working-class adults in a small Northwest town who can't quite accept being grownups, they have their two boys call them by their first names. Everything around them betrays this hope, of course, with Audrey working night shifts as a nurse at a celebrity drug treatment clinic just to catch a glimpse of an addict TV star she's got a girlish crush on, and Mike as the beaten-down manager of a sporting goods store unable to forget that but for an injury he could have gone pro.
Continue reading: Thumbsucker Review
Simply put, Walter (Kevin Bacon) is back in town after serving a 12-year stretch for molesting young girls. He gets a job at a lumberyard where the manager (David Alan Grier, in a rare yet welcome stab at dramatic acting) makes it clear that he only hired Walter due to a family favor. Antisocial to a fault, Walter goes about his work with sullen determination, retreating to his depressing apartment to share the occasional beer with his brother-in-law, Carlos (Benjamin Bratt), the only family member who will even speak to him. Walter goes to a therapist who tries, without much success, to get him to dig a little deeper and to deal with his problem. In the meantime, Walter tries not to stare at the pre-teen schoolgirls who ride the bus he takes to work, and stares sullenly out his window at the schoolyard across the street ("the only landlord in town who'll take my money" he remarks to Carlos's bafflement at his suspicious choice of living quarters).
Continue reading: The Woodsman Review
Indeed, Red Planet makes for a far better film than Mission to Mars. While that's not saying a whole lot (since Mission currently ranks as the worst movie I've seen all year) Red Planet is at least competently constructed and mildly engaging, so long as you put aside the sappy melodramatics. Of course, this isn't that easy to do.
Continue reading: Red Planet Review
Fortunately, The Next Best Thing covers very different ground than Affection. Unfortunately, that ground turns out to be providing a platform for Madonna to sing, to show off her yoga skills, and To Show You How Much She Can E-Mote During Her Di-A-Logue, all while affecting a slight (yet very pretentious) British accent. Get outta the way, people, Madonna's gonna act!!! And it isn't going to be pretty. (See also: Evita.)
Continue reading: The Next Best Thing Review
Benjamin Bratt is provocative in the role of Miguel Piñero, the troubled and disillusioned force behind the notable work Short Eyes, produced during one of Piñero's incarceration stints in the mid '70s. Bratt effectively exudes the pain and anger that transcends some posturing material, with a portrayal as lyrical as the throbbing beat of the movie's Latin-induced soundtrack. While the propensity for audiences to get caught up in Piñero's wayward world of instability is almost inevitable, the movie follows an uncharted path by trying to reinforce the demons without really being perceptive about Piñero's undeniable skill as a writer. The cliché about creative minds who become consumed by their art is almost a manipulation here. The film is valiant in the way it strides for that redemptive note as it tries to make us accept (and understand) his premature death of cirrhosis in 1988.
Continue reading: Piñero Review
Too bad that with plenty of raw material (notably Willem Dafoe as an American mercenary working in Columbia), Danger comes up awfully short. For starters, what is our CIA hero doing poking around in the Colubian drug trade? Sure, he's rooting out a huge conspiracy that goes all the way up the U.S. political ranks, but must we be subjected to endless Latino stereotypes en route to that? Clancy is always at his best when he's dealing with terrorists or Russians. Here we have a plot (nearly 2 1/2 hours in length) that trots out the usual exploding drug factories and endless cartel assassinations. Ryan's escape from a troublesome mission is infamous for the bad guys' repeated inability to hit a near-motionless target.
Continue reading: Clear And Present Danger Review
Miss Congeniality starts out with Gracie as a New Jersey kid kicking ass on the playground and getting the obligatory "ugly duckling" bit when she slugs a guy to protect a potential boyfriend -- only to be shunned because she was too tomboyish. Of course, the ugly duckling grows up to be an adult tomboy (though a dead sexy one at that). The portrayal is stereotypical: frumpy hair, two dates to her name, a punching bag, and a penchant for pints of Ben and Jerry's. To her credit, Sandra Bullock pulls off the deal pretty well, but how she can live with herself after playing such an odious role is beyond me. (She gets paid a lot of money, that's how. -Ed.)
Continue reading: Miss Congeniality Review
Catwoman is the result of four actors without a leg to stand on, three lonely writers with an unhealthy obsession over leather and cats, and one director with a problematic penchant for photogrammetry.
Continue reading: Catwoman Review
The film, starring and directed by Reynolds himself, follows a washed-up movie producer searching for $50,000 to option a kid's hot screenplay before a bigshot studio man (Benjamin Bratt) snaps it up. His comedy of errors in search of someone with some money takes him through the highs and lows of Hollywood, from rich actors (including Robert Goulet) to Armenian loan sharks. Does he get his money? Who cares!? The movie's got Ann-Margret in it!
Continue reading: The Final Hit Review
There's a little more to "Abandon" than the stock woman-in-peril thriller it looks like. But since writer-director Stephen Gaghan stages the film like a stock woman-in-peril thriller, there's no way to know this until the last 10 minutes when the twists kick in.
The first 9/10ths of the picture consists largely of cutie coed Katie Holmes having her thesis-oriented last semester of college turned into a distractingly stressful ordeal by a cop (Benjamin Bratt) coming around to dredge up the two-year-old case of her missing boyfriend (Charlie Hunnam). Well, that and the fact that soon thereafter the boyfriend -- an arrogant, idle-rich kid with a silly shaggy hairdo and a penchant for brash theatrics -- reappears and begins stalking her from the shadows.
With only a few obscure, barely crumb-like hints that there might be something more going on than just unwelcome visits from a nefarious ex, the movie coasts along on perfunctory tension and Holmes' good looks for several reels while waiting for the other shoe to drop.
Continue reading: Abandon Review
"Red Planet" takes itself pretty seriously for a movie that asks the viewer, in the laborious voice-over prologue, to stow all notions of science and logic.
In the year 2057, we're told, mankind has overpopulated and pretty much trashed the Earth, so the government(s) want to move everybody to Mars (nevermind that Mars is only half the size of our home planet). So for the past decade or so, unmanned probes containing oxygen-producing algae have been rocketed to the red planet to help create a breathable atmosphere.
But satellite observations show the algae has somehow disappeared along with the terraformed environment, so the first manned mission to Mars is on its way to figure out what went wrong. (If you find it hard to believe we wouldn't have sent astronauts to visit at least once before deciding to settle down there, you're not alone.)
Continue reading: Red Planet Review
One of the hassles of a four-star rating system for movie reviews is that at first glance it can appear to put an enjoyably bad movie on equal footing with a really good one -- case in point, this week's two big studio releases.
Inventive, original and packed with uncommonly intelligent action, "The Bourne Supremacy" is an example of a great three-star movie -- one that I toyed with giving another half-star, but while it's on the "great" end of "good," it didn't quite cross the threshold into "extraordinary." (I hope that makes some kind of sense.)
But "Catwoman" is a whole different kind of three-star movie -- one so blundering, so badly written, so ripped to shreds by the actors chewing the scenery, so pretentiously self-serious, and yet seemingly aware of its own off-the-charts camp value -- that it is wildly entertaining, but for all the wrong reasons.
Continue reading: Catwoman Review
Comparisons to "Mystic River" are obvious as Kevin Bacon shifts from the role of a Boston cop entangled in a murder case involving child molesters to the much deeper role of an actual child molester in "The Woodsman."
Released from prison after 12 years, Walter (Bacon) lands a job in a Philadelphia lumberyard, moves into a shabby apartment across from a schoolyard, and waits through the long, aching hours for his healing to begin. His brother-in-law Carlos (Benjamin Bratt) makes a vague attempt to reach out, but he is reluctant to let Walter meet his 12 year-old niece. Co-worker Vicki (Bacon's wife Kyra Sedgwick) becomes friendly with him, and a cop (Mos Def) is personally invested in bringing Walter down.
Everyone spends every minute waiting for Walter to slip, none more so than Walter himself. When he gets off his bus and follows a young girl (Hannah Pilkes) into the park, we understand that he can't help himself.
Continue reading: THE WOODSMAN Review
Date of birth
16th December, 1963
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