Two decades is a long time to wait for a sequel, especially one starring much of the original cast. (The record may go to the 32 years between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens.) But clearly filmmakers Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin have long wanted to follow up their 1996 blockbuster hit Independence Day. The result is a big, fast sci-fi action thriller that lacks both the original movie's enjoyably raucous tone and its break-out star Will Smith.
After the events of 20 years ago, America has taken alien technology to heart, improving transportation and military defence, including creating a base on the moon to keep an eye out for returning tentacled baddies. Then an orb-shape ship appears, followed by a new mothership so large that it spans the entire Atlantic Ocean. President Lanford (Sela Ward) turns to the surviving heroes of the previous invasion for help: scientific expert David (Jeff Goldblum), former president Whitmore (Bill Pullman) and mad genius Brakish (Brent Spiner). Meanwhile, a young team of next-generation pilots dives into the fray, including Dylan (Jesse T. Usher playing Will Smith's now-grown son), Jake (Liam Hemsworth), Patricia (Maika Monroe as Whitmore's daughter and Jake's fiancee) and Charlie (Travis Tope).
The film is assembled in standard disaster movie style, quickly introducing characters and their personal little melodramas before throwing them into the mad chaos of this new invasion. Emmerich is an expert at this structure, using it to hugely entertaining effect from Independence Day to Godzilla, The Day After Tomorrow, 2014 and White House Down. So it's odd that this film feels so lifeless by comparison. The story rushes past at a breathless pace that never allows the characters or events to gain any real traction with the audience. The only sharp wit on hand this time comes from throwaway one-liners apparently improvised by Goldblum. And the action feels eerily derivative, rehashed from Emmerich's filmography with added elements from Star Wars and Apocalypse Now.
Continue reading: Independence Day: Resurgence Review
Everyone knows the tale of David Levinson and Captain Steven Hiller, the two men at the forefront of the last Alien invasion. Since that last fateful day, Levinson has worked tirelessly to protect the world and strengthen it from alien attacks, even using the technology they discovered on board the alien spaceship to counter their possible attack methods.
When the people of Earth learn that Aliens are on their way back to our planet, there's automatic hysteria and a hope that the newly installed space defences will help counter the attack. Whatever stringent plans David develops he, more than anyone, realises that it will probably not be enough to protect us.
Independence Day: Resurgence takes place twenty years after the original movie and sees many of the cast taking up the same role again. The film is directed by Roland Emmerich (known for The Day After Tomorrow, Godzilla and the first Independence Day movie.)
Bill Pullman, Scott Elliott, Holly Hunter, David Rabe, Morocco Omari, Raviv Ullman, Nadia Gan, Ben Schnetzer, Adam Bernstein and Richard Chamberlain - Opening night after party for The New Group production Sticks and Bones, held at the Out NYC hotel - Arrivals. at Out NYC hotel, - New York, New York, United States - Friday 7th November 2014
David Rabe, Raviv Ullman, Ben Schnetzer, Holly Hunter, Morocco Omari, Nadia Gan, Bill Pullman, Richard Chamberlain and Scott Elliott - The New 42nd street studios was the location for a meet and greet for the Tony award winning play Sticks and Bones in New York, New York, United States - Tuesday 30th September 2014
Director Antoine Fuqua (Training Day, Olympus Has Fallen) talks about what makes The Equalizer (Denzel Washington) different from other action movie heroes. The name comes from how he spends his days as a "regular Joe", but uses hand-to-hand combat in order to fight his way through legions of bad guys "levelling the playing field". Producer Todd Black (A Knight's Tale, The Pursuit of Happiness) goes on to explain The Equalizer's skill set. He uses impeccable awareness of his surroundings to manipulate his environment into a weapon - this leads to stunt coordinator Keith Woulard discussing Washington's desire to make the fight scenes "dirty and gritty, but he want[ed] it smart".
Continue: The Equalizer - Featurette and Clip
Sequels to Taken and Independence Day get going, Depp promotes The Lone Ranger on both coasts, and new trailers reveal glimpses of against-type turns from Scott Thomas, Rudd, Hirsch and Diaz...
The big news this week is that a reported $20 million paycheque has lured Liam Neeson back for a third Taken movie. There's no word yet on the plot, but does it really matter? Meanwhile, Jeff Goldblum and Bill Pullman will be back for Roland Emmerich's long-awaited sequel to his 1996 blockbuster Independence Day, although apparently Will Smith's character isn't in the script.
This week's top cinema releases include the animated sequel Despicable Me 2 and Jason Statham's dramatic thriller Hummingbird. which has been re-titled Redemption for its American release. Meanwhile, British audiences are catching up with Seth Rogen's A-list apocalyptic comedy This Is the End, while Americans have a chance to check out Gemma Arterton and Saoirse Ronan as rogue mother-daughter vampires in Byzantium.
Let's see who's coming back for more alien action, and who isn't
Will Smith and his son Jaden star in After Earth, which was so bad
Pullman played President Thomas J Whitmore, while Goldblum appeared as a geeky computer expert called David Levinson, and both characters will be returning to reprise those roles. Perhaps, with Smith rules out, Goldblum could prove to be an unlikely hero in this one. It might just not work though; Smith was a brilliant hero in the original 1996 film, and launched his Hollywood career off the back of it. So high was his launch, though, that his $50m 2-year deal request proved a little too steep.
Bill Pullman, Jenna Elfman and Josh Gad - Bill Pullman, Jenna Elfman, Josh Gad Pasadena, California, United States NBC Universal's '2013 Winter TCA Tour' Day 1 at Langham Hotel Saturday 5th January 2013
Bill Pullman and Palm Springs International Film Festival Awards Gala Palm Springs, California, United States 24th Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival Awards Gala - Red Carpet Saturday 5th January 2013
Lou Ford leads -what looks to be a pretty unremarkable existence, he's the deputy Sheriff of a small town but has two girlfriends one who works as a schoolteacher and the other a prostitute. When murders start happening in the sleepy West Texas town, no one is quite sure who's committing the murders. As investigators lean toward Lou as their prime suspect, he finds himself in a spiral of death as he struggles to clear his name. Things are never as they seem, the unassuming person the townsfolk thought they knew in Lou soon unravels and it becomes clear that all they were seeing was a facade.
Continue: The Killer Inside Me Trailer
On the day he leaves for Sweden to pick up his Nobel Prize in chemistry, Dr. Eli Michaelson (Alan Rickman) finds out that his PhD-candidate son Barkley (Bryan Greenberg) has been kidnapped. While his FBI forensics psychologist wife Sarah (Mary Steenburgen) worries, a $2 million ransom is demanded. With the help of Detective Max Mariner (Bill Pullman), and neurotic neighbor Mr. Gastner (Danny Devito), they hope to find the boy alive. What they don't know is that Barkley has befriended his captor, a man named Thaddeus James (Shawn Hatosy) who has a DNA-sized bone to pick with the good doctor. Armed with proof that Michaelson doesn't deserve science's highest honor, the duo will create an elaborate plot to get the cash, clear up the crime, and go their separate ways. So imagine Barkley's surprise when Thaddeus ends up at his front door, with former, improbably-named fling City Hall (Eliza Dushku) on his arm.
Continue reading: Nobel Son Review
In 1976, all that changed. During the year of America's Bicentennial, a British merchant working in Paris came to California looking for participants for his exclusive tasting competition. He hoped to raise awareness of his failing shop and solidify his place in the snobbish wine society. Instead, winemonger Stephen Spurrier made history, and his accidental discoveries sent international palettes into something akin to Bottle Shock. Now, decades since the U.S. became part of cultured world cuisine, director Randall Miller offers up a serio-comic take on the event, and for the most part, it's as tasty as a well-aged Burgundy.
Continue reading: Bottle Shock Review
As Polish-mob hit-man Frank Falenczyk (pronounced Fail-an-chik), Kingsley has the most fun he's had onscreen since he muttered a red-streak as the frenzied madman Don Logan in Jonathan Glazer's superb Sexy Beast. This time, his gangster-take has a more reserved and subdued nature, playing more for deadpan hilarity than ballistic scares. That deadpan ability serves Frank best when he's banished from his New York home to San Francisco for botching a job after too many drinks. His boss (Philip Baker Hall) has had enough of his alcoholism, and his best friend (Marcus Thomas) can't help him any more. So, it's off to the Bay for him.
Continue reading: You Kill Me Review
The dumb jokes are, of course, framed in send-ups of other box office hits from the last couple of years - Anna Faris's spectacularly inept and oblivious Cindy Campbell, who appeared in all the previous films, moves into the house from The Grudge, next door to Tom Cruise's - oh, sorry, Tom Ryan's - house from War of the Worlds. The plot, such as it is, somewhat follows the Worlds story, but is really a cobbled-together excuse to veer from spoof to spoof like a sketch comedy, and the dialogue, such as it is, is almost entirely forgettable. Actually, it's largely a time killer, something for the actors to do while carefully oblivious to the antics around them and not really meant to be heard over the guffaws of the audience.
Continue reading: Scary Movie 4 Review
Set in the unidentifiable town known as Estherslope in some unknown time (confusing since there is a huge Axe deodorant spray advertisement in one scene), Dick (Jamie Bell) lives with his miner father and Clarabelle (Novella Nelson), the family maid. He takes a job at a supermarket and generally acts lonely constantly, especially when his father dies in the mines. At the supermarket, he meets Steven (Mark Webber), a young man exactly like him. Things light up between them when Steven sees Dick with a small gun that Dick thinks is a toy; it isn't. They begin to meet, and slowly form the Dandies, a gang of people who love guns but never use them. All is well in their lives until the sheriff (Bill Pullman) puts Dick in charge of checking in on Clarabelle's grandson, Sebastian (Danso Gordon), a small-time murderer. Sebastian takes liberties with Dick's gun (the titular Wendy) and, well, things don't end well.
Continue reading: Dear Wendy Review
This is the story of two lovers. Well, except that they don't really love each other, but isn't that always the way? Russ Richards (John Travolta) and Crystal Latroy (Lisa Kudrow) are two self-absorbed local television celebrities looking for a little respect. And money. You see, Richards is more than just a locally renowned weatherman with his own private booth at Denny's. He's also a snowmobile dealer. Or would be, if only it would snow.
Continue reading: Lucky Numbers Review
Continue reading: Spy Games Review
By this roundabout logic, Gellar seems a natural fit for The Grudge, Takashi Shimizu's sufficiently creepy remake of his own cult Japanese horror flick Ju-on, a film he's made versions of a shocking five times now. Americanized and aimed squarely at the people who turned The Ring into a surprise hit, Grudge should satisfy audiences seeking a few cheap jolts for their dollar this Halloween season.
Continue reading: The Grudge Review
So there's some promise here. But does this monster movie rise above recent crap like Anaconda or Jaws 3-D? A little. It's better than Anaconda, anyway.
Continue reading: Lake Placid Review
If you're tired of the ugliness surrounding the summer sport, or just need to be entertained, than you should check out A League of Their Own, now out on DVD. Like most great sports movies, League is more than just a series of dazzling feats between the lines. It features laughs, drama, and excitement... in short all of the aspects that make the sports section of the newspaper so captivating.
Continue reading: A League Of Their Own Review
Well, you borrow the oldest trick in the book by putting your characters in the desert, where you can pretty much shoot your movie for free!
Continue reading: 29 Palms (2002) Review
Date of birth
17th December, 1953
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Watch the trailer for Bottle ShockDuring the 1970's there were no wines that could rival...