Bob Balaban at the premiere of Wes Anderson's stop-motion animation feature 'Isle of Dogs' ('Ataris Reise') held during the grand opening of the 68th Berlin International Film Festival at the Berlinale-Palast on Potsdamer Platz - Berlin, Germany - Thursday 15th February 2018
Imagine a world without dogs. It hardly bears thinking about, but in this dystopian look at Japan twenty years into the future, all canines have been banned from society after a bout of a dangerous illness called canine flu. Rather than being euthanised, the pooches are being quarantined and moved to Trash Island where they are left to fend for themselves. One group of four-legged friends includes Chief (Bryan Cranston), Rex (Edward Norton), Boss (Bill Murray), Duke (Jeff Goldblum) and King (Bob Balaban), and they are seriously missing life amongst humankind - not to mention food that isn't mouldy and maggot-infested.
Then one day, a young boy named Atari Kobayashi (Koyu Rankin) shows up on the island with a stolen Junior-Turbo Prop XJ750 aircraft searching for his own long lost pet, Spots. It doesn't take him long to win the trust of the island's residents, who agree to help him search for the dog. Of course, back home, he is noticeably missing and his family inform the authorities. Soon they arrive at the island preparing to take him home, but Atari doesn't want to leave without Spots - and his newfound friends won't let him either. As Atari's search takes them further afield, it becomes clear that there is a much darker conspiracy happening in the nation - and that his dog may be being held prisoner somewhere.
The Oscar nominated Wes Anderson ('The Grand Budapest Hotel', 'Fantastic Mr. Fox', 'The Darjeeling Limited') returns as the director and writer of a new stop-motion animation 'Isle of Dogs'. His previous collaborators Kunichi Nomura, and Roman Coppola and Jason Schwartzman ('Mozart in the Jungle') also helped write the story. The film, which features an all-star cast, was originally teased by the filmmaker back in December 2016 when he unveiled the briefest of clips from the movie showing Edward Norton's character Rex.
Continue: Isle Of Dogs Trailer
While preparing to film 'The Grand Budapest Hotel', director Wes Anderson and company scouted for locations, finding an abandoned shopping centre which they converted into the lobby of the hotel. The exterior of the hotel was primarily shot through the use of miniatures, as were certain action sequences from the film. The minute detail was continued into the creation of costumes for the extras, as each one was supposedly created to have their own entire backstory. Furthermore, the setting for 'The Grand Budapest Hotel' is the fictional Republic of Zubrowka. This, too, was created in detail, with various passports, newspapers and small businesses that were designed with a tremendous amount of detail.
Continue: The Grand Budapest Hotel - Featurettes
With a witty observational script, amusing characters and a jazzy sense of life in New York, this feels like an old-fashioned Woody Allen movie, even though Allen merely costars in it. Instead, it was written and directed by leading actor John Turturro, with an easy-going charm that's irresistible even if it feels vaguely dated. And despite its potentially controversial premise, the film is so gentle that it's unlikely to ruffle many feathers.
Turturro stars as Fioravante, a florist whose life hasn't gone as planned. His one-time mentor Murray (Allen) has just been forced to close his grandfather's rare-book shop, and with too much time on his hand has started working on Fior's life. Murray thinks Fior could make a living as an escort, and sends him on a date with his dermatologist (Sharon Stone). When that goes well, a string of wealthy clients follow, including the man-eating Selima (Sofia Vergara). But one of Murray's friends is more reluctant: the devout Avigail (Vanessa Paradis) is a widowed rabbi's wife who can't have contact with other men. As she and Fior begin a tentative friendship, there might be something meaningful developing. Then a jealous community cop (Schreiber) notices that something is amiss.
As a director, Turturro keeps the scenes grounded in real situations that centre on the characters rather than the machinations of the plot. This offers a lively depiction of this neighbourhood as a melting pot of African-Americans, Italians and Hasidic Jews who are part of each others' lives. Some of this might feel a bit contrived (Murray also adopts a sprawling black family), but the interaction is jaggedly funny and packed with a generous stream of honest emotion.
Continue reading: Fading Gigolo Review
Bob Balaban gets excited about costumes in an interview on the red carpet at the premiere of Wes Anderson's 'The Grand Budapest Hotel'.
The actor and director justifies making 'The Monuments Men.'
World War II movies: haven't we had our fill of them yet? Apparently not, according to George Clooney who is currently watching his new war film, The Monuments Men, open across the world after months of anticipation. For every soldier there are a thousand stories and millions fought across all of the nations involved in the Second World War. If that's the case, we've barely scratched the surface.
George Clooney Assembled A Truly Fine Cast For His WWII Movie, 'The Monuments Men.'
For an amazing true story performed by such a strong A-list cast, this is an oddly uninvolving film. Fragmented and uneven, it shifts from comedy to drama to romance to adventure, never letting us get the feel of any sequence. In other words, the episodic structure would have been much more suitable to a longer-format TV series. Even so, this is a fascinating chapter of history that we haven't heard nearly enough about. And the actors are good enough to keep us entertained.
It takes place as the tide begins to turn during World War II, and art historian Frank (Clooney) recruits a team of experts to protect Europe's most important paintings, sculptures and monuments from both Allied bombing and Nazi plundering. He recruits a handful of Americans (Damon, Murray, Goodman and Balaban) to work with a Brit (Bonneville) and a Frenchman (Dujardin), and as they spread out around the continent, they discover that the real problem is that Hitler is stealing art on a massive scale and hiding it somewhere. Working with a resistance-minded French museum curator (Blanchett), they are able to find where some 5 million stolen pieces are stashed.
The central theme is whether art is worth risking your life to save. And if Clooney and Heslov had allowed this idea to seep through the pores of the script, it might have carried a real wallop. But they announce it over and over again, never giving us a chance to think about it ourselves. Everything about the movie is just as unsubtle, with each sequence played for laughs, thrills, drama or romance, as required. Which means that nothing emerges as organic for these simplistically defined characters, who are a composite of some 350 Monuments Men and Women who did a job no one thought was possible. Even so, it's fun to watch these actors play with the material, stirring in snappy details here and there and of course playing on their strong chemistry.
Continue reading: The Monuments Men Review
Gustave may be aloof and snobbish in many ways, but he's also extremely charming with a good heart and a titanic personality. As result he makes for a highly popular concierge at the Grand Budapest Hotel, who regularly entertains guests in more ways than one. He is charged with training up an inexperienced young lobby boy named Zero Moustafa who he soon bonds with. When one of his one night stands, the elderly Madame D, is found murdered in her hotel room, Zero is first by his side to defend him against her family and the authorities who are quick to accuse Gustave of the crime. Things become more intense when her will reveals her wish to bestow a valuable painting to her lover, entitled Boy With Apple, and Gustave and Zero are forced to flee. However, they are not alone as Zero falls for an attractive guest named Agatha who helps them hide the painting while Gustave protests his innocence.
Continue: Grand Budapest Hotel - Clip
Strapped for cash, handsome but middle-aged bookshop worker Fioravante decides to accept an offer of an unusual job from his friend Murray, who recently had a brainwave after his dermatologist and her friend admitted to wanting a new sexual experience with a stranger. Murray charged them a huge $1,000, offering the modest Fioravante the chance to be a male escort for a large paycheque while keeping a portion himself. After realising that he quite enjoys the experience of worshipping single and lonely women in the bedroom, Fioravante continues his exploits with Murray and ends up meeting a particularly shy woman named Avigal. Consumed by loneliness, Avigal seeks comfort and recognition, but just how deep does her solitude go?
Continue: Fading Gigolo Trailer
Charismatic but somewhat aloof concierge at the Grand Budapest Hotel, Gustave H, is less than impressed when a seemingly inexperienced new lobby boy named Zero Moustafa is hired for a trial period without his knowledge. However, the pair become thick as thieves when Gustave finds himself wanted by the authorities after the murder of his elderly one night stand Madame D. He does what any honourable hotelier would do under pressure. and runs. When it is discovered that the woman had left a priceless painting behind for Gustave in her will named Boy With Apple, her family is furious and Zero helps to the keep the painting hidden with the help of a charming young girl named Agatha as Gustave attempts to protest his innocence. With enough people despising Gustave for his often inappropriate professional conduct, it becomes harder than expected to clear his name and find out the truth about the death of Madame D.
Continue: The Grand Budapest Hotel - Clips
Gustave H is a charismatic and over-friendly concierge at the Grand Budapest Hotel whose conduct has been far from professional over the course of his career, regularly engaging in one night stands with his deeply charmed guests including the elderly Madame D. So enamoured was Madame D about Gustave's interest in her, that she leaves him a priceless painting behind in her will named Boy With Apple. However, following her suspicious death, her maddened son Dmitri accuses Gustave of her murder and attempts to frame him for it, angered by his illicit involvement with her. Meanwhile, Gustave is attempting to train up an enthusiastic young lobby boy named Zero Moustafa who warms to him easily and helps to defend him as Gustave makes a break for it. Moustafa is also becoming very fond of a girl named Agatha, who he enlists to help hide the painting from Madame D's furious family.
Imagine a world without dogs. It hardly bears thinking about, but in this dystopian look...
While preparing to film 'The Grand Budapest Hotel', director Wes Anderson and company scouted for...
With a witty observational script, amusing characters and a jazzy sense of life in New...
For an amazing true story performed by such a strong A-list cast, this is an...
Gustave may be aloof and snobbish in many ways, but he's also extremely charming with...
Strapped for cash, handsome but middle-aged bookshop worker Fioravante decides to accept an offer of...
Charismatic but somewhat aloof concierge at the Grand Budapest Hotel, Gustave H, is less than...
Gustave H is a charismatic and over-friendly concierge at the Grand Budapest Hotel whose conduct...
'The Monuments Men' is based on the true story of seven unlikely museum directors, curators...
Gustave H is a flamboyant and largely charismatic concierge at the Grand Budapest Hotel whose...