With a massive scale and a digital cast of thousands, this ancient Egyptian romp tries to be both a new version of those 1950s Biblical toga epics and a generous dose of camp silliness. The result will be a guilty pleasure for some in the audience, especially those who enjoy watching grown men leap around in short skirts. The actors are sometimes lost in the overwhelming animation, and the casting of Westerners as North Africans is more than a little dubious. But the script is smarter than it looks, and director Alex Proyas is clearly in a playful mood.
The premise conflates the golden age of the Pharaohs with the ancient world of Egyptian gods. And things kick off when the bitter god Set (Gerard Butler) launches a reign of terror by killing his brother, blinding his nephew Horus (Nokolaj Coster-Waldau) and taking over the mortal world, enslaving all humans. Horus' greatest fan is the muscly slave Bek (Brenton Thwaites) who, encouraged by his glamorous girlfriend Zaya (Courtney Eaton), sneaks into Set's palace and steals one of Horus' eyes. He then strikes a deal to help Horus assume his rightful throne. But this means travelling into the sky to confront his grandfather Ra (Geoffrey Rush), then teaming up with sneering god of wisdom Thoth (Chadwick Boseman) and duplicitous Hathor (Yung) to take on Set.
All of this is so ridiculous that it's difficult to stop giggling. And that seems to be part of the idea, as Proyas merrily cranks up the snarky wit in every scene, especially as he indulges in a series of ludicrous set-pieces that feel like videogames populated by toy action figures. The digital effects continually engulf the characters, transforming the gods inexplicably into animal-headed metallic robots. But they also create some genuinely gorgeous moments of spectacle, with sprawling landscapes and whooshing action. Basically, the actors have little choice but to hang on for the ride along with the audience.
Continue reading: Gods Of Egypt Review
With a baby on the way, Damon Gameau has decided to experiment with just how bad the supposedly 'healthy' food of the world is for the general public. Having given up sugar entirely a few years ago, Gameau knew that it wasn't likely that his children would do the same thing. This led to the experiment - Gameau won't eat the known 'bad foods' like chocolate, ice cream or soft drinks, but goes for all the food considered to be healthy for people to eat. As his own weight begins to grow over the course of just three weeks, he knows that his child is going to be born into a dangerous world, where obesity is just another factor of life. But does it have to be?
Continue: That Sugar Film Trailer
This may not be the brightest thriller in the cinema, but it's made with such a ripping sense of energy that it's thoroughly entertaining. With his first feature, Australian filmmaker Julius Avery packs the screen with intense characters, raucous set-pieces and suggestions of all kinds of metaphorical meaning. He also assembles a terrific cast of actors willing to chomp merrily on the scenery. So even if the movie never actually cracks the surface, it's a true guilty pleasure.
Set in Western Australia, the film centres on 19-year-old JR (Brenton Thwaites), who begins a six-month stint in prison with a determination to rise to the top. His bravado nearly gets him killed, but he boldly aligns himself with notorious criminal Brendan (Ewan McGregor), and in exchange for protection inside JR agrees to help Brendan from the outside. Sure enough, in six months Brendan launches an audacious prison break, after which he and Brendan get to work with dodgy mobster Sam (Jacek Koman) on an even more elaborate gold heist. JR is loving the gangster lifestyle but still refuses to follow the rules, which puts him on a collision course with Sam as he openly flirts with Sam's prized moll Tasha (Alicia Vikander). Now JR thinks he can steal Tasha, ditch Brendan and get away with the gold. As if.
Yes, the film is a web of double-crosses and betrayals, none of which is much of a surprise. All of the final act's twists and turns are loudly announced early on, as are the strained metaphors of chess-playing criminals and father-son mentoring. Avery's script and direction constantly suggest that nothing is what it seems, although it's hard not to see what's really going on. But what's on-screen is so much fun that we don't mind at all. Thwaites, McGregor, Vikander and Koman all have a great time playing with our expectations. Each character is cocky and sure that they're in control, when it's clear that they're not. And the sparks between them make each scene sizzle.
Continue reading: Son Of A Gun Review
A young man, JR (Brendan Thwaites) is only 19-years-old when he finds himself in an Australian prison. There, he comes under the protection of Australia's Public Enemy number one, Brendan Lynch (Ewan McGregor). In exchange for not being ganged up on or killed in prison, JR is going to have to help Lynch as soon as he is released from prison. This begins with a daring rescue attempt to break Lynch out, and then moves into a plot to steal a vast amount of gold. When JR's attention is diverted, Lynch reveals that their partnership may, in fact, be coming to an end.
Continue: Son Of A Gun Trailer
JR (Brendan Thwaites) is receiving a lesson from his protector, Brendan Lynch (Ewan McGregor) over a game of chess. Lynch reveals that when an old friend of his performed a stunning opening movie during a game, no one knew what hit them. This move in particular was a bold one, and ensured that there would be no draw in the game from that start. Lynch revealed the true meaning of the lesson - there were to be no half measures. Later, JR wakes up in the house of his protectors, knowing that they are going to be angry after a date he went on. When he reveals that all he did was have dinner with a girl, Lynch informs him how if anything had gone on, an associate would have killed both JR and the girl. There are no half measures; if you are in the group, you are IN the group.
'Son of a Gun' is the feature debut of director Julius Avery. The film is set in and was filmed in Australia, and premiered in Australia on 16th October 2014. It is due to be released in the US on 16th January 2015, with a UK release following on 30th January.
Yet another teen sci-fi adventure, this movie may be sharply well-made but it struggles to find anything to say to an audience that has explored these themes much more meaningfully in films like The Hunger Games and Divergent. A solid cast makes it watchable, but a swelling flood of sentimentality undermines everything. And there isn't much subtext there to begin with.
Set in the distant future, society has rebuilt itself after "The Ruin" by eliminating all emotions, memories and art. The story centres on 18-year-old Jonas (BrentonThwaites), who is stunned to be selected as the next Receiver of Memories, working with the Giver (Jeff Bridges) to understand everything the elders have deliberately obliterated through both daily drug injections and some sort of magical barrier beyond the surrounding, forbidden mist. But the Chief Elder (Meryl Streep) is worried that Jonas is going rogue with his new knowledge, and Jonas' parents (Alexander Skarsgard and Katie Holmes) are also noticing something is amiss. So when Jonas tries to enlist his childhood pals Fiona and Asher (Odeya Rush and Cameron Monaghan) in small acts of rebellion, things come to a head.
Director Phillip Noyce creates a terrific visual look for the film's setting, with slickly designed sets,eye-catching effects and a colour scheme that begins in black and white and slowly adds hues as Jonas discovers more truth. But nothing about this society resonates: the best science-fiction tells us something about our world here and now, but parallels are very hard to spot in this faux utopia. Instead, we are faced with an implausible set-up that tries to convince us that people would mindlessly carry on without emotional or physical connections. And the idea that deleting these from human existence would make for a more peaceful society is just silly. Sure, we'd all like a world without violence and bigotry, but at the expense of personal freedom?
Continue reading: The Giver Review
Young Australian Brenton Thwaites is the leading man in new dystopian action pic The Giver, but just who is this charming young thespian?
An impressive cast of screen veterans, promising young newcomers, a multi-millions selling pop star and Katie Holmes have assembled for the dystopian sci-fi pic The Giver, due for imminent release. Of course, a PG-13 sci-fi film aimed at the vast Hunger Games young-adult audience wouldn’t be complete without a handsome hunk occupying the leading role. Curiously, and perhaps bravely on the part of director Philip Noyce (The Bone Collector, Patriot Games), the lead role has gone to a youngster who is relatively rookie in the big screen business.
Thwaites is poised to ascend towards the accolade of Hollywood hunk.
Brenton Thwaites can almost guarantee to find himself in every adolescent female magazine’s ‘Hottest Guys’ list. 25 years old, permanently tanned from the Aussie sun and still sporting boyish good looks the young Australian will appear alongside screen heavyweights Jeff Bridges and Meryl Streep in the futuristic thriller. The Giver carries a wide appeal for audiences who are currently in thrall to dystopian action films. Thwaites will surely ascend to greater status in the industry and extend his fanbase beyond the growing army of teenage devotees.
Continue reading: Who Is The Young Actor Brenton Thwaites?
'The Giver' is an excellent adaptation of the best-loved book.
There were nervous, twitchy looks around the various Hollywood studios when Harvey Weinstein announced he was dipping his toe into the young-adult genre. That said, The Giver - based on Lois Lowrys beloved novel of the same name - was never going to be The Hunger Games or Divergent.
It tells the haunting story of a young man named Jonas (Brenton Thwaites) who lives an ideal if colorless world of conformity and contentment. However, when he begins to spend time with 'The Giver' (Jeff Bridges) - the sole keeper of the community's memories - Jonas quickly begins to discover the dark and deadly truths of the group's secret past.
Brenton Thwaites, Odeya Rush, Producer and Nikki Silver - Presenting "Meet the Film-makers" Q&A at the Apple store Soho in New York City 103 Prince St with "The Giver" actors Brenton Thwaites and Odeya Rush along with Producer Nikki Silver, New York, United States - Tuesday 12th August 2014
Odeya Rush, Nikki Silver and Brenton Thwaites - 'Meet the Actors' event held at the Apple store in Soho New York City for the upcoming film 'The Giver' The event was attended by Actress Odeya Rush, Producer Nikki Silver and Actor Brenton Thwaites - New York City, New York, United States - Tuesday 12th August 2014
Brenton Thwaites - Stars attend the premiere of the social science fiction film 'The Giver' starring Jeff Bridges, Meryl Streep, Katie Holmes and Taylor Swift in New York at the Ziegfeld Theater on the corner of 54th Street Manhattan - Arrivals - New York, United States - Monday 11th August 2014
The Los Angeles Film Festival opens with the hotly anticipated Snowpiercer as Dustin Hoffman films a Roald Dahl story in London. And trailers tease for new movies starring Thwaites, Alba, Wilson, Brosnan, Pike and Wahlberg...
Tilda Swinton, Ed Harris, Alison Pill and John Cho were among the celebrities who turned out this week for the opening night of the Los Angeles Film Festival, which kicked off with the premiere of Bong Joon-ho's futuristic thriller Snowpiercer. It's based on a French comic book and stars Chris Evans, who's currently in London filming Avengers: Age of Ultron. Watch the action-packed trailer and find out more about 'Snowpiercer' here.
Also in London, Dustin Hoffman was caught on camera shooting scenes for his new film Esio Trot, based on the Roald Dahl story about a bachelor who falls for his neighbour, but is frustrated that she only seems to care about her pet tortoise. Costars include Judi Dench and James Corden. Take a peak at the Dustin Hoffman filming photos here.
While using every horror movie cliche in the book, this film cleverly tells a bracingly original story that will have genre fans squirming in their seats. It's rare that a movie can actually scare us anymore, and while this one is a bit over-serious, it playfully twists old tricks to confound expectations.
The story centres on a brother and sister: 21-year-old Tim (Brenton Thwaites) has just been collected by his big sister Kaylie (Karen Gillan) after spending 10 years in a psychiatric hospital. She tells him that they only have a few days to make good the promise they made a decade ago: to destroy a mirror that they believe caused the unexplained violent deaths of their parents (Katee Sackhoff and Rory Cochrane). Kaylie has everything ready, including cameras to capture the truth about this evil mirror and a fail-safe plan to destroy it before it can lure them into its murderous clutches.
The film inventively flickers back and forth in time between the present day and the fateful earlier events, when the parents and siblings (played as children by Annalise Basso and Garrett Ryan Ewald) have their own freaky encounter with this enormous gothic mirror. In both timelines, plants wither, pets go nuts and strange figures are glimpsed in the shadows. But the mirror's most dangerous trick is to fracture reality, and now past and present seem to be merging for Tom and Kaylie. Director-cowriter Mike Flanagan fluidly weaves together both timelines in eye-catching ways, continually shifting the emotional tone as well, just to keep us off balance.
Continue reading: Oculus Review
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With a baby on the way, Damon Gameau has decided to experiment with just how...
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Yet another teen sci-fi adventure, this movie may be sharply well-made but it struggles to...
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Author Lois Lowry talks about her dystopian sci-fi book 'The Giver' in a featurette ahead...
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