Brian Cox gets the role of a lifetime in this warm comedy about living life to the full regardless of your age. As a colourful national treasure of an actor (think Richard Burton crossed with Ian McKellan), Cox storms through this film with personality and energy. And in his interaction with his costars, the filmmakers make some important points with offhanded charm.
Cox plays Sir Michael Gifford, a Shakespearean icon forced into retirement by Parkinson's. Living on his isolated country estate, he clashes continually with his daughter Sophia (Emilia Fox) and his assistant Milly (Anna Chancellor) about how he should live, dismissing a series of carers they have hired for him. Then the Hungarian Dorottya (Coco Konig) arrives, cracking through his bluster with her sharp intelligence, blunt compassion and her own experience performing Shakespeare's plays back home. She also conspires with him to attend a critics' ceremony at which he's being given a life achievement award. Sophia thinks he's not up to attending, so Dorottya turns to Milly and Michael's trusty driver Joseph (Karl Johnson) for help.
The simplicity of the plot helps the film avoid the usual pitfalls of these kinds of movies. There aren't any villains here (Sophia is just unusually concerned), and there's no romantic nonsense between Michael and Dorottya. The central message isn't revolutionary (people who are old or infirm shouldn't be hidden from society), and the plot never goes anywhere unexpected. But in the characters, the film finds a powerful resonance. It's funny, smart and utterly charming. And the cast deliver beautifully off-handed performances. Newcomer Konig nicely underplays Dorottya, which makes her strikingly likeable, especially as her own subplot about applying to acting school gurgles quietly in the background. Chancellor and Fox find intriguing textures in their roles, which are more complex than expected.
Continue reading: The Carer Review
If you could change absolutely anything in the world, what would it be? This is the ultimate question that Neil Clarke finds himself faced with when he wakes up with the ability to become whoever he wants to be, have whatever he wants and make the impossible very easily possible. Little does he know that this is a test set up by some disgruntled extra-terrestrial lifeforms, who have given the following ultimatum: use this ultimate power for good, or watch the Earth burn. Unfortunately, Neil has a lot of things in his own life that he would like to change, let alone important things in the rest of the world. He wishes for an easier life, to be more attractive and to win the heart of his neighbour Catherine. But, as Spider-Man once said, with great power comes great responsibility, so if he is thinking of making some big changes, he ought to make sure he's really thought them through first.
Continue: Absolutely Anything Trailer
In 1982, Earth created a time capsule of popular culture from the era, and sent it into space in order to establish contact with extra-terrestrial life. Somehow, an ancient race of alien lifeforms that have never had any other contact with mankind did not understand the meaning of the 'message'. They especially take offence to the inclusion of 'Pac Man' and 'Donkey Kong', and assemble an army of pixelated, murderous 1980s video game characters and send them back to Earth to destroy the humans. With the world on the brink of destruction by a giant 'Pac Man', mankind has just one hope: a hodgepodge collection of retro gamers, using their old techniques to defeat the greatest video game boss of all time.
Continue: Pixels Trailer
With its heart in the right place, this charming British football drama overcomes a script that frequently drifts into sentimentality and corny plotting. But the story is involving, and the cast is particularly good. So even though it has a tendency to drift into cuteness, a fresh sense of humour and sympathetic characters help build up a swell of honest emotion as it approaches the final whistle.
It's set in 1984 Manchester, where the legendary Manchester United manager Matt Busby (Brian Cox) is still haunted by the Munich plane crash in 1958 that took the lives of several of his dream-team players. In search of something to give meaning to his retirement years, he runs across a street-smart 10-year-old named Georgie (Jack Smith), who has his own issues. Georgie lives with his working-class single mum Erica (Natascha McElhone), who worries about his future and leaps at the chance of a scholarship to send him to a posh private school. Georgie isn't thrilled about studying for the entrance exam with snooty professor Farquar (Toby Stephens); he'd rather be out kicking a ball with his friends, and is secretly plotting to enter a youth competition with them. But they need an adult sponsor, so Matt and his friend Bob (Philip Jackson) agree to take them on. And the kids have no idea that they're being trained by a national icon.
Director David Scheinmann shoots the film with sundrenched charm, grounding the goofier moments by encouraging the cast to give deeply felt performances. At the centre, Cox and Jackson are an entertaining double act as old pals kickstarting their lives by taking on this young team overflowing with raw talent but no discipline. McElhone is essentially playing the standard movie mother who's too busy with the pressures of everyday life to notice much of anything that her tearaway son is doing, but she gives the role a sharp emotional centre. Stephens has more trouble in his rather wacky role, which drifts from callous nastiness to physical slapstick.
Continue reading: Believe Review
Ryan is a former soldier who finds himself in the back of a truck with a young boy who's been kidnapped. He has no idea how he got there but he resolves to help the boy find a way out. After he does that, however, he strangely only has a little under ten minutes before he loses consciousness again, but he must use his brief bursts of life to find out what is happening to him. When he discovers that he is part of an extremely unethical experiment that aims to find a way to control the ever increasing population through mind control, he sets out to meet his own puppeteer Dr. Langham. It isn't long, though, before the professor's merciless son Harkin Langham gets involved, and Ryan finds himself fighting not only for his autonomy, but for his very life too.
Continue: The Anomaly Trailer
With a premise that feels almost Inception-like, this brainy thriller plays around with memories in ways that continually shift the story and draw us in. The ending feels somewhat rushed, but the journey there is riveting and sometimes thoroughly unnerving, while a strong cast adds layers of interest.
In a near future, psychic detectives help solve crimes and cold cases by exploring people's memories. Although John (Mark Strong) lost his job when his own past tragedy intruded on his work at Mindscape, a top memory detective agency run by Sebastian (Brian Cox). Months later, Sebastian thinks John is ready to return to work, so assigns him a simple case to help the troubled 16-year-old Anna (Taissa Farmiga), whose mother and stepdad (Reeves and Dillane) are worried that she won't eat. Or maybe they're the problem. As John investigates her past memories, he begins to realise that she's an unusually smart and perceptive young woman.
Spanish filmmaker Jorge Dorado shot primarily in Barcelona, so the movie has an intriguingly European sheen, even though it's set in Middle America. Everything is insinuating and suspicious, twisting standard horror movie tricks in new ways that are both freaky and fascinating. Images of red roses and running water abound, with scenes photographed in familiar ways that make watching this film almost feel like an extended deja vu experience. In other words, this is a thoroughly entertaining nightmare that brings up tension and continually wrong-foots us about what's real and what isn't.
Continue reading: Anna Review
The dreamy scientist hasn't found the formula for style. Read on for the surprising full list.
Professor Brian Cox has been named as one of the least stylish celebrities of the year in a recent list released by men's' mag, GQ. The physicist and BBC presenter of such programmes as Wonders of the Solar System probably won't be bothered about such a nomination but it seems that his penchant for parka jackets and Berghaus technical clothing has seen the prof score low for style instinct.
What's Not To Like About Brian Cox's Style?
However, it seems that a few well-cut tuxes and neat bowties have saved the scientist from the shame of being GQ's worst dressed man. That particular accolade went to designer Ozwald Boateng who ironically had previously instructed GQ how the modern man can achieve style.
Continue reading: Professor Brian Cox Shamed In GQ’s Worst Dressed Men Of 2014 List
Still need convincing to go and see 'Gravity'? Let these celebs show you the way.
As if emphatic reviews weren't enough to propel Alfonso Cuarón's heart-racing 3D space thriller, Gravity, to the top of the box office charts, now celebrities are doing their bit to provide the movie with some publicity by telling all their followers how out-of-this-world is really is.
'Gravity' Has Garnered Rave Reviews Internationally.
Gravity has been released in the UK today much later than its US release which means our American friends have been driving us crazy telling us how stupendously awesome the movie is whilst we crossed off the days on our calendar until we could find out for ourselves.
Peter Capaldi is the new Doctor Who. The announcement was made on 'Doctor Who Live: The Next Doctor', a special programme broadcast on BBC1 on Sunday 4th August. Celebrity guests included previous Doctor Who actors, their assistants and famous fans of the show.
Peter Capaldi at the 2013 BAFTA's held at the Royal Festival Hall, London.
The show, broadcast on BBC1 at 7pm and BBC America at 2.30pm, was hosted by Zoe Ball and featured appearances by the current Doctor Matt Smith, his assistant Jenna Coleman, Bonnie Langford, Anneke Wills, Katy Manning, Shappi Khorsandi, Professor Brian Cox, Professor Robert Winston, Jo Whiley, Daniel Roche, Lisa Tarbuck, Stephen Hawking, Bernard Cribbins and Rufus Hound. The cast members and celebrity fans discussed their favourite Doctor, the costumes and the process of regeneration.
Continue reading: Peter Capaldi Revealed As The Next Time Lord
That A-list cast of "retired, extremely dangerous" spies is back, coasting through another amiable but uninspired action-comedy. It may be occasionally funny, but the script is so lazy that it never does anything with the characters or situations. So there's never even a hint of suspense.
In the years since the events of 2010's RED, Frank (Willis) has been trying to live quietly with Sarah (Parker). But trouble seeks them out when their pal Marvin (Malkovich) is the target of a car bomb, and Frank discovers that MI6 and the CIA have sent assassins to kill him: his ruthless former colleague Victoria (Mirren) and the fiendishly unstoppable Han (Lee), respectively. So Frank, Sarah and Marvin head to Paris to solve the mess, crossing paths with Frank's ex, the seductive Katya (Zeta-Jones). Sarah isn't happy about this, but tags along to London, where they locate a nutty scientist (Hopkins) who has the key to all the chaos: namely that they need to get to Moscow to stop a rogue nuke.
As in the first film, the plot bounces along merrily without bothering with either logic or subtext. This is just a silly story about goofy old killers, and the film's main joke is seeing Mirren in camouflage firing a machine-gun. At least the cast shows that they're still feisty, taking on each other with gusto as they try to steal every scene. Malkovich's surreal humour, Mirren's snappy punchlines, Zeta-Jones' purring sexuality and Hopkins' scatter-brained genius are pretty funny, while Willis and Parker get the most thankless roles as a couple still working out their relationship.
Continue reading: RED 2 Review
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