War is changing. The days of pilots getting involved in a conflict are gone, and now they have all but been replaced by drones which they pilot remotely. Major Thomas Egan (Ethan Hawke) is a trained pilot who joined the army in order to fly. He is aiming his drone at a known terrorist hideout, when he is given the confirmation to fire. As the missile is fired, a child who is playing gets into the way of the missile - too late for the shot to be aborted. Egan knows what he has done, and despite completing the mission, he believes he has failed. From that point on, he will be haunted by the thought of the "good kill".
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Matthew is a typical loving father who takes a day trip with his young daughter Cassandra in his truck, stopping off at a roadside diner along the way to pick up pie for lunch. He's only gone a few minutes but by the time he returns to his vehicle he discovers that Cass is gone. She's nowhere to be found, and to make matters worse, when he reports her disappearance as an abduction to the police he is the first suspect in the case. The incident puts a deep strain on his marriage to her mother Tina, who doesn't know whether to blame him for letting her out of his sight or suspect his involvement herself. Some years later, they are still searching, but when detectives Nicole and Jeffrey find new leads, Matthew becomes determined to find out exactly where his daughter is being held.
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Based on the events documented in West of Memphis and the Paradise Lost trilogy, this drama takes an almost clinical approach to the story. By filling in so many details and covering so many perspectives, skilled Canadian director Atom Egoyan sometimes loses the emotional connection, simply because there are too many punches to the gut. But it's utterly riveting.
The events took place in 1993 in rural West Memphis, Arkansas. After three 8-year-old boys go missing, suspicion immediately falls on four goth 16-year-olds: Chris (Dane DeHaan) has just left town, but the fiercely charismatic Damien (James Hamrick), hapless Jason (Seth Meriwether) and mentally disabled Jesse (Kristopher Higgens) are arrested and charged with murder. The victims' parents (including Reese Witherspoon, Alessandro Nivola and Kevin Durand) band together in outrage. But private investigator Ron (Colin Firth) thinks the police have wrongly accused these teens of being killers.
The story is a shocking account of a miscarriage of justice, as the community turns on kids who simply look a bit funny and the police and judicial authorities refuse to admit that they may have made some serious mistakes. The rush to judgement is terrifying, accompanied with explanations that falsely link the teens to satanic rituals and death-metal music. Egoyan cleverly builds a sense of outrage from the start, as the film mourns not only the young boys' death but also the horror of carelessly ruining three innocent teens' lives in response.
Continue reading: Devil's Knot Review
Devil's Knot is a biographical thriller drama based on the events of the West Memphis Three case directed by Atom Egoyan (The Sweet Hereafter, Chloe) and written by Paul Harris Boardman and Scott Derrickson (Sinister, The Exorcism Of Emily Rose).
Devil's Knot tells the chilling story of three young boys, Stevie Branch, Christopher Byers and Michael Moore, going missing in the town of West Memphis, Arkansas. When the bodies are found beaten and murdered, the police and religious people of the town put the blame to a group of teenagers they believed to be Satanists, due to the dark nature of their appearance. After police investigation, three young adults, Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley Jr., are arrested for suspicion of the crime. These three youths claim to be innocent of the murders, but the citizens of the town want justice for the murdered children and the punishment of the teenagers, innocent or not, seems to be their best answer.
The film will star academy award winner Reese Witherspoon portraying Stevie Branch's distraught mother, Michelle Enos (World War Z, Gangster Squad) as Vicki Hutcheson who was key in the arrest of the teenagers, Academy Award winner Colin Firth as private investigator Ron Lax and Dane DeHaan (The Amazing Spider Man 2, The Place Beyond the Pines) as Chris Morgan, who was a suspect in the murder case.
This remake strips away everything that made the 1981 Brooke Shields romance so scandalous. Re-designed for 12-year-old girls, this version of Scott Spencer's novel plays like a dreamy Nicholas Sparks-style fantasy. There's no sense of urgency or danger, and not a single whiff of actual love, despite a lot of heaving sighs and longing glances. Everything on-screen feels like a predictable cliche yearning to pull our heartstrings, but these tricks only work on young teens who haven't seen many movies.
The story centres on good-guy David (Pettyfer), raised by his working-class single dad (Patrick). At his high school graduation, David finally gets up the nerve to talk to the class wallflower, beautiful rich girl Jade (Wilde), who is still grieving over the death of her big brother. There's a spark between them, but Jade's harsh dad (Greenwood) dismisses David as unworthy, then sets out to crush their blossoming romance. Jade's mother (Richardson) and brother (Wakefield) are more supportive, but Dad is so determined to get David out of Jade's life that he inadvertently pushes them even closer together. Surely a happy ending is out of the question.
Only of course it isn't, because we can see that this film doesn't have the nerve to get very dark. Filmmaker Feste only toys around with the nasty side of the story. She can't even let Greenwood play a properly conflicted man; he's essentially bipolar, veering wildly from understanding to maniacal in his reaction to the relentlessly lovely David. Pettyfer's one-note performance merely reminds us of Channing Tatum, but at least he registers on-screen, unlike the vaguely beautiful Wilde. The only performers allowed any complexity are Richardson and Patrick.
Continue reading: Endless Love Review
The trailer for the remake of Endless Love has hit town
You know the drill; a film is released on Valentines Day – it’s really bad but attracts plenty of couples looking to check out a goofy love story with no real meaning.
David and Jade kick off their Endless Love
It’s tradition. But could Endless Love be the film to throw the odds books into the fire? It certainly looks like another sloppy romantic drama, if you watch half of the trailer, but the second half plunges us into some sort of Shakespearian thriller.
Continue reading: Could 'Endless Love' Be A Good Valentines Day Movie? [Trailer]
Jade Butterfield is a wealthy and beautiful young teenager who loves to read and has never experienced an intimate relationship with a boy before. However, that begins to change when she meets David Axelrod; a handsome young man who works at the inn where the Butterfields stay on their summer vacation. Jade's parents notice her suddenly becoming distracted as she embarks on a reckless adventure with her mysterious boy. On meeting David, her parents are unimpressed, with her father attempting to show up any flicker of dishonesty that he might exhibit. Undeterred, he takes Jade on a passion-fuelled adventure of parties, road trips and fervent love-making, but when Mr Butterfield digs into his past he becomes obsessed with trying to unveil the dark truths about him, and becomes desperate to take David out of Jade's life by any means possible.
'Endless Love' is the dramatic romance re-make of the 1981 movie of the same name starring Brooke Shields and Martin Hewitt. It has been directed by Shana Feste ('The Greatest', 'Country Strong') who co-wrote the screenplay opposite Joshua Safran ('Gossip Girl'). This harrowing film about an ill-fated youthful romance is set to hit movie theatres in the US on Valentine's Day, February 14th 2014.
Bruce Greenwood and Susan Devlin - Los Angeles Premiere of Paramount Pictures' "Star Trek Into Darkness" held at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood - Los Angeles, CA, United States - Wednesday 15th May 2013
After his successful re-imagining of the Star Trek universe four years ago, Abrams dives even deeper into the mythology, which is thrilling for fans but might leave newcomers feeling a bit lost. This sequel surges forward with action, drama, romance and a lot of comedy while constantly nodding back to the earlier TV series and films. And the smart screenplay finds ways to deepen all of the characters along the way, as well as offering an unusually complex villain.
The action picks up soon after the first film ends, as Kirk (Pine) is once again in trouble for disobeying the Prime Directive not to interfere with a planet's culture. But his punishment is short-lived, as Starfleet becomes the victim of brutal attacks in London and San Francisco, sending Kirk, his first officer Spock (Quinto) and the gang (Saldana, Urban, Yelchin and Cho, with Pegg following later) into enemy space to chase the villainous John Harrison (Cumberbatch). But of course, there's a much bigger story going on, and Harrison has a reason for his violent behaviour, leading to a series of terrifying showdowns as they all return to earth.
While the script is packed with shadowy characters, there's not much actual "darkness" in this movie. It's a pretty bouncy, energetic ride, continually making us laugh at tetchy interaction and throwaway one-liners, all of which are cleverly character-based rather than merely silly gags. This gives each actor a chance to shine, with Pegg and Urban offering much of the humour with their amusing crankiness, while Saldana provides the stereotypical female emotional beats. As usual, the strongest scenes are between Kirk and Spock, and their shifting bromance is well-played by Pine and especially Quinto. But dominating the whole film is a meaty turn from Cumberbatch as a particularly fearsome nemesis who also happens to be both brainy and openly emotive.
Continue reading: Star Trek Into Darkness Review
Mainstream audiences may be disappointed that this isn't a gritty thriller pitting the acting talents of Gosling and Cooper against each other, as it's instead a boldly artful, often moving drama. The three-part structure may soften the emotional punch, but a raw script and intimate direction let the actors find real resonance in every scene.
The title is a loose translation of the Mohawk word Schenectady, the New York town where the story is set. In the first section, carnival stunt rider Luke (Gosling) returns to town and tries to rekindle a previous fling with Romina (Mendes). When he discovers that his last visit produced a son, he decides to leave the circus and settle down, taking a job with a local mechanic (Mendelsohn). To make some extra cash, the two team up to rob banks, which puts Luke on a collision course with beat cop Avery (Cooper), who has a wife (Byrne) and young son of his own. Years later, their now-teen sons Jason and AJ (DeHaan and Cohen) discover a past connection they knew nothing about.
To explore the generational ramifications of these men's actions, the film switches perspective twice, first from Luke to Avery and finally to Jason and AJ. But the script never simplifies anyone into "good" or "bad": these are complex people facing difficult situations the best way they can. And sometimes their choices lead to tragic consequences. With this structure, though, the characters are somewhat fragmented, and only Avery emerges as a fully rounded figure, giving Cooper the best role in the film as he becomes unable to work out what is right and wrong, even though he knows it in his gut.
Continue reading: The Place Beyond the Pines Review
The Enterprise crew find themselves in more danger than they ever cared to imagine when London is ravaged by a brutal enemy with only vengeance on his mind. Captain Kirk must take his crew on a deadly mission to restore hope for their planet with every possibility that they could be wiped out in moments by the formidable John Harrison, but it's not just their lives at stake. Friendships and relationships are put to the test and the harder they try and stick together, the further they push themselves apart.
Continue: Star Trek Into Darkness Trailer