In the 19th Century in Cumbria, England, an old house stood overlooking a tremendous stretch of land. That house was Crimson Peak, inhabited by Sir Thomas Sharpe (Tom Hiddleston) and his sister, Lady Lucille Sharpe (Jessica Chastain). When author Edith Cushing (Mia Wasikowska) marries the handsome and quite Thomas Sharpe, she moves to Crimson Peak to live with the siblings. However, upon arrival, strange thing begin to occur. Mysterious visions and terrifying objects begin to emerge, showing that the house is not as it appears. As Cushing struggles to get to the bottom of the house's dark history, the secrets of the family steadily begin to unveil themselves to her.
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Exploring a year in the life of Jimi Hendrix just before he hit the public consciousness is a fascinating idea, but this biopic misses every opportunity to say something interesting. The filmmakers certainly invest this movie with plenty of stylish period detail trying to make up for the fact that they didn't secure the rights to use Hendrix's music. With a better sense of character or story, they might have got away with it. But this movie feels all wrong.
It opens in 1966, when Jimi (Andre Benjamin) is quietly working in a New York bar as a member of Curtis Knight and the Squires. One evening, he's spotted by Linda (Imogen Poots), Keith Richards' girlfriend, who thinks he should be a star. Linking him with manager Chas (Andrew Buckley), a former member of the Animals, Linda takes Jimi to London to record an album and build his reputation. Over the next year, Jimi hones his sound, puts together his band The Jimi Hendrix Experience and hooks up with local girl Kathy (Hayley Atwell). And it starts to work: the band breaks into the UK pop charts with a series of hit singles. On the other hand, across the Atlantic the Americans seem to be rather apathetic. And the organisers of the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival hesitate before inviting him to perform.
The rest is history. And it's not in this film. But then the story here centres on Hendrix's pre-fame year, which allows writer-turned-director John Ridley (12 Years a Slave) to dig further into the artist's motivations than most biopics do. Hendrix's stroke of genius was to fuse rock instruments with the blues, creating all new sounds with his guitar. But then these aren't in the film either. Instead there are just sound-alike tunes, plus one audacious performance on a London stage: singing Sgt Pepper just after it was released, with the Beatles in the audience. Whether it actually happened like this is anyone's guess; like much of the film, this scene feels mythical.
Continue reading: Jimi: All Is By My Side Review
There's nothing wrong with this bright and goofy family comedy, but there's nothing much to it either. As a bit of mindless entertainment, the film is smart and funny enough to keep audiences entertained, spinning a swirling vortex of bad luck and wacky slapstick around one lively family. But it's utterly weightless, without even a hint of an edge, and anyone who loathes either nutty physical gags or sappy sentimentality should steer well clear.
Everyone in the audience can understand how Alexander (Ed Oxenbould) feels: he's fed up with the fact that no one notices that his life is just one humiliation after another, so on his 12th birthday he wishes that his family would have a taste of his misfortune. Sure enough, everything that can go wrong does. Dad Ben (Steve Carell) has to take the baby with him to an important job interview; mom Kelly (Jennifer Garner) has a work event go horribly wrong; teen brother Anthony (Dylan Minnette) struggles to make prom night special for his demanding-diva girlfriend (Bella Thorne); and middle sister Emile (Kerris Dorsey) gets ill on opening night of the school play she's starring in. On the other hand, Alexander's day isn't so bad, as he finally catches the eye of cute girl Becky (Sidney Fullmer).
The plot is laid out as a series of minor calamities that escalate to crazed proportions as the day goes on, but only until the screenwriter decides to have mercy on the characters and let them bond to face the mayhem. Frankly, this is such a wildly happy family that nothing about the film is believable: their problems exist strictly for laughs. Thankful, most of the set pieces are genuinely funny due to the up-for-it actors, who make the most of their characters and the connections between them. There's also a terrific stream of cameo roles for comedy aces like Megan Mullally (Will & Grace), Jennifer Coolidge (American Pie) and Donald Glover (Parks and Recreation). Dick Van Dyke even makes a witty appearance as himself.
Continue reading: Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day Review
Jimi Hendrix started earning money from his musical career as a simple backing guitarist at the Cheetah Club in New York City. Soon enough though, he was brought to England by former Animals member Chas Chandler where within a year he blew up into the legend that everyone sees today; the man who spectacularly set his guitar alight on stage at the Monterey Pop Festival. Within that year he began dating Kathy Etchingham, who stuck by him throughout his rise to fame despite the immense pressure it put on their relationship as he struggled to make it as the world's greatest guitarist. His journey was tough for everyone around him, but unbeknownst to him, it was only going to get tougher as he decided to break America too.
Continue: Jimi: All Is By My Side Trailer
Andre 3000 stars in 'All Is By My Side', the soon-to-be-released biopic of Jimi Hendrix. The trailer has been released today ahead of the film's release in the UK in August.
Jimi Hendrix photographed in 1967.
Hendrix became a rock icon in the 1970s but his life was tragically cut sort in 1970 when he died at the age of 27. The cause of death cited as a lethal concoction of prescription medication which led to asphyxia, causing Hendrix to choke on his own vomit. The film has been long anticipated as Hendrix's story truly epitomises the astronomic rise and tragic demise of a hugely popular and influential figure.
Continue reading: See Andre 3000 As Jimi Hendrix In 'All Is By My Side' [Trailer]
Alexander is an 11-year-old boy who experiences a series of disastrous events in just one day, from waking up with chewing gum stuck in his hair and tripping over in front of the girl he likes to someone at school sending round embarrassing photos of him and him setting fire to the science lab. His family seem to be having the best day ever though with his father looking at an impressive new job and his brother looking forward to getting his driver's license. The next day, however, the tables have turned as everyone sleeps in, his father seems out of his depth in his job interview, the baby eats felt tip pen and his brother crashes the family car during his driving exam. While everyone wallows in their own bad luck, it's up to Alexander to realise that he's not the only one who has bad days - and remind his family of that too.
The best thing about this massive blockbuster is the way it updates the classic Japanese monster movie to the 21st century, with a first-rate cast and staggeringly good effects. Sadly, the script isn't up to scratch, throwing in enjoyable comedy and corny melodrama while maintaining such a formulaic structure that there isn't a single moment of actual suspense. We never doubt for a second how all of this is going to end or who will survive.
It all begins in the present day, as gigantic creatures called kaiju appear through a temporal rift in the Pacific Ocean floor near Hong Kong. They start attacking cities (inexplicably starting with San Francisco), and humanity takes years to fight back, building massive robots called jaegers that are piloted by two-man teams. Over even more years of fighting, the monsters learn how to stop the jaegers, so military leader Pentecost (Elba) assembles his best jaeger pilots in Hong Kong, including the haunted Becket (Hunnam) and father-son Aussie duo Herc and Chuck (Martini and Kazinsky). And as they plan their assault, the scientist Newt (Day) makes a startling discovery about the kaiju.
Most of the film is played as a massively over-serious action movie in which manly, muscly heroes set out to save the planet. The relational melodrama always feels like a distraction, including Pentecost's assistant (Kikuchi), who wants to be a pilot and carries a torch for Becket. There's also a dose of bromance as Newt tries to loosen up his so-British sidekick (Gorman). And to help spice things up, we also get some comic relief from Perlman, who is hilarious as a swaggering black-market dealer. None of these characters is very complicated, but the gifted actors all do what they can with the roles.
Continue reading: Pacific Rim Review
It has always been thought that alien life would arrive on the planet from space, but when colossal monsters arise from the depths of the Pacific Ocean, it soon becomes clear that mankind are facing a threat unlike what they have ever anticipated before. The creatures are known as Kaiju and manage to effortlessly destroy cities around them, use up resources and take away millions of lives. While the Earth's population worry that the apocalypse has finally arrived, the military are less than willing to accept that fate and build enormous robots called Jaegers in an attempt to fight back. They work by having two people controlling them from the inside with their minds linked. However, even they are no match against the Kaiju and the defenders of Earth decide that they must enlist the help of an ex-pilot and untested trainee to bring to life an early model of a Jaeger that has earned much recognition despite being potentially just as useless as the others in this fight for the survival of Earth.
Directing and co-writing this action-packed sci-fi flick is Guillermo Del Toro ('Pan's Labyrinth', 'Hellboy') with writing credits also from Travis Beacham ('Clash of the Titans', 'Dog Days of Summer'). It is due to be released next summer; July 12th 2013.
Director: Guillermo del Toro
Continue: Pacific Rim Trailer
Tom (Murphy) is a physicist who works with psychologist Margaret (Weaver) to expose fake psychics. They don't believe that the supernatural exists, much to the annoyance of psychic studies proferssor Paul (Jones). Assisted by students Sally and Ben (Olsen and Roberts), Tom and Margaret debunk noted mentalist Palladino (Sbaraglia) by looking for "red lights", anything that seems suspicious. But when Margaret's old nemesis Simon (De Niro) makes a comeback, she backs down from going after the famed blind showman. And Tom's secret investigation takes some bizarre turns.
Continue reading: Red Lights Review
Two sceptics, psychologist Dr. Margaret Matheson and physicist Dr. Tom Buckley, are partners in investigating the paranormal. Having exposed a mass of so-called psychics, mediums, faith healers and ghost hunters throughout their career by discovering 'red lights' (clues to how the deceptions are engineered), Buckley wants to turn his attention to the most celebrated psychic of all time, the blind and mystifying Simon Silver, when he comes out of his 30 year retirement. Matheson is quick to dismiss Buckley's case telling him that he doesn't need to be investigated as he was already investigated prior to his retirement. However, the real reason is that she suspects he was behind the death of his most notable critic all those years ago. Buckley ignores Matheson's warnings and enlists his talented student Sally to help him with his investigations, but soon things start to take a sinister turn as Silver becomes increasingly angered at the people questioning his mysterious powers.
Continue: Red Lights Trailer
After a disastrous mission in Mozambique, disgraced spy Johnny English (Atkinson) joined a Himalayan monastery. But MI7 boss Pegasus (Anderson) calls him back into service, and soon he stumbles into a nefarious plan to assassinate China's prime minister. But he's also of course causing havoc. Now the lead suspect, only the agency's sexy shrink Kate (Pike) and his sidekick Tucker (Kaluuya) still have faith in him. And as the murderous plot unfurls at a mountain-top Swiss hideaway, English makes a daring attempt to save the world and clear his name.
Continue reading: Johnny English Reborn Review
Daniel Craig is credited as "XXXX" (oh, if only he were the new "XXX"), a "businessman," as he puts it, whose name we never learn. His business just happens to be cocaine. He plays by a strict set of rules - pay connections on time; keep a low profile, etc. And, like every other lowlife with whom we're supposed to sympathize in a gangster film, he's just about to retire. Until his boss, Jimmy Price (Kenneth Cranham) throws him two curveballs that shoot his plans all to hell.
Continue reading: Layer Cake Review
Writer-director Christopher McQuarrie brings a dark and gritty tone to this larger-than-life franchise.
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