Shield Cast, CCH Pounder, Catherine Dent, Kenny Johnson, Cathy Ryan, Shawn Ryan, Walton Goggins and Benito Martinez - 2013 Paley Center for Media Benefit Gala honoring FX Network on the 21st Century Fox Lot - Century City, CA, United States - Thursday 17th October 2013
Fans of Cassandra Clare's book series won't mind that this film is overcrowded and chaotic, but the uninitiated will be worn out by what feels like a superficial mash-up of leather-clad stereotypes. Director Zwart (who remade The Karate Kid) certainly creates a lively sense of energy, zipping through each scene as if he's trying to cram every moment in the book into two hours. But as a result, nothing grabs hold.
Our hero is Clary (Collins), a New York teen whose mother (Headey) never told her that she was a Shadowhunter, a half-angel whose job is to protect humanity from demons. But just as she meets goth dreamboat Shadowhunter Jace (Campbell Bower), her mom is kidnapped. So she and her best pal Simon (Sheehan), who has a secret crush on her, travel with Jace into the city's underworld of angels, demons, werewolves and vampires. At the secret Shadowhunter headquarters, she meets leader Hodge (Harris) as well as siblings Alec and Isabelle (Zegers and West). And everyone warns her about the villainous Valentine (Meyers), who has some sort of nefarious master plan involving Clary and her magical cup.
The film is structured as a series of quests, as Clary learns about her supernatural abilities by visiting the City of Bones under a cemetery, breaking into a church to collect a stash of demon-fighting weapons, consulting with a variety of magical creatures, and so on. But these individual sequences never quite connect together into a story with any momentum. It's simply impossible to get involved in these events without being able to identify with the characters, none of whom are properly developed. Obviously, readers of the books won't have this problem, but such a fragmented film is unlikely to draw new fans to the franchise.
Continue reading: The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones Review
Clary Fray has been made to live as a normal girl all her life with her mother making sure she never discovers who she truly is. However, when she watches a man getting slaughtered in a nightclub and seemingly is the only one who notices, she starts to suspect that there's more to the world than most people can see. The killer is a man called Jace who reveals himself as a Shadowhunter; a half-angel demon slayer with the power to make himself invisible to the Mundane (humans). Soon, Clary discovers that her mother is in grave danger having been brutally kidnapped from their home and she finds out that her mother is also a Shadowhunter who has been having Clary's memories of unusual happenings blocked all her life. Clary must embrace her true identity and help Jace and the other Shadowhunters in the battle to maintain the balance of good and evil and return her mother back to her.
Here comes the latest teen fantasy movie adaptation in the shape of 'The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones'. Based on the first book of a series by Cassandra Clare, the movie has been directed by Harald Zwart ('The Karate Kid' , 'Agent Cody Banks') and written by I. Marlene King ('Just My Luck', 'Now and Then') and Jessica Postigo in her screenwriting debut. It is due to hit screens on August 23rd 2013.
Director: Harald Zwart
And the fact that it's in gorgeously rendered 3D is icing on the cake.
In the year 2154, paraplegic Marine Jake (Worthington) is transported to the planet Pandora to join the avatar project. Soon he's in the middle of hostile territory in the genetically cloned body of the Na'vi: three metres tall with blue skin, a tail and a very sensitive ponytail. In the jungle, Jake befriends Neytiri (Saldana), who trains him in the ways of the Na'vi. But this puts him at odds with his employers, who want him to help move the Na'vi so they can plunder the land for a rare mineral.
Continue reading: Avatar Review
Kate and John (Farmiga and Sarsgaard) live in a spectacular designer home in the snowy countryside with their bright children Danny and Maxine (Bennett and Engineer), who happens to be deaf. But they have a tormented past, peppered with infidelity, addiction and a tragic miscarriage. They decide to adopt a child to get back on course, and settle for the perky Esther (Fuhrman), a 9-year-old Russian who learns very quickly indeed. She's also up to no good, as the ominous underscore keeps reminding us.
Continue reading: Orphan Review
A schizoid doppelganger mind-bender wrapped around your standard ticking-bomb scenario (it's hidden somewhere in Los Angeles and could take out the whole basin if detonated -- or something), Face/Off is an utterly lunatic film in the best possible way. Originally a futuristic thriller, the script was retooled for a modern-day setting, keeping several of its sci-fi elements but focusing more intently on its personality-shifting aspects which seemed to come straight out of Woo's international breakthrough, The Killer. An FBI agent, Sean Archer (John Travolta) has been hunting jet-set super-criminal Castor Troy (Nicolas Cage) for years. For Archer, it's gone beyond personal to haunted obsession, particularly after Troy tried to shoot Archer but missed and killed his son instead. After a gonzo opening sequence involving a Humvee/private jet showdown on a runway and about ten thousand expended rounds (mostly fired by people flying sideways in slo-mo, of course), Archer's team brings down Troy.
Continue reading: Face/off Review