Charles Roven

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Suicide Squad Review

OK

DC Comics' villains team up for an overcrowded action movie that never quite finds its tone. Writer-director David Ayer takes a serious approach to an absurd premise, while the actors inject sparks of bitter humour. But with a thin plot and characters that are only superficially developed, the film struggles to grab hold of the audience. At least there's plenty of whizzy action mayhem.

With everyone worried that the next Superman might turn out to be a terrorist, government agent Amanda (Viola Davis) has a crazy idea to turn the most violent criminals in prison into an elite black ops team. These include gruff marksman Deadshot (Will Smith), mentally unstable sexpot Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), archaeologist-turned-enchantress June (Cara Delevingne), Aussie killer Boomerang (Courtney), fire-maker Diablo (Jay Hernandez), swordswoman Katana (Karen Fukuhara) and man-monster Croc (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje). Each of these psychos has a personal weakness Amanda and team leader Rick (Joel Kinnaman) plan to leverage to keep them under control. Meanwhile, Harley's main squeeze Joker (Jared Leto) is trying to help her escape. Oh, and a meta-human wants to decimate humanity.

Ayer introduces each character with his or her own mini-montage, including snippets of back-story and cameos from the likes of Batman (Ben Affleck). These flashbacks continue throughout the movie, stirring emotion into various characters' decision-making processes. But that's about it as far as depth goes, and the script never imagines anything more original than pining after a lost love, missing a child or feeling guilty about past mistakes. While this adds a bit of interest, it never generates any proper connections, either between the characters or with the audience.

Continue reading: Suicide Squad Review

Warcraft Review

OK

Based on the iconic strategy game, this fantasy battle epic will appeal mainly to either the gamers themselves or audiences that love wildly detailed fantasy worlds. Everyone else will probably feel a bit lost when faced with the stream of confusing names, spells and magical phenomena that fill every scene. It looks terrific, and is directed with plenty of energy and personality. But it feels both overcrowded and superficial.

With their home world Draenor dying, the orcs need to travel through a portal to the human realm Azeroth to find more life force to steal. One orc chieftan, Durotan (Toby Kebbell), is having doubts about this murderous plan, and thinks peace with humans might be a better option. His rival chief Blackhand (Clancy Brown) and the cackling orc shaman Gul-dan (Daniel Wu) disagree, and set a massacre in motion. Preparing for the attack, human King Llane (Dominic Cooper) turns for help to his top knight Lothar (Travis Fimmel), sorcerer Medivh (Ben Foster) and apprentice wizard Khadgar (Ben Schnetzer). Then they meet outcast half-caste Garona (Paula Patton), and she offers another way to take on the invaders.

For the uninitiated, the elaborate mythology is so detailed that it blurs together into something rather incomprehensible. Director Duncan Jones doesn't have time to explain everything, so he charges ahead and just lets the dialogue overflow with references that may or may not be needed to work out what's happening. The film leaps from one strikingly staged battle to another, all cleverly designed to mix digital animation with gothic costumes. It looks pretty amazing in 3D, but the only characters who emerge with any depth are Durotan and Garona, nicely played by Kebbell and Patton under mounds of effects, makeup, fur and teeth.

Continue reading: Warcraft Review

Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice Review

Good

After 2013's beefy Man of Steel, director Zack Snyder goes even bigger and darker with this sequel, cross-pollenating Clark Kent's story with flashbacks to the origins of Bruce Wayne and his Dark Knight alter-ego. The problem is that the film is so big and loud that it can't help but feel bloated, especially since so much of what's on screen feels rather vacuous. But it looks amazing and is relentlessly gripping.

After a Bat-origin prologue, the story kicks off with the climactic battle from Man of Steel as seen from the perspective of Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck), watching his city being destroyed by Superman (Henry Cavill). This further fuels the rage that began when his parents were murdered. And that fire is stoked by the mischievous millionaire Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg). Meanwhile, Superman/Clark is struggling with how the world is revering him as a god, which is straining his relationship with intrepid reporter Lois (Amy Adams). As these very different vigilante heros head toward a climactic confrontation, Luthor is up to something seriously nefarious. And the ensuing chaos brings another hero into the open, Wonder Woman Diana Prince (Gal Gadot).

While the various plot threads are fascinating, and Snyder maintains a snappy pace, the overall story centres on the fact that Affleck's prickly, bitter Bruce is easily manipulated into doing terrible things, which makes him rather unlikeable. And Cavill's fundamentally good Clark isn't much easier to identify with. Both are also oddly constrained by their costumes and bulked-up physicalities, which leave them unable to move properly. This allows the side characters to steal the show: Adams adds emotion and passion, Eisenberg provides the nutty nastiness, Irons is hilariously cynical as Bruce's butler Alfred, and Fishburne is all bluster as Lois' editor. But in the end, the film belongs to the gorgeous, clear-headed Gadot, instantly making her stand-alone movie the most anticipated superhero project on the horizon.

Continue reading: Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice Review

Charles Roven - Celebs attend the European Premiere of 'Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice' at Odeon Leicester Square - London, United Kingdom - Tuesday 22nd March 2016

Charles Roven
Charles Roven
Charles Roven

Charles Roven - New York premiere of Warner Bros. Pictures' 'Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice' at Radio City Music Hall - Arrivals at Radio City Music Hall - New York, United States - Sunday 20th March 2016

Charles Roven
Charles Roven
Charles Roven
Charles Roven

Charles Roven - Vanity Fair Campaign Hollywood - Chrysler Toasts The Cast Of "American Hustle" - West Hollywood, California, United States - Thursday 27th February 2014

Charles Roven
Charles Roven

Charles Roven and Richard Suckle - The 86th Oscars Nominees Luncheon held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel - Arrivals - Los Angeles, California, United States - Monday 10th February 2014

Charles Roven and Richard Suckle
Charles Roven and Richard Suckle

American Hustle Review


Essential

David O. Russell deploys his deranged genius to explore the real events behind Abscam, cleverly focussing on the inter-relationships rather than the details of the elaborate sting operation. So under the wild 1970s hair and costumes, we have a series of characters who are never very likeable but are still hugely engaging. Which makes this one of the most prickly, exhilarating movies of the year.

As the opening caption says, "Some of this actually happened". It's set in 1978 New York, where lowlife conman Irving (Bale) is making a decent living with his girlfriend Sydney (Adams). Although his wife Rosalyn (Lawrence) knows something is up. Things get even more complicated when Irving and Sydney are cornered by FBI agent Richie (Cooper) and forced to co-operate in a complex scam to entrap mobsters and dirty politicians, including the likeable Mayor Polito (Renner), with whom Irving strikes up a friendship. As things develop, the sting continually threatens to spin crazily out of control. And Irving starts to worry that Sydney is getting far too close to Richie.

Intriguingly, even as the story gets more and more insane, Russell keeps the story grounded in the characters and the way they interact with each other. So their shifting relationships, power struggles and internal jealousies take centre stage, blurring the details of the undercover operation into the background. This may annoy viewers who want clear insight into Abscam, but it makes the movie much more involving. And it gives the actors a lot to work with. Each of them delivers a powerhouse performance that blends the character's distinct physicality with a complex inner life.

Continue reading: American Hustle Review

Charles Roven - New York screening of 'American Hustle' at the Ziegfeld Theater - Arrivals - New York, United States - Sunday 8th December 2013

Charles Roven
Charles Roven
Charles Roven

Man Of Steel Review


Excellent

Superman gets the Dark Knight treatment, as Christopher Nolan offers a much grittier, more intensely personal look at the biggest superhero of them all. It's a flawed film that feels far too violent for its own good, but the pungent story holds us in its grip all the way through, cleverly weaving the character's back-story into a series of emotive flashbacks along with massively thrilling action sequences. And along the way there are resonant ethical dilemmas, family issues and pointed political drama.

Some 30 years ago, scientist Jor-El (Crowe) packed his infant son Kal-El into a pod and sent him to Earth to escape certain doom as the planet Krypton imploded after centuries of ecological abuse. This enrages the viciously tenacious General Zod (Shannon) who spends three decades searching for the child. Meanwhile, Kal-El (Cavill) was raised as Clark in Smallville, Kansas, by the Kents (Lane and Costner), who taught him to keep his powers in check. But when he activates a downed Kryptonian ship, he alerts Zod to his whereabouts. And just as nosey journalist Lois Lane (Adams) learns Clark's secret, Zod arrives to launch a full-on attack.

This is a film about internal conflicts, and everyone has to face up to their own desires and responsibilities. Even Zod, whose dedication to his people means that he is willing to wipe out humanity in order to recreate Krypton on Earth. So Kal-El is caught between protecting his adopted planet and being loyal to his birth species. Lois is struggling with keeping a big secret or reporting the news. All of this provides plenty of gristle for the actors to chew on, even if the dilemmas aren't actually that difficult. And even though they sometimes seem consumed by the elaborate sets and costumes.

Continue reading: Man Of Steel Review

Video - 'Man Of Steel' Cast And Crew Including Charles Roven, Zack Snyder And Henry Cavill Talk About The Making Of The Movie


The cast and crew of 'Man Of Steel' are interviewed about the making of the movie, the modernisation of the story and the ethics and emotions behind Superman as a character. Among them are producer Charles Roven, director Zack Snyder and lead actor Henry Cavill.

Continue: Video - 'Man Of Steel' Cast And Crew Including Charles Roven, Zack Snyder And Henry Cavill Talk About The Making Of The Movie

The Dark Knight Rises Review


Extraordinary
When the credits roll at the end of this overlong action epic, it feels like we've just turned the final page of an immersive novel. It takes about an hour to find its stride, but Nolan's final Batman movie is also thunderously complex and entertaining.

It's eight years later, and Commissioner Gordon (Oldman) has allowed the press to create a myth that Batman was a villain. Badly injured, Bruce Wayne (Bale) has become a recluse, tended to by his butler Alfred (Caine). Then a new baddie arrives: Bane (Hardy) is part of the League of Shadows, trained by Bruce's old nemesis Ra's al Ghul (Neeson) to purge the world of human decadence. So Bruce turns to Wayne company boss Lucius (Freeman) to get back in fighting shape, deciding to trust a slippery cat burglar (Hathaway) and a rookie cop (Gordon-Levitt).

Continue reading: The Dark Knight Rises Review

Season Of The Witch Review


Weak
It's not easy to understand why anyone agreed to fund this film, as the box office drawing power of Nicolas Cage is a bit suspect after a string of stinkers like this bizarre, unscary medieval thriller.

After 12 years murdering men, women and children in the Crusades, Behman (Cage) and Felson (Perlman) have a crisis of conscience and desert the army. They end up in a remote town, where they agree to escort an accused witch (Foy) to a distant monastery that has the only incantation that can destroy her and halt the Black Death. They're accompanied by a resolute priest (Moore) and his sidekick (Thomsen), then joined by an altar boy (Sheehan) determined to become a knight. Of course the journey is fraught with surprises.

Continue reading: Season Of The Witch Review

The Bank Job Review


OK
Based on some unspeakable, super classified bank robbery that took place in 1971 London, the investigation of which yielded no recovered money nor any arrests, Roger Donaldson's The Bank Job throttles its engines and tosses in just enough criminal bottom-dwellers to keep the viewers' minds away from the fact that it's still just another heist flick with a cockney accent and a taste for pints.

Names changed (get this) to protect the guilty, the whole mess breaks out when political revolutionary Michael X (Peter De Jersey) snaps some shots of Princess Margaret getting double teamed by two young men on a secluded island. Michael, in fact a pimp and a gangster, places this get-out-of-jail-free card in a safety deposit box at Lloyd's Bank on Baker Street. Adjoining boxes hold more blackmail bait for a brothel Madame, consisting of pictures of government officials getting their spank on, and a ledger of corrupt cops kept by local hood Vogel (David Suchet).

Continue reading: The Bank Job Review

Fallen Review


Weak
It's Denzel v. Demon in this awfully stupid and ultimately pointless thriller. Said thrills are achieved by a mischevious demon named Azazel (it's the battle of the 'Zels) who can jump from one body to the next at will. And you can't kill him. Sounds like a plan, huh? Dull and predictable.
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Charles Roven Movies

Suicide Squad Movie Review

Suicide Squad Movie Review

DC Comics' villains team up for an overcrowded action movie that never quite finds its...

Warcraft Movie Review

Warcraft Movie Review

Based on the iconic strategy game, this fantasy battle epic will appeal mainly to either...

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Movie Review

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Movie Review

After 2013's beefy Man of Steel, director Zack Snyder goes even bigger and darker with...

American Hustle Movie Review

American Hustle Movie Review

David O. Russell deploys his deranged genius to explore the real events behind Abscam, cleverly...

Man of Steel Movie Review

Man of Steel Movie Review

Superman gets the Dark Knight treatment, as Christopher Nolan offers a much grittier, more intensely...

The Dark Knight Rises Movie Review

The Dark Knight Rises Movie Review

When the credits roll at the end of this overlong action epic, it feels like...

Season of the Witch Movie Review

Season of the Witch Movie Review

It's not easy to understand why anyone agreed to fund this film, as the box...

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The Bank Job Movie Review

The Bank Job Movie Review

Based on some unspeakable, super classified bank robbery that took place in 1971 London, the...

Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed Movie Review

Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed Movie Review

Clearly, the Scooby-Doo franchise is geared toward kids; after all, it is a cartoon. Yet,...

Rollerball (2002) Movie Review

Rollerball (2002) Movie Review

Seeing a movie remake inevitably leads viewers to make comparisons, matching up new casting choices,...

Kicking & Screaming (2005) Movie Review

Kicking & Screaming (2005) Movie Review

Shame is the name of the game in Kicking & Screaming. Will Ferrell's latest outing...

Batman Begins Movie Review

Batman Begins Movie Review

1997: Batman is last seen in the guise of George Clooney, chasing down an all-blue...

Bulletproof Monk Movie Review

Bulletproof Monk Movie Review

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