'Happy' singer Pharrell Williams and his famously large hat were spotted amongst the crowd at the New York premiere for 'The Amazing Spider-Man 2' alongside various other actors from the movies.
As with the too-early franchise reboot in 2012, this sequel struggles to balance the demands of a teen romance with a superhero blockbuster. The interpersonal storylines are sharply written and skilfully played by the gifted cast, but the eye-catching effects sequences feel like little more than a shiny distraction. Action fans will love the way digitally animated Spidey swings more realistically than ever down the streets of New York, but the fact remains that these scenes are cartoons. And a new template is badly needed for this genre.
It kicks off as Peter (Andrew Garfield) nearly misses his high school graduation to save the city from another crazed nutcase. His girlfriend Gwen (Emma Stone) is fed up, and then crushed when Peter breaks up with her because he's worried about her safety. So she considers taking a place at Oxford University to get away. Meanwhile, Peter is also trying to understand the truth about why his parents (Campbell Scott and Embeth Davidtz) left him to be raised by his Aunt May (Sally Field). But he's interrupted from all of this by the arrival of old pal Harry (Dane DeHaan), back in town to inherit the family business from his dying dad (Chris Cooper) and in need of moral support from Peter.
In each of these three plot strands, Peter faces a significant dilemma that's beautifully played by Garfield as a cheeky, good guy who worries about the darkness all around him. And there's also a nefarious side-plot trying to take over the movie, as nerdy technician Max (Jamie Foxx) is transformed by an electric shock from Spider-man's biggest fan to a spark-emitting villain called Electro. This shift doesn't make sense on any level, and Harry also has a sudden personality change that's badly under-explained, forcing the film into a series of huge action showdowns along with a completely irrelevant aside about two colliding airplanes that feels tacked on to up the human stakes.
Continue reading: The Amazing Spider-man 2 Review
Peter Parker is facing a period of deep confusion in every aspect of his life. No longer is everything black and white, nor is it easy to know what the right thing to do is anymore. He's struggling to cope with the death of his dear Uncle Ben, while still feeling unfamiliar with his past in regards to his parents. He's also trying to hold down a relationship with Gwen Stacy, but she ultimately adds to his troubles when she finds herself in a dilemma of her own. Meanwhile in his professional capacity as Spider-Man, he's not finding it easy to differentiate between the villains, the heroes and the just plain hard-done by. He faces deadly battles with the formidable Rhino and the rage-filled Electro; the latter of who it turns out is just as frightened of his own power as everybody else is. It turns out that there is a darker force happening elsewhere, and when his friend Harry Osborn returns, he starts to see OsCorp's sinister involvement.
Continue: The Amazing Spiderman 2 - Clips Trailer
Tracy Letts adapts his own prize-winning play into a blistering depiction of one of cinema's most dysfunctional families ever. It's still rather theatrical, throwing a mob of top actors into a room for what feels like a fight to the death, but it's so well written and so beautifully observed by the actors that we can't look away. And of course Meryl Streep walks off with the show.
Everything kicks off when Beverly Weston (Shepard) goes missing, leaving his ruthlessly straight-talking, pill-popping wife Violet (Streep) to assemble the family in their rambling Oklahoma home. They have three equally feisty daughters: Barbara (Roberts) is a tightly wound bundle of anger with an estranged husband (McGregor) and surly teen daughter (Breslin) in tow; Karen (Lewis) is a free-spirited floater with yet another random boyfriend (Mulroney); and Ivy (Nicholson) is fed up with being the dutiful daughter who stayed close to home. Also on hand is Violet's sister Mattie Fae (Martindale), whose husband (Cooper) is the family patriarch now that Beverly is gone, which means their son (Cumberbatch) feels even more useless than normal.
What plot there is centres on skeletons rattling out of closets and relationships imploding spectacularly. The film is a series of brutally intense encounters between people who probably still love each other in vaguely undefined ways and express it through bitter bursts of witty cruelty. Streep has the meatiest role as the imperious Violet, who knows a lot more than she's letting on. And her chief rival is Barbara, played with unnerving intensity by Roberts. The only person we even remotely like is Mattie Fae, and the always-superb Martindale finds all kinds of layers in the character.
Continue reading: August: Osage County Review
The Capri Awards have a history of foretelling the favorites for the Oscars.
After early predictions pegged the Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts starrer August: Osage County as a frontrunner for awards season 2014, the film has now picked up four awards at the Capri, Hollywood Film Festival.
Streep received the Best Actress awards, possibly setting her up for a successful awards season.
The film centers on the reunion on a dysfunctional family in which Streep plays the prescription drug addicted matriarch Violet. The Tracy Letts adaptation won Film of the Year, while Streep (naturally) won the Best Actress award for her role. The cast also picked up the Best Ensemble award. Co-star Chris Cooper was honored with a Lifetime Achievement award.
Peter Parker has always had difficulty trying to prioritise his life. There's the personal side of it; the ordinary teenage angst, trying to hold down a relationship with the lovely Gwen Stacy and mourning the death of his Uncle Ben; then there's the side about saving the world from supervillains and general criminals terrorising the street as Spider-Man. While more often than not successful, he is about to face his biggest challenge yet as he is swamped by enemies such as the formidable Rhino and the quick as lightning Electro. Not only that but, as his friend Harry Osborn returns, he begins to realise that weapons manufacturer OsCorp is cropping up in all situations regarding his foes - just what is Osborn's father plotting?
Continue: The Amazing Spider-Man 2 Trailer
The Weston family know they are probably one of the most dysfunctional families around, but they do understand that sometimes it's best to stick together. Violet Weston is the family matriarch suffering from mouth cancer and heavily addicted to prescription drugs which only gets worse after the apparent suicide of her husband Beverly. As the funeral approaches, Violet's three daughters Barbara, Ivy and Karen and their families arrive at the house they grew up in, along with some other estranged relatives, hoping to get the whole ordeal over and done with fairly quickly. However, things don't go as smoothly as they, perhaps naively, hoped as they discover a whole load of closet skeletons they'd rather have not known about.
'August: Osage County' is a remarkable dark comedy directed by multi-Emmy winning John Wells ('The Company Men') and based on the Pulitzer Prize winning play of the same name by Tracy Letts ('Bug', 'Killer Joe'). It has been produced by George Clooney and Harvey Weinstein and is a warts-and-all story about the trials and tribulations of family affairs, uncovering both the heartwarming and the heartbreaking secrets that underline all families. It is set to be released in the UK on January 3rd 2014.
The award-winning actor will appear in the Christmas special of the hit series, following on from the fourth season
Paul Giamatti will become the next American actor to appear in the hugely successful British period drama Downton Abbey, with the American Splendour actor set to appear as a maverick American playboy during the upcoming fourth season of the show.
Giamatti will appear in the Christmas special airing this December, which will follow on directly from the upcoming fourth season of the hit costume drama. He will play Harold, the life-loving brother of Elizabeth McGovern's Cora, and the son of Shirley Maclaine's Martha. MacLaine will also be reprising her role for the Christmas special.
The film seems like perfect winter viewing - heavy, but heart-warming and laden with star power.
The trailer for August: Osage County hit the airwaves today and, if you didn’t know that was a film you wanted to see, you should now. Generally, just the presence of Meryl Streep on the castlist is enough to get a film onto the list, but August has a lot more going for it as well, with a cast, absolutely packed with star power - Julia Roberts, Ewan McGregor, Juliette Lewis, Abigail Breslin, Sam Shepard, Chris Cooper and Benedict Cumberbatch all star in this tale of a family reunion and a family breakdown and (hopefully) one final reunion. The film, directed by John Wells, centers on a dysfunctional Oklahoma family whose drug-addicted matriarch, Streep, is dying of mouth cancer.
The trailer shows some trademark Streep moments in the film, but it also highlights the roles of Roberst and Lewis as antagonistic sisters and everyone seems to work well enough together to create a believable picture of a family on the brink of collapse. The film is based on Tracy Letts’ 2008 Pulitzer Prize-winning play, which received shining praise on its release in 2007. When "August: Osage County" played at the Ahamson Theater in 2009, Times theater critic Charles McNulty wrote: "The play’s pedigree could be expanded in ways both high and low, but 'August' brews its own distinctive mix of tragicomic gravitas and florid pop." The film adaptation is due for an early November release. Did someone say Oscar bait?
The new incarnation of Electro looks creepy, but also very cool - and not just because of his blue complexion.
Everyone got a glimpse of Jamie Foxx as Electro in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 in some newly released pictures from the set of the movie.
In the stills, Foxx is seen wearing creepy blue makeup and a grey hood. This means that the movie will significantly deviate from the original version of the villain, which was portrayed wearing a bright green suit with a yellow lightning mask. According to the LA Times, this portrayal of Electro will more closely resemble his Ultimate incarnation, which also has a different backstory – being the result of genetic experimentation, instead of a power line accident. It isn’t clear yet how much of the back story the producers plan to keep, but Foxx did give the reasons behind the choice of costume in an interview with Blackfilm back in December: “They want to have it more grounded and not as comic book-y, so it won’t be green and yellow,” he said. “They want to try new things, like a liquid rubber and things like that, and there are all these bolts and stuff in my arms when they are hanging me upside down and trying to figure out what happen [sic]. How did he become this way? So, it will be some new stuff.”
Sounds pretty cool to us. The sequel to the 2012 film is due in May of next year and, as previously announced, Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone will be reprising their roles. Additionally, Shailene Woodley will join the cast as Mary Jane Watson, Chris Cooper and Dane DeHaan as Norman Osborn and his son Harry, Paul Giamatti reportedly as villain the Rhino, and Colm Feore and Felicity Jones in roles yet to be announced.
Continue reading: Jamie Foxx Has Got The Blues As Electro In 'The Amazing Spider-Man 2'