Chris Cooper - Chris Cooper signing autographs as he arrives at the press conference of his new film 'The Town' Toronto, Canada - Celebrities at the 35th Toronto International Film Festival 2010 - Day 2 Friday 10th September 2010
Why will people be so divisive, you ask? Well, in The Kingdom, a compound of Americans in the Saudi Arabia capital of Riyadh are bombed. Subsequently, the reaction team, led by Agent Manner (Kyle Chandler), falls victim to a much larger, hidden bomb that is disguised as an ambulance gurney. Berg employs Jamie Foxx to seduce, threaten, and charm his way into Saudi airspace as Agent Fleury, fighting to get his team of quickdraws into Riyadh to get all forensic with the crime scene. No such luck, Honcho: Seems that the local fuzz won't have any of it and keep a real vice on Fleury and his team's "oo-rah" attitude. That is until Prince Thamer gives tactical command over to the pandering Colonel Faris Al Ghazi (Ashraf Barhom), who sees eye-to-eye with the FBI team and their American-outlaw brand of badassery.
Continue reading: The Kingdom (2007) Review
Ryan Phillippe, Director Billy Ray and Chris Cooper - Ryan Phillippe, Director Billy Ray and Chris Cooper Edinburgh, Scotland - Edinburgh International Film Festival 2007 - Screening of 'Breach' Thursday 23rd August 2007
Following possible terrorists and their contacts, Eric O'Neil (Ryan Phillipe) eagerly tries to discuss bureau protocol with his team, only to be ignored and have his well-prepared report on the subject shoved back in his face. That is, until he is dragged into a bureau conference room on a Sunday to meet with his superior and head agent Kate Burroughs (Laura Linney). It's here that O'Neil is asked to shadow Russian intelligence specialist Robert Hanssen (Chris Cooper) for what is originally agreed to be sexually perverse activities. It isn't till O'Neil is taken under wing by the intelligence expert that Burroughs reveals that Hanssen has actually been selling information to the Russians for some time and has cost the government billions of dollars and uncountable agent lives.
Continue reading: Breach Review
Like Traffic, Syriana is a messy Gordian knot of plot, only with no Soderbergh to slice it neatly open. Instead of drug trafficking, the subject this time is the nexus where oil corporations, the U.S. government, Islamic extremism, and Middle East dictatorships come together in an unholy fusion of polity and greed. The characters are introduced at a leisurely pace, Gaghan laying it all out with perhaps a little too much care. Once things start to cohere, the film shunts into a political thriller about an unnamed Gulf State where the ailing king's two sons are jockeying for control; one is a lazy playboy beloved by U.S. interests and the other is an educated reformer who wants to modernize his country and stop kowtowing to the west.
Continue reading: Syriana Review
The experience of Marines on the ground, however, bore little resemblance to the precision bombing the public saw on CNN. For the men of the Corps, life in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait consisted of disgust, boredom, foreboding, anxiety, and blinding fear, a toxic combination that made for one of the best reads of 2004, Anthony Swofford's memoir Jarhead.
Continue reading: Jarhead Review
And so we come to Seabiscuit, the true story of a small, unruly race horse of great breeding but poor disposition who found himself sold for scrap. Despite his attitude, he eventually became one of the greatest racers in history. (Believe it or not there's already been one Seabiscuit-inspired movie... the first one starring Shirley Temple.)
Continue reading: Seabiscuit Review
Thus spake Adaptation. Starting out with fake (or real?) behind-the-scenes footage of Malkovich, taking detours to the dawn of life on earth and story mogul Robert McKee's screenwriting class, Darwin's lab, Orlean's book (with Chris Cooper playing the swamp rat/scientist/orchid thief himself), voice-overs, and flashbacks, Adaptation finds inventive convolutions that might make it seem more esoteric than it really is.
Continue reading: Adaptation Review
Yeah, and Adam Sandler is a gifted thespian. With their long-awaited follow-up to There's Something About Mary, the Farrelly brothers return to their specialty -- gross-out shenanigans -- in this equally funny entry into their oeuvre of perversion.
Continue reading: Me, Myself & Irene Review
American Beauty chronicles the last year in the life of 42 year-old hack magazine writer Lester Burnham (Spacey), a suburban loser that has just about had it with his humdrum life and decides to make a few changes to regain control, for better or for worse. Those changes include quitting his job and blackmailing his employers, buying a vintage Firebird, taking a new job at the local fast food joint, buying thousands of dollars worth of pot, and plotting to sleep with his daughter's best friend (Suvari, the good girl from American Pie, playing the bad girl here).
Continue reading: American Beauty Review
Following a number of false starts that establish the film's unbalanced mood, The Ring rehashes an urban legend about a videotape. Very few people know its contents, though it's believed that the images found on the tape recap one person's nightmare. Initially I thought that tape was Police Academy 5: Assignment Miami Beach, but I was wrong. Once you watch the video, the phone rings and a child's voice on the other end of the line whispers, "Seven days." You now have one week to live.
Continue reading: The Ring Review
The Patriot gives Mel Gibson the opportunity to do something he's never done before: To orate at length about the evils of taxation without representation... oh, okay... and to kill a bunch of damn redcoats!!!
Continue reading: The Patriot Review
John Sayles, darling of the indie film movement, has created this picture, an epic study of racial tension in mythical Frontera, Texas, a border town in the Rio Grande Valley. (The film was actually shot in Eagle Pass, quite a ways upriver from the Valley.) Set against the backdrop of a son investigating his father's involvement in the murder of a sheriff some 40 years earlier, Sayles wanders, Short Cuts-like, through the lives of 15 or so major characters.
Continue reading: Lone Star Review
Hence why Philip Seymour Hoffman is such a perfect choice to play Truman Capote in a film about the research that became the book In Cold Blood. Not only does he look like him and sound like him, but because Capote was such an enormous personality in his own right, the smallest glimpse into Hoffman's movements or talk speaks volumes. He conveys so much with so little, and he's able to provide an amazing performance of the four years it took to write his biggest seller.
Continue reading: Capote Review
"The Ring" opens with a scene straight out of a teen horror movie: A high school girl is trying to scare a friend with the supposedly true story of a haunted videotape -- if you watch it, you die in seven days.
The other girl turns white as a sheet, not because the story scares her, but because she's actually seen the tape -- seven days before.
What follows is an chilling five minutes of eerie goings-on in which director Gore Verbinski ("The Mexican") skillfully winds the audience up like a jack-in-the-box, then sets us jumping at his pleasure with the simplest scare-movie tricks. A TV turns on to static, by itself, immediately after being turned off -- and unplugged. The phone rings menacingly. One girl searches for the other, sees water leaking out from under the bathroom door and s-l-o-w-l-y reaches for the knob.
Continue reading: The Ring Review
There's nothing more satisfying during a summer of event movies than to discover a spy thriller like "The Bourne Identity" that's packed with just as much intelligence as action.
Adapted from the slick and savvy novel by the late Robert Ludlum (whose two sequels are waiting in the wings), the picture stars Matt Damon in a sharply focused performance as a mysterious man found floating in the Mediterranean Sea with two bullet holes in his back and a wicked case of amnesia.
He speaks several languages ("Stop messing around and tell me who I am," he admonishes himself in a mirror in German and French). He possessed lethal instincts and martial arts skills, which he discovers much to his own surprise when he takes down two police officers who harass him after he's come ashore in Prague. He knows somebody with a lot of clandestine power is trying to kill him, and his only clue to their identity and his own is a tiny laser pen found embedded under his skin that projects an account number at a Swiss bank -- where he discovers a safe deposit box packed with cash, forged passports and a gun.
Continue reading: The Bourne Identity Review
Making a genuinely stirring, unabashedly all-American feel-good movie -- the kind that makes you want to stand up and cheer -- has to be one of the most difficult, precision tasks in modern cinema. But writer-director Gary Ross beautifully sidesteps contemporary cynicism in "Seabiscuit," a film that invokes the warm, gratifying, can-do spirit of the uplifting films that once helped people forget the Great Depression two hours at a time.
The miracle success story of a too-small steed and his too-large jockey who together came to dominate and popularize horse racing in the late 1930s, the film is a metaphor for the underdog hope of the era that it captures so transportingly.
Adapted by Ross ("Pleasantville") from the acclaimed book by Laura Hillenbrand, the picture gets off to a unconventional start with a rambling 20-minute prologue -- narrated by David McCullough, the compassionate voice of Ken Burns' PBS documentaries -- that gallops through both general history (the Model T Ford, the stock market crash, prohibition) and detailed backstory (early owners deemed Seabiscuit too diminutive, lazy and willful to be a champion) while trying to look like it's trotting along at a laid-back canter.
Continue reading: Seabiscuit Review
Poking around in the mind of John Malkovich was a wonderfully weird, wildly conceptual experience in 1999's "Being John Malkovich," but the ingenious "Adaptation" is a testament to the fact that screenwriter Charlie Kaufman's head is an even more peculiar place.
Kaufman is the off-kilter mastermind behind both films, and while the former was a dark, cerebellum-warping, fictional funhouse ride, the latter began life simply as a commission to adapt Susan Orleans' novel "The Orchid Thief." What the project morphed into, however, is something far more bizarre because Kaufman's unbridled and bewildered efforts to turn the book into a movie began bleeding into the screenplay itself.
In the deft and innovative hands of "Malkovich" director Spike Jonze, three cross-pollinating narratives are stitched together in an extraordinary patchwork of idiosyncratic storytelling: First, the film follows the plot of "The Orchid Thief," which is, in part, about the misfiring conservation philosophies of a real Florida flower poacher named John Laroche (Chris Cooper), who took Orleans (Meryl Streep) into the Everglades on excursions to steal protected orchids that he then breeds to sell in his flower shop.
Continue reading: Adaptation Review
The most deadpan, dead-on, sharply focused political satire in recent memory, "Silver City" methodically skewers George W. Bush (by proxy), the spineless corporate press (and their mistrustful underground adversaries), the billion-dollar candidate-making machinery of modern politics, and the general gullibility of the voting public -- all within the inimitable interlocking-ensemble narrative style of writer-director John Sayles.
Set in Colorado during the current election cycle, the plot circles a dozen-odd characters around a political scandal in the making, set in motion by the discovery of a corpse during the filming of a gubernatorial campaign ad. The candidate is Dickie Pilager, an inarticulately folksy, uncorrupt but "user-friendly" son of a powerful ex-senator -- played to tongue-tied, Bush-mimicking exactitude by the subtly superlative Chris Cooper ("Adaptation," "The Bourne Identity," "American Beauty").
Pilager's merciless attack-dog campaign manager (Richard Dreyfuss, channeling Bush puppet-master Karl Rove), convinced his candidate is being set up for something sinister, hires a private investigator to intimidate a handful of potential saboteurs, including a spurned arch-conservative radio-show host (Miguel Ferrer) and Pilager's hard-living, black-sheep sister, played with delicious volatility by Daryl Hannah. But what he doesn't know is that his stooge (the complex, understated Danny Huston from "21 Grams" and "ivans xtc.") is a disgraced, disenchanted and depressed ex-loose-cannon newspaper reporter.
Continue reading: Silver City Review
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