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The Dark Horse Review


Good

A relentlessly downbeat tone makes this Kiwi drama sometimes hard to watch, but the true story is genuinely involving, with an inspirational kick that never feels pushy. It also offers terrific actor Cliff Curtis the chance to revisit the rough side of New Zealand society that he so memorably depicted 20 years ago in the award-winning Once Were Warriors.

The story takes place in Gisborne, a city on the east coast of the North Island. After being held on a mental ward, Genesis (Curtis) is released into the care of his brother Ariki (Wayne Hapi), a single-dad who is also a veteran member of the Vagrants biker gang. His son Mana (James Rolleston) is about to turn 15, and Ariki insists that he enters the gang's initiation process, overseen by the brutal Mutt (Barry Te Hira), but Mana sees in Genesis a possible escape, following him to a youth chess club run by his old pal Noble (Kirk Torrance) and his wife Sandy (Miriama McDowell). It turns out that as a young man, Genesis was a surprise chess champion, and now he finds a sense of purpose encouraging these young people to play the game. But Ariki is furious about this, and throws Genesis out into the streets.

Curtis brings layers of intelligence and tenacity to Genesis, revealing him as a troubled man determined to maintain his mental health by finding something positive to focus on. He may now be sleeping rough in the park, but he refuses to give up. And his growing connection with Mana provides a further glimmer of hope for both of them. Opposite him, Rolleston is superb as a young man straining against the bleak future his father has mapped out for him. So while everything in their lives feels sometimes oppressively grim, their relationship gives the film an underlying sense of promise.

Continue reading: The Dark Horse Review

Last Knights Trailer


Commander Raiden (Clive Owen) of the seventh rank is a skilled and gifted soldier, who rose from bloody battle during the Great Wars with an unwavering loyalty for his ageing but resolutely brave master Bartok (Morgan Freeman), despite the latter having been dishonoured and shamed by the corrupt ruler for publicly standing up for the rights of his enslaved people. After his brutal execution, all those firmly loyal to Bartok - led by Raiden - seek to avenge him in the only way they know how, with Bartok's warning of their ruler's merciless intentions strongly in mind. Raiden will lead them into the ultimate battle, in spite of their small numbers, having made far too many sacrifices in their lifetime. As his rebellion unfolds, he begins to understand that, despite what the rule claims, no honourable man can ever be 'dishonoured'; it is something inborn, and something worth fighting for.

Continue: Last Knights Trailer

Producers Guild of America's 26th Annual Producers Guild Awards

Cliff Curtis - A variety of stars were photographed on the red carpet as they attended the Producers Guild of America's 26th Awards ceremony which was held at Hyatt Regency Century Plaza in Los Angeles, California, United States - Saturday 24th January 2015

Cliff Curtis
Cliff Curtis

Producers Guild of America Awards 2015

Cliff Curtis - A variety of stars were photographed on the red carpet as they attended the Producers Guild of America's 26th Awards ceremony which was held at Hyatt Regency Century Plaza in Los Angeles, California, United States - Sunday 25th January 2015

Cliff Curtis

26th Annual Producers Guild Of America (PGA) Awards

Cliff Curtis - A variety of stars were photographed on the red carpet as they attended the Producers Guild of America's 26th Awards ceremony which was held at Hyatt Regency Century Plaza in Los Angeles, California, United States - Saturday 24th January 2015

Cliff Curtis
Cliff Curtis
Cliff Curtis
Cliff Curtis
Cliff Curtis

Cliff Curtis Takes the Lead in AMC's 'The Walking Dead' Spin-Off


Cliff Curtis

Producers of the Walking Dead spin-off have cast TV actor Cliff Curtis in the lead role. The actor's previous credits include Gang Related, Missing and Body of Proof and he joins Frank Dillane and Alycia Debnam Carey in the companion series.

Cliff CurtisCliff Curtis, the new star of the Walking Dead spin-off, carrying a couple o'pizzas

Character details are being kept under wraps though Curtis is likely to play Sean Cabrera - described only as a "good man." We already know that AMC's show will feature completely new characters from The Walking Dead, as well as different settings.

Continue reading: Cliff Curtis Takes the Lead in AMC's 'The Walking Dead' Spin-Off

Picture - Cliff Curtis , Thursday 19th July 2012

Cliff Curtis Thursday 19th July 2012 seen laying down at the Grove. Cliff also carries two boxes of pizza

Cliff Curtis
Cliff Curtis
Cliff Curtis
Cliff Curtis
Cliff Curtis

Picture - Cliff Curtis Pasadena, California, Tuesday 10th January 2012

Cliff Curtis Tuesday 10th January 2012 Disney ABC Television Group Hosts TCA Winter Press Tour held at The Langham Huntington Hotel - Arrivals Pasadena, California

Cliff Curtis

A Thousand Words Trailer


Jack McCall is a literary agent who has a way with words. He knows just what to say to use any situation to his advantage. For example: after joining a long queue at his favourite coffee shop, Jack became impatient and faked an emergency phone call in order to get himself to the front.

Continue: A Thousand Words Trailer

Colombiana Review


Weak
This preposterously overwrought revenge thriller is entertaining simply because it so rarely pauses for breath. It makes virtually no sense if you think about it, and the writing and direction are mostly incoherent. But it's also guilty good fun.

In Colombia, feisty 9-year-old Cataleya (Stenberg) witnesses her parents' massacre of by Marco (Molla), henchman the drug kingpin Luis (Benites). Years layer (now Saldana) she's in Chicago, where she's been raised by her uncle (Curtis) to be a stealthy assassin. Now she's trying to draw Marco and Luis out of protective CIA custody by leaving clues at each murder scene. And it seems to be working. With an FBI agent (James) on her trail and a boyfriend (Vartan) who knows nothing, she's playing a dangerous game.

Continue reading: Colombiana Review

The Last Airbender Trailer


Watch the trailer for The Last Airbender

Continue: The Last Airbender Trailer

Crossing Over Review


OK
Crash meets Babel in this multi-strand Los Angeles immigration drama. The film is well-made and benefits from a very strong cast, but it's both overly worthy and rather pushy about its perspective.

Immigration cop Max (Ford) clearly has compassion for the illegals he rounds up with partner Hamid (Curtis), a naturalised citizen from Iran. But visa official Cole (Liotta) is exploiting the desperation of a wannabe Aussie actress (Eve), while her British friend (Sturgess) finds a loophole in the law. Meanwhile, Cole's wife (Judd) is an immigration lawyer trying to help a 15-year-old Bangladeshi girl (Bishil) picked up by the FBI on suspicion of terrorism due to a school project. And Yong (Chon) is a Korean teen caught up with an Asian gang.

There are several other storylines, and each touches on a specific aspect of immigration, with a range of ethnicities, visa situations and personal issues, all of which come up against the rigid rule of law. Even harsher are FBI tactics that throw out rights such as privacy, free speech and the presumption of innocence, not to mention simple human decency. But then, their paranoia is echoed by people on the streets and in the classrooms.

In other words, the film is packed with thought-provoking material; it's vitally important simply because filmmaker Kramer is airing such complex issues. The Bangladeshi family is the most involving story, with a lovely, understated performance by Bishil as a girl whose whole life comes undone because she dares to think deeply. This story could have supported the whole film, and sometimes sits at odds with Sturgess' more comical tale, Eve and Liotta's sordid encounters, or Curtis' increasingly disturbing journey.

The entire cast gives offhanded, natural performances that hold our interest.

Ford is good as the everyman, brushing against the various plots. Despite the insipid Mark Isham score, there are some seriously powerful emotional scenes along the way, although a couple of strands get lost in the shuffle, disappearing for long stretches and only coming back to fit into the final tidy mosaic. Ultimately, Kramer strains to make it gel together, but we still hear his cry for understanding and compassion in a world filled with bigotry and ignorance.

Push Review


Grim
In the first minute of Push, a character utters a line that's all but verbatim: "Save the cheerleader; save the world." With the film's unapologetic intent to lift freely from Heroes and its progenitor X-Men firmly established, we're then treated to virtually nothing new in the ordinary-folks-with-extraordinary-abilities subgenre.

Opening credit narration explains that there exist people born with special powers they don't necessarily want, and since the '40s an entity called Division has been trying to round them up and turn them into super-soldiers. There are a handful of abilities, and if you have one, you get a catchy name. Watchers can see the future. Pushers can put thoughts in your head. Sniffers can find out what you've been up to by smelling your stuff (really). And so on.

Continue reading: Push Review

10,000 B.C. Review


Grim
You'd think that with mammoths, saber-tooth tigers, and large, screeching birds you wouldn't need much more to deliver an entertaining romp through yester-epoch, but 10,000 B.C. proves that merely having an exotic setting as your premise won't get you over a mundane plot and more mundane characters.

The film begins with a blue-eyed girl coming to live with a clan of "manuk" (that's "mammoth" to you and me) hunters after her tribe is wiped out by what appear to be the bad guys from Conan the Barbarian. The tribe elder (Mona Hammond) declares that this girl is part of some prophecy while the son of the tribe's #1 hunter looks on.

Continue reading: 10,000 B.C. Review

Sunshine (2007) Review


Excellent
Danny Boyle could make watching paint dry compelling. From the frenzy of Trainspotting to the starkly spare wide shots of a barren London in 28 Days Later, Boyle has shown repeatedly his skill as a visual filmmaker. Even a weaker piece like The Beach dazzles the eye. Sunshine is no exception. From the moment the film announces itself with an astonishing shot of sun, space, and ship, Sunshine is a sight to be seen. But it is also more.

Working sci-fi here with the same ease with which he handled horror in 28 Days Later, Boyle recasts the genre far from the sheen of Lucas' most recent space visions. It is gritty, dark, and thrilling. You can see the grease on the ship's walls. Much as with his zombie film, the outlandish story here greatly benefits from Boyle's grounding treatment. Set in 2057, Sunshine follows the flight of Icarus II, a massive, shielded space ship sent to revive our dying sun and prevent the extinction of earth and humanity. No light task. Captain Kaneda (Hiroyuki Sanada) leads a dedicated crew, among them physicist Capa (Cillian Murphy), pilot Cassie (Rose Byrne), biologist Corazon (Michelle Yeoh), and engineer Mace (Chris Evans). Their mission is to deliver the "payload," a mammoth nuke, into the sun, set it off, and jet. Icarus I, missing for seven years, never managed.

Continue reading: Sunshine (2007) Review

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