This may not be the brightest thriller in the cinema, but it's made with such a ripping sense of energy that it's thoroughly entertaining. With his first feature, Australian filmmaker Julius Avery packs the screen with intense characters, raucous set-pieces and suggestions of all kinds of metaphorical meaning. He also assembles a terrific cast of actors willing to chomp merrily on the scenery. So even if the movie never actually cracks the surface, it's a true guilty pleasure.
Set in Western Australia, the film centres on 19-year-old JR (Brenton Thwaites), who begins a six-month stint in prison with a determination to rise to the top. His bravado nearly gets him killed, but he boldly aligns himself with notorious criminal Brendan (Ewan McGregor), and in exchange for protection inside JR agrees to help Brendan from the outside. Sure enough, in six months Brendan launches an audacious prison break, after which he and Brendan get to work with dodgy mobster Sam (Jacek Koman) on an even more elaborate gold heist. JR is loving the gangster lifestyle but still refuses to follow the rules, which puts him on a collision course with Sam as he openly flirts with Sam's prized moll Tasha (Alicia Vikander). Now JR thinks he can steal Tasha, ditch Brendan and get away with the gold. As if.
Yes, the film is a web of double-crosses and betrayals, none of which is much of a surprise. All of the final act's twists and turns are loudly announced early on, as are the strained metaphors of chess-playing criminals and father-son mentoring. Avery's script and direction constantly suggest that nothing is what it seems, although it's hard not to see what's really going on. But what's on-screen is so much fun that we don't mind at all. Thwaites, McGregor, Vikander and Koman all have a great time playing with our expectations. Each character is cocky and sure that they're in control, when it's clear that they're not. And the sparks between them make each scene sizzle.
Continue reading: Son of a Gun Review
A young man, JR (Brendan Thwaites) is only 19-years-old when he finds himself in an Australian prison. There, he comes under the protection of Australia's Public Enemy number one, Brendan Lynch (Ewan McGregor). In exchange for not being ganged up on or killed in prison, JR is going to have to help Lynch as soon as he is released from prison. This begins with a daring rescue attempt to break Lynch out, and then moves into a plot to steal a vast amount of gold. When JR's attention is diverted, Lynch reveals that their partnership may, in fact, be coming to an end.
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JR (Brendan Thwaites) is receiving a lesson from his protector, Brendan Lynch (Ewan McGregor) over a game of chess. Lynch reveals that when an old friend of his performed a stunning opening movie during a game, no one knew what hit them. This move in particular was a bold one, and ensured that there would be no draw in the game from that start. Lynch revealed the true meaning of the lesson - there were to be no half measures. Later, JR wakes up in the house of his protectors, knowing that they are going to be angry after a date he went on. When he reveals that all he did was have dinner with a girl, Lynch informs him how if anything had gone on, an associate would have killed both JR and the girl. There are no half measures; if you are in the group, you are IN the group.
'Son of a Gun' is the feature debut of director Julius Avery. The film is set in and was filmed in Australia, and premiered in Australia on 16th October 2014. It is due to be released in the US on 16th January 2015, with a UK release following on 30th January.
Russell Crowe talks in depth about his brand new war drama 'The Water Diviner' in a featurette which also features interviews with other cast members such as Olga Kurylenko, Jai Courtney and Yilmaz Erdogan. The movie is about a man who travels from Australia to Turkey four years after the Battle of Gallipoli to find the graves of his three sons, but along the way makes a heartwarming discovery. It is Crowe's directorial debut and it has been written by Andrew Knight and Andrew Anastasios.
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Reg and Lindsay Morgan are two Australian brothers who work in the organic fertiliser business, providing super growth treatments for crop farmers everywhere with their blood and bone fertiliser company Morgans Organic. When Reg comes across a very dead driver of a white van that's been involved in a car accident, an ingenious idea springs to mind to boost sales. He grinds the body and uses it in their magic mixture to increase the amount of potassium in their product. However, finding available fresh corpses on the road isn't the easiest thing to do, so when they discover three lost travellers in the middle of nowhere, their new opportunity is too good to resist.
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John Reid is a Texas ranger; law-abiding and glad to ride alongside his brother, following in his father's footsteps. However, enforcing the law is the last thing on his mind when his brother is killed in an ambush. When he wakes after the attack, injured, he is confronted by Tonto; a strange Native American spirit warrior who wishes to team up with him and seek justice. Reid must abandon the law, and fight the real crime in the town and so he dons his mask and dubs himself Lone Ranger and with Tonto, vows to protect the people from the impending insidious threat.
Here is the Walt Disney Pictures adaption of the 50s Western TV show 'The Lone Ranger' that first gained public attention as a radio show in the 30s. It's an amusing and truly stunning take on the story featuring an all-star cast with direction from the Oscar winning Gore Verbinski ('Pirates of the Caribbean', 'Rango', 'The Ring', 'Mousetrap'). The screenwriting group includes Oscar nominees Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio ('The Mask of Zorro', 'Pirates of the Caribbean', 'Shrek') as well as Justin Haythe ('The Clearing', 'Revolutionary Road'). The movie is set for release in UK cinemas everywhere from August 9th 2013.
John Reid bears the alias of the Lone Ranger and uses his title and his mask to fight for justice and maintain the law. He's Texas born, never removes his disguise and fights for peace in his troubled town with his Native American friend Tonto who is a spirit warrior with a personality a mile away from that of the Ranger but they still remain loyal companions on their journey to eliminate crime in their quiet town.
It started out as a thirties radio show before becoming a hit TV series in the fifties, and now it has been adapted by Walt Disney Pictures for the silver screen. 'The Lone Ranger' is an exciting contemporary version of this much-loved tale with high-energy action and much in the way of humour. It's a wonderful take on the famous partnership that is masked hero Tonto and his faithful 'kemosabe'. Oscar winning movie genius Gore Verbinski returned to Walt Disney to work on the movie with Hollywood superstar Johnny Depp in his wake having previously worked on the film company's epic film series 'Pirates of the Caribbean'. The screenwriters include the writers of masked crusader 'The Mask of Zorro' Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio, with Justin Haythe ('The Clearing', 'Revolutionary Road'). It is set to hit cinemas across the UK on August 9th 2013.
Starring: Johnny Depp, Armie Hammer, William Fichtner, Ruth Wilson, James Badge Dale, Tom Wilkinson, Barry Pepper, Helena Bonham Carter, Mason Cook, James Frain, Harry Treadaway, Matt O'Leary, W. Earl Brown, Leon Rippy, Timothy V. Murphy, Joaquin Cosio, Damon Herriman, Robert Baker,
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John Reid is the Lone Ranger; a law-abiding man of justice from Texas who resolutely wears his mask and disguise at all times and vows to fight crime and keep the peace in his town. Battling alongside him is his trusted Native American companion Tonto, a painted spirit warrior and the complete opposite of Reid but, nonetheless, they make the perfect crime-fighting duo as they set out to conquer the theft and corruption that threaten the harmony of the people.
'The Lone Ranger' is the Walt Disney Pictures adaption of the legendary Western tales that started out on the radio in the 1930s before hitting TV screens in the 50s. It's a stunning modern take on the stories combining serious action with hilarity, with wonderful character development and the heart-warming partnership of Tonto and his 'kemosabe'. It was only right that Oscar winning big budget director Gore Verbinski returned to Walt Disney to work on the movie, having previously worked on Disney's popular film series 'Pirates of the Caribbean'. The screenwriters included those who wrote the modern story of another masked hero on 'The Mask of Zorro' Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio, along with Justin Haythe ('The Clearing', 'Revolutionary Road'). The movie will hit cinemas in the UK on August 9th 2013.
Starring: Johnny Depp, Armie Hammer, William Fichtner, Ruth Wilson, James Badge Dale, Tom Wilkinson, Barry Pepper, Helena Bonham Carter, Mason Cook, James Frain, Harry Treadaway, Matt O'Leary, W. Earl Brown, Leon Rippy, Timothy V. Murphy, Joaquin Cosio, Damon Herriman and Robert Baker