James Dean is a rising superstar; handsome, slick, smart and mild-mannered, and yet rebellious with dreams of being a famous actor. For passionate Life Magazine photographer Dennis Stock, Dean poses the perfect subject for his latest project and he's determined to capture the star in all his glory ahead of the release of his break-out movie 'Easy Of Eden'. It takes little persuasion on Stock's part to get Dean to agree to the project and the pair set out on a journey from Hollywood, through New York, and over to Fairmont, Indiana where Dean was originally from. Stock's plan is to capture the raw emotion and energy of this iconic figure of angst and coolness, and it doesn't take long before the two start to build an extraordinary friendship, that's made all the more heart-breaking on screen when you consider it's the final months of his life.
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Rosie Huntington-Whiteley was one of the most breathtaking beauties at this year's Met Gala fashion event. She was snapped stepping out of the Mark Hotel in New York with a guest wearing a gorgeously shaped pale pink gown with her long hair pulled back into a bun.
While zombie rom-coms aren't original (see Shaun of the Dead or Warm Bodies), this take on the genre has such a deadpan tone that it feels refreshingly unpredictable. While the plot sometimes seems like it's going to spin completely out of control, writer-director Jeff Baena (who wrote I Heart Huckabees) holds it together with clever twists and turns and smart, witty dialogue. And the terrific cast helps balance the humour and horror with a hint of emotional depth.
It opens as soulful teenager Zach (Dane DeHaan) is grieving about his recently deceased girlfriend Beth (Aubrey Plaza), who was killed by a snake bite. As Zach and Beth's parents (John C. Reilly and Molly Shannon) help each other get over the shock, they are startled when she arrives back home as if nothing happened. Utterly unaware that she's undead, Beth can't understand why Zach is looking at her strangely, while her parents become super protective, refusing to let her outside for fear that someone will spot a dead girl walking around. Then Zach begins to notice that Beth isn't the only person in town who has come back to life. And when he runs into old friend Erica (Anna Kendrick), Beth's jealousy seems to trigger a full-on zombie invasion.
By focussing on the warped relationships between the characters, the film keeps the audience both involved and entertained. The humour is a mix of bone-dry dialogue and riotously nutty visual gags that escalate as the story progresses. And there are constant wrinkles in the plot, such as how Beth conveniently can't remember breaking up with Zach before she died. Or how Zach's gung-ho brother (a scene stealing Matthew Gray Gubler) reacts to the growing threat of the walking-dead. And by combining real heart with silly comedy and even some genuine scariness, filmmaker Baena manages to make some sharp observations about both love and grief.
Continue reading: Life After Beth Review
With zombie movies steadily taking over the cinema, ‘Life After Beth’ strives to stand out from the undead crowd.
Zombie movies are as old as cinema itself, kicking off with 1930s hits like 'White Zombies' and 'The Devil's Daughter'. The genre came to mainstream prominence with George A. Romero's 'Night of the Living Dead' in 1968, after which the undead onslaught has been fairly unceasing. But a subset is just as venerable: the zombie comedy, or zom-com, can trace its roots back to 1941's 'King of the Zombies' and 1945's 'Zombies on Broadway'. More recent examples include Peter Jackson's 'Braindead' (1992) and 'Zombieland' (2009).
The most memorable recent zom-com is obviously Edgar Wright's 'Shaun of the Dead' (2004), which introduced a further sub-genre: the zom-rom-com. This paved the way for the likes of the Spanish romp 'Juan of the Dead' (2010), 'Warm Bodies' (2013) and 'All Cheerleaders Die' (also 2013).
Continue reading: 'Life After Beth' Adds New Twist To Old Genre
Zach is a total mess following the sudden death of his girlfriend Beth and turns to her equally grief-stricken parents for support. However, when they stop contacting him, he becomes confused by their evasiveness and begins to suspect their daughter is still alive. Sure enough, there's a hole in the ground by her presumably previously occupied grave and she appears to have resurrected from the dead. Zach doesn't know what to think, but when he sees her looking just the same as she did before she died, he is overcome with emotion and decides to tell her everything that he wished he'd said before she passed. However, their happy ending is quickly cut short when Beth starts displaying increasingly erratic behaviour - such as biting and eating a man. Realising that she's a zombie complicates things for Zach, who'll give anything to keep her around but struggles to cope with her newfound brutality.
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Based on the events documented in West of Memphis and the Paradise Lost trilogy, this drama takes an almost clinical approach to the story. By filling in so many details and covering so many perspectives, skilled Canadian director Atom Egoyan sometimes loses the emotional connection, simply because there are too many punches to the gut. But it's utterly riveting.
The events took place in 1993 in rural West Memphis, Arkansas. After three 8-year-old boys go missing, suspicion immediately falls on four goth 16-year-olds: Chris (Dane DeHaan) has just left town, but the fiercely charismatic Damien (James Hamrick), hapless Jason (Seth Meriwether) and mentally disabled Jesse (Kristopher Higgens) are arrested and charged with murder. The victims' parents (including Reese Witherspoon, Alessandro Nivola and Kevin Durand) band together in outrage. But private investigator Ron (Colin Firth) thinks the police have wrongly accused these teens of being killers.
The story is a shocking account of a miscarriage of justice, as the community turns on kids who simply look a bit funny and the police and judicial authorities refuse to admit that they may have made some serious mistakes. The rush to judgement is terrifying, accompanied with explanations that falsely link the teens to satanic rituals and death-metal music. Egoyan cleverly builds a sense of outrage from the start, as the film mourns not only the young boys' death but also the horror of carelessly ruining three innocent teens' lives in response.
Continue reading: Devil's Knot Review
Devil's Knot is a biographical thriller drama based on the events of the West Memphis Three case directed by Atom Egoyan (The Sweet Hereafter, Chloe) and written by Paul Harris Boardman and Scott Derrickson (Sinister, The Exorcism Of Emily Rose).
Devil's Knot tells the chilling story of three young boys, Stevie Branch, Christopher Byers and Michael Moore, going missing in the town of West Memphis, Arkansas. When the bodies are found beaten and murdered, the police and religious people of the town put the blame to a group of teenagers they believed to be Satanists, due to the dark nature of their appearance. After police investigation, three young adults, Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley Jr., are arrested for suspicion of the crime. These three youths claim to be innocent of the murders, but the citizens of the town want justice for the murdered children and the punishment of the teenagers, innocent or not, seems to be their best answer.
The film will star academy award winner Reese Witherspoon portraying Stevie Branch's distraught mother, Michelle Enos (World War Z, Gangster Squad) as Vicki Hutcheson who was key in the arrest of the teenagers, Academy Award winner Colin Firth as private investigator Ron Lax and Dane DeHaan (The Amazing Spider Man 2, The Place Beyond the Pines) as Chris Morgan, who was a suspect in the murder case.
The cast and crew of 'The Amazing Spider-Man 2' are introduced by a speaker at the Empire State Buiding, where they are later photographed lighting up the building.
'The Amazing Spider-Man 2' star Jamie Foxx was photographed on the red carpet at the movie's New York premiere where he held his young daughter Annalise in his arms while pulling a few funny poses. Annalise has her faced painted blue in reference to Jamie's character Electro who is one of the villains faced by Spider-Man in the movie.
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