David Koepp - A host of stars were photographed as they attended the UK premiere of 'Mortdecai' which stars American actor Johnny Depp. The premiere was held at the Empire cinema in Leicester Square, London - Thursday 22nd January 2015
Paul Bettany, Johnny Depp and David Koepp - Shots of the cast of 'Mortdecai' including Johnny Depp as they promote their movie at Hotel Adlon at the Brandenburg gate in Berlin, Germany - Sunday 18th January 2015
When a priceless painting is stolen with the presumable intention of being sold to fund terrorist activities, England needs a hero. Enter, Mortdecai. Lord Charles Mortdecai (Johnny Depp) is a well-known and barely liked art dealer. He is also on the verge of bankruptcy. Well, 'on the verge' may be a little too generous. Mortdecai's extravagant lifestyle ensures that he is in desperate need of money - so much so, that he is willing to take on the job of tracking down and returning the painting. Or, perhaps, he'll steal it himself when he gets the chance. Either way, he'll have to get his hands on it first, and that is going to be far from easy. Or safe.
Continue: Mortdecai Trailer
The new trailer for next year's Mortdecai appears promising, although it seems far more focused on character than plot. The plot, such as it is, takes inspiration from the Mortdecai series of books by author Kyril Bonfiglioli.
Johnny Depp as Charlie Mortdecai
More specifically, the film is set to take cues from the novel 'Don't Point That Thing at Me', and follows a rich English art dealer as he traverses the globe in search of a paining containing the code to a bank fully of secret Nazi gold. Although the trailer keeps most of the storyline under wraps.
Charlie Mortdecai may be rude, arrogant and distinctly unlikeable, but he's also a terribly rich English art dealer with a drop dead gorgeous wife, charming looks and a trusty man servant. He has been enlisted to uncover a painting, lost for decades and containing a top secret code that leads to a hidden bank account inside which is mounds of Nazi currency. It is with much apprehension on the part of Inspector Martland that Mortdecai become involved, with him being notoriously overt and extremely moronic. But he is happy to help with the recovery, travelling to various corners of the world and dazzling those he meets along the way. However, he has a lot to face on his journey - from MI5 to terrorists and his wife's repeated questions.
Continue: Mortdecai Trailer
There's nothing very original in this spy thriller, but director Branagh gives the film a weighty sense of importance that at least makes it feel important. He can't make up for the flimsy plot or cliched characters, but he can coax shaded performances from the cast to grab our interest. And while the action is never as coherent as a Bourne movie, it at least has a sense of gravitas about it.
For yet another reboot of the Tom Clancy franchise, we go back earlier to follow Jack Ryan (Pine) as he is inspired by the 9/11 attacks to leave his financial studies and join the Marines. Shot down over Afghanistan, he undergoes a gruelling recovery and is recruited by CIA operative Harper (Costner) to work undercover on Wall Street, monitoring terrorist fund movements. A decade later his girlfriend Catherine (Knightley) has no idea what his real job is, so when she surprises him on a business trip to Moscow she ends up in the middle of an operation to investigate shady Russian businessman Cherevin (Branagh), who's behind some sort of imminent global attack.
The film's brisk pace focusses on Jack's motivations all the way through, so we understand his earnest desire to serve his country. Although we can't quite figure out how he developed all these he-man skills working behind a desk in a bank. Not only is he adept at firearms and hand-to-hand combat, but he can ride a motorcycle like a stuntman! Fortunately, Pine's everyman persona makes him easy to identify with and bodes well for future franchise instalments. Opposite him, Costner is marvellously lean and cool, Branagh has terrific lip-less menace and Knightley does her best in the standard underdeveloped female role.
Continue reading: Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit Review
Our hero is Wilee (Gordon-Levitt), who gave up his law studies to become a daredevil courier who believes brakes are for sissies. So it doesn't seem too much to accept a job to carry an envelope for a friend (Chung) from one end of Manhattan to the other. But he's immediately accosted by frazzled cop Bobby (Shannon), who so desperately wants to get his hands on that envelope that we think his buggy eyes might explode. But Wilee is a clever biker determined to do his job, and as the cat-and-mouse chase travels down through the city, drawing in a tenacious bicycle cop (Tveit) and some nasty gangsters, Wilee gets help from his colleagues (Ramirez and Parks).
Continue reading: Premium Rush Review
Wilee is one of New York's best agile bicycle messengers, due in part to his skill at riding the 'fixie' - bikes with just one gear and no brakes. Every day he braves the famous New York traffic, weaving in and out of taxis and dodging traffic lights, so he can deliver packages on time, or as fast as he possibly can, if it is labelled 'premium rush'.
Continue: Premium Rush Trailer
Take Ron Howard's adaptations of Dan Brown's riveting bestsellers. Both The Da Vinci Code and its sequel, Angels & Demons, are competently made, commendably acted historical thrillers set against picturesque international backdrops. Yet for some reason, neither comes close to duplicating the urgent pacing of Brown's crackling source material.
Continue reading: Angels & Demons Review
If you want to make money, you go to David Koepp. Three of the 20 films he has written are on the top 25 highest-grossing American box office list and another two show up in the top 100. The man makes hits and, most of the time anyways, they are well-written and focused scripts that attempt to keep exposition to a minimum. These are the traits of a very talented screenwriter... but unfortunately they do not necessarily translate into a positive resume for a feature film director.
Ghost Town is Koepp's fourth film as a director and it is the first film to feature UK comedian Ricky Gervais in a starring role. It tells the story of a dentist named Bertram Pincus (Gervais) who wakes from a friendly colonoscopy with the ability to see and hear the dead. It is inferred that this Shyamalanian gift was caused by a seven-minute interval during his operation where he died due to a two-strikes-already anesthesiologist. Ghosts of every color and creed begin hassling the chronically-introverted Pincus for favors, the leader of which seems to be Frank (Greg Kinnear).
A tux-donning victim of a high-speed Manhattan bus, Frank promises to get the other ghosts to leave if Bertram will help him derail his widow's pending nuptials. Turns out Frank's widow, Gwen (Téa Leoni), has been snubbed by Pincus on a dozen occasions (they live in the same apartment building), and her fiancé (Billy Campbell) is a civil-rights attorney. Not the easiest assignment for Pincus. But when the dentist helps crack the autopsy of a long-dead Egyptian king that Gwen is studying, she invites him to dinner, Pincus makes her laugh, and the end is already in sight. Morals are dished out on the side when Pincus agrees to help some other ghosts settle their unfinished business and there's also some stuff about "a life lived for others" passed on by a fellow dentist (Aasif Mandvi).
Much like the recent Hamlet 2, most of the film's success rides on the comic inventiveness of its star, and in this he is given little support from his director/screenwriter. At first, Gervais seems completely up to the task, employing the cracker-dry wit that made him such a phenomenon on the BBC version of The Office, the show he created and wrote with partner Stephen Merchant. There is a bright moment of hope as he has a particularly sharp exchange with Kristen Wiig of Saturday Night Live fame, who plays his surgeon. But then he script quickly shifts into standard operating procedure and comedy is swallowed by template.
Ghost Town has a smidgen more class than most contemporary romantic comedies but it is seemingly unaware of its strengths. Gervais' interplay with Leoni has a brisk charm to it but it seems too-often rushed and stuffed with jokes about dog poop, Chinese names, and naked ghosts, all of which seem out of place and drawn out. Egregiously over-sentimentalized, the last 30 minutes of the film rush through a half-dozen major conflicts in a mad dash to build to a predictable emotional climax. It's a total con and it sells Gervais' tremendous abilities up the river. Koepp's talents at structure falter slightly here, adding a few too many storylines than he seems capable of handling. Will Ghost Town make money? Probably, but it's the kind of film that gives box-office rankings a bad name.
After a dozen or so years of fantastically bitter legal wrangling, Spider-Man has finally crawled to the big screen. For the uninitiated (and even for those of us who grew up with the comics but can't remember all the details), Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) is the whipping boy of his New York high school. He's got a crush on the girl next door, Mary Jane (Kirsten Dunst), and his best friend Harry (James Franco) is the son of the local millionaire/scientist Norman Osborn (Willem Dafoe).
Continue reading: Spider-Man Review
And so it is that in the terrorism-edgy mid-'00s, Steven Spielberg has resurrecteds War of the Worlds - again - and created the greatest alien invasion movie ever.
Continue reading: War Of The Worlds (2005) Review
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