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The Forest Review

Weak

Right from the start, filmmaker Jason Zada begins filling scenes in this horror movie with insinuating elements involving eerie noises, deep shadows and sudden jolts. And it succeeds in freaking the audience out entertainingly. Then Zada seems to get tired of sustaining the psychological terror, letting the final act become swamped by a flood of gimmicky cliches.

The story centres on Sara (Natalie Dormer), a young woman suffering from unnerving nightmares about her identical twin Jess (also Dormer), who was last seen entering Japan's notorious Aokigahara Forest, the "sea of trees" where people traditionally go to commit suicide. So Sara leaves her husband (Eoin Macken) at home in America and heads to the foot of Mt Fuji to get some answers, ignoring warnings about angry spirits and impending doom. There she meets friendly journalist Aidan (Taylor Kinney), who wants to tag along and write a story about her. But once they enter the forest, their phones and compasses stop working, then even creepier things start happening in the gloomy darkness.

The director gleefully piles on suggestive imagery, hinting at all kinds of things that might be going on here. Sara and Jess are like opposite sides of a coin: blonde and sensible versus brunette and free-spirited. And they have a tragic back-story that reveals itself in a series of dreamy flashbacks. Cleverly, their childhood snapshots make them resemble the sinister twins from The Shining. So Sara's continuous premonitions add layers of uncertainty, especially as she indulges in illicit flirtation with the handsome Aidan. Dormer is solid in the central role, nicely balancing Sara's scepticism with a haunting sense of dread. And Kinney is terrific as the helpful stranger who seems too nice to be trusted. Meanwhile, the forest itself makes the entire film feel like a fairy tale that's threatening to turn seriously nasty at any moment.

Continue reading: The Forest Review

The Rover Review


OK

While this atmospheric Australian Outback thriller has plenty of edgy action, it's also meandering and arty, refusing to fill in the details until filmmaker David Michod is good and ready. This makes it feel rather slow and uneven, although it's at least consistently fascinating. And as a story of tenacity and survival, it's also a gripping drama.

The story is set 10 years after "the collapse", so there's little sense of law and order in the Outback. When his car is stolen by three outlaws (Scoot McNairy, Tawanda Manyimo and David Field), the strong-silent Eric (Guy Pearce) goes in pursuit. Along the way, he picks up the injured Rey (Robert Pattinson), brother of one of the thugs, who knows where they're headed. As they hit the road, Eric and Rey have a series of encounters with people who are alternatively helpful and menacing, from an inquisitive brothel madam (Gillian Jones) to a nervous doctor (Susan Prior) to an in-over-his-head soldier (Anthony Hayes). There are also plenty of marauding thieves and trigger-happy commandoes who don't hesitate before blowing away anyone who looks odd. But as Eric and Rey begin to bond, they still find it impossible to trust each other.

While the overarching plot is fairly simple, the film plays out in a series of set-pieces as Eric responds a variety of tense situations. The big question hovering above everything is of course why he's so determined to get his car back (the odd answer comes at the very end). Michod's style of filmmaking is more interested in provoking thought than fully satisfying the audience, so scenes are packed with inconclusive twists and turns, vaguely undefined characters and situations, and elements that clearly have some sort of meaning but feel rather impenetrable. Pearce's performance fits this style perfectly; Eric is a man who says very little, letting a steely glare convey more than any number of words would. In jarring contrast, Pattinson's Rey is a hyperactive mess, a simple-minded guy who never stops moving and talking.

Continue reading: The Rover Review

Kevin Costner To Star In Midnight Delivery


Kevin Costner Guillermo Del Toro David Linde Chris Pine

Kevin Costner is in negotiations to star in 'Midnight Delivery'.

The 58-year-old actor - who played Superman's dad in 'Man of Steel' - has been eyed up by producer Guillermo Del Toro to play the lead role in Universal's thriller, which focuses on a father who gets caught up in trafficking cocaine to London in a bid to save his child from a Colombian gang.

Del Toro and Neil Cross - who is the co-creator of BBC's 'Luther' - wrote the script together and David Linde of Lava Bear Films will be producing.

Continue reading: Kevin Costner To Star In Midnight Delivery

360 Review


OK
Loosely based on Arthur Schnitzler's play La Ronde, this beautifully assembled film is easy to watch. But that's the problem: the subject matter should be much more difficult than this, as it's about having the courage to make unexpected choices.

In Vienna, British businessman Michael (Law) has arranged to meet Slovakian prostitute Blanka (Siposova) on her first night on the job. But the situation shifts, and Michael ends up thinking about his wife (Weisz) in London.

Meanwhile, she's having a fling with a Brazilian (Cazarre) whose girlfriend (Flor) is fed up with his infidelity. On her flight home, she meets a troubled British man (Hopkins) and a recovering sex-offender (Foster). Meanwhile, an Algerian dentist (Debbouze) in Paris is in love with his Russian employee (Drukarova), whose husband (Vdovichenkov) works for a hotheaded gangster (Ivanir).

Continue reading: 360 Review

Robert Pattinson Confirmed For The Rover


Robert Pattinson Animal Kingdom David Linde Guy Pearce Kristen Stewart

Robert Pattinson has been confirmed to star in 'The Rover'.

The 'Twilight' heartthrob has officially been offered a lead role in the futuristic western by 'Animal Kingdom' director David Michod.

The film was given the go-ahead yesterday (26.07.12) when it received funding from an Australian production company along with three other projects, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Continue reading: Robert Pattinson Confirmed For The Rover

Robert Pattinson To Land Rover Role


Robert Pattinson Animal Kingdom Ben Kingsley David Linde Guy Pearce Joel Edgerton Robert Downey Jr

Robert Pattinson and Guy Pearce are to co-star in 'Rover'.

The 'Twilight Saga' hunk and the 'Prometheus' actor are in negotiations to appear in 'Animal Kingdom' director David Michod's next movie.

The film - which has been written by the helmer based on an idea he and Joel Edgerton originated - will see Robert portray a thief being pursued by Guy's character, who follows a group who stole his car through the wild Australian Outback.

Continue reading: Robert Pattinson To Land Rover Role

London Film Festival Announces This Year's Opener


Jude Law Andrew Eaton David Linde Rachel Weisz

Fernando Meirelles's 360 , starring Jude Law and Rachel Weisz, has been selected to open the 55th annual London Film Festival on October 12, the festival's organizers announced today (Wednesday). It will be the last festival overseen by artistic director Sandra Hebron, who was named to the post in 2003 and has been part of the festival team since 1997. She announced last month that she is stepping down. In a statement, Andrew Eaton and David Linde, the producers of 360 , thanked the festival for the opening-night honor, then added, "It feels especially significant and poignant at Sandra Hebron's last festival as director." This year's festival runs from October 12 to 27.

Continue reading: London Film Festival Announces This Year's Opener

The Hitcher Review


Weak
As the opening frames for The Hitcher inform us, 48,000 people die each year on the road each year. I know these sorrows have a variety of causes. Some are pure tragic accident, some the fault of inebriation, and some the fault of forgetting a turn signal or not watching a blind spot. Somehow, I doubt being sliced up by Brits in the middle of the New Mexico desert registers in the top five.

After attempting to briefly educate us about the perils of driving, The Hitcher (a remake of the 1986 cable standby) then jumps straight into the action. A guy (Zachary Knighton) waits impatiently for his girlfriend outside her dorm with a 1970 Oldsmobile 442. As he sits by his muscle car and she (Sophia Bush) comes out with nothing but pajamas and a small backpack on, The Hitcher feels like it should turn into a Penthouse story at any moment. They hop in the car, and before we even get their names we get to see Bush changing in the car and going on the road.

Continue reading: The Hitcher Review

Randy Quaid Sues Over Brokeback Pay


Randy Quaid Brokeback Mountain Joe Aguirre James Schamus David Linde Ang Lee Heath Ledger Jake Gyllenhaal

Actor Randy Quaid is suing the producers of cowboy romance Brokeback Mountain for $10 million (GBP5.8 million), claiming he was underpaid for his supporting role as rancher Joe Aguirre. The 55-year-old star filed suit in Los Angeles Superior Court on Thursday (23MAR06), alleging producers James Schamus and David Linde, through Focus Features and Del Mar Productions, persuaded him to drop his normal rates by misrepresenting the film as a low-budget film. The Ang Lee movie, starring Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal as two cowboys who fall in love while ranching, has taken an estimated $158 million (GBP92 million) at the international box office and secured a Best Director Oscar for Lee earlier this month (05MAR06). The suit says, "Randy Quaid is an instantly recognisable household name and much-admired actor on the world's stage with a worldwide box office total of nearly $2 billion. "Defendants were engaging in a 'movie laundering' scheme designed to obtain the services of talent... for a picture that, in reality, had studio backing and would be exploited using traditional studio marketing and distribution techniques." Brokeback Mountain was made on an estimated budget of $14 million (GBP8.2 million).

Horror Craze Breeds Fifth Chucky Movie


Freddy Vs Jason Brad Dourif Jennifer Tilly David Linde Bride of Chucky

A fourth sequel to the CHILD'S PLAY movie franchise is finally poised for production, thanks to the recent demand in horror films.

Hollywood studio chiefs credit recent hit Freddy Vs Jason with injecting renewed interest in the horror genre, and now producers are confident of signing up Brad Dourif and Jennifer Tilly to return as the voices of the psychopathic dolls in SEED OF CHUCKY.

Creator DON MACINI says, "We are finally moving forward. Thanks to Freddy Vs Jason, horror is hot again. David Linde released Bride of Chucky internationally, and the film did very well there. So he decided to make Seed.

Continue reading: Horror Craze Breeds Fifth Chucky Movie

David Linde

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David Mitchell And Robert Webb To Reunite For New Channel 4 Comedy 'Back'

David Mitchell And Robert Webb To Reunite For New Channel 4 Comedy 'Back'

'Peep Show' may be dead, but Mitchell & Webb are not.

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David Linde Movies

The Forest Movie Review

The Forest Movie Review

Right from the start, filmmaker Jason Zada begins filling scenes in this horror movie with...

The Rover Movie Review

The Rover Movie Review

While this atmospheric Australian Outback thriller has plenty of edgy action, it's also meandering and...

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360 Movie Review

360 Movie Review

Loosely based on Arthur Schnitzler's play La Ronde, this beautifully assembled film is easy to...

The Hitcher Movie Review

The Hitcher Movie Review

As the opening frames for The Hitcher inform us, 48,000 people die each year on...

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