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Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 1 Review


Excellent

Cranking up the action and emotion, JK Rowling's Harry Potter saga moves into the first half of its extended grand finale. It's a relatively harrowing film punctuated by real violence, and it cleverly starts weaving together both the plot and the relationships.

After the tragic events of the previous school year, Harry (Radcliffe) and his pals Ron and Hermoine (Grint and Watson) know that they can't go back to normal. Instead, they're on the run from Voldemort (Fiennes) and his fearsome Death Eaters. They also have an overwhelming task: collecting the horcruxes that Voldemort has hidden to ensure his immortality. But where to look? And when they find one, how do they destroy it? Then a rebel journalist (Ifans) tells them the story of the Deathly Hallows, which makes their quest even more urgent.

The plot has a very different structure, as our three heroes are propelled by startling events into increasingly uncertain situations. Persistently chased by the bad guys and unable to trust anyone, they are profoundly alone and constantly in danger. We strongly feel their lonely desperation all the way through the film, so when another nasty thing happens to push them further along, it's genuinely unsettling.

Although it feels far too long, Yates and Kloves thankfully mix the dark drama with lighter comedy, allowing the characters to grow organically. Over seven films the story has grown increasingly gloomy but, despite the relentless anxiety, this chapter has an insistent pace, which is helpful since pretty nightmarish things are happening. There's also some subtext in the political storyline, as the villains seize control first of the media and then the government.

By now, the three central actors have settled solidly into their roles, adding subtle edges in every scene. Intriguingly, Grint has emerged as the most complex performer, but all three are excellent. And the who's who of British acting talent around them is fantastic. Stand-outs this time are Nighy (as a slippery politician), Isaacs (as a disgraced baddie) and Mullan (as a vicious security guy). But several others get a chance to shine as well, and of course there's a lot more action to come in Part 2.

Mr Nice Review


Excellent
The life of notorious drug smuggler Howard Marks hits the big screen in a lively, fiercely well-made biopic that never condemns drugs as its story spirals through the decades. It also features Ifans' best-ever performance.

Born in a rugby-mad Welsh mining town, Howard Marks (Ifans) knew he didn't fit in and proved it by getting into Oxford against the odds. There he immediately falls into the early-1960s brainy/druggy crowd, dealing marijuana but never anything harder. Despite efforts to go straight, he continually returns to trafficking, arguing that it's not a crime to break an immoral law. But his associations with a notorious IRA terrorist (Thewlis) and a rule-bending Indian businessman (Djalili) attract the attentions of a tenacious American agent (Tosar).

Continue reading: Mr Nice Review

David Thewlis Monday 4th October 2010 The UK film premiere of 'Mr Nice', held at the Cineworld Cinemas, Haymarket. London, England

David Thewlis
David Thewlis
David Thewlis
David Thewlis
David Thewlis

Mr. Nice Trailer


In the 1970's Howard Marks was one of the biggest weed smugglers in the world but the Welshman from the small town of Kenfig never indented to become such a major player in the industry. In the beginning Marks started out as a relatively minor drug dealer, supplying small amounts of dope but as his connections began to grow more opportunities became available.

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David Thewlis and Howard Marks - David Thewlis, Bernard Rose, Howard Marks and Rhys Ifans Edinburgh, Scotland - Edinburgh International Film Festival - 'Mr Nice' premiere Tuesday 22nd June 2010

David Thewlis and Howard Marks
Rhys Ifans and David Thewlis
David Thewlis
David Thewlis and Howard Marks
Rhys Ifans and David Thewlis
David Thewlis

David Thewlis Tuesday 29th September 2009 Celebrities arrive at the Breakfast at Tiffany's press night held at The Theatre Royal Haymarket London, England

David Thewlis
David Thewlis

Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince Review


Very Good
Darker and a whole lot drearier, this sixth Harry Potter adventure centres on a slow-developing mystery, and the filmmakers clearly struggle to give it much pace. It's well-made and watchable, but feels like an intake of breath before the frantic finale.

After the horrific conclusion of their fifth year at Hogwarts, Harry (Radcliffe) has a solitary summer before being drafted by headmaster Dumbledore (Gambon) into the ongoing war between the wizarding forces of light and darkness. And as year six starts, Dumbledore assigns Harry to get some important information from new potions professor Slughorn (Broadbent) about the Dark Lord's background. He of course does this with the help of pals Ron and Hermione (Grint and Watson), who with Harry are also caught up in conflict more typical for 17-year-olds: raging hormones.

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Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - Trailer & Featurette


Watch the trailer for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

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David Thewlis and Anna Friel - David Thewlis and Anna Friel Los Angeles, California - Champagne Launch of BritWeek 2009 at the Consul General's Official Residence Thursday 23rd April 2009

David Thewlis and Anna Friel
David Thewlis

David Thewlis - David Thewlis, Anna Friel Monday 20th April 2009 at Paramount Studios Los Angeles, California

David Thewlis
David Thewlis

David Thewlis and Coldplay Thursday 19th February 2009

David Thewlis and Coldplay
David Thewlis and Coldplay

David Thewlis and Coldplay Wednesday 18th February 2009 arriving at O2 Shepherds Bush Empire to see Killers and Coldplay in concert.

David Thewlis and Coldplay
David Thewlis and Coldplay

The Inner Life Of Martin Frost Review


Good
The work of Paul Auster can be an acquired taste, but his Inner Life of Martin Frost is so sweet and harmless that even the most jaded of moviegoers ought to find it a breezy way to spend 90 minutes, lost in Auster's weird fantasy land.

Martin Frost (David Thewlis) is a novelist, and he's off to the country for a vacation after finishing his latest book and to work on a new story. No sooner does he fall asleep, though, that he wakes up to find someone else in his bed, Claire Martin (Irène Jacob), who initially says she was lent the house by the same guy who lent it to Martin. Funny coincidence, eh? Just like their names: His first is Martin, her last is Martin. It helps that she's a hot, exotic French beauty with an active libido, and soon she's got her top off as they roll around in the sheets.

Continue reading: The Inner Life Of Martin Frost Review

Anna Friel and David Thewlis - Sunday 3rd February 2008 at The Pigalle Club London, England

Anna Friel and David Thewlis
Anna Friel
Anna Friel and David Thewlis
Anna Friel and Friend Leaving The Pigalle Club
Anna Friel
Anna Friel

David Thewlis - Saturday 2nd February 2008 at The Ivy London London, England

David Thewlis
David Thewlis
David Thewlis
David Thewlis

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Trailer


Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Trailer

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Whatever Happened To Harold Smith? Review


Very Good
This strange and compelling Brit-flick has two disparate tales that surprisingly intersect when the father (Harold Smith) of one boy manages to stop the pacemakers of three elderly audience members during his attempt at mentally stopping the watches in the crowd. Whoops. In his defense is a scientist he refutes such mental powers, and his daughter and the Smith boy turn out to be semi-secret lovers. Well-acted and full of droll humor, and worth a look if you can find it for rent or on cable. Unfortunately, it has perhaps the worst movie title I've ever heard (and it makes me not want to see it again, just thinking about that title!)... except, of course, for this movie.

The Omen (2006) Review


Very Good
My favorite character in John Moore's remake of The Omen is the Pope. I am not entirely sure which Pope it is, and it is more of a cameo role really, but every time the pontiff graced the screen, I knew why I liked this film so much. He first features in a brief conference scene. His cardinals (I presume) are concerned that a recent meteor shower is the final sign of the birth of the Anti-Christ, as predicted by the book of Revelations. These concerns are presented to the Pope in a multimedia display, with numerous screens airing a student film depicting scenes from the destruction of the Space Shuttle Columbia to September 11. In his second appearance, after hearing some disturbing news, the Pope drops his glass of red on the floor, while still in bed. I have never been to Vatican City, but I doubt this is how things go down. Yet, the film's disconnectedness from the laws of reality, personified here by its treatment of the leader of the Catholic Church, got me. Richard Donner's original Omen was a pig in a cocktail dress, a silly story treated with undeserving earnestness. Here, John Moore tells it like it should be told.Turns out the cardinals were on to something and the Anti-Christ is born. The unfortunate Anti-Joseph and Anti-Mary are Robert and Katherine Thorn (Liev Schreiber and Julia Stiles), the deputy to the U.S. ambassador to Italy and his young wife. When Katherine gives birth to a boy who dies just outside the hospital room, Robert accepts the offer of a priest at the hospital, taking in the child's place a baby boy whose mother died during labor and letting Katherine believe it is theirs. They name him Damien (cue choirs). After a bizarre explosion (so massive in scale it proves the devil doesn't pay for petrol) in which the U.S. ambassador dies, Robert takes the position and a promotion to the U.K. The family lives in British manor house bliss until, at a very public birthday for Damien (Seamus Davey-Fitzpatrick), his nanny hangs herself, shrieking, "It's all for you!" From that moment forward the dangers of raising the Anti-Christ begin to become obvious. The black dogs begin to bark, monkeys screech, priests prophesize and a very un-Doubtfire-like nanny, Mrs Baylock (Mia Farrow), shows up to keep an eye on things.Moore doesn't stray widely from the path of the original's narrative and most changes made are welcome. I liked seeing a bit of determination in Damien's face. I liked that Katherine was young and seemed to be suffering post-partum depression. A lot of the dialogue is admittedly laughable, and Pete Postlethwaite and Michael Gambon as over-caffeinated priests add to a sense of the ludicrous. However, this only compounds its The Omen's minor brilliance. Everything is overdone: Damien sleeps on red silk sheets; people at the party start running and knocking over tables when the nanny kills herself; an interview with an old crippled man is conducted outside in the snow. The horror scenes are equally flamboyant; Marco Beltrami's score may lack the original's Latinized theme, but it kicks in to stunning and loud effect practically every time the lights go out.Schreiber is good as the politician and after a shaky start Stiles communicates her anguish very well. But it is Farrow (next to the Pope, of course) who steals the show. Her Mary Poppins performance oozes subtle menace in every sweet grin and glittery eye. When she unleashes eventually, it provides for the film's most exciting sequence - if you have dreamed for the day Rosemary would take on the Manchurian Candidate, dream no more. Though some critics might begrudge the film its directness, its loudness, perhaps its lack of class or cinematic restraint, I reveled in it. The story of Damien has always seemed a little stupid to me, and here Moore has matched the story with its telling. The result is fun, in a scary/jokey kind of way. I am not sure if John Moore is in on the joke he's telling in his remake of The Omen, but he tells it very well.If only she could do one pull-up.

Basic Instinct 2 Review


Bad

Paul Verhoeven, director of the original Basic Instinct, must be great in bed. The women in his films attest to this assumption. They don't just make love - they soar athletically about bedrooms and swimming pools. They don't simply orgasm - they erupt, cascade and convulse. Who can forget the otherwise forgettable Elizabeth Berkeley's rodeo pool ride atop the bucking and bullish Kyle Maclachlan in Verhoeven's surrealistically brilliant Showgirls? And no man could etch from his memory the opening of the original Basic Instinct - where a woman reaches such a state of thrill in conjugation that with her climax comes the crushing force of an ice pick into her partner's chest. Quite a release! If art imitates life and artists draw from experience, Verhoeven clearly has another skill set somewhat more impressive than his directorial abilities. Verhoeven's energy, his thrust if you will, informs Basic Instinct 2, a sequel he wisely chose to avoid.

In the tradition of hyperbolic orgasms, the opening of Basic Instinct 2 finds us in a car with Catherine Tramell (Sharon Stone) pleasuring herself with the hand of a drugged passenger while speeding through the streets of central London. Howling to her peak, Tramell drives the car through a roadblock and into the Thames. She survives. Her passenger does not. The accident and its involvement with popular author Tramell becomes a sensation and a mystery to the bottom of which detective Washburn (David Thewlis), a hard-worn London cop, seems unusually desperate to get. Tramell, in the course of the investigation, is sent to visit Dr. Michael Glass (David Morrissey) in order to undergo a psychiatric evaluation. As those viewers of the first film know, an interview with Tramell is no tame affair; an immediate attraction grows between doctor and patient that will end inevitably in blood, tears, and plenty of the good stuff that defined Verhoeven's earlier film.

Continue reading: Basic Instinct 2 Review

Basic Instinct 2 Review


Bad
Paul Verhoeven, director of the original Basic Instinct, must be great in bed. The women in his films attest to this assumption. They don't just make love - they soar athletically about bedrooms and swimming pools. They don't simply orgasm - they erupt, cascade and convulse. Who can forget the otherwise forgettable Elizabeth Berkeley's rodeo pool ride atop the bucking and bullish Kyle Maclachlan in Verhoeven's surrealistically brilliant Showgirls? And no man could etch from his memory the opening of the original Basic Instinct - where a woman reaches such a state of thrill in conjugation that with her climax comes the crushing force of an ice pick into her partner's chest. Quite a release! If art imitates life and artists draw from experience, Verhoeven clearly has another skill set somewhat more impressive than his directorial abilities. Verhoeven's energy, his thrust if you will, informs Basic Instinct 2, a sequel he wisely chose to avoid.

In the tradition of hyperbolic orgasms, the opening of Basic Instinct 2 finds us in a car with Catherine Tramell (Sharon Stone) pleasuring herself with the hand of a drugged passenger while speeding through the streets of central London. Howling to her peak, Tramell drives the car through a roadblock and into the Thames. She survives. Her passenger does not. The accident and its involvement with popular author Tramell becomes a sensation and a mystery to the bottom of which detective Washburn (David Thewlis), a hard-worn London cop, seems unusually desperate to get. Tramell, in the course of the investigation, is sent to visit Dr. Michael Glass (David Morrissey) in order to undergo a psychiatric evaluation. As those viewers of the first film know, an interview with Tramell is no tame affair; an immediate attraction grows between doctor and patient that will end inevitably in blood, tears, and plenty of the good stuff that defined Verhoeven's earlier film.

Continue reading: Basic Instinct 2 Review

The New World Review


Good
Is there a more frustrating living director than Terrence Malick? It's hard to imagine another filmmaker more fantastically talented or more jaw-dropping awful, capable of conjuring scenes of breathtaking cinematic poetry and cringing adolescent pathos within mere seconds of each other. There is nobody in the modern world of cinema even remotely like the ineffable artist who is Malick - but whether that's a good or bad thing is for wiser heads to puzzle out.

Malick ended the silence which followed his fantastic 1970s one-two punch of Badlands and Days of Heaven - airy, wind-swept paeans to wide-open skies and the loneliness that lies like a bruise on the land beneath them - with 1998's star-stuffed adaptation of James Jones' battle epic The Thin Red Line. It would have been the World War II movie to end the century with, but for a little something called Saving Private Ryan, out that same year. Up against Ryan's self-consciously stomach-churning gore and herky-jerky camerawork, not to mention its resolutely action, action, ACTION! pacing, Malick's moony meditation on the thin line (if any) between civilization and savagery couldn't help but come off as impossibly arch. Never mind that Malick's battle scenes were even more vicious and realistic than Spielberg's, given their eschewing of comforting action film tropes in favor of pure hot chaos. A strike (well, several strikes) against Malick was his habit of telling the story via overlapping voiceovers, as each of the characters thinks Big Important Thoughts about life and war and love. By jettisoning Jones' pungent prose, all the characters ended up sounding exactly the same, like Malick just thinking aloud in the sort of white-noise pseudo-philosophical jumble that Godard litters his films with.

Continue reading: The New World Review

Afraid Of The Dark Review


Weak
Sure, I guess blind people can be scary to a little kid, but this baffling attempt at using that setup as the premise for a horror film goes utterly nowhere. The problems begin with frame one, with a kid (Ben Keyworth) who lives with cop dad (James Fox) and blind mom (Fanny Ardant), who teaches at a school for the blind. There's some kind of serial killer on the loose (preying on blind people), and it ends up being Lucas -- a budding voyeur -- to try to solve the case. Er, sort of. Wandering and overly symbolic, this is one mess of a film that ends up making little sense at any point along the way.

Seven Years In Tibet Review


Very Good
Pitt stars as a reluctant Nazi who finds peace in, well, Tibet, in this sweeping epic about the holy kingdom and its own struggles against invaders. Seven Years only seems like two or three, though.

James And The Giant Peach Review


Very Good
Lemme tell ya, this was the most unusual screening I've been to in a long time. After all, what better way to spend a Saturday morning than with 200 hyperactive children, all of whom are fawning over a guy dressed up in a giant, fuzzy, grey bat suit, complete with six-foot wingspan? (Note: as far as I can tell, the bat had nothing to do with the film.) And lemme tell ya, none of this was as strange as the film I was about to see....

Now I'm probably the last person in the world who ought to judge what makes for a good children's movie, but if you'd asked me that yesterday, I certainly wouldn't have said James and the Giant Peach. This is a story about a young boy, James (Paul Terry), whose parents are eaten by a spiritual rhinoceros. He is adopted by his cruel aunts (Miriam Margolyes and AbFab's Joanna Lumley), who abuse him cruelly. Then an "old man" (Pete Postlethwaite) gives James some "alligator tongues" which he spills on a peach tree, creating the aforementioned giant peach. Inside this peach, where James hides to get away from his aunties, he finds a bunch of giant bugs: a Brooklyn centipede (Richard Dreyfuss), a cowardly earthworm (which is, by the way, not a bug--David Thewlis), a sultry spider (Susan Sarandon), a matronly ladybug (Jane Leeves), and sundry other insects.

Continue reading: James And The Giant Peach Review

Dragonheart Review


OK
It's going to be a long summer, at this rate.

Trying as hard as possible to be Braveheart with a dragon (hell, look at the title!), Dragonheart is a pretty dismal affair, punctuated by a couple of good performances, a show-stealing computer-generated dragon (with a heart of gold), and a really, really hackneyed story line.

Continue reading: Dragonheart Review

Total Eclipse Review


Bad
Picture this: A movie about two 19th century French poets. How does that sound? It sounds like a bad idea because it is a bad idea.

It's a worse idea than the talent in this picture would probably care to admit to. Leonardo DiCaprio stars in yet another true-story-about-poets movie this year, following up his excellent portrayal of teenage wacko Jim Carroll in The Basketball Diaries with one of even more wacko teenager Arthur Rimbaud in Total Eclipse. David Thewlis (Naked) is Paul Verlaine, a slightly older poet who becomes entranced with Rimbaud, who returns his affections with little more than scorn and physical abuse. Verlaine in turn passes this abuse on to his pregnant wife, Mathilde (Romane Bohringer).

Continue reading: Total Eclipse Review

Timeline Review


Bad
At least one can be thankful for a movie like Timeline that hires Billy Connolly to play Paul Walker's father, but stops itself short of then asking Walker to do a Scottish accent; it's all the poor guy can do to emote anything besides a grinning, sun-blanched California geniality. In many other ways, the filmmakers have littered the screen with ideas that go from bad to worse, quite often taking lengthy detours into sheer laughability along the way. This was likely supposed to be a big summer-style actioner, with all the time travel and battling knights that the post-Dungeons and Dragons multiplex crowd could ever want, but it came out like a plus-size episode of Sliders.

The story is typical Michael Critchon hooey, only shorn of all the techno-speak which his books use to cloud the sheer implausibility of their central conceits. An archaeological group on a dig in France finds a couple of interesting artifacts: one is a modern-day bifocal lens, the other a note from the dig's leader, Prof. Ed Johnston (Connolly), which is in his handwriting but dates from the 14th century. Just as this is discovered, the gang (mostly young attractive archaeologists and Walker, who was just there visiting his dad) is all summoned back to the desert headquarters of ITC, the big firm that's funding their dig. There, ITC's boss (David Thewlis, long MIA from Hollywood films) says that they've discovered how to send people back in time through a freakily-discovered wormhole to a spot in France circa 1357, and oh yeah, that they sent Johnston back there a couple days ago, he hasn't returned and they're starting to get worried about him. You see, that particular part of the world was at that time embroiled in a battle between the French and the English, meaning that there were lots of angry men on horses riding about looking for people to practice one-sided swordplay on.

Continue reading: Timeline Review

The Island Of Dr. Moreau (1996) Review


Terrible
A glaring example of just how bad Hollywood can be, the second remake of The Island of Lost Souls is undoubtedly the worse of the two. Marlon Brando wins the prize as worst actor ever, a beached whale in clown makeup with a (really) little person (sporting a fleshy tail, natch) as his mute sidekick. The story adds nothing to the Dr. Moreau legend -- with David Thewlis a plane crash victim who is semi-imprisoned on the island along with a megalomaniacal Val Kilmer -- aside from some modern-day genetic engineering reactionism and some of the cheesiest special effects this side of Ed Wood. Simply awful, a train wreck that takes two hours.

Whatever Happened To Harold Smith? Review


Very Good
This strange and compelling Brit-flick has two disparate tales that surprisingly intersect when the father (Harold Smith) of one boy manages to stop the pacemakers of three elderly audience members during his attempt at mentally stopping the watches in the crowd. Whoops. In his defense is a scientist he refutes such mental powers, and his daughter and the Smith boy turn out to be semi-secret lovers. Well-acted and full of droll humor, and worth a look if you can find it for rent or on cable. Unfortunately, it has perhaps the worst movie title I've ever heard (and it makes me not want to see it again, just thinking about that title!)... except, of course, for this movie.

Naked Review


Good
Call me a heathen and a lout, but Naked put me to sleep. Twice.

Back in 1993, the film was one of the first I tried to professionally review. I never did write it. I fell asleep in the movie theater. In 1998 I tried to watch it again on video. I awoke to static late that night after the tape ran out. I'd zonked out right on the couch.

Continue reading: Naked Review

Besieged Review


Bad
Bernardo Bertolucci gives us another long-winded look into the lives of people you'll never see in real-life with Besieged, a fable about a fainting pianist (Thewlis) who falls madly in love with his exiled African housekeeper (Newton). Sure.... So, will our housekeeper abandon her jailed husband in favor of our tragic hero? Perhaps, if he can prove his devotion.

Continue reading: Besieged Review

Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban Review


OK

Well folks, it's another year at Hogwarts Academy (two years in real life), and our rapidly maturing stars are back for another round of magical high jinks and mass merchandising in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

Harry's been absent since the fall of 2002, and even casual viewers will notice that a lot has changed over the last two years. Director Chris Columbus (who did the first two films) is out, replaced with the controversial Alfonso Cuarón, who last hit the scene with the teen sex romp Y Tu Mamá También.

You'll notice Cuarón's touch right away. He likes to pick up the camera and get right in his actor's faces, moving all the while, a stark contrast to Columbus's traditionalism. Gone as well are the rich Technicolor tones of the Columbus movies; Cuarón prefers washed-out, yellowish shading that connotes decay and decrepitude. This is old-school wizardry, not kids stuff. In one fell swoop, Cuarón has reinvented the movies into an arthouse series that's as un-kid friendly as it gets.

How you feel about all of that depends on whether you're old enough to vote. I can't speak for the kids, but I heard more than one crying jag erupt during Azkaban's 150-minute running time. Will young kids relate to this iteration of Potter? Here's the story, you be the judge:

Once again, Harry's living with his cruel aunt and uncle, anxious to return to school. That happens soon enough, and quickly he discovers he's the target of the titular Prisoner of Azkaban, a wizard named Sirius Black who was convicted for killing dozens of people, most notably Harry's parents. Now he's escaped and is making his way toward Hogwarts, ready to snuff young Potter. Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), now a troubled 13-year-old, doesn't seem overly fazed at first. He's up to his usual school antics; taking classes, sneaking out to go to town, dodging Draco. It isn't until Black arrives on the scene for real (well past the midpoint of the movie) that any of this starts to gel into a plot.

And I use that term loosely. I think of myself as an astute follower of stories, but Azkaban can be baffling if you haven't read the book or don't have someone nearby to explain who's who. For those going into this blind, there are soul-sucking dementors (not especially terrifying here), shapeshifting wizards, old friends reunited, and a time travel subplot all coming together into one of the least satisfying dénouements in fantasy movie history. While it's riddled with plot holes (which I won't reveal since they'd spoil the ending), there's no doubt Harry's going to come out of it okay: The last half hour of the movie is rehashed from another angle as we run through the time travel bit, reliving the scenes from another angle.

Azkaban the novel gets mixed reviews from Potter maniacs -- some say it's their favorite book; others say it's the worst. However, if my research is correct, it is the worst-selling of the five books to date, and it will probably go down in history as the worst of the movies, too. (But I've been wrong before, of course.) In any case, by all accounts, the books really get good starting at #4 (due out in movie form next year), while Azkaban is a slim volume where comparably little happens. Ultimately Harry is in virtually no peril compared to that in the first two stories and those that follow. Heck, Voldemort doesn't even show up in this round.

The other notable problem is how radically older the cast has gotten since 2002's Chamber of Secrets. Radcliffe is valiantly fighting off puberty, but Emma Watson (Hermione) is looking her age; she's tarted up in jeans and a rainbow belt for most of the film, and sports a more stylish haircut to boot. Now 15, Rupert Grint (Ron) looks like he ought to be starring in the next American Pie movie as a wacky foreign exchange student. And Tom Felton, who plays Draco, is now 17 years old and ought to be playing rugby in college. He probably is. I couldn't believe it was the same actor.

Speaking of actors, Richard Harris is sorely missed as Dumbledore. I love Michael Gambon, but he doesn't do the kindly old wizard too well. He's got a Robert Mitchum-esque undercoating of villainy that he just can't shake. David Thewlis and Gary Oldman are fine as the new blood, but it's Emma Thompson that steals the show as a doddering divination professor.

The rest of the series remains intact. Twittering ghosts and pictures are as we remember them (Dawn French steals a scene as a portrait of a vain fat lady), the Quidditch match is an abbreviated bust, and Snape (Alan Rickman) is as menacing as ever. But nothing much happens - certainly nothing to enhance any of the characters aside from the tenuous hand-holding of Ron and Hermione - and Azkaban generates very little energy along the way.

I have high hopes that Mike Newell will reinvigorate the series with next year's Goblet of Fire (how it will clock in at less than 8 hours I have no idea), but I can't recommend Azkaban for anyone but die-hard Potter heads.

The DVD is just the thing for those Potterphiles, including two discs of extras, such as bonus footage, cast interviews, and games for the kids.

Wand by Hogwarts. Jeans by Guess.

Beseiged Review


Good

If Thandie Newton isn't careful, she's going to get typecastas a drooler.

As the title character in last year's "Beloved," she played a wild woman-child who not only slobbered, but ate like an animaland screamed like a misbehaving brat. She was good at it, too, but it seems this character trait may have been habit-forming.

Now in "Besieged" -- Bernardo Bertolucci's lavishvisual ballet of awkward body language that features little dialogue andintense emotion -- Newton, in a moment of uncontrollable despondency, dribblesout of the corner of her mouth as she cries a river.

Continue reading: Beseiged Review

Gangster No.1 Review


Good

At the center of the violent, commanding English underworld flick "Gangster No.1" is an innovative and enticing bit of ironic casting. The story of a vicious mafia thug who hasn't changed at all in 30 years except to get more brutal and bitter, it features an unnamed title character played in two brilliantly vile performances by two sublimely in-sync actors.

Meanwhile, all the Gangster's acquaintances and enemies (he has no friends) change immeasurably over the years -- many of them trying to lead better lives -- yet they're all played by the same actors in both the film's 1968 past and 1999 present.

For director Paul McGuigan this is more than a gimmick. It's a metaphorical dichotomy with a resounding effect.

Continue reading: Gangster No.1 Review

David Thewlis

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David Thewlis

Date of birth

20th March, 1963

Occupation

Actor

Sex

Male

Height

1.89


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David Thewlis Movies

The Mercy Trailer

The Mercy Trailer

Donald Crowhurst is an amateur sailor whose ambition eclipses his financial woes. When he comes...

Wonder Woman Movie Review

Wonder Woman Movie Review

Boldly optimistic, this action-packed adventure breathes fresh life into the DC universe with a welcome...

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Wonder Woman Trailer

Wonder Woman Trailer

Diana Prince is one of the Amazon warriors of Themyscira, a tribe of women with...

Wonder Woman Trailer

Wonder Woman Trailer

Diana is a princess and one of the best fighters on the island she was...

The Conjuring 2 Trailer

The Conjuring 2 Trailer

Not fazed by their previous experiences, Lorraine and Ed Warren are still successful paranormal investigators...

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Anomalisa Movie Review

Anomalisa Movie Review

As he did in films like Being John Malkovich and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless...

Anomalisa Trailer

Anomalisa Trailer

Anomalisa is a new film from directors Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson. Kaufman (Eternal Sunshine...

Macbeth Movie Review

Macbeth Movie Review

Shakespeare's Scottish play returns to the big screen with earthy energy, visual style and roaring...

Legend Movie Review

Legend Movie Review

Written and directed with a rakish swagger, and featuring two full-on performances from Tom Hardy,...

Queen And Country Trailer

Queen And Country Trailer

Basic training for the Korean War is tough on a group of young British cadets....

Macbeth - Clips Trailer

Macbeth - Clips Trailer

Macbeth is a Scottish Duke who is greeted by three witches following a victorious battle....

Macbeth - Teaser Trailer

Macbeth - Teaser Trailer

After a long, hard battle, a Scottish Thane learns of a prophesy that will change...

Legend - First Look Trailer

Legend - First Look Trailer

Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, London was at the mercy of the terrifying Kray twins...

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