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'Chappie' Star Dev Patel Admits Co-Starring With A Robot Brought Its Challenges


Dev Patel Sharlto Copley Neill Blomkamp Die Antwoord Hugh Jackman Sigourney Weaver

Dev Patel stars in one of the most unusual sci-fi movies of recent years, 'Chappie', in which he plays a celebrated engineer and inventor of a robotic police force. However, communicating with a robot as opposed to another actor was always going to bring its challenges.

Dev Patel in 'Chappie'
Dev Patel stars alongside Sharlto Copley in 'Chappie'

He's probably best known for starring in the Oscar winning Eastern drama 'Slumdog Millionaire', but Dev Patel is no stranger to the sci-fi fantasy genre. In 2010, he appeared in M. Night Shyamalan's 'The Last Airbender', but rather than having to weave around various special effects, this time he was expected to enact scenes with an inanimate object.

Continue reading: 'Chappie' Star Dev Patel Admits Co-Starring With A Robot Brought Its Challenges

Chappie Review


OK

This is a terrific small film about artificial intelligence wrapped within a much bigger, less involving action blockbuster. When he's grappling with issues of existence and consciousness, filmmaker Neill Blomkamp has a lot of fascinating things to say. But he also seems unable to resist tipping everything into contrived chaos, adding an unconvincing villain and lots of violent gun battles. It's an awkward mix that might please action movie fans more than those who like to engage their brains.

It's set after 2016, when the Johannesburg police deployed a team of Scout robots to bring order to the gang-ruled streets. This has been a bonanza for the tech company Tetravaal, run by hard-nosed CEO Michelle (Sigourney Weaver), who chose the Scout model, designed by the nerdy Deon (Dev Patel), over a more military-style behemoth called Moose, designed by trigger-happy Vincent (Hugh Jackman). Meanwhile, a low-life trio of offbeat, high-energy thugs (Ninja, Yo-Landi Visser and Jose Pablo Cantillo) decide to crack into the Scout's control system, so they kidnap Deon, inadvertently getting their hands on his newest prototype, the first truly sentient robot. When he's switched on, Chappie (Copley) has a sensitive soul and learns rather too quickly from his captors.

With films like District 9 and Elysium, Blomkamp showed an ability to seamlessly integrate technology with a rough and real story, and the effects work here is remarkable mainly because we never see how they're done. The robots look utterly natural mixing with humans, and Copley's performance is so astonishing that Chappie quickly becomes a hugely sympathetic character, uncannily taking on the traits of the people around him. It also helps that the film's script continually puts Chappie into situations that force us to feel his emotions and, most importantly, his powerful sense of self-preservation. Yes, he wants to live!

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World film premiere of 'Chappie'

Dev Patel - A variety of stars were photographed as they took to the red carpet World film premiere of 'Chappie' which was held at AMC Loews in Lincoln Square, New York City, New York, United States - Wednesday 4th March 2015

Dev Patel and Sharlton Copley
Dev Patel
Dev Patel
Dev Patel
Dev Patel

Dev Patel leaving his hotel in New York

British actor and star of the new sci-fi film 'Chappie' Dev Patel was snapped as he left his hotel in Manhattan, New York City, New York, United States - Wednesday 4th March 2015

Dev Patel
Dev Patel
Dev Patel
Dev Patel
Dev Patel

'The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel' Unites Original Starry Cast With Richard Gere


Richard Gere Judi Dench Maggie Smith Bill Nighy Celia Imrie Dev Patel Penelope Wilton

After The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel earned nearly $140 million on its release in 2012, the all-star cast and crew were keen to reassemble for a sequel. The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel hits UK cinemas this weekend and arrives in America next week, adding Richard Gere and Tamsin Grieg to a cast that includes Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Bill Nighy, Celia Imrie, Dev Patel and Penelope Wilton.

Richard Gere and Lillette Dubey in 'The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel'
Richard Gere is a newcomer in 'The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel'

For Nighy, the biggest fear during filming was "killing the national treasure that is Dame Judi" while filming a sequence on a scooter. "This is the second time I've been on a motorcycle - the first was the first movie - and it's probably the last," he laughed. "That's enough for my motorcycling career!"

Continue reading: 'The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel' Unites Original Starry Cast With Richard Gere

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel Review


OK

A badly under-developed script leaves a fine cast without much to do in this sequel to the 2012 hit. Reuniting in India, the actors find moments of comedy and emotion that help make the film watchable, and the big Bollywood-style finale leaves the audience with a smile on its face. But the simplistic plot-threads never amount to much at all, which leaves the project feeling like a missed opportunity to deepen the characters and push the premise in more interesting directions.

Business at the hotel in Jaipur is booming, so managers Sonny (Dev Patel) and Muriel (Maggie Smith) are looking for investors to expand into a second property. But this distracts Sonny from his upcoming wedding to Sunaina (Tena Desae), and she's not too happy about that. There are also two new guests (Richard Gere and Tamsin Grieg) who may be important. Meanwhile, Evelyn (Judi Dench) is offered a new job just as she realises she might like to pursue a relationship with Douglas (Bill Nighy), whose ex-wife (Penelope Wilton) turns up unexpectedly. Madge (Celia Imrie) is struggling to choose between her many suitors. And Norman and Carol (Ronald Pickup and Diana Hardcastle) are having relationship issues due to their lack of communication.

All of these momentous plots, and a few more, swirl around over the course of about a week, which means that none ever has a chance to develop. It also means that the characters are all so busy with their own stories that they don't interact very much, and what contact they do have feels rather contrived. As a result, the film feels like an awkward mix of disconnected slapstick, farce and melodrama. That said, these high-powered actors can hold together even the flimsiest scene. Dench and Nighy generate some lovely emotional resonance in their contrived storyline, while Smith finds some quiet pathos in Muriel's own journey, even if the filmmakers seem to have forgotten to hire someone to do her costumes, hair and make-up.

Continue reading: The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel Review

'The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel' Captures Magic of its Predecessor


Richard Gere Dev Patel Judi Dench Celia Imrie Maggie Smith

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel had a tough act to follow. Its predecessor remains of the best loved British movies of recent times and its subtle casting, genuinely funny script and heart-warming narrative saw it gross over $130 million on a budget of just $10 million.

The Second Best Exotic Marigold HotelRichard Gere joined the cast for The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

The sequel - out in cinemas this week - follows the expansionist dream of Sonny (Dev Patel) who has his eye on a promising new property now that his Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is a success. Judi Dench, Bill Nighty, Celia Imrie and Maggie Smith all return for Second Best, while Richard Gere and Tamsin Greig are among the new arrivals.

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Chappie And His Artificial Intelligence Grace New Trailer


Dev Patel Hugh Jackman

From the director of the science fiction epics District 9 and Elysium comes Neill Blomkamp's latest trek into an unknown world – CHAPPiE.

ChappieCHAPPiE is the first robot who can think and feel for himself

Every child comes into the world full of promise and Chappie is no exception: he is gifted, special and a prodigy. He's also a robot.

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Dev Patel arrives to catch a flight at Los Angeles International

Shots of British actor Dev Patel who famously starred in the hit movie 'Slumdog Millionaire' as he arrived for his flight at Los Angeles International Airport in Los Angeles, California, United States - Monday 19th January 2015

Dev Patel
Dev Patel
Dev Patel
Dev Patel
Dev Patel

Chappie - Trailer


Mankind has the potential to build wondrous things, yet it also truly fears what it doesn't understand. After working for the best part of a year on creating a thinking, feeling artificial intelligence, Deon Wilson (Dev Patel) is close to realising that vision. Said vision is CHAPPiE (Sharlto Copley), and when he is finally activated, he serves as a true breakthrough for mankind. CHAPPiE is a capable of thinking and learning, yet he also has the potential for creating destruction. It is this potential that worries Vincent Moore (Hugh Jackman), who sets out with the intent to destroy CHAPPiE before he can cause any damage.

Continue: Chappie - Trailer

Los Angeles Season 3 premiere of HBO's Series 'The Newsroom'

Jeff Daniels, Michael Lombardo, Olivia Munn, Sam Waterston, Dev Patel and Aaron Sorkin - A variety of stars attended the third season premiere of the HBO TV series 'The Newsroom' at the DGA Theater at DGA Theater in Los Angeles, California, United States - Tuesday 4th November 2014

Jeff Daniels
Jeff Daniels
Jeff Daniels
Jeff Daniels
Jeff Daniels and Kathleen Rosemary

Los Angeles Season 3 premiere of HBO's series 'The Newsroom'

Sam Waterston, Alison Pill, Olivia Munn, Jeff Daniels and Dev Patel - A variety of stars attended the third season premiere of the HBO TV series 'The Newsroom' at the DGA Theater at DGA Theater in Los Angeles, California, United States - Wednesday 5th November 2014

Sam Waterston, Alison Pill, Olivia Munn, Jeff Daniels and Dev Patel

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel Trailer


Set eight months after the 2012 original film, The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel sees the majority of the cast return India for this sequel from director John Madden. In the run up to Sonny's (Dev Patel) wedding to Sunaina (Tena Desae), he is struggling to find the time to work at his hotel. With only one room left in the hotel, Sonny is confronted with an interesting situation when two new arrivals turn up - Guy (Richard Gere) and Lavinia (Tamsin Greig). With help from Murial (Maggie Smith) acting as the co-manager, will Sonny will be able to juggle his personal and working lives?

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The Newsroom Season 2 Premieres To 2.2 Million Viewers


Jeff Daniels Emily Mortimer Dev Patel

The Newsroom has returned for its second season. The second season's premiere aired on Sunday 14th July at 10pm on HBO. The episode gained an audience of 2.2 million viewers.

Jeff Daniels
Jeff Daniels at the screening of The Newsrooms' season 2 premiere, L.A.

The second series drew 2.6 million viewers for its premiere showing on Sunday (14th July). Airing an hour after True Blood, at 10pm, the show's season premiere attracted a larger audience that its season 1 premiere last year. 

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Is Ang Lee's 'Life Of Pi' The New 'Slumdog Millionaire'?


Ang Lee Dev Patel Danny Boyle Suraj Sharma Ben Affleck Steven Spielberg

Ang Lee makes his latest assault on awards' season this week, when Life Of Pi hits theaters in the U.S. The magical 3-D tale is tipped for nominations at both the Golden Globes and the Oscars, though getting the public on-side and recording a large box-office opening would ultimately help its cause.

The movie - based on Yann Martel's thrilling novel of the same name - follows a young boy named Pi who sails from India to Canada with a cargo of zoo animals. When the ship sinks, he finds himself alone on a life-raft with only a Bengal tiger for company. Comparisons are already being made with Danny Boyle's Slumdog Millionaire, the multi-Academy Award winning 2008 movie that explored similar themes. Both films have young Indian lead characters who undergo intense inner journeys, as well as the literal adventures playing out on-screen. Both actors - Dev Patel in Slumdog and Suraj Sharma in Pi - were making their feature film debuts, though the former had some experience of television, whereas Sharma had next to no acting on his CV. Both films are visually stunning, with Danny Boyle's classic knocking the Academy for six with its rich colours and depiction of the hustle and bustle of Mumbai life. Ang Lee ultimately went down the 3-D route and anyone who has witnessed the preview trailer screening this year were utterly convinced he had made the correct decision. The vast seascape lends itself well to the new format and Lee has plenty of experience in making movies with aesthetics in mind. In terms of narratives, both movies are told through flashbacks with the tales eventually having religious connotations or messages.

Slumdog Millionaire was a true sleeper hit; a movie that appeared to come from nowhere before generating rapid pace as it hurtled towards awards' season. The Artist did something similar this year, as did The Hurt Locker in 2008. However, if Life of Pi is to challenge for Best Picture in February it will not be on the back of word of mouth - moviegoers will know how they feel about the movie pretty soon, with three months still to go before the Oscars. It sits at around fifth favorite with the bookmakers to win the biggest movie prize of them all, but Ben Affleck's Argo (the sleeper) and Steven Spielberg's Lincoln (the blockbuster) appear to have the bases covered.

Continue reading: Is Ang Lee's 'Life Of Pi' The New 'Slumdog Millionaire'?

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