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The Face of Love Review

Middle-aged romances are rare on the big screen, so it's frustrating that this one is so badly compromised by a series of contrived plot points. One gimmick wasn't enough for director-cowriter Arie Posin, who continually twists and turns the events in ways that are both bizarre and melodramatic. Within this, Annette Bening and Ed Harris still manage to create intriguing characters, but it becomes increasingly difficult to care when the screenwriters clearly have trouble on their minds.

It opens as Nikki (Bening) is flooded with memories of her husband Garret (Harris), who died five years ago while they were vacationing in Mexico. Now that their daughter (Jess Weixler) is moving away from home in Los Angeles to attend college in Seattle, Nikki has time to think. Although she wants to remain friends and nothing more with her lusty widowed neighbour Roger (Robin Williams), an old friend of Garret's. Then Nikki meets a man who looks uncannily like Garret and begins stalking him. Tom (Harris again) is an art professor, and when Nikki gets up the nerve to talk to him, she knows she's going to a very odd place.

The film is like a variation on Vertigo, as Posin plays up the freaky doppelganger storyline to add a heightened sense of dangerous tension. But it's not so easy for the audience to accept such a set-up, when one honest conversation would solve everything. Instead, Nikki lies to everyone she knows, hides Tom from them and then lies to Tom as well. It's difficult to take a romance seriously when it has such a fraudulent foundation. Thankfully, Bening gives Nikki a fragility that makes her sympathetic, and her interaction with Harris bristles with unexpected connections because they are experiencing their blossoming relationship in such strikingly different ways. Both of them add layers of interest to their characters that make them engaging between the lines. Sadly, Williams' character never gets a chance to evolve.

Continue reading: The Face of Love Review

Anthony Hopkins Tops Insane Cast for HBO's Dystopian Theme Park Series, Westworld

Tags: Anthony Hopkins - Evan Rachel Wood - Ed Harris

Sir Anthony Hopkins has signed on for HBO's television adaptation of the 1973 dystopian movie, Westworld. Michael Crichton's movie was set in an amusement park of the future, populated by life-like cyborgs. 

Anthony HopkinsSir Anthony Hopkins will play Westworld theme park owner Dr Robert Ford in HBO's television reboot of the movie

HBO has officially green-lit the series after a successful pilot episode by Jonathan Nolan (Interstellar), which was co-written by Christopher Nolan and Lisa Joy. Star Wars director JJ Abrams will act as executive producer. 

Continue reading: Anthony Hopkins Tops Insane Cast for HBO's Dystopian Theme Park Series, Westworld

Picture - Ed Harris - Ed Harris... Los Angeles California United States, Thursday 9th October 2014

Ed Harris - Ed Harris arrives at Los Angeles International Airport - Los Angeles, California, United States - Thursday 9th October 2014

Picture - Amy Madigan and Ed Harris... Los Angeles California United States, Thursday 21st August 2014

Amy Madigan and Ed Harris - Los Angeles premiere of 'Frontera' - Arrivals - Los Angeles, California, United States - Thursday 21st August 2014

Planes: Fire & Rescue Review

Despite the fact that this too-soon spin-off feels like a mere cash-in on the Disney Cars/Planes marketing machine, this sequel is actually a lot more fun than expected. Not only is the animation witty and sometimes even exhilarating, but there are some solid messages in the story. On the other hand, there's also the continuing problem of making movies in which the central characters are inanimate objects with cute faces drawn on them. But never mind: see the movies, buy the toys, keep the kids happy!

After the globe-hopping race in 2013's Planes, the new champ Dusty (voiced by Dane Cook) sees his new celebrity career grounded when he develops a problem in his gearbox. He can still fly, but the torque required for racing stunts could do him in. So he decides to retrain as an aerial firefighter to help his local airfield maintain its certification in time for the annual Corn Festival. In training, he is mentored by veteran chopper Blade (Ed Harris), working alongside his starstruck fan Dipper (Julie Bowen), the noble Windlifter (Wes Studi), the sassy Dynamite (Regina King) and the genius mechanic Maru (Curtis Armstrong). But a raging wildfire is threatening the nearby Fusel Lodge, and the local park superintendent (John Michael Higgins) doesn't want to shut it down with so many stars as guests.

The best touch here is to make Dusty utterly full of himself, never listening to any advice before charging in unprepared for the next challenge. It's predictable and underdeveloped, but it makes this chirpy crop-duster far more interesting, and adds some unexpected diversions in a plot that otherwise heads exactly where it has to go. Meanwhile, the screenwriters pack the dialog with witty puns and some snappy verbal and visual gags that allow the actors to give their vehicles a bit of personality, even if some of this is merely ethnic stereotyping or simplistic hero/villain morality.

Continue reading: Planes: Fire & Rescue Review

A Week In Movies: Hudson Wows New York, Planes And Pudsey Premiere, Plus New Trailers For Cave, Knightley And Witherspoon

Tags: Kate Hudson - Zach Braff - Dane Cook - Ed Harris - Britain's Got Talent - David Walliams - Nick Cave - Keira Knightley - Reese Witherspoon - Maya Rudolph

Zach Braff & Kate Hudson at the Wish I Was Here premiere

A sleek and sexy Kate Hudson wowed the red carpet at the New York premiere of her new film Wish I Was Here. She was accompanied on the night by director-cowriter-star Zach Braff as well as costars Donald Faison, Ashley Greene and Joey King. The film is about a 35-year-old man trying to figure out his life, career and family. Look through the full premiere gallery here.

In Los Angeles, Dane Cook, Ed Harris, Julie Bowen, Hal Holbrook, Erik Estrada and Brad Garrett were on hand for the premiere of their new animated film Planes: Fire & Rescue, which was held to benefit the L.A. Fire Department. Also in attendance were musicians Kesha, Ludacris and country singer Brad Paisley. Watch the trailer for Planes: Fire & Rescue here.

Continue reading: A Week In Movies: Hudson Wows New York, Planes And Pudsey Premiere, Plus New Trailers For Cave, Knightley And Witherspoon

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