An unusually inventive approach brings this story to life, as the filmmakers get into the mind of the Beach Boys' Brian Wilson to reveal how he created those unforgettable songs. Even more impressive is the depiction of Wilson's troubled personal life, which plays out with an unnerving resonance rarely matched by rock-star biopics. This is due to artful direction and writing plus committed performances from Paul Dano and John Cusack, who play Wilson at two key points in his life.
As a young man in the 1960s, Brian Wilson (Dano) is a prodigious genius, preferring to stay in the studio while his brothers Dennis and Carl (Kenny Wormald and Brett Davern) and their bandmate Mike Love (Jake Abel) head out to meet girls on tour. They don't understand Brian's obsession with oddball sounds, but let him do his thing until it becomes clear that he's mentally unstable. Years later, in the late 1980s, Brian (now Cusack) falls for Cadillac saleswoman Melinda (Elizabeth Banks), who realises that he is being over-medicated and possibly abused by his controlling psychiatrist guardian Eugene (Paul Giamatti). And instead of leaving, as Eugene orders her to do, she fights for Brian.
These two time periods are interwoven together in a strikingly seamless way, shifting back and forth to build a potent dramatic and emotional momentum. By seeing everything from Wilson's perspective, the filmmakers are able to take the audience on a remarkable journey through his life, avoiding the usual predictable formula. Wilson's life may follow the usual trajectory of success followed by drug abuse, but his mental illness adds an involving angle that's depicted with sensitivity by Dano and Cusack, as well as director Bill Pohlad and writers Oren Moverman and Michael Alan Lerner. Even more impressive is Banks' performance, which is the key that takes us right into the story. It's a beautifully textured turn that reminds us that she can do a lot more than steal movies in comical roles (see Pitch Perfect, Magic Mike and The Hunger Games).
Continue reading: Love & Mercy Review
Elizabeth Banks is the buzz at the moment with her stellar 'Love & Mercy' performance.
At age 41, Elizabeth Banks is having a great year. Not only did she make her directing debut with Pitch Perfect 2 and steal all her scenes in Magic Mike XXL, but she's getting the best reviews of her career for her performance as Brian Wilson's wife Melinda in the biopic Love & Mercy.
Elizabeth Banks plays Brian Wilson's wife in 'Love & Mercy'
"I've always felt like I was a character actor, trapped in a leading lady's body," she laughs. "I might not look it, but I'm tougher than most of my colleagues. I know all the tricks!"
Resisting the temptation to capitalise on the camp value of these characters, Channing Tatum and his producing-writing partner Reid Carolin create a startlingly loose and thoughtful follow-up to their 2012 hit. Yes, it's still the story of a group of ridiculously muscled men who take their clothes off for a living and enjoy a laugh. And even without much of a plot it's a remarkably astute exploration of masculinity and gender politics. In the last three years, Mike (Tatum) has made a decent go of his furniture-making business, but his life feels stuck in a rut.
Then his old pals ask him to go on the road for one last hurrah to a stripper convention. So he heads off with new-age healer Ken (Matt Bomer), lovelorn beefcake Richie (Joe Manganiello), artful biker Tarzan (Kevin Nash), macrobiotic smoothie expert Tito (Adam Rodriguez) and food-truck driving deejay Tobias (Gabriel Iglesias). Along the way, they meet up with Mike's old mentor Rome (Jada Pinkett Smith), who provides two new guys for the team (Donald Glover and Stephen 'tWitch' Boss). And they get some favours from a newly single Southern belle (Andie MacDowell) and another old friend (Elizabeth Banks).
There's very little to the story, but the film's improvisational style allows all of the characters to deepen in quiet but significant ways. So the journey these people take is even more internal than the highways they traverse from Tampa, Florida, to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. The main point is that these men need to figure out who they are if they have any hope of finding happiness, and each one takes his own subtle voyage of discovery. The actors dive into this approach, which requires unusually subtle performances that combine sexy physicality with earthy, boisterous humour. What the film never does is fall back on the usual cliches about machismo or sexuality.
Continue reading: Magic Mike XXL Review
Elizabeth Banks, Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan Tatum - Premiere of Warner Bros. Pictures' 'Magic Mike XXL' at the TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX in Hollywood - Arrivals - Los Angeles, California, United States - Thursday 25th June 2015
Elizabeth Banks - Los Angeles World Premiere of Warner Bros. Pictures 'Magic Mike XXL' at TCL Chinese Theatre - Arrivals at TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX - Los Angeles, California, United States - Thursday 25th June 2015
Magic Mike might be keeping his clothes on these days in favour of beginning a business in custom furniture, and after a rather bitter and scandalous departure from the Xquisite nightclub, but three years on and he's still got the moves. And the body. These days, his stripper friends have decided to give up their dancing careers in Tampa, Florida too, but these aren't the kind of guys who are going to disappear quietly. They thus decide to get together one last time for a spectacular performance at Myrtle Beach in South Carolina where a major stripping convention is due to take place. Mike agrees to join them as their headliner, re-living his glory days as the ultimate chiselled fantasy. Along the way he meets some old friends and welcomes new faces in such cities as Jacksonville and Savannah, and they dance away their previous lives in style.
Continue: Magic Mike XXL Trailer
After the success of ‘Pitch Perfect 2’ the story of The Bellas is about to become a trilogy.
The Bellas are coming back! Yes get ready a cappella fans, as Universal pictures has confirmed that a third Pitch Perfect movie is coming our way and it will hit theatres on July 21st 2017. Stars Anna Kendrick and Rebel Wilson have already signed on to reprise their roles for the next installment, following the success of the second movie last month.
Anna Kendrick has been confirmed as returning for Pitch Perfect 3.
The news of the third movie was first broken by The Hollywood Reporter, but the two actresses have since confirmed their involvement via social media. Yesterday Anna Kendrick posted a photo of herself on Instagram holding up three fingers, while her co-star Wilson tweeted, ‘I know I spilt the beans a little while ago, but at least now it's official…Sing 'ahhhhh' on 3 pitches.’
Having successfully rescued Peeta and the other Hunger Games victors, Katniss Everdeen is feeling the strain of being the Mockingjay for the rebel group of District 13. The propaganda is exhausting, and she is starting to become uncertain about who are the heroes and who are the villains. While victory over the Capitol looks in the rebels' favour, Katniss is becoming increasingly suspicious of President Coin - a suspicion which becomes all the more intense when she confronts the captured Panem leader President Snow. He seems intent on killing her, but he's not the only one. When the rebels' methods are shown to be just as hostile as the Capitol, Katniss has to decide which path the take and with the oncoming final Hunger Games, her decision is fated to change her life forever.
Elizabeth Banks - 14th Annual Chrysalis Butterfly Ball held at a Private Residence - Arrivals at Private Residence, Chrysalis Butterfly Ball - Los Angeles, California, United States - Sunday 7th June 2015
Elizabeth Banks - 14th Annual Chrysalis Butterfly Ball held at a private residence in the Brentwood County Estates. at Chrysalis Butterfly Ball - Los Angeles, California, United States - Saturday 6th June 2015
Mumford and Sons' album, 'Wilder Moments', has been knocked off the top of the Billboard 200 album chart by the 'Pitch Perfect 2' soundtrack.
The soundtrack for Pitch Perfect 2 has reached the top of the Billboard 200 albums chart. The album was released on 8th May, a week before the film entered cinemas in the US and UK on Friday 15th May. However, it reached the No. 1 spot on Wednesday (20th May) after Pitch Perfect 2 reached the top of the box office over the weekend. The film made $70.3 million in the US and Canada alone and its soundtrack is following suit.
The soundtrack for Pitch Perfect 2 has topped the Billboard 200 album chart.
It's ladies' rule this weekend at the box office.
It’s Pitch Perfect 2 weekend and the Friday-Sunday box office reflects that. With an unexpected $70,3 million domestic gross, the musical comedy blew past Mad Max: Fury Road to become the box office champion this weekend.
Anna Kendrick returns in the musical comedy about rival Acapella groups.
Meanwhile, the Mad Max reboot made a modest $44.4 million, falling behind the Brownstone production flick, according to the LA Times. Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson and co. returnas members of the misfit college singing group the Bellas. Actress Elizabeth Banks – aka our favourite TV republican Avory Jessup (30 Rock) and second favourite Capitol citizen Effy Trinket (The Hunger Games) - makes her directorial debut, as well as reprises her role as an acerbic commentator.
Continue reading: "Pitch Perfect 2" Strikes the Right Note at the Box Office
There's was a lot more action to Pitch Perfect 2 than it seems.
The surprise hit of 2012 was Pitch Perfect, a comedy that has become a cult classic in the intervening years. So it's no surprise that it sparked a sequel. And the cast was up for the challenge. "To me, it felt like the pressure was off because I knew people wanted to see Pitch Perfect 2," says the film's star Anna Kendrick. "When you do almost every other film, you have no idea if anybody's going to be interested in sitting down and watching your stupid movie."
Pitch Perfect 2 unites the gang
For her the toughest part was getting her voice in shape to perform the a cappella numbers. "This is so much work," she admits. "You have to treat your body like a temple all the time. I could do it for a month, but sometimes I want to have fast food and a beer. I don't care for physical activity!"
Continue reading: Pitch Perfect 2 Reunites Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson And The Gang
In 2012, Pitch Perfect came out of nowhere to become one of the most-loved comedies in recent memory, and the good news is that this sequel matches it with both spiky humour and buoyant music. It would be impossible recreate the surprise of watching the original, but the cast and crew make up for that by kicking everything off with an outrageously rude prologue (complete with the biggest cameo imaginable), and the comedy that follows is relentlessly hilarious.
It's been three years, and the Bellas are now in their final year at university, having won three more a cappella National Championships along the way. Then they're disgraced by a wardrobe malfunction at a triumphant performance for the US President's birthday. Suspended by officials, their only chance to redeem themselves is to win the World Championships in Copenhagen. So Beca (Anna Kendrick) and her sidekicks Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson) and Chloe (Brittany Snow) rally the troops to prepare to take on the fearsome reigning champions Das Sound Machine. And there's a new Bella on the team as well: freshman Emily (Hailee Steinfeld), who is dabbling in songwriting.
Along with this central plot, Kay Cannon's script also weaves in a series of side-stories for each of the central cast members involving decisions about the future and romantic entanglements. All of these are a bit feeble, but they add layers of comedy, drama and even some meaning, although there isn't a single surprise along the way. Still, it's consistently amusing, as every line of dialogue has a witty joke in it, and the performances crackle with improvisational silliness that's genuinely infectious. Once again, the seriously gifted Kendrick is effortlessly charismatic as the natural leader of the gang, while the class-clown Wilson steals every scene with her random gags. Steinfeld offers a fresh blast of energy and talent in her role, although the perky Snow is somewhat sidelined this time.
Continue reading: Pitch Perfect 2 Review
Date of birth
10th February, 1974