Marvel fans will love the action mayhem in this Avengers sequel, but everyone else will vividly feel the fatigue that has descended over this franchise. After the bright spark of originality in last summer's Guardians of the Galaxy, we're back to the same tired formula involving terrific actors battling for screen time in between gratuitous, brutal action sequences that are so digitally animated that they're technically cartoons.
The film opens in the middle of the action as Captain America (Chris Evans) leads Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, Black Widow and Hawkeye (Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johansson and Jeremy Renner) to recapture an Asgardian sceptre. Tony then discovers that the sceptre could be useful for Ultron, his artificial intelligence project to create a global peacekeeping force. But this goes badly wrong as Ultron (James Spader) springs to life and decides instead to obliterate humanity to make space for his population of smart machines. So the team races from America to Africa, Korea and Eastern Europe, facing off against Ultron and his super-powered twin cohorts Pietro and Wanda (Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen), who of course defect to the Avengers. They also get help from a human-computer entity called The Vision (Paul Bettany).
Yes, there are a lot of characters in this film, and writer-director Joss Whedon is exceptionally good at giving each of them something to do, both dramatically and in the thick of the action. These brief moments of humour and emotional depth are what make the movie enjoyable, giving the solid actors some meaty material to play with.
Continue reading: Avengers: Age Of Ultron Review
Avengers: Age of Ultron has been shrouded in mystery.
The cast of the Avengers: Age of Ultron say the script had to be shredded ever day to avoid details of the movie being leaked. The film's glittering cast attended Tuesday night's premiere in London.
Elizabeth Olsen says security was tight on the set of Avengers: Age of Ultron
Elizabeth Olsen, who plays the new character Scarlet Witch, said security was tight, while Paul Bettany - who plays The Vision - said the script was never emailed to him.
Continue reading: 'Avengers: Age Of Ultron' Scripts Destroyed Daily To Avoid Leaks
Elizabeth Olsen - Stars from Marvel's action movie took to the red carpet at the UK premiere of 'The Avengers: Age of Ultron' which was held at the Westfield White City in London, United Kingdom - Tuesday 21st April 2015
They've fought private military corporations, Nazi splinter-groups and a Norse god. Now, The Avengers assemble once again to celebrate their success. But when a new project from Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) reveals itself to be sentient and ready to bring the world to its knees, The Avengers are ready to fight amongst themselves while the threat of Ultron (James Spader) grows his strength, and gains allegiance from Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and the Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen). Meanwhile, Stark is seeing hostility from Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and The Incredible Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) while Captain America (Chris Evans) desperately tries to bring the team back together to stop the Age of Ultron.
Continue: Avengers: Age Of Ultron Trailer
A lot has happened since the Battle of New York. The world was attacked by Norse God, Loki (Tom Hiddleston), causing a united force of tech super-hero Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr), reanimated World War Two super soldier Captain America (Chris Evans) and Loki's brother - the Norse God of thunder, Thor (Chris Hemsworth). Two years on, the Avengers have worked to defeat evil in Godly realm of Asgard, on planet Earth, and within S.H.I.E.L.D., the organisation that brought them together in the first place. Now, with Iron Man in retirement and S.H.I.E.L.D. in disarray, the world is suddenly threatened by Ultron (James Spader), a robot who seeks to destroy the Avengers now that he has been unshackled.
Continue: Avengers: Age Of Ultron - Teaser Trailer
Sorry, Marvel nerds, no Dr. Strange news for you. But here's a bunch of other stuff!
No one is surprised that Marvel had big things prepared for their Comic-Con panel, after all it’s the biggest industry event of the year. Those, who missed out on a seat in Hall H, however, won’t have to wait long for the recaps and news leaks to start pouring in, not including (unfortunately) the long awaited announcement of the actor cast to play Dr. Strange in the upcoming film, HitFix reports.
RDJ won't be the (only) star of the show this time.
The panel, which featured the longest superhero lineup of any event ever (we’re guessing here) included Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man), Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Jeremy Renner (Hawkeye), Cobie Smulders (Maria Hill), Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury), Mark Ruffalo (Hulk), Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Quicksilver), Elizabeth Olsen (Scarlet Witch), Paul Bettany (Vision), James Spader, who will be introduced as Ultron in Avengers: Age of Ultron and Josh Brolin, who was announced as the voice of Thanos. And breathe.
It's hammer time! The Avengers: Age of Ultron is filming in some Surrey woods.
Chris Hemsworth has been spotted filming as the hammer-wielding superhero Thor in a British woodland for the upcoming sequel, The Avengers: Age of Ultron. The Australian actor was seen reprising his role as the muscular God in some woods near Guildford in Surrey.
Chris Hemsworth's Thor Is Spotted Smashing A Tank With His Hammer Filming 'The Avengers 2.'
Thor is seen bringing his hammer down upon an impressive-looking, futuristic tank in the new on set shots. There have been persistent rumours than the sequel's opening sequence will feature the team attacking Baron Strucker's (Thomas Kretschmann) stronghold somewhere in Europe.
Continue reading: If You Go Down To The Woods, You'll Find The Avengers Film Set
The monster movie of the century? Box office stats point to "yes".
It isn’t a surprise that Godzilla is doing well at the box office, but the amount it’s earned over the weekend tops all initial estimates. With $93 million made over the three-day period, it’s safe to call this the first blockbuster of the summer season.
The critics weren't particularly impressed by Godzilla, but that din't stop it from having a killer opening weekend.
Continue reading: "Godzilla" Breaks The Box Office. Also Everything Else
Filmmaker Charlie Stratton takes a rather obvious approach to Emile Zola's iconic 1867 novel Therese Raquin, ramping up the melodrama while drenching everything in shadowy doom and gloom. It's such a bleak film that it sometimes feels like a spoof, pushing every emotional story element to the breaking point. But the resilient premise still has something to say.
In deeply repressed 19th century French society, Therese (Elizabeth Olsen) is an orphan raised by her over-involved aunt (Jessica Lange), sharing a bed with her sickly cousin Camille (Tom Felton). When she comes of age, Therese is simply expected to marry Camille, after which all three move to Paris to open a shop. Soon Therese meets Camille's old pal Laurent (Oscar Isaac), who sparks her lust in ways the wheezy Camille never could. And as they begin a torrid affair, Therese and Laurent know that they can only be together after Camille is dead. So they hatch a nefarious plan, but life doesn't play out quite as they expect it to.
Writer-director Stratton makes everything so stylised that it can't help feeling stagey, with streets, sets and costumes that are relentlessly drab. The main colour scheme is dark greys and browns, and everything is swamped in murky shadows as the characters swap anguished glances. The actors do what they can with this. Olsen and Isaac manage to generate some sweaty chemistry, which transforms into something very different in the final act. Felton finds some humanity underneath Camille's obnoxious exterior. Lange merrily chomps the scenery as the glowering, over-reacting matriarch. And casting Matt Lucas, Mackenzie Crook and Shirley Henderson in key supporting roles can't help but add some unexpected comedy ("I have a touch of the vapours!").
Continue reading: In Secret Review
For a blockbuster about gigantic radioactive monsters, this is a remarkably humane movie. But then that's no surprise for a film from Gareth Edwards, whose micro-budget Monsters (2010) showed that effects-based movies don't need to sacrifice characterisation and real emotion. So while this film is still a big action romp, it's also cleverly grounded by believable people.
It centres on Ford (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), whose life was upended in 1999 by a nuclear accident in Japan that killed his scientist mother (Juliette Binoche) and turned his father into a conspiracy-theory nutcase. Now just as Ford returns from military service to his wife (Elizabeth Olsen) and young son, he's called back to Japan as his dad spots tremors similar to those 15 years earlier. And as three terrifying creatures rise out of the earth, Ford is drafted in to help protect humanity. Following the beasts via Hawaii and Las Vegas to an epic confrontation in his hometown San Francisco, Ford works with scientists (Ken Watanabe and Sally Hawkins) and military commanders (David Strathairn and Richard T. Jones), eventually realising that the big-daddy monster Godzilla might actually be trying to help.
One of the more interesting aspects of Max Borenstein's script is that it reveals fairly early on that humanity is responsible for all of this and also helpless to avert the coming cataclysm. And yet the military machine does what it can, firing pathetic bullets and mobilising nuclear warheads because that's all it knows how to do. This approach adds a moral complexity that plays out in the decisions the characters have to make along the way. Taylor-Johnson is fine as the bland but muscled everyman at the centre, but Cranston steals the film with a far more textured role. Watanabe proves to be a master at the distant stare, while everyone else just runs and/or yells like real people would.
Continue reading: Godzilla Review
Joe Brody and his wife Sandra are working at a nuclear power plant when disaster strikes. The building collapses, forcing an immediate evacuation of employees due to a radiation leak - but when Sandra doesn't make it out, Joe decides to find out what caused the tragedy. When the government inform the media of a severe natural disaster, he is angered because he knows they are harbouring a dangerous secret. When a series of other calamities, such as a devastating tidal wave, hits New York City, it becomes almost impossible to hide the fact that there's a giant reptilian creature hellbent on destruction heading towards the city; a monster later dubbed Godzilla. The US military set out on a mission to save the world along with a surge of new recruits, but their chances of surviving at the hands of this merciless beast are looking horrifically minimal.
Continue: Godzilla - Extended Trailer
The 'Age of Ultron' cast were snapped filming in Italy.
Last week we saw the Avengers: Age of Ultron brother-sister duo Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver in Marvel's concept art but thanks to newly released on-set photos, we have been able to catch a glimpse of Elizabeth Olsen and Aaron Taylor Johnson as their superhero alter-egos filming an action scene in Italy, via Getty Images/Comic Book Resources.
Elizabeth Olsen Settles Into Her Super New Role In Italy.
The brand new snaps also afford us the opportunity to have a gander at the sequel's main villain, Ultron, who appeared in pre-CGI form as a sinister looking silver robot. Hilariously, the actor performing the movements of the baddie was photographed wearing a thick puffer jacker underneath his high tech silver scales and helmet; a feature that will be digitally erased when it comes to editing.
Following a series of disastrous calamities in New York, the government are desperately trying to cover up the cause by insisting that major earthquakes and typhoons are to blame for the demolished city. However, it soon becomes clear to everyone that the damage was caused by a less than natural threat, as a colossal reptilian beast makes itself known to the world; a creature the media has dubbed 'Godzilla'. The US military set out to face the threat in the most dangerous mission of their lives as the origins of Godzilla become known. It is mankind's own destructive nature that has brought this menace to Earth, a fact that is concluded when evidence of Nuclear material is found amongst the wildlife of the Pacific. Can mankind save themselves and rectify their own mistakes? Or are they about to make things a helluva lot worse?
'Godzilla' is the epic re-boot of one of the most iconic sci-fi films ever released. Originally a 1954 Japanese film directed by Ishiro Honda, 'Godzilla' was later adapted into a 1998 motion picture by Roland Emmerich. The 2014 incarnation has been directed by Gareth Edwards ('Monsters', 'End Day') with a screenplay by Max Borenstein ('Seventh Son', 'Swordswallowers and Thin Men') and Dave Callaham ('The Expendables', 'Doom'). The film will hit theaters on May 16th 2014.
The Olsen twins are back in the news with the announcement of Mary-Kate Olsens engagement, but what are the Olsens up to these days?
News that Mary-Kate Olsen is set to marry French banker Olivier Sarkozy has got us thinking about our favourite blonde twins and wondering what they’ve been up to lately. Other than getting engaged and attending fashion shows of course!
The Olsen twins have taken a step back from their original careers as actresses
Well, really the twins haven’t been up to much at all. Not in the way of their original vocation of acting at least. Mary-Kate hasn’t appeared onscreen since starring in 2011’s Beastly, a modern teenybopper take on the Beauty and the Beast fairytale, while twin sis starred as Kissing Girl #3 in 2009’s The Jerk Theory. Previously Ashley hadn’t done any acting since Olsen twin movie, New York Minute, which came out ten years ago in 2004. Can you believe it’s been that long?
Continue reading: Mary-Kate, Ashley And Elizabeth: What Are The Olsens Up To?
With Bryan Cranston on board, we think 2014's Godzilla will be a credit to the Japanese legend
It’s a risky business, taking a legendary franchise and telling the same story with fancy technology, popular actors and a sky-high budget, and Godzilla’s remake is no different. But there are a number of things working for the 2014 reboot, and here are just 5 of them. Cynics, beware, this article is ?? with buoyant, unspoilt optimism.
1 - Bryan Cranston
Continue reading: 5 Reasons Why The 'Godzilla' Reboot Will Succeed
While the government go about trying to pass off a series of catastrophic events as natural disasters, the US military are forced to take to Manhattan to rescue New York's ravaged city from a gargantuan menace intent on destroying the world. It is soon discovered that mankind's own irresponsible desire for weaponry and destruction has brought the threat upon them, after evidence of Nuclear chemicals are found around the Pacific. It becomes clear that these radioactive materials have had a genetic impact on the local wildlife, so when an enormous, malformed, reptilian monster dubbed Godzilla takes to the city, armed forces scarcely have a chance at defending their people. Does the human race have the strength and intelligence to survive their biggest threat yet? Or will their past mistakes bring about the apocalypse?
The brand new re-boot of the world's most iconic monster film 'Godzilla' serves as the second Hollywood version since it was first adapted by Roland Emmerich in 1998 from the 1954 Japanese film directed by Ishiro Honda. 'Godzilla' 2014 has been directed by Gareth Edwards ('Monsters', 'End Day') and written by Max Borenstein ('Seventh Son', 'Swordswallowers and Thin Men') and Dave Callaham ('The Expendables', 'Doom'), with an expected release date of May 16th 2014.
Bafta nominations give another boost to 12 Years a Slave, Johnny Depp is snapped filming Mortdecai, Godzilla promises character-based thrills, and trailers drop for tragic and comedic romances, an Irish adventure and an Imax trip to Madagascar...
The big news this week is the further escalation of awards-season fever. Steve McQueen's drama 12 Years a Slave continues to lead the field as the British Academy Film Awards announced its Bafta nominations this week - just as the movie opens in the UK. Chiwetel Ejiofor is now the odds-on favourite for both Bafta and Oscar best actor awards. Read our 12 Years a Slave Movie Review here or find out more about the film's star Chiwetel Ejiofor.
Meanwhile, Johnny Depp's new film Mortdecai finished shooting in London and moved to Los Angeles, where he was snapped on set surrounded by actresses in bikinis. The action comedy follows Depp's title character on a quest for stolen art and Nazi gold. Costars Gwyneth Paltrow, Ewan McGregor and Paul Bettany, have been joined in California by Aubrey Plaza, Oliver Platt and Jeff Goldblum. Take a look at our 'behind the scenes' photos of Johnny Depp filming Mortdecai.
Therese Raquin is a young woman living with her aunt and cousin Camille. One day Madame Raquin informs her that she and Camille are to be married after which they will settle in Paris. Though it was not a pairing of her choosing, Therese tries to attract some interest from her rather unpleasant cousin who appears to be shrugging away her every advance, even on their wedding night. In Paris, Camille meets his childhood friend Laurent, a painter, who they invite to stay. Intrigued, Therese soon finds herself engaging in an illicit and passionate affair with him behind her husband and aunt's back. As their relationship deepens, their yearning for one another becomes stronger and they began to plot a way to get Camille out of the picture which ends in his murder on a boat trip. Far from gaining peace, the couple find themselves racked with guilt and highly suspected by Madame Raquin.
'In Secret' is the tense romance thriller written and directed by Charlie Stratton ('Faux Baby'). It is based on the 1867 classic novel 'Therese Raquin' written by Emile Zola and is also the subject of a play by Neal Bell. It is set to be released in US theatres on February 21st 2014.
US troops are sent in to Manhattan via HALO jumping to save the ravaged city from a monstrous threat that appears to have been caused by mankind's own reckless nature lust for destruction. Nuclear chemicals have caused significant radioactive damage to the genetics of some animals and wildlife, and New York finds itself under attack from an enormous, malformed, reptilian beast that the media subsequently dubs as Godzilla. The creature seems almost unstoppable as it easily wipes out the helplessly floundering human beings around it who never thought their scientific research could backfire so apocalyptically. Can it be stopped by human endeavour? And, more importantly, will it be a lesson learned for modern day human beings?
The world's most iconic and recognisable monster returns in 'Godzilla', the second Hollywood incarnation of the creature after Roland Emmerich's 1998 film and based on the 1954 Japanese film of the same name directed by Ishiro Honda. This time, it has been directed by Primetime Emmy nominated Gareth Edwards ('Monsters', 'End Day') and written by Max Borenstein ('Seventh Son', 'Swordswallowers and Thin Men') and Dave Callaham ('The Expendables', 'Doom'). The 'Godzilla' re-boot is set to come crashing into UK cinemas on May 16th 2014.
Moviegoers who know nothing about the iconic 2003 Korean thriller will perhaps enjoy this half-hearted remake. It lacks the subtlety and irony of Park Chan-wook's deranged masterpiece, but Spike Lee brings a certain technical sleekness that holds our interest. Especially as the complex plot begins to twist and turn, gleefully pulling the rug out from under us.
It centres on Joe (Brolin), a drunken loser who blows his last chance at his job by coming on to a client's wife. The next morning he wakes up in a sleazy hotel room that turns out to be a locked cell where he'll be held for the next 20 years. He's shown news updates on how he's the prime suspect in his wife's violent murder, and he watches his daughter grow up in an adoptive family's home. Suddenly focussed on revenge, he plots his escape and then is caught off guard when he's inexplicably released. With the help of his old friend Chucky (Imperioli) and helpful nurse Marie (Olsen), Joe tracks down his flamboyant jailer (Jackson) and then the creepy man (Copley) who paid the bills and now demands that Joe understands why he did it.
Yes, the plot is a big puzzle, and watching the various pieces fall into place keeps us riveted to the screen, even if nothing is particularly involving. Lee's mistake is to play everything dead straight, with only the odd hint of black humour or underlying madness. Instead, we get bigger action fight scenes (cool but choreographed) and a variety of surprises and revelations that often make us gasp. And all of this is played with razor-sharp intensity by Brolin, who gives us just enough emotion to keep us engaged with his journey.
Continue reading: Oldboy Review
Even though it's slightly too mannered, this true drama takes a clever approach to the beat poets long before they were famous. It's also packed with shocking twists and unnerving details that help us get emotionally involved in the story. And while the complexity of the approach kind of leaves us on the outside, sensitive performances help us see beneath the surface.
Set in 1943, the film centres on Allen Ginsburg (Radcliffe), who has been encouraged by his poet father (Cross) and needy mother (Leigh) to attend Columbia in New York. There he befriends the transgressive writer Lucien Carr (DeHaan), whose secret mentor-boyfriend David (Hall) is actually writing his coursework. Through Lucien, Allen is introduced to the druggy lifestyle of intense artist William Burroughs (Foster) and rugged womaniser Jack Kerouac (Huston). And together they decide to change the world. Then a shocking murder alters the dynamic between these young men.
The film's title is age-old advice to artists: you have to get rid of the people closest to you if you want to truly express yourself. And of course the fatal plot twist is an ironic exploration of this idea, as the film delves into shadowy corners of artistic anarchy, drug use and sexuality. (Radcliffe's notorious gay sex scene is strikingly well-played and pivotal in Allen's journey.) Filmmaker Kokidas infuses each scene with dark artistry: the actors look achingly cool even when they're wallowing in a trashy, immaculately production-designed drug den.
Continue reading: Kill Your Darlings Review
Date of birth
16th February, 1989
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