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The Age of Adaline Review


OK

Like Benjamin Button, this drama plays around with the human lifespan, is slickly produced and feels far too serious for its own good. There's a sweeping romanticism to the premise, but it's ultimately so sentimental that it becomes rather corny. Fans of Nicholas Sparks-style movies will adore every golden-hued moment and yearning glance. More cynical viewers will enjoy the premise and performances, but will find the tidal wave of plot twists too yucky to bear.

In present-day San Francisco, Adaline (Blake Lively) is preparing to change identities as she does every decade or so. She's been 29 since a fateful accident in 1933 stopped her ageing process, due to a convergence of random factors at the time of a car crash, and she doesn't want to arouse suspicion. The only person who knows her secret is her daughter Flemming (Ellen Burstyn), who after all this time now introduces herself as Adaline's grandmother. Then the dashing Ellis (Michiel Huisman) tenaciously starts pursuing Adaline, and Flemming encourages her to stop running. So she decides to let herself live for a change, travelling with Ellis for a weekend to meet his parents (Harrison Ford and Kathy Baker). But fate has a few more surprises in store.

The story is told by an omniscient narrator (Hugh Ross) and camerawork that often stares down from a godlike point of view, as if Adaline has no say in her own story. And without a sense of humour or irony, it's tricky for a film audience to root for her. The story is engaging, and it's enjoyable to watch the events unfold, but the moment the plot loudly clanks into gear the film becomes difficult to like. Revelations and coincidences pile on top of each other in the story's final act, making everything both achingly emotional and suspiciously convenient.

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blake lively

Ellen Burstyn - 'The Age of Adaline' premiere at AMC Loews Lincoln Square 13 theater on April 19, 2015 in New York City. - New York, New York, United States - Monday 20th April 2015

'The Age of Adaline' premiere

Ellen Burstyn - A variety of stars were snapped as they arrived to the premiere of 'The Age of Adaline' which was held at the AMC Loews Lincoln Square 13 in New York City, New York, United States - Sunday 19th April 2015

Ellen Burstyn
Ellen Burstyn
Ellen Burstyn

Premiere of 'The Age of Adaline' - Arrivals

Ellen Burstyn - A variety of stars were snapped as they arrived to the premiere of 'The Age of Adaline' which was held at the AMC Loews Lincoln Square 13 in New York City, New York, United States - Sunday 19th April 2015

Ellen Burstyn

Age Of Adaline - International Trailer


In 1908, a young girl was born. She was not extraordinary, and lived a simple existence. Then one day, everything changed forever. In 1935, Adaline Bowman (Blake Lively) was caught up in a horrifying car crash, yet she emerged unharmed. It would be years before she knew that anything was wrong with her, however. Over the course of nearly eight decades, she does not appear to age a day, leading to her becoming detached and solitary existence. Every so often, she begins a relationship with someone, and after going to meet the parents of her boyfriend, Ellis Jones (Michiel Huisman), she discovers that his father (Harrison Ford) and she were in a relationship many years before, leading to a new set of problems facing her otherwise extraordinary life.

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Interstellar Review


Good

Brainy blockbuster maestro Christopher Nolan heads into deep space with this epic adventure, which is packed with thoughtful ideas and big emotions even if the plot wobbles badly in the middle. But although it ultimately feels somewhat forced, the film is still a mesmerising exploration of parenthood and survival, bending time and gravity in ways that keep our brains spinning. And the seamless visual effects combine with some wrenching performances to make it unmissable.

It opens in a future America where a desperation for food has overtaken the need for technology and innovation. Which is a problem for Nasa pilot Cooper (Matthew McConaughey), who is now working a massive corn farm that he runs with his father (John Lithgow). Then Cooper and his daughter Murph (Mackenzie Foy) discover a gravitational anomaly that leads them to a secret base run by father and daughter scientists Brand and Amelia (Michael Caine and Anne Hathaway), who are looking for a new home planet for humanity since Earth is dying. So Cooper joins up and heads through a wormhole with Amelia and crew (Wes Bentley and David Gyasi). Meanwhile, Murph (who grows up to be Jessica Chastain) gets involved in the project back on earth, wondering if her dad will ever return home as he promised.

The first act of the story is a beautiful depiction of yearning for discovery, that innate curiosity that drives people to do crazy things in the hopes of pushing the humanity forward (or in this case, saving it). Nolan directs this section beautifully, with sharp editing propelling the story out into space with real energy and passion. But once they begin visiting other planets, there are some extended episodes that feel oddly contrived, including an encounter that leads to unexplained violence, explosions and melodrama. These kinds of things undermine the characters' motivations to the point where the audience just has to take Nolan's word for it and ride it out, even as the underlying ideas begin to lose their weightiness.

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Video - Christopher Nolan Joins The Cast Of 'Interstellar' At The NY Premiere - Part 2


Director Christopher Nolan arrived at the New York premiere of his upcoming sci-fi movie 'Interstellar' held at the AMC Loews Lincoln Square theater, alongside his wife and collaborator Emma Thomas.

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New York Premiere of 'Interstellar'

Ellen Burstyn - Photo's of the stars as they arrived at the New York premiere of Sci-Fi action movie 'Interstellar' held at the AMC Lincoln Square Theater in New York City, New York, United States - Monday 3rd November 2014

Ellen Burstyn

The Calling Review


Good

Dark and haunting, this Canadian thriller has an offhanded style that balances a grisly mystery with real-life humour, plus characters who are easy to identify with. It may spark memories of Fargo with its snowy small-town female cop storyline, but it's a much moodier movie, delving into religious themes that add an emotionally unsettling twist. So even if the plot itself feels somewhat straightforward and inevitable, the atmosphere is riveting.

Susan Sarandon stars as past-her-prime police officer Hazel, using sardonic humour to get through each uneventful day. Then a family friend is violently murdered, and she decides to investigate the case herself. To tackle the first murder in Fort Dundas in four years, Hazel teams up with long-time colleague Ray (Gil Bellows) and newcomer Ben (Topher Grace), who has just transferred in from big-city Toronto, complete with his own issues. They soon link the killing to others around the country and, by consulting with a priest (Donald Sutherland) who's an expert in Latin, it becomes clear that these murders are part of a much greater plan that has a connection with early Christian mysticism. The question is whether they can predict who the next victim will be so they can catch the killer.

Director Jason Stone and writer Scott Abrahamovich draw the audience in with carefully developed characters and hilariously spiky interaction, then grab onto us with the intriguing mystery. There's a dark sense of foreboding from the start, tempered with dry wit to keep us off balance. They also let us see the soft-spoken killer (Christopher Heyerdahl) early on, which further complicates the story and elevates the suspense into something darkly personal. At the centre, Sarandon gives a wonderfully sassy performance, bouncing superbly off of Bellows and Grace, who has some subtle depth of his own. The presence of veterans like Burstyn (as Hazel's ex-judge mother) and Sutherland adds extra oomph.

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Draft Day Review


Weak

Essentially this year's Moneyball, but set in American football rather than baseball, this fast-paced drama is brightly made with an especially strong cast. But only die-hard fans will be able to drum up much interest in the plot, which is played as if it's the most important thing on earth. This insular approach is seriously alienating for audience members with even the slightest sense of perspective about life. Thankfully, the actors are likeable and entertaining.

It's set over the 12 hours leading up to the NFL draft, when teams select the top players from university teams. In Cleveland, manager Sonny (Kevin Costner) is struggling to hang on to his job, arguing with Coach Penn (Denis Leary) about who should be the first pick. And when he swaps with another team for the top selection, the team owner (Frank Langella) pressures Sonny to take the most highly desired player in the field (Josh Pence). But Sonny has his doubts, and amid backroom dealings and frantic last-minute swaps, he also looks at another promising player (Chadwick Boseman) while making sure the team's current quarterback (Tom Welling) is up to his job. Meanwhile, Sonny and the team's financial manager Ali (Jennifer Garner) are in a secret relationship and have just found out that they're pregnant.

Most of this takes place during phone calls, but director Ivan Reitman manages to make this visually intriguing using whizzy split-screen trickery. And while Garner's character feels utterly irrelevant, like a distraction to the main football plot , she adds the badly needed human interest element, as do two other actresses in smaller roles: Ellen Burstyn and Rosanna Arquette as Sonny's mother and ex-wife, respectively. There are also strong cameos from the likes of Sean Combs as a high-powered agent and Sam Elliot as a sporting veteran. And it's all anchored effortlessly by Costner's affable charm, providing resonance in Sonny's attempt to play a long game while being pushed to make the flashier decisions.

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Interstellar Trailer


Mankind is doomed. Following generations of neglect and a lack of care, the planet Earth is a polluted mess and food supplies have all but run out. Only one hope remains for humanity if it is to survive into its next generation - they must leave Earth behind. Cooper (Matthew Mcconaughey), is a widowed engineer, living in a time where engineers are no longer needed. He also happens to be one of the world's best pilots. He is offered the choice to stay with his children and except the fate of the human race, or captain a mission through a newly discovered wormhole in search of a new, habitable planet which can sustain the prolonged existence of our species. He chooses the latter option, and begins his interstellar travels in search of a new home. 

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Susan Sarandon Plays Small Town Cop In Murder Mystery 'The Calling' [Trailer]


Susan Sarandon Ellen Burstyn Gil Bellows Donald Sutherland

Susan Sarandon has her hands full as Detective Inspector Hazel Micallef in eerie serial murder mystery flick 'The Calling' out later this year. It feels like a classic killer thriller, but can it live up to the novel? And, more importantly, will it become the next trilogy to look out for?

Susan Sarandon at the LA premiere of 'Tammy'
Susan Sarandon is a cop in her latest project

We've been quite into our small town murders recently, what with FX's 'Fargo' becoming such a hit, so it's only right that we get excited about another creepy case set in a quiet wilderness. The movie is based on the first mystery novel of the same name published in 2008 by Michael Redhill under the pseudonym Inger Ash Wolfe (cool name or what?). He revealed himself as the author back in 2012 with many reviews previously suggesting his true identity was everyone from Margaret Atwood to Farley Mowat; he's a mystery unto himself.

Continue reading: Susan Sarandon Plays Small Town Cop In Murder Mystery 'The Calling' [Trailer]

The Calling Trailer


Hazel Micallef (Susan Sarandon) is a Detective Inspector leaving a rather peaceful existence in the small town of Fort Dundas, Ontario with her ageing mother Emily (Ellen Burstyn). She rarely has to deal with any major crimes in such a quiet district, but all that's about to change when she discovers the body of an old woman who had been brutally murdered. Alongside detective Ray Greene (Gil Bellows), they set out to investigate the vicious crime and discover a series of other bodies along the way which all have one thing in common: the mouths of each victim have all been physically manipulated to form, consecutively, the syllables of an ancient latin prayer of resurrection. They enlist the help of priest Father Price in a bid to uncover the intent behind the killer's deeds, and prevent the prayer from being completed with more victims.

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Interstellar Trailer


Cooper is a pilot and engineer with a huge ambition to save the world. With little discoveries left to be made on Earth and the development of pioneering technology ever slowing down, mankind's only chance of survival is to take to the stars - though there's a chance there's nothing out there either. But human endeavour once again proves fruitful as a team of space explorers discover a wormhole in the void of the universe. Cooper decides to join them on their intergalactic expedition to find out if there are any other habitable worlds out there. However, he has a big decision to make as the trip means leaving his beloved family behind with the possibility that he might never return. This is a dangerous mission unlike anything mankind has ever done before, but is it worth it to find a way to save the world?

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'A Most Wanted Man' Premiere

Ellen Burstyn - The Cinema Society And Montblanc host the premiere of Lionsgate And Roadside Attractions' 'A Most Wanted Man' at the Museum of Modern Art - New York City, New York, United States - Tuesday 22nd July 2014

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