Written and directed with a rakish swagger, and featuring two full-on performances from Tom Hardy, this true London gangster drama is hugely entertaining, even if it feels undercooked. Aside from that generic title, the film basically has no plot at all, and it strips real-life people of their complexity. It's as if the filmmakers were afraid to challenge the audience in any way. But the edgy mix of comedy and violence is riveting.
The events recounted took place over about two years in the early 1960s, although the film's anecdotal structure makes it feel more like a decade. As it begins, the fearsome young Kray brothers (both played by Tom Hardy) are consolidating their gangland grip on East London and expanding around the city, with their next target being South London boss Charlie Richardson (Paul Bettany). Reggie Kray is the tough-minded businessman, while identical twin Ronnie is a terrifying thug who happens to be openly gay at a time when being so was illegal. As they blatantly manipulate the rule of law, a Scotland Yard inspector (Christopher Ecclestone) is desperately looking for a way to take them down. Meanwhile, Reggie is romancing the 16-year-old Frances (Emily Browning), much to the annoyance of her imperious mother (Tara Fitzgerald).
The tumultuous relationship between Reggie and Frances is the only thing that adds a sense of narrative momentum to the film. Otherwise, it's a series of set-pieces that take a darkly humorous approach to family clashes and criminal violence. Writer-director Brian Helgeland infuses even the grisliest brutality with an amusing smirk, which makes the movie much more engaging than expected. And Hardy storms through the film with real charisma in both roles, as the steely, magnetic Reggie and the more unstable, fearsome Ronnie. Both performances are scene-stealing, nicely conveying how these men managed to hold the entire city in their grip, even though they were only in their early 30s at the time.
Continue reading: Legend Review
Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, London was at the mercy of the terrifying Kray twins (Tom Hardy). Reggie Kray was forced to spend most of his life holding back his identical twin brother, Ronnie, who suffered from paranoid schizophrenia. As acclaimed night club owners and feared gangsters, the two twins were seen to own London, and lived a life of glitz and glamour, as well as blood and brutality. That is, until Detective Superintendent Leonard "Nipper" Read (Christopher Eccleston) took the task of bringing two of the most powerful and dangerous criminals in the city's history to justice, by any means necessary.
Continue: Legend - First Look Trailer
With bouncy pop tunes and a breezy tone, this Scottish musical sometimes feels so weightless that it seems to float right out of existence. At other times it's startlingly dark and moving, touching on earthy emotions and important themes. The tonal shifts may be rather jarring, but the film as a whole is a joy to watch, especially as it makes some pointed comments on both mental illness and nature of artistic creation.
Set in Glasgow, the story centres on Eve (Emily Browning), who is so obsessed with composing music that she's being treated in a mental hospital. After she escapes she meets James (Olly Alexander), a young singer-guitarist who is a bit unnerved when she follows him home, worms her way into his life and spurs him to start a band with music student Cassie (Hannah Murray). James falls for Eve, but she's clearly only interested in being friends, especially since she has a crush on cool bad-boy Anton (Pierre Boulanger), the lead singer of a rival band. And even Cassie seems out of reach, since she flirts with every man she meets. But neither James nor Cassie knows the truth about Eve's mental state.
Writer-director Stuart Murdoch is the lead singer of the Glasgow band Belle and Sebastian, and the film is peppered with songs written for their album but sung live on-camera by the cast members. As a filmmaker, Murdoch has a remarkably light touch, as well as a gift for weaving the music right into the fabric of the movie. This is certainly not the usual rom-com: the characters have unsuspected depth that's beautifully tapped by the sharp young cast members. The bravely immersive Browning and charming Alexander are a terrific double-act, with very different musical styles that gel together cleverly - think Ellie Goulding and Ed Sheeran. And the addition of Murray's lively Cassie to the equation adds a superb dynamic.
Continue reading: God Help The Girl Review
Emily Browning, Olly Alexander and Hannah Murray - 'God Help The Girl' UK premiere at Edinburgh's Corn Exchange, in partnership with Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF). Belle & Sebastian performed live on stage following the screening. - Edinburgh, United Kingdom - Saturday 16th August 2014
Stuart Murdoch brings his female-based musical project God Help The Girl to the big screen in movie starring Emily Browning.
Stuart Murdoch of Belle & Sebastian presents his directorial debut with music drama 'God Help The Girl', starring 'Pompeii' star Emily Browning as an emotionally complicated budding young singer-songwriter.
The film shares its name with Murdoch's current side-project, whose well-received self-titled album was unveiled back in 2009. After five years we're glad that the project has finally resurfaced - and especially in the form of a film. The movie stars Emily Browning as Eve, a girl who finds solace in songwriting while struggling to come to terms with some emotional issues for which she is being treated in hospital. She meets city musicians Cass (played by Game Of Thrones actress Hannah Murray) and James (Olly Alexander Years & Years frontman) and together they form a pop band, with Eve setting out on a journey of success, love and friendship.
Eve is a young woman living in Glasgow, Scotland struggling to cope with huge emotional stress and various personal problems in her life. She is in hospital to combat her mental anxieties, but finds that the only real treatment for her is songwriting. She finds solace in song but begins to realise that she'll never get anywhere with her dream without a backing band, and thus meets cityside musicians James and Cassie who are also looking to embark on their own musical passions. Do this newfound pop group have fame and fortune awaiting them at the end of the summer? And will Eve finally manage to learn to cope with her emotional problems?
Romance drama 'God Help The Girl' is the debut film project of writer and director Stuart Murdoch, the leader singer of Glasgow indie band Belle & Sebastian. The movie is linked in with his side-project of the same name and has been co-produced by double Oscar nominee Barry Mendel ('The Royal Tenenbaums', 'Rushmore', 'The Sixth Sense'). It won an Honors award at Newport Beach Film Festival and a Special Jury Prize at Sundance Film Festival and is scheduled to be released in the UK on August 22nd 2014.
Pompeii is a guilty pleasure - so go watch it.
The release of ancient-Rome disaster epic Pompeii fills an important place in cinema this year: the guilty pleasure. What would moviegoing be like without those films that no one wants to admit that they enjoyed just a little too much?
Pompeii Is Pure Guilty Pleasure Cinema
In order to qualify, a movie needs to work on a level beyond what it intended: Pompeii generates plenty of laughter along with the thrilling destruction and emotional melodrama. In this sense, it's almost like a companion piece to Roland Emmerich's 2012. Last year, Emmerich also turned his action thriller White House Down into a guilty pleasure thanks to some deliberately over-the-top mayhem (by contrast, Olympus Has Fallen played everything dead straight, thrilling some viewers but annoying everyone else).
Continue reading: Like Non-Stop And Cuban Fury, 'Pompeii' Is Pure Guilty Pleasure Cinema
Like an ancient Roman version of 2012, this disaster epic is a pure guilty pleasure, sparking plenty of laughter along with the massive effects-based carnage. It also helps that the screen is packed with muscle men in skimpy skirts. The actors dive in with gusto, adding plenty of personality to the ridiculous dialogue, while director Paul W.S. Anderson shamelessly ramps up the action mayhem.
It begins in AD 79 Britain, where Roman Senator Corvus (Kiefer Sutherland) is on the rampage, slaughtering the entire Celtic community of young Milo (Kit Harington), who is taken to Londinium to become a gladiator. When he rises to fame, he's transferred to Pompeii, where he immediately catches the eye of young noblewoman Cassia (Emily Browning), much to the scowly disapproval of her politically active parents (Carrie-Anne Moss and Jared Harris). An outsider among the local slaves, Milo is befriended by tough guy fellow gladiator Atticus (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje). And when Corvus comes to town to claim Cassia as his bride, Milo decides to take a dangerous stand for both revenge and the girl. Meanwhile, Mount Vesuvius is rumbling, getting ready to unleash plenty of movie-style havoc.
It's impossible to watch this without thinking of the cheesy, similarly styled TV series Rome or Spartacus, with their corny melodramas, excessive violence and bare flesh. Even though this is on a much bigger scale with seriously enormous 3D special effects, it's just as cheesy. And equally entertaining as well. Harington is terrific as the hunky hero, building much stronger chemistry with the honourable Akinnuoye-Agbaje than the distressed Browning. And seasoned veterans like Harris, Moss and Sutherland clearly have a great time chomping madly on the scenery as Pompeii burns.
Continue reading: Pompeii Review
Alicia is about to set out on her first trip outside of the US alongside her cousin Sarah and several of Sarah's friends. They embark on a long vacation to Chile where they set themselves up in an isolated house off the coast. However, when Sarah is forced to set off back home just a short time into the holiday, a nervous Alicia finds herself feeling completely alone with unfamiliar people. As one member of the party, Brink, begins to develop an obsessive interest in her, she starts to feel uneasy and increasingly unable to sleep. She discovers that Brink is not only fixated on her, but he also seems to completely lack human compassion and frequently shows a cruel side that Alicia is usually on the end of. Feeling ignored and ostracised by the rest of the disbelieving group, she starts to feel her mental stability going downhill and is desperate to go home before something terrible happens to her.
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Part 'Gladiator,' part 'Game of Thrones,' part BBC docu-drama: it looks great.
The trailer has been released for 2014 historical drama Pompeii, giving a glimpse into the volcanic action and rippling Roman fight scenes we should expect next February.
Kit Harington Plays Milo, A Slave-Turned-Gladiator, In 'Pompeii.'
Set before, during and after the Earth-shattering Mount Vesuvius volcano eruption that took place in 79AD, leaving an entire city preserved in ash, Pompeii embellishes the well-known natural disaster with a passionate romance. Directed by Paul W. S. Anderson, the drama will follow the fictional slave-turned-gladiator Milo, played by Kit Harington, who must routinely fight opponents to the death in the brutal battlefield of the coliseum.
Continue reading: Early Look At 'Pompeii' 2014 Movie, Starring Kit Harington [Trailer]
After being enslaved, Milo is made into a gladiator with indomitable strength. He is forced to compete in various games to fight to the death for the entertainment of the people of Pompeii. However, he faces new threats when he falls in love with Cassia, the daughter of an extremely wealthy and powerful man, who is pushed into engagement with a barbaric Roman Senator. Not only that, but everyone faces a disaster of gargantuan proportions when fearsome volcano Mount Vesuvius erupts, engulfing the city in a cloud of smoke and showering it with boiling lava and scorching rock. Milo sets out to rescue his beloved Cassia as the city begins to tremble and crumble away, but just how invincible is he now?
This epic action adventure is set in 79 AD, Rome and is a timeless story of the power of love in the face of ultimate adversity. It has been directed by Paul W.S. Anderson ('Resident Evil', 'AVP: Alien vs. Predator', 'Death Race') and among writing credits are Janet Scott Batchler and Lee Batchler ('Batman Forever'), Julian Fellowes ('Downton Abbey') and Michael Robert Johnson ('Sherlock Holmes').
'Pompeii' will explode onto cinema screens in the UK soon on February 21st 2014.
Continue: Pompeii Trailer
Date of birth
7th December, 1988
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