Malcolm Adecombi is not having such a good time in high school. He's constantly bullied for being a geek, as are his best friends Diggy and Jib. But things aren't about to get any easier as he approaches college. He's determined to get the best grades possible and hopefully go to Harvard, but a sexual awakening, a desire to be seen as cool and his love of music might just get in the way. Living in the tough suburb of The Bottoms in Inglewood, California, there's a lot of underground gang and drug crime happening, nonetheless when he is invited to a secret party he is determined to go and prove himself. As bad luck would have it, hitting up an illegal gathering can only see his life go from bad to worse, and when he inadvertently gets caught up in some serious trouble, he has to do some hard thinking to get himself out.
Continue: Dope Trailer
Slick direction and meaty performances may be enough for some viewers, but this boxing drama's complete lack of originality keeps it from being something memorable. Centring on a committed performance from Jake Gyllenhaal, it's always watchable, but it's rather annoying that every time an interesting theme is raised the script sidesteps into yet another boxing-movie cliche.
Gyllenhaal plays Billy Hope, an orphan raised in the system who rose to become the world light heavyweight champion. He has savvy wife Maureen (Rachel McAdams) at his side, smart young daughter Leila (Oona Laurence) cheering him on and the fiercest manager (Curtis '50 Cent' Jackson) in the business. But personal failures, unexpected tragedies and financial crises suddenly bring an end to his millionaire lifestyle, leaving him alone and wandering the New York streets in search of a place to live. He seeks help from grizzled gym owner Tick (Forest Whitaker), who helps Billy rebuild himself so he can take on his nemesis (Miguel Gomez).
Billy is such a hot-head that he's not easy to like, continually blowing his top to make everything much worse for himself and his family. Gyllenhaal is an astonishing mass of muscles, scars and tattoos, with a burning inner rage that's startlingly believable. He also works hard to earn the audience's sympathies, despite the blunt superficiality of Kurt Sutter's script. Whitaker's role is even less nuanced; he's little more than the formulaic gruff trainer who's always played by an ageing Oscar winner. McAdams injects some snappy energy in her too-brief role, and it's actually Laurence who emerges as the film's most resonant character, effortlessly stealing her scenes right out from under Gyllenhaal's smashed-in nose.
Continue reading: Southpaw Review
The spin off is due out in December 2016
As excitement continues to build for the release of Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens, fans of the galaxy far, far away have been given even more to get lively about with Forest Whitaker just announced as part of the cast of Star Wars Anthology: Rouge One.
Forest Whitaker will appear in Star Wars spin-off Rogue One
The Star Wars spin off is due to arrive at the big screen at the end of 2016 and already has a stellar line-up that includes Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything), Riz Ahmed (Nightcrawler), Sam Claflin (Snow White and the Huntsman) and Ben Mendelsohn (The Dark Knight Rises).
Continue reading: Forest Whitaker Added To The Cast Of Star Wars: Rogue One
Russell Crowe's The Water Diviner premieres in Spain, while Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer reunite on a special Sound of Music red carpet. Tom Cruise's Mission: Impossible 5 continues to film in London, and there are first looks at the new Bond movie and Jake Gyllenhaal's boxing physique, plus more Mad Max madness...
As his new film The Water Diviner begins to roll out across Europe this weekend, actor and first-time director Russell Crowe was on-hand in Madrid this week for a red carpet premiere with glamorous costar Olga Kurylenko. The duo posed for selfies with the fans before screening the film, which arrives in America at the end of the month.
Malcolm (Shameik Moore) is not a cool kid. Growing up as a geek in 1990s Inglewood, CA, is a sure-fire way to ensure that you are far from cool. He spends his time working hard on his school work and desperately trying to get into Harvard University - all while living in The Bottoms neighbourhood, surrounded by gangsters and drug dealers. However, a sudden invitation to a small underground party for him and his friends, leads him into a strange adventure in the world of hip hop during its golden age, and establishes him as DOPE, a character who may truly be his actual self.
Continue: Dope Trailer
The life of a boxer has never been easy, but for heavyweight champion, Billy Hope (Jake Gyllenhaal), he is able to make by. With the love of his wife Maureen (Rachel McAdams) and daughter Leila (Oona Laurence), Billy can take any beating and dish out worse. But when an altercation takes place that leads to his wife's murder, Billy loses himself, and is deemed to be unable to look after his daughter. Now, with no career, no friends, and almost no hope, Billy must do what he can to regain his title and win the chance to look after his daughter once again.
Continue: Southpaw Trailer
As with the first two films in this dumb but bombastically watchable franchise, writers Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen seemingly put no effort into writing a script that can even remotely hold water. This is such a boneheaded story that it boggles the mind, eliciting laughter every time it tries to show some emotion or menace. But watching Liam Neeson charge around on a personal mission, cleaning up the criminal underworld in the process, is still rather good fun.
Back home in Los Angeles, former super-spy Bryan (Neeson) is trying to re-bond with his daughter Kim (Maggie Grace) while waiting for his ex-wife Lenore (Famke Janssen) to leave her sweaty but wealthy husband Stuart (Dougray Scott) and come back to him. But this dream is cut short in a twisted act of violence that leaves Bryan as the prime suspect. With Inspector Franck (Forest Whitaker) on his tail, Bryan traverses the city trying to unknot the mystery and find out who the real villain is, so he can clear his name and protect his family. With the help of an old pal (Leland Orser), Bryan manages to taunt and elude the cops at every turn while tracking down the nasty Russian mafioso Malankov (Sam Spruell). But something is clearly not right here.
Instead of centring on one far-fetched kidnapping, pretty much every character in the story gets "taken" at some point in the movie. The film benefits from this break in the formula, creating a relentless pursuit that runs right through the story. So even if the details never remotely ring true, and even if most scenes feel badly contrived, it's thoroughly entertaining to watch Neeson's stand-in stuntman leap across backyard fences or drive like a maniac on the freeway, causing mass carnage in his wake. Sadly, director Olivier Megaton directs and edits the film by chopping scenes into splinters, then reassembling them so they make no sense at all. It's loud and fast and incomprehensible.
Continue reading: Taken 3 Review
Famke Janssen, Liam Neeson, Maggie Grace and Forest Whitaker - Shots of a variety of stars including Liam Neeson as they attend the 'Taken 3' fan event screening which was held at the AMC Empire 25 theater in New York City, New York, United States - Wednesday 7th January 2015
'Taken 3' brings manhunt action to an all time high as Bryan Mills goes on the run.
Liam Neeson is set to return yet again for another spell of breakneck action and a seemingly impossible manhunt in 'Taken 3'; a movie which he claims will be the biggest of the franchise yet as the tables turn on Bryan Mills.
Liam Neeson returns in 'Taken 3'
We thought the Mills family had finally got their happy ending, with Bryan re-united with Lenore (Famke Janssen) and their daughter Kim (Maggie Grace) apparently over her sex-trafficking trauma of the first movie, moving on with her new boyfriend and heading to college. We thought wrong. Unfortunately for Bryan, he didn't kill enough people and now more overseas criminals are out to eradicate his loved ones, and frame him for murder along the way. On the run from the LAPD, the FBI and the CIA while attempting to hunt down the real killer, Mills is facing a bigger challenge than ever.
Continue reading: Liam Neeson Admits Bryan Mills Has Finally Met His Match In 'Taken 3'
And the winner of the most dedicated method actor award goes to... Jake Gyllenhaal!
Jake Gyllenhaal is a shape shifter. There is no other explanation. We barely recognised him whilst he was filming 'Nightcrawler', with his sunken cheeks and generally gaunt demeanour, but now he's transformed yet again into a sinewy muscle-man for his forthcoming boxing drama 'Southpaw'.
Gyllenhaal looks completely different to usual
He's never exactly been a typecast actor, but it seems Jake Gyllenhaal can literally perform in any role. He can be unnerving ('Donnie Darko'), not to mention dedicated ('Brokeback Mountain') and now it seems he can manipulate his body in a matter of months. He lost thirty pounds to play the creepy, morally corrupt crime journalist Lou Bloom in Dan Gilroy's latest movie 'Nightcrawler', and now he's picked up his calorie intake and bulked up immensely to play a middle weight boxer in Antoine Fuqua's 'Southpaw'. We only wish we had that much self-discipline!
Continue reading: Jake Gyllenhaal Gets Ripped For Southpaw: Is There Anything He Can't Do?
Things are finally quieting down for Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson). After the ex-special forces operative tracked down and returned his daughter (Maggie Grace), then his wife (Famke Janssen) following their captures, Mills is now settling into a normal life in Los Angeles. But when his wife is suddenly murdered by an unknown villain, Mills finds himself accused and ends up on the run from the LAPD. Inspector Franck Dotzler (Forest Whitaker) heads up the investigation against Mills and orders him to give himself up. But Mills is not going down until he looks for his wife’s murderer, finds them, and kills them.
Continue: Taken 3 Trailer
With his debut feature, writer-director Ryan Coogler recreates a real-life event with remarkable artistry. Even though the factual story is overwhelmed with emotion and political opinion, he never lets either swamp this film, remaining earthy and realistic in ways that allow the audience to experience what happens in a startlingly intimate, complex way.
Set over one day, New Year's Eve 2008, the film follows Oscar Grant (Michael B. Jordan), a 23-year-old on the cusp of some pivotal life choices. He loves his girlfriend Sophina (Melonie Diaz) and their young daughter Tatiana (Ariana Neal), so knows he has to stop dealing drugs and chasing women. This morning he lost his job just before throwing a birthday party for his mother (Octavia Spencer). And now he's heading across the bay to San Francisco with Sophina and his pals to celebrate 2009. But on the way home, a fight breaks out as their train pulls into Fruitvale Station, and two transport cops (Kevin Durand and Chad Michael Murray) take heavy-handed action to calm the situation.
The film opens with actual video footage of the fateful moment, as captured on a witness' mobile phone, so there's no surprise about where this is heading. Even so, the climactic sequence is so shocking that the emotionally devastation is almost unbearable. As is the outrage that police are allowed to profile racially, which in this case turned an easily resolved situation into something fatal. Amazingly, Coogler never loses his cool, fluidly writing and directing with a grounded honesty that makes everything that much more urgent.
Continue reading: Fruitvale Station Review