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.
Continue reading: Draft Day Review
While the tone is all wrong, this fantastical version of a momentous year in the life of Grace Kelly is still entertaining, and not just unintentionally. Lavishly designed and heavily fictionalised, the film is anchored by a solid movie-star performance from Nicole Kidman that may miss Kelly's persona but captures an intriguing inner life.
It's set in 1961, five years after Grace (Kidman) left her Oscar-winning career to marry Monaco's Prince Rainier (Tim Roth). Now with two kids, she is still struggling to define her role as a foreign-born princess while considering a return to Hollywood. Meanwhile, France is ominously threatening Monaco with embargoes and more if Rainier doesn't start taxing his population and paying the money to France. Taking advice from her priest friend Tucker (Frank Langella), Grace decides to devote herself to her husband to help solve the crisis. This will require training with an etiquette guru (Derek Jacobi) as well as fending off the in-laws (Geraldine Somerville and Nicholas Farrell). And it may mean that she'll never return to the movies.
The script by producer Arash Amel presents each of Grace's decisions in the most simplistic melodramatic light, as director Olivier Dahan cuts to yet another extreme close-up of Kidman's weeping eyes. The corny approach undermines any chance at real drama, as the filmmakers keep trying to crank up suspense (someone is leaking secrets!) or emotion (the people need a champion!) without building up any meaningful substance. This makes most of the plotting feel rather laughably silly, centred around a painfully dull series of political negotiations.
Continue reading: Grace of Monaco Review
The Prophet has been in development for two years and Roger Allers, Salma Hayek and co. are finally (almost) ready to unveil the fruits of their labor.
Salma Hayek took to Cannes to show and promote The Prophet this weekend – her own creative baby, based onKhalil Gibran's philosophical novel. Hayek is producing the film, with Roger Allers co-directing with a long list of creatives, including Tomm Moore, Joan Gratz, Joann Sfar, Bill Plympton, Paul and Gaeton Brizzi, Michal Socha, Nina Paley and Mohammed Saeed Harib, each of whom was in charge of a separate thematic section of the animated flick.
Salma Hayek has a personal attachment to The Prophet.
As its producer, Hayek is very dedicated to The Prophet, not least because it’s a pet project of hers and one she associates with her childhood. She talked about it at Cannes, where the film had an in-progress screening this week.
Grace Kelly is one of the most famous and most beloved Hollywood actresses in the world having won an Academy Award and two Golden Globes among others, and having starred in some of the most exciting films of the fifties. In 1955, her life changes dramatically when she catches the eye of the charming Prince Rainier III of Monaco who is on the lookout for the perfect wife. After three days of meeting, wedding plans begin and the high profile of such an event forces Grace to give up acting. Their marriage is about to be seriously tested, however, as Grace is offered a new screen role and she is itching to get back in front of the cameras. Unfortunately for her, nobody is in agreement with her continuing in film as a bad role could mar her royal reputation.
'Grace Of Monaco' is the dramatic onscreen biography of actress-turned-princess Grace Kelly, who was well-known for appearing in several of Alfred Hitchcock's films. It has been directed by the BAFTA nominated Olivier Dahan ('La Vie en Rose', 'Ghost River', 'Crimson Rivers 2') and written by Arash Amel ('The Expatriate'). The film is set to be released in the UK on June 6th 2014.
Kermit and friends are set to go international with the help of their unfortunately named new tour manager Dominic Badguy, with hopes of selling-out major theatres in all the big cities of the world including Berlin, Madrid and London. As usual though, things are not about to run smoothly for these trouble magnets as they are forced to postpone their tour when Kermit becomes under suspicion for robbery. It's bad luck for him that there's another frog in town - the formidable Constantine, who organises a jewel heist with the knowledge that he may evade capture because of his unwitting doppelganger. Constantine tries to pretend he's Kermit amongst the other Muppets in an effort to evade detection while Kermit gets locked up, but will they realise their mistake in time to release their real friend and finish their tour?
Continue: Muppets Most Wanted - Clip
Can Sonny save the Browns in 'Draft Day'?
Taking one of the most exciting days in the football calendar and translating it to a movie screen will either be the dumbest or most ingenious idea Ivan Reitman’s ever had, which is precisely the kind judgement passed by Kevin Costner's Sonny Weaver in Draft Day.
Kevin Costner in Draft Day as Sonny Weaver
Sonny is the Cleveland Brown’s general manager, and is charged with making the perfect draft. With pressure from Harvey Molina, the no-nonsense owner played by Frank Langella, and a hoard of dedicated fans, Weaver certainly has his work cut out. But he’s not about to go down without a fight.
Sonny Weaver, Jr. is the general manager of National Football League team the Cleveland Browns who is faced with immediate dismissal if he does not put together an unbeatable draft pick for his team. With pressure from his associates and from Browns fans, he wants to make a spectacular impact on the football world on draft day but, with his ideas being very different from everyone else's, he's in for a big struggle to bring everyone round to his way of thinking and after making what seems like a professionally suicidal trade, even his mother starts to lose faith in him. Excitement builds as draft day nears, with everyone baffled by what could possibly be in store for the Cleveland Browns; but will Sonny pull through with the number one pick of the year?
Continue: Draft Day Trailer
Kermit and friends return, embarking on an extensive world tour that sees them reach all corners of the globe at sell-out theatre shows in the likes of Berlin, Madrid and London. However, things can't be that easy for these disastrous Muppets as there's always someone out to bring them down; this time, a major organised jewel heist occurs stopping everyone in their tracks when they realise who the culprit is. Constantine, is the world's most dangerous frog, but he becomes even more of a threat by his striking resemblance to Kermit himself. In a horrifying turn of events, Kermit gets locked up for a crime he didn't commit - while Constantine goes about trying to fool his friends into thinking he's the good frog. Will Kermit's friends realise who they've let into their lives in time for justice to be served?
The Muppets return in 'Muppets Most Wanted' - a grippingly funny sequel to their 2011 Oscar winning movie 'The Muppets'. The new movie sees the return of director James Bobin ('Da Ali G Show', 'Flight of the Conchords') alongside writer Nicholas Stoller ('Get Him to the Greek', 'Gulliver's Travels', 'Yes Man'), and it's due for release in the UK on March 28th 2014.
The stylish new film has a stylish new trailer, which you can see below.
Ladies and Gentlemen: welcome another runner in the race for decoration at the Oscars, Nicole Kidman in Grace of Monaco. The Australian actress leads the cast in this biopic surrounding the extravagance, revelry and mystery that was Grace Kelly’s life.
Grace Kelly's extraordinary life is explored in Grace of Monaco
With a supporting cast consisting of Frank Langella, Parker Posey, Derek Jacobi, Paz Vega, Roger Ashton-Griffiths, Milo Ventimiglia and Tim Roth, and an emotive story, director Olivier Dahan may have an Oscar contender on his hands, if he’s managed to pull it all together.
Continue reading: Nicole Kidman is Grace Kelly in 'Grace of Monaco' [Trailer + Pictures]
Grace Kelly is one of the most loved women of the past 100 years. The former Hollywood star was a favourite of the silver screen, but that was only really the beginning of her journey. When Grace Kelly fell in love with Prince Rainier III of Monaco, her personal life turned into a story that could rival that of a classic fairy tale.
Though not from royal stock, Grace is to many their favourite royal to have lived; beauty, elegance and a gentle and nurturing nature only added to the appeal of Grace throughout the world.
Nicole Kidman now takes on one of her most difficult roles to date and plays the much loved actress. Set in the 1960's whilst her husband, Prince Rainier III of Monaco, faced invasion by the French over tax disputes, the princess was also facing one of the most turbulent times of her life. Grace of Monaco was directed by Oscar winner Olivier Dahan (La Vie En Rose) and written by relative newcomer Arash Amel.
Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Animal and friends are up to their usual tricks as they return to our screens which sees them embark on a major world tour, selling out the biggest theatres in the likes of Berlin, Madrid and London. However, as can be expected from the rabble-rousing Muppets, things don't run smoothly and they manage to get embroiled in an organised jewellery heist behind which sits Kermit's mean doppelganger and his equally evil sidekick. When Kermit gets into some serious trouble after a terrible mix up, it's up to the Muppets to once again face their enemies just like they did with oil magnate Tex Richman when he threatened to drill into the Muppets' theatre for oil. Will they succeed once again? Or will their new troubles prove too much for the feisty characters?
Could 'The Lone Ranger' be headed for the Guinness Book of Records?
Ok, so by now everyone's well aware that Jerry Buckheimer and Gore Verbinski's The Lone Ranger is a monumental flop - a serious disaster that could cost Disney $150 million. The Johnny Depp-Armie Hammer starring western took just $48.9 million over the usually lucrative five-day Independence Day weekend - leaving it miles from its $175 million marketing budget, not to mention its $250 million production costs.
Johnny Depp starred as Tonto and Armie Hammer played The Lone Ranger
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Disney is praying for a return of $150 million abroad, taking its worldwide total to $275 million and $150 million short of its $425 million total budget. "It's very disappointing," said Disney executive vice-president of worldwide distribution Dave Hollis. "Everything was perfect on paper, so today was incredibly frustrating." The problem is, nothing could be described as perfect. If Hollis is referring to Johnny Depp than it's lazy marketing. If he's referring to Verbinski in the directorial seat, or the bloated budget, than it's just stupid talk. The Lone Ranger has received some of the worst reviews of the year - it's a terrible movie - and unfortunately, nobody wants to watch big-budget westerns. Did Cowboys and Aliens teach them nothing?
Continue reading: Where Does 'The Lone Ranger' Rank In List of Biggest Movie Flops?