Director Patricia Riggen tackles a particularly emotional story with the new film The 33. The film is a based on the recent mining catastrophe which happened in Chile in 2010. When a copper and gold mine finally caved in blocking 33 men in the centre of a huge mountain.
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For most people in the modern world, they don't need to think about the consequences of modern day living, it's hard to think that people still need to mine land physically and often in treacherous conditions. In 2010 the world was reminded of just how risky that job can be.
When a 100+ year-old copper & gold mine in Chile suffers considerable damage to the shaft due to a cave-in, the world's news is quick to report the disaster. All life was thought to be lost and there was little hope of finding survivors, however deep inside the mine, a group of 33 men were fighting for survival. As the world learnt of their battle for survival, the onlookers could only imagine the tribulations the men inside faced. Main communication with the outside world was from one miner called Mario who was affectionately named 'super Mario', thanks to his videos, he could relay information to the support crew telling them about the men's wellbeing and progress.
Director Patricia Riggen's The 33 was filmed with the cooperation of the miners and tells their story from 700 meters underground. The 33 is Patricia Riggen's first major directorial role, though in 2012 she shot Girl In Progress starring Eva Mendes.
Gabriel Byrne and Hannah Beth King - 65th Berlinale International Film Festival - 'Nobody Wants the Night' (Nadie quiere la noche) - Premiere and Opening Ceremony at Berlinalepalast - Berlin, Germany - Thursday 5th February 2015
Rose Hathaway is formidable half human half vampire with only one purpose in life; to defend the royal moroi clan - in particular Princess Vasilisa Dragomir - with her life as the evil vampires, named strigois, target her and the rest of the peaceful nightwalkers of St Vladimir's Academy. Rose and Lissa may only drink when blood is donated to them, but the strigois hunt to kill, with no discrimination between vampire and human. Rose and Lissa initially try to run away from the city in search of safety, but they are brought back and Rose is forced to continue her training. Her mentor, Dimitri Belikov, takes time to help them in increasing their strength and making them equipped enough to deal with their foes - but there's deception everywhere, and not everyone is who they seem.
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Rose Hathaway is a dhampir which means that she is half human and half vampire. She is in training to be a guardian for her best friend Vasilisa Dragomir - a royal princess vampire of the peaceful moroi clan who drink only donor blood and never to kill. They attend the prestigious St Vladimir's Academy where they find themselves under threat of the brutal strigois; ruthless vampires who drink with the intention of killing their victims and who have a particular vendetta against Lissa. Rose must use all the power that she has developed to defend Lissa from certain death - running away is not an option, having tried and failed once already. With the help of Rose's mentor Dimitri Belikov, they become stronger and more able to defend themselves against evil - but have they learnt enough?
'Vampire Academy' is a fantasy thriller based on the award-winning teen novel series by Richelle Mead. It has been directed by Mark Waters ('Mean Girls', 'Freaky Friday', 'Mr. Popper's Penguins') and written by Daniel Waters ('Batman Returns', 'Demolition Man', 'Hudson Hawk') and has become the latest in a string of new vamp flicks that have been released over the past couple of years. It will hit UK cinemas next year on February 19th 2014.
Sadly, there has been such a glut of gun-packed London crime thrillers, that it simply isn't enough to make one that looks good and has a fierce energy: you need a solidly structured plot that goes somewhere unexpected. And that's where this film struggles. It's slick and atmospheric, with a terrific cast, but the story is so overcomplicated that it's almost impossible for us to maintain any interest in what happens.
At the centre is Detective Parker (Sewell), a shifty cop who's playing a very dangerous game as he tries to crush mobster Corso (Byrne) by undermining his cash-flow and threatening his son (Mascolo). Parker gets help from his rather reluctant partner Sands (Maynard), but rookie Riley (Gregory) is horrified to see the corruption he has wandered into. Then the efficient hitman Riley (Stephens) walks straight into the middle of everything, unaware of what's going on. He hides out with an old friend (Paraky) whose husband was also caught in the crossfire. And none of them realises that they're on a deadly collision course.
Isaac has a superb eye for catching London on-screen, using striking iconic locations and placing the action within the sweeping scale of the city. But his overuse of shoot-outs and car chases makes it feel deeply implausible. And his screenplay makes little concession to the audience, as dialog is peppered with references to earlier events we know nothing about. Clearly there are all kinds of interconnections between these people, but it's impossible to untangle them so that things make sense. Much more interesting is the way everyone gets caught up in the moral ambiguity of each decision they must make.
Continue reading: All Things To All Men Review
Even though this British mystery-drama is rather too creepy for its own good, it gives Rampling yet another superb character to sink her teeth into. She's working with her son, writer-director Southcombe, who reveals the plots secrets very slowly, manipulating the audience by withholding key details and misleading us with red herrings. But Rampling makes it gripping.
She plays the eponymous Anna, who is trying to get her life back on track after the end of her marriage. Living with her single-mum daughter (Atwell), Anna attends speed-dating events to meet men, and one night goes home with George (Brown), who turns up dead in the morning. Police detective Bernie (Byrne) connects Anna to the death and secretly gets to know her without telling her that she's a suspect. Meanwhile, Bernie's colleague Kevin (Marsan) follows the trail to a mother and son (May and Deacon). And as clues begin to emerge, Anna starts to remember what happened that fateful night.
Southcombe cleverly creates an eerie tone that often makes this feel like a horror movie. So before he gives us any real details about what's going on here, we already know that something very nasty is involved. The problem is that he dribbles the truth to us so slowly that we lose interest in the plot long before the actual revelations. Which makes it all feel like a cheat when he pulls the rug out, since the filmmaker has been lying to us all along.
Continue reading: I, Anna Review
Intelligently adapted by screenwriter Beatrix Christian from Raymond Carver's short story "So Much Water So Close to Home," Jindabyne is about the things people do to remember that they're alive, and the things they want to forget that make them feel dead. Set in the titular small village (a sign on the road identifies it as "a tidy town") Laura Linney and Gabriel Byrne play Claire and Stewart Kane, a couple with troubles surrounded by friends and coworkers with plenty of their own. Everyone works the small-time kind of jobs you can find in a town the size of Jindabyne, Claire clerking at a drugstore and Stewart (a former auto racing star) running a gas station. There's darkness in the Kanes' past, like the year and a half when Claire lived elsewhere after the birth of their son Tom (played with heartbreaking sincerity by Sean Rees-Wemyss), never explained. A couple they're friends with has troubles, too: a dead daughter and now the unexpected stewardship of their goddaughter, Caylin-Calandria (Eva Lazzaro), a haunted and troublemaking 10-year-old who seems to have a death wish.
Continue reading: Jindabyne Review
The boy at the center of everything is Ralph Compton, 11 years old in the film's preamble, in which he watches (once literally, from the back seat) as his mother Lauren (Miranda Richardson) screws a married man and then takes off with him. The divorce proves ugly and Ralph is sent off to boarding school, leaving his devastated father Harry (Gabriel Byrne) behind, fending off the occasional advance from local females. The film starts properly three years later with the return home of Ralph, this time played by Nicholas Hoult, sprouted quite a bit from his About a Boy days. Ralph comes back to find Harry just remarried, this time to an American stewardess he's known for six weeks, Ruby (Emily Watson). She's a breath of warm air, waltzing right into this snobbish little colonial backwater and immediately breaks practically every one of their thousand little etiquettes - night and day to the waspish, scathing Lauren. But yet it's not enough to keep Harry from hitting the bottle hard. Harry drinks, Ruby frets, Ralph fumes, and occasionally Lauren returns just to stir things up to an even higher pitch.
Continue reading: Wah-Wah Review
Thornton Wilder's famed novel has been filmed three times, including this one. The story is interesting and its ideas on religion and corruption are certainly timely. Brother Juniper (Gabriel Byrne, wasted as a pointless framing device) has recently collected data and put it into a book about five souls who lost their lives when the Bridge of San Luis Rey collapsed. The book implicates a bit of a conspiracy concerning the bridge's collapse, but the Archbishop of Peru (Robert De Niro) sustains that it was an act of the devil and that Brother Juniper, and his book, are calculating heathens. Most of the film is a flashback to the events leading up to the bridge's failure, mainly concerning the wealthy Marquesa (Kathy Bates), a young actress Dona Clara (Émilie Dequenne), and their relationship with the Viceroy of Peru (F. Murray Abraham). The Viceroy has impregnated Dona Clara and is a bold faced hypocrite for first shunning the Marquesa and then making Dona show her respect and humility. The only one who seems to really care about the poor actress is Uncle Pio (Harvey Keitel), the head of the acting troupe that Dona Clara is in. The film leads up to both the breaking of the bridge and the court's judgment of Brother Juniper. Neither goes well, as you might imagine.
Continue reading: The Bridge Of San Luis Rey Review
Enemy of the State stars Will Smith as Robert Dean, an attorney who is handed a video tape by an old friend running for his life, who just happened to come across Smith in a lingerie store. The problem? It shows an NSA agent killing a congressman. The mastermind behind that murder and others to come is agent Reynolds (Jon Voight). The NSA has Dean's life under 24-hour surveillance. They have bugs in his pants, his cell phone, his pen, (is this beginning to sound familiar?) Dean's only chance of survival is a man named Brill, an acquaintance he used for some of his cases. Gene Hackman plays Brill, and his character is the guy who is just so darn convenient to have around in the time of crisis.
Continue reading: Enemy Of The State Review
Date of birth
12th September, 1950