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.
Continue: Vampire Academy Trailer
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