Jack Sparrow finds himself in constant trouble with the law; not only is his name known from ocean to ocean, his face is now just as famous. With a reward of two hundred pounds Jack is being chased by bounty hunters once again. Not only are naval officers pursuing him, he also has a number of former rival captains hot on his heels too.
Captain Barbossa is now in control of the ship The Queen Anne's Revenge, after winning it from Captain Blackbeard and a long-time nemesis of Jack's called Captain Salazar who doesn't want to just kill Jack, he wants to kill every pirate on the sea in a bid to be once and for all to be total control over the oceans.
When Jack learns of Salazar's plan, the lovable rogue and Salazar go head to head in a race to retrieve a Trident that once belonged to the god of the oceans Poseidon. Whoever holds the trident controls the power of the sea and everything that lives in or sails on it.
With a massive scale and a digital cast of thousands, this ancient Egyptian romp tries to be both a new version of those 1950s Biblical toga epics and a generous dose of camp silliness. The result will be a guilty pleasure for some in the audience, especially those who enjoy watching grown men leap around in short skirts. The actors are sometimes lost in the overwhelming animation, and the casting of Westerners as North Africans is more than a little dubious. But the script is smarter than it looks, and director Alex Proyas is clearly in a playful mood.
The premise conflates the golden age of the Pharaohs with the ancient world of Egyptian gods. And things kick off when the bitter god Set (Gerard Butler) launches a reign of terror by killing his brother, blinding his nephew Horus (Nokolaj Coster-Waldau) and taking over the mortal world, enslaving all humans. Horus' greatest fan is the muscly slave Bek (Brenton Thwaites) who, encouraged by his glamorous girlfriend Zaya (Courtney Eaton), sneaks into Set's palace and steals one of Horus' eyes. He then strikes a deal to help Horus assume his rightful throne. But this means travelling into the sky to confront his grandfather Ra (Geoffrey Rush), then teaming up with sneering god of wisdom Thoth (Chadwick Boseman) and duplicitous Hathor (Yung) to take on Set.
All of this is so ridiculous that it's difficult to stop giggling. And that seems to be part of the idea, as Proyas merrily cranks up the snarky wit in every scene, especially as he indulges in a series of ludicrous set-pieces that feel like videogames populated by toy action figures. The digital effects continually engulf the characters, transforming the gods inexplicably into animal-headed metallic robots. But they also create some genuinely gorgeous moments of spectacle, with sprawling landscapes and whooshing action. Basically, the actors have little choice but to hang on for the ride along with the audience.
Continue reading: Gods Of Egypt Review
The book was great, the film not so much...
Like many films, The Book Thief is based on an internationally renown and bestselling book of the same name. Unfortunately, the cinematic adaptation hasn’t managed to translate the story in the same way its written opposite number did, and the critics are basically unanimous in their ‘nearly, but not quite’ deductions.
The Book Thief, starring Sophie Nelisse
The story sees young Liesel – a girl forced into adoption – find solace from the gruesome realities of the second world war by stealing books and sharing them with likeminded sufferers; leaning to read in the meantime.
Continue reading: Close, But No Cigar: Critics Agree That 'The Book Thief' Hits A Bum Note
While there's a strong story in here about the power of literature and the fragility of life, this movie takes a far too wistful approach, so it feels like a cheesy bedtime yarn rather than a look at horrors of Nazi Germany. As a result, it's difficult to feel the full force of either the wrenchingly emotional events or the provocative themes.
Set in 1938, the story opens as irreverent 12-year-old Leisel (Nelisse) is taken away from her mother, who is accused of being a communist. She's then adopted by the childless couple Hans and Rosa (Rush and Watson). But while the cheerful artist Hans makes her feel at home, Rosa is relentlessly harsh. Leisel also reluctantly befriends neighbour boy Rolf (Liersch) and embarks on a series of adventures, including stealing books from Nazi book-burning rallies. But the mayor's wife (Auer) doesn't mind Leisel stealing books from her library. And when Hans and Rosa take in a Jewish refugee boy (Schnetzer), he encourages Leisel to start writing her own stories.
Oddly, director Percival softens every dark element in Petroni's screenplay. The Nazis are like school playground bullies, while the Allied bombings leave buildings in rubble but dead bodies bizarrely intact and peaceful. Even the setting looks like a fairy tale, with magical snowdrifts and fanciful spires. And the strangest touch of all is the cheery voiceover narration by Death (Allam), which turns the most horrific atrocities into a kind of wry eventuality. Watching brutal murder presented as a sort of poetic justice is deeply disturbing.
Continue reading: The Book Thief Review
Cate Blanchett and Geoffrey Rush - 2014 G'DAY USA Los Angeles Black Tie Gala to honor Australians Geoffrey Rush, Jacki Weaver and chef Curtis Stone at JW Marriot at LA Live - Los Angeles, California, United States - Saturday 11th January 2014
The World War II drama 'The Book Thief' adapted from Markus Zusak's novel, hit theatres this Friday to a mixed reception.
'The Book Thief' is the latest Hollywood film adaptation to hit the big screen. The movie, which is based on the novel of the same name by Australian author Markus Zusak, was released this Friday and it depicts the harrowing time of Germany's Nazi-era. The World War II drama boasts an impressive cast which includes Geoffrey Rush, Emily Watson, and two upcoming stars, Sophie Nélisse and Ben Schnetzer.
Geoffrey Rush and Sophie Nélisse in 'The Book Thief'
The story follows a young girl called Liesel Meminger (Nélisse) who is first introduced to the audience by sitting next to her bothers gave, who recently died. It is there she discovers a book left behind by the grave-diggers and hides it under her coat.
Finally, in just a few short months, the expert work of Markus Zusak will be seen on screen for the first time.
For those who have read and loved Markus Zusak’s The Book Thief, the film trailer below has been a long time coming. Anyone who hasn’t gotten around to reading the book yet, deserves a stern look of disappointment, but also, here’s the brief summary to get you up to speed. The film takes place in Germany during the final years before WWII. Young Liesel Meminger is separated from her family, who are suspected of communist leanings, and she gets sent to live with Rosa and Hans Hubermann instead. The couple take her in as their own.
Watch the brand new trailer for The Book Thief below.
In London, Jack (Depp) is brought before George II (Griffiths) so he can help the Brits beat the Spanish to the Fountain of Youth. But after an elaborate escape, Jack ends up in the crew of the ship captained by the evil Blackbeard (McShane) and his daughter Angelica (Cruz), with whom Jack has a past. So now Blackbeard, the Spanish and the British, led by Jack's old nemesis/pal Barbossa (Rush), are racing to the Caribbean to find the secret of immortality. And their first task is to capture a mermaid.
Continue reading: Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides Review
The Guardians of Ga'Hoole are sworn to protect the innocent from trouble and vanquish evil. Soren is a young owl who's grown up listening to his father tell the stories of The Gaurdians. His dream is to one day join his heroes and be a part of that noble life he's learnt so much about.
For one thing, historical costume dramas rarely spawn second chapters, particularly ones that struggle to make back their production budgets. Kapur's critically acclaimed original Elizabeth earned multiple Oscar nominations but was largely overshadowed (at the ceremony and in the public eye) by John Madden's opposing Golden Age tryst Shakespeare in Love.
Continue reading: Elizabeth: The Golden Age Review
Starting with its unlikely origin as an amusement park ride, the Pirates series quickly mushroomed into a sort of meta-pirate film, a vast and whirligig universe unto itself that drew in every possible nautical cliché and legend possible. Thus the first film concentrated on yo-ho-ho-ing, rum-drinking, and general pirate-y scalawaggery. The second roped in Davy Jones and The Flying Dutchman -- not to mention an excess of secondary characters and familial drama. For the third (but not necessarily last, given the teaser it ends with) entry, the bursting-at-the-seams script tosses in a raging maelstrom, an actual trip to Davy Jones' Locker, and even the sea goddess Calypso. Dead Man's Chest showed that more is not always better, with excess just leading to more excess and a general sense of lethargy -- they were just setting us up for the conclusion and marking time until then. At World's End, however, shows that Hollywood excess, when combined with the right combination of actors and an occasionally smart script, can work out quite nicely, thank you very much.
Continue reading: Pirates Of The Caribbean: At World's End Review
In The Tailor of Panama -- based on John Le Carré's novel and directed by John Boorman (Beyond Rangoon, Zardoz) -- Brosnan trades in the sophistication of James Bond for the identity of crude, disgraced spy Andy Osnard, an MI-6 operative that has to be shipped off to Panama on account of his loathsome behavior. Once he arrives in Panama City, the bad behavior doesn't stop: Osnard immediately sets upon the task of uncovering "what's going on" with the Panama Canal. Rumors swirl that it will be sold to another country now that Panama has it back from the U.S. Or perhaps there will be a coup from a populist underground?
Continue reading: The Tailor Of Panama Review
This is our loss and Australia's gain, because Shine comes off as one of the upper-echelon films of the year, an ambitious and unflinching look at that country's David Helfgott, a prodigy of a pianist driven insane by his father, only to emerge again after 20 years of institutionalization.
Continue reading: Shine Review
Frida Kahlo's (Salma Hayek) first meeting with Diego Rivera (Alfred Molina) and her injury in a horrible bus accident set in motion the two major forces behind Frida. Bedridden for months in a full-body cast, the young Frida keeps herself busy--and learns to express her internal passions and pain--through drawing and painting. Falling in with the womanizing Rivera and his bohemian cadre of artists and revolutionaries deepens Frida's commitment to her painting and life with the loyal but philandering muralist. Their art carries them from Mexico to New York and back in the company of such impressive historical figures as David Alfaro Siqueiros (Antonio Banderas), Nelson Rockefeller (Ed Norton), and Leon Trotsky (Geoffery Rush).
Continue reading: Frida Review
The clever premise follows one William Shakespeare (Fiennes), stuck with writer's block while trying to pen "Romeo and Ethel, the Pirate's Daughter" and unable to get his own love life going to boot.
Continue reading: Shakespeare In Love Review
With a highly acclaimed cast that includes Anthony LaPaglia, Barbara Hershey, and Geoffrey Rush you would hope this idea would provide great material for such illustrious actors to sink their teeth into. Unfortunately, having been adapted for the screen from a play, by the playwright himself, much of the emotional impact is lost in overwhelmingly dramatic dialogue.
Continue reading: Lantana Review
Most movies about the lives of famous artists never provide a true sense of what drove the person's creativity. Even in a strongly acted, strongly directed biopic like 2000's "Pollock," for example, the closest it came to explaining why heavily splattered canvases were a breakthrough in modern art was when the painter's wife cryptically proclaimed, "You've done it, Pollock! You've cracked it wide open!"
But in "Frida," a transporting cinematic experience about the life and work of Mexican surrealist Frida Kahlo, director Julie Taymor captures the very essence of Kahlo's creative process through a wondrously rich, freeform visual language that fuses the events of her life with the imagery in her paintings so vividly that the artist's work may take on a striking new significance for anyone who sees the film.
Passionately played by Salma Hayek, who has been personally shepherding this project for seven years, Kahlo comes to life in this picture as a complicated, dynamic, proud and intelligent woman whose frequent hardships informed her art. Opening when she was a plucky high school girl (36-year-old Hayek passes for 16 with remarkable ease), Frida is established as a young woman with a spicy individuality even before the 1925 bus wreck that irreversibly altered her life.
Continue reading: Frida Review
Plied with fiction and short on depth, the new biopic of legendary Australian outlaw Ned Kelly plays like "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" without the excitement, charm and humor.
Bearded and brooding but otherwise uncharismatic, Heath Ledger stars as the folk-hero bushranger (Aussie for "cowboy"), who according to this film was an upstanding citizen of the Outback frontier until contemptible, crooked, downright sinister lawmen drove him to a life of crime by picking on his family.
They jailed his ma, molested his teenage sister, and falsely accused him and his brothers of horse rustling. They "started a war" against us, Kelly says in voice-over. "So I killed their coppers. I robbed their banks."
Continue reading: Ned Kelly Review
Marital stress hangs like an albatross around the necks of all the primary characters in "Lantana," an viscous Australian ensemble piece that begins as an intricate, intimate web of rocky relationships and evolves into a tangled, disconcerting mystery.
Two floundering couples, connected through six-degrees-of-separation periphery, are at the center of the story. Anthony LaPaglia is Leon Zat, a police inspector who takes out his many frustrations on suspects and in bed with Jane (Rachael Blake), an almost-divorcee from the salsa dance class his wife drags him to every week. His marriage to brittle Sonja (Kerry Armstrong) has grown tepid and uncommunicative -- a fact that she regularly bemoans to her shrink, Valerie Sommers (Barbara Hershey).
Valerie is a woman who has had a hard time maintaining her professional detachment since her young daughter was murdered two years before. Her marriage to John (Geoffrey Rush), a prickly law school dean, has grown so numb since the loss of their child that they speak to each other -- even about sex -- like uneasy co-workers. And the fact that John deals with his sorrow in quietly tearful visits to the murder site while Valerie has chosen to grieve publicly, publishing a book about the killing, hasn't helped heal their rift.
Continue reading: Lantana Review
The very idea of a movie based on a Disneyland ride -- let alone such a movie produced by Jerry "Kaboom" Bruckheimer, whose standards of quality extend only to the explosions that substituted for plot in 15 years of imbecilic summer blockbusters -- had me dreading "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl" since it was first announced almost two years ago.
But I'm now here to eat every bad word I said in anticipation of this matinee marvel. Exhilarating from beginning to end, vivid with atmosphere, cleverly cliché-mocking, and blessed with two top-notch, over-the-top performances by Johnny Depp and Geoffrey Rush (I should have trusted these two intrepid actors), it may well be one of the most enjoyable pirate escapades of all time.
Festooned in a three-point hat over gypsy hair, a billowy shirt, kohl-blackened eyes and gold-capped teeth that he thrusts forward as he speaks, Depp stars as Capt. Jack Sparrow, a dirty, flirty, disarmingly dishonest swashbuckler of subtly dubious sexuality (a covert pirate flick custom since the silent era) who sails into a 17th century Caribbean colonial port atop the mast of a rapidly sinking sailboat.
Continue reading: Pirates Of The Caribbean: The Curse Of The Black Pearl Review
A relaxed, amusing true story about noted Swiss painter and sculptor Alberto Giacometti, this sharply...
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Forget Davy Jones' Locker and the Fountain of Youth, Captain Jack Sparrow is on an...
Jack Sparrow finds himself in constant trouble with the law; not only is his name...
With a massive scale and a digital cast of thousands, this ancient Egyptian romp tries...
When Set brutally murderers his brother, Osiris the great deities of ancient Egypt are upset,...
Utterly charming, this silly prequel rewrites the origin story of the minions and sends them...
While there's a strong story in here about the power of literature and the fragility...
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For millions of years, the universe has been watched over by a group of noble...
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Momentous historical events add a remarkable kick to this fascinating personal drama, which is based...