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Angelina Jolie, Steve Martin & Angela Lansbury Earn Honorary Recognition From The Academy’s Governors Awards


Angelina Jolie Steve Martin Angela Lansbury Brad Pitt Tom Hanks Martin Short George Lucas Emma Thompson Geoffrey Rush

Angelina Jolie, Steve Martin and Angela Lansbury were honoured on Saturday, 16 November, night at the Academy’s Governors Awards, in a night where emotions ran high and the awards circuit got off to a start. Jolie was perhaps the biggest celebrity name on the awards sheet, but it was Martin and Lansbury who stole the show with their heartfelt gratitude towards being honoured by the Academy for a career in front of the camera.

Angelina Jolie
Angelina Jolie was honoured for her humanitarian work

Jolie received the first standing ovation of the night though, picking up the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award for her continued, dedicated service to aid work across the globe. Attending the event with her hubby Brad Pitt and their son Maddox, Jolie accepted the award from George Lucas after being toasted in a video presentation featuring clips from her in the movies and in refuge camps and care-giving scenarios found across the globe. Receiving thank you's from four stars of her upcoming Bosnian war film In the Land of Blood and Honey, Gena Rowlands then toasted the star before she took to the stage, asking, “How does she have the time to do all this? She acts and directs, she has a large family… and she has to keep that smile on Brad’s face.”

Continue reading: Angelina Jolie, Steve Martin & Angela Lansbury Earn Honorary Recognition From The Academy’s Governors Awards

The Book Thief Trailer


Liesel Meminger is a 9-year-old girl who is forced to be separated from her family for her own safety. She goes to live with another German couple, Rosa and Hans Hubermann, who treat her as if she were their own. However, settling in to a new home is less than easy and she struggles desperately from disturbed sleep. In a bid to comfort her, Hans decides to stay by her bedside every night until she falls asleep. He discovers that she is in possession of a book, 'The Gravediggers Handbook', which it turns out was stolen and Liesel is unable to read it. Hans decides to help her further by teaching her to read, an ability that is enhanced further by the arrival of a Jewish runaway named Max, who the Hubermann's agree to hide from the vigilant Nazi officers.

'The Book Thief' is based on the 2006 World War II novel of the same name by Markus Zusak and has been adapted to screen by writer Michael Petroni ('The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader', 'The Rite') and Primetime Emmy winning director Brian Percival ('The Ruby in the Smoke', 'The Old Curiosity Shop', 'A Boy Called Dad'). It is set for release in the UK on January 31st 2014.

Click here to read - The Book Thief Movie Review

Geoffrey Rush Monday 12th September 2011 36th Annual Toronto International Film Festival - Celebrity Sightings Toronto, Canada

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Geoffrey Rush - Geoffrey Rush drinking and smoking at a table Toronto, Canada - 36th Annual Toronto International Film Festival - Celebrity Sightings Thursday 8th September 2011

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Guest and Geoffrey Rush Thursday 18th August 2011 The launch of the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) Sydney, Australia

Guest and Geoffrey Rush
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Geoffrey Rush and George Miller
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Green Lantern Trailer


For millions of years, the universe has been watched over by a group of noble custodians, sworn to keep peace in the universe, these mighty beings are called The Green Lantern Corps. Hailing from all sides of the universe, each chosen keeper wears a ring that harnesses true willpower and allows them to gain super powers.

Continue: Green Lantern Trailer

Geoffrey Rush Tuesday 17th May 2011 The Australian premiere of 'Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides' at Event Cinemas - Arrivals Sydney, Australia

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Geoffrey Rush, Interview


Interview with Geoffrey Rush for Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides 17th May 2011

Aussie Oscar-winner Geoffrey Rush is one of those rare actors who mixes higher-brow fare like The King's Speech with more raucous roles such as the rogue Captain Barbossa in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies.

Continue reading: Geoffrey Rush, Interview

Geoffrey Rush, Johnny Depp, Penelope Cruz and Rob Marshall Saturday 14th May 2011 Geoffrey Rush, Penelope Cruz, Johnny Depp and Rob Marshall 2011 Cannes International Film Festival - Day 4 - Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides - Premiere Cannes, France

Geoffrey Rush, Johnny Depp, Penelope Cruz and Rob Marshall

Geoffrey Rush Saturday 14th May 2011 2011 Cannes International Film Festival - Day 4 - Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides - Photocall Cannes, France

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Geoffrey Rush Saturday 14th May 2011 2011 Cannes International Film Festival - Day 4 - Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides - Photocall Arrivals Cannes, France

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Geoffrey Rush Thursday 12th May 2011 'Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides' UK film premiere - Afterparty held at Massimo Restaurant London, England

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Geoffrey Rush Thursday 12th May 2011 'Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides' UK film premiere held at the Westfield Shopping Centre - Arrivals. London, England

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Geoffrey Rush - Thursday 12th May 2011 at ITV Studios London, England

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Geoffrey Rush Thursday 12th May 2011 'Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides' UK film premiere held at the Westfield Shopping Centre - Arrivals 'Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides' UK film premiere held at the Westfield Shopping Centre

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Geoffrey Rush - Geoffrey Rush, Wednesday 11th May 2011 at Wembley Arena London, England

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Geoffrey Rush - Wednesday 11th May 2011 at Wembley Arena London, England

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Geoffrey Rush - Saturday 7th May 2011 at Disneyland Anaheim, California

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Geoffrey Rush Monday 7th February 2011 AARP The Magazine's 10th Annual Movies for Grownups Awards held at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel - Arrivals Los Angeles, California

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Geoffrey Rush and Colin Firth
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Geoffrey Rush and Colin Firth - Geoffrey Rush and Colin Firth Monday 7th February 2011 at Academy Of Motion Pictures And Sciences Beverly Hills, California

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Helena Bonham Carter and Geoffrey Rush - Monday 31st January 2011 at Santa Barbara International Film Festival Santa Barbara, California

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Helena Bonham Carter and Geoffrey Rush
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Christopher Lloyd and Geoffrey Rush - Monday 31st January 2011 at Santa Barbara International Film Festival Santa Barbara, California

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Christopher Lloyd, Billy Baldwin and Geoffrey Rush
Christopher Lloyd and Geoffrey Rush
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Christopher Lloyd, Billy Baldwin and Geoffrey Rush
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Anthony Andrews, Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush and Helena Bonham Carter - Anthony Andrews, Geoffrey Rush, Helena Bonham Carter and Colin Firth Sunday 30th January 2011 at Screen Actors Guild Los Angeles, California

Anthony Andrews, Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush and Helena Bonham Carter
Anthony Andrews, Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush and Helena Bonham Carter
Anthony Andrews, Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush and Helena Bonham Carter
Anthony Andrews, Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush and Helena Bonham Carter
Anthony Andrews, Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush and Helena Bonham Carter
Anthony Andrews, Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush and Helena Bonham Carter

Geoffrey Rush - Sunday 30th January 2011 at Screen Actors Guild Los Angeles, California

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The King's Speech Review


Extraordinary

Momentous historical events add a remarkable kick to this fascinating personal drama, which is based on journal entries and firsthand accounts. besides being hugely entertaining, the film also gives Colin Firth yet another meaty role to dive into.

In 1925, Bertie (Firth), the Duke of York, is paralysed with fear when required to speak in public. After unsuccessful treatment for his stammer, his wife Elizabeth (Bonham Carter) locates unorthodox speech therapist Lionel Logue (Rush), an Australian who insists on familiarity even with the royals. But as Bertie begins to make progress, his life takes a dramatic turn when his brother Edward VIII (Pearce) abdicates the throne, leaving Bertie in place as George VI just as war breaks out with Germany. Now the nation really needs to hear his voice.

The sharp, often very witty script has the ring of truth to it, refusing to overplay big events or to create some miracle cinematic cure that sees Bertie rising to inspiring orator status. Even though it's still extremely crowd-pleasing, it's a much more complex story centring on the man behind the stutter, exploring the intimate, difficult journey Bertie must have taken before he was so suddenly thrust into the limelight.

As with last year's A Single Man, Firth invests the role with layered subtext that gives Bertie a fully fledged inner life far beyond the astute screenplay.
It's a beautiful performance that tells us as much with a quiet sigh as it does with a razor-sharp line of dialog. His banter with the excellent Rush is also full of substance, while Bonham Carter not only uncannily captures the Queen Mother's physical presence but also the strength of the woman who, together with her husband, would so bravely lead Britain through the Blitz.

Visually, the film transcends the usual costume-drama approach, with expert direction from Hooper that beautifully plays with perspectives and textures.
Also notable is the way the camera quietly captures expansive backdrops that continually remind us (and Bertie) that there's a whole nation out there waiting for his next word. And along the way, we strongly identify with Bertie, which makes his journey takes both stirring and thrillingly inspiring.

Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides Trailer


The trailer for the fourth instalment from The Pirates Of The Caribbean franchise has arrived! Captain Jack Sparrow once again takes to the high seas in an adventure that's sure to be immensely entertaining. When a beautiful yet deadly woman from Jack's past appears once again, he's unsure of her intentions but once she forces him to join her on the ruthless Blackbeard's ship called Queen Anne's Revenge asking to find the infamous fountain of youth, he knows there's sure to be plenty of danger ahead. Not only that but the captain also finds himself in the much colder climates than he's used to when his quest takes him to London.

Continue: Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides Trailer

Legend Of The Guardians: The Owls Of Ga'Hoole Review


Excellent
Spectacular animation and a terrific voice cast go a long way to making this soaring adventure feel much more original than it is. Despite heavy echoes of other movies, it's thoroughly engaging and often genuinely thrilling.

Soren (voiced by Sturgess) is an idealistic owlet who dreams of one day meeting his heroes, the mythical Guardians of Ga'Hoole. Then he and his brother Kludd (Kwanten) are kidnapped by the evil Pure Ones, led by Queen Nyra (Mirren) and Metalbeak (Edgerton), as slaves for their nefarious plan. In their wasteland hideout, Soren meets the feisty dwarf owl Gylfie (Barclay), and they flee to Ga'Hoole for help. There, Soren meets the quirky Ezylryb (Rush), who helps teach him to fly properly and punctures some of his heroic ideals before they head into battle.

Continue reading: Legend Of The Guardians: The Owls Of Ga'Hoole Review

Dame Helen Mirren And Russell Brand Take On The Tempest


Helen Mirren Beatles Djimon Hounsou Geoffrey Rush Jeremy Irons Julie Taymor Russell Brand

Dame Helen Mirren and Russell Brand are among the cast members of an experimental upcoming film of Shakespeare's The Tempest.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Julie Taymor's take on the Bard sees Mirren as Prospera, a female version of Prospero, the exiled duke of the original play.

Brand is to play Trinculo, a jester, while Jeremy Irons, Djimon Hounsou and Ben Whishaw have also been confirmed for the Icon film.

In Shakespeare's original text, Prospero and his daughter Miranda (Felicity Jones) are exiled to a distant island inhabited only by deformed slave Caliban (Hounsou) and Ariel, a spirit (Whishaw).

Having learnt to control the island with magic, Prospero seizes the chance to wreak revenge on her usurpers by raising a storm which leaves them shipwrecked, sparking a romance between Miranda and the son of Prospero's greatest rival Alonso, the King of Naples (Irons).

Alfred Molina is also on board, playing the drunken butler Stephano while Oscar-winner Geoffrey Rush is in negotiations to play Gonzalo, a royal adviser and former alley of Prospero's.

Director Taymor's only significant change to the text, as of yet, seems to be the feminising of Prospero's character.

Likely to begin shooting in November, The Tempest will be the Oscar-nominated helmer's first film since 2007's Beatles musical Across the Universe.

Continue reading: Dame Helen Mirren And Russell Brand Take On The Tempest

Candy Review


Good
It's nice, in a way, to see a film about drug addicts in which, for a time at least, the addicts really seem to be enjoying themselves. So it is for the first segment of Neil Armfield's Candy, appropriately labeled, "Heaven" (later sections take on names of a more fallen nature). The stars in the film's fizzy firmament, Dan and Candy, are played by Heath Ledger and Abbie Cornish as just a pair of overgrown kids who can't ever stop with the games, and given their bright and cheery looks -- not to mention an extremely helpful sugar daddy -- why would they want to? As Dan ruefully says in the latter, morose stretches of downward junkie mobility, "We lived on sunlight and candy bars." Who wouldn't want that?When we first join them, Dan and Candy are living the easy life, lounging around their shabby chic apartment and mooning over each other in a blessed-out stupor. They seem to have enough money to do little else, and when they're hard up, there's always the improbably accommodating sugar daddy Casper (a campy but enjoyable Geoffrey Rush), who's always good for a spot of cash or dope. He's a ne'er-do-well and (very) occasional poet of lowly charms who has taken up with the younger Candy, whose bourgeois parents make little secret of their disapproval of the union. The fiction they've chosen to believe is that Dan has corrupted their perfect little girl, even though the film's first scene has her begging a reluctant Dan to show her how to shoot up heroin instead of just sniffing it. It's a sign of the film's intelligence that even though we're never quite meant to root for one or the other of this headstrong pair, it's clear that there's a ugly subcurrent to Candy's perfume-counter blonde breeziness.Things get worse, as they do, and the relationship begins to fray. Increasingly hard up for money, the couple resorts more and more to petty thievery before finally going down the old route of prostitution. One particularly wounding scene has Candy selling herself on a whim to a shop owner for 50 bucks while Dan waits in the car. When she comes back afterwards, their roles have almost instantaneously changed, Candy's sunny disposition severely darkened, while Dan's mellow vibe is transformed into sheer powerlessness, unable to say anything but a weak, "I'm sorry." Ledger's naked vulnerability provides much of what works in the darker segments of the film, proving once again that there's little this sometimes underrated actor isn't capable of.Candy is an Aussie film through and through, starring not just the two eminence graces of the continent's film industry -- Ledger and Rush -- but also one of its newest stars, Cornish, who was such a welcome revelation in Somersault. There's also a certain lack of fuss and appreciation of the natural world that seems to come so strangely easily to Aussie filmmakers. Director Armfield (who has an extensive theater background) coaxes excellent performances from his performers, almost making up for the thinness of the material -- adapted from a novel by Luke Davies. Even if, in the end, Candy has not much new to say about its disaffected junkie lovebirds, it at least understands what it is that puts people like them into this situation. Far too often in film, we see only the aftereffects of addiction, the wasted zombies trying to cop just one more time, and never the hale and hearty beings they once were.I want candy.

Munich Review


Excellent
It's been a long, tough road watching Steven Spielberg grow up. Too often, the great Hollywood money machine seemed to flip self-consciously back and forth between his serious work (Schindler's List) and the popcorn flicks (The Lost World, The Terminal). For better or for worse, though, 2005 will be remembered as the year when Spielberg finally and resoundingly merged these twin desires into unified works of serious entertainment, first his stunning War of the Worlds, and now Munich, a less complete piece of work, perhaps, but the most ambitious of Spielberg's career and truly something to behold.

What makes Munich even more ambitious than films like List or even Empire of the Sun is that it's not as recognizable a film as those classically-structured epics. This film is part spy thriller and part meditation on violence but not completely either. The result comes out as somewhat scrambled by the end, with the pieces of about a half-dozen lesser movies mixed around inside, but there's rarely a moment when it's not grabbing you by the collar and demanding your undivided attention. We should have more of this kind of thing.

Continue reading: Munich Review

Intolerable Cruelty Review


Good
How can you not love the Coen brothers? The sibling creators of some of cinema's most classic films -- Fargo, Blood Simple, O Brother, Where Art Thou? -- are back at it, this time with their strangest production yet.

Oh, I don't mean strange as in Raising Arizona strange. I mean strange in that it's dearthly lacking the sophisticated humor we've come to expect from the duo. Strange in that it's so Hollywood-conventional as to make its existence puzzling at best, unnecessary at worst.

Continue reading: Intolerable Cruelty Review

Les Misérables Review


Very Good
Believe it or not, this is the nineteenth adaptation of Victor Hugo's classic novel--and likely the last to star Claire Danes. I've never read it and I've bever seen the play, but it's a good enough flick, I suppose. The tale of Jean Valjean, a paroled criminal who tries to make a new life for himself, and Javert, the obsessed inspector who's always one step behind him, is a good one. But it flags in the third act, only to revive itself for a killer ending.

Continue reading: Les Misérables Review

Children Of The Revolution Review


Good
A true oddity, in keeping with Australian cinema. What with F. Murray Abraham as Stalin (yes, the Stalin), who fathers a lovechild in the 1950s with a visiting Australian radical played by Judy Davis, how can you expect anything but weirdness? With early-career appearances by Rachel Griffiths and Geoffrey Rush, Children of the Revolution is remarkable for its sheer ballsiness, but the story is likely a bit too circuitous, self-referential, and unbelievable for most tastes. Ostensibly based on a true story, the sarcasm eventually gets so thick you find you need a mint.

Elizabeth Review


Good
Seeing Elizabeth on the day of the impeachment of President Clinton was a bit strange, but it did put things in perspective.

450 years ago, no one would've thought a thing about a little intern boinking. Today, that's obviously big news, and it should have made the sexual, political, and religious escapades of Elizabeth all the more thrilling.

Continue reading: Elizabeth Review

Finding Nemo Review


Extraordinary
The Pixar logo - which is the company's name with a desk lamp in place of the "I" - has become the cinematic equivalent of a "Prime" stamp on a side of beef. Once we see it, we know we're in for breathtaking animation, clever scripts, and wholesome family entertainment. The cynic in me waits for the geniuses responsible for the Toy Story features, A Bug's Life, and Monsters, Inc. to slip up and release a flop. Looks like I'll be waiting a few more years.

The latest Pixar pearl, Finding Nemo, ventures under the sea, where single dad Marlin (voice of Albert Brooks) overprotects his only son, Nemo (voice of Alexander Gould). One day, Nemo wades into uncharted waters on a dare, only to be snatched up by a scuba diver and placed in the tank of an Australian dentist. For the remainder of the film, Marlin and a forgetful fish named Dory (voice of Ellen DeGeneres) scour the ocean floor in an effort to bring Nemo home, a task that's easier said than done.

Continue reading: Finding Nemo Review

Pirates Of The Caribbean: The Curse Of The Black Pearl Review


Very Good
Any sailor worth his salt knows that "pirate" is a curse word you don't dare utter on the high seas. You just might summon the scavengers' fearful wrath.

Actually, "pirate" wasn't a word you wanted to mention in Hollywood, either. Calling the genre troublesome is an understatement, as directors who attempted big-budget pirate adventures were plagued with disastrous shoots, and the films received lukewarm response at the box office. Everything from Roman Polanski's Pirates to Renny Harlin's Cutthroat Island immediately sank to the depths of Davy Jones's locker.

Continue reading: Pirates Of The Caribbean: The Curse Of The Black Pearl Review

The House On Haunted Hill (1999) Review


Terrible
Every so often, most recently with Scream, a film will briefly try to make the horror genre something it's not --- like creative, entertaining, cool, or self-aware. But The House on Haunted Hill is not one of those films.

Instead, it's pretty much a copy of all the other haunted-house horror movies that have run briefly in theaters over the years (and then run on cable channels indefinitely, giving teenagers something to stare at for a minute or two before leaving the house or switching channels). I understand that the beast of cable programming must be fed, but I still don't understand why directors are still making new movies like this, given the thousands that have already been made. Why don't the cable channels just run old ones from the late 1980s that nobody remembers?

Continue reading: The House On Haunted Hill (1999) Review

Mystery Men Review


Very Good
"Hey now, you're an all-star, get your game on, go play..." then sit back and watch America's newest superheroes screw up, in this summer's new comedy, Mystery Men. In this Tim Burtonesque film by Kinka Usher, a ragtag band of superheroes set out to rescue Captain Amazing (a Superman comparable played by Greg Kinear) from the evil clutches of the criminal mastermind, Cassanova Frankenstein (Geoffrey Rush).

Mystery Men is one of the funniest films I've seen all year. It combines the hilarious randomness of films like Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, with a satirical twist that today's audiences are sure to appreciate. Now don't get me wrong, Mystery Men is no masterpiece, but it made me laugh (a lot) and that's what the film is about. Mystery Men scores high in all areas. It has an entirely kooky and original plot fueled by crack up dialogue, mesmerizing scenery, (which is reminiscent of the Batman movies) and an awesome cast.

Continue reading: Mystery Men Review

Quills Review


Excellent
Come frolic with the Marquis de Sade deep in the bowels of the Charenton Asylum, where he'll tickle your fancy with lavish descriptions of bestiality, flatulence and the dimples of a fat mademoiselle's bottom.

As portrayed in Quills, based on the Obie Award-winning play by Doug Wright, the Marquis is an earthy, dirty, jolly old soul with the unquenchable desire to write his perverse dreams on paper. He's the unflinching id in the face of mediocrity and tolerance, the middle finger held like a candle to the powerful hypocrites, and the loud fart in the house of God, an affront to restrictive dogma.

Continue reading: Quills Review

The Life And Death Of Peter Sellers Review


Very Good
Discussion topic: Which of the following people can accurately be described as "comic geniuses"? Woody Allen. Adam Sandler. Groucho Marx. Gilda Radner.

You're unlikely to get consensus on such a phrase, except for one: Peter Sellers. Everybody knows he was a genius, right?

Continue reading: The Life And Death Of Peter Sellers Review

The Banger Sisters Review


Weak
Without paying close attention, one could wander into The Banger Sisters expecting a warm and fuzzy friendship yarn delivered by an Oscar-caliber trio of Goldie Hawn, Susan Sarandon, and Geoffrey Rush. You'd be half right. The cast shows up, but the film substitutes "warm and fuzzy" with vulgar dialogue and gratuitously sexual escapades.

This is a shame, because Sisters introduces unusual characters that deserve to be explored, starting with Suzette (Hawn), a former groupie and by-product of the "free love" era who refuses to admit times have changed. Fired from her bartending job at the famed Whisky A Go-Go, Suzette hits the road to Phoenix to rekindle her fizzled relationship with her former cohort, Lavinia "Vinnie" Kingsley (Sarandon), the other half of the infamous Banger Sisters. Along the way, Suzette picks up a neurotic screenwriter named Harry (Rush), who's on his way back to Arizona to murder his father.

Continue reading: The Banger Sisters Review

Ned Kelly (2004) Review


Weak
Sometimes all you want is a good Western, and when you see something like Ned Kelly, which starts off as predictable but enjoyable nonsense, go so thoroughly off the rails, you have to wonder: Is it still even possible to make a good outlaw-on-the-run film anymore?

The historical Ned Kelly is like the Jesse James of Australia, mixed with a little John Dillinger, Robin Hood, and (if this movie has anything to say about it) Jesus Christ. Gregor Jordan's film (made previously in 1970 with Mick Jagger in the lead) starts off north of Melbourne, circa 1871, with the hardscrabble Irish Kelly family. The man of the house after his father died years before, Ned (Heath Ledger) gets sent to jail after a cop unjustly accuses him of stealing a horse and provokes him into a fight. Freed after three years, Ned tries to go the straight and narrow, doing day labor and even bare-knuckle boxing for money. But wouldn't you know it: The bloody coppers have it in for poor Neddy.

Continue reading: Ned Kelly (2004) Review

Mystery Men Review


Weak

If nothing else, "Mystery Men," a chaff on the "Batman"-style event movie, has impeccable timing. The unbridled superhero genre has never been more ripe for spoofing, and this picture has an superior satirical pedigree, what with its cast that includes those hippest heir apparents of comedy royalty, Ben Stiller and Janeane Garofalo.

Adapted from the Dark Horse comic book of the same name, the movie's protagonists are a sad sack band of part-time, wannabes heroes with monikers like The Shoveler (mild-mannered William H. Macy, donning a golden spade); the silverware-wielding Blue Raja (Hank Azaria, in a bad fortune-teller get-up); the Invisible Boy (Kel Mitchell), whose powers only work when no one is looking; The Spleen (Paul Rubens of "Pee-Wee" fame), who boasts near-lethal flatulence; The Bowler (Garofalo), whose translucent, supernatural ball contains her dead daddy's skull; and Mr. Furious (Stiller), whose alleged power is his violent and very short temper.

These not-so-super friends are called into action when Champion City's real savior -- a corporate sellout called Captain Amazing (a superbly conceited Greg Kinnear), whose rubbery costume is plastered with more ads than NASCAR jumpsuit -- is captured by the wildly nefarious, feral-eyed and disco-lovin' baddie Casanova Frankenstein (Geoffrey Rush, on an all-you-can-eat scenery diet).

Continue reading: Mystery Men Review

Quills Review


Good

Director Philip Kaufman establishes the nebulously erotic atmosphere of "Quills," a fictional film about the Marquis de Sade, with an opening scene in which a pretty aristocrat, shown on screen in some kind of ecstasy, is described by Sade (in a voice-over) as a woman with a sexual appetite for torture.

His voice slithers as he relates how she one day "found herself in the arms of a man whose skill in pain exceeded even her own" as the camera focuses on two giant, dirty hands coarsely roaming her neck and shoulders while she shivers in fear. The camera pulls back to reveal that the woman is standing before the gallows, about to become the eighth or ninth severed head to roll into a basket below as a crowd of rowdy peasants cheers on. (This is 18th Century France, after all.)

The Marquis' narration drips (like blood from the blade of the gallows) with a kind of odious sensuality and pricks at the viewer's darker side with a twisted sense of humor that carries throughout this engrossing, seductive, and at times unsavory film.

Continue reading: Quills Review

House On Haunted Hill Review


Terrible

Despite featuring the usually respectable and potentially very ghoulish Geoffrey Rush in a snarling Vincent Price reinterpretation, "House On Haunted Hill" is not only never scary, it's never even interesting.

An unmotivated, throw-money-at-the-screen remake one of those vintage cornball horror flicks that made the late Mr. Price a household name, "House" revolves around a group of strangers trapped overnight in an abandon, poorly-lit mansion (and former insane asylum) that comes alive and tries to snuff them all.

Rush, an amusement park mogul whose raison detre is devising heart attack-enducing scares for his patrons, has lured them there with the promise of a million dollars each if they survive the night, but even he doesn't know what terrors lay in store.

Continue reading: House On Haunted Hill Review

The Banger Sisters Review


OK

Old groupies don't die, they just become SUV-driving, Donna Karan-wearing, what-would-the-neighbors-think soccer moms in Phoenix -- which is a fate worse than death if you ask the aging rock'n'roll sexpot played by Goldie Hawn in "The Banger Sisters."

Still a cute and curvy hardy partier decades after her backstage banging days were over, saucy, effervescence Suzette may be a free spirit, but she's also flat broke. Freshly fired from a perfect-fit bartending gig at the Whisky-a-Go-Go in L.A. (for no given reason except to set the plot in motion), she's decides on a whim to hunt down her best groupie-days girlfriend -- who she's heard is now a rich lawyer's wife -- hoping to relive old times and maybe borrow some money.

But it's been 20 years since Suzette has seen Vinnie (Susan Sarandon) -- who now prefers her given name, Lavinia, and has become a micromanaging Martha Stewart type with teenage daughters (Erica Christensen and Sarandon offspring Eva Amurri) that think she's the most uptight square on Earth.

Continue reading: The Banger Sisters Review

The Tailor Of Panama Review


Good

It's easy to see why Pierce Brosnan took the role of the duplicitous, predatory MI6 agent in "The Tailor of Panama." This guy is the anti-Bond, and infinitely more interesting as a character than the cinema idol version of 007.

Andy Osnard is similarly handsome, worldly, cocky and domineering. But he's also dark and flawed, ruthless, mean and corrupt. He's blackmailer, a cheat, a self-serving rogue and a disgrace as a spy -- which is why he's been drummed out of a prestigious position and dumped into a bottom-rung embassy assignment in Central America.

But Osnard has no intention of taking this lying down. Within 24 hours of his arrival, he's planted the seeds of a fictitious rebel uprising in a complex ruse make himself look like a master espionage agent underestimated by the home office.

Continue reading: The Tailor Of Panama Review

Intolerable Cruelty Review


Weak

Like a bride who marries a man with bad habits thinking she'll be able to change him, in "Intolerable Cruelty," the eccentric writing-directing brothers Joel and Ethan Coen have married themselves to someone else's original script and the union hasn't turned out as happy as they'd hoped.

Aspiring to the snappy banter and chemistry of a Howard Hawks comedy, the unconventional brains behind "Raising Arizona," "Fargo" and "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" cast George Clooney and Catherine Zeta-Jones as L.A.'s slickest divorce lawyer and the indomitably alluring serial gold-digger who ironically sets his heart aquiver.

The brothers rewrote the screenplay with distinctively Coen quirks, like Clooney's menacing, 87-year-old prune of a senior partner, who spends his fish-eye-lensed scenes attached to a life-support machine in a forebodingly dark, wood-paneled office. But between the picture's high-gloss big-studio sheen (something the brothers aren't accustom to) and its sometimes pedestrian high-camp conventions, "Intolerable Cruelty" seems to have lost both the underlying savvy that gives Coen Brothers comedies their soul and the evenly matched gender rivalries that gave Hawks' romances their heart.

Continue reading: Intolerable Cruelty Review

Finding Nemo Review


Good
Offering further proof that the folks at Pixar are ceaselessly, unflaggingly more clever and imaginative than anyone else working in big-budget feature animation, the underwater CGI-animated "Finding Nemo" opens today -- and it's smarter, funnier and more entertaining than any other all-ages film so far this year.While Disney's in-house animators have been assembly-lining prosaic sequels ("The Jungle Book 2," "Return to Never Land") and re-imagined misfires ("Treasure Planet") -- and very occasionally coloring a little bit outside the lines ("Lilo and Stitch") -- the computer-'toon platoon at Pixar's Emeryville, California studios is supplying the Mouse House with delightfully creative products like "Monster's Inc." and this new adventure, in which an apprehensive, over-protective clown-fish father traverses the sea in search of his missing son.

The youngster was scooped up near his reef home by some monstrous, two-legged land creature in scuba gear and deposited into a Australian dentist's fish tank, populated by a colorful crew of fellow captives who help little Nemo (voice of Alexander Gould) hatch an escape plan. In the meantime, Marlin -- his fretful father with the perfectly anxiety-ridden intonations of Albert Brooks -- ventures deeper into the deep blue than he has ever dared before, determined to find the boy.

Helped along the way, if "helped" is the word for it, by a dingbat blue tang with short-term memory problems (and the oh-so-apropos voice of Ellen DeGeneres), Marlin finds his courage in dangerous adventures (mines and shipwrecks) and discovers friends in the forms of a surfer-dude sea turtle (voiced by Andrew Stanton, the movie's director), an astute pelican (Geoffrey Rush) who becomes his transportation into the dentist's office, and a trio of 12-stepping sharks who are trying to go vegetarian (including future "Hulk" Eric Bana and Barry Humphries, aka "Dame Edna").

Resourceful in its storytelling (the East Australian Current which Marlin must travel is akin to an underwater freeway crossed with a roller coaster) and reliably, steadily hilarious ("Hey, you're a clown fish," observe all the dopier sea critters who meet mopey Marlin. "Tell us a joke!"), "Finding Nemo" is also astounding to look at. Like a fantastical scuba dive, the picture's always-in-motion undersea universe would be downright photo-realistic if Stanton and his animators hadn't dialed up the cartoonishness just enough to give all the fish googly ping-pong-ball eyes.

Continue reading: Finding Nemo Review

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Geoffrey Rush Movies

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