A sleekly made thriller with a sparky sense of humour, this is also a rare action movie that has something important to say. Centred around the corruption in the political and banking systems, the film is just as enlightening as The Big Short, but it's a lot more fun to watch. And it's directed by Jodie Foster as a sharp media satire that seems to be skimming along the surface but is actually taking no prisoners.
It's set on Wall Street, where TV guru Lee (George Clooney) hosts his financial advice show Money Monster, directed by his long-time friend Patty (Julia Roberts). Then in the middle of a broadcast, Lee is interrupted live on-air by Kyle (Jack O'Connell), who is consumed with anger because Lee's investment suggestion resulted in the loss of his life savings. Kyle's real target is the banking executive Walt (Dominic West), who has blamed the wipe-out of share prices on a computer glitch. But something about that story doesn't hold water. While Kyle threatens Lee live, a media storm develops around them. And Patty digs into the story with the help of hackers in Korea, Iceland and South Africa, feeding information to Lee through his earpiece.
As the situation spirals out of control, Foster maintains a terrific sense of balance between the edgy suspense and the jagged comedy. This works because, even amid the virtual globe-hopping, she keeps the focus tightly on the interaction between Lee, Patty and Kyle. Clooney and Roberts aren't hugely stretched by their roles, but they are able to add likeable moments of subtle revelation and interaction along the way. O'Connell is the heart of the film, with an impassioned performance that's surprisingly moving. And of course it's easy for everyone in the audience to sympathise with Kyle's frustration about a system in which bankers and politicians pocket billions while the average person struggles to keep their head above water.
Continue reading: Money Monster Review
Using remarkably photorealistic animation, this remake of the 1967 Disney classic is warm and enjoyable, with a few moments of suspense for the kids in the audience. Loosely based on Rudyard Kipling's stories, it's a lively tale packed with memorable characters. But it feels relentlessly tamed for a family audience.
Stranded in the jungle as a baby, Mowgli (Neel Sethi) was rescued by the panther Bagheera (voiced by Ben Kingsley) and raised by a pair of wolves (Lupita Nyong'o and Giancarlo Esposito). But the presence of a human in the jungle is unacceptable to tiger Shere Khan (Idris Elba), who was injured by a man and now wants Mowgli's blood. While fleeing to the human world, Mowgli has a fateful encounter with the seductive python Kaa (Scarlett Johansson). He's rescued by the bear Baloo (Bill Murray), with whom he has a series of adventures, including being kidnapped by a gang of monkeys led by King Louie (Christopher Walken). But Shere Khan is still searching for him, and Mowgli can't hide forever.
Filmmaker Jon Favreau (Iron Man) keeps the story skimming along the surface, avoiding the darker themes woven into the premise. So instead of exploring the meaning of humanity or mankind's relationship with nature, the film is a breezy adventure romp with the usual action movie beats and some surprisingly nasty violence. And it looks utterly amazing, especially since the credits note that it was filmed completely in downtown Los Angeles.
Continue reading: The Jungle Book Review
Giancarlo Esposito - World premiere of Walt Disney's 'The Jungle Book' held at El Capitan Theatre - Arrivals at El Capitan Theatre, Disney - Hollywood, California, United States - Monday 4th April 2016
If you're looking for news on what stocks to buy, you switch on the TV and watch Lee Gate's show - he's the most popular presenter on the Financial News Network and is full of good tips for his viewers but what happens when one the stocks he hypes up mysteriously crashes out it leaves some of his ex-viewers penniless.
Kyle Budwell was one of those people when Kyle believes he has no other option, he takes Lee and his production team hostage live on TV. Between the presenter and his producer (Patty Fenn) they must find a way to satisfy both their captor and the special forces put on standby who are ready to storm the set.
Ki Hong Lee, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Giancarlo Esposito, Rosa Salazar and Dylan O'brein - San Diego Comic-Con International 2015 - 20th Century FOX Panel - Arrivals - San Diego, California, United States - Saturday 11th July 2015
Derk Segaar, Billy Burke, Tracy Spiridakos, Giancarlo Esposito, Eric Kripke and Bahareh Seyedi - Premiere of 'Revolution: The Power of Entertainment' Season 2 at the United Nations Headquarters - New York, NY, United States - Tuesday 17th September 2013
Activision and Bungie have teamed up with Hollywood heavy hitters Jon Favreau and Giancarlo Esposito for the new trailer for Destiny.
Destiny is the latest multi-platform shooter from gaming powerhouse Activision (working in collaboration with fellow game manufacturer Bungie) and last night (May 23), the developers behind the game released the kick-ass part live action/part CGI trailer for the much-anticipated video game. The gaming studios even enlisted some Hollywood help for the promo, hiring Jon Favreau to direct, and Giancarlo Esposito as the star of the live segments.
The trailer doesn't feature any game play from the upcoming title, but we are treated to some classic English literature as Breaking Bad's Esposito reads his son Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book before bed, his story intertwining with the CGI clips highlighting the inner workings of the game. The Revelations actor reads aloud from the book, his chosen extracts seemingly reflecting the 'no man is an island' ethos of the game as he narrates; “The strength of the pack is the wolf, and the strength of the wolf is the pack.”
Iron Man director Favreau handled the camera work for the promo
Becca and Howie (Kidman and Eckhart) are a wealthy couple in the New York suburbs, but their life is coloured by intense grief after the accidental death of their 4-year-old son. Unable to move on, they struggle to integrate their loss into their daily routine, attending group-counselling sessions that Becca can't bear due to other parents' religious platitudes. Meanwhile, her mother (Wiest) and sister (Blanchard) add both comfort and stress, and Becca's chance encounter with the teen (Teller) who was driving the fateful car sparks her to take unusual action.
Continue reading: Rabbit Hole Review
Becca And Howie Corbett have a perfect life, they live in a nice house with their son Danny and their dog. When Danny runs out of the garden and is hit by a car their existence is thrown into turmoil. Struggling to deal with the loss, the couple find very different ways of dealing with their pain.
Continue: Rabbit Hole Trailer
Throughout the course of one night, we are driven around in five separate taxi cabs that range from familiar ports of L.A. and New York City to the echoing streets of Paris and Rome to the final ride through the frozen-over metropolis of Helsinki, right as the sun is rising. In Los Angeles, a big-time agent (Gena Rowlands) tries to seduce her rough-and-tumble cab driver (an insolent Winona Ryder) into becoming an actress. While in New York, a jerky Brooklynite (the superb Giancarlo Esposito) teaches his German cab driver (Armin Mueller-Stahl) how to drive, talk, and jive correctly while also trying to escort his sister-in-law (Rosie Perez) home.
Continue reading: Night On Earth Review
Wayne Wang's Last Holiday might be the first film to allow both bright spots to shine in support of a good feature. Essentially a remake of a 1950s Alec Guinness comedy, Holiday casts Latifah as Georgia Bird, a kind-hearted department store sales clerk who is too shy to ask out her dream man, Sean (Cool J), and too timid to pursue her dream career as a chef. After receiving a brutal bump on the head at work, Georgia is diagnosed with a rare form of brain cancer and told she has three weeks to live. This shocking truth jolts the homebody out of her mundane existence. She drains her bank account, books a flight to Prague, and proceeds to splurge on life's finer points before her time runs out.
Continue reading: Last Holiday Review
Sadly, it's the latter. Derailed opens with a tantalizing scenario that threatens to go down a host of intriguing avenues until novelist James Siegel and screenwriter Stuart Beattie opt for the obvious paths. Note to savvy readers: If you suspect someone is in cahoots with the movie's main killer, you're right. They are. Except for that one guy, who actually does die, though you'd be willing to wager $100 he'll turn up again in the end. He doesn't.
Continue reading: Derailed Review
Liz (Janeane Garofalo, bafflingly present in a humorless film like this) refuses to leave her apartment, despite a lost cat and a crazy man (Giancarlo Esposito) who inexplicably woos her. Judy (a skeletal Nicole Hansen) gets picked up by a guy who may or may not be a cop, dumped in another apartment, and develops a strange relationship with a guy (Tony Spiridakis, the film's writer) who may or may not be a cab driver. A third story follows a bartender (Jennifer Carpenter) with a big secret and who may or may not be a lesbian, being wooed by a punk grrrl musician (Pauley Perrette).
Continue reading: Beyond The Ashes Review
Benjamin Bratt is provocative in the role of Miguel Piñero, the troubled and disillusioned force behind the notable work Short Eyes, produced during one of Piñero's incarceration stints in the mid '70s. Bratt effectively exudes the pain and anger that transcends some posturing material, with a portrayal as lyrical as the throbbing beat of the movie's Latin-induced soundtrack. While the propensity for audiences to get caught up in Piñero's wayward world of instability is almost inevitable, the movie follows an uncharted path by trying to reinforce the demons without really being perceptive about Piñero's undeniable skill as a writer. The cliché about creative minds who become consumed by their art is almost a manipulation here. The film is valiant in the way it strides for that redemptive note as it tries to make us accept (and understand) his premature death of cirrhosis in 1988.
Continue reading: Piñero Review
And though Artisan is issuing a two-disc DVD release of the film, don't expect it to find much more of a cult audience 14 years after its original release.
Continue reading: King Of New York Review
Here Howell finds himself in the unlikely role of Addison Terrill, a high-powered Dallas lawyer who's married to a freaky wife (Sean Young) and in a rocky marriage that has to be enhanced by make-believe visits to his office. Pretty soon, the wife is dead, and one of Addison's old opponents (a guy he sent to prison) is on parole and, apparently, on the hunt. Did he kill the wife? Well, we don't really have any other suspects, so what else are we supposed to think. An hour and a half goes by as Addison plays vigilante with old pal Vargas (Giancarlo Esposito). Did they get their man? Is it the right man?
Continue reading: A Killer Within Review
Stop-motion animation innovator Henry Selick, the cheerfully demented director of "The Nightmare Before Christmas" and "James and the Giant Peach," tries his hand at a feature-length hybrid in the new Brendan Fraser comedy "Monkeybone" -- and he makes a real mess of things.
Leaning heavily on its low-brow antics and animated effects, the story -- about a cartoonist in a coma who slips into a purgatory of creepy creations -- is sloppy, choppy, and so egregiously abbreviated that the actors don't even have time to give their characters personality or appeal.
Fraser is the cartoonist and the creator of a comic called Monkeybone, about a Puckish screwball simian whose raison d'etre is causing trouble. As the film opens Fraser's manager (Dave Foley) has just cut a deal for an animated series that will bring in millions in merchandising. Our hero's only real character trait, besides being a bit skittish, is that he's not very comfortable with greedily cashing in on his cartoon character.
Continue reading: Monkeybone Review
The opening shot of Michael Mann's masterfully crafted boxer biography "Ali" is an image from behind a punching bag being pounded by the champ in rapid musical rhythm. As the bag flashes by with a strobe-like effect, that intensely focused gaze Muhammad Ali is famous for -- that laser beam look that means he's tuned out the world, that stare as steely as a freight train bearing down on you -- beams out of Will Smith's eyes.
It is the one and only time in the film you'll even remember the star's name, because for the next two and a half hours Smith inhabits Ali -- his power, grace, ego, humor and body language, inside and outside the ring -- as well as any actor could.
Choosing to focus on ten momentous years in Ali's life, Mann's round by round, bobbing and weaving narrative style assumes at least a passing knowledge of the fighter's life, merely dropping in on pivotal events without spending much time catching the audience up on the particulars of who, when and where.
Continue reading: Ali Review
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