Former Piston Cup Champion Lightning McQueen was a hero in his day, but it seems in the last few years technology has improved so much that he is constantly being out-run by newer and more advanced models. His latest rival is the super-speedy newcomer Jackson Storm, whose arrogant attitude makes McQueen desperate to beat him once and for all. Naturally, he's being bugged constantly about his plans for retirement, but to him it only feels like yesterday that he was a rookie himself making waves in the racing world. It doesn't matter how many tricks he learns to up his game, however, he'll never be the racer he once was. But his friends are nonetheless determined to train him up to be the best he can be, led by the young and enthusiastic technician Cruz Ramirez. He might never be able to match Jackson's speed, but that doesn't mean he can't outsmart him on the track.
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It's clear from the very start that this movie has little to do with the 1977-1983 beloved hit TV series. Firstly, the film ignores the capitalisation that would make sense of the title. And the main characters, while they have familiar names, are completely different people. So fans of the show will be justifiably angry that it has been merely referenced to make a half-hearted mash-up of The Hangover and Fast & Furious. Which might not be a bad idea if the gross-out comedy was funny and the action was even remotely thrilling.
In this version, Poncharello is the undercover name assigned to a Miami FBI agent (Michael Pena) who is sent to Los Angeles to investigate a string of armoured car robberies that might involve dirty cops. He is partnered with officer Jon Baker (Dax Shepard) riding motorcycles with the California Highway Patrol (they're CHiPs, not Chips). Jon is a former hotshot off-road motorbike champ who has broken every bone in his body and has only joined the police to try to win back his estranged, monstrous wife (Kristen Bell). But he's such a high-energy idiot that he's starting the job on probation. As their case develops, it's instantly clear that the mastermind is the villainous officer Kurtz (Vincent D'Onofrio). And their investigation is complicated by the arrival of Ponch's FBI boss (Isiah Whitlock Jr.) and partner (Adam Brody).
The lazy script never tries to crank up any real mystery or tension in the plot. Instead, the film is just a series of smutty jokes and incoherent stunt sequences, plus running gags that never reach a punchline. All of this is infused with relentless sexism, as the camera leers shamelessly at every woman. And the laddish misogyny is accompanied by constant homophobia, which is addressed in the dialogue in a feeble attempt to undercut the baldfaced bigotry. This makes all of the characters resolutely unlikeable. Ponch and Jon are such self-absorbed jerks that it's inconceivable that they would ever be allowed to be policemen.
Continue reading: Chips Review
This hugely enjoyable adventure is a loose remake of the 1977 Disney hit that blended cartoon and live-action. By contrast, this movie feels almost unnervingly realistic, with seamless effects that bring a gigantic green furry dragon remarkably to life. With strong characters and a pointed story, this is a great movie for kids. And grown-ups might find themselves getting caught up in it as well.
Six years after being lost following a car crash, 12-year-old Pete (Oakes Fegley) is still living in the deep forest, playing happily with his dragon companion Elliot, who's like an enormous cuddly green puppy dog. But sawmill worker Gavin (Karl Urban) is travelling deeper into the woods. His brother, the mill's owner Jack (Wes Bentley), is urging caution, perhaps because his fiancee is the park ranger Grace (Bryce Dallas Howard). Then one day on the work site, Grace spots Pete in the trees and brings him back to civilisation. No one believes his fanciful tales of life with a dragon, just like they didn't believe Grace's father (Robert Redford) decades ago. But Grace's sparky daughter Natalie (Oona Laurence) does. And she decides to help Pete get home.
What follows is a fairly low-key adventure, as various factors come into play, mixing threats against this primordial forest with threats against Pete's bond with Elliot. It's a simple structure that immediately resonates with the audience, mainly because director-cowriter David Lowery keeps everything within the realm of believability. And the actors deliver similarly authentic performances as people trying to grapple with a rather startling discovery. Urban has the most thankless role in this sense: the hothead who immediately makes all the wrong decisions for selfish reasons. But he brings some complexity where he can. And he's nicely balanced by Howard, Bentley and a seriously twinkly Redford. Meanwhile, both Fegley and Laurence deliver solid turns as believably resilient kids.
Continue reading: Pete's Dragon Review
Pete is a young boy who lives in the forest, not many little boys would survive in the wilderness alone, but Pete has a HUGE force on his side, one that most people wouldn't ever believe. Pete is constantly accompanied and protected by his dragon Elliot.
Grace is the forest ranger who's grown up hearing her father's stories about a fierce dragon in the forest but to her his stories are nothing more than the fairy tale, as most would surmise. However, Graces views on the whole situation might just start to change when she crosses paths with the little forest boy.
As Pete regales Grace with his adventurous way of life accompanied by his green friend, some of his stories start to ring a bell with her father's tales. With the help of Natalie, a local girl similar in age to Pete, Grace begins to try and trace back Pete's roots.
Continue: Pete's Dragon - Teaser Trailer
Keith Stanfield, Donald Glover, Zazie Beetz, Isiah Whitlock Jr. , Brian Henry - FOX Winter TCA 2016 All-Star Party held at the Langham Huntington Hotel in Pasadena at Langham Huntington Hotel - Los Angeles, California, United States - Friday 15th January 2016
Not only could the stellar cast be found beaming on the red carpet at the New York premiere of upcoming comedy 'St. Vincent', but supporting guests from 'Desperate Housewives' star James Denton to 'Inherent Vice' actress Jena Malone were also snapped arriving at the event.
A bracingly original approach to both science-fiction and the found-footage genres makes this eerily realistic thriller well worth a look. Director Cordero may indulge in a variety of gimmicky and manipulative tricks, but he keeps everything grounded, as it were, and his expert cast makes sure that we are drawn into the story as it progresses. Which makes the conclusion startlingly intense.
After six months in space, the feed from the Europa One mission suddenly went blank, leaving Earth to wonder what was happening in humanity's first deep-space voyage. Unknown to the mission commander (Davidtz) in Houston, the six-person crew has continued on course to Jupiter's moon Europa, where they plan to explore whether there are conditions that could support life. When they arrive, their landing doesn't go quite as planned, and their experiments reveal things they couldn't possibly have expected. They also finally get a chance to send their video footage back to mission control.
What we're watching is an assembly of this footage, taken both inside and outside the ship as they travel, intercut with the commander's comments. Cordero directs all of this exactly like scenes we've seen from Space Shuttle missions, so it looks all too real, complete with a crew of complex experts. Marinca is terrific as the soulful pilot, with the charismatic Camargo and the curious Wydra as scientists, and the cheeky Copely and the intriguingly shaded Nyqvist as mechanics. This cast of acclaimed actors really raises the bar, adding layers of interest without ever seeming to act at all.
Continue reading: Europa Report Review
Adam is a nice guy who's willing to be faithful to his girlfriend Phoebe, there's just one problem; he's addicted to sex. Despite Phoebe's initial scepticism and distrust, Adam attends group therapy classes to overcome his clinical neurosis before it destroys his chance of love. There he meets Neil, someone who doesn't actually have sex, but whose addiction stems to getting as close to women as possible and has already lost him his job after his boss caught him filming up her skirt. Neil becomes best buddies with Dede, one of the only women in the therapy group who he puts all his energy into helping recover from her own problem. With everyone banding together to face their demons, beautiful friendships are discovered and waning relationships are healed.
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A group of three best friends from a New Jersey suburbia set up a rock band in 1964 after seeing The Rolling Stones perform on television and enlist one boy, played by John Magaro, as the lead vocalist. He changes his look and defies his father who is unimpressed with his son's big ambitions; especially when he expresses a desire to move away to where rock music is the main scene. When the band receive a contract to play seven nights a week for six months, things start to take a chaotic turn when he starts getting involved with a girl, fighting with his band mates and struggling to maintain a relationship with his father.
'Not Fade Away' is named after a Buddy Holly song that The Rolling Stones covered in the same year the movie is set. It is a story about living in the moment; not worrying about the future and forgetting about the past, taking every positive opportunity available. It has been written and directed by the genius behind New Jersey mob series 'The Sopranos', David Chase, in his feature film directorial debut. This emotionally charged drama flick is set for release this winter on December 21st 2012.
Starring: John Magaro, Jack Huston, Will Brill, Bella Heathcote, Brad Garrett, Christopher McDonald, James Gandolfini, Isiah Whitlock Jr., Molly Price, Julia Garner, Lisa Lampanelli, Alex Veadov & Justine Lupe.
Henry Barthes is a highly recommended substitute teacher, a compliment he doesn't really accept. His latest job is subbing at an inner city high school for a month, where exam grades are slipping; the pupils are unruly and the head teacher is under fire for the decline in standards there.
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'Smalls Change (Meditations Upon Ageing)' arrives in April.
The two awards have made for a great 72nd birthday present for the country music icon.
Former Piston Cup Champion Lightning McQueen was a hero in his day, but it seems...
This hugely enjoyable adventure is a loose remake of the 1977 Disney hit that blended...
Pete is a young boy who lives in the forest, not many little boys would...
A bracingly original approach to both science-fiction and the found-footage genres makes this eerily realistic...
Adam is a nice guy who's willing to be faithful to his girlfriend Phoebe, there's...
A group of three best friends from a New Jersey suburbia set up a rock...
Henry Barthes is a highly recommended substitute teacher, a compliment he doesn't really accept. His...