Nat Turner was a former slave who on witnessing the scope of slavery across America chose to head a liberation movement in the form of a slave rebellion that resulted in a violent retaliation from the white supremacists in Virginia, 1831. This periodic drama film introduces the audience to the world in which Black people were enslaved in - inhumanly treated at the peril of the white race. The chilling shot of a young white child playing a game with a lynching rope around another black girls neck represents this serious period of history in a thought provoking scene.
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It didn't seem possible, but somehow this action movie is even more preposterous than its predecessor, 2013's over-serious Olympus Has Fallen. Gerard Butler is back as a Secret Service agent protecting US President Aaron Eckhart, this time in a Taken-style scenario in which they leave America only to be immediately thrown into the middle of a massive terrorist attack. But the script is so lazy that there isn't a moment when any of this is remotely believable.
Events are put into motion when the British prime minister dies of a heart attack and security services only have a few days to lock down London so that the world's leaders can arrive for the funeral at St Paul's Cathedral. Mike (Butler) flies in with his boss Lynn (Bassett) on Air Force One, accompanying President Asher (Eckhart) and a platoon of bodyguards. Then just before the funeral, a carefully orchestrated series of bombings and gun attacks take out five heads of state. Of course, Mike and Lynn get Asher out of the fray, but an army of bad guys led by terror mastermind Kamran (Waleed Zuaiter) pursue them across the city. Back in Washington, Vice President Trumbull (Morgan Freeman) and the panicky cabinet (including Haley, Forster and Leo) watch all of this unfold on video screens and coordinates a counter-attack.
Even with four screenwriters, the movie makes no real sense. And worse than that, the filmmakers never take advantage of the story's potential or the heavy-hitting cast. There's a line about how all of London's landmarks have been destroyed, but the on-screen destruction is limited to just one of Westminster Abbey's towers. The depiction of world leaders is laughably cliched. And the award-winning actors have nothing to do but stand there looking worried. By contrast, Butler charges around shooting and stabbing everybody who moves in a display of shockingly brutal machismo. Eckhart is more believably reluctant to join in and dispense some violence, but of course he does.
Continue reading: London Has Fallen Review
President Benjamin Asher must make a diplomatic trip to the capital of the United Kingdom after the British Prime Minister is killed. The death of the Prime Minister is shroud in mystery and Asher's number one Secret Service agent, Mike Banning, can't help but feel that the trip is going too smoothly.
Having each of the world's leaders all in one place, it's a hugely appealing target for terrorists. As the funeral proceedings begin to come together, Banning's worst fears come true. The world's stability is left in the hands of the president, his secret service agent and a lone MI6 agent.
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There's a robust, intelligent tone to this action remake that makes it continually intriguing, even if it's never properly exciting. The problem is that the characters are far too simplistic for us to care about, with moral dilemmas that are extremely cut and dried. Because the premise deals with several provocative themes, it wouldn't have taken much work to beef up the screenplay.
Set in the near future when American military robots patrol the world but are outlawed at home, the story centres on Omnicorp boss Sellars (Keaton), who is determined to sell his robots to the US market as police enforcers. So he decides to get around the law by putting a man inside a robot, drafting seriously injured Detroit cop Murphy (Kinnaman) as his guinea pig. Doctor Norton (Oldman) does an amazing job, building a machine around Murphy with extremely high technical capabilities. But Murphy can't help but worry about his wife (Cornish) and son, and he's obsessed with revenge over his attempted murder. So Norton is forced to use chemicals to suppress his emotions.
In other words, Murphy is actually more machine than man now, and operates at the whim of Sellars and his media spokesperson (Ehle), marketing nerd (Baruchel) and a rabid TV host (Jackson) to manipulate the US Congress to change the law. This greedy corporation gives the film a bite of satire, as does the issue of America's rampant willingness to brutally suppress anyone outside its borders. But without even a shading of complexity, the plot feels predictable and, frankly, rather dull. It's fun to watch everything happen, but our pulse rates never rise at all.
Continue reading: RoboCop Review
This starry drama has documentary realism going for it, although without a single well-developed character it never finds any resonance. By recounting JFK's assassination from a variety of previously unseen angles, we learn some new things about that fateful day in November 1963. Oddly, the script doesn't even focus on the hospital that gives the film its name. That might have helped give the film some focus.
We watch the shooting in Dallas through the eyes of Abraham Zapruder (Giamatti), famously the only person to capture the event on film. He is immediately contacted by a Secret Service agent (Thornton), who helps him process the film and make copies. Meanwhile at Parkland Hospital, two residents (Efron and Hanks) and a tenacious nurse (Harden) are working against the odds to save Kennedy's life. And elsewhere, an FBI agent (Livingston) is following the trail of the shooter, whose brother and mother (Dale and Weaver) have very different reactions to what has just happened.
Writer-director Landesman jumps straight into the events without properly establishing the characters. But it's impossible to feel emotion when we don't know anything about the people we're watching, and we can't feel suspense when we know what's going to happen. So we're left to soak up the details, which are often fascinating (ever wonder how to get a coffin into a plane?). And while the actors are good enough to play the intensity of each scene for all it's worth, the only ones who register with us are Giamatti and Dale, because what their characters go through is more complex than we expect.
Continue reading: Parkland Review
Alex Murphy is a hard-working police officer who lives an ordinary life with his beautiful wife Clara and young son David. However, his life is swiftly turned upside down when a bomb in his car explodes leaving him with 70% burns all over his body. Meanwhile, the multinational corporation OmniCorp who have been sending out robot technology abroad for warfare purposes are now coming up with other ideas; namely to deal with the increased crime rate of Detroit. They create a robot with the intention of programming it to target major wanted criminals, but on discovering Murphy's predicament and seeing how he has lost two limbs from his accident, they decide to kill two birds with one stone by fixing him into the suit so that he's able to continue working as a cop, but with more power than he could ever have imagined. The suit has been created to give him the illusion of free will while being externally controlled, however that changes when Murphy begins to use the suit for his own means.
'Robocop' is the upcoming remake of the 1987 sci-fi action flick of the same name directed by Paul Verhoeven. This adaptation has been helmed by Jose Padilha ('Elite Squad', 'Bus 174') and written by Nick Schenk ('Gran Torino'), James Vanderbilt ('The Amazing Spider-Man') and Joshua Zetumer. It will be reaching UK cinemas on February 7th 2014.
When Abraham Zapruder, a women's clothing manufacturer from Texas, excitedly set up his camera to record the grand arrival of the much-loved President John F. Kennedy and First Lady Jackie Kennedy in Dallas on November 22nd 1963, he had no idea that he would in fact record one of the most shocking and most watched films in history when the President was fatally shot by a nearby gunman. He became one of a string of unlikely individuals to get involved in one of the world's most publicised assassination cases, along with all the doctors and nurses who were forced to overcome the shock when Kennedy was rushed to Parkland Hospital; the family of the alleged killer, US Marine Lee Harvey Oswald; and those FBI agents who could've prevented the incident when they had Oswald in their grasp.
'Parkland' is a new historical drama about one of the most famous assassinations in history which is set for release ahead of the event's 50th anniversary. It has been directed and written by Peter Landesman who is controversially best known for his New York Times article on sex slavery 'The Girls Next Door' which he later turned into a film called 'Trades' and which was publicly accused of being at least partly fictitious. 'Parkland' is set to be released in the UK on November 8th 2013.
After spending nearly 200 years trapped in a coffin, Barnabas Collins (Depp) is released to rejoin what's left of his wealthy New England family in 1972. The matriarch Elizabeth (Pfeiffer) now lives in the falling-down manor Collinswood with her brother Roger (Miller), her daughter (Moretz) and his son (McGrath), as well as a live-in shrink (Bonham Carter), a caretaker (Haley) and a new governess (Heathcote). But Angelique (Green), the witch who turned Barnabas into a vampire, is still trying to destroy the family.
Continue reading: Dark Shadows Review
In 1752, The Collins family moves from Liverpool for a new life in North America. Barnabas, the son of the family, grows up and soon earns a reputation as a playboy. One day, his antics break the heart of a young woman, Angelique. She reveals her true nature to Barnabas - she is really a witch! She curses Barnabas and turns him into a vampire, burying him alive.
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In 1954 Boston, Ted (DiCaprio) is a US Marshal heading with his new partner Chuck (Ruffalo) to the Shutter Island hospital for the criminally insane. A patient (Mortimer) has mysteriously disappeared, and the head doctor (Kingsley) is acting suspicious. So is everyone else for that matter. As Ted delves deeper into the mystery, which hints at a big conspiracy, he struggles with the implications these events have for his own life, including the death of his wife (Williams) and his experiences liberating Dachau at the end of the war.
Continue reading: Shutter Island Review
Nat Turner was a former slave who on witnessing the scope of slavery across America...
It didn't seem possible, but somehow this action movie is even more preposterous than its...
Gerard Butler, Morgan Freeman, Aaron Eckhart and Angela Bassett once again team up in the...
There's a robust, intelligent tone to this action remake that makes it continually intriguing, even...
This starry drama has documentary realism going for it, although without a single well-developed character...
Alex Murphy is a hard-working police officer who lives an ordinary life with his beautiful...
On November 22nd 1963 in Dallas, Texas, the hugely adored President John F. Kennedy was...
When Abraham Zapruder, a women's clothing manufacturer from Texas, excitedly set up his camera to...
'Lincoln' will show the last four months of President Abraham Lincoln's life as he campaigned...
There were 1,245 episodes of the gothic soap Dark Shadows between 1966 and 1971, so...