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A Cure For Wellness Review

OK

It's no surprise that this creep-out horror thriller is packed with whizzy visual invention, since it's directed by Gore Verbinski, who made the first three Pirates of the Caribbean movies, as well as Rango and The Lone Ranger. And the screenplay by Justin Haythe (Revolutionary Road) starts well, stirring in some resonant themes amid the growing, gnawing nastiness. Unfortunately, over the film's overlong running time, it just gets sillier and simpler.

The story centres on Lockhart (Dane DeHaan), a rising star workaholic New York broker who's been caught in some dodgy dealings. To redeem himself, he is sent to collect the company's boss (Harry Groener) from a Swiss sanatorium, where he seems to have gone native. Or something. But when Lockhart arrives at the picturesque Alpine castle, things quickly begin to spiral out of control. He's injured in a car crash, forcing him to become a patient at the spa alongside the rather too-cheerful elderly residents, who are undergoing some sort of odd treatment. As Lockhart digs deeper, he runs afoul of the director, Dr Volmer (Jason Isaacs), especially when he befriends the doctor's star patient, the oddly naive Hannah (Mia Goth). And as things get freakier, Lockhart begins to worry that he'll never get out of here.

Verbinski develops a darkly gothic atmosphere from the first frames of the film, and things get increasingly offbeat from there. Some elements are blackly comical, but the overall tone is grotesque, with a special emphasis on slimy eels, which appear alarmingly everywhere Lockhart looks. Meanwhile, Haythe stirs in a convoluted mythology about the mad baron who lived in the castle 200 years earlier. When combined with underlying themes about the stresses of modern-day life and the relative morality of Wall Street bankers, this is all rather intriguing. Unfortunately, these clever textures slip away quickly, leaving little more than a series of repetitive set pieces designed to give the audience the jitters as they remind us of other movies.

Continue reading: A Cure For Wellness Review

Mia Goth Has Huge Admiration For Dane DeHaan


Mia Goth Dane DeHaan Jason Isaacs

Mia Goth has always wanted to work with Dane DeHaan, and the 23-year-old British actress got her chance with A Cure For Wellness.

Goth plays Hannah in the psychological thriller, a patient at a mysterious rehabilitation center in the Swiss Alps, where DeHaan’s character Lockhart is sent to rescue his boss.

Mia GothMia Goth stars in A Cure For Wellness

Continue reading: Mia Goth Has Huge Admiration For Dane DeHaan

Malfoys Unite! Jason Isaacs And Tom Felton Have 'Harry Potter' Reunion


Jason Isaacs Tom Felton Jk Rowling Harry Potter

Jason Isaacs and his onscreen son Tom Felton held a heart warming Harry Potter reunion over the weekend, taking in Universal Orlando's Wizarding World theme park.

The two actors, who played villainous father-and-son Lucis and Draco Malfoy in the film series, also both attended the Universal Orlando’s Celebration of Harry Potter, where they took part in a cast panel alongside Warwick Davis and Matthew Lewis.

Continue reading: Malfoys Unite! Jason Isaacs And Tom Felton Have 'Harry Potter' Reunion

A Cure For Wellness Trailer


Where does the line of wellness end and where does illness begin? That's the question on the mind of one young business official with big dreams. He is forced to visit a mysterious 'wellness center' in the middle of the Swiss Alps; a beautiful location where his boss has been staying for therapy. It seems like an incredible place to be treated, whatever your ailment, with its vast array of treatments, spas and therapies - many of which are unique and innovative. But all is not what it seems at this wellness center; there's a sinister melancholy in the air and soon our protagonist finds himself struggling with his own sanity, unable to leave but too frightened to stay. It becomes clear that there is an affliction affecting all the residents, the cure for which is an ominous mystery.

Continue: A Cure For Wellness Trailer

Jason Isaacs - BAFTAs: BAFTA fundraising gala dinner & auction at BAFTA - London, United Kingdom - Thursday 11th February 2016

Jason Isaacs
Jason Isaacs
Jason Isaacs

Jason Isaacs - Jason Isaacs outside ITV Studios - London, United Kingdom - Thursday 4th February 2016

Jason Isaacs
Jason Isaacs
Jason Isaacs

Fury Trailer


Wardaddy is an army sergeant with years of experience in the horrors and victories of war. He's one of the most effective and most courageous war heroes America has to offer and, now commanding a Sherman tank named Fury with a group of just five soldiers, he must lead his men into a highly risky operation right on their enemies' doorstep. Not only has he and his boys got the threat of serious outnumbering ahead of them, but Wardaddy also has to tutor a terrified new recruit named Norman Ellison, who's less than okay with shooting down hundreds of men in a vehicle he has never used before. It's all about having each other's backs and keeping everyone motivated to keep on fighting, but when a platoon of three-hundred German soldiers strike out, it doesn't look like that will be enough to keep them alive.

Continue: Fury Trailer

Harrison Ford Recovering, But Is Jason Isaac Star Wars Inquisitor?


Harrison Ford Jason Isaacs

Harrison Ford continues to recover in hospital after undergoing surgery on his ankle following an accident on the set of Star Wars: Episode VII. The actor is unlikely to return to the set at Pinewood studios for six-to-eight weeks but we’ve got some new Star Wars news for you to fill the void now the furore around Ford has died down.

Star Wars

A new report suggests British actor Jason Isaac – best known for Harry Potter – could voice the Jedi-hunting villain The Inquisitor in the forthcoming animated TV series Star Wars Rebels. An insider speaking with TheForce.net confirmed that Isaacs has been nailed down as the choice for the Inquisitor, also suggesting that Obi-Wan Kenobi will be present for the premiere in some form.

Continue reading: Harrison Ford Recovering, But Is Jason Isaac Star Wars Inquisitor?

Finally, A Real Look At Brad Pitt's 'Fury' At E3


Brad Pitt Shia LaBeouf Jon Bernthal Scott Eastwood Jason Isaacs

We don’t hear much about Brad Pitt’s upcoming World War II drama, Fury – apart from whispers of discontent from the locals, anyway. But finally, a behind the scenes video of the drama starring Shia LaBeouf, Logan Lerman, Michael Peña, Jon Bernthal, Jason Isaacs, and Scott Eastwood has hit at E3, giving us a peek inside this promising project.

Brad PittBrad Pitt at the End Sexual Violence In Conflict Global Summit held at ExCeL, London

Ayer promises the film will be “a movie about World War II, the likes of which we haven’t seen before” Speaking about the main characters, he says in the video: “They’re exhausted, they’re tired, they’re grief-stricken, they’re combat fatigued. It’s really about a family under incredible stress.”

Continue reading: Finally, A Real Look At Brad Pitt's 'Fury' At E3

The Reviews Are In: NBC's "Rosemary's Baby" Doesn't Quite Measure Up To The Original


Zoe Saldana Jason Isaacs

What’s not to like about Rosemary’s Baby? Horror? Check. Classic? Check. Zoe Saldana, Jason Isaacs, Patrick J. Adams? Check, check, check. The new miniseries reboot has a lot going for it, but the critics seem to want more from a TV adaptation with such great credits.

Zoe Saldana
Despite Saldana and Co's best efforts, the adaptation just doesn't deliver the chills.

According to the New York Daily News’ David Hinkley, extending the two-hour film into a four episode mini-series serves to dilute the tension, instead of extending it. “Despite the efforts of a good cast, inflating “Rosemary’s Baby” into a miniseries doesn’t give the classic 1968 movie the kind of fresh life its producers no doubt envisioned,” Hinkley writes. Nevertheless, according to him, the miniseries might be good enough for audiences, who never got to see the 1968 original.

Continue reading: The Reviews Are In: NBC's "Rosemary's Baby" Doesn't Quite Measure Up To The Original

'Rosemary's Baby': Critics React To Zoe Saldana's Chilling TV Retake


Zoe Saldana Patrick J. Adams Jason Isaacs Carole Bouquet

The first reviews have been filed for NBC's brand new horror miniseries, Rosemary's Baby, which is inspired by the 1968 Roman Polanski movie of the same name. Zoe Saldana and Patrick J. Adams take the lead in director Agnieszka Holland's modern retelling of the chilling story. Holland's vision takes novelist Ira Levin's tale from New York to Paris but keeps the same basic plot and characters.

Zoe Saldana
Zoe Saldana Plays Rosemary In The NBC Retake Of 'Rosemary's Baby.'

Saldana plays the Rosemary to Adams' Guy, a young couple who are struggling to find somewhere to live, establish their careers and have a baby. Rosemary and Guy find help from seemingly kindly older benefactors Roman Castavet (Jason Isaacs) and his wife, Margaux (Carole Bouquet).

Continue reading: 'Rosemary's Baby': Critics React To Zoe Saldana's Chilling TV Retake

Rosamund Pike, Simon Pegg And Nick Frost Attend 'The World's End' Premiere, London [Pictures]


Simon Pegg David Walliams Nick Frost Rosamund Pike Olivia Colman Allen Leech David Bradley Jason Isaacs

The World's End World Premiere took place in London last night (Wednesday 9th July). The stars of the upcoming comedy attended: Simon Pegg (Shaun of the Dead), Rosamund Pike (Pride and Prejudice), Nick Frost (Hot Fuss), Eddie Marsan (Sherlock Holmes) and Martin Freeman (The Hobbit). Joining them on the red carpet was a vast array of actors, musicians and other celebrities.

Nick Frost, Rosamund Pike and Simon Pegg
From L-R: Nick Frost, Rosamund Pike and Simon Pegg at the premiere. 

The film centres on five friends, reunited after several years apart, who must prevent the end of the world. Following in the same fashion a Shaun of the Dead, a considerably amount of these unlikely heroes time is spend in the pub. 

Continue reading: Rosamund Pike, Simon Pegg And Nick Frost Attend 'The World's End' Premiere, London [Pictures]

Jason Isaacs - Golden Globe Awards Post Party Los Angeles California USA Sunday 13th January 2013

Jason Isaacs

Robbie Williams and Jason Isaacs - Robbie Williams and Jason Isaacs Wednesday 23rd May 2012 Training for the Soccer Aid match which will be held in Manchester's Old Trafford stadium on Sunday (27May12)

Robbie Williams and Jason Isaacs
Robbie Williams and Jason Isaacs
Robbie Williams and Jason Isaacs
Robbie Williams and Olly Murs
Robbie Williams
Robbie Williams

Jason Isaacs and BAFTA Saturday 14th January 2012 BAFTA Los Angeles 18th Annual Awards Season Tea Party held at the Four Seasons Hotel - Arrivals

Jason Isaacs and Bafta

Jason Isaacs and Fox Studios Thursday 3rd November 2011 attending the Have a Little Faith premiere at Twentieth Century Fox Studios Los Angeles, California

Jason Isaacs and Fox Studios
Jon Avnet, Jason Isaacs and Fox Studios
Estelle Harris, Jason Isaacs and Fox Studios
Nancy Travis, Jason Isaacs and Fox Studios
Estelle Harris, Jason Isaacs and Fox Studios
Jason Isaacs and Fox Studios

Jason Isaacs - Jason Isaacs, wife Emma Hewitt Thursday 15th September 2011 The premiere of 'Abduction' held at the Chinese Theatre - Arrivals

Jason Isaacs
Jason Isaacs
Jason Isaacs

Cars 2 Review


Good
There's an astounding level of detail in the animation of this sequel to Pixar's iffy 2006 hit Cars. It's good fun but, with so many characters and plot strands, it also feels cluttered and rather chaotic.

Global daredevil Axelrod (Izzard) has challenged the world's fastest cars to a three-part grand prix, so rally champ McQueen (Wilson) heads to Tokyo with his pal Mater (Larry) to take on rival F1 racer Francesco (Turturro). But Mater obliviously stumbles into a sinister international espionage operation, mistaken for a spy by British agents Finn and Holly (Caine and Mortimer). As the competition continues to the Italian Riviera and London, McQueen frets that he has insulted Mater. But he's actually entangled in a mission to stop a mysterious villain from blowing up the racers.

Continue reading: Cars 2 Review

Jason Isaacs - Thursday 7th July 2011 at ITV Studios London, England

Jason Isaacs
Jason Isaacs
Jason Isaacs

Abduction Trailer


Nathan Harper is a popular kid, he's on the school wrestling team and like most teenagers, knows how to party but he's also always had a feeling of doubt in his life, just something in the background telling him something wasn't right. Delving a little deeper into his past, Nathan discovers a childhood photo of him posted on a missing persons website.

Continue: Abduction Trailer

Jason Isaacs - Sunday 5th December 2010 at Old Billingsgate The British Independent Film Awards held at the Old Billingsgate Market - Arrivals. London, England

Jason Isaacs

Cars 2 Trailer


Lightning McQueen knows he's the best and fastest race car in the world and when he hears about the first-ever World Grand Prix he decides he must enter. Along with his best friend Mater the tow truck they start their journey overseas.

Continue: Cars 2 Trailer

Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 1 Review


Excellent

Cranking up the action and emotion, JK Rowling's Harry Potter saga moves into the first half of its extended grand finale. It's a relatively harrowing film punctuated by real violence, and it cleverly starts weaving together both the plot and the relationships.

After the tragic events of the previous school year, Harry (Radcliffe) and his pals Ron and Hermoine (Grint and Watson) know that they can't go back to normal. Instead, they're on the run from Voldemort (Fiennes) and his fearsome Death Eaters. They also have an overwhelming task: collecting the horcruxes that Voldemort has hidden to ensure his immortality. But where to look? And when they find one, how do they destroy it? Then a rebel journalist (Ifans) tells them the story of the Deathly Hallows, which makes their quest even more urgent.

The plot has a very different structure, as our three heroes are propelled by startling events into increasingly uncertain situations. Persistently chased by the bad guys and unable to trust anyone, they are profoundly alone and constantly in danger. We strongly feel their lonely desperation all the way through the film, so when another nasty thing happens to push them further along, it's genuinely unsettling.

Although it feels far too long, Yates and Kloves thankfully mix the dark drama with lighter comedy, allowing the characters to grow organically. Over seven films the story has grown increasingly gloomy but, despite the relentless anxiety, this chapter has an insistent pace, which is helpful since pretty nightmarish things are happening. There's also some subtext in the political storyline, as the villains seize control first of the media and then the government.

By now, the three central actors have settled solidly into their roles, adding subtle edges in every scene. Intriguingly, Grint has emerged as the most complex performer, but all three are excellent. And the who's who of British acting talent around them is fantastic. Stand-outs this time are Nighy (as a slippery politician), Isaacs (as a disgraced baddie) and Mullan (as a vicious security guy). But several others get a chance to shine as well, and of course there's a lot more action to come in Part 2.

Jason Isaacs, Freemasons and Harry Potter - Jason Issacs, London, England - at the 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1' premiere afterparty, held at Freemasons Hall. Friday 12th November 2010

Jason Isaacs, Freemasons and Harry Potter
Jason Isaacs, Freemasons and Harry Potter
Jason Isaacs, Freemasons and Harry Potter
Jason Isaacs, Freemasons and Harry Potter

Skeletons Review


Very Good
This surreal and quirky British comedy-drama benefits from strongly resonant performances that help us go along with the absurdist plot. It also has an intriguingly emotional tone that catches us off guard.

Davis and Bennett (Gaughan and Buckley) work for Veridical, a company that will perform "the procedure" to clean the skeletons from your closet. With access to a sort of parallel dimension, Davis and Bennett travel the country helping people expose their pasts. But while Bennett is looking forward to a promotion from their boss (Isaacs), Davis is indulging in illicit "glow-chasing", which could have serious repercussions on his life and work. When they're sent to help a woman (Steen) find her lost husband, things don't quite go to plan.

Continue reading: Skeletons Review

Green Zone Review


Extraordinary
Based on Rajiv Chandrasekaran's true account Imperial Life in the Emerald City, this film never pauses for breath throughout a story set in the weeks following the 2003 invasion of Baghdad. It's provocative, involving and utterly gripping.

Miller (Damon) is a military officer charged with locating weapons of mass destruction, but every site he visits is a dead end. When he voices doubts about the intelligence, he gets in trouble with the Pentagon chief (Kinnear).

On the other hand, the CIA director (Gleeson) is sympathetic, and encourages him to dig around. So with the help of a local translator (Abdalla), Miller dives in. And he's quickly caught between two factions in his own government as he searches for an Iraqi general (Naor) in hiding.

Continue reading: Green Zone Review

Jason Isaacs Thursday 18th February 2010 The London Critics' Circle Film Awards at The Landmark Hotel - Arrivals London, England

Jason Isaacs
Jason Isaacs

Jason Isaacs Sunday 29th November 2009 EA British Academy Children's Awards 2009 held at the London Hilton. London, England

Jason Isaacs

Jason Isaacs Friday 16th October 2009 The Times BFI London Film Festival: The Road - gala screening held at the Vue West End. London, England

Jason Isaacs - Jason Issacs, Sunday 26th April 2009 at British Academy Television Awards London, England

Jason Isaacs

Jason Isaacs - Emma Hewitt; Jason Isaacs Wednesday 15th April 2009 at BAFTA London, England

Jason Isaacs
Jason Isaacs
Jason Isaacs

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Trailer


Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Trailer

Continue: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Trailer

Event Horizon Review


OK
After Paul W.S. Anderson unleashed the blockbuster Mortal Kombat, he could do no wrong in the eyes of millions of geeks. He was the fanboy's filmmaker, creating a video game movie that was as fun and trashy as the game itself. All the nerds had high, high hopes that Anderson would settle into a career as fandom's new hotshot. Boy were they disappointed. Somewhere along the line, poor Anderson went from the top of the heap to the bottom of the barrel. (Poor bastard's name is rubbed in the mud almost as often as Uwe Boll!) And most fanboys say that Event Horizon was Anderson's fall from grace. A shame really, because the film's better than most science fiction hokum. (And heads above his next pic, Soldier. Not to mention every... other... film.... after... that. Geez, guy just can't catch a break, huh?)

The plot concerns a scientific spaceship - the Event Horizon - that was sent into a black hole with a full crew. The ship, naturally, vanishes and reappears years later, empty and sulking in a space fog. A small rescue crew is sent out to rendezvous with the Event Horizon, comprised of all your traditional stock characters (stoic Captain Miller (Laurence Fishburne), Dr. William Weir (Sam Neill), Med Tech Peters (Kathleen Quinlan), and the usual spacefaring grunts). Once onboard the desolate Event Horizon, all manner of bizarre things begin taking place, and it's quite clear from the outset that wherever the Event Horizon was, it didn't come back alone. We're not talking Alien territory here, nothing that tangible, but the residue of some otherworldly hell that has infested the hulk of the ship and imbued it was a hideous life of its own. Or perhaps, it really did go to the hell. It's a bit unclear.

Continue reading: Event Horizon Review

Battle Of The Brave Review


Weak
Epic romance, period setting (18th century war between Britain and France over control of Canada), amazing cast (check out the last few names), Celine Dion song on the soundtrack... sounds like a recipe for success. Unfortunately, it was not to be. The film was retitled from its original Nouvelle-France to the generic Battle of the Brave and eventually dumped on DVD, at least in the U.S.

Continue reading: Battle Of The Brave Review

Friends With Money Review


Excellent
It's hard to be in L.A. - to live, to visit, to see in movies - and not think that being jaw-droppingly wealthy is the only way to live life. People drive tricked-out cars worth as much as the (astronomical) average housing price and think nothing of tossing away a few hundred on a pair of ripped jeans because they hug the butt just so. This casual relationship with opulence is the setting for Friends with Money, writer-director Nicole Holofcener's (Walking and Talking, Lovely & Amazing) new comedy about how tough the world can be for the haves and the have-mores.Not some "money doesn't solve everything" morality play - if anything, money solves a heck of a lot here - we instead get a more general look at the dissatisfaction and ennui striking women of a certain age, regardless of whether they are rich or not. (But not, apparently, if they are really, really rich - then they get to be happy.) It's familiar ground for Holofcener, whose semi-feminist films always follow a group of women trying to work out a sense of identity at a particular stage of life.So what do these women, walking illustrations of "having it all," have to complain about? Well, for Christine (Catherine Keener, a Holocener mainstay), the problem is her crumbling marriage to an unsympathetic and superior screenwriting partner/husband. Jane (Frances McDormand) is a chichi clothing designer in a life crisis that who quits washing her hair and is sent into fits of apoplectic rage by everyday aggravations in traffic and customer service. It's very baffling to her sweet, sympathetic, and very probably straight husband. Only Franny (Joan Cusack), the wealthiest of the bunch, seems to have a functioning marriage and a deeply satisfying life as a stay-at-home-mom (with full time help, of course - no need to be primitive).And then there is Olivia (Jennifer Aniston); poor, unmarried, childless, house cleaner Olivia. She is likely supposed to be the stunted one, but... it's still Jennifer Aniston; she's hardly a plebe. Olivia has taken to drifting through life, smoking a lot of pot, obsessively stalking a past (married) lover, and letting her current guy degrade mistreat her - and pay for the privilege. The film's title (and casting) suggest that Olivia is meant to be the focus, but her melancholic foundering isn't really given a priority in screen time. It's a good thing, too, considering her passivity doesn't always make her the most interesting.Friends offers little indication how these four women became close, with Olivia so much younger and leading an utterly different life. Franny comments that she isn't certain whether they still would be friends if they met now; but for the other two, there is the feeling they keep Olivia around to maintain a sense of superiority - their lives may be disintegrating, but at least they aren't maids. Olivia clearly has a tendency towards masochism, but at least her friendships offer something to aspire to.That is the crux of the appeal - and potentially off-putting nature - of Holofcener's work: Her women are complicated, troubled, and often inscrutable. They are not always likeable, or fleshed out to minute details, and they rarely experience grand transformations or realizations. But they are always relatable - who hasn't wanted to lash out when someone brazenly cuts in line and totally gets away with it? - and Holofcener writes them brilliantly acerbic and sharp, so her script stays jaunty and blithe (lean, too, at under 90 minutes).It might have no real resolutions to speak of, and male characters are shallowly drawn and peripheral at best, but Friends with Money is the kind of chick flick that offers genuine accessibility instead of rah-rah sisterhood empowerment. And if still working on figuring out who you are when you're already supposed to be a grown up offers no kinship, well, we've all sat awake at night, pondering where to donate that extra two mil so it doesn't burn us at tax time.Friend with monkey.

Event Horizon Review


OK
After Paul W.S. Anderson unleashed the blockbuster Mortal Kombat, he could do no wrong in the eyes of millions of geeks. He was the fanboy's filmmaker, creating a video game movie that was as fun and trashy as the game itself. All the nerds had high, high hopes that Anderson would settle into a career as fandom's new hotshot. Boy were they disappointed. Somewhere along the line, poor Anderson went from the top of the heap to the bottom of the barrel. (Poor bastard's name is rubbed in the mud almost as often as Uwe Boll!) And most fanboys say that Event Horizon was Anderson's fall from grace. A shame really, because the film's better than most science fiction hokum. (And heads above his next pic, Soldier. Not to mention every... other... film.... after... that. Geez, guy just can't catch a break, huh?)

The plot concerns a scientific spaceship - the Event Horizon - that was sent into a black hole with a full crew. The ship, naturally, vanishes and reappears years later, empty and sulking in a space fog. A small rescue crew is sent out to rendezvous with the Event Horizon, comprised of all your traditional stock characters (stoic Captain Miller (Laurence Fishburne), Dr. William Weir (Sam Neill), Med Tech Peters (Kathleen Quinlan), and the usual spacefaring grunts). Once onboard the desolate Event Horizon, all manner of bizarre things begin taking place, and it's quite clear from the outset that wherever the Event Horizon was, it didn't come back alone. We're not talking Alien territory here, nothing that tangible, but the residue of some otherworldly hell that has infested the hulk of the ship and imbued it was a hideous life of its own. Or perhaps, it really did go to the hell. It's a bit unclear.

Continue reading: Event Horizon Review

Black Hawk Down Review


Terrible
"It's about the facelessness of war!" exclaimed a colleague. "The compositions are stunning, with action going on in the foreground and background. It's a dynamic and apocalyptic visual experience!" This, to me, is madness. Black Hawk Down has been mistaken, in its bloated self-importance, for being cinematically and politically relevant. Take away its timely guise of patriotism, and it's a real horror show, more about murder than military prowess. Without the morally repellant "kill 'em all" subtext (young white boys mowing down the savages), you're left with something merely incoherent.

Two U.S. Black Hawk helicopters go down in the mazelike streets of Mogadishu during a routine search-and-capture mission, leaving 100 G.I.'s stumbling around enemy territory with limited resources until the rescue Rangers show up. It's been oft-compared to having almost two full hours of Steven Spielberg's masterful 30-minute Omaha Beach sequence in Saving Private Ryan, which sounds good on paper only because Ryan suffered by following up its amazing visual prologue with a glut of character-driven monologues to invest personality within each soldier before he get killed. But Spielberg understood the basic precepts of documentary filmmaking: no matter how chaotic things got, we always understood where the soldiers were, and where they were going. Black Hawk Down, by removing exposition and cohesion, couldn't care less.

Continue reading: Black Hawk Down Review

The Last Minute Review


OK
At first blush, Stephen Norrington's (Blade) is the kind of hip nouveau Trainspotting, about a hot young actor who quickly washes out and becomes another sad victim of the UK underworld.

Starring Max Beesley (known almost exclusively for being Mariah Carey's co-star in Glitter) as our ennuied beefcake, Norrington paints a portrait of time running out and life slipping away. Beesley's Billy Byrne jumps from encounters with electronica fetish clubs to jazz-standard-lip-synching hit men, ending up in the arms with one of the least enchanting ingenue I've seen in a long while. Played by Emily Corrie, it's not really her fault -- the lovely lass is stuck under a knit cap that makes her look like a common street urchin.

Continue reading: The Last Minute Review

The Patriot Review


Excellent
A note to filmmakers who want to make a movie about a war: Please understand that your film does not need to be as long as the actual war itself. We will not hold it against you if it's shorter. As such, I will try to keep this review to a length where you can read it in a few minutes.

The Patriot gives Mel Gibson the opportunity to do something he's never done before: To orate at length about the evils of taxation without representation... oh, okay... and to kill a bunch of damn redcoats!!!

Continue reading: The Patriot Review

Nine Lives Review


Weak
A well-cast compilation film suffocating on its own self-importance, Nine Lives aims to tie together nine vastly different stories, but ends up telling hardly any of them well. The conceit of writer/director Rodrigo Garcia is to take nine vignettes, each centered around a different woman (usually in desperate circumstances), and give us a brief glimpse into her life before cutting away to the next one, while stringing a few connecting threads between them all. To ensure that he's not playing favorites, each piece is done in one single Steadicam shot and kept to only nine or ten minutes in length. A minor character from one vignette becomes a major player later on, or vice versa. As in literature, anthology works like this are a hit-and-miss affair, and in this case the misses far outnumber the ones that connect.

Nine Lives opens strong on Sandra (Elpidia Carrillo), an imprisoned mother. Mopping up a floor, she's threatened by fellow prisoners, and harassed by a guard (Miguel Sandoval) who's convinced she can give him information. Everyone tells Sandra she's not going to make it, but you think she just might be able to, hunkering down turtle-like and just plowing through the rest of her sentence. But then her daughter visits, and the phone doesn't work, sending Sandra into a stunning explosion of rage, like a mother bear kept from her cub. It's a short, unrelentingly powerful story, and done by itself it would stand as a sublime little tragedy. The same goes for the final piece, in which Glenn Close and Dakota Fanning (hardly a better match could be imagined) visit a cemetery and talk with sublime ease about not much at all. But then comes the rest of the film in between.

Continue reading: Nine Lives Review

Soldier Review


Weak
Just how many times has Paul Anderson seen Dune? I mean, when you find yourself on a planet with massive wastelands, lots of sandstorms, and one person who leads the social group that he's not originally from to safety or some such crap, doesn't that remind you of a certain David Lynch film circa 1984?

Maybe if he was in Lynch's territory it would have turned out better. Anderson, director of Mortal Kombat and Event Horizon, set his sights on making his "sci-fi masterpiece" with a human element this time by setting himself down to work on a good premise movie, and ended up screwing that up, which you'd figure would be easy. If he'd made it out of studio, tried the independent road, the film might just have turned out quasi-semi-decent, instead of ye load of crap which we see before us now. But he decided to stay with the high paycheck security of a movie that relies on being blind and not noticing the plot holes that are large enough to walk through.

Continue reading: Soldier Review

Hotel Review


Bad
I like Mike Figgis a lot... as a person, I mean. Frankly, I haven't been able to make any sense of his movies since Leaving Las Vegas, and Hotel is probably his least accessible work ever.

The story -- as it exists -- concerns a troupe of British actors who descend on Venice to shoot a film version of the play The Duchess of Malfi. We follow the production with Figgis's all-seeing camera (courtesy of a documentarian following the production) -- which has a tendency to dip into slow-motion, cut the sound out, and shoot using an ultraviolet filter in the dark -- and bear witness to all manner of strange goings-on, the description of which I can't even begin to fathom putting on paper.

Continue reading: Hotel Review

Sweet November Review


Bad
While Sweet November is actually a remake of a 1968 film, it plays more like a two-hour episode of that oh-so-quirky-but-loveable TV show Dharma and Greg. He's a straight-laced, career-oriented, workaholic suit; she's the funky clothes-wearing, fun-loving free spirit who changes his life. The only differences are that the movie has prettier stars, certainly less funny lines, and a much more downbeat ending. But, fear not, romantic drama fans; there's plenty of adorable puppy dogs and wide-eyed little kids to soften the blow.

One treat for you shallow ladies in the crowd (guilty!) is the return of Keanu Reeves as the romantic, studly leading man. He's still as dumb as a post, but he's the fitting hero to such a dumb and implausible tale. He plays Nelson Moss, a hot shot ad man with swank things but too regimented a life to enjoy them. After a fateful run-in with carefree Sarah Deever (Charlize Theron) at the DMV, she tracks him down, and tries to convince him that he should move into her shabby-chic hippie spread for a month to become a better man. Apparently, she's done this sort of thing with other men before him with great success.

Continue reading: Sweet November Review

Windtalkers Review


Weak

The Navajo code talkers who are the ostensive focus of the new John Woo World War II movie have so little to do with the story that calling the picture "Windtalkers" feels like a sham.

Sure it opens with a breathtaking shot of rock formations in the Arizona's Monument Valley, giving the film an immediate sense of place and spirituality. But it's essentially the same shot Woo used to open "Mission: Impossible 2," minus a rock-climbing Tom Cruise and plus a touch of reverent native flute music on the soundtrack.

Sure one of the main characters is a Navajo named Ben Yahzee (Adam Beach) who has a hard time fitting in with his Marine unit, which is teeming with countrified Southern bigots. And sure, once the Pacific island combat scenes get rolling Ben calls in a few air strikes using the never-broken Navajo language-based code that helped win the war.

Continue reading: Windtalkers Review

The Patriot Review


OK

For a relentlessly unoriginal, pandering and predictable, two-and-a-half hour Revolutionary War epic that white-washes slavery, chooses exaggerated slow-motion action over any interest in historical accuracy and is helmed by a director who has demonstrated little talent for anything but overblown textbook filmmaking, "The Patriot" isn't a bad movie.

It's a mimeographed knock-off of "Braveheart" in buckskin vests and powdered wigs, but that doesn't seem to bother Mel Gibson, who won an Oscar for directing that film and stars in this one as another tread-upon colonial who takes up arms against England for his nation's freedom.

A hero of the French and Indian War who has since pledged to raise his children as a pacifist plantation farmer in South Carolina, Benjamin Martin (Gibson) is an amalgam of real revolutionary war figures, fantasized by screenwriter Robert Rodat ("Saving Private Ryan") as a politically correct hero who is a wonderful widower father, who communes with the natives (he's versed in the deadly use of a Tomahawk hatchet), who employs his plantation workers instead of enslaving them, and who takes up arms again only after a stuffy, sadistic redcoat Colonel named Tavington (Jason Issacs) kills one of his sons in cold blood when he finds Martin's home filled with rebel soldiers receiving first aid after a battle.

Continue reading: The Patriot Review

Jason Isaacs

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Jason Isaacs

Date of birth

6th June, 1963

Occupation

Actor

Sex

Male

Height

1.80




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