It's been a while since awards season ended, but there are still a few honours left to hand out.
So Gravity was cool. You know it was cool, even if you haven’t seen it because even the trailer was cool – so cool, in fact, that the trailer itself has now won an award. Alfonso Cuaron’s visual masterpiece won four awards in total, including the top honour – the Best of Show – as well as the Best Drama Poster and thriller TV spot.
While not the laugh riot it could have been, this comedy consistently amuses us with its pastiche characters and silly gags. It threatens to get bogged down in sentiment at a few points along the way, but manages to veer back into something witty just in time. And while none of the characters are quite as classic as Anchorman's Ron Burgundy, it's an entertaining addition to the affectionate-spoof genre, which includes Blades of Glory and Talladega Nights.
The events take place in the sequin-filled world of Las Vegas magicians, where childhood pals Burt and Anton (Carell and Buscemi) have packed out their theatre for 10 years. But their new assistant Jane (Wilde) is surprised to see that it's now performance by numbers for them, and they can barely stand the sight of each other. Meanwhile, the egomaniac Burt won't consider freshening the act even when faced with competition from attention-seeking street magician Steve (Carrey), who's stealing their audience. But the hotel owner (Gandolfini) urges them to try a big stunt themselves. Or maybe they should return to their roots with their old-school mentor Rance (Arkin).
Carell creates a remarkably believable idiot in Burt Wonderstone, an arrogant womaniser who clearly needs to be brought down a peg or two. What's impressive is how likeable he is, even opposite Buscemi's more sympathetic (but less interesting) Anton. Arkin delivers his usual dryly hilarious supporting turn, while Wilde and Gandolfini do little more than play gently with their usual images. By contrast, Carrey's performance is much more broadly comical. He's funny but far too clownish to ever be taken as a serious threat.
Continue reading: The Incredible Burt Wonderstone Review
Burt Wonderstone wanted to be a superstar magician ever since he was a young boy watching his idol Rance Holloway perform tricks on TV. Enlisting his best friend Anton Marvelton as his partner, the pair became stars beyond their wildest dreams wowing audiences in Las Vegas for the best part of 30 years. However, after a while being the biggest magic stars in America, ticket sales begin to drop and the pair find themselves drifting apart from each other. It doesn't help that a young, charismatic new street magician called Steve Gray has arrived on the scene becoming a massive hit among young magic fans. After Burt and Anton embark on a new stunt, attempting to stay suspended in a box with each other, they realise that their friendship is long forgotten and Anton moves abroad. Burt must meet with his hero Rance and reconnect with what made him love magic in the first place in order to reunite with his friend once more.
'The Incredible Burt Wonderstone' is a hilarious new comedy directed by Don Scardino ('30 Rock') and written by John Francis Daley and Jonathan M. Goldstein ('Horrible Bosses'), and Chad Kultgen ('Southern Discomfort', 'Waiting to Die'). It is set for release in UK cinemas from March 15th 2013.
Starring: Steve Carell, Jim Carrey, Olivia Wilde, Steve Buscemi, Alan Arkin, James Gandolfini, Gillian Jacobs, Zachary Gordon, Brad Garrett, Melissa Ordway, Jay Mohr, John Lewis, Freedom, David Copperfield, Mark Engelhardt, TJ Myers,
Continue: The Incredible Burt Wonderstone Trailer
George (Damon) has a gift: he can see into the afterlife and help people communicate with their lost loved ones. But he feels it's more like a curse.
Meanwhile in Paris, star journalist Marie (De France) has just recovered from a near-death experience. Instead of working on her planned biography of Mitterand, she instead starts investigating why accounts of after-death experiences are so shunned. And in London, pre-teen Marcus is looking for ways to communicate with recently deceased twin (they're played by Frankie and George McLaren).
Continue reading: Hereafter Review
Alcoholic police detective Todd Ludlow (Keanu Reeves) has just finished wrapping up a notorious kidnapping case when Captain Jack Wander (Forest Whittaker) gives him the bad news. His ex-partner Terrence Washington (Terry Crews) is talking to Internal Affairs, and bureau head Captain James Biggs (Hugh Laurie) is looking to take Ludlow down. Before he can intimidate his former friend into not snitching, a pair of gang bangers kill him. Desperate to clear his own name in the death, Ludlow begins to investigate. Soon, he's linking the crime to a couple of local drug dealers who seem incapable of committing the hit. With Wander on his side and Biggs on his back, it will take all the street savvy he has to solve the case -- that is, if someone doesn't try and permanently stop him too.
Continue reading: Street Kings Review
It's safe to say that your enjoyment of the film is bound by this same rule. Dyed-in-the-wool film critics like myself have been down this road once or twice before, and the enormous leap of faith it takes to convince oneself that, deep down, even "bad" people are good makes me want to reach for my DVD of A Clockwork Orange.
Continue reading: Pay It Forward Review
And not "fake," like some butt-kissing movie actress, but really fake. Simone (or S1m0ne, as Niccol sharply titles the film) is the perfect pixilated creation of a Microsoft-age mad scientist, who's created his flawless CGI actress specifically for floundering moviemaker Viktor Taransky (a truly entertaining Al Pacino). Viktor needs a hit badly and the lead actress on his new feature -- played by Winona Ryder, in a painfully ironic appearance -- has just stormed off his new movie due to "creative differences." Nine months later (human gestation period, if I'm not mistaken) Simone is born to take her place. And since our obsessive inventor has quickly died from an eye tumor, contracted from too much computer use(!), only Viktor knows the true secret of his new lead actress.
Continue reading: Simone Review
Beneath the uncanny, inevitable and seemingly shrewd facade of the movie-biz farce "Simone" -- about a computer-generated actress taking Hollywood by storm because nobody knows she's not real -- lies a plot cobbled together from largely flat and uncreative moments.
The brainchild of inventive and otherworldly writer-director Andrew Niccol ("Gattaca," "The Truman Show" screenplay), who plucked the picture's concept out of the film industry's paranoid collective subconscious, "Simone" stars Al Pacino as Viktor Taransky, a washed-up and somewhat neurotic director whose last chance at making a big studio film has just walked off the set along with his petulant leading lady (Winona Ryder in a cameo).
But just as he envisions his career going off a cliff, a dying wacko computer genius and Taransky fan (Elias Koteas) brings the director a computer hard drive containing the culmination of his life's work: a program that creates a near-perfect, completely malleable, realistic simulation of beautiful girl. Called Simone (a contraction of Simulation One), in the confines of a computer she can walk, talk, flirt and cry with a single keystroke. She has a database of famous actresses' best performances to draw from for mannerisms and moods. She's utterly at Taransky's control and, of course, her fabricated "performances" can be digitally inserted into any scene of his movie, any way he chooses.
Continue reading: S1m0ne Review
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