It's been nearly 30 years since the last live-action Tarzan movie, and yet it still feels too soon for another remake. Thankfully, this is actually a sequel (perhaps it should have been titled Tarzan Returns), and along with a first-rate cast, this movie has a surprisingly beefy script that hints at a much more high-brow adventure epic. But clearly the studio preferred to make a mindless bit of blockbuster action.
After leaving the jungle, Tarzan (Alexander Skarsgard) has settled into life in damp 1880s England as the Earl of Greystoke with his American wife Jane (Margot Robbie). Meanwhile, deep in the Congo, Belgian diplomat Leon Rom (Christoph Waltz) has made a deal with Chief Mbonga (Djimon Hounsou), who has a personal grudge against Tarzan. Planning to hand over Tarzan in exchange for diamonds, Leon lures Tarzan back to Africa, accompanied by Jane and the American explorer George Washington Williams (Samuel L. Jackson), who suspects that the slave trade hasn't ended. On arrival, Leon pounces, and Tarzan must revert to the instincts he learned from the gorillas who raised him, while calling on help from old friends.
The plot is actually quite compelling, sparking lots of whooshing action (including plenty of vine-swinging) while grappling with some bigger themes involving colonialism and racism, plus more personal issues of identity and responsibility. The actors pack their scenes with textures that touch on these ideas, while also providing a spark of wit. With his impossibly sculpted physique, Skarsgard looks rather too gym-fit for the role, but he gives Tarzan a soulfulness that makes him likeable. He also develops some steamy chemistry with Robbie, who shines in her role as a feisty woman happy to return to the village where she was raised. The best scene in the film is when she has dinner with Waltz' sneering villain, gleefully swapping innuendo. And even with the action and gunplay, this is Jackson's deepest role in years.
Continue reading: The Legend Of Tarzan Review
A teaser trailer for HBO’s upcoming sci-fi series, ‘Westworld’, has been released.
HBO has released its first teaser trailer for its upcoming series, Westworld. The trailer was aired before the season two finale of True Detective on Monday (10th July). In typical HBO fashion, the series promises to be action packed, visually impressive and featuring a hugely talented cast.
Anthony Hopkins at the L.A. premiere of Thor: Dark World in November 2013.
Continue reading: HBO Releases Teaser Trailer For Upcoming Sci-Fi Series, ‘Westworld’
The much-loved movie producer died suddenly of heart failure in Santa Barbara, California on Monday.
Jerry Weintraub, one of the biggest names in the movie industry, has died suddenly at the age of 77. The iconic producer and ex-head of United Artists Studios passed away on Monday (July 6th) of heart failure following a short hospital stay.
TMZ reported on Tuesday that the movie mogul began feeling unwell over the Fourth of July weekend and suffered a heart attack a few days after initially being diagnosed with a bowel condition.
Weintraub had worked with some of Hollywood’s biggest names and had a crucial role in developing movies such as Nashville, All Night Long, the original, sequels and re-make of The Karate Kid, and the 2001 reboot of Ocean’s Eleven.
Continue reading: Jerry Weintraub, Celebrated Hollywood Producer, Dies Aged 77
This biopic about the pianist-showman Liberace may look almost painfully camp, and sometimes it is, but it's also a remarkably honest depiction of an intimate relationship. In the hands of Steven Soderbergh, the flaming excess is never made the butt of the joke; instead we get a strong dose of gritty humour, dark emotion and even a revealing look into the smoke and mirrors of show business. And the astute performances from both Douglas and Damon continually catch us off guard with their resonance.
It was 1977 when the 57-year-old entertainer (Douglas) met 17-year-old Scott Thorson (Damon). There was an instant spark as Liberace, known to his friends as Lee, offered Scott a job as a companion: on the stage, in his bed and running his household. But their relationship wasn't easy. Lee coaxed Scott into joining him under the knife of a plastic surgeon (Lowe) who reshaped Scott's face to look like a younger Liberace. Afterwards, Scott became addicted to a variety of drugs, which strained their romance to the breaking point. And it didn't help that Lee had an eye for ever-younger boys, all while insisting to the world that he was straight. "People see what they want to see," he said.
While the production design overflows with Liberace's "palatial kitsch" design sensibility, Soderbergh keeps the story and characters grounded, finding humour in unexpected places (Lowe's over-lifted face is hilarious). And despite the outrageous costumes and hair, the actors never camp up their performances, which cleverly holds the story in a delicate balance between sharp comedy and involving drama. In this sense, LaGravenese's script is particularly clever, peppering the dialog with telling details that gives us a remarkably well-rounded picture of the interaction between these men. And it continually resists becoming another stereotypical gay romance, celebrity biopic or drugs odyssey.
Continue reading: Behind The Candelabra Review
Dre (Smith) is annoyed when his mother (Henson) moves from Detroit to Beijing, where he's mercilessly bullied by a gang of schoolboy thugs led by Cheng (Wang Zhenwei). Sure, there's the cute violinist (Han) to distract him, but things don't really start looking up until the maintenance man (Chan) agrees to teach him kung fu. Now Dre has three goals: learn skills to defend himself, compete in an upcoming tournament against Cheng and his evil mentor (Yu), and of course get the girl.
Continue reading: The Karate Kid Review
The story is, by and large, traditional serial killer fare: Someone is stabbing gay men to death, often in lewd situations. The NYPD captain (Paul Sorvino) sends in Steve Burns (Al Pacino) undercover to ferret out the killer. The straight-edge Steve learns all about gay culture, in which pocket to put bandanas to indicate your proclivities, and so on. But by and large he's just supposed to "go out there and find the killer." But the undercover activity takes its toll on his psyche, most notably in his (non-gay) relationship with Nancy (Karen Allen, virtually the only woman in the film at all).
Continue reading: Cruising Review
But Andrew Fleming's take on Nancy Drew turns out to be a snappy charmer. Though the film takes place in the present, Nancy's life could still be described by the MPAA tags on a trailer for a PG movie: mild peril, brief teen partying; she hasn't been glammed into 2007. But the film uses this mildness to its advantage, starting with the decision not to play Nancy's old-fashioned virtues -- lawful curiosity, modest fashions, and an unfailing politeness even in the face of peril -- for satire. That is not to say that Nancy (Emma Roberts, niece of Julia, son of Eric) isn't oblivious to modern life; she knows about iPods and laptops. She's just old-fashioned (she prefers vinyl and books), which makes her dedication to old-timey detecting (or "sleuthing," as she calls it) all the more individualistic, even touching, as well as sweetly funny.
Continue reading: Nancy Drew Review
Returning to the stage, the Ocean crew: Rusty (Brad Pitt) puts on scraggly facial hair to play a seismologist. Linus (Matt Damon) prepares to seduce a casino employee (Ellen Barkin), a task that, he insists, requires a prosthetic nose. Basher (Don Cheadle) mostly minds a giant piece of construction equipment, but impersonates a motorcycle daredevil on the fly as an elaborate distraction. The brothers Malloy (Casey Affleck and Scott Caan) are off to Mexico. George Clooney's Billy Ocean, as usual, acts as ringleader, which means a lot of standing around looking fabulous in suits, as well as one spectacularly well-timed eyeroll.
Continue reading: Ocean's Thirteen Review
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
It's been nearly 30 years since the last live-action Tarzan movie, and yet it still...
This biopic about the pianist-showman Liberace may look almost painfully camp, and sometimes it is,...
Even though it's corny, unnecessary and far too long, this remake of the 1984 hit...
After watching the postmodern teen-detective stars of Brick and Veronica Mars, reviving Nancy Drew, girl...
The jazzy music, saturated-to-bleeding colors, and even the credits font make it clear from the...
Danny Ocean and his crew of master thieves are back on the hunt in Ocean's...