Joan Allen

Joan Allen

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2015 Disney Media Distribution International Upfronts

Joan Allen - 2015 Disney Media Distribution International Upfronts - Arrivals at Disney - Los Angeles, California, United States - Sunday 17th May 2015

Joan Allen

2015 Disney Media Distribution International Upfronts

Joan Allen - A host of stars were photographed as they attended the 2015 Disney Media Distribution International Upfronts event which was held at The Walt Disney Studios Lot in Burbank, California, United States - Monday 18th May 2015

Joan Allen
Joan Allen
Joan Allen
Joan Allen
Joan Allen

A Good Marriage Review


Good

Slick and haunting, this film delves into the things that hold a marriage together in a way only Stephen King would even begin to attempt. It's an involving, clever idea, never quite as deep as it seems to be, but elevated by sharply honest performances by the terrific Joan Allen and Anthony LaPaglia, with an additional bit of spice from Stephen Lang, playing far against type. Although in the end, it's hard to escape the fact that this is actually just a simplistic, nasty little thriller.

It centres on Darcy and Don (Allen and LaPaglia), a blissfully happy middle-aged couple with grown children (Kristen Connolly and Theo Stockman) who are on the verge of starting families of their own. Then Darcy makes a discovery in the garage that links Don to a series of serial murders terrorising New England. When Don realises that she knows, he says he'll stop the killing if she lets their life go back to normal. But how can it, when she's having terrified fever dreams every night? She can just about hold it together for their kids, but she keeps seeing opportunities to take matters into her own hands. Meanwhile, a shady figure (Lang) seems to be following them.

Yes, King's screenplay is less interested in carrying on with a probing, blackly witty exploration of the stresses of long-term relationships than in making viewers squirm in their seats. And the film certainly does this thanks to another remarkably offhanded performance from Allen. While she sometimes seems a bit panicky and arch, there's real edge to her screen presence. And LaPaglia is superb as the likeable killer who should probably be stopped but is nice to have around the house. Intriguingly, the film doesn't end when we think it will, as the characters have a bit further to go on this grisly little journey.

Continue reading: A Good Marriage Review

The Bourne Legacy Trailer


The CIA is confronted with the consequences of previous events that have taken place involving Jason Bourne. They decide that they must shut down Operation Outcome (the subsequent operation to Operation Treadstone) which will involve the assassination of Outcome agent Aaron Cross and Doctor Stephanie Snyder who helped produce the agents. They must find an escape or be killed.

Continue: The Bourne Legacy Trailer

Picture - Joan Allen New York City, USA, Tuesday 24th March 2009

Joan Allen Tuesday 24th March 2009 Opening night after party for the Broadway play 'Impressionism' held at Sardi's-Press Room New York City, USA

Joan Allen
Joan Allen
Joan Allen
Joan Allen

Picture - Joan Allen and Jeremy Irons New York City, USA, Tuesday 24th March 2009

Joan Allen and Jeremy Irons - Joan Allen and Jeremy Irons New York City, USA - Opening night after party for the Broadway play 'Impressionism' held at Sardi's-Press Room Tuesday 24th March 2009

Joan Allen and Jeremy Irons
Joan Allen and Jeremy Irons
Joan Allen and Jeremy Irons
Joan Allen and Jeremy Irons

Death Race Review


Unbearable
Movies like Death Race exist so critics will have something to put on their year-end "Worst Of" lists.

Technically, it's a remake of Paul Bartel's schlocky Death Race 2000 from 1975. But director Paul W.S. Anderson also uses his gig as an excuse to revisit every innocent-man-behind-bars cliché that has been introduced from then 'til now.

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Nixon Review


Good
History has not been much kinder to Nixon the movie than it was to Nixon the man. Grossing under $14 million domestically, the $50 million movie was an enormous box office flop (what 1995-era family wouldn't want to go catch Nixon on Christmas Day?), though four Oscar nominations (it won none) must have softened the blow somewhat for auteur director Oliver Stone.

With Nixon, Stone struggles to present a thoughtful biography of one of history's most reviled leaders and the only President in modern times to voluntarily leave office before the end of his term. Richard Nixon of course needs no introduction, and Stone takes a much different approach to the material here than he did with JFK, which remains one of my favorite films ever. Rather than focus on a single incident -- Watergate -- Stone endeavors to encompass Nixon's entire life and career, from his days as a young Quaker (complete with dying brothers) to two big failed runs at political office to the entirety of his troubled political career. All the highlights are here, at least in part: Kent State, China, Vietnam and Cambodia, and of course the tragic events of Watergate.

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Trumbo Review


Grim
As the poster child for the Hollywood Ten during the Anti-Communist hysteria of the late '40s/early '50s, one of the darkest and most unsavory moments in recent American history, screenwriter Dalton Trumbo (Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo, Kitty Foyle, A Guy Named Joe) was a passionate, cranky, ill-tempered force of nature, the perfect foil for the mealy and mercenary denizens of the House Un-American Activities Committee. Thrown out of work, blacklisted (with scores of others), and jailed (Trumbo was Prisoner #7551), Trumbo burrowed into the Hollywood underground, continuing to write films under fronts and pseudonyms (Roman Holiday) and hatching a scheme to defeat Hollywood at its own game by toiling away as a script machine and working hard and fast with the idea of transforming blacklisted writers into becoming the most economically-desired writers in town simply by under-pricing the whitelisted writers, hoping to cause the blacklist to wither and die of its own weight. But an Oscar for The Brave One under a Trumbo pseudonym brought the whole stinking sham of the blacklist out in the open. Soon after, Trumbo became the first blacklisted screenwriter to have his name restored in the film credits (Spartacus, Exodus). But during Trumbo's exile and before his return to grace, he wrote lots of letters.

In Peter Askin's eponymous paean to Trumbo (based on son Christopher Trumbo's play, which starred Nathan Lane), Trumbo's prickly letters, mined from the 1940s to the 1960s (extracted from the published collection Additional Dialogue), are read by a legion of actors including Lane, Donald Sutherland, Michael Douglas, Josh Lucas, Liam Neeson, Brian Dennehy, David Strathairn, Joan Allen, and Paul Giamatti. Interspersed with the recitations are recollections from Trumbo's family, Christopher and daughter Mitzi, and supporters like Kirk Douglas, along with blurry film clips and extracts of interviews with Trumbo himself.

Continue reading: Trumbo Review

Face/off Review


Excellent
It's hard to remember the whooshing sighs of disappointment from his fans that greeted John Woo in 1996 when, after so many half-steps and mis-starts, he made his big Hollywood debut with the stolen-nuke thriller Broken Arrow. Having left the Hong Kong business on a high with 1992's psychotic near-parody Hard Boiled, Woo did a Jean-Claude Van Damme flick -- 1993's Hard Target, which was heavily botched by studio interference but still contained some brilliant work -- before deciding to go seriously Hollywood. For Broken Arrow, he toned down his trademark mix of ultra-violent flourishes and teary-eyed humanism to concentrate on doing a by-the-book mid-'90s action flick that was generic in the extreme but raked in the money. The next year, though, Woo proved it had all just been an extraordinarily canny maneuver to allow him to make Face/Off, possibly the greatest, and definitely the most exuberant, action film to come out of the studio system in that decade.

A schizoid doppelganger mind-bender wrapped around your standard ticking-bomb scenario (it's hidden somewhere in Los Angeles and could take out the whole basin if detonated -- or something), Face/Off is an utterly lunatic film in the best possible way. Originally a futuristic thriller, the script was retooled for a modern-day setting, keeping several of its sci-fi elements but focusing more intently on its personality-shifting aspects which seemed to come straight out of Woo's international breakthrough, The Killer. An FBI agent, Sean Archer (John Travolta) has been hunting jet-set super-criminal Castor Troy (Nicolas Cage) for years. For Archer, it's gone beyond personal to haunted obsession, particularly after Troy tried to shoot Archer but missed and killed his son instead. After a gonzo opening sequence involving a Humvee/private jet showdown on a runway and about ten thousand expended rounds (mostly fired by people flying sideways in slo-mo, of course), Archer's team brings down Troy.

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The Bourne Ultimatum Review


OK
There are actually three screenwriters credited for The Bourne Ultimatum, though it's hard to imagine what exactly they all did to earn their paycheck. "You don't remember anything, do you?" "It's Bourne." "It ends here." [insert car chase] That doesn't mean that this third installment of the popular shaky-cam travelogue spy thriller series doesn't deliver all that it's intended to, and occasionally more, it just means that you're more likely to hear barked-out commands or the sound of squealing tires and shattering glass than two or more actors exchanging full sentences as part of a conversation. This is a film that asks exactly how much traditional storytelling structure can you cleave away and still have a coherent and engaging piece of work? The answer: Nearly all of it.

Coming off last year's abysmally underrated United 93, director Paul Greengrass thankfully returns for his second film in the series about the titular amnesiac CIA-trained assassin (Matt Damon) with identity issues. Although the resulting film is not nearly up to the hard-to-match bar set by the preceding film, The Bourne Supremacy, it's hard to imagine any other director currently working who would be able to keep the relentless pace delivered by Ultimatum. Unfortunately, it's also all too easy to see that the filmmakers and Damon are coasting when they could be soaring.

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The Upside of Anger Review


Excellent
There's an upside to Mike Binder's intelligent film about the torrent of anger one woman feels toward life. And depending on who you ask, you're likely to get a different response on exactly what that upside is. Easily characterized as a "chick-flick," The Upside of Anger deals mostly in the complicated world of relationships. My wife found it powerful and enlightening; I found it tedious and long. She yearned for more Joan Allen; I prayed for more Kevin Costner. And yet, despite our differences, the one thing we could agree on is that Anger packs an undeniably genuine, emotional punch.

In yet another robust female role, Allen plays Terry Wolfmeyer, a mother of four grown daughters who is consumed with anger after her husband mysteriously abandons his family. Terry's convinced that he's left her for his younger, more beautiful Swedish secretary. Paralyzed by her outrage, the only way Terry is able to deal with the situation is by drinking. Each day, from the time she takes her morning shower to the time goes to bed, Terry has a glass of vodka in her hand ready to drown her sorrows.

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Searching For Bobby Fischer Review


Excellent
They should really let writers direct more often. Sure, they aren't trained for it all the time, but it has a good track record. Take David Keopp (writer of the infamous The Lost World), the bane of modern literature when not directing, but able to turn out a stylish character drama and thriller when he is (The Trigger Effect). Then take a look at the independent world. Quentin Tarantino, and Steven Soderberg (Sex, Lies, and Videotape) to name a couple. Oh, yeah, Pleasantville, let's not forget that one. And, of course, we have Steven Zallian, who turned out Awakenings and Schindler's List, directing the family drama Searching for Bobby Fischer.

A family at its roots, the film follows the true story of chess prodigy Josh Waitzkin, a kind New York youth who teaches himself to play chess by watching other play in the park and rises to become the national youth champion. A story like this would have generated the money alone, but, unlike some of his counterparts in studio cinema, Steven Zaillian has never been content for a mediocre money-maker film. He brings in the element of family drama strongly showing how the relationshp between father and son is torn apart and brought together by the game.

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Pleasantville Review


Extraordinary
Not only does Pleasantville have more CGI effects than Titanic, it has more plot, better characters, and a more satisfying ending, too. Will it create the same kind of waves that the big boat did a year ago? Hardly, but discerning viewers not overcome by hype (see also The Truman Show) will probably agree with me that Pleasantvilleis truly one of the best films of the year.

Whereas Truman brought TV to a man's life, Pleasantvillebrings two teenagers to a TV show. Hasn't this been done? Well, yes, in a real stinker called Stay Tuned (1992, with John Ritter and Pam Dawber), but hopefully the dismal idiocy of that film won't color (so to speak) your judgement on this one. The plot really can't be condensed into a "TV Guide"-style logline, which means it requires a little thought to get into, but that really only enhances the moviegoing experience.

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Joan Allen

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