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Penny Dreadful filming in Dublin Castle

Reeve Carney and John Logan - Penny Dreadful filming in Dublin Castle - Dublin, Ireland - Thursday 25th September 2014

Reeve Carney

Photo Call for "The Last Ship"

John Logan, Sting, Gordon Sumner, Joe Mantello and Steven Hoggett - Photocall for the musical "The Last Ship" at New 42nd Street Studios - New York, New York, United States - Monday 28th April 2014

John Logan, Sting, Gordon Sumner and Joe Mantello

Sam Mendes Signs For ‘Bond 24,’ Though John Logan’s Return Is Key


Sam Mendes John Logan Daniel Craig Barbara Broccoli Javier Bardem

James Bond fans received the news they’d be waiting for on Thursday – Sam Mendes would be returning for the twenty-fourth 007 movie, following the huge success of Skyfall.

Given his theatre commitments, it was assumed that the Oscar-winning director would be unable to helm the follow-up to the biggest grossing British movie in history – though he appears to have found a gap in his schedule to direct the next Bond for an October 23, 2015 release date.

Daniel Craig – often considered the finest Bond actor in history – had delayed his decision to return for his fourth movie, though the return of Mendes will see him don the tuxedo once again.

Continue reading: Sam Mendes Signs For ‘Bond 24,’ Though John Logan’s Return Is Key

Sam Mendes Will Direct Daniel Craig In 24th James Bond Film


Sam Mendes Daniel Craig Barbara Broccoli John Logan Pierce Brosnan Roger Moore James Bond Charlie And The Chocolate Factory

Director Sam Mendes will be directing the next James Bond movie. The film is due to be released in 2015. The Skyfall director will work with Daniel Craig, who will be reprising his role as the secret agent. The writer of the previous film, John Logan, will also return to write the next script.

Sam Mendes
Sam Mendes at the Charlie And The Chocolate Factory Press Night, Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. 

The dates for release have already been confirmed. UK cinema goers will be able to see the film two weeks earlier than their American counterparts. The UK release date is set for 23rd October 2015 and the US for 6th November.

Continue reading: Sam Mendes Will Direct Daniel Craig In 24th James Bond Film

'I'll Eat You Last' After Party

John Logan and Ali MacGraw - Broadway opening night after party for 'I'll Eat You Last' held at the Booth Theatre - New York, NY, United States - Wednesday 24th April 2013

Bette Midler, Arielle Tepper Madover and John Logan
Arielle Tepper Madover and John Logan
Arielle Tepper Madover, John Logan and Graydon Carter
Bette Midler and John Logan
John Logan

Premiere of 'Lucky Guy'

John Logan - Premiere of 'Lucky Guy' at the Broadhurst Theatre -Arrivals - New York City, NY, United States - Monday 1st April 2013

Penny Dreadful - New Sam Mendes Horror Detective Series Revealed


John Logan Adele

Skyfall director Sam Mendes and his co-script writer on the Bond film, John Logan, are embarking on a new collaboration, so great was their enjoyment in working together. Penny Dreadful is the title of the horror-tinged detective drama that Mendes and Logan are creating for US cable network Showtime. The show will include various established literary figures from horror-related texts, such as Dr Frankenstein.

Showtime is already responsible for a whole raft of successful dramas, such as Dexter, Californication and Homeland. Penny Dreadful will be set in 1880s London, and Showtime’s entertainment president, David Nevins said in a statement reported on by Entertainment Weekly, “It’s very realistic, it’s very grounded… It’s very psychological and highly erotic.” The network have already commissioned the series and it’s possible that Mendes will direct the first episode, if he has the time. Amongst the likely characters are Dorian Gray, Dr. Frankenstein and some Dracula characters.

In Skyfall, Mendes has created the most popular Bond movie of all time. However, the accolades that the movie was expected to get at the Oscars this year simply did not come, despite the fact that the franchise is celebrating its 50th anniversary. It’s not all bad news for the movie though; Adele has been nominated for an Academy Award for the title track for the movie and after her win at the Golden Globes last night, looks like a dead cert to bring the statuette home.

Skyfall Review


Good
Things get very personal for 007 in this high-quality thriller, which keeps us gripped even if it never gets our pulses racing. This shouldn't be surprising, since the director is Sam Mendes, known for more dramatic movies like American Beauty and Revolutionary Road. And he gives the film a deep gravitas that we're not used to in the Bond franchise, as well as coaxing the cast to darkly introspective performances.

That's not to say the action is lacklustre. The opening sequence in Istanbul is a riotous chase through the city streets, across the rooftops and onto a train rocketing through a mountainous landscape. At the end of this, Bond (Craig) is presumed dead while the baddie gets away with a list of Western spies. As he starts releasing names publicly, things get difficult for MI6 boss M (Dench), who is pressured to resign by a government minister (Fiennes). So when Bond returns, M puts him on the case, sending him to Shanghai, where he stalks a mysterious woman (Marlohe) to Macau and meets the camp villain Silva (Bardem). Back in Britain, Silva leads Bond and M on a nasty cat-and-mouse chase that ends up at Skyfall, Bond's ancestral home in the Highlands.

Unlike the usual Bond baddie, Silva isn't remotely interested in global domination or incredible wealth: he has a very personal score to settle, which means that there's no ticking time-bomb underneath the action. In other words, Bond is fighting to save his life, not the planet. Which makes the film feel oddly smaller than we expect. On the other hand, this also allows the filmmakers and actors to develop the relationships more intriguingly than usual. Most notable is the close connection between Bond and M, played with with edgy subtlety by Craig and Dench while Bardem steals every scene with his witty innuendo.

Other characters are strong as well, including Harris as Bond's spy colleague, Whishaw as the clever gadget-geek Q, and an almost unrecognisable Finney as Bond's oldest friend. And Marlohe stirs in the only hint of sex and mystery. Each adds life and energy to the film, as does a continual stream of references to 50 years of Bond movies. Some of these are subtle (a 1962 Scotch) while others get a laugh (that iconic Aston Martin DB5). And along the way, Mendes laces the personal drama with political intrigue and some spectacularly staged action scenes. It's consistently entertaining, even if it's dark and thoughtful rather than exhilarating and fun.

Rich Cline

Picture - John Logan , Tuesday 23rd October 2012

John Logan Tuesday 23rd October 2012 James Bond Skyfall World Premiere held at the Royal Albert Hall- Arrivals

John Logan

100% Rating: Is Skyfall The Best Bond Movie Ever?


Sam Mendes Daniel Craig Helen McCrory Ralph Fiennes Javier Bardem Judi Dench Neal Purvis Robert Wade John Logan

Sam Mendes must be feeling pretty smug right now. The director of Skyfall, the latest James Bond movie, has scored an impeccable 100% on the Rotten Tomatoes reviews site.

This will make excellent Monday morning news for Mendes, as well as the movie’s stars. The cast list includes Daniel Craig, of course, who plays the lead role, as well as Helen McCrory, Ralph Fiennes, Javier Bardem and Dame Judi Dench.

Skyfall has received a resounding round of applause from critics across the board; even the most cynical of movie reviewers seems to have struggled to find any cracks in this latest offering from the Bond franchise. Writing for the Hollywood Reporter, Todd McCarthy wrote that Skyfall “Feels more seriously connected to real-world concerns than any previous entry, despite the usual outlandish action scenes, glittering settings and larger-than-life characters,” making the movie a credit both to its scriptwriters Neal Purvis, Robert Wade and John Logan. Equally, Variety’s Peter Debruge remarked that Skyfall puts the “’intelligence’ in MI6. Skyfall reps a smart, savvy and incredibly satisfying addition to the 007 oeuvre.”

Continue reading: 100% Rating: Is Skyfall The Best Bond Movie Ever?

Coriolanus Review


OK
Actor-director Fiennes sets Shakespeare's military tragedy in a modern-day war setting, which gives it a meaty kick of recognition. But it's such a bombastic film that it's difficult to find much emotional resonance in it.

Amid political and social turmoil, Martius (Fiennes) is a blunt Roman soldier, subduing insurrections in the surrounding kingdoms, making an enemy of Volscian leader Tullus (Butler) but returning home a war hero and crowned Coriolanus.

Despite the help of his military-leader mother (Redgrave), his loyal wife Virgilia (Chastain) and a respected senator (Cox), Martius is unable - and unwilling - to play the political game, insulting both the senate and the public. Banished from public life, he joins with Tullus and sets about conquering Rome his own way.

Continue reading: Coriolanus Review

Hugo Review


Excellent

Based on the Brian Selznick novel The Invention of Hugo Cabret, Scorsese's first family movie combines a young boy's adventure with a cinematic history lesson. It's a celebration of wide-eyed wonder that's a joy to watch, although the title isn't the only thing that's dumbed-down.

In early 1930s Paris, the orphaned Hugo (Butterfield) lives in Montparnasse station, where he scurries through forgotten passageways maintaining the clocks. He learned this skill from his late father (Law), but an automaton they were fixing is his only reminder of his happier childhood. Dodging the tenacious station inspector (Baron Cohen), Hugo worms his way into the life of grouchy shopkeeper Georges (Kingsley), and has a series of adventures with his goddaughter Isabelle (Moretz). When they learn that Georges is forgotten pioneer filmmaker Georges Melies, they decide to help bring him back to life.

Scorsese tells this story with bravura moviemaking trickery, from whooshing tracking shots to wonderfully inventive uses of 3D. He also peppers the screen with witty references to film history from Modern Times to Vertigo, clips from early cinema and flashbacks to the Lumiere brothers' exhibition and Melies' busy studio. Meanwhile, the main plot unfolds with a warmly inviting glow, sharply telling details and a colourful cast of memorable side characters.
Intriguingly, everyone is a bit opaque; like the automaton, the gears turn but we never really understand them.

Butterfield's Hugo may be consumed by an inner yearning, but he's always on guard, providing a watchful pair of eyes through which we see the drama, romance and slapstick of the station. And it's in these details that Scorsese and his cast draw us in. Standouts are Baron Cohen, who adds layers of comedy and pathos to every scene, and McCrory (as Mrs Melies), with her barely suppressed enthusiasm. As usual, Kingsley never lets his guard down: he invests this broken man with a bit too much dignity.

As the film progresses, the passion for the movies is infectious. Scorsese's gorgeous visual approach and writer Logan's controlled cleverness never overwhelm the human story. And even if Melies' life and Paris' geography are adjusted for no real reason, the film's warm drama and delightful imagery really get under the skin, making us fall in love with the movies all over again.

Rango Review


OK
Inventive visuals and lively voice cast lift this finely animated film above the fray. So it's a shame that the story feels both random and predictable. It also uses 40-year-old references that younger viewers won't get.

When a pet chameleon (voiced by Depp) is lost in the desert, he wanders into Dirt, a parched Wild West town populated by scruffy, attitude-filled vermin. He immediately reinvents himself as the heroic Rango, and as sheriff promises to restore the missing water supply. He proves his mettle by squaring off against a vicious hawk, but the slippery tortoise Mayor (Beatty), a family of sneaky moles and a vicious rattlesnake (Nighy) will require more effort. As will his developing romance with feisty girl-lizard Bean (Fisher).

Continue reading: Rango Review

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street Review


Good
Quite possibly the strangest holiday release since Miramax rolled out its bloodsucking Dracula update in December 2000, Tim Burton's Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street reproduces Stephen Sondheim's moody musical as a theatrically macabre vengeance play that gleefully soaks its numbers in gallons of gooey, red stage blood. It's a mesmerizing mess of a film that alternates its high notes with blatant missteps. Yet for all its unmistakable faults, it casts such a complete spell that I'm chomping at the bit to see it again (and again).

Where other studios might have demanded proven singers for the parts, Paramount (bravely?) permits Burton to practice extreme nepotism. The director recruits his better half, Johnny Depp, for the title role of a wrongfully jailed barber who seeks vengeance against a covetous judge (Alan Rickman) and his troll-like lackey (Timothy Spall). As for the role of Mrs. Lovett, it goes to Burton's wife, Helena Bonham Carter. A meat-pie maker, Lovett helps dispose of Sweeney's human victims by turning them into delectable delicacies.

Continue reading: Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street Review

Bats Review


Terrible
As anyone who knows me will tell you, I don't shut up often. But, when the lights go down, my mouth clamps shut... Unless its a complete Z-grade movie like Bats.

Bats is one of those movies where you have to get popcorn just to throw it at the screen. It is one of those movies where you have to make fun of those little kids scared out of their wits three rows behind you on the other side of the theatre. Most of all, however, it is one of those movies where you have to provide a running commentary.

Continue reading: Bats Review

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